We all know Gungan died, but does anyone know his last few minutes of life? Was he frightened? Did he understand just what was about to happen?
I've been thinking about that, and all we can do is surmise. Well, no longer. Here is the story of the final moments of Gungan's glory:
"Hey, this way!" Gungan motioned to the security running at his side. The lift was just ahead.
"Ser, it's faster this way." The guard, Borofsky by his nametag, slammed the side of a wadded fist into a door, the metallic surface booming in the silence of the corridor. "I know that playhouse, and this takes us right there."
He pressed his hand to a panel and threw the door wide, waiting until Gungan indicated he would follow. Then, Borofsky disappeared inside.
Gungan hit the doorway, finding a stair, and he leaped after his companion, throwing his hand on a rail, and pulling himself up faster than seemed possible with his bulk. Looking up, he saw Borofsky's feet disappear onto a catwalk opening to another level. A door clanged open, and light flooded the well just ahead of him.
"Good thinking, man," Gungan called up. "The lift would have taken twice as long." He drew himself up to stand on the catwalk.
"Thanks, ser. Two rights, and we're there. We're looking for a corridor play area. You'll know it when you see it."
Gungan did, too. There was a yellow band of color in the corridor, and to the side, the color wrapped a space filled with children's toys, all set up neatly and in a sensible order. A boy and a girl played with a ball and some pins in one corner. The playhouse was on the opposite end. "There," Gungan yelled, and he leaped for the structure.
Borofsky leaped faster, catching the brightly colored building with a hand and pulling it from the wall. There, exposed, was the device they dreaded to see.
"Grab it, man! There's an exit just this way." Gungan knew this area. His cousin and her children lived two corridors over, and he remembered the yellow of this playspace. Exit 4B was around the corner.
Around the corner. It sounded so easy when Gungan pictured it. His palm-or the security's-and the door would fly open, and the explosive contraption could be jettisoned into space, to detonate harmlessly in the void. Reaching the exit, he reached a hand for the device, noting the red numbers counting down. He had only moments, but he had enough. He threw open the first door, and heaved a sigh of relief as he palmed the exterior door.
It refused to move, instead flashing a red "X" that told of an override lockdown. Gungan grabbed the security's shirt, noting his name, and yelling, "Borofsky, palm the door!"
The timer was nearing its end moments, and speed was crucial.
Borofsky, wide-eyed, threw himself forward, hissing, "No outside doors should be in lockdown."
"Just do it." Gungan felt the sweat of fear on his back, and he saw the same on Borofsky's forehead.
"No good, ser." Borofsky hit the panel a second time, and the red "X" appeared as before.
"Another exit-" Gungan began his question, only to see the numbers going to single digits.
"It's too late, ser." Borofsky threw an arm around Gungan's shoulder as he kicked the inside door closed, and forced Gungan against the flashing red "X". "All we can do is try to protect the tree."
Yet, even those words were ripped from them as the explosive flashed brilliantly white, and the door and the surrounding wall before them were vaporized, the concussion rocking the small chamber and catching the remaining debris and shooting it into space.
Silence ruled for a moment, the silence of death, with only the creaking of tortured metal to tell the tale of two men who had died to save the tree they called home.