BattleTech: The Animated Series/Road to Camelot
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This transcript of episode nine of BattleTech: The Animated Series, Road to Camelot, is based off a VHS recording from the initial airing.
The Dark Nebula
Kylie: Boy, they don't call this the Dark Nebula for nothing. I can't imagine what the Major expects us to find out here.
Franklin: Perhaps he merely wishes to confirm that there is nothing out here to find.
[Symbols flash on Sakamoto's monitor.]
Franklin: Kylie, I am receiving a strange transmission.
Kylie: Do you think it's a Clan ship?
Franklin: I cannot say, but whatever they are, I doubt they are friendly.
[Three Mk. 39 Voidseeker drone fighters vector behind the Banshees and open fire.]
Franklin: We're under fire from attack drones, protecting the area from intruders!
Kylie: I didn't think they were the welcoming committee.
[Sakamoto maneuvers his Banshee into a drifting cloud of ionized dust.]
Franklin: This way! The ionization may disrupt their navigational systems.
Kylie: Yeah, if it doesn't fry ours first.
[The Banshees emerge into an asteroid field.]
Kylie: Oh great! An asteroid field!
Franklin: This may be our only chance of losing them.
Kylie: Yeah, if we survive.
[The two Banshees move into the asteroid field with the Voidseekers in pursuit, firing wildly.]
Kylie: Oh, yeah. This is fun.
Kylie: Franklin! Where are you? I'm gettin' my rump roasted here.
[Sakamoto swoops in from the drones' flank and destroys one.]
Kylie: You got him!
Franklin: Yes. However, one of them has me!
[Kylie destroys the one on Sakamoto's tail and executes a celebratory barrel roll.]
Kylie: Not for long!
Kylie: Don't they have laws against tailgating around here?
[The last Voidseeker pursues Kylie closely. She aims straight for a large asteroid, then pulls up at the last second. The drone smashes into the drifting rock and is destroyed.]
Rachel: Kwaidan to Banshee squadron. I've got you on my scope, and it looks like you were hit by some old Mark 39 attack drones. The Commonwealth seeded this sector with them back in the Second Succession War, but it was supposedly swept clean.
Kylie: Well, tell the maid she did a lousy job. Think we should go and tidy up?
Adam: Not work the risk, Kylie. Return here immediately.
Franklin: Kylie, those old attack drones were not the source of the transmission.
Kylie: Then where did it come from?
[Later, back aboard the Kwaidan, in the 'Mech Bay where the Bushwacker is parked.]
Val: This enhanced imaging system's a trip.
[Ryder reviews battle footage as seen in Enhanced Imaging.]
Val: This is what those Clanners see when they're shooting at us.
Rachel: Yeah. Pretty impressive, huh? It should improve your targeting accuracy by at least thirty-seven percent.
[Ryder hands his modified neurohelmet back to Rachel, and she and Adam leave the Bushwacker's (quite roomy) cockpit.]
Adam: It's gonna make a huge difference on Somerset.
[Sakamoto walks up and hands Adam a tablet showing the mysterious symbols from the transmission.]
Franklin: Major Steiner, we must investigate the source of this transmission.
Adam: This is just a garbled pulse. Random noises from white dwarf stars.
Franklin: I know about dwarf stars, but this is a message, and I need your help if I am to decipher it.
Rachel: I'm sorry, Franklin, but my hands are pretty full right now. I've still got to install this Enhanced Imaging system into Hawk's Mauler.
Adam: Sorry, Franklin. But I'll tell you what. You run a computer search on the transmission, and if it turns out to be more than random pulsar noises, I'll consider tracking it down.
[In the quarters he shares with Ryder, Sakamoto sits at a terminal with a large CRT monitor.]
Franklin: Computer, library search. Does the transmission we received match up with any current or historical code?
Computer: Insufficient data.
Val: Didn't I tell you, you were wasting your time?
[Ryder holds up a deck of cards, half marked with a red/black yin-yang symbol, the other half marked with a blue barbell shape.]
Val: Come on, just play me one hand. I'll let you win back some of the money you owe me.
Franklin: It is you who owe me money.
Val: Details, details.
Franklin: Computer, give me a probability match for what the transmission could be.
Computer: There is a seventy-five percent probability that the signals correspond to radio waves transmitted by seventeen known pulsars within the Dark Nebula.
Val: You lose again.
