The lounge of the Mon Calamari Cruiser Liberty was its usual
self: dark, filled with the babble of a dozen different languages
conversing in a myraid of different conversations. Rooster and Mixer
were unusually busy, however; a large number of the Liberty's
crew were downing drinks and meals, relishing the feelings that
came with a job well done.
Corsair's pilots were exceptionally vocal; the young team of recruits
had assembled around the bar and two of the closer tables and were
comparing stories and their accomplishments since they'd come to
One of the pilots, Flight Officer Adam "Guardian" Burns, wasn't
participating as enthusiastically as most of the rest of the group.
A few of the others had noticed, but since that was how Guardian
normally acted, they paid it no special heed. So it came as something
as a shock when Guardian popped out of his chair, a broad grin breaking
on his face, and yelled "Cutter!"
Most of the pilots turned toward the door, following Guardian as
he jogged to a new arrival. What they saw made them pause and take
another glace. The figure Guardian was approaching had the top half
of what looked to be a 2-1B medical droid, with a few extra boxes
placed irregularly around its surface. From the waist down,
the droid had a flat base and hovered about half a meter above the
floor. Guardian walked straight up to the automaton,
and began conversing with it excitedly.
Rafael "Hyl" Costa Guerra, Corsair Six, Vince "Stryker" Rambo,
Corsair 12, and the Wookiee Groznik, Corsair Four, all exchanged
one glance and followed their flight group leader up to the droid.
The four had been teamed together in Corsair Squadron's first mission,
and had formed a friendly, if rather competitive, group. Stryker
made it to Guardian's side and got in the first jab. "So, I see
your date's arrived, Adam."
Guardian stopped talking to the droid and turned, a grin on his
face. "No, Vince, he came to resuccitate yours. Sorry, big guy,
but he's an old friend."
Hyl and Groz finished the circle, both looking over the robot.
The droid returned the glances, analyzing the new figures. Guardian
placed a hand on the droid's shoulder and made introductions. "Hyl,
Groz, Stryker, this is Cutter. He's a modified Two-Onebee medical
droid that I've known for a long time."
The droid nodded once, then said in a slow drawl, "Pleasure to
meet you gentlemen." It then turned to Guardian. "I will see you
in the med bay, Master Adam. I may be needed there." With that,
the droid rotated on its repulsorlift undercarriage and floated
"I'm glad you're here, Cutter," Adam called after it. The droid
tossed a wave back over its shoulder, then dissappeared out the
"So," Hyl interceded, "what's the story? You're talking to him
like he's an old friend."
"He is," Guardian insisted, leading the four back down to the Corsair
group. "I met him a long time ago, before I was even a pilot."
"Sounds like a story," Groz growled through his translator.
Guardian eased himself back down into his seat and picked up his
Ithorian Green for a quick sip. Then he nodded, and the rest of
the group fell silent.
"It all started on Briggia. I had been stationed there as a medic,
my third assignment..."
The scream echoed down the trench, seeming to come from a million
different directions at once. Medic Adam Burns, newly assigned to
Briggia Base, looked up from the wounded soldier he was tending,
trying to find the source of the cry. He tapped another medtech
on the arm, grabbed a medpack, and began to race down the trench,
keeping his head low.
Artillery blasts rained down on the Alliance position, blowing
chunks of soil and rock skyward, threatening to vaporize men or
send shrapnel ripping into them. Adam kept low, trying to avoid
tripping over discarded equipment, torn soil, and, all too frequently,
unbreathing bodies. He found the source of the yell, kneeling next
to another fallen soldier. The kneeling soldier was a young man,
a sergeant by the insignia on his arm, and he looked at Adam with
tears in his eyes. "Help her!"
Burns looked down at the fallen trooper. It was a woman, a young
one at that. She'd taken a blast to the shoulder and upper chest.
This was not going to be easy. The medic broke open the medkit and
prepped a painkiller, then injected it into her. He looked up at
the sergeant. "I can't guarantee anything."
"Try, damn it!" the man screamed back, his voice on the verge of
breaking. The sounds of weaponfire were decreasing, Adam noted.
He nodded, then began his business. He was interuptted by his comlink;
the device buzzed off, then began to voice one signal, over and
"Code Alpha-Echo-Alpha-One. Code Alpha-Echo-Alpha-One. Code..."
Adam looked up at the sergeant. "I've done all I can. We gotta
get out of here."
The trooper met Adam's gaze. "We're not leaving her!"
