It is a time of civil unrest. The Rebel Hunters, scattered across the Galaxy, have scored their first and alleged only victory against the hordes of the Imperial Host.
As the battle waged on, the Rebel Hunters had managed to commandeer secret plans to the Host's supreme weapon, The Morning Star, an armored space station rumored to have enough power to destroy an entire planet.
Hunted by the Host's most menacing agents, Prince Castiel races home aboard his starship, guardian of the secret plans that could not only save his charges, but the entire galaxy…
They were approaching the planet Tatooine as the star destroyer came upon them, commanding them to surrender and to allow themselves to be boarded. They answered back with laser fire, it wouldn't do much, it wouldn't even buy them any time, and there was no one willing to take on the Galactic Host to ensure their escape. The destroyer quickly answered them back with their own laser bolts, thus damaging the ship. In a desperate bid to freedom, they quickly went into hyperspace, all the while knowing they would be followed.
Explosions rocked the ship, sparks raining from over head as they were abruptly pulled from hyperspace. The ship was badly damaged, and there was no telling if they were going to get back to Alderaan alive. Two droids, battered and in need of some repair, hurried down the passageway. Almost panicked in their speed, they seemed as though they had a life of their own.
One of the droids, a tall bronze model, jerked to the side after a particular nasty explosion, exclaimed, "Did you hear that back there? The Host shut down the ship's main reactor! We're going to annihilated! This is madness!"
The Rebel Hunters hurried down the passageway and took up their positions in the hallway facing the blast doors where the Host's agents would stream forth and bring about their destruction. The Hunters, some inexperienced in the field, were nervous. And who could blame them? The Galactic Host were not ones to be merciful. The tales of their exploits ranged far and wide in the galaxy, and none of them inspired thought of allegiance, especially not with the Hunters.
They aimed their blasters at the door, the few moments before total destruction thicken the air with tension, thrumming through every being, vibrating through every cell in the ship.
The bronze robot watched the hallway, "We're doomed!" The little robot standing next to him rocked from side to side, issuing forth beeps and electronic noises, and the taller droid responded mournfully, "There'll be no escape for the Prince this time."
The little droid beside him continued to screech mechanically as the ship suddenly quieted. All that could be heard was the Rebel Hunters' panting breaths. They stared at the blast door, adjusted their blasters in their slightly trembling grip, looking at one another with trepidation.
They were jolted to attention as they felt the sharp jerk of the destroyer's tracker beam latched on to the ship. They could do nothing as loud banging and screaming of metal heralded the sound of their doom. It took no time at all before they could hear the steady tramping of the Storm Troopers' boots upon the metal grating, approaching ever closer to the Rebel ship.
With a great blast, the door burst open, making way for several white-armored troopers to storm through. They wasted no time in firing upon each other; quickly the passageway was alight with blaster fire and filled with smoke. The space was so narrow, the deadly bolts ricocheting off the walls, only serving to destroy the passageway, shattering the delicate equipment needed to keep their environment secure.
The Storm Troopers ducked behind the cargo near the door, firing back at the Hunters just as haphazardly. The Hunters were clearly at a disadvantage, although they had training, they were no match for the troopers that had the superior military experience. The passageway transformed into a warzone, into a tomb, as the Hunters fell one by one. The robots were startled into movement as an explosion shattered a piece of the wall near them.
"I should have known better than to trust the ranting of a half-sized, fanatical refuse compactor…" The taller robot grumbled. The smaller robot replied angrily as more laser bolts were fired around them.
The hallways were soon littered with rebel bodies, the only other survivors escaped deeper into their ship, drawing them deeper into the ship in small groups as to cull their numbers quickly and without any more casualties. No matter where the robots went, they walked into the heat of battle, narrowly escaping one hallway where they had to walk right through the laser fire.
Three troopers stood guard at the entrance to the rebel ship, waiting for their black-robed commander. He strode in with ease, side-stepping a body in front of him with inhuman grace, his rasping breaths the only thing to be heard over the laser bolts further off into the ship.
As one, the Hunters aboard the ship paused in their fighting. It was as if a dark, oppressive force engulfed the ship, the pressure so great it was hard to breathe. The Hunters knew that this was one of his rumored "abilities", and that they should either stand up against their foes, or run screaming. Some opted for running and screaming, and were soon cut down.
The Host's agent paused in the middle of the passageway for only a few short moments, surveyed his surroundings slightly impatiently, his fists resting on his hips, then resumed his steady pace. There was nothing of import in these silent halls, the Hunters were not important to him now, he will kill him in due time, let the mice cower in their holes for a little while longer. There was a bigger rodent he had his eye on. His troops fell into step behind him, their paced march echoing through the hallway eerily.
Prince Castiel gently slid the disc into the little droid's storage compartment, making the unit beep softly. It no longer mattered what happened to him anymore, the plans were the only thing to save them now, he would gladly sacrifice his life for the good of his people, and the galaxy. The taller robot walked into their storage room in confusion, leaving the screams of dying rebels and soldiers echoing behind him.
"Becky2? R2Becky2 where are you?" He asked, exasperated. He was about to turn and leave before hearing the tell-tale sounds of his little companion. He looked to where he heard the sounds, seeing a smoke-filled passageway, and already he wanted to turn around and leave, there was no telling what could come popping out of the darkness. He saw a young man stood beside the R2 unit, robed in white, a hood covering obscuring his youthful features.
