Part 22 - Home again.   Posted by The Force.Group: 0
The Force
 GM, 1053 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 1 Aug 2019
at 14:59
Part 22 - Home again
The trip from Yakusant to Cireddalbryrlir and on to Mothessh doesn't take long, and passes without incident (something which has Jalt wondering, somewhat amusingly, what is about to go wrong).

Nothing does.

When Kourene walks down the ramp he is greeted by cheers from the rebels present in the hangar (which seems to be the majority of the base personnel, with more arriving a11 the time).

The Colonel clambers up onto a cargo case, where he can be clearly seen. and spreads his hands before him, gesturing for everybody to quieten down.

"Yes, I'm back.  And that is all due to a lot of hard work by a small group of people."

More cheering...  Followed by a short speech about how the rebellion against the Empire will continue, and how everybody in the base has a part to play in that.

"We do not do this for material rewards.  We do not do this for fame or glory.  We do this  to bring about the lessening of tyranny and oppression in this, our Galaxy.  THAT will be our reward, and our legacy!"

Kourene steps down from his pedestal and beckons over the group from the Bantha.

"Keep the prisoner aboard for now." he says, loud enough to be heard over the noise of the cheering, "Keep an eye on him and make sure You-Why hasn't harmed him.  I'm going to arrange for his new accommodation."
Juragga
 player, 614 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Thu 1 Aug 2019
at 15:29
Part 22 - Home again
Juragga rumbled an assent.  He didn't know about You-Why sometimes, but he'd keep an eye on things in case a mountain of Wookiee muscle was needed.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1365 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 1 Aug 2019
at 16:39
Part 22 - Home again
Rhijans had been about to make himself scarce when Kourene started talking about hard work from a small group...thankfully, the Colonel didn't highlight them any further (although, Rhijans was fairly certain, everyone in the base had some idea of who they were, by now...too many high-profile successes to remain comfortably anonymous...)

He looked almost bored during the rest of the speech...his experience with governments was that nobody was truly free under any type of government, and personally, he considered them a necessary evil...his career, pre-Rebellion, had been built around the existence of the kinds of individuals that made 'no government at all' an implausible concept.  But he did know the, as governments went, the Empire was a bad one, and he'd be happy to see it fall.

He gave Kourene a nod at the directions about their guest, and headed back into the ship.
The Force
 GM, 1054 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 5 Aug 2019
at 14:13
Part 22 - Home again
You-Why, for all that he is a protocol droid isn't being very talkative or polite when the team go in to check on the prisoner.  In fact the droid is merely standing near the door, staring at the prisoner, who is seated on the opposite side of a small table.

As the door opens, the Imperial tech stands up, hands pressed flat on the surface of the table.

"Please!  Take me out of here.  Don't make me stay alone with him any longer!  There's something... not right about him."

You-Why stirs and turns to face his team mates.  "Welcome back." he says, pleasantly enough, "I hope that, in future, you have something interesting for me to do."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1366 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 5 Aug 2019
at 16:50
Part 22 - Home again
"Stick with us and I'm sure we'll find interesting things for you to do.  Just don't expect everything to be interesting," Rhijans responded.  "I get stuck with plenty of uninteresting tasks.  So does everyone else.  And a lot of the interesting stuff we get to do involves a very high probability of termination," he continued, with a "be careful what you wish for" tone.

He turned to the tech.  "They're not quite ready for you yet.  Sit tight."  His voice was cold and detached, promising no relief from the droid's presence...and not really presenting a more appealing alternative in the form of his presence.
UY-3PO
 NPC, 43 posts
 No, I don't like you
 either.
Wed 7 Aug 2019
at 21:49
Part 22 - Home again
You-Why emits a surprisingly life-like sigh.

"Your talents are, at least, being utilised.  I am left to guard prisoners who cannot, in any case, escape their confinement.  So all I can do is stand around and watch them, while they, and I, do nothing.  It is most frustrating.  Is this what boredom feels like?"

"He doesn't do nothing though.  He makes noises all the time!  And when I ask him to stop, he claims that he didn't realise he was doing it."  The tech shakes his head angrily.  "And five minutes later he's doing it again."

"I'd rather be shut in with an interrogation droid.  At least then I'd know what was going to happen."

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1369 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Wed 7 Aug 2019
at 22:31
Part 22 - Home again
Rhijans almost grinned.  Ignoring the prisoner for the moment, he turned to the droid.  "We weren't worried about him escaping, we were worried about him sabotaging part of the ship while we were busy.  We needed someone who would stay on task, never sleep, never need to take a break for a meal or to visit the head, who couldn't be lulled into complacency with small-talk.  You might think it was just busy-work...but there was literally nobody in the crew better suited for the task than you...and it was crucial.  If he'd been able to rig up even a rudimentary transmitter, that Star Destroyer would have found us.  It was a team effort...and you were a critical part of that team."

