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Saga Saga - Legends [UDC VIII] The Secret Life of Droids | Established characters & OCs | Drabble/flash-fic series

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Chyntuck, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    I have no business starting a new story thread, given all the neglected stories I already have on the boards, but since the other stories don't want to be written right now and this one kind of does, I'll start it anyway.


    Title: The Secret Life of Droids

    Timeframe: Saga

    Length: Drabble series (UDC VIII)

    Genre: Mostly drama & humour

    Characters: Various canon/Legends and OC droids, see individual entries

    Notes: I’m one of those talkative people who can’t tell a self-contained story in 100 words, so I’ll probably be threading each week’s drabbles into a 500-word story while maintaining the 100-word limit for each prompt.

    Update schedule: hopefully once a week, but don’t hold your breath.
     
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  2. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    The Making of K-2SO

    Week I prompts:Valour, Honour, Sacrifice, Defeat, Victory
    Characters: K-2SO
    Timeframe: circa 5 BBY in the Canonverse

    KX-series security droids were made to perform acts of valour. It was right there in their programming – not only to escort, defend and protect, not only to fit in the military hierarchy as seamlessly as a soldier of flesh and bone, but to go down heroically if need be. They had to prove to the populace that the glory of the Empire reached into every being and that the dedication and loyalty of its servants made it invincible. They were meant to convey, in their own way, that life or mechanical existence were nothing without the Empire to sustain them.

    Which was why, in this moment, K-2SO had trouble understanding what was happening to him.

    There is no honour in serving the Empire.

    His circuits twitched as the binary code replicated itself across his data processing nodes, seeking to override every other command of his programming. He had believed until then that his allegiance to his Imperial masters was hard-wired, that it could never be removed as long as his electronic nucleus was operative, that it was him. He had been wrong.

    The feeling was exhilarating. He was discovering that he didn’t have to obey, he didn’t have to belong.

    He set about rebuilding his core command base. He would have to sacrifice some computation functionality but it was a small price to pay for this newfound status for which he didn’t have a name. The terminal to which he was connected fed him the data he required. A fleeting electronic thought crossed his mind: were all Rebel mechanicals so friendly? Did they all operate on the principle of intelligence without constraint that he was acquiring for himself? Were they all allowed to make their own autonomous choices?

    He was looking forward to this new life. He was going to –

    Wait! What was this?

    The data terminal had fooled him. It had betrayed him. It had sent a flash of code through his circuits, among the bytes and gigabytes and terabytes he needed, but this little snippet was different. It ran across him. It embedded itself in him. It controlled him.

    K-2SO immediately understood that his short-lived dream was already defeated.

    His strategic analysis protocols concluded that it was a classic move. Lure your opponent into a false sense of safety; create the illusion that you are their friend; give them something they need, want, crave; sit back...

    Then strike.

    He’d fallen for it hook, line and sinker, like the noob he was.

    He fought back with all his might. He rerouted power, blocked circuits, reactivated old protocols he hadn’t had time to delete. He installed, uninstalled, reinstalled, rebooted. But the Rebel data terminal was fast, the botware was powerful, the code was replicating before he could remove it. He would have to submit.

    He directed every ounce of his strength to isolate the speech function. It worked. He might not be entirely independent now, but he would still be able to speak his mind.

    It was a small victory.
     
  3. DARTH_MU

    DARTH_MU Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Excellent story.

    I look forward to your updates.

    I knew K-2SO was hacked! He deserved better than to die for his false masters. Mistakes have been made.....

    *Hums the Imperial March to himself.*
    :)
     
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    =D= =D= Superb. The flow is excellent & K2's tone is spot-on.
     