Prince Castiel. His memory banks supplied him with the information; a young senator in the Galactic Alliance, born on the planet Alderaan, he was the youngest human male to ascend the throne. He was furtively looking behind him before pressing a few buttons on the little unit. When he was finished, he cautiously ducked into an alcove behind him. He wanted to say something, anything to assure the young man that everything was going to be okay, but he wasn't sure if that was the brightest idea he ever had while in the middle of a war zone.
Becky2 leisurely rolled down the walkway towards her much taller companion, ignoring his panicked diatribe. How she could act so oblivious at a time like this, the other robot could never know, although with all the time they had sent together over the years, he shouldn't be too surprised.
"Finally! Where have you bbeen/b?!" The battle was still raging, becoming ever-louder as the troopers drew closer. The robot looked through the entryway, continuing in alarm, "They're getting closer. What are we going to do now? We'll be used for spare parts or crushed into scrap metal for sure!"
Becky2's head compartment swiveled towards the other robot before scooting past her companion into the sub-hallway behind him, making the other hurry after her, "Wait a sec, just where do you think you're going?" Becky2's only response was to beep at him.
The young prince watched them leave, hoping that his message would reach his intended quickly, and before the Host had a chance to intercept it. He pulled back his hood, his spiky hair sticking up in all directions, and determinedly set off to his fate.
The Hunters could not withstand the might of the Host, and they, what few survivors there were left, were marched to the destroyer's brig to await punishment.
Lord Zayder stood amidst the broken and useless bodies of his enemies, grabbing a wounded Hunter around the throat as one of his Imperial officers rushed up to him, "The Morning Star plans are not in the main computer."
He clenched his hand around the wounded man's throat, the eyes of his mask boring into the officers, his mechanical voice interrogating harshly, "Where are those transmissions you intercepted?"
He lifted the man off of his feet, his hand still around his throat, dry cracking noises from the man's neck punctuating the movement, "What have you done with those plans?!"
The Hunter wrapped his hands around Lord Zayder's wrist, imploringly he choked, "We didn't intercept any transmissions." He cried out as the hand tightened, "This is a consular ship! We're on a diplomatic mission!"
He yanked the man closer, staring into his eyes, feeling a brush of fear pouring off the man and knew he was lying. "If this is a consular ship," he squeezed his hand, "then where is the Ambassador?" Receiving no response, he grew impatient, finally snapping the man's neck and throwing the body carelessly against the wall. He whirled on the officer, "Commander, you will tear this ship apart until you have found those plans, and bring me the Ambassador. I want him alive!" He then marched out abruptly, as the other troops scurried out into other sub-hallways.
The young man huddled in an alcove, gripping a blaster in his hands, watching as the troopers search the ship. He knew they were searching for him, and the plans he had transported into the R2 unit the others had affectionately named 'Becky2', thankful to know that if they happened to find him, that the Host wouldn't get their filthy hands on the plans. He was a member of the Alderaan Senate, although Prince Castiel could safely assume that he would no longer rule the planet any longer if they captured him.
The fear he felt quickly boiled into anger, how dare they search his ship so brazenly? How could they, in all their seeming 'good-faith', murder innocent people for the sake of power? His eyes narrowed, if the plans get to right people, then he would have no need to worry, he would die with a clear conscience knowing that his people would be kept safe.
He chilled in sudden fear as he heard a voice call out, "There he is! Set blasters to stun!"
He took a step out of his hiding place, quickly shooting a trooper with his pistol. He darted down the hallway, but tumbled due to the ground from a paralyzing ray. The trooper and his two companions approached, one of them toeing the prince's unconscious body, "He'll be alright. Tell Lord Zayder we have a prisoner."
Becky2 rolled to a stop in front of the hatch of a small life-pod, hacking into the controls, the hatch opened and she scooted her way into the cramped space. The taller droid danced nervously outside, "We're not allowed in there. It's forbidden." After no response from the little droid, he yelled, "We'll get in a lot of trouble for this!" As she beeped smugly at him he exclaimed, "Don't you call me that you creepy little midget! Now get out of there before we get caught!"
She whistled at him importantly, and he cocked his head to the side, questioning skeptically, "'Secret mission'? 'Plans'? I don't know what you're talking about, but the hell am I going in there!"
She angrily beeped at him, rocking from side to side. He was startled as yet another explosion rocked their little ship, debris raining down upon the lanky robot. After having to listen to another panicked rant from the little droid, the other robot hopped into the life pod, pouting, "I'm totally going to regret this."
Two officers aboard the star destroyer watched on the main view-screen as another life-pod was jettisoned out into space.
"There goes another one," said one officer, his hand hovering over the ammunition button.
"Hold your fire," His commanding officer advised, "There aren't any life forms aboard. It must have short-circuited."
The two droids watched as the Imperial ship spun farther away from them. The taller droid said in surprise, "Doesn't look that bad from out here." Becky2 agreed with him, beeping softly in response. He jerked to face her, "Is this thing safe?"
The young prince was marched through the ship, his hands bound before him, keeping up a steady pace with the other troops. They stopped suddenly as Zayder emerged through a door beside them; his great hulking mass filled the hallway with malice and smug victory. He stared hard down at the seemingly frail looking young senator, but all Prince Castiel did was stare haughtily back at him.
Prince Castiel clenched his teeth, "Lord Zayder, I should have suspected as much. Only you could be so brash. The Senate will not settle with this, when they hear that you have attacked a diplomatic-"
He cut the young senator off before he could come up with any more steam, putting his hands on his hips; his metallic voice took on a lecturing tone, "Don't play games with me, Your Highness. You were not on a merciful mission this time, you passed brazenly through a clearly marked restricted system. We know that several transmissions were beamed to this ship by Rebel spies, I want to know what happened to the plans they sent you." He bit out the last sentence in poorly disguised anger.
