Stories from Friends

((My friend wrote this, it subsequently won an award))

Death Star Debris

It’s over! We won!

The petite redheaded human breathed a heavy sigh of as she watched the awe-inspiring display of fireworks streaking across the sky. These were not ordinary, celebratory fireworks; ordinary fireworks shot up into the air, exploded colorfully, and the audience would “ooo” and “ahhhh.” No, these fireworks were different; this spectacular display originated from space.

Sarriah had seen the source of the debris a few minutes prior to taking a hit from a TIE fighter’s laser cannon; it was debris entering the atmosphere in the aftermath of the explosive destruction of the Emperor’s Death Star. The TIE disabled one of her engines and she had been forced to make an emergency landing on Yavin IV.

She tore her gaze away from the sky to look over at her battered starfighter. Sarriah landed near the beach, the soft ground absorbing much of the impact. The area was covered with tall grass, and her veterinarian-trained ears had picked up wildlife in the vicinity.

Squeak, her R5 astromech, was working on repairs and issuing orders to her so she could assist him. Sarriah wasn’t much of a mechanic, but she did her best to follow his instructions. Her heart was joyous, filled with hope as she and Squeak worked side-by-side.

“Squeak, you know what this means? It’s over! We can go home, search for new pets, start our lives afresh!”

Squeak, whose name came from a strange squeaking noise he made when he talked, tootled happily next to her.

Sarriah’s training as both an animal research doctor and more recently as a member of the Rebel Alliance’s starfighter fleet kicked in as a stillness enveloped her surroundings. A familiar dread wrapped itself about Sarriah and the redhead placed her hand lightly on Squeak to shush him.

Imperial soldiers!

Only the Death Star exploded, not every Imperial in the galaxy! Sarriah sighed in growing dismay.

She had forgotten Imperial soldiers were all over Yavin. Awareness that it was premature to start celebrating washed over her. Sarriah crawled cautiously through the lush green foliage to peer silently through the tall grass.

The Imperial officers that had moved close by were staring dumbfounded up at the display in the sky. She heard one of their comms beep. Sarriah was close enough to overhear orders for them to return to base to prepare a search of their sector for any Imperial starfighter pilots who might have made an emergency landing in their area.

As they retreated, Sarriah leaned in close to Squeak, “We’ve got to get out of here as quickly as possible.”

The R5 beeped a squeaky reply and started to work in earnest.

The debris continued to rain down from the skies, a reminder that yes, the Alliance had won this round.

But it wasn’t over.

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