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a study in humanity

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There were many functions of human behavior BD-1 was familiar with, many emotions and languages he was adept at reading. And anything he didn’t know he found out with the burning curiosity and thirst for exploration that he’d been programed with.

After Master Cal had defeated the woman BD-1 had come to file in his processor as human-female-threat, a curious thing happened.

The older human mentor filed under the name Cere offered the human-female-threat a hand, and after much deliberation human-female-threat rose to her feet and followed them out of the chambers.

BD-1 chirps nervously at Master Cal, trying to warn him of the imminent danger but Master Cal seems to shrug it off.

“It’s okay, she’s on our side. For now, I think.” His master murmurs to him, flanking the two human females. Together they take the strange and important green artifact back to the ship of the Latero male filed under the name of Greez Dritus in BD-1’s databank.

BD-1 watches the human-female-threat carefully as they treated her injuries in the cramped bunking area against the protests of Greez Dritus and the Dathomirian female filed under Merrin.

“This is unwise.” Merrin sagely cautions.

“That psycho almost crashed my ship- are you outta your mind?!” Greez Dritus yells from the cockpit.

But Master Cal and mentor Cere ignore them as they take off.

“These bandages should hold for now but we don’t have anything for the pain though- oh wait.” Master Cal turns his glance towards BD-1. “Buddy, you got any more of those stims?”

“Don’t bother.” The human-female-threat bats Master Cal’s hands away from her injuries.

“No, no. Let me help you.” Master Cal implores.

BD-1 hesitantly supplies the stimulant injection his Master, who hands it over to the threat in return. She takes it, but doesn’t inject it into herself until after everyone returns to the cockpit area. BD-1 pretends to be on low-power mode against the wall when he sees Cere return, standing in the shadows of the doorway.

“I know you’re there.” The human-female-threat doesn’t bother looking up from where she is adjusting something on her laser weapon.

“I know you do, Trilla. Come to the galley after you’re rested, we have much to discuss about our next course of action.”

“No sense in delaying the inevitable.” She slowly rises to her feet.

“You should rest.”

“No. We will finish this now.” Mentor Cere is brushed roughly to the side as the threat passes her.

BD-1 and mentor Cere exchange a glance, and Cere just shakes her head sadly before following the human-female-threat into the other room.

 

.

 

It’s been a year by BD-1’s count- approximately 265 days and 2 hours since they’ve been on the run. Since the fight over the green cube artifact resulted in Master Cal destroying it and everyone bickering over what to do next. Since Merrin went away on her sacred talisman quest spanning many months, on which BD-1 was torn between his fierce loyalty to Master Cal and a new adventure. There were still a few exciting times to be had, the old ship getting damaged, new planets explored, new enemies to be vanquished. Master Cal seemed just as thirsty for new knowledge of the mysterious invisible energy under the file name of Force as BD-1 was about his research into understanding his companions and the many secrets they held.

Still, days on the new and much larger ship are mostly boring- until suddenly there is a new curiosity to occupy BD-1’s thirst for knowledge.

The human-female-threat now had a name stored in his databank; Trilla Suduri. BD-1 finds the treatment of her very curious, particularly how Master Cal interacts with her. On a journey to the surface of a hostile planet Master Cal even ends up taking a hit that was meant for her, leaving him injured beyond the power of stims.

Trilla Suduri swiftly dispatched their adversary and they returned to the ship, but she was not happy, nor thankful to Master Cal.

“You should’ve have done that.” She tells his master, voice devoid of almost all emotion.

“I had to, they were going to kill you.” Master Cal grits out, clutching his injured side.

“Then let them, let them try. I don’t need you to take my blows for me like some simpering youngling. I was practicing forms before you could even properly grasp a saber.”

“C’mon Trilla, you’re not that much older than me.” Master Cal smiles past the pain that BD-1 knows he must be feeling.