He reached out to give the droid's shoulder a comradely clap, the same as he would to Jalt or Juragga, or any other crew member.

Then he turned back to their prisoner.  "You may yet get your wish...I don't know what they have in mind for you, but once you're off this ship, you're not our problem anymore, and they may have a lot of questions.  I mean, yeah, you're just a tech...but you were serving on the Moff's flagship, so who knows what you may have seen or heard?"
Shard
 player, 1426 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 8 Aug 2019
at 01:32
Part 22 - Home again
Shard keeps silent when Kourene speaks; she’s never been big on cheers or even taking credit.  Job is done, move to the next; the big payoff is that everyone came home.  She does agree with the colonel with regards to the prisoner…and You-Why…and prods Juragga in the ribs.  “Good plan, eh?  Haarmon, you going to keep watching the kid?”

Then it’s back in the ship to help make arrangements for the Imperial.

When You-Why speaks, Shard eyes the droid carefully.  She can’t actually deny the prisoner’s words; there’s something different about the mechanical being, in her eyes.  Tormenting a prisoner seemed to start as a fun game for You-Why, a way to include itself into the group by assisting with interrogation.  Then it continued without need.  And now…is it possible the droid has grown a taste for such things?

“There’s going to be a cell for you,” she expands on Rhijans’ explanation to the prisoner.  “It’ll be comfortable enough, if dull, and you’ll be fed.  Better than what the Empire gives to its own prisoners.  That’s all I can say – the rest isn’t up to me, other than the fact that you won’t be harmed.”  Her eyes flick to the droid, next.  “I guess watching a prisoner is maybe a little dull...Rhijans is correct about the needs to watch this fellow, but let's be fair.  Do you have any ideas on what you want to do next, You-Why?”
UY-3PO
 NPC, 44 posts
 No, I don't like you
 either.
Sun 11 Aug 2019
at 22:23
Part 22 - Home again
The protocol droid looks from Rhijans to Shard, and back again.  And something about him seems to change.  A Human would stand straighter and square his shoulders, but the transformation in You-Why is not so easy to quantify.

When he speaks, though, he sounds happier.  And there is, perhaps, a little pride in his voice.

"So my task was of vital importance, and one that I was uniquely suited to perform?  That is good to know.  Though I should point out that I really was unaware that I was making noises until the prisoner mentioned it.  Even now I am uncertain what those noises were, since he will not provide details."

"Oh, he knows.  He's just a liar."

You-Why ignores the prisoner.  "I have a number of ideas for things to do, though I am afraid that many of them would be impractical in these turbulent times."
Shard
 player, 1427 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 12 Aug 2019
at 09:18
Part 22 - Home again
That's...different.  Perhaps You-Why hasn't had a short in its programming; perhaps, instead, it was simply taking its task seriously.  As for the noises, an already-spooked prisoner might end up with an overactive imagination.  Regardless, something for another time, another observation; the prisoner is now outside of You-Why's jurisdiction.

"The impractical stuff might need to become long-term projects of yours," she muses to the droid.  "I think it would be good to go over your ideas, though, figure out which ones you might want to focus on.  Short term?  Why not pick one of them that seems like you can manage it in our time here on-base, before our next outing?"

She pauses in thought, before continuing.  "You...are coming with us on the next time we head out, right?  I should ask, rather than assume.  You've been extremely helpful, and are part of the team, but maybe you have a different idea."  All true, that, and better to give him the choice.

Everyone deserves that.
UY-3PO
 NPC, 45 posts
 No, I don't like you
 either.
Thu 15 Aug 2019
at 21:29
Part 22 - Home again
"I could... " You-Why starts, and then pauses before beginning again, "That is, I believe I could be of assistance in raising the child.  I am fluent in over six million forms of communication, and can tell stories and describe events in all of them.  I would like the opportunity to use my abilities regularly."

"And, to be perfectly honest, I do not enjoy being put in constant danger, and asked to do things that I am not suited for.  Organics can be highly unreasonable much of the time.  No offence intended."

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1370 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 16 Aug 2019
at 05:38
Part 22 - Home again
Rhijans actually almost cracked a grin at that.  Almost.  "None taken.  Your observation is entirely correct...we can be.  That's not always a bad thing, though...I mean, it was pretty unreasonable to liberate you from that Imperial mining outpost.  But it might be good for you to take a break.  Dangerous situations seem to find us with amazing regularity...not everyone handles it well, and those who do still have their off-days."  Luckily, thus far, nobody's off days had compounded each other and compromised the group, although they'd come freakishly close on at least a couple of occasions.
Shard
 player, 1428 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 19 Aug 2019
at 09:19
Part 22 - Home again
Shard's eyebrows shoot up even higher.  "Constant...danger.  Void, You-Why, I'm sorry."  While Rhijans speaks, she paces in a narrow circle, a sick feeling in her stomach. "You-Why, if you don't want to do something, I'm not going to press," she carefully begins.  The whole 'you should have said something' idea sounds just a tad too accusative for her tastes.  "I think that if you want to help raise the child, that's a good thing."  Pressing her lips firmly together, she steps up and touches the droid lightly on the shoulder.  "You're part of the team, always will be.  And what you want to do, you should get the opportunity to do.  I'm going to miss you out there, but..."

