• majoki

Deathstarland

When he got stared down by some punk teenager, he longed for his blaster. His E-11 standard Republic-issued blaster. He so badly wanted to take out the girl with the neon sunglasses getting up in his helmet as the surrounding crowd gawked. One shot from his E-11 and all those smiling faces would turn to horror, and then he’d lord it over these puny creatures in this backward universe.

To the teen taunting him, it was all a game. And he was a two bit actor. Enter cosmic irony. Before he’d been conscripted into the Imperial forces and become a stormtrooper, he’d wanted to become an actor, make it big on Coruscant or Alderaan (though there was no Alderaan, anymore).

But then the insurgency had begun and his ideas of acting were quashed. He became a soldier to wipe out the Jedi terrorists and their Rebel Alliance that threatened the stability of the Empire and all that was good in the galaxy.

Over many years he’d worked his way through the ranks, finally getting a posting on the Death Star. When you got garrisoned on the most massive weapon ever created, a planet-killing machine, you’d made it. You were the cream of the stormtroopin’ crop.

Now, he was being stared down by a feisty little teen with a ponytail. How could this have happened?

Unfortunately, he knew the answer. He let it hijack his mind for the millionth time as the seconds passed in this stare down with the unruly teen. The rebels had attacked the Death Star. A weak and seemingly fruitless assault on the Empire’s bastion of might, and, yet, as he made his way from the detention levels to muster with his squad, the impossible had happened. Twice.

One impossibility was the implosion of the mighty Death Star, which he sensed right before the lift he was riding evaporated. The second impossibility was the vortal that saved him from decimation. While most of the Death Star’s particles were being brutally scattered to the far reaches of that galactic quadrant, his were being sucked into a vortal, a vortex portal, an unpredictable quantum eddy created by the monumental blast.

He’d regained consciousness in a dark damp place. Luckily, his stormtrooper armor was still powered and functioning. Infrared led him to an opening where he was almost run over by some kind of tracked vehicle with screaming creatures. He backed off and hunkered down, letting his universal translator and armor implants systems locate where he was.

Not anywhere in his universe.

The inhabitants of this world were of his general physiology though their language was initially indecipherable. After a few hours as he stealthily explored the structure he’d awakened in, the universal translator finally calibrated and he began to understand the scattered screaming and smatterings of conversation. He was at some kind of amusement center, a playland of sorts. Rides and thrills for children and even adults. Not unlike some of the cyclical fairs he’d seen when stationed on Naboo, though this place was far from the crazed sensoriums and bio-dares one could experience on a capital world like Coruscant.

As he slunk through the dark tunnels careful to avoid tracks and girders, he was grateful for his first Imperial posting on Kashyyyk where he’d learned survival techniques among hostile Wookiees. That training kicked and slowly he oriented himself in the labyrinth of underground passages and facilities that laced the somewhat incomprehensible place. After a few days of foraging for food and intelligence, he was able to access their primitive technology systems. Slowly, he learned his way around their information systems only to find, to his dismay, that in this mixed-up universe, he was a piece of fantastic fiction, a villainous stereotype.

Stormtroopers on this world, in this topsy turvy playland, were actors. Throw-away actors hired for trivial entertainment. Their armor was a costume, a cheap imitation, only for show, not fully functioning battle gear like his.

Over the course of weeks he studied and learned the routines and movements of the stormtrooper actors so that he could move around the park, careful to keep from being hounded by visitors. It made him long to fix his blaster. It had come through the vortal with him, but had somehow been damaged. The weapon registered a full charge, but it would not fire, and he could not diagnose the problem.

If he could get his E-11 working, he’d make this world bow before the might of the Empire. Yes, he was only one soldier, surrounded by a strange new enemy, but he was an Imperial Stormtrooper. The best of the best. It was his duty to extend the reach of the Empire and bring distinction to Emperor Palpatine, and all the galaxy far, far away from which he’d come.

Staring into the haughty face of the smirking teen, as the assembled crowd cheered, he vowed vengeance towards this new breed of rebel scum. But, he broke off from her stony stare and stormed away. Better to retreat for the moment before he did anything foolish and give his game away.

Puny creatures. He could wait for his conquest, total mayhem and final reckoning, even in the happiest place on earth.



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