Lups Gunga, a native of Naboo, Gungan by birth, assassin by force, Fenite
by choice, and alone by circumstances. The cybernetic Gungan sits in his Z-95`s cockpit, the streaked lines of hyperspace swirling past him and his small ship. For the past hour now he has stared out the window. He is through his wails and cries of anguish now. Slowly he is coming to terms with putting his past month behind him. It had been an emotional hell for him. He is trying to forget it all. Instead he seeks to search for a greater purpose in his life. There is but one place he can think of to begin this search. That is home, to search for his former life, to see if he can find something there to put his very soul in order. His screams are done, and his throat is horse. He stares ahead, his very soul torn by feelings. He felt feelings of inadequacy, hatred, sorrow, and purpose? His eye (his organic one anyhow) grows heavy, and he slips into a light and troubled sleep. Soon the visions come to him.
Gunga dreams. Old memories spring back to his psyche. Memories he had thought were burned, beaten, and surgically removed from him. But it seems they are intact and buried. In his vision, he is young again. His borg implants do not exist then. He still retains some of his innocence. He is home, among his people, in the village New Ootah. The original Ootah had been destroyed soon after Palpatine came into power. The new Empire had broken up the
Gungan cities, and enslaved a great deal of them. Palpatine, the very human they at one time trusted, for he was from Naboo as well, had betrayed them utterly. His "New Order" captured the Gungan secrets, their personal shields, their cloning and breeding technologies. And when the
Empire got the information they wanted, they destroyed the city. The Gungans were scattered among the planet’s swamps and plains. Young Lups lived in one of these small villages. He was eager in this dreamed and fated day to receive his coronation. He had been training for the army, the house guard. He was finished, and soon he would receive his medal and his assignment to serve proudly under his Boss, Hogg.
Young Lups was in his bunk this day, laying on his side, thinking of his life as an honor guard. He smiled at his cousin across the room, Bulf. They had been in training together.
"Youssa thinkin’ diss gonna be grand Bulf?"
His cousin replies with a nod and a starry-eyed smile. "Wessa look so bombad. Da gurls will go gaga fer ussun in da uniforms."
Lups chuckled and nodded eagerly. This was their last day in basic training, and for the most part they were both waiting to be escorted to the Boss`s main courthouse for reassignment. The silence however was broken rather abruptly by a dull thud and the whole barracks shuddered slightly.
"What was dat?!" Bulf says as the two cousins look at each other.
The building shook again and there were two more thuds.. distant, but definitely in the city. Suddenly their drill sergeant Coltrane ran into their room, in a controlled panic.
"Gunga, Rog. Wessa under attack by da empire! Get youssun pike shields ‘n armor! Dessa at da sub bays! Gooo!"
The older Gungan began to rush around the barracks in a fury, gathering weapons and whatever else he could think of to defend the city. The cousins bolted immediately into action. The Empire? Here again? They had been gone from Naboo and the cities for nearly 15 years. What did they want here now? Lups was the first to be ready, and his cousin Bulf right behind him. Sergeant
Coltrane ushered them out quickly to a mounted patrol, and they rode with all due haste through the city. Already the sounds of blaster fire echoed down the glass corridors, and families and civilians were running for the escape pods.
More soldiers joined them from the training grounds on the way. They stopped at an intersection, and from around the corner, the sound of the inhuman and alien stormtrooper armor can be heard clanging, fearfully approaching.
Gunga hesitated and then strengthened his resolve to holds his ground.
Stortmtroopers or not, he`d not let them destroy his home again. The marching sound grew louder, until the patrol of soldiers came into view.
They wore the standard trooper armor, with water breathing apparatuses modified onto them. Their colors were off somehow. The standard white also showed some kind of red symbol emblazened upon the shoulders. (this was the mark of the warlord Zinj). One stormtrooper could be heard saying to the others.
"There`s a group. Remember to take a few of them alive. We want the warriors specifically. Open fire."
Lups activated is force shield a moment before a blaster bolt smacked into it. Some of the other Gungan forces brought the boomba globes, and they flung them at the imperial forces with their slings. The electric balls had a lesser effect on the human targets, and only succeeded in stunning them for a few moments. The march of ghostly soldiers advanced, still firing. Lups saw his Sergeant go down with a smoking hole in his chest. He cried out and went to his fallen officer, but it was too late. He moved back to the fighting, waiting for the soldiers to close into the range of his electropike. Then he`d show them what a true Gungan warrior can do!
The stormtroopers closed in on the young Lups Gunga, and he jabbed his pike at the nearest white armor, scoring a blackened mark on it, the electric shock knocked back the soldier. He fought to block more blaster bolts with his shield. Blue waves of energy flew through the air. More of his commrades went down, dazed or killed. He saw a stun bolt his cousin, and entered a fit of rage. He charged what looked like the enemy commander, and succeeded in burning his pike into the man`s shoulder before several stun bolts hit him, as well as a blaster that cored his arm at the elbow, making it useless. He fell, and struggled with all his will to keep fighting, but everything went black.
Silence. Darkness. Nothing… but pain. Pain that dulls, and throbs. After how long he didn`t know, Gunga awoke with a moan, and opened his eyes. He was staring at the top of a bunk again, and for a moment he beleived he was back in his barracks. But the light was wrong, the smells were wrong. This wasn’t home. He struggled to get up and found that he was tied to the bed. He moved
his head to look around, seeing other Gungans in the room, in the same positions. Rows and rows of them. Some he recognised. There was his cousin Bulf. He was conscious now, and gave a confuzed and worried look to him. Gunga whispered. "Wessa been captured. What wessa gonna do now?"
