BattleTech: The Animated Series/Trial of Possession

This transcript of episode thirteen of BattleTech: The Animated Series, Trial of Possession, is based off a VHS recording from the initial airing.

Scene 1[edit]

Somerset

[Nicolai Malthus’ Summoner and two Mad Dogs advance on the recently liberated Somerset Military Academy. Freed prisoners run screaming.]

Adam: We just freed this place from the Clans. Let’s not lose it again. Initiate Enhanced Imaging.

[Adam and Andrew Steiner, in an Awesome and an Axman, advance against the Clan attackers.]

Andrew: I’m right beside you, Adam. Let’s show these Clanners the Steiner brothers mean business.

[Hawk moves up in his Mauler as well.]

Hawk: Not just the Steiners. Major, you’ve got the entire First Somerset Strikers behind you.

[Val joins the charge in his Bushwacker.]

Val: Right with you, Hawk. I’ve been waiting to take this jerk down for a long time.

[Kylie, having swapped out her Infiltrator armor for her Banshee fighter, joins in.]

Kylie: Malthus and his buddies have come to this planet once too often.

Nicolai: When this battle is over, Freebirth, there will be no need for me to come again.

Adam (to Rachel): Ready for info, Lieutenant. Feed me.

Rachel: Major, we’ve got Clan Toads approaching from vector two-eight-four.

[Franklin Sakamoto, in the Infiltrator armor, calls a warning as Elementals crest the rise.]

Franklin: Major, watch out! You are heading into a trap!

[Franklin addresses a squad of armed cadets and points at the Elementals.]

Franklin: Quickly, we must help him!

[The cadets charge the Elementals, firing their captured Clan laser rifles, with the Infiltrator alongside.]

[Natalya turns to face the charge.]

Natalya: Your puny cadets are no match for Elemental Clan warriors.

[Natalya rockets towards the charging cadets, but a blast from Franklin’s Infiltrator throws her back.]

Adam: We’ve got to lead the battle away from here before any non-combatants get hurt.

Rachel: Follow vector one-eight-seven. It’ll give us the advantage of higher ground.

Nicolai: Adam Steiner, you will not flee this time.

Adam: Fleeing is hardly my agenda. Now, Franklin!

[Franklin stands over a cadet with a box.]

Franklin: Affirmative, Major.

[At Franklin’s signal, the cadet opens the box and swipes a keycard through a reader inside. Explosions erupt from a command-detonated minefield the Strikers had planted earlier, destroying a Star of Clan ‘Mechs.]

Nicolai: Their trick merely postponed the inevitable. Victory will be ours.

Ciro: My former allies will quickly find we can match their dishonorable tactics.

[Kylie makes an overflight of the Somerset Military Academy, and sees Pytor, Kristen, Gunther, and other Clan guards in the courtyard, their hands cuffed behind their backs and guarded by cadets.]

Kylie: Our Clan prisoners are still under wraps. Well, good to see somebody’s safe.

Rachel: Franklin, Kylie reports no activity at the academy, but I..I’m still concerned. Lead the cadets back there to establish a defensive perimeter.

Franklin: Understood.

[Val’s Bushwacker moves up to assist Adam against a Hunchback IIC.]

Val: Comin’ at ya, Major.

Adam: Negative. I need you to cover Franklin.

[The Bushwacker takes a major hit that knocks it over.]

Kylie: Two against one, eh?

[Kylie strafes the Falcons attacking Val.]

Val: Thanks for covering my exit, Sky Guy!

Ciro: And where are we running off to in such a hurry, Captain Ryder?

[Ciro’s Timber Wolf moves to follow the Bushwacker.]

[Franklin’s Infiltrator takes down a Mad Dog].

Franklin: Captain Ryder, we have depleted our munitions and are withdrawing into the academy.

Val: Good thinking, Mister Sakamoto.

[Franklin arrives back the courtyard to find Kristen, Gunther, and Pytor standing there, unbound and unguarded.]

Franklin: The prisoners have escaped!

