|Wing Commander Academy episode|
|Price of Victory|
|Blair crashes on an ice world, where he meets an unusual Kilrathi- who just happens to have an agenda...|
|Air date||Dec. 14th, 1996|
|Previous episode||Invisible Enemy|
|Next episode||Glory of Sivar|
|Writers||Mark Edens/Steve Cuden|
|Notable guest actor(s)||Jennifer Hale (as Zukara?), Jeff Bennett (as Bokh?)|
|Preceding episode||On Both Your Houses|
|Subsequent episode||Glory of Sivar|
|Guest ship(s)||Only Grikath and Sartha|
Price of Victory is the 12th episode of Wing Commander Academy TV series.
Maverick and Clipper are flying their Scimitars towards a ring planet looking for a Kilrathi carrier. Clipper plans to destroy it, bitter for the loss of the TCS Trafalgar. The sensors blip and Dralthis emerge from the planet's rings behind them. One of the pilots is Kilrathi Princess Zukara nar Kiranka.
The Scimitars run away but they see the carrier before them. They evade the laser turrets, but a missile hits Maverick, unable to shake it. He falls towards the planet, hunted by Dralthis; Clipper comes to his rescue, but is ordered to return to the TCS Tiger's Claw. Maverick attempts to crash land his fighter on a snowy landscape on the planet. He ends up in a canyon, causes an avalanche which engulfs him. Meanwhile Clipper attempts to evade the Kilrathi, giving report to the Claw.
Back on the Claw, Geoffrey Tolwyn plays Clipper's messages to the pilots, and says that contact was lost. Maniac and Archer, followed by Payback, volunteer for a rescue mission. Tolwyn says that it's what the Kilrathi expect; the pilots should rather patrol for that carrier before it reaches the Claw.
Stranded in the snow, Maverick meddles with his ship's controls. Two Dralthis followed by Zukara's Grikath fly above him. They detect traces of metal, and Zukara fires two missiles to the avalanche. This however causes a cave below Maverick to collapse, and his Scimitar to fall. Zukara orders the Dralthis to recover the Terran and they fire beams to enlarge the hole.
Zukara lands in the carrier and is greeted by Garahl nar Hhallas and Bokh nar Ragitika but wants them to spare the honors. Garahl says that Prince Thrakhath nar Kiranka ordered him to convey her to Dolos, where the Dolosians have gathered for the sacrifice of the festival of Sivar. Zukara however won't take orders from her brother, and says that she won't leave this planet before the Terran is captured. Bokh complies to her orders to take fighters to the surface and assist.
As Zukara leaves, Bokh and Garahl discuss the politics of the Empire of Kilrah: it is said that the hrais will swear allegiance directly to the Prince, which Garahl, as chosen Claw of the Emperor, confirms. The blood oath is stronger to a warrior's oath to his Clan. As Bokh walk towards his Dralthi, comments that Thrakhath intends to destroy the Clans and once he becomes Emperor, the warriors will answer only to him. Bokh believes that the War against the Terrans is only an excuse for the Imperial family to gain more power. Garahl comments that the independence of the clans can be the price of victory.
Back on the planet, Maverick has exited his fighter and investigates the icy cave. Water drops above him and he hides. Four Kilrathi descend from the hole. Maverick attempts to run, but is soon captured by Bokh who removes his blaster and immobilises him.
Maverick is surprised to see that when asked, Bokh denies having found him and tells them to continue searching. Bokh then releases him, and when asked about it, he explains to Maverick that he wishes to join the Terran Confederation and fight Thrakhath, for his own reasons.
He gives him a package of survivival clothing, a transmitter and a weapon. He tells Maverick that the carrier will deliver geological research team to the next planet. He suggest that the Claw ust be hidden in the sensor shadow until he can come there and surrender. Maverick dons the suit, and finds no reason to believe him, as it could be a trap against the Claw. Bokh then explains the political situation: in the upcoming ceremony, the hrais will swear allegiance to the Prince, dissolving the Clans, but in the name of his Ragitika clan, he will do anything to preserve it. Then Bokh is called by his fellows and leaves, after telling Maverick to wait for him on the hidden side of the moon.
Maverick emerges from a hole and sees landed Sarthas with armed Kilrathi guards. Bokh reports to Zukara that there was no sign of the Terran, but she insists that they should keep searching, even to find his frozen body.
