T8-T3 rolled to the door of an apartment near the Jedi temple. He bumped into the door a few times. A dull thud echoed into the apartment.
Ao opened his black, nautolan eyes at the sound. He got up and put on his robe. He didn’t like staying in the temple. Everyone kept talking about Lousro this and Lousro that around him. Sure, they had given him the rank of Master after his death, but they hardly knew him.
The thud echoed again, this time accompanied by a series of whistles and clicks. Ao got dressed faster.
“Be right there, Tate. Hold your horses.” A smile crept onto Ao’s face and he shook his head. His head tentacles shook around like dreadlocks. “I’ll be just a moment.” He swiftly walked to the door and keyed it open. “What’s up, buddy?”
T8-T3 chirped quickly then extended an arm and poked one of Ao’s two lightsabers sitting on his nightstand.
“Get packed and don’t forget those?” Ao pretended to kick T8-T3. “That happened once! Just once!” He chuckled. “Ok, I’ll pack. Not that I have much. Where do we meet?”
T8-T3 sent a message to Ao’s commpad. “Oh, It’s called the Tempest now? I like it.”
– – –
Ao and T8-T3 walked up the ramp to the Tempest. Ao knocked on the bulkhead as they made their way to the cockpit. “This ship brings back memories. Happy ones and sad ones both.”
Jor-val stuck his head out of the cockpit. “Ao, is that you?” He walked to the nautolan and grasped his forearm. “Long time no see. You’re a knight now?”
“Yes, master…I mean Jor-val.”
“I was your master for like a week before they reassigned you.” Jor-val shook his head. “Do you remember Dor Thay?”
“Vaguely. I met him like once.” Ao walked into the cockpit. “Are we all warmed up?”
“Assuming you have your lightsabers, yeah.” Jor-val poked Ao in the ribs, jokingly. Then he looked serious. “You did, right?”
“It was once! Once!” Ao turned around and went to the crew quarters he used the last time he was on the ship. “If you need me, I’ll be meditating.”
– – –
After a short wait in the skies of Coruscant in the queue to break atmos, the Tempest made the jump to lightspeed. It was heading to coordinates on the edge of known space.
“So,” Jor-val stood at the door to Ao’s quarters, “what assignment did you say you were going on?”
“I said I was exploring. I’m an honorary member of the Jedi Explorer Corps.” Ao held up his holopad showing an Explorer Corps charge account. “Complete with all the perks.”