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Saga - OT Even Enemies - Winter 2020 OC Challenge [Imperial officer encounters an injured alien]

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by madman007, Jan 3, 2021.

  1. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 22, 2007
    Title: Even Enemies

    Author: Madman007

    Characters: OC Imperial officer and alien species

    Timeframe: OT. a few months after the first Death Star destruction

    Summary: During the Galactic Civil War, an Imperial officer discovers more about the Ziothran species, whom the Empire is destroying. He encounters an injured member of the species during battle.

    Commander Wan found an entrance to a dwelling in a vacant alley. Blaster fire and explosions were surrounding him at random. He wasn’t the target. It was mostly his own squadron who were doing the firing. The objective was to eliminate the “bumpies”, or Zoithrans. They mistakenly decided that they should refuse Imperial law on their system of Zoithra. And his squadron soon discovered that they were a nuisance. The bumpies were fierce. His squadron expected resistance, but not on a scale this large.

    He managed to reach the door to the dwelling and enter the building. He shut the door but could still hear the sounds of battle outside. He could breathe now. He leaned up against the nearby wall, weary. He was not suited for field work. His primary job was to order his stormtroopers into battle, not be a part of it. It couldn’t be helped. Their numbers have been dwindling ever since the Rebels destroyed the Death Star. The traitors either killed the Empire’s best troops, or they recruited more troops to abandon the Empire.

    He took a moment to look around at his surroundings. There were several shelves arranged in rows that contained various items. Signs of advertisements adorned the front of the aisles. This was a shop of some kind. He decided to check the perimeter. The area was seemingly abandoned, but he had to be cautious. He held out his hand blaster as he slowly moved around the area. His boots created crunch sounds from the debris on the floor with each step. He reached the back area where stacks of containers were stored. He turned a corner and he heard it.

    Labored breathing.

    The Commander became more alert. He slowly paced himself around the corner. He saw the source of the breathing. A bumpie was sitting upright against the opposite wall. The Zoithran’s orange-red skin glistened with thick sweat. As Commander Wan approached, he could see a trail of dark red bumpie blood leading to where the Zoithran rested. It was wounded. It finally arched his head towards the Commander. It’s three horizontal protrusions on its forehead were dominant. It finally acknowledged the Commander’s presence with a silent nod.

    The Commander went into business mode. He announced with full extension of his blaster, “In the name of the Empire, you are under arrest and will be taken as prisoner!”

    The Zoithran grinned and said wryly, “And that ends a perfectly bad day.”

    Wan crinkled his brow. “You speak Basic.”

    “Of course. Can’t get around the galaxy without speaking it. I assume you came in here to get away from the chaos outside.”

    “I am merely securing the perimeter.”

    “Even Imps don’t lie well. You meant to say you were too busy murdering my people.”

    “You bump—er, Zoithrans have defied the Empire’s assistance on your system. You brought this suppression on yourselves.”

    “Is that what you Imps tell yourselves these days? Justification for slaughter? You have no concept of suppression. Imperials have prevented Zoithrans from living their own lives. And for what? Total control of the Zoithra System?” He winced in pain.

    “You’re wounded.”

    “You have amazing powers of observation. Not that you care. Another ‘bumpie’ dying.”

    “I couldn’t help you if I wanted to. I have no medical training.”

    “What a surprise.”

    “Besides, you might be faking it to gain advantage over me.”

    The Zoithran laughed. “Yes, I’m just sitting here in sweat and blood waiting for an Imp officer to make up an injury with. Well, since you have no medical training, can you at least fetch me some water?”

    “Where am I going to find water in here?”

    “Aisle Enth. Bottom shelf. Pack of bottled water.” He chuckled. “They’re on sale this week.”

    “You know this store?”

    “I own this store.”

    Wan lowered his blaster and asked, “What about bacta?”

    “Won’t do any good at this point. We only sell small bacta patches. I would need a full bacta tank. By the time I get to one…well, you know.”

    “What happened? You get shot in battle?”

    “Hardly. I was trying to close the shop after I heard the blaster fire and explosions outside. Then a big blast hit me on my side and was thrown back. I still don’t know what it was.”

