A Jedi's Fight - A Star Wars Fan Fiction Story

Chapter 21

hand pressed a button at a holo display console. The device activated and turned first red and then white. Blurred images started hovering above the display. For a moment A mysterious person sat back in his chair and waited. He was clad in a long black cloak with a cowl that covered his head and a large part of his face. His eyes were watching the changing images above the holo console.
Then suddenly the blurred image of a alien creature appeared.
"Ol.. D.nd..ott .. on .nd... H.'s t..ing t. ...ure the ...rl, m..." It said in soft voice said.
The holo image of the messenger was distorted through static noises.
"Speak slowly, the connection is bad. There's a lot of interference. Are you using a safe connection? "
The image at holo projection continued.
"O.on D..d.c.tt w..ts .o br..g th. ..rl .. y.. p..s.na..y., a.te.."
The hooded figure nodded. His face brightened with an impish glee.
"Good," He said joyfully, "I can't wait to welcome her. Make sure you accompany the Wegoyy prison commander with his precious load."
"Y.., m..t..r!" The holographic image said and the holo image disappeared.
The cloaked person deactivated his holo communication device, then he rose and left the cave. He walked through a bright-lit corridor and entered a huge cave which was closed off the corridor with double durasteel doors. Many electric torches, fixed against the walls, lit the cave. Against the rear wall on a kind of dais a single large chair with broad arm rests and a high backrest had been placed. The chair was decorated with thick cushions and looked very comfortable. Three roughly hewed steps lead to the dais and gave the impression that the chair was meant to be a kind of throne. Next to the chair stood a side table and a pedestal. In front of the dais stood a large table with some ten chairs around it. Along the wall were all kind of dressers and sideboards on which candelabras with artificial glowing candles, which cast huge flickering shadows at the cave floor.
The cloaked figure walked to a wall unit that covered a huge part of the cave wall. He took a crystal decanter with a dark glowing red liquid from a cupboard and poured himself a drink in a crystal goblet. His mouth still showed his glee. Slowly he walked up the stairs of the dais, sat down on the chair and activated a switch at the pedestal. A holographic image of a masked figure, clad in a dark cloak popped up. The mysterious person held out the goblet, as if he proposed a toast.
"Lord Vader, to the health of your lovely daughter."
He leaned back in the large chair and emptied the goblet in one gulp. With a roaring laughter he placed the goblet on the side table.
"At last, Lord Vader. Your precious daughter is on her way to me. Finally! I've been waiting for her to join me, since I heard about your death. She should have left Morantan together with me after your death, but she refused. As soon as your daughter has arrived here I will take good care of her, for she's the only one who can teach me, what she has learned from you: the Sith lore. I need that knowledge to safe the future of this galaxy. I will build a new strong empire; greater and more powerful than the one emperor Palpatine ruled."
He rose, walked over to the double doors which automatically swung open and disappeared in the brightly-lit cavernous corridor, while two droids slowly closed the doors behind him.
Luke, the Grann brothers and the invasion force of the New Republic reached their position near the lake three hours before sunrise. Wicket had informed them that Dendicott had made himself a primitive camp near the east side of the lake. He had dropped Liane among the large roots of a tree. Other Ewoks had reported that Dendicott had chained Liane's ankles with a metallic manacle. He also had tied her arms behind her back with strong bands. She still was unconscious.
The companions stayed in the dark shadows of the surrounding forest. Several Ewoks had joined them, but many other tree bears had secretly sealed off all the possible exits from the clearing around the lake.
General Madine, Leia, Luke, Wedge, Ian, Yarmod and the six Grann brothers had found a hiding place behind an enormous trunk. They were discussing all possibilities to free Liane and capture Dendicott on a whispering tone.
"Maybe we should attack Dendicott by surprise," Kieran Grann suggested.
Ian Tydon shook his head.
"First we must find a way to separate Dendicott from Liane."
"Maybe we should split up. One group goes around the lake and tries to find out how Liane can be saved," Leia said, "while the others attempt to draw Dendicott's attention."
"With what?" Yarnick asked. "Although it's lucky that I had ordered Brion to bring our ship to the space port. We could have used it to .... "
"What do you mean?" Yarmod interrupted.
"We assume that Dendicott's second man probably has gone back to the space port to get a kind of transport ship. The sound of a space ship would attract Dendicott's attention, for that's what he's waiting for. Maybe he will leave his hiding place for a short while to see where the ship will land. In that short moment a group could rescue Eilidh."
Luke had listened to the different plans. After Yarnick's explanation he rose and beckoned Threepio and Artoo.
"Come with me, my friends." He said on a whisper.
"Coming, master Luke." Threepio announced.
Luke walked away from the group and beckoned the droids to follow him.
"Threepio, Artoo. I think you both can help us." Luke said still whispering.
"We gladly want to, master Luke, don't we, Artoo?" Threepio answered. Artoo whistle a soft affirmative.
"I want you to seek a hiding place near the shore of the lake," Luke whispered, pointing to the lake, "There, I want you, Threepio, to create the sounds of a space craft carrying out its landing procedures. Artoo, I want you to amplify these noises so it seems that the space craft is hovering and circling, looking for the right place to land. Do you both think you can do that."
"Of course, we can, can't we Artoo?"
Artoo whistled a muffled series of beeps.
"Artoo wants to know what we should do, if commander Dendicott's spacecraft is really approaching. He thinks the commander might think that a second ship is intercepting his ship. He might as well do harm to his prisoner."
"That's indeed risky, Threepio, but I rely on all your sensors. The moment you think you hear the sound of a real space ship approaching, fade the sounds you're making and let Dendicott's ship take over."
