Almost everyone fears death. Almost everyone, more specifically, will try their hardest to evacuate the moon-sized battle station they're standing in if it's about to become a moon-sized explosion. I know Imperial stormtroopers aren't considered the brightest nerfs in the herd, but even we, even I, figured out that running was the best thing to do when the alarms started going off as the Rebels continued their barrage over Endor. People crammed themselves into shuttles and forgot rank as they fought for places.

So it wasn't very intelligent of me to stop, turn around, and look at the source of the scraping sound in an empty hallway, but when said source is your commanding officer being dragged away by Public Enemy Number One, wouldn't you look a couple times too?

Commander Skywalker looked at me with a blank stare. I was surprised that he could move Vader, limp as the armored body was; who knew what it weighed. It. No one ever really thought of Lord Vader as he, did they? I'm not even sure he's not a droid.

I pointed my blaster at Skywalker. I felt that it was the correct thing to do in this situation. Good old Imperial training, the subtle kind no one ever remembers learning, but it's so ingrained: If you don't know what it is or what's going on, shoot it.

My commanding officer, TK-117, said through my helmet comm, "Let them move along." Except he didn't. It wasn't his voice.

It wasn't through the comm, either, but I didn't realize that until Skywalker continued speaking without his mouth moving, his eyes boring through my mask like powerful men's eyes, in holodramas and such, supposedly do. He said, "Let us go. I'm saving him."

I tilted my head like a bird, confused. Why would Skywalker do that? How'd he get on the Death Star? Did it matter that Vader's armor was scuffing up the deck plates and someone would have the misfortune to be punished by having to clean them…if the station were about to blow up? My mind was wondering. The alarms, the crowds, the imminent explosion, and other such things jolted me out of whatever hypnotism had made them feel so unimportant. I spun and ran.

The ramp of the nearest open Lambda was almost shut when I reached it. I pounded my armored hands against the release pad, shouting on an open frequency for the pilot to let me in. Amazingly, he did. I was squashed in with thirty-five other panicky men in a hold built for max occupancy twenty, which is not fun let me inform you, but I did it. And amazingly, after the pilot gave me all the standard militaristic insults for slowing the launch down by something like point four seconds, he said he wasn't sure why he let me board. He sounded awfully confused. As confused as I had been, when I had decided to let Luke Skywalker drag Lord Vader away.