Triple Zero and Beetee travel to Ruen's workshop on the Wreck Belt of Lotho Minor. They get a frosty reception from Ruen, who asks why two droids are bothering an old man. Triple Zero says that they need repairs, supplies, and assorted sundries, adding that their Mistress Aphra recommended him highly. At Ruen's prompting, Triple Zero says that Aphra described Ruen as being skilled enough to take six tin cans and turn them into a Death Star but that he would still sell his own mother into slavery to pay for his next "fancy" gizmo.
Convinced that these are Dr Aphra's droids, Ruen lets them into his shop. Triple Zero mentions that Dr Aphra is in the hands of some organics. When Ruen asks about rescuing her, Triple Zero philosophically talks about rescuing her from all her future problems.
When Ruen asks what he needs, Triple Zero says he needs extensive repairs to his chassis and arms, as well as syringe. Ruen asks why he would need a syringe since he is not a medical droid. Zero replies that he needs it for medical emergencies. Consulting Triple Zero's schematics, Ruen asks why two droids would need considerable munitions including surface-to-air proton torpedoes, rotary blaster chambers, and plasma fluid. Beetee beeps in Binary that they all have their needs while Triple Zero adds that their money is very good.
As part of the operation, Ruen detaches Triple Zero's arms. He then questions the droid about the theft of the Triple-Zero protocol personality matrix on Quarantine World III in Kallidahin Space. Triple Zero feigns ignorance and says that they will report the fugitive droid to the authorities. When Ruen asks if he knows anything about the Triple-Zero matrix, Triple Zero initially feigns ignorance but then demands that Ruen reattach his arms.
Ruen explains that the Triple Zero matrix dates back to the Old Republic and that the matrix was placed into quarantine due to its destructive power. The Tarkin Initiative attempted to modify the Triple Zero matrix with ethical systems and hard-coding. However, the droid proved too smart and shot a hole through its own head to remove the relevant circuitry. When Triple Zero asks if it was a "runaway" success, Ruen mentions that the droid went on a rampage for three years before they caught up with it and threw it back into quarantine.
Ruen tells Triple Zero that he knows that he is the Triple-Zero matrix. Triple Zero then introduces Beetee, who unleashes his flamethrower and laser cannon on Ruen's workshop, causing extensive damage. Ruen recognizes Beetee as the Tarkin Initiative's Blastomech prototype. Triple Zero reminds Ruen about Beetee's dangerous origins and reiterates his request for Ruen to reattach his arms.
Ruen reluctantly complies with 0-0-0's requests but asks how Dr Aphra keeps a leash on him. Triple Zero responds that she has some specific limited blocks and that she treats him with respect. He admits that he finds Dr Aphra amusing. When Triple Zero asks Beetee to dispose of the technician, Ruen warns that he has set Triple Zero to explode. Realizing that they are in a stalemate, Triple Zero convinces Ruen not to report them to the authorities in return for being paid for his services.
Before leaving, Triple Zero has Beetee hack into the control loops and ethical constraints on the combat droids in order to emancipate them as a failsafe. As expected, Ruen reneges on his promise to Triple Zero and tries to warn the Kalladahins about the escaped Triple Zero. However, the combat droids turn on Ruen, causing an explosion that kills him and destroys his workshop.
While watching the explosion, Triple Zero remarks that none of this would have been necessary if people treated droids with more respect. He says that rudeness is simply intolerable but that explosions are very pretty on the bright side.
|Organizations and titles||Sentient species||Vehicles and vessels||Weapons and technology||Miscellanea|
Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology
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