Cassian had met a wide variety of people in the galaxy.
But Orson Krennic was, without question, the most insane.
It wasn’t simply that he knew Krennic was insane: It was that literally everyone else on the Death Star seemed to know it as well, even if they were too smart to go ahead and say it out loud. And boy, oh boy, did it look like some of them were coming close to saying it out loud.
Because, really, what other response could you have to a man who kept a Rebellion Captain locked in a cage in his office?
The other day Krennic had called a group of Stormtroopers to his office for some of meeting about their work ethic, or some other banal topic that Cassian discarded as useless to the Rebellion (he’d made a point of memorizing details that would be). The Director’s office was connected to his living quarters, hence why he had placed Cassian’s cage there: He could keep him on display whilst also making sure they could move someplace more private if he needed to.
Now, Cassian wasn't in the business of sympathizing with Stormtroopers. But when they had come to attention before the Director, and moments later realized that, yes, that was a cage, and yes, that was a man in Rebellion fatigues inside the cage, Cassian had felt a strange sort of bond with them. The Stormtroopers may have been wearing masks, but Cassian knew that they were probably staring at him with dumbfounded shock, and he locked eyes with one of them and offered up his most deadpan expression.
No, no, you’re seeing this correctly: Your director has a grown man locked in a cage in his office like a dog. Get a good look, and remember that this is the man who’s giving you your orders and making major decisions over your lives. Remember this the next time he sends you into a war-zone: ‘I’ve been given this order by a fucking lunatic who keeps captured Rebels as pets.’
Maybe if they ruminated on it long enough they’d consider defecting. Stars knew if Cassian were in their shoes he’d at least consider it.
More often than not, Cassian was left alone for the majority of the day. And really, it was the least of all the potential evils.
They’d interrogated him for about a month. On day three he’d managed to worm the suicide pill out of the compartment on his jacket when his captors had stepped out of the room, but he’d been unable to get it into his mouth before they’d returned. Any hopes at ending the misery before it really got going was crushed under the interrogator’s boot along with the pill.
Krennic had featured prominently in the interrogations. He’d struck Cassian as a pompous prick with delusions of grandeur from the get-go, and he’d been right; it took him longer to realize the degree of insanity he was dealing with, however. That didn’t manifest until he’d had a rough collar slapped around his neck and been brought to the cage.
“If you’re not going to give us information,” Krennic sighed, “Then I’ll have to find other uses for you.”
And he did.
Cassian had fought at first- it was one thing to suck an Imperial’s cock when he was trying to draw information out of him, it was something else entirely for an Imperial to be shoving it down his throat. But Krennic simply called for backup, and they’d cuffed Cassian’s arms and legs to prevent him from moving. Krennic had gotten what he’d wanted from him that day, and he’d been getting it ever since.
Cassian suspected that Krennic was engaging in some long-haul torture: Keep him in a degrading situation long enough and eventually he’d either develop some twisted devotion to his “master” or have a complete mental breakdown; either way, it might result in Cassian pouring out Rebellion secrets by the gallon.
And then maybe Cassian would submit himself as one of Jabba the Hut’s harem and develop a taste for eating sand.
When he was alone in the cage, when he wasn’t being tortured and wasn’t being used as Krennic’s personal fucking sex doll, he plotted ways to escape. The cage itself was fairly immovable, and the thorough pat-down he’d been given when he’d been captured meant that he lacked his usual tools for the trade. The solution was to find something possible of picking or at least sabotaging the lock on the cage the next time Krennic pulled him out to play.
When he exhausted his daydreams of escape, less pleasant thoughts crept in. There was, as always, the low-key fear of death: Cassian accepted that if he couldn’t find a way to escape and the Rebellion didn’t come for him or find him otherwise, he was probably going to die, either as a result of Krennic’s frustration with his silence or by his own hand, to end his own misery. Occasionally Cassian’s eyes jumped around the office as he looked for things he might use to end his life, but eventually the exercise would make him nauseous and he would have to stop. Ending his life with a pill designed to knock him out before he died was less intimidating than sharpening something into a shank and slitting his own throat.
