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Dark Droid Of The Sith:The Origin of R2D2

By screamingmonkeys

Adventure / Scifi

Dark Droid Of The Sith:The Origin of R2D2

Chapter 1 - Chance Meeting At Naboo 

The young dark haired boy had fallen asleep on the bar. His arms were folded with his head lying on them. The long dark hair fell over his scrawny arms covering them like a lion’s mane. He was a small frail boy and delicate features that made him a look friendly to anyone.

The room was dimly lit with the sun rising over the horizon and into the small window by the front door.  

This was a small watering hole on the planet Naboo. The bar was called Trenlak's Run. Renin was a mop boy at the bar. It was owned by his older cousin Trenlak Diggs. 

Trenlak had bought the bar 3 cycles ago from a dirty and shady Gungan trader. The price was right but the location was lousy. He had haggled the Gungan down to 50 credits but never questioned the remote location of the old bar at the edge of the Minoskuun Swamp.

Trenlak was tall with blonde curly hair and solidly built like he could wrestle a Bantha with his bare hands. He had his little cousin Renin the child prodigy of the family work for free during the slow seasons.

Renin was a bio-mechanical genius. He once outfitted a blaster for a bounty hunter with an intuitive auto-fire.  The gun could detect up to 10 enemy targets and fire at all of them without the user aiming once.

Renin didn't like weapons much so he had eventually switched his focus to exploration. He read any tech manual or star ship log he could get his hands on. Renin had mapped the entire sector on the wall of his sleeping quarters. He'd never been to space but he had more space smarts then a smugglers navigation computer.

Trenlak mostly had Renin clean up at the bar. He was too young and light tempered to pour drinks for the hardened patrons who frequented the bat.  Renin's small stature and brainy intellect made him the target for drunken bar jokes. That's why he spent most of his time in the back room tinkering with old computer devices. His cousin didn't care about the left over junk, so he was able to break anything with no problems.

Trenlak walked back into the bar and saw Renin sleeping. He hated seeing the business running slow but more so, Trenlak hated seeing Renin take advantage.

"Why is it that I always catch you sleeping on the job?"

Renin started to rise from his sleep and opened one of his eyes seeing Trenlak standing in front of him.

Trenlak continued, "Yeah I'm talking to you Renin. Now get up and act like this is a real job."
Renin picked his head up and looked out the small window. The sun was beaming over the murky swamp so quietly and empty that the insects whispered to blend in with the peace.

"Relax Trenlak. We won't have any customers right away. It takes time. Today will be like yesterday and the day before that. I'm tired of cleaning the same clean spot day after day after day. So I put up signs at the space port about the bar so we can get a real crowd in here."

Trenlak's face started to contort and eventually turned into a smile.

"Anyway, I'd rather see you clean then sleeping at the bar. It's bad for business. And from what you just said we might be busy tonight. Go tinker with those leftover gizmos in the back."

"They're not gizmos. There are all sorts of parts in here. You got refurbished blaster rifle parts, disabled particle detonators and even some scrap droid junk. Your precious workers have been stealing weapon parts from you for years now. Just the other day they took the last part of the canon their building."

Trenlak was now irritated again so he said to his cousin, "You think you're so smart. I know everything that goes on here."

"Obviously not. They've been selling weapons to off-worlder’s for a year now. Maybe you should be selling junk instead of pouring drinks. You know I could probably build a star cruiser from all this junk."

"Then go ahead and build us a star cruiser. I want it to have light speed and a cloaking device."

That irritated Renin. He stood up and started to shout at Trenlak, "Don't you know that cloaking devices are considered contraband in this sector. Are you trying to get me sent to a detention center?"

"Ease up little buddy. I don't even know what a cloaking device is. I thought it was a coat making machine. Why don't you act right for a change? Now get this place cleaned up and don't you ever yell at me again"

Renin picked up his wire headset and strapped it to his head. He tapped the side power button and a sequence of bleeps and whistles echoed out from the headset. Trenlak shook his head while looking at his little cousin like a helpless space nerd. Renin walked over to a broom leaning against the wall and threw it at Trenlak.

"You cleanup." said Renin.

Trenlak was in shock from the bold gesture from his cousin. Renin then took a seat at the bar while saying "And while you're at it, I'll take a double shot of Wookie brandy."

Trenlak tossed the broom behind the bar and started to laugh, "Oh, the star cruiser engineer wants to drink with the big boys?"

Trenlak stepped behind the bar and grabbed a dusty purple bottle off the shelf. "Let's see if you got the Rancor balls to drink with your big cousin."

Trenlak dropped two shot glasses down on the bar and filled them with the purple liquid. Renin reached for the glass and then hesitated. His optical interface attached to the headset rotated forward and down to cover his right eye. Renin looked down into the glass examining it through the optical visor. The headset whistled frantically and started to shake.

Renin talked to himself saying, "It's OK Renin2. I can handle it. I think."

Trenlak looked around behind Renin and asked, "Who are you talking to kid?"

Renin exhaled while he continued to eye the glass. Trenlak put his hand on his cousin’s shoulder and continued to tease him by saying, "You're a spineless asteroid worm."

Renin smiled, grabbed the drink and threw it down his gullet with one gulp. "Now I'm a man."

The starship was caught in a black hole.  The navigation console was unresponsive. The ship was being dragged into a flat spin. Renin was sitting in the captain’s seat watching the stars spin into a blur. In the next instant the ship stopped.

He was back in the bar looking at the ceiling.

"Trenlak, please stop my chair from spinning."

Trenlak was sitting at table playing chess with an old Gungan woman. Renin had obviously passed out for several hours.

"I guess the kid is ready for round two," said Trenlak.

At this point Renin's head was wobbling. He tried to focus with the optical visor but his body took control again and then his mouth opened to push out the most vile and disgusting swamp smelling spew. Renin pulled up his optical visor he called Renin2. He held his head down as he covered the floor with chunks of whatever he had eaten for breakfast.

"OK kid. You had enough. Go in the back and take a nap."

Renin fell off his stool and quickly climbed to his feet. His headset was vibrating with constant beeping as if an alarm is going off.  He used one hand on the bar to guide him to the store room door.

