Group Reading: Action Stations 2022

EmuMusicFan

2nd Lieutenant
Action Stations is a pretty special Wing Commander novel. It depicts the most recent story in the timeline of the official novels, while it also presents McAuliffe Ambush in 2634 in the form of a in-universe historical fiction.

Of all the WC novels, this one is probably not the most popular. Some book reviews consider it to be a parody of the historical event of 1941. While the book certainly comes with such element, it doesn't stop there. I believe that this book portrays the beginning of the Terran-Kilrathi war, and it also indirectly reveals quite a lot about the post-war situation and people's thinking.


You could purchase the DRM Free version of Freedom Flight at baen.com with the link above, and Foreword together with the first three chapters are available for online trial reading there.

This is second group reading I lanuched. I wish you like it.

BTW: I have a fangame demo that includes certain Action Stations scenes: https://palmusicfan.github.io/
 

EmuMusicFan

2nd Lieutenant
ASSIGNMENT FOR Action Stations, Foreword

DISCUSSION POINTS

* From the Foreword, when was this historical fiction published approximately? What status do you presume the Confederation and the Kilrathi Assembly of Clans were in during this era?
* Why few have felt comfortable about approaching the topic of Admiral Geoffrey Tolwyn, VC, MOH, DSC, KCB? Also, the author (Mr. Forstchen) listed the names of Alcibiades, Benedict Arnold, etc. What kind of writing technique is this?
* I was troubled by a sense that, after more than thirty years of conflict, Admiral Tolwyn had become an entity that lived solely for war. What do we learn from this?
* What do you think of the recently declassification of the documents from the Kilrathi Imperial Archives?
* Why Col. Wilhelm Schwarzmont said Baron Jukaga highly controversial? And What do you think about the kind assistance of Baron Vakka nar Jukaga (Baron Jukaga's son)?
* This book (Kilrah Tugaga Jak-Ta Haganaska duka McAuliffe) is worthy of serious consideration in spite of its detractors in the realm of academia and postwar Kilrathi apologists. Why there was detractors?
* ... it is a mystery that has fascinated historians on both sides of the conflict. What do you think people think about this mystery in universe?
* ... a war that claimed more than thirty billion lives on both sides How many versions of this casualty figure do we know?
* Do the in-universe author Col. Wilhelm Schwarzmont and Baron Vakka nar Jukaga have an academic cooperation?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I am very sorry for the delayed response. I love these threads and want to contribute but they become overwhelming!

Action Stations is one of my favorite Wing Commander books, maybe my favorite today after Freedom Flight. I think the broad criticisms you hear are pretty accurate… Dr. Forstchen's the-military-knows-best politics are ridiculous and he simultaneously reuses far too many puzzle pieces he already checked off in Fleet Action (many of which were… borrowed… from Starship Troopers and the like) while also failing to actually re-read his own previous book to get right some tiny details, names, etc. that he had previously INTENTIONALLY SET UP wrong… but that's all pretty minor overall. I love the tone of the book, the introduction of the pre-war era grows Wing Commander so much … basically, there's a lot to talk about going forward!

A couple of personal stories from back in the day, of potential interest to no one!

* One of my first 'jobs' in the Wing Commander fandom (at the late, great Introspection's Wing Commander Home Sector) circa 1996 was coming up with interview questions for a sit down with Dr. Forstchen. The world was VERY DIFFERENT back then and the idea that we were actually going to get to talk to the man whose name was on our favorite books was just insane, the whole thing made us kids so impossibly happy. But I remember specifically that he mentioned he talked about Action Stations for the first time and I felt like we had the scoop of the lifetime! Here's the old piece where he introduces it to the WC fandom for the first time: https://www.wcnews.com/articles/art39.shtml (Note that he wrote the book in summer 1996 but that it wasn't printed until 1998. Crazy!)

* I bought my first copy of Action Stations from Barnes and Nobles brand new website because they were the first to get it in stock. I was a junior in high school at the time and it arrived in the morning before I left for school… but I had been chosen by my AP Biology class to represent the school at a two day biology lecture series at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. So of course I brought the book to the lectures and spent the entire day ignoring them to read it. Little did I realize that the entire thing was being videotaped and copies were sent to the participating schools… so months later we got a VHS tape and every time they'd cut to the crowd you could see my head was down reading Action Stations!

* Some years ago, Dr. Forstchen and Newt Gingrich did a book tour for their first Gettysburg novel. They were doing a reading and Q&A at Politics and Prose in DC and Joe Garrity of Origin Museum fame and I went to try and meet Dr. Forstchen, bringing with us copies of Action Stations to get signed. Unfortunately he ended up being sick and so only Mr. Gingrich appeared… but he kindly signed my Action Stations "Sorry Bill wasn't here, Newt." (I know, he sucks now but it was a really nice moment at the time.)

One question folks have constantly is: what the heck is going on with the cover?! For years self assured SF readers would turn up their nose on the Usenet and explain that it must be a 'slush' cover where they don't have a budget for new art and just use something generic. Well, those people were stupid and wrong! The actual story, which should've been apparent by the fact that it's the same artist as Freedom Flight, End Run, Fleet Action, is that the painting was contracted as the cover for the fourth Wing Commander novel… Heart of the Tiger. Baen ultimately got access to the Sam Yeats painting to use with that book and so saved the painting they'd initially commissioned to replace it. Which is why the Action Stations cover looks like an off-brand Wing Commander 3… because it was!

International releases:

The German version, which reuses an award winning SF painting from CJ Cherryh's Rimrunners and
https://cdn.wcnews.com/newestshots/full/diebedrohung.jpg

And

The Czech version with some cool spaceships (original painting): https://cdn.wcnews.com/wcpedia/images/Cz-ActionStations.jpg

Now for the discussion questions!

* From the Foreword, when was this historical fiction published approximately? What status do you presume the Confederation and the Kilrathi Assembly of Clans were in during this era?

It says that it is eight years since the end of the war (2669), so it should be around 2677. That's four years after Wing Commander IV and G. Tolwyn's suicide (I suppose we do not have to distinguish Tolwyns this time!).

* Why few have felt comfortable about approaching the topic of Admiral Geoffrey Tolwyn, VC, MOH, DSC, KCB? Also, the author (Mr. Forstchen) listed the names of Alcibiades, Benedict Arnold, etc. What kind of writing technique is this?

