our weeks passed after they had seen the ruins of Luke's former home.
During those first two weeks Luke had left Ben's house every day just before sunrise, and he hadn't come back until Tatooine's two suns had set.
Especially during the first days of his seclusion he had warned Liane more than once not to start looking for him. She had promised him that she wouldn't leave Ben's home to explore the Jundland Wastes on her own. Liane sensing his emotional pain, had taken his warnings seriously. She had stayed inside the rocky house and had spent her days exploring the old Jedi's abode in more detail. Much time she had spent browsing Ben's collection of ancient books, reading fragments of them that had aroused her interest, but as the days went by, she had become more and more worried about Luke's seclusion.
More than once, as he was sharing the modest meals she had managed to prepare, she felt and saw his growing dejection. He seemed overwhelmed with sadness and feelings of guilt. His face had a mournful expression and a few times Liane saw traces of tears on his cheeks.
During the first passing weeks she didn't want to ask him the cause for his overwhelming sadness. She understood that he needed time to cope with a lot of painful feelings and memories that clearly seemed to disturb his emotional balance, but after another two standard weeks had passed she made up her mind, that she would ask him, if she might be able to help him.
One evening after diner as they sat together in Ben's living room, Liane turned to him.
"Luke, you can't go on like this, you look so weary, depressed and very sad. I have sensed your pain ever since we have seen your former home. Is there anything, I can do to help you? Please tell me why you're feeling so miserable? Why you have been crying?" She said with her soft soothing voice which she also had used to help her wounded Ewok friends.
Luke, who was laying on the couch, staring at the ceiling of the living room without really noticing anything of his surroundings, woke up from his contemplations and smiled bitterly at her, as he sat up.
"You can't help me, Liane, I have to go through all this, alone."
Liane silenced for some moments, but decided not to accept his rejection. She walked over and sat down next to him.
"I can help you, if you let me, Luke," she objected, still using her soothing voice, while she reached out to the Force to surround him with feelings of comfort and compassion.
Luke smiled and brushed a strand of her long hair aside, then he shook his head.
"You can't help me the way you have been helping the Ewoks, Liane. I'm aware you have sensed my painful emotions, but your help wouldn't work."
"Why not?" She asked stubbornly, and placed her hand on his arm.
"Because it would be too hard for you to read my mind. I'm a Jedi, Liane. I would close off my mind for your penetrating way of help."
"I don't want you to tell me or share with me your thought, Luke, but I might give you a more comfortable feeling which would ease the pain you feel. That's how I always began my help with injured Ewoks. I'm offering you to make use of the Force skills I seem to posses," She said, and stretched out her hand. Carefully, but feeling some hesitation, for she expected he would reject her touch, she gently touched his left temple with three fingers.
Luke raised his hand in protest, and wanted to push her hand away, but then he began to feel a soft prickling influence of the Force which emanated from her fingers. Through the Force he saw Liane as she had caressed his wounded hand on board the Tychorion. At that time, the gentle flow of the Force from her fingers had given him a pleasing feeling.
He closed his eyes, letting those soft Force waves pass through his mind and body. Liane, who saw that he seemed to be willing to surrender himself to the influence of her Force use, took a cushion and gently pushed him back on the couch, before she took a seat behind his head and placed both her hands over his face. She closed her eyes, and reached out to the Force to make him feel comfortable and sooth his emotional feelings about the loss of his uncle and aunt. After several minutes Luke gently touched her hands.
"This really feels great, Liane. Please, go on. I won't object," He murmured and let go off her hand.
Liane intensified her contact with the Force and wrapped him in feelings of friendship and care. To her surprise Luke easily surrendered himself to her Force help. For more than an hour she held her hands around his face. She said nothing, she asked nothing, she only used her Force powers to make him feel more at ease. Finally Luke opened his eyes, with a smile he gently pushed her hands away. For moment he held her hand and caressed her fingers, before he sat up again.
"Thank you, Liane," He said, visibly more composed, "Thank you for this way of help. You're right, these soft reassuring Force feelings are easing my mind. Maybe you can help me this way."
Now that he had accepted her Force healing skills as a way to help him to overcome the loss of his family, Luke fully surrendered himself every evening to her way of help to experience a strong Force relaxation.
