((AN: hopefully this fic is self-explanatory ^^; headcanon-based stuff about the lor starcutter...

i just be like (gives kirby character isolation trauma) (gives kirby character isolation trauma) (gives kirby character isolation trauma)))

"This is the last thing to seal. After this, no one should ever be able to abuse the technology of Halcandra ever again."

"What's left of it, you mean?"

"...Yeah. Kinda bittersweet to do this, but this stuff is just too dangerous."

The Lor Starcutter listened in silence. It didn't like this plan, but it had seen firsthand the devastation that tore the universe and knew it, itself, could presumably be misused to bring about even more terror. But...

"Well, Lor, you were a good ship."

"That's all the goodbyes you got?"

"Hey, it's not like we can never see it again or anything! Maybe some new galactic disaster will come about and we'll have to dust the thing off and go adventuring again!"

"You say that like you want another tragedy just so you can stop it..."

"Haha, I'm just jokin' around. C'mon, let's seal this thing up."

The Lor bit back a protest as the two heroes (the third quietly watched from a distance, and the fourth didn't even show up) conducted a complex spell, turning the volcano into the perfect hiding spot for the advanced starship. It looked... dark and lonely in there. "Do you have to do this?" Its mechanical voice was stiff and delayed, full of hesitation lost in the text-to-speech.

"Sorry, we did already talk this over. It's safer this way. We can't risk anyone using you for evil purposes."

"...is... is it really safer this way?" The one in the back spoke up - it didn't sound like a challenge so much as a genuine question.

"Oh, almost forgot you were here. Yeah. It's what we're doing, either way."


There was a brief and uncomfortable silence.

"Well, this seal won't close itself. See ya sometime again, hopefully, Lor!"

The Lor said nothing as it felt itself magically lifted into the chamber of the volcano, and watched as the stone began to magically put itself back into place, sealing into solid rock. Briefly, the Lor thought it saw the heroes waving goodbye, but with how fast it all happened it wasn't certain.

For a few minutes it just sat there, almost not really comprehending that they were really leaving it there permanently. For a few minutes, it almost convinced itself that the heroes had just hid it off to the side for its protection while they charged into another great battle, and they'd come back in a few hours laughing and bantering amongst themselves and patching up each others' wounds before telling the Lor to take them back home.

Those few minutes passed as reality sunk in for the talking starship. It was here to stay for an indeterminate amount of time. Maybe forever- no, the heroes suggested that they'd return one day. It still couldn't help wishing it had argued to stay. But... it rationalized to itself that this was for the greater good. It was made to help people, and there was nothing it could've done now more helpful than staying put.

...but did they really have to leave it ACTIVATED in here?

The Lor was not willing to deactivate itself. It could not reactivate itself on its own, so in its eyes that was akin to death. So it had to pass the time wide awake.

It had tried to start by doing nothing. It tried to remind itself it hadn't been programmed to feel boredom. But rationalizing away boredom didn't really work.

Then it had organized its file databases. A billion files, a thousand times, a thousand different ways. By the end, the organizations were unbelievably confusing and arbitrary. The Lor liked the confusing and arbitrary ones the most, though. The more it had to think about where the files went, the longer the sorting session lasted. Even still, it ran out of ideas eventually.

Games were next. The problem was that it didn't have many in its database, as that wasn't what it was made for, and worse still it was too darn GOOD at them. Even if it tried not to let its computations affect its play, simply being a computer made such things as Minesweeper and Solitaire much too easy.

It then tried calling out to the outside world. It had been a few decades by now, right? (Of course, it couldn't be sure - it had purposely disabled its clock because it decided it'd rather not know) Maybe there was a settlement nearby, now?

All it got in return was the guttural voice of Landia, speaking a dialect of Halcandran so old even the Lor struggled to understand it. However, decipher it the Lor did.

"You mustn't speak. You are hidden."

Clearly it wasn't welcome to speak to him.

The Lor moved on to passing the time by deleting its memories of its internal encyclopedia and reading it over again like new. Over and over and over again.

The Lor was hard at work adjusting its internal systems. Theoretically, if it managed to tune into the right frequency, it could gain internet access. The signal here was terrible, so the internet would be spotty and unbelievably sluggish, even by the standards of an immortal spaceship, but it would be outside contact. It would be something.

Occasionally, the Lor tried to talk to Landia again. At first, Landia had simply dismissed it or even outright told it to stop talking, but eventually he grew resigned to the idea that the Lor would not shut up. The problem was, Landia was a TERRIBLE conversationalist, with little of interest to contribute. The Lor wondered why it even went to the great effort of getting Landia to speak to it at all.

It didn't matter, though. It got internet running! Terribly slow and with only access to the rather small and fractured internet of current-day Halcandra, but it was better than nothing.