I do not know if the writing technique has a formal name but I call it the 'sci fi list' and both Dr. Forstchen and I seem to love it for world building. You list off several familiar historical items and then you have one or two more that are only historical to the character… great way to build lore and immersion fast. I wrote a WCNews article that includes this instance with much more detail here: https://www.wcnews.com/news/2017/02/26/the-art-of-the-sci-fi-list

With regards to Tolwyn, I think it's getting across the idea that it's still a raw nerve; it's so close that there's a strong, recognizable historical bias. Dr. Forstchen compared Tolwyn to MacArthur and I think you can see exactly that… he has gone from being a widely lauded figure in his day to being fairly reviled in many quarters today. I think Colonel Schwarzmont recognizes that's the case with Tolwyn, with many of those living in 2677 being people who feel they personally owe him their own lives for his heroism in the Kilrathi War or people who vehemently hate him for what he did after the war.

* I was troubled by a sense that, after more than thirty years of conflict, Admiral Tolwyn had become an entity that lived solely for war. What do we learn from this?

At the risk of seeming to criticize the great academic works of Colonel Schwarzmont, I think it's an overly simple analysis. The idea that war destroys the people who take part in it isn't wrong at all but it's also not unique to Tolwyn. There's more to his genocide, which I think was born more out of a fear he couldn't escape than it was some love of war.

* What do you think of the recently declassification of the documents from the Kilrathi Imperial Archives?

Frankly I'm surprised the Kilrathi Imperial Archives even still exist, given the state of Kilrah in 2677! (But this was written in that brief era in the 1990s when the Iron Curtain had fallen and suddenly historians with sufficient money could access endless former secrets in the former Soviet Union!)

* Why Col. Wilhelm Schwarzmont said Baron Jukaga highly controversial? And What do you think about the kind assistance of Baron Vakka nar Jukaga (Baron Jukaga's son)?

Jukaga is a case where the opinion of him in universe and the opinion of him among readers must be completely different. You and I know he wasn't the one who pushed to restart the war, you and I know he saved Earth at the last moment… but anyone in the Wing Commander universe in 2677 knows him only as the mastermind behind the false peace and a kil whose last recorded actions were not saving the homeworld but demanding the fleet surrender… and their perspective on history goes on to say that threat was delivered, with a dozen or more inhabited planets rendered lifeless and many major cities on Earth flattened. So the idea of working with Jukaga's son would be controversial to say the least!

As for Jukaga's son: what a weird case he is! A character who seems incredibly important to the Wing Commander universe but that (like Kruger's ex wife and a few others mentioned like the surviving McAuliffe pilot) ONLY exists in this prologue. Very interesting writing technique, anyway!

* This book (Kilrah Tugaga Jak-Ta Haganaska duka McAuliffe) is worthy of serious consideration in spite of its detractors in the realm of academia and postwar Kilrathi apologists. Why there was detractors?

I think this is largely following how American historians treated Japanese scholarship on the Pacific War; many first hand memoirs were rejected by the American establishment because they were seen as either too biased or too intentionally pandering to popular myths… but of course, when is history not so?

* ... it is a mystery that has fascinated historians on both sides of the conflict. What do you think people think about this mystery in universe?

I'm wracking my brain here but my recollection is that Action Stations doesn't actually suggest an explanation for who revealed the orders? Which would make sense since Schwarzmont can't write about it if he doesn't know what but it's an odd choice to take in a novel! I guess we'll find out when we get deeper into the book… maybe!

* ... a war that claimed more than thirty billion lives on both sides How many versions of this casualty figure do we know?

Two or three! Action Stations says 30 billion (which is far too low!) while the Wing Commander Prophecy guide says 9.5 trillion (which is far too high!). There's also a timeline update written for the post-Wing Commander III bible which says '12,432,187'... that's not published but it's also way too low for a thirty year war that involved the total extermination of at least dozens of planets. I updated that 12 million to the Prophecy numbers when we did the Star Soldier timeline expansion, giving it a specific number of 9,500,012,432,187 on both sides. Which again is too many, reasonably speaking!

My head canon is that the 30 billion in this intro refers to those killed in the initial Kilrathi offensive, which the later part of the book does seem to agree with (we're told 30 billion people are left in occupied Kilrathi space at the end). So it's not "a war that claimed more than thirty billion lives" it's "the origins of a war" that claimed them.

* Do the in-universe author Col. Wilhelm Schwarzmont and Baron Vakka nar Jukaga have an academic cooperation?

You know I never considered it but reading very closely I think they do not, or at least the book does not say they do. Schwarzmont's initial statement is "declassified documents… and the kind assistance of Baron Vakka nar Jukaga… have been instrumental in helping US to see…" which reads more that he is apploading Vakka nar Jukaga's efforts and not a direct interaction. And then when he mentions him again it's to thank his "study" rather than anything specific between the two.

I will read the prologue and add my own notes in the next post!
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Action Stations - Prologue Notes

"men, women and alien allies" - something that percolates through the lore (especially in the novels and to a lesser extend on Academy and in material written around Armada and WC3) is the fact that the Confederation includes multiple alien species AND an organized group of co-belligerents (the 'Terran Alliance')... and here it is mentioned! It's an old Star Trek issue: it was extremely hard to show a diverse alien crew on screen but comics, novels, games, etc. could and did portray them.

"VC, MOH, DSC, KCB" - that's the Victoria's Cross, Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross and the title of Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath. The latter is by way of explaining why he is "sir" Geoffrey Tolwyn in Wing Commander II and the others are an interesting mix of the top US and UK military decorations (or perhaps they are all Confederation decorations now!)

"against Lord Thrakhath’s great offensive" - I love the idea of a human historian using this very formal title, Lord Thrakhath… it's the kind of respect you wouldn't imagine DURING the war but you could see developing as old wounds heal over. (And perhaps a cute nod to the Wing Commander II demo's mention that the Emperor has named him 'Slavelord of Terra'!)

"his subsequent political actions" - this is SO 2022 it hurts! This is the tell that Schwarzmont is a Tolwyn fan rather than a detractor because "political actions" is doing a LOT of heavy lifting for 'committing genocide to manufacture a war'...

"Sun Wan Lu in the Faraday Rebellion" - the sci fi part of this sci-fi list and a fascinating addition to Wing Commander's future history! It's mostly impenetrable but you immediately think of some imagined World War 3 apocalypse that involves China in some way. Perhaps the 'Faraday' is a bit of "a prelude to Dr. Forstchen's much later success writing books to scare people about imagined EMP attacks!