Liane never tried to penetrate his mind, like she had done while helping the Ewoks. She simply wanted him to feel less sad and less depressed. Her way of surrounding him with the powerful influence of the Force, indeed seemed to help him. The expressions in his face became less disillusioned and sad and sometimes his eyes seemed to brighten again, after she came out of her strong Force trance.
Her use of those comforting Force skills seemed to enable him to get in control again of his sad emotions and feelings of guilt and remorse and a new kind of intimacy grew between them.
One evening Luke put his arm around her shoulders, and gently pulled her to him. Liane's first reaction was to push his hand away, because it reminded her at Tijan's pushy manners, but as she became aware that Luke only was seeking comfort in her presence, her care and her compassion for him, she didn't object.
More than once, after he had released himself from her Force help, he also began to share with her the many memories about his youth on Tatooine, about the way he and his uncle got along with each other and their many arguments and disagrements, but most of his stories centered around his aunt Beru Lars who he had loved and had adored with all his heart.
"Aunt Beru was always defending me against uncle Owen's strict conduct. She understood my secret desires to become a pilot, although she didn't agree with the idea. She and Owen hadn't had any children of their own. That's why she surrounded me with all her love and care. If uncle Owen hadn't been so strict in his ideas of my upbringing, I would have been a spoiled brat, for aunt Beru seldom denied me any wish. More than once she used her soft influence on my uncle to get things done for me. Thanks to her I've gotten my own T-16 skyhopper. And more than once she tried to convinced her husband to let me request at the Academy. I can't remember ever having met a nicer or kinder woman," Luke said one evening, as he was sitting next to Liane, while absentmindedly he curled a strand of her hair around his fingers.
"How did Anakin become your uncle's stepbrother, Luke? Did your uncle tell you that? Was Anakin already a Jedi at that time? " Liane asked.
"Not my uncle, Liane, but my aunt Beru told me more about how Anakin became a member of the Lars' family, although she never has revealed to me that Anakin was a Jedi padawan learner", Luke laughed thoughtfully, "Uncle Owen never wanted to tell me the truth about my father. He always said that my father had been a navigator on a spice freighter, but I am sure that he and aunt Beru knew that Anakin was to become a Jedi Knight. It was Ben who told me the truth after I had become a Jedi myself.
After Anakin had left Tatooine to become the padawan learner of master Qui-Gon Jinn, my grandfather, Cliegg Lars, met with Anakin's mother Shmi Skywalker and fell in love her. He bought her from Wattoo, freed her and married her. During his assignment as the protector of senator Padmé Amidala Naberrie Anakin had a Force vision in which he heard his mother calling his name. She was dying. Padmé encouraged him to go to Tatooine to look for her. He found the Lars' moisture farm. Cliegg Lars welcomed him as his son, but his stepfather had devastating news about Shmi. The Tusken Raiders had kidnapped her. Anakin found the tribe which had taken her prisoner, but the males had tortured Shmi so badly that she died in Anakin's arms. He brought her remains back to the moisture farm of his step-father, where the family buried her behind the homestead. Shortly afterwards Cliegg Lars, who had been severely wounded during his first attempt to free his wife, died too. He was buried next to my grandmother.
I've heard many more details of the rescue attempt of my grandmother years later, after Anakin had been united with the Force. He felt he had failed his mother, because he hadn't been able to rescue her in time. He revenged her death and massacred the whole tribe of the sand people including the females and children, but the guilt he had failed his mother haunted him and became the main cause for his path to the Dark Side, especially when after his secret marriage to Padmé he began to fear that he might also lose her. He lost control of his emotions and convinced himself that it was his obligation as a Jedi Knight to remain in control of everything. That is why he began to hate and punish or even destroy the ones who opposed him. His belief to be a better Jedi Knight than the fellow knights of the Jedi order made him an easy prey for the emperor."
"Did your aunt tell you anything about your mother Padmé, Luke?"
