|Affiliation||Clan Jade Falcon|
|Position||Commander of Falcon's Claws Keshik|
|“||You dare to refuse my batchall?||”|
|— Star Colonel Nicolai Malthus|
Star Colonel Nicolai Malthus, occasionally spelled as Nikolai Malthus, , was a Clan MechWarrior during the Clan Invasion of the Inner Sphere, described as one of Clan Jade Falcon's "most unbalanced Crusaders", and noted for piloting a red Summoner.
Nicolai was known to friend and foe alike as an unlikable, violent, and arrogant person who would stop at nothing to achieve his ambitions. He was the only member of his sibko to survive his Trial of Position, and graduated into the touman as a Star Commander. Immediately upon reporting to his unit, he challenged his Trinary's Star Captain to a Trial of Position and slew him, smashing the cockpit of the Star Captain's Mad Dog with the massive foot of his Summoner. Nicolai's meteoric rise did not cease there. Earning the Malthus Bloodname by the age of 20, he was taken under the mentorship of Vandervahn Chistu, who felt that repurposing Nicolai's drive would be useful to his own cause. When Operation Revival commenced, Chistu saw to it that Nicolai Malthus received a promotion to Star Colonel and placed him at the head of special Cluster called the Falcon's Claws, which would operate outside the normal hierarchy of the touman. Though nominally attached to the Peregrine Galaxy, the Cluster did whatever Chistu decided it would. And as head of the Falcon's Claws, Malthus would have free rein to select any troops he wanted for the various missions the Cluster was assigned.
Feeling that competition would spur better results, Chistu pitted his other protégée Kristen Redmond against Malthus on a number of operations. They played right into this manufactured rivalry, bidding lower and lower with each successful operation to obtain what they saw as greater honor. Despite this dangerous tactic, their string of successes continued unabated until Malthus and his Falcon's Claws crossed paths with Adam Steiner and his Somerset Strikers. In a series of battles across the Jade Falcon Occupation Zone, Steiner proceeded to humiliate, disgrace, and frustrate Malthus, who chased after him to the point of obsession. Seeing Malthus's inability to handle a mere group of irregulars, Chistu became tired of the Star Colonel's antics and withdrew more and more support. Desperate to regain favor with his patron, Malthus pursued Steiner with even more desperation, until finally confronting him on Twycross.
Operation REVIVAL Career
Despite Malthus having successfully captured Steiner during an attempted raid on the Clan's base on Twycross, the Star Colonel's arrogance allowed Steiner to escape and steal several key pieces of advanced Clan technology including several suits of elemental armor and many technical readouts. Chastised by Chistu for allowing the Inner Sphere to obtain a technological leg up on the Clans— indeed, the items taken by Steiner allowed the New Avalon Institute of Science's R&D efforts to be boosted by decades— and suffering the great shame of his Bloodhouse's repeated defeats during the Battle of Twycross, Nicolai marshalled all forces available to him and marched on Somerset. There, he hoped to face his bitter rival and defeat him once and for all.
But fate had other things in store for Malthus. Steiner challenged him to a Trial of Possession, which he gladly accepted. After a prolonged battle, however, it was Steiner who emerged the winner. In shame, Malthus fled the planet, allowing Steiner to (briefly) recapture it. While popular legend had it that Malthus, having bargained only for the planet, abducted the entire population to leave Steiner an empty world, in reality, Somerset was already mostly depopulated prior to the duel, with most of the citizens having been taken as bondsmen by the Jade Falcons. It was in fact largely ignored by the Jade Falcons after it was once again reclaimed from the Federated Commonwealth, who could not hold a planet so far behind enemy lines.  Tired of Malthus's antics, and not wanting to be associated with the now-shamed Malthus Bloodname, Galaxy Commander Chistu abandoned Nicolai. Now without his patron, Malthus was subsequently demoted to Star Commander and left in charge of a second-echelon formation consisting mostly of freeborn and solahma, all of which mocked him for his failures and sudden fall from grace.
Later Life and Death
After the Clans were battled to a standstill thanks to the Truce of Tukayyid and Operation Bulldog, Malthus was mostly left to fade into obscurity. In 3063, he was made aware of his portrayal in a holovid broadcast loosely based on Adam Steiner's Clan Wars exploits and, enraged, attempted to challenge Archon Steiner and the members of the Tharkad Broadcast Company to a Trial of Grievance. In his challenge, he blamed Steiner and TBC's portrayal of him for his current status and demanded satisfaction. As the Lyran Commonwealth did not recognize or operate under Clan laws, what resulted was a bizarre civil lawsuit that was eventually dismissed. Malthus, infuriated by this result, attempted to batchall the judge and was subsequently arrested and jailed.
