BattleTech: The Animated Series/In the Belly of the Beast

This transcript of episode seven of BattleTech: The Animated Series, In the Belly of the Beast, is based off a VHS recording from the initial airing.

Scene 1[edit]

Waldorff System

[A Jade Falcon Overlord flies through space, hosting a Trial between Kristen Redmond and Nicolai Malthus]

Nicolai: Challenging me was a mistake, Kristen. You cannot win.

[Kristen tumbles down a shaft, but shoots a rope out of a wrist launcher and snags a beam, allowing her to swing around towards her foe.]

Kristen: Overconfident as always, Nicolai.

[ Bondsman Ciro shakes his head as he watches.]

Ciro: I don't understand this. They're waging war against the Inner Sphere, and yet they waste their energies battling each other?

[Kristen uses her wrist-rope launcher to ensnare Nicolai's arm, but he uses his superior strength to pull her towards him and throw her down the corridor, then snags her leg with his own rope launcher.]

Pytor: You are witnessing a Trial of Possession. Our people settle disputes through combat.

[Linked by a length of rope, Nicolai and Kristen hit a beam and swing around it in opposite directions to collide with each other.]

Ciro: What are they fighting over now?

Pytor: The right to control a weapon of vital strategic importance.

Ciro: What kind of weapon could be so important? Are they fighting over a new BattleMech?

[Kristen gains the upper hand and ties Nicolai up with his own rope, then backflips away, cackling madly.]

Pytor: No, bondsman Ciro. They are fighting over you.

Scene 2[edit]

[The Kwaidan descends towards a heavily cratered planetoid – Waldorff V. Onboard, Patch and Ryder are beating up Franklin Sakamoto.]

Sakamoto (to Patch): Release me, immediately!

[Patch drops him to the deck.]

Val: Didn't I tell you to keep your hands off our gear?

Franklin: It was unavoidable.

[Several Combine crewmen tackle Patch, who effortlessly tosses them away. Adam wades into the fracas, separating a Combine crewman and Kylie.]

Adam: Enough! Can't we go a week without this nonsense?

Kylie: Mister Sakamoto is stealing our spare parts!

[Patch and Ryder push Sakamoto towards Adam.]

Franklin: Major Steiner, you have made me responsible for maintaining supplies. Therefore, I must allocate equipment as I see fit.

[Ryder reaches into Sakamoto's backpack and pulls out circuit boards.]

Val: Does that mean gutting our 'Mechs and keeping all the good transponders for yourself?

Franklin: I need these electronics to bargain for your food. You, of all people, should appreciate the value of a bribe.

[Ryder grabs Sakamoto angrily.]

Val: What's that supposed to mean?

[Sakamoto puts Ryder in a painful wrist lock.]

Franklin: Do not touch me again.

[Adam separates them.]

Adam: Give it a rest, both of you! Now, I know we're short on supplies, and I know our BattleMechs are trashed, but we can't start going for each other's throats. Now we're about to land on Waldorff V. They've got a quartermaster depot, so we can stock up on supplies and get our 'Mechs repaired.

Rachel (over intercom): All hands, report to landing stations.

Scene 3[edit]

[The Kwaidan lands in the jungles of Waldorff V, and the Strikers go to the quartermaster's office.]

Quartermaster: Forget it, Major. You ain't got the paperwork. I can't do nothin' for you. See this full clipboard? It means I got an empty warehouse.

[Kylie pilots the Axman off the Kwaidan.]

Kylie: All those months of cross-training, and the only 'Mech action I get is marching the Major's demolished Axman to a repair depot.

[A crowd of civilians runs up the boarding ramp into the Kwaidan.]

Kylie (over loudspeaker): Hey, you can't go in there!

[A civilian runs up to Ryder and offers him money.]

Civilian: Get us out of here! I'll give you five thousand C-Bills for passage!

Val: Whoa! Slow down! I wish we could help you, but we're going into Clan territory.

Kylie: Val, isn't there anything we can do?

Val: Yeah, we can do our jobs so this won't happen on any other planet.

Scene 4[edit]

[At the depot, Sakamoto tries to bribe the quartermaster.]

Franklin: Perhaps you might be interested in rare, exotic foods? Andurien Peach Pheasant? It could fetch you a handsome price.

Quartermaster: Sorry, pal. I don't deal with Dracs.

[Hawkins picks the quartermaster up by his lapels.]

Hawk: Now might be a good place to start!

Adam: This is getting us nowhere. Without those supplies, we're dead in the water.

[The Strikers storm out of the depot, and are met by a ComStar representative in a blue robe with green trim.]