"Understood, master Luke. Come on, Artoo, let's go."
The two droids stealthily vanished among the dense vegetation, boulders and rocks, seeking a hiding place near the lake.
Among the bushes on the other side of the clearing Liane slowly regained consciousness. She tried to grab her head, but a fierce pang in her arm and shoulder abruptly ended her attempt. She turned her head to look around, but the beam of a flashlight blinded her.
"I warn you, convict Solichor, one false move and you're dead."
Once again Liane tried to raise her hands to shield off the blinding light. That voice, how could it be, where was she? Slowly her memories returned. The Ewok village, her run to get to Logray's house, where ... Teebo!! He was wounded, maybe dying!! No!!
She frantically tried to reach the bands around her wrists with her fingers to free herself.
"Forget it, you little shrew, you won't get a chance to escape once again. I'm going to transport you to Palomintar Four. There an old friend of emperor Palpatine and your illustrious father seems to be waiting for you."
Liane laid down, not listening to Dendicott's voice. Her mind was filled with the pain of her little Ewok friend. Teebo had been shot, he was suffering. Luke had told her so. Luke!! Where was Luke? Had Dendicott shot him too; was he dead!! NO!!! That's impossible!! She tried to concentrate on the Force to find out what had happened to her friends, but a rage of aggressive feelings for her tormentor rose in her body. Once again she started to reach for the bands and once again she heard Dendicott's laugh in her ears.
"You won't be able to untie those bands, little shrew. You won't be able to free yourself. I always use these strong bands to keep unruly inmates inline," Dendicott's unpleasant voice hissed in her face.
Liane smelled his breath and turned her head. Dendicott started to laugh, but his laugh turned into anger, when he saw her disgusting look. He raised his hand slapped her hard in her face. Liane twisted with pain. She turned her head away from her tormentor and pressed her burning cheek against the cool herbs at the forest floor. Her thoughts rushed through her mind. She had to find a way to free herself.
'Why not use the Force to free yourself, Liane. Stretch out with your feelings, and feel the presence of Luke through the Force. His presence will reassure you,' A calm old voice said, 'Relax and open your mind to the Force. Remember what Luke taught you.'
'You again? Use the Force. How could that evil power help me?' Liane answered using her new skill of Force telepathy. She had recognized the familiar voice of Luke's former teacher, the old man who had spoken to her after she had found out who she really was.
'Remember that Luke taught you to feel the Force in everything that surrounds you. Feel that there are numerous living creatures around you. Feel the presence of your Ewok friends, of Luke, of Yarnick and his brothers and many others. Feel the Force around the trees, the leaves, the fallen branches on the forest floor and the moss patches on which you lay. You have lifted a branch using your Force skills. Now use the same skills to remove those bands from your wrists. Concentrate on those bands which hold your arms behind your back, Liane, concentrate on your wrists. See those bands in your mind and use the Force to take them off. You can do it."
Liane relaxed and slowly breathed out, letting the tension in her body slowing down. The soft whispered words of Luke's former teacher completely enthralled her.
'Free myself from those bands. See the bands in my mind.' Liane murmured.
'You're doing fine, Liane. You can do it.' The old man's voice echoed in her mind.
For some moments Liane laid completely still and listened to the sounds of the forest around her, also feeling the presence of all her friends; the Ewoks, the Granns and most important the presence of Luke. He seemed to be nearby. She fully relaxed and surrendered herself to the power of the Force. Now the image of the three bands that held her arms behind her back filled her mind. The image grew and became clearer. She could see the three bands on top of each other. Slowly she touched the first one with her Force thoughts and pulled it over her hands. The band slipped off easily. Next she touched the second band, pulled it over her hands and let it slip off. Now she could shift her wrists a bit. In her mind she saw the third band. She concentrated on this last band and forced it to slip over her hands too. Now her arms were free. Liane felt how the blood stream send a tingling feeling through her arms and hands. Slowly she peeped through her lashes to see what Dendicott was doing. He was still watching her, sitting opposite her against a trunk, a gun in his lap.
Suddenly he jumped to his feet, put his gun in the holster at his belt and hoisted Liane roughly on his shoulder. She hardly could pretend her arms were still tied at her back.
"Did you hear that, little shrew, your transport is coming. I must say; Rand did it fast this time. Now we will bring you off this planet. Say goodbye to that Jedi friend of yours," Dendicott snarled in Liane's ear, "He won't be able to rescue you in time."
He rushed to the edge of the forest and looked up to the sky. He grabbed Liane's hair and pulled her face up to the sky.
"Listen, you little witch, that's the sound of the space ship that will bring you to Palomintar Four." Liane moaned. Dendicott grinned.
"Did I hurt you, my pleasure. As soon as we're in outer space; I'll get you acquainted to one of my special treatments."
On the other side of the lake the sound of a nearing space ship had also been noticed. Luke grinned to Kieran who looked up to the sky in wonder.
"That guy is back quickly", he whispered, looking very concerned.
"That's no space ship, Kieran. My droids are making these noises," Luke whispered.
"Wow, excellent! I hope that this will make that villain careless. I would like to beat him up for what he has done to Eilidh. Don't you, guys?."
The other Grann brothers gathered around Luke and confirmed Kieran's words.
The sound of a hovering space craft above the forest canopy was clearly audible along the lake and among the trees around the clearing. Madine signalled his men and slowly several groups started to encircle the lake. All of them were wearing their special goggles which enabled them to see in the dark as clearly as in bright daylight. Madine's info com flickered.
