Death of a Mouse-Droid (PG)

By : Lady Padme

Archived on: Tuesday, March 18, 2003

A new droid brings utter chaos to the Solo household. Told from C-3PO's point of view.

I am quite grievously upset.

That Artoo unit killed my mouse.

That overweight glob of grease. He must have picked up a flutter or some sort of malfunction; that's the only explanation I can give.

Let me start from the beginning:

I am C-3PO, human-cyborg relations. I am a hard working droid and I believe I perform my etiquette, protocol and household duties to the best of my abilities. It is not surprising, therefore, that Mistress Leia would choose to award me with an assistant.

Two days ago, General Calrissian presented Mistress Leia with a MMAUS-1 (motorized miniature assist unit series-1). She in turn presented the droid-whom humans erroneously call a mouse-droid, even though it is not related to the MSE series of mouse-droids previously used by the Empire; and in fact these droids use the Varxel-Nutley-Wakefield computer language to communicate which is completely incompatible with the D'Agati-Frufru-Rennke language programmed into the MSE series droids-to me as an assistant. And she stated that his duties would fall under my purview.

The mouse-droid was quite small, measuring only ten centimeters in length and five in height, with a smooth, dark-brown ovoid metal shell, but he had an astonishing number of versatile accessory arms and features-in fact, more accessory arms and attachments than even Artoo, who was quite put out when I mentioned this-and he was quite agile. I named him Mopsy.

Artoo never liked Mopsy. His protests when Mopsy was presented to me were most vociferous.

I must admit, Mopsy was a little overzealous in the execution of his tasks, but it only demonstrated his eagerness to please. During the first day, however, Artoo would have none of it, blocking Mopsy whenever he tried to do something. Artoo changed the access codes to the utility closet, and kept Mopsy away from all the cleaning equipment.

Finally, yesterday morning, I felt I really needed to discuss this situation with Artoo. I thought I had been quite succinct and reasonable. I pointed out that Mopsy's presence would only enable us to do our jobs better. Artoo was very grouchy about the whole situation and insisted things had been fine the way they were. Really! The range of beeps and whistles he used were most unsuitable. At last, however, he relented, and said he would not stop Mopsy from doing his job.

Little did I know then what trouble would be brewing.

Now, Mistress Leia, while proving herself to be an extremely competent Chief of State, finds herself inadequate to the task of cooking. Therefore, it falls within my domain to program the autochef. Normally, Artoo would assist me in my culinary duties. After my discussion with Artoo, however, I suggested Mopsy might help me cook, instead.

Unfortunately, Mopsy was a bit-overeager-in the dispensing of spices for the Corellian stew. Usually this dish is a favorite of Captain Solo's.

My, my. The resultant spew of choice epithets that came from Captain Solo at the dinner table-and in so many languages!-was a bit-startling. I tried to explain to Captain Solo that it was Mopsy's first run with the autochef and that he had been a tad overenthusiastic, but Captain Solo would have none of it. In fact, his comments were-well, if I must say-they were downright rude.

"Who the hell is Mopsy?" Captain Solo shouted.

I quickly pointed to Mopsy, who was twirling around on the floor behind Captain Solo's chair.

"Where in the hell did that thing come from?" Captain Solo demanded, looking down at Mopsy. "And what genius came up with the name 'Mopsy' for a droid?"

Mistress Leia quickly interjected, "It was a gift from Lando. I put him in Threepio's charge."

For a moment, Captain Solo seemed thunderstruck, and then he said, "Great. Just great. A miniature droid who's trained to act like Goldenrod. Mini-rod. Just what we've always needed." And then he left the table in what I believe was a very foul state of mind and went to look for some medicine for his stomach.

Mopsy felt really quite terrible over the error. To make amends, he tried to be more helpful. He started helping Artoo and me with some of our other household chores, which included taking over Artoo's job of operating the electromagnetic vacuum to clean the floor.

Now, on the first night, Artoo had flatly refused to allow Mopsy near the vacuum, even though I suggested it might give Artoo some extra time to spend in the oil bath-what with the way he's been acting, I'm sure he needed extra oil for those cranky, rusty innards of his-but Artoo used quite shocking language when he told me to, and I quote: "Butt out of it!"

Last night, however, Artoo did not protest when Mopsy started vacuuming. I had been quite pleased. I had thought that perhaps they might finally get along and that peace might reign in the household once again.

How wrong I was.

Artoo neglected to tell Mopsy to postpone vacuuming the second floor until the next morning. So, having finished vacuuming the first floor near midnight, long after the family had retired, Mopsy took the vacuum cleaner upstairs and proceeded to try to vacuum Mistress Leia's suite.

Now, I've never fully understood what humans occasionally do in the middle of the night that necessitates making so much noise, but, suffice it to say, Captain Solo was most displeased to have it interrupted when Mopsy came to vacuum.

Poor Mopsy! To make up for his error, he tried even harder.

Imagine my subsequent dismay and horror when I heard Captain Solo bellowing in the refresher the next morning.

It just so happened that the Solo children were home from their training on Yavin IV that week. The whole Solo family ran in to see what was going on.

Mopsy was scrubbing the 'fresher bowl, which I thought was most industrious and commendable of him, until-

"He's cleaning the 'fresher bowl with my dental cleaner!" Captain Solo followed this outburst with another long string of expletives, which-well, frankly, it amazes me that more of my circuits weren't fried from that.

I expected Artoo to have something to say about the morning's mishaps but he was strangely silent.

Mopsy felt even worse about this. Trying even harder, he quickly went to the front foyer and began to wax the floor.

After breakfast, Captain Solo was still very grumpy about the events of the last day when he entered the front foyer from the left at the same time Artoo entered the foyer from the right.

Oh dear, I'd forgotten to tell Mopsy to put out a warning sign that cleaning was going on.

Captain Solo was reading something on his datapad and muttering under his breath as he entered the front foyer and immediately slipped. He tried to steady himself but only succeeded in falling forward, headfirst into Artoo who keeled over with a loud thunk!

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! The shouting!

By the time Mistress Leia arrived with the Solo children, Captain Solo had already pulled Artoo upright again and had picked up his smashed datapad.

Captain Solo started shouting at Mistress Leia that he was going to sell the lot of us droids to a junk dealer or a jawa if these mishaps kept occurring.

That's when Artoo snapped.

That's the only explanation I have for his behavior.

Artoo rolled straight up to Mopsy, extended his electrical utility arm and fried the circuits off poor Mopsy.

Mopsy gave one agonized electronic squeal-and then fell over on his side. Oh, the circuitry of it all!

"I always knew Lando hadn't gotten over the fact that I won the Falcon from him," Captain Solo muttered as he stalked out of the room. "First he gets me encased in carbonite, and now he sends this droid to destroy my home..."

Mistress Leia surveyed the carnage with a distracted air, shook her head, and then quickly ran after Captain Solo.

The Solo children took Mopsy away. Young Master Anakin seemed most interested in trying to repair Mopsy's fried circuits.

I stood rooted to the spot, in stunned disbelief.

But that miscreant astromech, that mouse-droid murdering criminal Artoo just finished waxing the floor as if nothing happened, and then went out to get the vacuum cleaner.

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