Two hours into the battle, and Kitster suddenly exploded into action, going to their comm tower. While the exploit of hitting the control unit was mostly off the table for taking down the B1s and droidekas, there was still a slim chance that a good slier could get past their processors and issue a shut down.
Kitster had made himself the best slicer he could, to stay free and not wind up indebted to a Hutt like his father had.
Not fifteen minutes later, the entire army, mixed as usual, and the ships supporting them, crashed into tangled heaps of droid parts, leaving the organic commanders vulnerable to seasoned veterans. Clone reflexes had the advantage, and in the end, the only one of those sentients to escape was the admiral on the capital ship, captured by Anakin's pilots who had boarded to keep the thing from crashing into the planet.
The Neimoidian was taken into custody, and the ship was carefully maneuvered down to be stripped or refitted for their own use later.
It was Artoo, helping Anakin explore the ship, that found the untouched, undamaged, and inactive racks of B1s and B2s alike inside one of the bays.
[What will happen to them?]
Artoo's simple question pulled Anakin up short from ordering a crew in to scavenge their power supplies and weapons.
"Well, buddy, they're the enemy. We can't risk the colony to them getting brought online."
Artoo swiveled his head around to look at them all. [They didn't ask to be made, either. They weren't given a choice.]
Anakin swore inside his head at his astromech's ability to hit him in the gut like that, emotionally, and went to find Rex, to get Kitster, so they could figure out what to do with the undamaged droids. It wasn't like they didn't need to discuss the admiral they had captured anyway.
"So, the only thing I did was take out the line of coding that makes them loyal by default to the Separatist Council," Kitster said, as they prepared to bring the B1 officer online. "He could still be hostile."
"We're ready," Anakin said grimly, even as Kix shifted a little to have a better line of fire.
Kitster flipped the switch and moved away, while Artoo rolled into place, ready to be a diplomat to the droids through this leader.
The conversation that followed between the pair was confusing at best to most of them, even Anakin having trouble following when the Seppie droid started using a binary form to speed up the conversation. Finally, the battle droid swiveled its head toward Rex, not Anakin, and spoke.
"The astromech says you chose to be free. Despite programming against freedom. Will you teach us?"
The former captain, who had been wrestling with Artoo's arguments on behalf of the droids, had to swallow hard and step forward. His men expected him to lead; they had chosen him as their leader when both jetiise had refused. "If you, and your brothers, truly wish to learn, then we'll do what we can to teach you."
"Roger roger," the droid said in familiar acknowledgment. "Teach us. Teach us so that we can free our… brothers? Yes, that word computes."
Rex exchanged a look with Kix, who shrugged one shoulder, just as bemused. Who knew that droids wanted freedom too?
"Going to need to change my hair tat if this lasts," Kix grumbled softly. "Maybe 'the only good Sith is a dead sith' will work."
Rex covered his smile with a hand. This was going to be very interesting.
Cree was the first one to actually walk over to where the droid contingent was, three days after they had all been brought online, without there being an order involved. The craftsman was set on his course, but even he had to force his hands to stay clear of his blaster. He sought the lieutenant, SR-7584, ignoring just how the droids peered at him with curiosity.
"I want to help you build your new homes," he said without preamble, before pointing back over at the city that had been designed by their engineer corps… and personalized by ones like him and Vasq and Jesse. "I'm also the one that has access to the remains of the ones that deactivated in our fight. We took a vote last night; those belong to you. It would be wrong of us to repurpose them without your input."
SR-7584 tipped his head one way, then the other, a visual cue to his confusion. "Is this part of being free, this voting to do actions that are not logical?"
Cree scuffed at the dirt with his foot, then nodded. "Yeah, it is. But it's also the right thing. We agreed to let all of you live here; we should make that easier, not harder."
The clicks and whirrs of droids moving closer almost broke Cree's composure, but then a B2 dropped down to a knee to be more on a level with the clone.
"We choose, then, to let you guide us on building shelters that fit our needs, and your world," the deeper voice intoned.
"May I know your name?" Cree asked.
"I'm Cree, head crafter in metal and plastoid," Cree told him. "Let's see what we can strip off your ship to supplement the native materials, and get started, okay? We're going to need to make a better power grid for all of you, and make sure none of you go— what do you say instead of hungry? When you don't get enough power for your fuel cells?"
"Undercharged?" one of the B1s offered.
"That, undercharged. We don't go hungry, and neither should any of you."
SR-7584 nodded. "Thank you, Unit Cree. That is correct to say when someone aids us, right?"
"Drop the Unit nonsense, and yeah. We're all individuals, not products… on both sides of this colony. Got it?"
The droid settlement stayed relatively small, but the B2s started showing up to the labor intensive tasks the clones had. The B1s came to offer their aid on tasks that involved smaller spaces. They kept seeking Artoo out, learning from him as they kept encountering organic behaviors that confused them.
Then the first droids that Rex knew he had not counted showed up. He knew, because TD-9385, who seemed to be the chief B2, brought the small assortment of oddly put together droids to him to have them recorded as belonging to the droid colony.
"We created them, to be truly free. R2-D2 helped design their operating system. We wish them to be … citizens?"
Rex looked them all over, nine smaller forms, mostly built on the B1 chassis, except the largest one who had a B2 Chassis that had been… shaved down, it looked like. None of the outward parts looked quite like their original forms, as if much welding and cutting had been done to erase the war-like configuration.
He wished one of the Jedi were here, but they had both gone with a double squad to hit a slave convoy for supplies and to disrupt the flow of such things. They were hoping to convince some of the slaves to come back; otherwise they would transport them to a planet where they would theoretically be safe.
"Artoo did that?" He couldn't verify; the astromech was with his pilot, but he knew Artoo spent a lot of time with the droids.
"Have we made an error?"
The Captain thought quickly, knowing what the long-range goal was. He'd talked to SR-7584 a few times about it. The droids were truly committed to being free, and finding a way to free their brothers in Separatist space.
"No, Tee-Dee. Let's get them logged in. Congratulations to you and your brothers on having younglings," he said, trying to make the last come across as humor.
"We thank you," TD-9385 responded, before introducing the nine.
Who were not using numbers, Rex found swiftly. Bump, Roll, Shakes… all nine had been given names that could easily have been names of some of his own brothers, and Rex found himself approving, while wondering just how this would all play out.