"I felt it to be essential to set the record straight regarding one little-studied aspect of Tolwyn's life, his first military operation at the start of the war" - bit of a 'er, why?' to this. Tolwyn's actions in the story aren't particularly controversial or even important to the overall history… he's just there! The more I read it the more I see Schwarzmont as particularly biased. (It feels like a bit of whataboutism; yes he killed hundreds of thousands of people and plotted to kill billions… but he was also at a famous battle!)

"Earth Defense Campaign" - cool formal name for the events of the end of Fleet Action! Thanks Doctor S!

"after more than thirty years of conflict" - rare incident of getting the timeline right! The war lasted for 35 years (2634-2669).

"the start of the war, now more than forty years past" - also correct, 43 years! (2634-2677)

"Baron Vakka nar Jukaga" - as I mentioned above, I love the host of characters this page or two introduces that could be built on later and just sadly never were… but I hate that the Kilrathi names are so weird! Obviously we're supposed to pick up (down the line) that Jukaga named his son after his father… but it's a little frustrating that after Dr. Forstchen basically established how Kilrathi names work in Fleet Action that he changes them here. By any previous standard he should be Vakka nar Ki'ra! (Perhaps, though, there is a story there… one yet to be told.)

"Kilrah Tugaga Jak-Ta Haganaska duka McAuliffe" - this is, surely, one of the finest Rosetta stones we have when it comes to developing a full Kilrathi language (given that we know the Kilrah, Jak-Ta and McAuliffe).

Also I should point out that this whole prologue is perfect in its concept and that really shines here. The idea of taking this broad video game war and saying 'okay, but how would actual historians treat it once its over' and then bringing that outside experience into our canon is wonderful. It's beautiful world building, going from how many lasers does it take to blast aliens to how would the alien historians interact after the war.

"postwar Kilrathi apologists" - this gets a bit of an eye roll; you can see exactly how it's goofy 1996 conservatism ginning up imagined historical controversies transported to the 27th century. (For context, this would've been written shortly after the Enola Gay museum display controversy.)

"their opening campaign and the first five years of the struggle" - let's start noting these right now, because just like Dr. Forstchen included setup for Action Stations between Jukaga and Thrakhath in Fleet Action you will see that Action Stations is full of setup for a 2639/Enyo Engagement novel that sadly never happened.

"lost war orders" - the name and general concept comes from another area of Dr. Forstchen's specific expertise, the American Civil War. We can study this a bit later as the actual incident happens, but it's starting off implying a strong connection to the incident in 1862 when Confederate orders for the invasion of Maryland were found by the Union Army in a cigar box in advance of the battle of Antietam.

""Granted, mysteries about the Kilrathi side of the conflict still abound, especially regarding their infamous "lost war orders," an incident which Tolwyn played a part in. I hope that in the near future the truth about the lost orders will finally be revealed, for it is a mystery that has fascinated historians on both sides of the conflict." - I mean… is it, though? This book certainly doesn't ask many questions about it and it's not something we've heard of before or since. I can think of a lot more questions I'd be asking about the history of the war!

"This novel is a companion piece to my yet to be completed study of the beginning of the war." - this is one of my favorite parts of Action Stations, the fact that it's NOT a Wing Commander novel or even a history of what happens in Wing Commander… it's a piece of historical fiction in the Wing Commander universe. So anything /can/ change later if it's ever so desired. I've lately come to the opinion that fandoms should ESPECIALLY embrace such things because our natural desire is to ignore them as too intrusive on what we want our canon to be. But isn't the world so much more interesting if we treat this as intended, like a book Bear might be reading before bed… similarly, something like Star Trek gets more interesting when you open up and admit that yeah maybe there is a second layer of fiction where the whole thing was created by Benny Russel… (another extreme: the fact, not idea, that Wing Commander I and II are canonically established to have been historical interactive games /about/ the Kilrathi War rather than a direct view of what happened). Lets make a point of considering this going forward, thinking about what moments in the book are likely real and what others had to have been filled in.

"Admiral Vance Richards, MOH, DSC, FC (ret.)" - FC is Flying Cross as he's a pilot. I love how many of these little notes, like the name Vakka or the details of some of the medals only become clear AFTER you've read the rest of the book. More importantly, though… SOMEBODY FORGOT HE KILLED VANCE IN THE OTHER BOOK HE WAS WRITING AT THE SAME TIME. False Colors, of course, seemingly kills Richards a few years earlier by exploding his destroyer… a story for a later time, I guess! (I actually tried to tell this story at one point, we had him as a character in Arena's single player campaign in order to sort this one out… alas, cut!)

"his thirty-nine years with the fleet" - assuming he retired at the false piece (indicated in Fleet Action) this would put Richards' service entry at around 2629. Let's see if the novel bears that out!

"Point and Counterpoint—Intelligence and Counterintelligence in the War Against the Kilrathi" - I know it's excessive that he's naming the UNPUBLISHED book but… don't you just love fictional books in your favorite fictional setting? Don't you just want to go back and write them yourselves? (I have a manuscript for an Admiral Tolwyn in-universe book that I pick away at every few years… would that I could get the license!)

"Commodore Kevin Tolwyn for his frank conversations regarding his uncle; Rear Admiral Jason “Bear” Bonderevsky for memories" - but what fleets are these ranks in?! We'll have to talk about that when we get to False Colors…

"Pilot of the Imperial Claw Haga Kaligara for his personal diary and flight logs of the opening strike of the war" - I think I have noted before but I think this is supposed to refer to Fuchida, which is also where some of the historical community's question over the Kilrathi accounts comes from. Cool rank, too!

"Margaret Kruger, former wife of President Hans Kruger" - amazing storytelling, introducing Peggy here and giving us basically her entire life story in a sentence… but COME ON WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE NAME? How did he write two books in one year with completely different first names for Kruger? (The other is Max, which is correct in False Colors and originates in Fleet Action…)


"I believe that I can finally admit here, for the first time, that, during the court martial of Admiral Tolwyn, I was granted access to him in my capacity as Historian of the Fleet and was able to interview him on three separate occasions prior to his suicide." - why… was this ever something you couldn't admit, Willy?

