T8-T3 knew that Ao wouldn’t notice if Lousro was gone for a long period of time so he set an alarm on his internal chronometer. Once two standard hours went by he would call Lousro’s comm to try to get his whereabouts.
Sure enough, Ao didn’t notice the time but was most of the way through reassembling the ramp when the alarm went off in T8-T3’s head. T8-T3 decided to wait until the ramp was finished before alerting Ao.
Twenty minutes later Nautolan Jedi Padawan Ao Kreel was looking at a part that wasn’t in the schematics. He shrugged and tossed it into the spare parts bin. Then he looked around to see the still simmering pot on the camp stove. “Tate, how long has Master Rohao been gone?”
There was a quick chirp as T8-T3 told Ao.
“Almost two and a half hours?! I’m calling him!” Ao pulled his comm from on top of the tool-box. “I know he likes the fauna here, being Toydarian, but I think this length of time is more than just getting carried away.” Ao was talking mostly to himself when a failed call symbol appeared on his holo-comm. “Well, we better start looking.” Concern had begun to leak into his voice. “He probably pulled on the wrong vine and is hanging upside down somewhere.”
T8-T3 chuckled in binary and started off the direction that Lousro was headed when he left the ship. The deep green foliage of Dagobah was thick and more than a few times Ao had to use the Force to lift him over thick vines and roots.
“Don’t you have jetpacks or something?”
T8-T3 said something in binary that sounded like a series of indignant beeps.
“Right. Fuel reserve. If you use all of it here on the planet you’ll have a hard time fixing the ship if it’s needed. I guess using the Force uses less energy than your jets.”
Binary once again whistled and beeped through T8-T3’s speakers.
“You want me to meditate to try to locate Master Rohao? I can do walking meditation if you want me to, but I don’t know how well it will work here in this maelstrom of Living Force.”
T8-T3 bumped into Ao’s leg. He whistled a steady note.
Ao rolled his eyes, which would have been visible if his eyes weren’t black orbs. “No, I’m not afraid of what I’ll find. I think we’re on the right path, but if you insist, and I know you do, then I’ll see what I can sense.” Ao lost focus on the scene in front of him and started feeling the ebb and flow of the Force. There was an echo of his crystals but the presence wasn’t overwhelming him now. The ‘strand’ of Force that he had felt before that connected him to Lousro was thin and covered in a strange fog. He was able to get the general direction but no definitive lead. He lifted his arm and pointed in a direction slightly to the left of where they were heading. “He’s that way. I think.”
A questioning tone emanated from T8-T3.
“Yes, I know. I should be able to sense him better, but like I said. There’s a lot of the Living Force here. I just can’t sense him perfectly.” T8-T3 nudged Ao’s leg. “Yeah, I’ll lead the way.”
– – –
Lousro looked up at the hole he had fallen through. It appeared to be the same one as before, but this time when he fell he hit his head. He was out for at least an hour and he had no signal on his holo-comm. Reaching out in the Force he was unable to push through the darkness from below this cave. Sighing he tried to get back to hovering and felt pain in his right wing. Focusing again on the Force he was able to dull the pain from his wing as he examined it. It wasn’t broken, just bruised, but it couldn’t support his weight. Resigned to his fate Lousro began to walk.
“Toydarian feet are not meant to take long walks with.” He muttered to himself as he began moving for the exit to the cave. “I hope Ao and Tate find me soon. I won’t be able to get very far like this.”