"My uncle had more or less forbidden his wife to reveal anything about Anakin's unexpected visit with Padmé. After Anakin had been united with the Force he has told me how much he had loved Padmé, and how he has mourned her death. He still is very ashamed, Liane, about what happened on Mustafar. What I know about my mother's death I've heard from Ben, but Ben was more traumatized by what had happened to Anakin under the influence of Darth Sidious, the self-proclaimed emperor. On Mustafar it dawned to Ben, that Darth Vader and Anakin were one and the same person, although he didn't want to believe it and hoped he could bring his former padawan and friend back to the Good Side. Ben had loved Anakin as a brother, and the loss of Anakin to the Dark Side of the Force, had a big impact on Ben's life. Ben has never forgiven himself that he hadn't been able to safe Anakin."
Liane kept thinking of Luke's words about all the sad events that had led to the downfall of Anakin to the Dark Side, and the rise of her foster-father, Darth Vader.
For a long time they sat together in silence in the living of Ben's rock house. Luke's arm lay loosely around Liane's shoulders. She was thinking about Luke's youth on the moisture farm of his uncle Owen Lars and his wife Beru. They had adopted him, and although they had brought him up as their nephew, they had loved him as a son. As she recalled the fragments of images the Force had shown her as she had seen the ruins of the homestead she understood Luke's feelings of guilt and remorse about the death of his uncle and aunt.
"They indeed treated me as their son, just as Anakin brought you up as his daughter, Liane, after your mother's death. While I grew up I often wondered what kind of persons my parents really have been, especially what kind of person my father had been. You are still wondering what kind of woman your mother has been and who has been your real father," Luke said, intercepting her thoughts about his past.
Liane nodded, "Strange, that our lives have run along a similar kind of pattern, but you really know what has happened to Anakin and Padmé. I only know what you have told me about my mother Severini. I still have many questions about her and my father."
"It took several years for me too to find the truth about my parents, and some revelations haven't been easy to accept. I'm sure that one day you will discover who have been your parents and what has happened to them," Luke answered.
Ian Tydon woke up startled and sat upright on his couch. The images of a vivid nightmare made him feel agitated and nervous. He wiped some sweat of his forehead. His face expressed his deep felt concern and worry. Slowly he laid down on his back again and stared at the ceiling. Through the window the moving lights of Irithim were playing a chasing game on it.
"Liane is in danger," He murmured and wiped his forehead again, "There are bounty hunters after her! Darth Golluth has put a price on her head. He wants her to be brought to an underground cave."
Again he sat upright and frowned.
"Darth Golluth has ...? Who is Darth Golluth, anyhow? I've never heard of a person going by that name. Where does he live? Is that underground cave his stronghold? What does he want of Liane? What does he want her for? Does my master know this guy? I must ask her tomorrow and mentioned this strange name to her. Maybe she knows more about him?"
A soft knock on the door took him out of his musings.
"Ian," a woman's voice said softly, "You are awake, aren't you?"
Ian jumped off his sleeping couch and reach for his dressing gown.
"Coming, master," He said loud enough to be heard through the door. Quickly he tied the sash of his gown around his waist. He opened the door and looked into Leia's eyes.
"What can I do for you, master?" He asked politely.
"Are you feeling alright, my young padawan?"
He noticed her concerned look.
"I'm alright, master. I had a nightmare that's all. Is anything wrong?"
"That nightmare has disturbed you, hasn't it? I feel your worries. What's wrong with it? What did it show you?" Leia asked and looked up to him.
"Well yes, master. I saw Liane. She was running. Some droids were chasing her. There also was a man in a strange uniform calling her name and shouting she should stop. I could feel that she felt threatened."
"Wasn't my brother with her?" Leia asked.
Ian heard a special Force intonation in her voice. She was using her skills as a Jedi to influence him. She wanted him to look further, beyond the images of his disturbing dream.
"I haven't seen master Luke, master. I only saw Liane. She wasn't on Endor either. She was ... "
He closed his eyes for a moment.
"She was running through a town, a city. I saw houses, streets, domed buildings. The surrounding looked eerie, because I only saw Liane and the droids and that man, but no one else, absolutely one else. The streets looked empty, deserted. The deserted streets made a strange impression, like they had been abandoned for a long time. The man yell at her, that he had would bring her ..."
Ian stopped suddenly and stammered, "He had would bring her before someone called Darth Golluth. Master, who is Darth Golluth? Have you ever heard that name? He seems to be the one who is looking for Liane. What does he want her for?"
"Get dressed, Ian, and come to the living. We have to talk about what you have seen," Leia said seriously.
