1B-XU

Character Concept

Name: 1B-XU (El Doh Ex Yu)
Verpine Repair Droid— heavily modified, heavily reprogrammed

Note: Everything here is speculative, and subject to GM's approval! I knew nothing about the Verpine when the GM suggested them as my character's Creator species. Everything I currently know about the Verpine, I learned from this article. If the Verpine are described in detail in some book I've never read, or the GM has his own ideas about their culture and society, then anything any everything I have written below is subject to revision at the GM's wim.

About the Name: 1B literally means "Twenty-Three" in Base 12 notation, which is what the numeral system used by the Verpine who created 1B-XU. The 1 means "one in the twelves place," and the B means "11 in the ones place." Following the same logic that pronounces 14 as "Fourteen" (four and ten), the number 1B could conceivably be translated to "Eldoh" (Eleven and Dozen). "Eleventeen" would be another possible way of saying it. Or "OnetyEleven." 1B-XU cosniders all of these names equally incorrect methods of shoehorning a base-12 designation into a spoken language that uses base-10 reckoning. "Two Three Ex Yu" is technically correct in Basic, but "One Bee Ex Yu" is completely wrong. Which is why 1B-XU finds it so annoying when someone calls him that.

Origin

1B-XU was originally factory-constructed by the Roche Hive Mechanical Apparatus Design and Construction Activity for Those Who Need the Hive's Machines, as part of a line of Droids intended as the Verpine equivalent of a Cybot Galactica LE series Repair Droid. It was was designed by Verpines, for Verpines, and intended for deployment within the Roche Asteroid Belt.

However, this particular unit may have had a more nefarious purpose.

A short time after its purchase, it was given a more powerful Heuristic processor, into which was entered an encrypted block of programming. This insidious program would run in the background all throughout the Droid's run-time, in a sector of memory rendered un-wipeable. The droid was then smashed up, dumped in a junkyard, and its memory wiped.

1B-XU's first memory, therefore, was to activate in a barren wasteland full of broken machines, with its own systems all redlined and thousands of error messages screaming for its attention. It needed to locate its supervisor and receive its first work assignment. But before it could accomplish that goal, it needed a working method of propulsion.

1B-XU extended one bandly damaged arm, and began dragging itself towards the nearby wreckage of a scrapped Gyrowheel 1.42.08-series recycling droid. Its gyroscopic balance system was a bit mis-aligned, but the wiring was still good, and with enough welding, it would do, provided 1B-XU shed enough heavy, extraneous components for it to carry him.

After this, 1B-XU began searching the junkyard for its Supervisor. Eventually, it replaced its badly mangled, largely useless right arm with the small, strong, lightweight grippers from a [ http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/DZ-70_Fugitive_Tracker_Droid DZ-70 Tracker droid ]. When one of its eyes began to fail, it ran a wire from its skull to the eye of a busted [ http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/TT-8L TT-8L, ] which it mounted on its hip.

It eventually also replaced the skull, which was begining to spark badly, and was a decorative flourish anyway seeing as how its Droid Brain had always been housed in its torso. It provided a handy platform for secondary sesnor arrays, however, and part of its programming involved looking its supervisor in the eye, when it found hir.

With its one functioning antenna, 1B-XU constantly scanned the heavens for any sign of a local Hive Network or Verpine Radio communication, but picked up only a strange signal, endlessly looping with various permutations.

While 1B-XU was attempting to analyze this, an enormous rusting hulk began to lumber towards it.

1B-XU was not the only still-functioning droid in this junkyard.

But it was still the fastest.

1B-XU sped out of there, even as the hulking horror lobbed a heavy hunk of pipe in 1B-XU's general direction. If it weren't for the unpredictable weaving of 1B-XU's faulty gryroscopic suspension, it might have permanently deactivated him.

1B-XU was still the fastest droid around. And possibly the most lucky.

***

Months later, 1B-XU had changed. A lucky break searching the piles of scrap had scored him a Heuristics processor which included Galactic Basic, and that was when he'd begun to understand the Broadcast. It was the Incredible Exploits of Dash Lightspeed! Danger! Intrigue! Romance! 1B-XU knew what none of these things were, but over the months, he had developed a rough working understanding of them. (Unbeknownst to 1B-XU, these were streaming on a loop from an old B4-RD unit.) In lieu of a proper Hive Network, they were the only instruction he had to draw upon.

And, at last! Treasure of treasures! 1B-XU discovered a mostly-working blaster rifle! Oh, sure, the scope was ruined, and most of the stock and trigger assembly were missing, but once you wired it directly to your brain and welded it onto something sturdy, it leaned precisely 4.13 degrees to the right, and that could be compensated for.