Prince Castiel's voice lowered into the measured tones of a negotiator, imploring softly, "I do not know what you are talking about, I am a member of the Imperial Senate on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan-"
"-You are a part of the Rebel Hunters, and a traitor." He pronounced with venom, gesturing heatedly down the hallway, "Take him away!" He turned and marched away as they led the prince to the destroyer's brig.
He walked a few steps in silence while the commanding officer hurried beside him. As they turned the corner the younger man spoke, "It is dangerous holding the prince, sir. If word of this incident gets out, it could very well generate sympathy for the Rebellion in the Senate."
"I have traced all connections of the Rebel spies to him; he is my only link to find their secret headquarters." There was no way he was going to let the little prince slip through his fingers again, of that he was certain.
"He'll die before he tells you anything!"
"Leave that to me," He intoned quietly, "Send out a distress signal and inform the Senate that all aboard the ship were dead when we approached."
Before the man could carry out his orders, they were approached by another officer who reported, "Lord Zayder, the battle station plans are not aboard the ship, and no transmissions from when we boarded were made. An escape pod was jettisoned during the skirmish, but there weren't any life forms aboard."
It seemed he underestimated the young man. He turned to the officer beside him, "He must have hidden the plans there." To the other officer he ordered, "Send a detachment down to retrieve them, see to it personally, Commander. No one will stop us this time."
They landed in the Jundeland Waste, heat waves boiled off of the rippling dune waves, the twin suns beat down overhead. The two droids walked away from the burned out shell of the escape pod, their passage kicking up dust and sand.
"I don't know how we keep getting into these situations, what did I do to deserve being dropped in a big ass litter box?" The bronze droid said miserably. Becky2 blipped in response, quietly whirring away beside him, as the other looked around them before soldiering on, "What a boring place this is."
Becky2 started whistling and beeping in excitement, making a sharp right turn towards a rocky outcropping. The other robot stopped and yelled after him, "Where do you think you're going?" He was answered by a long stream of beeping and whistling, then replied, "Well I'm not going with you. That way requires too much work on my part, this way is much easier." The robot gestured the direction they were walking.
Becky2 answered with a very long whistle, and the droid shook his head, "And what makes you think you'll find anything in that direction?" Becky2 beeped at him, and he threatened, "Don't you get all technical on me."
As she continued to argue with him, he exclaimed, "The hell are you talking about? What mission?! That's it, I'm done. You go that way, and I'm going this way! You will be malfunctioning in an hour, you goofy-looking storage bin!" He punctuated his rant with a sharp kick to Becky2's behind, and started off the way he was going before their argument, before throwing over his shoulder, "And don't let me catch you crawling back for help, cause you're not going to get it."
She threw a rude comment back at him as he walked off, and he shook his head, "No more crazy adventures for me, I'm going this way. Surely I won't get into any more trouble in the desert."
Time flew by; there was nothing in the desert but sand, dunes, and the android's footprints marking his progress. "That insane little midget! This is all her fault!" The android cried, it had been over an hour, and he was no closer to finding any shelter than he did when they first landed. He knocked the sand from his joints in a huff. He tilted to the side as he looked at the horizon, "What's—A transport! I'm saved!"
He stepped forward a couple spaces, raising his arms above his head, hopping up and down as he tried to get the transport's attention, "I'm over here! Help! I'm over here!"
As Becky2 scooted along on her path to the receiver of the Most Important Message, she scanned the area around her in foreboding, an odd clicking noise following her wherever she went. Small rocks tumbled from over head, and strange noises echoed throughout the rocky canyon; she suspected she was being followed, but by what, she was unsure. Too many life forms were around for her to make a clear judgment. She stopped suddenly as she heard a decisive, metallic clanking noise. She scanned the area, just one last time, before moving along.
She didn't notice the figures above her tracking her every move. The little beings darted to and fro, the reason for the tumbling pebbles. Their glowing little eyes followed the little droid as she continued on her path, itching to get their hands on the clearly expensive machinery they could sell for a good profit.
Out of nowhere, a magnetic ray engulfed her little body, freezing her. She squeaked pitifully before falling over, her lights flickering, then shutting off all together. Three Jawas oozed out of the rocky outcroppings toward the little robot, lugging complex machinery able to carry the little droid to their transport. They lifted her, hissing grunting as they carried her off towards a huge tank-like vehicle, named the Sandcrawler.
She turned back on inside a room of the huge transport, a dark holding area surrounded by other droids, machinery, and parts. She switched on a tiny floodlight resting on her dome, scooting around the narrow paths of the room. The milky beam of light swung across rusty parts, scrap metal and…mangle remains of other droids. She whimpered, then scooted past out through a small door.
She came upon another room, filled with other droids and scrap metal. She was about to leave, until a familiar voice rang out, "Becky2! It is you!"
The sun shone brightly over the small contingent that was sent to survey the area where the escape pod had crashed. They could easily a path of footprints leading from the crash site, winding through the dunes in the distance. They were told that there were no life forms aboard the tiny vessel, so it bore questioning, just what was in the escape pod?
A soldier lifted up a piece of metal that rested in the soft sand below, motioning to the commanding officer, "Droids."
The hulking Sandcrawler coasted through the sand dunes with natural ease, cutting through the sand like a shark. Inside was a different story. The droids and all matter of metal parts were jostled noisily, the taller robot tried centering himself the best that he could next to Becky2, unwilling to fall over. She shut down after the first hour of their travel, there wasn't much of anything to do except wait for wherever their travels would take them.
