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SWTOR - Star Wars the Old Republic- Cyborg republic trooper off-white armor

“Jaevna Shilo” the Republic trooper

(Profile #1 - Early, part two) (Star Wars: The Old Republic)


Context

This is the second half of this profile. So yes, it won’t make much sense if you haven’t recently .

Remember, there are S P O I L E R S.


Special Forces of the Republic

(This is based on what is seen in Star Wars: the Old Republic. There might exist more material on the matter and for this era, but I’m not a real Star Wars expert.)

During this era, the Republic’s military is decaying. It can still credibly oppose the Sith Empire. But one gets the impression that it’s largely through force of numbers and the control of the more bountiful and productive planets.

The development of Special Forces may have been meant to sidestep the Republic military’s issues with so-so morale and esprit de corps . And with its oft-hidebound command.

They are clearly outside of a normal chain of command, answer directly to senior patrons, and follow few identifiable regulations.


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Commandos gone wild

However, in the context of weak authority from the State and a divided, corrupt, out-of-touch leadership, these arrangements likely made the problem worse.

One gets the impression that Special Forces units are the personal brute squad — if not outright hitmen — of a select few Generals and Senators. They are often deployed far from anything resembling a military situation.

Their accountability seems nigh-zero – unless their patron loses their political influence. And it’s probable that they drain the best soldiers (and the most promising students, such as Jaevna Shilo) from the conventional military, leaving it even more bereft and overwhelmed.

Special Forces do seem popular with some citizens, though. Particularly patriots, the police and many soldiers. On the other hand, what is seen of Special Forces is a specific unit, Havoc Squad. The Squad is widely considered some of the most badass, most heroic troopers the Republic has to offer. Other Spec Ops units likely aren’t seen as positively.


Soundtrack

That came to mind, given Tia’s situation.

 

Available for download on Amazon .


History – in-game events

Ord Mantell was a sordid mess. Once a thriving port planet (“Ord” is short for “Ordnance depot”), it had been displaced over the centuries. Other spaceports with better infrastructure and location siphoned off the traffic.

Most of the legitimate traffic was replaced by smugglers and criminals. The Mantellian government descended into pathetic levels of corruption. As the Republic supported the corrupt government as the legitimate power, a separatist movement grew. Its goal was to overthrow the government and leave the Republic.

However, this movement was swiftly infiltrated by Imperial agents. They used bribery (primarily through combat drugs) to convince the separatists to serve Imperial interests.


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What is it good for ?

Thus, when “Shilo” landed planetside, what she found was :

  • An incompetent and corrupt Mantellian military. Though there were some good soldiers left, many were an haphazard mob exploiting the civilians displaced by the fighting. And many were fighting so dirty as to be a threat to their own planet.
  • Fanatical separatist minutemen, many of whom were drugged senseless and turned wickedly aggressive by stims. Now a puppet of the Sith Empire, separatists were issued with semi-modern military weaponry (usually stolen Republic ordnance, for deniability).
  • Numerous gangs of scavengers and other predators.
  • Overstretched and badly organized Republic troops. These were slowly becoming as bad as the Mantellian troops they had come to reinforce and advise.

Cry Havoc

Amidst this mess, Havoc Squad was a pillar of stability and competence. However, the Squad didn’t even amount to a full fire team at that point. And they were spread so thin as to routinely operate solo and on their own initiative.

This was true even for the newbie. Since she was Havoc Squad, everyone assumed she was capable of solving all sorts of problems on her own.

One of “Jaevna”’ recurrents contact among the Republic Military was Aric Jorgan. He was a stern and unpleasant — but driven and competent — Cathar Lieutenant working for military intelligence.

Knee-deep in the Mantellian quagmire, “Jaevna” did solve all sorts of problems and conduct missions. The lack of support was in a way a good thing. This way, nobody could see that she had little idea of what she was doing. Through sheer grit, determination, and raw talent, she was remarkably successful.

“Shilo” and Jorgan determined that the separatists had been issued a huge bomb by outside parties. As she acted as the spearhead to neutralise it, she discovered that the *entire* Havoc Squad had betrayed the Republic.

Betrayals

Months before, sordid Republic politics had resulted in Havoc Squad being sent to Ando Prime , in Imperial territory. The intel was bad, and they ended up against much stronger forces than anticipated.

SWTOR - Star Wars the Old Republic- Havoc Squad

The Havoc Squad members on Ord Mantell (Wraith, Needles, Commander Tavus, Fuse — Gearbox isn’t on this shot).

The mission was a violation of the Treaty of Coruscant. Therefore, Havoc Squad was left out to dry when the Senate learned of this unauthorized foray. But they made it back somehow, stealing a shuttle and getting spaceside. Since there were so few of them on Ord Mantell, Havoc presumably took heavy losses on Ando Prime.