Even the recent oddness -- which Shard considers misconstrued, now -- can't change that.
UY-3PO
 NPC, 46 posts
 No, I don't like you
 either.
Mon 19 Aug 2019
at 20:17
Part 22 - Home again
The droid stands quietly for a moment, and then, "I suppose I shall miss the variety of situations that I have found myself in.  But my programming does not adapt easily to violence and excitement, and my attempts to join in feel less than successful.  On the whole, I believe I will be happier at the base, even with the extremely unpleasant external environment, an the imminent danger of orbital bombardment and sudden death."

"Thank you for understanding,"

Juragga
 player, 615 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Mon 19 Aug 2019
at 21:48
Part 22 - Home again
"WAAAAAAAAAArrrrrmmmmmph," Juragga commented.  Wishing U-Y well and expressing his understanding.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1371 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 19 Aug 2019
at 22:24
Part 22 - Home again
Rhijans nodded.  "If you decide you need to get some time away from the base, you know how to find us."  He made a mental note to warn Kourene to keep an eye on the droid...there were no guarantees UY would adapt easily to life on the base, after all, and having Kourene aware of the droid's ongoing presence could smooth the transition a bit,  seeing as the Colonel was already at least a little familiar with UY's personality quirks.
The Force
 GM, 1055 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Wed 21 Aug 2019
at 20:13
Part 22 - Home again
With an attempt at a shallow bow, You-Why turns to leave the room.  As the door closes behind him the droid suddenly emits a high-pitched warbling sound, followed by a series of rising chirps...

"That's it!" the Imperial tech declares, excitedly, "I told you it keeps making noises.  Probably needs a memory wipe to clear out old, corrupt data and reinitialise its software."

With the droid out of sight, the prisoner's agitation decreases somewhat...  He leans back in his chair and adopts a casual attitude.  "So, if you're here to torture me, you need to know that I'm just a fourth grade tech.  I don't know any big secrets, so I can't tell you any.  Not that I would anyway, you filthy rebel scum."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1372 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 22 Aug 2019
at 05:10
Part 22 - Home again
"And not a very bright one, apparently," Rhijans said with an almost dismissive sigh.  "We've had you tucked away on a freighter with us for how many days, now?  If we were going to torture you, why would we wait until now to do it?"

He shook his head.  "Interrogation isn't our job, anyway.  We're just here to make sure you don't make any trouble until Command has accommodations ready for you."  He made a mental note to pull Haarmon aside and ask what might cause the glitch that UY had exhibited as he was leaving.

Of course, the droid had more than enough personality to have done it one last time to goad their prisoner...
Haarmon Dak
 player, 819 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Mon 26 Aug 2019
at 12:33
Part 22 - Home again
Haarmon had been following along mostly quietly for some time. He was preoccupied with the baby. Both the physical reality of her and the implications. She was off to another world soon and that meant... a lot of things that he wasn't entirely ready to process.

Not that he could keep her, of course. He couldn't. Even if she did want to stay with him (which she doesn't) and even if Dawl let her go (which they wouldn't), what was Haarmon going to teach her? He was only a rank novice in this whole Force biz himself.

All the same, a small but loud part of him wished he could. Wished she would stay and be his apprentice. He was surprised by the strength of his longing for that kind of connection. He even found himself kicking himself for not 'getting on this Force thing' earlier so he'd be ready when she appeared. He couldn't have gotten on it earlier. He hadn't even known it had existed.

But it was kind of like a proxy for all the time he'd wasted so far. So many opportunities wasted. So many bridges burned. And it all meant that he landed here, sure, but that was somehow less comforting.

Was he experiencing the touch of his own Destiny? Or was it all blind luck? How would you know? His parents used to tell the story about how they met at a cantina they wound up at because they'd both decided to skip work one afternoon and go somewhere they'd never been. It was a cute story. But it always made Haarmon uncomfortable. Every day he would think, Should I be here? Or should I be blowing this off and at a cantina somewhere?

Heavy thoughts for someone who was barely used to the idea of thinking past tomorrow.

However, as soon as the droid suggested watching the kid, and then started making old-timey hard-line comms noises, his whole face tightened.

No way that thing was getting anywhere near his the baby.

And no way he should be making noises like that without knowing what they are.

First chance the got, he got the group aside.

"Can we get a comms sniffer aimed at You-Why? Maybe it's nothing, we know he's dodgy, and we did check him out before, but all the same, we should maybe see if those noises are anything more than noises. And, uh, maybe he should be tucked somewhere non-vital until we do."

