Traitors Tried in the Court of Public Opinion (June 9, 2012)

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
The newest CIC Poll asks which traitor created the most havoc by betraying their original cause. Treachery is a common theme in Wing Commander, and there's no shortage of characters from which to populate this survey. The list is even split 50/50 between human and Kilrathi options. Some of the choices are more familiar than others, but think hard about who caused the most damage!










The last poll asked who the next Wing Commander villain should be. Out of nearly a thousand votes, a single digit difference separated the Kilrathi and the Nephilim, with the Kats slightly edging out the Bugs. A much smaller number thought the Steltek would be fun, followed by the Confederation itself. Human foes could indicate either a civil war or a game played from an alien perspective. Surprisingly, the Border Worlds came in a distant last spot. The faction was extremely popular in the last '90s (both as the player side and the opponent), but Wingnuts voted for Retros, Pilgrims and even the Mopoks over engaging the UBW.




Who should be the enemy in the next WC game?


Border Worlds
1.18%



Confederation
7.09%



Firekkans
1.40%



Kilrathi
33.83%



Mopoks
1.61%



Nephilim
32.87%



Pilgrims
3.01%



Pirates
3.65%



Retros
3.54%



Steltek
11.82%



Ended on June 9, 2012 | 931 votes

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Original update published on June 9, 2012
 
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AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
As horrible as Tolwyn's actions might have been, I don't think the effects of the border world skirmishes and the gen select weapon are as far reaching as other traitors on the list. I think the Sheer legnth of time that Jazz was playing both sides (10 years) atests to the reach of his treacherousness. Maybe he wasn't as directly responsible for whatever sheer number of deaths in individual events but there's that.

I find it interesting that Hobbes both betrays the kilrathi in leading the Gorah Khar rebellion as well as contributes to losses near the end of the war for confed and the destruction of the behemoth. However I don't think his influence is as 'destructive' as others on the list.
 

Iceblade

Admiral
I think this is a poor question. Created the most havoc (IMO could mean chaos/confusion or damage)? Over the half the list become irrelevant because their damage was so small scale. I think that a better question would have been which traitor had more of an impact on the player/reader, which would probably have players looking more at surprise factor, plot of the betrayal or a reasons for betraying. Such a question would lead to more diverse range of opinions rather essentially 4 or 5.

Anyway, here are my thoughts answering the question posed. I see Jamison causing the most wide-scale and nearly critical havoc. Due to her actions, the Earth was nearly wiped out and humanity's chances of even hoping for stalemate truce with it.

Hobbes is definitely a close second for a few reasons: 1) from a havoc perspective, he betrayed both sides, 2) he provided the cats with intel about the Behemoth, which lead to its destruction, and 3) he nearly provided sufficient intel about the temblor bomb. Those last two reasons alone had the high potential of leading to the destruction of Earth; although the giving of the intel for both was no where near as directly crippling as the Jamison's activities.

Tolwyn's betrayal had the potential of being far more destructive (assuming the gen-select became fully deployed), but his plans were stopped before they could have a large scale destructive impact. Really his betrayal is far more hitting from an emotional perspective than a purely rational one. It was almost out of nowhere that he was the betrayal (if you ignore the promotional materials and the cover images).

Jazz's impact is a lot harder to gauge. He almost certainly was giving out intel in addition to small-scale sabotage, and he was a kat spy for 10 years during which we have very little information on what terran operations might have failed because of Jazz. Another aspect that is harder to gauge is that because of him, Blair was taken off the frontlines for about 10 years. Probably quite a few operations would have succeeded in that time with Blair on the leading edge of the fighting including victory in Enigma years before WC2 occurs.

As for the Baron's betrayal, I'm not really sure what in particular this refers to. I remember something about not firing certain missiles at earth. Potentially, that small betrayal could have had a bigger impact for the kats with earth potentially be crippled or wiped out leading to a far more rapid defeat of Confed with Kilrah never facing the doomsday weapons.
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
I voted for Jamison. Spoilers below.

Haven't watched Academy yet (or played the game), nor have I got my hands on Freedom Flight, and the WCM traitor was essentially taken out of the as-shown movie, right? Among the others, I think it's Jamison hands down. Jazz's treachery caused the loss of one carrier, and arguably certain other setbacks for Confed in Enigma, but there's only so much one Major can do, even over a 10 year span. Hobbes treacher cost Confed the Behemoth, but the Temblor bomb essentially accomplished the same goal, so it wasn't all that far reaching (thanks to Cobra). Jukaga had two treacheries, but one (the assassination attempt) failed, and hence had no far reaching effects. The other saved Earth, but from a Kilrathi standpoint, the survival or loss of Earth would not have ended the war, or possibly made that much of a difference. They had already lost what they had lost, and the destreuction of Earth might have galvanized the rest of Confed as much as it might have crushed their spirit. Tolwyn ALMOST had a far reaching effect (certainly, if the GenSelect had been unleased on all of Confed and UBW, as he planned, he would have), but that was averted. In the grand scheme of things, his treachery cost humanity a few civilian ships, a few BW ships, the small population of Telamon, and the Vesuvius.

