Chain of Command

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Chain of Command is the sixth episode of Wing Commander Academy aired and the seventh produced.

Chain of Command
Episode Number 1x06
Production Code 74707
Story Mark Edens
Writer(s) Brooks Wachtel
Air Date November 2, 1996
Run Time 20m56s
Animation Studio Madhouse
Theme Version 1
Previous Lords of the Sky
Next Expendable


Act One

Terran Confederation Empire of Kilrah
6 CF-105 Scimitar medium fighters
1 CF-131 Broadsword bombers
2 Grikath heavy fighters
1 Kamekh corvette
1 Scimitar destroyed 2 Grikath and 1 Kamekh destroyed

Act Two

Terran Confederation Empire of Kilrah
13 CF-105 Scimitar medium fighters
3 CF-131 Broadsword bombers
15 Dralthi medium fighters
4 Grikath heavy fighters
3 Kamekh corvettes
2 Ralar destroyers
20 unidentified fighters
1 Broadsword destroyed 2 Grikath and 1 Ralar destroyed

Act Three

Terran Confederation Empire of Kilrah
14 CF-105 Scimitar medium fighters
4 CF-131 Broadsword bombers
1 Bengal strike carrier (TCS Trafalgar)
1 light cruiser (TCS Manassas)
3 Achilles destroyers (TCS Aajax)
2 Byrd recon ships
6 Grikath heavy fighters
2 carriers
5 Scimitars, 1 Broadsword, 1B engal, 1 light cruiser, 3 Achilles, 2 Byrd destroyed 3 Grikath destroyed





Tiger's Claw








Seti Beta System




Terran Confederation


Capital Ships

Empire of Kilrah


Capital Ships


Terran Confederation


Animation Errors


Role Name
Story by Mark Edens
Written by Brooks Wachtel
Producer Larry Latham
Executive Story Editors Mark Edens
Michael Edens
Executive Consultant Ralph Sanchez
Executive Story Consultants Richard Hilleman
Adam Foshko
Starring Mark Hamill (Maverick)
Tom Wilson (Maniac)
Malcolm McDowell (Tolwyn)
Dana Delany (Archer)
Also Starring Jessica Walters (Bergstrom)
Kevin Schoen (Thrakhath, Hyena)
Pat Fraley (Grunt, Gharal, Pitchfork)
Music by Alexander Van Bubenheim
Voice Direction and Casting Susan Blu
Pre-Production Sound by Screenmusic Studios, Inc.
Pre-Production Sound Mixer Pete Elia
Recording Assistant Mark Caballero
Storyboards Bob Smith
Sean Bishop
Ian Freedman
Tim Eldred
Storyboard Cleanup Judy Nielson
Timing Directors Carole Beers
Brian Ray
Zeon Davush
Al Wilsbach
Gerard Baldwin
Character Design Larry Latham
Tim Eldred
Prop Design Lee Go
Background Design Derek Carter
Background Color Key Kathryn Yelsa
Computer Color Key Cynthia McIntosh
Studio Production Manager Alex Johns
Production Manager Patty Jausoro
Production Coordinator Estrella Capin
Production Assistants Aaron Justman
Scott Huml
Manuel Cano
Monte Alexander
Junior Gonzalez
Danik Thomas
Executive in Charge of Post Production Barbara Beck
Editors Jay Bixsen
Paul D. Calder
Assistant Editor Michael Trueba
Track Reading Glenwood Editorial
Negative Cutting Executive Cutting
Post Production Video Unitel Video, Hollywood
Post Production Sound West Productions Inc.
Supervising Sound Editor Rick Hinson
Re-Recording Mixers John Boyd
Stuart Calderon
Overseas Animation Studio Madhouse Animation
Overseas Animation Director Masao Maruyama
Produced in Association with USA Network


Act One

SCENE - Bridge

Tolwyn: You've covered standard Kilrathi jump node tactics in class. First, scout ships come through followed by a larger reconnaissance force. Only then do they commit their fleet's main body. We'll destroy the Kilrathi scouts as they come out of the node before they can report. We can't let them know they're up against one lone carrier. I asked for reinforcements from fleet command weeks ago. There's too much Kilrathi activity in this sector. They're up to something, I can smell it.

Maverick: Sir, why was I ordered to remain onboard? I'd rather be out there with my squadron.

Tolwyn: We don't always get what we want, cadet. You're here to learn what it means to command.

Maverick: Shouldn't a leader share the dangers of the people under his command, sir?

