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From the audio collection Stormtrooper, compiled by the Imperial Library
Sr. Sgt. GR-618
I enlisted in the Imperial Army when I was twenty. My life up to that point had been something less than enjoyable. I was born on Corelia, the son of a bureaucrat from the Old Republic. My mother died giving birth to my younger sister. I was five. My father had been a merchant who, under the growing rules and taxes and tariffs imposed by the greedy Old Republic, finally turned to politics to ensure himself a place where he could earn a living and support my sister and me.
When Emperor Palpatine offered the Republic the leadership it was lacking, my father was quick to join him. In rage and fear, many members of the Council resigned, leaving my father jobless. So, we moved again, this time back to Corelia, where my father fell on hard times and our lives slipped slowly downward.
When I was old enough, I joined the Youth Troopers, a small, underground group of wannabe soldiers preparing as best they could for future service. My physical condition was better than most of the members and my quick mind, deep, commanding voice, and high level of charisma led me quickly to the top of the Youth Troopers. After four years, I left Corelia on a frigate bound for Vega and the Space Force.
During the first week of indoctrination, I thought I had made a grave mistake. They stripped my clothing and gave a black, two-piece jumper that seemed to be made of thin rubber. They forced me to wear it everywhere I went. I wore it under my uniform, when I ate, when I slept, when I exercised, when I relaxed, and when I had nothing better to do than polish my armor. I wore that body glove constantly. Even now, as I write this, I am wearing it.
The instructors were some of the most fearsome humans I had ever seen. At my garrison, there were four instructors. Only the senior instructor, whose name I have since forgotten, walked around without a helmet. The other instructors never showed their faces. Only their booming voices, amplified by the voicebox in the helmet itself, gave us a sign of what they were like underneath. We imagined they had no face, only eyes pointing in every direction (including behind them), mouths that could motivate the lazy, and ears that heard everything. But they probably looked exactly like the senior instructor. They were Clones. The elite of the army. They trained from birth to be Stormtroopers. They were the finest physical and mental war machines ever. If the senior instructor was any indication, they were black-haired, blue-eyed monsters of genetic perfection. And they yelled in a way that enabled me to get locked-on quickly. They were professionals—and I wanted to be just like them. We all did.
We were an unsavory bunch. We were volunteers, enlisters, common humans. We weren’t from the Trooper Colonies and we certainly weren’t Clones. We were the bottom of the barrel. Rogue warriors of the lowest order. And we thrived on that. We spent every moment bettering our image as unconventional, reckless, balls-to-the-wall thugs. And in the end, those Clones respected us. Under the armor, we’re all the same—dedicated warriors preserving the great Empire.
After Basic, they issued those of us who made it our own set of Impervium armor. (Those who didn’t make it were dead.) I remember standing in front of the looking glass in the barracks with Recruit Dakk (reportedly from Mandalore), my armor all in place, my helmet cradled under one arm, and thanking Space that I was where I was. All the yelling, the stress, the physical training, the near-tortuous obstacle courses, the live fire exercises now all seemed worth every effort. My turmoil was over. They promoted me in that instant to what I had worked so hard to become: Trooper GR-618.
I excelled at just about everything after that. I’m not bragging: they teach Stormtroopers to be proud of our skills. But everything I was given, I did well. After several specialty infantry schools, they sent me to Scout Skills Training to learn how to be a speeder bike Scout Trooper (my training buddy, Dakk, was posted to Endor, where the hated Rebellion captured him). My abilities on the Aratech 74-Z speeder bike were unmatched by other troopers of my cadre. After a few months, I was ready for combat duty and deployed to Im-Tan’dorr.
When I arrived on the rocky surface of Im-Tan’dorr, the Rebellion was already massing its attacks. They promoted me to Corporal and put me in charge of a two-trooper scout team. My partner, a Clone, died one week later when a rebel strike team caught him off his speeder. When I heard the fire, I was twenty meters away. I came to his aid, only to find myself outnumbered. I took the quickest route back to the garrison for reinforcements, only to find we were withdrawing. I was just in time; I was on an Imperial shuttle ten minutes later and in the air.
My leaders finally recognized my dedication to the Empire, and they assigned me to the Imperial Storm Trooper Penetration Group. After several months of intense un-training, I was ready to assimilate into the Rebellion, now flaunting its arrogance under the name “New Republic.”
I went first to Yavin-4, where I successfully relayed transmissions of rebel troop movements to my Imperial handlers. They caught me once, and I escaped (a story I recount in my loosely autobiographical novel, Penetrator). Unable to reach my Imperial contacts, I traveled under cover to Mos Eisley on the desert planet Tatooine.
By this time, I was a sergeant. I was an official member of the un-official Special Imperial Service (SIS). My primary tasks included intelligence defense and counter-espionage—as well as penetrating Rebellion organizations on Tatooine. Essentially, I was a spy. But mainly what I did was help the local underground resistance stay afloat. It’s what I still do.
I continue to write and speak as though the Empire still existed. I act as though the New Republic is nothing more than fumbling rebels. But they are truly a force to be reckoned with. And without some kind of organized resistance, overthrowing the New Republic will be impossible. I want to be a member of something bigger, something worthy of the late Emperor’s recognition and respect (may his name be honored always). I am ready to carry on the tradition of every Imperial Stormtrooper who has gone before me:
Strike fast. Fight hard. Conquer.