Droid Troubles

Bao-Dur has some droid troubles…Starring Bao-Dur. Oneshot.

Rated PG

Disclaimer: I'm too lazy to think of one.

Droid Troubles

The ship was dreadfully quiet that afternoon. Only T3-M4's quiet whirring noises could be heard as he drifted about the ship, repairing breaks in the plates on the walls and so on. Bao-Dur, wandering about the room that smelled most like mechanical oil, noted that the little droid knew this ship front to back, better than Bao-Dur probably knew his own hands. The thing was old – very old. It had been here for years, if not a decade. Bao-Dur wondered how it had gotten there. Had it come with the ship? But no… that wouldn't work. Their signatures didn't match, though they were about the same age. Both the droid and the ship had been through a lot. The paneling on both was so severe it was amazing they held together. Blasterfire was surely the cause for the ship, but the droid? Astromech droids weren't made for combat. If it had been in several fights, why? Where? When? Against whom?

Bao-Dur wasn't sure why he puzzled so much over the little droid. Perhaps it was because, though he had tried countless times to mind-wipe it, the thing still acted with a full-blown, completely matured personality. It didn't like it when he tried to touch it, or study its wiring. It didn't like it when he spoke as if it wasn't there. It didn't like it when Atton kicked at it. It was like a small child on wheels, and that was unnerving. Bao-Dur had never encountered a droid like it before. Oh, sure, he'd opened up countless astromech droids, but never ones that wouldn't comply to his commands.

He decided to seek out the droid. Maybe it would talk to him if he treated it with respect (he shuddered. Treat a droid with respect? How low had he sunken?).

Bao-Dur wandered out into the main area and paused to listen for T3. He heard it buzzing somewhere towards the cockpit. He started for it, but paused when he noted a closed door to his right. He had never noticed the door before, but it was there, unopened. He considered it for a moment, weighing the pros and cons of taking the time to look inside. Finally, curiosity won out. "Sure," he muttered. "There's probably nothing inside, but what does it matter?"

So he tapped in the override key.

The door whooshed open.

Bao-Dur started, reeling back into the table in the middle of the room. At first, he had been stricken with the figure of a man, hunched over in hiding. But slowly, he realized, it was a droid. Another droid! Carefully, testing to make sure it was indeed off-line, he approached. He took in the make of it, and realized that it was an HK model, a recent model indeed. He had learned long ago never to trust HK units, so he quickly checked to remove the power cell.

There was no power cell.

"Well," said Bao-Dur. That made things easier. Without any hesitation now, he heaved the droid over his shoulder and dragged it back to the 'garage' area. He rested it on the workbench and opened it up, poking around to see what it was missing. A voice box, a power cell… easy. They had those. He replaced the voice box, keeping the power cell for last. There were a few other things that he quickly patched up, and he slipped the power cell in last. As he closed the chest cavity, the droid snapped to life.

Its eyes started first, bursting with the glow of its sensors. Then its legs, which kicked violently as it struggled to sit up, and then its arms, which it used to rise. It cocked its head a few times, testing its reaction time, before it fixed its gaze on Bao-Dur.

It spoke, then, startling Bao-Dur slightly. Its voice was metallic and male, friendly-sounding, though HK units were never really friendly.

"Query: Who are you and where is my master?"

"Your master?"

"Statement: You do not listen well, do you, alien?"

Bao-Dur folded his arms. "Mouthy droid," he said shortly.

HK rose to his feet, giving his enormous repeater a testing twirl. "Statement: Excellent. At least you can repair well, alien. Retraction: For an organic meatbag."

Bao-Dur didn't like this droid already. It definitely had a personality beyond that of a normal HK unit. And this one was old – russet instead of black, with beaten paneling and aging wires. What was it with this ship and strange, abused droids with personality quirks?

"You need a mind wipe, you," said Bao-Dur. "Get back on that bench."

"Threat: Don't touch me, meatbag, or it will be the last mistake you make!"

Bao-Dur blinked. "Meatbag?" he echoed. He had heard of droids with quirks, but never their own slang terms.

"Affirmation: Meatbag." He sounded pleased with himself, as if the term put him on a higher plane.

Bao-Dur was dizzied. "Gods… what are you?"

"Answer: I am HK-47, the assassination droid."

"47?" Bao-Dur wondered. "Are you sure? 47?" He had never heard of one of these droids with a latter-number beneath 50.

"Affirmation: Indeed. I am one of the originals, not like those imposters that now creep out of the lowliest droid shops." The droid sounded sad. "Statement: I remember when I was the newest droid ever released, and by far the deadliest."

"Who issued you?"

"Statement: I tire of this, meatbag. I ask you again, where is my master?"

"I don't know your master."

"Statement: This is her ship. Do not attempt to lie to me and claim she is not on the very ship she owns!"

