Ramblings to an Astromech

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starguts
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Ramblings to an Astromech

Post by starguts » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:12 am

A holorecording of a young Zabrak in a cluttered room appears. He leans back in a rickety wooden chair and stares directly at the viewer.

Tlau you're recording, right? This is important ya know. Only get a few trips to get supplies and I got stuff I need dammit! First things first, we need more oil for the baths. All this sand is makin' you slow and stars know we can't afford you slackin' any more than ya already do. Second, we need more booze. Dry enough in this desert as is. Third - wait, what was third?

The Zabrak settles his chair back on four legs and dips his head slightly out of view. An audible sniff cuts through the silence before the man appears back in frame.

Tlau, I ever tell you about Cal? Good guy that one. Ugly, but you know that about Humans, don'cha? Guy couldn't synthesize to save his life but kriff was he a good at talking himself out'a a situation.

The Zabrak dips quickly out of frame once again. A faint sound of pouring resonates before the man sits back in the chair.

Him and I were on a little trip paid for by some slua or another from the outer rim. Paid us up front to carry three cases of glitterstim onto a shuttle to the core. Had a few stops along the way to pick up and drop off people as they do, ya know, so Cal and I had a lot of time to kill. Few days, anyways. First day or so we just pissed about in our little room on the shuttle drinkin' the swill they passed off as booze but that got dull quick after the first day or so. Cal was fine company I s'pose but we start to get real restless.

The Zabrak chuckles to himself and shakes his head a little. He reaches forward and lifts a glass to his lips, takes a drink, then places it just out of the recording's view.

Alright so maybe I got restless. Cal was always the more level headed one. So I start to talk some sense to him. "Ya know Cal, this glit's already paid for. Who's to say if the slua we're droppin' off to even knows how much he's gettin'?" and so on. Like I said, Cal was real level but you know how persuasive I can be, don'cha Tlau? Eventually I wear him down. Maybe he cracked that first case open just to shut me up. Stars only know now, but open it he did. And I'd be lyin' to your dumb droid face if I said that glit' wasn't the purest I've ever seen. Suddenly, that cheap booze they was pushin' didn't seem so bad and the little room we had wasn't so boring. We're havin' a romp, a hell of a time with ourselves. Talkin', runnin' around the shuttle like it was our own. Ya know, things ya do when there's a case of glit' lyin' around and you got two days to kill.

We lost time quick with all that spice and booze pumpin' through us and quicker than we knew it we were on Duro.

He chuckles once again and takes another sip from his glass before reclining in the wooden chair.

I'm sure them fine sentients were as ready to get off that shuttle as we were after all the mess we made during our little trip because they ushered him and me off so quick we hardly had time to remember the other two cases of glit' we had to deliver. So we finally get off the damned shuttle, one case for each of us now, and dodge our way past security and as soon as we duck the port there's a kriffin' huge Doshan lookin' right at us. Now this scaly kriffer's lookin' real, real hard at us and our cases. And ya gotta remember we wasn't told who we was droppin' these cases off to or nothin'. Slua who paid us just said the drop'd know us when we got there. So Cal, ever the level head, walks right up to him and offers out his case. He's swearin' at me to come and fork over the one I've got but I'm still horns-deep in this glit' trip, half drunk, and I'd never been to the core at all. So I'm just plain out'a my element. Dunno how I got there but next thing I know that big kriffin' lizard's got both cases and is hissin' somethin' fierce to Cal.

The Zabrak drains the last drops from his glass and slides it away from himself out of frame.

Didn't even know Cal understood them kriffers up 'til that point. But he keeps calm, swear on my horns he does, and just says, "Security getting onto the shuttle sniffed out one of the cases. I don't know a thing about it but you might tell your boss not to stiff on his smuggling containers next time." Kriffin' thing is, the damned Doshan buys it. Does a little hiss-grunt combo, strangest thing I've heard to this day, and walks off into the city. Dunno how Cal did it, the ugly kriffer, but he did. Never heard nothin' about it from the supplier either. Spent a few more days on Duro spendin' the credits we got for doin' the trip on anything we could throw 'em at before headin' back to the rim.

He lifts the empty glass up and grumbles to himself before looking at the source of the recording.

Dammit Tlau why'd ya bring up Cal? That was one of the last times I saw that ugly kriffer. Ain't right to do me like that ya damned droid. Go get me another bottle and go check the plants. They've gotta almost be ready to harvest. Go on! Get!

