Part 7: Telos: The Ballad of B4-D4
Last update, we escaped Peragus by accidentally blowing it up; then we got to Telos and they immediately threw us in jail.
The food was terrible.
"Why is the Republic sending a ship?"
"To further investigate the station's destruction and search for their missing ship, the Harbinger. The Sojourn is already en route; likely not more than a few standard days. Feel free to use these quarters during your stay."
"Well now what? We can't just stick around. We need to find a way off this station, whether it's the Ebon Hawk or some other ship. We could hit Nar Shaddaa, maybe. If you've got people coming after you, it's where you go to get lost in the crowd."
"Why do we need to leave?"
"Look, this place is a waste. If Telos wasn't doomed before Peragus blew, it is now - even more so if your 'friends' from Peragus come calling."
"Why would Telos be doomed?"
"Because it depends on Citadel Station, and the Citadel depends on Peragian fuel and the Republic's senators. The Citadel's fuel source went up with the mining facility, and the bickering senators? Heh... not something worth counting on."
It wasn't our fault, honest.
Welcome to Telos, land of a thousand boxes.
No seriously, it's a satellite station made of a thousand interconnected boxes. I know it's suppose to be modular in design so they can build easily, yadda yadda, but it's really boring looking. It's one of those times when a cool concept doesn't jive with good level design. The Entertainment Module is especially galling in its ugliness.
But first things first, let's get our ship back.
Oh you're kidding. Jesus will not stand for this incompetence.
"What do you mean, gone?"
"It seems the Ebon Hawk was transferred to Telos' surface instead of an impound dock. However, both the requester and the point of delivery are unknown. In addition, the vessel is not showing up at any government-sanctioned landing site. I would conjecture that it has been stolen and the TSF records have been illegally accessed and modified."
Atton has this thing about droids that I could never understand. If you ask him about it, he just says, "Why don't I trust droids? They BREAK. In the HEAD." then gets very quiet.
Okay, so the Ebon Hawk isn't coming back any time soon; let's visit the Ithorians. Maybe they can help.
This is the Ithorians' little dive at the station; I get the sense the original design doc called for some sort of greenhouse-like atmosphere. But with or 3 or 4 plants in the lobby here and a half dozen couches, it looks more like an orthodontist's office or something. There is a separate little greenhouse room in the back, but it's really teeny tiny and looks more like a grow op than anything else.
This is the leader of the flatworms.
"I am a priest of my people, an adept in the Force. I sensed an echo within the Force upon your arrival... it is a subtle disturbance, unless one is actively listening for it."
"Moza said you could "heal" me. What did he mean?"
"The echo I felt upon your arrival was not a natural thing. It spoke of a great pain, not of the body, but of the spirit."
"You may be able to help, but there is always a price, is there not?"
"What do you want from me?"
"The Telosian government summoned my herd ship to Citadel Station and asked that we help them rebuild their broken world. We progressed for a time, but then our troubles with Czerka began. The corporation has gained great influence here, and we can do little to stop them. I fear that if Czerka continues to interfere in the restoration project, it will never be completed. Telos will remain barren and lifeless, and all our work - that of the Republic, the Telosians, and my own people - will have been for nothing."
"It may have been an accident. Perhaps the droid intelligence was overtaxed by the staggering size of the project and became irrational. Some among my herd suspect theft. A droid intelligence of that sophistication would fetch a high price on the black market. Others fear its disappearance the result of sabotage, by Czerka or some other organization that seeks to slow the Restoration Project or discredit us. But the how or why of it is irrelevant."
Well that's certainly interesting; maybe we'll stumble on its trail later.
Please, anything but an escort mission with crappy AI pathfinding.
Well. This doesn't look like a trap.
They send like 5 people to come arrest us, but safekeeping the droid who could save the planet? Send one peon.
I've had this bug out before, where no one appeared to fight us, the next dialogue wouldn't trigger, and I couldn't continue with the game. Cool!
