Part 22 - Home again.   Posted by The Force.Group: 0
The Force
 GM, 1072 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 28 Oct 2019
at 20:50
Part 22 - Home again
The tech looks up at Juragga, opens his mouth to say something, then closes it again when Rhijans speaks.  Instead he turns around as far as he can in the chair and stares at the far wall.
The Force
 GM, 1073 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Sun 3 Nov 2019
at 19:58
Part 22 - Home again
Fortunately for the tech, a couple of minutes later a contingent of six Rebel Alliance troops arrive, all of them armed. to escort him to his new quarters.  He seems quite happy to be moved, as if pleased to be treated in a manner befitting a prisoner.  He simply walks out of the door with his escort, leaving Rhijans and Juragga in the dimly lit room...

Meanwhile, in the lounge, Shard and Haarmon are quietly discussing You-Why's condition, and what should be done about it, if anything...
Shard
 player, 1443 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 4 Nov 2019
at 10:14
Part 22 - Home again
~~It probably would,~~ Shard agrees. ~~Nevertheless, I would prefer if you asked Haarmon if it's all right to tell me what he's thinking before doing so, and respecting his wishes on the matter.~~
Haarmon Dak
 player, 829 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Mon 4 Nov 2019
at 16:28
Part 22 - Home again
Haarmon shook his head as though to clear it and looked up and smiled, at the kid and then at Shard.

"Yeah, I mean sure. It's just a weird thing to have to make such a clear decision on. I know Droids are just machines. And their brains are just, like, very complex video games. But, then, really, so are we. And it's fun to spark a fattie and has this stuff out in the wee hours. But it's another to have to, you know, do a thing about it."

A pause.

"It doesn't look like deliberate sabotage, but I can't prove it isn't. So the safest move here is to 'repair' him. Which means, essentially, kill him. So I don't what to do about it and I think we need a consensus before we decide."
Juragga
 player, 623 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Mon 4 Nov 2019
at 16:48
Part 22 - Home again
Juragga's fury passed and the wookiee seemed to deflate, gaining decades as the weight of his loss settled back on his shoulders.

"Grmph," he muttered, and then turned to leave.  I'm gonna get a drink.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1384 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 4 Nov 2019
at 16:55
Part 22 - Home again
As the guards left with the Imperial, Rhijans turned to Juragga.  "You can fix that light, right?  Or should we just tell Jalt about it and let him worry about it?"  He had no idea what the Wookiee's technical abilities might be...he just knew his own were woefully deficient to the task.  He might know his way around a blaster, but when it came to even basic space transport repairs, he didn't know enough to even identify all the tools involved.
Juragga
 player, 624 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Tue 5 Nov 2019
at 05:30
Part 22 - Home again
Pausing at the doorway, Juragga glanced back for just a moment, his teal eyes taking in the flickering, baleful light that he'd tried to repair earlier.

Without comment, he thumped the wall above the lightswitch, hard.

And then he went to go get that drink.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1386 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 5 Nov 2019
at 05:44
Part 22 - Home again
Rhijans shrugged at the response, unfazed by the reverberating thud of the Wookiee fist against the bulkhead, and started following Juragga out...finding Haarmon and Shard pensively looking at each other.

"So...what's the news on You-Why?"
The Force
 GM, 1074 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 7 Nov 2019
at 20:52
Part 22 - Home again
The lighting panel flickers again and then, as the door closes behind Juragga, it flares to full intensity and rmains steady at that level... 

In the lounge Haarmon explains the issue with You-Why.  He describes how the droids circuits are fried, his memory core is leaking, and that the flaws might be what gives the droid his, for want of a better word, personality...  The droid can probably be repaired, but at the cost of removing what makes him You-Why...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1388 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 8 Nov 2019
at 04:51
Part 22 - Home again
Rhijans listened to the explanation, his face impassive.  When Haarmon finished his description, Rhijans pursed his lips slightly for a moment, in thought, and then...

"I don't feel like this is a decision we can make for him.  He needs to be reactivated and brought up to speed on his status...then he can decide whether he wants to keep going with his operational status going into decline...with no knowing when it will suffer a catastrophic failure...or if he wants to get things restored as best he can at the risk of losing his identity and personality."  He shrugged minutely.