Another potential concern fell on the more optimistic outlook. Say Cassian did get free, did manage to make his way back to the Rebellion- he would have to give a report on what had happened to him whilst he was in captivity.
The thought of recounting the things Krennic had done in front of his superiors, in front of Draven, Mon Mothma, made him twice as nauseous as plotting his own death did. Never mind the innocently insensitive questions that Kay would ask, trying to break his trauma down into numbers and percentages to understand it better.
Much as the idea grated on him, it was very much something that Kay would do, and Cassian often felt a pang of longing for his longtime companion. He hoped the droid was alright; there weren’t a lot of people on Yavin 4 who put energy into hiding their distrust of an Imperial droid, reprogrammed or not.
I might not see him again, Cassian would inevitably think. I might not see anyone from the Rebellion again. I might die here.
And then the circle would come full again, and the nausea and the straining fear with it, and eventually Cassian would give in and do the only other thing he could do in the cage: Sleep.
Sleep as deeply as he could manage, and hope the nightmares stayed away.
On one particular day, the door to the office opened, snapping Cassian out of a near-sleeping state. Normally he was quicker on the uptake, but captivity had dulled him somewhat: When all you could do in your spare time was think and sleep, the mind invariably started to grow sluggish.
And so by the time Cassian had managed to bring himself to complete awareness, Krennic had already unlocked the cage and sat down in the chair behind his desk, rotating to face him.
Cassian wanted to tell him to go fuck himself, wanted to wrap the bastard’s cape around his throat until his face turned blue. But he’d been here for two months now, and he’d learned that the only reward for petty defiance would be a seriously disproportionate retribution. The last time he’d mouthed off, when he’d told Krennic to go to hell last week, Krennic had proceeded to stomp on Cassian’s left kneecap until it was badly broken.
The knee was bandaged now, but Cassian was allowed no pain medication for it and for the last five days he’d woken up from not-quite-sleep with tears soaking his pillow from the intensity of the pain. The cage Krennic kept him in was not large enough to stretch his legs out in when he slept, and so he was forced to bend his leg somewhat to fit inside, and it was definitely in the top ten of the most painful injuries he’d ever had.
As much as it killed him, anything short of life-saving or Rebellion-preserving defiance was off-limits. Krennic was sadistic, and bat-shit crazy to boot; he would have no problem breaking Cassian’s other knee if he felt like it.
So Cassian carefully adjusted himself so that he was lying on his right side, all of the weight going onto the meat of his outer thigh. Then, he slowly, painstakingly dragged himself across the room until he was at Krennic’s feet.
“Well now,” Krennic said, tapping his cheek with one finger. “That took quite a while. Why didn’t you just crawl on your knees?”
Rage flared up, and Cassian forcibly stamped it out.
“My knee hurts.”
Cassian’s cheek erupted with pain, was throbbing within seconds.
“And now your face hurts too,” Krennic said smoothly, without a hint of malice or anger. “What was missing from that sentence, boy?”
I swear by the Force I’m going to kill you one day, you shit-sucking piece of-
“Sir. My knee hurts, sir.”
“Good boy.” He reached out and slid his fingers into Cassian’s hair, stroking gently but in such a way that Cassian knew it could (and very probably would) turn violent again at some point. “Must remember our manners now.”
Krennic proceeded to pick up a pen and start scribbling on a stack of papers on his desk. And while he got… Whatever it was he got from having Cassian like this, the young Rebel sitting at his feet while he stroked his hair, Cassian idly entertained a fantasy in which he stomped on Krennic’s knee and listened to the bone crack and snap beneath his foot. Cassian had done worse before, and whilst he never felt good about the more brutal acts of violence he’d been forced to commit in the name of the Rebellion, the idea of paying Krennic back in kind was immensely satisfying.
They stayed like that for a while, and Cassian focused on the painful throbbing in his knee. Bending it was terribly painful, but keeping it too straight hurt as well and it often took a long time for him to find a position that was comfortable enough to stay in long-term. Eventually, he usually came to a state where the pain was lessened just enough that he could zone out and ignore it.