Ian heard a concerned tone in Leia's voice.
"Yes, master," He said.
He went back inside and grabbed his pants and his tunic. Quickly he dressed and strapped on his Jedi utility belt. Then he grab his brown robe. Before he left the room, he sat down in a meditation position and took some moments to turn inwards and use the Force to get calm. Feeling one with the Force again, he relaxed and went straight to the living room. Before he entered he straightened his outfit.
"Come in, my padawan, and have yourself a seat. I'll be right with you," Leia's calm voice said as the door slid aside.
Ian Tydon entered the room. He saw no one, but he knew, how a Jedi could use the Force from a distance. Leia was probably still in her private rooms, but she had noticed his presence. She was a great teacher, patient and compassionate. Her knowledge of the Force was tremendous, she was as good as her brother.
"Feeling alright again, Ian." Leia asked as she entered the large common living room of the apartment, she and her brother had bought.
"Much better, master, I did some Jedi meditation. It helped me to get calm again."
"Excellent. I feel that the nightmare that woke you up, is no longer disturbing your mind."
Behind Leia Threepio and Artoo had come in. Ian nodded friendly to the two droids.
"Good evening, master Tydon," Threepio said and Artoo whistled a binary flow of beeps as a greeting.
"Good evening to both of you," Ian said with a smile looking at Artoo.
"Tell me, Ian, don't you know why I want to have a word with about the images you saw in that dream?" Leia said quietly.
"Because I felt very upset about them, master? Or because I mentioned that strange name: Darth Golluth?" Ian said.
"Both. Ian, for you haven't been dreaming. You had your first Force vision. The Force has shown you some possible images about what might happen to Liane Solichor. It's the future you have seen. A lot of our knowledge comes from the ability we have to see things that are going to happen or might happen in the future."
Ian look puzzled and surprised.
"You mean, there really is someone, named Darth Golluth and he is really looking for Liane?"
"Possibly. We have to find out the deeper meaning of your vision. Can you concentrate on the Force at the moment and recall what you have seen in your vision. Tell me what you see."
Ian concentrated on the Force. Again the images of his dream appeared in his mind.
"I only see Liane, master. She seems to be alone in that city. No one else is with her, so I'm absolutely sure that master Luke isn't with her. At first there are seven droids chasing her, later I saw only two and that man in an unknown uniform."
"Can you describe that uniform?" Leia asked in her soft Jedi voice.
"I don't recognize those clothes. It's grey with darker stripes. I've never seen something like it before. Wait, I can see him more clearly now. He is wearing odd badges on his cap and on the lapels of his jacket. I will make a drawing of it."
Ian raised his hand and from Leia's desk a stylus and a data pad levitated and floated in his direction.
Leia smiled amused and approvingly. Her padawan had completely surrendered himself to the Force. It was amazing how he trusted the influence of the Force on his actions so unconditionally. Luke had made a great choice; Ian would be a great Jedi Knight in the future. At the moment he also was a wonderful companion in her brother's absence. His old training as an officer had made him aware of servitude and his natural behavior was influenced by kindness, compassion and respect. Good skills for a future Jedi Knight. That was why she had decided to let him live with her in her apartment.
Ian had catched the stylus and the data pad and made a rough sketch of the insignia he had seen.
"It looks something like this, master," He said and showed Leia the result of his drawing. Leia cast a surprised look on the datapad and shook her head.
Leia pushed several buttons on the data pad and gave it back to Ian.
"Compare your drawing with this overlay, Ian."
Now Ian was astonished.
"Yes, that's it. You recognized it, master?"
"Yes, those are the insignias of the imperial forces from Coruscant."
"You mean: that man is wearing the former uniform of an imperial officer."
"Not former; imperial officers and stormtroopers still exists."
"What do you mean, master? The empire has been defeated. The emperor is dead."
"Use your Force potential and look further into this matter," Leia said softly, using again her Jedi voice.
Ian again turned inward and saw images of some recent battles between the army of the New Republic and Imperial forces. Then he said amazed, "I always thought it had ended with the death of the emperor, but it's still going on, isn't it, master?"
"It is Ian. In most parts of the galaxy we have established the peace of the New Republic. The New Republic has signed a peace treaty with the Provisional Government on Coruscant. Those two administrative bodies seek a peaceful co-existence in the galaxy, but on the far off borders the old battles between the Alliance forces and imperial forces loyal to the empire are still going on."