"I don't know what you're talking about…"

"Threat: Then I shall blast you to bits." HK-47 raised his repeater, and Bao-Dur cried out, bracing to grab the barrel, when Mandalore suddenly came up from behind and slapped the droid in the head.

HK-47 whirled around, taking aim at Mandalore now, but Mandalore simply flipped open the chest cavity and removed the power cell. HK-47 crumpled on the floor.

"Mandalore!" Bao-Dur gasped.

Mandalore stared back at him with narrowed eyes. He thrust the power cell at him. "Where did you find this droid?" he growled.

Bao-Dur didn't understand what was so severe about this droid, though it had tried to kill him. Maybe Mandalore did deserve an answer – the Mandalorian had saved his life. So, Bao-Dur hurriedly cleared his throat. "I-It was in an empty storage room," he stammered. He never stammered! He mentally slapped himself. "Why?"

"I know this droid," Mandalore muttered, gazing down at it with fixed pensiveness.

"It asked for its master. Do you know who its master is?"

"I did," Mandalore said softly. "This isn't a normal droid. Let me fix it, or it'll just try and kill you again."

"Let you fix it?" Bao-Dur cried. "I'm the droid-master on this ship!"

"Not any more!" Mandalore barked back.

"I've got it covered," Bao-Dur said firmly. "Remote knows his way around, and so do I. You're just… a plains Mandalorian. Your base was in shambles until I fixed it up."

Mandalore flushed with frustration. "You don't know what you're talking about," he barked. "I'm no hillbilly."

"I never called you a hillbilly."

Mandalore clicked his teeth. "You're just a kid. You don't know anything."

"I've been fixing things since I first learned how to walk. I think I have some credit," Bao-Dur spat gently, his voice growing quiet with his anger.

Mandalore raised his voice. "I've been through more than you, no matter how long you've been poking around with droids. I ridden droids bigger than this ship. I've activated droids with fewer circuits than a gizka. I've… I've repaired things more broken than your arm."

Bao-Dur gaped. How dare that old man comment on his arm! He flushed with outrage, squaring his shoulders to size up to Mandalore. "Get out."

Mandalore folded his arms. "Hey, kid, don't get yourself in a twist about i -"

Bao-Dur raised his voice. "GET OUT!"

"You going to make me, Droid-Master?"

Bao-Dur was on the verge of punching this man. He clenched and unclenched his fists, gritting his teeth. "I SAID GET OUT!"

Mandalore decided it wasn't worth the fight and left. Bao-Dur sank back, taking deep breaths to calm himself. He usually didn't get that angry; but then again people generally didn't comment on things like his arm so ruthlessly, either. Disgusted with himself and Mandalore, he kicked the droid aside and sat down on the bench, folding his arms.

T3-M4 wheeled in then, and began bleeping and blatting furiously at the sight of HK-47. Bao-Dur looked up, fascinated, as the droid flew over and knocked into the HK unit. Its noises quickly grew quiet and it turned its head plate to look at Bao-Dur.

"What?" he asked. He listened as the droid explained to him, and his eyes widened. "You know this droid?"

T3 told him that he and the droid used to work together, but long ago he was broken and thrust aside. T3 expressed his confusion as to how Bao-Dur had come across this long lost friend.

Bao-Dur was stunned, uncertainly scratching his head. "Well… he attacked me. Do you think you could help me fix him up so he's a little less hostile?"

T3 told him that this couldn't be done – HK-47 was hostile through and through, no matter what cross-hatching a mechanic may try on his circuits.

Bao-Dur never rejected a challenge to his talent with droids. So, for the rest of the afternoon, he spent his time plugging in things here and disabling certain functions. When he was satisfied, and his fingers were raw, he closed the hatch up and stepped back. HK-47 hummed to life and sat up again.

"Statement: You will regret that, meatbag. I do not tolerate being shut down."

Bao-Dur stared. "I disabled that!" he cried. "I made sure you couldn't do that!"

HK-47 narrowed his eyes. "Statement: I am not like normal droids," he growled. "I may not be shut down and terminated like any other tin can. I will –"

Bao-Dur shut him off. The droid slumped over, humming softly as he shut down. Silently, with an almost eerie conviction, Bao-Dur ripped out the power core, set it down on the workbench, and heaved the droid over his shoulder. No one questioned him as he walked slowly through the main area with the droid in his arms, and Mandalore only smiled as the droid was set down where had been found.

With a sour look on his face, Bao-Dur shut the door, and, wordlessly, went back to his standard work area.

Softly, almost inaudibly, and against all previous assumptions about droid vocal forms, little T3 giggled in the corner.

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Author's Notes: Kind of lost it at the end. Eh. I still like it, though. There aren't enough stories about our sweet little Bao-Dur, so here we aaaaaaareeeee.

I know HK's activation didn't go this way. Does it look like I care? I have the right to change a few things, durnit. I think it works better this way, rather than his wide-eyed, "Who are you? Where am I?" bit.