If you have been playing through the new DLC Operation you will know that each time you play through it, you will get different narration each time. If you paid enough attention across multiple playthroughs, you will know the story is actually about Attikus coming to terms with past events and his new found role as a Battleborn/Hero.
The Operation was intended to be played through at least 10 times as there are 10 different sets of narrations that make up the time Attikus spent in the Holo-Sim (with occasional visits from Ambra, Deande and Oscar Mike). While Attikus has chosen to re-live a specific moment from the Thrall Rebellion (which also happens to conveniently create a setting that fits the model of an Operation), there are actually several events taken from the Rebellion and told through this format depending (I believe) on who on the ship comes to speak with him.
SPOILER WARNING: Leave now if you want to experience this yourself. The full dialogue can also be found on my website.
Episode #1 - Sister Payback
It is assumed that Ambra was the first person to approach Attikus to use as a means to get back at her sister Aria. Why? Because she was still pissed about Aria drowning her pet dog, Theodore 11,000 years ago. I assume at this point Ambra had had enough and was already in the process of defecting, however she couldn’t just leave without first paying her dear sister back. Looking at the dialogue between them, this was probably a turning point for Ambra (age 10) where she became someone who hated dirty things and small animals as she was obviously very traumatised by that childhood experience.
While I think it was mentioned somewhere in the Character Lores, this also puts Ambra’s current age at around 11,010 years old at the time of the Thrall Rebellion.
Episode #2 - Deande’s Final Days as the Spymistress
Attikus is still reeling in from the fact that he was just used for Ambra’s own personal vendetta, but then Deande comes in, having also defected from the Jennerit Imperium. Aria wasn’t actually killed btw, but rather took a serious blow to her position which marked the start of the Third Thrall Rebellion. It’s here that it was revealed that she had been a mediator between Rendain and Aria that had prevented several “cullings” from occurring. In order to keep her defection a secret from Rendain as long as possible, she cut off Aria from getting the message out to her Lord Commander who for whatever reason wasn’t within range of Tempest at the time.
Episode #3 - Oscar Mike: Looking For A Bro
This time around, Oscar Mike enters the Holo-Sim looking to hang out, while Attikus has gotten a little depressed and sees him as an annoyance. The Holo-Sim has had to adapt to Oscar Mike’s presence, which is why Aria says some weird stuff this time round. There isn’t any progression on the Thrall Rebellion story, but rather its more like an interlude where these two characters are interacting while the simulation plays out.
Episode #4 - The Fight Against The Oppressors
I assume at this point Deande has met up with several of the other Jennerit Battleborn and has returned to make sure the momentum of the Thrall Rebellion continues as she had planned it. She convinces Attikus that he needs to lead the other Thrall and the sure-fire way to do that is to be the one that defeats a Silent Sister, someone seen has having a lot of power in the eyes of the other Thrall who’s hierarchy is all about who is the strongest. With Aria defeated by Attikus’ hands, the other Thrall start seeing him as an “Alpha” and Attikus himself starts to believe it might actually be possible to make a difference.
There was also a reference made here about a garden planet called Balmerra that had rock flowers and a race of people that were “hopeless romantics” and are now extinct.
Episode #5 - Aria Is Pissed
Aria is now super pissed and sends out a message to Attikus (known as the “Alpha” among the Thrall) telling him to turn himself in or let 100s of his brethren suffer in his place. Attikus of course shows up ready to hand himself over but Aria is cruel and instead drops them all into a lava pit, killing them. She has been cut off from Rendain, pushed into a corner and is currently in charge of holding down Tempest by herself and she’s is doing a horrible job at it!
Episode #6 - Ambra Tries To Help
Losing so many of his rebel brethren was a large blow to Attikus and it also made him very hateful towards the Silent Sisters. Ambra has returned to assist with the Thrall Rebellion only to find hostility. She tries to console him but Attikus is simply too angry and betrayed to listen to her.
Episode #7 - Oscar Mike Comes Back To Check Up On His Bro
The current day Attikus is now feeling very depressed, which is of course the perfect time for Oscar Mike to show up again! It’s alluded here that Oscar Mike might be also going through some emotional stuff, which he hides under his helmet. He tries his best to comfort Attikus in the only way a clone with very little life experience can.
Oscar Mike also apparently owns 8 cats
Episode #8 - Oscar Mike Seeks Help And Deande Attempts to Enlighten Attikus
Having had no success with cheering up Attikus himself, Oscar Mike tricks both Ambra and Deande into coming to the Holo-Sim in a naive attempt to fix the problem.
Oscar Mike! Stuff doesn’t always work out like it does on the Holo-net!!
Ambra storms off, Oscar Mike gets kicked out and Deande attempts to console Attikus by using the simulation to tell it from her perspective. She reveals that Aria only got to where she is because Ambra left the Silent Sisters. She also had a hand in equipping Attikus with his Hedronic Gauntlet, giving him the means to lead his people to rebel and hopefully be able to forge a new future for them.
Episode #9 - Ambra and Attikus Make Up
Ambra is invited back into the Holo-Sim where Attikus tries to apologize for the way he talked to her earlier (I’m not 100% certain on this, as this also seems to coincide with an event that happened during the Rebellion, but it could also be both). He then attempts to get a better understanding of her by having a discussion about her motives for defecting. In turn, Ambra also comes to realize just how much the Jennerit Empire had diverged from what her Empress Lenore had once envisioned.
Episode #10 - The Defeat of Aria
Attikus has now found his calling and is taking the fight to Aria one last time. Ambra has joined the fight (having come to an understanding with him) and has rallied the remaining Silent Sisters together to help end the Thrall Rebellion against Aria’s remaining forces. Aria who has now gone completely mad is trying to wipe out the entire Tempest Slums with an orbital strike from the Exodus. However because Ambra convinced the other Silent Sisters to change sides there is now no one left to run it, causing Aria to disable all the safeguards in a desperate attempt to fire it herself. Attikus calls to his fellow Thrall in one final push to thwart Aria’s plans.
So there you have it. Personally I think this was really cool, though the story was a little lost on me during my playthroughs (too focused on collecting Ops Points, having the volume down to hear people on chat, etc).
A few questions I have left:
- What the hell was Rendain doing all this time?
- Is Aria really dead or did she do the old villain retreat to lick her wounds?
- Where are the other Silent Sisters now? Is the mysterious “B” Jennerit Battleborn among them?
- Does the Holo-Sim have its own AI or is it Nova adapting it to meet the needs of the people inside it?
- When the hell is “Toby’s Friendship Raid” coming out!!??