ComStar Demi-Precentor: Are you Adam Steiner?

Adam: Yeah, who are you?

Demi-Precentor: Would you come with me, please?

Scene 5[edit]

[At the Waldorff V HPG Station]

Demi-Precentor: ComStar received a Priority One transmission for you, from the Archon herself.

[He pulls up the transmission.]

Melissa: Greetings, Major Steiner. Or, should I say, Cousin Adam? I am sorry, but your mission to gather information on the Clans is temporarily suspended.

[Shocked, Adam walks towards the holoprojector.]

Adam: What about Somerset? What about my family?

Melissa: The technology you appropriated from the enemy has been swiftly incorporated into new 'Mech prototypes. Your revised mission is to test this equipment in actual combat, even if it means going to a planet currently held by Clan forces.

Rachel: Like, maybe, Somerset?

Scene 6[edit]

[Inbound towards Waldorff V, Star Captain Kristen Redmond and Ciro view Melissa's intercepted message aboard the Falcon's Nest.]

Kristen: We intercepted this transmission. Your former comrades have proven themselves to be worthy opponents. Defeating them and taking their new weapons will bring me great glory.

Ciro: Why are you telling me this?

Kristen: Because, bondsman Ciro, you are going to help me win the honor of attacking them.

Ciro: In your dreams, lady!

Kristen: A true pity! Should Nicolai Malthus seize this opportunity, your former comrades will surely be eliminated.

Ciro: He didn't eliminate me. He made me a bondsman.

[Kristen yanks the Star League medal off Ciro's neck.]

Kristen: Only because of your family's illustrious history. I doubt he would be so merciful to an inferior stock.

Ciro: What would you do with them?

Kristen: I would allow them to serve our goal of reuniting the Inner Sphere, returning it to the glory days of the Star League. Of course, it would require the right person to take command over them, to instruct them in the ways of the Clan.

Ciro: Command?

Kristen: Ah, together you and I shall lead them to follow the true vision of Kerensky.

Scene 7[edit]

[Meanwhile, at the depot, the quartermaster has had an attitude adjustment.]

Quartermaster: Oh, you're Adam Steiner. If I'd have known that… Come right this way.

[The quartermaster leads them to a warehouse, walking alongside Rachel.]

Quartermaster (whispering to Rachel): Now I can get out of here before the Clans invade.

[The quartermaster opens the warehouse door, revealing a Bushwacker, an Awesome, an Infiltrator, and a Sloth.]

Quartermaster: AWS-9B. An Awesome! It certainly lives up to its name, eh? BSW-X1. The Bushwacker. (Laughs) I'd sure hate to be in the bush it's whackin'.

Kylie: Spare me.

Quartermaster: And last, but not least, an IFR-X1 and an SLH-X1. Or, as we call 'em, an Infiltrator and a Sloth. What they lack in size, they make up for in stealth. There's some impressive firepower here. I heard some would-be cowboys raided a Clan outpost and grabbed the technology used in these bad boys.

Rachel: Actually, those "would-be cowboys" were us.

Quartermaster: You guys got a lot of guts. Of course, there's a lot to be said for a healthy survival instinct. That's why I'm bugging out. I'd suggest you do the same.

Adam: I think we're staying put.

Hawk: We are?

Adam: Yeah. Gotta test drive 'em before we take 'em out in the field, right? I'll take the Awesome. Val, you take the Bushwacker. Kylie, why don't you take the Infiltrator suit for a little cross-training.

Hawkins (pointing at the Sloth): Oh, am I supposed to give up my Mauler for that toy?

Adam: Actually, based on previous success in the Clan Toad suit, I think Mister Sakamoto is the man for that unit. That is, if you're willing to join us.

Franklin: I would be honored, Major.

Hawk: Ahem. Are you sure that's such a good idea?

Adam: No worries. Sakamoto's got a real facility for combat.

Hawk: What do you think I'm worried about?

Scene 8[edit]

[Aboard the Falcon's Nest, Ciro briefs Kristen on Adam Steiner's tactics.]

Ciro: In addition, Major Steiner tends to deploy his BattleMechs in this formation, thus maximizing his limited firepower. Lastly, Major Steiner lives by a credo: "Information is Ammunition."

Kristen: His philosophy is almost Clan-like in its simplicity. He will make a fine bondsman, after I defeat him in battle.

[Kristen picks up a small model Axman from a table and crushes it in her hand.]

Scene 9[edit]

[The Kwaidan lands in a swampy region of Waldorff V. The Strikers disembark in their new rides.]