“Cal, that was foolish. They could’ve killed you.” Mentor Cere has arrived on the gangway, and BD-1 chirps at her- trying to explain the damage.

 “Yes, you’re much too valuable. Cere’s precious protégé. Hopefully it doesn’t scar, but I’m sure Merrin will still be happy to welcome you with open arms should you ever develop a taste for the exotic-” Trilla Suduri spits the words like venom and BD-1 has enough of a grasp on human emotions to suspect the human female was jealous of Master Cal. And why shouldn’t she be- Master Cal was the best!

“Trilla, stop it!” Cere hisses while assisting Master Cal in limping back to the med-bay. BD-1 shoots a glance at the human-female-threat standing alone by the ramp, before scuttling off the assist his Master.

He would need to keep his sensors closely trained on her, to ensure she didn’t do anything malicious while Master Cal was recovering. Even after all their time together, her behavior was impossible to predict.

 

.

 

Later, when Master Cal was recovered enough, him and the human-female-threat filed under Trilla Suduri trained for hours. By what BD-1 is able to assess, the wooden staffs they used during these times were made to simulate the laser swords they had fought with in the past. The first time they used them BD-1 was quite alarmed until Cal has assured him that they were “just practicing”.

Master Cal was almost always the one to decide when the maintenance fighting ended, usually when he was badly in need of a stim, but for some reason wouldn’t let BD-1 give him any. His Master would finally collapse against the floor, and say “Okay, okay. You got me beat.” with a tired sort of smile. And this seemed to please Trilla Suduri immensely.

But one day, she ends the fighting and BD-1 cannot understand it.

They had been fighting hard, so hard they stripped off their sweat soaked outer layers and continued in their under layers. Trilla Suduri gets a lucky hit on Master Cal with her training staff kocking him off balance and throwing him to the floor. She pins him by straddling him under her weight and laying the staff across his throat.

“Okay, Okay one more-” Master Cal starts to say, and Trilla Suduri scoots back in his lap to get to her feet and let him up, but then she freezes.

“Wha-?” She looks back at where part of Master Cal was touching the cheek of her backside through his black undershorts. “You disgust me.” The human-female-threat sounds angry as she shoves herself away from his master.

“It’s not what you think!” Master Cal covers the bulge between his legs with his hands, turning an interesting shade of red.

“Oh?” Trilla scoffs derisively.

“Okay. Maybe it is. But this never happens, I swear! I don’t kno-”

“I’m not interested in the babbling explanation for your repulsive pubescent reactions.”

“Pubescent- now wait a minute!” Master Cal grabs his practice staff and readies himself for Trilla Suduri’s next onslaught.

She comes at him with a vengeance, and they continue on like that for a while, with BD-1 watching nervously. The human-female-threat looked like she might truly kill him this time, even with just her stick, like something was a driving force in her blows against him.

“Whoa wait-” Master Cal stumbled backwards under the force of something unseen, lowering his staff to an all but defenseless stance. “Wait wait wait-”

“You,” His Master looked confused and overwhelmed in a way BD-1 has never seen before.  “You want me to kiss you.” Master Cal speaks slowly, like he can’t quite believe what he’s saying.

Excuse me?” Trilla Suduri narrows her eyes into green slits.

“You’re feeling it really loudly. I can feel it, the uh,” Master Cal takes a precarious step forward. “Things you want to do to me. Sort of.”

The human-female-threat lashes out at his master with an invisible energy, throwing Master Cal against the floor and moving with inhuman speed to press her staff against his vulnerable throat.

“Guess you dark siders are pretty serious about the whole passion thing. Do you guys always think about that in sparring matches, or am I just special?” Master Cal babbles until she presses her staff hard enough against his throat that she apparently cuts off his ability to speak. BD-1 beeps nervously.

“We are done here.” Trilla Suduri tells his Master coldly before throwing her staff down to the floor and walking away without a second glance.

