To this day, I shiver whenever I hear the words, “Group Project.” A chill runs down my spine. I begin to sweat. The world around me darkens, and the camera of life pulls out in an unsettling, Hitchcockian dolly zoom.
I see that some of you are nodding your heads. You remember school, and you understand the dread terror of the group project. You know exactly what I’m talking about.
But if you don’t know what I’m talking about? If, in fact, you’re thinking, “Hold on, I loved group projects”?
Here follows the final text message exchange between Death Star engineers Alysha Serasai, 1st Technician, Reactor Core Sector, and Rax Nooram, 2nd Technician, Outer Sprawls Sector 12.
Alysha: Up for dinner tonight? :)
Rax: Sorry, can’t. I had to work late installing a homing beacon in an old Corellian freighter they tractored in and I missed the last express elevator. I’d take the regular elevator, but I wouldn’t get there until late. Why the hell does this space station have to be so damn big?
Alysha: It really doesn’t. They have a prototype version of the Death Star orbiting a black hole in The Maw. It’s a quarter the mass of this one and requires less than one tenth the crew, and it works just fine. I saw them test it. But now it’s just sitting out there, gathering accretion dust.
Rax: So why the hell did they build this one?
Alysha: You know how the Empire is. Why make something normal sized, when you can make it impractically large? All those subcontractors need to wet their beaks, and no Moff wants to command a battlestation that has less than a million people on it. Not enough prestige.
Some families have a tradition of service to their country. Some have a tradition of becoming medical doctors. Some run the same restaurant for generations, passing their secret recipes down from parent to child. For that matter, a family tradition can be something as simple as watching the same movie together over the holidays, year after year.