This is a one shot I did for the recent DCC at kfm. The prompt I got to pick was to write about a scary HK and I was allowed only a little bit of funny. It was hard to do this mind you so a lot of effort went into this. There are references to characters you meet in Heart of the Guardian and Heart of Deception. Hope you enjoy.
Animal or Metal?
Night and day are hard to distinguish in space. The Avalonians were alert no matter what their shift, the humans grudgingly took their places if it was in the dead of the night and the younglings thought it a great adventure. For Kapu, the silent watch was his specialty, as the master put it.
He walked silently through the corridors making sure that everything was secure for the night. He never liked the planet they had landed on. He could feel something not right on the surface the moment his feet touched the surface. His master didn’t let it show but he felt it too. It was a small matter. The big matter had to deal with the thing that he had never liked ever since he first met it.
Snapping his senses back to the lives on board, he carefully wafted out the scents that belonged to each individual. All were on board, except for the master. Another small worry but nothing to fret about. The master will be back in the morning. His nose picked up the subtle scents of food being made and he made his way to the galley. The friend of the master was making something and it smelt good.
He was good however and didn’t go beg. Still the master’s friend saw him and tossed him a bit of the kataran jerky he was making. It was good to eat real meat and not the stuff that came out of the funny little thing that the master called a synthesizer. He licked his lips and continued towards the dormitories where the younglings slept. That was one duty he took seriously. Though his master never spoke it, the feeling was there that they were important. He quickened his trot towards the dormitory only to be stopped by a large shadow.
HK-47, an assassin droid and the butt of Kirabaros’ sarcasm, patrolled the corridors with his special modified assassin’s rifle. His red eyes flickered like little flames in the darkness of the dimmed corridors. His sensors were operating at full capacity and could pick out the life signs of everyone that was relevant to the mission. One was missing as he was off the ship but his meatbag companion was taking guard duty.
The only other life sign that signaled someone awake was a primitive form of security. The first time he saw the organic he regarded it as a rodent infestation. The creature was rather large for a rodent but then some rodent species did exist in that size. Kirabaros said that he was intelligent and when he heard that, he deliberately sought out the rodent in order to facilitate communications.
His sensors told him that the rodent was in front of the little meatbags’ dormitory door. He leveled his rifle as his eyes flickered. If he could, he would show what he was feeling. He muttered, “Musing: The rodent is stationing himself in front of intended guarding target. Perhaps he wishes to facilitate communications or hostilities?”
He walked through the darkened corridors, his eyes lighting the way so to speak. He did not notice Cati cringing as he walked by. It seemed that every living thing had some fear of him except the rodent pet of the Avalonian meatbags. He approached at his normal gate until his audio sensors picked up the low pitch of the rodent’s growl.
It came into the light. It was colored a red-orange like when the gate rusted at the villa. It stood like a human and more likely weighed as much as a man the same height but then again, given what it was made of, weighed more. In the thing’s iron grip was a blaster rifle, an assassin’s rifle with a targeting scope and some modifications to it.
The first thought through Kapu’s mind was that the blaster was uncivilized. Then again some Avalonians thought his preferred manner of fighting was barbaric particularly if his kind were pitted in illegal fights. He narrowed his eyes as the thing walked towards him. Looking up he could see the red eyes.
Those eyes were what drew an unpleasant feeling from him. Though the thing wasn’t alive, those eyes held death in them. They were alive with the desire to kill and it was accentuated whenever it spoke of a need or a want to kill something. Kapu felt his hairs rise along his back as moved in front of the door to the dormitory. His black fur was dark enough to mingle into the shadows. It was more of duty and a fierce sense of dislike mingled with courage that allowed him to release a low, menacing growl from his throat.
The thing stopped then moved closer until it was in the light with shadows casting across its metal body. It stood there with its red eyes flickering like the flame in a lantern. It then said, “Statement: As much as I admire the tactfulness of the Handsome Meatbag, I have to say that his persistent use of such primitive modes of security are most disappointing.”
HK didn’t expect the sight he came across the rodent. It stood on all fours and the fur was standing on end. He could tell from the posture that it was to be a form of aggressive communications.
He could never understand Kirabaros’ insistence that the rodent accompany them on this mission. HK considered it was more of sentiment than a need to defend the little meatbags with “superior technological advances” such as his. He considered such human pheromones to be distractive and they sickened him. It made him wish to press a blaster to his behavior core and pull the trigger.
