Kashyyyk The battle was already raging when S_Heffley and the twenty other ships emerged over Kashyyyk. Despite the sheer size of the imperial force, S_Heffley was surprised at the lack of resistance he saw. He had expected to see Gleem, bravely hoisting a rocket launcher against the incoming TIE Fighters. He had expected to see Faya, desperately trying to use the Force to take down the imperial ships. He saw none of that. The only thing he saw was the TIE Fighters constantly bombarding the base, trying to create a hole in the thick armor. Strong as it was, it would no doubt crumble easily against the kind of firepower it was facing. Though the situation looked bleak, S_Heffley had to admit his timing was impeccable. The 20 ships Urwin had hacked were not made for battle, but had a gun installed due to the dangers of the galaxy. The TIE Fighters were significantly better fighting machines, but the element of surprise was a strong factor. Urwin offered to man the gun, and he proved to be a better shot than S_Heffley could have possibly hoped for. After a quick skirmish, the twenty strong force had managed to make just enough of a break in the action to allow the men in the base to make a mad dash for safety. Although they couldn’t have possibly known how many ships would arrive, if any at all, the men somewhat evenly split themselves up among the ships. Although he recognized almost all the faces, he stared intently for some of his closer friends. Faya, Gleem, Drox, Zeema, Ben, any of them. With his attention focused on the front, he almost jumped out of his seat when he heard someone clear their throat behind him. When he turned to see who had done it, this time he did jump out of his seat to bury Drox in a hug. Quickly, however, he remembered his job and sat back down. “Where are the others?” asked S_Heffley hastily, “Faya, Gleem, Zeema, Ben?” Drox sighed, “Faya is dead. We thought she was strong enough to take on the Emperor, but it turned out to be a trap set up by Xizor. Gleem is on Kessel, helping to defend the facility there. But if that’s going as well as it is here… Anyway, Ben sent Zeema to an emergency meeting with the Overlord.” “In all my years working for the Black Sun,” said S_Heffley angrily, “the Overlord never showed any interest in our operations at all! For him to start now, probably a trap!” S_Heffley took a deep breath and collected himself, “Nothing we can do about it now. What of Ben?” Drox hesitated, “While we were running, a score of debris fell onto him from the roof. I tried to help him but… he told me to go on without him.” Without hesitating, S_Heffley stood up. He didn’t blame Drox, Ben had told him to go. But S_Heffley hadn’t come this far for nothing. “We still have time! I’m not leaving without him!” “Are you crazy, sir?” said Drox. “We do not have time! It’s too dangerous!” “To hell with danger! I’m going in!” Drox made an attempt to stop him as he began for the ramp, but let go as he noticed the determined look in his eye. There would be no stopping him. S_Heffley began for the ramp again, but stopped when Drox said, “Sir.” S_Heffley turned. “Where do we go if you don’t come back?” “I will be back, Drox,” said S_Heffley. “But if not, Urwin has some friends on Naboo I want you to join up with. And I know you will want to, after this.” “Who’s Urwin?” asked Drox, just as Urwin emerged from the gun. “What’d I miss?” said Urwin. S_Heffley pointed, “That’s Urwin,” he said, “he can answer your questions. I will be back.” S_Heffley walked down the ramp. Even as he was entering the base, the TIE Fighters were beginning to come down again. S_Heffley estimated he had only a few minutes until the bombardment began again. In his haste, S_Heffley had neglected to get the location Ben had fallen. He found himself running with what seemed like inhuman speed to the only location he could think of, the command room. Even with his speed, he knew that he wouldn’t have enough time to save Ben and get out safely. He just needed luck now. S_Heffey burst into the command room. A pile of debris lay in the middle of the floor. Of course it had been in here. Ever since the Mandalorian had attacked the base, the repaired portion of the roof had been significantly weaker than the other parts of the armor. S_Heffley rushed forward and searched the rubble. Ben was crushed under a wood beam, and his foot stuck under a large metal bar. In his current state, he must have been unable to walk. S_Heffley began tugging at the beam. It didn’t seem too heavy, but it would take a good amount of work to move. S_Heffley grabbed and began to pull. It actually moved a lot easier than he had expected, and that’s when he realized that he wasn’t the only one moving it. “I thought I told you to leave me be!” yelled Ben, though he was slowing pushing up the beam, “Gonna get yourself killed, Drox!” The lighting was no doubt dim. “Ben, you idiot, it’s me!” Ben blinked, and tried to suppress a huge smile, knowing the situation. “Same applies to you. By coming in here, you got us both killed, instead of just me!” “You can’t guarantee that. You know I couldn’t leave you behind.” “I didn’t even know if you’d come!” said Ben, “But we can catch up later. Get this bar off my leg.” S_Heffley knew they were already out of time, but he moved the bar anyway. The bar was much harder to move than the beam, and this time he had no assistance. S_Heffley wasted precious moments getting the bar off and getting Ben to his feet. “Can you walk?” asked S_Heffley. Ben took a few steps, “I can walk on my own for a bit, but if I put too much weight on my foot it might not hold up.” “We have to risk it, let’s go,” and they rushed into the corridor. S_Heffley wasn’t going as fast as he could have. If Ben fell, he wanted to be there to pick him up. Pieces of the base began to fall. Explosions began to ring. S_Heffley has spent so long building this base, and now it was all crumbling to ashes. He walked past rooms vanishing to dust, remembering all the good times he had in those rooms, almost forgetting he had been a criminal when he was inside of them. About halfway to the exit, Ben screamed and toppled over. S_Heffley hoisted him off the floor, and slung Ben’s right arm against his right shoulder. They began moving again, this time much slower, Ben hopping along on his good foot. The walls continued to crumble around them. A small cement rock fell from the ceiling and hit S_Heffley in the back, but he barely noticed the pain and continued on. The light of the exit shined at the end of the hall. It seemed like centuries until the two got there. They stumbled out into the daylight. All the ships had taken off, except one. The Ordo waited, silent and alone. They took a few step toward the ship, not noticing the TIE Fighter coming in from the right. They stumbled a few more paces, and the TIE Fighter unleashed upon them. Somehow, S_Heffley absorbed the brunt of the attack, but both men were blown off their feet. S_Heffley saw Ben stand up, and try to put some weight back on his left foot. He walked a few steps, and seemed to be able to walk on his own again. He turned back to pick up S_Heffley, and looked appalled at what he saw. S_Heffley knew from the pain he wouldn’t make it. Even if Ben could take him back to the ship, he wouldn’t be able to survive until they got him to a proper medical facility. Even if he did, life with all the cybernetic parts he would need wouldn’t have been a good life at all. Ben stared S_Hefflley in the face, and nodded. Ben knew him well enough to know what he wanted. Ben turned, and walked toward the ship. The last thing S_Heffley saw before his death was Ben walking up the ramp, stopping Drox from rushing down, and punching the button to raise the ramp. The Ordo flew into the air.