Articles

Grozchiir: Adventures of a Madclaw (Part 2)

In Uncategorized on 2008-03-19 by Kyle Maxwell

PRESENT DAY
A HIDDEN ALLIANCE BASE

The counselor smiled across the room at Grozchiir. “It must have been very difficult for you.”

After stumbling through some pirate-controlled systems, he’d managed to find an Alliance-held base on a small moon. Despite the initial tensions, the fact that a Wookiee was flying an Imperial shuttle was of enough interest that they’d not shot him down immediately.

He’d done his best to clean things up, spacing the bodies and trying to wash out as much of the blood as possible from the deck and his own fur. The sight of a disheveled Wookiee coming off the shuttle and all that that implied was enough to disperse the guards who’d surrounded the vessel once it landed as a normal precautionary measure.

Welcoming him into their ranks, he’d been assigned to the Rehabilitation Office for debriefing and therapy before being sent into a regular unit. As nervous as this made him — what would happen if they discovered how he’d mauled that guard? — he recognized it was his only way back into the fight. And at least they’d been sensitive enough to assign another Wookiee to talk to him.

Groz shook his head and grunted. He’d agreed to meet with the counselor but he’d never agreed to tell her much, something she hadn’t yet accepted.

“Maybe we could start a little earlier. I see you’ve been listed as missing for a number of years. Would you like to tell me about your service before that?”

As much as he’d resisted responding thus far, to ignore that question would be to dishonor the memories of the fallen. He’d done enough on the shuttle to bring reproach on his clan and thus wouldn’t add to it now…


APPROXIMATELY 10 BBY
SOMEWHERE ON KASHYYYK
The day dawned bright and clear. The squad leader, Shoryyytaal, addressed them in grave tones. “Our scouts have reported on a new landing facility being built not far from here. The markings on the construction droids indicate that they belong to the Empire, though traffic analysis points to their being on loan to the Trandoshans.”A rumble could be heard in the small hut. Their two most hated enemies, the Empire and Trandoshan slavers, had forged an unholy alliance. Never shrinking from a fight, the Wookiees’ inner fire drove them to resist. This small unit was tasked with locating and destroying any nearby facilities that would support their operations.”We have little information on what defenses may surround the facility. The scouts were discovered by a patrol and chose to return with their informatoin as quickly as possible.” Grunts and nods followed; the resistance had learned the hard way that sometimes data was more valuable to their cause than fighting at every encounter with the enemy.

Handing out specific assignments, Shoryyytaal next indicated Grozchiir. “Your job is the same as normal procedure. Find the communications array and destroy it immediately before the facility can report on our raid. We believe it to be in the center of the facility, but you may need to follow the signal emissions indicator to be more precise.”

A Wookiee of few words, Grozchiir only growled in response. Once the briefing was complete and equipment inspected, the squad filtered quietly out of the hut and down the trees to the darkened forest floor.

Just outside the facility perimeter, the squad halted. Robacca was on point and had indicated no contact with any patrols or other defenses. Perhaps they’d arrived before any of those could be established, though given the local wildlife that seemed surprising. Shoryyytaal had pondered this news, then quietly responded that fate was with them that night.

Scanning the facility, Grozchiir lay prone inside the treeline. There was an antenna… yes. A prefab metal hut was attached to it with several dishes on top of it and blinking lights inside, a telltale of human-built equipment.

With a roar, the squad leader lept into the clearing. At this signal, the commandos opened up on the facility. Bowcaster bolts flew through the night as droids exploded in showers of sparks. Paying the return fire little heed, Grozchiir ran, low to the ground, towards the hut. One battle droid stood inside, its metal frame groaning as the Wookiee pulled it apart.

Charges set, timers enabled. Time to leave. Grozchiir exited the hut but was immediately knocked back against it. The shock wave from an explosion had caught him off-guard, and there in the sky were nightmarish visions of shrieking close-air patrol fighters. Imperial gunships had begun to lay down suppressing fire, and the night wind brought the unmistakable stench of Trandoshans.

He struggled to his feet and he raced for the treeline. Fallen comrades were everywhere, but there! Shoryyytaal was alive, lifting a Trandoshan off his feet by his throat. Roaring, Grozchiir lept off the ground towards the slaver’s body.

He never reached it. The body exploded with a brilliant flash, vaporizing the squad leader and sending Groz flipping backwards and into the dirt.

He lifted his head only to find blaster rifles pointed at his head. The hissing and grinning of the Trandoshans around him infuriated the commando, but his arms strangely did not respond. A fine mesh began to glow over his fur, and he knew himself then, not just for a survivor, but for a slave.

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