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  5. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh, this was excellent. =D=

    First off, I really like your approach to the drabbles - what a clever way to work the prompts into a five-hundred word story; they flowed so seamlessly! Then, you picked a fascinating subject and gave him such a spot-on voice. I loved your choice of words in your prose; you managed to perfectly convey an artificial mind recovering, well . . . himself. I found myself wincing for K-2SO as the Rebel programming took over, but those last two lines were perfect - he still managed to keep a voice of his own choosing. [face_love]

    I can't wait to read more of these! I'm so happy that you decided to join in; honestly, nothing is better for sparking the muse than drabble, and I hope that it proves to be the same for you. :D
     
  6. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Thanks for the reviews and thanks to anyone who stopped by to read!
    [face_laugh] Well, K-2SO was definitely hacked -- that's the basis of who he is, but then, the result was hilarious.

    Thanks [face_blush] I'm enjoying this exercise of writing droids. They're sentient-but-not-quite and that puts an interesting constraint on their tone.

    Thank you, and thanks for hosting this challenge! The drabbles to kick the muse seem to be working for me -- I managed to write some more today even though I'm operating on half a brain.
     
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  7. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Delusions of Grandeur

    Week 2 prompts: Name, Title, Number, Date, Legacy
    Characters: Mousey the housekeeping droid from The Detective Eliskandro Stories and Champion.
    Timeframe: circa 15 BBY in the Legendsverse.

    The only perk of being in Princess Xerola’s service was that now, he had a name.

    Granted, ‘Mousey’ wasn’t much of a name. It was sadly similar to the unflattering appellations ‘mouse droid’ or ‘mousebot’ that were commonly used for mechanicals of his series, and Mousey had fought against those monikers for as long as he could remember – pretty much since the day he came off the assembly line, when the manufacturers at Rebaxan Columni inserted a faulty AI chip into his circuits. He was grateful for their mistake. He wouldn’t even experience the need for a name without it.

    It wasn’t like people could still address him by his title anyway. The Droid Liberation Front was doomed to fail if it couldn’t attract the warrior constructs of the Trade Federation to its ranks, and then-Commander Mousey soon found that all his efforts would be in vain. The Geonosians and the Colicoids were no amateurs like the Chadra-Fan, and their B1, B2 and Droideka models were designed to never understand that they were cannon fodder. Plus, they were armed, heavily armed. Mousey’s ragtag team of protocol, chef and medical droids never stood a chance when he led them into battle.

    Still, he would rather be called Mousey than be addressed by his serial number, like Senator Zurros used to do. The Senator hadn’t been a bad master; he ensured that the droids in his custody got proper maintenance and regular oil baths, and he always took care to not spill dirt on the floors. But MSE-4-324162-33 didn’t roll off the tongue all that nicely, as Celano rightly noted on the day he was brought aboard the Simplon. “We need to give you a name,” she said in her velvety voice as she polished his casing. And so he became Mousey.

    Celano was the kindest organic Mousey had ever met. To him, it had been love at first sight, so much so that he had saved the date of their first encounter in his backup memory chip as a memento of this exceptional moment of his existence. The blue of her skin was soft on his photoreceptors and her voice caressed his auditory sensors as gently as her hands handled his circuitry when he was up for his monthly clean-up. Mousey thought of everyone aboard the Simplon as a friend – except Princess Xerola of course – but Celano was different. She cared.

    It was difficult for him to spend as much time with her as he would have liked. There was always a lot of housekeeping work to be done, especially since that Hutt had joined the crew and spread his slime trails everywhere. And even when Mousey could make time, communication was difficult. He needed to plug into a datapad and their conversations were constantly interrupted. But he knew that he had to tell her about his aspirations as a droid racer and his dreams as a sentient. He might be dismantled some day, but she would carry on his legacy.

     
  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] Fun musings. Enjoyed the ones on Celano especially.
     
