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Fandom Star Maps

Noam

Member
Twitch was looking at star charts. Not suspicious, for a fighter pilot to look at star charts. They were expected to know which planets orbited which stars and what starships followed what paths and where all the gates and wormholes were, so that they could avoid splattering sixty million credits worth of First Order equipment all over the side of an oncoming meteor. Sixty million credits was how much it cost to build and outfit a TIE fighter, produce one life support system and TIE fighter pilot uniform, plus the estimated cost of an R2-A6 astromech and about how much it had cost to train, feed, and house Twitch for what they figured was about twenty years. They had done the morbid math during one very long briefing, and gotten Whistler to check it later. They represented an investment of about two thousand credits more per year than the average infantry trooper, which was good to know, in a way. Twitch didn’t really know how much a credit was worth, having never bought anything in their life, but two thousand was a high number, and they figured that if they cost more money to replace, Command was less likely to consider them replaceable.

This was what they were thinking about while they were looking at star charts. Replaceability. Twitch was a good enough pilot—they knew this because they weren’t dead—but they were far from irreplaceable. And they weren’t all that good, either. TIE fighter pilots died all the time, and someday their luck was going to run out. This wouldn’t have been so bad if they had flown solo, but they flew with Whistler. And when their luck ran out, so would his.

And then—and then nothing. And then the First Order would churn out a steady supply of new astromechs nothing like him, and there would never be another droid like Whistler, and nobody would care. Nobody but Twitch would even know anything was missing.

And that wasn’t right. That was unacceptable, a word they’d previously only heard applied to uniform violations and unclean living areas. It wasn’t quite forbidden but if Twitch had been an officer they would have made it so.

“Okay, how about…” They twisted the dial on the display and brought another planet into focus. Plugged into his socket, Whistler would see whatever they were looking at. “Akiva. Have you ever been there?”
 

Beebasaur

Probably Asleep from 5 AM - 2 PM UTC
Whistler scanned the star map, quickly locating the planet that Twitch was referring to before rotating his dome, mimicking a shake. “We don’t want to go there, nasty people live there, nasty people with a hate for robots” Whistler chirped giving what could be considered a shudder of fear for a droid. Twisting his utility arm ever so slightly in the port to get a better reception, he scanned through the planets in the sector Twitch had already selected. Looking through the planets he brought up one, displaying a small holographic image of the planet along with some basic info. “This place is nice.” He whistled though there was an unplaceable sadness in his voice, well voice modulator. “It is a nice place, plenty of space. I know an old house there we could live in” Whistler mentioned which intrigued Twitch. “Have you ever been to...” Twitch paused to glance at the planets name, “Garqi?”. Whistler unplugged his utility arm, and turned his body around to face Twitch, his radar eye somehow managing to take on a hesitatent look. “You know I used to belong to someone else, right?” Whistler whirred watching Twitch’s response carefully. ((I am ending it here as I want to give you a chance to reply :] ))
 

Noam

Member
"Yeah. I mean, I figured, 'cause the mechanics said you were repurposed." Which meant they'd found Whistler somewhere and reprogrammed him. It happened a lot, with small equipment like comms and droids. Command said it was efficient, waste not, want not, et cetera. But the reprogramming hadn't quite worked on Whistler, not the way it had on Twitch. "The people you belonged to...they lived on Garqi?"
 

Beebasaur

Probably Asleep from 5 AM - 2 PM UTC
Yes, they used to live on Garqi, not anymore though” He wharbled, a distinct sad tone in his voice. “They don’t live there anymore, and I know it is a good place” Whistler said before turning back to the star map effectively shutting down the conversation, he then brought up an image of yet another planet, this one labelled “Gocira”. “This place isn’t bad, if you don’t mind minocks and swamps that is”.
 

Noam

Member
"Dunno what a minock is," Twitch said frankly, leaning forward so that their chin rested on their knees. Gocira didn't look all that much different from Garqi; just a ball of blue and green smears orbiting a yellow star. "I don't think I mind swamps, though. Vodran had swamps, and those weren't so bad, except for the time that a jhadd tried to eat JA-1801." That had been during a survival training course just before they'd been selected as a TIE pilot; the last time they'd been planet-side for more than a few days.

"Were there swamps on Garqi? When you lived there with those other people?" Twitch tried to picture the other people who'd owned Whistler, and found that they couldn't. They must've been civilians, and Twitch had only a vague idea of what civilians looked like. Soft people, they thought, who wore colorful clothes and cried when they were sad. "What were they like?"
 