The bar had a stronger odor than usual. Renin took a gaze around and saw the bar was packed with all types of scum. This was unusual for the bar. They never had a crowd like this. Renin pulled the visor back down over his eyes and took another look. His visor gave readouts of the number of occupants down to the gender and species of each patron.

Trenlak was playing chess with an audience of about four Twileks. His opponent, the fat Gungan woman, was a known cheat. Her name was Laris Smeega. She was one of the first customers through the door when Trenlak took over.

Laris was a love interest of the previous owner and she had grown fond of the bar or she was waiting for her lover to return.

She was a gang leader of the Tungusla Forest Lakes. She had henchmen all over the swamps that she paid well with her gambling winnings. Trenlak was obviously winning because they were drawing a crowd.

A few drunken Jawas at a nearby table were hopping on each other’s shoulders for a closer look at the game.

Renin's brain was still spinning around the upper galaxy quadrant from that Wookie Brandy. Trying to stabilize his ship before he had another evacuation, Renin had to steady himself to take a closer look at the game.

When he got to the table he could see Trenlak was still in command of his larger pieces and Laris was down to her last soldier.

Renin was analyzing the board with his Renin-2 visor. He could not see any openings for the Gungan woman to take the win but the Renin-2 computer plotted a six move strategy to beat his cousin with just the one piece. 

Trenlak’s posture was one of cockiness with his hands behind his head. The game wasn't over but Trenlak sure thought it was. A tall stranger approached the table. He was wearing an old tattered cloak and the hood completely over his head. His face was hidden in shadow and as he walked it looked like a corpse had risen from the grave.  

Renin didn't pay the stranger any mind and shouted out what was on his mind, "I could program a droid to win with one piece on the board."

That got no ones attention except the cloaked stranger. He turned to Renin and spoke in a whisper, "Can you really? I would pay good money for a droid that could adapt to winning even if the odds are low."

Trenlak overheard and said "Don't go trying to hoodwink my cousin. He's really gullible. All negotiations go through me."

Renin was insulted by the arrogance of his cousin. He felt belittled like usual.

Renin looked into the shadows enclosed in the hooded cloak and said, "I'm a man and I can speak for myself."

The Gungan woman's agitation grew with the focus being taken off the chess game.

She spoke, "Can we finish this Trenlak? I know you cheated and if you think I'm going to pay up after this circus, you're crazy." 

Trenlak pushed his chair out in a defensive angle in response to the Laris' words.

The Gungan woman put up her hand and snapped her fingers twice.  A short man by the door stepped into the bar followed by three oversized, muscle-bound Gungans. They were carrying staffs which resembled cattle prods.

Trenlak turned to watch the Gungans approach the table. Renin tried to step in their path. One of the larger Gungans said something incoherent and shoved Renin across the room. Renin collided with a table against the far wall. It broke his fall and also knocked him unconscious.

Trenlak jumped in his defense tackling the large Gungan. The other two attempted to stab Trenlak with their staffs but a blaze of red light disrupted their advance. The dark stranger had a red lightsaber held out. Without a word and in the space of a second he cut both Gungans down with multiple slashes from the lightsaber.

Everyone in the bar was frozen in terror. The Gungan woman reached for her blaster but she fell back from the blast to her chest. The blast came from Trenlak’s gun. No one had even seen someone react so quickly. But the results were the three dead Gungans.

Trenlak put his blaster back in the holster and walked over to check Renin. He picked up his young cousin who had landed on a table across the room. The dark stranger also walked over to help.

Renin stood up with the help of his cousin . He tried to speak but all that comes out is mumbles that sounded like Huttese. As far as Trenlak knew his cousin had never learned the language of the Hutts, let alone been off world visiting Hutts.

Renin words started to make sense after a few minutes, "I saw a lightsaber before the room got blurry. Are you a Jedi?"

Trenlak looked up at the dark stranger with wonder.

"I am not a Jedi." said the dark stranger. "Well not exactly. If you have heard of Jedi’s then you might have heard of the Sith."

Trenlak quickly responded, "I've heard of the Sith. It's never been anything good."

The stranger removed his hood revealing an old gray haired man with a robotic eye in place of his left eye. His left hand was also missing. He had pulled back his hood with the stump where his left hand should have been. Renin and his cousin were able to get a better look at the stranger with the lightsaber. His face was covered in gray hair but groomed well.

"Leave it to the galaxy to only tell half the truth. Can we talk privately please? I have great interest in your young friend here."

Renin’s eyes looked like they were popping out of his head.

"I almost forgot I had a hangover."

Trenlak’s cousin ran to the store room door covering his mouth holding back his sickness.

Chapter 2 - Dark Machinations

Trenlak’s underground store room was the perfect spot for a private chat. He looked ghostly as he walked into the room. He began with a long introduction.

"I am Kobold. I've been traveling for a while trying to repair my failing robotic parts."

Trenlak interrupted, "Forgive me for saying but you look like you been through a war."

Kobold put on a sad face, "Yes, the Sith do not have many allies. I never started or provoked a confrontation. People naturally hate the Sith. My eye was removed as punishment for trespassing at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. The guards thought it was funny. I was just trying to get a glimpse of the one they call Yoda."
"The Jedi's allowed this?” Renin asked.

"They did obviously, since they let those wart hogs guard their Temple. Remember, the Jedi make the rules."

Trenlak scuffed and then waved his hand in disapproval.

"I've never heard anything like that. The Jedi are the caretakers of the Peace” said Trenlak.

Kobold stood up and his voice got loud as he said, "Yes, yes, so you have heard that saying. Did you know that they would do anything for peace? Even genocide."

Kobold started walking around Trenlak in circles. He continued, “You can look it up. The history of the Jedi and Sith are still in some books. If you look hard you'll find out that the Jedi are responsible for the extinction of the Sith. Does that sound like men of peace? Their only provocation was that our beliefs are different."

Renin was showing a look of shock as Kobold gazed into his eyes with the startling information about the galaxies beloved Jedi. Kobold continued " They killed the Sith for being different. When was the last time you received support or help from a Jedi?"

Kobold gazed over at Trenlak who has his head down.

