EXT. SURFACE OF PLANET GAND– IMPERIAL WAYSTATION ALPHA

CUT TO: Two stormtroopers stand watch outside the waystation gate. Visibility has been reduced to about 20 feet due to fog. One stormtrooper, SGT Bolen Katar, wipes the mist out of his eye pieces. His armor is immaculately polished- especially the white pauldron that denotes his rank as a non-commissioned officer. His partner, PFC Dagos Starfell, shifts his weight from foot to foot as if he needs to urinate.

PFC DAGOS
Sarge, how long have we been on watch? (Dagos transmits via radio and each line of his dialog is book-ended by the crypto-chirp of the Imperial radio)

SGT KATAR
Two hours. Six more to go. Stop prancing about and use your armor’s waste management system for crying out loud.

PFC DAGOS
I don’t need to pee. It’s just…
(Dagos’s radio doesn’t chirp off the transmission. He’s obviously thinking hard about his next words)
Do you think these blasters are heavy?

SGT KATAR
The what?

PFC DAGOS
These blasters. (He briefly lifts his standard issue Imperial Stormtrooper Laser Rifle. Sgt Katar is holding an identical one above his waist with his arms at perfect 90 degree angles). This thing only weighs like 8 pounds, but we have to hold it up like this for hours. Aren’t your arms burning?

SGT KATAR
Of course they are! But that’s the price you have to pay if you want to keep some Rebel scum from getting the drop on you.

PFC DAGOS
No. No. I totally see that point, but, after a few hours on watch, my arms are so tired I’m not even sure I could aim this thing straight anymore. (He takes turns holding onto the rifle grips and shaking out each of his hands to get the blood flowing again)

SGT KATAR
That’s just something you’re going to have to learn to deal with. The Rebels could attack us from any direction at anytime. You want to be caught in a firefight without a weapon?

PFC DAGOS
I was thinking we could use a… (the next word is obviously unfamiliar and his pronunciation is deliberately slow) a “sling.” Y’know. It’s like a rope tied around our shoulders that supports the weapon when we aren’t using it.

SGT KATAR
What are you babbling about, greenhorn? That’s a freaking liability. Something like that will get tangled or someone can grab it and use as leverage in a fight.

PFC DAGOS
I’m not sure about that. Look, before I got stationed here, I was doing counter-insurgency ops in Jedha. Things got pretty hairy this one time. My entire squad got taken out by this one blind guy with a stick.

SGT KATAR
A stick? Do you mean a lightsaber?

PFC DAGOS
No, I mean like a normal, wooden stick. (Dagos poorly mimes a Bō strike) He just kept knocking the blasters out of our hands, and then he beat each of us unconscious.

SGT KATAR
Impossible.

PFC DAGOS
I kid you not. I got a nasty concussion and everything smells like burnt toast now.

SGT KATAR
Your armor is made of military grade plasteel. It can withstand temperatures up to 1000 degrees. How could he knock out anyone before the rest of you blasted him?

PFC DAGOS
Well, he disarmed us first. (He screams as he mimics another Bō strike) I just think that if we had a “sling,” one of us could have recovered his blaster. Plus, my arms wouldn’t have been so tired at the time, so I might have been able to hold onto my blaster after one strike.

SGT KATAR
After he attacked the first of you, did you fall back behind cover so that you could engage at a safe distance?

PFC DAGOS
Um… (his radio chirps on and off a few times as he thinks about how he’s going to respond before changing his mind)

SGT KATAR
Did you take turns rushing him so that you blocked your squatemates’ line of sight?

PFC DAGOS
Maybe. But… But, Sarge, that’s just following the 6th General Order of a Stormtrooper. “When in doubt, rush in.”

SGT KATAR
Right. Right. Good call.

PFC DAGOS
Or maybe we should carry secondary weapons?

SGT KATAR
Keep dreaming greenhorn. That blaster is all you get. Now hold it up and finish your watch like a professional.

(PFC Dagos brings the rifle back up to the standard watchstander position. The two men stand abreast and stare into the fog. Sgt Katar is left handed and PFC Dagos is right handed. They stand oblivious of the fact that their blaster barrels perfectly point at each other)