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Well Bargained and Done is the second episode of BattleTech: The Animated Series.
On the desert planet named DustballEdit
Adam, Hawkins and Specter walk the streets of a domed city, looking for any halfway-decent mechwarriors they can find to join the Strikers (because, as Adam reminds Hawkins, all the good mechwarriors have been tapped to fight The Clans).
Hawkins' grumbling about "this Kerensky-forsaken rock" is interrupted as the trio walk up to a high-rise building bearing the name "Tybus" - a crime lord that FedCom Intelligence busted some time ago, but, as Hawkins explains, they could never make any of the charges stick.
Suddenly, the three Strikes hear weapons fire nearby. Two men are shooting at a VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) craft that has launched from a nearby rooftop. Hawkins intervenes to clear the streets of civilians as a security Centurion marches down the streets after the aircraft. As the aircraft breaks through the glass dome surrounding the city, the Centurion ignites its jump jets and heads after it, following it into Dustball's inhospitable desert terrain. A well-placed autocannon shot to the VTOL's aft section sends the aircraft crashing down. Seconds later, the Centurion's pilot gets out of his mech to apprehend the man inside the crashed craft, whom he identifies as "Martinez."
Meanwhile, Adam, Hawkins and Specter have been watching the entire thing. Hawkins bluntly calls the spectacle he just witnessed "the craziest display of reckless mech jockeying I've ever seen" - to which Adam and Specter reply "That's our man!"
Back at Tybus's buildingEdit
Boss Tybus is talking to Star Colonel Kristen Redmond of Clan Jade Falcon via holographic message, complaining about FedCom's lack of respect for "legitimate businessmen." Tybus figures that with Clan Jade Falcon running Dustball, he can exercise control with far less trouble than he is facing now. The Jade Falcons would get their cut, of course - 10 percent, off the books. Redmond admits that the chance to gain a foothold in that sector of space is intriguing to her. However, the two seem to have communication problems over the exact terms of the handover - he wants to make a deal, while she believes that he speaks of a Trial of Possession. When asked what forces he bids to defend the planet, Tybus (still not quite understanding what's going on) says he has a lance of five mechs. Redmond agrees to use only two Omnimechs and to engage Tybus's forces north of the city. With the phrase "well bargained and done", Redmond finishes the negotiations.
Seconds later, the mechwarrior from earlier walks into Tybus's office with Martinez in tow. The mechwarrior - whom Tybus identifies as Valten Ryder - suggests that he trade Martinez - the "Fedrat spy" - for his in-hock battlemech. Tybus balks at the offer, but Ryder reveals that Martinez was carrying enough evidence with him to shut Tybus down for good - and there's the possibility that Valten made copies for his own bargaining. Ryder leaves the room confident.
Later, at the casino "The One Armed Bandit"Edit
We see a mech simulator arcade game being played by Ryder and another player. Adam walks up and introduces himself and Hawkins to Val, plunking down the cash for a game to get the opportunity to talk to the mechwarrior. Adam informs him that his display of mech piloting was impressive. Hawkins plays the "bad cop" in the negotiations, pointing out that Val was drummed out of the military for insubordination - an incident Val chalks up to his former CO being unable to pay his poker debts. Adam gets right to the point, telling Ryder about the Strikers and their mission to stop The Clans, offering him a lieutenant's position. Valten refuses the offer, saying he "gave up fighting for [Adam's] relatives a long time ago." Adam tries to press the issue and convince Ryder that this isn't some petty border dispute, but Hawkins urges him to move on. The game ends with something of a pyrrhic victory for Ryder - Adam's mech is destroyed, but Ryder's mech is overheated and shutdown.
Unfortunately for Ryder, Tybus is watching him via security camera, and is convinced that Ryder is taking bribes from FedCom. Talking to one of his men - who identifies Hawkins as a FedCom Intelligence agent and Adam as Archon Melissa's distant cousin - Tybus says that he has "one last job" for Ryder.
Later that night, in the desertEdit
Ryder jubilantly leads Tybus's mech lance - a mix of Centurion, Wolfhound and Mauler units - out into the desert, towards the trial coordinates. As he's congratulating himself on his last mission for Tybus before going free, he spots two objects streaking across the night sky.
Elsewhere, about the landed Kwaidan, Adam is having little luck in his search for mechwarriors, musing that the best ones on planet are either dead or in jail. Specter contacts Adam to tell him about the objects - two mechs dropping from orbit, with configurations matching the units that invaded Somerset. Adam orders Ciro and Kylie to report to the mech bay immediately.
Meanwhile, the two pods break apart on their descent, revealing Redmond's Vulture and an accompanying Hunchback IIC.
Meanwhile, Ryder continues to lead his mech force into a canyon - and runs headlong into Redmond's Vulture. Redmond introduces herself, initiating Enhanced Imaging as she and her partner open fire on the mechs. Ryder discovers that his weapons have been disabled, even as his lancemates leave him to die at the hands of the Falcons, calling him a "Fedrat traitor." Redmond seethes as the other mechs flee, but takes down Ryder's Centurion easily and prepares to finish him off. Before she can deliver the death blow, however, a barrage of missiles hits near her position - the Strikers have arrived.
