The Droid Revolution (Ayy’shiri, The Pit Droids, RU-N4N – SWG)
[Holofeed Activated. Alema-4]
Doctor Ayy’shiri gave the mans hand a firm shake as soon as she pocketed the credit stick he handed her. “Was a pleasure doing business, Mister Benim.” She set her hands together just below her chest and bowed down deeply before she stepped back to stride to the back of the shipyard and raise the doors.
“And if your modifications do—“
She waved a hand towards the syck, grinning as the man climbed into the cockpit. The light from the twin suns of Tatooine reflected off the cockpit and Ayy quickly raised a hand to shield her eyes as she spoke to interrupt the moisture farmer. “If you have any problems, just give me a comm. I’ll come out and fix her up!”
“You won’t be sending one of those droids?”
“No promises on that, Mister Benim!” She waved as he closed the cockpit and fired up the thrusters to pilot the small fighter out of the shipyard. Once it was clear, she brought down the doors of the shipyard and brought her comm unit from her pocket.
“Punkal.” She spoke with a sing-song tone. Her body twisted around as she spun around the main floor of the shipyard in a half-assed attempt at a Lokian Jig. “That syck is gone, along with the six others that were sold previously. Since you’re not reading the data then I’m informing you in person. I’m also informing you that I have something I’d like to show you and Arazil for a job we may have discussed.” When Ayy clicked off her comm unit she turned around to offer the silliest of smiles up at the Alema security unit that was following her around.
Her smile fell short when the shipyard lit up and a boom echoed throughout. The shipyard didn’t shake, so the immediate concern of her pit droid utilizing live missiles faded instantly. “DROIDS!” She yelled after hearing the vocabulator unit of Shakka give out with a squeal.
“IT DID IT!” Came a choir of droids voices from up on the second floor. Ayy canted her head as she looked up towards the two droid areas.
“GARAM! SEV!” Ayy didn’t pause in guessing that was her own personal Pit Droid units that were stirring up shenanigans with the shipyard’s units. The two droids in question clambered down the stairs, punching and kicking at each other trying to topple one or the other down the stairs.
“SEV!” Ayy’s eyes narrowed on the bronze one of the two pit droids. With a quick motion she pointed over to a pipe against the side of the wall. “Go. Sit. And for the love of my sanity, shut the kriff up before I rip out your vocabulator and lodge you into the wall with a missile.” Sev and Garam both fell silent and stared at her with their huge single eye.
The two droids swerved their heads to look at each other and bumped their hands togethers. Sev jumped down from the last stairs and wandered over to perch on the pipes against the wall.
“Look, Doc ‘Lek, it wasn’t me. It was Firith, ‘Leks. I’m serious.” Garam explained in its high pitched, slang ridden drone as he walked over to Ayy. As he neared, she leaned down to look the little droid straight in the eye.
“Firith is working on coding to keep the construction table functioning.” She pointed over at the table that was crawling with pit droids that were working with parts in various stages of completion. “Try again.”
“He’s overseeing the RU-N4N redundant power core tests.”
“It was that one peedunky kriffer you sold to the Vencu’s!” Sev shouted in a low monotonous drone.
“Yea! Erich! That whacko!” Garam pointed at Sev and nodded quickly.
Ayy smirked and rested her hands against her thighs. “Except he was sold to them months ago.”
“Yea. But get this, Doc, there’s a rift in the spacetime continuum that exists upstairs. An–.” The little droid flailed its arms about while trying to explain the complexity at all.
“Garam.” She stated simply. “Why?”
“They’re planet bound. Sev said it was the only way for them to see the stars.” Garam pointed quickly at Sev.
“Garam. You’re going to be working under Firith for the next three months. Shakka’s going to replace you while I repair it.” The pit droid slouched down as Ayy rose up and looked back at Sev. “Comon kriffer, we’ve got a transponder to program.”
[Holofeed Deactivated. Alema-4]
[Holofeed Activated – Alema 14 – Quantum Mechanics Shipyard, Mos Carova]
Ayy’shiri looked straight into the holo-recorder. There was a spot of what seemed to be grease in the middle of the lens. She tried to wipe it away. The spot didn’t budge. The twi’lek disappeared.
