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.