"We see movement at two, sir," A muffled voice said.
"Steady, men. Retreat among the trees." Madine ordered.
The muffled voice confirmed the order, but Madine knew that his men continued to close the net on their opponents.
"Threepio, do you copy," Luke whispered in his info com.
"Yes, master Luke."
"Listen, can you change the noise so that it sound likes the space craft is flying in circles, trying to spot the exact place to land."
"Understood, master Luke."
The hovering sound changed; the space craft seemed to fly to the other side of the lake and then came back again.
"Excellent, you're fabulous guys," Luke whispered in admiration.
On the opposite side Dendicott had dropped Liane on the ground. Her head and back hit a protruding root. Liane moaned and Dendicott kicked her again with his heavy boot. Then he looked up to the sky and listened.
"Come on, Rand, you fool, put that ship down. Is this all you can do, hovering above the canopy and flying in circles? You can land, you idiot, there's more than enough space here."
The sound of the nearing space craft faded and Dendicott cursed under his breath. He drew a small stylus from his belt. He turned the top of the it and for a split second a strong red laser beam flashed up in the sky. Then all became pitch black again.
"I have to signal from a better place." Dendicott grunted sounding real angry this time.
"Come on, my future trophy,"
He grabbed Liane's hair and pulled her to her feet. Liane gritted her teeth and gave her attacker a dirty look. Her mind became filled with anger and hatred; she lunged and flung her arms forward to reach Dendicott's throat, but the manacles at her ankles prohibited her movement and she nearly lost her balance. For a moment Dendicott was stunned, than he grabbed her arms. Roughly pulled them at her back again and force her to kneel.
"You, hellcat, how did you get loose. Where are those bands?"
He bent her arms further upward and pushed her down with his knee on her back, looking around for the fallen ties, but in the dark undergrowth he couldn't find them anymore.
"Well, sweetheart, you asked for it."
He managed to take Liane's wrists in one hand, while holding her down with his knee. With the other hand he reached for his blaster.
"I don't know if it's still set for stun. Pray it is, otherwise, sweetheart, this is your end."
He fired at point blank range. Liane toppled over and Dendicott kicked her body aside. Before he knelt, he checked the blaster.
"It seems to be your lucky day, you little shrew, you'll survive. It was still set for a light stunning. You'll be alright soon, but you won't be bothering me for a while with your nasty temper, until I'm on my way to Palomintar Four."
He pulled her body up and hoisted it at his shoulder. Slowly he started to crawl to the clearing, where the sound of a hovering, circling space craft was still fading in and out. Near the edge of the undergrowth he dumped Liane on the forest floor again. He stretched and looked around. Except for the muffled sounds of the forest and the far off humming of the returning space craft nothing was heard. Looking cautiously at all sides Dendicott dragged Liane onto the clearing.
"He's over there, Luke. Did you see that flashing?" Leia whispered, grabbing her brother's arm.
"I saw it, Leia. That must be ... "
He stopped in mid sentence and whirled around.
'No, Liane, don't. Don't let those dark powers control you. You'll make matters worse.' he said, looking to the other site of clearing. Through the Force he had felt Liane's angry attempt to attack Dendicott. Then they saw a laser blast under the trees.
Ian and Yarmod jumped to their feet. Ian reached for his lightsaber, but Leia firmly pressed his arm.
"Keep down, Ian, stay put. We have to be patience."
"He killed her!" the young man whispered agitated.
"No he hasn't. You should know that he stunned her, if your mind had been at peace, young padawan. Ian, learn to act from knowledge, not from emotions. Reach out to the Force and let her tell you what happened. Wedge, take our padawans with you and seek a hiding place near the shore of the lake. Your help might be needed if Dendicott tries to board his transport." Luke whispered.
"Why don't we attack now, master Luke," Ian whispered.
Luke looked at the young padawan of his sister.
"Haven't you listened to what I've just said," Luke said sternly, "What would we gain, Ian? Dendicott would surely kill Liane instantly. So we have to remain patient. He won't get away with her. People like Dendicott are often mistaken with their plans, and that's what I am waiting for."
Ian gritted his teeth, but Wedge took his arm.
"Come on, Ian. Yarmod? Come with me, you two." He raised his hand to stop any of Ian's further protests, "I know, he has ordered to torture Liane on Wegoyy, but what's happening to her now is her own fault. She attacked Dendicott. Naturally he got angry, and stunned her to revenge himself."
"She still can't forget Anakin's teachings when she feels threatened," Luke murmured to his sister, piercing into the dark. He beckoned to Wedge to get to their new position.
"Did you indeed start with her Jedi training?" Leia whispered.
"I have taught her to feel the Good Side using several simple instructions, like lifting objects, feeling the Living Force around her and Jedi telepathy. In the beginning she did very well, but then some old memories of Anakin's upbringing, emerged. Father has taught her how to use several Force skills that only a real Jedi master may study. That particular knowledge seems to have made her afraid of the Force. She has to forget the use of those teachings, before I can start her Jedi-training and that will take quiet a while, for that won't be easy for her," He said with a sigh, "Don't worry, Leia, I won't push her to become my padawan. She is not ready... There's Rand Phylotar!"
He ran to the edge of the undergrowth. Intensively he looked up at the night sky, reaching out to the Force. All of a sudden the sound of a hovering space craft like Threepio and Artoo had been creating, seemed louder and a dark shadow was slowly lowering between the canopy.
"Let's close up now, Luke," Madine whispered nearby, while he typed the attack code on his infocom.
