othing changed during Madine's last attempt to question Liane. Captain Phylotar became so angry more than once that he slammed his fist on the table, forcing the general to intervene, calling up his officer to behave. Captain Roxham Polta shook his head sympathetically and leaned back in his chair. Luke had taken a seat at the end of the table and observed Liane with a compassionate look in his eyes. Using the Force he had tried to surround the girl with comforting and reassuring feelings, but she strongly defended herself against his comforting influence.
Liane sat straight at her chair and looked at her interrogators with a defiant look in her eyes and uncommunicative expression on her face. When Luke finally intercepted her look, her hidden feelings of anxiety and despair were apparent to him, but Liane quickly looked away and clenched her fists.
At last Madine decided to end the interrogation. Without Liane's cooperation he couldn't do anything for her.
"Miss Solichor, I hope you realize the consequences of your uncooperative attitude, but I respect your right to keep silent. We're back on Dalmaran in about fifty hours. If you want to talk to some one, you can ask your guards to inform me."
Madine stood up and left the room with the other two interrogators. Luke still observed Liane, before he said in on a friendly tone.
"Liane, you'd better accept the general's proposal. Ask for my sister and talk to her, you can trust her. She went with you to Ortel voluntarily to protect you against Zolgathrii. You've even asked her to come with you, remember."
Again he felt the overwhelming uncertainty in her. Before he left, he hesitatingly wanted to put his hand on her shoulder, but Liane cast him such an angry glance that he withdrew his hand. One short moment she looked up at him, but annoyed she shrugged her shoulders and turned her back on him. Again her face got an angry glance.
"Don't see Leia as an enemy, Liane. May the Force be with you!" Luke said and walked to the door.
Liane's guards summoned her to follow them. She didn't look at him, when she passed.
In the corridor Luke met Madine and the two other officers.
"I really don't understand her behavior. What does she expect to win with her stubborn silencing," He heard the general say.
"We should have put more pressure on her, sir," Daino Phylotar said annoyed. "In the end she would have talked."
General Madine looked at the younger captain with some disgust.
"What do you mean, captain, your behavior during the interrogation has already raised some questions about the way you see your assignment as one of my staff officers. I hope I am misinterpreting your words, but they implicate suspicious much support for the method of torture that the empire used. If that is the case, I want you to resign immediately from active service. In the New Republic we accept the Old Republic's law which has been ordained by the Jedi Order: no torture, no death sentence and respect for everyone's life."
Madine cast a piercing glance at his subordinate. Daino Phylotar uttered an inaudible excuse and commented mockingly, "I guess we're not only bound by that ancient relic law, but we also have to give our full cooperation to our Jedi Knights to fulfill our duties."
"Correct, captain. The power of the Force and the services of the Jedi Knights will be again the firm base for justice and order in the New Republic."
"Well, I think, that the systems which have joined the New Republic will never forget the empire as long as the offspring of Darth Vader are our only Jedi Knights. I am sure we will gain a lot of credibility with such illustrious heirs." Phylotar continued with a cynical and malicious grin in Luke's direction.
Luke nodded, looking very serious.
"You're right, Daino. My origin might be a hindrance for the New Republic's credibility, so I'm obliged to convince new allies, that the Jedi Knights will be the protectors of order and justice like in the old days."
Daino Phylotar laughed sarcastically.
"You won't get a chance to convince them, Skywalker. The High Council has made the right decision, when they withdrew your mandate to seek for new Jedi apprentices."
"I know your point of view, Daino, for at the end of the Civil War my sister and I were celebrated as the heroes of the war. Have you never ask yourself what price we have paid? You're convince that my friends and I took all the risks, because we enjoyed our fight and saw it as a great adventure. We didn't. Never. The path we took, was laid out for us, we had no other choice than to follow it till the end, even if that meant we might have to sacrifice our lives for the ideal of the Alliance. Against all odds, we went on, for one simple reason: we believed in the Alliance and her goal. We followed her ideal of freedom, as thousands of others did. We were lucky we've survived, but too many of our friends haven't. We became the heroes, but to me the real heroes are those who sacrificed their lives for our strife. The Supreme Chancellor and the members High Council honored them by offering my friends and me a seat in the High Council. All of us refused. I tell you my reason. I have another important task to fulfill. I am a Jedi Knight, the first one of a new era. I'm bound by a promise to my Jedi master, to revive the Order of the Jedi Knights. That won't be an easy job. Unfortunately not many people share my point of view. They think I'm a fool, because they would have chosen otherwise. I feel sorry for them, as I feel sorry for you, Daino. Your jealousy has made you blind to your old ambitions; the real reasons you had, when you left the imperial forces army and joined the Alliance in their struggle against the Empire. Everybody in the New Republic has a task to fulfill. A task depending on skills, talent and ideals. Mine is simple: serve the New Republic as a Jedi Knight. I don't want anything else."