Havoc Squad morale was devastated. They schemed to defect to the Sith Empire. Commander Tavus  in particular came to consider that the Republic’s Senate felt threatened by its military. Whereas, in his view, the Empire truly respected warriors and would see their worth.

“Jaevna” discovered this whilst spearheading a Mantellian assault on the Separatist headquarters. This stronghold was reinforced with Imperial troops, and as she came in Havoc Squad was in talks with them.

Tavus and his operatives left and took the bomb with them. They left “Shilo” behind. Tavus respected her track record as a young soldier. He had been trying to keep her away precisely to avoid such a confrontation. Which explained why “Shilo” had spent so little time with her unit.

As Havoc Squad left, “Shilo” narrowly defeated the Imperial troops after her. The assault on the Separatist base was a success.

Havoc Squad reborn

As always, the military then saw it fit to reward the guilty and punish the innocent.

Aric Jorgan, who had been invaluable in locating the bomb, was scapegoated for the Havoc Squad treason. He was busted down to Sergeant. The “Jaevna Shilo” impostor was promoted to Lieutenant. And she now led the legendary Havoc Squad, by virtue of being its sole remaining member.

Jorgan’s higher up, who appreciated his competence but hadn’t been able to shield him, suggested that “Shilo” recruit Jorgan into Havoc Squad. This took place with but a round of handshakes.

Both “Shilo” and Jorgan wanted to hunt down the former members of Havoc Squad. But first, they had to leave for Coruscant in order to report to Havoc Squad’s CO . Meaning the brilliant and hard-as-nails General Elin Garza .

Meanwhile, the charismatic Tavus and his squad proceeded with their defection plans. Hundreds of specops troopers swayed by his arguments defected at his command. Within day, the Republic thus both experienced :

  1. A catastrophic loss of elite resources.
  2. The birth of a network of skilled, hostile operatives with an intimate knowledge of its procedures.

Tavus and his cohorts also worked to set up their supplies channels. The Empire didn’t trust them enough yet to equip and support them.

Captain Shiv and the Esseles

“Jaevna” discovered that she had had an unseen field ally. A young freighter captain named Mytasha Shiv had been wrecking Separatist operations in the same area. She was attempting to repossess her stolen spaceship. Though she didn’t succeed, the damage she did and the resulting diversion facilitated “Jaevna”’s operations.

SWTOR - Star Wars the Old Republic- General Garza

General Garza.

Republic higher-ups publicized both Shiv and “Shilo”’s victories over the Separatists. They also offered passage to Coruscant on military transport the Esselles so they could be interviewed by the Senate. Since both young women were headed for Coruscant anyway, they took the deal.

However, the Esselles was attacked by the much more powerful ship commanded by Grand Moff Kilran . Kilran demanded that a Republic ambassador aboard the Esselles be handed over to him. This ambassador had been convincing a record number of neutral worlds to side with the Republic.

Though the Esselles captain wanted to surrender, “Shilo” and Jorgan barged on the bridge in full combat gear and forbade it. Mytasha Shiv and a hacked war droid joined them, announcing that they would pilot the Esselles themselves if necessary.

The foursome then repelled a party of Imperial boarders gunning for the ambassador. In the meanwhile, Mandalorian mercenaries sent in by Kilran took over the bridge. But “Shilo”, Shiv and company stormed the bridge and took it back.

A daring strike was then launched, boarding the Imperial warship. A small team raced within to shut down the tractor beam holding the Esselles. This amazing manoeuvre succeeded, even though the Grand Moff sicced a Sith apprentice at the boarding team. The Esselles escaped in more or less one piece.

Coruscant

Young Tia had an idealized view of Coruscant. It was the very seat of galactic power, the greatest concentration of power and influence in the Republic, and an incomprehensibly large and bustling metropolis.

Alas, it soon became clear that Coruscant was in terrible shape. It was still reeling from the Imperial sacking ten years prior. The perennial lack of interest of Senators toward the bulk of the population, especially the refugees, greatly worsened this.

It also allowed for the emergence of many hostile powers among the lower levels of Coruscant. Those went from mobs of all kind to paramilitary vigilantes, from out-of-control damaged droids to Imperial infiltrators.

The renegade Havoc Squad used this. They allied with anti-Republican factions in its very capital and coordinated with Imperial agents.

But General Garza had enough intel to send the new Havoc Squad (at this point simply “Shilo” and Jorgan) as her counter to the plans of her former operatives.


Description

“Jaevna Shilo” is built like a brick shithouse, the left half of her face is badly scarred, and one eyesocket is filled with a metal plate with sensors. She’s also clad in armour looking like it went through at least two wars.

