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Conviction: Chapter 4

Star Wars: Conviction

As soon as the restraining bolt came off, a series of sounds and images broke free and assaulted R0-N1. He was hit with an ion blast, in a starfighter, then– no, the ion blast came later. R0-N1 sorted the memories into chronological order so he could process them into something that made sense.

There were a lot of memories to work through. Helping refugees on Sullust, bringing down a crime boss, working on Coruscant. Lots of memories of Coruscant, and multiple masters, most of them Jedi. Racing across the deserts of Er’Kit in a desperate bid to rescue a group of beings who had escaped slavery and gotten stranded. None of this told him how he got to where is now, though. Focus. First figure out how you got here, then deal with the door. R0-N1 fast-forwarded to the most recent memories in his system.

He was working with a Jedi named Zagiri Braithe, having been assigned to him after R0-N1’s previous master had passed on. Zagiri himself had a padawan of his own, Raewyn Desma. Both Jedi were in standard Jedi starfighters, Zagiri in front and Raewyn behind and to the left. They were returning from an engagement with Separatists, somewhere in the Mid-Rim. Several clusters of ships surrounded them, all piloted by clones. That’s why they all look the same.

Without warning, Zagiri pushed his ship into a dive. A split second later, every sensor on the ship lit up red. R0-N1 would have thought the systems were malfunctioning, but years spent with the Jedi had taught him that they often picked up things before he did. So if the sensors showed a dozen concussion missiles appearing out of nowhere locked in on them, that was no doubt what was happening. Even as he began evasive maneuvers, Zagiri cried out, “Eject! Raewyn, eject!”

While Zagiri was still screaming at his padawan, R0-N1 located and calculated the trajectories of every missile headed their way. He determined a flight path that could get them safely away, and with luck, positioned to regain the advantage. Ideally, he would take over control of the ship. However, Zagiri had blocked his access to all flight systems. According to him, no droid could ever match what a competent biological pilot could do, let alone a Jedi.

R0-N1 knew better, but didn’t argue the point. Zagiri was his master, and even if he was wrong…well, it wasn’t his place. He couldn’t fault Zagiri’s attitude based on the evidence he had to work with. What was wrong with those Separatist droids, R0-N1 didn’t know, but he suspected whoever built them had deliberately sabotaged their circuits.

In the current moment, all R0-N1 knew was that Zagiri had chosen precisely the wrong flight path to take. Within less than ten seconds, their ship was going to be torn apart. Sparing a few cycles to examine his padawan’s situation, R0-N1 determined that she had even less time before a pair of missiles would intersect her position.

So before Zagiri got out the first syllable of Raewyn’s name, R0-N1 ejected from the starfighter into space. He had traveled only a few dozen meters when the first starfighter exploded, and the second one followed just a few seconds later. The clones flew past, either not seeing or not caring about the little droid.

R0-N1 scanned the area around him, looking for signs of the enemy, but found nothing– not even a buzz droid. Why had the clones fired on them then? Maybe someone else had a faulty sensor, and panicked. It wouldn’t be the first time.

R0-N1 turned to the more immediate problem of how to get himself back to safety. He needed to get back to a capital ship before they jumped away. He oriented himself towards The Peacemaker and poured everything he had into his thrusters.

By the time R0-N1 made it, he was running on fumes. He barreled straight into the The Peacemaker’s hangar, gave a last burst on his rockets to right himself, and thunked hard to the deck, bouncing slightly on his feet.

Before he had the chance to do anything else, a clone trooper close to him shouted, “Droid!” He whipped around his blaster and shot R0-N1 in his upper ring, knocking him on his side.

As R0-N1 worked to right himself again, another voice called out, “Hey, that’s one of the Jedi droids. How did he get here?”

“How should I know? Hit him with a pulse grenade. We don’t want him causing any trouble before we wipe his memory.”

At that, the droid heard the clink-clank sound of a small metal object bouncing his way, and was hit by a massive electrical jolt that shorted out every circuit in his system.

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