Kylie: Why are we wasting our time in a swamp? We could be knocking the Clans across the galaxy.

Adam: Yeah, maybe so, but first we've got to see how this equipment holds up under ideal conditions.

Val: You can't get much "less than ideal" than this sweatbox.

Franklin: Ugh. What is that stench?

Kylie: Must be you, big guy.

Hawk: Put a sock in it, Kylie.

Val: Aw, lay off Hawk. She's just having some fun with the new guy.

Hawk: Well, there ain't gonna be any hazing in my company, got it?

[The Awesome and Bushwacker run through the swamp.]

Adam: Wow, I can't believe how they improved the speed and maneuverability.

Val: I'd be more impressed if I could get my infrared sensors to pick up anything. Yeah, that's more like it.

[Hawkins oversees the two battle suits.]

Hawk: Listen up, kiddies. The key to this maneuver is stealth, not speed. Now, according to my specs, your suits have minimal radar profiles. If you don't kick up a ruckus, you could sneak up close to a 'Mech and get real personal.

[The Sloth wallows in the water.]

Hawk: Sakamoto! Are you trying to make yourself a target? Did you hear a word I said about moving slow and steady?

[Sakamoto pops the hatch on the Sloth and holds out a fistful of snakes that were loose inside his armor.]

Kylie: Why, wherever could those have come from?

Hawk: All right! Knock off that horseplay and get into the swamp! Now!

Franklin: Captain Hawkins, my battle suit appears to be taking on water. Or is this another of your hazing rituals?

Kylie: Hey, I don't know anything about this one.

Hawk: Sakamoto, get your Sloth to dry ground before your whole system shorts out.

Franklin: I cannot move my legs.

[The Sloth topples and begins to sink. Kylie races back in her Infiltrator.]

Kylie: Hang on, Frankie, I've got you. Oh great, now I'm stuck.

Franklin: We're sinking!

[The two battle suits sink beneath the surface of the water.]

Hawk: Kylie! Franklin! Do you copy? Do you copy? Kylie!

[Hawkins disembarks from his Mauler and runs to the water's edge to where bubbles are still rising.]

Hawk: Franklin? Kylie? Kylie! Franklin! Can you hear me?

[Ryder's Bushwacker approaches the water's edge.]

Val: Don't sweat it, Hawk.

[The Bushwacker strides through the shallows to where the suits went down and uses its claw arm to fish Kylie's Infiltrator out and return her to shore. Kylie pops her hatch as Ryder goes back for Sakamoto's Sloth.]

Kylie: Aagh! That's it, Val! That is it! I'm transferring out of this turkey unit.

[The Bushwacker pulls the Sloth out of the water. Sakamoto coughs out water.]

Val: Hey there, Frankie. I sure hope my snakes didn't get too soggy in there.

Franklin: Shimata! This is how you treat an ally? Baka tai fool!

Val: Sounds like somebody needs a little cooling off.

[Ryder drops the Sloth back into the swamp upside down. Back on shore, Adam dresses the unit down.]

Adam: The hazing stops now! Understood?

Kylie: Hey, c'mon 'Teach.' We all went through it once.

Val: If Franklin wants to be accepted by the team, he's going to have to put up with it.

Hawk: Well, the next joker who pulls a prank is going to have to put up with me!

Adam: Ahhh…dismissed.

Franklin: Such behavior lacks even the tiniest shred of honor. It would be unthinkable in the Draconis Combine.

Adam: Well, you're still going to have to earn their respect, Franklin, and, take it from me, that's no easy task.

Scene 10[edit]

[Aboard the Falcon's Nest, Ciro watches as Nicolai and Kristen bid for the right to go after the Strikers.]

Ciro (to Pytor): Do they always bid for the right to invade a planet?

Pytor: Not the right, the honor. The bidding determines who can achieve an objective with the least equipment and personnel. It minimizes the resources at risk and maximizes our glory.

Ciro: But, with such limited forces, how can they hope to conquer a whole planet?

Pytor: The planet is not their objective. Merely a certain unit.

Ciro: They're both gunning for the Strikers?

Pytor: Theoretically, they bid for the honor of representing Clan Jade Falcon in this Trial of Possession. However, each has faced Major Steiner and failed to defeat him. I fear that their bids reflect their own misplaced sense of personal honor. The Falcons are not well served by this.

Nicolai: My final bid. I will attack armed only with my Thor BattleMech, accompanied by a Point of five Elementals.

Kristen: In that case, I shall attack with my Vulture's lasers deactivated, accompanied by a mere two Elementals.