"For one who had seen him at his moment of greatest triumph, it was a trying experience. On the night of his suicide I arrived at the military prison only minutes after the discovery of his death and was admitted to his cell after his body had been removed. Neatly arranged on his bunk there were three items—a photograph of his wife and children, lost in the war, and beside the photograph were the wings and ensign’s bars issued to him on the day he graduated from the Academy…troubled soul, may you rest in peace." - I love this, of course, and the last line still makes me tear up a little. What a great way to connect this story to the most current Wing Commander game; Schwarzmont literally walks into the room moments after Wing Commander IV ended!

"my capacity as Historian of the Fleet" - I know Schwarzmont is intended to be a positive figure, but every time I read his background I think of the Army Air Force historian in Slaughterhouse Five who insists that the bombing of Dresden was a good thing to the man who was there… and in this case, we're the ones who were there!

" photograph of his wife and children, lost in the war," - one to think about later on; we get a few tiny references to Tolwyn's family… I expect we would've seen them (and killed them) in the 2639 followup novel.

"Col. Wilhelm Schwarzmont" - if it wasn't obvious, though, this is the thing everyone likes to yell about without having a clue: an actual Mary Sue! Colonel Wilhelm Schwarz-mont, seemingly perfect military historian of the fleet who has an understanding of the universe that's just a little bit above the narrative is of course… WILLIAM FORST-CHEN, real world military historian and Wing Commander author. (But he is in good company! I remember when Joe Haldeman wrote himself into one of his Trek novels as the bespectacled librarian of the Enterprise…)
 

Kelly_

Spaceman
* From the Foreword, when was this historical fiction published approximately?
The Confederation was in the middle of a relatively docile peace after the destruction of Kilrah, which allowed for the introspection and acceptance of Kilrathi explanations of their actions. If this was current or post Nephilim invasion, there is no way that a book with such a generous view of aggressors would have been published in-universe.

* I was troubled by a sense that, after more than thirty years of conflict, Admiral Tolwyn had become an entity that lived solely for war. What do we learn from this?
I totally disagree with Schwarzmont since he is making apologies for the later actions of Tolwyn by saying that he lived for, was defined by, was absorbed by war. I would say, given the dialogue paths at the end of WC4 where he admits some regret, Tolwyn was not defined by war, but by survival, and survival alone. War at the highest level was only the means he used while in the military to achieve the end of survival of the human race, and later saw GE as the only way forward. Tolwyn instinctively understood how dangerous the galaxy was, and the fate of most races was to be enslaved, or killed, or eaten, not necessarily in that order. Everyone who paid attention to the decades of war just past should have known that which makes the false armistice so shocking.

I am not defending Tolwyn’s attempted genocide, but he did help drive the Confederation to victory if only indirectly after the loss of the Behemoth.

* This book (Kilrah Tugaga Jak-Ta Haganaska duka McAuliffe) is worthy of serious consideration in spite of its detractors in the realm of academia and postwar Kilrathi apologists. Why there was detractors?
We do see other references in novels to everyday ranks upset at accommodations being made for Kilrathi customs and feeling, like the renaming of the Treaty of Torgo, which is 100% understandable. Whatever objections may be made of Terran actions during the war, the Confederation did not allow or encourage eating the enemy as far as I know.

I do not know if the writing technique has a formal name but I call it the 'sci fi list' and both Dr. Forstchen and I seem to love it for world building. You list off several familiar historical items and then you have one or two more that are only historical to the character… great way to build lore and immersion fast. I wrote a WCNews article that includes this instance with much more detail here: https://www.wcnews.com/news/2017/02/26/the-art-of-the-sci-fi-list
I spent far too much time researching what the term would be, and could not find a definition. The first modern English novel usage of a comparable device was by Lovecraft the terrible author and exclusively used in the present tense, by including an invented item in a list to lend credence by an associational fallacy: …Harvard, Princeton, and Miskatonic University…

But when the insertion is placed into the past the literary device only serves to develop immersion and is a totally different category. Alternate history writing has apparently been around for over a thousand years (again, too much time researching) but most everything written in that manner from antiquity up to now was taking a divergence in a single point of time and writing forward directly from that one point. That changed when several classic SF authors started writing about their vision of future in the 1940s / 1950s and the key difference came in with the time-jumps in their novels between their present and their written futures. Most wanted to fill in details between their reading public, and the unimaginably far off land of the 1990s, or the even more distant 2000s, and inserted fictional events as setting color and synonymized them with known past dates or events. That continued through the afterwar period with the expansion of alternate history fiction, into television fantasy like Star Trek, and finally into role-playing and computer gaming.

The best definition would probably be ‘extrapolated past’ as the common thread is that these fictional universes are all potentially ours, just not yet, and there are just 5, 50, 500 years between our now, and the intermediate period that needs to be filled in.

"I believe that I can finally admit here, for the first time, that, during the court martial of Admiral Tolwyn, I was granted access to him in my capacity as Historian of the Fleet and was able to interview him on three separate occasions prior to his suicide." - why… was this ever something you couldn't admit, Willy?
With the death of thousands and the unraveling of a Confederation-wide conspiracy at the highest levels, I think that isolation of a key member would be perfectly reasonable, and that interviews for posterity were not a high priority vs. the outbreak of another war. Probably Schwarzmont had used connections to work his way into meeting with Tolwyn, or bribed guards, because we do not know whether Tolwyn would have tolerated his presence if free. We only have Schwarzmont’s declaration that he served on the Admiral’s staff briefly, as Earth was literally at the verge of destruction, and was he one of a staff of 5, or 500? We have no real idea of his level of importance either during Earth's defense or at the trial besides his own implied status... can you tell I trust his motives as much as his cat sources?

--------

Overall, I agree this was a great start to this entry into the novels of Wing Commander. My first introduction into the universe was not until WC4, which led me to tracking down all the available novels as soon as I finished the game, and they do not disappoint!
 

EmuMusicFan

2nd Lieutenant
... so months later we got a VHS tape and every time they'd cut to the crowd you could see my head was down reading Action Stations!
😁


... which I think was born more out of a fear he couldn't escape than it was some love of war.
I think that is also a certain reflection of being "an entity that lived solely for war", which means that a person cannot think of ways to solve the problem of the future of humanity other than war.

In addition I have a suspicion that there was a kind of liquidation of "Tolwynism" within the Confederation during this period. As a former staff who was once close to Tolwyn, Col. Wilhelm Schwarzmont needs to avoid suspicion to a certain extent by stating that he is not a Black Lance in mind.