If he had some time, he'd maybe rig up a basic mic and a program to record and analyze the sounds. We know he makes them every five minutes or so.
The Force
 GM, 1057 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 26 Aug 2019
at 14:52
Part 22 - Home again
The tech looks a mite disappointed, as if the idea that he won't get a chance to demonstrate how well he resists torture is a bit of a let-down.  He tilts his head back and stares at the lighting panel in the ceiling.  After a few seconds, he starts counting, slowly, under his breath...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1373 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 27 Aug 2019
at 01:21
Part 22 - Home again
The tech counting keyed something in Rhijans.  Sure, the man could just be indulging in some mindless activity to pass the time...but he'd been alone with UY for extended periods of time.  He pulled Haarmon a little closer.

"Maybe we should go check him NOW."  Rhijans flicked his gaze in the direction of the counting tech.  "He spent enough time with UY to concoct something...a beacon...a bomb...but I don't think he's counting to make sure he remembers how..."
The Force
 GM, 1058 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 29 Aug 2019
at 08:20
Part 22 - Home again
The count stops.  And immediately starts again, only to stop once more a short while later.

"Ten!"  The man exclaims triumphantly, and nods towards the lighting panel.  "Ten seconds now.  Was fifteen.  Hopefully I'll have my new cell before that panel burns out and leaves me sitting in total darkness."

His eyes drop, and he looks around the room, meeting everybody's gaze in turn, a sneer upon his lips.

"You people are going to lose, you know?  Malfunctioning equipment everywhere.  Droids, lights... and that stupid droid himself told me that this ship just had to land somewhere for urgent repairs.  How can you expect to win when everything you have is failing around you?"
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1374 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 30 Aug 2019
at 06:08
Part 22 - Home again
Rhijans shrugged.  "Better people.  Our semi-operational ship was good enough to get on board your Star Destroyer, break out a high-ranking Alliance officer, and get away.  Equipment is only as good as the operator."  He nodded to Haarmon, hoping the younger man would pick up on his unspoken urging to go check on UY, in spite of the tech's explanation for his counting.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 821 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Fri 30 Aug 2019
at 13:17
Part 22 - Home again
"Plus we got a solid pension program," Haarmon muttered sourly, but his heart wasn't in it.

Unsettled by the whole scene, he settled the baby in one hand and gestured to UY with the other.

"Goldie-pants, come along with me. I've, got, uh, some sweet psycho-murder-torture DLC I want to show you. Get your creepy robot-doctor A-game going."

He was confused by what the child was telling (showing) him. Did UY learn to mimic the birds on Yakusant? Or was this something more sinister that was kind of the same?

He'd go find out.
Juragga
 player, 616 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Sun 1 Sep 2019
at 18:15
Part 22 - Home again
For his part, Juragga just looked confused.  Sure, he was great at mechanics... he could patch a droid up after it lost a limb or took a fall... but the finer nuances of droid programming and personality was beyond him.

Fortunately, though (he thought), not beyond Haarmon...
The Force
 GM, 1059 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Sun 1 Sep 2019
at 19:31
Part 22 - Home again
"That panel has been malfunctioning since I was first shut in here.  Shorter intervals means it's getting worse.  Am I the only one who noticed?  On an Imperial ship it would have been replaced as soon as somebody noticed the flaw.  Lady Nimadda doesn't tolerate sloppiness."

Haarmon follows You-Why out into the ship.  It's not too difficult to keep track of him - the Bantha isn't a large vessel.  The droid ends up in the passenger lounge.  "You know, I am really not sure why I came here.  I never drink beverages, or eat snacks.  I suppose my programming compels me to find organics and see if I can be of service to them."

Juragga peers suspiciously at the Imperial, occasionally glancing up at the lighting panel.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1375 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Sun 1 Sep 2019
at 22:34
Part 22 - Home again
"Priorities," Rhijans responded.  "A glitch in a non-essential lighting panel doesn't count for much when there are slaves to be freed, heroes to be rescued..."  His voice dropped to a dangerous edge.  "Oppressive tyrants to be killed..."

He favored the tech with a pointed stare.
Juragga
 player, 617 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Sun 1 Sep 2019
at 22:39
Part 22 - Home again
"WARRRrrrrrmmmmph," Juragga commented, regarding the light fixture with renewed interest.

Reaching up, he pried the panel off the lighting fixture to take a closer look, not bothering to explain or ask.
Shard
 player, 1430 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 2 Sep 2019
at 10:06
Part 22 - Home again
Shard watches You-Why go, her brow furrowed.  She's saddened by the Droid's sudden shift in behavior; it's better than homicidal, if You-Why were ever that, but still upsetting.  And the sound he made...

"I'll be back," she abruptly states.  "I'm sure that you can handle this..."  Obsessive?  "...prisoner," the older woman finishes to Rhijans and Juragga.  Then she hurries after Haarmon and You-Why.