A soft rustling of leaves like a night breeze was the only indication that Madine's men moved up to the edge of the clearing. The deafening sound of the hovering space craft now filled the air. Landing claws stretched towards the clearing and slowly the space craft landed at the grassy shore of the lake. Yarnick and Kieran pushed forward, but Luke held them back.
"Stay under cover of the scrubs, guys," He whispered, "If Dendicott discovers us too soon, Liane will be in danger."
He felt the enormous tension in the two brothers and sensed their anger about what was happening to the girl who had been their companion for more than a year.
Leia touched his arm and pointed to the opposite side of the clearing. A bent person carrying a burden on his shoulder came running from the under the trees. He tried to keep his balance and with his free arm he frantically waved to the ship. The ramp came down, but suddenly the running person stumbled on the uneven surface of the clearing. The burden tumbled down and rolled aside.
"Rand, you idiot, grab her!" Dendicott screamed crawling up again.
From the shore of the lake and the edge of the clearing a dark wave suddenly emerged and a swarm of boulders and rocks were thrown in Dendicott's direction so violently that he had to duck for cover. A wall of screaming and shouting furious Ewoks rushed towards the fallen bundle and reached it before Dendicott. They formed a protected barrier around it.
"Shoot those bastards, Rand. They have surrounded the girl. Shoot them, you fool!"
Dendicott had grabbed his blaster and started firing at some onrushing angry Ewoks.
"Put down your weapon, Dendicott, you're under arrest," A loud voice said from the other side of the clearing.
"Kill the girl, Rand, kill her! If I won't get her, that Jedi also won't," Dendicott yelled at his second-in-command, for he had recognized Luke's voice.
"I'm not alone, Dendicott," Luke's voice sounded again and Dendicott saw how the clearing was flooded with heavy armed men, wearing the uniforms of the New Republic. Two figures with drawn lightsabers ran over to lake, where the Ewoks were protecting the unconscious body of Liane, but Dendicott jumped to his feet and ran to the group of nearby Ewoks, constantly firing at the tree bears. However before he could reach the Ewoks a whirling sound and a soft thud in front of him stopped him. Two ignited lightsabers barred his way. He aimed his gun at his new opponents and pulled the trigger, but the blast was repelled by the blade of Luke's lightsaber and bounced sideways.
"Surrender yourself, commander. You're surrounded." general Madine's stern voice sounded.
"First I kill those two Jedi and the girl, then we'll talk," Dendicott snarled, while lunging sideways, but again Luke and Leia blocked his path. Leia pointed to Dendicott's sidearm and the weapon jumped from his hand and sailed into the water.
"You won't get me without a fight, Jedi fools," The Wegoyy commander yelled. He turned around and ran in the direction of the space ship.
"Rand, where are you? Why didn't you shoot them?"
He ran up the ramp looking for his second man. But Rand Phylotar was nowhere to be seen. Dendicott whirled around, jumped off the ramp and ran towards the lake.
"Watch out, Luke!" Leia shouted.
"I saw him, Leia."
He ran in Dendicott's direction, but the commander was slightly ahead of him and reach the spot where Liane had fallen first. To his surprise the girl had vanished. He angrily looked around, then he heard Rand Phylotar shouting near the landing claws under the space ship.
"Over here, commander. I have the girl."
"Kill her. Now!" Dendicott shouted back.
"No, commander, she is of too much value for me. She is going to proof my innocence before the High Council."
"You traitor, Rand, I will kill you too, you idiot."
Dendicott ran over to where he had heard Rand Phylotar's voice. He stopped when he saw his officer pointing a blaster at him.
"Back off, commander. The girl is mine. I'll take her to Palomintar Four, but first she's going to tell the High Council at Irithim I had nothing to do with the mind drugging you ordered."
Dendicott lunged and Rand Phylotar fired; he missed and slipped on the muddy shore. He had to release Liane to keep his balance. Dendicott ran up to him.
Out of the shadow from under the space craft two bent persons in brown cloaks grabbed the unconscious body of Liane and quickly dragged her out of the line of fire. A third person joined them and pointed to the manacles at her ankles. They unlocked and fell on the ground, then he drew a fine brush from a pocket at his belt and pressed it on her arm. Liane shuddered and opened her eyes.
"Stay calm, We're going to get you out of here," A voice spoke softly.
Liane tried to struggle free, but four strong arms held her tight.
"Stay calm, Liane, we mean you no harm," A familiar voice said.
"Ian, how ...."
Liane wanted to stumble to her feet, but again the arms pulled her down.
"Stay low. Dendicott is fighting with Rand Phylotar," Ian Tydon whispered. Together with Yarmod Martan he pulled Liane further away from the landing claws, quickly scanning the area to find a safer hiding place.
"Ian," Liane murmured confused, "who are ..."
"Master Antilles, master Luke's wingman and Yarmod Martan, master Antilles' padawan. We came with master Luke's sister Leia and general Madine to Endor to arrest Dendicott and his men," he whispered back.
Suddenly Wedge ducked up from behind and pushed them down in the mud.
"Stop the chatter! Don't move! Dendicott is looking in this direction."
Together they watched the fight between the vicious commander and his second-in-command.
Dendicott had freed himself from his attacker and was crouching in their direction. But Rand Phylotar was pulling him back again. He pulled his arm around Dendicott's throat. Dendicott choked and pushed his elbow backwards in Rand's stomach. Rand Phylotar had to release him. Almost immediately Dendicott was on top of him. The two men struggled and rolled over in the mud near the lake. Finally Dendicott succeeded in getting Rand's blaster. He fired at the officer. Rand Phylotar screamed and fell backwards.
