HK trudged to the docking bay where his Master’s ship waited, oblivious to the incredulous stares of the meatbags he passed. In his hands was the Rakatan artifact, the Imprisoned One still contained within, and on his back was Pipsy, clinging to him wearily, having given up on walking halfway to Mos Ila.
“Pipsy thank nice droid for carrying. Make upgrades to weapon.”
Threat: Do not touch my weapon, Pipsqueak. Demand: Do not mention my carrying of you to Master. Had it been up to this unit, you would be rotting in the desert.
The droid walked up the boarding ramp of the ship and entered, drawing the stares of the four sitting at the round table. HK paused and carefully set the artifact down before detaching the Jawa from his shoulders and removing his blaster.
Confused Query: Master, are your photoreceptors working properly? There is a meatbag within two feet of you, still breathing I might add. Shall I liquidate him for you?
“Meatbag?” Andronikus stared up at the droid in a mixture of horror and confusion.
Clarifying Statement: Meatbag anatomy indicates your body is seventy five percent fluids. How you can stand all of that sloshing around is a conundrum to this unit’s higher programming. Query: Master, may I liquidate this undesirable now?
“I’m afraid not, HK,” Ignite shook his head, having just come out of the refresher moments before the droid’s arrival. “Add Andro to the list of meatbags to protect.”
HK was silent for a few moments. Statement: It is done, Master.
“Boss!” Pipsy rushed the table, causing Khem’s eyes to widen and his face to scrunch in disgust. Andronikus blanched and leaned back from the little creature.
“On the battlefields of Yn and Chabosh Jedi soiled themselves at my approach. Not even in the service of Tulak Hord have I smelt something so foul!” Khem rumbled.
“Make it bathe!” Andronikus begged, gagging.
Resolution: Shall I liquidate the Pipsqueak?
Ignite exhaled and breathed in through his mouth. “Pipsy,” he managed breathily. “You need a bath. The refresher is down the hall to the right.” He gestured behind him.
Everyone froze. Khem’s mouth dropped open, and Andronikus felt a cold sweat bead on his brow; HK stared at the Jawa in something akin to respect.
Mocking Statement: Now the Pipsqueak shall be liquidated.
Ignite rubbed his forehead, contemplating how to handle this blatant disregard for his authority without harming the creature and managing to not appear weak in the eyes of his servants.
“Why not?” He questioned, genuinely curious.
“Waste water, no good,” Pipsy shook her head. “Me go, fix ship. Never seen! Very very nice!”
Ignite snatched the Jawa by the collar. “I promise you we have plenty of water to indulge. I must insist, Pipsy.” The Jawa squirmed. “Come, it’s not that bad, and you’ll feel better after,” the Sith assured. “I’ll even start it up for you.”
The Twi’lek deposited the Jawa, robes and all, in the refresher and turned the water as hot as he felt she could handle before departing and calling over his shoulder, “I’ll have some new robes for you when you get done.”
Pipsy babbled incoherently, spluttering and struggling with the foreign concept of showering. Ignite returned to his seat and was about to address HK when 2V-R8 approached.
“I have just finished applying a new coat of paint to your quarters, Master. Same color, only fresher!”
Statement: The worthless model approaches, Master.
“How rude!” 2V whirled on his counterpart. “You know my chassis wasn’t built for combat!”
Query: Master, why do you keep such an inferior model around when you have one with higher programming in your service?
“2V takes care of the things you won’t, HK,” Ignite pointed out, grabbing a deck of Pazaak cards and dealing. “Would you care to join us?”
Interjection: Master, you have not yet addressed the artifact I have brought you.
“Oh, right,” Ignite paused. “What is it, exactly? We found the artifact of Tulak Hord with the assistance of Andro here.”
Reply: This contains a new slave for you, Master.
“Oh?” Ignite perked up at that claim. “Who?”
Response: The Imprisoned One.
The Sith frowned. “If you’re trying to pull a joke, HK…”
HK straightened. Indignant Statement: This unit does not ‘joke’ as you meatbags put it. I am, however, well versed in threats across one hundred species and languages.
“I saw such prisons on the battlefields of Yn and Chabosh,” Khem spoke. “They are older than the legacy of Tulak Hord himself.”
“Rakatan,” Andronikus rubbed his chin. “At least that’s what I make of it.”
Ignite shrugged. “Put it in the cargo bay, HK; good work, by the way.”
Pleased Statement: Thank you, Master.
“Now then, prepare to lose…” Ignite trailed as he looked down to note his ship was currently flooded with water. “How?”
Pipsy came bolting out in fresh black robes which were four sizes too big for her. She tripped and splashed over to Ignite. “Boss! Bath nice! Very very nice! Pipsy take! Go see ship now?”
Ignite nodded, confounded. The Jawa bolted down the nearest hallway, babbling. 2V came out of the refresher moments later. “There’s been a complication, Master! Don’t deactivate me!”
“Define complication,” Ignite folded his arms.
Amused Statement: Perhaps this unit shall be allowed to liquidate the inferior model.
“Mistress Pipsy clogged the drain, Master.”
Andronikus burst out laughing, slapping the table and shaking his head. “Hair,” he wheezed.
Ignite cracked a smile while Khem watched silently. “HK, mind cleaning that up?”
Confused Reply: Master, the sand has partially obscured my audioreceptors. Could you repeat that?
“Well, Jawa’s are hairy creatures,” Ignite informed. “So she must’ve clogged the drain when she took her bath.” The Sith looked up at his droid with a wry grin. “I thought you said two-vee-are-eight was useless? Use that higher programming to go fix the refresher.”
Exasperated Response: As if this unit would allow himself to be reduced to a mere—mere cleaning droid! That’s what Master has inferior models for! My assassination protocols would suffer greatly if this unit was reduced to such a low.
Ignite nodded sagely. “I suppose it’s a good thing we have two-vee here, huh?”
Emphatic Agreement: As always, Master, you are very correct. This unit is great—Self Berating: This unit has allowed himself to be tricked. Master, you are very good at this.
“So you won’t be cleaning the refresher?”
HK was silent.
“What about liquidating the inferior model?”
Informative Statement: This unit is going to take an oil bath, Master. Should you need my most excellent services feel free to find me.
With that said the droid turned and stormed off. Andronikus wiped his eyes and coughed, clearing his throat. “Never thought I’d laugh that much,” he admitted.
“I hunger,” Khem grabbed at his cards, tearing two in half.
“You’re always hungry,” Ignite looked up to see Khem holding one card, two others impaled on his claws, and the remaining of his deck in tatters. “And apparently you always destroy my Pazaak decks!”
“Tulak Hord never played Pazaak.”
“I’m not—“ Ignite heard several clangs and clinks which gave him pause. “Where’s Pipsy?” He questioned slowly.
Andronikus pointed. “That way.”
Ignite was up in a flash, using the Force to enhance his speed, hoping that the little Jawa was not destroying his precious ship. Andronikus and Khem watched the Twi’lek depart in the direction of his room and shrugged at one another.
“You know when you have your cards impaled like that I can see them, yeah?”
“On the battlefields of Yn and Chabosh I once at a Jedi in two bites.”
“Point taken,” Andronikus grunted.