Conviction: Chapter 2

Star Wars: Conviction

R0-N1 found himself going through his startup cycle again. The columns that made up his torso cycled up and down in sequence, then spun around one complete revolution. Realizing that he was yet again in unfamiliar surroundings, he muttered aloud, Now where am I? He could feel the thrum of distant engines, confirming that he was once again on a starship, a large one. Turning to get a better look around, he spotted a pair of biologics staring at him. One was in overalls, and beneath a patch that read “CT-7328,” the word “Cutter” was scrawled in ink. The other person wore white armor with faded paint on it. Barely visible, one shoulder had “Stretch” written on it in a stylized script. The man in overalls looked familiar, and seemed to match the images of many of the other men in R0-N1’s memory, though he didn’t know why. The armor was familiar, too. Do I know you? Have we met? he asked.

“What’d he say?” asked Stretch.

Cutter just looked at R0-N1, slack-jawed. “Never heard anything like that in my life. You said you have no idea where he came from?”

“Other than Inquisitor Morek’s ship, that’s right. It’s not defective, is it?”

As they spoke, R0-N1 rotated his body back and forth, listening.

“I’ll have to run a full diagnostic, but I don’t think so.” Speaking to R0-N1, he asked, “Can you understand us?”

Of course I understand you. Listen, if you can just… He rolled forward, lurching to a stop when the power cable pulled taut. I’m getting really tired of being attached to walls, guys.

Cutter held out a hand as if to catch him. “Whoa, there. You’re not going anywhere. You know we can’t understand a word you’re saying, right?”

R0-N1 spun his channels around and bounced the one bearing the accursed restraining bolt up and down a couple times before holding it up like a jumbo death stick on offer. Will you get rid of this thing?

The man chuckled. “Nice try, but no. I’m not removing your restraining bolt. Not until I know more about you and why it was put there in the first place. I’ve been burned by you astromechs before.” Turning back to his companion, he said, “Other than his vocalization circuits maybe being fried, I don’t think he’s seriously damaged. Just send someone for him when they need him. He’ll be ready.”

R0-N1 sat bewildered. He couldn’t remember meeting these specific biologics, but they clearly matched the images he had in his jumbled up memories. He thought they were…colleagues? Maybe. Somewhere he recalled a vague sense of danger, but he was unable to piece together why.

Think. Look around, what do you see?

He rotated his body around so that his optic sensor could take everything in, reaching out for audio and electromagnetic clues as well. He was in a maintenance shop of some kind, with piles of droids, parts, and assorted tools all around. Most of the droids seemed to be standard issue, and the collection included various astromechs, utility droids, a couple protocol droids, mostly what you would expect. There were also some…battle droids? Those didn’t seem to fit in.

The battle droids sparked a partial memory. Something about…a fire fight? He couldn’t be sure, nor was he entirely clear whether he had fought with them, or against them. Maybe that’s why they wouldn’t remove his restraining bolt. Were they afraid? No, that couldn’t be right. They would have just blasted him.

I need a data port, he thought. There must be one around here somewhere. He started to roll forward.

A booted foot jammed into R0-N1’s chassis, stopping him in his tracks. “Hey, where do you think you’re going? Just stay there until we’re done with you, all right?”

R0-N1 would have liked to just push past him, but as weak as his power reserves were, he didn’t dare try. Instead, he gave a small push against the man’s foot to register his protest at the situation, then withdrew back to his starting place. You’re not the boss of me, he thought.

That idea triggered a fresh round of failed memory searches. Wait, shouldn’t I have a master? Where is my master? Who is my master? All he got was a fresh round of scrambled images, with no clear connection between any of them. He let out the electronic equivalent of a sigh.

“I hear you, Roni.” He peered into the schematics on the screen in front of him. “If it makes you feel any better, I’m not having much luck trying to make sense of what’s going on inside your rusty innards, either. It’s like someone turned a rabid gundark loose on your memory banks. Maybe when the mission is complete we can take a closer look at you, eh?”

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