"Treacherous fool! Renegade!"
Dendicott struggled to his feet, straightened his uniform and walked away to the shore to look for Liane.
"Come on, sweetheart. Where are you? Now I'll bring you home," He snarled.
"If you're looking for me; I am here," Liane shouted angrily and jumped to her feet.
Dendicott whirled around. Five meters in front of him stood the girl and next to her stood two young men dressed as Jedi Knights. An older guy bore the distinctive of space commander, but all three had ignited a lightsabers. One of the young men was trying to hold the girl back. Dendicott's mouth became a big grin, slowly he started to walk over to Liane and her protectors.
"Well, well, who have we here, sergeant Tydon, or should I say, defector Tydon and who are the other ones? Some treacherous Jedi friends of you? This seems to be my lucky day, killing all ..."
Suddenly all Dendicott's movements seemed to freeze, he grabbed his throat and started to choke. His face began to turn blue and his eyes bulged.
"I KILL YOU FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO ME ON WEGOYY AND FOR KILLING TEEBO!" A outraged Liane screamed. She had raised her hand and her angry eyes were focussed on Dendicott.
"Stop, Liane you shouldn't revenge yourself this way, using the Dark Side ..." Ian Tydon shouted, trying to grab her raised hand.
"Liane, release him. Immediately. Now!," A soft compelling voice interrupted and a strong power forced her arm down.
Liane looked away from Dendicott and saw Luke walking over to her.
'This use of the Force is forbidden. A Jedi never combines Force Choke with Force Stasis to avenge himself. You said that Anakin's Force use always frightened you. If that's so, then why are you still using what he taught you to revenge yourself?"
Luke's voice sounded sternly in her mind.
'He wiped out my memories on Wegoyy; he nearly killed me here and he has killed Teebo,' Liane answered him with a furious face.
'Release him, Liane. Now! Don't let your anger and aggression control your actions. Justice has to be done in another way,' Luke responded and firmly grabbed her arm and pushed it down.
"You're under arrest, Dendicott," Madine's voice sounded sternly.
Dendicott collapse and swallowed heavily. He took a deep breath and cast a angry look at the girl in front of him, but then his arms were pushed behind his back and some of general Madine's men handcuffed him, while others pointed their weapons at him. A loud cheer sounded from the Ewoks and the six Grann brothers.
"Pretty dirty trick, Eilidh. I didn't know you could be that angry," Kieran Grann said with a grin, "I wonder, if we haven't been too protective, when you traveled with us. It seems that you can perfectly defend yourself."
"Kieran, shut up," Yarnick said to his youngest brother, "Am I right, Eilidh, that you did something you shouldn't do?"
Liane stood frozen while Luke was still holding her arm. She didn't seem to have heard Kieran's words, nor did she respond to Yarnick's question. Slowly she turned her head and met the stern look in Luke's normally always friendly eyes.
"I...I didn't want to use my old knowledge. It's wrong and evil," she whispered.
"You let yourself be guided by your emotional feeling of anger and hate, and you used the power of the Dark Side to take control of the situation," was Luke's disappointed answer, "Haven't you learned nothing of what I taught you these last months?"
"Is he ... dead?" Liane asked, suddenly shivering.
"No, he isn't, Liane, but you surely would have killed him, if Ian hadn't hold you back," Luke said and Liane heard the annoyance and disappointment in his voice.
"I didn't want to use ... " She stammered, then suddenly she pulled her arm free from his grip, broke out the circle of people who were watching her and ran away to the edge of the clearing.
"Liane, stop!" Luke yelled, but she ran on.
Wedge Antilles heard Luke's words; he ran after her, made a high somersault and blocked Liane's path. He firmly grabbed her arms and held a struggling girl tightly at her arms.
"Running away never solves your problems, Liane Solichor. You'd better explain to Luke why you nearly killed the commander."
"Let me go, please! I didn't want to kill him," Liane pleaded and then she started crying.
Luke came over and took her upper arm in a firm grip.
"Thanks, Wedge, you'd better support the general with the prisoners' transport. Come on, Liane, you and I need a very serious talk," He said and walked away with her into the forest. The rest of the company silently watched them go. Ian Tydon looked devastated.
"Master," he said with much unbelief in his voice, "Why did Darth Vader taught her to use Force Stasis and Force Choke? She could have killed him."
Yarmod Martan answered before Leia could comment on her padawan's question.
"Her nickname on Morantan was 'the Dark Princess of Morantan'. Now I fully understand how she's got that title. I wonder if master Luke really thinks that she can become a Jedi Knight," He said.
"Since when can a padawan judge who is being trained as Jedi Knight?" Wedge reprimanded his padawan, "Don't you think that's up to master Luke to decide, my young padawan. Get on with the order you have been giving. Ian, assist my padawan to take the rest of Dendicott's men into custody. I want to transport them to the Tychorion as soon as possible. Yarmod, once on board the Tychorion you stay there until I have spoken with you about your undisciplined behavior."
"Yes, master," Yarmod said while he cast down his eyes.
He followed Ian to the other side of the lake where the Ewoks held some thirty mercenaries at bay.
Jerno Thai watched the recorded holographic message.
"Our group of technics have arrived on board the Basilisæa and the transport is already on its return flight to Coruscant. Admiral Vestor welcomed our group and especially me. He personally showed me around the star destroyer. 'His ship' as he called it. After he had introduced me as major Doran Whain to the staff officers we had lunch together.