Daino Phylotar didn't comment on Luke's calm spoken words. He shrugged his shoulders.
"Indeed, you won't find much people who'll share your ideal, Skywalker. In my eyes you're a fool, staying a underrated commander of an X-Wing Squadron. But I understand, but it's your personal choice. General, can I leave?"
Madine saluted stiffly and Daino Phylotar walked away. Luke addressed Roxahm Polta.
"What's going to happen to Liane, now that she has refused to talk, Roxahm?"
"We have to report her lack of cooperation, but she has the right to keep silent. Luke, between you and me, I must warn you; Daino Phylotar is a more dangerous man than you perhaps realize. He has a lot of followers. Don't threaten him with your Jedi patience."
Luke shook his head with a knowing smile.
"He's not dangerous to me, Roxahm. Thank you for your concern. It's not unlikely, that his jealousy will cause him a lot of problems one day. I'm sorry to say this, but he will never change his opinion about me."
Madine intervened in the discussion.
"Leia and you should have sued him and some of his friends, Luke, for spreading gossip and slander about you. He's one of the guys, who talked to some members of the High Council when he overheard Lando Calrissian talking about your parentage."
"General, what would be the outcome of such a trial. Daino would have lost his rank and would have left our army dishonorably, and we would have lost a very valuable officer, for Daino Phylotar is an excellent strategist. His tremendous quick insight has helped us on several occasions to gain a victory. We mustn't forget that."
"You're too generous to those who oppose you, Luke. You will regret that one day." Roxahm Polta said with a big smile, while he friendly slapped the young Jedi at his shoulder.
"Resentment and revenge aren't a Jedi's aim. They are easy ways to the Dark Side of the Force. I don't want to follow the path my father did."
Roxahm saluted and Luke was left alone with general Madine, who invited him in his office. They had hardly changes some words about Liane, when Leia entered the room.
"General," She started. "Now that your interrogation of Liane hasn't the result you hoped for, I want to get permission to talk to Liane in private."
"Granted, Leia, but only when that stubborn young lady asks me, she wants to see to you. I want her to take the initiative. I'm not so sure she will follow my heartfelt advice. Do you think, she still trusts you, Leia?"
"I hope she will, general. Liane thought, her escape would give her back her freedom. Zolgathrii promised her, that he would bring her back to Morantan. I hope she realizes that she had gained nothing at all. "
Leia addressed her brother.
"Has she asked you for help, Luke?"
"No. I told her to accept the general's proposal, but I'm not sure she wants to see you, Leia. "
"I'm sorry to hear that, Luke. I hoped you would have been able to change her mind."
Leia turned again to general Madine.
"General, will you, please, let me know immediately, when Liane asks for me?"
"Absolutely, Leia. I'll put your request in my report."
"Thank you, general," Leia said and grabbed her brother's arm to go to their own quarters.
A day before the Tychorion would leave hyperspace and enter Dalmaran's orbit, Liane asked if she could see Leia. Madine accompanied Leia to the cell block at the bottom of the frigate.
"Shall I wait outside for you?"
"No, general, I'll report to you when I'm finished."
Madine gave the guards the order to leave.
When Leia had entered the cell Liane turned around with angry look on her face.
"OH, IT'S YOU!" She said, "AND NOT THE OTHER GUY."
"What do you mean, Liane? You did ask the guard for me, didn't you?" Leia said
"I DID, BUT THAT FOOLISH OFFICER WHO ASKED ME ALL THOSE SILLY QUESTIONS WAS HERE YESTERDAY. I WANT TO TELL YOU WHAT HE SAID TO ME, THEREFORE I ASKED FOR YOU TO COME AND SEE ME," Liane said ill-tempered.
"Are you telling me that one of the officers who were at your interrogation was here?"
"YES, SHORTLY AFTER THE GUARDS LOCKED ME UP AGAIN."
Leia saw how angry Liane was, but she also felt the girl's hidden anxieties. She walked over to the bunk and sat down.
"Liane, come and sit down. Tell me what happened, what did the officer say. He frightened you, didn't he?"
Still angered Liane sat down and turned to Leia.
"YOU LIED TO ME, LEIA, YOU PRETENDED I WAS INFLUENCING YOU. I TRUSTED YOU AND YOU LIED TO ME." She said still in an angry voice.
Leia wanted to put her hand on Liane's arm, but the girl pushed her hand away.
"DON'T TOUCH ME LIKE THAT! YOU'RE NOT A FRIEND! YOU'RE A TRAITOR, LIKE THAT JEDI SKYWALKER!
"Liane, please listen to me for a moment. Don't be so angry with me. Yes, I pretended you could influence me with Affect Mind. I did that deliberately, because I could feel that you had some doubts about your escape plan."
