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Wing Commander Academy episode
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Word of Honor
Blair and Grunt crashland on an alien world, but they're not alone...
Episode No 4
Air date 12 Oct. 1996
Previous episode The Most Delicate Instrument
Next episode Lords of the Sky
Production information
Writers Mark Edens/Richard Mueller
Notable guest actor(s) Ron Perlman
Product No 5
In-universe information
CIC Date 2654.169
Preceding episode Lords of the Sky
Subsequent episode Expendable
Guest ship(s) Jalkehi, Sabre, Longbow
IMDB link

Word of Honor is the 4th episode of the Wing Commander Academy TV series.

PlotEdit

Act 1Edit

A ground battle is taking place. Kilrathi artillery attacks a line of marines who follow their Sarge in the trenches. However Kilrathi excavator units show up from the ground among and behind their lines bringing havoc. Hector Paz notices a tank, climbs it, programs a time bomb and jumps away right on the moment it blows up.

Geoffrey Tolwyn disrupts the revery of Hector Paz who is in the briefing room with other pilots of the TCS Tiger's Claw. Maniac finds an oportunity to tease Maverick. Tolwyn orders Paz to summarize the briefing: once the Claw picks the jump node, Alpha Flight (he and Maverick) will investigate about Kilrathi presence and then sweep the planetary system.

Two Scimitars take off the Claw and engage Auto Pilot. Maverick turns on a mini-game on his fighter's computer to pass the time and humorously says that he joined the Academy hoping to see action. He asks Grunt why he left the marines to join the Academy to which he replies that Terran Confederation Navy gets 3 meals a day. Also, he hopes that he will kill more Kirlathi piloting a fighter than shooting at them as a marine in a ground battle; he hopes that one time he will get the oportnity to destroy a troop transport.

Paz imagines himself in a makeshift military hospital, suffering from termporary paralysis. As a future trauma might cause the problem to reoccur, he is insuitable for battle and the nurse gives hi a medical discharge. However the military is his home and asks the nurse to keep the paralysis off the record so that he can join another branch of the service.

Back in reality, the Auto Pilot disengages. They are above a water planet and detect bandits, but the sensors don't lock onto them. Then, Dralthis show up fro the direction of the sun and start pursuing the Scimitars. Maverick hits one; another shoots missiles against Grunt who evades them using decoys, and then loops around to hit the enemy but he is unable to shake the missiles from the third Kilrathi, and ejects. The Dralthi tries to get a lock on Grunt's pod, but is hit down by Maverick's missiles.

The dogfight was above the planet's orbit. Grunt's (and the Kilrathi's) pods begin to fall on the planet, but Maverick manages to catch and secure it on his fighter. While flying above the planet, there is a power falure and Maverick's engine catch fire.

Act 2Edit

Maverick crash-lands on a solitary volcano island. Maverick's fighter is half-sunk in a swamp. Grunt is unable to move and Maverick removes him inside a bug-infested tree hollow. He says it's temporary, as he has seen a marine suffering from neuroparalysis on Repleetah. Maverick returns to his fighter to try to repair it, but as dusk approaches, the water becomes full of creatures.

As Maverick attempts to repair his ship, Grunt regains control of his left arm. Maverick loses a wrench in the swamp and as he lowers to take it, he avoids fire from the Kilrathi pilot who asks the Terran to surrender. Maverick returns fire and then gives his blaster to Grunt; he takes a laser rifle from Grunt's pod and attempts to approach the Kilrathi while Grunt keeps him occupied with taunts. Meanwhile sea creatures arrive on the island.

Maverick surprises the Kilrathi pilot from behind and they engage in a brief brawl and boasts for the Kilrathi physical superiority when one of the creatures grasps him with its tentacle-like appendage. Maverick fires at it with the rifle and rescues the Kilrathi who looks surprised by his mercy. He leads him to the crash site and helps Grunt fend off a pair of creatures.