[Ciro’s Timber Wolf pushes over the wall it was hiding behind.]

Ciro: Correction, surat, I have won the Trial of Possession for these warriors.

[A heavy barrage knocks Franklin to the ground just as the Bushwacker arrives]

Franklin: Don’t worry about me. Stop the prisoners from returning to the DropShip.

Ciro: Captain Ryder, you have left me with no alternative but to vanquish you.

[A volley from Ciro’s Timber Wolf knocks the Bushwacker over.]

Val: Come on! Come on! Eject already!

[With the ejection seat malfunctioning, Val struggles to open the escape hatch as Ciro approaches.]

Ciro: I wanted to make you a bondsman, and train you in the way of the Clans, but clearly, you are not worthy of such an honor.

Kylie: Watch your step, Ciro! That’s my friend you’re shooting at!

[Kylie’s Banshee swoops in for an attack, but nothing happens.]

Kylie: Huh? What a great time for my weapons to malfunction! Guess that leaves me with one course of action.

[Kylie sets the Banshee on a collision course with Ciro’s Timber Wolf and ejects. The impact takes Ciro’s ‘Mech out of the fight as Val finally emerges from the downed Bushwacker.]

Ciro: Thanks, Kylie. I know that Banshee meant a lot to you.

[Kylie’s escape pod lands near Nicolai’s Overlord DropShip. She jumps out, only to find Ciro pointing a pistol at her.]

Ciro: Do not try anything rash. Just think of this as another test you cannot retake, Cadet Kylie.

[Kylie jumpkicks the pistol out of Ciro’s hand and then sweeps his legs out from under him. She catches the pistol before it hits the ground and holds it on Ciro as Val approaches.]

Val: Way to go, Kylie! I had no idea you were so light on your feet.

[Ciro gets up as a Clan ‘Mech approaches.]

Kylie: Can we, uh, save the witty banter for later?

Kristen: Surats of the Inner Sphere, you will release MechWarrior Ciro at once and surrender yourselves at once.

Val: Uh, Kylie, I think this calls for a tactical advance to the rear

[Val and Kylie run away. Pytor fires at them, but misses.]

Kristen: Forget them! We must destroy Major Adam Steiner!

[Nearby, Adam and Andrew battle Nicolai.]

Adam: Andrew, pull back!

Andrew: Forget it, Adam!

Adam: I gave you an order. Now, pull back!

Andrew: I happen to outrank you, Major.

[Andrew sets his sights on a Hunchback IIC.]

Andrew: The way he charged up that hill, his heat sinks must already be taxed. With just a little effort, I can overheat him.

Adam: No! You don’t know how much punishment their ‘Mechs can take.

[The Hunchback IIC blows an arm off the Axman.]

Computer: Warning! Heat sink malfunction! Critical failure in fifteen seconds.

Andrew: Well, at least I overheated somebody’s ‘Mech.

[Andrew sends his crippled Axman even closer to the Hunchback IIC.]

Rachel: What’s he doing?

Adam: Exactly what I’d do.

[The Axman explodes at point blank range with the Hunchback IIC, forcing its pilot to eject at the same time Andrew does. Andrew’s capsule flies off at an angle and hits the ground hard. Andrew crawls out and looks up. On the battlefield, Hawk’s Mauler has just lost an arm and is out of ammo.]

Hawk: Major, my ammo’s completely depleted!

Nicolai: Then prepare to face your destruction! Now, nothing can keep me from my quarry.

[The Summoner turns to go after Adam’s Awesome, which is presently facing off against Kristen’s Mad Dog. Nicolai shoots the Mad Dog, so he can have Adam all to himself.]

Kirsten: Nyeargh! Nicolai, what are you doing?

[Kristen and Ciro slump, stunned, in the downed Mad Dog’s cockpit as smoke rises through a hole in the cockpit canopy.]

Nicolai: This is between Adam Steiner and me! You are mine, Adam Steiner! Mine!