"Then a loyal of the emperor is looking for Liane?"
"I'm afraid yes. I already feared that for some time."
"Who was Liane foster father, Ian?"
Ian stared at his Jedi master.
"Your kidding, master. They can't be after Liane for that reason."
"They are, my young padawan. The resisting remnants of the empire have only one goal: a new emperor to lead them to glory and restore the empire. They want another emperor, a Sith lord, who possesses the power of the Dark Side to spread fear. Now I want you to concentrate again and look further. Concentrate on the Force and see if you can find out who's the person behind all this. You've already found his name and one of his men, now see if you can find what he looks like."
Leia's voice was now a soft whisper, almost inaudible, but penetrating her padawan's mind. Again Ian surrendered to the Force, but all of a sudden his eyes widened and his breath became quicker.
"Master, Darth Golluth has captured Liane. She is his prisoner. Master, we must go and help her, before he's tortu..."
"Stay mindful of the Force, my young padawan. These are future images and although we can see images of the future; it's not sure that what we see, will really happen. Probably Liane is still on Endor with Luke ."
Ian shook his head.
"No, master, she isn't. She has left Endor. She has been captured in the deserted city! She's in danger."
He wanted to jump to his feet, but Leia grab his arm.
"I've told to mind the Force, Ian. Concentrate again on the person who is calling himself Darth Golluth, and control your anxieties. Let the Force tell you who he is, what he looks like. Here's the data pad again, perhaps you can make another drawing."
Ian's trembling fingers grabbed the stylus again. He reached out to Force and in trance he started to sketch the outlines of a person wearing a long cassock. Leia recognized the coat of the Jedi Knights, but the color of this one was darker, almost black. She noticed, that Ian's concentration became deeper now, more focussed on what she had asked him. He switched to a blank page on the data pad and line by line Leia saw how the lines revealed a face with a stern frown: a high forehead, dark eyes, a nose, high cheeks, a mouth with pinched lips. The hood of the cassock covered the head. Leia remembered the Sith image of Emperor Palpatine, she had seen so many times during the Civil War. This one looked the same, but the face hadn't the evil expression of Darth Sidious. This was the haughty angry face with an self-concealed look, arrogant and ambitious. Could he be a Sith Lord, like Palpatine had been, or was he still seeking Sith knowledge? Was the New Republic facing a new challenge with the Dark Side of the Force? Would their struggle start all over again? If this person was looking for Liane, then it was obvious that he wanted to exploit the knowledge she had gained from Darth Vader, her foster father. If that was true, than Liane had to be protected and kept hidden from him. Ian had felt that she wasn't on Endor anymore, but that was a ridiculous thought. Luke would have contacted her, if for any reason he would have left Endor.
"Luke, Liane still with you, isn't she? Is she alright?" She asked as she close her eyes too and became one with the Force. There was the Ewok village; she concentrated on her brother, but she didn't feel his presence among the tree bears' tribe. So Ian might be right. Luke and Liane weren't on Endor any longer. Had her brother left Endor and taken Liane with him, or had some mercenaries managed to capture Liane and had her brother gone after them.?
She opened her eyes and looked at the drawing on the data pad. The image of a man in his forties was looking at her. It was good, it almost seemed alive.
"Excellent, my young padawan. We'll send this to Quoith. I want our experts to have a look at it and check the old Imperial data for images that match this one."
"Are we going to Endor to find out what has happened, master?"
"Patience, my young padawan."
"But that imperial officer, master, and those droids. Couldn't it be that they have captured Liane on Endor and that master Luke is after them."
"I have thought of that too, young padawan, but remember your vision. You saw no trees; you saw houses and empty streets. So I don't think anything has happened to Liane on Endor. "
Ian sighed relieved. Leia smiled.
"Ian, you have to become aware of the emotional feelings you have for Liane, learn to stay passive, that's important for a Jedi Knight. Don't let passionate feelings control your behavior, for if that happens you are walking on a narrow path. "
Although Ian's cheeks became red, he managed to control his embarrassment.
