Patches and Lihp returned to the Tree Hugger without incident. The Jawa coasted next to the ship’s outer doors and got out of the craft while the astromech hovered himself to the floor and deployed to three-leg mode.
“Ok Lihp I want you to make something for me out of your pile of parts and I will forget to mention your little detour to Esoom,” The droid said.
“What does astro droid want me to make?” Lihp asked in return.
Lihp was surprised by Patches’ request and hesitated to do as asked at first but then grudgingly agreed.
The Jawa then went into the ship to start assembling the parts he would need.
Patches stood on the landing pad wondering if his decision was the right one while wooing to himself. He watched as the sun started to set wondering what his friend and master Esoom was doing at this very moment, hoping things were going more smoothly for him.
After a light meal of fresh greens, Esoom was shown to his guestroom where he would stay for the night. While entering the room he was thinking back to the meal he had just eaten he realized that other than the time he helped the Jawas on Tatooine, he had not practiced the Law of Life sense he left Ithor. Had he really gotten this far off course from where he started when he first asked his elder to do his special droid experiment, he thought to himself. He let out a sigh and looked at the furniture in the room around him, there where a few couches and tables but otherwise the room was bland. He went to a terminal that was inset into one of the tables and brought up a map of the Temple. After thumbing threw the endless list of room he found what he was hoping for; an arboretum that went by the name of The 1000 fountains. He took the time to memorize the path in his mind then switched off the monitor. Esoom knew he should stay in his room but he needed to free his mind of the guilt he was feeling of not being one with mother jungle even if Ithor was light years away. The Ithorian peeked his long head out the door to see if anyone was around and seen no one in the immediate area. He calmly walked down the hall as if he was suppose to be there and headed towards the arboretum.
On the bridge of the Tree Hugger Patches had just got done tacking down the panel that had come loose in the firefight earlier that day. Now with all the repairs were complete he then went to check on the clone of the Naboo plant they had brought with them on the ship. He inserted one of the new instruments Esoom had incorporated into him into the soil and found that its moisture content was surprisingly fine.
“The plucky little R2 unit stared at the plant in great detail wondering if their next stop would lead them to rescue more endangered plant and wildlife.
Lihp came onto the bridge shuffling his feet as he went, holding the contraption he had made at the astromech’s request.
“Lihp is done. You sure we should do this?” The jawa said with a heavy heart.
“Yes, let’s get this over with.” Patches bleeped still looking at the plant.
“E-sooome not going to like when Giant man figure out.”
“It is only for emergency.” Patches said, and rolled past Lihp and into the lift. “4791, you have the bridge till we return.”
“Roger, roger.” The pilot droid said while standing straight at attention.
“Come on Lihp; let’s get this over with.” Patches bleeped, and the jawa entered the lift with him and they went down into the ship.
As the Ithorian got closer to the arboretum his heart started to race but his face showed nothing but determination.
Soon he was at one of the entrances to the indoor garden area and he pushed a button on the wall to open the door. As the doors slid to the sides the sounds and smells assaulted his senses. The sound of cascading water, the smell of cut grass, the bouquet of many different flowers, the bright lights from the ceiling.
Esoom walked into the huge area, waterfalls could be seen everywhere around him. A huge lake stretched out in the center with water so clear you could see the bottom. Esoom’s mood calmed down in less than a minute as he strolled threw the grass. The waterfalls came in all different shapes and sizes with the largest one being on one end of the lake. From the outside of the Jedi Temple he would have never known this room was here. At one point he stopped, sat on the grass with his knees folded, and closed his eyes. He gathered his worries pushing them back in his mind as far as he could. He found the calm and peace he had missed since he left Ithor, the dark feelings were nowhere to be found. The Ithorian meditated easily for a long time peacefully and fully.
“Come here often?” Came a voice in his native language. Esoom jerked out of his trance to see another Ithorian sitting in the same manner as himself dressed in the robes of a Jedi and a Lightsaber on his side.
“My name is Roron Corobb, Padawan of Drake Lo’gaan.” “Esoom, Esoom Mendo is my name."
“Well Esoom Esoom Mendo, what are you doing here, I can see that you are not any kind of Jedi, shouldn‘t you be in one of the guest areas.” Said the Ithorian as he opened up his eyes to reveal they were blue, which is rare for their species.
“I came here to clear my head, I am sorry if I am trespassing but I had to come, I have not felt the call of Mother Jungle in such a long time.”
“I can see you are not here to do any harm, come let me show you something you should like. Follow me.” Roron said.
Hesitantly Esoom got up and followed him to a trail that led threw some dense growth to a hidden area in a corner of the room. There before them stood a small grouping of Bafforr trees just large enough to have a group conciseness.
“Oh my!” Esoom exclaimed as he choked on his words, “Bafforr trees here! I would have never known!”
“Come sit with me brother, open your mind and let them commune with you.”
Esoom did as he was asked, soon tears of happiness streamed down his face. He felt as if he was home again on his herd ship, he became one with the trees for a short time.
After some time talking with the trees and Roron Corobb, Roron said that his master was calling for him.
“I do not hear him?” Esoom said.
“He is letting me know telepathically with his Jedi powers” Roron said with two big smiles.
They both got up and headed to the entrance Esoom came in at. “I trust you can find your way back to your room before you get caught brother?” The blue eyed Ithorian said.
“Yes I can, and thank you for your kindness.” Esoom said as the two of them bowed to each other.
Esoom walked quickly back to where his room was trying not to be noticed. When he turned the last corner of the hallway he saw a Jedi with a man and some guards standing outside his room. Esoom duct back into the other part of the hallway before they seen him. Carefully he listened in on the conversation.
“I am sorry that the owner of that Trade Federation ship is not here, we will track him down immediately Chancellor.” Said the Jedi. “See that you do Master Windu, I want to make personally sure this man is not in league with the Trade Federation.” sneered the Chancellor.
“The Queen of Naboo herself has sent word that this Ithorian was given the ship.” exclaimed the Jedi Master.
“That may be but the senate will not rest till I have a more definitive answer for them.”
Esoom peered around the corner to see the Jedi. Slowly he peered around a little more and saw the man who was asking about him and his guards. Suddenly the wave of Esoom’s own bad thoughts and memories hit himself hard. His head started to throb and his ears whistled loudly in his head. His dark thoughts and emotions hit again even harder that he let out a scream that shook the whole hallway. Soon the pain was too much to bear that he blacked out and fell to the floor unconscious.
Lihp was not happy with Patches’ decision but finished the modifications to Patches’ being anyway.
The droid looked at his new appendage in a reflective hull panel with a feeling of guilt. Unhappily he tucked it inside his dome panel and the two of them just stood there quietly for a moment.
“Lihp tired go to sleep now.” The Jawa said turning and walking away not waiting for an answer.
Patches knew it was not a fun modification he had just done, but a necessary one to help keep his friends safe.