Disclaimer: Star Wars does not belong to me, I am not George Lucas, and I am making no money off this.
Thrawve Terrin woke. He had been having the dreams again. The old ones, back from before he had been adopted. Waking, soldiers grabbing him, firing, and being yelled at in a language he hadn't understood at the time but now knew was Basic. Long corridors, a ship, a tiny ship and being alone and afraid. If only he could remember how he had gotten there, or why.
His alarm clock was blaring. It was time for school. Thrawve put the dream memories away. He had pondered them many times before, so it wasn't as if he was about to understand their riddle in the next few minutes.
He got dressed, ate breakfast and said goodbye to his human parents before walking out the door. It was quiet and cold. The sun glittered on the ice crystals turning them into sparking sculptures in myriad shades of blue. Thrawve wished he had time to stop and examine the patterns. They were never the same twice, and often gave him ideas he could use later in his artwork. He turned the corner, still watching the play of light on ice.
He ran straight into something, hard. Thrawve looked up, startled, to see a man in a green cloak who appeared nearly as shocked as Thrawve felt. One of the grocery bags the man had been holding had split, and packets of tisane and uncooked ribenes fell out and slithered on the pavement.
Thrawve backed up and apologized. "I am sorry sir, are you OK?" Thrawve bent down and began to pick up the erring food, handing them back to the man when he had done so.
"Oh, thank you," the man said, "no harm done. I have another bag in my pocket." He took the bag out and started to shake it out, then abruptly stopped, staring at Thrawve. "And just what are you, young man?" he asked, frowning.
Thrawve felt somewhat uncomfortable. Why can't I be something normal, like a Human or a Bothan? "I am a Chiss. There aren't many of us around here."
"No, you are not precisely a common species, are you? I have never seen any before, save one. How did you come to be here? Do your parents also live here?" asked the man.
"You have met a Chiss before?" said Thrawve, startled. "When and where?"
"Oh, many years back and light years away from here. I'm a merchant and I do a lot of travelling." the man said.
"Do you remember where, though? I have had no contact with any others of my species since I was very small, and I would like to find out more about them. We aren't even in the encyclopaedia!" Thrawve explained.
"That's sad, not knowing about your folk. I don't remember offhand, but I might be able find out if I had time to check my records. Do you want to meet back here after school, and I'll see what I can get you?" the man said.
"That would be great! Thank you very much. You didn't mention your name."
"Well, my name is Mirek Valrar, merchant of assorted artefacts from various cultures. And what would yours be?" said the man.
"My name is Thrawve Terrin." Thrawve stated. "Artefacts as in artwork?" Mirek nodded. "That is fascinating. What type of cultures do you normally deal with?" Thrawve asked.
"All the usual suspects, plus a few of the more unusual ones such as the Vors and the Omwati, though those two are more into the exotic musical instruments than the artwork." answered Mirek. "I take it you like art, then?"
"Absolutely. Actually, that was why I bumped into you just then. I was looking at the way the sunlight fell on the ice crystals and forgot about where I was going. But I must go, or I will be late to class. At 3:15 then?" Thrawve said, suddenly realizing the time.
"At 3:15", Mirek said. Thrawve sped off, hoping to cut down on lost time by running. Mirek watched him go, then spoke into a hidden microphone. "It's him." he said, and switched off. He walked away.
School now being over, Thrawve headed back the way he had come that morning, to where he had met Mirek the art merchant. Something about that meeting was making him nervous, and he wished now that he had brought someone with him. What is bothering me? he wondered as he walked along. Mirek said he had met a Chiss before, but that was after I mentioned the word. Before that, he asked me what I was, which suggests he did not know. On the other hand, when he met that Chiss previously, perhaps he did not ask what he or she was, and therefore did not know. But if he was not curious enough to ask then, why is he now? I suppose it could have been before the Thrawn crisis. It still doesn't quite add up properly. If there is something wrong with all this, what is actually going on? He had no way of knowing that I like artwork, so no way of knowing how I would react to that. Just so long as he isn't another person who decides that it is my fault that Grand Admiral Thrawn and I are the same species. It does not feel like that though. This is different. If there is danger, should I avoid the meeting? The potential knowledge I could gain is very valuable. I am nearly there anyway. I think I will go, but I am going to approach from a different direction and take a look just in case it is a trap.