Although Leia sensed the anger Liane still felt, she also sensed that the girl had listened to her explanation. She remained silent to give Liane the possibility to get the full meaning of her words. Liane looked at Leia and watched her.
"Because you're a Jedi you knew that my plan would be a disaster, isn't it?" She asked in her normal voice.
"That's right, Liane."
Again Liane was silent for quite a while. Leia respected the girl's silent contemplation, so she could absorb the truth.
"Why didn't you tell me the truth, Leia?" Liane finally asked, "I thought I found a friend in you; someone who would help me, but you didn't tell you're a Jedi. I thought you were honest with me, but lied to me."
"Liane, I'm sorry you feel that way about me. As I said, I did that deliberately, for I wanted to prevent that you would get yourself in much more trouble. You knew from the beginning that your escape plan had too many flaws, that's why you've even asked me to come with you."
Liane nodded silently, before she continued.
"When you didn't accept my proposal I ordered Zolgathrii to take you with me as another hostage. When he objected I used mind control to persuade him. The guards would serve my dinner plate to you, but on my request they put a sleeping drug in the wine," Liane said and suddenly she grabbed Leia's hand.
"Please, forgive me, Leia, for what I did to you. Has the drug in the wine harmed you? Don't become angry with me for what I did. You're right, I wanted you to accompany me. My plan has become a disaster, hasn't it? "
Leia gently squeezed Liane's hand and smiled.
"Liane, I never drank of the wine. I knew what you had done and why you did it. I went with you and Zolgathrii voluntarily, because Luke and I had agreed that I would stay at your side to protect you, what ever would happen. Do you understand now, why I went with you."
Astounded Liane looked at Leia, but then she started to smile.
"You went indeed with me, not as my hostage, but as my protector, just as I wanted? Then you didn't betray me?"
"I didn't, Liane, but tell me, why did captain Phylotar came here and what did he say to you."
Immediately Liane's eyes got a dark angry look again.
"HE THREATEN ME," She said in her loud angry voice, "HE SAID THAT HE WOULD MAKE SURE THAT I WILL GET A DEATH SENTENCE. HE IS AN EVEN GREATER FOOL THAN ZOLGATHRII.... "
Leia looked at Liane, but she felt how those words had scared Liane.
"Before you say more, you first listen to me, Liane. First of all Captain Phylotar hasn't any influence on the sentence of the High Court. General Madine only nominated him as one of your interrogators, because that's a normal procedure. Secondly, the death sentence doesn't exist in the New Republic, so he lied to you. I promise you that I will report his indecent behavior."
Leia felt how relieved Liane felt after her short explanation.
"What will happen to me, after I'm back on Dalmaran? Am I still a prisoner, am I not? " She said and nodded slowly, "Yes, I am, for what I did, was wrong."
"There will be a investigation on Zolgathrii's intentions with you. Our justice department will investigate if you are responsible for what happened, but Luke and I will help you as much as we can, for we can tell the judges what happened on Ortel. I've already contacted an old friend of mine who is a renown lawyer to defend you."
"Do you think, that the judges will believe me, if I tell them, that I didn't want to overthrow the government of the Republic?" she asked uncertain. "that you weren't my hostage? I only wanted to get back to Morantan, to be finally free."
"I can't assure you what the judges will take into account, Liane, but Luke and I have already put in a request to be your witnesses for defense."
"Will Luke, - I mean your brother - also defend me, despite I so viciously attacked him on Morantan? I also yelled and screamed at him when he visited me in the detention building. He told me facts I didn't want to hear. I didn't believe his words and got angry with him. Leia, he certainly will tell the judges what I have done on Morantan."
Leia noticed that Liane could reflect on her own attitude without getting angry. In fact she seemed to understand that her violent behavior had gotten her into a lot of trouble.
"My brother worries about the way you are using the Force, Liane, because he feels, like I do, that you have learned to use that energy field the wrong way."
"I know I have and I hate that knowledge, but I can't harm any of you with what I know, Leia. You're both Jedi Knights."
"Liane, your father taught you to use the power of the Dark Side of the Force, but he never fully completed your training. What you have learned is dangerous; if you would meet some one like your father or the late emperor; he would certainly sense your Force potential and he might expand the knowledge you have gained already. If that would happen you really might become a Sith Lady. Luke has vowed, that he will protect the New Republic and the galaxy against the rise of Dark Side again, that's why we want to protect you."
"That evil Force power scares me, Leia; it frightens me every time I use it. I can't do any good with it. It can only be used for evil things."
"Liane, Luke and I want to help you to get a better perception and a broader insight of your Force potentials, so you get the right comprehension of possibilities of the Force. You don't have to be afraid of the ability you possess. The Force influences everyone in the galaxy, for it surrounds everything and everybody everywhere. Some people can sense her power, these persons can learn to use that power. You are one of them. We will help you to discover that you can do good with your powers."