"But I like Liane, master, she's an intelligent and friendly woman. Ever since I met her, I have a strong feeling I have to protect her. Tell me, master, if a Jedi Knight's feelings can't be passionate, how can he love and be loved by others?"
"Of course a Jedi Knight can give love, but his love must be pure and serene and not be disturbed with personal bond, for these kind of attachment might lead to jealousy, suspicion, anger, hatred and other anxieties. A Jedi must be fully aware of those dark feelings. Personal attachment to someone in particular can be dangerous for a Jedi Knight, but in time you will learn to control those passionate feelings and if you have, you will know how to express your love to any one without being entangled in a web of darkness."
Ian's face became red again and for a moment he averted his eyes.
Leia thoughts wandered to a rogue space traveler who she still loved. It was already almost six years ago he had left Irithim. She hasn't heard anything about the Millennium Falcon and her crew. For a moment she cherished her deep love for Han, then she rose and turned again to Ian.
"I just made an attempt to get in touch with my brother. I didn't feel his presences on Endor, so he is no longer there, but Luke will undoubtedly contact me soon. If that is not the case, then I'll contact Endor's space port and ask for more information."
Having accepted Liane's gently way of Force help for some days, Luke decided that he wanted to share all his painful and sad thoughts of the losses of his family, friends and his old masters with her.
'Proceed, Liane, fully concentrate on what I'm thinking, for it's better if I really share my painful losses with you,'He said, as he felt how the warm Force glow of her fingers and hands were flowing through him.
Liane immediately deepened her Force trance, and reached out to him, using Jedi telepathy to communicate in silence.
'I only will do so, Luke, if you are really sure, that my help could mean more, if you want me to know what's troubling you.' She said.
'I do, Liane. I want to share my thoughts and emotions with you, but you have to be aware that what you will see and feel, will certainly make you feel sad too. Do you still want to go?' He answered through the Force.
'You shouldn't worry about me, Luke,' Liane answered.
Luke fully relaxed and let her penetrate his mind, showing her the many painful losses he had suffered during his struggle to become a Jedi Knight.
He recalled the vivid images of the burning homestead, looking at the distorted remains of his uncle and aunt, but this time Liane was easing his old pain with her Force skills as a healer. He felt how she began to feel his emotions of sadness, absorbing them in her own mind. He felt how all his painful experiences became hers too, as he allowed her to see the devastating death of his first master, Ben, on the Death Star.
Through Luke's world of thoughts Liane faced the pain he had felt as the X-wing of his friend Biggs had been annihilated and Biggs had died during their only joint raid against that Death Star. She felt his pain as she heard Darth Vader tell him, that he was his father.
Together with Luke she was on Dagobah as master Yoda became one with the Force, and she really shed tears with him as he recalled the death of Anakin on the second Death Star. Especially those last images shocked her, when she saw how Luke took away her foster father's mask and looked with compassion at the face of Anakin Skywalker, just before he became one with the Force.
'Now you know, Liane,' Luke's calm voice entered her mind, 'I have lost many more friends, but what I've shared with you are my most devastating and painful moments.'
'Yes, ...' Liane started to answer, but suddenly the images of all his painful memories became blurred and some new images of Luke and herself became apparent in her mind. They were standing together with a group of other Jedi Knights. Liane recognized Leia and Ian; next to Ian stood a girl about her own age with an olive green skin who was dressed as a padawan learner and there were two other men. All of them were wearing their ceremonial Jedi outfit, including herself. The group had been gathered on a lawn in a park-like area, looking at a magnificent building.
Luke who had noticed Liane's sudden uneasiness, used his Jedi power to unite himself with her thoughts. Amazed at first, he looked at the images as they materialized his mind, but then he felt how Liane resisted his penetration of her mind.
'Why don't you share these images with me, Liane, no, don't withdraw yourself. These images are too amazing and awesome to keep for yourself.' He said gently.
'I didn't reach out to the Force to see images of your future. This happened unintentionally and unexpectedly,' She stammered.
Still in a united Force trance Luke pulled Liane to him and wrapped his arms around her.
'This is an awesome Force vision, Liane, because what the Force is showing us, is what I hope, will be my future,' He whispered through the Force.
"I.. can't... believe... it," Liane stammered, forgetting her connection with the Force to answer him in the Jedi way. The images disappeared as fast as they had become apparent and Luke looked at the startled face of Liane who struggle to free herself from his embrace.
