Dear Mrs. Porkins:

I regret that I must write to inform you of the death of your husband, Jek Tono.  He fought bravely for the Alliance to Restore the Republic, logging sixteen confirmed kills in less than 40 hours of flight time.

Jek was a fighter to the end. His last words when it was suggested he eject were “I can handle it.”

Sadly, he could not, in fact, “handle it.”

Don’t feel bad about him not ejecting, though. Due to supply constraints, none of our pilots are issued helmets that cover their faces. That’s terrible, isn’t it? What’s worse is that those poor saps apparently still think they can eject. Another pilot was actually yelling at him “Eject!” Seriously? None you notice you don’t have anything over your face? I don’t get it.

That guy bought the moisture farm, too, by the way.

Fortunately, in spite of the deaths of several fine starfighters like Jek in the Battle of Yavin, our efforts resulted in the successful destruction of the Death Star.  This was largely due to the Millennium Falcon flying in to save the day at the last minute.  Man, who could have seen that coming?  I mean if you’d told me a hundred parsecs ago that the Alliance would only be victorious because it received help from a second-rate smuggler and his Wookie co-pilot, I’d have said you were high. Seriously, what’s next? treaties with giant talking Rastafarian frogs? A race of primitive living teddy-bears beating trained Imperial soldiers? The giant hand of some unseen god inserting creatures into our daily lives and putting words into our mouths years after the fact?

Of course if Captain Solo had agreed to join the attack in the first place, your husband might…

Well.

Awkward.

I understand Jek was very popular with his fellow pilots. His designation in his formation was Red 3, but General Antilles said he and the rest of the squadron often called him “Red 3, 4 and 5” because they felt he had the field value of three pilots.

Rest assured, our loss of Jek was not for nothing.  We destroyed the ultimate power in the universe, after all!  Moreover, we completely disheartened the Empire.  I think we can all sleep easier knowing that there will never be another Death Star, ever, ever again.

With a heavy heart,

General Jan Dodonna

[Submitted by In The Line of Duty’s biggest and possibly only fan, Jason Hoffman. Thanks, Jason!]

Dear Lady Galadriel:

By now you must be aware of the death of Haldir. He fought nobly at the Battle of Helm’s Deep, but ultimately was slain by an orc while defending the walls, while defending the friendship of elves and men. 

The loss of Haldir is tragic. He was a valiant soul with a dry sense of humor. I’ll never forget when he told Gimli that he was breathing so loud they could have shot him in the dark. Ha-ha! What a card!

Not that I condone casual racism against dwarves.

(But they are serious mouth-breathers, aren’t they?)

And his hair. Oh, his hair! I don’t swing that way but when a dude has hair like that you practically don’t have to.

I can’t help but wonder if his death was a senseless waste. I can’t shake the feeling that Haldir and all those elves shouldn’t have even been there! As if it were some tragic plot contrivance that caused his untimely death. How did they even get there? They walked? They practically would have had to have left Lorien before we did. It doesn’t make any sense!

Orcs, as you know, do unspeakable things to the corpses of the dead. When we finally had retaken the Deeping Wall and found him… it was horrible. Fanny pack. Branson, Missouri hat. Celine Dion t-shirt. An elf should never be mocked so. A dwarf, sure. They’re practically asking for it. But not an elf.

Whoops, gotta go. This dead guy’s about to dump a million skulls on me.

Does that seem right? That just doesn’t seem right to me. Like Haldir’s death, like it shouldn’t even be happening. I’m having a really weird week.

Your servant,

Aragorn, son of Arathorn

Dear Mrs. Lugbutz:

It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you of the death of your spawn, Glogz.

Glogz was a terrible creature. Vile, short-tempered, violent and foul-smelling.

That alone should make you proud.

But he also died like an orc. When it came time to ignite a bomb, he sacrificed himself. I didn’t even ask him to do that! He could have lit the fuse with a flaming arrow or flicked some matches at it or something. But no, Glogz grabbed a giant sparkler and blew himself to pieces. That kind of stupid and pointless self-sacrifice is vintage orc. If I had more orcs like Glogz… well, I’d have fewer orcs like Glogz, I guess. But I might have that god damn ring. And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Getting me that god damn ring.

Reports from the field say he took two arrows to the chest from one of those Elves (they’re such douches) but kept running until his job was complete. Muscling through that kind of pain takes commitment. Dedication. Selflessness.

And a really, really slow nervous system.

Good thing I bred you all that way! Ha-ha!

Ah, minions.