Tolwyn: Any fool can be brave. The hard thing is to be right. War doesn't forgive mistakes, Mr. Blair. Scout ships, just as I expected. All fighters, power up and attack.

SCENE - Jump Node

Maniac: Thank you very much. Afterburners on my mark, now.

Archer: Looks like a corvette and two heavy fighters.

Maniac: I'm getting scanned. They've seen us and they're running for home. (laugh) Must have heard I was here.

Archer: Maniac, we're going for the corvette. Cover us.

Maniac: Woo-hoo!

Archer: Can't let them get to the jump node. Concentrate on the engine ports. I got his engines!

Hyena: Target lock. Launching torpedoes. Hah! Torpedoes away!

Archer: I got his engines. No! He wasn't going anywhere, I got his engines.

Hyena: Aw man, did you see that shot? I should do this for a living.

Archer: Can the chatter. Today it was the Kilrathi, next time it could be one of us.

Hyena: Man, what got your flight suit in a wad? We've got flashes coming from the jump node, more bogies coming through.

SCENE - Bridge

Tolwyn: Oh, the recon force shouldn't have jumped through so soon. It's not how the Kilrathi do it. Order all fighters to attack, immediately.

Nelson: Sensor probe indicates seven ships coming through.

Scene - SPACE

Archer: Looks like heavies, I think one's a carrier. And escorts.

Maniac: Hey Archer, you guys hit the carrier's laser turrets. I'll fly through the hangar deck and blast the guts out of it.

Archer: When are you going to grow up?

Maniac: I can do it. I ran it in the simulator in tactics class.

Archer: This isn't a simulation. Understood. Maniac, I just got orders from Tolwyn, abort the attack.

Maniac: Aw, no, that catbox was mine.

Archer: You mean it's ours. They're Confederation.

SCENE - Bridge

Nelson: I read carrier Trafalgar, light cruiser Manassas, three Achilles-class destroyers and two Byrd-class recon ships. Signal from the Trafalgar. Admiral Bergstrom requests permission to come aboard.

Tolwyn: Rhea Bergstrom?

Nelson: You know Admiral Bergstrom, sir?

Tolwyn: I used to. A long time ago.

SCENE - Flight Deck

Tolwyn: Welcome aboard the Tiger's Claw.

Bergstrom: That's ten credits you owe me.

Tolwyn: I'm afraid I don't understand, Admiral.

Bergstrom: Our bet, when we were cadets at the Academy. Who would make Admiral first.

Tolwyn: yes. (laughs) We were young, so ambitious. (clears throat) Congratulations on your promotion.

Bergstrom: Thank you, Commodore.

SCENE - Briefing Room

Tolwyn: I'm sorry Admiral, but you're wrong. Letting the Kilrathi through the node and using the Tiger's Claw to lure them into an ambush is...

Bergstrom: A calculated risk. Our two carriers have a combined strike group of nearly 140 fighters. That ought to be enough.

Tolwyn: For what? We'd be retreating into an unsecured system. For all we know half the Kilrathi fleet could be out there waiting for us.

Bergstrom: (scoffs) The Kilrathi won't commit major units to this sector. That's why you were sent here, Tolwyn, to babysit a bunch of wet nosed cadets. There's nothing in this sector the Confederation can't afford to lose.

Tolwyn: The last time we met you still called me Geoffrey.

Bergstrom: You said it before, we were young then. You have my orders, now carry them out.

SCENE - Flight Deck

Archer: Nice job, Maniac. You almost bagged that carrier.

Maniac: Yeah, maybe next time I'll stay on the 'Claw and polish Tolwyn's brass.

Bergstrom: Cadet Blair, I understand you lead the recon through the jump node that discovered the Kilrathi fleet.

Maverick: Yes, Admiral. Cadet Price flew wing.

Bergstrom: We'll talk in my shuttle.

SCENE - Bergstrom's Shuttle

Bergstrom: What's your opinion of Commodore Tolwyn?

Maverick: Cadets aren't supposed to have opinions of commodores.

Bergstrom: Very proper, but let me tell you mine. Geoffrey Tolwyn is always competent and often brilliant. But fleet command doesn't rust him. Our forces have to act as a team but Tolwyn is fighting his own war.

Maverick: Why are you telling me this, Admiral?

Bergstrom: I don't trust him, either. I want you to report to me if Tolwyn fails to carry about my orders.

Maverick: Admiral. you're asking me to spy on my commanding officer?

Bergstrom: I'm not asking you to spy on him, I'm ordering you to.

Act Two

SCENE - Bridge

Bergstrom: I've ordered Tolwyn to lure the Kilrathi fleet into an ambush at Seti Beta I, this system's first planet. If he fails to execute that order you are to inform me immediately.