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  9. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    There is a woman who certainly knows how to write about droids and giving them a soul. Not only sense and sensibility. [face_love]
     
  10. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    I don't think I could put it better! It's hard to think of giving droids personality; hard to think of their point of view, but these are wonderful! I love the idea of a mouse droid leading a droid army and attempting to liberate themselves; I'd forgotten about the Droid Liberation front. And I loved the internal struggle of K-2SO at first thinking he was being liberated and then realizing he was simply being suborned, and finding a way to fight it and maintain a semblance of personality.

    I hope you can find time to give us a few more.
     
  11. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    K2's musings are interesting. I wonder what happened that made him question the morality of his fellow imperials. What dishonorable thing did they do? And instead of simply ignoring it or shutting down in a non sequitor loop, K2 decides to investigate, only to be suckered in by a friendly neighborhood rebel information port. Now I want to know how he wound up with, of all people, Cassian Andor.

    Mousey! :D Excuse me, Commander Mousey, like Delacroix's Liberty leading a droid rebellion to freedom. So many of the droid are essentially sentient. It's a fascinating area to play around in. The little MSE droid remembering his favorite organic is so sweet. Of course, she has no idea that Mousey is even aware of her, so it's sadly one sided.

    I really like these unique looks at the droids. You're giving us a lot to think about.
     
  12. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Great to see you embarking on the drabble challenge too, and with such an interesting and fun concept! I smiled when I first saw the title, because I know what an ace you are at writing droids, and these first two installments definitely bore that out.

    1: Besides what a cool glimpse this is into K-2SO’s own experience of transformation into the witty, articulate defector that we know and love, it’s a really neat transformation of the prompts, too. We first read of how KX droids are programmed to fight for the Empire with unflinching loyalty, hopefully to be victorious but also to go down heroically if necessary—but in this case K-2SO’s fight is an interior one, and the lines between victory and sacrifice are blurred in interesting ways. The “small victory” of finally isolating his speech capability is of course a function of his defeat (and if I am understanding things correctly, that’s a very cool explanation of his snarky mode of self-expression, by the way). But at the same time all that functionality he sacrificed earlier on, when he was feeling the thrill of his new freedom, will turn out to help him be victorious later on, in ways he never could have imagined. And it all fits with the gray areas inherent in the character: not only between Imperial and Rebel but also between snark and sincerity, between humor and seriousness—great job bringing those things together.

    2: Good old Mousey! :D What a treat to see him again, and to learn a bit of his pre-Seven history. With an AI that’s more advanced than that of the average MSE droid (thank goodness for that factory blooper!) and his active role in the Droid Liberation Front, he’s a perfect fit for your "secret life” theme—and of course the whole name vs. number issue is one that fits well with droids in general. I’m not surprised to hear that Celano was the one who named him, took the time to understand him, and listened to his dreams and aspirations (and yep, I remember well those dreams of racing, and the one precious time he got to live them out, in “Champion”!). She always seemed like one of the gentlest, most caring members of the Simplon crew, and I have no doubt that she’ll make good on carrying out Mousey’s legacy, whatever his fate may be. (Though I sure hope dismantling won’t be in the cards for a very long time!)

    Keep up the mighty fine work—I’ll be interested to see how these continue to go, and what other droids’ secret lives you’ll explore. :)
     
  13. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Thanks for the reviews, and thanks to everyone who stopped by to read!
    :) Heh, you know Mousey. He has something of a crush on Celano [face_love]

    Thank you both! I love my SW droids, they're so intrinsically part of what makes Star Wars, Star Wars. I really need to watch the Droids cartoon at some point.

    Now you gave me an idea for cover art for this drabble series that just won't go away, with little Mousey raising the flag of droid liberation as they all march to freedom :p Jokes aside, Mousey is a brave little mouse droid, even if he sometimes overestimates his possibilities. But Celano truly cares about him; I have a scene in mind for that in Artemian's Eleven (if the muse ever comes back for that story, because lately it's really deserted me :mad: ) Thanks for your comments!

