“If that thing eats us, you’re fired!” – Anna plays SWTOR Pt. 3
After the almost disaster that was Tattooine Zhyi and her tiny crew (seriously, they are manning a starship with two Jedi and two droids, one of them without having arms…) take the fastest route to Alderaan. The secret weapon developed on this planet? The Death Mark. A high precision laser that can assassinate single targets precisely from orbit and leave no trace. Charming!
On top of it there is a civil war going on on Alderaan. The ruling family of house Panteer has been dethroned and another house took the throne illegally. Alderaan’s ruling power lies in it’s noble houses and two of them are competing for legitimacy on the throne. House Thul has the support of the Empire behind them while house Organa is allied with the republic. And whomever comes out on top decides weather Alderaan will join the Empire or re-join the Republic. So we have a bunch of reasons to not cause a diplomatic incident. Which proves difficoult when our contact in house Organa gets assassinated in our presence and we are suddenly the main suspects. Zhyi mind-tricks herself out of that one for now. An undercover agent tells her that Master Orgus dies defending the scientists working on the laser. But Zhyi is not convinced. She and Kira go investigating and find one of the scientists and Master Orgus alive and well, even though they have been trapped in a cave overrun by a hostile native bug species. Zhyi is relived to find her master alive and they immediately start cracking jokes in the face of danger like they were never apart. After what happened on Tattooine she war worried she might be too late and is overjoyed inside that everything seems well for now.
Zhyi: *digs through a cave in and cuts open a door*
Master Orgus: What took you so long?
Zhyi: Sorry Master, all the speeders were taken!
Master Orgus: How did you get past that giant Killik? That thing was enormous.
Zhyi: If there was a giant bug I must have missed it?
*Giant bug breaks through the wall*
Master Orgus: “If that thing eats us, you’re fired!”
But things usually don’t stay great for long. The secret Agent that wanted to convince Zhyi her master was dead is an imperial spy working with a Sith that has the death mark and they are trying to escalate the civil war. meaning Zhyi has to actually go and save the allies of the Imperials to prevent an incident. Only to become tagged by the laser herself. Now it is a race against time. Master Orgus sends her after the Sith Lord while he is investigating “another route”. A little while later he contacts her again, apologising for not being fully honest with her. He found Darth Angral’s flagship in Orbit and is trying to secretly board it and didn’t want Zhyi to worry or try to intervene. Orgus and Angral are not strangers, they have been fighting each other in the last war on Coruscant already and Master Orgus believes he can end this before it goes any further. When Zhyi finally finds the Sith that holds the keys to the laser she is just in time to witness Darth Angral killing her Master and broadcasting it through the entire holonet. Torn between anger and devastation there is not much the Sith Lord in front of her can to to escape his death.
Zhyi can barely hold it together when she reports to the General what happened. He offers his condolences and a chance to make things right: Master Orgus placed a tracking beacon onto Darth Angral’s ship before he died and Zhyi is following it immediately to a world called Uphrades. (Here is a little entry about it and it’s significance.)
When they arrive though Kira and Zhyi are speechless. Uphrades is supposed to be lush and green, but what greats them is this:
They soon find out why: Darth Angral combined several of the weapons, amongst them the planed prison, to create something called the Desolator, a world killer. Putting a force field around the entire planet and basically boiling and burning the entire world. There is almost no survivors. Millions of people dead and the largest food production the republic has is destroyed. While they discovered this and saved at least the few people they could save (which is about a handful) Darth Angral’s ship is gone again. Before they even begin to find it again there is an emergency messagt: Another world is under attack by what it seems is the same weapon but this time the call comes from Grandmaster Satele. Darth Angral is trying to finish what he started in the last war and eradicate the Jedi Order once and for all. They set a course to Tython and Zhyi is determined to stop this or die trying.
They board Angral’s ship in Tython’s orbit and fight through his troops until they reach the bridge. While Angral is still bad-guy-monologueing Kirs has more and more troubles it seems. Until suddenly her demeanour changes as she joins his side. When she starts talking it is not her voice anymore. The Emperor has taking control over her and orders her to kill Zhyi. But Kira resists as much as she can. Zhyi fights Darth Angral to the death and the moment she actually kills him is the best she has felt in a long while. She knows she shouldn’t actually enjoy this but after what he did she can not really help herself. Meanwhile the Emperor keeps pushing at Kira’s mind and Zhyi has to deflect some of his attacks on her as well. But before anyone can get seriously hurt and with all the encouragement Zhyi can give her Kira regains control over herself again and manages to finally break completely free from his influence.
Tired and beaten they fly down to the surface to check on the council and the academy. Thanks to their swift action no one is seriously hurt and the council declares Zhyi as their hero. “Hero of Tython” is what they dub her. Zhyi is glad everyone made it but can not really bring herself to be too happy about this. This is not how she wanted to become a hero, not by loosing so many people. But she is more than just proud of Kira and suggests to the council that they should make Kira a fully fledged Jedi Knight instead of a Padawan. The council agrees and Kira gets a very well deserved promotion.
The council states that Darth Angral’s actions have, even in failure, incited open warfare again. But Satele considers Zhyi the greatest Jedi of her generation and the best weapon the council could ask for. Zhyi worries. How is she alone supposed to have this much responsibility? But her worries a brushed aside for the moment and so she smiles as she tries not to crumble over the pressure.
Here is where the first Act ends. And thus, not only for the Jedi Knight but for all classes, the tentative peace between Empire and Republic. It is open war from no on until the Forged Alliances storyline that plays after Act 3 and unites Empire and Republic against a common enemy. This is also where all sorts of tries at diplomacy end for the Jedi Knight. From now on it is rather single minded warfare. With a few twists. If you are more of a friend of diplomacy driven story lines this is the moment where the whole diplomacy thing just gets started for the Jedi consular who’s main goal is to keep the Republic together and strong while the Jedi Knight is the one directly going after the enemy. Albeit reluctantly in Zhyi’s case.
The first chapter is also the longest chapter, or it at least feels like it. You travel from your starting world to the capital of Coruscant, to Taris, Nar Shadaa over Tattooine to Alderaan. Five different planets that all have their individual storyline additionally to your class story. (Which you can choose to play – they make the story rounder and some of them are really great though if you play your 20th character you might want to skip them at some point… *cough*) Meanwhile the second chapter sends you to only three new worlds, as does the third. Granted, those higher level planets take a bit longer usually, but the story is more faced paced in chapter 2 & 3. Also, basically every class has a bit of a break after chapter one. The Prologue and the first chapter form one storyline, the second and third chapter another. They are connected of course, but the ending of chapter two is way less of an ending as it is a “to be continued”…