Nicolai: Very well. I concede the bidding.

Kristen: Well bargained, and done.

Ciro: Wait a second. What is he so happy about? He lost.

Pytor: This could be very bad for Star Captain Kristen Redmond. She cannot possibly defeat them with such limited resources.

Ciro: Then, the Strikers will win?

Pytor: Never. She will be forced to summon the Star Colonel for assistance, and then their fates will be in his hands.

Scene 11[edit]

[Back on Waldorff V, the Strikers continue to train.]

Val: Locking on target.

[The Bushwacker vaporizes a stand of trees.]

Adam: Nice shooting, Val. This new targeting system is far superior to our old one. But, it's still nowhere near the one the Clanners are using.

Val: We still haven't pushed it to the limit, Major.

[Hawkins makes Kylie put the Infiltrator through speed trials.]

Hawk: Pick it up, Kylie! You still need to shave thirty seconds off your last run. You too, Sakamoto! I ain't got all day.

[The two battle suits enter a clearing.]

Hawk: Ah, now's the fun part, kiddies. Here's where you gotta get past me.

[The Mauler raises its arm lasers and opens fire. The Infiltrator takes a direct hit and goes down hard.]

Hawk: Way to go, Kylie. If my lasers were at full strength, you'd have been blown back to Tharkad.

[The Sloth attempts to skirt the edge of the clearing. Hawkins' laser blasts hit it dead center and flip it over onto its back.]

Hawk: Whoa! Nice maneuver, Mister Sakamoto. But you've gotta move faster than that!

[The Sloth rights itself and goes scuttling away as the Mauler continues to hit it with laser fire.]

Kylie: Uh, Franklin, I don't think you wanna go that way.

[Kylie takes another hit to the rear and goes down again.]

Adam (to Ryder): No. No, no, no. Forget it, pal. Those hills are way out of your range.

Val: How are we gonna know if we don't try?

[Ryder presses the firing stud for the Bushwacker's LRMs, sending a flight of missiles downrange.]

Val: And away we go!

Adam: Hey, they're veering in on the wrong target!

[Ryder presses the LRM remote detonation button, to no effect]

Val: Come on! Come on! Detonate, blast ya! They aren't responding! Franklin, you read me? Get out of there, now! Move, now!

[The LRMs streak towards the plodding Sloth suit]

Val: It's no good, he'll never make it.

Adam: Looks like it's up to me. The missiles target infrared signatures.

[Adam's Awesome tracks the missile flight and fires a PPC burst above the Sloth, setting a nearby tree on fire. The missiles veer off course just before hitting the Sloth.]

Franklin: Huh?!

Val: Franklin! Franklin, come in!

[The dorsal surface of the suit is covered with flaming debris]

Adam: He should be okay. That suit can withstand a volcano.

[The Sloth slowly stalks away from the other Strikers as they arrive at the missile impact crater.]

Kylie: Hey, Franklin. Where're you going?

Hawk: What's he think he's doing?

Adam: He's probably trying to figure out why we're trying to nuke him. Let's give him a little chance to cool off.

[The Sloth scuttles off into the setting sun.]

Adam: And, in the meantime, Val, you'd better work on one heck of an apology.

[Rachel breaks in on the unit's command frequency.]

Rachel: Adam, I've spotted a Clan 'Mech dropping onto the planet from orbit.

Adam: Have you warned the supply depot?

Rachel: Affirmative, but the trajectory indicates it's landing 500 meters from you!

[Off in the swamp, Sakamoto has exited the battered Sloth and begun conducting repairs. A large swamp-dwelling feline approaches him from behind. Hearing it, he draws his katana and spins around to face the beast. Startled, it flees into the swamp. Sakamoto re-sheathes his katana and returns to work. Not far away, the other Strikers approach the Clan warrior's drop site.]

Adam: Well, according to Rachel's coordinates, we should find them here.

Kylie: Unless they find us first.

[Kristen watches the Strikers approach on her cockpit monitor.]

Kristen: Major Steiner, I hereby challenge your entire unit.

Adam: I hereby accept your challenge.

Scene 12[edit]

[Adam turns his Awesome to face Kristen's Mad Dog, PPCs blazing. On the Falcon's Nest, Nicolai Malthus and Ciro watch the battle on a holographic display.]

Nicolai: Well, Star Captain, have we at last bitten off more than we can chew?

Kristen: All units, initiate Enhanced Imaging!

[The two Elementals join the fight, attacking the Infiltrator and Ryder's Bushwacker.]

Val: Here's where we find out if these toys work for real.

