Questions from End Run

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
I just got around…finally…to reading End Run. Great book, a complete page turner. But in reading it, it got me wondering about a couple of things.

First, there was a copy or editorial error in the version I read (Kindle)… when Bear first comes aboard the Tarawa, he mentions that the CVE carries Sabres, Ferrets, and “F-54 Rapiers”. The Rapier, of course, is the F-44. The F-54 is the Epee. The fighters are referred to throughout the rest of the book as Rapiers, and the ships described seem to be Rapiers far more than they seem to be Epees, so F-54 was either a typo or a copy error or a case of the author releasing the book before the ship guide for the game had been finalized. But it got me wondering…

Given that we’re repeatedly told in the novels that deck space was at an absolute premium on CVE’s… why did they carry Rapiers? The Rapier was not a small fighter. Wouldn’t the more compact Epee have made a better choice for the cramped CVE’s? Or the similarly compact Arrow?

The other thing I was wondering was about ranks in Confed. I think there might already have been threads on this, and my memory is that the fleet personnel used contemporary Navy style ranks (ensign, Lt JG, Lt, LCDR, CDR, CAPT), while the pilots use contemporary Air Force style ranks (2nd Lt, 1st Lt, CAP, MAJ, LTC, COL). But Bear is promoted to LCDR while leading the flight wing. So Fleet (navy-style) ranks for wing commanders?

And in Milk Run, the comment that the captain of the Johnny Greene, a “captain” is outranked by a LCDR (an O-4). But if he’s a captain in the fleet, shouldn’t “captain” imply he’s an O-6? (Though admittedly, that seems like a very high rank for a corvette commanding officer). We’re the corvettes staffed by Space Force, not fleet? And do “captain” means an O-3?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
First, there was a copy or editorial error in the version I read (Kindle)… when Bear first comes aboard the Tarawa, he mentions that the CVE carries Sabres, Ferrets, and “F-54 Rapiers”. The Rapier, of course, is the F-44. The F-54 is the Epee. The fighters are referred to throughout the rest of the book as Rapiers, and the ships described seem to be Rapiers far more than they seem to be Epees, so F-54 was either a typo or a copy error or a case of the author releasing the book before the ship guide for the game had been finalized. But it got me wondering…

This is not new to the eBook version, it has been in there since the original printing. It's a simple error but interestingly I can tell you exactly how it happened: Dr. Forstchen's reference for the ships was a 'Wing Commander bible' prepared by Origin to explain the rules and the background of the Wing Commander setting. Looking at the copy he had access to, the pagination is such that the header for "F-54C" is at the top of page 64... and if you happen to skip page 65 then it leads right into the description of the Rapier-G (the Wing Commander II version).

Given that we’re repeatedly told in the novels that deck space was at an absolute premium on CVE’s… why did they carry Rapiers? The Rapier was not a small fighter. Wouldn’t the more compact Epee have made a better choice for the cramped CVE’s? Or the similarly compact Arrow?

It's a little odd to think about now but at the time the book was written the authors didn't actually know what any of the ships looked like. Their material from Origin isn't illustrated so there was likely no sense that an Epee and a Rapier are appreciably different shapes. (The Arrow didn't exist yet, End Run was written just after Special Operations 1 came out so it was about a year from being imagined in the first place!)

The other thing I was wondering was about ranks in Confed. I think there might already have been threads on this, and my memory is that the fleet personnel used contemporary Navy style ranks (ensign, Lt JG, Lt, LCDR, CDR, CAPT), while the pilots use contemporary Air Force style ranks (2nd Lt, 1st Lt, CAP, MAJ, LTC, COL). But Bear is promoted to LCDR while leading the flight wing. So Fleet (navy-style) ranks for wing commanders?

It swaps around based on the story... the series has always been stuck with the Air Force style ranks for the player since they were used in Wing Commander I before anyone thought about such things (and "Colonel Blair" would later be a defining part of the IP), but a significant portion of tie-in stories don't seem to know they're even a thing and have Navy-style ranks for most carrier pilots. I would read it as different ships having different setups, just like how their are navy and marine aviators today.

Bear actually isn't necessarily wrong, though, he's referred to as 'Lieutenant' in Special Operations 1 and his flight suit doesn't have an insignia in it so you can't tell which service it is. You'll probably find a picture of him wearing TCSF 1st Lt.'s bars out there but that doesn't actually show up in the game, it's just leftover data in his paper doll file... he only ever wears the insignia-free flight suit in the story. So he's probably Navy Lt JG Bondarevsky who is then promoted to Lt and LCDR before End Run.