But Jamison--her treachery was the primary factor behind the loss of at least a half dozen carriers and countless other warships and support ships forming a significant part of the Confed fleet, the death of billions of people on at least four worlds, and most crushingly, turning near victory in the Kilrathi war into almost certain defeat, in the span of a few months. I don't think any of the other traitors come close to that.

By the way, who the heck is Mensch? I've played Privateer, and I don't remember him. Is he from Righteous Fire?
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
Another aspect that is harder to gauge is that because of him, Blair was taken off the frontlines for about 10 years. Probably quite a few operations would have succeeded in that time with Blair on the leading edge of the fighting including victory in Enigma years before WC2 occurs.
Or...Blair could have been KIA sometime in those 10 years, and not been arround in WC3 because of it. For all we know, Jazz's treachery might have saved his life. :) Blair wasn't indestructible--in fact, he was shot down durin gthe Battle of Earth. If that happens anywhere else, maybe he is captured or killed. :)
 

Iceblade

Admiral
Mensch is the Gemini sector governor who under his watch allowed the retros to get all those talons. Not really that devastating sense they are just fighters that can be taken down with even civilians ships with a decent enough pilot. Mostly his betrayal is just annoying and probably only cost in the hundreds or thousands of lives with confed/militia/civilians having a good chance of success of averting losses.

@ Farbourne As a I said, really hard to gauge, but definitely a good point.
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
Tough one. I voted for Hobbes but I didn't soley focus on his WC3 betrayal but did take into account what he did to the Kilrathi war effort after his defection, I think overall he created the most chaos. But Jamison is of course a very strong contender too.
 

Nomad Terror

Rear Admiral
Or...Blair could have been KIA sometime in those 10 years, and not been arround in WC3 because of it. For all we know, Jazz's treachery might have saved his life. :) Blair wasn't indestructible--in fact, he was shot down durin gthe Battle of Earth. If that happens anywhere else, maybe he is captured or killed. :)
I agree with this. If nothing else, the WC2 intro proved that Blair was of course just a cog in the gears of the war machine, no different from any other soldier. The war went on without him, Confed didn't lose without him. His friends advanced their careers, earned commands, became aces without him.

Blair's presence on the front lines during those 10 years probably wouldn't have made a significant amount of difference and may have yet made him unavailable for the Temblor Bomb run. Although, I'm sure somebody else would have made the run in his place, still ending the war for Confed.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Hey, wait a sec - how come Blair isn't on the list? His defection in WC4 would rate pretty highly, I would imagine...
 

Ilanin

Captain
Quarto said:
Hey, wait a sec - how come Blair isn't on the list? His defection in WC4 would rate pretty highly, I would imagine...
Christopher Blair, William Eisen (probably more importantly, since Blair only defected because Eisen did) and Khasra Redclaw are the most obvious omissions from this list. Ralgha nar Hhallas arguably deserves to be on it twice. It's going to be pretty hard to beat out Jamison though; I guess you could argue Jukaga saved more people than Jamison killed, but Jukaga would never have been in that position but for Jamison.

VOTE DAVE QUINSON IN 2670.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I think this is a poor question. Created the most havoc (IMO could mean chaos/confusion or damage)? Over the half the list become irrelevant because their damage was so small scale.


We're always accepting poll suggestions. Actually, the first draft of the question was more like this, but we changed it because we figured too many people would just gravitate to the few major characters from the games they've played. This question goes beyond a quickie gut feel and actually makes you think about their various impacts. One of the things we also always like to do with the polls is highlight some of the other notable options from a wide variety of sources.


Mensch is the Gemini sector governor who under his watch allowed the retros to get all those talons. Not really that devastating sense they are just fighters that can be taken down with even civilians ships with a decent enough pilot. Mostly his betrayal is just annoying and probably only cost in the hundreds or thousands of lives with confed/militia/civilians having a good chance of success of averting losses.

I would actually put Menesch rather high on the list. Sure, the Christopher Blair of the Gemini Sector ("Who are you that flys so good, are you insane?!") pops them off with ease - but you as Grayson Burrows can take out thousands of pirates and Retros! You can't go anywhere without running into them. It basically means nobody who's a simple merchant/trader can just go haul goods in Gemini, an armed escort is needed, even far from Kilrathi lines. What a pain.