Thrawve turned left, so that he could walk up behind the bushes and get close to the place without being seen. He walked up, and found himself suddenly face to face with a human coming the other way - and that human carried a blaster. Thrawve and the man both stopped dead for a second. Then Thrawve turned, and darted behind a tree and into Mrs. Silure's yard. Her dog began to bark. Thrawve did not stop, but continued behind the low line of bushes. Unfortunately for him, bushes don't actually do much to stop a blaster, even a blaster set on stun. Thrawve tripped and fell, half stunned.
He could hear, though, as his assailant crashed through the bushes. "I have him! He came in round the back and very nearly ambushed me, but I have him. Tricky kid." A low muttering Thrawve couldn't quite hear answered him. The man standing over Thrawve picked him up. Thrawve lay still. Blasters set on stun are supposed to knock you out, he thought, so the bushes must have protected me a little. He may not realize I am not completely out. Lets keep it that way. The man carried Thrawve out to the road, and placed him somewhere, in what felt like a vehicle. The dog was still barking, but no one came to investigate. Drat. Every other time the dog barked, Mrs. Silure came out and yelled at people. Just my luck.
The vehicle started, and drove away. There was more than one man now, and they were talking. Thrawve continued to lie quietly and listen to the conversation. "Are you sure he's the one we're after?" said one.
"Pretty sure." answered one. It sounded like Mirek. "He likes artwork, right enough. And if you look here..." There came a sound of a bag being rummaged through. "Calculus textbook. Final year history and psychology notes. Advanced level physics lab notebook. And he is only twelve."
"I'll grant you that the child is bright, but how do you know he's Thrawn? They could all be like that for all we know. Thrawve is close, soundwise, but not identical." asked a younger voice.
These are imperials, realized Thrawve. And they think I'm Thrawn- they must be crazy, or rather, they must think I am a clone of their Grand Admiral. Is that possible? Ships, the firefight in space, the uniforms. Imperial uniforms. I thought of this before, but I never wanted to take it seriously. Great. What are they going to do with me? They can't seriously expect me to run the Imperial Navy at my age. They must want a pawn.
They haven't tied me up. If I wait a little longer, I should be able to move, but how I'm going to get out of a moving vehicle filled with Imperials I don't know. Thrawve opened his eyes a crack and looked around. The vehicle was enclosed. Two men were in the front. The one with the young voice must be in the back with me, but out of my line of sight, thought Thrawve. He continued to listen.
"If you were in the new republic, would you want to be named Thrawn? Changing your name makes good logical sense. In any case, we will find out for certain once we reach the Chimaera."
"Lieutenant Mirr, would you have a look at the kid and see how he's doing?" asked Mirek. Thrawve relaxed, and tried to look as unconscious as possible. My best chance for escape will come once the car has stopped. The lieutenant shook him by the shoulder. "Ok, he doesn't seem awake yet, but it might be a good idea to tie him up anyway. The rebels have probably filled him full of all sorts of propaganda about us, and he might make trouble at the wrong moment."
"Spaceport personnel won't see him anyway, so go right ahead." came the answer from the front. If they are going to tie me up anyway I may as well try to escape right now, thought Thrawve, and moved, lunging for the door, and kicking the lieutenant on the knee as he went. "Sith!" yelled the lieutenant, reaching after him, grabbing Thrawve by the back of his shirt, and more or less landing on top of him.
Thrawve promptly found himself unable to move. The lieutenant grabbed his hands and started trying to tie them. Thrawve put up some resistance, more from principle than because he thought it would actually gain him anything. Soon enough, he was tied, blindfolded, and gagged too. However, he had managed to bite the lieutenant's hand, and the officer was cursing under his breath.
From the front, Mirek chuckled. "Lively, isn't he? I can't say I'm surprised." He moved slightly. "I suppose this means you heard everything we just talked about, doesn't it? Just so you know, we have no intention of harming you. As a matter of fact, we're rescuing you, and taking you back to the Empire where you belong. I am sure the so-called New Republic has told you many lies about us, but you have nothing to fear, and everything will be explained once you meet the Admiral. The bindings are just to make sure you don't get away while you are still influenced by rebel lies."
Thrawve said nothing. The fact that he was bound and gagged should be eloquent enough by itself. Mirek continued talking, mainly about the wonders of the Empire. Listening to him, one would wonder why the Rebels had bothered to rebel at all. He sounds, in fact, like an exact inversion of Mr. Porein, the history teacher I had for the first half of this year. I wish I could introduce them. They'd probably have mutual fits of apoplexy. Thrawve listened. Maybe there will be something in all the drivel that will actually be useful later.
When they came to the spaceport, nobody inspected them. They went right up to the ship and Thrawve vanished inside with no way to let anyone know where he was.