Unbelieving Liane looked at Leia and shook her head.
"No, Leia, your brother can't accept so easily my apologies for my rude behavior."
"Shall I ask if Luke comes here so you can ask him yourself,Liane!"
Liane looked down at her hands.
"He sure doesn't want to come, Leia. I am his enemy, remember." She suddenly stammered.
"No, you're not, Liane," Leia said friendly. "You've ran for his rescue when Zolgathrii wounded him. Luke's wants to thank you for your courageous support."
Leia took Liane's hands and forced the young woman to look up.
"Liane, on Ortel you put your life in danger, when you saw that Zolgathrii had wounded my brother. Luke's men have told me, what you did. Without considering the consequences of your action you jumped into the line of fire. Liane, you surely are an excellent shooter, but you were outnumbered. Zolgathrii's men could have easily killed you. You acted quite recklessly and impulsively, but I'm very grateful for what you did. Luke is my only relative, he means a lot to me."
There came a curious look in Liane's eyes.
"What happened to your parents? Are they dead?"
"Our mother died shortly after we were born. Viceroy Bail Organa adopted me and brought me up on Alderaan and Luke was brought to Tatooine to our father's step-brother and his wife, our uncle and aunt. By coincidence we met each other nineteen years later and found out that we were twins. After the end of the Civil War we learned that our father had died during the war."
"Nineteen years, and you never knew you had a brother? Your foster father never told you you had a twin brother?" Liane asked surprised.
"No, and Luke's uncle and aunt never told him about me. He has never been aware he had a twin sister."
"Sounds really odd. Do you know why they separated you both? It would have been so much better if they would have brought you up together. You just said they brought your brother to your father's step-brother. In fact he was your uncle too. They could have brought you both to Tatooine, so you would have grown up together."
"It didn't happen that way, Liane, but we're glad we've found out that we are family."
Liane heard the affection for Luke in Leia's voice. She sighed sadly.
"Must be wonderful to have some one you love and who loves you too. Your brother is really very fond of you, Leia. He really cares about you. I've never had some one who really loved me. I don't remember my mother. My father never talked about her. I've never dared to ask him, what happened to her. He didn't liked being questioned. He often scared me, but he was the only one who looked after me, if he was on Morantan."
"Did you love him?" Leia asked.
"Love him?" Liane wondered, "I can't tell, I don't think I did. I tried to feel some affection, but that wasn't easy, but after all he was my father."
Leia kept quiet for some minutes, as she didn't know what to say. Liane simply admitted, that she had felt some affection for Darth Vader, the dreaded assistant of the emperor, but also Leia's birth father."
"I will ask Luke to come down and join us." Leia said after a while.
Feeling greatly uncertain Liane looked at Leia, who asked for her brother via her infocom.
A couple of minutes later Luke entered with a gentle smile on his face. Liane averted her eyes, when she saw he cast his eyes on her.
"Hello Leia, hello Liane. It's still Liane, isn't it?" He asked
Liane nodded, but didn't say anything.
"What have you two girls been talking about?" He asked his sister.
"There was some misunderstanding about the circumstances Liane took me to Ortel. I have explained to her I went voluntarily with her, for she's a friend who needed some help on Ortel."
Liane looked up.
"I thought Leia had betrayed me, because she hadn't told me during her visits that she was a Jedi Knight, like you," She said hesitatingly.
Luke started to laugh, and sat down next to his sister.
"Tell me, Liane, what would you have done, if my sister had told you she was a Jedi Knight?"
For a moment Liane was taken aback.
"I can't tell. Probably I would have yelled at her, like I did when you visited me after I was brought to the Irithim prison."
"So my sister made the right decision to hide her true identity for you, until you really needed the support and help of a Jedi Knight," Luke said grinning.
"Two Jedi Knights," Liane replied wittingly.
They all laughed wholeheartedly. Surprised, but relieved, Liane looked at the twins.
"My father certainly has never known, that there was a second female Jedi," She said, "If he had known, I'm certain that he would have told me about her, like he told me about you."
Luke shook his head.
"At that time my sister wasn't a Jedi yet. She got her training after the Battle of Endor. Leia told you about what happened to your father and the emperor, didn't she?"
"It was hard to believe that my father has killed the emperor. Leia told me you were on board the Death Star and witnessed the emperor's death, for my father had taken you prisoner."
"That's right, Liane. I was on board and saw what happened between your father and his master, the emperor."
"And my father also died while you were there?" Liane asked quizzically.
"Yes. At a later moment I will tell you all that has happened on board the Death Star. Your father has been a very courageous man, when he opposed his master. He paid with his life, Liane."
Liane heard the serious tone in Luke's voice and contemplated on his explanation.