But soon, something as inevitable as the zoning-out, Krennic’s hand began to wander. A gloved hand wandered under the collar of Cassian’s shirt, rubbing circles over his collarbone and where his shoulder met his chest. He didn’t want Krennic touching him. For the most part it was just on principle, but there was also his leg to consider: A sudden moment of intense arousal might make his leg twitch, and his knee was just going to scream. Another thing Cassian would sooner be tortured than admit: Krennic knew exactly where and how to touch a man to get a good response.
But it wasn’t as though ‘I’m not feeling it tonight’ was going to be a legitimate response in this particular situation, so Cassian forced himself to stay quiet.
“Pull off your shirt,” Krennic said without feeling, as though he’d just ordered one of his minions to close the door, or hand him a fucking pen or something.
But still Cassian did as instructed, trying to keep his knee still as he pulled his shirt off over his head. He kept it bunched up on his lap, digging his fingers into the fabric as a way to ground himself, keep himself from fighting or scratching. Eventually he might be forced to drop it, but for now he’d keep a tight hold of it.
Krennic’s hand wandered over Cassian’s chest with the same idleness it had before. Cassian had recoiled at Krennic’s touch before, but he’d very quickly learned that moving away from Krennic would mean a slap hard enough to rattle his teeth, and he’d learned quickly to stay perfectly still. The worst part of all of this was the fact that, no matter how slowly Krennic insisted on going, Cassian knew that they would inevitably come to the same place they always did.
“Get up.” Krennic patted his lap, signaling that he wanted Cassian to sit on it.
Cassian flinched. This wasn’t the first time he’d been asked to sit on Krennic’s lap, but the maneuvering he would have to pull off to do it with as little pain as possible would be difficult. After a moment’s hesitation while he figured out the logistics of it, Cassian put his hands on the edge of the desk, pivoted to kneel on his good knee (the bad one was hovering above the floor, but even that was enough to cause him pain), and slowly began to rise. When he finally managed to sit down on Krennic’s lap, he kept the foot of the injured leg carefully settled on the floor. It didn’t feel good, but it was as good as it would get.
“Finally,” Krennic grunted, as though Cassian had taken hours to complete the task, and without any further ado began working on opening Cassian’s pants.
Cassian felt a stab of boiling rage that he forced down with practiced ease. Krennic had a lot of fucking nerve to be irritated at how slowly Cassian was moving, given that it was him who’d broken his knee in the first place.
He dug his fingers into his shirt and stayed quiet.
Krennic, as it was, had tried to open Cassian’s pants after Cassian had sat down, and so all he could really accomplish was a rough groping through his underwear. Cassian tried his best to disconnect with the situation, but he had to keep the tentative balance he had with his leg or he might accidentally lean on it, and that required some degree of concentration. Unfortunately, even with the limited contact, Krennic managed to get him hard. Intellectually, Cassian understood that this was normal- that is to say, when one was being raped or otherwise sexually abused, it was normal to become aroused. Agents were even warned before they went into the field that rape was something they could and likely would encounter, and to expect certain physical reactions as a result.
“It’s nothing to be ashamed of,” The Lieutenant had told them. “It’s your body reacting to a stimulus, not you enjoying or inadvertently consenting to something you don’t want.”
But that really didn’t change what it felt and looked like, did it? Cassian’s current reality was that his body was responding to the touch of a man who was probably guilty of killing thousands or more innocent people, and frankly, Cassian was supposed to be better than this; he was supposed to be in control of himself in every way possible, and in this situation, he very clearly was not.
As was inevitable, Krennic finally stopped doing whatever it was he was doing with those papers- Cassian kicked himself for not trying to get a better look at them- and brought one hand to the back of Cassian’s neck, forcing him forward into a rough kiss. And again, Cassian had to stamp down his urge to pull away or bite or fight back; but that didn’t mean he played along with it any more than he had to, either.
Krennic could be a mouthy bastard, but as time had gone on he’d become quieter save for the occasional order or taunt; in the beginning it had been nothing but mockery and degradation, hissing things into Cassian’s ear as he’d pinned him to the bed or the wall or the floor, “Did they prepare you for this in whatever hovel they train you filth in? Did you think you’d spend the last days of your life as a fucktoy for a man you were trying to kill?”
