The sound of the speeder bike came to an abrupt end as he cut the engine, the echo steadily dying until he was left sitting on the bike in silence of the forest around him.
Parked at the edge of a clearing in the dense woods, he looked around the dimly lit area scanning for movement. Though he had not come across any of the primitives yet, he was sure they were out there somewhere.
But the Ewoks, as they were called, were not his primary concern. He and the other scout troopers in the battalion were tasked with protecting the perimeter of their sector, pushing out into the dense forest to look for unusual activity. A rumor had been floating around the battalion for weeks that the Rebels were planning an assault on the installation. He couldn’t help but smile at the thought of the Rebellion actually going on the offensive for once.
Dismounting, he pulled his sidearm out of its holster and made sure that the energy cell inside was fully charged. Satisfied, he returned it to his hip and removed his helmet, placing it on the bike’s seat.
Walking slowly, he made his way towards the center of the small, quiet clearing.
It was uncommon, he thought to himself as he turned and observed his surroundings, to come across such a pristine spot during this war, and even less common to have a chance to enjoy these types of moments. Before going back to war, he would just allow himself to take it all in, enjoying a moment of peace.
The solace of the moment was cut short by a sound of the underbrush moving on his right, opposite the direction of his bike. Without moving his body, he tilted his head in the direction from which the sound and movement came. He was sure that whatever made the sound could not be large, but he needed to be cautious. Turning, he took slow steps towards the spot and froze as he came upon it. He couldn’t help but feel that he was being watched. Slowly, he placed his right hand on the pistol in his holster, ready to draw his weapon. Bending down, he put his left arm out and slowly moved the underbrush out of the way.
There was nothing there.
He let the brush whip back to where it had been and took a step backwards. It was out of the corner of his left eye that he saw it: a gray creature, no more than a meter tall and wearing a crude hood, was staring at him.
Held upright in the creature’s right hand was a primitive spear. It did not flinch as the scout turned towards it, content to stand and observe the white uniformed man.
This was, he knew, one of the primitives he had been briefed on when he first arrived on the moon. Though he had not participated in the massacre, troops had begun killing the primitives even before construction of the shield generator or Death Star began. The slaughter had been so swift, command felt there was no need to worry about the presence of these creatures. They had learned their lesson and would leave the Empire alone. Curious, he thought, that he should run into one of these creatures so close to the installation.
As the two stood, staring at one another other, the Scout couldn’t help but consider how innocent the Ewok looked. There was something about it that was disarming. A small pang of guilt percolated inside him for intruding on this creature’s home world and what had been done to its kind. Still, once the battle station was finished, he reckoned the Empire would leave Endor and the Ewoks could just have it back.
Taking a step towards the Ewok, the furry little being held its ground as the soldier approached. Having taken his hand off the pistol, he reached into his belt and pulled out a small piece of food and held it out in his right hand.
This got an immediate reaction. Tilting its chubby gray head, the Ewok considered the food being offered, clearly considering whether it was safe to take the morsel. Slowly, it took a step towards the trooper and stuck out its left hand to take the food.
But it was also the opportunity the Ewok was waiting to exploit. With the trooper’s eyes on the hand reaching for the food, the Scout had taken his eyes off the creature and its spear. Grabbing the food, the Ewok swiftly jabbed the crude weapon into the soldiers exposed neck.
Staggering backwards, the Scout’s hands instantly went to his neck, blood already streaming down his pristine white armor. Turning towards his bike, he tried moving but dizziness from the loss of blood was already taking over.
Taking only a few steps, his legs gave out and the ground rushed to meet him.
Lying there, vision fading to black, he could make out the form of the Ewok walking by his prostrate body, moving towards the bike, eating the food it had been given.
Silently, without looking back, the Ewok moved past the bike and disappeared into the underbrush beyond, leaving the Scout to die in the peace of the forest clearing.
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