Kylie strafes the Clanners in her Banshee, drawing them towards the Strikers' position, where a fierce firefight ensues. The Omnimechs withstand considerable punishment, but Redmond decides to withdraw and wait for reinforcements, vowing to make all of Dustball pay for this treachery. Ciro, champing at the bit, wants to pursue, but Adam overrules him - it took everything they had just to drive them off, and he has no desire to press the Strikers' luck. Hawkins announces he has located a downed mech; Adam and Hawkins head for the mech, which turns out to be Ryder's, while Kylie and Ciro, under Adam's orders, head back to the Kwaidan.
On the dropship, Dr. Nakamura is preparing to head out to the site to treat the injured Ryder when Franklin puts a laser pistol into her medical bag. Franklin claims that she will need it to protect herself from "the enemy" - and he's not talking about The Clans.
Shortly thereafter, Nakamura patches up Ryder's wounded leg as Adam and Hawkins get him aboard a medical vehicle on a stretcher. As they prepare to leave, however, a Mauler rocks the vehicle and points one of its laser barrels at the Strikers, telling them that they're being taken prisoner by Boss Tybus.
Back in Tybus's office, the next dayEdit
Tybus is talking to a very irate Star Colonel Redmond, pleading that he had no idea where the Strikers' mechs came from. Redmond brushes him off, however, and tells him his fate has been sealed already, and cuts off the transmission.
As Tybus's goons lead Ryder and the Strikers into the room, Tybus approaches Hawkins and demands to know when "the raid" is being carried out. Hawkins truthfully claims ignorance, but Tybus doesn't believe him or Adam when they say that they know nothing. He has his men lead them away, telling them to get their stories straight with their "partner."
As it turns out, the Strikers find themselves in a cell with the man Ryder captured earlier, who identifies himself as Juan Martinez from FedCom Intelligence. Martinez explains that he found out about Tybus's plan to get FedCom off his back by striking a deal with the Jade Falcons - the first time the Strikers hear the name of the invading force - and was about to nail Tybus when Ryder shot him out of the air. Adam asks Martinez what he knows about Somerset, to which he replies that his ComStar contact says that Andrew Steiner is alive. Martinez also lets them know that a FedCom battalion is waiting for his signal to raid Dustball. Fortunately, Ryder hid Nakamura's laser pistol in his boot before they were taken captive, and the Strikers use it to blast their way free.
The Strikers head for the mech bay while Martinez heads for a ComStar station to send his signal. Ryder is surprised that his grandfather's Centurion is nowhere to be found - Tybus was apparently keeping it as collateral while he worked off his gambling debt. Suddenly, Tybus and his men bust into the mech bay and corner the Strikers. Seconds later, the bay is rocked by weapons fire - Jade Falcon Omnifighters are strafing the city, and Clan dropships are dropping mechs not far outside the city's dome. Realizing that any deal he struck with Redmond is dead in the water, Tybus tosses Adam a communicator. Steiner tells Specter to deploy Ciro and Kylie and sends rendezvous coordinates.
As Tybus tries to slip away, however, Ryder appears above him, brandishing a laser pistol and telling him that they have a score to settle. Backing up and pressing a wall panel, Tybus reveals Val's family mech - it's his, if he lets Tybus go. Val is still about to kill Tybus when Adam tells him that doing so would only prove Val is just like the crime lord. Disgusted, Val tells Tybus to get out. Meanwhile, the Strikers roll out.
As the Strikers head for battleEdit
Steiner radios the Strikers and points out that the Clan mechs have been baking in the hot desert sun for some time. His plan is to start a prolonged running battle to draw them away from the city and overheat the Clan machines.
Meanwhile, Star Colonel Redmond initiates Enhanced Imaging as the battle is joined. The two sides begin firing away at each other, with neither side gaining much of an advantage at first. As Adam maneuvers to engage a Vulture, a stray Mad Cat comes up behind his Axman and prepares to blast it - and then is struck from behind by a blast that knocks it to the ground. It's Valten Ryder in his Centurion - Captain Valten Ryder, according to the mechwarrior. Adam initially protests, but given the Strikers' precarious situation and Hawkins' urging that the rank is "no big deal", Adam welcomes Ryder to his unit.
Elsewhere, Ciro reports that his mech is overheating rather than the Clan mechs. The other Strikers report similar happenings with their mechs, and Adam and Specter realize their plan has backfired horribly. Just as things look bleakest, however, Adam sees a welcome sight - over a dozen FedCom dropships, which begin dropping mechs. Undaunted by the overwhelming odds, Redmond prepares to engage the new enemies.
However, in orbit over Dustball, Star Colonel Nicolai Malthus, aboard a Jade Falcon warship, radios Redmond and demands that she cease her unauthorized action. Galaxy Commander Vandervahn Chistu backs Malthus up, saying that he gave no authorization for her campaign. With that, the Clan mechs begin to retreat.
The Kwaidan lifts off from Dustball. Specter is happy with what the mission has gotten the Strikers - valuable intel and a new mechwarrior - but Adam can't help but think of his brother, who he knows is alive on occupied Somerset. Hawkins tells Adam that they're still a long way from Somerset - but that they'll make it.
Inconsistencies with Battletech canonEdit
- During the fight in the canyon, Specter tells the Strikers that Redmond's Vulture delivered a barrage from 2.3 kilometers away. In Battletech, however, nothing in the Vulture's arsenal - indeed, no weapon in the Inner Sphere's or the Clans' arsenal save for artillery - has that kind of range (though Clan weapons do have longer ranges than their Inner Sphere counterparts in most cases).