“You’d be surprised what I believe” – Anna plays SWTOR Pt. 5
Get out your thermal gear and your snow goggles because out next stop is the planet Hoth. A frozen wasteland full of pirates, aggressive natives and warship debris. There was a big space battle over Hoth in the last war and a good deal of ships that have been shut down crashed on Hoth’s surface, giving an entire large area the cheerful nickname “starship graveyard”. And this is, incidentally, our final destination. There is an Imperial ship that crashed here decades ago, that is supposed to have the coordinates of the Emperor’s fortress in it’s databanks. For that we get the help of Jedi Leeha Narezz, who’s speciality is slicing and droid programming and the help of Sergeant Rusk, of the republic military. Rusk has the reputation of being the man they send if they need to get the job done, no matter the cost. His squad has the highest sucess rate in the Republic (100%) but also the highest fatality rate of any squad. Which makes him valuable for the military, but doesn’t make him many friends.
While other Jedi might have problems with Rusk’s work ethics, Zhyi doesn’t. He reminds her of General Var Suthra and her own “do what needs to be done” mentality. That his superiors give him medals but are still not too happy about him – well, she can relate. They get on together perfectly and their mission on Hoth runs smoothly, even though the Empire seems to be aware of at least part of what they are doing and is trying it’s best to stop them. For the first time Zhyi also encounters the Imperial Guard, elite warrior directly in service to the Emperor. She can fight them off without too many problems, but still they make her worry. How much of their plan could be known to the Emperor? According to the Jedi Council it is all top secret, but she had dealt with Imperial Intelligence before – she is not so certain about this.
After getting those coordinates on Hoth Sergeant Rusk is officially transferred to Zhyi’s crew by his commanding officer and joins their merry little crew on their way back to Tython for the final planning stages. But not without a quick stop on Nar Shadaa. Why? Because I have an apartment there and the balcony has a pool. A heated pool. That is basically the opposite of Hoth.
On Tython Master Tol Braga lays out the plan: Go to the Fortress, get into the Throne Room, take the Emperor, bring him to Tython and redeem him. (WTFBÖÖÖ?)
It takes all Zhyi has not to hysterically laugh into his face. She makes the point that redemtion in this case seems like a very unwise (Jedi speak for plain stupid!) decision. But Master Braga answers redemption is possible for everyone and after all, the Emperor is just another Sith. (ahahaha no…) Zhyi’s concerns are overruled. But Master Kaidan and Satele join the discussion. The Jedi Zhyi saved on Tattooine had a vision of their mission failing, especially if Zhyi is part of it. He says he saw her fall to the dark side and that she shouldn’t got. Zhyi is actually all for that. Because she really doesn’t want to go. And directly says so, better safe than sorry! But of course Master Braga, and even Master Satele disagree and insist she goes. At this point Zhyi basically wants to throw her lightsaber down and just leave but she gets guilt tripped into going on the mission. She is the strongest Jedi they have they say, and there is a chance to end the war. Away from the council chambers Zhyi tells her crew that she will not go along with Master Braga’s entire plan. If she sees an opening to kill the Empror she will take it.
When they reach their destination the Emperor’s fortress is almost empty. There is little to no effort required to get into the throne room. “I have a bad feeling about this” doesn’t even begin to describe the situation when they meet the Emepror’s Wrath again. He is oddly calm and still cryptic. And for a moment it looks like Zhyi can win this thing – until it all goes to hell in a hand basket when the Emperor rises from his chair and declares they are only here because he allowed it and then proves that statement by promptly knocking all of them out.
The next time Zhyi wakes up she is in a medical tank, The Wrath/Lord Scourge looking at her with interest. When she wakes up again her mind is no longer her own. Full of the dark side, just like in Jomar’s vision, she is training to become Sith. For how long? The game isn’t clear about it. Weeks, Months, a year. She is a model student and doesn’t even have a guard around her anymore when one day she starts seeing a spirit appear behind her new masters. It is Master Orgus and he urges her to wake up, to become herself again. He tells her to look for her “dark ally”. Force Users beeing vague, episode 502. She gradually breaks free from the clouds in her mind and when she manages to stumble across Kira, who is still a prisoner on the station the two make a run for it. Prepared to fight their way through the holding cells to free the rest of her crew thy get tue surprise of their lifetime when they reach the hanger and they are already there, together with Lord Scourge, surrounded by dead guards. Zhyi is suspicious because this is honestly too convenient to be true but her crew confirms that Scourge actually freed them.
They don’t have much time but he urges her to take him to Tython, because he has seen inside the Emperor’s mind and knows what he is planning. Over 300 years ago he had a vision of a young Jedi who alone possessed the strength to stop the Sith Emperor and for 300 years he biding his time until he met her on Quesh because Zhyi is the face he saw in his vision. Zhyi is mostly confused by this and it doesn’t get any more comprehensible when the Emperor’s Wrath drops down on one knee and pledges his loyalty to her if she is willing to stop the Emperor. They are out of time and Zhyi is pretty sure that it can not get worse than what they are escaping so she agrees to his terms. In her mind it becomes simple: Either he is telling the truth or not. Both cases help her to get off the station right now. The rest can be sorted out later.
It takes a few days of being in flight until Zhyi feels like she can breathe again. And that is, of course, when the next big worrying thing is there already: Tython. The Jedi Masters are relieved to see her, they had already given up on her. Zhyi is a bot confused, expecting to hear about failed rescue missions but no one is talking about that. She decides to find out later what happened. The other members of her strike team are still missing and weren’t on the station when Zhyi left. She feels the most important thing is to find them. But then Lord Scource starts talking and tells them what he knows: The Empror became close to immortal centuries ago when he tricked an entire world into extinction and used the deaths of millions for a ritual of power. Now he plans on doing it again, only this time, on a much larger scale. He plans to extinguish all life in the entire galaxy to become truly and forever immortal. The war between the Empire and the Republic is a tool to create more and more death for him to grow strong on. And to kick of the next stage of his plans he needs to do something big. Like destroying an entire planet again. According to Lord Scourge the Emperor set his sights on Belsavis and that is where they must go to stop whatever is happening there.
The council urges Zhyi to be very careful around Lord Scourge but at this point Zhyi is already pretty sure that she will need his help regardless of personal feelings. When she gets back to the ship Kira tells her that there apparently were no rescue missions. At least not according to the official files. Not a single one. no one came for them and if it weren’t for Master Orgus and, ironically, Lord Scourge they would probably still be onboard the Emperor’s fortress. Zhyi is devastated and with a heavy heart sets a course to Belsavis, the best kept ugly secret of the Republic as she will soon learn.
The end of the second chapter goes into the third seamlessly, as with all classes. Chapter two and three make one, overarching story. With Scourge the Crew is now complete and Zhyi has collected all the companions for her class story. And it is a pretty colourful crew. A die hard soldier, a nuclear flirting doctor, a snarky former Sith turned Jedi, a 200 years old droid with an A+ sense of humor and a 300 year old Sith Lord with “issues”, plus an annoyingly chipper ship droid who keeps redesigning her meal plans and re-painting her room with the same colour except “fresher”.
There is three story wise rather big planes ahead of us in chapter three, compared to chapter two this one is being a bit longer again. Now all that is left to do is stop several genocides, rescue Jedi Masters of whom we have no idea where they are and kill an immortal ancient superpower. No pressure!
For that we take a night of and do some relaxing on our guild ship in the republic fleet with our fellow Jedi friend. And yes, that is us, playing space chess on an ancient bookshelf. Because we can!