    “Probably a DF-90 Mortar. We launched them into the town here.”

    The Zoithran sneered. “You don’t know how much better I feel knowing that. Anyway, I couldn’t move my legs so I crawled all the way back here. Now I can’t move at all except for my arms. Don’t worry, I don’t have long.”

    “So you say. I’m going to get your water. Don’t think I won’t shoot you if you try anything.”

    “You won’t shoot.”

    “How do you know that?”

    “I can feel your apprehension at shooting. It’s the reason why you ducked into here to avoid the battle outside.”

    “How can you feel that?”

    The Zoithran chuckled. “You never studied our species, did you? We can feel emotions of others.”

    Wan spat out, “Like the ancient Jedi? You belong to that hokey religion?”

    “No, we’re not Jedi. Nor do we need the Force. Zoithrans are natural empaths. Are you getting my water, or what?”

    “Yes. Sure.” Wan left the area to find the aisle where the water was. He found it and took one bottle and went back to the Zoithran. He handed the bottle to the alien with caution.

    As the Zoithran took the bottle, he said, “You know, you don’t have to be afraid of me.”

    “I’m not afraid of you.”

    “You’re right. You’re terrified. Trust me, I can feel it all around you.” He took a swig of the water and cried in pain. “You don’t have to fear me. I’m just a shopkeeper and a family man.”

    “You…have a family?”

    “You say that like you’re surprised. Did you think all Zoithrans are single? I’m a father of two daughters. My only regret sitting here is that I may never see them again.”

    “How old?”

    “Ten and six in Zoithra years. My wife and them will have to take over the shop. Owww!” He coughed. “Hurts when I talk now. What about you? Kids?”

    Wan’s voice became monotone. “I do not disclose personal data to an enemy.”

    “Are you serious? Where am I going to go? I’ll die before I can tell anyone, and not by choice. You Imps sure don’t know the reality of the galaxy.”

    “Perhaps you can enlighten me.”

    “For starters, you fear any being that isn’t human. Fear may be the Empire’s main weapon, but it’s fear that is controlling the Empire. They destroy races and systems that don’t conform to their will. They don’t want the people of the galaxy to think for themselves. Intelligence is the greatest fear of the Empire. It thrives on ignorance.” He paused. “Heard enough?”

    Commander Wan said absently, “My…son feels the same way.”

    “Son?” The Zoithran coughed several times. “An Imp gets personal. Newsflash on the HoloNet! So, he didn’t follow in his father’s boots, I gather.”

    “He doesn’t want anything to do with me. Or the Empire. He’s grown. He just turned eighteen.”

    “When was the last time you saw him?”

    Wan hesitated. “Two standard years.”

    “You think it may be time for a visit? Patch things up?”

    Wan shook his head. “The Empire comes first.”

    “You do know how backwards that is.”

    “It’s too late, anyway. He won’t listen to me anymore.”

    “It’s never…too late.” He coughed more and longer. “Imagine if you were in my position, inches away…. from death.” Cough.

    Wan shrugged. “I would assume the Empire would take care of my family in the case of my demise.”

    The Zoithran tried to chuckle but it came out sounding like a grunt. “Never assume…anything.” Cough.

    “Is there anything else I can get you?”

    The Zoithran let out a long sigh. “A minute…with my girls and wife. Just one more…minute. It would be…enough. Time to tell them…. not be afraid. Not to feel…alone.” Cough.

    “I’m sorry.”

    “That’s…comforting…coming from an Imp who was about to arrest…a fatally injured Zoithran.” Cough. “By the way, what is your…name?”

    “Why do you want to know?”

    “I’d like…to know the name…of the last person I will ever speak with.”

    “Commander Aslan Wan.”

    “Pleased…to meet you. I am Cassir Torwyn.” His head tilted to one side and his breathing became more difficult.

    There was the sound of the front door opening and Wan could hear footsteps of his troopers approaching. Two troopers entered the back room and spotted their Commander and the Zoithran.

    Cassir heard them, too. He weakly announced, “Great. The calvary…is here.”