After sitting for six months in a Steiner jail cell, Malthus was released back to Clan Jade Falcon, where he was taken in by Kael Pershaw, who asked him to join the Jade Falcon Watch as part of the Alpha Galaxy. Malthus, without many other options due to the disgrace attached to his name and story, accepted. Over nearly a decade, he carried out many missions for Pershaw and, through his service, came to a better understanding of himself and his own character. Malthus accompanied Pershaw to Etienne's Sanctuary in 3073 to quell The Society and died there in battle, a humbler man but one who was finally at peace.
An exaggerated version of Nicolai Malthus, though one many even within Clan Jade Falcon would admit was not too far from reality, was the main antagonist of Tharkad Broadcasting Corporation's The Somerset Strikers, a holodrama detailing the Clan Invasion era exploits of Adam Steiner.
In the show, Nicolai Malthus' major accomplishments during the invasion were conquering Somerset, Wotan, Romulus, and Twycross. On Romulus he encountered his nemesis Adam Steiner and the 1st Somerset Strikers where he became the first Star Colonel to lose several pieces of Clan technology, notably Elemental Armor, to the Inner Sphere. This loss narrowed the technology gap between the Clans and the Inner Sphere forces fighting them.
The holovid Malthus' lust for revenge and deep hatred towards Adam Steiner clouded his code of honor, and he eventually defied orders from Galaxy Commander Chistu in order to lure Adam to the planet Apollo by commandeering the Federated Commonwealth JumpShip Excelsior and forcing its captain to give coordinates to the location where Adam's brother, Andrew Steiner, was located. The plan backfired as his Galaxy Commander sent forces to capture him.
At the show's climax, Malthus faced off against Adam Steiner on Somerset in a Trial of Possession for the planet, in which both combatants agreed to meet in the North Country without radar or outside reconnaissance and fight each other in single BattleMech combat. While Malthus was successful in destroying Steiner's Awesome, he lost his own Summoner when it toppled off a cliff. He eventually lost the Trial after bumping into an exposed electrical cable on his downed 'Mech. In his parting words to Adam, he said that would honor their agreement to the letter, and while leaving the planet to the Strikers, took its captured population with him.
Nicolai Malthus was a noted pilot of the Summoner. During the Clan Invasion, his personal unit was JF900-23C, which had a customized loadout that replaced the Summoner's LRM pod with a Streak SRM pod. This variant was later adopted as the M Configuration. His 'Mech fell in battle on Somerset and was captured by FedCom troops. It continued to see service for nearly one hundred years after its capture, falling into various hands as the years passed. Malthus later ended up assigned a Thresher, and was piloting it when he fell in battle on Etienne's Sanctuary.
|“||Only one man would dare use Somerset jamming techniques on me. ADAM STEINER!||”|
|— Nicolai Malthus, The Somerset Strikers series, broadcast 08/12/3052|
|“||Crush these defectives who believe themselves equal to the task of attacking us.||”|
|— Nicolai Malthus, The Somerset Strikers series, Final Episode|
Malthus from BT:Legends
Malthus from 1st Somerset Strikers
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 BattleTech: Legends, p. 86-87 "Nicolai Malthus"
- ↑ Rank and command of the Falcon's Claws Keshik confirmed in the canonical parts of 1st Somerset Strikers sourcebook such as the transcript of the bidding for Somerset, 4 July 3049 (p. 9)
- ↑ BattleTech: The Animated Series S1E1: "The Gathering Storm"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Era Report: 3052, pp. 12-13 "Of Myths and Reality"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 3, p. 13 "Summoner (Thor)"
- ↑ 1st Somerset Strikers sourcebook, p. 45 (sidebar) and p. 47 (sidebar)
- ↑ Objectives: The Clans, p. 15 "Somerset"
- ↑ 1st Somerset Strikers, p. 61
- ↑ Antonia Chinn's MWDA pilot card
- ↑ BattleMech Manual, p. 112 "Weapons and Equipment - Electronics - ECM Suites"