I have started my chore. My first impression is, that the ship's communication system is in perfect condition and suitable for my task. I need to make some minor changes to improve the system and I will discuss the necessary changes with the admiral and my other technicians. I don't expect any objections to my proposals. It is common knowledge that the admiral wants his space ship to be in optimal form. He takes much pride in his assignment as admiral of the only remaining super star destroyer. What I have read in the admiral's personal file confirms my impression. Admiral Vestor is an ambitious officer.
I promised to send you the key you should use to send me a message, but once again I want to stress that you should only use it in case of emergency. In my messages I will provide as much in formation as you need to make an necessary decisions, so you might not need to contact me.
The knowledge base on board is so comprehensive, that I will be able to look for any info I need. It even seems to that due to the peace treaty with the New Republic the communication system on board the Basilisæa has a secret access to their immense communication system on Quoith. At least that's what admiral Vestor told me. I'm free to use the New Republic's communication system at will."
The admiral has ordered me to set up a surveillance frequency which will log any signals around the clock. That system will be operational tonight. It will also warn me personally if anything unusual is detected before I have to report anything to my superior and to you. We stay in touch."
The recording stopped and Jerno sat back in his chair, staring at the black display. He nodded and grabbed his infocom and recorded a message.
"Kalip, can you reach Valann. I want to discuss some new developments tonight."
While Wedge was busy giving orders to bring the prisoners to the Tychorion and general Madine had ordered his men to set up a camp site near the lake, Luke had taken Liane out of hearing range into the forest. For a while he walked on without saying a word. Liane was still sobbing. Luke was walking beside her, holding his hand firmly on her arm. Finally Liane calmed down a bit. She looked up at her companion.
"Luke, you'd better go back with the others to Irithim. I'm no longer worthy to be your friend," She whispered.
"And have you brought to the Palomintar System at the next possible occasion, Liane? You can't stay on Endor unprotected. It's clear to me now, that someone else also seems to be looking for you. Whoever he is, he certainly will be informed about your whereabouts and he will use another opportunity to capture you," Luke said calmly.
"You think he'll send other men to Endor?" She asked frightened, looking at him.
Luke nodded, "I do; so it's out of the question that I leave you here on your own. But first you're going tell me, why you're falling back on the use of the Force's dark powers over and over again. You are aware, at least I hope you are, that you shouldn't, don't you?."
Liane averted her eyes and remained silent.
"Your emotional feelings of anger, hatred and aggression are controlling your actions once you feel threatened or scared. You've tried to suffocate me on Morantan; you've attacked the guards on Wegoyy and now you've used Anakin's dark teachings again to seek revenge on Dendicott. I have told you, that using those Dark Force powers will never help you, on the contrary, its use makes matters worse," Luke said sternly and Liane heard the great disappointment in his voice.
"Liane, there must have happened a lot more on Morantan, while Anakin has reared you at the Dark Side, more than you told me so far. He must have taught you how to use Force Choke and Force Stasis, but why do you have to fall back on this wrong use of the Force, when there isn't any real threat? I want a truthful answer and this time I don't accept your excuse, because you don't want to talk about it," He continued sternly.
"Are you angry with me, Luke?" Liane sniffed and wiped some new tears from her eyes.
"You are disappointing me. All these months I have been showing you what influence the Force has on you and how you should use your Force abilities to serve a better purpose. In the beginning you did extremely well, but ever since I've intensified your mental Force training you fall back on the old knowledge you've learned from Anakin."
Liane averted her eyes again and stammered inaudibly, "He died. I've killed him. His death is haunting me, Luke. I see his anxious face in my mind again, if I recall what I did to him. His eyes are accusing me. I can never learn to use the Good Side of the Force."
"Who are you talking about? You can't mean Anakin?" Luke asked in wonder.
"No, no, not Anakin. Tijan! I have killed him with that horrible Force Stasis and Force Choke. It was the first time I ever killed a human being with the use of the Force. I still feel how he died. It was horrible. It felt if I died myself with the Dark Side use," She sobbed.
"Liane, who is Tijan? What has he done to you, that you've killed him using those dark powers. Tell me the whole story from the beginning," Luke insisted.
Liane swallowed and tried to hold back the tears that were welling up in her eyes again.
"Tijan was an ...officer at the ... domains. My fat... your fat... Anakin had brought him to Morantan from one of the Star Destroyer to command the squadrons which were patrolling the perimeters of the domains. I was nearly seventeen when he arrived. He was a very good looking, but also a very ambitious officer."
She silenced for some moments.
"Go on, Liane," Luke insisted.
"I... I li... I fell... in love with him," She blurted out and stumbled. Luke grabbed her arm and pulled her to her feet.
"We'd better sit down somewhere, before you tell me more," He said kindly and looked around, "There's a fallen tree,"
He pointed to a large stem that lay across the path they were following. They walked over and Luke pulled Liane next to him.
"Go on with your story, Liane. You said you fell in love with this guy," Luke said gently.
"I tried... I had to keep it... secret, but somehow Tijan must have become aware of my feelings for him. My... your fa... Anakin had forbidden his officers to speak to me."
"You once told me that only the commander of the domains was allowed to speak to you."
"That's right, but that order only applied inside the domain buildings. If I was sent on survival training in the Morantan jungle I could speak freely with the group of men, as my fa... Anakin always put me in charge. One day Tijan served as my second-in-command..." Liane's voice trailed off and she stopped.
"What happened that day, Liane? Go on, tell me. I want to know what he did to you," Luke said softly and gently.
