Chapter 5 – The Dark Droid

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R2 was controlling the ship as Renin examined R2. Renin had an access panel open and was trying to be careful not to disrupt R2’s navigation while he flew the ship.

The ship suddenly changed course and it appeared it was heading back to the Sith home world.

The main guns were charged and ready and a tactical display was on the main viewer. Half a dozen targets were acquired on the surface of the planet and the ship was moving at full speed to return.

Renin realized this was R2 attempting to destroy the planet and more specifically Kobold. Renin tried to disconnect R2’s interface and was zapped by an electrical surge and knocked off his feet.

The Sith Apprentice got to his feet and backed away from R2. He thought to himself that this was not usual behavior for R2. But then he thought back to what Kobold said in the workshop

“…battle tested. This droid has killed in the name of the Sith.”

Had R2 killed? Was he acting out Sith missions? It was easy to see the Droid was behaving like a Sith. But Renin knew he also had a soul. R2 was not beyond redemption. He would not give up on his friend.

Renin slowly approached R2 and started talking about the swamps of Naboo and his cousin’s bar. R2 did not respond. He got closer to R2 but was very careful to not touch him.

He asked R2, “What will be the outcome when he destroys Kobold?”

R2 let out to low toned beeps and he started to rock back and forth on his leg stabilizers.

Renin knew the Droid was thinking murder and revenge and these were Sith traits. This was not Renin’s way and he had to stop the Droid. Instead of talking Renin thought he needed to act. He walked away from R2 and found his knapsack. He rummaged through it and located a short range dampener used for emergency shutdowns. If he pulled it out of the bag R2 would be sure to attack him. So he though about it and kept it covered with an oil rag. He used the rag to clean his hands and slowly walked back to the Droid. When he was close enough he dropped the rag and engaged the dampener.

R2 was stunned. The Droid spun around and continued to spin while his circuit’s shutdown. His front panel arm extended but nothing else happened. Renin was sure he was going to attack but it was too late.

Renin immediately dropped down to R2 and got into the front panel. He located the holocron but thought twice before removing it. This might kill the only soul this Droid had. He instead disabled all mechanical circuits rendering the Droid with no movement functionality. He was now safe and so was the Sith home world. Why did he save a world that deserved to die?


Several hours later…

Renin flew the ship into Coruscant space. The planet was alive with a global interconnecting circuit that made it the largest Droid in the galaxy. Renin had always dreamed that would be betterof coming to Coruscant. The gigantic information highway was networked throughout the planet. It was hard to believe there was still grass and trees on this world. Renin had read about the magnificent rivers, and lakes networked beneath the city.
As the Dawn’s Chariot entered one of the capitol cities it was shadowed by what looked like a military fighter.

A loud voice came crackling through the intercom, “Please state your business and destination.”

Renin replied, “Urgent business with the Jedi Council.”

The voice responded right away, “All business with the Jedi everyone thinks is urgent. Be advised we recorded your cruiser signature and you’ve cleared. Follow me to platform 11525ST.”

The military fighter pulled ahead and lead the Dawn’s Chariot to the landing platform located adjacent to the Jedi temple. Renin could see the temple standing in the distance pointing to the heavens. Not many cluttered buildings surrounded the temple like the rest of the city. This was probably considered a holy place. If the Jedi were what he thought they were he could alert them to their new foe Darth Kobold and maybe they would be willing to help repair R2.

The air-lift descended in front of the temple. Renin walked out guiding his magnetic fork-lift that was holding R2. As they got to the temple steps what sounded like an alarm rang throughout the temple. Out ran 3 cloaked figures. 3 blue colored light-sabers were visible in their hands and they converged on Renin and R2. One blade was held to the throat of Renin while the other two were covering R2.

The Jedi next to Renin spoke slowly, “We never turn away guests but who would dare bring something caring a strong   trace of Sith magic into our temple?”

Renin swallowed and said, “I’m sure you are referring to the Sith holocron being used to power the Droid. But please be assured that the Droid has been disabled for everyone’s safety. I need to speak to Master Yoda. I was told he is the most powerful and I’m sure he is the only one who could help.”

The Jedi gripped the lightsaber with both hands securing it closer to Renin’s throat.

“And why would we allow you an audience with Master Yoda?”