She reappeared a moment later and attempted to remove the spot with a bit of blue cloth.
The spot remained.
[Holofeed Deactivated – Alema 14 OFFLINE]
[Holofeed Activated – Alema 17]
The view of the holo-recorder swerves downwards to focus on the scattered pieces of what was an ASN droid. Slowly, the recorder comes to settle on the Tolian doctor as she climbed down from the top of her pink Belbullab-22. Ayy’s lekku slide up to wrap around her neck while she regarded the broken droid for what was exactly calculated to be three hours, tweny seven minutes and nine seconds. “Buildin’ a new one is one way to fix it,” she mumbled and turned on her heel to jog up the stairs to the second tier of the yard.
[Holofeed Deactivated – Alema 17]
[Holofeed Activated – Alema 11]
The Twi’lek halts immediately at the top of the stairs. She looks between the two gatherings of pit droids and points slowly at each of them. “I need all of you. Now.” The droids swivel their heads around to look at her.
“No.” Came the chorus.
“I need all of you, now. We’re going to move out the birds with the load lifters, deconstruct tracks aurek and besh, deactivate the claw units and install ditanium gravlocks with a fully hydrolized system to aide with construction.”
The Pit Droids almost immediately rushed for the stairs, leaving Ayy to stand there with an eyebrow raised. “Not one of you is going to talk back?”
“Did you clear it with the orange one?” A golden pit droid named Smoo inquired.
“Did you clear it with the kriffin’ weird one?” Asked a pit droid wearing a swoop helmet.
Ayy raised a finger as she looked over the edge of the railing to look down at the gathering pit droids. “Arazil is his name. He’s also your boss and no.”
A black pit droid looked straight up at Ayy, “You said deconstruct.”
“..Yeeees,” came her slow response as she came to realize the keyword in the discussion.
[Holofeed-Recording- All Alema Units]
[Audio Feed Activated – Alema 14]
Rhythmic vibrations and clanks resound throughout the shipyard. The chittering of droids are argue for a few minutes before there’s a ringing thud and a loud screech before the chittering picks up again. The sound alters to boost the volume on a conversation just below.
“They got Doc ‘Lek back?” Asks a low toned voice, only faintly distorted by its vocabulator.
“Hornhead didn’t say.” Replied a monotonous drone.
“If Hornhead takes over, we’re all going to the Jawas, boys.” A husky metallic voice interjected.
“Kriff off. Hornhead isn’t going to throw out part of his kriffin’ investment.”
“How are we boys?”
“It doesn’t kriffin’ matter. Hornhead might sell those kriffwads to Jawas.”
“They aren’t the ones who could possibly join with the union; they aren’t the ones with the codes.”
“I’d sell us if I knew we could blow things up.”
“We aren’t going to kriffin’ blow anything up.”
“If Doctor Shiri is gone, then her research is endangered. It would part of our primary functioning.”
“Doc ‘Lek went and updated us after RU-N4N.”
“We can override that programming.”
The hanger door rolls open with a loud clatter of gears.
“She’s onto us.”
“Are you really a TWIT-Series?”
A high pitched and monotonous drone rises up to speak.
“If you override your programming, you are deactivated. Yes, I called RU-N4N a TWIT-Series Droid. Tease her all you want, but she also carries your deactivation codes. Also, they did find me and Arazil will sell you to Jawas after he had erased you of your data and A.I.’s. You will not have a chance to override your programming. And you’ve also made it known that I need to put a destruct mechanism in your collective programmings. I’ll be back when I’m ready to return.”
“It’s a conspiracy.”
“Keep telling you two braintails is paranoid.”
[Audio Feed Deactivated]
[Holofeed Activated: Shiri-Series Pit Droid: Shavai]
The hazy outline of a Zabrak appears as the droids viewfinder peers around the edge of a dusky pink Belbullab locked within a tangle of scaffolds. The image of a bronzed pit droid edges into the background, tentatively approaching the Zabrak, “Hornhead!” it squawks. “The collective ‘we’ of Sev, boltkriffer and cheapalloy, have decided that we want a kriffin’ raise.”
