At one point in time, quite a while ago, I was a carefree youth of a Grundo, living with my family in the Space Station. It was after the first Sloth uprising, and most of us thought him to be gone from our lives forever. That was, until the day they came for us.
Most of the Grundos had noticed changes in the air during the week before the second invasion. More security was enforced, a curfew was enabled, and there were rumors of a take-over underlying most conversations. One night, my family and the rest of the Grundos who had not surrendered to the Sloth regime were herded like cattle and separated according to age and fitness. I was dragged to a secluded section of the Space Station outfitted with cells and testing rooms and thrown into a holding tank.
I never saw my family again.
Days went by without light. Without voices. Without life.
On the fourth day, I herd footsteps down the hall outside my cell, then the jangling of keys. Light flooded the room as the door opened to reveal a shadowy figure, indiscernible because of the glare cast off by the hanging bulbs in the corridor. After a moment of blinking and squinting I recognized the figure to be one of my family's neighbors.
At first I thought he had come to rescue me, but he moved slowly and never met my eye. He pulled wrist cuffs out of a pouch on his hip and bound my hands. Realizing that he wasn't my savior, but my jailer, rage began to pound through my veins. I opened my mouth to speak, yell, curse him for helping Sloth separate my family, but my mouth was too dry to do anything but croak feebly.
“You think I don't know what I've become?” he asked solemnly.
He got behind me and gently nudged my shoulder. We proceeded down the hall, passing cells on our left and right, which I was sure other Grundos were being imprisoned in as well. My jailer (I give him no name because he does not deserve that privilege) and I twisted our ways through long hallways for a good quarter of an hour before we came to a tall iron plated door with a strange yellow and black symbol painted onto it. My jailer pounded twice on the door only to be answered by two resounding booms. Then the gateway swung open to reveal a looming Grundo with mottled green skin and bulging muscles. He grabbed the nape of my neck and pulled me into the room. I had just enough time to see the grave and troubled face of my jailer before he was shut out by the closing door, which locked with and abnormally loud *click*.
I looked desperately around me for any means of escape, but the only things that occupied the room were the iron door, a steel surgical table with leather straps that was bolted at an angle to the floor, and a half-wall with a small, shaded window set into it facing the table. The large and rather odd smelling Grundo took me to the table and strapped me to it rather tightly. He then retreated to behind the half-wall and I heard the clicks and beeps of buttons being pushed. I looked up to see if there were any ventilation shafts to escape through and noticed a large rectangular trapdoor that I had not seen on my first sweep of the room.
With a loud *boop* of a button the trap door slid sideways to reveal a dark hole in the ceiling from which the largest laser I had ever seen dropped down.
I couldn't move. I was frozen stiff with fear. My pitifully short life flashed before my eyes as a final *boop* sounded and a bright light cut off my senses.
I thought I was blind. I opened up my eyes and blinked several times, but I still saw nothing. I noticed I was lying on the floor and rolled over. Looking around I saw a thin sliver of light a few feet away from me where the door to my cell met the ground.
I groaned and sat up. It felt Like I was sitting in goo. I stood up and felt my way to the other side of the tank, but the floor and walls felt covered in slime. I touched my arm and it was covered too. Just as I was starting to panic, the door opened and light spilled into the room. I looked down and saw that my body was covered in a slimy green gunk. I yelped and fell backwards into the wall. Lights danced in front of my eyes.
“This is the subject we zapped a few hours ago, Master. It seems to have not reacted well with the experiment.”
A deeper and more chilling voice replied. “Tell the technician to adjust the caliber of the ray gun. We don't want any more mistakes like this one.” The door swung shut and I was engulfed in darkness once more.
That was the first and only time I came face to face with Dr. Frank Sloth.
The next few weeks went by in a blur of conscious and unconscious streaks. I remember being brought back to the laser twice with no dramatic changes and spending weeks shut up in the darkness with no contact but a hand that pushed rotting food into my cell twice a day. The prison ward soon got so crowded with test experiments that they started doubling up inmates. That's how I met Ritawang.
He came in as a small and frightened orange Grundo, but was soon transformed into a formidable ally. It was only after his escape that he took on his current fiery appearance.
Another ally came in the form of a guard, Gunther, who was only being forced to do Sloth's bidding so as to escape our fate. We talked often during the hours of his shift.
The three of us (Rita included) discussed escape often, but could never formulate a full plan in the short hours we had together. One day, however, our door opened to reveal Gunther, motioning us to follow him. We dashed out and helped him as he unlocked the doors to all the cells along the ward.
The amount of Grundo captives was astounding. 105 of us crowded into the narrow corridor as our friend relayed instructions on how to escape to the lower levels of the Station. Leading the way, Rita and I shepherded the frightened Grundos along the hallways.
We thought we were home-free, until we rounded a corner and found armed troops waiting for us. Panicking, we spun around only to find more troops piling into the hall behind us.
We were trapped.
What happened next is still confusing to remember to this day. The snatches that I remember are this:
Running. Screaming. Pushing. A blaster going off.
Pain lanced up and down my arm as I cradled it. I looked to my left and right and saw jumbled masses of Grundos and the metallic black suits of Sloth's troopers. I'd lost Ritawang.
I was running headlong down a cramped corridor and several Grundos followed me. Shouting. More blasters. I pushed open a metal grate in the wall and crawled through. Screams. I crawled faster. I didn't look back.
The first coherent memory I can recall is sitting in a low, dusty bunker with wires hanging from the ceiling and pipes running across the floors and roof. It took me a while to realize the true nature of my situation.
I was alone. I had no idea where I was, and I had no one to help me.
I sat in that bunker for hours thinking of a plan, but none came to me. I adjusted my position and pain shot through my arm. I looked down and saw I was bleeding a sick green goo from a long, but shallow gash. I ignored it and looked around for something. Anything.
A hole. A few feet away from where I sat, a medium sized hole was cut into the ceiling. I clambered over tubing and multi-colored wires and then hoisted my self up.
The room I found myself in was spacious, dark, and thankfully deserted. I explored the area and found computer consoles. At first I thought they were dead, but then I saw a blinking green light.
I logged onto one, and the screen split into nine squares, most of which were blank, but some of which had video feed on them. Somehow I'd found a link to the security cameras around the space station. This is how they found us. The images changed to another set of cameras. Then changed again. On the third rotation I recognized the hallway where I was being kept. Quickly, I clicked the image and brought it full-screen. As soon as I clicked, sound started coming from speakers at either side of the console, which emitted puffs of dust.
“...gathered the remaining escapees, but two are still eluding us, Captain.”
Two guards walked into the cameras view.
“Two Grundos shouldn't be much of a problem for you Sergeant, unless your incompetence knows no limits. Who are the two that are still loose?”
“The two subjects stayed in that,* he pointed to the cell that I and Rita had shared, “cell, near the end. Give my men time and we shall capture them safely and securely.”
“I don't care about their safety, Sergeant. Just capture them!”
The two figures retreated out of the cameras view at the other end of the corridor. They didn't have Rita. He was saved. Relieved, I looked at the cells that lined the hall and one thought came to mind. I have to save them all. I cast my sight around the deserted room. I will build my headquarters here and rescue all that I can. This will be a place of safety and resistance. Resistance.
And I did just that. I led missions to the cell block and rescued the Grundos imprisoned there. I brought them back to the store room, to The Resistance, and taught them to fight and heal and live their lives again. And I’ve been doing that ever since.