Renin put up his hand to politely ask a question, "I saw a Jedi once but he kept to himself. A Dug was attacking a woman and the Jedi just kept walking. I always asked my self why they would do that."

Kobold replied, "The answer is simple. That Jedi was preoccupied with a mission or better yet he was following his code of neutrality. They hide behind words and people think they are honorable. Not one of them.."

Kobold paused and stared into a dark corner. His eyes widened and filled with tears as he continued "..but there is one I have heard is very honorable and unarguably the best Jedi of this generation. It is Yoda. He is honorable." 

Kobold wiped the tears falling down his face.

He looked to Renin and said "This is all true. I would not lie about that. But I still suspect Yoda was the one who ordered that my eye be plucked out. Anyway, you called them Caretakers of the Peace. They have peace through destruction. They kill what they see as wrong."

Trenlak asked, "What's so good about the Sith? I only heard tales of them killing children and raping planets for resources."

Kobold rubbed his bearded chin and replied "Yes we have been guilty of murder and using a planet’s resources but we do things for the greater good. We have killed Jedi just like Jedi have killed Sith. Also, Sith have waged wars to protect civilizations. We mine planets for resources to find better fuel reserves and to benefit the galaxy through expansion and technology. The Jedi choose to keep their experiments and discoveries a secret. They meditate in that temple keeping all of their ideas to themselves. The galaxy is in a stagnant state with the Jedi. The Sith have designed whole cities and even star cruisers. The Jedi make lightsabers and then they meditate. "

Kobold stepped closer to Renin who was staring at Kobold with admiration.

Kobold continued "That is why I am here. We are looking for new ways to make efficient droids and powerful star ships. I can offer you training in the mystics arts and use of the Force. You can be a very powerful Sith if you so choose. All I ask is that you share your knowledge of mechanics and intelligent devices."

Trenlak forced out a loud laugh while he said "And now you have shown your hand. All the cards are on the table. You are bargaining your training for the knowledge this kid possess to build smart tin cans."

Renin rolled his eyes up into his head, "Their called droids Trenlak, droids."

Kobold chimed in, "I've heard great things about your skills in building intelligent hardware. I had no idea you were experimenting with droids. How interesting?"

Renin had found his moment for his grand speech.

He took a breath and said "I had a vision of armies of droids and droids fighting people. These droids were battle perceptive and they had their own independent intelligence core. My goal is to run tests with Astromech droids since they are virtually harmless but they have the capacity for galactic charts and even storing the data of entire cultures. Trenlak has a few scrap parts lying around here. I was going to build one to help navigate my ship."

Trenlak frowned. "Sure. Like you really have your own ship."

"I do have a ship, well it’s not ready, but..."
Kobold had a smile on his face. "Why not build your droid on the Sith home world? You can incorporate it into your training. We can study the history of the Sith and at the same time help rebuild it through new technology."

Renin extended his hand and said, "I accept your offer Kobold."

Renin then turned to Trenlak and said, "Are you ok with this arrangement?"

Trenlak grabbed Renin by the shoulders and looked him in the eyes, "You have been waiting for something like this your whole life. You have to go. Especially if you have delusions of owning a ship. You need to get out of this waste and void." Renin had a perplexed look on his face, "I do have ship...wait are you letting me go?" The two cousins hugged and said there goodbyes. Trenlak asked Kobold when he would see his cousin again.

Kobold replied, "In the fullness of life your next meeting will be eternal."

Trenlak crossed his arms and said, "I hope that means we will."

Later that day…

Renin found Kobold’s ship at the other end of the swamp hidden behind some over grown willow trees. He dragged his burlap sack up the plank of the star freighter. It was a ship design Renin was unfamiliar with but the size implied it was a freighter. It had dark burns on the side indicating this bird had been under fire. The belly of the freighter was long and sleek. It was an off white color with silver outlines running the length of the ship. It had the look of a fighter but the size made it a freighter.

When Renin touched the hull to steady himself while walking up the plank he noticed that it didn't feel like metal. It was moist and slick. The ship seemed to give off the presence of consciousness.  Renin didn't dwell on the odd feeling the ship gave him and continued up the ramp. Kobold was waiting at the top blocking the entrance.

"Permission to come aboard captain?” Renin asked.

Kobold had his arms behind his back. He appeared much taller than Renin since Renin was still standing down plank. Kobold gazed out over the horizon into the sunrise of Naboo not once acknowledging that Renin was even there.

Kobold looked down and said, "You may come aboard if you first tell me what you have in that sack."

Renin dropped the sack on the plank with a loud metallic clanking sound. He opened it, reached in and pulled out a shiny silver dome with red trim lines. "I found this in my cousins store room. It looked like someone was building an Astromech droid and stopped at the dome."

He pulled it out further and a long steel spine was revealed. At the end of the spine hung a large cylinder.

"I think that's the brain. I was going to replace it with a larger capacity model as soon as I identified all the access control and memory leads." Kobold examined the parts and asked in a very condescending voice, "Is that all you are taking aboard?" Renin quickly replied, "Yes. Well these parts and my tool belt. I don't have any other possessions. I use all my weekly credits on tools and parts." 

"Good, good. An apprentice should have no belongings and ties to the outside world. The droid parts will be an exception since you will be teaching me with them." 
Kobold turned and walked into the ship. Renin followed in behind him keeping a proper distance. They walked together through the cargo hold. Kobold waved his hand in the air as if he was trying to swat a Corellian flea. The plank retracted and the port door closed behind Renin. Kobold was apparently a master of the Force.

Renin stayed behind Kobold as they toured the cargo bay. There was an unusual assortment of devices sprawled out over the cargo bay floor. The left wall had a long work bench with what looked like ancient rusty tools. Renin saw a collection of nasty looking blaster rifles with eyeballs encrusted to the scopes. The eyes looked dead with a cold stare transfixed into darkness. Kobold walked past these unusual rifles without a word. Renin was sure the eyes were dead. They had green mucous around the sides and were oozing bubbles of puss. The pupils were open but frozen in a dead stare. Renin tried to run his hand passed the dilated pupils of the eyes. Nothing happened. The eyes did not respond to Renin's hand movement. Kobold looked back but ignored Renin's little experiment and continued walking.