Catching up, she waits a beat while Haarmon speaks.  "I have a small question, You-Why," Shard inquires when Haarmon finishes.  "Do you...have you ever tried to comprehend the languages of fauna?"
The Force
 GM, 1060 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 5 Sep 2019
at 20:06
Part 22 - Home again
"Well, now I suppose it's really broken." the tech grumbles glaring up at the open panel. 

You-Why looks at Shard, then Haarmon, and back to Shard.  "Goodness me.  No.  The so-called 'higher life forms' are quite difficult enough at times, without spending my time trying to understand animals.  Though there was a time when I was told that the noises produced by such creatures was a type of communication.  For a little while I was mildly interested, and even learned to imitate some of them.  But I was never able to understand them, or even determine if they were truly communicating.  It was obviously a waste of my time, so I gave up trying."

"Why do you ask?"

Shard
 player, 1431 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Sat 7 Sep 2019
at 11:00
Part 22 - Home again
He's a member of the team, Shard finally decides.  And the team always deserves the truth.  "You made a sound when you were walking out of the room," she hesitantly states. "I guess you can check your memory logs to see.  It seemed a lot like a birdcall I heard before; I thought at the time you might have been practicing some..." and she smiles "...as you call it,  non-'Higher-life form' language.  But you weren't?"

Concern creases her forehead. "That worries me, You-Why.  You've been through a lot, same as all of us.  We're tired, worn out...do you think you would like a diagnostic?"  She holds up both her hands. "Your choice.  I'm just concerned."
Juragga
 player, 618 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Sat 7 Sep 2019
at 16:52
Part 22 - Home again
Disappointed, Juragga pokes at the light fixture.  Paranoia had caught hold; he was really expecting some kind of bomb or sabotage.
The Force
 GM, 1061 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 9 Sep 2019
at 19:54
Part 22 - Home again
Juragga pokes at the internal components of the panel, and suddenly the only light in the room is from assorted tell-tales on an environmental control console.  The tech's voice, coming from the almost total darkness, does not sound happy.

"Well that improved everything, didn't it?"

You-Why's expressionless face somehow manages to convey confusion as he stands in silence for a few moments.  Then...

"So I did.  And a scan of my memory module shows that I have done it fifteen times in the last four hours, with varying durations.  Some of them were considerably less pleasant sounding than the most recent occasion.  Yet I have no recollection of any of the occasions, except by deliberately accessing my memory module to search for them."

"Oh... I suppose I should apologise to that man.  He was telling the truth."

Juragga
 player, 619 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Mon 9 Sep 2019
at 21:12
Part 22 - Home again
Juragga let out a half-snarl, half-howl that would warn anyone with any common sense to shut up.

In the dark.

As he fumbled to turn the light back on.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 822 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Thu 12 Sep 2019
at 13:32
Part 22 - Home again
Well, this was making less and less sense. If the tech made this happen, then why did he keep mentioning it (and counting them). And if he was counting them, why did he lie and say the counting was for the stupid light panel? And if it was some crazy Empire business, why didn't they get him to communicate in some more subtle kind of way?

This. Was. Weird.

"Okay, UY. That's it, let's go. Even you have to admit you need a thorough checking of your inwards."

He paused. Turned to his group.

"Uh, you guys mind keeping an eye on the Princess here while I go do some dirty work? I... uh... I don't want her too close by. You know. Just in case."

He really didn't want to let her our of his sight. But he figured that, between the ten-foot tall wookie with the paternal streak, the Lightsaber wielding den-other, and the invincible tech-ninja Platoon captain, she was safe here as she would be anywhere. Safer even.

And then he took UY to find an empty room where he could get to it.
The Force
 GM, 1062 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 12 Sep 2019
at 22:19
Part 22 - Home again
Tee Imperial sighs.  "I suppose I'll need to fix this, unless I want to sit in the dark.  Does anybody have a lamp of some sort?  A basic tool kit would be good too.  These cheaper panels don't usually need anything more complicated."

"Just do me a favour... when you're being interrogated by Ghea Nimadda later, please don't tell her that I fixed Rebel equipment."


You-Why follows Haarmon into another room.  Saying, as they go, "I really have no idea why this would be happening.  It is years since I took any interest in animal communication.  Perhaps I have  developed some sort of memory problem, and old data is spilling out into my system.  It has been a long time since my last memory wipe... "
Shard
 player, 1433 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 16 Sep 2019
at 11:07
Part 22 - Home again
"No problem," Shard calls after Haarmon uncertainly. "I'll look after...the princess." The older woman sighs, looking at the baby. "I mean, what I do I know about looking after a baby?" With a groan, she heads over to the child, sitting down.  "I guess I just keep you company, right?"