The recording ends abruptly as a hydrospanner flies toward the viewer.
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Re: Ramblings to an Astromech

Post by starguts » Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:51 am

The burn-scarred face of a Zabrak appears far too close to the recording source for comfort. The left side of his face ripples like waves in the blue projection. He raises a pair of goggles from his neck to his face, the lenses magnifying his violet eyes. A thin, dark brown cigarra hangs from his lips. The tip of the rolled tabac flares and is quickly followed by a plume of smoke distorting the recording.

Stars, Tlau. How do you get sand there? No worries nuin. We're gonna get you fixed up. But ya gotta promise me you'll be more open to oil baths in the future, okay? This new chassis wasn't cheap to manufacture. Gonna need you to try and take care of it. I know ya get real bored in the shop while the supply's cookin' but goin' out in a sandstorm ain't gonna solve that.

The Zabrak leans half out of frame, leaving his scars shining in the light of his surroundings. He returns again with a hydrospanner and the sound of ratcheting fills the recording.

Just hold tight Tlau. I know ya ain't ever been a fan of havin' your innards messed with but this is really for the best. For both of us. But you ain't gotta worry nuin, I ain't gonna touch your memory banks. I know how you feel 'bout that. How I feel 'bout that. How long has that little core been tickin'? Almost fourteen years if my math's right. Wouldn't want to erase what you've got stored in there. Stars know I can't remember it all."

A tumbler is lifted to the Zabrak's lips for a moment. He sighs as it's moved out of frame, far emptier than when it first appeared.

How much do you remember of Savvarah? You wasn't much more than a remote at that point followin' me 'round campus to help me keep notes. You remember how I finally got her to talk to me?

The scarred Zabrak chuckles to himself and shakes his head. He takes a drag from his cigarra, taps ash from it, then returns it to the corner of his mouth. The ratcheting starts again as the Zabrak seems to stare blankly into his work.

Used to live on the top floor of the dorms. She lived on the lowest. Cal and me would go out and do our thing, class or take a cruise 'round town, and come back and there'd she be with this scummy guy. Now me and this guy'd had problems before, mind you. Had got in my face once when me and Cal were comin' back from a gabaki cruise. So they'd be loungin' 'round watching some holo and as we'd get into the lift I'd say, "You know, you could do a whole lot better." And the doors would close, up we'd go, and that'd be the end of it.

He takes a long drag of his cigarra and chuckles once more.

Let me tell ya though, she could have. Had them dark eyes you could fall into. Like damned pits, those eyes. And the smile she shot every time I'd say it was paralyzing. Cal had to hit the button in the lift every time because I got turned to stone every time she'd laugh or shoot that smile at me. Eventually Cal and me come rollin' through smellin' like a whole freighter's worth of gabaki and she stops us. Well, stops me. Asks me what I mean when I say that she could do better. So I tell her right out. Tell her that slua she'd been rollin' with was scum and I thought she was better than that. That she might try, at least once, spending some time with me.

The Zabrak drains the last of the liquid left in the tumbler and the sound of ratcheting is replaced by the sound of pouring.

She did, too. Of course I was still too paralyzed to be alone with her so I took Cal with us for a cruise. We rolled up some gabaki, listened to some music, and got to know each other. Cal did a damned good job sittin' in the back seat makin' sure conversations flowed then staying out of the way for me to actually get to know her. So we get back to the dorms and Cal goes up the lift, doesn't even give me time to get in. Kriffin' bastard. But it was the push I needed, tell ya what. Sav' and I spent hours in the lounge I'd shouted to her in. We both had class in the morning though and the hours were passin' quick. Next thing I know we're lyin' in her bed together. Don't get any ideas though Tlau. She had a roommate in the bunk under her.

He sighs smoke and takes another swig from his glass before leaning back from the source of the recording. He lowers his goggles around his neck and rubs his eyes, shaking his head.

We was good for the rest of the semester. We spent a lot of time together in her dorm watchin' holos, ignorin' our assignments. Gettin' to know each other. Dunno how much you remember from those days Tlau, but outside of gabaki I wasn't much of a party person. Wasn't much of a friend person either. She wasn't a big fan of the gabaki though so me and Cal didn't spend much time together in those days. That was my doin'. Too busy tryin' to be close with her. But she had lots of friends. And them friends liked to go out and have a time on the town. She liked to join them.

The tumbler rises to his lips once more and he drains it of its contents. The sound of pouring rises once again and the glass is lifted and drained once more.

Me and Cal kinda fell out 'round this time and I quit the gabaki altogether. Some might say that was a good thing but it started to take its toll. She'd go out and I'd stay in. Not doin' nothin'. Didn't do my school work. Nothin'. Started gettin' jealous of the goin' out. Didn't have no reason to be jealous, but in my mind she was out doin' somethin' she shouldn't have been. Of course she wasn't. Wasn't doin' anything other than spendin' time with friends. But it caused a rift. The biggest kriffin' rift that could have ever been made.

