Lousro was heading in the direction the ship should be. He was making slow progress. Toydarians were made to fly, not walk. He grumbled under his breath about slow healing wings and reached out through the Force to try to sense Ao again. To his annoyance, the only thing that came calling was the Dark Side. Pulling away from the connection before he was tempted to fall into old habits he continued on his way.
– – –
T8-T3 watched as Ao Kreel shook his thirteen head tentacles. Not that T8-T3 ever counted, but that was the common number for Nautolans. The droid let out a short string of binary.
“What?” Ao turned to T8-T3. “Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention. I’m trying to locate Master Rohao in the Force. He’s hard to locate. There’s a veil of darkness that I can’t pierce. It’s like a maelstrom in an ocean. It’s blocking my path but also trying to pull me in.”
A low, concerned whistle emanated from the maintenance droid.
Ao shook his head again, trying to shake loose a memory of his training on Coruscant that could help him. Nothing Master Rohao had taught him was helping. “I know I need to not reach into the Dark Side. I have to try to find him another way. I just don’t know how.”
T8-T3 beeped a few times, passing an idea on to Ao.
A smile crept onto Ao’s greenish face. “Well, assuming the Dark Side doesn’t catch on I suppose going where it’s blocking my vision should work.” He started jogging off in a direction. “Come on. We should find him this way then.”
His path would not cross with Lousro’s on the route he was taking.
– – –
The ship came into view slowly as Lousro plodded along. Seeing the ship he tried to lift off again, but the pain in his wing was still too great. The stew pot was still simmering and when he got to the cooking stove Lousro decided the stew wasn’t going to happen. The vine had started to grow out of the pot and given enough time it would start wrapping itself around the cooking equipment.
“Well, I guess the stew’s a no go.” He turned to look at the loading ramp. The ramp was closed. “Ah, it’s fixed. They’re probably inside then.”
They were not inside.
– – –
“Tate, this didn’t work. We’re at that cave that Master Rohao fell into before. The Dark Side presence that was blocking me was this place. He was here before, maybe, but he’s not here now.” Ao kicked a rock into the tree that Lousro had walked through to get out before. “Stupid tree.”
The droid said something with harsh tones.
“Yes, yes. Frustration, Anger, Darkside. I know. Sorry.” Ao sat down on a nearby rock. “How do you know so much about Jedi training anyway? And how did you kill those sith? The ones whose decals you have on your chassis.”
T8-T3 whooped and shook it’s disk-like head back and forth.
Ao nodded. “Right. Not the place nor the time.” He reached into the Force again and sensed the connection to the two crystals just below the cave. He stood and walked to the tree trunk. “I need to see what’s down there.”
The sound of jets filled the air as T8-T3 launched over Ao and landed in front of him, blocking the path forward.
T8-T3 whistled rapidly.
“So the cave is a place of trials and you don’t want me to enter without Master Rohao here?” T8-T3 nodded its disc head. “Well, you know a lot about this stuff. Come with me and keep an eye on me.”
The droid’s dome shook in annoyance, but he knew that if Ao wanted to go into the cave there was no real way he could stop him. His best course of action was to go with him and try to protect him. T8-T3 whistled his agreement, but also his disapproval.
“I’ll be quick. Let’s go.”