The room was a combination droid repair area and N1 star fighter repair area, many droids and star fighters where still in various stages of repairs from the battle with the Trade Federation Droid Control Ship. Esoom would have probably been in awe of the sight but he was to worried about his friend R2-CM. He was directed to a small workstation in the back corner of the room were old junk spare astromech parts were normally kept. There he saw his poor astromech lying flat on a worktable with a generator attached to keep his memory core active. Dried mud was still caked to his mangled shovel arms that once carried the rare plant he was trying to save. The left outer leg was ripped off by the first double shot that hit him only leaving the top stump of the shoulder, then the bolt continued to ripping threw the front chest area blowing out his utility arms and several doors. The second blast hit the dome and exploded even more doors and pie plates off; his main holo projector took the brunt of the blast luckily but turned it into slag.
Looking at his friend tears started to well up in his eyes, He put one hand on his friend’s dome and wiped a tear away with his other hand. He looked down at CM’s still functioning rear logic display, the lights were flickering slow and erratic.
“You will be all right my friend; I will fix you good as new.”
The droid let out a clunky swirl and snap that made no sense at all, his vocal system was almost completely shot. CM’s dome then shuttered and squeaked as he tried to turn in slightly, the droid’s rear holo projector flickered to life with a fuzzy static image of Esoom from back on Ithor.
“Yes my friend it is I, I will take care of you, I won’t let you die.”
The holo then jerked and stuttered, another holo of Esoom came up and then another and another each saying different words in basic and Ithorian. CM was patching different recordings together to try to communicate to Esoom. “CM.. happy, you...here......want to, fix.....be together......not want, die.......want ...own...name... not, number”
“You want a name my friend? We can do that as soon as we patch you together.” Esoom said with a heavy heart.
“Patch...flower, flower patch....patch you together, p,p,p,p patch.” Cm’s holo spit out loudly.
“You want to be called Patch?” Esoom’s eyes strained at the holo trying to figure it out.
“P, p. patch.....eyes, patch...eyes, patch..es patch...es.”
“Patches?’ Esoom said as tear came rolling down his eyes. “You want to be called Patches?”
Cm’s holo then played what he just recorded of Esoom back to the Ithorian on a loop a few times. Esoom could see his own tears being played back to him. “Patches?...Patches?....Patches?....Patches?... Want...called Patches?”
“Ok R2-CM, from now on I will call you Patches. Now rest your circuits I have much work to do and little time to do it. I will reactivate you when I have made some real progress.”
Patches holo played one more image of Esoom then flickered out with a shorting sound, Your, friend....Your my...friend, n, n, n, no leave.....m-m-m-meeee.”
“I will not leave you my friend I promise.” Esoom then proceeded to remove the broken exterior pieces that were not salvageable so he could get a better look at the internal damage. The findings did not look promising. Esoom worked late into the night. Though there were in a droid repair shop all the new and rebuilt parts were already being used on other droids. Esoom had to wade threw the pile of broken parts and piece together makeshift replacements. Some things he would have to wait to fix or replace at a later time like the shovel and the left leg repulsor lift. The front holo would have to wait to along with the cracked main eye as well. The Ithorian worked tirelessly threw the night not even stopping to eat the meal that was brought for him by one of the Naboo repair personnel.
Some time before sunrise Esoom put together the last pieces he had left, Patch’s springed right back to life. The droid whistled happily as he realized he could move again; though he was having some issues with the new left leg he now had. Esoom held a reflective chrome shell piece from one of the star fighters in front of the droid so he could see what he looked like. For the most part the Astromech looked like he used to except for a few missing parts and some randomly different colored panels. Patches whistled strongly as he seen how multi colored he now was.
“Well I guess your new name kind of fits you now that you have so many new colors.” Esoom said will forced smiles.
Patches wheeled himself over to an open repair bay door that the N1s launched out of when they were fixed. There he could see far into the distance as the sky started to change color from the sun starting to peek over the horizon. Esoom soon followed and stood behind him. Patches then spoke something to the Ithorian.
Esoom replied, “Yes we have time I think to enjoy the sunrise before we leave. The queen has given us that ship we pulled out of the swamp as a reward for helping her. We will travel to another near by planet to finish your repairs.” Right as the bottom part of the sun lifted above the ground Sio came into the room to escort Esoom and Patches to there new ship. "I am happy CM is up and working again Esoom, the Queen will be happy to know he is still functioning. She wishes she could give you more time to work on him. She has also told me to tell you that your ship still needs some work on the hyper drive but that you should be able to make it to Tatooine and that you should look for a junk dealer named Watto for the parts you might need for your droid and your ship. He is a Toydarian down on his luck and will probably sell everything he has cheap to get back on his feet.”
“Tell the Queen thank you for everything she has done and that CM from now on would like to be called Patches.”
“Very well Esoom Mendo. Your friend Padme also told me to tell you thank you and was wondering if you have a name for the ship's registry. She also says she still thinks the ship looks like you.”
“Tell her I have thought of a name and it will represent what I will use the ship for. I will use it to help people and planets attacked by Eco terrorists when no other help is available. Tell her I will be calling it The Tree Hugger.”Esoom exclaimed with two of the widest grins Sio ever saw on an Ithorian before.
“The Tree Hugger sir?” Sio said a little bit puzzled, “Won’t people be making fun at that name?”
Esoom looked at Sio and placed a hand on his shoulder, “Let them try my friend, let them try.”
Sio laughed and then escorted the pair to a waiting speeder that would take them to thier new ship and their new home away from home.
Next, Ship of dreams and nightmares..........