    One trooper spoke to his commander. “Sir, are you all right?”

    “Yes, TK-626.”

    “Shall I take care of this hostile, sir?” He raised his blaster to aim at Cassir.

    “Stand down, trooper.”

    “But, sir, our orders are to eliminate—”

    “I said stand down. Can’t you see this man is already dying? Are there any more out there?”

    “We pushed the remaining hostiles back into the forest. We can have an AT-ST here from the Trepid in 0200 hours to finish them off.”

    “No need. We’re done here. Nothing more to do. We’ve eliminated enough of them to send a message.”

    “Sir, our orders—”

    “I know our orders, trooper. Let me worry about them.”

    The other trooper asked, “Did this bumpie attack you, sir?”

    “No. He was like this when I found him. Leave him alone.”

    “Why, sir?”

    “Respect, trooper. Something every being deserves when taking their last breaths. Even our enemies.” Wan forced himself to look away from Cassir and go into command mode. “Collect the rest of the squadron. We’re leaving.”

    “Yes, sir!” both troopers acknowledged in unison. They both left the room.

    Aslan kneeled down closer to Cassir. “You still with us?”

    Cassir’s voice was low and hoarse now. “Barely. I can feel you…Aslan. And…it’s not fear.”

    “What do you feel from me now?”

    “Relief.” Cassir let out one more breath and he stared out into nothing with his last remaining sight. His breathing stopped.

    Aslan Wan took his fingers and closed Cassir’s eyes for him. “I’ll see what I can do to inform the Torwyn family.” He stood up and began to walk out of the store. He could not escape the thought of hearing his own son’s voice again after so long. Aslan made a note to send a Holo message to him as soon as he could.

    The End

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
  2. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 30, 1999
    Aww, that was really well done. I liked the change in the commanders perspective and the way he realised that maybe what he’d been told by the Empire wasn’t entirely true. Great work

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Kahara and madman007 like this.
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha 2 Truths 1 Lie Host star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    A very unforgettable encounter for Commander Wan. Cassir is witty and has a lot of good advice about priorities and relationships. @};-
    Kahara and madman007 like this.
  4. gizkaspice

    gizkaspice Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 27, 2013
    What a great response to the challenge! Getting a huge 'Enemy Mine' (the novel, not the movie) vibe from the conversations between Cassir and Aslan here with two different species trying to get to know each other amid a battle.
  5. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 9, 2001
    Great job! In these circumstances, these two are lucky to have come across each other. Commander Wan, as we saw, was not one to shoot first and ask questions later but instead treated Cassir respectfully, and the experience could possibly improve things with his son. And I got a sense that Cassir might have helped save numerous Zoithran lives after showing Commander Wan they weren't nameless beasts to destroy; I suspect that AT-ST would have been ordered in after the survivors without this encounter.

    Definitely a difficult learning experience, but Commander Wan seems like the type to take it to heart.

    Great work! =D=
    Kahara and WarmNyota_SweetAyesha like this.
  6. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 11, 2016
    Great and very human story. The Zoithran seem like an intresting species using their empathy to reach their goals I guess. Apealing to the best inside their enemies personality.
  7. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    The dialogue here is so well-done; I really like how you can get a sense for who each of these characters are in such a short time. =D=

    Cassir is perceptive and has a kind of sardonic humor that seems to have origins well before the attack by the Empire on his home. I also liked that we get to know a little about his job and that he has a family (even though that has very sad implications given his death). The fact that he immediately picks out that Wan is really just searching for cover seems far beyond any mere empathic talent and more that he understands people.

    And it's pretty soon apparent that beyond just trying to hide from the chaotic consequences of his most recent actions, Wan has been hiding from his own doubts about the Empire. He's clearly had his son's estrangement and the reasons for it in the back of his mind for some time.

    It's really awful that there's nothing either of them can do to really help Cassir, beyond water and company. At least Wan is able to send the other Imperials on their way and prevent them from making things even worse. Though whether he can or will manage to help Cassir's world or make peace with his son is still an unknown, at least there is that much.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021