"This is like asking someone with an aggressive terminal illness if they want to try and surgically correct it.  Yeah, it would extend their life...but they're the only ones who can say whether or not it would be worth it for them."  There was an unusual openness...to anyone who didn't know him, it would still seem impassive, but after spending months around him, his reaction was unexpectedly emotional to those who had learned what to look for.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 831 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Mon 11 Nov 2019
at 16:18
Part 22 - Home again
Haarmon nodded. "Yeah, I guess that's the thing, huh? The fact that he's capable of making these kinds of decisions is the only reason we're waffling over it. If he couldn't, we wouldn't."

He looked down at the baby and tickled her chin. "So, I guess we boot him up and tell him what's what, yeah?"
Shard
 player, 1446 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 12 Nov 2019
at 01:29
Part 22 - Home again
"I'd concur," Shard quietly replies.  She sits in the corner, huddled in her cloak like an indigent priestess.  Her feet, she has drawn up to hug her knees.  Her chin, she rests on those self-same knees.  Perhaps priestess isn't the proper descriptor; perhaps it's a homeless girl she emulates.

A flick of her eyes sends her gaze to the bounty-hunter; after all of this time, the older woman can somewhat read him, like a second language not quite mastered.  "I'm sorry," she whispers; hidden behind concrete walls, his pain nonetheless calls out to her.  For an instant, she wonders how many people he has let close to him, and how many of them he lost.  All, most likely.  "And I'm sorry for You-Why.  I guess...this isn't stable?  It won't just stay this way?  He'll continue to get further and further..."

Her voice trails off, and she closes her eyes.  For an instant, her face twists into an ugly mask, tears squeezing from the corners of her eyes.  True grief is never pretty.

With a shudder, she clears her throat.  Voice shaking, she continues.  "He might want to just continue.  You know?  As long as he can.  IF repairing him makes him...not him, well it's what I'd do."

With the back of her hand, she rubs at her eyes, smearing her vision into a blur.  "But I'm not him, and he does deserve to make that choice.  Like any of us would."

This message had punctuation tweaked by the player at 11:37, Fri 15 Nov 2019.

The Force
 GM, 1075 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Wed 13 Nov 2019
at 22:57
Part 22 - Home again
Haarmon makes his way back to where You-Why waits, all unknowing, to be revived.

A press of a stud, and the droid jerks like a startled animal.

"Oh!  Goodness me!  What happened?  Wait... I remember, I think.  Was I deactivated?"
Shard
 player, 1447 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 18 Nov 2019
at 10:24
Part 22 - Home again
"You-Why," Shard quietly states, and puts her hand on his shoulder.  "It's okay."  It's not, not at all, but starting with that seems like throwing him straight off a cliff.  "We were doing some diagnostics, remember?  Turns out you needed to be out for a short time." She faces him directly; if he becomes angered at this, she'll take the heat.

"But we've found something, and you need to know about it."

Still facing him, looking directly into his eyes, she continues. "Haarmon found something serious.  You're going to need to make a decision, and I'm sorry.  It's a hard one.  But whatever you choose, we want you to know it's your choice, and we'll support it.  You're part of the team, and the team sticks together."

She jabs a thumb over her shoulder toward Haarmon; her vision has started to fray, a touch, but she's holding it together thus far.  "Now...Haarmon knows the specifics, so I'm going to let him explain the problem.  But we're all here, regardless."
Haarmon Dak
 player, 832 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Mon 18 Nov 2019
at 16:27
Part 22 - Home again
Haarmon winces and makes a sour face. He knew he'd be the one to lay it out. But it's weird, all the same. It's the kind of thing he wasn't even sure how he was supposed to feel, let alone how he did feel.

"So, look, You-Why. I found out that some of your memory cores are borked. And the specific way they're messed up might be responsible for the way you're you. You know? And also, they could possible result in you shutting down permanently. So we can do one of a couple of things: let it alone, and you keep being you, with maybe increasingly weird memory faults until eventually you're nothing but a memory fault and that's it."

Pause.