Maverick: What will you do then?

Bergstrom: I shall relieve Commodore Tolwyn of his command.

SCENE - Briefing Room

Tolwyn: We're on our own again, which means we don't have to worry about the rest of the navy getting in our way. Your orders are to seek and destroy the Kilrathi recon ships as they come through the node.

Maverick: Sir, Admiral Bergstrom... (sighs)

Tolwyn: I'm putting you in command of the fighters at the node. Any questions?

Maverick: No, sir.

SCENE - Jump Node

Maniac: Glad you could make the party this time, Maverick. Uhm, yo. (laughs) Ah, Maverick. Hey, you reading me?

Maverick: Maverick to Tiger's Claw, urgent message for Commodore Tolwyn.

Tolwyn: You were ordered to power down.

Maverick: I've also been ordered to report to Admiral Bergstrom if you fail to carry out her orders.

Tolwyn: Why, you disloyal little...

Maverick: She gave me a direct order. I had no choice. She intends to remove you from command.

Tolwyn: Patch me through to the fighters. You will attack the Kilrathi as they emerge from the jump node. Fall back to the Tiger's Claw, we'll draw the Kilrathi after us, into Admiral Bergstrom's ambush. And if she's wrong...

Maverick: I'm getting a data link from the sensor probe near the jump node. Two destroyers, two corvettes and four, no wait a minute five fighters.

SCENE - Destroyer Bridge

Gharal: Commander, we have detected multiple energy surges. They appear to be Confederation fighters powering up.

Commnader: All fighters intercept the Terrans. Destroyers and corvettes assume defensive formation.

SCENE - Jump Node

Maniac: That lead Grikath's mine.

Maverick: Maniac, stay on my wing. We've got to clear a path for the Broadswords.

Maniac: Oh, no problem, one express lane coming up.

Maverick: Maniac. Maniac, bogey on your tail. Six o'clock.

Maniac: Oh, you're good. But I'm the best. Woo-hoo, yeah!

Archer: Okay, Pitchfork, the fighters are busy. Let them have it.

Pitchfork: I've got a target lock. Torpedoes away!

Hyena: No, they got Pitchfork!

Archer: There's nothing you can do, get out of there.

Hyena: We're getting out of here if I've got to get out and push.

SCENE - Destroyer Bridge

Gharal: Gharal to all ships. I am assuming command. Target that bomber.

Pilot: Lord Gharal, the Terran fighters are withdrawing.

Gharal: Why withdraw when they have the advantage? Do not pursue. Follow them, carefully. They could be trying to set a trap.

SCENE - Briefing Room

Tolwyn: You all did good work today. It's unfortunate that during the action, Cadet Patel was lost. I'm sure you're all looking forward to an chance to avenge him.

Pitchfork: I'll make them pay, no joke.

Tolwyn: You'll get that chance, soon. When the Kilrathi main fleet enters the system, they will no doubt take the bait and pursue the Tiger's Claw. We will lead them to the planet Seti Beta I where Admiral Bergstrom's task force will ambush and destroy the Kilrathi. Oh, one last thing: Cadet Blair is confined to quarters until further notice.

Maverick: Sir, I didn't...

Tolwyn: Dismissed.

Hyena: What landed you in the doghouse?

Archer: The old man can't blame you for what happened to Ved. You were only following orders.

Maverick: Yeah, just following orders.

SCENE - Throne Room

Thrakhath: Enter and report. What is the status of the Terran carrier?

Gharal: It is retreating, your highness. We are tracking it with long range fighters. When our own carriers arrive we shall destroy the Terrans.

Thrakhath: The carriers will not be coming through the jump node, Gharal. I have brought only my flagship and her escorts.

Gharal: Highness, the Terrans might be trying to lure us into a trap. Intelligence suspects there might be a larger Terran force in the system.

Thrakhath: There will be a trap, Commander, but it will not be the Terrans who spring it. I, too, have a fleet hidden in this system. We will crush all the Terrans between us.

Act Three

SCENE - Maverick's Quarters

Maverick: We're approaching Seti Beta I, the planet where Admiral Bergstrom is waiting to ambush the Kilrathi. The Kilrathi fighters are tracking us. Huh. More Kilrathi ships came through the node, but looks like only part of their fleet. You know, dad, it seems Admiral Bergstrom was right... and Commodore Tolwyn, he was wrong.

SCENE - Tolwyn's Office

Tolwyn: (sighs) I want all the cadet pilots in the briefing room in one hour. And that includes Cadet Blair.

