Title: The Price of Hope Author: Divapilot Rating: PG-13 Characters: Various Eras: I am going to try to stick with Saga, and Rogue One in particular, if I can. I will tag any entries that are not Saga-PT as appropriate. Summary: Written in response to the UDC VIII Challenge. I hope to explore the theme of heroism in Rogue One. Yeah. Fifty two times. We shall see. ********* Week 1. Together (Galen Erso) Valor Ever since he had been young, he had been in love with the eloquence of the equation, the graceful dance of data and statistics. Mathematics was his muse. Galen saw the world through the eyes of the artist, not one who sketched or painted but one who worked in clean, elegant numbers. Leave the plots of passion, those heroic acts of valor or battlefield bravery to others. The pure light of mathematics shielded him from the chaos of emotion. It was simple. If it could be calculated, it could be designed. If it could be designed, it could be built. Honor The men worked late into the night to unlock the hidden riddles of the algorithms. Galen smiled as his best friend sat across the table from him. Galen lifted his steaming mug and sipped, then set his caf aside to turn the datapad to his friend. The other young man frowned in concentration as he examined Galen’s work, then he smiled. They had cracked it. Together. They would share the honor of publishing their work as co-authors. Galen relaxed as Orson confirmed his calculations. The mysteries of crystallography were theirs, and the galaxy would be the beneficiary of their work. Sacrifice The caverns glittered with the reflected light of their glowlamps. Thousands of brilliant minerals dotted the walls and ceilings of the structure. The young woman at his side turned to him. “The ones further back are even better,” she said. “The entrance isn’t open yet. Getting there is difficult, but it’s worth the sacrifice.” The glowlamp cast a soft illumination on her face. The cavern was truly beautiful, but her beauty shone more brightly. Lyra smiled at him and his heart thudded. “Are you up for the challenge?” she asked. “We’ll go together,” Galen said, talking her hand in his. Defeat The news swept around the small laboratory on Eadu. The weapon they’d help design – their weapon – had been a tremendous success. One discharge had devastated an entire sector of Jedha. True, there were a few civilian casualties, but the region was rife with terrorists and rebels. And as they say, sometimes you have to destroy the whole forest to eliminate the deadly viper. The engineers celebrated. They had worked together to create this, and now they would receive the glory. Galen sat silently. His work had been instrumental in this disaster. The Empire’s greatest success marked his most bitter defeat. Victory Galen watched those same engineers who just hours before had celebrated the destruction of Jedha. Now they huddled close, fear frozen, as Krennic demanded to know who had sent the signal. Krennic knew it was Galen. Terrorizing the scientists was simply another way to torture his former friend. What would these men’s pathetic lives matter when Krennic had taken Lyra from him, had exiled him from his daughter, had forced him to kill for the Empire? But Galen had already embedded his solitary victory in his designs. The elegant mathematics, too advanced for anyone else, would someday deliver his revenge.