“Yeah? Well like you said Trilla, nothing’s ever truly over.” Master Cal calls after her, but she continues onwards through the doors like she hasn’t heard him. BD-1 rushes to his Master’s side, eager to be of any service.

Huh. Guess it wasn’t so repulsive after all.” Master Cal says to himself while rubbing at his throat.

BD-1 fusses over him until Cal gets to his feet. “Let’s see what’s to eat on this next planet, I’m starved.”

 

.

 

 Things proceeded to only get stranger from there. They bounced from planet to planet, and BD-1 happily collects data on the many missions they complete while they flee from the empire. But all the while something intangible to BD-1’s processor seems to be building between Master Cal and the human-female-threat: Trilla Suduri. He didn’t have a name for it or a file yet, but he gathered data on the strange happenings nonetheless.

The ship has landed on a new planet, in the mountains for a refueling stop as BD-1 understands.

 “I don’t want to lose you down there.” Master Cal is talking to Trilla Sudari in front of the ramp doors. The threat is geared up like she’s going on an exploring venture, but Cal has interrupted her.

“Careful Kestis , that sounds dangerously like attachment.” She cocks a brow at him, folding her robed arms in front of herself.

“I mean, I don’t want you to go alone. You’re a part of this fam-“  His Master stops and clears his throat suddenly. “Team. You’re a part of this team.

“Your thoughts betray you, Jedi.”

“No they don’t.” Master Cal says simply. “They’re not betraying me, because I’m not fighting them. I’m letting myself feel openly.”

“How treacherously unrestrained of you. You know the rules on-“

Master Cal shook his head before she was finished. “Those were the old rules. Look where that got us. I believe in the Force, but everything else I’ve got to figure out for myself.”

“Ah. Does Cere know of your rebellious ways?” Trilla Sudari had a challenging lit in her voice.

“I’m not rebellious, I’m just not going to be afraid of my emotions. Especially for the people on my team. I learned that when I let myself worry about Merrin. I worry if she’s okay a lot.”

“Drolly sentimental. I’m sure she’d love to hear you spill your bleeding heart to her.”

“What I’m trying to say is, it felt wrong to just try and block myself from worrying about her and missing her. She’s a good friend.”

To this, Trilla Suduri huffs amusedly at Master Cal. “It’s no wonder you’ve ended up here. A fugitive. With that kind of attitude, that’s all you’ll ever be; you’ll never be a true Jedi.”

“Maybe not.” Master Cal shrugs. “ But I think maybe I’m something else. Like you.”  

The threat opens her mouth, in what BD-1 predicts will be protest, but Master Cal keeps speaking without breaking.  “I know you take from both the light side and the dark side now. I’ve seen you do it. I guess they couldn’t turn you completely, no matter how hard they tried in that fortress. I only wish I could become strong like that someday.” Master Cal regards her almost reverently, like he is suddenly awestruck by her.

“You want my advice? Don’t become like me. You’re on a powerful and chosen path, Kestis. Don’t give that up for a trivial fleeting emotion.”

BD-1 wonders if the trivial fleeting emotion is what’s making his master gaze at her so strangely.

“I don’t think it’s fleeting.” Master Cal reaches for out for her hand on the railing, still gazing at her intently.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Trilla Suduri retracts her hand from his reach, like he’s burned her with an unseen energy.

“Maybe not.” Master Cal shrugs. “Anyways, lets go see what’s down there. Heard there’s a festival that’s pretty cool.  And there’s dancing, never got to do much of that. You remember dancing?” His Master has a teasing smile on his lips.

“This is a scouting mission not a fieldtrip, and I do not dance.”

“Not with that attitude you won’t!” Master Cal lets the ramp down and jumps into the unknown world so quickly that he forces Trilla and BD-1 to catch up with him or risk being left behind.

.

 

There’s this thing BD-1 can’t figure out, this strange human gesture he has no written programming on.