“Shilo” stands ramrod-straight, like heroic soldiers in movies she’s seen. Normally that would look like somebody trying to puff themselves up. But her shoulders are broad enough that it looks credible.

Tia also uses traditional shoul makeup to look even fiercer (and as a symbol of her Corellian-ness). It’s the equivalent of eye black.

“Jaevna” tries to speak with an authoritative, clear, resonant voice  – and does a good job at it. Her normal elocution was more slurred than this. When she’s on a roll and if you close your eyes, you might even believe for a few seconds that she’s a greater-than-life heroine such as Commander Shepard. 😉

In Earth terms she looks like somebody from the subcontinent, perhaps Bangladesh. With a dark skin, and with a slight African character to her features.

Albeit she hides it well, more than a third of her body is artificial. The left leg and arm are robotic, as well as her hips and part of her left torso. Her left breast is a non-functioning prosthesis, part of her skull is artificial. She still has specialised probes that slowly extract micro-debris embedded into her body by the blast.


Personality

Tia is quite lost. She is an impostor, and is convinced that she is a murderess, a fraud, a liar, a cyborg freak and a weak person who was easily bullied into addiction and crime. She also feels that the real Jaevna Shilo’s death was somehow her fault.

As a result she wants both to atone, and to make sure that “Jaevna Shilo” is a great and perfect heroine. Her deeds will never cast a shadow on the real Jaevna’s good name. She strives to meet ethical standards that are above what most Jedi knights actually achieve. She wants to leave everyone convinced that “Jaevna Shilo” is a great defender of the Republic and a model soldier.

As such she is rigidly uncompromising about the traditional, better values of the Republic. She strives to be honest, incorruptible and a faithful defender of the people as well as a dutiful servant of the Senate.

However, this stringent sense of duty doesn’t fare well once it collides with just how decaying the Republic is. The system is at war with itself on every level. Nobody can be a straight shooter. Despite all her efforts, she finds herself forced to compromise and even lie by omission to the Senate.

The rubber and the road

She’s smart enough to know that General Garza’s stance of ignoring the laws and values of the Republic in order to protect them is bullshit. But Garza does get results and is undeniably saving lives.

Though her plan was to be unfailingly disciplined like a good soldier should, “Shilo” has come to only partially obey Garza’s orders. Especially when they stray too far away from the official values of the Republic.

She can actually do that. As far as the public is concerned, she is the prestigious Havoc Squad. With the treason of the rest kept confidential, they do not know how flimsy “Jaevna Shilo”’s ties with the legendary unit actually are. This, of course doesn’t help with Tia’s major case of impostor syndrome.

General Garza

General Garza also lets Tia get away with it. Not only can’t she sack the face of Havoc Squad, but she’s keenly aware of how hard finding superior operatives for the Republic can be. Especially after the mass defections.

The shrewd Elin Garza sensed right away something was off with “Shilo”. But her vast web of contacts among military intelligence services made her aware of what the lass had accomplished within but two weeks on Ord Mantell.

Garza would rather deal with well-meaning insubordination that throw away somebody who gets results. Especially since her entire pet unit suddenly turned traitors and she didn’t have replacements conveniently waiting on a bench.

We can rebuild her

Among Tia’s issues is her status as a cyborg. It is quite a bother in her everyday life (for instance to take showers). There are always small bugs in her systems that degrade her quality of life, and she feels like a freak.

Prejudice against cyborgs is also common. “Freak” is in fact how they are most often called behind their back. Her status as a supposed military heroine and her looks and armament normally prevent overt insults. But Tia knows that her odds of having a normal life are practically nil.

Fake it until you can make it

As the era covered by this profile closes, Tia becomes less anxious about being an impostor. She has won enough battles to know that she isn’t a complete fake. And she has rejected enough dishonest offers that she feels she’s capable of upholding her lofty principles pretty far.

She also has Aric Jorgan to watch her back and fight with her. The Sergeant is efficient and professional, and likes her style. He also considers her a bullheaded rookie (if a very talented one) without much finesse. Thus, he isn’t surprised when she has “forgotten” something that was on the Academy curriculum.

As impostor’s syndrome (or rather the fact that she *is* an impostor) recedes, Tia’s main concern becomes dealing with the dire state of the Republic. She has become a minor player in that tragedy.

Like many other soldiers, officers, leaders, politicians, law enforcers, etc. she’d like to save the Republic without becoming part of the problem. But is that even possible ?


Quotes

“In the name of the Galactic Republic, I order you to surrender !”