Before he left that last time, he said I had to be on my guard if ever I would meet you..." Her voice trailed off.
"Liane has told me a lot about her life on Morantan, Luke?" Leia said.
"I just promised you to tell you at a later stage what happened on the Death Star, I would love to hear more about your life on Morantan, Liane. Maybe you want to share with me what you've already told my sister," Luke said.
Liane looked up and shrugged.
"It's not a very interesting story. Most of the time it was uneventful, even boring. My father wanted I should learn to develop the strange powers I posses. He called those powers: the Force. He showed me what he could with the Force and he taught to develop those skills. I didn't like to use the Force the way he did, but he insisted I should follow he lead and his orders, but now I know that I'm no match for a Jedi. You could repel my laser blasts faster than I could shoot. How did you learn to wield a lightsaber as a weapon?"
She shrugged again.
"I presume, that when I met you on Morantan, my father was already dead. So in fact I was carrying out an order that didn't had any meaning."
While Liane was explaining to Luke how she saw their encounter on Morantan, Leia got up, placed her hand on her brother's shoulder.
"I have to report this visit to the general, Luke. Besides, I think you and Liane will get better acquainted without me. Liane, you should talk to my brother alone."
After Leia had left it took some time before Liane could find some self-confidence to tell Luke about how ashamed she felt about their violent encounter on Morantan. Silently she averted her head, looking at the rear wall of her cell. In her mind she saw herself once again on Morantan, shooting and yelling at the Jedi who had turned up in deserted corridor unexpectedly. Ashamed she felt how she had tried to use the knowledge her father had taught her to choke him and freeze his movements, but she also remembered how he easily had withstood her attempts. In despair she had given up her struggle and he had defeated her. In a last attempt to revenge herself she had spit at him, a childish and disrespectful expression of her defeat. However, she also remember how he had instructed his men to treat her with respect. Later during her detention at Irithim he had visited her again. He had been calm and friendly. Her outrage and her desire to revenge herself had blinded her and she had yelled and screamed at him again. How would he ever forgive her for that violent and uncontrolled behavior. She looked away from the opposite cell wall, bowed her head and looked down on her hands she had clenched. Would it matter if she accepted those two Jedi as her friends? Her father was dead, he could nolonger held her accountable for her choices. She felt a desire to call him her friend, like she had befriended his sister. Would he accept her apology about her conduct on Morantan and Irithim. How could she make clear that she like to tell that she felt sorry, that she apologized for what had happened between them, for he seemed to be as kind and friendly as Leia, his sister.
All the time Luke had been watching Liane, respecting her silence mood, but finally he gently put his hand on her arm. With his Jedi skills he had picked the monologue of her thoughts.
"Liane," He said gently, "There's something you want to ask to me, don't you?"
He forced her with his Jedi voice, but kept quiet, calm and friendly. Liane looked up and nodded.
"Liane, you just were thinking about what went wrong between you and me on Morantan."
"I don't know the right words, so you will understand what I men," Liane said helplessly.
"You only want to ask me, if I forgive to our fight on Morantan and your violent behavior at the Irithim prison?"
She tried to shrug his hand from her arm, but Luke took her hands in his.
"How do you know?" She said in a shameful whisper, looking into his eyes for a short moment. Again she saw in his eyes the same glance she had seen a short moment when he had looked her intensively during their flight from Zolgathrii's domain. Quickly she averted her eyes again, feeling uncomfortable under his stare.
"Has your father never told you, that a Jedi can pick up almost everybody's thoughts, if needed? I easily intercepted your thoughts. I know what you're thinking."
Luke's voice was warm and friendly. It took several minutes before Liane mumbled some inaudible words.
"I have been so disrespectful to you, so unkind," She murmured.
"And you think that I won't accept your apologies, because of what happened?"
Still taking care not to frighten the young woman or raise her anger, Luke put his hands on Liane's shoulders and turned her to him.
"Look at me, Liane," He said gently.
She look up, forced by the will of his Jedi voice.
'What's on your mind?'
A strange sensation passed through Liane as she became aware of Luke's words strangely seem to reverberate in her mind. Her face became red hot with shame, but she couldn't resist his strong Jedi will.
"I ... feel ashamed for what I did on Morantan. Please forgive me for what I did and said.... You scared me; I was afraid you would kill me, but I never wanted ... to kill you."
Luke looked at her with a smile.
"I know you didn't really want to harm me. Your blaster was set for very low stunning, although your father had warned you that I was a very dangerous enemy. Liane, you attacked me, because you were defending yourself against an intruder who was known to be a Jedi Knight. Self-defense isn't something you have to be ashamed off. On Morantan you were as courageous as your father was on the Death Star. He would have been proud of you."
Liane raised her eyebrows.
"You're not blaming me for what I did?"
