Lousro on Dagobah – Pt. 15

The swamps of Toydaria weren’t Lousro’s favorite place to be, but it was home and he felt at peace here. He avoided the more watery parts of the swamp, sticking to the drier paths. He was aware that this was a vision, and he had a suspicion that the Dark Side was waiting for him to get too close to the water.

The call of the crystal was different than the one in his shield emitter. The one in the shield emitter wanted to defend. This new crystal felt like it wanted to attack, but not to kill. Only to stun.

Thinking of what this crystal could possibly be Lousro fluttered too close to the water. A figure coalesced on the surface of the water. A shadowy figure. Not Teslief, someone else. A Dark Brother. One of the Sith Lords on the council.

“Brother Lousro,” it said in a voice that sounded like a waterfall breaking on rocks, “stop this foolishness. Return to the Brotherhood. Return to the Dark Side.”

Lousro shook his head, his trunk waggling. “No, you sense the light within me. The Dark Side has no hold on me anymore.”

“That’s where you’re wrong. Once a Dark Side Force user, always a Dark Side Force user.” The Dark Brother’s mask cracked. “Look at the backs of your hands. Do you not see the broken blood vessels there?”

It took all of Lousro’s concentration not to stare at his hands. Instead, he activated his Light Buckler without looking and held it to defend himself. In his other hand, a training saber materialized.

The Dark Brother’s mask broke into pieces and Lousro stared into his own eyes. No, not his own eyes. The eyes of a version of himself that slew Teslief and stayed with the Sith. “You are not me.”

“On the contrary, I am the part of you that still hungers for the Dark Side.” The Dark Brother Lousro activated a red Light Buckler and pulled a lightsaber hilt from his belt. He activated the angry, crackling, crimson blade. “You can go no further until you defeat me.”

“I see,” said the real Lousro, “that you still use a shield.”

“It confuses the enemy. They think it’s purely defensive.” The Dark Brother Lousro flicked his wrist and the disk of energy disconnected from his buckler, launching at Lousro.

Lousro blocked with his Light Buckler and parried the blow from the dark version of himself that followed immediately after. “If you are a part of me I know what you’re going to do before you do it.” Lousro deactivated his Light Buckler. “I also know that no matter how hard you try, you can’t claw yourself out.” Lousro’s training saber disappeared.

“You leave yourself open to my attacks?”

“Just because I have no weapons does not mean I leave myself open.”

Lunging forward the Dark Brother Lousro aimed at Lousro’s heart. However, after he launched forward Lousro took to the air, his Toydarian wings straining at taking him higher than they were used to.

“You leave yourself open to me, now.” Lousro dove back down and tackled his dark self. He used the Force to deactivate the Light Buckler and the lightsaber. “You are a part of me, and you always will be. That is my burden to bear.”

The dark image smiled. “You pass.” It dissipated into a puff of black smoke.

Lousro breathed deep and looked around. The image of Toydaria faded and in front of him, growing out of the cave wall, was an orange crystal. He reached out in the Force and pulled it to himself. The crystal was too new, too raw. He put it in a pouch. The crystal was not yet ready to be in a lightsaber hilt. It needed more time.

“Chaos, yet harmony,” Lousro muttered under his breath. He then turned to find his apprentice. He exited the small cave and looked around.

Ao was sitting on the ground next to T8-T3. He was fiddling with some spare parts.

Lousro walked forward and pulled two emitters from a pouch at his waist. “Here. Use these.”

Grabbing the parts from his master Ao smiled. “What are these from?”

“A pair of lightsabers I never made. Teslief expected me to dual wield, like her.” Lousro looked at Ao’s two crystals. They were ready to be in hilts. “You aren’t like her. Those crystals won’t kill, they will only stun.”

“Good, I don’t like the idea of killing.”

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Help us, Jor-val Ondelios, you’re our only hope! – pt. 2

The dinner crowd was in the cantina. Unlike the breakfast time the cantina was bustling and Jor-val let the waiters and busboys do their jobs. He served as the bartender, mixing drinks and doing small talk.

