Season 1 Episode 9

Road to Camelot

Aired Unknown Nov 05, 1994 on FOX

Episode Recap

In a region of the Inner Sphere known as "The Dark Nebula," Kylie and Franklin are sent out in Banshees to scout around. Shortly after take-off, Franklin receives a strange transmission from an unknown source. Soon after that, a small group of unmanned drone aerospace fighters attack the pair of Banshees. Franklin directs Kylie into a nebula cloud and an asteroid field, hoping to lose the pursuers. Despite a harrowing chase between the asteroids, Kylie and Franklin manage to destroy the three drones. Rachel then contacts them, identifying their attackers as old Mk. 39 attack drones – unmanned fighters placed in the area by the Lyran Commonwealth back in the Second Succession War, the second of the four major wars that had consumed the Inner Sphere for over 250 years. Kylie offers to clear them out, but Adam feels that it's not worth the risk and orders them to return to the Kwaidan. As the two fighters return to the hangar bay, Franklin tells Kylie that the drone fighters were not the source of the transmission – leading Kylie to wonder where it did come from.

Back aboard the Kwaidan, Rachel, Adam and Val are discussing the advantages of the new Enhanced Imaging system installed on their mechs. As they talk, Franklin interrupts them, saying that the source of the mysterious transmission deserves an investigation. Adam dismisses it as random noise, but Franklin insists that it's a message of some kind. He asks for Rachel's help in decrypting it, but Rachel says she's too busy with the EI system. Adam also refuses, but says that he'll consider it if Franklin finds anything after scanning it.

At a computer station, Franklin is running a scan on the transmission as Val tries to get him to play a hand of cards. Franklin's theory seems to be shot down when the computer reports a 75% probability that the transmission is nothing more than pulsar noise, but there's also a 45% probability that the transmission is a transponder signal of some kind – possibly of the type used by the Star League Defense Force. Val snaps to attention at this possibility, eager to find Star League technology that he could make him rich.

Later on, Franklin reports his findings to Adam – but Adam refuses to go on a mission while they're behind enemy lines and with the 75% chance of the source being a pulsar. Patch seems interested in the idea of investigating though, saying that he's heard stories of hidden bases full of Star League technology. Kylie also seems interested. Adam adamantly refuses to allow it, however.

That night, Franklin is preparing to make the trip on his own when he's joined by Val, Patch and Kylie. Crowding themselves into the two available Banshees, they head off. Franklin worries about running into more drone fighters, but Patch transmits an old recall code that he says should keep the drones off their backs.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Dark Nebula, a dropship with Star Commander Pytor of Clan Jade Falcon aboard it picks up a FedCom transmission. Pytor orders the dropship to pursue it.

The two Banshees pick up the signal as well, with Franklin identifying it as Camelot Command – which welcomes them in the name of the Star League. The quartet land on Camelot, with Franklin directing them to the command center. Arriving at their destination, Patch sets about trying to get the systems online. Franklin switches things on with a luckily-guessed voice command, then asks the computer for a historical summary of Camelot Command starting the day that General Alexander Kerensky's Exodus of the SLDF began. The computer reports that Kerensky, frustrated by the war between the Successor States that threatened to engulf the Inner Sphere, Kerensky ordered the SLDF to assemble at Camelot Command. As each division arrived, it was assigned additional personnel for the long journey – and these divisions came to be known as "clans" – and thus, as Franklin says, the Inner Sphere's enemy was born.

Meanwhile, the Jade Falcon ship lands on Camelot Command, and Pytor and Ciro march onto the base in their mechs. Pytor eagerly looks forward to taking the base.

Back on the Kwaidan, Adam and Rachel are searching through the ship's systems, trying to find out where their four comrades went. They find a holo-message from Franklin telling them that they have left, looking for information. Adam is determined to find them before danger does.

Back at Camelot Command, another dropship has landed – this one carrying a good number of Elementals, who seek to claim Camelot Command for Clan Wolf.

Inside the base, Val finds the location of the base's munitions storehouse and, seeing potential C-Bill signs, sets off towards it, with the other three following him. Val rounds a corner – and runs headlong into the Wolf Elemental force. Meanwhile, the other three run into a Point of Jade Falcon Elementals as well as Ciro in the Axman.

Val, running from the Wolf Elementals, runs right into the other three – bringing their Clan pursuers together as well. Elemental Star Commander Natalya demands the Wolves leave, stating that they are operating outside their assigned Inner Sphere Invasion Corridor. In response, the Wolf commander challenges Natalya to a Trial of Possession for the base, causing an all-out brawl between the two Elemental forces. The foursome use this opportunity to slip away. Franklin says that he and Patch should return to the command center and find a way to use the operating system to their advantage, while Val and Kylie keep the Clanners away from the command center.