"Don't bother anymore about what happened on Morantan. You have wiped out your "guilt," which I call "self-defense," when on Ortel you defended me after I got wounded."
"Oh, I've forgotten, Zolgathrii's attack wounded your hand." Liane said a bit shocked.
She pushed his hands from her shoulders and grabbed his right wrist. Luke wanted to withdraw his hand, but Liane's fingers firmly closed around his wrist.
"Oh!" She said, when she looked down at the artificial bones and tendons. Quizzically she looked up to him.
"It's an artificial hand. I lost my real hand in a battle, years ago."
"But you do feel pain, don't you? I saw your face twist in pain, when that laser blast hit your hand and you dropped your lightsaber."
Carefully she touched the edges of the injury which was covered with a thin layer of transparent foil, with the tips of her fingers.
"Yes, I sense pain. It works like a normal hand. When I'm back on Dalmaran they will replace the artificial skin."
The soft fondle of her fingers caused a strange pleasing tingling sensation in his arm easing the pain the injury still caused. His Jedi awareness made clear to him that she was using her Force abilities to sooth that pain. Softly he took her hand from his wrist.
"Liane, can we be friends?"
Liane looked at him, "May I call you Luke?"
"I hoped you would ask me, Liane. Of course you can call me Luke. I want to be your friend, just like Leia," Luke said as he gave her fingers a soft squeeze.
"Leia told me that you don't want me to use my Force powers the way my father taught me? Leia said, I might endanger myself and the galaxy if I do, so I won't ever use the Force again... Luke! Never ever again! I promise!"
Luke smiled at her determined reaction and he thought about his promise to Anakin to teach her the ways of the Jedi.
"Shall I help you to keep that promise?"
"Will you? Do you trust me?" Liane asked.
"Absolutely! Do you accept my help."
"Why do you and Leia want to help me, Luke?"
"Because you need people you can trust and who want to be your friends."
She was silent, clearly showing her confusion about his last words.
"I have to see Leia, Liane, but I'll come back before we land."
Liane nodded dumbfounded. Luke rose and called the guard.
"See you tomorrow, Liane."
"I would love to talk to you again," She said and smiled at him.
Luke left Liane's detention cell.
Bewildered and confused Liane recalled all Luke's words. She laid down on her bunk and while she fell asleep, she thought about what her father had told her about Luke Skywalker, the Jedi Knight he had feared.
"Father, you were so wrong about Luke Skywalker. He isn't an enemy. He isn't that dangerous as you said. He didn't manipulate me with any Jedi tricks. He wants to be a friend. He said he trusts me. You were wrong .... you were absolutely wrong about Luke Skywalker. Luke Skywalker is a good ma.... "
Luke went straight to his private quarters, where he expected to find his sister. Leia was pacing up and down the room.
"What kept you so long? Did she tell you that Daino paid her an unexpected visit the day before she asked if she could talk to me. He threatened her with torture and a death sentence?" She said with blazing eyes.
"What! Against the general's explicit orders? No, she didn't tell me." Luke said.
"I want you to report this to the general, Luke. You're Daino's superior. Accuse him of insubordination."
"Relax, Leia. I will talk to Madine, but I'm sure the general wants witnesses. Liane's story alone isn't reliable. Daino will deny he visited her and accuse her of lying, but I promise I won't take this lightly."
Leia calmed down and looked up to her brother.
"What did she tell you, Luke?" Leia asked.
"At first she was too unsure to talk to me, but she has accepted my friendship. She apologized for what happened on Morantan. Did she tell you, that Anakin had given her the order to make me prisoner?"
"Yes, but she also told me, that she never understood, why he was afraid of you. She carried out his order, because she had to obey him. Our father seemed to have ben the only one, who has paid some attention to her. She hasn't the slightest idea, who he really has been, Luke. One day we have to tell her who we really are? She has to know the truth."
"I agree, Leia. And she must learn that truth from us!"
"I'm tired, Luke. I was outraged when I heard about Daino's visit."
"I know your temper, my dear sister. Please, let me handle this."
"I will. "
She walked to the door.
"In a few hours we're back home."
Luke went to his own cabin and checked his incoming messages. It was a great relief that his request to testify in defense of Liane, had been granted. Preparing for a Jedi meditation he took off his uniform and put on his Jedi clothes, when his eyes caught his injured hand. Astounded he flexed his artificial fingers and looked down on the exposed tendons. For several minutes he clenched his right hand into a fist and opened his hand again. The pain the injury had caused, had completely disappeared. He sat down in a mediation stance still looking at his injured wrist. He recalled Liane's soft strokes when she had touched the injury. She had shown her concern and empathy about what had happened to him and she clearly had been using the Force to ease his pain. Where had she learned to ease someone's pain? It was unlikely that Anakin had taught her that. Only Force healers were able to use their powers to reduce pain and suffering. Could it be that Liane had a slumbering Force skill as a healer?