“Hey, Ondelios, you got anything for a war veteran?” A man built like a soldier with a face that resembled Revan’s was sitting at the bar. “Maybe listen to a proposition he has?”

A broad smile broke across Jor-val’s face. “Dor Thay, long time since the war. How’re you holding up?” He set a drink in front of Dor Thay. “This one’s on the house.”

Dor Thay sipped the concoction in front of him. “Whoo, strong stuff. I came here ’cause I heard some rumors of a vergence. Thought you’d be interested…and maybe a little restless. Seems too quiet here.” He motioned to the loud, bustling cantina crowd. “Well, you know what I mean, too routine.”

“A vergence, you say? What kind.” Jor-val picked up a glass and began to idly polish it.

“I don’t know exactly. I just have this feeling about it.” Dor Thay nodded at a lightsaber hanging on the wall behind Jor-val. “Is that his?”

 “Yeah, Teslief gave it to me after she became a master.” Jor-val turned and pulled the lightsaber hilt down. “Well, I may as well take this with. Let’s meet at the Broiling Womprat tomorrow. You know the landing pad. Man, we should change the ship’s name before we leave.”

“Tomorrow then?”

“Tomorrow.”

Dor Thay downed his drink quickly then nodded. “See you there at oh-six-hundred?”

Jor-val nodded. “I’ll have everything warmed up by then. The door code’s the same. If I’m not back at the ship by that time I’ll comm you…same code?”

“Same code.”

– – –

The Jedi temple hadn’t changed much. Jor-val had only been there a couple of times. One of the times was when he was granted the rank of knight, a position he technically still held, and when they had the funerals. One for Kasmor, the other for Lousro and the gungan Jedi who stayed with him at the end.

“Knight Ondelios.” The guard at the door leading into the main temple nodded at Jor-val. “Are you here for an assignment?” The guard smiled in a way that said he already knew the answer.

“No, here visiting an old friend. Is that okay?” Jor-val waved up at a camera that was watching the door.

The guard nodded. “Sure. Should I page them for you?”

A smile crept across Jor-val’s face. “Oh, I’m sure Tate already knows I’m here.”

There was a crash from inside the door and a few whistles of an apology.

“That’ll be him now.”

“You know that droid’s going to get you in trouble, right?”

“Wouldn’t be fun if he didn’t.”

The door slid open and an astromech droid rolled out of it. T8-T3 chirped a few bits of binary and bumped into the door guard lightly.

“I have no clue what he said.” The guard looked at Jor-val hopeful that he did.

Jor-val shook his head. “Sorry, I only know little bits. I think he said something about a leave of absence.”

“Right. No problem.”

T8-T3 rolled past the guard and headed for the temple entrance. He beeped a few times and Jor-val got a message on his datapad.

Jor-val checked the text: Fill me in at the Broiled Whomprat. I need to grab something first.

Jor-val jogged behind to catch up. “It’s called the Tempest now. The old name was a little too weird.”

A short chirp emanated from T8-T3. Jor-val knew without a translation that he liked the name.

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Lousro on Dagobah – Pt. 14

T8-T3 watched as Ao walked down an incline saying something about that’s where they part ways. T8-T3 had seen Jedi having visions before, and he knew enough about aquatic species to tell by Ao’s breathing that he thought he was underwater. T8-T3 beeped something to himself and tried to ping Lousro’s comm.

– – –

Lousro was most of the way to the cave again when he got a ping on his comm. “Why do these bloody things only work part of the time?” He pulled the comm from his belt and landed. His wing was still sore and he needed the break. He answered the comm. “Lousro here. Are you okay, Tate?”

A string of binary assaulted Lousro’s ears. He curled his snout in annoyance and rubbed his beard. “So he’s in the cave and he’s having a vision. You think he believes himself to be underwater. I’m almost there. If you can connect to the ship there’s a message for you in binary. I can’t read it.”