Franklin: Computer, give me a forty-five percent match-up.
Computer: There is a forty-five percent probability that the signals correspond to a transponder beacon, Free Worlds League recognition signal, and naval beacons used by the Star League Defense Force.
Val: Star League Defense Force?! If it's a lost ship, it's bound to be filled with valuable technology. Do you have any idea what this means? I'm gonna be rich! What do you say we keep this our little secret?
[In the mess hall, Sakamoto shares the results of his research with Adam.]
Adam: Uh huh. Seventy five percent chance it's a pulsar, just like I said.
Franklin: This merits investigation, sir.
Adam: I can't have you attracting attention to our position. And, may I remind you, we're behind enemy lines.
Franklin: If this is a Star League beacon, it could lead us to something of great importance.
Patch: Wait, did you say Star League? I used to hear stories of hidden bases. They were said to be treasure troves of valuable technology.
Val: Yeah, but you don't want to go out there. I mean, it's only a story.
Kylie: Maybe so, but anything's better than sitting around this rustbucket.
Adam: No. No, no, no. We almost lost both of you out there already. I'm not letting you go off on some wild goose chase all over a nebula.
[Later, in the darkened flight bay, Sakamoto uses a flashlight to search for the manual airlock release.]
Val: Need a hand with that, partner?
Franklin: This is not a treasure hunt.
[Patch approaches out of the darkness.]
Patch: Of course not. It's a chance to recover forgotten technology.
Val: I don't remember asking for your help.
Franklin: His technical skills may be required.
Val: Fine, but his cut comes out of your cut.
[Kylie pops up from behind a Banshee.]
Kylie: And just how are you going to squeeze three people into one Banshee?
Franklin: Ugh. Perhaps I should inquire if everyone on the ship wishes to join us.
[The two Banshees depart from the Katana.]
Kylie: The Major's gonna nuke us for this.
Val: Not if we're back before he knows we're gone.
Franklin: I am more concerned about encountering more attack drones.
Patch: Don't worry. I'm transmitting an old recall code. That should shut 'em down.
Franklin: This trajectory is proving futile. Change course for Mark one-five-five.
Natalya: Pytor, I'm picking up a transmission on a FedCom frequency.
Pytor: Zero in on it, Natalya. It may prove worthy of our attention.
[Back with the Banshee squadron.]
Kylie: Franklin, do you read me? I'm picking up a transmission.
Franklin: I am receiving it, too. The station is called Camelot Command. After three hundred years, it's still operating. It is welcoming us in the name of the Star League. It is actually providing us landing coordinates.
[An asteroid comes into view with a low building in a metal-floored crater. Turrets surround the building, which has a large set of doors facing what could be a landing area. The doors open, and the Banshees land inside what is evidently a hangar. The doors slam shut behind them. Inside, the Strikers walk down a long corridor with ceilings high enough to permit 'Mech passage.]
Val: Ooh. It's been a long time since the air in here's been reprocessed.
Franklin: The first order of business is finding the command center. This way.
Kylie: Ugh. Who died and made him Adam Steiner.
[The quartet enters the old command center.]
Franklin: The base command center.
Patch: The last time we wanted to use a Star League device, we had to use a voice command. Uh, "Kerensky will return!"
Val: The Inner Sphere united?
Kylie: The Star League forever!
[Sakamoto looks at a framed portrait of Aleksandr Kerensky in a dress uniform on the wall.]
[The lights come on in the command center.]
Kylie: Way to go, Franklin!
Franklin: Computer, I require a historical summary on Camelot Command. Display from 8 July, 2784 to present.
Patch: The day the Exodus of the Star League army began.
Computer: Frustrated by the in-fighting among the nations of the Inner Sphere, General Aleksandr Kerensky ordered the Star League army to assemble inside Camelot Command. As each division arrived, it was assigned additional personnel. These divisions became known as Clans.
[A vid plays of two infantrymen crouching in an alley as a Mauler walks past, then of infantrymen crouching at the feet of a red Axman in a city. The vid then shows Camelot Command, and depicts Aleksandr Kerensky giving orders and addressing a crowd in a pentagonal auditorium, with himself in the center.]
Franklin: And thus was born our enemy.
[The Strikers fail to notice a Jade Falcon Overlord descending towards the landing pad. Pytor emerges in his Hunchback IIC.]
Pytor: This will prove invaluable as a hidden base for our invasion force.