Liane looked up at him. On a whispering tone she continued her tale. Luke listened attentively and carefully took her hands in his. She told him how Tijan had taken her in his arms and had kissed her passionately, when they had been hiding in the jungle undergrowth observing an group of opponents they had to attack. Afterwards he had arranged secret encounters with him in some ruins in the Morantan jungle just outside the domain perimeter. She had enjoyed his company, and his attention. Luke imagined Liane, a lonely young girl among imperial fighters, who had fallen head over heels in love with that young ambitious officer who probably had pretended to be interested in her.
"I believed he really loved me, Luke, but he betrayed my feelings for him." She whispered.
"In which way, Liane?"
Liane looked at him.
"He wasn't honest, Luke. When I found out his real intentions everything went wrong. After several secret encounters in those ruins, he wanted more than sitting hand in hand, talking to each other and sharing kisses." Her voice again trailed off and Luke saw her swallow. He stretched out his hand and carefully caressed her hair.
"You don't have to tell me more, Liane. I can guess what happened," He said compassionately.
Liane shook her head, "Nothing happened, Luke, nothing at all. Maybe my suspicion had already been aroused earlier as Tijan's embraces had become too intimate, or maybe I became aware that I took a great risk being so often alone with a young man in those dark ruins."
"One evening I asked him straight what would happen if I would become pregnant. He started to laugh mockingly at me and said that he knew a lot of ways to get rid of an unwanted child. "
"I still hear him say, 'Liane, are you seriously thinking, that I will marry you and that I want that evil father of you as my father-in-law. You must be out of your mind, girl. Let me set one thing straight: I have not the slightest intention of marrying you.' "
"I asked in total disbelief what he meant, but he calmly repeated his words and added that our affair didn't mean more to him than an enjoyable pastime while assigned to a boring function. "
"I couldn't believe him and I became so outraged and furious that I ran back to the domains and ordered the commander to put Tijan in detention on charge of insubordination. When my fath... Anakin returned to the domains, I accused Tijan of his abuse of the orders and his intention to rape me. Tijan was brought before him and Anakin ordered me to snatched him with that Dark Side freezing grip - Force Stasis, you called it - and hold him until he had died. I protested, but I had no choice, Luke. I had to obey Anakin and carry out his order. Luke, I saw Tijan's face while he died, while I was killing him."
She buried her face in her hands and started to cry again.
"It was so horrible to see, Luke. Why did Anakin force me to kill him? He could have expelled Tijan from the domains so easily. Why did Anakin want him to die this way? Why did Anakin make me do it? "
Luke had listened devastated to the last part of Liane's story. Carefully he laid his arm around her shoulders, pulled her to him to comfort the upset girl. For a while he just hold her, not asking to tell him what had happened afterwards. Whispering between her sobs Liane continued her story.
"After Anakin had made me kill Tijan I felt an change in everything I did. I loathed myself for what I had done. I felt evil, immoral; I lost my self-esteem, Luke. Up to then I always had opposed Anakin if he instructed me one of his wrong, dark teachings, but after I had killed a human being using those Dark skills he taught me, it seems as if my conscious became numb. I didn't object anymore against Anakin's dark instructions. I carried out what he ordered me to do. I didn't care anymore, if I was using his evil teachings. I didn't care what his men were thinking of me. I used my evil knowledge, if any officer or soldier dared to oppose me. I even began to feel some enjoyment, if I was controlling or manipulating them with the Force. It gave my the evil feeling of power and manipulation. That's why Anakin's men gave me a new title and called me the Dark Princess of Morantan. More and more I hated myself for what I had done, and for what I was doing over and over again. I was aware that I had done something terrible that could never be undone. I had killed a human being in a horrible way. I had felt his anguish, his fear to die, but despite what I felt I kept my grip on him until I had suffocated him. I began to see myself as the evil daughter of Darth Vader and I behaved likewise. I felt deprived of any good emotions and I accepted, that I possessed the same dark powers as my... Anakin."
Luke held her in his arms, after Liane had finished her tale. After a while he pushed her upright and forced her to look at him.
"Liane, the use of Force Stasis and those other uses of the Sith lore always have frightened you, but I still don't understand, why you're still falling back on those Dark Side use, for there isn't any reason to do so. You're no longer on Morantan. You don't have to solve any threatening encounters on your own anymore. You're surrounded by people who want to help you, who want to be your friend."
She looked at him helplessly.
"I know, Luke, I'm still relying too much on what your father has taught me. It's wrong, I know."
She was silent for a while, looking down at the forest ground, then she looked up at him again.
"What does Force Stasis do to a living being, Luke? Can you tell me?"
"The use of Force Stasis is prohibited for any Jedi Knight to use. It's Sith knowledge. It's use is terrifying. With Force Stasis a Sith Lord influences not only the breathing of his victim as with Force Choke, but he also slowly freezes the his victim's internal organs. It leads to a slow and painful death, Liane. Even Force Choke shouldn't be used without a good reason. It's a last solution a Jedi chooses if he has to defend himself."
"You say that a Jedi Knight sometimes have to use Force Choke, so its use is not as dangerous as Force Freezing. Have you ever used it?"
"Only if I have no other choice," Luke admitted.
"So you also have learned to use Force Choke?"Liane asked.
"Yes, master Yoda taught me, but he also explained the danger it use could give to a Jedi Knight, for it might give a Jedi the feeling of power. Using it uncontrolled could lead to first steps to the Dark Side."
"But it's not forbidden for a Jedi to make use of it?"
"No, but only as a last resort. I had to use it against the Gamorraen guards in Jabba's palace. They are unguided, uncontrollable and savages creatures. Force Mind Control doesn't influence them. I had to get access to Jabba's throne room. If I hadn't use Force Choke I would have had to slain them, but that would have roused an uproar."
