HK looked down slowly and nearly dropped his blaster in shock. The droid’s once shiny copper chassis was now painted a bright pink with purple polka dots. The usually red photoreceptors now shone a sky blue as they regarded their Master, begging for permission to liquidate the one responsible. Ignite bit back a laugh, still confused as to the presence of the ghost and how HK was caught off-guard by Pipsy. The thought of the ghost instantly had the Sith back on the defensive, and he focused his gaze once more on the ethereal being.
“HK, do you see this?”
: Yes, Master. The droid immediately fired three blaster shots which had Ignite desperately blocking with his lightsaber, deflecting them into the ceiling. Agitated, Ignite fired a burst of lightning which HK casually sidestepped. 2V-R8 walked in the doorway just in time to intercept the bolt of lightning; the protocol droid was adorned in similar colors as HK: lavender paint and pink polka dots.
“There’s been a complica-a-a-a-a-a-a-t-t-t-t-i-i-i-o-o-o-o-n-n-n-n-n.” He stammered before falling to the ground in a smoking husk.
“HK!” Ignite roared.
: At last the inferior model gets what’s deserved. Confused Query
: Yes, Master?
“You fired at me!” Ignite flapped his arms at the ghost who remained passive, for the time being. “THAT is your target!” The Sith pointed dramatically.
HK cocked his head to the side and blinked once. Realization
: Master, the Pipsqueak interrupted my calibrations. Clearly this unit’s assassination protocols need readjusted. Hopeful Query
: Shall I liquidate the Pipsqueak for placing you in danger, Master?”
“Perhaps I should not warn you, flesh of my flesh.” The ghost rubbed his forehead in agitation.
“Oi!” Andronikus stumbled into the doorway. “Egads!” He gawked at the smoking remnants of 2V. “What happened?”
: Master terminated the inferior---
“Now’s not a good time, HK!” Ignite snapped.
“Tulak Hord would have done much more damage,” Khem scoffed from behind the pirate, regarding the droid in amusement.
“Oh, says the one who had to have a colonosc—“
“I will fix the droid,” Khem dragged 2V away, the metal husk making an screeching against the floor of the ship.
Andro opened his mouth to comment and paused, rapidly turning to the side and snatching at something. “Gotcha!” He exclaimed. “Little devil was trying to modify my blasters again.”
“Pipsy fix!” The Jawa was thrust into the doorway, held by the collar. “Make blasters better!”
: Master, may I liquidate the Pipsqueak?
“A Jawa?” The ghost snorted. “Flesh of my flesh, you are insane—“
“NOT helping!” Ignite roared. “Pipsy!” He spat out the name. “Pray tell me why you painted—“
“Pipsy make Mean Droid nice!” Pipsy pointed at HK who straightened. “Fix eyes! Make pretty! Fix weak chassis. Make pretty! Pipsy also prettify Nice Droid! Very very nice!”
Ignite drug his hand down his face, baffled.
: This unit’s chassis is not classified as, “weak!” I have never had my chassis breached by any undesirable… HK trailed off as Pipsy whipped out a screwdriver from her robes and twisted in Andro’s grip, easily prying open HK’s chassis.
: The Pipsqueak will cease hostilities against this unit at once.
“This is the hope of my legacy?!” The ghost gestured incredulously at Ignite. “Oh, flesh of my flesh, how far have we fallen?”
Ignite swiped his lightsaber at the ghost; it passed harmlessly through and barely missed Pipsy, who squeaked and babbled. “Pipsy fix Mean Droid! Turn back to Mean! Boss no hurt! Pipsy sorry!”
“No!” Ignite watched as Pipsy detached herself from Andro with practiced ease and activated her lightsaber, cleanly taking the legs off of HK. The droid collapsed in a heap and Andro’s mouth dropped open. “Pipsy improve! Make much better! Boss see! Then be happy!”
: Meatbag, save me!
“Uhhh,” Andro watched as Pipsy heaved the droid into the hyperdrive room. “I would, HK, but she really is good with modifications.”
: This unit DOES NOT need modific— HK cut off as Pipsy deactivated him and pried open his chassis.
“My beautiful droid,” Ignite muttered in disbelief as he watched the Jawa massacre his crowning achievement.
“Yeah,” Andro eased away from the door. “I’m going to go check on Khem and leave you with the—well—whatever it is.”
“I am Lord Kallig, and you are my descendant, flesh of my flesh,” the ghost introduced himself, displeased with Ignite’s distraught look. “I have expended too much energy to come here and my time is limited.”
“My droid…” Ignite droned.
“Your Master, Darth Zash, has plans, flesh of my flesh. I cannot say what those are, but you deliver the very means of your doom to her. You must acquire my lightsaber if you hope to have any defense against her. It is in the tombs of Korriban, buried within a section of Tulak Hord’s—“
“You will not defile the legacy of Tulak Hord—“ Khem interrupted from across the ship.
“BAD TIME!” Ignite cut the Dashade off.
“Whatever you do, flesh of my flesh, ensure that Darth Zash does not succeed. She does not have the strength to lead the Sith to a new age of power, but you do. Redeem our legacy, flesh of my flesh; the legacy of Kallig!” With that command the ghost faded from the ship, returning to the Force and leaving Ignite alone. The ship’s intercom beeped and Ignite slammed his fist into the button.
“Just wondering where you’re wanting to go, boss,” Andro spoke in a subdued tone.
“Korriban,” Ignite cut the transmission and went to the holoterminal of his ship and began to call Darth Zash. Seconds later his Master fizzled to life and appeared to scramble to pull her hood up.
“Apprentice!” She exclaimed, clearly out of breath. “I wasn’t expecting a call so soon.”
