Today guest blogger twindaddy of the Unshitty™ Stuphblog continues the story of an unfortunate storm trooper lost in Wonderland. In case you missed it, click here for Part One.
. . . And now the stunning conclusion to a Stormtrooper in Wonderland!
I stepped through the doorway and into another world. Or at least, it seemed like another world. I was in the back of what appeared to be a rather large courtroom. At the head of this room was a very large woman wearing a crown and a red and black ensemble. Before her at a small podium was a small, blonde-haired girl wearing a blue dress with a white apron. Surrounding the entire courtroom were large rectangular cards. Some sort of playing card I’ve never encountered before. They all had arms and legs protruding from their corners, and each card held a spade-shaped mêlée weapon in its right hand. I found it a very odd thing to make a statue of, let alone surround an entire courtroom with. Very odd, indeed.
I turned my attention back to the queen. Well, I assumed she was a queen since she was wearing a crown. For all I know judges might wear crowns on this planet. I should be expecting the unexpected since I seem to be able to free fall some ungodly distance without breaking anything, or worse, dying.
The queen (I’ll keep referring to her as such until proven otherwise) was rubbing her hands together as a humorless grin spread across her repugnant face. She slowly leaned forward, towards the little blonde girl, and mockingly asked, “Now what were you saying, dear?”
As she spoke the most mysterious thing happened. An animal materialized out of thin air atop the queen’s head. In fact, it was sitting in the queen’s crown. How the queen did not feel the additional weight of this creature was beyond me, but she remained oblivious nonetheless. The creature was some sort of feline animal, it’s fur alternating stripes of purple and pink with a violet mane. Its eyes consisted of yellow scleras and black pupils, indicating, to me anyhow, the creature was quite mad. This was almost too much to handle. No creature that small has a cloaking device!
As the the queen spoke a mischievous grin permeated the creature’s face. When the queen was finished with her question, the creature spoke. “Why she simply said that you’re a fat, pompous, bad-tempered, old tyrant!”
The creature threw its head back in maniacal laughter as it vanished from sight. Unfathomable.
Every inch of the queen’s skin flushed red with anger. She madly waved her fists through the air and exclaimed, “Off with her head!”
The playing cards, which I had assumed were statues, sprang into motion. They converged on the poor little girl from all directions. The little girl wasted no time vacating the podium and running towards the back of the courtroom. Towards me.
I readied my blaster as the little girl closed in on me.
“Help! Help!” she cried to no one in particular.
I wasn’t sure who to help in this case. Obviously the queen, if that’s indeed what she was, was in some position of authority here. The little girl, however, seemed so innocent and was obviously too young to be beheaded. At least, in my estimation she was, but I’ve seen more heinous deeds committed throughout the galaxy at the whim of the Emperor.
The little girl finally noticed I was standing there and headed straight for me. She continued crying for help as she ran by and hid behind me. She stuck her head out from behind me and asked me to help her.
“Please, sir, you must help me!” she pleaded.
I turned and regarded her. The little girl couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8 standard years old. How anyone could order a child so young to death bewildered me.
“What have you done?” I asked her. “What is your crime?”
“All I did was tell the queen how ridiculous this whole proceeding was. Please, sir, you must help me!”
“What is your name?” I inquired.
“My name is Alice, sir,” she answered, frightened. “Will you please help me?”
“How old are you, Alice?”
“Seven and a half, sir. Please save me.”
The fear in this child overwhelmed me and I knew I could not deny her. She was so innocent. So young. So naive. No creature so young should be put to death under any circumstances. “Okay,” I conceded. “I’ll help you.”
I turned to face the horde of cards that had been chasing her only to find a completely different scene than I had expected. I was surrounded by cards menacingly holding their spade-shaped weapons at the ready. In front of them all, however, stood the queen, her skin now a deep shade of crimson. I could almost see smoke escaping her ears as she fumed. I brought my blaster carbine to my chest and gripped it tight with both hands, ready for action.
“Who are you?” she demanded.
