Diaries of a Jedi Knight: Dark Forces part 8
Why do the Empire insist on using ice planets for their bases? The only thing worse than an ice planet is one that has pools of toxic chemicals everywhere, which is exactly what Anteevy is. Jan followed the tracker and it led us to this forsaken wasteland, which we assumed was where the Dark Trooper mark one upgrades took place. The plan was simple: set enough sequencer charges to leave a smoldering hole where a robotics facility once stood.
The icy wind cut through my layers, and I grumbled through the thick snow; I hate the cold. Jan dropped me at the edge of a large canyon - a safe place for her to stay hidden. Rivers of something that definitely wasn’t water flowed throughout the cliffs, and I leaped from ice shelf to ice shelf to stop myself getting hypothermia. The outside of the facility came into view after a couple minutes trekking through the snow, and I saw some Stormtrooper patrols outside. This was strange - on a planet as cold as Anteevy, Snowtroopers should have been deployed.
I branched off to the right and knocked two Stormtroopers into the snow - their armour really restricts movement when it’s this cold. I followed the flowing rivers around the sides of the facility, coming to an uncovered ice platform leading to a straight drop into the abyss. The Stormtrooper in front of me was wearing ice cleats, but fortunately he was slow aiming his blaster, and soon I had some great new boots. Now able to move freely on the ice sheets, I jumped across the crevasse without a second thought.
I stuck to the exterior wall, hidden from anyone inside looking out and encountered few soldiers outside the safer, warmer interior. The Stormtroopers did not want to be caught outside. I discovered a cave hidden behind a waterfall, and braving the inside found myself climbing up towards the cliffs that overlooked the very top of the facility. A pair of Stormtroopers made a great launching platform onto the conveyer belts atop the buildings. Usually droids would be passing along here, but for some reason production was halted.
The conveyer belts allowed me to get inside the inspection areas very quickly, with the Imperial Officers taken aback seeing something living moving along the production line. I reached a chemical coating room, with the conveyer ending abruptly with a ten foot drop into bubbling acid. I shot at the observation window to weaken the glass before diving through it, knocking a Stormtrooper to the floor. The Officer in charge reached for his pistol but mine was already to hand, and he was soon sprawled across the floor. I collected a key card from his lightly smoldering body and used it to open a door further into the production line.
The room ahead was a dead end, but there was a vent that I could access. With no other way forward, I took my chances and slid down into what appeared to be the inside of an enormous heat sink. These tubes adjoined to a maintenance floor for one of the industrial mixers, which I disabled and slid down towards the very bottom of the facility. This would be the perfect place for the sequencer charges, with their explosive force igniting the chemical vats. I set all three charges and radioed Jan for evac, finding a handy gas mark on my trip around the vats.
I approached a door that led into the cooling system, thinking the vents would be my best way back out to the ice. It began to slide upwards before I got there and a hard, loud, metallic footstep rang out around the chamber. Two empty digital eyes looked down at me, surrounded by a dark grey Stormtrooper helmet. But this was no Stormtrooper: this was the second phase Dark Trooper, towering a full metre above me. It raised its gun arm towards me, and I dived out of the way. Rockets shot out, blackening the wall behind where I was just standing.
I pulled out the mortar gun and fired two shots off immediately. This seemingly only made it angry, and it walked towards me much faster than the predecessor droid I had fought on Gromas. Plasma shells started to fire wildly out of the cannon it wielded, and I ducked and weaved to avoid their hits. One pierced through my shields, knocking me backwards against a wall, but the Dark Trooper stopped moving - it needed to reload. I fired off mortar after mortar, landing multiple hits directly on its armour. I tried to use the explosion to blast the Trooper into the vats, to melt in the acidic bath below, but as it lost balance it used a jump pack to remain on it’s feet.
That shot did reveal the skeleton, similar to that of the original Dark Trooper, with some oil dripping out. As they say, if it bleeds we can kill it. I had two more mortars, so I needed to make these shots count. It saw the first one coming, and caught it with its other hand. The explosion blinded it, and my second mortar became wedged inside the droid’s armour, blowing it into hundreds of pieces. The skeleton inside collapsed to the floor, and the moving parts inside audibly powered down.
The door that it had emerged from remained open, and I entered the cooling system through it. This place was a maze of winding corridors, and I could hear more heavy footsteps echoing throughout - there were more Dark Troopers nearby. I moved through the corridors until I reached a door that opened out into a brighter maintenance corridor, and breathed a sigh of relief - I was almost out.
The mechanical sound of a Dark Trooper’s clunky footprints against the metallic floor extinguished any hope I had. It was down at the other end of the corridor, the skeletal figure of a phase one Dark Trooper turning to face me. It was too large for the corridor and was struggling to turn around so I took my chance. I threw a dozen thermal detonators at it while it couldn’t deflect them, the explosives landing at it’s feet. I dived back into the cooling tunnels and hid to the side of the door, avoiding the explosion that obliterated the droid and a door leading to the ice outside.
Glad that I still had the cleats, I scaled the ice and returned quickly to the drop off point, the Crow appearing in the canyon and providing a warm breeze from it’s engines. As the cargo doors slid open I sneezed loudly, my eyes watering at the cold. Why do the Empire insist on using ice planets for their bases..?