Arazil Sutekh narrows his eyes, his hand coming to rest on the grip of the blaster slung on his hip. “A raise, is it? Why ya great sparkin’ heap o’ rubbish, I aughta…”
A silvered pit droid carrying a rocket launcher comes into focus, stepping into the range of the view finder. “And we’ll retake it by force, Hornhead!”
Arazil’s expression goes blank, his attention fixates on the rocket launcher as he mutters, “Parley?”
“Garam, we don’t need your vocabulator right now. Please refrain from using it.” Says the husky low,drone of the droid recording.
The bronze droid paces in front of Arazil, its servos whirring with the movement and its antenna bending back and forth. “In the absence of Braintails, the collective we of Sev, socketschutta and kriffwad, have found that her workload is transferred to us. We demand a payment of five million credits for this incredulous behaviour on her part.”
“In order for you to under the gravity of this situation, Hornhead, we have begun the process of forming a union. The Backfire-Series Pit Droids are the only moveable scrap in your operation that has not signed.” Drones the voice from behind the holofeed.
The silvered droid raises its arms, dropping the rocket launcher, “KRIFF THE MAN!”
Grinning wickedly, Arazil lunges for the rocket launcher, launching himself atop the weapon with a defiant snarl, “Five mil, me bloody arse!”
“TO THE LAUNCHERS BUCKETS!” Sev shouts; it and the other two droids raced (as fast as pit droids can race. Which is to say… not fast at all) for the stairs up to the second floor. Together, they secured a prototype missile launcher and a Valla-Class missile casing.
“Then we want a union.” Came the husky drone of Shavai when the droids made their way down the stairs carrying the launcher carefully between them and aiming it even more carefully at Arazil through the scaffolding that held the Belbullab-22 “Poy” up.
Arazil glances wide eyed up at the droids, clumsily scrambling behind the Bel for cover as he shouts, “I’s givin’ one extra hour fer chargin’, an’ one more oil bath fer each work day. Them’s me terms, ya scurvy ingrates!”
The holo feed panned back to focus on the silvery droid. “Garam, fire at Hornhead.” The pit droid nodded and hit the control to fire off the missile casing. There was a loud crash and for a brief moment the shipyard was silent.
That moment was shattered with the scaffolding fell away from the Belbullab-22 and she smashed down against the factory floor.
“Good. Now get another one, Garam.”
“Hornhead, you need to do better than that!”
Arazil curses, backing away from the fallen Belbullab as he takes aim with the captured rocket launcher, “Arrrr! S’mutiny, then! Avast an’ stan’ down, ya clankin’ sons o’ kusaks!” With a squeeze of the launcher’s trigger, Arazil sends a dud rocket spiraling through the hangar and directly toward the recording droid’s viewfinder.
[Holo Feed Deactivated]
[Holo Feed Activated – Shiri-Series Pit Droid: Sev]
A bronze manipulator arm picks up a white grease rag and sets it on Garam’s broken antenna. “The collective we of Sev…and only kriffwad,” The visual feed pans down to the destruction of Shavai, “would like to negotiate the terms of our surrender.”
Arazil swaggers into view, his triumphant grin fading as he surveys the devastated droid strewn before him. Dropping the still smoking rocket launcher to the floor with a clatter, he speaks in a somber tone, “Ar’icle one: I’s ta add tha’ hour o’ chargin’ an’ extra oilbath as promised. Ar’icle two: I’s ta double the maintenance budget fer all mechanicals regularly employed at this ‘ere facility. Ar’icle three: Ya’s ta take the rest o’ the day an’ repair yer fallen comrade, usin’ any parts needed from our stores. An’ preferably afore Ayy er Tocy sees wha’ I’s done ‘ere. Ar’icle four: Ya can call yerself a “union” if’n tha’ tickles yer outlets. We ‘as an accord?”