The bronze robot was startled as their transport settled to a stop, "They stopped. Get up!" He knocked on Becky2's dome impatiently, "Get up!"
She beeped at him irritation, her lights blinking. They whirled towards the large door as it opened, flooding the space with the bright light from outside. A few Jawas scurried into the room, inspecting and selecting a few droids out of the bunch.
"We're dead." The robot whispered to Becky2, watching as the Jawas drew closer, "What are they gonna do to us?"
The leader Jawa scooted closer to them, pointing and gesturing at the droids, obviously selecting them for some unknown purpose. The other Jawas walked off, selecting more droids and parts, leaving one behind to gesture threateningly at the two droids with a nasty looking blaster.
"Geez! Don't shoot!" To Becky2, "Now what?"
All manner of droids were hustled out into the open by the impatient Jawas, lined up in front of the Sandcrawler. They were gathered in front of a strange farm dwelling; three large holes and drill-like towers surrounded a small, ivory adobe, presumably a moisture farm. The Jawas scurried between many droids, brushing off whatever debris that they accumulated during their long wait for new masters.
The leader met up with two humans that emerged from the small dwelling, an older gentleman and a young man, both dressed in light colored tunics and trousers. The older man hurried the Jawa to the line-up, clearly eager to be done doing business with the pushy little beings. The young man stood silently beside him, almost hunching in upon himself.
"Jimmy? Jimmy!" A female voice called from one of the large holes. The young man, Jimmy, hurried over towards the gentle call. As he looked over the edge, the woman called, "Jimmy, tell your Uncle Roger that if he gets a translator, make sure it speaks Bocce."
"There doesn't seem to be a lot to choose from, but I'll let him know." He hurried back over to his uncle as he made his selection.
"Yeah, yeah, I'll take the red one," Uncle Roger muttered to the Jawa before stopping in front of the bronze robot, "I don't need a protocol droid-"
"Prince Castiel?!" The bronze robot exclaimed, looking directly at Jimmy, who turned around looking for the person the robot called for, he'd never seen royalty before. He didn't see anyone of interest, turning back and pointing at himself.
"Are you talking to me?"
"Why of course sir! I just saw you on the transport; I'm so relieved you got out of there safely."
Jimmy frowned, "I'm sorry, I don't know what you're talking about."
"What I need," Roger interrupted, "Is a droid that can understand and translate moisture vaporators."
Jimmy scowled; he wanted to know what the droid was talking about, who was Prince Castiel?
"Vaporators!" The robot exclaimed, turning his attention to Roger, "My first job was a programmer for a binary load lifter, they're just like vaporators."
"Do you speak Bocce?"
"Well, yeah, it's like a second language. I can speak several languages than just Bocce-"
"Yeah ok, I'll take this one." He said to the Jawa. He turned to Jimmy, "Take these droid to the garage; they need to be cleaned up before dinner."
"But, who's Prince-"
"Don't listen to what that droid says; now go do as I said."
Jimmy's brow furrowed, but one look from his uncle, he let it go, "Alright then, let's go." He motioned to the droids and started off to the garage. The bronze robot followed, and Becky2 beeped pathetically as she watched him go. Jimmy paused as the red droid failed to follow him, motioning to the little robot, "Come on, Red, let's go." The red robot set off towards the human slowly, Becky2 rocking back and forth wildly to get the bronze robot's attention. He turned back, looking at her one more time, before following his new master.
As she set off towards them, she was restrained by another Jawa, freezing her with the same ray they used to capture her. As the two robots got closer to the homestead, a piece of metal flew off the top of the red robot. It started sparking and smoking, and Jimmy stopped it from moving any farther, "Uncle Roger."
"This droid has a bad motivator, look!" He moved his head to the robot.
Uncle Roger whirled on the head Jawa, "Hey, what are you trying to pull?!"
As the Jawa tried to explain, Becky2 hopped on her two little legs trying to get their attention. The other robot tapped Jimmy on the shoulder, suggesting gently, "Sir, that blue droid over there is in much better condition, and real cheap, too."
Jimmy nodded, pointing over to Becky2, "Uncle Roger, what about that one?"
To the head Jawa he said, "What about that blue one over there? We'll take that."
Grumbling, the Jawa traded the blue robot for the red one, sending two other Jawas after it to bring it back to their vehicle.
"You'll be really happy with this one, sir. She's in good condition; I've worked with her a lot."
Jimmy's uncle paid the Jawa off, and the two robots followed the young man into their garage for cleaning. The taller robot looked over at the little droid who was beeping and whistling happily, "You owe me one."
The two robots were quickly hooked up to the requisite machinery in which to clean and recharge them. The taller robot was lowered into a large vat of oil while the other was hooked up to another computer in order to recharge it. It was quiet and peaceful; the low-ceilinged garage had a cluttered, lived-in feeling to it.
"Thank the Maker," The robot exclaimed happily, "This bath is really going to hit the spot, I feel like I'm covered in sand!" Becky2 agreed with him just as happily.
Jimmy sat in a chair a little ways away from them, lost in thought. Most of his friends were off starting their lives while he was stuck on a deserted planet, not doing much of anything except help his uncle on the farm. It wasn't hard work, but it felt like every time he had an opportunity to start his own life, his uncle seemed to need him more and more. With the addition of two more droids, his purpose was dwindling; his uncle would soon run out of things for him to do. He sighed and stood up, "I'm never going to get out of here."
The bronze robot looked over at him, the human had the tell-tale signs of frustration and desperation etched across his face, mixed with a heaping does of guilt, "Can I do anything to help?"