"I didn't want to use the Force to see ... your future, Luke?" She asked, feeling unsure.
"You unwittingly used your Force Battle Meditation skills to comfort me, as you did with Teebo and the other Ewoks. You have shown me some great images of my future. Liane, your Force skills tell me, that my future won't be as gloomy and bitter as my past. Thank you so much, my dear friend."
"I ... saw ... Leia and ... Ian?" Liane stammered.
"Yes, and Wedge Antilles, my friend, with his padawan Yarmod Martan," Luke answered with a smile.
"Ian didn't look as Leia's padawan," Liane said thoughtfully
"You've gotten a Force vision of the future, Liane. What you saw has not yet become reality. Your vision has shown us a moment in the future when Ian and Yarmod have passed their Jedi trials. Like you also seem ..."
Liane interrupted his explanation quickly.
"Who is the girl with the olive green skin. Whose padawan is she?"
"I don't know. I haven't met her, so I can't answer that question. Her present tickles my curiosity too."
He wanted to take her in his arms again, but Liane shook her head and pushed him away.
"Please, don't, Luke," She could only whisper.
He let her go, and only brushed a strand of her hair away, before he said with a warm and grateful smile, "Without your help as a Force healer, I would have needed much more time to overcome the unexpected encounter with my past. And those future images you've shown me that it's likely that my wish to rebuild the Jedi Order might not been an illusion after all."
Liane looked at him and saw how his face had undergone a complete change. No longer his eyes expressed his sad feelings. Once again he was a Jedi Knight in full control of his emotions, relying on the Force. Still feeling uncomfortable about what the Force had shown her, she changed subject and asked him where he had been in the beginning as he had left Ben's house for many days.
"I've done most of my meditations in a nearby cave, for I was aware, how worried you were, after I had seen the ruins of my former home. Although I needed some intense Force meditations I also kept an eye on you, in case you would decide to start looking for me. I've done many Force meditation sessions to control the emotional feelings about the memories of my painful losses, but those meditations became much easier after you offered me your help and I won't need another session now that you have shown me my future."
"But you have told me that the future is always uncertain, even for a Jedi. Do you really believe what you've seen, Luke?" She asked with uneasiness in her voice.
"I do, Liane, and I will remind you of what we have seen, the moment it will become reality," He said on a teasing tone, noticing her uneasiness about what the Force had shown her about her own destination. He decided not to say anything about the subject anymore, because he did not want to confuse her any further.
"Liane, my friend and Force helper, I completely seem to have loose track of the time since we've arrived in Ben's house. I have neglected my obligations as your guard and your host too much. You deserve a better welcome on my home planet than being left alone at a strange and hostile area of it. Tomorrow I want you to help me to assemble those training lightsabers, I've talked about at our arrival."
The next day Luke took Liane to the lower level of Ben's house. He switched on some light tubes and amazed Liane looked at the fully equipped workplace. Luke took a holopad from a box, activated it and handed the device to Liane.
"The core of a lightsaber is a crystal that amplifies the laser beam many folds as the lightsaber is activated. In the past I've assembled training lightsabers for Leia, Wedge, Ian and Yarmod. A training lightsaber is a gift from me to a new padawan. As the padawan is ready to pass the Jedi trials he has to assemble he own Jedi lightsaber. Afterwards he can use his training saber to instruct his own padawan."
"Where do those crystals come from?" Liane asked looking at the holographic images of glittering transparent crystals above the holopad, "Are they found here, in the Jundland Wastes?"
Slowly she turned the holopad, looking at the crystals from different angles.
"No, Kyber-, Illum or Aldegan-crystals, as they are called, were originally found in the Ilum-caves on Ossus in Aldega system. A future Jedi knight has to used one of these crystals to assemble his own lightsaber.
In the Old Republic padawans who were ready to become a Jedi adepts, were sent to Ossus. In the Illum-caves they had to retrieve the crystal they wanted to use in their own lightsaber and assemble their weapon. The Illum-caves have been ripped of their crystals during the reign of the emperor, so I must use a different method. Most of these crystals are also formed inside special rough stones, which can be found on many planets outside the Ossus system," Luke said and took up two of some seven rough oval rocks about the size of his hand. "These rocks are rare and the Aldegan crystals inside are quite expensive. A future Jedi Knight has to retrieve his own crystal from one of these rocks. He has to break the stone without the use of equipment. He can only do that if he commits himself fully to the Force and unites with her power. Only the power of the Force can help the future Jedi Knight to break the stone."