Frankly I'm surprised the Kilrathi Imperial Archives even still exist, given the state of Kilrah in 2677!
This is not too surprising to me, and I think there are two possible reasons: 1. Imperial Archives has off-site disaster recovery, and 2. Considering how the Kiranka dynasty was positioning itself, an institution like the archives, which seems less "warrior style", might not be on Kilrah at all.

… but anyone in the Wing Commander universe in 2677 knows him only as the mastermind behind the false peace and a kil whose last recorded actions were not saving the homeworld but demanding the fleet surrender…
That is the key point! Why Col. Schwarzmont still said Baron Jukaga to be highly controversial instead of negative? What are the positive elements? BTW, I still think the private commnunicating from Baron Jukaga was still classified in 2677. Of course, I guess Schwarzmont knows it, and maybe he was watching the live communication as a Tolwyn staff member in 2668.

BTW, If I recall it correctly, in all the official novels and scripts account of the Terran-Kilrathi war, there is only one record of Kilrathi's apology and regret to humanity, and that was from Baron Jukaga before he ended the communication, "I am sorry."

Of course, I don't think it was reasonable for him to propose surrender to the Confederation, because human surrender would not only fail to preserve the Earth, but also endanger Baron Jukaga's own family and even his own clan.

As for Jukaga's son: what a weird case he is! A character who seems incredibly important to the Wing Commander universe but that (like Kruger's ex wife and a few others mentioned like the surviving McAuliffe pilot) ONLY exists in this prologue.
This is something interests me a lot. Vakka nar Jukaga is only explicitly mentioned here in the entire series, but I think that at least in this book the presence of this character's idea will appear several times indirectly in the following chapters, and you can even see Vakka nar Jukaga implicitly conveying a kindness to humans.

I will address this topic separately in the discussions of the following chapters.

I'm wracking my brain here but my recollection is that Action Stations doesn't actually suggest an explanation for who revealed the orders? Which would make sense since Schwarzmont can't write about it if he doesn't know what but it's an odd choice to take in a novel! I guess we'll find out when we get deeper into the book… maybe!

Baron Jukaga informed Tolwyn in the secret communication that Thrakhath's goal of the attack was the complete destruction of Earth's ecology. And the humans in the subsequent battle could also see the intentions of the Imperial Fleets. Not to mention that the Imperial Archives and some of the surviving Imperial officers could also explain this. The question should therefore be simply why the deadly thermonuclear weapons were not launched.

My guess is that historians on both sides have more accurate guesses about this, but for reasons of academic rigor as well as politics cannot form a definitive conclusion.

I have been envisioning a private academical conversation between Col. Schwarzmont and Baron Vakka nar Jukaga.

Col. Schwarzmont: Baron, for that non-launch in the last minutes of that battle, is there a clear record of reason on your side? Could that be a weapon malfunction or a technical command error?

Vakka nar Jukaga: No firm evidence has been found yet, but given the state of readiness of the Imperial fleet at the time and the Crown Prince's purpose, the possibility of a purely technical failure is remote. More notably, my father was supposed to be on that battleship at that time.

Col. Schwarzmont: You mean?

Vakka nar Jukaga: Sorry, I can't come to a firm conclusion right now either, but ...... I think I know my father.

Col. Schwarzmont: (Sigh), I understand. Perhaps this is not a conjecture that can be clearly anounced to the public for now. But ......

Vakka nar Jukaga: I see. Anyway both of us survived.



My head canon is that the 30 billion in this intro refers to those killed in the initial Kilrathi offensive, which the later part of the book does seem to agree with (we're told 30 billion people are left in occupied Kilrathi space at the end).

It's possible that the casualty figure is for the first stage of the total conflict, before the war entered its first stalemate phase.

And then when he mentions him again it's to thank his "study" rather than anything specific between the two.
I think this Baron has been a great help to the Colonel's research. In this sense, he seems more special than those thanked in the penultimate paragraph of the foreword.
 
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EmuMusicFan

2nd Lieutenant
"men, women and alien allies" - something that percolates through the lore (especially in the novels and to a lesser extend on Academy and in material written around Armada and WC3) is the fact that the Confederation includes multiple alien species AND an organized group of co-belligerents (the 'Terran Alliance')... and here it is mentioned! It's an old Star Trek issue: it was extremely hard to show a diverse alien crew on screen but comics, novels, games, etc. could and did portray them.
Interesting. From the following chapters we learn that the allies of humanity before the outbreak of war had in fact at least the Varni, those refugees who fled the territory of the fallen Varni Republic after 2594 war and their descendants. I will discuss this topic in the readings of later chapters.

"against Lord Thrakhath’s great offensive" - I love the idea of a human historian using this very formal title, Lord Thrakhath… it's the kind of respect you wouldn't imagine DURING the war but you could see developing as old wounds heal over.
I felt that way when I read it, too. However, more than respect, I also have a feeling that maybe this book is available in Kilrathi language, so it would be more helpful to be more formal as well as restraint here to be diplomatic.

"his subsequent political actions" - this is SO 2022 it hurts! This is the tell that Schwarzmont is a Tolwyn fan rather than a detractor because "political actions" is doing a LOT of heavy lifting for 'committing genocide to manufacture a war'...
Are you suggesting that the use of "political actions" here to indicate WC4 Tolwyn's crimes is too "light"? If that's the case, then I don't see a big problem here. Because, in the form of power that WC4 Tolwyn seeked, politics could be very barbaric and brutal.

Tolwyn's actions in the story aren't particularly controversial or even important to the overall history…
Indeed, but from this beginning we can see that Tolwyn was not a very cheerful person in his youth, he was more gloomy. Of course, I also think that Schwarzmont's feelings for Tolwyn are more regret, disappointment and sad than fury. I remember that feeling mentioned in the text when Blair infiltrated the Black Lance base to discover the truth in the WC4 novel.

By any previous standard he should be Vakka nar Ki'ra! (Perhaps, though, there is a story there… one yet to be told.)

I have no idea what Dr. Forstchen was thinking. But if this has to make sense, I think it could go something like this:

In formal political and diplomatic contexts, this Baron's official name is Vakka nar Ki'ra, or in human custom it can be written as Vakka nar Ki'ra II, as to make a difference from his grand father.

But in academic circles, he is still willing to use the name he has before he succeeded the position of Baron.

If we interpret the name with the rules mentioned in Freedom Flight, it might suggest that he was born in a place named Jukaga. Considering that Jukaga would not have had additional fiefdoms back then as the eldest son of old Vakka, this should be a place in Ki'ra's homeworld, not a stand alone colony planet.

