Lousro’s hand rested on Ao’s shoulder. “I think constructing your lightsaber here, in a Darkside Nexus, probably isn’t wise.”
Ao nodded and scooped up the parts he had pulled from pouches under his robe. He started to put them back when T8-T3 opened a compartment and beeped at him.
“Oh, thanks.” Ao put the parts in the compartment then followed his master to the cave exit. He turned to T8-T3 and smiled. “Don’t freak out.” He used the Force to float T8-T3 up the steps. He wouldn’t need to use his jets for this journey.
T8-T3 freaked out for a moment then seemed to calm down. When Ao set him down he turned and give him a small jolt with a welding arm.
“Fine, fine. I won’t do it again.”
“Ship’s this way.” Lousro pointed. “Now that the trials are over it seems we’re allowed to just leave.”
Ao nodded then registered what his master had said. “Trials? What did you face in there?”
“Myself. I doubt I’m the first, and probably not the last, to face themselves in that cave. The dark they keep hidden deep. I sense you faced your darkness in a different way, but you, too, prevailed.” Lousro nodded his head, his snout bobbing from the motion.
Ao decided that his master wasn’t going to tell him any more than that and decided to practice moving meditation on the way back to the ship. He had just gotten himself centered when they were at the ship. “Wow, that’s way closer than I thought it was.”
“And you lost your concentration because of it.” Lousro smiled slightly. “Surprise is something to be prepared for, but you are never prepared for.”
“Great, philosophy. I need to think of mechanics now, not philosophy.”
Lousro shook his head. “If you aren’t in the right state of mind when you make you lightsaber you will fail. Now is the time to think on the nature of the Force on this world and calm yourself.”
Ao nodded, then noticed every hatch on the ship was open. Dismay began to dig its claws into him, but he centered himself again in the Force. “Well, I guess I’m going to build the lightsabers in my room.” He turned to T8-T3. “C’mon, I need those parts back.”
T8-T3 complied, opening the compartment with the parts in it. As Ao pulled them out he noticed a few extra parts. They would work great for the type of lightsabers he had discussed with T8-T3 before. Ao smiled broadly. “Thanks, bud.”
– – –
Ao sat in lotus position, his eyes open and staring at his lightsaber parts. He had locked himself in his quarters by detaching the wires to his door and manually closing and locking them. All the other doors on the ship were currently locked in the open position. He had offered to help T8-T3 with the mechanics side of fixing the doors, but he had insisted Ao go work on his lightsabers.
He had started by modifying the parts at a workbench in the cargo bay, and had originally intended to finish building his lightsaber in there, but then it had started raining. There was a top-hatch in the cargo bay and the rain was so thick the entire cargo bay was soaked in moments. Ao didn’t mind the wetness, but he did mind the relentless pounding of the rain against his body.
“Clear your mind. Focus on the parts, not what led you here.” Ao mumbled to himself. He started to focus on the metal and crystals in front of him. He closed his eyes. He would be distracted by them. He had already done all the mechanical modifications. He wanted to use the Force to piece them together, fit them better than any modification he made would.
Breathing deep Ao reached out to the Force and felt the parts in front of him. The crystals showed him how they wanted to sit. How the parts should fit around them. To his surprise the larger of the two crystals wanted to fit into the shorter saber and vice versa.
Reaching deeper Ao refitted some of the parts using the Force. Something he didn’t realize he could do. He didn’t bend them like he had seen other padawans do when pushing metal with the Force, instead he encouraged the metal to form into a different shape and it listened.
Ao felt the lightsabers were as complete as they would be with the Force helping him fit the pieces together. He opened his eyes and pulled a tool from his belt. It was a small one that T8-T3 had given him to tighten the small bolts on the cargo door hydraulics. It was the perfect size for adjusting the tightness of the screws on his new lightsabers.
Finally, after what seemed to Ao to be no more than three hours, he lifted up his two lightsabers. Holding the longer one in his right hand and the shorter one in his left hand he activated them at the same time. They were both blue blades with a soft crackling of yellow on the edges.
Ao decided the yellow was the stun energy and tested the smaller saber against his arm. His skin dried out quickly and he felt the solid blade shock him. The blade wasn’t trying to cut through his skin, but he pulled it away.
“Well, I guess I’ll still need my cutting laser. This won’t cut through anything.” Ao shrugged and powered down the pair of sabers, then glanced at his chrono. “Huh, it’s been six hours, not three.” Stretching a little he used the Force to unbar and open his door. There was a meal sitting on the floor, covered with multiple layers of plastic wrap, with a note on it.
It’s been two days since you started meditating with you lightsabers. T8-T3 tells me you should be done soon. Judging by how long my fellow padawans took before I agree with him. You should eat. Finally made that stew I kept talking about.Lousro
Ao looked at his chrono again in shock and noticed the date stamped on it. “What the druk?”
Expecting a scolding Ao prepared an apology, but nobody said anything. Walking to the cockpit Ao saw that most of the strange mold had been scrubbed away, but he saw no sign of his master or the maintenance droid. Shrugging he sat on the cleaner of the chairs and began eating the stew. It tasted delicious, though that could have been because he hadn’t eaten for over 48 hours.
As he ate Ao realized that the doors had been fixed. All the exterior hatches had been closed. He smiled and set the empty bowl on the ground. Then he felt a tugging sensation in the Force. It wasn’t focused on Ao, but he felt the echo of its affect on his master. He stood and jogged to the back of the ship. The cargo door opened as he approached.
“You felt it to?” Lousro asked as he fluttered onto the ship.
“Yes, master. What was it?”
“A call from my old master. We’re going to Manaan.”
Ao nodded. “You did mention she was a selkath. Master Tyranna, right?” Ao waited for T8-T3 to enter the ship then shut the cargo door. Water was still pooling in the cargo bay and Ao thought he heard a creature nesting somewhere.
“Yes, she is.” Lousro shook his head. “I’m worried because it felt urgent. Like something is finally coming to a head.”
“The Sith war?”
“No, something else…” Lousro started up the ship’s engines and started the assent out of the atmosphere. “I fear a larger war has begun.”
[So ends Lousro on Dagobah. The story of Lousro was played out just over a year ago in Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars Force and Destiny. The character died by performing a Holdo maneuver on the flagship of a Yuuzhan Vong worldship. No he didn’t ram the worldship, he rammed the Yuuzhan Vong fleet with the world ship. The game may have gotten a little out of hand…]