Saturday, September 13, 2014

101 Star Wars Variations 55: Threepio the Father

Shmi is looking at her son as he works on the protocol droid, the one he keeps insisting will "fix everything."  She's frowning.

"Ani, stop and rest for a moment."  She has a plate of Ani's favorite noodles in her hands.  Her hands are shaking.

The boy doesn't listen.  He's always listening, and he's a good boy, but he's lost in a world of his own.  She's conceded that point.  The noodles are starting to stick together.

The protocol droid, it should be said, is coming along nicely.  It's not the droid she objects to.  Any help is more than welcome, and she appreciates that Ani spends so much time trying to improve their lives.

The thing is, the boy didn't start from scratch.

One day, Watto had a client meet her, and it was Ani who recognized the potential of the gadgetry he wanted repaired.  Usually they would never even dream of imposing on Watto or his clients.  But the boy insisted.  Even Watto gives in to him when he gets like that.

Whatever the client needed the gadgetry for ("gadgetry" is all she can ever bring herself to call it), Ani made it do something else.  By instinct.  Like usual.  Without even thinking about it.  That's what she tells herself, anyway.

Before she knew it, the droid was coming together.  It was even talking.  That was the most startling thing about the whole process.  Hearing the voice again.

She doubts Ani remembers the voice at all.  Certainly, the droid possesses no memory.  If it had, she would never have agreed to this in the first place.  She still has no idea why she did at all.

"Oh my!"

He used to say that all the time.  He was such an excitable man.  Maybe because like his son, he'd seen a vision of the future.

She prefers not to think that way, but every now and then, she can't help it.  She misses him.  She's begun pretending he never existed.  The droid is just a droid.  The boy will forget.  Everyone will forget.

And one day, she will forget, too.

The noodles in the plate probably need to be thrown out.  It's always like that.  The boy forgets.  She takes the plate away and washes it clean.  And then gets back to work.

"I love you," she whispers.  "I miss you."

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