Three days later...
(after post #4)
My fingers jab in the code for the force field. I have no choice any more. I need someone to be with me for arms support when the time comes. This droid should serve as good as any deceitful, repulsive mercenary. And I don't have to pay a droid. Though I most likely would kill the mercenary...
I slowly take the sheet down, turning my targeting on and letting my turret slowly come up. I watch the droid suspiciously and then reboot him.
The bright, yellow slits for eyes flicker to life and its head rises. Something in me is repelled by this droid while something else is drawn to it. Guess the mixed feeling is why it has stayed yet always been turned off. I'm scared this droid will be a reflection of myself once you take away the thin layer of skin any lingering humanity that he left me with.
'Report: one moment, master. I must ascertain my capabilities and run a system diagnostic.'
I nod and step back. And the minutes go by. But I don't move and I don't take my eyes from the droid. Something tells me I should never take my eyes off this droid. And I have nowhere else to go and nothing else to do. So I stand. And wait.
And after an hour and a half it speaks again in crackling, high tones that make me feel a little less human.
'Declaration: I have completed a full analysis of my functions, master.'
'Really? Are you sure you don't need another two hours?' I ask mordantly.
'No, master. That will not be necessary. I am ready to liquidate high-threat undesirables with one-hundred percent efficiency, as the Maker intended.'
'Mmm, that's nice,' I reply with faux absentmindedness that thinly hides a strong acrimony that never leaves my speech or thoughts; an animosity directed at a fate I didn't chose, a mistake I was foolish enough to make, a continually insidious galaxy, and a hatred I have for myself and everything connected with what I am.
The bitter words and attitude escape before I can think of an alternative and I lack the energy, will and reason to change. But what doesn't even terrify or disgust me anymore, is that I have stopped caring. The nights I spend with Blizz's holos is an echo of what I was that slips through the cracks in my loosening grasp; a small flame of a woman who once cared for something beyond herself. That light will soon go out and I will finally open my engine room. I only need a little more patience and a little more life.
'Enthusiastic reply: yes, master! It is very nice to exterminate organics. I am glad you also feel this way.' The droids voice almost does sound excited and I stare at it squarely for a long time.
I come to a conclusion on my course of action. I think this droid will be a suitable companion. Though like my last droid it also seems inclined to talking, this new one at least can kill people and won't try to repaint my ship, continually fail me, continuously clean or generally disappoint or aggravate me in every way imaginable.
'I do. We land on Ilum in three hours. It will be the testing grounds of your capabilities as there are some bases on the other side of the planet still standing. If your abilities do not meet my standards, I will disassemble you immediately and sell whatever is left of you.'
'Prideful declaration: My capabilities at eliminating organics is the best in the galaxy, master! You will not find a better droid for the elimination of undesired organics.'
'You will have to prove this. Your word is not enough,' I sternly reply. 'I do not trust you, droid
. If you betray me, endanger my life, cross me or speak against me, I will destroy you like I did the rest of my crew. Am I clear?'
'Reply: Crystal clear, master
. I will follow any orders given to me by my master
A wave of uneasiness passes through me but I smother it. I cannot see a reason for the droid to kill me yet. But the scathing sarcasm and patronisation was unmistakable.
'Good. I am being hunted, droid
, and if you prove yourself, you will be needed to eliminate any assassin sent after me. No one is to enter this ship but me. No one is to walk within ten feet of this ship but me. If someone enters or comes within that distance, shoot them without question.'
That is enough of an order for now. My other need of him can come later. It isn't time for that. Not yet.
'Oath: While aboard your starship, I will retain a constant vigilance. You can rest easy here. Your absolute security occupies my every calculation. I anticipate liquidating a great many undesirables in your service, master.'
I give him a vicious grin. 'Trust me, droid, if this works out, we'll be killing more organics than your little mechanic brain could ever dream of.'
'Excited exclamation: I look forward to it, master.'
'Good. Now shut yourself down.'
'Of course, master.' His eyes go dark and his metal head hangs once more. But I don't trust it. So I reboot the cage and don't take the holo cam off it. It doesn't move all night.
And so we land on Ilum.