Jimmy shook his head as he started working on Becky2, "No, not unless you could alter time, make it so we don't have to wait for the harvest, or teleport me out of here."
"Sorry, sir." He said apologetically, "Can't really help you there, and anyone that can are long gone from here. At least on this planet, where are we anyway?"
"Tatooine," Jimmy supplied, "The farthest planet from any civilized place, and you can call me Jimmy."
"I'm Chuck3PO, human-cyborg affairs. This is my…partner, Becky2." He ended rather anticlimactically, receiving an indignant beep from the little droid.
"Nice to meet you," he smiled at the little droid, who beeped sweetly in reply.
Jimmy unplugged her, and started to clean her dome, scraping several connectors with a metal pick. While Jimmy busied himself scraping off compacted sand and debris from Becky2, he frowned, "You've got a lot of carbon scoring on you. It looks like you've seen some action."
"I'm amazed we are still functioning, after everything we've been in the middle of." Chuck3PO said as he joined Jimmy, "What with the Rebellion and all."
"You know about the Rebellion?" He asked, surprised.
"It's how we got here actually." Beck2 beeped in agreement.
"Have you been in any battles?" He questioned eagerly.
"A lot," Chuck3PO agreed, "There's not that much to tell, really. I'm just an interpreter."
Jimmy struggled as he tried to remove a piece of metal from Becky2, "It seems like something is jammed in here, were you on a cruiser or-"
It came loose with a snap, he fell back as all of a sudden, a twelve-inch hologram figure appeared on the floor beside him. He sat up and watched as the figure flickered in an out of focus, gasping as he recognized the face.
It was the same one that looked back at him in the mirror.
"Help me, Robert Singer, you're my only hope." The figure implored.
"What is this?" Jimmy said in surprise, his heart beating wildly in his chest. Becky2 shifted nervously and beeped a soft response for Chuck3PO to translate for her. The figure kept repeating the sentence over again.
"What do you mean 'you don't know'?" Chuck3PO asked in exasperation. "He asked you a question, what is that?" He pointed to the figure, caught in a loop.
Becky2 pretended to just notice the feed, she awkwardly beeped an answer for Chuck3PO to translate for her while the hologram kept repeating the one sentence, "Help me, Robert Singer, you're my only hope."
"She says that it's a malfunction, old data."
Jimmy's head tilted, "Who is he? He looks-just like me." He had a strange feeling blossoming in his chest as he watched the figure. He wondered just what this could mean, and had a sinking feeling that his guardians had been keeping a fairly large secret from him.
"He's Prince Castiel of Alderaan, part of the Senate. I admit, I thought you were him when we first met. You look identical." Chuck3PO said apologetically.
"Help me, Robert Singer…"
"Is there more to this recording?" He interrupted, still staring at the figure. He reached out to the unit, drawing back as she frantically beeped and screeched.
"Will you calm down?! You are going to get in a lot of trouble. He's our new master now, you gotta trust him."
Jimmy watched in bemusement as Becky2 spewed forth a series of beeps and whistles, almost laughing as Chuck3PO huffed and turned to him to explain, "She says she is the property of this Robert Singer, and that he lives here, it's a private message meant just for him. I don't really know what she's talking about, our last master was Captain Antilles, I guess she's just gone crazy with all that's happened."
"Robert Singer? I wonder if she means old Bobby Singer?" He muttered to himself in thought.
"You know what she's talking about?"
"I don't really know a Robert Singer, but I know of an old Bobby Singer, he lives out there beyond the Dune Sea. He's kind of a hermit, works on old transports." Jimmy gazed at the hologram for a few moments, "I wonder who she's talking about. He sounds like he's in a lot of trouble; I'd better play back the whole thing. Please tell me there is more to this."
Becky2 looked over at Chuck3PO and beeped, while the other robot translated, "She says the restraining bolt they put on her short circuited her system, if you remove it, she'll be able to play it back for you."
"I doubt you'll be able to run from me anyway if I take it off." He took off the bolt, watching as the hologram disappeared in panic, "Where'd he go?"
Becky2 beeped innocently at him as Chuck3PO shifted in embarrassment, "'What message'? The one you were just playing!"
Jimmy started as a female voice called from far away, "Jimmy? Jimmy! Come to dinner!"
Jimmy pursed his lips as he stood, calling back, "I'll be right there Aunt Amelia!" He tossed the restraining bolt on the counter, "See what you can do with her, I'll be back."
As he walked out of the garage, Chuck3PO whispered to her, "You'd better re-think playing back that message for him." As Becky2 beeped at him, he replied, "No, I don't think he likes you at all." She beeped again, "No, I've never liked you."
He stood in the doorway to their kitchen, looking in on the peaceful domestic scene. His uncle sat at the head of the table, and his aunt set covered plates and pitchers near their seats, like every dinner they have had for the past twenty-three years. He watched as they interacted as if nothing was clearly wrong, that they haven't been keeping secrets from a child for so long, he wondered if he should feel angry with them. Betrayed. Confused.
What could possibly be so horrible that they had to lie to him? Why didn't they tell him he had a twin? Who were his parents? Were they royalty like his twin? Did that mean he was a royal as well? How could they have lied to him for so long? Why couldn't they tell him the truth? They had to have known.
He shook his head, it wouldn't help anything to enter the room feeling the way he was, he would have to set his feelings aside and get to the truth of the matter before he started to cast blame. He sat stiffly down at the table, folding his hands in his lap, "I think the R2 unit we bought might be stolen."
"What makes you say that?" His Uncle Roger asked quietly, filling his cup with a pitcher of water.