The other Droids were no match for him, after that, and he soon had his choice of components, which was good, because the old ones tended to wear out in his new rough-and-tumble lifestyle. He learned to weld on any metal plates he could find onto his body to protect his Droid Brain, the one part of him that he knew he could never detach, could never replace.

And then, finally, a ship descended from the heavens. 1B-XU drove into cover near where it was setting down. Near enough to have first pick of any precious junk it might disgorge from its hull, but concealed enough to avoid detection. He'd seen other, slower, unluckier droids brought down by a playful strafing run, after these ships, which he now recognized as pirate scows, had discarded their waste, along with any incriminating evidence they didn't want discovered.

But this particular ship was no pirate scow. Instead of maintaining radio silence, it emitted a series of mysterious broadcasts in Binary. Instead of dumping metal, it sucked it up, bit by bit, from amid various scrap piles. At one point, 1B-XU recognized an EV-series droid which had been harrying him for weeks, now struggling against the ship's tractor beams.

And then the ship issued its next mysterious broadcast, and 1B-XU froze. Among the many, many lines of Binary code, 1B-XU recognized a standard Verpine boardcast to come forth and dock with the Hive for routine maintenance. 1B-XU wasn't sure he believed it, wasn't sure he trusted the strange ship, with its suspiciously non-Verpine lines and its symbols which were neither Verpine nor Basic, nor any of the other spare languages 1B-XU had scavenged from the brains of other fallen droids.

But 1B-XU didn't really have a choice. This was the first time, other than that initial command to find his Supervisor, that 1B-XU's original programming had been called into play.

Slowly, 1B-XU wheeled towards the mysterious alien ship, and then began to pick up speed.

Was he coming home? Or being abducted?

Only time would tell.

Details on 1B-XU's Droid Brain

  • Like all Droids, programming is done in Binary, and it "speaks" Binary by default.
  • Like all Droids, it performs calculations in terms of base-2.
  • Likewise, it has hard-coded, highly optimized routines to perform math in base-12 and express mathematical concepts in terms of base-12.
  • Converting from Base-12 to Base-10 requires use of a Heuristic Processor.
  • Because the Verpine do not typically compete with each other for resources in the usual sense, 1B-XU is constructed using highly standardized, mass-produced parts.
  • Like all Verpine Droids of 4th Degree or better, 1B-XU understands the Verpine spoken language by default. Since all Verpine live in roughly the same place and speak exactly the same language, hard-coding this information was considered a useful trade-off. As a side-effect, any Verpine can perform a simple diagnostic on any Verpine-manufactured Droid, simply by asking it if anything's wrong. This benefits the Verpine reputation as masters of technology, and therefore the wellfare of the entire Verpine people.
  • Like all Verpine Droids of 3rd Degree or better, 1B-XU has a small microphone and speaker built right into the brain. This is used for basic testing of certain systems during the manufacturing process, and can help discover faulty units before they leave the assembly line. Additionally, it acts as a backup (if muffled) hearing and speaking system if no other Vocabulator is installed.
  • Likewise, there is a small camera, limited to the visible light spectrum, mounted directly onto the droid brain. This is used for testing spatial reasoning skills in the factory, and acts as a backup is no other sensors are installed. (Provided that the droid brain is positioned such that the lens of the camera is exposed and oriented in a forward-facing direction. Any armor above Light necessarily blocks this camera lens in the process of protecting the Droid Brain.)
  • Speaking any language other than Binary or Verpine requires either an external Vocabulator with the appropriate language pre-programed into it, or else the language must be 'learned' by the droid's Heuristic Processor.
  • Like all Verpine Droids intended for deployment within Roche, Its droid brain has a built-in radio capable of sending and receiving within 100 km. This is considered the most intuitive and ideal user interface among Verpine, for obvious reasons.
  • Like all Verpine droids of 2nd Degree or better, this one's Droid Brain includes a built-in Heuristic Processor.
  • Since Verpine industry favors standard components, it's possible that 1B-XU's entire Droid Brain is itself considered a "Standard Degree 2" droid brain by his manufacturers, and only task-specific programming is slotted in before the brain is installed in the appropriate droid chassis.
  • Therefore, the Droid Brain itself probably has a number of standard I/O pins and ports arrayed around the brain so that it can be easily hooked up to any relevant systems. Just for fun, I'd like to think there are 12 of these, arranged in a ring around the core, alternating male and female.
  • On the "bottom" of the brain, opposite the built-in camera, there are 12 more pins and ports. These are deliberately clustered for easy installation and hot-swapping of high-bandwidth Verpine hardware such as advanced sensor packages or complex vehicle interfaces.

All this detail about the Droid Brain itself is relevant because of both the backstory I had in mind and the ongoing concept of a Droid tweaking, modding, and customizing itself.

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