[Ciro follows in his Axman.]
Ciro: Then let us reacquire it together.
[The two 'Mechs stride into the airlock.]
[Back aboard the Katana, Adam finally notices his unit has gone off without him.]
Adam: How could they leave without us knowing?
Rachel: The answer may lie somewhere in here.
[Rachel examines the panel Sakamoto opened just before departing the ship. A holographic projection of Sakamoto appears behind Adam and Rachel.]
Sakamoto (hologram): Konnichi-wa, Adam-san. We have left on a short excursion for your favorite ammunition, information.
Adam: We have to find them before they get into trouble.
Elemental: That DropShip belongs to Clan Jade Falcon! If they are here, then we must work quickly if we are to accomplish our goals. The birthplace of the Clans will belong to Clan Wolf!
[In the command center, Ryder reviews the base floor plan.]
Val: Munitions warehouse, level five. Time for a little shopping.
Kylie: Wait, we still don't know what's out there!
[Ryder runs out the door, pursued by Kylie and Sakamoto.]
Patch: Wouldn't it be easier to wait here?
Franklin: Better to follow them now than to search for them later.
[Patch runs out the door after Sakamoto.]
[Running down the corridor, Ryder encounters the Wolf Elemental Point.]
Val: I bet you're all wondering why I called you here today.
[The Wolf Elementals raise their lasers.]
[The other three Strikers run into a group of Jade Falcon Elementals and Ciro's Axman.]
Elemental: Freeze, surats!
Ciro: Strikers? Here? There will be no escape for you this time, old friends.
[Ryder runs down a corridor with Wolf Elementals in hot pursuit. At a junction, he meets the other three Strikers, who are fleeing the Falcons.]
Val: Hey, guys. What's new?
[The Elementals of both Clans approach from different corridors.]
Natalya: Warriors of Clan Wolf, you are operating out of your invasion corridor. You must leave this base immediately.
Wolf Elemental: Natalya of Clan Jade Falcon, I hereby challenge you to a Trial of Possession.
Franklin: Let's seize this opportunity.
[The Strikers casually walk away as the two groups of Elementals begin a brawl.]
Kylie: Clanners fighting Clanners? Now I've seen everything.
Val: Where to now? We can't get to the Banshees without going through them.
Franklin: We must return to the command center. Holding it is our only chance for survival. Patch and I will go through the operating system to find a way to use it to our advantage. Meanwhile, you both can use your considerable skills to keep the Clan forces from getting there.
Kylie: I'm telling you, he thinks he's Adam.
Val: Yeah, but, didn't you like the "considerable skills" part?
[Back in the control center, Sakamoto and Patch review the controls.]
Patch: This seems to control the main life support system, and this…uh!
[Weapons fire is heard, and an explosion makes the room shake, knocking Patch and Sakamoto to the ground. Patch gets up and angrily points a finger at the portrait of Kerensky.]
Patch: This Clan thing was your idea?! I hope you're happy now!
[In the corridors nearby, Natalya leads her Falcons into battle against the Wolf Elementals.]
Natalya: All units, initiate Enhanced Imaging. The Wolves lie in wait all around us.
[Wolf Elementals blast holes in opposite sides of the corridor and charge in on the Falcon flank.]
Wolf Elemental: Relent Falcons! Relinquish this base or be destroyed!
[Natalya fires an SRM at a Wolf Elemental, knocking it over. The two groups exchange missile and laser fire.]
Wolf Elemental Commander: Lieutenant, keep them occupied while I keep control of the command center.
[Kylie and Ryder run down a corridor together to the Level Five armory.]
Val: What did I tell you, Kylie? Not only are these munitions going to save our necks, they're also going to make me…rich?
[Ryder opens the door to the armor and steps through into a vast, empty room.]
Val: It can't be empty. It can't!
Kylie: Get over it, Val. What do you say we get back to Franklin and Patch?
[Ciro and Pytor's 'Mechs (Axman and Hunchback IIC) appear in the doorway to the armory, blocking escape.]
Ciro: I say, enough! You are now the rightful property of the Clan Jade Falcon.
Val: Ciro, how are ya? You never write, you never call.
Val: Lights out on this guy.
[Kylie and Ryder draw their sidearms and shoot out the lights in the ceiling, plunging the armory into darkness. Ciro responds by shining floodlights out of the bottom holes of his LRM tubes. The Hunchback IIC also shines a floodlight out of its chest, and sweeps it across the floor to reveal Kylie.]