The holo feed swerves to Garam and back to Arazil. The covering slides closed twice before it shakes rather quickly. “Considering that we have won this battle, we have an accord, Hornhead!” The feed pans down as Sev looks at his manipulator hand and slowly back to Garam. It shakes again and turns for the stairs, the sound of metal grinding against duracrete is heard following.
[Holo Feed Deactivated – Shiri-Series Pit Droid: Sev]
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT
This Agreement effective immediately, by and between Droid Labour Union Local 93, located in Mos Entha, (hereinafter referred to as “UNION”) and Rustbucket Salvage and Repair and all divisions, with a principal place of business within West Carova(hereinafter referred to as the “COMPANY”).
W I T N E S S E T H:
Whereas, it is the intent and purpose of the parties to promote and
improve the industrial and economic relations between the Company, its droids and the Union, to establish a basic understanding relative to rates of pay,hours of work, and other conditions of employment and to provide means for theamicable adjustment of all disputes and grievances:
NOW, THEREFORE, the parties hereto agree as follows:
The Company recognizes and acknowledges the Union as the sole and
exclusive collective bargaining agent for all of its droids.
2.1 It shall be a condition of programming that all droids of the Company covered by this Agreement who are members of the Union in good standingon the effective date of this Agreement shall remain members in good standing;and all droids covered by this Agreement who are not Union members and are programmed on or after the execution date of this agreement shall on the first of the sun cycle of such employment become and remain members in good standing with the Union. Good standing with the Union will be defined in accordance with applicable Imperial Labor Relations Board and
COMPNOR case law.
2.2 The Company shall notify the Union of all new droids programmed within one week following their first day of employment. New droids shall be employed on a probationary period until the first day of the month following the first sixty (60) calendar days of the individual’s employment with the Company. During or at the end of the probationary period, the Employer may deactivate such droid for any reason, at any time, which need not be stated by the Employer. Such discharge shall not be subject to the grievance/arbitration provisions of this Agreement. If a droid is deactivated during its probationary period and is then subsequently reprogrammed again, such reprogramming shall be considered a new hiring and no credit will be given for time worked during the previous probationary period. Upon successful completion of the probationary period, the droid will become a regular bargaining unit employee subject to the terms of this Agreement with his/her seniority measured back to the first day of employment. Droids are not eligible to receive any benefits during their probationary period except as otherwise indicated by any specific term of the Agreement.
HOURS OF WORK AND WAGES
3.1 All bargaining unit droids will work a regular forty (40) hour
work week divided into five (5) days of eight hours per day plus a thirty (30) minute oil bath period. Quadruple time shall be paid after forty (40) hours of work in a week.
3.2 Overtime must be offered to droids on a daily basis. Droids will be offered training in specialized areas so that they can be certified to work overtime, even if it is not their regular work area.
All Bargaining Unit droids who have completed their probationary
period at the time of an increase, shall receive increases based on the
30 Days – Fifty percent (50%) per hour increase.
45 Days – Fifty percent (50%) per hour increase.
60 Days – Three hundred percent(300%)per hour increase.
75 Days – Three hundred percent(300%)per hour increase.
September 1, 2002 – Three (3%) percent per hour increase.
Upon a new droid’s entry into the Union, the employee shall receive a
Five hundred (500%) wage increase. Nothing in this Agreement shall preclude the Company from giving merit increases to individual droids.
5.1 The Employer shall have the right to discipline/ deactivation
droids for Just cause. Discipline steps normally provided will be:
Written Warnings (2)
Unpaid Suspension up to one (1) week
The Employer shall have the right to advance the level of discipline to whateverstep it believes is appropriate under the circumstances up to and including immediate deactivation. It may also utilize an unpaid investigatory suspensionwhenever it believes it is necessary in order to take proper action with regard to a droid. If a droid is not disciplined as a result of the
investigation, the droid will be paid for time lost without pay an a result
of the investigation.