Bulf frowned and just shook his head, and Gunga noticed that his legs were missing from the knee down. To his horror, he found his own left arm was also a stump now. Fortunately, it had been banadaged and had a bacta salve on it. Gunga groaned and stared at the ceiling. Soon, the doors whooshed open and human male in Imperial uniform entered, his shoulder and arm in a sling.
"Ah, some of you are awake. Good."
The Imperial man stood totally upright as he strutted down the small cooridor of bunks, eyeing each captive, whether conscious or not. Bulf had a look of sheer fright at the man, while Gunga stared coldly at the human, in defiance. He spoke.
"Welcome to the service of the Impirial Warlord Zinj. Soon you will learn to live only as we say. Those who disobey our orders will be disposed of with the other animals." The imperial officer took a long few moments to glare at Gunga. "You my friend are going to get a special treatment. You got my shoulder good in that fight. We have uses for creatures with your fighting spirit. You will come with me now."
The man snapped his fingers and two more stormtroopers entered the room, detached his gurney from the wall and floated it out on repulsors, following behind the officer. Gunga struggled, but his bonds held tight. He tried to shout a curse at them all, but the minute he opend his mouth, one of the sentries smashed his rifle butt into his face. "Quiet you!" Gunga went out
Cold.. dark. pain... PAIN!!!! Gunga started awake suddenly as it felt like his legs were ripped from their sockets. His eyes opened wide, and he found himself tied very tightly into another table, a cold metal steel table. Around him were blinding white lights, the beeping of strange machines, and the clink of metal tools. Then the pain shot back to him again and he tried to scream, to find his mouth had been gagged as well. A man in an operating uniform, and an evil looking medical droid hovered over him while muttering. "..Patient is conscious… Give it a local and some ether… Its reflexes are disrupting the work… Well, too bad, it will suffer. If it does not survive, there are more."
The two surgeons began to operate again, and the pain returned, though he was given a shot and it dulled the pain slightly. Gunga could feel the skin peeled from his legs, the muscles severed, and something being fused to his
cartilagenous bones. It burned like a dull fire in his brain and in his legs. Then he heard a whirring noise, and he swiveled his eyestalks up to see a third surgeon holding some kind of circular saw. The man placed a breather mask on Gunga`s snout, and the world began to fuzz out into blackness again. The last thing he saw with glazed eyes was the saw descending down on his head, the terrible whirring in his ears, and the odd sensation of his brainpan being cut open. Then all is blank again.
Lups Gunga returns only momentarily from his troubled sleep to shift in his pilot’s seat. Then he slips back into terrible dreams again, the memories and flashbacks so vivid in his mind.
Lups was leaning upright against a table that had been tilted to let him stand. His hands were bound by metal braces. Once again, a trio of technicians in white coats came into the room. And the lights went out as a holoprojector turned itself on. They began to force him to watch their instructional movie, their propaganda. The sound droned on endlessly in the background. "You are just a creature. We have made you better, to serve us. You will follow our commands because we saved you from a life of meaningless existance. You will obey. You will obey. We are your masters, obey us." He resisted, and as they dragged him out of the chamber, the electric burns they gave him covered his body.
The dream fades to a new scene, and in it, Lups was standing before the very commander he struck down. All his modifications and implantations had been made to his body. The chrome on his arm gleamed brightly in the artificial light. The Commander addressed him.
"Subject 927, your new life will begin now. From this point you will be refered to as Caloth. Your training is complete. Here is your first job." The officer slid several holocards across the desk to Gunga, showing a picture of a man in New Republic flight suit, an X-wing squadron emblem on his helmet. Several false IDs and other info were available as well. Gunga stood tall, his glowing electronic eye burning like a dead jewel in his socket. With a presice, unemotional, and controlled voice Gunga answered the request.
"One will comply. One is Caloth, and one will complete this assignment. One will serve." His eye flared angrilly red for a moment, and he left the room in a stiff walk.
Finally, Lups recieved a final vision of this horrible dream, and he saw himself standing over the officer who had plagued his life for so long. The man was now gray-haired and fat. His uniform is faded. This time, Gunga stood over the man as he grovelled in fear on the ground, shouting. "Sub.. subject 927.. obey and stand down! Drop your weapon and surrender that is an order. You must comply."
Sweat poured from the man’s head, and he struggled top crawl away, though already his legs were useless and broken. Gunga snarled and showed his metal teeth, lowering the barrel of his rifle down to point at the man’s face.
"I take orders from no human master now, slime. For taking my life, for enslaving and torturing me to meet your ends, I take my reward for my service, your life."
The man screamed and in a last effort of desperation tried to wrestle the gun from Lups mechanical hand. In response, Gunga simply pulled the trigger, and the man fell back and stopped his efforts to escape, just as he ceased to live. Gunga holstered his rifle, spit on the corpse and calmly left the room, jumping into a ventalation shaft to make his escape. He mutters once more to himself. "I am free, my vengeance is complete"
Now Lups returns from the dream world, shaking off those memories, though the still echo in his head. He frowns and checks the readouts on his display panel. As he waits for his destination, he mulls over those memories once again. His life ahead of him will be difficult.