It’s a thing he saw Master Cal and Trilla Suduri do for the first time when they were at the night festival. They connected mouths and BD-1 thought perhaps the human-female-threat was trying to steal Master Cal’s oxygen after a few seconds in some sort of strange trick of sacred magic. He beeped in alarm, causing the pair to break apart.

“It’s okay Buddy,” His master starts to assure him with a strange sort of punched-out grin on his face.

“No, he’s right. We shouldn’t have done that. I don’t know what came over me.”

“Yeah, well I do.” Master Cal tenderly reaches for her hands. “ It’s the same thing I’ve been feeling for weeks.”

“Stop this. We must not.” Trilla Suduri wrenches herself away from Master Cal and stalks back towards the loud festival crowd in the square of the city plaza.

And yet BD-1 catches them doing it again and again, whenever they were alone. Like they couldn’t get enough of the other’s taste. And from there, their mutual thirst for each other only seemed to escalate.

 

One night while Cere and Greez were planetside, BD-1 overhears his master rise form his bunk and leave. BD-1 listens through the ventilation shafts from the next bunk over- Trilla Suduri’s bunk. He hears Master Cal speaking to her in a low whisper, along with the wet sounds their mouths made when they connected.

“No, I’m okay. It’s just that…I’ve never done anything like this before. But I mean you probably knew that, after the whole sparring thing- which I am sorry for. When you were all pressed up against me I kinda lost control of myself there I guess. Which is no excuse because it was way out of bounds at the time-” Master Cal sounded nervous.

“I served as an Inquisitor for years. ‘Out of bounds’ is second nature.” BD-1 hears Trilla Suduri interlude with a sigh.  “But if it assuages you, neither have I. Not like this. But I cannot deny it any longer. My feelings for you are-”

Overwhelming, yeah I know. I feel it too. Or maybe I just feel you. I don’t know, it’s-” His master cuts off with a sharp gasp.

BD-1 hears shuffling and the curious sounds of fabric rustling.

“Wait let me-oh.” Master Cal sounds a little breathless and BD-1 finds that he desperately wants to know what could be happening in there.

“Kestis- Cal.” The human-female-threat refers to Master Cal’s first name, which is most unusual for her.

“What? What is it?”

“You’re gorgeous.” BD-1 can almost hear the smile in Trilla Suduri’s voice.

“I,” Master Cal shudders a breath. “I want to see you too, Trilla.”

“Eagar, are we?” She breathlessly teases, although she sounded in no condition to be.

“Please.”

And there is more shifting noises, but this time it is combined with gasps, whimpers and strange groaning sounds. BD-1 absolutely cannot resist getting a closer look, his curious programming outweighing all else as he surreptitiously unscrews the vent paneling and scuttles through. Squeezing through the venting chamber he can catch a glimpse of the happenings on the other side of the wall.

Through the ventilation vent he is met with a very perplexing sight. The pair are both squeezed in Trilla’s bunk and have shed all layers but their skin. Trilla Suduri was holding Master Cal’s body between hers. They were alternating between connecting mouths and gasping for air.

“There?” Master Cal asks Trilla, his hand rubbing somewhere between their entangled legs.

Oh, yes, there.”  She responds, arching her head back into the pillow.

Master Cal tries to sit up, but hits his head atop the narrow bunk, which certainly doesn’t seem ample to house two humans, but they were undeterred from this in their focus on each other.

“Ow! Kriff- sorry.”  They take a moment to laugh softly before Master Cal resumes his strange hand motions between Trilla’s legs.

 “Like that?”  Master Cal asks her again, an abnormal sort of red flush has worked its way across his cheeks.

“Yes my darling, yes- just like that.”

Trilla Suduri keens hoarsely at him and they continue their explorations of each other until she suddenly pushes Master Cal onto his back and climbs on top of him. She whispers something BD-1 doesn’t catch with his audio sensors and slowly lowers herself into his master’s lap.  She begins bouncing herself in his lap, strange slapping noises of skin on skin filled the room. Her silky dark hair falls in a curtain around her face that Master Cal tenderly brushes back with his palm.

