"Shards of Freedom"
It was the first Death Star battle. It was alive with soldiers and oath takers running to their stations. Gyle Lar was an engineer of fifteen years old who had the fortune of working in human-cyborg relations. On this day, he toiled in a hanger.
In the hanger, he was cleaning a droid. Suddenly, the force field that kept the hanger safe died. It came as a complete surprise. Many fell into the void of space. No one believed the mighty Death Star would ever see battle.
"Oh!" the engineer shouted out as he held on for dear life. Life support began to fail. The young man could not hold on for much longer. When he eventually slipped, a number of droids went into rescue mode.
He then saw something so terrifying that it caused him to blackout – Darth Vader. He was known for killing crewmen over the slightest blemish in uniform. And Gyle lost a hat. He had to steal someone else's hat to stay alive.
"Deck officer," Darth Vader ordered him, "stop all operations on this level in the main hanger. We will take the fight to the rebels, even if we have to land the entire Death Star."
The rightful owner of the hat reported it missing. He was afraid. Engineer Gyle Lar had a choice to make – either tell the truth and face certain death – or lie and live longer. He made his choice. Darth Vader hurled the deck officer into space.
"Yes, sir," the 'deck officer' replied as Darth Vader flipped threw the air and into his starfighter.
The engineer would follow no orders. He decided to desert and defect to the Rebellion. He had lost control of his bowels. One of the droids that saved his life confronted him, "Why did you let the deck officer die?"
"Well, on a normal day, I'd be in the brig for a week," he replied. "This day is not normal. I might have been killed on the spot. I've been known to lose hats before."
The droid inquired, "Was it Vader who lowered the force field to the hanger?"
"Yes," Gyle Lar mournfully stated. To earn the loyalty of the rebels, he would upload all the data he could from the main computer onto the droid. He and the droid then escaped in a vehicle.
In mere minutes, the Death Star exploded. In his black uniform, the engineer didn't know how the rebels were able to master such a destructive feat. It was difficult to take in – but he was free.
"There aren't many survivors out here," the droid noticed. "By the way, my name is C3-R2."
Gyle smiled, "Oh, I'm not good with names."
He then continued, "I've not had many friends. I lost half of them in this battle alone. But I'm still alive."
Removing the stolen hat, he started to cry for those who died. C3-R2 replied, "As long as you don't strike me, I'll be your friend. What is your name?"
"Gyle Lar," the engineer said.
Once the battle was over, C3-R2 piloted the vehicle at full speed. It was the fastest landing possible – in water. Once he and the droid found dry land, rebels came to arrest them.
In an interrogation room, beaten and broken, he explained, "I am a victim of mind control and forced labor. I am a defector. I am only fifteen."
"Let me show you what we are fighting for," an interrogator told him. He dragged Gyle Lar in binder cuffs to the celebration of the victory over the Death Star.
The engineer gazed upon the Princess, "She is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen."
From a distance, he hurled himself from off of a ledge in the back of the Great Temple. It was pain and sorrow that spared him from death to survive with only broken bones.
"C3-R2 here," the droid said. "It is illogical, but you are still alive. Even if I was made out of solid rock, I could not have survived a fall like that. How do you feel, master?"
"Fine," he said as he came to.
He proved his loyalty to the Force but still required binder cuffs. For his records, the doctor had to ask, "Why did you do it?"
"To clear my conscience," he responded. In time, the Princess was told of the fall. She did not wish to meet him. She had her reasons. C3-R2 had its data downloaded. It was valuable to the rebel cause.
The Star Destroyer Devastator had returned for revenge and arrived with Darth Vader to avenge the loss of the Death Star. Gyle Lar was freed from his binder cuffs. He was ordered, "Go to the armory and get a blaster."
"Yes, sir," he said with a salute.
He was unarmed his entire life – not even so much as a knife. But, even though he was a slow learner, he had no fear for anything or anyone. He needed others. In a hanger, he saw a rebel boarding a fighter.
"Hey, do you need help?" Gyle asked in an attempt to make friends. He had forgotten that the uniform he wore represented the enemy. He was knocked down.
"Oh!" the young man shouted out. Returning to his feet, he got an idea and put it into action. He alarmed everyone in the hanger by firing his blaster into the air.
"I have an Imperial ID!" the engineer cried. "I can take us safely through any blockade!"
Gyle then looked skyward to see that his blaster shot down the pilot that he had spoken to. It was the first time he ever used a weapon. He saved many lives with his idea but could never forget the act that forever stained his soul in battle.