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Note: Far from complete--this is the first of (3?) parts of the introduction to the actual story so... yeah...
Note Note: Clunky first draft. I welcome constructive criticism.
Note Note Note: I notice I'm calling the droid "it" through human eyes and "him" through its' own. Raises questions about both "what value a droid" and "why male rather than female?"

Star Wars Episode 6.28318: For Want of a Sonic Nail

"For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail."--Old Proverb

"Qui-Gon: Let's see. Electro-axe. Energy mace. "Plasma bow"?? You just took a D&D equipment list and stuck techy words in front, right?
GM: Don't be stupid.
Qui-Gon: Ten foot laser pole..."--Darths & Droids

Randolph absently ran a hand along the crease of his uniform, the only construction worker's uniform on the Death Star to retain such a crease into a day's work. His focus remained on the careful process of securing the walkway.

"If I may," noted the droid at his side, "A more efficient process could have completed to project..."

"Picio," Randolph intomed with bored resignation in the thick Coruscant accent so out-of-place on the construction team, "I take pride in my work. It is not sufficient that we meet minimum standards of quality, stability, functionality. A job must be done right or not at all."

The droid gave that infuriating head-tilt that couldn't be practical and serves only to push it toward the uncanny valley. "By that logic a job could never be completed. Diminishing returns are still returns and the recursive..."

"There is a sweet spot and a true architectural artist can feel it."

"I suppose," PCO allowed, if possible still more emotionlessly and deadpan than usual, "that I am not an architectural artist."

"Such an insightful little hammer," Randolph muttered. Carefully, he worked his way along the platform, every sonic nail in place, every surface perfectly smoothed. He assembled. He perfected. He admired.

Then he started, dropping his ionic resonator at the volume of an unexpected voice.

"MacGai!" snapped the officer from the entryway.

"Yes?" Disdain and annoyance was not properly absent from Randolph's voice. He saluted only slowly and sloppily. Two of many reasons he never would have made it as an officer himself.

"You and this N-unit go meet up with your supervisor for reassignment."

"I am doing a fine job of my current assignment."

"New priorities. We're to get this battle station operational immediately, the niceties and creature comforts can wait." The officer's face was stern and uncompromising. That was all Randolph, his mind ever focused on things mechanical could see. PCO on the other hand had been programmed to detect subtle shifts in human expression and syntax, the better to facilitate communication and comprehension. He noted the hidden undercurrents of terror, the third-hand evolutions of "I can find new ways to motivate them" and "The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am." PCO was also programmed not to comment on such cues and held his peace.

"Idiocy," sighed Randolph. "You don't leave a job half-done. At least let me finish out current structures. A few more connections. A few more sonic nails."

"You will report this instant," the officer snapped, "and you will go on report for your insolence."

Without another word, Randolph stormed out.

"Two different uses of 'report' can be confusing," noted PCO. "Perhaps selecting different terminology would..."

"Out, droid."

They exited, leaving the room empty save for MacGai's abandoned resonator.
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