And he’d wrap his hand around Cassian’s throat, choking him until he managed out a ‘no!’.
“They know you’re here, you know,” He’d growled about two weeks back before biting hard enough on Cassian’s shoulder that his mouth came away bloody. “Your precious Rebellion knows you’re here, Andor- we set a price for your return and everything, but apparently you just aren’t worth it to them.”
Cassian had swallowed that quickly and let it go. He’d understood the risks when he’d joined up with Rebel Intelligence, and besides, it wasn’t as though he trusted a word that came out of this bastard’s mouth.
“Imagine if you did go back to them, what they’d think of you: Covered in all sorts of scratches and bites that you’d have to explain. It would be such a shame if they came to the conclusion that I’d turned you, wouldn’t it?”
Cassian had nearly laughed at that. Draven would sooner believe that the Emperor spent his free time raising baby Loth-Cats.
“Tell me you enjoy it,” Krennic had sneered once.
Cassian had pressed into the blanket as hard as he could so that Krennic wouldn’t be able to get at his throat and didn’t respond.
In response, Krennic had grabbed him by the hair and yanked. “Tell me you enjoy it, boy, or this is going to get ugly.”
“Go to hell!” Cassian had barked.
Then Krennic had dragged him off the bed, thrown him on the floor, and stomped on his kneecap until the bone was crunching under the force of it.
Cassian was operating under the theory that Krennic felt he’d broken him enough for the time-being. The way Cassian had screamed when the bone had broken, the way he’d been more or less for hours after the medical droid had tended to it, he had to figure that Krennic thought he’d managed to crack him, that the taunts weren’t necessary anymore- or at least, for now.
“Stand up and pull your pants down,” Krennic ordered. Cassian carefully rose up on his good leg and leaned back against the desk, awkwardly trying to shuffle his pants down and wincing when he moved his bad leg the wrong way. Krennic wasn’t nearly as troubled: He stayed seated and perfunctorily shoved his own pants down around his knees.
Cassian let out a long sigh once his pants were down. Apparently today was a riding day, and that was going to be a nightmare for his knee, but apart from being on his back, it was the best position he could hope for given that Krennic was the kind of man fond of taking his partners from behind, on their knees.
Or maybe that was just something he did with the Rebels he kept as sex slaves.
“You know what to do,” Krennic said flatly, eyes roaming leisurely up and down Cassian’s body in a way that made the Captain vaguely nauseous. That Cassian had just been ordered to take him dry didn’t help- oh, it wasn’t the first time, not at all, but that didn’t make it any better. It never got better.
But Cassian did it anyway, because there was no point in resisting, and he planned on surviving at least for the short-term.
And so he took a deep breath, lined himself up, and carefully sank down onto Krennic’s cock. The older man’s fingers came up to grip Cassian’s hips as he did, tight enough to bruise, making sure that Cassian went at the pace he wanted and stayed seated for a few minutes once he’d made it down. Cassian, meanwhile, was breathing heavily through his nose, because it was the only way he could stop himself from reflexively tearing up from the pain.
If he’d been aroused before, it was gone now. Being taken dry always hurt too much to even try to maintain an erection, and Cassian certainly had no intention of trying.
“Go,” Krennic grunted, giving the skin where Cassian’s hip met his ass a slap. Cassian’s grit his teeth, took another long, deep breath, and then slowly, painfully, awkwardly lifted himself up using his good leg, and then came back down.
He did this once.
Then three times.
And every time, Cassian’s anxiety rose slightly. This wasn’t nearly as fast or as hard as Krennic would want, and the Director was not a patient man. Eventually he would get bored with Cassian’s attempts and take control of the situation, and that would make everything so much worse.
Cassian pushed a little harder, tried to pick up the pace, but his bad knee bumped against Krennic’s leg and he gagged slightly from the pain of it. His pace stuttered and stopped for a moment, and even as he tried to get himself under control, he knew he was in trouble.
A sudden growl from behind confirmed it.
