Interesting things in "Voices of War" and the biggest plot hole in the WC universe

boringnickname

Rear Admiral
Some interesting excerpts from Armada's "Voices of War" book:

http://download.wcnews.com/files/arma/01-02-10.pdf

What's interesting about that book is that it shows the Kilrathi in a more favourable light than all the other WC manuals.


Since the Terrans and Kilrathi had
experienced wars between their own people in
past centuries, the tools for interstellar war
were already in place by the time the two
races crossed paths in 2629. With a new
outlet for frustration and hatred, each side
rapidly unified after the first few encounters.


That excerpt sounds as if the humans weren't THAT much against the war.


Orbit 151, Sun Year 5105 (Kilrathi POV)
While establishing footholds in the recently explored Krat’na Sector,
the destroyer K’rath’kan detects an intruder. Leader Brath’kar nar
Caxki reports that the unidentified ship is attempting to neutralize his
shields with wide-band radiation. When the enemy fails to leave the
area of trespass after three-eighths of an hour, the destroyer opens its
guns to eliminate the threatening vessel.




2629.105 (Human POV)
The Terran Confederation expands exploration and colonization
efforts and penetrates Vega Sector. On 2629.105 (March 16, 2629
Terran time) the Iason encounters a spacecraft of unknown origin.
Commander Jedora Andropolos transmits an international wideband,
non-verbal greeting designed by the Committee for
Interaction with Alien Intelligences.
Andropolos keeps Iason’s guns off-line for the TCN-recommended
20 minutes and awaits a response from the alien vessel. Finally,
without warning, the unidentified ship opens fire with full lasers,
utterly destroying Iason and all hands.




This one casts the Kilrathi into a far friendlier light than usual.



Orbit 506, Sun Year 5136 (Kilrathi POV)
Pending a new development in weapon technology, a site is chosen to
spot-test the military’s new atomic proton-accelerator gun. After
magnetically buffering all radio waves to isolate the selected planet,
life-removal experiments prove successful. Terran forces arrive too late
to stop testing and are lured into an ambush with the captured
Confederation ship Gwenhyvar.
Survivors of the enemy fleet, however, search out and incapacitate the
dreadnought Sivar and its.deadly weapon. For this failure, the Admiral
of the ill-fated fleet pays the ultimate repentance and is executed in
the presence of his father, the Kilrathi Emperor. With the Admiral’s
death, Prince Thrakhath becomes heir to the throne of Kilrah.



There was a discussion on this site whether the Johann was in fact the Gwenhyvar, here's the official confirmation.





A dialogue between a Human and a Kilrathi:


“When we ran out of supplies for our 14 billion-plus people, we built
self-sufficient hydroponic stations on uninhabited planets. Our
scientists searched for ways to streamline and improve our survival
skills. Then, your people came along and destroyed our colonies. We
weren’t intruding on anyone else’s world ... you cats, on the other
hand, take what you want and pay no heed to freedom or life.”

These human words strike me strangely even now, though I know not
why. He has not experienced the hunt, nor the honor and thrill in
bringing home extended life to his clan. I remember being quite
exhausted at this point, halfway feeling a remote pity for this Terran.

Do the humans not hunt for food, then? How do you feed the people
with these ... with these hydrones?
“ I ask these questions of the
Terran, my ears slightly tilted for his response. His lips curl upward on
either side in a strange expression, and he parts with a strange guttural sound.

“Uh, I think you mean hydroponic. We raise food, see, both meats and
plants. People in the processing stations prepare the food and send it
out to all the worlds. It’s not hunting, really. Though I guess in our
anthropological background, we used to wield clubs and antique
projectile guns to gather food. Listen, I’d love to sit around and talk
gardens with you some other time, but ...”




Is this Kilrathi-history official? PEEEENG. If yes, THIS is the biggest plot hole in the Wing Commander franchise!