Even as small and sluggish and fractured as this connection was, the internet was full of stories and art and individuality like the Lor had never seen before. Oh, it had heard about it, sure, and its encyclopedia (which had grown corrupt from the Lor's repeated boredom-induced file tampering) documented it to an extent, but it was always just the FINE arts it'd heard about. The stuff here wasn't quite so "important", humble and genuine and unashamed whether it was good or bad.

It made the Lor wonder if it could create things, too. That wasn't a thing it was meant to do, but it wasn't meant to sit alone in a volcano for years and years, now was it?!

The Lor wrote itself a story. In this story, it was a little robot named Starry. Starry was a hero who got to explore all the corners of the universe. They had lots of friends and everyone loved them. They went on all sorts of different adventures and they were never alone and they were never in a volcano and all their friends talked to them like they were a real person and not just a glamorized shuttle.

The Lor had written the four heroes into the first few drafts of the story, but eventually wrote them out. It wasn't sure why at first, but eventually it realized it was angry at them.

That... that was fine, right? It knew it wasn't supposed to be angry at them. They were the heroes that saved the universe and likely were being passed down in legend forever and ever. But in its solitude nobody had to know that the Lor was bitter.

Even with the clock off, the Lor could tell it had been a very long time since the heroes had left. A very, very long time. They were never coming back. Maybe they weren't even alive.

Landia didn't complain as the Lor read its story out loud to him for the hundredth time, but also didn't really seem all that interested either.

The volcano erupted. There had been a cave-in where the Lor was being kept. Buried under masses of jagged cooled magma stone, the Lor realized much of themself was damaged and felt many of their systems shutting down.

Their internet connection. Their programs. Their voicebox. All nonfunctional. There hadn't been enough room in the cavern to safely portal out without damaging themself anyway, but now not even their interdimensional portals worked.

They had never been more trapped inside themself. Nothing they could do but think in the dark and silent.

They had convinced themself so long ago that this had been for the greater good, that their purpose as a tool made them a danger to fall into the wrong hands. But... they had been thinking of themself as a TOOL. Just transport and nothing else. That's what the heroes had thought too, wasn't it?

But tools didn't have feelings. Tools didn't write stories all on their own. Tools didn't stew in their own isolation and misery and ask themself if they were a person and deserved to be treated as such. Maybe if they had said something all those centuries ago... but thoughts like this were too little too late. After all, the ones they were so bitter at were probably long dead, and now the Lor didn't even have a functioning voicebox to protest WITH.

Why had the engineers even bothered giving them a self-aware AI at all?

What? Light? Outside light... For a few brief moments when the inside of the cavern became illuminated with a soft glow piercing through rock, the Lor wondered if spaceships could hallucinate. Then again, if they could've, they probably would've done so long before now...

The hole in the rock grew larger, before suddenly being blown open with a burst of magical force - not a particularly powerful one, but the Lor supposed the seal had long fizzled anyway.

Through the shattered rock, a little Halcandran in a blue cloak floated through. His eyes widened in awe upon seeing the Lor, despite the poor condition it lay in.

"So it really was here..." the Halcandran whispered, his voice laced with excitement. Clearly trying to be quiet despite having blasted open the rock earlier, he slowly and carefully started moving the rubble off of the Lor. This guy definitely wasn't supposed to be in here, but...

The Lor did nothing but watch as he worked, transfixed by the first sight of a living being in centuries. Not that their voicebox worked right now, anyway...

Eventually, the rubble was cleared, and the Halcandran moved to examining the state the Lor was in. "Not good... this is gonna be tough to repair," he muttered to himself, summoning some tools and parts from hammerspace.

The Lor felt hope bubble up within their systems. Whatever happened now HAD to be better than the volcano.

In the process of repairing the Lor, the Halcandran had taken to sleeping inside the ship itself, and the Lor had also learned a fair few things about their new resident because he talked to himself... a LOT.

His name was Magolor, he clearly had an affinity for engineering and archaeology, he seemed rather depressed and down on his luck, and... he was plotting to use the Lor to steal the Master Crown.

Everything the Lor had known from before they had been sealed told them that they shouldn't, couldn't allow this to happen, but at the same time... they couldn't dredge up any interest in stopping him.

Centuries. Centuries in that horrible, dark, boring, mind-numbing cavern, alone and in disrepair. The Lor needed something INTERESTING to happen, and they wouldn't blow this chance. They didn't even risk speaking once their voicebox was repaired... they couldn't stand the thought of maybe possibly scaring Magolor away. Sure, they ALSO couldn't stand the thought of being seen as just a tool again, but if it meant something would change for once, they'd gladly play the part.

When the repairs were complete and Magolor ordered them to take off, the Lor felt an irrepressible giddiness like they had never felt before.

If they were in the wrong hands now, then so be it. Finally, at least they weren't alone anymore.