OOC - Sorry this is A - late, B - short.  Vacation is actually throwing my schedule into confusion.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1377 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 17 Sep 2019
at 04:34
Part 22 - Home again
"Sit down," Rhijans said with cold authority to the tech.  The dim light in the room left him resembling little more than a deeper shadow...except where what light there was reflected off his obsidian eyes.  And the muzzle of his blaster, which had cleared its holster the moment he heard the tech start to move.

"I said we didn't have time to fix it earlier, not that we didn't know how.  You start poking at it, and we're going to need a medic to put your pieces back together."
The Force
 GM, 1063 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Sun 22 Sep 2019
at 20:24
Part 22 - Home again
Shard makes herself as comfortable as possible, under the circumstances, while Haarmon goes to talk to You-Why. 

The tech snaps at Rhijans, "Then when will it be fixed?  I have no desire to sit in the dark with nothing to do.  Bad enough that I'm being ineptly interrogated, without adding boredom to the mix."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1378 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 23 Sep 2019
at 03:59
Part 22 - Home again
Rhijans stepped forward, putting the blaster squarely in the tech's stomach.  "It will be fixed when we get around to it.  We'd be around to it right now, but we're stuck here keeping you in detention.  If you wanted to get interrogated, we could have arranged something, but that's really someone else's department.  I don't do interrogation...I solve problems.  You roaming loose would be a problem, so I'm solving it.  You can sit down and shut up, or I can shoot you in a leg so we know you can't walk anywhere and then leave you at the bottom of the ship's ramp until they have your cell prepared...at least then you wouldn't be stuck in the dark."  He prodded the tech once with the blaster.

"Your call...you can have dark and uncomfortable, or you can have light and excruciatingly painful.  I'm good with either option."
Shard
 player, 1435 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 23 Sep 2019
at 09:18
Part 22 - Home again
Shard can't help but laugh, quietly.  It's not mocking at all; if anything it's self=deprecatory.  With effort, she clears her mind of distractions and allows her responses to flow through her thoughts un-tarnished by the detritus of stress and worry.

~ Please don't be concerned...I'm not frightened of <i>you  I'm frightened by all babies. ~</i>

With that confession out of the way, she continues. ~ My name is Shard, though you probably already know that.  Do you have a name, yet?  What should I call you? ~
The Force
 GM, 1064 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Wed 25 Sep 2019
at 20:43
Part 22 - Home again
"That's a surprise." the man's voice sounds genuinely shocked, if somewhat bitter, "I'd heard that you Rebels were all too cowardly to exert any sort of authority.  I'm actually impressed.  Well done."  The chair creaks as he makes himself more comfortable.

The infant seems to stare at Shard curiously.
Juragga
 player, 620 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Wed 25 Sep 2019
at 23:17
Part 22 - Home again
Juragga rumbled and kept trying to repair the light.

OOC: Not sure what to roll here?
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1379 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 26 Sep 2019
at 18:55
Part 22 - Home again
Rhijans snorted audibly.  "Right.  Because cowards always infiltrate the Imperial flagship to get someone out of detention.  If all Imperials are as observant as that, it's a wonder they ever manage to point their weapons in the right direction."  He took an easy step back and off to one side...while he didn't expect the tech to actually try anything, the man's attempts at antagonizing them indicated either a lack of good judgment or a sort of death wish that might drive him to try and make a break for escape, and if either case were true, Rhijans didn't want to be in the same position the tech had observed...in a seated position, he could try a blind kick to disarm his captor.  If Rhijans was no longer in the same place, that attempt would be futile.
The Force
 GM, 1065 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 26 Sep 2019
at 19:14
Part 22 - Home again
Juragga continues to prod and poke at the lighting panel, even though it's really too dark for him to see much (and even if it were light enough to see, his hands would block most of his view).

There is a sudden *crack*, and the distinctive stench of singed hair, and the light returns, albeit at a somewhat lower intensity than before.  The tech says nothing.  He just closes his eyes and sighs.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 823 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Tue 1 Oct 2019
at 12:57
Part 22 - Home again
Haarmon got to work on You-Why. "No one wants to shoot you in the core," he muttered under his breath, "Well, no more than anyone wants to shoot anyone. We mostly just want to see what's the deal with you making noises you don't remember making."

He shut the droid down and opened its panels and got to work with the diagnostic machinery.

He'd done all this before. But he must have missed something.
The Force
 GM, 1066 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Sun 6 Oct 2019
at 20:41
Part 22 - Home again
Shut down as he is, You-Why is not a good conversationalist, something which encourages Haarmon to work faster - the silence is unnerving.
Shard
 player, 1436 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 7 Oct 2019
at 09:20
Part 22 - Home again
Child, is it?  Shard purses her lips in a thoughtful moue.  "All right," she murmurs, under her breath.  Then the older woman returns her attention to the baby she carries.  ~ I understand the idea.  Very well, child.  I am certain Haarmon has asked you this already, but I'm a little curious myself. ~

~ What do you want? ~


Rational, calm, focused...all good words to describe this child.  Hence, it seems likely to have desires of one kind or another, even if only to 'find its mother'.  And they may be able to help.
The Force
 GM, 1067 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Wed 9 Oct 2019
at 20:06
Part 22 - Home again
The smell of burned hair fills the room, and doesn't seem to be clearing.  Finally the tech screws up his face, then says, "If I answer some questions, can I please be moved to a room that doesn't stink of singed Wookiee?  And soon?"