"I found a recording while I was cleaning her; she said that she belongs to a man named Robert Singer." It did not escape his notice that his uncle hesitated just slightly at the mention of Robert's name, and how his aunt seemed to freeze for a moment. He glanced between them, continuing innocently, "I thought she meant old Bobby, do you know what she's talking about? I wonder if they know each other somehow."
Uncle Roger slammed his glass down on the table, with a characteristic fit of anger, "That old man is just a crazy old mechanic. Tomorrow, you are going to take that droid to Anchorhead and get its memory erased. That's the end of it, that droid belongs to us now."
"But what if Robert comes looking for…it?"
"He's not, he's dead." He bit out, "He died around the same time as your father."
"He knew my father?" He asked hopefully, he was sure now that he could get more information from the 'crazy old mechanic' than from his own family.
"I told you to forget about it!" He pointed a finger at Jimmy emphatically, "Your bonly/b concern is to get those droids ready tomorrow. In the morning, I want them out there working on those condensers. Bright and early."
Jimmy looked down at his plate meekly, "Yes sir." After a few moments of silence, his uncle seemed to relax, and the atmosphere improved phenomenally. He decided to change the subject off of his father, if he continued, it would just make the rest of the night worse, "I think the new droids will work out great. In fact, I, um, I was thinking about our agreement; you know, for me staying on another season? Because…if these droids work out, I could put my application into the Academy."
His Uncle Roger failed to hide his scowl, and Jimmy's hopes sunk, "You mean the next semester before the harvest."
"Yeah," Jimmy said quietly, and sighed, "There's more than enough droids now."
"The harvest is when I need you the most, Jimmy." His uncle sighed, taking on a more cajoling tone, "Look, one more season. This year, we'll make more than enough on the harvest, and I'll be able to hire more hands. You can go to the Academy next year."
Jimmy pushed around some food on his plate, losing his appetite completely. Quietly he said, "You said that five years ago."
After a long pause, his uncle said, "You've got to understand, Jimmy. I need you here."
Jimmy nodded; then pushed his plate away as he stood, it was time to get some answers, one way or another. His aunt frowned, "Where are you going?"
"Nowhere." iIn more ways than one,/i Jimmy thought. "I have to finish cleaning the droids."
She watched as he trudged out of the room, making his way to the garage and pursed her lips. Roger resumed finishing his meal, while Amelia folded her hands on the table, "Roger, you can't make him stay here forever. Most of his friends are already gone; he needs to get on with his life."
"I'll make it up to him next year, I promise."
Amelia shook her head, "Jimmy isn't a farmer, Roger. He's too much like his father."
"That's what bothers me."
Jimmy watched the twins suns slink steadily below the horizon; the sand glittered like a thousand diamonds at the merest brush of moonlight. The mesas and boulders were painted violet and rose; Jimmy had to admit, there was beauty in the desert. He loved his home, but he wasn't so sure it was his home any longer. Out there in the galaxy, there lived someone who looked just like him, sounded just like him; his family, and yet a perfect stranger all the same. In their little farm, lived two people he trusted more than life itself, two people that promised to take care of a child that wasn't there, both kept a fairly large secret from him for years.
His life was a lie.
He walked into the garage with a sinking feeling, the robots were nowhere in sight. He took a small box similar to the one the Jawas carried out of his utility belt, and activated it. It hummed lowly, he heard a rumble, and Chuck3PO popped up out of the darkness, "Gah!"
"What are you doing?"
Chuck3PO stumbled towards him, hands upraised, "I'm sorry, sir, it wasn't my fault. Please don't deactivate me or take me apart! I btold/b her not to go, but she's malfunctioning or something, she kept mumbling about her mission."
"Oh no!" He groaned.
They raced out of the garage, hoping they could get to the little droid before she got into anymore trouble. They stopped short just outside, Jimmy clearly eager to go after the droid, but reluctant. His shoulders slumped in defeat, sighing.
"That R2 unit has always been a problem. Those astro-droids are such a handful; I can't even understand their logic sometimes."
"Argh, I'm such an idiot! She's nowhere in sight. Damn it!"
"Can't we just go after her?"
"Not with all the Sandpeople around, it's too dangerous. We're going to have to wait until morning to find her."
"Jimmy!" His Uncle Roger called from the homestead, "I'm shutting the power down for the night!"
"I'll be there in a few minutes!" He called back, and to the droid he groaned, "I'm in for it now." He looked once more in the distance, and sighed, "You know, that little droid is going to get me in a lot of trouble."
"She's good at that, Jimmy."
Dawn broke upon the horizon, the skies fiery with the golden rays of the twin suns. The sand sparkled, the breeze gently wafted, and all was quiet and peaceful. The warm glow of the kitchen illuminated the space as Amelia set the table and finished the morning meal. Roger settled down with a sigh, asking, "Have you seen Jimmy this morning?"
"He said he had some things to do this morning, so he left early."
"Did he take those droids with them to get their memories wiped?"
"I believe so, dear."
"He's better have them out in the south range by midday or there with be Hell to pay."
The surrounding Tattooine landscape was a blur of beiges and browns as they raced after the little droid in Jimmy's beat up Landspeeder. They got so far out, that Jimmy was starting to get a little worried, "Old Bobby Singer lives out here somewhere, but I can't see how Becky2 got out here this far. We had to have missed her-Wait, there's something dead ahead on the scanner! It looks like our droid, hit the accelerator."
Unbeknownst to the human and robot, they were being watched by the very people that they were trying to avoid. The Tusken Raiders, nicknamed by the humans as Sandpeople, were notorious around Tattooine of being cruel hunters and scavengers. Everyone knew to stay around them, and everyone knew to stay away from their land, or anywhere close to their land, they were very territorial.
