Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Dark Forces Manual

SUBJECT: Reliability of Kyle Katarn
I understand there are questions regarding our continued use of Kyle as a freelance agent both because of his background in Imperial service and his continued status as an occasional nonaligned mercenary rather than committing to regular service for the Alliance.
It's easy to see how certain individuals who either encountered him during his time with the Empire, or lost friends during operations he commanded, could harbor such doubts. In fact, though, it is precisely his experience in Imperial service that has turned him solidly against the Empire, and will, I believe, eventually convince him of the necessity of the Alliance. I think you'll agree when I fill in more of his personal history.
Kyle came from Sulon, the moon of Sullust. Like many of our outworld recruits, he came from farmer stock, with a warm, close-knit family background. He adored his father, an agricultural machine salesman and mechanic with personal ties to the rural community he served. Kyle sought training at the Academy only to better follow in his father's footsteps when he returned home.
At the Academy he discovered a natural gift for cybernetics systems theory and information engineering. The time spent on his studies, exctra-curricular martial arts and target-shooting classes left little time to worry about political rumors or changes in curriculum and policy, as the Empire consolidated its hold on the Academy. His quiet student existence was shattered when he received Imperial notification that a Rebel ambush had killed his parents during an Imperial rescue operation. The final blow came when the
academy refused to extend funeral leave.
At the time Kyle had no reason to doubt what was clearly an Imperial cover-up. Overwhelmed by pain and a burning hatred for the Rebels who had supposedly killed his parents, he accepted a commission in the special operations division of the Imperial Army. It was here that he learned the true face of the Empire.
I first came to know him several years later, when I was working s a mole and double agent within the Imperial Intelligence Corps. Repeated contacts with Kyle showed me the scars he hid beneath a veneer of quiet competence, and his growing disillusion with the Army and all it represented. I saw to it that reports detailing the real story of the Imperial raid on Sullust came his way, and our friendship continued to deepen.
When my cover was blown and I was taken prisoner, Kyle ended his service in the Imperial Army by engineering my escape from torture and helping me get off the planet to a Rebel base. He joined me there a few days later on his way to the rim worlds, where, in the company of smugglers and pirates, he was to acquire the further skills of sabotage and subterfuge that have since made him so valuable to our cause.
I knew then, when we said good-bye, that he was not ready for a full commitment to the Alliance. The emotional manipulation he endure at the hands of the Empire has hardened hi against causes and made the idealistic, trusting young man into a deadly efficient saboteur whose loyalty must be earned rather than bought.
One thing is certain. He may not totally trust the Alliance, but he will never forgive of forget what the Empire has done to him. Yes, he saved my life and is perhaps the most effective covert agent we have, but it is this hatred of the Empire that will insure his reliability to us. It is sad but true that ongoing Imperial atrocities and disregard for life continue to provide our best hope for recruits. - Jan Ors
Here is the latest data on opponents you may run into at various Imperial installations. Some, such as stormtroopers, you are obviously familiar with, but the updated information may still help you out of a tight scrape. Obviously there will be a few things out there that we don't have data on yet. And, I don't have to remind you that if you disable and enemy, their weapon may be added to your personal arsenal.
Stormtroopers. You know them, you hate them. The assault soldiers of Imperial power. They're not overly clever, they're armed with only a standard issue laser rifle, but they're fanatically loyal, doggedly persistent, and the Empire seems to have an endless supply of them.
Imperial Officers. The average Imperial Officer prides himself on not stooping to carrying a melee weapon, but, as you well know, their accuracy with the pistol more than compensates for this.
Imperial Commandos. These are, of course, drawn from the Officer corps, and so have the same aversion to melee weapons. Their laser rifles give them a longer range of fire than the average Officer, and their intensive physical training means they can generally move faster as well.
Gun Turrets. Stationary, but capable of firing high-powered laser bolts in a complete circle.
Probe Droids. Do not be taken in by the slow floating movements of these nasty pieces of Imperial technology-their laser blasts pack as much punch as the standard rifle. These babies go out with a bang when disabled, so keep your distance when finishing them off.
Interrogation Droids. The more deadly "cousin" of the probe droid. This comes equipped with not only a stun device for "target motivation" but with a power blast for escape-minded prisoners.
Remotes. These small droids carry a relatively mild laser blast, but their speed, both in straight-out acceleration and direction change, is considerable. They're mostly a painful annoyance.
Trandoshans. These reptilian bounty hunters have been known to do the occasional odd job for Darth Vader in the past. Knowing Vader's obsession with efficiency, Bossk's continued existence probably means he's very good at what he does. His usual preference in weapons is a concussion rifle.
Gran. These scoundrels have long been attache to the court of the infamous crime boss Jabba the Hutt. You can't miss them-they've got three eyes. They're skillful hand-to-hand fighters, but first you have to get past the thermal detonators they usually have up their sleeves.
Gamorrean Guards. These pig-like creatures are incredibly tough and skillful with primitive weaponry {like the axes they usually carry}. Nothing a blaster of laser rifle can't handle. Just don't let them get too close.
Dianoga {sewer creatures}. Long thought to be figments of the the imagination of drunken maintenance workers, these all-too-real predators strike swiftly form below the surface at anything that moves, so, if you're lucky enough to spot one before it sees you, stay well back and shoot fast. It can also swim submerged and come up in your face, so keep your wits about you. Remember that your shielding can't help with the dianoga!
Boba Fett. We've both run into this joker before. His skill as a bounty hunter is legendary, s is his ruthlessness and knack for escaping tight situations. He's fast on his feet, and his jet pack adds to his mobility.
As you know these missions can take an agent into areas most folks wouldn't go near. If it looks dangerous or deadly, it probably is. The best strategy in most of these situations is strict avoidance. Remember, that all he shielding in the galaxy won't protect your form a bad fall or a close encounter with some industrial machinery. Here's a few things to watch for:
QS100 Welding Arms. Though not designed as weapons, these tools can be extremely dangerous, so try to keep your distance.
Mines. Pretty straightforward. You get too near them and they explode. Just keep your eyes open and watch the floor.
Chemical Gas {not pictured}. The Empire is not known for its responsible handling of industrial waste. They tent to handle these hazards by simply storing gas masks somewhere in the vicinity. The trick is finding a mask.
Chemical Storage {not pictured}. Once again the Empire tends to have a surplus of industrial waste. A mask won't help you here, though.
Power Generating Units {P.G.U.}. Keep an eye out for these during a fire fight. A stray laser can have a devastating effect {and can therefore work for or against you}. These P.G.U. are often left around starship maintenance facilities.


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