Chapter 2: Marketting and Bargaining
Jundland, or "No Man's Land", where the rugged desert meet the foreboding dune sea. The two droids kick up clouds of sand as they leave the lifepod and clumsily work their way across the desert wasteland while the lifepod in the distance, rests half buried in the sand.
"Tatooine...", Anakin muttered, remembering the very planet he had came from where he was raised as a slave and the reminder of his failure where his mother had died.
"Something the matter, Skywalker?", Shaak Ti asked the Jedi Knight on noticing his slight resentment at the sight of his homeworld.
Obi-Wan, stepped in his defense to prevent anymore unwanted memories to be remembered by the Jedi Knight. "Oh no, he just doesn't like the sight of that much sand, stating that it's coarse."
Anakin looked at Obi-Wan with a flabbergasted expression, not wanting everyone to know of his dislike of sand while Ahsoka and Padme smirked.
"Is it because it's rough, Master Skywalker?", Padme teasingly asked, remembering how he told her that back at Naboo.
"Irritating?", Ahsoka added, to which Anakin exasparately sighed.
"And it gets everywhere, okay? You get the idea.", Anakin deadpanned to which earned him chuckles from everyone around him, even Yoda and Mace Windu, who lets out a small smile on hearing this before they focused their attention back to the screen.
"How did I get into this mess? I really don't know how. We seem to be made to suffer. It's our lot in life.", Threepio whined as he and Artoo continued to walk in to the sandy wasteland while Artoo replied with certain beeping sounds. "I've got to rest before I fall apart. My joints are almost frozen."
"Why would that froze in deserts?", Caleb asked curiously.
"Well, considering the size of Tatooine and his model, I think he's pointing out on how his joints would be weary or become troublesome if he didn't rest or have maintenance at this time.", Anakin told the young padawan.
Artoo only responded with a few beeps before moving forward. "What a desolate place this is.", Threepio lamented.
"You got that right", Ahsoka affirmed as the rest of everyone present.
Suddenly enough Artoo called out, makes a sharp right turn and starts off in the direction of the rocky desert while Threepio stops and calls out at him."Where are you going?", the protocol droid asked. A stream of beeps and whistles pours forth from the smaller droid.
"Following the astromech droid would be a suffice option for him.", Ki-Adi Mundi suggested.
"But he will have to keep up with all his whining at that matter.", Kit Fisto mused with a chuckle.
"Well, I'm not going that way. It's much too rocky. This way is much easier.", Threepio snorted as he began to walk apart from thr Astromech droid while countered with a long whistle. "What makes you think there are settlements over there?"
"Is it just me, or has it that Threepio doesn't remember anything from Tatooine?", Obi-Wan mused as Anakin and Padme realized this. From what they had observed, it looked like Threepio doesn't remember anything from the sandy planet where he was created and was taken along by Qui Gon Jinn when Anakin was ten.
"That is strange, why wouldn't he remember?", Padme also wondered why.
'A memory wipe perhaps? But why would I or anyone else do that?', Anakin thought. 'More importantly, where am I?'
Artoo continued to make beeping sounds as they walked along the way. "Don't get technical with me.", Threepio snorted at him while Artoo continues to make beeping sounds.
"What mission? What are you talking about? I've had just about enough of you! Go that way! You'll be malfunctioning within a day, you nearsighted scrap pile!, he said as Threepio gives the little droid a kick and starts off in the direction of the vast dune sea.
"And don't let me catch you following me begging for help, because you won't get it.", he told him as the protocol droid went for another direction.
"That's just mean, Threepio", Padme pouted at the sight of the two's bickering.
"I find it ironic that an astromech droid is more helpful than protocol droids, sir", Rex mused to his general.
"Tell me about it, Artoo saved the day more than a dozen times than I could count", Anakin remarked, seeing how Artoo would always find a way to help them in their most dire situations.
Artoo's reply is a rather rude sound. He turns and trudges off in the direction of the towering mesa while continues to make beeping sounds that only annoyed the protocol droid. "No more adventures. I'm not going that way.", he told the astromech droid while Artoo beeps to himself as he makes his way toward the distant mountains.
Later on, Threepio, hot and tired, struggles up over the ridge of a dune; only to find more dunes, which seem to go on for endless miles. He looks back in the direction of the now distant rock mesas.
"That malfunctioning little twerp. This is all his fault! He tricked me into going this way, but he'll do no better.", the droid grumbled as he continued to make his way out.
"You have done that to yourself!", Obi wan said with a sarcastic tone of declaration that earned him a few laughs from everyone.
Anakin however, felt a sense of deja vu when his master said those words.
In a huff of anger and frustration, Threepio knocks the sanfrom his joints. His plight seems hopeless, when a glint ofreflected light in the distance reveals an object movingtowards him. "Wait, what's that? A transport! I'm saved! more adventures. I'm not going thatway!", he cheered as he made his way to that transport.
Anakin only facepalmed at this. "Threepio, Jawas are the ones operating that.", he muttered. Threpio should have known better than that.
"I'm not so sure about that sir, from what I hear they would rather sell functioning droids than dismantling them completely, so it's possible that they are to be sold to someone else." Rex suggested to his general, whose worries seem to ease up.
The Jawas muttered gibberish noises as they busily line up their battered captives, including Artoo and Threepio, in front of the enormous Sandcrawler, which is parked beside a small homestead consisting of three large holes in the ground surrounded by several tall moisture vaporators and one small adobe block house.
