Author's Note: I do not own Knights of the Old Republic or any related characters; LucasArts and Bioware do. And thanks to JediRevanOnasi for beta-reading this fic!
"You did WHAT!"
"Dwoo dee-deet," the droid beeped apologetically as he drove around in circles. His master let out an exasperated sigh.
"Oh, come on, T3," the Twi'lek muttered, lekku twitching as she shook her head. "I told you only to retrieve the part if you could reach it, not attempt to scale the shelf to get it. You know I don't have time to clean up the storage area. I have to work on CB-35; a customer could be here any day."
Janice Nall smiled fondly as she looked down at her little astromech droid, which was now hugging her leg. "No, I'm not angry at you," she explained. "Just a little irritated, that's all. It's not like I haven't had to clean that room before, with all your previous accidents…"
"Yes, I know you still remember the last time," Janice replied. "You haven't had a memory wipe in ages.
"DWEET! Droo-woo de-reet!"
The Twi'lek chuckled lightly as she turned back to the droid she'd been repairing. She loved giving all her droids personalities; it was her personal way of putting a bit of herself into all of her creations. CB-35, for example, was obedient, and D5-M6 was the quiet one. And T3…well, he was the talkative, mischievous one. Janice was almost hesitant to sell the little droid; he added so much more excitement into her life.
"Yes, I know you don't like memory wipes," she called to T3, who was still darting around in circles behind her shoulder. "But droids that don't get wiped once in a while become inefficient and, well…annoying."
"Dwoo dweet-DEET be-reet?"
"Yes, I am calling you annoying," Janice said as she pulled a broken wire from the droid in front of her. "T3, just go back into the room and fix up what you can get; I'll join you as soon as I'm done with CB."
"DE-deet dweet dwoo!"
"If you insist," Janice replied, rolling her eyes as the droid rolled away. "I'll try not to take too long."
T3-M4 loved stuff. When Master Janice needed an item from the storage area, she rarely asked T3 to do it; the astromech droid was prone to getting distracted by all of the tools and droid parts and taking several minutes longer than he should. Letting him clean up the storage area was the best task Master Janice could have given the droid, though it was obvious the room wouldn't get any cleaner anytime soon.
T3 looked down in fascination at the small, round droid part that lay on the floor amidst the many other parts that he'd knocked down. He'd never seen that part in any of Master Janice's droids before, and by the looks of it, it was quite old. After looking around to make sure Master Janice wasn't looking, he gave the part a quick scan. It dated to six years ago, and T3 deduced that this part must have been used for older droids. Beeping in satisfaction, the droid extended a claw and began to pick up the part, when a crash from outside the room caught his attention.
Despite his playful nature, T3-M4 was a very protective droid. He'd gotten many a reprimand before for shocking customers who'd gotten a bit too close to Master Janice, and she refused to ever bring him to the cantina for this same reason. As another yell and then a crash resonated from where Master Janice was located, T3 immediately abandoned his fun task and headed out toward his master. Soon the main room came into view, and it was apparent that Master Janice was indeed in danger, as he'd suspected.
Master Janice stood against the wall, hands raised and looking very apprehensive. She was surrounded by two armored Sith troopers, blasters aimed at her chest. A now operational and extremely nervous CB-35 stood between Master Janice and the troops, glancing around erratically as if to find an exit.
"Master Janice says that she has done nothing wrong," CB translated. "She claims that your ban on purchasing weapons denoted only heavy weapons, not the small blaster pistols that she purchased."
"That was last week, alien scum," one of the Sith spat, his faceless helmet devoid of any emotion. "We've changed the rules."
"Master Janice was not informed of this change," CB-35 replied. "She says that you cannot hold her responsible for breaking laws she was not aware of. Therefore, there is no reason for her to come with you."
The other Sith sneered. "We have ways of persuading you, Twi'lek," he announced. "My orders forbid me from hurting you, but that doesn't mean we can't cause some…property damage."
A short blaster bolt hit CB-35 right between the eyes, and the droid went down, muttering nonsensical phrases. Master Janice let out a short gasp behind the once again broken droid, and fell to her knees.
"Don't hurt the droids," she muttered, though she knew the Sith could not understand her dialect. "I'll come with you; just don't damage the droids." The trembling Twi'lek rose to her feet, hands still raised, and walked in front of the soldiers. The Sith seemed to understand this gesture, and began to march Master Janice out of her store.