Beebasaur

Probably Asleep from 5 AM - 2 PM UTC
Whistler sighed, realising that Twitch was going to give this conversation up and he might as well explain it. “Well, my old owner was Corran Horn and his young son Valin. Corran was brave, determined, always there for his friends, heh sort of like you kid.” Whistler said with a chirp, nudging Twitch with his utility arm in a friendly manner. “You see Corran was a pilot for the rebellion, the guys we are fighting, and me and him often went to other planets as sort of spies.” He mused,”He went by Eamon Yzailli and I was called Xeno” He whistled nostalgia tinting everything he said. “Anyway, there aren’t any swamps on Garqi but there are lots of forests so you got tot watch for Creatures.” He concluded before quickly adding, “and this is a mynock” Whistler brought up a picture of the creature so Twitch could see what he was talking about.
 

Noam

Member
Twitch mouthed the words Corran Horn to themselves, hanging on to Whistler's words. At the mention of the Rebellion, they startled forward, peering out the window of their TIE fighter like somebody might be watching. "Whistler, shh!"

Outside on the hangar floor, troopers carried on their patrols, oblivious. Two officers strode by in conversation. Of course, nobody could hear what was happening inside the TIE fighter. Most of them wouldn't have understood Whistler's half of the conversation anyway. Twitch ducked back down into their seat and tried their best to look like they were reviewing flight patterns. Looking bored, that was the key. "You were a Rebel?" they whispered, schooling their face into an unemotional mask. Their heart pounded in their throat. Whistler hadn't mentioned that in any of his vague intimations about his past life. They tried to picture him in the socket of a sharp-toothed X-wing, and suppressed a shiver. "You didn't tell me any of that."
 

Beebasaur

Probably Asleep from 5 AM - 2 PM UTC
“. . . Well err never mind that, you never need to know until now.” Whistler quickly replied realising his mistake and knowing it was too late to take it back. “Yes I was a Rebel, empathise on was. Once we get out of here I never want to shoot another gun as long as i live.” Whistler said firmly, an anger entering his voice as he spoke. He had been on both sides of the war and he had learned it wasn’t worth it, and it never would be in his opinion.
 

Noam

Member
Twitch fiddled with the display, flipping through planets in a mindless blur of green, blue, and brown. "But what else would we do?" they said finally, in a low voice. "Just--go off to some backwater world and ignore everything else happening in the galaxy? Pretend that we didn't know anything about the First Order, about what they're doing out here?"

Part of them was tempted to do just that. Surely the both of them had been fighting for long enough; surely they deserved a little rest. Twitch thought they could sleep forever, if no-one bothered to wake them. But the loss of one TIE Fighter pilot and one astromech wouldn't mean much to the machine of the First Order. It would churn on, regardless, chewing up and spitting out troopers and planets and lives. If they were going to stop it--if running was going to really mean something--

"That's not what FN-2187 did, you know that. He didn't just desert. He defected, he's with the Resistance now. A rebel, like you and Corran were."
 

Beebasaur

Probably Asleep from 5 AM - 2 PM UTC
Whistler twitched as Twitch brought up Corran before grumbling “yeah that is exactly what we’re going to do. “ He growled firmly his electronic beeps taking on a lower pitch as he spoke. “I don’t care what FN-2187 did, you’re not him. He can risk his life for a useless war if he wants, but I’m not and neither will you. I ... can’t have another owner die” he whistled, the last part mostly to himself.

“Hey! What are you two doing here! All pilots are supposed to be at the barracks!” Barked someone from behind, Whistler rotating his dome to face the person who had issued the order. “TF-1289 who gave you permission to be in here! All pilots are supposed to be in their quarters.” The officers growled, using Twitch’s serial number to show how serious they were.

Whistler jumped onto this distraction turning towards Twitch and chirping “you heard them man we’d better get ahead before we lose ours!” He exclaimed gesturing towards the man’s blaster with his utility arm, snickering quietly at his own joke. “And shut that damn astromech up before I do it for you.” The officer added.
 

Noam

Member
Twitch jumped guiltily, shutting the display down. "Right away, sir." They tugged their helmet back on and kicked Whistler hard in the chassis as they climbed out of their fighter. For somebody so committed to survival, he sure cracked a lot of jokes in front of command. Even if most of the officers didn't speak Binary.

Major Pykwell certainly didn't, but he still glowered down at the both of them as if he could understand Whistler's pun. "And what exactly were you doing in your fighter without authorization, pilot?"

"My squadron leader instructed me to review the star charts for tomorrow's mission, sir." It wasn't a lie. TF-1130 had told them to do that, even if it wasn't what Twitch had been doing.

"Hm." Pykwell glared at them for a moment longer, but there wasn't anything he could do. Twitch was Squadron 14's navigator, and they were obligated to chart the squadron's course, and Pykwell wasn't high ranking enough that he could discipline a TIE pilot for following orders. A Stormtrooper, sure, but TIE pilots, Twitch thought bitterly, were special. "Well. The hangar is closing for maintenance, you can't be in here any longer. Report to your barracks."