But isn't the world so much more interesting if we treat this as intended, like a book Bear might be reading before bed…
I do think that this book as in universe historical fiction gives itself a second dimension. In addition, I tend to think that the main events, situations and the characters in this book are true, just there may be some literary techniques in the presentation of the specific plot. I will discuess this topic later.

"Pilot of the Imperial Claw Haga Kaligara for his personal diary and flight logs of the opening strike of the war" - I think I have noted before but I think this is supposed to refer to Fuchida, which is also where some of the historical community's question over the Kilrathi accounts comes from. Cool rank, too!
I agree.

By the way, in my fanfiction, I portray Haga Kaligara in 2634 as a talented and lucky rookie fighter pilot instead of a squad leader. That is because ...... I think it might be better to see the beginning of the 35 year war from the perspective of an ordinary soldier. Also, later I read the story of a WW2 IJ pilot named SASAKI Tomoji who survived nine kamikaze strikes. I think this story could also be a reference.

"Col. Wilhelm Schwarzmont" - if it wasn't obvious, though, this is the thing everyone likes to yell about without having a clue...
I have a portrait for Col. Wilhelm Schwarzmont. Could I post it here?
 
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EmuMusicFan

2nd Lieutenant
If this was current or post Nephilim invasion, there is no way that a book with such a generous view of aggressors would have been published in-universe.
Eh... why do you think there would be a problem of this book in the Nephilim war? That's when it comes the time to join forces with Kilrathi.

Tolwyn instinctively understood how dangerous the galaxy was, and the fate of most races was to be enslaved, or killed, or eaten, not necessarily in that order.
I think that is the problem. WC4 Tolwyn had no other plan for "humanity survival" in his mind other than launching wars.

What is more, WC4 Tolwyn saw "humanity" just as a whole, not billions or trillions of individuals. His so-called "humanity survival" was a seemingly ambitious goal. In such mind, any individual can be sacrificed in order to achieve this goal.

As a commander, it might be necessary to make sacrificial military decisions in the heat of war. However, such things cannot overstep their authority into areas they should not.

What about the right to survival of those humans who were attacked by his GE?

We do see other references in novels to everyday ranks upset at accommodations being made for Kilrathi customs and feeling, like the renaming of the Treaty of Torgo, which is 100% understandable. Whatever objections may be made of Terran actions during the war, the Confederation did not allow or encourage eating the enemy as far as I know.

Eh... sorry, I don't quite understand this comment. Although there is a great deal of narration from Kilrathi's perspective, it is mainly reflective. Is there a problem here?

The best definition would probably be ‘extrapolated past’ as the common thread is that these fictional universes are all potentially ours, just not yet, and there are just 5, 50, 500 years between our now, and the intermediate period that needs to be filled in.

Yes, I remember old sci-fi book that portrayed 200x as an era of flying cars and cosmic travel.

Probably Schwarzmont had used connections to work his way into meeting with Tolwyn, or bribed guards, because we do not know whether Tolwyn would have tolerated his presence if free.

Using connections, yes. But I do not think he could have bribed guards or he would be in trouble. In fact, in the possible liquidation of "Tolwynism" he might have been investigated.

And, I believe Schwarzmont was designed as a staff who was trusted by Tolwyn. Schwarzmont just avoided being involved in Black Lance since he was transfered to Confederation Fleet Academy.
 
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Kelly_

Spaceman
Kelly_ said:
If this was current or post Nephilim invasion, there is no way that a book with such a generous view of aggressors would have been published in-universe.
Eh... why do you think there would be a problem of this book in the Nephilim war? That's when it comes the time to join forces with Kilrathi.
After further reflection, and finding Fleet Action in the attic, I am totally retracting everything that I was assuming about the in-universe tone at the time of this writing. Schwarzmont is either the most ironic author of all time by thanking the Kilrathi, or is pathologically detached from any sense of his own humanity. Even by leaving out the events of Fleet Action, and keeping comments only to this novel, his acceptance of Kilrathi motivations and actions as anything other than evil is shocking, and I cannot see how less than ten years later, Confederation society would accept Kilrathi apologists.

Kelly_ said:
We do see other references in novels to everyday ranks upset at accommodations being made for Kilrathi customs and feeling, like the renaming of the Treaty of Torgo, which is 100% understandable. Whatever objections may be made of Terran actions during the war, the Confederation did not allow or encourage eating the enemy as far as I know.
Eh... sorry, I don't quite understand this comment. Although there is a great deal of narration from Kilrathi's perspective, it is mainly reflective. Is there a problem here?
The Empire was unequivocally, totally, inexcusably wrong, and for some reason, everyone in the Confederation government is bending over backwards to accommodate the Kilrathi now that the war is over. To my point, 30 billion lives lost on both sides, is an intellectually dishonest statement – exactly what was the breakdown on that between deaths in the Confederation and the Empire, 20 to 10, 25 to 5, 29 to 1? The majority of the fighting throughout the war was in Confederation territory, so most of the lives lost would logically have been humans. Also, how many of those were casualties among combatants? It wasn’t just marines, pilots, and sailors in the fleet that were killed in the line of action, but billions would have been civilians going about their day until an orbital strike comes in from the Kilrathis burning their world…

"against Lord Thrakhath’s great offensive" - I love the idea of a human historian using this very formal title, Lord Thrakhath… it's the kind of respect you wouldn't imagine DURING the war but you could see developing as old wounds heal over. (And perhaps a cute nod to the Wing Commander II demo's mention that the Emperor has named him 'Slavelord of Terra'!)
….and if you take the False Armistice into account, the use of Kilrathi honorifics should be far beyond the pale, especially for any of the kirankas. Going by the Fleet Action’s description, you wouldn’t be able to travel 500 miles in the northern hemisphere without hitting a crater that used to be a city of millions, and this is only on Earth, a planet that survived Thrakhath’s impotent rage, unlike the dozen other poisoned worlds that we know of.

All in all, the best, most honorable, “noblest” Kilrathi that we are supposed to view as a hero had as his best-case scenario for humanity was for us to be used as cannon fodder in the upcoming war with the Nephilim. Their society was fundamentally flawed, as pointed out by Jukaga himself, and would have destroyed itself but for a miraculous first contact. It can be argued that the influence of the kiranka clan was a corrosive influence on the race as a whole through their imperial policies, but all of the other clans we are introduced to had similar tendencies.

