• Pete Fletzer

She Needs to Know - A STAR WARS Ghost Story

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We aren’t meant to do much more than our programming. Just a probe droid. A Viper droid, if you will. Millions of my kind have been produced, pressed into pods and propelled into the regions of space that the Empire has no intention of wasting valuable human resources on … unless we find something.

My programming told me that I was headed to a system that had been abandoned for several years. In fact, the prime planet in the system no longer existed on charts. As all probe droids do, I loaded all the information about the system I am visiting into my data unit so that I was able to identify variations and discrepancies. It is apparently classified information that the Alderaan Asteroid Belt was once a planet destroyed by a top-secret Imperial operation called “Project Stardust.”

I was launched by the ISD Cacophony several days ago and now, here I am darting from rock to rock looking for something. My programming is such that I rarely am told what specifically to look for. I am only there to capture images and send alerts when something is out of the ordinary.

And something is out of the ordinary.

My circuits are picking up a strange energy field that is extremely unusual for the physics of the asteroid belt. I make my way over to a particularly large chunk of debris – it seems to be the remains of a manmade structure. As I approach my auditory unit picks up the sounds of a shrieking human. I immediately enter this information into my report packet as my auditory sensors should not “hear” anything in open space. I shall transmit with the full statement upon completion of my mission.

I drift closer to the wreckage and am able to deduce from the historical records that this is the wall of a palace – apparently the residence of the royal family at the time of the planet’s destruction. I make my way safely to the floating rampart and once again I hear the human voice but this time I it appears to be speaking Basic. The words are still indiscernible.

I continue to make my way around the remains and my visual sensor identifies a blue blur in the distance. I attempt to get a reading, but it is undetectable by any of my six-hundred and seven scanning units. I begin moving toward it but it moves on me faster. As it peers at me, the voice returns.

The aperture of the large optical lens on my mechanical head widens to allow more of the light in. Based on my databanks, the sprightly image resembles a human female. Every circuit in my system is attempting to make the image compute but as I am in open space, and a human being cannot survive the conditions, my logic sensors reject the processed image.

The shriek begins again, this time louder due to proximity. The scream forms words and I record: “She needs to know.”

The blue blur comes into a slightly sharper focus before it reaches out with a “hand” toward me. Again, words form from a scream: “Tell Leia I love her.”

Even though incomprehensible by my programming, the hazy blue light suddenly somehow physically touches my metal shell.

Unauthorized contact. Protocol states that as such, I am obligated to terminate mission. My report remains incomplete. Unable to send.

Initiate self-destruct.