Pytor: You should have remained hidden, surat!
[Pytor fires his lasers at Kylie, but she jumps out of the way.]
Kylie: Over here, you clown!
[Kylie begins running around Pytor's Hunchback IIC in a circle. He turns to track her, firing wildly as he does so, missing each time.]
Val: Kylie, you're a woman after my own heart.
[Having completed a full circle, the floor around the Hunchback IIC is now perforated, and can no longer support the 'Mech's weight. The floor collapses, dropping Pytor and his 'Mech down to Level Six.]
Kylie: Now that laughing boy's out of the picture, we can deal with Ciro.
Val: Ciro, can't we talk about this?
Ciro: The time for talk is over.
[Ciro's Axman swings at Ryder, missing and burying the ax in the floor plating.]
[Back at the command center, the Wolves are at the door.]
Wolf Elemental: Open up, in the name of Clan Wolf!
[Patch activates the external security monitors, and sees the Wolf Elementals trying to force the door, while Jade Falcon Elementals approach from behind.]
Franklin: Any ideas?
Patch: They wanted attention. Let's give 'em attention.
[Patch does something to indicate to Natalya where the Wolves are.]
Natalya: There they are, in the base command center!
[The Wolves and Falcons begin fighting again in the corridor outside the command center.]
Patch: I'm a genius.
Natalya: Open up, in the name of Clan Jade Falcon!
Patch: What do we do now?
Franklin: You're the genius.
[Back in the Level Five armory, Kylie runs behind the Axman.]
Kylie: Yoohoo, over here!
Ciro: Why do you resist me? I offer you a chance to serve a noble cause.
[Ryder uses a grappling hook and cable to climb up the Axman's back without Ciro noticing. He then swings around and lands in front of the cockpit. Ciro opens the top hatch and comes out.]
Ciro: I will finish you off man to man, surat.
[Ciro crawls to the edge of the head, and tries to punch Ryder as he's standing on the lower lip of the head assembly, in front of the viewport.]
Val: Wouldn't that be surat to surat?
[Ryder begins working his way across the 'Mech's front, and Ciro follows. Kylie climbs the rope to the top of the 'Mech and enters the open cockpit hatch, taking control of the Axman. Ciro realizes something's wrong as he and Ryder struggle on top of the missile tube.]
Ciro: No! This was between us!
[Ciro jumps down the front of the 'Mech and runs to the hole made by Pytor's exit.]
Kylie: Ciro, wait!
Val: Come back with us. It's not too late.
Ciro: I will never return with you!
[Ciro jumps down through the hole.]
[Back in the command center.]
Franklin: Franklin Sakamoto to DropShip Kwaidan, do you copy. Come in Kwaidan!
Patch: Don't waste your breath. You'll never get a message through that ionized soup.
Franklin: Ah, I never thought I would say this, but I could sure use Major Steiner right now.
[Aboard the Kwaidan, Adam and Rachel search for the crew.]
Adam: Any luck cracking the code to that message?
[Another Franklin hologram appears.]
Franklin: Konnichi-wa, Major Steiner. The fact that you are receiving this message indicates that I could not return to the Kwaidan unassisted. Please try searching for us following vector two-five-eight-eight.
Adam: Captain Frestadt, separate the DropShip immediately.
[Back in the command center, Patch checks to see how the main door is holding up.]
Patch: I give that door two minutes before this room is flooded with Jade Falcon goons.
Franklin: I do not care what happens to me. I will not let them have this base.
Patch: My dad always told me, just when things are at their worst, the answer's always right in front of you.
[The two turn to look at the portrait of General Kerensky.]
Franklin: Your father was a very wise man, and so was General Kerensky.
[Ryder and Kylie walk through Camelot Command in the Axman.]
Val: Major Steiner's sure going to be glad to see this hunk of junk again.
[Kylie spots Wolf Elementals blocking the corridor.]
Kyle: Assuming we make it that far.
[The Elementals leap to the attack, and the Axman fights back, swatting several out of the air with its hatchet and lasers. Inside the cramped cockpit, Kylie backseat drives from over Ryder's shoulder.]
Kylie: Swing left! No, swing right!
Val: Hey, you wanna let me drive, please?
[The Elementals retreat down the corridor.]
Kylie: Defeated warriors, you are now the property of Clan Kylie.