He stopped at what looked like a long staff. It had the appearance of a lightsaber but the blade was replaced with a crystal staff.

Kobold said "This was going to be my chosen lightsaber when I had finished my Sith training. It was destroyed by an old Sith magician named Carmak. He warned me about constructing a white lightsaber. I did not listen. Carmak knew the danger so he cast a spell on the saber transfiguring its blade of white light into crystal. The lightsaber became useless. No new knowledge of the force has been able to bring it back. Carmak described the power in the white saber as being variable. Its power increased as the wielders’ power increased. The more powerful the user, the more powerful the blade. The blade would keep increasing with every usage. I had the handle buzzing with so much power it could be heard two sand dunes away when I powered it up. But it was too unstable for me after a while. Well so Carmak thought. He crystallized it to teach me a lesson."

Renin, the young apprentice, paid well attention. Kobold seemed sad after telling that story but continued to walk through the cargo bay.

Another small work bench was in the middle of the bay. There was a robotic hand being held by two iron rings. Kobold stopped at the hand and stared at it for a moment.

He then continued walking and said, "We can discuss that later."

Renin looked at the hand and was about to touch it when

Kobold yelled, "Don't touch it. Whatever you do, don't touch anything without asking me first."

Kobold stopped and turned to Renin, "Also when we get to the Sith home world you need to…do whatever I say...when I say...or you might suffer greatly. There are many things around here that could kill you with a glance. Even though your death might give me some greatly needed test results, I am not finished with you yet my young apprentice."

Kobold gave a small laugh after saying this so as not to alarm his new student.

They both walked out of the cargo bay and into what looked like the bridge. Kobold motioned for Renin to leave his things in a bunk next to the navigation station. Kobold sat down at what looked like the captain’s chair. He waved his hand in the air and all of the console lights flashed and whistled. The ship was coming to life.

Kobold turned the captain chair to Renin and said in a deep ominous voice, "Welcome to the Dawn's Chariot. This is my ship. You've probably never seen a class of ship like this one." Renin hadn't seen anything like this and was not worried about showing his ignorance. 

"No, this design is unfamiliar to me." Renin felt comfortable around Kobold. He didn't give the impression that he had any evil intentions. 

Kobold gave a chuckle and said, "Yes, this is an Amora. Ever hear of one of these?"

The excitement showed in Renin's face. He almost fell out of his seat.

Renin replied, "Is this really one of the ancient living ships?"

Kobold shook his head. 

"I read that there were only three known that were alive today. Supposedly their race is on the verge of extinction."

Kobold winked at Renin and said, "I found this one about 10 cycles ago. I trapped it on a water planet and I've been domesticating it ever since. It has tried to kill me a few times you know. That's why I said be careful around here. I plan to take this beast apart and find out how she ticks."

With that said Kobold returned to facing the view port and his chair slid forward to the control station.

Renin was now sad. He hadn't even gotten to know the ship. The idea of seeing it torn apart made him angry. Renin was a builder and an engineer himself. The idea of taking something apart and seeing what's inside always intrigued him. But this ship was alive. It had its own thoughts. It had...a soul. 

Kobold pulled back a lever and punched a yellow button. The ship rose from the landing platform and rocketed out of Naboo space. 

Within minutes Kobold was moving a lever into position for hyperspace. Renin grew curious and tried to sneak a peek at the navigation coordinates Kobold was inputting. Kobold waved his hand using the Force and knocked Renin out of eyes view of the panel. Renin stood up from the cold deck of the bridge rubbing his butt where he landed.

Kobold leaned towards Renin, "You have not been inducted into the Sith yet. No one is allowed to know the location of our home world."

Renin lowered his head in shame.

"You will be a fine pupil and I will do my best to give you the best Sith training possible. Keep a positive outlook young Diggs."

Chapter 3 – Sith Home World

The pull into hyperspace was quick and very sudden. It jerked the young apprentice off his feet again before he realized what happened. He stood back up in embarrassment but who was there to laugh. Renin was finally in deep space. 

Renin watched the view screen as the ship leaped through space blurring the stars as they passed. He finally did it. He made it to hyperspace and could see the traveling star cluster wakes as they passed between star systems.

Naboo was his home world and Renin had never left it once. He had read many tech manuals on star ship design and navigation instruments. This was the real thing. 

When the Dawn's Chariot slowed out of hyperspace it came upon a blockade of ships around a planet. The planet appeared to be wrapped in a cloud of smoke. 

Kobold stood up from the captain’s chair and started to pace.

He began whispering to himself, "They knew I was returning. I should have used another ship to sneak by them. Blast it!"

Kobold ran to the cargo bay without a word. When he got to the cargo bay he stopped and looked around. He walked over to the long work bench and rummaged through all the weapons. He turned his head back and forth with his disappointment growing stronger.

Kobold looked under the center work bench and found a small chest. The chest was all black. When you looked directly at it, it seemed to disappear.  At first the under part of the desk seemed to be consumed in shadow but now with the chest removed it is more visible and not the black-hole it was before.

Kobold opened the small chest and a beam of light gleamed bright across Kobold' face. Kobold reached in and pulled out a small object.  The object was small and pyramid shaped. It fit perfectly in Kobold's hand. Kobold ran with it down the corridor towards the bridge. When he returned to the bridge he had a smile on his face.  Renin wondered what that was Kobold had in his hand. The pyramid was black but it had an evident red glow. Kobold sat it down on the ledge next to the view port. Renin's curiosity was overwhelming so he asked, "What do you plan on doing with that?" Kobold shook a finger in the air and replied, "That is not the right question you should be asking my young apprentice to be. The right question is "What is that master?"

Renin didn't mind Kobold' arrogance but he replied with assurance, "I wanted to know if you planned on blasting these ships apart because I could offer a better solution...master." The lead blockade ship was a star fighter. Renin knew this by the slot in the back of the fighter left empty for Astromech droids. The holocron started to glow a bright red. 
"What is that master?" Renin asked.
"It is a Sith Holocron I found on a dead planet. I dated it at nearly 2,000 years. 
"You plan on using that in a lethal way?" 