Once again Luke flexed his right hand several times. He closed his eyes and recalled Liane's soft fondling fingers touching his hand. Once again he felt the pleasing sensation of her soft touch. Before Luke turned his full concentration on his Jedi meditation he lingered on what he knew about the Force skills of the Jedi healers. He let the Force surround and penetrate him, looking at the images the Force showed him. To his surprise he saw a woman wearing the ceremonial Jedi outfit, sitting among a group of other Jedi. One of the other Jedi he recognized: his old Jedi master Yoda. Luke wondered who the woman could be and why the Force had shown him these images, but the Force didn't reveal any further clues. The images vanished and Luke let himself be surrounded even more with the Force's great influence.
Before the Tychorion was launching the transport shuttle to Irithim space port Luke asked permission to see Liane again. She was pacing restlessly up and down her cell.
"Feeling nervous, Liane, don't you?" He asked.
"How long will it take before we land?" Liane asked, ignoring his question.
She didn't want to show him how unsure she felt, and her only way of protecting herself against the anxieties she felt, was uncooperative and aggressive behavior. Her eyes got the cold dark look, Luke knew so well by now.
"GET OUT," She snapped in a loud voice, turning her back on him. "GO BACK TO LEIA. I DON'T NEED ANY HELP. I DON'T WANT IT."
Luke had watched the change in Liane's behaviour, but ignored her words. Calm and quiet he put his hands on her shoulders, and turned her around.
"Why are you always concealing your anxieties this way, Liane?" He asked in a friendly tone. "For you really don't want me to go away and leave you, do you?"
The sound of his calm and friendly voice calmed her aggressive mood.
"I'm sorry, Luke. I didn't mean to be rude. What will they do to me once we're back? Do you know what's going to happen to me?" She said with scarce hidden anxiety.
"That's a better reaction. Liane, don't fall back on your aggressive attitude to mask your fears. It won't help you. What would you have thought, if I had left you, if I had accepted your words."
"I would have thought, that my words had angered you, that I treated you unfairly and unkindly and that I didn't deserve your friendship, " Liane answered ashamed.
"Exactly, but I can feel you're hiding your fears and anxieties behind your mask of aggression. I know, what's the matter with you, because the Force shows me the reason behind your uncontrolled behavior. There are only two Jedi Knights in this galaxy, Liane, the majority of the people would not understand your behavior and would turn their backs on you. They would leave you alone."
"Do you never feel angered or frustrated, Luke? Aren't you never uncertain about what's going to happen to you," She asked, looking at him.
Luke burst into a roar of laughter.
"Liane, being a Jedi, doesn't mean I don't have emotional feelings. I'm a human being like you are, but I've learned how to cope with feelings of aggression and anger. I have learned to control my emotional feelings, which are expressions of the Dark Side. To become a Jedi I had to learn to face the dark side inside myself, dark thoughts, dark emotions, dark anxieties: emotional feelings of anger, hatred, aggression, fear, revenge, jealousy. Those feelings are a path to the Dark Side. My tutors over and over again told me, that once I would give in those emotions I would be walking down the path of darkness and I would become like...."
"... like who, Luke? Do you mean, you would be become like my father?" Liane asked.
She had heard the hesitation in his voice.
"Yes, I don't like to say this to you, Liane, but your father was following that path of darkness. Every Force user, and especially a Jedi Knight, has to be aware of the Dark Side of the Force. A Jedi uses the Force to bring justice and peace; to help those in need, but he constantly has to be aware that the Force can be used for evil as well. Even I have to stay focussed and control about my feelings.";
He pulled her next to him on the couch.
"Do you remember, what happened, just before we were leaving Ortel?"
"You mean, your argue with the general?"
"Yes. In my opinion you had wiped out all your wrong decisions, because you had killed Zolgathrii, but that was my point of view. General Madine, who is a very good friend of Leia and me, had his orders from the Supreme Chancellor. I felt disappointed, because he saw you as an escaped prisoner. I tried to convince him, but it was of no use."
Confused Liane looked at Luke.
"Is that the reason, why you didn't took part in my interrogation? Is your general still blaming you, because you stood up for me? You shouldn't have objected against his order, Luke. Now you're in trouble."