“Oh, enough of this,” Krennic snapped.
Abruptly, he shoved Cassian off his lap, caught him by the hips, and then forced him to the ground, re-entering him so swiftly that Cassian barely had time to think. His knee slammed into the floor, and everything went white as the pain, for one brief, ugly moment, became so bad that his brain could not actually process it in a way he could understand.
But then, then Cassian felt it.
And it was indescribably awful.
The sound he made was strangled and hoarse, and the compulsion to scream was irresistible, the only way he could take the lid off the pressure-cooker.
“Stop!” He sobbed, “Stop! Stop!” Cassian started to cough sharply, the screaming chafing his throat until barely any coherent sound could come out at all.
He gagged, vomited, and then everything went dark.
But even unconscious, the pain lingered.
When Cassian woke up next, he was lying on a table in the infirmary, and a medic droid was tending to his leg, which- thank the Force- was numbed with pain medication. He felt pleasantly light-headed, the best he’d felt since being captured, and tracked the droid’s progress.
“You’ll need to keep this still,” The droid instructed. “I’ll have to do more to heal the bone.”
“Mmm,” Cassian hummed, letting his eyes roll shut.
He might have drifted off. It was hard to say. As good as whatever sedative they’d given him was, it made ignoring where he was and what he’d been subjected to for the last few weeks startlingly easy to forget.
All that he knew was that when he opened his eyes again, the medic droid was gone and there was a KX droid standing next to the bed.
Cassian blinked for a moment.
No. Of course it wasn’t K-2SO. This was an Imperial base; of course it was lousy with KX model droids. He just hadn’t spent much time outside of Krennic’s quarters, wasn’t accustomed to seeing droids that looked exactly like his best friend.
It was the droid’s posture that was setting off bells in Cassian’s head. Its posture was entirely unlike that of the usual KX droid, and Cassian hadn’t even known that KX droids could maintain such a slouched posture until he’d met K-2SO and saw it for himself…
“Kay?” Cassian whispered.
The droid looked down at him.
For a moment, there was silence.
And then, “Quiet. I’m waiting for the signal.”
This is real.
Cassian started to cry.
And he hated himself for it.
If there was anything that K-2SO had learned from spending extensive time with organics, it was that they had a strange tendency to overcomplicate things that were actually quite simple and straightforward.
Cassian Andor, he found, was quite often guilty of this.
At present, Cassian was hurt. He’d sustained moderate to severe injuries to his left kneecap; K-2SO determined that there was evidence of both recent and past trauma, the latter of which had not properly healed. The more recent injury had been somewhat treated, but not to the extent it should have been. K-2SO was forced to conclude that it was an act of cruelty, of torture from the person who had caused the injury. Broken bones were not terribly difficult to treat.
A more curious injury came from the lacerations around Cassian’s anus. Another curiosity: Organics had the strangest reactions to certain words. K-2SO was aware that certain words were considered inappropriate or vulgar, but it seemed terribly illogical that some of those words were anatomically-correct identifiers for the parts of an organic’s body.
But when he’d detailed the lacerations and their location to the medics on Yavin-4, they’d looked at him like he’d just said something wildly shocking. K-2SO assumed that ‘anus’ was one of those words organics, particularly humans, considered inappropriate. The conclusion was further highlighted by the fact that Cassian had rolled onto his side on the medical bed and covered his face with the blanket.
“Captain Andor,” One of the medics said, slowly, quietly, as though he was trying to keep anyone else in the room from hearing, “Why didn’t you say anything?”
Cassian did not respond.
“Captain, we need to treat the-”
K-2SO was confused. Why would Cassian refuse treatment? This had happened before, but the circumstances were different: Each occasion had been in the midst of a mission, when Cassian had foregone immediate medical care in favor of taking care of more pressing issues. K-2SO had questioned the wisdom of the decision on a couple of occasions, but had accepted that Cassian’s reasoning had, most times, been reasonably sound.
But there was no reason now for Cassian to refuse treatment. They were not being shot at. They were not attempting to outrun a TIE fighter. They were not attempting to escape an occupied city. Cassian had no excuse to avoid treatment now. Was this some sort of strange, human sense of propriety? Cassian had warned him more than once that other humans could be sensitive about their personal space and physical privacy. But this was a medical issue. Cassian was hurt.
