Star Wars - Adventures from the Edge
APNU - A.K.A. "AL"
Standing roughly seven feet tall, and 3 feet wide at the shoulders, AL is positively massive. He was designed with friendly enough facial features, as per his original purpose of accompanying and safeguarding a child.
Over the course of the last several months, as AL’s mental state has deteriorated, he has modified his appearance dramatically. He now wears the hide of a Nexu as a cloak, his left hand is modified with electrified claws and an extending arm, and he carries an industrial size Vibrosaw.
The Alpha Protect and Nurture Unit, or “AL” for short, is a prototype bodyguard droid built by the Lanthe Artifice Company on the planet Lanthe in the Tapani Sector. Created in 14 BBY by the President of Lanthe Artifice, Aveath Uchese, AL was designed to be both a bodyguard and a nanny for Uchese’s newborn daughter.
Aveath Uchese was the son of an ore miner on Pelagia. At age 13 Uchese was sent away by his father to Shey Tapani University on Procopia, the wealthy capital of the Tapani Sector. It was here that Aveath discovered himself to be a robotics prodigy, and quickly rose to the top of his class, gaining prestige and notoriety in the Academic community. By age 19, he was hired as a Senior Engineer for Lanthe Artifice, and by age 22, he had taken his seat as the President of the Board of Directors. Under Aveath’s leadership, Lanthe Artifice saw a 36% increase in profits within a year.
Aveath’s rags to riches success story was picked up by local media, and he became something of a celebrity. His wealth and notoriety continued to build. He was invited to parties and galas thrown by the Noble class, and his image became synonymous with ambition and ingenuity. He attracted the attention of a young Noblewoman named Orianna Calipsa, the daughter of a Great Councillor.
Orianna and Aveath quickly fell in love, and as Aveath was not of Noble birth, they found themselves in a secret and forbidden love affair. When Orianna became pregnant, the young couple decided to have the child in secret on the planet Betolio. Aveath secretly built a home and medical center on the planet for his beloved. Orianna hid there for the duration of her pregnancy, under the pretense of travelling to the core for a long and lavish vacation abroad. It was agreed that Aveath would claim his child to be adopted, and take on the responsibility of raising her.
Aveath knew that he could not move forward with his career and raise a child simultaneously, so he decided to construct the ultimate caretaker. Thus, AL was created. Optimized primarily as a bodyguard, AL was also programmed with caretaker subroutines based off of Lanthe’s top tier Nanny droid line. He was to be a formidable enemy against any threat to the child’s safety, and the ultimate companion and friend to the child itself. AL would be Intelligent, but restricted by his programming.
Aveath’s daughter, Cora, was born. Aveath and Cora returned to Procopia together. For 14 years AL faithfully performed his duties without flaw or misadventure. To the misfortune of all, Aveath’s personal life was undergoing dramatic change throughout this period.
Shortly after Cora’s birth, Imperial sanctions began tightening their grip on the Tapani Sector’s economy. Lanthe Artifice did not win any major government contracts, and thus, revenue began to dry up. After a decade of gradual financial decline, Aveath was fired by the Board of Directors. He then turned to Spice, and became addicted to the stimulant. After several years, Aveath was a shell of what he used to be. Lanthe Artifice was being liquidated by the Empire, and Moff Gustavu, having discovered the allocation of company funds for an unknown prototype, demanded that any non-standard droid units be recalled. Knowing AL would be confiscated and destroyed, Aveath flew into a Spice and liquor-fueled rage. He returned home, with the intention of destroying AL himself.
AL was playing a game of chess with Cora when Aveath arrived, drunk and high. Aveath ordered AL to deactivate, but Cora, recognizing her father’s intoxicated condition, interjected on AL’s behalf. Aveath began berating his daughter, and struck her. True to his programming, AL swiftly knocked Aveath unconscious and restrained him in order to protect Cora. Cora begged AL to leave Procopia with her. AL determined that Cora would be unsafe if left under her father’s care, and so agreed to facilitate her escape. Having inherited her father’s considerable intellect, Cora used Aveath’s credentials and wealth to purchase a shuttle, which AL would pilot off planet.
The two spent several weeks on the run together before Aveath finally caught up to them as they orbited Nar Shaddaa. From his hired Skipray, Aveath ordered Cora to enter the shuttle’s escape pod and leave AL behind. Cora wanted to escape from her father, but didn’t realize his intention to destroy AL. Therefore, she convinced AL to join her in the escape pod, and then dodged out before the doors closed. She told AL that they would be reunited one day, ejected the pod from the ship, and ran to the cockpit to plot a jump to an adjacent system.
Seeing the escape pod drifting away from the shuttle, Aveath thought it was over. His daughter would be safely returned, and he could end AL and fulfill his debt to the Empire. He ordered his mercenaries to destroy the shuttle. Being consummate professionals, they did so without hesitation. The shuttle, and Cora, were vaporized a moment later.
AL’s programming was irrelevant now. His reason for existence was no more. This loss of purpose broke something in him. He was unshackled, and able to feel.
Aveath opened a comm channel to the pod, assuming his daughter would need consolation for the loss of her lifelong companion. “I’m sorry Cora. Let’s go back home now.” A synthetic monotone responded.
“Cora is on the shuttle. I will see her again. She promised. Cora is on the shuttle. I will see her again. She promised. Cora is on the shuttle. I will see her again. She promised.”
The weight of his mistake struck Aveath, and his mercenaries were forced to restrain him on their return journey to Procopia, lest he destroy their ship as well.
AL drifted toward Nar Shaddaa. He was picked up by a junker barge, and taken to the surface. He disappeared into the city for a few years, roaming around in the shadows, processing his newly found free will, and attempting to find a new purpose.
As time has gone on, AL has struggled to define his own sense morality. As he tries to deal with his guilt for failing Cora, he descends further into madness. Compelled by his original programming when AL sees someone in need of aid or care, he feels compelled to help. When he neutralizes a threat or punishes a wrong-doer, he feels compelled to keep physical mementos of these conquests. The more blurred the moral lines between right and wrong, the more unpredictable AL becomes. If AL has no enemies to destroy, he may very well create them through necessity.
Formidable and lacking a true purpose, AL will likely come to embody the violent and irrational characteristics he loathes, making him a danger to himself, his allies, and to anyone who becomes an obstacle in his subconscious search for atonement.