"But of course my new apprentice." Kobold laughed.

Renin was worried since his new master was acting like he was in the middle of an intergalactic battle. He hoped it wasn't going to be fierce battles every day in the life of being a Sith. Renin walked closer to the view screen.

"Those fighters can be taken out with a false Astromech signal that we could generate. They should know they need Astromech droids in those pods at all times or they could be hijacked. Kobold, can I take over the control?"

Kobold stepped aside and swung his hands towards the captain’s chair beckoning for young Renin to take a seat. Renin obliged and took the helm of the Amora class ship. 

"Please Master, can you bring me my knap sack? I have something in there that will prove very useful."

Renin searched the command station. Doing what engineers do, he was now on the floor under the console removing a large panel marked SYSTEM ACCESS.

"Here it is. That's odd how this seems to be an original part like the Amora was born with an access port. Could that mean we adapted access ports from these things probably thousands of years ago.” Renin thought to himself.

Renin sat back in the captain's chair thinking of the possibilities. 

Kobold threw the nap sack at Renin's head. He caught it with both hands and knew he had done something to irritate his master. 

Kobold said in a low tone, "No time for thinking. Get us out of this before we're dead."

Renin had no idea if his master was serious so he just continued with his plan. He reached in the sack and pulled out the Astromech droid dome and tentacle like spinal attachment. He grabbed the spinal cord firmly and then pulled an access port coupler from his sack. He attached to the spine and quickly fused it together with a pocket laser torch. He flipped the torch in his fingers to show off. He looked back at Kobold who was behind him looking down totally expressionless.
Kobold spoke again, "If I die today I will make sure that you die first."

Renin took the hint and immediately jammed the spinal access link in the ships access panel. Nothing happened.

"You have to give it a jolt, boy. It won't uplink with no power" Kobold explained. "Let me try something."

Kobold lifted his hands and pointed them at the dome with deliberate intensity. Renin was amazed at what happened next. Sparks of force lightning jumped from Kobolds finger tips and danced around the Astromech dome. The dome now lit up with a few sensor lights and a definite power boost was noticed.

Renin spoke the commands into the dome, "Issue override command 7232946."

The dome lights flashed momentarily and the eye port spun around 2 full cycles almost to take a second look at the room. It bleeped, chirped and whistled like it was excited. This was odd since it was a blank factory droid processor. It almost felt like it was alive.

Renin continued his commands, "Root access level A. Reset for 10 minute maintenance cycle. Command execute."

Kobold looked out the view port and all the fighters went dead. Their movement slowed and all lights were out. Kobold was amazed. The command ship also was powering down. 

"How is this possible?", Kobold exclaimed.

Renin said with a smug look on his face, "These command ships automate their droid commands and leave a direct link to their command core. Once all ships were shut down it shut itself down. Basic machine level protocol."

Kobold turned to Renin and a reddish glow could be seen in his eyes. As if there were dimly lit red lights coming from inside him.

He asked Renin, "Can you issue a self destruct command?"

Renin thought about this for a moment. He knew it was possible but he would not kill innocent people. He didn't know the details of their conflict with Kobold but he wasn't going to be a pawn in this war. Renin swallowed deeply and said, "No those commands have to be issued locally. No outside command protocols will trigger that."

Kobold put his hood over his head and walked back into the ship. He yelled back some instructions to Renin, "Take us down to the planet. The ship knows the way."

As they descended to the planet Renin could see the tall statues throughout the mountain ranges. There were little cities spread out between the mountains. The entire planet looked like a dormant volcano with all the molten lava glowing in the veins of the mountain tops. This would be his new home for the next 6 cycles.

The Sith home world was very cold. It wasn't wintery cold like Renin had been told about the seasons in the Hoth System. This cold felt lifeless. The planet did not have a soul. Renin could sense the lack of energy and life in the air. He immediately knew this was a bad idea to travel to an unknown place so far from home.

The Next Day…

Kobold asked Renin “Before we begin today can you get that Astromech droid up and running. I could use it for a few missions I have planned. Attach it to a body and upload some software so it can function and become intuitive for future work.”

Renin reluctantly setup the droid for Kobold. He downloaded his Renin 2.0 software into the droid since he didn’t have another artificial intelligence with him. He worked caring on the droid and made sure to verify the transfer of the software.

He found a white and red Astromech shell in Kobold’s warehouse. He thought to himself this would be perfect for his new droid but the red colors would have to be changed to blue, his favorite color. He had no time to start the paint job but agreed he would do it another time. 

He tested the voice command interface and gave his first command to his friend.

“Obey Kobold.” said Renin. And then he parted ways with his best and only friend.

Kobold took Renin to the training site. It was emphasized by Kobold for Renin to drink as much water as possible because today would begin his training with the Sith trials.

They were at the base of a tall dark mountain. The mountains earthy brown tone merged with the sky at the top. It gave the illusion that the mountains height was infinite. Small caves were visible with shimmering flames coming from them.

Kobold said, "This is Bane. It was named after one of the greatest Sith lords to reign on this planet. Your trials begin here. I must first tell you the ways of the Sith. This is your final opportunity to quit. The only way to leave after you have begun the trials is through death."

Kobold looked up at the mountain and pointed at one of the caves.

"Do you see the flames?"

"Yes." said Renin.

"Those flames are the burning corpses of defeated travelers all trying to master the mountain. Your task is to ascend the mountain and achieve a kill. You will encounter other off-worlders like yourself and you will also see indigenous Sith. They are all engaged in the pilgrimage. When you kill someone you burn their remains and if you should feel the need, you can burn yourself for repentance. You can kill as many as you want but you must return by nightfall. If you return without a kill we will return every morning until you do. This is the way of the Sith. You cannot be afraid of death. You cannot be afraid to kill. Such is the order of the universe and we will not stop the growth of the ever expanding darkness.”

“Must I start with this task my master?” Renin asked.

“I will continue your training but we will return to this task in the near future. Come let me show you the shrine of Darth Bane." Kobold said was contempt.

Renin followed Kobold to a hidden chamber at the base of the mountain. Kobold waves a hand and a giant stone slides to the side to reveal an entrance trimmed with red gems. This led to a lower tomb which resembled the inside of a ships command center. This command center replica housed the shrine to Darth Bane.  