[Ryder's Bushwacker blasts the Elementals, forcing them away from Kylie's Infiltrator. Kristen's Mad Dog engages Hawkins' Mauler, making heavy use of what appear to be green-hued lasers.]

Hawk: You're going to have to do better than that if you want to stop me, lady.

Kristen: Indeed I shall!

[The Mad Dog circles around the Mauler, targeting its leg joints. The Mauler collapses to the mist-shrouded ground, and Hawkins ejects.]

Adam: Kylie, get Hawk out of there now!

[The Mauler falls face forward onto the ground as Hawkins' escape pod drifts earthward on a parachute]

Hawk: Never mind me. Get them!

[Kristen moves to engage Adam.]

Adam: My targeting computer's offline. Switching to manual. Computer, damage report!

Computer: Manual weapons array fully functional. Heat sinks at full capacity. Circuit damage minimal. Internal damage – none.

Adam: Oh, atta girl!

[The Awesome comes striding through the barrage still fully functional.]

Kristen: Impossible. They are more heavily armed than I had imagined.

[Kristen begins to retreat. Aboard the Falcon's Nest, Ciro and Nicolai watch the battle unfold.]

Ciro (to Nicolai): What are you waiting for? Help her!

Nicolai: Without her consent? It would dishonor her and me. By the codes that bind us, I can do nothing but wait.

[Kristen ambushes Adam's Awesome, getting in several good hits unanswered.]

Adam: Aaaah! My legs are frozen!

[Kristen presses her attack.]

Adam: Eyaaah!

[Kylie's Infiltrator appears out of the mist, arm cannon blazing, distracting Kristen.]

Kylie: That's it for my ammo.

[The Bushwacker follows close behind, firing missiles and lasers, but is knocked down by several direct hits.]

Kristen: One more salvo, and you shall face your final fate!

[Kristen does not notice the Sloth directly between her legs.]

Kylie: Franklin!

Adam: What's he doing?

[The Sloth raises its hindquarters and launches a magnetic limpet mine onto the ventral hull of the Mad Dog. The explosion rocks the heavy OmniMech, and alarms sound in Kristen's cockpit.]

Computer: Warning! Fusion reactor breached! Critical failure in forty-eight seconds.

Kristen: Noooooooo!

[Kristen reaches for the ejection button and rockets clear of the explosion.]

Val: Thar she blows!

Kylie: Franklin, you did it!

Scene 13[edit]

[Back aboard the Falcon's Nest.]

Ciro: Why didn't you help her?

Nicolai: The Jade Falcon grows strong on success, not failure. We grow ever stronger as the old and the weak are replaced by new blood.

Ciro: I see.

Scene 14[edit]

[On foot, the Strikers catch up to Kristen a short distance from where her escape pod landed, caught in the branches of a tree.]

Hawk: There she is. Oh, she can't get away now. Not like her two buddies.

[Kristen turns at the water's edge and draws her sidearm. Before she can fire, the water behind her bubbles and then parts to reveal Sakamoto's Sloth, rising from the depths. She unloads her pistol into the battle armor to no effect. Sakamoto slaps it out of her hand. She backs away from the unfamiliar armor, right into Hawkins, who grabs her.]

Hawk: You're busted, sister.

[Kristen pulls out her codex – a dog-tag on a cord – and hands it to Adam.]

Kristen: This is a complete record of my military achievements. Review, and you will see that I am worthy.

Adam: Huh? Worthy?

Kristen: Make me your bondsman, and I will serve you honorably.

[Kylie and Ryder look at each other and shrug.]

Scene 15[edit]

[Later, back at the Kwaidan, Sakamoto is meditating in his quarters when Ryder enters.]

Val: Uh, hey there. I, uh, never got a chance to thank you for, uh, saving my hide out there, so, uh, thanks. You want to join me for some grub?

Franklin: I would be delighted.

[Sakamoto and Ryder enter the mess hall to find it dark. The lights come up and all the Strikers (including the Combine crew) jump out.]

All: Surprise! Way to go! Yeah!

Hawk: You're a good man in a fight, Mister Sakamoto. I am proud to serve with you.

Kylie: Hey, we acted pretty childishly out there, and you came through for us anyway. Thanks.

[Sakamoto shakes Ryder's hand, then presses a button, showering him and Kylie with grease spraying from a wall vent.]

Val: Whoa!

Franklin: Regrettably, I sometimes succumb to childishness myself.

[The filthy Kylie embraces Sakamoto, getting the grease on his clothes as well. Sakamoto and Ryder shake hands.]

Adam: You know, it looks like they pulled together after all.