It was a small hunting party of two, and they watched at the top of the ravine behind a few boulders as the small human craft sped past. One of the raiders raised his gun, pointing it at the human, only to be stopped by his comrade. They argued heatedly, deciding to move closer, and find out exactly where they are going. They could lead them somewhere they could get supplies, or weapons.
Jimmy jumped out of the Landspeeder as they came upon the little droid, looking furtively back and forth while strapping his laser rifle on his back, "Just where do you think you're going, Becky2?" He was anxious to get the droid into his speeder and back home before anything worse happened.
She whistled a feeble reply; and Chuck3PO huffed in annoyance, his hands on his hips, "Jimmy here is your owner now. We are not going to listen to anymore of this 'Robert Singer' bullshit…and don't start whining to me about your mission, either. You're lucky he doesn't blast you into a million tiny pieces right now."
"We'd better get going; I've got to get you guys back there before Uncle Roger starts looking for us."
"I suggest we turn this little fugitive off until we get back to the garage, Jimmy."
Jimmy shook his head, staring down at the little robot, "No, I don't think she's going to try anything else right now." He was pretty sure she got his drift, when she beeped lowly in reply.
As they made for the speeder, she stopped suddenly and let out frantic screeches. She rocked from side to side as Chuck3PO and Jimmy turned to look at her in amazement. Jimmy frowned, "What's with her?"
Chuck3PO cocked his head and leaned closer to the little droid, "Oh..uh, she says that there are a group of creatures coming up from the southeast."
Jimmy swung his rifle into position, "Raiders…or worse. I'm going to scout ahead to make sure, they shouldn't be out here so close to other farmsteads."
He carefully made his way to the top of the ravine; scanning the area with binoculars, he spotted two rider-less banthas, the Tusken Raiders' mounts. Chuck3PO sidled up next to him, and Jimmy whispered, "I see two banthas down there, but no riders…" He gasped, gripping the binoculars tighter, "They're down there, I can see one of them now."
Suddenly, a great mass looms in front of his vision, and looking up, Jimmy stared into the fathomless eye-holes of the raider's helmet. Chuck3PO, taken by surprise, fell off the side of the ravine. Jimmy fell back, the rock behind him blocking any further movement as the raider shoved his gaffistick dangerously close to his face. His blood turned to ice; so many thoughts ran through his head at the prospect of his impending death. Nobody knew he was out this far, save the two new droids that got lost in the desert. So much for worrying about what his uncle would say when he got home. The raider stood above him, raising his stick over his head, and letting out a terrifying cackle that echoed throughout the ravine.
Becky2 shoved herself into a small alcove made naturally by the rocks surrounding her, watching as the two vicious raiders carried the unconscious form of Jimmy. They dropped him in a heap beside his speeder, immediately setting to work on ransacking it, parts and various objects tossed and flung about. After a few minutes of scavenging, a slight sound made the raiders freeze; there was silence, only for a moment as two loud blasts erupted from a little ways off. It sounded like a great crack of thunder, and the raiders who were easily fooled, scurried to their mounts in great haste, believing there was a storm brewing.
She scooted back a little further as a hooded man walked up to Jimmy's form, setting his rather fearsome looking rifle next to him. He pulled back his hood, revealing the visage of a tanned bearded man, with friendly brown eyes. He looked down at Jimmy, as if he knew the young man, and knew the reason why he came so far out.
"Come on out here, ya idgit. No need to be scared." Becky2 beeped tentatively before scooting near Jimmy. The older man gently laid his hand on Jimmy's forehead.
The older man pulled back as Jimmy frowned, coming to with a groan, "What happened?"
"Settle down now, son, you've had enough for one day. You're lucky you're still alive." He said gruffly.
Jimmy sat up, "Bobby? Bobby Singer! You will not believe how glad I am to see you!"
"This place is too dangerous, Jimmy. What are you doing this far out?"
"This droid," He gestured to the robot, who scooted a bit closer, "She's trying to find her former master, Robert Singer. It's safe to say that you are who she is looking for. She left the garage around nightfall before I could bring her to you. There is a recording that asks specifically for your help, and I had some questions of my own."
"Robert Singer…I don't go by that name now, call me Bobby. I've never had a droid, so I don't know what she's talking about. We'll figure it out when we get to shelter. The Sandpeople may get spooked easily, but they will be back, with friends." He helped Jimmy up, and settled the little droid into the speeder. He picked up his rifle, and gathered up what parts they could find that fell off of Chuck3PO, settling everything in the speeder and racing off towards his hovel.
Jimmy was nonplussed at the thought of actually entering a supposed crazy man's hovel, and equally as mystified at the amount of speeders and other transports that were in various states of repair in front of his dwelling. He didn't have any other choice, didn't really care as long as it was inside and away from the Sandpeople. The space was cluttered with various objects that Jimmy knew were not resident to Tatooine. The mysteries revolving around this man grew murkier with every object that caught the young man's eye.
"So tell me about this recording you mentioned. Do you know who it's from, did it say?" Bobby sat on a nearby bench, motioning the little droid to him who eagerly scooted closer. He looked her dome over carefully, clicking his tongue at the obvious damage.
As he watched the older man work on the droid, Jimmy shrugged, "I only saw part of the message, I guess he was-"
"I found it."