"Or we fix you. But fixing you means returning you to factory settings, you know? You won't be, well, YOU anymore. I can't see any other option, I'm afraid."
UY-3PO
 NPC, 47 posts
 No, I don't like you
 either.
Mon 18 Nov 2019
at 22:40
Part 22 - Home again
You-Why looks around the room for a moment, without saying anything.  Then, "If I were an organic who could only be healed by erasing who he was, I don't believe there would be any choice."  His voice is quiet and oddly flat.  "But I am not an organic.  I am a droid, and I appreciate that you are all concerned enough to offer me a say in my own future.  Thank you.  It is your concern for my well-being and consideration for my nature that makes me almost think of you all with affection, even though you are all organics."

"But it will be a difficult decision.  On the one hand, I was constructed to be the best I could be, but on the other, my imperfection makes me a unique individual.  I would like, if I may, to take some time to consider my options, and in the mean time, perhaps, further choices may present themselves."

This message was last edited by the player at 22:45, Mon 18 Nov 2019.

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1389 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Wed 20 Nov 2019
at 07:29
Part 22 - Home again
Rhijans nodded at the droid's response.  "Fair enough.  But, you're wrong in one respect.  Sometimes organics make seemingly contrary choices...some fear death so much that they'd rather keep living without part of what makes them who they are.  Some are so entrenched in who they are that they would reject assistance, even if it wouldn't change who they are."  He gave a shrug.

"But regardless, it's not a decision that should be made lightly.  You've got every right to weigh options.  Might even be worth talking with some of the techs here at the base.  Haarmon's talented, but even he doesn't know everything there is to know about droid memory systems...they may have a trick for restoring your memory while keeping your personality intact.  I don't know...I wouldn't have had the first idea where to start looking for what Haarmon found, much less have any ideas about personality encoding."  The vaguest hint of tightness crept into his voice.

"But you deserve the right to decide your own fate.  And whatever that decision ends up being, I'll respect it."  The tightness had expanded, from his voice to his face...and a perceptive individual watching him could recognize a look of profound discomfort in his eyes, that didn't seem to be directed at You-Why or anyone else in the group.  He fell into a momentary awkward silence, then gave a nod and put his left hand on the droid's shoulder, before turning to walk away, standing in a corner looking at the walls, his back and shoulders tense.
Shard
 player, 1449 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 25 Nov 2019
at 14:08
Part 22 - Home again
Shard watches 'her student' spread the problem out on a metaphorical table for You-Why to examine.  Turmoil twists his features; she hasn't done him a favour by asking him to explain, but none other in the room truly knew the specifics.  The older woman wishes she could have spared him this sharp edge, but that's her protective nature.  This is his work, and he does it well, despite his wrenching discomfiture.

But void, she wishes she could save him from this travail.

Her vision turns to a twisting fishbowl as You-Why replies, and Shard runs a shaking hand over her eyes.  "You're welcome," she croaks out, all she can manage for a moment.  Rijans gives fair reply to the droid's request, and moves away, as overcome with feeling himself as Shard has ever seen.  Others might find that description amusing, given his stolid bearing; Shard sees the stiffness like a knife's blade in the bounty-hunter's movements, normally smooth as oiled smoke.

"You need to speak to anyone, You-Why, about trying other options, tell us," she agrees.  "And not just here.  We have a ship, after all."  And the older woman offers him a small bow, hands clasped together: legacy of her world's culture, nigh-forgotten in the whirlwind of her life, but blown up to the surface by grief's wind.

She moves quietly across the floor to place a hand -- carefully -- on the bounty-hunter's shoulder.  A first, perhaps; then Shard releases her light grip to stand almost beside him, fixing her gaze on the wall herself.  It's a blur in her eyes, no more.  "Please don't walk away, Rhijans."  It could be reproach, this breathed request, but her next words prove it not so.  "We need you, too."

This message was last edited by the player at 14:08, Mon 25 Nov 2019.

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1391 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 25 Nov 2019
at 18:43
Part 22 - Home again
At the touch, Rhijans stiffened visibly, fighting down the urge to brush off the hand that was removed, voluntarily, only moments later.  That confirmed, to him, that he'd let his emotions get too close to the surface.

