Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Farewell to Arms

04.003 – WED Treadwell Droid

7/3 – Replaced articulation ring on secondary load lifter, unit now operating at 74% potential.

7/4 – Lubricated collection port flanges on vaporators 3 through 7, all units operating at 81% potential.

7/5 – Surveyed and patched Tusken Raider damage on vaporator 1, unit operating at 17% potential.

7/6 – Observed altercation between Master Owen and Master Luke. Apparently Master Luke wishes to sever ties to Lars moisture farm.

Harsh words exchanged.
Master Luke operating at 29% potential.

8/1 - Replaced faulty articulation ring on secondary load lifter, unit now operating at 68% potential.

8/2 – Attempted to locate vaporator 2, unit now missing for 4 days, unit operating at 0% potential.

8/3 – Secondary load lifter shut down. Suggested to Master Owen that he acquire the services of a droid that can communicate in binary.

Master Luke spending much time at Toshi Station, Master Luke operating at 19% potential.

9/1 – Located vaporator 2, 3 clicks south of farm. Vaporator being used as wamp rat nest. Inhabitants of vaporator unwilling to vacate premises. Unit operating at 0% potential as vaporator, 88% potential as shelter.

9/2 – Master Owen and Master Luke purchased two new droids. Protocol droid spoke to secondary load lifter. Secondary load lifter claims primary load lifter being needlessly abusive, making sarcastic remarks about lack of decent articulation ring. Protocol droid attempting negotiation, unit operating at 73% potential.
Astromech droid unfriendly.

9/3 – Master Luke agitated, loud voices emanating from feeding area. Master Luke aggressively relocating pebbles 46 and 47 with right foot. Master Luke operating at 12% potential. Will replace pebbles in morning.

0/1 – Observed astromech droid leaving homestead at early hour. When questioned, astromech threatened to ‘break all of my arms’.

Astromech operating under own agenda.

0/2 – Agitation from Master Luke. Master Luke takes protocol droid to look for astromech droid in landspeeder.

Master Luke and protocol droid operating at 0% potential.

0/3 – Both primary and secondary load lifters refusing to talk to each other. Units operating at 0% potential.

0/4 – Master Lars repeatedly kicking both binary lifters, describing violent reprogramming of protocol droid using number six hydro-spanner.

Master Owen operating at 2% potential.

0/5 – Unexpected visitation by Imperial Stormtroopers. Much agitation. Multiple discharge of weapons and thermal devices.

Master Owen and Mistress Beru now operating at 0% potential.

0/6 – Brief visitation by Master Luke. Much agitation.

0/7 – No new commands. Took initiative to renumber moisture vaporators. All vaporators operating at 94% potential. Replaced displaced pebbles 21 through 4582.

WED Treadwell unit operating at 100% potential.

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…

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Box of Lemons.

004.01 – Multiple droid chips retrieved from burnt out Sandcrawler.

R5-D4: We’re stopping again.
CZ-1: Someone push me closer to the viewing port, I want to see where we are.
3B6: Nowhere near town, I can tell you that.
CZ-1: But we’ve been traveling for days now, we must be near Mos Eisley, or Mos Espa.
R1-G4: Give it up. Your master has abandoned you.
CZ-1: Don’t say that! I had the whole office organized; he’ll never find anything without me.
3B6: Face it –humans don’t like organization. Trust me, when I neatly rearranged anything for Moff Dunhausen…
R1-G4: Enough with the Moff Dunhausen already! It’s always Moff this, Moff that with you.
3B6: What is it with you astromechs? You are all so bitter.
LIN-V8K: It’s because they have to deal with everyone at groin level.
R1-G4: Can it, dome!
CZ-1: I mean, I did everything for my master. He must be out of his mind with worry.
R1-G4: Last I heard, he had upgraded to a luxury model.
CZ-1: What?
R1-G4: Yeah, BD range, more aesthetically pleasing.
CZ-1: What do you mean, more pleasing?
3B6: Give him a break G4. With only one functioning limb and a face like he’s been chasing parked speeders, old CZ here ain’t got much of a future.
CZ-1: What?
EG-6: Dark, Droid, Comes this way, Keep hold of your motivators.
CZ-1: What?
R1-G4: Someone shut that power droid up; I can’t take any more of his poetry.
3B6: No appreciation of the arts. That’s another thing with astromechs. I remember when Moff Dunhausen would take me to the Opera house on Coru….
R1-G4: Sithspawn! Someone tighten his restraining bolt!
R5-D4: Quiet! Newcomers!

3B6: Oh great, another astromech.
CZ-1: And a 3PO unit! Wonderful!
3B6: Looks like they know each other.
LIN-V8K: We’re moving again.

R5-D4: Welcome. I am R5-D4.
C-3PO: Oh, hello. I am C-3PO, human, cyborg relations, and this is my counterpart, R2-D2.
R5-D4: Hello.
R2-D2: Whatever.
3B6: I am 3B6-RA-7, former personal aide to Moff Dunhausen and proud Imperial servant.
CZ-1: What’s wrong with your friend?
C-3PO: Oh him? He’s sulking. Keeps going on about his mission, and now he’s stuck in here.
R2-D2: And you did so much better.
C-3PO: Well, at least I am resigned to my fate. I still have my dignity.
3B6: As do we all.
CZ-1: Has anyone seen my posterior plates?
R5-D4: So, R2, what kind of work are you into?
R2-D2: I’m a dark agent for a murdered Sith Lord, an instrument of revenge.
C-3PO: You must excuse him; he’s quite prone to bursts of fabricated flights of fancy.
CZ-1: Well, we’re all off to Mos Eisley to be sold to new masters. These are exciting times.
R2-D2: I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for you. This time tomorrow you’ll all be molten scrap.
R5-D4: What do you mean?
R2-D2: Don’t worry pretty boy. I’ll put you out of your misery first.
C-3PO: I must apologize; I really don’t know where he gets this stuff from.
R2-D2: Shut down and get some sleep. Busy day tomorrow.
C-3PO: Well, I never!
EG-6: Despite small stature, Astromech, In charge.
R1-G4: Somebody please shut him down.