by Elizabeth

I've never been exactly brave, or courageous, really. When I left home to join the Imperial Navy, it wasn't out of any sense of duty. It was just what you did, if you reached a certain age and had no money, no woman, no prospects-- no life, really. As the youngest son in a family of five on a backwater planet, there was no question about my future. I didn't have one. I was the perfect candidate for a TIE pilot. This never really bothered me. It was just something I knew.

My little sister Rin came with me to see me off the day I left for the Academy. Actually, it was more a matter of convenience. Somebody had to take the speeder home. But I do remember that she embraced me, and wished me good luck. It was the most emotion I'd seen out of anyone in my family in years. It was also the last I saw of any of my family. I think of them often, though, and fondly, especially now that Biggs--

Biggs Darklighter. Hah. What a guy. I've never met anyone remotely like him before. Most people on Ralltiir tend to be serious and solemn. Those who break the mold get off-planet as soon as financially possible. To the rest of us, Imperial Center and Alderaan and places like are just silly dreams. So when I got to Prefsbelt IV and met Biggs, it was like a slap in the face. This guy was funny, outgoing, friendly, and especially loud. Gods, is he loud. And full of stories, mostly about some farmboy friend of his from Tatooine. Biggs says he's "the best bush pilot in the Outer Rim territories." Always those words. I of course never believe him, shameless liar that he is. We ended up rooming together at the Academy, and then were both posted to the Rand Ecliptic. It was great. But I'm getting away from the point here.....

The point is-- what is the point? The point is that Biggs approached me at dinner in the mess this evening. Told me to expect 'visitors' in our quarters tonight. Biggs's friends. I was invited to stay, but I didn't have to.

So I went. All I expected was a night of stories, jokes, and liquor. A good time with the guys. Boy was I wrong.

Turns out Biggs is the ringleader of a rebel cell aboard the Ecliptic, and has plans to stage an insurrection and take over the ship. And he wants to know if I'm in. There apparently are rebels throughout the ship-- in the pilots, in the crew, even in the galley. Everywhere but in the officers, it seems. They have the strength to take over and run off to join the rebellion. And Biggs wants me in.

And now I have to make a decision. Do I take this opportunity? Is it even an opportunity? Where does my duty lie?

Biggs is snoring. It's dark as deep space. Perfect for thinking. Soul-searching.

It's stupid. My training tells me that it's an idiotic idea. I know what happens to rebel cells if they're caught. It isn't pretty. They get killed. The Empire isn't exactly forgiving of those who oppose it.....

But why should I support a government that kills? Why should I be part of the machine that runs people into the ground? It's unfair. I know how life is under the Empire if you're not a rich trader or aristocracy. It's simply existance. Not living. It isn't bad, but it isn't good, either. If this rebellion had even a million to one chance against the Empire.....

But how could it? The Empire is galaxy-wide. It has control of everything. There's no escpaing it, especially if it's looking for you. And this rebellion....will be hunted. I'd be hunted. And crushed flat. No mercy.

If only things could change.

Maybe they can. Maybe they can. If there's a chance....I can't help but think of my family back home. How am I helping them as part of the Empire? I could help them in the Rebellion. Them and countless other families, just like mine.....

The Empire means stagnancy. No change-- unless for the worse. It can always get worse. Especially for people like my family. The Rebellion-- that means change. For better or worse. And there's a chance. There's always a chance. There has to be.

My mind is made up.


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