Renin looked around as Kobold was unlocking a small anti-chamber at the feet of what might have been the remains of Darth Bane.

“What are you doing master?” Renin asked.

Kobold continued without responding to Renin. He reached into the chamber and removed a small chest that resembled the chest Renin had seen on the ship. This chest obviously contained another holocron. He delicately opened the chest and pulled out the holocron. This one glowed a brighter red then the other holocron. Kobold gazed at it with great intrigue.  

Renin stared in awe of his master but had no idea what else to ask. Kobold placed the chest is his back-pack and sealed the small chamber.

“OK, have you seen enough of Darth Bane’s Shrine? I got what I came for and you must get on with your training.” Said Kobold.

Renin looked confused but started to ask Kobold “But what about…”

Kobold interrupted and said “Your training starts now. You will either make a kill or sit at the base of the mountain and meditate. You must do this for 7 days. I will return then.”

Renin watched as his master walked away from the training site. Before Kobold disappeared he saw his master tend to Renin 2.0.

It was hard to believe but as he observed Kobold’s actions he saw him place the holocron in the droid and attach it to the core processor. This was unusual but it was apparent Renin must find out how these objects work and the extent of their power.

Chapter 4 – Droid Apprentice
2 years later...

It was the middle of the night. The Sith Lord, Darth Kobold awoke to voices.  Kobold could hear Renin in the work shop talking with someone. 
Kobold walked into the workshop to find Renin alone.

He asked, "With whom were you conversing?"
Renin laughed and looked down at the Astromech droid by his side. 

"Say hello R2." Renin instructed the droid.

The Droid spun around and chirped and whistled for a few seconds. It finally ended with a low pinched beep and a buzzer like sound. It didn't sound like he was fond of Master Kobold.

Renin continued “R2 wanted to see his first master so he came to the work shop to see me. He’s always locked up on that ship. You were gone for almost a complete cycle my master.”

Kobold looked perplexed so he asked “This droid acts as if he has emotions. He’s been by my side on ever mission. Not once did he exhibit such behavior. He’s been battle tested. This droid has killed in the name of the Sith.”

Renin replied “You don’t think a droid can have a soul master?”

Kobold dismissed the notion and looked around the shop. He quickly changed the subject and asked Renin, "Are you almost done with your lightsaber?"

Renin was a genius with electronic hardware. Kobold knew this and was very curious to see what flair he might have added to the basic lightsaber design. 

Renin handed Kobold a lightsaber hilt made of what looked like granite. Kobold held it up. It felt like smooth cold steel but the weight gave it away. Lightsabers were generally built out of lighter materials for obvious reasons. 

"Why would you construct a lightsaber like this? It’s heavy and unbalanced. I thought I taught you well Renin. This is not the work of a genius but that of a bewildered Nerf herder." Kobold laughed.

Renin sat calmly and just asked, "Turn the blade on and then tell me what you think."
Kobold held up the lightsaber and triggered the light beam and yellowish blade of light extended out. Kobold was slightly impressed but it still was just a yellow lightsaber and he had seen these before. 

"Interesting choice Renin. But why?"

Renin explained, "If you look carefully at the light you will see a slight variation of color as it shifts from yellow to an even lighter yellow."

Kobold looked closer to exam the light variation. 

"Is it fluctuating to white every few seconds?"

"Yes." said Renin.

"Is it stable?"

"Yes. That is why the handle is rock instead of metal. It absorbs the power output not allowing it to vibrate too much keeping the crystal perfectly at rest. It fluctuates between colors every few seconds but over time it will be a pure white lightsaber."

Renin smiled after he saw Kobold was amazed with his explanation.

"You have out done yourself boy. We need to put this blade to the test."

Kobold looked at Renin and stared into his eyes, "It is time for you to begin your journey to becoming a Darth. You must kill."

The Astromech droid spun around swiftly and chirped loudly followed by several bleeps which almost sounded like it was communicating.

"Is something wrong with the droid?"

"No, not at all. I think he goes through power cycles that fry his circuits just a little bit. But Master, did you say you intend for me to kill?"

"This is the way of the Sith. I have spoken of this before. You cannot be afraid of death. You cannot be afraid to kill. Such is the order of the universe and we will not stop the growth of the ever expanding darkness. We allow the universe to flourish and grow with no restraint. Killing is the natural order. Some live and some die. Those that live, move on to making the universe stronger as a whole. You must kill boy. And you will kill today."

Kobold walked out of the shop. Renin was overwhelmed with anger and wounded with sadness. He was a good apprentice. Renin could generate force lightning even as an apprentice. 
He was growing to love the force. He was conceiving ideas of marrying Sith Magic with electrical circuits. Droids, ships, and even weapons could all have a soul. Renin knew this was all possible seeing how it was already working in R2.

The Sith practiced unlimited power and Renin had mastered this very well. But now his Master wanted him to kill and that was something Renin had hoped would never be asked of him.

The Astromech droid Renin-2 moved closer to Renin. The droid whistled softly and let out what sounded like a sigh.

Renin put his hand on the droids head and said "R2 I can't kill. This isn't what I agreed to. I know if I try to leave he'll kill me and dismantle you for scraps. If he only knew the intelligence created in you.  It was the Sith holocron which he infused with your main processor that unlocked the secret. Just to keep your algorithms from fading I had to learn to unlock the magic in a Sith holocron so I could store the energy and keep it cycled. I know Kobold is barely aware of your intelligence. Now we have to become space scum or be killed."

R2 rolled over to the display station. His access port flipped out and plugged in. The display appeared showing the ship yard. The Dawn's Chariot was at a recycle dock next in line for dismantling.

"He did it anyway. He's going to disembowel that ship just to see how it works. I'm sure he has the same planned for you R2."
The droid chirped and rumbled with intense vibration. Next a series of multiple random beeps and tones came from R2. The same series of beeps were repeated. Renin didn't notice or pay it any mind at first. He then realized R2 was communicating in an old pilot binary code. Renin knew this from his brother.