This first time in the naked embrace, BD-1 notes is by far the shortest. It only lasts for about 3 minutes total before Master Cal cries out in what BD-1 can only assume is pain and goes taught beneath Trilla Suduri. They pant raggedly for a time afterwards and embrace peacefully together, until they seem to sense the others arriving back at the ship.

However, the naked embrace seems to become a habit after that. Even though it sounded painful to them, with much gasping and moaning, BD-1 caught them doing it many more times afterwards. They did it whenever they had a moment alone, sometimes for quite lengthy stretches of time, seemingly too preoccupied to know that they were being watched by a very curious droid.

But when it came to their interactions whenever they weren’t alone, Master Cal had always been just and kind towards Trilla Suduri, but the human-female-threat remained just as cold and aloof towards him as ever, like nothing had changed in their treatment towards each other.  BD-1 just couldn’t make sense of it all.

Humans were certainly a strange bunch.

.

 

BD-1 scuttles himself into the ship galley one morning, watching mentor Cere preparing herself a meal. He was studious in watching her cook traditional meals- a fascinating relic from the culture of her home world. The human-female-threat filed under Trilla Surduri was seated at the table, taking the tiniest sips of the bitter Cassius tea in her cup.

“You look terrible.” Mentor Cere says, without turning from her stewpot.

Charming, Cere. But then, I suppose subtlety was never quite your area of expertise.”

“I’d figured you’ve been on enough starships to burn all the space sickness out of your system, but keep drinking that tea, it should help a little.”

“I’m fine, thanks for asking.” Trilla Suduri spits back, testily.

“No need to get defensive, Trilla. I’m only trying to help.”

The human-female-threat scoffs. “I don’t need your help.”

But as Trilla Suduri slowly nurses her tea BD-1 can clearly see the reasons for mentor Cere’s concern; her dark hair looks stringy and lacking in its usual sheen, there are darker circles than usual under her eyes or perhaps they only stood out more now because she looks a shade paler than she should. BD-1 is not equipped for a diagnostic panel, but he knows that many types of plagues have wiped out entire cities in the past, leaving nothing but ruins in their wake. He can only hope this will not result in any lasting damage against the team.

In another turn of strange events, later that day Master Cal and Trilla Suduri have something to tell mentor Cere. They were all sitting down together and talking in hushed, low voices.

BD-1 only catches the tail end of it after Cere raises her voice in a furious tone BD-1 has never heard from her before.

“How could you both be so foolish, I-” She stops to take a breath before lowering her voice to a harsh whisper. “I can’t even believe this.”

The pair are silent as they wait for mentor Cere to finish.

 “I need to you to tell me this and I need you to be honest with me, Trilla. Tell me the truth.” Cere shudders in another breath, BD-1 read betrayal and disappointment in her voice. “Did you deliberately do this? Did you plan for this to happen, as a way of steering Cal away from his chosen path?”

“No, Cere! She would never, I made this choice on my own- she even refused me, several times. I started this. We are both responsible.” Master Cal vehemently beseeches, but Cere isn’t paying him any mind. BD-1 can see her gaze is fixed only on Trilla Suduri.

“Did you? Is this some sort of master plan to lure him to the dark side, after all we’ve been through?” Mentor Cere demands again.

Trilla Suduri, formerly known as human-female-threat has never looked less worthy of the distinction, she looks uncharacteristically sheepish and small, refusing to meet Cere’s emotive gaze.

“No.” Is all she says, quietly.

“So it really is true then.” Cere slumps back in her seat, sounding almost resigned now.

Trilla Suduri supplies a minute hint of a nod.

“You know it to be.” Master Cal responds.