[The Summoner and the Awesome circle each other and trade energy blasts. A hit to the electrical system sends a jolt through Rachel’s command console, shocking her unconscious. Adam looks back at her and makes a decision.]

Adam: Malthus, we have to stop this insanity.

Nicolai: And why would I stop while you are still breathing?

Adam: Because I’m issuing a batchall, a formal challenge which you cannot reject.

Nicolai: The time for batchall has long been passed.

[Ciro joins the conversation from the downed Mad Dog.]

Ciro: Star Colonel, you must listen. If you ever believed in Kerensky, you must remember the honorable warrior that you are.

Adam: I challenge you to a Trial of Possession for Somerset. If I win, the planet is mine. All Clan forces will withdraw from this system and never return.

Nicolai: And if I win?

Adam: Then I will deliver myself to you and serve as your bondsman.

Nicolai: If I win, you will not survive, but your precious Strikers will, and they must become my bondsmen.

Adam: I agree to your terms.

Nicolai: Well bargained and done. Under Clan law, I must now select the form of engagement, and I choose to fight augmented, in BattleMechs. Additionally, we will fight without radar or outside mechana. Information is a form of ammunition you will not have at your disposal in this battle. Now, you may select the location.

Adam: I choose the north country.

Scene 2[edit]

[Later as Adam prepares for the Trial, the Strikers tend to their wounded in the ruins of the academy.]

Andrew: Are you sure it’s wise fighting that maniac on his terms?

Adam: I trained in the north country, remember? Not only in ‘Mech combat but also in survival tactics. I should be fine.

Andrew: And if you’re not?

Adam: This thing with Malthus has got to end and, one way or another, it ends here.

Scene 3[edit]

[The camera pans across knife-edged snow-covered peaks jutting out of a desolate, brown, rocky landscape. The Kwaidan lands to deliver Adam to the Trial venue. Adam exits in his Awesome.]

Hawk: I sure hope you know what you’re doin’, kid.

Adam: So do I, Hawk. So do I.

[The Kwaidan takes off, leaving Adam alone]

Adam: Initiating Enhanced Imaging.

[Almost immediately, a blast from above strikes the Awesome in the back and sends it toppling down a hillside. Nicolai’s Summoner crests the rise of the hill]

Nicolai: I knew you would make this easy for me, Major Adam Steiner, but I never dreamed it would end this quick.

[Adam manages to dodge barrage after barrage of Nicolai’s missles.]

Adam: But don’t you think you’d miss me just a little bit?

[A missile hits the Awesome dead center, knocking it on its back. Nicolai jumps the Summoner down the hillside, raining energy blasts all around the Awesome as it stands and backs away]

Nicolai: Tell me, Adam Steiner, what demons drew you to this worthless planet? It has no munitions or weapons factories, and it lies too far behind enemy lines to be of any strategic value.

Adam: This is the home of my family. You monsters were holding them prisoner, but not any more! I won’t let you twist their minds, like you did to Ciro.

Nicolai: Ciro has come to understand the way of the Clans. He has been enlightened, just as your precious Strikers will be after I eliminate you!

Adam: Never!

[The Awesome withdraws through a copse of trees.]

Nicolai: Again you flee, just as you have since our first encounter on Romulus, but you cannot hide forever.

[Nicolai’s Summoner also enters the forest, twisting back and forth, trying to find Adam’s ‘Mech.]

Adam: I’m not hiding, Malthus. I’m winning.

Nicolai: Is this your way of winning?

[The Awesome appears at the top of a slope, and fires wildly at the Summoner, missing and setting the underbrush on fire.]

Nicolai: How can you defeat your enemies when you cannot hit them?

[The fire quickly spreads, becoming a raging conflagration.]

Adam: Why should I hit you, when I only need to turn up the heat?

[In his cockpit, Nicolai drips with sweat.]

Computer: Warning! Heat sinks at saturation point. Catastrophic failure in thirty seconds.