He put his hand on R2 and asked, "Repeat that again would ya buddy." 

R2 beeped a few times and then let out an assortment of beeps and whistles and this time Renin paid close attention. Are you saying we should get to the ship and hijack it out of here? How do we get passed the guards and how do we keep Master of our trial? R2 bounced back and forth and finally let out a loud beep. You are one brave droid R2. We either do it or die, right?"

Renin walked quickly through the ship yards with his cloak pulled over his head. Two guards saw him walking towards one of the ships. They came from either side and converged on Renin’s position.

As they got close Renin started to run. The two guards were not Sith Lords but they had lightsabers and were obviously quit skilled.

One threw his lightsaber and as it reached Renin he leaped and let the saber pass under his feet. The other guard had some knowledge of the force. He accelerated into a force run and in two seconds was tackling Renin to the ground. As they landed Renin's head fell off and his right arm popped out of its socket.

They rolled together for a few seconds. The guard held Renin tight. The other guard had his head turned trying to see if he really saw the intruders head fall off. Renin and the guard came to a stop.

The guard leaped to his feet and tore off the cloak. The headless body was twitching on the ground' sparks were shooting from the neck as if it was a fireworks show. The guards had successfully captured Renin's combat double droid he used for practice.

The guards looked across the field and saw Renin and his droid approaching the Dawn's Chariot. Renin used the force to lower the ramp. Standing at the top was Kobold. His hood on his cloak was lowered and you could see the glowing yellow eyes peering through the darkness.

"I knew you would try to leave. I knew you would come for this ship. Now you will pay for your transgressions my young apprentice. Pity you do not have your lightsaber to defend yourself.”

Kobold’s red glowing light saber blade extended from his arm showing he was armed and ready.

“A Jedi would wait for you to get your saber. I am not a Jedi, boy and tonight you will die," Kobold exclaimed.

Kobold took one step back raising his saber and within the heartbeat of a second he was charging Renin. Renin ducked and rolled up the ramp and into the cargo bay. When Kobold turned around he saw the droid rolling into the ship. He force jumped up the rank springing into the cargo bay. Renin was waiting and shoulder tackled Kobold. They both landed on a long work bench. R2 rolled closer to them.

Kobold raised his lightsaber again so that he could strike Renin down with one blow. Renin screamed for R2 as the droid glided into position and with his top hatch opening. Renin's lightsaber ejected from the dome of the droid and right into his hands.  He blocked Kobold's strike and pushed him away. R2 rolled towards Kobold. 

"When will you learn my little friend?" Kobold said.

R2 chirped and whistled and then let out a high pitched scream and seemed to awaken all of the ship. Kobold pushed towards R2 and then realized he couldn't move. He was being pushed himself. He looked at Renin and Renin was sitting on the deck with his mouth wide open in shock. Kobold knew it was R2 with a strong force hold on him. Kobold was hard pressed to the hull of the ship. A compartment opened in the wall and Kobold was pushed by the force inside before he could resist. The compartment closed and Kobold was ejected far from the ship. As Kobold hit the ground the ship jettisoned into orbit and not soon after they were in hyper space. 

Renin plotted a course for Coruscant. He had heard the Jedi temple was located there and it was also a base of operations. Now he had to figure what had just happened.

Chapter 5 – The Dark Droid

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 thought 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 better off 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 capital 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 led 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.

Chapter 6 – Honorable Jedi

The Jedi Temple was glowing with the sun’s light glaring behind it. Three figures could be seen descending the stairs. It was Renin Diggs being accompanied by two armed Jedi. Their lightsabers were extended, one blue and one green. Renin was unarmed and freely walking in front of the Jedi.

As Renin left the Temple complex he was startled by a presence in the force coming behind him. He turned to see Master Yoda walking behind him. Yoda’s head was up and looking right at Renin.

Renin said, “Come to see me off Master Yoda?”

“A present for you I have. Taken by us your lightsaber was. Powerful it is. True white it is now. A stable weapon it has become in my care. Take it you shall and victory will be yours. Travel to the center of Coruscant where your find your master. Uncover his plot and in our debt you will be.” Yoda handed Renin back his lightsaber and returned to the temple.

Renin took the saber and placed it on his belt as he walked away from the Jedi Temple. His mission was clear. Confront his master and stop him. Stopping him wouldn’t be easy. Confronting him was risky was he knew Kobold would probably find him first. Kobold’s robotic eye had newer sensors integrated by Renin after Kobold’s last battle. He could track a Wookie flee from here to Bespin. He was on Renin’s trail but something else brought Kobold to Coruscant.

Renin traveled to 500 Republica on the outskirts of Coruscant. This is where the social and economical elite played on Coruscant. It also had older buildings that reached down the core of the planet.  This is where Renin was headed. This is where Kobold was hiding.

Gaining access to these prestigious dwellings was impossible for anyone but Renin. He could speak elegantly with his finger tips in any machine language in the galaxy. That kind of power made any electronic mechanized lock an open door.

Renin went for the opera house knowing he’d be able to blend in to the crowd if needed. He easily walked in with a group of Senators from the Galactic Council. Renin fixed his robes to look more Jedi-like. The opera house guards just assumed he was their bodyguard. After he got in to the opera house he went directly to the elevator lift and took it to the lower level. The lift only went down 20 levels and Renin knew the building went much deeper into the core.

He exited the lift and explored the lower level and only found garbage facilities. Renin looked all over the level for access points to any lower levels. The only lower access point was the garbage chute that delivered all of the buildings waste into the foulest reaches of Coruscant’s under belly.

Renin took a look down the chute and only saw darkness. As he pulled is head back he felt a disturbance that could only be described as evil. He ducked as he turned to avoid the swinging red light from Kobold’s lightsaber blade.

“Hello boy! Funny I should find you here looking in the trash. Disgraceful!” scoffed Kobold.

Renin couldn’t believe his reflexes were good enough to avoid an unexpected death strike from his master. One moment sooner and Renin would have lost his head. But the young Sith Apprentice was quick enough and smart enough to keep moving away from Kobold. He wanted confrontation but not on Kobold’s terms.