#TeamCobra
 

EmuMusicFan

2nd Lieutenant
Schwarzmont is either the most ironic author of all time by thanking the Kilrathi, or is pathologically detached from any sense of his own humanity. Even by leaving out the events of Fleet Action, and keeping comments only to this novel, his acceptance of Kilrathi motivations and actions as anything other than evil is shocking, and I cannot see how less than ten years later, Confederation society would accept Kilrathi apologists.
Excuse me, but how do you learn such points from the story? Where could we find his acceptance of those Kilrathi motivations and actions? And, of course, Confederation society would not and should not accept Kilrathi apologists (but because of realpolitik considerations, the presence of a portion of low-violence apologists can be somehow tolerated, while cracking down on those restless pirate gangs), but Schwarzmont just described objectively the existence of such groups, that is all.

...everyone in the Confederation government is bending over backwards to accommodate the Kilrathi now that the war is over.
Are you sure? I learn something different from WC4 and WCP story. For instance:

Thirty-six Kilrathi convicted of piracy, murder, extortion and malicious disorder wer e executed 2681.014 at Valgard.Included in the mass execution was the pirate’s leader, Krahtagh N’Ryllis ,AKA “Bloodeye.” The executions were carried out at 0700 at the Valgard Military Prison complex. The prisoners were executed as a g roup, by flash incineration. The Kilrathi Pr ovisional Counsel protested the executions . Although the Kilrathi did not dispute either the guilt of the accused nor the appropriateness of the sentence , they argued that the pirates should have been turned over to their own people for execution by traditional methods.

from WCP Gold Manual


...but billions would have been civilians going about their day until an orbital strike comes in from the Kilrathis burning their world…
Yes, there is no doubt that the responsibility for the war lies entirely on the side of the Empire. But this does not indicate that similar events did not happen to Kilrathi civilians (or say, subjects). Yes, the blame lies with the Empire, but it is a fact that there were civilian casualties.

So what is the problem?

….and if you take the False Armistice into account, the use of Kilrathi honorifics should be far beyond the pale, especially for any of the kirankas.
This may be a wording style that is like using "political action" to describe Tolwyn's GE attack. You can call it diplomatic rhetoric or even hypocrisy.

you wouldn’t be able to travel 500 miles in the northern hemisphere without hitting a crater that used to be a city of millions
Oh, could you post the original text?

All in all, the best, most honorable, “noblest” Kilrathi that we are supposed to view as a hero had as his best-case scenario for humanity was for us to be used as cannon fodder in the upcoming war with the Nephilim.
The postwar Confederation's wait-and-see attitude toward the Kilrathi clan's civil war can largely be seen as leaving their remaining militant forces depleted. However, if one adopts a complete standoffish attitude in the war against Nephilim, remember, when the tree falls, the shade is gone.

Their society was fundamentally flawed, as pointed out by Jukaga himself, and would have destroyed itself but for a miraculous first contact. It can be argued that the influence of the kiranka clan was a corrosive influence on the race as a whole through their imperial policies, but all of the other clans we are introduced to had similar tendencies.
Almost all of the depictions of Kilrathi's perspective in Action Stations are tinged with reflections on this aspect. And there was still a difference in the degree of aggression manifested by different clans. For instance, the hrai on Ghorah Khar looks much better than the Emperor's. The Confederation even gave Ghorah Khar people citizenship. Even though the standards may have been lowered for the reason of pulling in the resistance, they would not be too bad.
 
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Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor
while also failing to actually re-read his own previous book to get right some tiny details, names, etc. that he had previously INTENTIONALLY SET UP wrong…
Isn't this just as much the fault of the editors, though? Certainly there have been more than a few high-profile authors who needed them, and False Colors goes to show just how much can slip through in the initial draft (though at least Keith seemed able to remember details when he needed them).

With regards to Tolwyn, I think it's getting across the idea that it's still a raw nerve; it's so close that there's a strong, recognizable historical bias. Dr. Forstchen compared Tolwyn to MacArthur and I think you can see exactly that… he has gone from being a widely lauded figure in his day to being fairly reviled in many quarters today. I think Colonel Schwarzmont recognizes that's the case with Tolwyn, with many of those living in 2677 being people who feel they personally owe him their own lives for his heroism in the Kilrathi War or people who vehemently hate him for what he did after the war.
Wasn't that the case with MacArthur even at the time, though? If anything he's probably looked on better today, whereas I don't think that would be the case with Space Hitler.

I never really bought the MacArthur analogy because for all his faults MacArthur didn't commit genocide. Neither did the other figures he's compared to in the prologue. I guess there isn't really a comparable real-life analogue, at least not that I can think of. I always felt that given his history it would have be more appropriate (and subtle!) to have Tolwyn as a putsch leader instead. I get the impression that Forstchen felt that way too since the novel barely touches on eugenics and instead focuses on the failures in the civilian and military leadership. I always got the feeling that Forstchen was embarrassed by that part of Wing Commander IV and tried to gloss over it (hence the "subsequent political actions"), Maybe he hoped at some level the eugenics and genocide part could be retconned someday? But alas, we don't have ultimate control over works we sign on to.

(another extreme: the fact, not idea, that Wing Commander I and II are canonically established to have been historical interactive games /about/ the Kilrathi War rather than a direct view of what happened).
I still like the idea that Carl LaFong was the actual Bluehair in the first game.
 

Kelly_

Spaceman
Oh, could you post the original text?
Chapter 13
*The closest point of view - high Earth orbit*
Down in the Earth’s atmosphere Doomsday could see pinpoint winks of light as point defense systems fought to knock down the incoming wave of more than a hundred missiles. And then there was a flash of light over the center of the North American continent. It looked like Chicago going up, followed seconds later by a dozen more: Pittsburgh, Boston, Miami, Quebec, then across in Northern Europe: Amsterdam, Berlin, Stockholm, Constantinople and Paris. Other flashes detonated over the primary control centers for Earth’s American and European space defenses at Omaha, Rio, Tripoli, and Kiev.

*From halfway to Mars - line of sight long range optical scan only*
Less than three eights antimatter warheads had hit earth.
Nearly two eights of their major cities were now smoldering ruins.


