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Ahhhh… my fingers are freezing! These pilot suits are made to keep you warm in outer space, but this planet is way worse. The only thing this Rebel base has to offer are record temperatures and giant locked doors. This one in front of me is the biggest we’ve seen in the time we’ve been here. A full hour, I’ve been trying to crack this door open. I was selected to be on this mission because of my promotion, and my technical expertise as a pilot. But this door is heavily secured. And we can’t just blast it open. This base is weakened. Who knows what a heavy explosion could cause… Wait… a beep! I don’t know what we did, but somehow… and now, a deep noise… that blasted door is opening! After all the effort it has asked of us, I’ve grown really curious. What could lay behind this door? What secret deserves that much protection? For what obscure things have my fingers been suffering like this? What?! Is that really… a bunch of… plush Tauntauns? That’s so unexpected, I just can’t hold my laugh. My companions apparently are thinking the same. A bunch of stuffed Tauntaun … hahaha! “So what are they doing here actually?” One of my friends remarks. Strange I haven’t asked that question before. Looking around me, the surroundings are telling me a rather dark story. This seemingly hilarious heap of huge plush Tauntauns seems to form a serious threat to the Rebellion. There are consoles in this room, and even what seems to be a walkway for guards. But why… why are these cute animals such a threat to that Rebel scum… I have the feeling that menacing shadow growing on the ground may be the answer. Carefully, I turn around, only to see the biggest Wampa I’ve ever seen. But it doesn’t pay attention to me. It has this kind of exp<b></b>ression of disbelief on it’s face. Not because it’s surprised to see those plush Tauntauns, but it seems like the Wampa wasn’t expecting to see those ever again. Slowly, it reaches out for one of the soft animals, and studies it carefully. Slowly, the exp<b></b>ression of disbelief turns into one of childish joy. Slowly, my exp<b></b>ression turns from fear into a feeling of joy. [soNE Ep. III] A fluffy tragedy by Bert.VR, on Flickr [soNE Ep. III] The connection by Bert.VR, on Flickr The Wampa seems to notice us at last. It turns to me, and reaches out for me. I can’t move. But all I get is a surprisingly tender hug from the Wampa. It seems to thank us, it even seems to smile! I try to hug the behemoth back, and a feeling of deep warmth fills my entire body. My fingers aren’t freezing any more. The coldest planet in the universe just became the place where I found the warmest feeling. Carefully, the Wampa puts me back on the ground. These animals aren’t dangerous at all. On the contrary, I think they might be the kindest species alive. So why are they deemed so dangerous? Maybe… maybe this room contains the answer. While the Wampa is hugging my fellow troopers (if I only could see their faces!), I head for the console. It’s primitive (but it’s Rebel equipment of course), but seems to be in a workable condition. After some fiddling around, the screen shows me a file. As I read it, slowly the horror contained in this room began to came clear to me. [soNE Ep. III] Rebel technology... by Bert.VR, on Flickr It turns out the Wampa-people (to me, those civilized creatures aren’t beasts at all) adores the Tauntauns. In fact, they seem to see them as some kind of divine animal. That’s because the Tauntauns provide milk, fur and especially affection to the Wampa’s on this deserted planet. It has come even so far the Wampa’s began to make Tauntaun plushes, to have their beloved companions always with them. But then, the Rebels came. Needing transport themselves, they rudely took away the Tauntauns from the Wampa’s, only to misuse them. It’s not just a coincidence a lot of Tauntauns died during the Rebel’s presence. They didn’t give them proper food, or affection. Never a rebel sat down to have some tea with a Tauntaun, no matter how hard they worked for them. The Wampa’s are a really friendly and reasonable people, so at first, they were okay with sharing their Tauntauns. But after a while, the Wampa’s couldn’t watch their beloved Tauntauns suffering any more. So they decided to free the Tauntauns from the Rebel’s grasp. They weren’t going to hurt anyone. They just were going to end the Rebel’s tyranny over the Tauntauns. But the savage Rebels answered the Wampa’s action with gunfire. That day, Hoth’s snow turned black with Wampa blood. To prevent any further actions from the Wampa’s the Rebels confiscated all Tauntaun plushes, and even imprisoned some of their people. If they would ever attempt to ‘steal’ (as they say themselves), the Rebels would destroy all those hostages. And that’s the horrible truth contained in this room. After the attack on the base, the Wampa’s must have come back to look for their precious Tauntauns, both real ones as plush ones. I don’t want to know how few of the animals the Wampa’s have managed to save. They couldn’t find their plush toys however, because they were hidden away behind this massive door. I imagine more plush toys are stored in the next room. Maybe there’s even a cell with an abandoned Wampa body in there… Shivers run across my entire body as I read all this. Only now I see the suffering in the eyes of the Wampa that followed us. Only now I can understand how happy he must have felt when we opened the door and revealed the precious interior. Only now I see how cruel the Rebels truly are. The Wampa doesn’t seem to want to leave us. Instead, it seems like it wants to leave with us. He looks like a kid who cannot wait to share his happiness with others. Suddenly, the Wampa releases a thunderous and joyful sound. Just moments later similar roars are heard in the distance. It seems we’re going to have Wampa party here, to celebrate what they’ve found again. Then, as in an impulsive act of thankfulness, the Wampa reaches out to grab another plush Tauntaun and gives the enormous thing to us. A gift. [soNE Ep. III] A gift by Bert.VR, on Flickr Truly, this icecold planet with is inhabitants seems to give me the warmest feeling I’ve ever experienced. I’ve the feeling the Wampa’s and we are going to be close friends. ______________________ LXF File