Adam nodded. "I know. Can you carry her?" The sergeant didn't need
any furthur coaching; he merely stood and slung the woman over his
shoulder, then began running for the evacuation center. Adam watched
him leave, then ran back to his med team. They were ready to leave
as well, having their charge on a stretcher. "Okay," Adam yelled
as a blaster bolt slammed into the trench, "time to get the hell
out of here. You guys get to the transport--I'm going to take one
more look around." The other medics all nodded, then started running
for the evac transports.
Adam picked a blaster pistol up from the ground, checked its power
supply, and started back into the base. The corridors of the installation
were eerie in their silence, broken only by the muffled detonations
of weapons against the base's outer walls.
He reached the medical center. It was bare, having been stripped
of all valuable equipment and loaded long before the Imperials had
arrived. A movement caught his eye, and Adam spun, weapon following
his sight line.
He froze, then pulled the weapon up. A 2-1B medical droid cowered
in the corner, thin arms sheilding its head. "Come on, you," Adam
snapped at the droid. "We're leaving." The med droid lowered its
arms slowly, then stepped into the light.
"Sorry, sir. I heard that the Imperials had overrun the base."
"Not yet, they haven't. Come on--there's still a transport waiting."
Adam led the droid out of the medbay and toward the hangar area.
They had almost made it when a series of blaster bolts cut the droid
down, splitting him in half at the waist. Adam spun, his pistol
ready, only to drop it a moment later. Four stormtroopers, rifles
drawn, approached him. He was a dead man. He looked down at the
droid, wanting to apologize for getting it into this mess. But the
droid's eyes were dark, and Adam didn't see anything processing.
It was gone.
He was alone.
The troopers circled Adam, keeping their weapons level. The medic
had no other choice but to keep his hands up. He wasn't a fool--he
didn't want to die. Not like this, anyway.
One of the troopers holstered his weapon, pulled a pair of binders
from his utility belt, and readying them, stepped towards Adam.
The medic held his wrists out, awaiting the inevitable.
At that moment, the droid's photoreceptors flashed on. The medical
unit's right wrist flared as well and a cauterizing beam shot out
of a projector. In one smooth, surgical motion the droid swept the
beam across one of the trooper's weak knee joints. The beam sliced
through the joint like the flesh, bone, and body sleeve weren't
even there. The man fell, screaming, only to be silenced when the
droid ran the beam through his neck with the same result.
The other troopers distracted by the droid, Adam acted. He grabbed
the wrists of the guard coming at him and pulled him forward and
across another's path. In one motion he released the guard, grabbed
his weapon from its holster, and sprayed four bolts into the trooper's
midsection. Turning, he managed to fry the two remaining troopers
before they could decide on the greater threat--him or the droid.
When it was over, Adam looked down at the droid. "You okay?"
"No, sir." The droid's cutting beam hissed off. "Please, don't
"Not a chance." Adam knelt, picked the droid up, then fit the droid
on his back. "Hold on." The Two-Onebee's arms crossed around Adam's
chest, and the medic piggy-back carried the legless droid to the
It was empty, save for a pair of Y-wing fighters. The transport
had left without him. Adam sighed, then grabbed a discarded flight
helmet and raced to a fighter. Thankfully, it was a two-seater variant of the venerable fighter, and would have room for his damaged companion. Awkwardly, he clambored up the side
and dumped the droid into the gunner's seat. "Hold on." He dropped
into the pilot's couch, and began running the fighter through its
"The rest, as they say, is history. We took off to find some transports
in dire need of an escort, and provided it. For my flying,
I got moved into Defender Wing. We got back to the rendezvous point,
and fixed the Two up. I called him "Cutter" for his nifty little
maneuver and because we cannabilized some of the more run-down,
obsolete droids and added them to him. He's got at least five other
droid brains linked to his, all in one floating metal body. He became
our field medic, all six kinds of medical droids in one. He was
left over after the Defender disaster, and, since he's taken to
calling me "Master Adam" and thinks I own him, he decided to follow
me. It just took him longer to process through, I guess."
"That's some story," Andy "Backlash" Jacina, Corsair Nine, said.
"So, is he here to stay?"
Guardian nodded. "Yeah. As long as we need him."
John "Fireball" Dagen laughed. "Maybe it's just me, but I'm hoping
we don't need him all that much."
That grew a collective laugh from the group. "Nah," Dave "Hyp"
Barnett mused, "we won't need him--once we teach Parody where the
Micheal "Parody" Miller's face tightened at the remark about his
uncanny ability to find enemy fighters with the structure of his
ship, at least in the sims. "Yeah, yeah, go ahead, rub it in."
Guardian just smiled, leaned back in his chair, and sipped his