Depending on how the sentence is parsed, the minimum cities could either be...
13 (Chicago + a dozen more),
17 [(Chicago + a dozen more) + (4 primary control centers)], or
22 [(Chicago + a dozen more (in North America)) + (then 5 listed in Northern Europe) + (4 primary control centers)

The maximum number of cities could easily be more, given that over a hundred missiles were fired, and no more than half of a sphere can be viewed from a single point in space. Omaha, Kiev, and Rio (assuming de Janeiro) are the furthest named strikes, and could conceivably be seen from a single pilot flying from the north pole in a southeasterly direction, but Doomsday would not have been able to observe any strikes beyond the curvature of the globe. The strike list groups are not given in alphabetical order, or in clear directional lines, so it was probably in the order that Doomsday saw the flashes, which makes sense as the missiles were launching from different points, the two cruisers not attacking Luna, and we can assume these would have been using evasive maneuvers already established in the fiction on torpedoes. And by going outside of the text, the front cover also shows impacts in the arctic, Hawaii, and the south Pacific.

The numbers from Thrakhath's point of view would be much less reliable given his position far beyond Earth's orbit and the physical limitations of line of sight observations; you could say his addition skills are only matched by his multiplication skills.
 

EmuMusicFan

2nd Lieutenant
Chapter 13
*The closest point of view - high Earth orbit*
Down in the Earth’s atmosphere Doomsday could see pinpoint winks of light as point defense systems fought to knock down the incoming wave of more than a hundred missiles. And then there was a flash of light over the center of the North American continent. It looked like Chicago going up, followed seconds later by a dozen more: Pittsburgh, Boston, Miami, Quebec, then across in Northern Europe: Amsterdam, Berlin, Stockholm, Constantinople and Paris. Other flashes detonated over the primary control centers for Earth’s American and European space defenses at Omaha, Rio, Tripoli, and Kiev.

*From halfway to Mars - line of sight long range optical scan only*
Less than three eights antimatter warheads had hit earth.
Nearly two eights of their major cities were now smoldering ruins.


Depending on how the sentence is parsed, the minimum cities could either be...
13 (Chicago + a dozen more),
17 [(Chicago + a dozen more) + (4 primary control centers)], or
22 [(Chicago + a dozen more (in North America)) + (then 5 listed in Northern Europe) + (4 primary control centers)

The maximum number of cities could easily be more, given that over a hundred missiles were fired, and no more than half of a sphere can be viewed from a single point in space. Omaha, Kiev, and Rio (assuming de Janeiro) are the furthest named strikes, and could conceivably be seen from a single pilot flying from the north pole in a southeasterly direction, but Doomsday would not have been able to observe any strikes beyond the curvature of the globe. The strike list groups are not given in alphabetical order, or in clear directional lines, so it was probably in the order that Doomsday saw the flashes, which makes sense as the missiles were launching from different points, the two cruisers not attacking Luna, and we can assume these would have been using evasive maneuvers already established in the fiction on torpedoes. And by going outside of the text, the front cover also shows impacts in the arctic, Hawaii, and the south Pacific.

The numbers from Thrakhath's point of view would be much less reliable given his position far beyond Earth's orbit and the physical limitations of line of sight observations; you could say his addition skills are only matched by his multiplication skills.

Generally speaking, I don't really want to discuss this issue in depth, but since we are talking about it:

This wave of missile attacks by Thrakhath destroyed major defense systems on Earth, so that if a subsequent thermonuclear weapon were launched, the Earth would have no ability to intercept the defense.

Fortunately, that worst-case scenario didn't happen.

I think strictly speaking crater that used to be a city of millions is not the original text.

I hope that the civilians in these cities were largely evacuated and that most of them made it through this crisis in the bunkers. Is there any description of the reconstruction of the cities after the war?

=====

I think the use of a simple title may just be a rhetorical or political gesture, or it could be interpreted as Col. Wilhelm Schwarzmont's style of writing in this text.

We can see more of that later in the specific story descriptions, and I think those are more indicative of his basic position than the use of a title here.
 
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EmuMusicFan

2nd Lieutenant
ASSIGNMENT FOR Action Stations, Chapter One

DISCUSSION POINTS

* If this report is indeed true, the Kilrathi must make a choice; to confront that greater enemy and leave their flank towards us open, or create a buffer zone in our direction before facing this other enemy. Why did Rear Admiral Joshua Speedwell mention this point?

* A rumbling growl of approval erupted from most of the eight clan leaders of the Empire and from behind his translucent curtain the Emperor carefully studied the reaction of each of the eight, and those who sat arrayed behind them. From this perspective, what was the structure of the imperial royal family and the eight clans at that time?

* Emperor made the comment as a question, carefully using the soft tonal inflection for speaking to a blood member of one's own clan, rather than as a direct statement of fact, which would have been an issue of blood challenge between an inferior and superior. What do we learn from this discription?

* ...at least two other clan leaders who were leery of the Emperor's proposal for war... So it was 3:5. Which two clans do you think were still on the fence? Why?

* "My Emperor, I follow thy call for the hunt. Point out the prey to us and we shall spring upon it, but I beg of thee the right to point to other herds which thou might not have gazed upon." What do you learn from this phrase, which is very elegantly worded?

* As the Crown Prince it would be he who led the fleet into action, and all knew that he was the force, more than the Emperor, who urged war. What do you learn from this point?

* What difference in thinking is reflected in the debate between Vakka and Gilkarg?

* He (Baron Vakka) found that in many ways he liked these aliens, but even more, he feared them; a fact he could never admit before this gathering. What does this statement tell us? And what is the in universe significance of this phrase appearing in this novel?

* He chuckled softly and shook his head. "After all, there hasn't been a war in over a century. Isn't it time we realized those days are over?" We know that Action Stations was created before the WC movie. But if we must include Pilgrim's War, what would you consider?

* The Wildcat is thirty years old and its replacement, thanks to cutbacks, won't be fully on-line for at least five more years. What would be the replacement?

* "That's the point. The government will declare war to silence the complaining from the border worlds, but we're stuck with Plan Orange Five." What do we learn from it?

EXTENDED DISCUSSION

* If this report is indeed true, the Kilrathi must make a choice; to confront that greater enemy and leave their flank towards us open, or create a buffer zone in our direction before facing this other enemy. How much information can you get from this quote?

* How do you think historical fiction might correspond to this real history?

* What work might Baron Vakka have done at this point in time? What should have been done?

* What does Baron Vakka nar Jukaga want to tell humanity in 2677 through the story of old Baron Vakka by Col. Wilhelm Schwarzmont?
 
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