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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
V: Together We Stand "Together We Stand"
Short story
Author Unknown
V Storybook (World International Publishing Ltd.)

The resistance struggles to destroy a Visitor skyfighter which is transporting an extremely rare ingredient in the production of an experimental nerve gas being developed by Diana.

Story Summary

As the story opens, Willie is meeting with a fifth columnist named Gordon, who tells him about an experimental nerve gas being developed by Diana. She needs a rare crystal called Xephite she discovered on the way to Earth, in the asteroid belt, which is stored on the San Francisco mothership. It was being transported by skyfighter to Los Angeles when the skyfighter was shot down by a resistance group in the mountains along the way. He says that a battle is currently being fought between Visitor and resistance forces to retrieve the Xephite. He gives Willie a sheet of paper relating the location of the downed vessel just before two Visitor soldiers ambush them, immediately killing Gordon and wounding Willie with a laser blast. Willie manages to escape and is picked up by Tyler, who takes him to the resistance HQ.

Julie determines that Willie is dying and needs medical help trained in Visitor medicine. Donovan and Kyle successfully kidnap two Visitor medical personnel from one of their medical centers and force them to work on saving Willie.

Meanwhile, Donovan and Tyler decide they need to help steal or destroy the Xephite from the downed skyfighter. They manage to steal two specialized "tankbuster" military aircraft from a base and fly up to the trouble spot where they attempt to destroy the downed fighter, but are themselves targeted by two skyfighters. Donovan shoots down one, but Tyler's plane is shot down by the other; he is able to steer it straight into the downed fighter, destroying it, while he bails out and parachutes to safety. Meanwhile, Donovan is also shot down, but parachutes out. Tyler brings down the final skyfighter with an anti-aircraft gun in the possession of the resistance ground force.

Back in L.A., Willie finally succumbs to his injuries and dies. But a grieving Elizabeth is suddenly able to use her amazing powers to bring the alien resistance fighter back to life.



Notes from the V chronology

This story tries to have it both ways in that it suggests that Nathan Bates is dead, indicating that it takes place after the fall of the open city of Los Angeles, and that Ham Tyler is still present, indicating that it takes place before the fall of the open city. Since Tyler is a fairly integral character in the story, I have chosen to place it before the death of Nathan Bates in the chronology.

Didja Know?

This story appeared in the British 1984 V Storybook, a kids book of short stories all about V. The stories are all pretty lame.

The Willie-portion of the story seems to have been ripped off from the episode "The Betrayal". In both, Willie secretly meets with a fifth columnist, they shake hands, and the sympathizer gives him information about Visitor weapons; they are ambushed by a couple of Visitor guards, the sympathizer is killed, and Willie is shot and wounded before escaping; in the burned-out remains of a resistance HQ (here, an old gambling club, in "The Betrayal", the Club Creole) Willie is cared for but is dying from his wound; a Visitor medical technician is kidnapped by the resistance to treat Willie; Willie gets a blood transfusion from the medical student; Willie dies and Elizabeth uses her powers to bring him back to life. Both stories also mention substances beginning with "x" that are important for Visitor weapons, xenon in "The Betrayal" and Xephite in this story. For purposes of continuity, I prefer to ignore the Willie portions of this story and think of it as just the battle in the mountains to destroy the downed Visitor skyfighter. 

Didja Notice? 

Page 12 mentions the riot cops having an M60 machine gun mounted on the back of their Jeep. The M60 is a real world family of American machine guns in production since 1957 and currently manufactured by General Dynamics.

Also on page 12, Gordon tells Willie that Diana picked up a small crystal called Xephite in the asteroid belt on the way to Earth. Presumably the asteroid belt mentioned is the one which lies in an orbit in between Mars and Jupiter. Xephite is a fictional type of crystal. 

Also on page 12, Gordon mentions 'Frisco. This is a shorthand way of saying San Francisco.

The drawings in this story depict Willie wearing a striped shirt similar to the striped sweater worn by the same actor, Robert Englund, as Freddy Krueger in the original Nightmare on Elm Street series of films.
Freddy Krueger Willie Krueger

In this story, the L.A. resistance is working out of a temporary headquarters in the burned-out shell of an old gambling club. That suggests the story takes place sometime after the fall of the open city, other wise they'd still be in the Club Creole.

Page 15 mentions the Hippocratic Oath. This is the oath taken by western doctors to obey a certain code of ethics. The original version is believed to have been written by Hippocrates in ancient Greece.

On page 16, Donovan and Tyler drive away from the HQ and 50 minutes later have infiltrated an aircraft hangar to steal two military planes. We're not told where this is at, but it must be a military base of some kind in or near the L.A. area, presumably a U.S. Air Force base since the type of plane stolen, a pair of A-10 Thunderbolt II's (misprinted as "Thunderbolt 11's" in the story), are actual planes once made for the USAF. The closest USAF base would be Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo. The A-10 is a jet ground support aircraft, sometimes known as "warthogs" or "tankbusters" just as stated in the story. The description of the plane's TF34 turbofan engines is also accurate, as are the artistic depictions of the planes in the story. The 30mm GAU cannons mounted on the planes are also real.

On page 17, Kyle is referred to as "the ex-mayor's son". That's not quite correct, as his father, Nathan Bates, was never elected or referred to as "mayor" even though he did have de facto control of Los Angeles for several months after the Visitors' return.

Also on page 17, Tyler mentions the AGM-65E Laser Maverick air-to-surface missiles mounted under the A-10's wings. These are actual American tactical missiles and are often found mounted on the A-10.

On page 20, Tyler has just demonstrated the use of an M-167 20mm Vulcan Air Defense system. This is an actual anti-aircraft gun, as is the XM-168 (though the "X" stands for experimental; the tested and approved version for production, if produced, probably became known as M-168).

Unanswered Questions

With the Xephite destroyed with the Visitor skyfighter, would Diana be able to get more? Is there more Xephite still in storage on the San Francisco mothership? Or might she be able to find more in the asteroid belt?

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