The alien child looks at Shard and smiles.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1380 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Wed 9 Oct 2019
at 21:02
Part 22 - Home again
Rhijans showed teeth in a mock-apologetic smile.  "I don't have any questions for you.  That's someone else's job.  I thought you Imperial types were supposed to be made of stronger stuff...you've caused far worse than singed hair on a Wookiee paw, after all."

He shrugged.  "Guess it's harder to stomach when you're not out in orbit and actually have to be down in the mess."  His voice and expression hardened as he spoke, giving a pretty strong indication that he had no sympathy for the tech's current plight.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 824 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Fri 11 Oct 2019
at 12:48
Part 22 - Home again
Harrmon muttered a few words that were not drawing-room-approved and kept digging.

OOC: does this look like deliberate sabotage? Would this cause the weird whistling? Is there anything to make Haarmon think the droid is sending coded messages?
Shard
 player, 1437 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Sun 13 Oct 2019
at 17:14
Part 22 - Home again
~ Haarmon is correct, as he often is. ~ She's fairly certain Haarmon won't get a dangerously swollen head if the child spills the compliment to her student. ~ Dawl isn't far, and should be safe.  She's likely the best possible teacher you could have, hereabouts. ~  The younger woman's command of the Force had been readily apparent when first they met, and she's had months to continue her studies.  ~ Poor Haarmon is stuck with me, sadly. ~

~ What is the Clade?  And do you wish to lead it? ~


Shard knows all about enforced responsibilities...and doesn't like them.
The Force
 GM, 1068 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Sun 13 Oct 2019
at 20:56
Part 22 - Home again
"I'm a tech.  I'm not a gunner, or a pilot, or a stormtrooper.  I'm not an officer, and I've never given a command to hurt anybody, or carried out such a command, to the best of my knowledge."  The Imperial shakes his head slowly.  "No.  My whole career has been spent down in the guts of a star destroyer.  It's pretty warm and comfortable down there.  And the lights work.  I fix lighting panels sometimes, or environmental systems.  Oh, and sometimes I work on the sanitation systems.  Why?  Because they pay me to do it, and I get fed well."

"Does fixing lights, heating, and plumbing make me a criminal or a tyrant?"


You-Why lays completely still as Haarmon examines him.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1381 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 14 Oct 2019
at 02:59
Part 22 - Home again
Rhijans shrugged.  "Maybe not.  Doesn't make you a judge of anyone else's character, either.  Stick to what you know and spare us the commentary on our competence.  There's still time to fly back up to orbit and throw you out an airlock if you prove to be too much of a pain in the posterior."  There was a good chance, judging by his body language and emotionless voice, that he wasn't kidding or making an idle threat...he wasn't overtly hostile, at all, and not really in any subdued manner, either...he sounded bored, if anything, although his eyes gave no indication that his attention was wandering.
Juragga
 player, 621 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Mon 14 Oct 2019
at 03:01
Part 22 - Home again
Juragga turned and, smoking slightly, snarled at the tech.
Shard
 player, 1438 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 15 Oct 2019
at 09:15
Part 22 - Home again
Shard leans back in her seat.  "Well, that's fair," she murmurs, and takes a quick glance around herself.  Nobody in the area.  "All right then," the older woman begins, then clips herself off with an embarrassed snort.

~ All right, ~ she continues silently. ~ That doesn't sound too bad.  And, I admit, it would have been nice to have a hundred person family when I was growing up. ~  Though leading it would have probably been a bad idea, in her case. ~ So let's just wait for Haarmon to come back, and he can take you to Dawl. ~

Haarmon had, after all, said he would; Shard has grasped enough of her companion's perspective to feel he'd likely be upset if he couldn't.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 826 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Tue 15 Oct 2019
at 13:16
Part 22 - Home again
Well, Haarmon was now more confused than he was when he started. There was nothing worse than going looking for a solid yes or no and finding a big fat maybe-so. And the stakes were high. He made the wrong call here and things could be bad. Very bad.

He decided he needed some consensus on this one.

Leaving You-Why turned off, he went back to find everyone else to give them a sit-rep. Finding Shard sitting by herself with the little one.

"Hey! How's Princess Poopy-pants?" he fought the urge to reach out for her. He was surprised at how much he already thought of her as 'his' responsibility and at how powerfully he just wanted to hold her himself. But he resisted. The baby wasn't 'his' and she wasn't his responsibility either. She was everyone's.

"You guys having a good talk? She isn't much for existential debate, but she sure makes good conversation, huh?"