Hey, wait a sec - how come Blair isn't on the list? His defection in WC4 would rate pretty highly, I would imagine...
There were quite a few traitors that didn't make the list: Minx, Admiral Nik'Ras, Captain Sansky (!), Amity Aristee, the Kilrathi counterpart to Ortiz, Daimon Karnes, Bronwyn Sing, the population of Ghorah Khar and other worlds, Colonel Ransom, Seether, Hawk (!), Krulan nar Ragitagha, the Papogod clan, etc., etc., etc. Obviously you can't list them all, and people coming up with a case for one we didn't list makes for good discussion. Like I mentioned above, we have a handful of the heavy hitters and a handful of more obscure choices that make you think. And I can't say Christopher Blair ever popped into the discussion. :) I guess you're right, but he just never really entered into our heads as a traitor.
 

HotJob

Commodore
I have to agree about "Governor" Menesch being a high rated menace. Loosing 2 Draymons in Wing Commander 1 really bolloxes up the campaign. I've seen HUNDREDS of them go down to pirates in Privateer! No wonder the Galaxy is so popular as a cargo craft in the Gemini sector: it is better armed (at least MINE is), more maneuverable, and can run away faster.

<Spoiler alert>And propositioning Kang for Kilrathi light fighters to sell to the Retros was a stroke of evil genius!<end Spoiler>
 

Lorien

Rear Admiral
It's a tough one. Jamison seems to be a likely suspect but would Confed have really won the war without the Armistice or would they have just hit a brick wall around Kilrah as the Kilrathi supply lines shortened? Jukaga's actions, on the other hand, seem to have come closer to costing the Kilrathi the war. How well would Confed have faired with Earth completely uninhabitable?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Hey, wait a sec - how come Blair isn't on the list? His defection in WC4 would rate pretty highly, I would imagine...
... well, at the risk of coming up with an even cuter answer, perhaps the traitor whose betrayal did the most damage to the Wing Commander universe was... Chris Roberts? I don't mean that as negatively as it sounds, I'm simply echoing the initial question... but certainly Chris' leaving to found Digital Anvil had a pretty profound long-range impact on the Wing Commander world.

Which of Jukaga's betrayals is it? The armistice (big deal) or sparing earth at the end of the novel?
I don't think the former really counts as treason; he's lying to his enemies, not betraying his country (It is, apparently, a cultural norm: "Sivar is honored when the Kilrathi trick their enemies.") Certainly his attempt on the Emperor's life counts as treason (it's both betraying his country and something not supported by Kilrathi society.) And saving Earth, yes, although I think it's actually problematic. To wit:

Jukaga's actions, on the other hand, seem to have come closer to costing the Kilrathi the war. How well would Confed have faired with Earth completely uninhabitable?
Here's the thing: Jukaga believed the opposite of this. He tells Thrakhath to his face: destroying civilian population centers will unite the Confederation like never before. Jukaga didn't give his life to save Earth out of some love of humanity... it was because he thought that destroying the planet would bring the Confederation together to win the war.


<Spoiler alert>And propositioning Kang for Kilrathi light fighters to sell to the Retros was a stroke of evil genius!<end Spoiler>
Don't blame me, I voted for KAHL. ;)

Haven't watched Academy yet (or played the game), nor have I got my hands on Freedom Flight, and the WCM traitor was essentially taken out of the as-shown movie, right?
Yes but it's still there in the novels (and the action figures!)
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
I'd have been tempted to include Secretary Jamison in this list, but Tolwyn is still streets ahead after the Tellamon affair alone.
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
I'd have been tempted to include Secretary Jamison in this list, but Tolwyn is still streets ahead after the Tellamon affair alone.
Really? Telamon was horrible, but it was one relatively small world on the fringe of colonized space. We don't know what it's original population was before GenSelect hit, but the impression is certainly that it was smaller than some of the big core worlds (either of the worlds in Sirius, for example) that the Kilrathi were able to wipe out due to Jamison's treachery. Plus, evidence of what happened at Telamon helped galvanize the Senate into realizing how far Tolwyn and fallen, and *not* voting for war. So in a way, the destruction of Telamon helped prevent further damage.

I'll repeat what I said before. Tolwyn's treachery cost humanity a few civilian ships, a few BW ships, the small population of Telamon, and the Vesuvius. It almost caused much worse things, but did not. Jamison's treachery cost humanity the better part of the Confed fleet, at least four heavily populated planets, countless other human lives, and maybe a lot of Kilrathi lives (if the false armistice doesn't happen, humanity possibly beats the Kilrathi back without having to resort to the Behemoth/Temblor and destroying Kilrah). And if you want to talk almosts, it almost costs humanity as much as Tolwyn's treachery would have--complete destruction or enslavement of the entire race.
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
That's true - I forgot to consider Sirius and Warsaw, I guess in the context of the question, Jamison's actions did indeed cause more chaos - but think of it like this: She was thoughtless to some degree about the consequences of her actions, yes the Kilrathi considered her a spy - but I think really she started out thinking of a loved one and got in over her head. Tolwyn knew exactly what he was doing, he was calculated and sly, I figure Jamison as more of a bumbling figure - but it's been a while since I read FA - perhaps somebody might be able to elaborate some references to her specific treachuries.
 
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