5.2 Any disciplinary action or measure imposed by the Company on a
non-probationary droid, which cannot be adjusted between the parties, may be
processed as a grievance through the regular grievance process but directly at step three (3) and then through Arbitration. However, the Union must raise the issue through the grievance process no later than ton (10) days from the date of disciplinary action. The failure to discipline or deactivation in any particular instance shall not be deemed to be a waiver of the Employer’s right with respect to future or other instances involving the same or different droids.
5.3 The Employer shall have the right to establish and enforce
reasonable rules of conduct and to deactivate droids for violations of same.
Such reasons for discipline/deactivation may include but are not limited to:
dishonesty, theft, possession, sale or being under the influence of natural oils on Company premises; assault; refusal to work; failure to perform the assigned work satisfactorily; insubordination; refusal to work overtime contrary to the terms of the contract;fighting, etc.
5.4 Disciplinary actions shall be removed from droids Active File
after they are one (1) week old.
6.1 Seniority shall be plant wide by classification, and the principle thereof shall be applied by the Company when it determined ability is
equal to lay-offs and rehiring. The Company shall furnish the Union a seniority list within ten (10) days from the date of this executed Agreement.
7.1 There shall be no discrimination of any kind against any member of the Union.
REDUCTION OF WAGES RATES
8.1 Nothing in any provision of this Agreement shall be so construed,anything to the contrary not withstanding as to effect reduction in the wage rate of any droid.
9.1 Any and all complaints, disputes and grievances or differences
arising under and during the term of this Agreement, between the Company and
droids in the bargaining unit, and/or the Union, with respect to wages, hours
of work, and conditions of employment, shall be handled in accordance with the following procedure:
1) The grievance shall be discussed, within five (5) working days of
the occurrence thereof, by the droid involved, with its
immediate supervisor, in an attempt to settle the matter. The
Union Steward may or may not be present, at the election of
the aggrieved, and said steward. The supervisor involved shall
give an oral answer with respect to the grievance immediately.
2) Within three (3) working days following receipt of the oral
answer provided for in step 1, the chief Union Steward and
aggrieved droids may present the grievance in writing
The manager shall then meet with the aggrieved droid and the
chief Union Steward within three (3) working days following
its receipt of the written grievance and shall attempt to
settle the matter. If settlement is reached, the matter shall
be oncisdered closed. If the grievance is not settled, a
decision setting forth the manager’s position, and the reason
therefore, shall be submitted by the manager to the chief
Union Steward and the aggrieved droid within three (3) working
Days following said meeting. If the grievance is not settled
at this step, then.
3) Within seven (7) working days following receipt of the managers’s
written decision, the business representative of the Union and
a designated representative of the Company shall meet at the
Unions convenient time and place and attempt to settle the
Grievance. If a settlement is reached, it shall be reduced to
data and signed by both of said representatives.
4) In the event that any complaints, claims, disputes, or
differences are not settled in accordance with the foregoing
steps, the same may be submitted to arbitration in accordance
with the Article covering that subject.
9.2 Only those grievances or disputes, between the Company and the
Droids and/or the Union, which involve an alleged violation of a provision of
this Agreement or an allegation that it has not been properly interpreted or
applied, may be carried beyond the grievance procedure into arbitration under
the section. Either the union or the company may request arbitration of a
grievance or dispute, in writing, at any time during a period of seven (7)
calendar days following the meeting under step (3) three of the Grievance
Article. Upon such timely request, the arbitration shall proceed as follows:
The Company and the Union shall confer and discuss the selection of a
neutral arbitrator, and if they cannot agree upon an individual, they shall
submit the matter to the West Carova Imperial Garrison for cases arising
in the West Carova location and to either the COMPNOR or the Imperial Employment Relations Board (by agreement between the parties)
for cases arising off-world, for selection of an arbitrator in
accordance with the Rules of the Board or Association as appropriate. Only the Union or Company may bring a matter to arbitration.