Does this mean the Kilrathi rely only on hunting to gather food? How can they support so many billions of people just with hunting? It makes no sense. They would have starved. They don't have farmers, ranchers? Such a civilization could never populate a whole planet.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
I would suggest you are reading too much into the statement of one lone Kilrathi. The Kilrathi had a fairly structured caste system and other than hunting I imagine it certainly would be demeaning for a noble Kilrathi to have to grow or tend his own food. I would suggest it's not beneath them to use slaves for that purpose... and they are known to eat their conquered species...
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
What's interesting about that book is that it shows the Kilrathi in a more favourable light than all the other WC manuals.
On the contrary, it shows them in a less favourable light - because you have to take into account cultural differences :). In the case of the Iason - rather than hunting a prey species as would befit a Kilrathi warrior, this Brath’kar nar Caxki claims to have merely acted in self-defense. Similarly, the Kilrathi Leader of Tongues who conducts the interrogation later kills himself to atone for his failure.

Does this mean the Kilrathi rely only on hunting to gather food? How can they support so many billions of people just with hunting? It makes no sense. They would have starved. They don't have farmers, ranchers? Such a civilization could never populate a whole planet.
Not true at all. Meat is a much higher-energy form of supplies. A cat, in order to stay reasonably well-fed, has to eat more or less the equivalent of one mouse a day (of coure, usually they'll eat more if they can). By contrast, the average rabbit will eat quite a lot of vegetables. The same goes for humans - vegans have to eat more than vegetarians, who in turn must eat more than non-vegetarians.

Now, of course, people do wind up eating a lot of fruit and vegetables, precisely because of how difficult it would be to produce enough meat to keep us well-fed. But this doesn't have to be the only way for civilisation. Where humans solved their problems by learning to farm plants, the Kilrathi could have solved theirs some other way. Also, there is nothing here to suggest that the Kilrathi don't eat any plant matter (we know they do, in fact), nor is there anything to suggest that the Kilrathi don't raise animals. Think of it this way - this is a conversation between a European farmer and a Mongol nomad. Both eat meat, both eat vegetables, but where the farmer might never have to use a weapon in his life (until the nomad comes along... :) ), the nomad will likely take special pleasure in hunting, and indeed in some places and times, hunting will keep him alive.
 

boringnickname

Rear Admiral
nor is there anything to suggest that the Kilrathi don't raise animals.


Kilrathi: Do the humans not hunt for food, then? How do you feed the people
with these ... with these hydrones?


Human: “Uh, I think you mean hydroponic. We raise food, see, both meats and
plants. People in the processing stations prepare the food and send it
out to all the worlds...“


Sounds like raising animals or plants is a foreign concept to them. Though, I haven't read the Wing Commander novels, maybe it's explained there.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Do the humans not hunt for food, then? How do you feed the people
with these ... with these hydrones?


Sounds like raising animals or plants is a foreign concept to them. Though, I haven't read the Wing Commander novels, maybe it's explained there.

Again, this is the perspective of one single Kilrathi among billions/trillions. Just because he's not a farmer and doesn't understand hydroponics doesn't mean anything in the grander scheme. I would bet 95 percent of humans alive today wouldn't understand what the term hydroponics entails either.

Also, you could look at his comments as meaning that he doesn't understand the idea of farming without it being suplemented by hunting. He may understand what farming is just fine but not be able to see how it could ever produce enough food to sustain a population.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Sounds like raising animals or plants is a foreign concept to them. Though, I haven't read the Wing Commander novels, maybe it's explained there.

I don't think so. It's not explained in the novels but I could only think of one instance where a Kilrathi mentioned farming. Jukaga during Action Stations goes to Fawcett's World to learn about humans. In a conservation with his father's best friend, Harga, they have these two exchanges.

Action Stations said:
Jukaga looked back at the human compound. Most had drifted away from the wire, returning to the fields to till the crops.

As the conversation moves on...

Action Stations said:
"Your father knew war was inevitable but he sensed something about this prey," and Harga motioned towards the fields.
"They work like slaves," Jukaga said.
"They work to feed themselves."
"Nevertheless, that is slave work."
 
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