I look at the Xandarian apple in my paws, hands really, which Star-lord had so casually thrown at my direction.
Those tiny little raccoon hands, and I realize that I can no longer recall when the operation was done, or was I born with opposable thumbs? But what I do recall is that at some point my lateral and metacarpal bones were enhanced to make them stronger. One can only surmise that the genetic rewrites had not been enough for whatever purpose it was that they had created me for, and thus that operation was done to me, always to me, never for me just like everything else in my life.
They never asked me 'hey little fella, ya wanna be smart and handle big guns and walk and talk like us?' My consent was a distant concern to them, even after being given the ability to do so, along with my suffering.
I blink at the question, realizing that Peter had just asked something from me. 'No I'm fine. Yeah sure, give me that thing' I say accepting the peeling knife without even looking at my hands while I roll and keep the apple in place between my back paws while peeling it with the knife at the left paw while doing my actual job, steering the ship, with the right paw. I don't need to see what I'm doing -I can 'see' with my paws as it is, but Star-lord stares at my lightning fast 'blind peeling' as if it were some kind of circus act.
I then flick the knife back to him and take a chomp from the fruit. 'What?* I ask with my gaze. Macerating the apple. He frowns at the peels on the floor before leaving and I realize that I had actually entertained the thought of eating them later.
'I'll clean them up, sure' I reply with faked honesty and hope he doesn't notice the slip. They form a pattern of three, maybe I could clean them with three swipes and then shake my head but it nags me, making me lick and dry wash my paws, mmhh fruit juice! Three taps on the console -autopilot set. Three parsec to destination but the planet is fourth in the system. Yeah, I should maybe eat two more apples, yeah that way I won't get hungry and hit on an asteroid field due to lack of concentrating for being hungry and low on blood sugar. With three hand swipes I've picked my litter from the floor. With three times three steps I've disposed them to the bin.
I hit my elbow hard upon landing at the bottom of the shallow ditch to evade the blast. The soreness of my bruised elbow and shoulder are nothing in comparison to the pain I return when I throw my own grenade back at them. I peek up and nod, noticing how my grenade took them all and wince at the pain radiating from the arm, especially my elbow when I crawl out of the ditch. Just another thing they did to me. Changed my whole upper body from Scapula to ball and socket joint configuration, the other being fuso-carbon lacing throughout my skeleton. I don't recall ever asking to be able to throw explosives with a pinpoint accuracy or to have a skeletal structure that's nearly unbreakable, today it pays off tomorrow maybe not.
Star-lord is angry at me. 'We were supposed to take them alive, Rocket!' -he yells at me and gets into one of those weird morality rants of his when I point out that our contract didn't specify this. Groot whispers to me asking whether I'm alright. 'I'm fine you big lug but they're not and that's the main point'. I grab my gun and reload a fresh cartridge. Our glorious leader seems slightly confused, probably wondering where we're supposed to go next. I could tell him but decide to let him sweat as a revenge for yelling at me. He does that a lot and fairly often it's for a reason, I admit. So let him stew for it a bit. I look at the motion detector mounted to my gun. Nothing else moving but us at the yard, but I know these things aren't terribly reliable despite what some people might think. There's an occasional blip but I know from the movement pattern that they're just leaves or native vermin moving through the underbrush and note as much to my comrades.
Without any clear and present danger in sight I concentrate briefly on my current and (probably) soon erstwhile companions. Why get attached? We can likely keep this gig going for another few months then they'll tell me to leave or I leave myself with Groot. Just like it's been with all the other groups I've worked with in the past sans Groot but Groot's different. Drax seems as oblivious as ever -not to his surroundings but everything else, I think I can work with that at least for now. Gamora, now there's a dangerous individual if I've ever seen a one, the most dangerous woman in the Galaxy, they say. Has nice racks and damn sexy set of bionics too but don't tell her I said it. Currently having occasional subconscious flirting going on with Quill. Don't know how it works, don't care, but I sure can sense it, and I'm guessing that so can Quill. Flirting, dancing, 'making out', I don't get that, what's it for? I don't think it's got anything to do with mating or copulating really since all bald bodies seem fond of it, which makes it an interspecies thing. I used to get those urges two maybe three times a year but they've mostly faded now, There will never be anyone compatible to me, so why waste the energy on searching and dreaming? Nah, I just get a hot water bottle and room in a motel and I hole in with a cask of booze and let it breeze past in a day or two if the 'spell' hits hard.
"Oh, good going there 'Action Jackson' " I mutter mostly to myself, whatever that weird Terran thing is, "you got the door open and its actually the right one". It's a big storage space half empty of boxes and shipping containers and its pretty dark but I can see in the dark almost as well in the light AAND my motion detector gets wild... Honestly, Peter 'Star-lord' Quill is a genuine trouble magnet. Never a dull moment with that guy around. Drax is already on it as the dear leader unfolds his visor before following right at his heels, yelling some kind of Terran stock encouragement as if Drax was going to need one. Fine you go first and I'll stay here and don't get plasma in the face or possibly a kick in the nuts, except well, I guess I'll kind of have to charge in as well now so they don't think I'm not pulling my weight. Even though this 'charging in with guns blazing' is tactically as stupid as it can get. Gamora rolls her eyes, looking at me, seeming to agree with my opinion on this 'tactic' and draws her blaster gun and sword as I climb on Groot's shoulder, once the big guy's cleared the doorway, to shoot over the boxes and shit littering the room. I yell and laugh while doing it, it's almost cathartic.