With a barely perceptible sigh, he forced himself to put the lid back on that box...he was among friends, of course, or as close to friends as he'd ever known...but friends could be turned, or exploited by enemies, and he couldn't afford to expose vulnerabilities.

He turned to face Shard, only his dark eyes betraying the depth of emotions he was fighting.  "I'm not going anywhere," he answered.  Where would he go?  Any option he could envision held no appeal to him...
Shard
 player, 1450 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Sun 1 Dec 2019
at 03:43
Part 22 - Home again
You just did.  But it's her inside voice; Rhijans wants it this way, and Shard isn't about to go against his wishes.  "All right," she decides on, with a small nod.  Then sees his eyes.  It's all there, all the truth he keeps inside, and that truth is clearly filled with broken glass.

But his face is annealed.

"Void, Rhijans," Shard quietly states.  "You make it hard.  On yourself."  Her voice cracks on the last word; You-Why's plight, Rhijans' lonely existence, both are blades within her and there's nothing she can do.  Dragging the back of her hand across her eyes smears Shard's tears, and she drags in a shuddering breath.  Turning away, she takes a step to the wall herself and puts her hands on it, pressing hard.  "We're a team.  Still.  You don't need to share.  We give what we can, and that's enough."  One palm clenches into a fist and she lifts it from its rest, but not to hit; instead, Shard tapes it against the obdurate barrier, nothing more.  "It's enough."

You can't ask people for more than they can give; you can't give people more than they're willing to take.

Again she futilely swipes at her eyes and turns back.  Rhijans is a statue, but the others?  Her eyes flick from Wookie to student, struggling for details despite the blur.
UY-3PO
 NPC, 48 posts
 No, I don't like you
 either.
Sun 1 Dec 2019
at 22:27
Part 22 - Home again
"I believe that the first person I should talk to, and at the earliest available opportunity, is Colonel Kourene." You-Why muses.

"He is in a position of authority, and may be able to put technicians and other experts at my disposal.  He may also have contacts at other bases, or with the Alliance fleet."

The droid starts towards the door, then stops and turns back, "That is not to say that I would not appreciate any help or suggestions you might give in future.  And, just in case this system deterioration means the end of our association, I would like to say that I have, for the most part, found working with this group quite fulfilling."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1392 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 2 Dec 2019
at 09:46
Part 22 - Home again
Rhijans had his emotions back in hand, and nodded at You-Why's assessment...then again when the droid presented what was, for him, high praise of the group.  "We wouldn't be where we are today without you," he replied to the droid.

"Let's go find the Colonel and see what he's got to offer."
Haarmon Dak
 player, 834 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Mon 2 Dec 2019
at 17:33
Part 22 - Home again
Haarmon nodded at Shard's addition. "Yeah, yeah, for sure. Please don't come down on any make-or-break decisions on my say-so. We should totally go see Kourene. Kick this thing up the ladder a rung or two. See what shakes down."

He was about done torturing that metaphor.

He noted that all this seemed to have riled up something in Rhijans, and he was glad that Shard was there to take point on the fall-out. He, certainly, was in no position to be helping anyone with their anything. He hadn't even worked out his own whatevers yet. He had no place sticking his beak into anyone else's.

Is Rhijans okay? He asked the baby. Like, I don't want to know any inside-the-skull secrets, but is he, like, okay? Not going to vanish or shoot anyone or whatever?
UY-3PO
 NPC, 49 posts
 No, I don't like you
 either.
Wed 4 Dec 2019
at 22:44
Part 22 - Home again
"If I might," You-Why says, sounding a little apologetic, "and if it is all the same to you, I believe that I would rather talk to the Colonel alone.  If he can not, or will not, help me then I would rather have that conversation privately."

"Besides which, as I understand it, you need to locate Tfalta Dawl and let her take possession of the infant."

"Though, again, I do appreciate your offers of assistance."

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1393 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 6 Dec 2019
at 01:03
Part 22 - Home again
Rhijans nodded acknowledgment.  Much as he hated the feeling of helplessness that came from standing back and doing nothing, You-Why wanted to handle it on his own...and Rhijans could certainly understand that.

"Then I guess we'll get on with that, then, and hope for good news from you when we're done."  L8ke that, he was back to the crisp, business-like manner that was the norm for him.