The Kilrathi is Krulan nar Ragitagha aka "Vengeance". Maverick activates a homing beacon. He explains to Vengeance that he can hide while the rescue party arrives when Grunt protests that he can't leave the enemy go just like that. Grunt knows that Kilrathi don't take prisoners, neither trusts Vengeance that he won't sell them to the Kilrathi. Maverick decides that the volcano is a safer location and has Vengeance carry Grunt there.

On their way to the volcano a tentacle catches Vengeance causing Grunt to fall. Grunt shoots at it freeing the Kilrathi. They realise that the creatures are all around them.

Act 3Edit

The trio reach the volcano occasionally shooting back to hold the creatures. Vengeance climbs the slope carrying Grunt. They stop on a flat surface and the observe that the creatures are gathering for a massive attack. Vengeance asks Maverick his laser back, so that he can face the enemy honorfully like a Kilrathi. Grunt objects but Maverick insists they must trust each other. They spot fighters in the sky but can't make out if they are Terran or Kilrathi.

Then Vengeance pushes Grunt away and shoots the laser rifle off Maverick's hands. He says that by defeating him, saving his life and showing him kindness, Maverick has dishonored him. The ships approach and they are clearly five Jalkehi. As he taunts Maverick, Grunt reaches to his pistol and shoots Vengeance, causing him to go down the slope. He runs away under the Terrans' fire.

Vengeance runs to where the Jalkehi land and he is greeted as a Commander by Garahl nar Hhallas. He tells that they must hunt down two Terrans, despite their mission is to warn Prince Thrakhath about the Terran carrier's presence. He orders Garahl to go back to the Prince while Vengeance and others will summon the fighters to hunt down the Terrans.

Meanwhile three Sabres escort a Longbow above the planet and they detect Garahl's ship leaving the planet. Archer orders Maniac not to hunt him down as their orders are those of a rescue mission. She then orders Hyena to stay with the ship as she, Maniac and Payback investigate the situation.

Maverick and Grunt continue to climb on the volcano when they are surprised by Kilrathi. Vengeance and two Kilrathi quickly climb the rocks while two Jalkehi fire at them. The Terrans fall down and Vengeance is ready to offer them "mercy" in the form of a quick death. However they are joined by the Terran Sabres. The Jalkehi fly away and the Kilrathi jump down leaving their Commander alone. The Terrans offer him a surrender which he denies and they exchange fire.

Meanwhile the Sabres engage the Jalkehi in a brief dogfight. The two Kilrathi board their fighters and take off, but they are all one by one exterminated. Archer has the last one in her lock but is unable to shoot, which is done by Payback.

Vengeance is near an edge and Maverick tells him not to throw his life away. Nonetheless Vengeance jumps down so that not to be dishonored once more. He dives and swims in the ocean, and is soon overwhelmed by the creatures.

Maverick and Grunt discuss how it's possible to make peace with these creatures. Grunt reassures him that despite not all humans are identical, all the Kilrathi are equally evil. Meanwhile Garahl flies away, the only Kilrathi survivor to leave the site.

TriviaEdit

  • The introduction of the episode visualised the Battle of Repleetah, an event mentioned in game manuals.
  • This episode establishes that fighter computers are equipped with mini-games so that pilots can pass their time during AutoNav. In the games, AutoNav times are skipped altogether.
  • This episode also establishes the use of missile decoys used by the Scimitars, which are not seen in the games.
  • Maverick mentions that destroying Thrakhath's flagship would be more important for the war than killing 1000 Kilrathi soldiers. This seems to foreshadow what will happen in last episode.
  • Ship cameos in that episode include the Sabres and the Longbow which here has the role of a rescue ship.
  • This episode features prominently the blaster. It was first shown briefly in Red and Blue, used by Burroughs.
  • In Act 2 Maverick and Grunt handle the blaster. It is not seen again in Act 3, being replaced by a more conventional laser pistol, obviously a blooper on the designers' part.
  • Archer begins to develop a soft spot about killing others, and here she is unable to shoot an enemy. This is obviously a trauma caused by her having to kill Blizzard in the previous episode.

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