Articles

Grozchiir: Adventures of a Madclaw (Part 4)

In Uncategorized on 2008-03-19 by Kyle Maxwell

PRESENT DAY – ON KASHYYYK

The young bantha murmured to itself as Grozchiir groomed its mane. The Kashyyykian night sky glowed softly, bringing back memories of other, less peaceful nights, nights marked by violence and death and struggle. The last night he’d spent on Kashyyyk had ended in a slaver’s net, and the years afterward in Imperial captivity fed his desire to see Life Day on Kashyyyk once more.

But tonight was different. Returning home to his village after so much time as a prisoner, Grozchiir allowed himself to relax and contemplate what this all really meant. He’d long since processed the guilt from being the only survivor of the raid that ended in his slavery, finally accepting that those who’d been killed had not suffered the indignities he had. Now, though, it all came flooding back to him. The screams, the explosions, the disruptor flashes. His people were hunted and killed or captured, and he’d been one of them. Grunting quietly, he blinked back what were certainly not tears.

After so many murmured prayers to celebrate the next Life Day on Kashyyyk, the homeland was still occupied. Little villages like this were all that remained of their proud cities among the trees. Even so, Grozchiir was pleased that there were still pups in the village that had only known freedom. Freedom of a sorts, as it was really the liberty to live in fear, but they’d not yet suffered the lash of an angry Trandoshan slavemaster. Someday, Life Day would mean even more than it did now, when no one had to live in fear of the galaxy taking note of their celebration. For so long, he’d only been able to mark Life Day with his own prayers in a cell of steel and concrete, hoping that somewhere, someone still remembered him and that they, at least, would be among trees and tribe.

His reverie with the bantha at his side was only slightly interrupted by the soft sound of approaching footsteps and a gentle voice behind him.

“Groz, it’s almost time for the Joining. The Orb is glowing and everyone’s there; are you coming?”

He smiled a bit and responded without turning, rumbling low in his throat. “Too many years, too much distance. Is it even…?” His voice trailed off as he repressed those unwanted memories.

A feminine chuckle preceded the prodding: “Yes, too many years. But you need to reconnect now; come to the Orb and be part of us again.”

Slowly, so as not to disturb the now-sleeping bantha, Grozchiir turned and looked into her sparkling green eyes. What did he see there? Gratitude, yes, but was there anything more? He’d returned to his homeland, once again free, only to find that so much had changed. For him, for his village, for his people.

The flickering torches around the village danced in her eyes as she awaited his response.

Squaring his shoulders, he finally spoke after a long moment.

“I always was.”

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