[Nicolai pushes his Summoner to top speed to escape the flames. As he reaches a cliff edge, the ledge crumbles under his ‘Mech’s foot, and he plunges down into the river below, disappearing beneath the surface in a cloud of steam and a burst of bubbles. Adam wades the Awesome into the shallow river in hopes of finding the Summoner. Unfortunately for Adam, the OmniMech rises from the river behind him.]

Nicolai: Ha ha ha ha ha!

[Nicolai triggers an alpha strike at the Awesome’s back, setting it on fire and causing the fusion engine to explode. Adam ejects, and the crippled assault ‘Mech topples forward into the river. Malthus catches Adam’s ejection pod on the Summoner’s arm.]

Nicolai: I have you now, Freeborn! I have you!

[The pod’s hatch swings open, revealing it to be empty.]

Nicolai: No!!!!

[The Summoner wades through the river. Nearby, Adam crawls out of a hole in the wreckage of the Awesome, carrying a backpack. He runs off into the snow-covered woods with the Summoner in pursuit.]

Nicolai: You will not beat me! You will not escape! I will find you and deliver the fate you deserve.

[Adam plants packets of pentaglycerine on tree trunks and sets timers, then stands in a clearing to await the Summoner’s arrival. Nicolai spots Adam standing there, and charges into the clearing after him. Adam leaps out of the clearing as the explosives go off, destroying the trees and sending gouts of flame blasting towards the Summoner. The explosions don’t harm the OmniMech, but eight massive trees all collapse inwards, burying the Summoner beneath their massive trunks. As Adam surveys his handiwork, the Summoner rises and pushes the trees aside.]

[Breathing hard, Nicolai pushes the Summoner forward, and does not see Adam jump from a snow-covered ledge to land on the Summoner’s shoulder. Adam nearly slips off the back, but catches a handhold and climbs up next to the cockpit. He uses his last block of pentaglycerine on a six-second timer to blow the access hatch open, allowing access to Nicolai’s cockpit.]

[Nicolai turns and launches himself out of his command chair, slamming Adam against the cockpit’s rear wall. Adam throws Malthus across the cockpit. He hits a control lever, causing the Summoner to turn and smash into a tree. The two men struggle as the Summoner lurches drunkenly through the forest. Nicolai tries to punch Adam in the face, but misses and puts his hand through a display screen on the command console, giving him a powerful electrical shock.]

[The Summoner crashes into more trees, moving like a ball in a pinball machine, and the wild motion nearly throws Adam out through the hatch he blasted open. He catches himself by holding onto the jagged metal around the hole. Nicolai growls and rips a metal bar loose from the wall, and presses it against Adam’s throat. Adam loses his grip on the door frame and grabs onto the bar as his legs dangle into the air outside the hatch. The Summoner abruptly lurches forward, throwing both Nicolai and Adam back inside the cockpit.]

[The out-of-control Summoner then steps over the edge of a ledge onto a steep a snow-covered slope, and slides down at great speed. Adam seizes the metal rod and jumps clear of the ‘Mech, jamming the bar into the snow to slow his slide. Nicolai is still inside the Summoner when it shoots over a cliff edge and plummets down to the valley floor below, where it explodes, sending up flames and a plume of smoke.]

[Adam walks to the cliff edge, and is stunned when Nicolai climbs up over the edge and grabs his leg. The two men battle at the cliff’s edge. Adam dodges a powerful punch, then judo flips Nicolai with his legs. The Clan warrior springs towards Adam from a crouch and tackles him, sending them both over the ledge onto a smaller ledge below. Nicolai ends up on top, with his muscular forearm pressing against Adam’s larynx.]

Nicolai: Freebirth! Did you really imagine you could beat a Trueborn in physical combat?

[Adam throws a punch at Nicolai’s face, breaking the choke-hold.]

Adam: Why do you keep calling us Freebirths?

[Nicolai picks Adam up by his throat, continuing to choke him.]

Nicolai: Because you were born in the chaos of natural breeding, random and formless. We Trueborn of the Clan were genetically designed to have enhanced strength and intelligence.

[Adam breaks Nicolai’s hold and shoves him down to the next ledge. Adam then jumps down the ledge and presses his attack.]