“I am Drun Kenman, trooper for the Empire. You will not bring harm to this child,” I boldly proclaimed. At least, I hope that’s what I did. I was honestly a little intimidated. I mean, I am an Imperial stormtrooper and, a highly trained one at that, but I was seriously outnumbered here.
The queen calmed down noticeably. Her breathing slowed down and a regal grin overthrew her angry frown. “Is that so?” she asked as if she were amused by my statement.
“That is so, queen,” I placed highly sarcastic emphasis on the word ‘queen’ to ensure she knew that her perceived authority over me was just that. Perceived. I had a feeling my response would not be well-received, and I was prepared for that eventuality.
The queen threw her head back violently and began angrily screaming. “Off with his…”
That was quite enough. It was the response I expected and I wasn’t prepared to tolerate the disrespect she was showing an Imperial trooper. Local monarchs are not above Imperial law, and according to the Emperor, should be shown no mercy when they disrespect the Empire. So I quickly snapped my blaster carbine up and pulled the trigger before the queen could finish her cry for my head.
The blaster bolt struck her in the jaw, snapping her head back and knocking her off of her feet. She landed loudly on her back. The ground even tremored a bit when she landed. Ha! That shut her up!
The collective gasp which escaped the mouths of all of the cards when I blasted her was deafening. It was obvious that nobody had ever defied this queen and they weren’t sure how to respond. Either that, or they were totally intimidated with how fearsome I am. It must be the armor, I decided.
A puny elderly man emerged from beyond the sea of cards. He was attired much like the queen, and wore a crown identical to hers. His jaw fell slack when he saw my handiwork. As his gaze slowly turned from his deceased wife to me, anger consumed him just as slowly. Soon, he was furious. I’m not quite sure why. He should be relieved that he didn’t have to be married to that cur any longer.
He stared at me. He stared some more. Then, he kept staring at me. The total lack of anything else happening was beginning to make me feel uncomfortable. As he stared continuously at me, his face began turning different shades of red, each darker than the last.
I was just about to turn and leave with Alice when the king (at least, I’m assuming that’s who he was) finally spoke. “What are you waiting for?” he said to seemingly no one in particular. “The queen said off with his head so off with his…”
I’d had enough of this place. First the queen, now the king. Why does everybody want to take my head off? I wasn’t going to let the king finish ordering my death, either, so I blasted him as well. As the king was mid-sentence, I again snapped my carbine into position and squeezed the trigger. Pure crimson energy spewed from the muzzle of my carbine and then percussed the king in the abdomen. He crumpled silently to the ground, his cry for my head effectively ended.
I decided a tactical retreat was in order seeing as how I was still insurmountably outnumbered. Sure, I’d lopped off the head (for you slower folks, that’s the king and queen), but the body was still functioning and lethal. And surely the head would grow back (that means somebody else will assume control of them; try to keep up). I spun 180 degrees, prepared to grab Alice and exit through the door which had delivered me into this catastrophic situation, but it was gone. The door was gone. Where the hell did it go? There was nothing there but an empty wall now.
I turned back to face my attackers. They had finally mobilized and were marching towards me. They came at me in three single-file lines. Not a brilliant tactical maneuver if I say so myself. I brought my trusty blaster carbine up in both hands and began squeezing the trigger rapidly.
Three shots later, I had hit the lead card in each line. Each card fell backward when it was hit. The cards were so close together that when the lead card in each row fell backward it tumbled into the card behind it, therefore knocking it over. The cycle repeated itself over and over. In essence, I just played dominoes with my blaster. If the situation weren’t so dire I might have laughed at these strange happenings.
Now that I was out of immediate danger, I began frantically searching the courtroom for some other way out. A glance to the left yielded no results. There was only a solid wall there. A glance in front of me was useless, as that’s where literally dozen of cards were sprawled out on the floor, some of them already beginning to get back to their feet. I glanced to the right and saw a passage in the wall. It was my only hope.
I grabbed Alice by the hand and began sprinting for the passage. I entered a hallway with green walls which abruptly turned 90 degrees to the left only a few meters in. I made the turn and continued to run with Alice’s hand enclosed in mine. We came to another turn in the hallway. This one was a 90 degree turn to the right. I took the turn and finally began to sense something was amiss. There were no doors in these hallways. No other openings. No windows. Nothing but turns.