Maniac and Archer are patrolling near the ring planet and there is no sign of the carrier. Maniac suggest to approach the planet, but Archer reminds him that Tolwyn ordered no rescue attempts. Nonetheless he proceeds on his own, saying that he wants to rescue Maverick, so that he can remind it to him every day of his life. However Zukara's wing is hidden among the rocks and detect the Terran fighters approaching.
Maverick is covered with snow, looking over the parked fighters. He sees a commotion and understands that rescue approaches. Using the Kilrathi transmitter, he contacts Maniac and arranges a coordinated attack against the guards. He starts firing his weapon, while Maniac and Archer's Scimitars move in, firing at them. Archer lowers to the surface and Maverick runs towards her. Kilrathi fire their Kilrathi rifles at him, but Maniac's fire causes an avalanche and they fall down a canyon.
The Scimitars fly away, followed by a Grikath, Dralthis and Sarthas, observed from the surface by Bokh who tells his pilots that they will never catch them.
Bokh and his pilots are reprimanded by a furious Zukara. Having disgraced her and the Emperor, they should commit suicide, and she threatens to kill Bokh herself. She is stopped by Garahl who says that the carrier won't operate with its pilots. Reluctantly, she decides that she must leave for Dolos. Before that, she threatingly says to Garahl that her brother has shown him much favor, but he is not Emperor yet. Garahl starts to follow her, and Bokh bids him farewell, believing that they won't meet again.
Maverick is in Tolwyn's office, reporting that he believes that the Kilrathi wishes to surrender. Tolwyn is sceptical, considering it an old trick to ascertain the location of the Claw. He instead things of an ambush: they will land a force of fighters to the planet waiting for the carrier and surprise them. Maverick insists on his suggestion that the Kilrathi defector would be an opportunity, as he promised to him, enraging Tolwyn.
The Claw approaches a planet. Walking toward their Scimitars, Maverick tells Payback that he believed the Kilrathi, but Payback responds with her consistent distrust. She is surprised that Tolwyn put Maverick in charge of the task force. The fighters launch from the hangar and descend to the planet.
On the Kilrathi carrier, Bokh tears his clothes in anger. He then approaches 3 new Dralthi pilots. They fly reconnaisance above the planet first, and then orders them to return to the carrier and escort the research team to the surface. He then goes to scout the moon alone. On the surface, the Scimitars are landed, camouflaged.
Bokh moves to the planet expecting to see the Claw. He then receives message that they are under attack and turns about. The Scimitars attack the carrier and Payback goes to hold off the Dralthis. They fire missiles against the carrier as the Kilrathi pilots still run to their fighters. Archer goes against the laser turrets while Grunt with two Broadswords launch two torpedoes but are stopped by the turrets. Razor covers Maniac as he goes against them. The Broadswords attempt another run, but Razor moves away from Maniac's wing and is destroyed. As Maniac approaches, he barely avoids a launching Sartha. Meanwhile Grunt's Broadsword is hit, leaving Mayo (?) on his own, who launches a single torpedo, hitting the carrier.
Bokh enraged, contacts Maverick and asks what he has done, feeling betrayed. He offered his own life, not his comrades'. Maverick explains that he was ordered to do so, despite his attempts, but there is still a chance. Then Archer comes and shoots against Bokh. Saddened, Maverick orders the force to go back.
On the Claw, Maverick gives a report and confirms that Bokh was indeed a defector. Tolwyn then considers turning the information on the ceremony against Thrakhath. Tolwyn tells Maverick not to be troubled over a dead Kilrathi traitor, the price of victory is paid in lives.
- The fate of Clipper is not revealed and presumably he is killed during that episode. Clipper first appeared in Invisible Enemy.
- In the scene where the pilots volunteer to rescue Maverick, Grunt is the only one who remains silent (besides Hyena). This is consistent with the episode Expendable, where he mentions that the one thing he learned from the Confederaton Marines is to "never volunteer".
- Kilrathi terms hrai and zu'kara are mentioned. The context of the dialog suggests that hrai is meant to refer to clan leaders.
- Bokh's death is tragically ironic, as it is Archer who kills him. In every episode, Archer hesitates every time she has a Kilrathi ship on her locks and mostly avoids engaging in battle.