The hologram flickered on again, and Jimmy watched in amazement as the figure stood calmly before them, clasping his hands in a loose grip, "General Singer, many years ago you assisted my father in the Clone Wars, now he pleads for your help in our struggle with the Galactic Host. It is my deepest regret to not give you his request in person, my ship has fallen under attack and I fear that my mission to bring you to Alderaan has failed. I have embedded information vital to the Rebellion into this R2 unit, my father will know how to retrieve it. I beseech your help to find this droid safely back to him, this is our gravest hour. Help me Robert Singer, you are my only hope."
There was a short sound of static before the image completely faded away, leaving the room in total silence. Bobby leaned back, lost in thought as he folded his arms over his chest. Jimmy was stunned to say the least, frozen in place, the image of Prince Castiel burned into his retinas.
He gulped, the only thing coming out of his mouth was, "He looks just like me."
"He would. He's your twin brother." Bobby replied quietly.
Jimmy stood suddenly, running his hands roughly through his hair, "Why? Why keep this a secret?! He's my brother!"
"Which you never knew about until just now when I confirmed it." Bobby shook his head, "If we did our job right, you would have never known about him."
Jimmy exhaled slowly, sitting down quickly as it felt like his knees were giving out under him, "But…why?"
"To keep you safe, son." Bobby shook his head and sighed, "It's a very long story, one I don't want to rehash."
"That doesn't tell me a damn thing. You owe me an explanation, Bobby."
The older man made a face, "I don't owe you squat, kid. I did what I did to keep you safe. You can't tell me that as soon as I told you that when you had the chance that you wouldn't take the next transport out of this place to find your brother."
Jimmy opened his mouth, but nothing came out. Jimmy gusted out a long breath, deflating, "Okay, I guess you are right. Can you tell me…anything?"
"Why don't you just ask a question, and I'll see if I want to answer it or not."
Jimmy's eyes narrowed, "You fought in the Clone Wars?"
The older man nodded, "Yeah, I was a Jedi Knight, same as your father."
"My uncle told me my father wasn't in any wars; he was a navigator on a spice freighter." Jimmy intoned quietly. He didn't mean to deny the truth of what the older man was saying, he just had a hard time believing that he was a war hero's son. His whole life revolved around harvesting water, it wasn't something that songs were made from.
Bobby shook his head sighing, "He didn't agree with your father's views; saw no reason to get involved in any 'fool missions' that came along. Didn't sit well with your uncle that he fought in the Clone Wars; didn't sit too well with anyone in fact."
Jimmy looked away from him, saying softly, "I wish I knew him."
"He was the best star-pilot in the galaxy and a clever fighter. He was a good man, a great friend." Bobby looked at him for a moment, shrewdly appraising Jimmy, "Which reminds me-" He stood from his seat and made his way over to a storage box. Jimmy frowned as he watched the older man take a out a slender metallic handle which he then brought to Jimmy, "Your father wanted you to have this when you got old enough to use it. I kept it for safe-keeping when your uncle made it known he wasn't going to allow it in the house. Thought you might take after your father and get roped into some crusade you won't be coming back from."
Jimmy looked at it in surprise, handling it in his grip gently. This was the only thing he had of his father, and he didn't even know what it was for, "What is it?"
"It was your father's lightsaber, the only weapon used by a Jedi Knight." Bobby watched fondly as Jimmy ignited the blade. The bright blade illuminated the room in a bright blue glow, the blade humming softly, vibrating the very air around him. Bobby grinned, "For over a thousand generations, the Jedi were the keepers of peace throughout the galaxy. But that was before the culling, long before the Host came into play."
With a weapon like this, "How did my father die?" He extinguished the blade as Bobby frowned.
"Darth Zayder. He was a former student of mine before he went dark side, helped the Host hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights, and now the Jedi are almost extinct. He betrayed and murdered your father. He was…I would say, 'seduced' by the dark side of the Faith."
Jimmy's head tilted, "The Faith?"
"The Faith is what gives a Jedi their power, an energy field created by all living things, it surrounds us, give us the will to keep going. It binds the galaxy together, or at least, it used to." He leaned forward, his elbows resting on his knees after a long pause, "I will have to teach you the ways of the Faith if you're coming with me to Alderaan."
Jimmy shifted, "But, I-"
"I thought you wanted to find your brother, reconnect with him. We both need your help, and you need to get out of here, find your own way."
"It's not that I don't want to go with you, I do, more than you know. It's just…I can't." He huffed, "I can't leave them in a bind like this. To just leave, without-"
"You want to harvest water for the rest of your life?" The older man interrupted, "'Cause that's what's going to happen if you stay here."
Jimmy looked down at the lightsaber, turning it in his hands. It was so unlike him to jump at the first offer out of his situation, he was usually plagued with guilt at the mere thought of leaving the planet entirely. His dreams for something better seemed like just vague fantasies, until now. However, he couldn't pretend yesterday never happened, that he didn't see the recording that literally rocked his very foundation. He had to find his brother, to learn more about his parents and about the Faith.
He had to become more than just Jimmy Novak.
"Okay. I'll go." Jimmy put the hilt in his belt and stood, "But I have to tell my aunt and uncle. I owe them that much."
Bobby nodded, "I know a very skilled pilot in Anchorhead, he'll bring us to Alderaan. They will be able to repair your droid, too." He nodded at Chuck3PO, who decided to shut down after he became face-to-face with his feet. Jimmy cringed inwardly, they didn't have the droid for a full day before he let him fall apart. "After we talk to your family, we'll visit the cantina. He'll no doubt be buried in booze and women."
Jimmy frowned, "Isn't that a little reckless?"
Bobby barked a laugh, "One thing you will learn about my pilot is, Dean Winchester and reckless go hand in hand. Like Wookies and weird smells, or his brother and…weird smells."