“Sir, can we at least get a look and see what’s-?”
“I said no. Leave me alone.”
Cassian wasn’t making eye-contact. That was unusual- he was a man that made a habit of making eye-contact with others. A lack of eye-contact, Cassian had told him, was regarded as suspicious by humans; avoiding eye-contact meant that you were lying, or hiding something. K-2SO found that reasoning flawed: There were a number of reasons an organic, or human, might avoid eye-contact: They could be uncomfortable, or anxious, or frightened, all in ways that did not relate to deception.
Right now, Cassian struck him as all three of those things.
The other medic looked up at K-2SO, and motioned for him to move away from the bed. “The injuries,” She whispered, once he’d done so, “How severe are they? Will Captain Andor be alright if we leave them alone for the time being?”
K-2SO blinked at her. It was not something he did reflexively, as humans did- he’d learned that by blinking at someone while not speaking, especially in response to a question, was a good way to communicate confusion or surprise; in this case, he was going for confusion. “If you’re asking whether or not he’ll bleed out, the odds of him doing so are about 0.34%.” The medic winced, and K-2SO suspected it was because he had not lowered his speech volume when answering the question- but why would he? “But the odds of infection setting in if the injuries are not immediately treated will exponentially rise by 3.41% for every fifteen minutes treatment is delayed. At present the odds of infection are 22.46%.”
He’d let her do the math. She was a medic; she should know the risks, shouldn’t she?
“I think,” She decided, “That we can leave him be for now. He’ll just need to avoid moving the knee too much.” She walked back over to the bed, and K-2SO meant to follow her, but he had abruptly noticed General Draven standing at the entrance to the medbay in the periphery of his vision. Without waiting for a summons, the droid approached him.
K-2SO was aware that General Draven was not especially fond of him. Maybe it was because he was a KX droid, or maybe it was because he’d accidentally destroyed a computer panel when he’d first arrived on base (who knew, really, organics got upset and held grudges over the strangest things). But at the moment, Draven didn’t seem irate with his presence; in fact, he seemed less… Intense than usual.
“How is he?” Draven asked.
“Would you like a recitation of his injuries?”
Draven pinched the bridge of his nose. “Is it bad?”
“If by ‘bad’ you mean fatal, then no, Cassian will live. However, if you’re quantifying ‘bad’ by how emotionally distressed Cassian seems to be about them, then yes, it is very, very bad.”
Draven shook his head. “Fuck,” He whispered. The General was a man of few vulgarities, and whenever he swore it sounded strangely profound. “Wait here. I’ll see if I can’t talk to him.”
K-2SO watched as Draven marched into the medbay and up to Cassian’s bed. The General spoke too quietly to be heard from the doorway, and though K-2SO was tempted to adjust his audio receptors to hear the words better, he decided against it. To do so would be a further violation of Cassian’s privacy, and clearly that had been violated enough.
If Cassian was responding to Draven, he was doing so without moving. K-2SO hoped that Draven might be able to talk Cassian into accepting treatment for his other injuries; fatal or not, the droid did not rest comfortably knowing that Cassian was in pain.
After maybe ten minutes, Draven stepped away from the bed and walked back to K-2SO. “He’s still not budging with the doctors,” He said. “For anything but the knee, anyway. He doesn’t want to be touched, and he doesn’t want to talk about how he was injured.” The General scratched his head. “He did offer to impart some intel he’d gathered during his captivity, however, once he’d had a chance to rest.”
Leave it to Cassian to gather information while he was being tortured and abused. The man was a spy through and through.
“Then I’m sure he’ll find you when he’s ready,” K-2SO responded, turning to go back to Cassian’s bed.
“Kaytoo,” Draven said, lowly, “Keep an eye on him.”
K-2SO turned back. “Of course I will.”
“What I mean,” Draven elaborated, lowering his voice further and stepping closer to the droid, “Is make sure that he doesn’t disappear anywhere. Monitor his mood. And if he starts behaving in a noticeably troubling or disturbing way-”
“Report to you.”