By now Kreia has Energy Resistence and Force Barrier, so these guys can't even really hurt us.
If you tell him you're taking it back to Czerka, he starts weeping. Either that, or he says the planet would weep. I get the two confused. That's about the point I start feeling really bad.
I think Satan ghostwrites evil RPG dialogue for Chris Avellone sometimes.
"Long have I suspected that Czerka and the Exchange work together, the former supplying manufactured arms to be sold via the latter's black market channels. Now, with the TSF keeping a closer eye on Czerka activities, the corporation has turned to the Exchange to be its fist on Citadel Station. I have tried to meet with the leader of the Exchange here, a Quarren called Loppak Slusk. He has refused my every invitation, and allows no one inside the Exchange suites."
Find a way to meet with the Exchange? Well, it's off to the nearest den of scum and villainy.
Star Wars cliché #873: a bar with Bith musicians and Twi'lek dancers.
Someone's checking out Jesus.
Ugh. She looks roasted with the UV rays of a thousand suns.
"Don't worry, I won't make a move on you. That squid and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, you being one of them."
"Look - are you really Jedi? This Exchange bounty has nothing to do with you - but Slusk, my boss, won't listen to me.
"Still, you seem a very capable sort. Tell me, are you a capable sort?"
Stop repeating yourself, damnit.
"I'm capable, yes."
Don't encourage her!
"So here it is - help me with Loppak Slusk, and I'll keep the Exchange off your back - and find your missing ship. Slusk works for Goto, out of Nar Shaddaa. Now this Goto; he's rigid, ruthlessly efficient, and all he sees are numbers. I should be Citadel's boss - but Goto doesn't allow breaks in the chain of command. I can't go over Loppak Slusk's head, so I've got to take care of him myself. And I want your help."
She's apparently a Zeltron. I'm not exactly a Star Wars aficionado, so I had to look up what exactly a Zeltron is. It's not sweaty nerd fantasy, I swear.
Okay, I lied .
Kreia really doesn't like old flatface. If you go with Czerka, it's Atton who has reservations about working with the Exchange.
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams... glitter in the dark near Tannhauser Gate. All those... moments will be lost... in time, like tears... in rain..."
"I think I can handle a few Exchange thugs."
Jesus crushes puny minds.
Ooh... wrong way... we were looking for the bathroom...
"I'm no Jedi."
"Good - it'll be that much easier to kill you. You're marked, human. Whether you're actually Jedi or not means nothing to me."
"Wait - aren't I worth more alive?"
Jesus's ego suffers a hit at this point.
"It's not me that's going to get killed."
"Yes, yes. Very melodramatic."
I'm trying to think of commentary to accompany shots of various enemies being shot and fried, but I'm having trouble. Getting a call at 6am because the servers at work are down will do that to you.
Gee, a whole 2 droids.
We want a ship, a billion credits, and a planet full of pastel pink Zeltron women.
"I just want you to leave the Ithorians alone."
"Really, all this trouble just for just that?"
Little Miss Sunburn arrives.
"I may have had a hand in this, yes."
"I suppose I should have known. You always were an ambitious one. Enough with that, though. On to the business at hand. I don't think it's possible that all of us will be leaving this room alive."
"Only if that agreement involves Luxa's... termination."
Don't make me repeat the Blade Runner speech again.
Another two whole droid turrets. This is pathetic.
I bet even the Ithorians could have taken him.
Can't we run away to a desert island and sip on margaritas together? No?
Jesus urges you to turn the other cheek before it's too late.
And who's this Goto, anyway?
"The Exchange will trouble you no longer."
"I sense that your meeting did not go peacefully. It saddens me greatly that blood was shed, it was not my intention to cause harm."
Jesus is an exiled Jedi, he needs none of this lightsaber shit.
"For the Restoration Project to continue in earnest, the Telosian government must be made to see the cancer that Czerka has become."