And in Milk Run, the comment that the captain of the Johnny Greene, a “captain” is outranked by a LCDR (an O-4). But if he’s a captain in the fleet, shouldn’t “captain” imply he’s an O-6? (Though admittedly, that seems like a very high rank for a corvette commanding officer). We’re the corvettes staffed by Space Force, not fleet? And do “captain” means an O-3?

It's kind of convoluted but I THINK you're correct that the intent is that he's a Space Force Captain (O-3) and she's a Navy Lieutenant Commander (O-4). I suppose the Secret Missions documentation does call the Venture an eight man fighter! But it's at least a mixed crew: the astrogator, Ensign Barnes, would be Navy... as would Chief Petty Officer Coriander. The news article about the situation refers to him as "Captain Bill Harcourt". Ramona's inner monologue confuses things a little more: "She wasn’t about to throw her whole career away because some middle-aged idiot wouldn’t listen to her, a middle-aged idiot who hadn’t even been able to win commander’s rank, and was still captain of a mere corvette, a job normally relegated to a lieutenant." But I think she's trying to say he's stuck as a (SF) Captain when the job usually goes to a (SF) Lieutenant (because reading it that he's just a very old Navy Captain which the author thinks is a lower rank than Commander doesn't quite work).
 

CMDR_Scotty

Spaceman
This is not new to the eBook version, it has been in there since the original printing. It's a simple error but interestingly I can tell you exactly how it happened: Dr. Forstchen's reference for the ships was a 'Wing Commander bible' prepared by Origin to explain the rules and the background of the Wing Commander setting. Looking at the copy he had access to, the pagination is such that the header for "F-54C" is at the top of page 64... and if you happen to skip page 65 then it leads right into the description of the Rapier-G (the Wing Commander II version).



It's a little odd to think about now but at the time the book was written the authors didn't actually know what any of the ships looked like. Their material from Origin isn't illustrated so there was likely no sense that an Epee and a Rapier are appreciably different shapes. (The Arrow didn't exist yet, End Run was written just after Special Operations 1 came out so it was about a year from being imagined in the first place!)



It swaps around based on the story... the series has always been stuck with the Air Force style ranks for the player since they were used in Wing Commander I before anyone thought about such things (and "Colonel Blair" would later be a defining part of the IP), but a significant portion of tie-in stories don't seem to know they're even a thing and have Navy-style ranks for most carrier pilots. I would read it as different ships having different setups, just like how their are navy and marine aviators today.

Bear actually isn't necessarily wrong, though, he's referred to as 'Lieutenant' in Special Operations 1 and his flight suit doesn't have an insignia in it so you can't tell which service it is. You'll probably find a picture of him wearing TCSF 1st Lt.'s bars out there but that doesn't actually show up in the game, it's just leftover data in his paper doll file... he only ever wears the insignia-free flight suit in the story. So he's probably Navy Lt JG Bondarevsky who is then promoted to Lt and LCDR before End Run.



It's kind of convoluted but I THINK you're correct that the intent is that he's a Space Force Captain (O-3) and she's a Navy Lieutenant Commander (O-4). I suppose the Secret Missions documentation does call the Venture an eight man fighter! But it's at least a mixed crew: the astrogator, Ensign Barnes, would be Navy... as would Chief Petty Officer Coriander. The news article about the situation refers to him as "Captain Bill Harcourt". Ramona's inner monologue confuses things a little more: "She wasn’t about to throw her whole career away because some middle-aged idiot wouldn’t listen to her, a middle-aged idiot who hadn’t even been able to win commander’s rank, and was still captain of a mere corvette, a job normally relegated to a lieutenant." But I think she's trying to say he's stuck as a (SF) Captain when the job usually goes to a (SF) Lieutenant (because reading it that he's just a very old Navy Captain which the author thinks is a lower rank than Commander doesn't quite work).
Just adding my thought on that one abt the corvette 's commander.

I dont remember Harcourt original rank. Its just he was in charge of the ship and crew, nominally making him the Captain of the vessel.
It must not been necessary that he also kept the rank of a Captain. As it is mentioned in the book that Ventures are mainly commandeered by lower rank officers.

By Rank alone, yes, the specialist outranked Harcourt, but she was not part of the chain of command aboard the Venture. She was a passenger, so to say, until they reached Vukar Tag.

My 2 € cents.
 

Star Rider

Rear Admiral
Naval Tradition is that the Officer in command of the ship is referred to as Captain, regardless if they hold the rank of Captain or not...

Ramona is in charge of the mission once they reach the mission's Area of Operation. Harcourt still has command of the ship, and the final word onboard his ship and can override Ramona if he deems it necessary for the survival of the ship and crew. Granted Ramona could bring him up on charges after the fact.
 
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