Liane had calmed and had listened to Luke's story about his use of Force Choke.
"Feeling better," Luke asked.
"I still feel ashamed, about what I did. Everybody has seen it. Ian, my former guard, and Yarnick and his brothers probably won't be my friends anymore." She whispered.
"I think the opposite, Liane. They probably pity you. I'm certain that they will help you to unlearn what Anakin has taught you. They are carrying for you, because they see you struggle with your past and will forgive you the missteps you make. The Grann brother have their experience with you. To them you're friendly and helpful. Ian, your former guard, certainly remember that you always have warned him during his evening visits on Wegoyy."
Liane shook her head.
"I wonder if what went right will be enough for them to forgive me what I did wrong."
"Liane, not everything you do is wrong. The Ewoks have rewarded you for your help as there are wounded tribe members. Logray and Chirpa highly appreciate what you can do to help the wounded Ewoks recover."
Liane sighed.
"I love to help wounded Ewoks and help to cure them. Logray is a wonderful shaman. He taught me their language and later on he taught me how to make the many potions and collect herbs. I wish, Luke, that Anakin had taught me, how I could use the Force to help and care for living beings, just like I'm helping wounded Ewoks."
Remembering suddenly, why she had ran to the village, she jumped to her feet.
"Luke, Teebo! I nearly forgot Logray said, he was dying, maybe he is dead already," She exclaimed.
"No, he isn't, Liane. I can still feel his presence through the Force, but he is in a very bad shape. Shall we go back now to the village, so you can help Logray to take care of him. Besides, there are more severely wounded Ewoks."
He put his hands on her shoulders, forcing her to look at him.
"Liane, you must unlearn my father's lessons. His teachings were wrong and you know they are. You possess much greater skills and you must learn to use the Force to care for life forms as is the wish you just expressed. You know what I mean, don't you?" He said with emphasis.
Liane looked into his eyes.
"You're very disappointed about what I have done, aren't you, Luke?"
"Let me put it this way, Liane. I now comprehend your fear for the Force, but I certainly don't approve the way you use the Force, if you let your emotions take control of your actions. You shouldn't give in to feelings of anger or hatred and never uses your Force abilities to control, or threaten other people's lives. It is in your favor that you have resisted Tijan's intentions, when he spoke so disrespectful about the value of life, for it shows that you care for living things. We are all part of everything that lives, we're a part of the Living Force. She creates life and makes it grow. I understand, that you feel very guilty about the way Tijan died, but Tijan's reckless behavior was his undoing. You were Anakin's student, his apprentice, his daughter; you were his child who lived because for many years he had lived with the knowledge that he had killed his pregnant wife. My father was a vengeful man who did not tolerate violation of his rules or orders."
"You sounded worried, Jerno. What's going on?" Kalip asked and turned to Valann who had just entered behind him.
"Worried isn't the correct word. I felt obliged to let you know that our new undercover agent has arrived at the Basilisæa and that he'll send us as much information from the Basilisæa as we need, to make sure that our assumptions concerning our missing admiral can be proofed."
Kalip and Valann sat down and Jerno provided them with some drinks.
"Let's bring out a toast to the successful surveillance mission of the Basilisæa, my friends. This afternoon I received a recorded holo message from him. You'd better listen to this audio I extracted."
Jerno slipped a data card in the slot on the table. Kalip and Valann sat back and listened. After the message ended they looked at Jerno.
"Major Doran Whain? Who is he?" Valann asked.
"Some one with a very exceptional record as an uncover agent," Jerno said with a slight smile.
Kalip frowned.
"The name doesn't sound familiar to me. Is he one of my men? Probably it's an alias. You know hem?"
"I do. He is and is not in our intel force, but he is a loyal officer in our new government," Jerno answered, "but you're quite right, Kalip, if you say to don't know someone in our intel force with that name. In fact he never has been part of our intel force, but he has provided your department with info only he could discover. He's an expert in his profession and a skilled technician. "
"But there is another matter I want to discuss with you. In the message he stated that he doesn't want us to make contact with him, although I had agreed to exchange info in a very special way. The key for encryption he send me was only used by one person in the empire: emperor Palpatine. No one else ever used it and it's unlikely that someone who intercepts such a message, might be able to decrypt any message without the key. You will both get this key too, in case any one of us might need to retrieve a message from him. But the key is highly confidential and also the frequency he will use shouldn't be share. "
"For the time being his mission on board the Basilisæa won't impose any danger, but as he has to pinpoint the exact location of the mysterious collocutor his mission might be extended. In which way I can't tell yet. Probably we have to leave that to him."
"He also mentioned the ambitious personality of admiral Vestor. Has he met him before, for that's also my impression of the admiral," Valann commented.
"He has never met the admiral. So far our guy has led an elusive life, taking on as many different identities as necessary," Jerno said.
"It's good to have an expert like him on board our only super star destroyer to make sure that we will know very soon if our assumptions that our missing admiral has found a refuge on a planet in the Palomintar System, more precisely on Palomintar Four." Kalip said, "Not to mentioning admiral Vestor's ambitious character explicitly."
"That makes me feel a bit worried too," Valann remarked, "I sensed doubts in his remarks. Do you think that admiral Vestor might be prone to blackmail or disloyalty?"
"We have to keep an eye on admiral Vestor, for his ambition might indeed make him vulnerable to obeisance and tributes of anyone who might seek his loyalty," Jerno said, "Not immediately. So far the Provisional Coruscant Council unanimously has supported his promotion to admiral and his assignment as the commander of the Basilisæa."

To be continued...