A pause.

"Everyone else playing with the Imp? Cuz we need to talk about the Tin Professor. Nothing bad, but there's a decision to be made and I don't want to make it."
The Force
 GM, 1069 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 17 Oct 2019
at 20:56
Part 22 - Home again
To Juragga's credit, the Imperial actually flinches when he is snarled at, and closes his mouth with an audible snap, biting off whatever response he had been about to make to Rhijans.

The infant smiles happily when she catches sight of Haarmon, but the smile fades almost immediately, and is replaced by something that resembles a puzzled frown.
Shard
 player, 1439 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 21 Oct 2019
at 21:12
Part 22 - Home again
Shard shakes her head in bemusement as Haarmon approaches, and despite him holding back, picks up their new 'ward' and holds her out.  "Come here, Haarmon; you can hold her and talk at the same time."  Pause for thought, as she processes Haarmon's words.  'The Professor'...

Oh.

~ Something's on his mind.  I think it's about the droid: You-Why. It's possible he's hurt...emotionally.~

Whether or not Haarmon takes the child, she settles herself back down in the chair, growing more serious.  "All right, Haarmon.  She's...interesting, to be sure.  Like nothing I've ever spoken to.  But it's clear you've got something important to talk about, and I'm up for a discussion."

The 'nothing bad' part is good news, but there's a lot Shard doesn't quite like that doesn't edge across the good/bad line.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 827 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Mon 21 Oct 2019
at 23:19
Part 22 - Home again
Haarmon tried really hard to hide the depth of his relief and happiness when Shard held the baby out, but he wasn't really so great at circumspection, and his face was always a bit unguarded. So he wasn't quite aware he was grinning and smiling as he settled her into the crook of his arm and he started swaying back and forth slightly at the hips, as one does when one has a baby.

Pain? No pain? Do I feel like I'm in pain? He was a little worried now. Other than his indecision about the Driod, he felt pretty tip top. What you see? Like, a tumour or something maybe?

That would be all he needed.

"Uh," he started, which he thought was pretty good, "So You-Why has some... irregularities. They weren't there last time I did the ole pop and peep on him, so it's something that went on since then. Whatever it is, it's physical and it can't be reversed. Not even with a memory wipe. It doesn't look like sabotage or anything, but it's a big Galaxy out there, and more in heaven and earth and all that."

A pause.

"So the question is: do we leave him turned off, like, permanently? Or do we go ahead with him making all the weird tweeting and whatever?"
The Force
 GM, 1070 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Wed 23 Oct 2019
at 19:52
Part 22 - Home again
The infant lies very still, staring at Haarmon.



The tech looks from Rhijans to Juragga, and back again.  "You're treating me like the villain here, when really I'm just trying to earn a living, like everybody else in the Galaxy.  I found a job that I'm good at, and an employer that's prepared to pay me well for doing it.  All I do is keep my head down and work hard so I can keep my job.  Is that criminal behaviour?"
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1382 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Wed 23 Oct 2019
at 23:09
Part 22 - Home again
Rhijans gave a tight-lipped humorless grin.  "Right now, all you are is a potential liability.  Someone else he gets to judge whether you're a victim of bad judgment or a villain.  Tell them your sob story.  I'm just making sure you don't cause trouble until they're ready to  take you off my hands."
Shard
 player, 1441 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 28 Oct 2019
at 09:24
Part 22 - Home again
Realization of You-Why's condition comes crashing down on Shard like an avalanche of knife-edged rocks.  She closes her eyes, this time without grinding her teeth.  "Void."  The eyes pop open again.  "He's getting old, maybe.  That's all."

More consideration goes to the baby as her mind whirls.  ~~ Child, I think it might be best if you don't tell all of us what each other is thinking.  People have a belief in the privacy of their own thoughts, and I think that should be respected amongst friends. ~~

A heavy sigh hunches her shoulders, then.  "It can't be fixed, right?"  No surgery for You-Why.  "Then...I think we should let him be, shouldn't we?  Awake, I mean.  And just keep an eye on him, when he's around, to see he's not hurting himself." Or anyone else.

Reaching out, she lays a light hand on Haarmon's shoulder.  "Are you okay, Haarmon?"  For her, this is a heavy blow in the gut.
Juragga
 player, 622 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Mon 28 Oct 2019
at 16:28
Part 22 - Home again
Juragga loomed menacingly over the tech, a sudden look of true fury flashing across his face.

"Ggggrrrrrghhh," he snarled in a low rumble.  People like you enable the Empire to function, the same Empire that enslaved my people and took my family.

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1383 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 28 Oct 2019
at 17:55
Part 22 - Home again
Rhijans didn't speak Wookiee...but Juragga's intent was pretty clear.  "I don't think he cares much for your claim of victim status here.  If you're going to keep talking, I'd choose my next words carefully...if you make him mad, I'm not gonna stop him."
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.