As soon as the first rays of sunlight came threw the window the next day, Esoom came into the room where the little brown and white droid was watching his first sunrise. The droid spun around and let out a gently sigh.
"Yes the sunrise is very beautiful." Esoom said, "I have seen many sunrises and sun sets in my time. So my little friend do you still want to take on this task?"
The R2 unit spun around and approached the Ithorian then looked up at him. Without so much as a beep the little astromech slowly extended one of his brown utility arms towards Esoom and shook his body in a yes motion. Esoom grabbed the utility arm and shook it with both hands.
"Thank you R2...uh....what is your number by the way?"
" Well R2-CM, it is nice to meet you. Welcome to your new home, there is no need for you to stay in that storage area ever again except to keep an eye on the plants in there from time to time if you like. Come with me, we have much to do."
Over the next few weeks the Ithorian and the little droid did many things together. Instead of just having the droid plug into a data socket to learn everything about the plants on the ship they would go on field trips on Esoom's off time. Esoom told the droid that to learn first hand about something will give him a greater understanding than any binary data ever could.
Also Esoom upgraded many of R2-CM's systems. He did away with his leg booster rockets and put in a custom more Eco friendly repulser lift system. The Droid my not fly as fast but he would hover with much more control and flight time. He also upgraded the fire extinguisher to emit a higher volume of spray. The droid was also fitted with many other removable gadgets that could be swap out for other ones if the need would arise.
After a few more weeks the same Elder came back for a visit to see Esoom's progress.The Ithorian proudly showed off all the new features and benefits that the Astromech could now offer. He also showed off the R2's vast knowledge of every part of the herd ship and all the plants within.
After Esoom was done the Elder did not smile and walked to a chair and sat down.
"Is there something wrong Elder? Are you not please with what we have done?"Esoom said worriedly.
" No I am very pleased with what you have done, but I have some important news for you." The Elder said,"The planet of Naboo was attacked by the Trade Federation a few days ago. The Naboo and a native species called the Gungans were able to drive them away, but unfortunately a lot of damage was done to the planets surface during the invasion and the ensuing battle. The Qween of Naboo herself has asked for our help in restoring the planets ecology back to its natural state. I have been viewing your project from afar from the start Esoom, and I am greatly pleased. That is why I come to you now I believe that it is time you took your friend R2-CM here on a field test to Naboo with the rest of the group I am sending tomorrow."
Esoom and CM looked at each other and nodded. Then Esoom looked at the Elder and said they were ready.
"I also heard the Queen is especially fond of astromechs herself, she looks forward to seeing yours in action. A Republic transport will be here in the morning to take you to Naboo, Good luck and may Mother jungle guide you."
"Thank you Elder for this wonderful opportunity. We will not let you down" Esoom said delightedly as the Elder got up and walked out of the room.
"Flying!" the little droid said loudly.
"Don't worry, no part of you will be hanging out of a ship on this trip. Come, we have much to do before the ship gets here!"
The two of them rushed off happily to begin a new adventure together.
To be continued........