Renin rolled to the right before springing to his feet. The Sith Lord was on his tail and not hesitating as he taunted his apprentice. Kobold swung left and right narrowly missing Renin but carelessly striking and destroying every trash bin on the level. Kobold’s rage was fully engaged and he swung with anger on every stroke. Renin was able to create some distance between himself and Kobold. Kobold slowed his attack. His aggression was not helping him get Renin. Renin paused for a minute while Kobold was contemplating his next move.

Renin felt this was the right time so he tried to sprint towards the lift. As his foot touched the pad of the lift he was thrown backwards and into a wall. Renin tried to get up and resume his run but was thrown back again. His body was being held like a rag doll in the grip of Kobold’s force hold.

Kobold stood by the trash bins wielding his force magic as Renin was held helpless above him.

“I do not think I have any use left for you boy” said Kobold as he force-pushed Renin down the garbage chute.

Renin tumbled down the chute trying to steady himself before he reached the bottom. He caught a hold of one side and extended his legs to slow his descent. As he skidded towards the abyss of Coruscant all Renin could think about was how much his head felt like it did the day he tried to out drink his cousin Trenlak. The twisting and turning reminded him of that day.

The garbage chute emptied out to a great gorge and fell into a river like a waterfall. This was one of those secret caverns hidden below Coruscant. Renin’s body shot out of the mouth of the chute like a canon. He flailed in the air as he flew across the river. As he came down into the water he composed himself and used his force-push in a unique way. Renin had managed to use his force-push to help him glide over the water. To anyone looking it appeared as though Renin was walking on water. He saw the river bank up ahead but he knew Kobold was coming after him and better hiding place was needed.

Kobold arrived in the cavern gliding out of the garbage chute. He was untouched by filth and his descent was well controlled down to the water. He did not use his force-push like Renin but instead took the plunge and went feet first into the water.

His slipped all the way to the bottom. Kobold used the force to keep himself upright. The old Sith Lord was no newcomer to controlled breathing and had no problem staying below to check out the surrounding area for an ambush.

Kobold’s hair swayed back and forth as he turned vigorously around to catch site of Renin. He did not see Renin at all. He pushed up to ascend back to the surface. As his face broke the surface a blaze of white light scattered across the water. The white lightsaber blade diffused in the water as it struck down by Kobold’s face. Kobold sprung out of the water using a great force push. The old Sith Lord hovered over the water enveloped in a wave of water from his leap. Renin was hanging from the top of the cavern swinging his blade furiously to destroy his former master.

When he realized he missed Kobold he righted himself and force-walked over the water towards Kobold. Kobold was also walking towards Renin. They both had their lightsabers extended. Renin was holding a very powerful white lightsaber. Kobold noticed the all-white saber was stable but he kept his focus on death. This was the time to kill the boy. Kobold knew this was the right place. No witnesses and also conveniently near the Jedi Temple. Their curiosity will bring them and then Kobold will be able to exact more revenge.

Renin’s walk was slow but he knew he could be victorious.  Kobold was vicious and deadly but he did not master the lightsaber. He did not put his focus and time into combat. Kobold was a blaster and rifle kind of killer. He had maybe killed once with his hands. This did not give Renin an advantage but rather it gave him a fighting chance.

Kobold was on the attack. His blade has held high and he came down with great speed. Renin almost did not have time to dodge it. A counter strike would have been the best strategy but Kobold’s menacing fight style was keeping Renin off balance. This was not how he attacked Renin on the Sith home world. This was different. Kobold may have only wished to injure or maim his apprentice before. Now he was trying to kill him.

Renin stayed on the retreat. While defending Kobold’s attack he had to also keep his focus on staying above water. From a distance it looked as if two ghostly figures were dancing on the ripples in the water. The water swirled and splashed where ever they went. The droplets of water sizzled on the blades of light of the sabers. The scene was almost magical.

Renin used his mastery of the force to do a double force push giving him enough distance to not only block Kobold’s attack but now mount his own attack. Blade clashed with blade and Kobold held his ground. Renin did not relinquish his attack. He used his force lightning to distract Kobold. This was the first time Kobold had seen a Sith Lord use force lightning while attacking with a lightsaber. This was new. The things he could learn from his apprentice are endless. This was not going to happen since one of them was going to die today.

Renin could not think of what else to try because Kobold was not backing down. Kobold was not tiring. This battle could go on for days. Renin was weakening from his use of the lightning and was losing his offense. He was slipping back into defense. He had to hold on. He had to hold on long enough for help. His thoughts seemed to be empowered because as he thought about help he started to see cloaked Jedi’s appear all along the edges of the lake. They were all here for a fight. Renin looked behind him and saw Master Yoda standing with his lightsaber extended. Then all the Jedi’s extended their blades at the same time. It was a Jedi army and they had come to save Renin. Kobold had not yet noticed and was able to keep his focus on Renin and with two clean swipes he severed both legs of Renin.

Renin fell to his back and then could see R2 flying above and projecting a hologram of the Jedi. They were not actually here. But Kobold did not know that. Kobold was looking around at the Jedi in terror. He knew he was out numbered. He could not decide how to handle this so he lowered his lightsaber. Renin took his shot and used all his force energy to raise his body up and spin in a tornado fashion towards Kobold. He was able to slice Kobold’s head off before he knew what happened. Renin had destroyed the Sith Lord with the help of R2. He had entrusted his droid in the care of the Jedi and he saved his life again. Renin knew he brought his droid to the right people. He was not going to live past this day but he knew his droid would be in the best hands.


Master Yoda had been meditating for days on what to do with R2. They had buried his maker in the crypts below the Jedi Temple. He was not a Jedi but if fate had not intervened by way of the Sith, Renin would have never met his end as an ally of the Jedi. They honored Renin Diggs and they also left his droids future in the hands of Master Yoda.

Yoda could sense the future for this droid but he could not keep him with the Jedi. That would put this droid in too much danger. Instead he had him shipped to Industrial Automaton for refitting. This way anyone finding him would only think it’s an Astromech droid. Yoda even commissioned a line of droids to be made in what was to be known as the R2 series. No one could ever be sure which one was Renin 2.0. So Yoda designated this model R2D2 as a code for his creator, Renin Diggs.


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