SCENE - Briefing Room

Tolwyn: Admiral Bergstrom's task force is concealed in the sensor shadow of the planet's moon. The Tiger's Claw will deploy its fighters as we slingshot around the planet. You'll join with Admiral Bergstrom's force to attack and destroy the Kilrathi. Tolwyn.

Nelson: Commodore. Message from Admiral Bergstrom. They're under attack.

Tolwyn: Pipe it into the briefing room.

Bergstrom: We're under heavy attack. At least two carrier air wings. Destroyer Ajax lost.

Maniac: Man, they couldn't of gotten past us.

Maverick: It's another fleet. The Kilrathi have another fleet in this system!

Bergstrom: Tiger's Claw. Need help. can't last much...

Nelson: Message terminated at the source.

Tolwyn: Understood. Prepare all fighters for launch. All hands to battle stations. Proceed immediately to the Trafalgar and render whatever assistance you can. Cadet Blair will be in command.

Maverick: Aye aye, sir.

SCENE - Trafalgar Bridge

Crewman: Damage report, Admiral. Heavy casualties. Fire spreading to all decks. Weapons gone. Main engines going critical. Admiral, what are your orders?

Bergstrom: Abandon ship.

SCENE - Seti Beta I

Maverick: Multiple contacts. Looks like Confederation fighters with lots of Kilrathi in pursuit.

Archer: Maverick, can you read the Trafalgar? Or any of our ships?

Maverick: Negative, it's just those fighters. Save those lifepods.

Hyena: For you, Pitchfork, for you. (screams)

Grunt: We need you man, we need you.

Maniac: Run you furball, run!

Archer: They'll be back, and with lots of friends.

Maverick: Trafalgar escape pod, this is Maverick from the Tiger's Claw. I have you in tow. Any more survivors?

Bergstrom: They're all gone. All of them.

Maverick: Admiral Bergstrom?

Bergstrom: They should have left me with my ship. They should have left me.

Maverick: Maverick to all fighters, save as many life pods as you can. Let's get back to the Tiger's Claw.

SCENE - Sick Bay

Bergstrom: They're going to find us, aren't they? Oh God, you were right, I should have listened. Now we're finished. They'll catch us and finish us off.

Tolwyn: No, we're going to jump through the node at full speed without slowing to correct our approach. They won't be able to stop us.

Bergstrom: Where will it take us, Geoffrey?

Tolwyn: Does it matter? We're running for our lives now.

SCENE - Bridge

Nelson: All fighters aboard, sir. The sensors report the Kilrathi fleet at Seti Beta I is moving towards our position at high speed.

Tolwyn: Well we're not going to be here. All ahead full, make for the jump node.

SCENE - Agon'Ra'Sivar Bridge

Crewman: Sensors report Terran carrier entering weapons range.

Thrakhath: He's trying to run the blockade. Position us over the jump node. Order all ships to open fire.

SCENE - Bridge

Tolwyn: Divert power to the forward shields. Return fire.

Maverick: Sir, should we launch fighters to clear the way?

Tolwyn: No, we won't have time to get them back aboard and I won't leave them behind.

Nelson: Shields failing. We'll have to divert power from the engines to keep them up.

Tolwyn: Negative, head straight for that dreadnought. We'll see how eager Prince Thrakhath is to meet his ancestors.

SCENE - Agon'Ra'Sivar Bridge

Crewman: The Terrans are on a collision course, your highness.

Thrakhath: This Terran fights like a Kilrathi

SCENE - Destroyer Bridge

Gharl: They are brave, these Terrans.

SCENE - Agon'Ra'Sivar Bridge

Crewman: Collision imminent. Your orders, highness?

Thrakhath: Argh! Hard to port.

SCENE - Flight Deck

Tolwyn: Sometimes I wish I were just a pilot again, and the only life I was responsible for was my own.

Maverick: And your wingman's, sir.

Tolwyn: You understand, Blair, that if Admiral Bergstrom had stuck with my plan and not tried to lure the Kilrathi into a trap that second fleet could never have ambushed us.

Maverick: With all due respect, sir, no one knew the second Kilrathi fleet was in that system.

Tolwyn: Someday, if you live long enough, you'll learn that when you give an order you never know what the outcome will be. How many lives will be lost. Every decision you make is a link in a chain and all you can do is hope you've made the right decision. But either way, you carry the weight of it, alone.

Maverick: Uh, sir. At the jump node, how did you know the Kilrathi would get out of the way?

Tolwyn: I didn't.