It wasn’t difficult to figure out what it was Draven was saying, but K-2SO was only mildly concerned (15.36%, if you were curious) that Cassian would attempt to commit suicide as a result of this incident. If there was any one truth to the galaxy, it was that Cassian Andor was made of stern stuff, and would not easily be broken by some Imperial bastard.
And then K-2SO returned to Cassian’s side.
They stayed that way for hours, with K-2SO sitting motionless in a chair that was a touch too small for him, and Cassian lying with the blanket pulled up and over his head. K-2SO spent that time running diagnostics and other various sorts of maintenance to pass the time, occasionally checking in to ensure that Cassian’s vitals were in the appropriate ranges. For all the time that passed, not once did Cassian’s heart-rate or breathing indicate that he’d fallen asleep.
Eventually, some time in the night, a rough voice spoke from beneath the blanket: “How long do you plan on staying there?”
K-2SO’s eyes, which had been dimmed to preserve energy, flickered and then flashed back to full brightness. He took a moment to process the words, and then retorted, “How long do you plan on refusing treatment?”
Cassian said nothing, but the droid detected a distinct tightening in his frame, like he was trying to curl in on himself. Evidently the prospect of being properly looked over and treated by a medic didn’t look any better now than it had earlier.
“Cassian,” K-2SO asked.
The Captain did not turn his head.
“Cassian, was I not supposed to mention your injuries?” K-2SO’s logical answer was no, of course he was supposed to mention anything that might pose a threat to Cassian’s life or safety; but K-2SO was a droid, and while he had quite the range of intellect and emotion, he knew very well that he often missed the smaller, subtler nuances of human reasoning. He asked not for a logical answer, but to understand Cassian’s thought-process.
There was a long pause following the question.
“It would have been appreciated.” Cassian’s voice was low and gravelly. K-2SO did not detect anger; instead, he sounded resigned, defeated.
K-2SO examined him for a moment, trying to grasp the myriad of emotions that were flashing in Cassian’s eyes, and then turned to face the wall again. “My apologies. I wasn’t aware that I wasn’t meant to deliver a report.”
“I was merely attempting to insure that you were treated at the nearest available opportunity as efficiently as possible, and that the relevant people were aware of the severity of your injuries.”
K-2SO hesitated, wondering if he should prod further. Another strange and frustrating thing about organics was that, ruled by their emotions as they tended to be, they could be delicate in moments of distress. There was a certain point at which Cassian would reject further questions, especially those that he found uncomfortable or inappropriately invasive, no matter how logical or reasonable they seemed to K-2SO.
“Cassian,” he asked.
K-2SO considered his wording carefully. “Why are you so upset? I’ve never seen you this way before.”
There was a considerable silence after that, and K-2SO sensed that he had indeed crossed into areas that Cassian did not want explored. But then, “You wouldn’t understand, Kay. I don’t think this is something you’re capable of feeling.”
K-2SO had a wide range of emotions available to him, but he suspected that Cassian was correct: If K-2SO had to guess, based on the nature of Cassian’s injuries, he was feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally violated by whatever had been done to him at the Imperial base. And it was true that while K-2SO could feel shame, and anger, and regret, that unique mixture of emotion necessary to create a sense of violation was beyond him; never mind the fact that droids, as a rule, didn’t have the same sense of bodily integrity that organics (especially humans) did. It came with the territory of being deliberately assembled by organics and requiring invasive maintenance from them to continue functioning.
“I suppose that’s true,” K-2SO responded. “I don’t suppose there’s any way I can alleviate your distress?”
A small, shuddery sigh came from beneath the blanket. “No, Kay, there isn’t.”
“And I can’t convince you to accept medical treatment for your injuries?”
Something moved beneath the blanket- Cassian was shaking his head.
“Very well then. I’ll be here if you think of anything; I suppose there’s no better time than to clean out some old files in my memory.”
The noise that Cassian made sounded like something between a whimper and a laugh. “Thank you, Kay,” He croaked.
“You’re welcome, Cassian.”