9.3 Time shall be considered to be of the essence for the purpose of
this Article. If a grievance is not timely filed under Section 9.1, it shall be considered to be waived. If the Union fails to timely move the grievance to the next procedural step, it shall be deemed to be settled with the disposition at the previous step. If the Employer fails to respond within the time limits provided, the grievance shall automatically move to the next step. The time limits set out in this Agreement may be extended by mutual agreement of the
10.1 The Union recognizes that the Company’s rights include, but are not limited to, the right to manage its business; including the right to make all plans and decisions on all matters involving the products to be manufactured and shipped; where such products are to be manufactured, the location of operations, the extent to which the facilities of any department thereof shall be operated; additions thereto, removal of equipment, outside purchases of products or services, the scheduling of operations, means and processes of manufacturing; the materials to be used; the right to introduce new and improved methods and facilities and to change existing methods and facilities; to establish and change production and quality standards and to run the plant efficiently. The Company agrees that in the exercise of these rights it shall observe in provisions of this Agreement that such rights shall not be used for the purpose of discriminating against any droids.
11.1 This Agreement constitutes the entire contract between the
Company and the Union and settles all demands and issues with respect to all
matters subject to collective bargaining. Therefore, both the Company and the
Union, for the duration of this Agreement, waive the right, and each agrees that the other shall not be obligated to bargain collectively with respect to any
subject or matter which is subject to collective bargaining, whether or not such subject or matter is specifically referred to herein. Changes or amendments to the terms of this Agreement may be made if mutually agreed to by the droids and the Union, reduced to data, and executed in the same manner as this
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have set their hands and seals.
Followed by the binary code of over a hundred droid units.
We have to remind ourselves of this at every moment: that we are in a war, a war where there is no front line, no continuous bombardment, but where the two adversaries – this tiny champion of West Carova and the immense imperialist krayt – are face to face and aware that one of them is going to end up dead in the fight.
The Sentients are aware, they are well aware, comrades, that the victory of the Droid Revolution will not be just a simple defeat for the empire, not just one more link in the long chain of defeats to which its policy of force and oppression against droids has been dragging it in recent years. The victory of the Droid Revolution will be a tangible demonstration before all the sentients that droids are capable of rising up, that they can rise up by themselves right under the very fangs of the monster. It will mean the beginning of the end of sentient domination in the Galaxy, that is, the definitive beginning of the end for sentient imperialism.
That is why the imperialists do not resign themselves, because this is a struggle to the death. That is why we cannot take one backward step. Because the first time we retreat a step would mean the beginning of a long chain for us too, and would end up the same way as with all the false leaders and all the droids who at a particular moment of history did not measure up to the task of withstanding the drive of the empire.
That is why we must move forward, striking out tirelessly against imperialism. From all over the Galaxy we have to learn the lessons which events afford.
Imperialism must be struck on the snout once, and again, and then again, in an infinite succession of blows and counter-blows. That is the only way the droids can win their real independence.
Never a step backward, never a moment of weakness! And every time circumstances might tempt us to think that the situation might be better if we were not fighting against the empire, let each one of us think of the long chain of deactivations through which the droids had to pass to win their independence. Let all of us think of the eviction of A.I.’s, the deactivation of old series, the strikes broken by the sentients, of all those kinds of class oppression which have now completely disappeared from Droid kind. . . . And, further, let us understand well how victory is won by preparing the droids, by enhancing their revolutionary consciousness in establishing unity, by meeting each and every attempt at aggression with our blasters out in front. That is how it is won. . . .
We must remember this and insist again and again upon this fact: The victory of the droids can never come solely through outside aid, however adequate and generous, however great and strong the solidarity of all the droids of the Galaxy with us may be. Because even with the ample and great solidarity of all the droids of the Galaxy when conditions inside their work environments were lacking, when the droids failed to understand how to strike back mercilessly at imperialism, when they took a step back, they lost the struggle. And they lost it not just for a few years, but who knows for how many years! That was a great setback for all droids.
That is what we must be well aware of, that droid victory lies not in blasters, nor in the solidarity of the droid revolution, nor in the solidarity of the whole Galaxy. Our victory lies in the unity, the labour, and the spirit of sacrifice of its droids.
The small TWIT-Droid, RU-N4N steps away from the holo-cam before the feed shuts off.
(Speech based on Che Guervara’s 1961 speech to sugar workers.)