'That's the Lars homestead.' thought Anakin.'That's where my step family lives. And where I buried my mother.'
As they were fussing over the droids, straightening them up or brushing some dust from a dented metallic elbow. The shrouded little creatures smell horribly, attracting small insects to the dark areas when their mouths and nostrils should be. Out of the shadows of a dingy side-building limps Owen Lars, a large burly man in his mid-fifties.
'Isn't that Owen Lars?'thought Padmé. 'He didn't age well...'
His reddish eyes are sunken in a dust-covered face. As the farmer carefully inspects each droid, he is closely followed by his slump- shouldered nephew, Luke Skywalker.
"This young lad, will play a major part, he will. Hmmm?", Yoda mused as the others began to think that he is the center of this timeline at this point.
'That's odd, he looked a lot like me. And given to the fact that Padme is pregnant, his age would be twenty years after the war had ended at this timeline...', thought Anakin.
One of the vile little Jawas walks ahead of the farmer spouting an animated sales pitch in a queer, unintelligible language. A voice calls out from one of the huge holes that form the homestead. Luke goes over to the edge and sees his Aunt Beru standing in the main courtyard.
"Luke, tell Owen that if he gets a translator to be sure it speaks Bocce.", Beru called out to her nephew, who nodded.
'Luke is what I wanted to name my child if he was a boy.' Padmé thought to herself, slightly rubbing her belly.
"It looks like we don't have much of a choice but I'll remind him.", Luke recounted as he returned to his uncle as they look over the equipment for sale with the Jawa leader.
"I have no need for a protocol droid.", Owen said as he looked over the droids present as Threepio began to panic. "Sir - not in an environment such as this - that's why I've also been programmed for over thirty secondary functions that...", he exclaimed before he was cut off.
"What I really need is a droid that understands the binary language of moisture vaporators.", Owen contemplated as Threepio began to think of a way to not get sold by someone else.
"Vaporators! Sir - My first job was programming binary load lifter... very similar to your vaporators. You could say..."
"Do you speak Bocce?", Owen asked him, wanting to get to the point.
"Of course I can, sir. It's like a second language for me... I'm as fluent in Bocce..."
"All right shut up!", he told the protocol droid before turning to the Jawa. "I'll take this one."
"Shutting up, sir...", Threepio complied.
"That'll teach him for whining earler", Mace remarked as a few chuckled at the sight of Threepio being treated like this.
"Luke, take these two over to the garage, will you? I want you to have both of them cleaned up before dinner.", Owen asked his nephew, who was less thrilled about this.
"But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters...", Luke whined to his uncle, who was unfazed.
"You can waste time with your friends when your chores are done. Now come on, get to it!", he sternly replied as Luke eventually gave in.
"All right, come on! And the red one, come on. Well, come on, Red, let's go.", he ordered the two droids.
As the Jawas start to lead the three remaining robots back into the Sandcrawler, Artoo lets out a pathetic little beep and tries to after his old friend Threepio. He is restrained by a slimy Jawa, who zaps him with a control box. Owen is negotiating with the head Jawa. Luke and the two droids start off for the garage when a plate pops off the head of the red astro-droid's head plate and it sparks wildly.
"Uncle Owen!", Luke called out.
'Uncle Owen.' thought Padmé.Sure Beru may have had siblings, but Owen is Anakin's step-brother. He looks like us and he has named I wanted to name my son. I think this may be our child.' Padmé smiled at the thought until she realized a crucial question.
'But why is our child on Tatooine with Anakin's step family? That wouldn't make sense if the Jedi Order or Ahsoka would take them in. Unless...oh no. What has happened to me and Anakin?
"This R2 unit has a bad motivator. Look!", Luke told his uncle, pointing at the now-broken unit.
Owen turned to the head Jawa and complained. "Hey, what're you trying to push on us?"
The leader goes into a loud spiel. Meanwhile, Artoo has sneaked out of line and is moving up and down trying to attract attention. He lets out with a low whistle where Threepio taps Luke on the shoulder, in an attempt to save his friend despite their animosity earlier. "Excuse me, sir, but that R2 unit is in prime condition. A real bargain.", he suggested as the boy is rather interested at that.
"They have to take Artoo in, otherwise the Empire might find and or the Rebellion would be doomed", Plo Koon contemplated as people looked in concern for the astromech droid.
"Uncle Owen!", Luke called out to his uncle once more.
"What about that one?", he asked, pointing at the blue astromech droid.
"What about that blue one? We'll take that one.", Owen asked the leader. With little reluctance the Jawa trades the damaged droid for Artoo.
"Yeah, take it away.", Luke told the Jawas.
"If he finds the plans, do you think he would go and deliver them to the rebellion or surrender it to the Empire?", Ki-Adi Mundi asked.
"That would be a difficult choice. Since the Empire hasn't known it yet, it would be unlikely that they would force him to surrender it soon enough. The Rebellion on the other hand, I'm not sure if he's going to risk it for the sake of his family.", Mace Windu said with possibilities clouding his mind.
"Uh, I'm quite sure you'll be very pleased with that one, sir. He really is in first-class condition. I've worked with him before. Here he comes.", Threepio told the young man as Owen pays off the whining Jawa as Luke and the two droids. trudge off toward a grimy homestead entry.
"Oh, indeed he is", Anakin said with pride on Threepio's opinion of Artoo.