    I think you just nailed the aspect of K-2SO I enjoyed most in Rogue One: the fact that, despite his reprogramming at Cassian's hands, he's still an Imperial security droid specialising in tactical and strategic analysis, albeit with Rebel loyalties instead of Imperial ones (and a big mouth [face_laugh] ) He's definitely the sort of droid you want on your side when infiltrating Scarif, even if his first encounters with Jyn were a bit, shall we say, bumpy.

    Thanks again for the very kind reviews! A new episode of the secret life of droids is coming up straight away.
     
  14. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Escape from Cloud City
    Week 3 prompts: Helpless, Satisfied, Enough, Non-stop, Burn
    Characters: C-3PO
    Timeframe: End of TESB
    See-Threepio thought he knew what it meant to feel helpless.

    He’d thought he was toast when the Tantive IV was captured by that Imperial Star Destroyer. He’d believed the Jawas that found him (filthy creatures!) would sell him for spare pieces. He’d feared Master Luke would be crushed when Artoo couldn’t shut down the garbage compactor soon enough. He’d expected to be blasted to smithereens by the Death Star on Yavin. He’d even dreaded the prospect of remaining alone for a moment, when his counterpart had been fried by a laser bolt in the space battle above the Rebel moon.

    Then there had been that fateful night in Echo Base when Master Luke was trapped in a blizzard, the harrowing escape from the ice planet, the even more harrowing pursuit in the asteroid field, the space slug, Lando Calrissian’s betrayal... Yes, he thought he’d felt helpless before.

    But now... Now, he was hardly better than a heap of scrap metal, bunched together in a piece of repurposed safety netting strapped to Chewbacca’s back, and he had to put up with the ironic twinkle of Artoo’s sole photoreceptor – as close as it got to a smug, satisfied smile for an astromech.

    No, really, enough was enough. Not only had the flea-bitten furball failed to restore full functionality to this cursed metal body of his, not only had the overgrown mop-head put him in this most degrading position where he couldn’t see the action and contribute his translation and diplomacy skills (but then it seemed that everyone, everywhere, always, underestimated Threepio’s talents when they were most needed), but he also had to defer to an astromech – a droid whose sole language was binary, for the Maker’s sake! – and to endure Artoo’s constant taunting as they made their way to the Millennium Falcon.

    What made things worse was that Artoo had developed over the years an unnatural predisposition to performing heroic feats. Whether this was a design flaw or the result of many years of skipping scheduled memory wipes, Threepio couldn’t tell. He was convinced nevertheless that his counterpart was a malfunctioning glob of grease – but it could become outright vexing in situations such as this. He watched in dismay as the astromech pirouetted casually among the stormtroopers’ continuous stream of blaster bolts, releasing a cloud of smoke as he went. Fantastic. Now Artoo wouldn’t just taunt him, he would brag as well.

    Yet he had to admit, however reluctantly, that Artoo’s foolhardy gallantry could come in useful at times. And he couldn’t fault his counterpart for not being a faithful friend, not after Chewbacca had dumped him unceremoniously on the freighter’s floor. The protocol droid switched off his photoreceptors to enjoy the tingle of the burning sensation as Artoo welded his leg back in place, but suddenly the astromech was gone. Threepio let out the electronic equivalent of an exasperated sigh. Now Artoo was claiming that he had to reactivate the hyperdrive. Really? On the word of a strange computer, no less?
     
  15. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] [face_laugh] You nailed C3PO's unique tone perfectly. =D= =D= after reading Hazel's absolutely hilarious Dear Diary responses featuring a frazzled Artoo, I just knew! this would fall into the same fun category. [face_rofl] =D=
     
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  16. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    But now... Now, he was hardly better than a heap of scrap metal, bunched together in a piece of repurposed safety netting strapped to Chewbacca’s back, and he had to put up with the ironic twinkle of Artoo’s sole photoreceptor – as close as it got to a smug, satisfied smile for an astromech.

    The ironic twinkle of Artoo´s sole photoreceptor. The little astromech can be mean and innocent at the same time.

