For those new to Jedi Knight, Annex is the leader of the huge Star Wars gaming league - Black Sun, which includes a league called 'Jedi Dawn' dedicated to Jedi Knight. Also, interviewer John Santos shows us an interesting new way to present interviews in story format. I like the concept :)
Black Sun Empire
I looked around as the servant closed the double doors behind me. Now here was a guy who knew how to entertain his guests. As I sat down I felt the cool Trandoshan silk couch beneath me. Up above were elaborate lighting fixtures. Those, along with the numerous paintings organized on the ceiling, gave the room a mix of antique and modern flavors. Windows, from floor to ceiling, formed a barrier at the far side of the room. The view was breathtaking, I was clearly in the tallest building of this city. The rug felt soft even through my boots. I almost gave in to the urge of stripping to my feet bare and feeling the rug fibers. But I wasnít here to admire the manís decorations, nor was I here to indulge myself in childish impulses. I had a job to do and my duty as an imperial intelligence officer would always come first. Emperor Palpatine had been keeping his eye on this organization. Up until recently, the Emperor had been content with merely allowing things to go on. But, because of rumors that Jedi tournaments were being organized by this company, I was ordered to interrogate the owner of the Black Sun Empire himself and deal with him as I saw fit.
Lost in my thoughts, I barely heard the sound of footsteps nearby. I immediately stood and sized up the person who would be my companion for the next hour or so. He wasnít as tall as I had imagined. In fact, he seemed nothing like the descriptions I had heard from preliminary intelligence reports. Where was the aura of power? Was I talking to the right person? This man was too... down-to-earth. Surely the leader of as large and infuential company as the Black Sun would be more detached than this. I cleared my head. I couldnít let his appearance fool me. There had to be more beneath this facade. I had to find the sneaky, mischievous man whom the Emperor had deemed important enough to interrogate.
"Hi!" he said. "Sorry to keep you waiting but I just finished my daily exercise routine."
He reached out his hand and I shook it. I could tell nothing from his handshake. There was no anger, resentment, nor could I sense anxiety. This was unusual. Usually, when an Imperial representative would visit a company, there was always the sense of at least one of these feelings.
"I have an important meeting in half an hour," he continued. "So letís get started. What would you like to know?"
"Could you tell me what your job in this company is?" I began.
"Well about ninety percent of my day is devoted to the Black Sun. I basically try to do everything that needs to be done. I handle management, organization, and so on."
"Seems like a lot for one man to handle."
"I have a staff of executive officers that takes care of news, events, files, and things like that."
"Exactly how many people are in your commanding staff?"
"Well... excluding myself there are about fifteen people."
I made a mental note to myself: someone would have to track down these executives just in case I didnít get the information I needed from their leader.
I pressed on. "How many members does your organization have?"
"We have over a thousand members enlisted."
I stopped for a few seconds. Did I hear that correctly? Annex had become more powerful than we had originally estimated. The Emperor would have to be notified immediately. I pressed on, working my way to the real reason behind my visit.
"Now how does one man, regardless of the number of helpers he has, manage such an enormous company?"
"Control and order." he stated plainly. "I have to be in control of all aspects of the organization and must have order in all those aspects. If I share my power, I will lose control. If the aspects become disorganized, Black Sun will fall apart."
He slowly stood up and walked over to the balcony overlooking the city which he had helped build. The night was clear and spacecraft were jetting back and forth across the dark sky. I imagined it must be great to be able to look out your window and see such an incredible view each day. He slowly turned his head to the left, then to the right as if he were a king overlooking his kingdom.
When next he spoke, his voice was stern and unwavering. "Every single day I make sure that everything in the Black Sun Empire is working..."
His voice trailed off after the last word and he seemed to be thinking deeply. I could see his reflection off the glass window. His eyebrows were knotted tightly and his eyes were staring off into the distance at nothing in particular. Right when I was about to ask another question, he continued. "In my youth, I would often go to a friendís house and, on his archaic computer, would simulate the building of entire cities. I would manage everything from housing to business. As an added challenge, there were also natural disasters, pollution, and unemployment. Because of that simple program I became increasingly curious of computers and, more specifically, the connection of numerous computers, the Internet. Before I even finished my governmentally required education, I had already become somewhat of an expert. I joined many organizations which needed my talents and at the same time I learned what made them successful. I took that knowledge and used it to make Black Sun according to my own ideals and rules."
Another pause. He turned to face me, smiled, and said "So thatís how I got to where I am today."
He walked over to the fully stocked bar and poured two tall glasses of what appeared to be a clear beverage of some sort. He offered one to me and I declined with a shake of my head. He slowly sat down on a chair facing me.
Before I could continue he glanced at a timepiece on the table in between us. "Well I have a meeting right now so I had better get going."
I opened my mouth to speak. "But I..."
"By the way," he cut me short. "There will be a Jedi tournament on the twentieth of this month just in case you havenít already heard. This will be the biggest tourney yet. In fact, I am already planning the next two tournaments. Feel free to drop by and weíll go watch some matches"
He smiled, finished off his drink, and walked out a side door I hadnít noticed before. The door shut behind him with a barely audible thud. Meanwhile, I sat there stunned. As my mind calculated what had just happened, a smile crept upon my face. The intelligence reports were right. Annex was a sneaky and mischievous man.
I looked around the room one last time then shut the double doors behind me.
Sylvester Rozylo (aka. Annex) lives in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. He first got into computers in the 10th Grade when he played SimCity on his friendís PC. He quickly fell in love with the game and became a PC-holic. In the 12th Grade he got a co-op job working at his school on their new internet system. He became obsessed with the internet and shortly thereafter, discovered online StarWars clubs. His first club was the Emperorís Hammer. He has been through 7-8 clubs and the experience he gained helped him create the Black Sun Empire. Black Sun began August 18, 1997 and has since grown to over 1000 members.
At the ripe old age of 19, Annex has played over 100 PC games. Among those he mentioned were X-Com, Star Control2, X-wing vs. Tie Fighter, Joint Strike Fighter, and Master of Orion. Though he doesnít get to play as much as he used to, because Black Sun takes up so much of his time, he did have some comments about the two hottest games on the market today...
Jedi Knight: "Great game, one of the best Iíve ever played. Graphics donít make a game, gameplay does and thatís why JK is a winner."
Quake2: "It was a great disappointment for me. I was expecting a game with an in-depth storyline, something more than just a mindless shooter. I got the game the day it came out. It is Doom6. Itís still the same game with new graphics. Basically, I think Q2 was released just to promote 3Dfx sales and to force people to upgrade."