Star Wars: Cruise Control | Scene 2.3

JT reaches her room and lets herself in to check it out. The quarters are simple, but they are hers alone. In addition to her trunk, she finds waiting for her a large flat rectangle wrapped in brown paper. It is a meter by a meter and a half, and the label reads, “Jai Tessa, care of Dame Metropolis.” She pulls the wrapping off, revealing a gorgeous landscape of rolling forested hills. The corner is signed Jeppo Edo, Jr. in crimson red.

“That was fast!” JT says, admiring the artwork. “Oh, this is a really nice planet. I wonder what it is supposed to be. Not Coruscant, that’s for sure.”

The name of the artwork, Corellian Lowlands, is penciled in on the back of the frame, but it is not visible from the front. In ages past, Corellia moved much of its industry into orbit, and outside the cities, the environment recovered nicely. Forests abound, as do meadows and pristine beaches. Someone like JT, who has only ever visited Coronet City, would never know this.

“This is really nice. I’m going to have to get a big sheet to cover it, so we can have a proper unveiling at the gala,” she muses.

JT unpacks a little and looks through her packet again. The ship is enormous, with a bazaar deck and a department store deck. She will look for a dress there in the next few days, she decides. There are many different levels of restaurants, as well, suited for all budgets and tastes: grand dining room, bistro room, generic buffet, continental breakfast, lounges, specialty restaurants. There is a club that only members can enter, but she sees in the fine print that passengers below First Class can purchase memberships, so she might be able to mine that for gala attendees. She also makes note of an establishment called the Imperial. Probably a good place to look for a moff, if he ever leaves the banquet hall he stole from her.

For now, though, she just wants to get some food and relax. She wanders off to see what she can find.

* * *

As she moves around the lower eatery decks, JT sees some droids turn down a smaller side corridor. They enter a room signed Droid Lounge. JT perks up and heads over to it, wondering if she is allowed to enter. She raps on the door, knocking out a pattern in binary. The bouncer droid that opens it looks to the left and the right around her. She whistles to the droid in binary, “I don’t want to impose… Is it all right if I come in?”

The BN unit replies in Basic, “You are welcome to send your droids here.”

“I don’t own droids,” JT says, switching to Basic herself.

“Then how can this droid be of service to you?”

“How good are your oil baths?”

“This droid assures you that the baths have the highest quality oil that will meet the needs of any droids that are on board and—”

“How do you like the oil baths?” JT asks, wondering if this droid gets proper treatment.

“When not on duty, this droid does partake of the oil baths here and finds them to be quite satisfactory,” BN-CR admits.

“Okay, that’s good to hear,” JT says, relieved. “I just wanted to make sure they weren’t cheaping out on you.”

“Like all the services on the upper decks of Dame Metropolis, this droid lounge is a high quality establishment,” the bouncer assures her. JT asks about the specific blend used in the oil baths, naming the particular brands and balance that her own family prefers, the kind that soaks well into the joints but rolls cleanly off the outside of the chassis. The droid replies with the exact chemical composition of the contents of the baths, trying to provide the information it believes she seeks. “Send any droids this way, and you will be satisfied with the results.”

“Oh, hey, do you know PD-101, one of the greeting protocol droids?”

JT hears the sound of footsteps coming down the main hall. The bouncer droid switches to binary to answer her question. “This droid knows PD-101. What do you require?”

She keeps the conversation in binary. “It’s just that he did a really great job helping me check my luggage in and everything. I wanted to give him a good review so he can get a nice oil bath. And if you know… is he available for… I need an emcee for an event, and he seemed like a very personable person.”

“So you have some sort of function you want PD-101 to perform for you?”

“I mean, if he can do an entertainment act, then definitely,” JT says, wondering what sort of hobbies the protocol droid has. “But mainly I’m looking for someone to introduce guests, like an auctioneer. Introduce the musical group, greet people at the door, and so on.”

“And you would like this droid to relay this information to PD-101?”

“I’m asking your opinion of him,” JT clarifies. “I mean, I met him; I think PD-101 is pretty great. You said you knew him, so… Would he be willing to do that, do you think?”

“PD-101 is a droid that interfaces with organics.”

“That’s not the question that I asked.”

“It seems like what you are suggesting meets PD-101’s skillset, and he did say he wanted to meet new people.”

JT claps her hands together. “This would be a great way to meet new people!” She provides the bouncer droid with her room number and asks him to relay the request along with the information about the gala’s schedule. Before she goes, though, she asks BN-CR, “How do you like working on Dame Metropolis?”

“Please clarify your question.”

“Well, I’ve met a lot of droids who are bound to a particular ship and they get given crap work. And they get given crap, generally, day in and day out. And I’ve met other droids in other places who have a bit more flexibility in what they can do. Do you like what you do?” she probes.

“This droid only has to interact with droids for the most part, which is quite satisfactory to this droid.”

“Yeah, that’s understandable,” JT grants. “Makes sense. Organics are kind of wishy-washy, aren’t we? Never know what we want… Just talk at us enough, and we’ll probably change our mind.” She gets the impression that this is probably the longest conversation BN-CR has had with an organic in a long time. She looks down towards the main hallway and listens for a moment. It seems no one else is in earshot, and more importantly, within visual range. “I’m glad that you enjoy what you do here. That’s very good. If at some point you find it’s not working out, I have some friends who might be able to help.” She hands the bouncer a pamphlet for Sharni’s group, the Droid Liberation Cooperative. She considers bringing up her charity, but she doubts this droid has any credits so decides to leave that alone.

BN-CR accepts the pamphlet and inserts it into a compartment. “This droid will pass your request on to PD-101.”