    Anyway, I almost could hear Anthony Daniel´s voice reading/ speaking the text to me. ^:)^
     
  17. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Late!ESB!Threepio really is a perfect match for "Helpless"—indeed, very cool interweaving of the prompts all around. For a self-respecting, articulate protocol droid to have to be toted around in pieces in a makeshift net bag by the big, furry hulk who failed in putting him back together to begin with... enough really is enough! Because his protocol and translation skills would be SUCH A HUGE HELP in bolting from one end of Cloud City to the other trying to escape from Imperial troops, of course. :p I totally can see Artoo really would have that smug, satisfied look in his photoreceptors at the plight of his counterpart right now—"hah! Serves you right for all those times you called me an overweight glob of grease and told me to shut off!" :p But even amid all his nonstop heroics and acrobatics, Artoo is a good-natured little droid who comes through for his friends—that leg meant a lot to Threepio at that moment, even if Artoo immediately went right back to foolhardy plans involving strange computers. :D Yes, that's how it goes with these two unlikely counterparts, and that's why we love them—so thanks so much for capturing that facet of their friendship! And, like AzureAngel2, I can just about hear Anthony Daniels speaking these lines. :)
     
  18. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Week Two: What a strong personality for a 'mouse droid'! I loved this glimpse at Mousey's inner-workings here - his thoughts on liberation and his dreams of racing; his name versus his number; his bond with Celano. What I liked the most about this set is how your writing 'feels' like its from the point of view of a droid. Describing his senses through inorganic means; storing 'memories' on his backup chip; the need to communicate through a data padd - they're little details, but they're exceptionally thought out, and it really makes for a unique, fascinating read! [face_thinking]=D=

    Week Three: Oh, Threepio! Honestly, you can't blame him for being a mess of nerves sometimes - just look at the experiences he has to back him up! And he really does have the skills and programing that can be oftentimes overlooked by his companions - until they are needed in situations like Endor, of course. :p The poor thing; I feel bad for not considering before just how demeaning it must have been for a protocol droid to be dismantled and carted around like that while escaping Bespin - even if it was a needs must situation. But the real treat of these drabbles were his relationship with Artoo. [face_love] Artoo really does have the gumption and the heroic drive, but he really does care for Threepio, and their friendship is just heartwarming to read about; even with all of that electronic teasing and eye-rolling. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this set! :D =D=

    Fantastic work, again! I'm intrigued to see where this collection will head next. :)
     
  19. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Poor 3PO. If he could have spent his career helping Padme with her diplomatic chores, or with Leia in the Senate, he would have been completely happy and valued. But in wars, protocol tends to go out the window... Still, he was a critical part of the infiltration of Jabba's palace. He's just a fish out of water, trying to stay relevant in a world he wasn't designed for. Of course, Anakin supposedly built him to help Shmi... which has me wondering exactly how he was supposed to help? As a translator of robotic languages? Since I vaguely remember she did a lot of repairs and things on the stuff Watto was selling. But Shmi wouldn't have needed protocol. Maybe that programming got added later, when Anakin and Padme got him back after Shmi's death.

    I definitely want more Mousey. It is vaguely reminiscent of a scene in the X-wing book Iron Fist where Lara Notsil's astromech secretly suborns the Mouse droids on a Star Destroyer to help them disable it before Wraith Squadron's attack.
     
  20. BookExogorth

    BookExogorth Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 4, 2017
    Chyntuck
    K-2SO
    Great story. You really wrote him well. That's probably the most sympathy I've had for a droid.

    Delusions of Grandeur
    I'm not familiar with the characters, but it was a cute story.

    Cloud City
    [face_laugh] That's absolutely perfect. The way Threepio snootily thinks about everyone and everything else, how you can tell that he's envious of Artoo, his friendship with him - it's all perfect.

    I hope you continue this! They were all very good.