“I have your artifacts,” Ignite informed dryly.
“Oh, excellent!” Zash replied, whirling and ensuring her hood was drawn low over her face. “Meet me on Dromund Kaas, and bring the artifacts and your Dashade. This ritual to enhance your power is very much Force involved, so I would strongly suggest leaving the pirate and droid on your ship.”
Pipsy appeared behind Ignite, dragging a rather large power core to the hyperdrive room.
“And leave that Jawa on your ship too. Really, Apprentice, if you wanted a slave I could arrange—“
“Not a good time,” Ignite snarled.
“We all have our guilty pleasures...“
Ignite cut the feed, shaking his head. “Khem!” He roared.
“Even on the battlefields of Yn and Chabosh Tulak Hord never addressed me in such a way,” Khem rumbled, poking his head out of the med bay.
“I’m not Tulak Hord,” Ignite countered.
“I am painfully aware of that,” Khem returned to the droid.
“Dashade’s,” Ignite muttered, forgetting what he was going to ask the beast. The Sith fingered his lightsaber and began pacing, refusing to go in the direction of HK. Truth be told the Twi’lek didn’t think he could handle such a precious marvel being decimated by a Jawa. His loyalty was torn: he loved both Jawas and HK on almost equal terms.
“Are we there yet, Andro?” Ignite called.
“Coming out of hyperspace now!” Andro informed, and the Sith felt the ship lurch.
“Get me on the surface, near Tulak Hord’s tomb, and keep everyone else on the ship,” Ignite threw on his cloak. “I won’t be long.”
“You will not defile the legacy of Tulak—“
“One more word and I’ll melt the whole tomb!” Ignite shouted.
“I obey, for now,” Khem acquiesced.
It didn’t take long and Ignite was soon breathing the stagnant air of Korriban, where death seemed to wait at every turn. Ignite didn’t even bother waiting for the ship to land; he hopped off the ramp to the ground and ignited his lightsaber, charging into the tomb with a murderous intent.
“Bets on how long he takes?” Andro leaned against the doorway of the med bay. Somehow the Dashade had managed to tear the arms off of 2V and Andro raised an eyebrow as he saw Khem’s claws puncture the droid’s chassis. “Want some help with that?”
“Even on the battlefields of Yn and Chabosh we never experienced such trials,” Khem muttered.
Andro paused. “What exactly did you do on the battlefields of Yn and Chabosh?”
Khem blinked. “I hunger.”
“Noted,” Andro shut up.
Ignite returned to the ship an hour later, Kallig’s lightsaber in hand, coated in blood; he set the lightsaber on the table and stormed into the refresher, yelling out as he did. “Dromund Kaas!”
Andro and Khem entered the room, a restored 2V-R8 following. “Dare you to touch it,” Andro pointed at the lightsaber.
Khem considered the dare then removed himself to the storage bay.
“Oh, I cannot tell you how Master’s presence always warms my circuits!” 2V exclaimed. “It reminds me I am still functioning.”
“You weren’t an hour ago,” Andro made his way to the pilot’s chair.
“I beg your pardon, Master Andronikus?”
“Nothing,” Andro punched in the coordinates and activated the hyperdrive. Ignite emerged from the refresher with a small sigh, happy to see at least one thing working on his ship. 2V greeted him immediately.
“Can I get you anything, Master? A nice hot meal? A foot massage perhaps?”
“HK,” Ignite shoved past the droid and entered the hyperdrive room, surprised to see his droid standing at attention, his photoreceptors, now red, blinking idly as Pipsy ran circles around him, adjusting things left and right.
“How are you, HK?”
: All is well, Master. My Meatbag Protection List is still in effect, otherwise the Pipsqueak would be liquidated. My chassis is restored, my photoreceptors are restored with minor improvements. All in all this unit has noted a one point three percent increase in efficiency. Begrudging Compliment
: It seems the Pipsqueak did improve something.
“Pipsy fix!” The Jawa babbled. “Install shields and grappling hook for Mean Droid! Also make droid Mean again!”
: A title I am most happy to bear, Pipsqueak.
“Pipsy also add smoke to droid! Very very good! Make many confused, including Pipsy. Pipsy also make droid armor stronger; but not Pipsy proof!”
Ignite sighed in relief. “So your assassination protocols are still intact, HK?”
: Why, Master, is that affection I am detecting in your tone?
Ignite scowled. “Just get yourself back to normal. I’d hate to have to terminate you.”
: With pleasure, Master. Will this unit be allowed to liquidate the Undesirable Meatbag?
“You mean Zash?” Ignite looked over his shoulder. “I suppose you can tag along up to the Temple and liquidate everything along the way. I would like to see what this increase in efficiency looks like.”
“Pipsy fix!” The Jawa ran up and hugged Ignite’s legs, earning a small pat on the head.
“You’ll be coming also, Pipsy,” Ignite informed, “and Khem.”
“Don’t worry about me,” Andro yelled sarcastically. “I’ll just play Pazaak by myself!”
“You have two-vee!” Ignite fired back.
“Perfection is my goal, Master!” The droid quipped.
“All is finally back to normal,” Ignite smiled slightly, feeling confident in handling whatever Zash decided to throw at him. “I’m going to take a nap,” he called to his crew. “Wake me when we’re on Kaas.” The Sith sunk onto his bed and was out within minutes, happily dreaming of finally becoming a Sith Lord himself. All too soon he was awoken by the beeping of his intercom and was forced to answer.
“Yeah?” He rubbed his eyes and checked the clock. Two hours of sleep.
“We’re here,” Andro’s voice informed.
“Time for my promotion then,” Ignite rolled out of bed with a grin, immediately awake. “HK! Pipsy! Khem!”