Kriff. I can’t believe you let this happen. You both should’ve known better.” But mentor Cere is only looking at Trilla as she says this. “I know of a place you can go, at least for a little while. Gods, I never thought I’d go back there, I haven’t been there in over 20 years. But it should be safe there, if you lay low.”

“We don’t need to go there right away. We can keep helping you.” Master Cal tells her.

“Is this gonna be a distraction? I need everyone to be focused or we all get killed, I thought you knew that, but I guess I was wrong.”

“It won’t be.” Trilla Suduri steels herself back to her usual confident arrogance.

Cere only frowns and folds her arms.

“You have my word, Cere.”

.

 

Life on mentor Cere’s home planet was simple, quiet and boring according to BD-1 for a while, until suddenly there’s an event of great excitement.

Something wonderful has happened, BD-1 is sure of this much.

Everyone is smiling, in a strangely relived and tired sort of way. Except for bright eyed Master Cal who looks as if he’s been gifted his own planet. BD beeps inquisitively, wondering what caused the stark change in mood from last night to this morning. Last night everyone was worried, Master Cal and Greez Dritus left the bubble shaped cottage his master and Trilla Suduri had shared for the past months and returned with a strange woman who quickly shuffled her way to the their shared sleeping quarters. BD-1 has not seen Trilla Suduri emerge for quite some time, but she’d sounded under severe duress earlier- at least partially due to Master Cal if her groaned threats were to be believed.

The bedroom door slides open and the strange woman from the town emerges, BD-1 scuttles closer, in the hopes of slipping inside but he is forced to move when Mentor Cere passes through as well, carrying a bowl of water and a bundle of damp rags as she went.

“Guess the Force decided to let us hold onto you a little while longer.” The strange woman turns and calls back from her position in the doorway. “Next time don’t wait so long before calling me, eh?”

BD-1 doesn’t catch the soft response from inside the other room, but the stranger chortles at it before turning to leave the residence, with Greez hopping up from his perch in the dining area and offering to transport her back to the town.

BD-1 seizes his chance to try and slip in through the bedroom door, unnoticed. He’s so close, when a sudden voice nearly causes him to jump his circuits . BD-1 reflexively scoots back, knowing he’s been caught snooping.

“BD, pal- there’s someone I want you to meet.” Master Cal is standing in the doorway now, holding it open for BD-1 to pass through.

Once he enters the room he sees the human-female-threat laying in their bed, propping herself up to a sitting position against the pillows. She looks tired. Very, very tired and beaten. Like she’d lost another fight, but seemed way too happy for that to be true. If BD-1 was sure of anything about her it was that she hated to lose.

Upon a closer inspection, BD-1 notices Trilla Suduri is holding some sort of bundle, cradling it close to her body in a tender way that someone capable of such unspeakable acts shouldn’t know. Whatever is wrapped in the cloth must be immensely valuable.

“Come see, BD.” Master Cal looks brazenly ecstatic as he beckons for BD-1 to come closer. BD-1 is unsure of himself for the first time. Whatever it is that Trilla Suduri holds, it seems capable of altering behavior- would it work against droid programming too?

“C’mon buddy, come look.” His master assures him, gesturing enthusiastically with his hands. “I know you’re curious.” His master baits, and of course he is. It’s in his programming after all.

He lifts BD-1 up just as Trilla Suduri shifts the blanket, and there it is. The source of all the hubbub for the past 28 hours and 12 minutes. A tiny, pink, dark haired human dozes between the blankets.

It stirs with a whimper at being moved, enough for BD-1 to catch a glimpse of light colored eyes before it screws up its tiny face and lets out a loud squawk. The former human-female-threat makes a cooing noise at it while rocking it gently and it quiets.

BD-1 beeps at it softly, in curiosity and wonder.

“What do you think, huh?” His master asks him as he and the infant regard each other, until it finally yawns and closes its bleary eyes once again.

BD-1 isn’t sure what this strange new human would be like, but he was already preparing a new file for it and all the new adventures they would have together.

 

a study in humanity