There was a long pause before T8-T3 replied with an affirmative beep and cut the connection.

Sighing to himself, Lousro beat his wings through the air again and took off in the direction of the cave.

– – –

Ao swam through the salty water. He assumed it was what Glee Anselm’s oceans felt like, but he didn’t remember it well.

Pushing through the currents, Ao felt himself being pulled one way but invited the other. Sensing that the current was the Dark Side and the invitation was the Light, the nautolan swam towards the invitation.

The current became powerful and tried to pull him along it but Ao pulled on the power of the Light Side. He augmented his strength and speed allowing him to break free of the current and swim toward the still waters.

– – –

Lousro walked into the cave through the tree trunk. It was the third time he had been in the cave, but the first time he hadn’t fallen in. “Where did they go?”

T8-T3 heard Lousro’s toydarian voice echoing in the cave and rolled out of the small passageway in the wall. He beeped softly.

“Ah. There you are Tate.” Lousro fluttered over. “I sense a calling.” He stroked the shield emitter on his left wrist. “It’s familiar, yet different.” He idly walked towards the crack in the wall. “In here. It’s coming from behind this wall.” He dropped to his feet and walked through the crack.

T8-T3 tweeted loudly at Lousro trying to stop him.

Lousro stopped and looked back briefly. “I know it’s a vision Tate but when a crystal calls you, you listen.” He returned to walking down the small corridor.

T8-T3 beeped something about Jedi and stupidity but followed Lousro.

– – –

Ao found himself in still waters. Above him was inky blackness and below was a bright light. He felt as if the world had inverted and that swimming up would take him to an abyss but swimming down would take him to the surface.

With strong, swift strokes Ao began to swim downwards. The inky blackness coalesced into tentacles and reached for his feet, snagging one of them.

Feeling something wrap around his ankle Ao looked up to see the mass of dark tentacles. He tried pushing them with the Force, but he didn’t move. Panic began to swell inside him.

In his panic the Jedi code found its way to the forefront of his mind.

Emotion, yet peace.

Ignorance, yet knowledge.

Passion, yet serenity.

Chaos, yet harmony.

Death, yet the Force.

– – –

When Lousro exited the passageway into the chamber he didn’t see the chamber, he saw Toydaria. The swamps were different than the ones on Dagobah. They were more inviting.

Lousro shook his head. “It’s an illusion, like the caves beneath The Way of Balance temple on Vergaiun.” He glanced around to see if there were any creatures poised to strike.

Calming himself by drawing from the Light Side Lousro attempted to peer through the illusion. At the edges of his vision the illusion started to fade, but then it snapped back. He stopped attempting to see through it. This was a different test.

– – –

Ao focused on the line of the code “passion, yet serenity” and instead of fighting against the tentacles to reach the light he extended his senses toward the light.

The source of the light was a small point at the bottom of the flooded cavern. Ao reached out with the Force and pulled the light to himself.

Awaking on a dry cavern floor Ao looked around in confusion. He felt his hand grasping something. He opened his palm and looked.

Two orange crystals sat in his palm. They sang to him in the Force, happy to be with him at last.

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Help us, Jor-val Ondelios, you’re our only hope! – Pt. 1

Kasmor Shrouder, human Jedi Knight, gripped the handle of a training saber. He was about to get in a friendly duel with another Knight. Naris was a saber master. He had felled many Yuuzhan Vong with a single strike on the last mission and this had annoyed Kasmor. Up until this point, he was the saber master on his squad. This new guy wasn’t going to show him up. Continue reading

Lousro on Dagobah – Pt. 13

Ao and T8-T3 started the descent down the stairs into the Darkside cave. T8-T3 moved in front of Ao, cautiously and slowly.

“Hey, Tate, you don’t need to move that slow. I know your sensors are faster than that.” Ao hopped over the small droid. “Look, there’s a pair of crystals calling me. I’m not going to rush, but what you’re doing is overkill.” Continue reading

Lousro on Dagobah – Pt. 12

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. Continue reading