"Sir." Twitch saluted and turned to go, Whistler following at their heels. "Could you not mouth off to officers?" they hissed, once they were out of the hangar and in a relatively empty stretch of the hall. "If they think you've got too much of a personality, they'll take you away and wipe you for real."
 

Beebasaur

Probably Asleep from 5 AM - 2 PM UTC
You worry to much Twitch!” Whistler chirped, nudging Twitch in a friendly manner. “Besides, it isn’t like Mr tightwad can understand me anyway.” He remarked carelessly, earning a small wack from Twitch. In all honesty Whistler wasn’t too concerned about having his personality erased, as he had long since figured out ways around it, though he had yet to mention this to Twitch. ((Sorry this is so short! ))
 

Noam

Member
"I thought," Twitch said, and had to pause when a squadron of Stormtroopers marched past, step in step. Their white helmets gleamed under the lights, impassive. Twitch knew that they looked much the same, only all in black. They tried to avoid seeing themself in reflective surfaces when they were in full uniform. With no skin exposed, the thing in the mirror looked like a beetle's shed exoskeleton. Like something dead and brought back to life.

"I thought our next mission. In two days, when we're supposed to be giving The Devastator air support over Fest. The skies are going to be a mess. It'd be easy for us to just--go missing." ((It's ok! I'm glad you're back!))
 

Beebasaur

Probably Asleep from 5 AM - 2 PM UTC
Yeah, wouldn’t it just be a shame if something happened and we had a, change of course.” He chirped smugly completely disregarding the passing stormtroopers as he had long since gotten used to them. When he had been reactive here for the first time he was actually more Twitchy than the man himself, going out of his way to avoid the passing squads. The two continued their journey through the twisting halls of the base, passing several more stormtroopers before reaching their destination. In a more geto part of the base stood the Tie-Pilots Barracks, only slighter better quality than the Stormtrooper ones. The area was a larger sectioned off area of the building, reminiscent of storage garages as down the many hallways were rooms, each housing 4 pilots. Whistler began to speed ahead of Twitch, eagerly stopping at their cubicle and using his utility arm to unlock the door. Each TIE pilot was given a card that would unlock their door, but Twitch had long since lost his and it wasn’t very hard for Whistler to ‘hack’ them. ((Yeah! Hopefully I won’t be leaving again!))
 

Noam

Member
TF-1200 was already sprawled out on his bunk in his skivvies, but he opened one eye blearily as Twitch entered. "Y'r late," he grumbled.

"So report me," Twitch said, tipping their chin down with a scowl. They dropped down onto their own bunk and yanked their gloves off, then started unbuckling their boots.

"Ooh, twitchy," said Blister from the top bunk. "Hah--twitchy, get it, Double-Zero, cause she's--"

TF-1200 made a rude hand gesture and dragged his pillow over his head. "Will you please crash already, I'm tired of hearing your voice."

"Negative, I've got, like." Blister glanced at the chrono on the wall. "At least three more hours before I start coming down." He drummed his fingers in a restless pattern against his leg. His eyes were wide and bloodshot, pupils blown. Stims always made Blister chatty, which was tolerable when Twitch was on them as well but agonizing when they were sober. And Blister had been on a different schedule than everyone else in the room for the last month, which meant that he was always up when everyone else was down. "Hey Twitch," he said, "Hey. You wanna play dice?"

"Contraband," said Razor, from the other top bunk, where he was filing his nails.

"So report me," Blister drawled, "You're like, the emperor of contraband. You stole a knife."

"When we were cadets, will you let it the eff go?"

"I'm not playing dice," Twitch said. "I'm tired." They shucked their jumpsuit and tossed it into the laundry chute, then crawled under their covers and buried their face in the mattress. "G'night, Whistler."

"That's adorable," Blister snickered. Twitch flipped him off, then yanked the blanket up over their head and fell away from the world.
 

Beebasaur

Probably Asleep from 5 AM - 2 PM UTC
Whistler watched Twitch completely crash as he hit the bed, of course not before he flipped off Blister. Letting out a little electronic snort he turned to Blister and opened Data tray which held a deck of worn down cards Whistler owned, resting where one would put a data disk. “Heck yeah! You know what’s up!” Blister remarked, sliding off the top bunk with ease and landing on the floor beside him. “Okay so we are playing crock so no cheating.” Whistler chirped and Blister nodded, not understanding a word Whistler said. “If you want to play a clean game, Blister is the last person I would play with.” Razor blade remarked, earning the bird from Blister in response. TF-1200 had long since fallen asleep, and after an hour so had Razorblade. Maybe three hours later Blister admitted he had to get some sleep, so their game ended and everyone went to bed, including Whistler who plugged himself into his charging station.
 

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