Jedi Knight II : HSE Inspection
Article - our team of experts takes a look at the dangerous design of many Imperial facilities
Being an Imperial Storm Trooper is a hazardous occupation at the best of times, what with the constant threat of Rebel attack and meddling Jedi knights. Statistically though, your average grunt should be more worried about the risk of accidents in the workplace than being killed by marauding revolutionaries. After receiving an anonymous tip-off from a union rep, we called in the Health & Safety Executive to examine a random sampling of Imperial facilities. What we discovered was truly shocking...
Our first stop was Cairn, which one HSE official described as "a death trap". Of particular concern was the reactor assembly, which includes a number of unprotected laser beams that can fire without warning, reducing unsuspecting maintenance personnel to a pile of smouldering ashes. The reactor also features several inexplicably deep pits surrounded by narrow walkways, none of which have any kind of guard rail. During our snap inspection a Storm Trooper lost his footing and fell over a hundred feet into a dark hole in the ground right in front of our eyes. Footage of the unfortunate man's final seconds can be found above. This kind of incident is apparently all too common at Cairn, but a culture of fear prevents any action from being taken to remedy the situation. One trooper told us that the last man who complained to his Commander about working conditions was reassigned to the spice mine on Kessel.
Next on our inspection tour was Artus, a mining complex which has been the focus of campaigns by local environmentalists for a long, long time. Pollution from the crystal mining operation here has reduced this once verdant planet to a barren wasteland of rock and toxic sludge, with the dangerous insects that infest the base's ventilation system the only surviving indigenous lifeform. We witnessed one Storm Trooper being eaten alive by these unwholesome pests. Our visit almost came to an unexpected end when a section of the monorail track which carried us into the mines collapsed. Luckily our train stopped in time, but our team was forced to jump over the side of the vehicle and clamber up a precarious slope next to a pool of bubbling radioactive slime. Meanwhile frequent ground tremors caused by blasting threatened to send sentries over the edge of their walkways.
The final base to come under investigation was the outpost at Kejim, a newly constructed facility which should have had all the latest safety precautions. Financial hardships in the wake of the Death Star catastrophe have apparently led to cost-cutting here too though, as once again simple guard rails were absent, despite the fact that the base is built on the edge of a canyon. To make matters worse, several parts of the base are apparently only accessible via a series of extendible platforms suspended precariously above the main coolant shaft. Regulations concerning the storage of hazardous materials were also being flouted, and several unmarked explosive crates were found scattered throughout the facility. Under these circumstances even a single stray shot could prove devestating, as one unlucky soldier discovered to his cost during our visit. The purpose and exact contents of these crates is unknown - one trooper we spoke to suggested that the architect had installed them to brighten the place up as a break from the otherwise drab grey walls. Whatever the reasons behind this horrific situation, the results are all too clear to see. Throughout the Empire hundreds of our brave soldiers are dying each day, not because of ineffectual raids by Rebel forces, but as a result of poorly designed bases and safety code violations...