I heard a cacophony of voices behind me. Without breaking stride, but slowing down enough so that I wouldn’t fall over, I risked a glance behind me. The cards were after us. And worse, there were catching up. I could only run as fast as poor little Alice could as she was so little that her legs couldn’t keep up with mine.
We came to another turn. This was a u-shaped turn. As we were taking the turn, Alice spoke through her heavy breaths. “It’s a maze! We’re in a maze.”
She was right. I had realized it a few seconds ago, but hadn’t admitted it to myself yet. Still, we had no choice but to keep running, so we did. We took several more turns. Left turns. Right turns. U-turns. Each turn brought the cards closer to catching us. Then we came to a dead-end. No more turns. Nowhere to run.
I let go of Alice’s hand and turned to face the coming horde of cards. Alice started beating on the walls and began desperately screaming for help. The cards were still some distance away and it would be a minute or so before they caught up, but they were coming. I could hear them. And then, I could see them.
Suddenly I heard a haunting voice. The same haunting voice I had heard when I initially fell in the cave. “Looking for a way out?” it asked.
I turned and the door was there. The knob was intact and there was no indication that I had ever shot it with my blaster.
“Yes!” Alice answered before I could. “Yes! Let us out!”
“And why should I do that when I was treated so rudely before?” it asked with an arched eye directed at me.
“What does he mean?” Alice asked, looking in my direction.
I looked at her and shook my head. “I’ll tell you later.”
I then turned my attention to the door. “If you don’t I’ll blast you again.” I hoped that sounded as threatening as I thought it did, but I was becoming rather desperate and it’s hard to intimidate anyone (or anything in this case) once desperation sets in.
The door laughed. I’ve endured some pretty humiliating things in my life before, but having a door laugh at me, especially right after having threatened it, was now at the top of that list.
“Trooper of the Empire, huh? You’re already out there.” it said.
Not only was I humiliated, but I was now confused as well. “What do you mean, ‘I’m already out there?’”
“Have a look,” it said. Then, it’s mouth (the keyhole if you’ll remember) opened wide. I cautiously peered through the mouth and saw myself sitting, propped up against that fat tree on Dantooine, sleeping. My helmet and blaster carbine lay beside me on the grassy plain as my chest plate gently rose and fell with each breath.
“Oh, for the love of… You mean I’m dreaming?” I asked as I backed away from the door.
“You’re dreaming? What does that mean for me?” Alice asked.
“It means you’re not real and if I want to get out of here I need to wake myself up. And the only way I know of to do that in a dream is to die.”
“Die?” the little girl asked, disbelieving.
“Yes, die. This is a dream, so I’m going to shoot myself, but before I do…”
I shot the door. Again. Pompous door. Don’t ever humiliate a stormtrooper. Even in his dreams. Man that felt good.
Then, knowing that I was dreaming, I turned and started unloading my blaster carbine on the approaching cards. I made a game of it. I was having a blast. Pun intended.
“Ha ha! Take that! Another one bites the dust! Oh, that’s gotta hurt!” I was having all sorts of fun.
Eventually the cards made it to me. They still ridiculously outnumbered me and the amount of shots I could fire. At that point, when I was overcome and about to be captured, I turned my blaster carbine on myself and pulled the trigger.
Darkness. Everything was dark. As I came to my senses, I realized that my eyes were closed. No wonder it’s dark. Light was beating down on my eyelids and some of it permeated through. I opened my eyes and brought my hands up to shield the blinding light from my sensitive eyes.
It took a handful of seconds, but my eyes eventually adjusted. I was right where I had seen myself in my dream just a few minutes ago: sitting on the ground propped up against the tree. I looked down to my left and saw my helmet and blaster just where they had been in my dream too.
Then, voices sprang from my comlink. “SB1977. Come in, SB1977.” It was my captain.
I lazily plucked my comlink from my utility belt. “SB1977 here,” I answered
“Any sign of the rebel base?” he queried.
“Uh,no, sir. I’ve searched my entire sector and there are no rebels here…”