T3's emotion emulator was going crazy. He couldn't just stand there and let the soldiers leave with his master! Retracting his claw and extending his shock arm, T3 zoomed as fast as he could toward the Sith.
"T3, no!" Master Janice called as she noticed the droid, but T3 was programmed to be stubborn. Ignoring his master's order, the droid drove up to the nearest soldier and pressed his shock arm directly to the man's boot. The Sith leapt into the air in surprise, landing in a heap on the metallic ground.
"What the hell is that thing doing?" the other Sith exclaimed, raising his blaster and turning to face the droid. A second later, T3-M4 knew nothing more.
"T3-M4, are you all right?"
As T3's optical sensors came back online, T3 noticed that the metallic voice belonged to CB-35. The protocol droid still had a smoking hole in his head, but seemed fine apart from the minor damage to his visage. The two droids were back in Master Janice's store, and the sun was considerably lower in the afternoon sky.
"DREET deet-breet deeet-dweet dwoo?" The astromech droid asked.
"Well, you've been out for two hours," CB replied. "I managed to reactivate myself and then drag you in here. You would have been taken for scrap if it weren't for me." If the droid had the ability to look smug, he would have done so.
"De-reet dwoo DWEET dee-deet!"
"You're going to do WHAT?" CB exclaimed. "But Master Janice has given us a very explicit command to stay put whenever she's gone!"
"Dweet DROO-woo dee-reet dweet BE-reet?"
"Yes, I have considered the fact that Master Janice might be in danger. But we have very explicit directions to stay put, and ― where are you going?"
T3-M4 was already out the door. Ignoring CB-35's pseudo-threats from behind him, the droid searched through his memory bank. At last, the droid found what he was looking for: a voice file that contained the location of the Sith prison from the last time Master Janice had been arrested.
It's good not to be memory-wiped, T3-M4 decided as he rolled in the direction of the Sith base.
Janice Nall hated being in prison. She was almost ashamed that this was the third time she'd landed in prison, but she knew that the Sith liked to arrest citizens for pointless reasons. There were no droids in prison, only Sith men who laughed and pointed at certain elements of her body. The Twi'lek was glad that it was sunset; her cell was dark, and the Sith guards had all left for the entertainment of the evening cantinas. At least she could get some peace and quiet.
A sound from outside her cell interrupted Janice's thoughts; it sounded as though someone was trying to open her cell. Shuddering, she moved closer to the back wall of her cell; she'd heard of some of the more unfortunate events that happened in prison, and was not eager to experience any of them. That said, she was almost as relieved as she was shocked when a familiar beep came from outside her room.
"T…T3?" Janice muttered in disbelief. Even with the lack of light, she could make out the figure of her small droid. "H-how did you get here?"
"DWEET! De-deet be-reet DEET!" The droid chimed happily. "Dweet-deet DWOO droo-woo dweet-DEET de-dreet dweet ― "
"Okay, okay! Forget I asked," Janice interrupted, smiling despite the circumstances. "So you've rescued me. I do hope you have a plan for getting us out of here unscathed…"
"DEE-dreet be-reet dwoo dweet de-reet DWOO."
Janice smiled. "That's the T3 I know," she said as she crept out of her cell. "If we get out of this alive, I promise never to mind-wipe you again."
By the time the unusual pair arrived back to the store, it was already night. The last ships landed on their landing pads, the cantinas blared their loud music, and the drunken hobos had already occupied their normal spots. Janice had long discarded her rather amusing droid costume, and she and her droid were in very high spirits.
"I wish I could've seen the look on his face," the Twi'lek laughed, typing in the code to her shop's now-closed door. "You'd think he'd never seen a droid before!"
"Droo-woo dweet BE-reet DEET!"
"That was all your idea," Janice said in a mock-indignant voice as the door slid open. "I still think we should've gone with the Sith uniform." Owner and droid walked into the shop, and CB-45 hurried forward, eager to flatter his master.
"Oh, Master Janice, I'm so glad to see you intact. I was so worried ― "
"CB-45, please go clean up the storage room," Janice interrupted, and the protocol droid fell silent. T3-M4 gave CB a sardonic beep as the protocol droid trudged away toward the back room. "T3, your evening's free," Janice said to the astromech droid, smiling. "I think you deserve some maintenance. A new part or two, some polishing…you've earned it. What do you think?"
"DEE-deet dweet de-reet DWOO?"
Janice Nall laughed, patting the droid gently on the head. "No, T3. No memory wipe for you."