Please know that you have my deepest respect for having spawned such a horrid offspring and my thoughts are with you in these difficult times, etc. etc. Oh, whatever, you don’t really care, do you?

Any-hoo, I must go as there’s someone at the door.

Ha-ha! It’s a tree! Why would there be a…

Oh, crap.

Sincerely yours,

Saruman the Many-Colored

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Thompson:

It is with deep sorrow that I write to inform you of the death of your daughter, Yeoman Leslie Thompson.

There’s no easy way to say “Your daughter got turned into a cube and crushed.” There really isn’t. Trust me, I had Spock run it through the main computer five times. All of the options suck.

But that’s what happened. Our away team was captured by aliens from the Andromeda Galaxy and your daughter was turned into a cube and crushed by their leader, Rojan, as an example of his power after we were caught trying to escape. It happens. 

I knelt there on the surface of a nondescript alien world and cradled the ashes of your cube-daughter in my strong hands and I could only think of one thing:

Why couldn’t it have been Lieutenant What’s-His-Name?

I thought for sure it was going to be him. One male crewman and one female crewman get turned into cubes by aliens bent on conquering the galaxy and one of them gets crushed and it’s almost always the guy. As a matter of fact, your daughter is the only female to die coincidentally as part of an away team under my command. I’m usually more careful about the ladies. Your daughter was just in the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong color uniform.

Anyway, I’m sure it’ll be of great consolation to you that we managed to patch things up with the Kelvans. Turns out the whole thing was a big misunderstanding resulting from them having been hideous squid creatures before taking human form. It’s complicated. We only finally sorted it out by drinking and making out with them. It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it.

I want you to know that our new-found friendship with the Kelvans couldn’t have happened without your daughter’s sacrifice.

Well, actually, it could have, now that I think about it.  But Starfleet protocol dictates that I must attempt to escape alien capture by any means necessary. (EDITED BY FIRST OFFICER: There is no such protocol.) And, as tragic as your daughter’s death is, it’s nowhere near as senseless as that of the 8 crewmen who were accidentally stepped on after the Kelvans turned the crew into cubes.

I don’t know how I’m going to write those letters. We haven’t even identified two of them yet. Have you ever tried identifying a cube? Ugh. You hold a picture up to the crushed cube parts and squint and…

I’m sorry. I don’t mean to lay my problems on you during this difficult time. Please accept my most sincere sympathies. Leslie was competent, strong and had exactly the kind of assets I look for in a female crew member, if you know what I mean. I’m sorry that she’ll never have the chance to get to know me better.

I mean I’m sorry I’ll never have the chance to get to know her better.

At any rate, please let us know what you want done with this vacuum cleaner bag full of your daughter.

Sincerely,

Captain James T. Kirk

Dear Mrs. Needa:

It is my unpleasant duty as the commanding officer of your husband, Captain Lorth Needa, to inform you of his death in the service of the Empire.

I knew your husband personally and found him to be the kind of officer who never passed the buck, always forthright and honest to a fault. Indeed, I remember the last words I said to him were to accept his apology for, oh, gosh, what was it? Wait, here it is in his service report:

…failing to catch a busted-ass little freighter piloted by a Wookie and a guy who doesn’t know that a parsec is a unit of distance not time, despite having about 8 fricking star destroyers and 500 TIE fighters at his disposal.

I’m not sure how I could have forgotten that. Probably because I’m still in too much grief over the death of such a noble soul.

You will note from the enclosed report that the official cause of death is listed as “broken neck resulting from fall into one of those open pits on the bridge of the star destroyer.” Tragic. There really should be a railing around those. I have no idea why there isn’t a railing. It’s just a couple of open pits in the floor where technicians sit so that… what? So that the people standing on the upper level can see out the window? I don’t even know why we have windows! We could just have view screens. We have faster than light engines and we need glass windows?! It doesn’t make any sense! And they put the bridge on a tower on top of the ship! It’s crazy! Some day one of these Rebel scum is just going to kamakazi right into a star destroyer bridge! Mark my words! I keep telling them we could just have view screens and have the bridge all the way inside the ship in the most protected part but all I hear is blah blah blah screens cost money and blah blah blah tradition. The whole thing is almost criminally negligent (or would be if the Emperor hadn’t done away with all the liability laws). It makes me so angry sometimes I just want to choke the whole star destroyer design team to death!

But I would never do that.

Anyway, during these most difficult of times, I want you know this: Lorth was a stand-up guy who never shirked his duty. And that’s the way he went out. He gave the ultimate sacrifice for the Empire and you have my gratitude as well as that of Emperor Palpatine himself.

Sincerely,

Lord Darth Vader