Back in the command center, Patch and Franklin are trying to figure the controls out when the center is rocked by explosions. Patch points at a picture of General Kerensky, cursing him for forming the Clans. Meanwhile, outside the center, the Falcon and Wolf Elementals face off, firing on each other. The Wolves take the worst of it, but one of them breaks off and heads for the command center.

Elsewhere in the base, Val and Kylie finally locate the munitions bay. Val's dreams of overnight wealth are crushed, however, when he finds that it's completely empty. Before they can head back to the commander center, they're ambushed by Ciro and Pytor, both in Battlemechs. Thinking quickly, Val and Kylie shoot the lights out, plunging the bay into total darkness. Pytor, activating his Hunchback's searchlights, begins firing on Kylie, but she runs circles around the mech as Pytor tries in vain to hit her. Eventually, the floor weakens from the laser fire and collapses, taking the Hunchback with it. Having finished with Pytor, the two turn their attention to Ciro.

In the command center, the Elemental that broke off from the fight has reached the closed doors, demanding that Patch and Franklin "Open up in the name of Clan Wolf!" Patch comes up with an idea that puts the two Clans at each others' throats again, but as he's congratulating himself on his plan, Star Commander Natalya demands that they open the doors in the name of Clan Jade Falcon.

In the munitions bay, Kylie and Val are dealing with Ciro. While Kylie talks to him, Val uses a grappling hook to climb up onto the Axman Ciro's piloting. Val reaches the cockpit, where Ciro climbs out, ready to take Val on hand-to-hand. While Ciro's distracted, Kylie climbs into the Axman and starts it up, causing Ciro to abandon the fight. As Val implores Ciro to return to the Strikes, Ciro angrily refuses, instead jumping down into the hole that Pytor's mech fell through.

In the command center, Franklin tries to contact the Kwaidan, but Patch notes that the Dark Nebula is going to make that impossible.

On the Kwaidan, Rachel and Adam have finally decrypted a coded message left by Franklin. A hologram of Franklin gives them the coordinates to look for them at, which Adam orders Captain Fredstat to go to.

In Camelot's command center, the door is being pounded by Falcon Elementals, and Patch doesn't figure that it'll hold much longer. Franklin is determined to keep the base from the Clans. Looking at the portrait of Kerensky on the wall, Franklin gets an idea.

Elsewhere in the base, Val and Kylie march the Axman down a hall, only to run into a group of Wolf Elementals. The soldiers fire on the mech, swarming it like insects, but the mech swats two troopers out of the air and blasts one, clearing a path. As they progress, however, Pytor appears behind them and fires its massive autocannons into the Axman's back, sending it crashing to the ground.

Meanwhile, the Falcon Elementals have blasted through the command center door. As they surround Patch and Franklin and claim the base for their own, however, the Clan Wolf Elementals blast through the ceiling and descend onto the Falcons, continuing their fight from earlier. As they battle, however, General Kerensky suddenly appears, chastising the Clan warriors and calling them "unworthy." Incensed, he orders the base to activate its self-destruct mechanism to prevent it from falling into "inferior hands." Both Clans' warriors order a full retreat, escaping in their dropships as the base explodes spectacularly behind them.

Or so it seems. Back in the command center, the Strikers are celebrating the retreat of the Clans. Kylie wonders how Franklin did it, and he responds that he used holographic technology to create both an image of General Kerensky and the appearance of the base's destruction. Unfortunately, the holographic imaging system runs out of power, revealing the falsity of the base's destruction to the retreating Clan forces. Angered, Pytor orders the Falcon ship to turn back, as does the Wolf commander. As the two Clans start laying claim to the station yet again, however, Adam Steiner comes over the commlink and claims it in the name of the Federated Commonwealth, warning the Clanners to leave – a threat he backs up when the drone fighters start firing on the Clan ships. Pytor and the Wolf commander retreat, vowing to meet Steiner again.

Later, on the Kwaidan, Adam chews out the wayward four, threatening to court martial all of them if they ever pull anything like that again. Franklin calmly interrupts the major's tirade, however, saying that he downloaded the Clans' technological files, not to mention learning that the Clans are not as unified as they first appeared – information that could very well help them in the future. In addition, Franklin points to another valuable prize from the unauthorized mission – Major Steiner's Axman battlemech, recovered in perfect condition.
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