“I live to serve to Republic.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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The Republic Trooper

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Uphold Good
Int: 05 Wil: 03 Min: 04 Occupation: Special Forces trooper
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 003
Init: 015 HP: 030

Skills:
Acrobatics (Athletics): 04, Artist (Actress): 03, Charisma (Intimidation): 02, Evasion: 05, Thief (Stealth, Security Systems): 04, Vehicles (Land speeders, Light spaceships): 03, Weaponry (Infantry weapons): 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
Artist (Actress) is Specialized (pretending to be a partially amnesiac Jaevna Shilo). All other applications are thus +1CS to OV/RV.

Advantages
Familiarity (Republic military equipment and protocols, Shoul rules and tactics, Basic electronic repairs, Simple explosives disposal, Computer power user), Headquarters (Confined – apartment on Coruscant), Iron Nerves, Lightning Reflexes, Local Hero (Havoc Squad operative), Rank (Sergeant for most of this era, Lieutenant as it closes), Schtick (Fast-Draw (Mini-grenade)).

Connections:
Aric Jorgan (High), General Garza (Low).

Drawbacks:
Creepy Appearance (Cybernetic implants, plus usually her size and mighty martial makeup), Guilt, Dark Secret (True identity), MIA toward Upholding the Good, MPR (Cybernetics).

Equipment:

  • Command blaster carbine [BODY 02, Energy blast: 06, R#02].
  • OLDER HEAVY BODY ARMOUR [BODY 04, Blunting: 03, Damage Capacity: 02, Enhance (Physical RV): 01 (cap is 03), Limitation: Blunting and Damage Capacity only apply vs. conventional blaster fire, Damage Capacity does not protect against Stun, Bonus: Damage Capacity has Instant Recovery].
  • Mini-grenades (x8) [BODY 01, EV 07 (Area of Effect 1 AP), Grenade Drawback].
  • Holocom [BODY 01, Radio communications: 15, Bonus: Radio communication is fully audiovisual, Misc.: includes full translation options for anybody addressing Jaevna, though it is limited to known organic and droid languages].
  • Blaster Pistol [BODY 02, Energy blast: 05, R#02]. Strictly a backup weapon.
  • PASSIVE JAMMER [BODY 01, Obscure: 02, Limitation: Obscure only vs. technological detection].
  • Small set of basic electronic and computer tools.

Design Notes

See our Star Wars Genre article for extensive discussion of SW stories in DCH.


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

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“Jaevna Shilo” — Averaged PL6.2

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
03 02 03 03 04 01 01 01

Combat Advantages

Close attack 1, Defensive Roll 2, Increased Initiative, Quick Draw, Ranged attack 2.

Other Advantages

Benefit 1 (A safe apartment on Coruscant), Benefit 1 (The excellent Havoc Squad reputation), Benefit 1 (NCO then Lieutenant), Diehard, Equipment 6, Second chance (Fear/intimidation).

Skills

Athletics 2 (+5), Close combat (Unarmed) 1 (+6), Deception 4 (+5) (Limited 2 to pretending to be Jaevna Shilo), Expertise (Republic commando) 3 (+4), Expertise (Shoul) 3 (+4), Insight 1 (+2), Intimidation 1 (+2), Perception 4 (+5), Ranged combat (Republic infantry weapons) 4 (+9), Stealth 2 (+5), Technology 4 (+5) (Limited 1 to Operating, Jury-Rigging, Security, Demolitions (EOD only)), Vehicles 1 (+4) (Limited 1 to land speeders and light spaceships).

Equipment

Command blaster carbine Ranged blaster Damage 5 ● 10 points
Old body armour Protection 2, plus Protection 2 (Limited 1 to blasters) ● 3 points
Specops mini-grenades Burst Area 1 explosive Damage 6 ● 12 points
Passive jammer Benefit 1 (+5 circumstances bonus for evading technological detection) ● 1 point
Odds and ends Holocom, backup blaster pistol, small set of electronic and computer tools ● 2 points

Offense

Initiative +7
Unarmed +6, Close, Damage 3
Infantry weapons +9, Ranged, Damage by type

Defence

Dodge 08 Fortitude 06
Parry 06 Toughness 04
Will 04

* Without Defensive Roll

Complications

  • Cyborg freak Distinctive appearance, social stigma, occasional glitches in her systems.
  • Identity thief Tia must hide that she’s not Jaevna Shilo.
  • Driven defender of the Republic “Jaevna” holds herself to very high ethical standards in adverse circumstances.
  • Liar and murderess Tia has a terrible self-image and a major case of impostor symptom. She cannot accept that she didn’t actually do anything awful.

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 7, Dodge/Toughness PL 7, Parry/Toughness PL 6, Fort/Will PL 5.
  • Points total 80. Abilities 36, Defences 14, Skills 12, Powers 0, Devices 0, Advantages 18. Equiv. PL 6..


By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG. Female Republic Trooper voiced by Jennifer Hale.

Writeup completed on the 13th of February, 2016.

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