Adam: You were born in a gene tank? You creatures aren’t even human!

[Nicolai gets Adam by the neck again, lifting him up and shaking him like a rag doll.]

Nicolai: We are more than human, and better!

[Adam breaks the hold again, and jumps much further down the steep slope. Nicolai slides down after him on his face, using his body like a toboggan.]

Nicolai: When the rest of the planets in the Inner Sphere are conquered, they will become like us!

[Nicolai lands before Adam reaches the bottom, cutting off Adam’s retreat.]

Adam: Over my dead body!

[Adam stands up and charges Nicolai.]

Nicolai: Exactly!

[Nicolai gets Adam by the throat again. He lifts him up and flips him backwards over his head, sending him flying the remaining distance down the slope to the forested, snow-covered plain at the bottom of the cliff. Adam actually lands in a lake with chunks of ice floating in it. He surfaces, coughing, and crawls ashore. He walks towards the smoking ruin of Nicolai’s Summoner, and finds Nicolai standing atop it. Adam climbs to the top, and the two face each other standing on its torso. Adam limps forward towards the center. Nicolai rushes him, but Adam ducks and sticks out his leg to trop Nicolai. Adam jumps on Nicolai, but the Clansman kicks him away.]

Nicolai (gasping for breath): Why do you not fall, Freeborn?

Adam: Maybe you Trueborns are overrated.

[Adam charges, but Nicolai picks up a metal rod that has been superheated on one end, and swings it at Adam like a flaming sword. Adam dodges back, but trips and falls on his back. Nicolai charges forward with the rod, slamming the glowing red end down at Adam, who dodges and crawls away, sliding under an exposed, live electrical cable. The enraged Nicolai raises the metal bar over his head and swings it down at Adam again. The end hits the electrical cable, and Nicolai is blasted with a huge surge of electrical current. Arcs of electricity dance over Nicolai’s skin as Adam rises. Adam uses a piece of debris to break the connection between the metal rod and the electrical cable. With smoke rising from his body, Nicolai falls backwards, his EI implants flickering with power.]

Adam: I salute your genetic superiority. Now get off of my planet!

Nicolai: You could have let me perish.

[Adam picks up a green communicator from Nicolai’s tunic and puts it in his hand.]

Adam: Call me sentimental.

Nicolai: Well bid and well won.

[Nicolai activates the communicator.]

Nicolai: Star Captain Kristen, the Trial is lost. Begin the evacuation.

Kristen: Understood.

Nicolai: Goodbye, Adam Steiner.

[Nicolai turns and walks to meet his Overlord DropShip, which is landing nearby.]

Nicolai: I will honor our agreement, to the letter.

[The Falcon DropShip takes off with Nicolai aboard, leaving Adam standing on the corpse of the Summoner in the snow. Seconds later, five more Overlords take off in tight formation, from all appearances having been waiting in the Northlands for the Trial outcome. Adam smiles, and turns toward the field where the Kwaidan is landing to pick him up.]

Scene 4[edit]

[Back at the Academy, smoke still rises from the ruined buildings as the Kwaidan returns. Not a single person is in sight.]

Hawk: You’d think the whole planet would be here to thank you.

Adam: I don’t get it. Where is everybody?

[Adam and Hawk find Franklin, Kylie, Val, and Rachel sitting by a ruined section of wall, as the sun begins to set.]

Adam: Why all the long faces? It’s over. We won!

Rachel: Adam, we tried to stop them. There was nothing we could do.

Val: Malthus said something about, when you bid for the planet, you never said anything about the people.

Rachel: Aside from us, they took every living soul.

Adam: Including Andrew?

[Kylie breaks down in tears.]

Adam: ‘I will honor our agreement to the letter.’

Hawk: Major…

Adam: Malthus! This is not over yet! I will free my people, no matter what it takes!

Franklin: Now, our real battles begin.

[Adam walks to a ridge and looks out over mile after mile of barren, windswept, empty mountains. A comet streaks past as the sun sets.]