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Trade Secrets is the fifth episode of BattleTech: The Animated Series.

PlotEdit

Aboard the KatanaEdit

The Strikers are gathered in a memorial service for their comrade, Ciro Ramirez, believed to have been killed in action at the Jade Falcons' hands on Romulus. The Kwaidan fires off a salute from its guns as the Strikers say goodbye to their comrade.

ElsewhereEdit

Chained up in a prison cell, the very much alive Ciro picks the lock on his shackles to escape. Then, faking a sudden sickness to get the Clan guard to open the door, he knocks the guard out and gets out of his cell. Evading the Elemental guards inside the base, he climbs up and out of an exit, taking off into the desert surrounding the base. However, as he runs away, he's ambushed from beneath the sand by a vicious native desert creature. Nicolai Malthus shows up on the scene, picking the creature up and throwing him off Ciro, telling his bondsman that there is nothing to be gained by escape. Ciro, determined, tells Malthus that the Strikers will rescue him. Malthus replies that that's exactly what he's hoping for.

Aboard the KwaidanEdit

Adam briefs the Strikers on the Clan Invasion. The Clans are wreaking havoc throughout the Inner Sphere, with both the Federated Commonwealth and Draconis Combine suffering. Their mechs - which are more powerful, tougher, and better able to resist heat buildup than the Inner Sphere's - seem to be the key to their success. Adam feels that by gaining the secrets of their technology, they might be able to even the odds. The plan: raid the FedCom base on the planet Twycross, which the Jade Falcons have recently captured and started using for their own purposes, and "appropriate" some of their technology.

Adam's plan is to form a strike team consisting of himself and Val, while Hawk and Kylie stay behind to cover their retreat and Rachel remains aboard the Kwaidan to coordinate the operation. Rachel doesn't take the news well, and expresses her anger at being left out of the action.

As the Kwaidan burns towards Twycross, Captain Frestadt detects a windstorm right where the ship is supposed to land. Feeling that the LZ gives the Strikers the best chance of remaining hidden, Adam orders Kylie to scout ahead in a Banshee. However, the winds prove too much for the fighter, and the Strikers lose contact with her. The ship makes a rough landing on the Twycross plains, where they pick up an SOS signal from Kylie's fighter. They find the machine crashed in the desert sands and get Kylie to the ship's infirmary. Doctor Nakamura uses a medipatch to sedate Kylie, whom she deems unsuited to fly until she recovers. Val, dropping in for a visit, takes notice of the medipatch's sedative qualities and remarks he could have used them in scraps on Dustball - an observation Dr. Nakamura takes offense to.

A short time later, Franklin confronts Adam over the risks he has been taking with the Kwaidan. Adam tells Franklin that he knew the risks when he agreed to be part of the mission, and Val laughs off Franklin's concerns. Franklin walks away, ominously declaring that it's his responsibility to protect the ship and crew - and he'll take whatever measures he deems necessary to do so.

As Val and Kylie suit up for the mission, Rachel joins them, brushing off Adam's objections by saying that she can figure out Clan technology better while its right in front of her. Adam tries to tell her that she's too valuable to lose, to which Rachel demands that he give her a chance to actually be valuable.

As the team sets out into the desertEdit

The Strikers run across the last of the Twycross Militia fighting the Jade Falcons. Malthus orders his troops to switch to Enhnaced Imaging, and Malthus gloats as he blasts apart his "unworthy adversaries." The Strikers are forced to be quick on their feet to sneak by the battlefield. Val offers to plant an explosive charge on one of the Clan mech's legs, but Adam overrules him - they can do more for the Inner Sphere by obtaining the Clan technology. The Jade Falcons make short work of a couple more militia mechs, while a surviving militia mech runs away and makes an escape aboard a Dropship. Malthus curses the Inner Sphere mechwarrior's willingness to flee rather than "perish with honor."

Later, in the underground baseEdit

Galaxy Commander Vandervahn Chistu congratulates Malthus on his conquest of Twycross, ordering him to turn the planet over to Star Captain Kristen Redmond's garrison troops. Malthus tells Chistu that the last time he did that, on Romulus, the planet fell to a ragtag militia. Redmond takes offense at Malthus' insinuation that she's incapable of handling the situation, but Malthus insists he's just trying to be sure. Chistu agrees to let Malthus stay on the planet for another 48 hours.

Back topside, in the desertEdit

The Strikers are tracking the mechs' heat signatures, which have cut out with no explanation. Val wonders if the mechs simply sank into the stand, which prompts Adam to theorize that there may be an entry hatch under the sands, and Rachel replies that the Twycross Militia did maintain an underground base in the area. As the three slide down a sand dune, however, the three all sink beneath the sand. As they slip under the sand, however, Val detonates a charge that blows through the ceiling of the underground base, keeping them from drowning.

Back aboard the KwaidanEdit

As Hawk is working on his mech, Franklin steps into the Kwaidan's mech bay, taking notice of several crates marked "pentaglycerine" (a fictional explosive). When Hawk inquires as to what Franklin is doing, Franklin replies "I didn't know my run of the ship was restricted." Backing off, Hawk leaves Franklin alone as he takes a crate of the explosives out.

Inside the underground baseEdit

The Strikers run into a guard. Adam doesn't see any way to get by without shooting, but Val has a plan - he walks up to the guard and slaps a medipatch on the guard's head, knocking him out instantly. What's more, he's got plenty more where that came from.

Making their way into the now-unguarded computer room, Rachel hacks into the computer network and finds the base's armory, where she surmises that some Elemental suits can be located and lifted. However, Rachel's curiosity gets the better of her and she starts poking around some more in the computer system against Adam's orders - long enough for the Clan guard to wake up and realize what's going on. Rachel instinctively shoots the guard with a wrist-mounted gun, setting off alarms all over the base. As the trio round a corner, they're confronted by a bunch of Clan guards, all with weapons raised.

Elsewhere in the base, in Ciro's cell, Malthus informs Ciro of the Strikers' capture, and informs him that while their fate is uncertain, there may yet be a place for Ciro amongst the Clans.

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