Of course Kirabaros merely just ignored it or just said that HK was being an insensitive bucket of bolts. Of course the rodent had to come and it took its duties seriously enough but it didn’t possess the skills that HK had. HK actually contemplated several scenarios in which to be rid of the rodent to prove his point. This might be his chance as he insulted the rodent with his primitive statement.
Kapu didn’t back down. His fur rose even higher and his growl deepened. The thing approached closer. He could see the glint of the light from the common room reflect on the metal. The shadow that cast across the metal was dark a dreary. The rust color darkened and blended where some blaster scorches had seared the metal. The thing was like one of those creatures of the night that was only told in children’s tales. The shadow cast across what passed for a head allowed the eyes to grow redder in spite of the flickering.
The thing continued to stare at Kapu, “Observation: It appears that the organic meatbag, primitive as it is, has what the Mandalorian meatbag calls a spine. Statement: I am programmed to facilitate communications and put an end to hostilities. It will be my pleasure to do so.” He then pointed his rifle at Kapu.
Kapu growled more and bared his teeth. The thing was a harbinger of death. True that his master did the same thing but he had feelings, a soul. He was not like this creature who would feel no regret should he terminate a friendly even if it was an “accident.” He bared his teeth and growled more. He refused to budge.
The thing continued to point the rifle at Kapu, “Statement: Only one of us will come out of this stand of hostilities pet of the Handsome Meatbag.” The red eyes flickered even more intense.
HK liked it when organics had nerve to back up their statements. This primitive rodent was no exception. Even with his prized rifle pointed at him, he didn’t back down. HK commented on this saying that the rodent had spine as the Mandalorian meatbag put it.
Still he would have no problem terminating this “hostility” if it meant that the little meatbags were more secure under his watch than the rodent’s. He looked at the rodent, his red eyes flickering more intensely. He watched as the rodent bared his teeth. Such a primitive choice of weapon. Much more like the Wookiee meatbag the blue one travels with.
HK kept his weapon poised at the rodent’s head. All he had to do was pull the trigger. It would be one of his “freebies.”
Kapu knew that there would be hell to pay if something happened to him. His master entrusted the care of the younglings to him. Nothing, not this thing that looked like a hell spawn, would keep him from that duty. He bared his teeth and began to snap his jaws at the thing.
He was saved when the master’s friend looked down the corridor and said, “HK, leave Kapu alone you homicidal bucket of bolts.”
The thing still had his rifle pointed at Kapu when he replied, “Statement: He is a rodent infestation. I should terminate. My superior skills are better adapted to protecting the little meatbag spawn.”
Kapu growled in indignation but was drowned out by the master’s friend, “Leave him be. You harm him, Kirabaros will take you apart for scrap after I rearrange your chassis.”
“Statement: You are a fierce negotiator Avalonian meatbag,” and the thing lower his weapon. “Observation: Perhaps it would be better if the rodent and I patrolled in shifts.” The thing then glanced at Kapu.
If the thing had been an organic, Kapu could have sworn that it had grinned menacingly at him. He lowered his growl but he didn’t lower his guard hairs. He stood in front of the door. He snorted at the thing to show that he didn’t like him and sat on his haunches.
The master’s friend said, “Perhaps but the reason that Kirabaros put you both on protection duty is that you both have abilities that would benefit each other.” He had motioned to the closed dormitory door. He was tired of the troublesome droid himself but he trusted Kirabaros. “So not another disturbance.”
The thing replied, “As you desire Avalonian meatbag. Signing off,” and then continued to patrol the corridors.
The master’s friend looked at the departing droid with a shake of his head. He then looked back at Kapu who had continued to sit at the dormitory door. He said, “Keep a weather eye Kapu,” and disappeared to head to the cockpit.
Kapu continued to sit long after the master’s friend and the thing had left. He didn’t like that thing but he had a job to do. This mission came first that was priority. He sat there, alert and ready to fight even when Cati came to nuzzle against his fur. This was the first of many confrontations with the harbinger of death.
HK accompanied the Avalonian meatbag to the common area. The rodent may have been saved by the friend of Kirabaros but this wasn’t the end of it. He will terminate the infestation and prove that he was superior to the primitive organic. He continued his patrol through the dark corridors, his red eyes flickering with pleasure at the prospect.