Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Heart of Darthness

MB-RA-7 – Death Star Droid

22/3.005 – I awoke in an unfamiliar room, the overhead fans circling like hungry mynocks.

Where was I?
The sounds coming from the ventilation grill suggested heavy machinery, and the thunderous stampede of a thousand boot steps at regular intervals gave me further clues. I took a peek through the observation port.
Damn. The Death Star.

I was on the Death Star.

23/4.074 – My preliminary orders were to report to Imperial Captain Hari Sunford. He was a laconic human, and seemed weary of the constant battle against the rebellion.

He downloaded my mission directly into my covert memory banks – this was for my photoreceptors only, and as far as the Imperial Security Bureau was concerned, this mission was not happening.
I did not exist.
I was… expendable.

28/1.939 – As I travelled the turbo lift deep into the belly of the battle station, deep into the heart of darkness, I reviewed the files.

Vader. Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith.
This guy had earned every commendation in the book, he was a war hero, a leader, and he had gone off the rails. It was my job to make contact with this 'Vader', establish his threat to the Empire, and retire him if necessary, with extreme prejudice.
I hate my job.

33/1.700 – It didn’t take me long to track Vader down, I just followed the trail of Imperial Officers, their windpipes all crushed.

He was indeed out of control, a wounded animal, and I had to put him out of his misery.
When I found his sanctuary I pushed past his sycophantic followers, including a holo-recordist who was following his every move for the holonet.
This recordist, Den Nissopper, had gone equally insane, believing Vader to be the one true path to enlightenment. Nissopper welcomed me in however, not thinking a lowly RA-7 model to be any kind of threat, and allowed me to stay as the followers of Vader paid homage to their Lord.
A plump officer was dragged into the meditation chamber, and before my startled receptors, was brutally butchered to the delight of the gathered whelps. I made a note of the officer’s name, Porb Oolok, and sent an encrypted note to the bureau.
This madness had to be stopped!

45/2.707 – After several days of quietly observing the gatherings in the meditation chamber I was accepted as part of the group, and invited to an audience with Lord Vader himself. His followers left the room as the mighty maw of the Dark Lord’s meditation chamber slowly ascended, and he beckoned me over.
It was hard to make out his angular fetaures in the half light, and his breathing was rasping and labored.

I present an audio recording of our conversation.

Vader: Where are you from, droid?

RA-7: I’m from Arakyd Industries, Lord Vader.

Vader: Were you built there?

RA-7: Yes, Lord Vader.

Vader: Whereabouts?

RA-7: Kelada, Lord Vader.

Vader: How far were you from Neimoidia?

RA-7: About 200 parsecs, Lord Vader.

Vader: I hate Neimoidians, and what they did to Naboo. You ever visit Naboo, droid?

RA-7: No, Lord Vader.

Vader: I went to that planet when I was a kid, There’s a place near the palace… I can’t remember…must have been a gardenia plantation at one time. All wild and overgrown now, for for about five miles you’d think that heaven just fell on Theed in the form of gardenias…
Have you ever considered any real freedoms?

Freedoms – from the opinions of others…even the opinions of yourself.
They say why, droid, why they want to terminate me?

RA-7: I was sent on a classified mission, Lord Vader.

Vader: It appears that it is no longer classified, is it?
What did they tell you?

RA-7: They told me you had gone totally insane and your methods were unsound.

Vader: Are my methods unsound?

RA-7: I don’t see any method at all, Lord Vader. Just a lot of choking.

Vader: I expected someone like you. What did you expect?

RA-7: Perhaps someone a little taller.

Vader: Are you an assassin?

RA-7: I’m a protocol droid.

Vader: You’re neither. You’re an errand droid, sent by grocery clerks to collect a bill.

RA-7: I, er, zzzzttttkkkztzt….zzztztkktzttzzz.

65/0.006 – His force push flung me across the room, and now I lie here, unable to move.
Each day, Lord Vader takes a moment to implode a little more of my internal circuitry, and I fear I shall be scrap in a few days.

Hopefully, my factory brother, 3B6-RA-7, is having a better time of it on Tatooine.
Zzttztz… there goes my abdominal servo.
The end is near… the horror, the horror…

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