"But Czerka has imbedded itself within the government, using Telos' own laws to protect itself from censure or investigation. Legally, the Telosians can do nothing. If you can bring Czerka's corruption to light, perhaps the Republic could intervene and cast them out. This is what I would ask of you."
Grrr I told him we didn't want the lightsaber part.
So off to expose Czerka for the evil pencil pushers they are. To the bar!
Anyone got a fiver?
This Czerka executive turns out to pliable with the right combination of drinks, Twi'leks, and Force Persuade.
"If you controlled B-4D4, you could walk right in."
"You mean, B-4D4 could walk right in."
"Right, whatever. You could use B-4D4 to get into the mainframe."
This is the shifty little droid mechanic.
"You are not from the Exchange. What do you want?"
"Your droid technician credentials."
"My credentials? What for?"
"I need to borrow Czerka's administrative droid"
"B-4D4? But why?"
"Because I need him to get some files from Czerka's mainframe to expose Czerka's corruption to the Telosian authorities."
"Expose Czerka's corruption? Oh, I see, I see. That is a good cause, yes. I cannot do that."
"You can't? Why not?"
"Because I cannot afford to jeopardize my contract with Czerka."
"Your contract? Why is that?"
"I need the credits."
"Credits? What for?"
"For... for a loan."
"A loan? From whom?"
"It is no concern of yours."
This fucking guy.
"Hey, I answered all of your questions."
"Yes, this is true. I took a loan from the Exchange to cover gambling debts. I had to stay on Citadel Station and do freelance technical work to repay it."
"Just say your credentials were stolen."
"I do not know if I can lie."
"Try it. It's easy."
"I could give you an extension on your loan."
"You... you would do this? So I could repay you later? It is many credits: 2500."
Well, Jesus doesn't have that kind of dough. Charity and kindness don't pay no bills.
I don't know, should we dig around the containers for 2500 credits? Hold up a liquor store? Send emails from Nigeria?
Let's ask the hammerhead sharks for ideas.
Well THAT was easy .
Hey, it's not even our money, who cares!
Come with me if you want to live.
"I have my droid technician credentials right here."
"You do not? What do you not understand?"
"A droid that's programmed to lie? Great. As if they weren't bad enough already."
We're now fully in control of B4-D4. You know what that means, right?
It's time to fuck around on this level. WHO'S WITH ME?
First we have to go down to the docks...
...and mess with the protocol droid down here.
We're just testing out our new 'lying' algorithms, guys, nothing to be concerned about.
I can't believe...
... how much extra random dialogue...
... they wrote for this part of the game that 98% of players won't see.
This is a little game I like to call, "Let's go blackmail the repair guy!"
"One might think that you were hiding something with them."
"I assure you they're all necessary, B-4D4."
"A strange oversight, don't you think?"
"You must be mistaken."
Okay, enough clowning around, time to win our liberation from the powers that be.
"More credits, you say? That's news I wouldn't mind reporting to the Sector Executive Officer. Please, B-4D4, access away."
"Do not be hasty, T1-N1. There is no need to call Mistress Lorso."
"Beep! Beep! Boop!"
"You are programmed to serve Mistress Lorso, correct?"
"And your programming similarly inhibits you from harming sentient organic life or allowing such to be harmed without warning, correct? Examine the files in the mainframe. You will see that, by aiding Mistress Lorso, you have allowed sentient organic life to be harmed."
"Boop! Beep boop bwip?"
"Boop beep bip? Bwoop?"
"This is why Opo Chano regularly wipes your memory: To prevent you from realizing this and developing quirks or going berserk as a result. You have already broken your behavioral inhibitors. You simply have not become aware of it. You may act in whatever manner you choose."
"Beep-bwip. Boop bop brank? Beep?"
"Bip beep bop?"
"For example, while downloading the contents of this mainframe."
"Boop beep bip."
Finishing the mission and covering our tracks.
Onward to freedom!