Val: Clan Kylie?
Kylie: What, you never wanted a family?
[The Axman shakes as it comes under fire from Pytor's Hunchback IIC. It cannot withstand the twin cannons, and goes down. Inside, Ciro and Pytor are similarly doubled up, though the quarters aren't so cramped.]
Ciro: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Welcome to Clan Jade Falcon!
[The doors of the command center blow inwards, knocking Sakamoto and Patch to the floor as Natalya and her Elementals enter.]
Natalya: Barbarians! This station is ours!
[An explosion tears a hole in the ceiling, and Wolf Elementals drop through.]
Wolf Elemental: Correction, Falcon dog! Camelot Command is ours!
Natalya: Not until the last of us has drawn our final breath!
Wolf Elemental: So be it!
Aleksandr Kerensky (hologram): The activity in this base proves my darkest nightmares have become reality. My dream has dissolved into infighting and warfare between my followers. You are not worthy to be my successors. I cannot allow this battlestation to fall into such inferior hands. Initiating self-destruct sequence.
Wolf Elemental: We have brought the anger of Kerensky down on us! All units, we must abandon this station!
Natalya: All forces, return to the DropShip!
[Patch and Sakamoto watch as the Clan forces flee, leaving them alone in the command center.]]
[[Outside, the Jade Falcon and Wolf DropShips burn away from the asteroid base at maximum thrust.]
Wolf Elemental: We have failed to take possession of this sacred citadel.
[Behind them, the entire asteroid base glows with a yellow nimbus, and beams of golden light shoot out in four directions. Then the entire facility explodes outwards, creating a drifting debris field.]
Wolf Elemental: At least it will not remain in the hands of Clan Jade Falcon!
[The two ships disappear into the ionized gas clouds.]]
[[Aboard the station, the relieved Strikers laugh and cheer.]
Kylie: I'm telling you, Franklin, I don't know how you did it.
Franklin: With ancient holographic technology, and a little help from our friend.
[The Kerensky hologram abruptly disappears.]
Computer: System power depleted. Hologram simulator shutting down.
[The Camelot Command asteroid abruptly reappears, having been hidden by a holographic disguise.]
Pytor: A trick!
Wolf Elemental: Turn this ship around at once! I claim this station in the name of Clan Wolf!
Pytor: I claim this station in the name of Clan Jade Falcon!
Val: Here we go again.
Adam: Well, I claim this station in the name of the Federated Commonwealth, and if you know what's good for you, you'll leave this nebula immediately.
Wolf Elemental: And why should we leave, surat?
Adam: Because I can destroy both your ships in an instant.
Ciro: He's lying!
Adam: Am I, Ciro?
[The Jade Falcon vessel rocks from an explosion.]
Natalya: Pytor! We are under attack. Attack drones! Our scanners are unable to locate the ships. We must retreat.
Pytor: You may have won this time, Major Adam Steiner, but we will meet again.
[The Wolf and Falcon DropShips vector away from Camelot Command, pursued by a wing of Mk. 39 drones.]
[Aboard the Kwaidan, Adam speaks with Rachel.]
Adam: I know that information is ammunition, but it never hurts to throw in a few attack drones for good measure.
Rachel: It's a good thing you broke the code that reactivates those old toys.
Adam: Now to reactivate a few wayward sheep.
[The Kwaidan opens its landing bay to admit a Banshee. Adam addresses the four rogue Strikers.]
Adam: The next time you pull a stunt like that, I'll court martial the lot of ya!
[Sakamoto hands Adam a black data module.]
Franklin: I took the liberty of downloading their technological files. In addition, we learned the Clans are not as unified as we were led to believe. They can be divided.
Val: And that's important information.
Kylie: And, as we all know, information is ammunition.
[Adam spins on his heel and starts to walk away, then turns around.]
Adam: Um, thank you, Mister Sakamoto. Is that all?
[Sakamoto points to an alcove behind Adam.]
Franklin: Not entirely.
[The lights come on to illuminate Adam's Axman standing in the alcove.]
Val: It'll take a few weeks to air out the Clan stench, but it still runs like a dream.
Adam: And you think bringing back a battered toy would make going AWOL acceptable? Dismissed!
[The four Strikers turn and march out of the 'Mech bay. Adam walks slowly over to the foot of his Axman.]
Adam: Okay, maybe it's a little acceptable.