The Zabrak takes a long drag of his cigarra, the ash now longer than the rolled tabac itself. He slides it from his lips and tosses it away from him.

We split pretty soon after that. A span of a few days of her gone with friends off world sparkin' the initial fight. We stood arguin' in the hallway outside our dorm for hours until Cal finally pulled me away. Cracked a damned knuckle on a wall during the whole ordeal.

The fills his glass again and sips it then grunts.

We tried to maybe be together a few times after that. I'd grown, she'd grown, all that. It's true though, the change. I wasn't so jealous. Didn't care that she went out, she didn't care that I was back puffin' gabaki. But it didn't last. Turned out neither of us were ready for the commitment we said we were. Too young. Too stuck in our minds. Miss her family though. Kriff, miss her a lot too.

The Zabrak rubs his eyes again as he takes a long deep breath in. He lifts another cigarra to his lips and lights it with a plasma torch before lifting his goggles back from his neck to his face.

Well Tlau now that you've gotten me all in my mental, let's finish this chassis. Gonna have to drink these thoughts away so we'd best get to work before that bottle goes dry.
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Re: Ramblings to an Astromech

Post by starguts » Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:16 am

A room filled with clutter comes into frame. The tail end of a swoop bike, a work bench covered in half-finished mechanics, and a Zabrak sitting at a round table. The being is focused on something spinning on the table, clinking occasionally against a half empty bottle. He turns to the source of the recording and sighs, spinning the object once more.

Tlau, I'm really not sure how long I can keep this up. Been too long in these sands. Too long sat here in this kriffin' shop alone with you, thinkin'. Don't take that to mean you ain't good for conversation. You know you's about the only thing that means anythin' these days.

The Zabrak searches through pants pockets, then jacket pockets, and finally finds a pack of cigarras. He slides a thin stick from the pack and pops it between his lips before lifting a plasma torch to light it. A cloud of smoke covers his face for a moment, finally clearing to reveal a glass against his lips.

Ya know, we've made some friends. Pink's good people. One of the sweetest in the galaxy as far as I'm concerned. Would kill any slua that'd do her harm. Got Beard-o too. Mind you him and me've had our issues here and there but he didn't mean nothin' by them. Kriff, he was just tryin' to knock some sense into me. That old kriffer ain't bad, neither. Maybe a bit trigger happy. But a businessman's a businessman. Ya gotta be firm after all.

He takes a long drag of his cigarra and spins the object on the table again. The sound of metal against glass fills the recording as a plume of smoke is cast at the source of the recording.

But all them friends don't make it any easier. Kriff, even you don't make it easier some days Tlau, long as you've been with me. I don't know if you remember me sayin' so back when things were real rough after Sav', but I really don't think I'd be around without you by my side. Maybe that's not right of me though. Maybe it'd be better if I'd not built ya. Nothin' to tether me here, or anywhere for that matter.

The Zabrak drains the liquid in his glass and pours another round for himself. He stares at the nearly overflowing cup and sips it silently. Another spin of whatever is on the table finally breaks the quiet, followed by the popping of fire meeting tabac.

Ya ever feel just, what's the word for it, wrong inside? Like you had lots'a potential but ya just kinda wasted it? 'Course you wouldn't. I built ya real good. And you've been the best droid that ever was. But I'd be lyin' if I told ya I didn't feel that way just about always. You probably know that though, don'cha Tlau? You've been 'round me longer than any bein' ever has. Seen my highs, seen my lows. Been lots of lows, haven't there?

He lifts the glass to his lips once more and sips it then shifts his gaze to his left out of view from the recording.

All the spice in the galaxy, all the damned booze too, don't make it better. Adds a little haze to it all at best. Maybe makes it the least bit bearable. But even then it don't make these sands less dry. Don't make all the kriffin' stuff I've done easier. Don't make it all less lonely.

The Zabrak drains his glass and gives the object on the table a final spin. As it slows, the barrel of a blaster pistol points just off of center from the source of the recording. Crackling permeates the silence once more and smoke pours over the table, engulfing the blaster for a moment. The being sighs and sips his drink again then shakes his head.

Odds're against me still Tlau. Besides, couldn't leave you alone out here. You'd get all jammed up with sand with all your roamin' and stars know no one around here'd know how to fix you.

The being shakes his head once more and rubs his eyes. He mumbles to himself as he screws the top onto the bottle before knocking the pistol to the floor.

Wouldn't want none of those friends to have to clean up the mess anyways I guess.
Estrel
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Jowtobuk
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