Renin looked the Jedi in the eye and did not waver as he spoke, “Because this Droid has a soul and has been closely working with a new powerful Sith lord named Darth Kobold.”

The Jedi stared back and his eyes were locked with Renin’s. He spoke directly to the other Jedi, “He tells the truth. Lead him to the meeting room and secure the Droid in the inner sanctum.”

The meeting room was circular and brightly lit. All of the walls were windows to the outside. From what Renin could tell they were very high up.

A small green man entered the room from the center elevator lift. He did not look in Renin’s direction as he passed. Who knew what the Jedi Master thought of a Sith apprentice inside the Jedi Temple.

This was Master Yoda. One of the greatest Jedi’s to ever live and he was honoring an audience with Renin Diggs of the planet Naboo and apprentice to the sworn enemy of the Jedi. This was a day to be remembered. A day to be entered in the history books of the universe. It was the galactic crossroads of a cold war. Did anyone know the significance of this moment?

Yoda sat in his chair as head of this roundtable discussion. No other Jedi were present. This was a one on one engagement between the Jedi master and the Sith Apprentice.

Yoda spoke softly but directly at Renin, “Sith apprentice you are. Renin Diggs your name is?”

Renin rose his head, looked at the old Jedi and said, “Yes sir. I am a Sith apprentice. I would be a Sith Lord by now but I have not yet killed.”

“Aaaah. Sith you do not wish to be a part of. Wrong path you have chosen. Jedi not here to fix mistakes.” Yoda replied.

“I have information that may prove to be beneficial to the Jedi.”

Yoda sat back and said, “Information beneficial to Jedi tell us.”

“I have been training with a Sith Lord for two cycles. This Sith Lord has a personal vendetta with the Jedi.”

“Darth Kobold you speak of. Aware of his activities we are. Training an apprentice this we did not know.” Yoda said.

Renin quickly replied, “It is not just Kobold that is a threat but also the droid I brought with me.”

“Full of Sith magic he is. What is the source of the power?”

“A Sith holocron was integrated into his circuits. It started out as a protocol droid operating system that I overlaid with my own special tweaks. I used it as a navigation assistant that I built into a pilot’s visor. But then Kobold asked me to download it to a Astromech droid for his own personal use. Kobold added the holocron as a power source. He used the droid in several missions. He even told me he had the droid kill for him.”

“Destroyed this droid must be. It is an agent of the Sith and it must not be allowed to continue.”

“No. Please Master Yoda? It does not want to be used by the Sith. I can sense the good in it and I know it can be brought back to the good but only with a powerful entity of an opposing force. That would be the Jedi. That would be you Master Yoda. This droid has a soul. This droid can be a great ally to the Jedi. I have foreseen it.” Renin said with assurance.

“Foreseen the Jedi future have you? A simple matter this is not. Destiny is awaiting us all and you Renin Diggs an ally you will be. Because this droid has a soul his destiny I can see. Bringing balance to the force this one will play a part.” Yoda climbed down off of his chair and walked closer to Renin. “You must first confront your master and try to bring him the lighter side of the force. This is a job for the Jedi only after you have failed. Now go Renin Diggs and your destiny you will face. Arrived on Coruscant your Sith master has. Face him without the Jedi you must.”

Yoda walked passed Renin and entered the elevator lift. The lift lowered into the floor and the Jedi master was gone. Another elevator lift arrived and a Jedi dressed in dark robes got off.

The Jedi removed his hood and stood in front of Renin. He asked “Are you the owner of the Astromech droid with the Sith holocron?”

Renin reluctantly answered, “Yes, that’s my droid. What fate has been decided for him?”

The Jedi got closer to Renin, “Allow me to introduce myself. I am Dooku. I have been given the assignment of rehabilitating this droid for the Jedi Order. His fate is very promising. We will wipe his local memory but not the core processor. This link with the holocron will be broken so it will not provide any direct instruction but its power will still be feeding the front–end and back-end circuits. We all would have had a hand in creating the most wanted droid in the galaxy. An Astromech droid with a soul. But no one will know of this but us. I have already begun a new paint job on the droid. Blue trim lines just as you asked. Master Yoda will watch his progress for years to come.”

Renin finally started to smile. It had been years since he had anything to be happy about. His thoughts immediately went to his cousin and that bar in the Naboo swamp that he called home. This stage of his quest had ended and the finale was approaching.


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