"After Leia and I got back on board the Tychorion general Madine asked us what had happened and how we had managed to escape. I have told the general what you have done to get us safely out of that fortress. My men have confirmed my story about how you killed Zolgathrii, after he had tried to kill me. After we told our story, he thought it would be better if I didn't take part in the interrogation team, although I'm higher in rank than the two officers who interrogated you. He made a right decision, for Leia and I were too grateful for your part in our escape, especially because you had come to my rescue, and Leia and you had become close friends. General Madine knows you regret all what's happened, but he has to follow the orders from the Supreme Chancellor of the High Council, the lady Mon Mothma.General. You are an escaped prisoner and he has to bring you back to the prison at Irithim. If I would have remained disappointed, because I hadn't been appointed as your interrogator, I would have acted from my emotional feelings. As a Jedi I have to remain passive, be patient and let the Force guide me. During my training I learned to remain focussed on what I'm doing from the right perspective. "
Liane sighed. She twisted the hem of her tunic around her fingers, before she looked up again.
"How can I best behave, when I am back on Dalmaran, Luke?" She asked.
"A first important step is to learn to be patient and passive. Look at your problems from many points of view. Learn to cope with the difficulties and problems you have caused, because you made a wrong decision when you planned your escape and follow a guy who intended to commit a coup. Accept that you have done wrong. You will be sentenced for what went wrong, but there will come a time that you can start a new life and be really free. Learn to be patient and passive, Liane, that's my most important advice to you. Do not give in to your impatience and rebellious behavior. Screaming and yelling won't help you."
"I will remember your words, Luke, I hope I will find the strength to be patient and passive. My father always said, that the Force would help me to stay in control in every situation."
She shrugged her shoulders.
"Probably I use the Force in a wrong way."
"I don't think your father was wrong, Liane. The Force can help you. You have the ability to use her power, but not in the way you have been using her so far. The Force will help you to remain patient, if you open your mind for her help and listen to her guidance. She is a powerful ally. I want to help you to fully develop the powers you have, Liane, the powers of the Good Side."
Luke looked in her eyes. He saw that she understood the deeper meaning of his words. She trusted him completely and she accepted his help. Looking into her sapphire blue eyes the Force showed him the images again he had seen on Morantan. This time they didn't devastate him, but they gave him a more comforting feeling: they had taken a first small step to become friends. He gingerly touched her hand. Her fingers closed around his. Silently they looked at one another.
After some moments Luke stood up and pulled Liane to her feet.
"I have to go now, Liane. For the time being this has to be our last private chat. Before your trial begins Leia and I are not allowed to visit you, but you can ask your lawyer to leave us a message if you need help. Leia and I will see you again in the court room. We've requested to be called as witnesses for your defense."
"Will it take long before my trial begins?"
"I can't tell. But I think it will take at least a month."
"THAT LONG! LUKE, I'M SORRY! I'M GUILTY! I KNOW WHAT I DID WRONG!" Liane said in a high pitched voice.
Luke, who still held Liane's hands in his, said softly, "I feel your anger rising again behind those words, Liane. Think about, what I've told you. Learn to be patient. One month isn't a life time."
"It seems so difficult to be passive and patient." Liane said, shaking her head. "It seems such a long time. Luke, when the trial is over.... I mean .... will the judges allow you to come and see me, if I'm imprisoned?"
"As soon as Leia and I have given evidence in the courtroom, we may visit you as often as we want. We will keep you company every visiting hour."
He put his hands on her shoulders.
"Liane, don't forget this: the Force will be with you, always! She's your ally, like she's mine."
With a troubled conscience Luke left the detention bay and walked back to his quarters. He gathered his belongings and went to the transport deck. Once down on Dalmaran Leia and he went to their apartment. As they had left the space port they had seen, how Liane had been obediently walking away between a group of special guards. At the express request of the general, the special guards had not fettered her.
On a planet far in the Outer Rim Territories the cloaked person looked at small distorted holographic image of this two humanoid spies.
"What did you say? She has been brought back to Irithim again?"
"Yes, master. Zolgathrii is dead. The girl shot him, when that Jedi Skywalker came to Ortel to rescue senator Organa."
The hooded figure stroke his chin.
"Skywalker and that senator of Alderaan are close friends, I've heard. Do you know why that senator was on Ortel?"
"She was one of the hostages Zolgathrii took with him, master."
"He took hostages with him? How foolish. Hostages are witnesses of things that shouldn't be revealed. What did he want them for?"
"We weren't able to figure out his intentions, master. When we tried to contact him on Ortel, he refused to meet us again. Soon afterwards the New Republic Forces landed on Ortel. We thought it better to go into hiding and stay out of trouble. We witnessed the liberation of senator Organa, the girl and three other hostages. Jedi Skywalker had to hand over the girl to his general. The Republic's star ship must be back at Dalmaran by now."
The hooded figure nodded.
"Well, we have to figure out another strategy. Where are you now?"
"Still on Ortel. What do you want us to do, master?"
"Get to your space ship, get back to Irithim and follow the further developments on this matter. I expect the girl will be guarded more securely. Just let me know, what happens."
The holographic transmission ended.
" You've got yourself into deep trouble, little lady Vader, but in time I will find a way to have you brought here, where you will stay forever."