Luke handed one of the stones to Liane. She took it in her hands, and turned it over and over. Carefully she handed it back to him.
"I see a lot of crystals in this basket." She said and took up a small basket filled to the brim with blue, green and a few violet crystals in different sizes, "This basket must contain a fortune, if these crystals are so rare."
"Those are synthetic crystals. Training lightsabers don't use real Illum crystals," He answered and pointed at a small piece of equipment, "The synthetic crystals are made of a liquid which slowly hardens in this mold. In about three or four days the crystals are ready."
Again Liane looked at the seven stones on the workbench. The rough surface showed no cracks or holes.
"So every Jedi Knight has to assemble his own lightsaber?"
"Yes, a padawan has to choose a stone with those crystals inside that vibrates with the Force connection of his personality. A lightsaber is an extension of a Jedi's connection with the Force. It's the symbol of his union with the Unifying Force. The crystal in his lightsaber reflects the Jedi's connection with the Force through the color the crystal absorbs during the assembly. Often the crystal has the same color as the lightsaber of his master," Luke continued.
"What do you mean by saying: the color the crystal absorbs during the assembly?" Liane asked curiously.
"A Illum crystal is transparent when it is formed in the Illum-caves, or within these rocks. When the padawan chooses his own crystal; the crystal becomes part of his union with the Force. Every living being radiates his own color and the crystal takes on the color the future Jedi Knight radiates through the Force. When I made my own lightsaber the crystal took on a green color, I was not surprised, for master Yoda used a green blade. My padawans have to make their own lightsaber before I'll go with them to Dagobah for their final trials and initiation to Jedi Knighthood. If they pass both tests they may call themselves Jedi Knights."
"So you have to be a trained padawan to be able to split one of those rocks," Liane said thoughtfully.
"And only if a padawan is ready for his final trials. For then he knows how to use the Force to split the stone. After he has separated the crystal he needs to incorporate the crystal in his lightsaber, while he is assembling his Jedi's weapon. All the time he has to stay united with the Force in the Illum-meditation."
"The Illum-mediation?" Liane said raising her eye-brows, "Is that another way of meditation on the Force, like, what you called, the Force Battle Meditation?"
"There are numerous ways of Force meditation. The Illum-meditation is a very special Jedi meditation session. The Jedi has to become completely one with the Unifying Force. During this meditation the Force shows him how to retrieve the crystal and the way how to assemble his lightsaber. Only when a Jedi fully surrenders to the Unifying Force he will be able to perform that task."
"Sounds very difficult, Luke. You said that neither Ben nor master Yoda have told you how to assemble a lightsaber, isn't it?"
Luke nodded, "When I had lost my father's lightsaber on Bespin, I knew I needed to assemble my own lightsaber. I was under a great strain, because I wanted to rescue Han from the clutches of Jabba the Hutt. There was only one place where I knew I might find the knowledge I needed, here, in Ben's house. So I went back to Tatooine and used Ben's equipment and secret writings to piece together a new lightsaber. I found the right way by trial and error. Before I realized I had to surrender to the Force to help me, I had started anew several times. I want you to give me hand assembling some new training lightsabers, Liane," Luke said and put several different components on the workbench.
"Sure, what do you want me to do?"
"Weld these superconductors to these connectors and switches, will you."
Liane took the components, and took a laser welder and a pair of goggles. Luke instructed her, while he was assembling another training lightsaber.
"The most difficult part is fixing the crystal at the right position in the hilt," He instructed, "See, one side of the hilt holds the small parabolic disk, where the blade extents. The crystal must be fitted underneath the disk in the hilt. The crystal bundles and amplifies the laser energy generated when the power cell is activated. See if you can do it. Use this blue one."
"What's the difference between a training lightsaber and the lightsaber a padawan has to construct using the Illum-meditation?" Liane asked.
"With a training lightsaber a padawan learns to defend himself against attacks. He learns ward off laserblasts or stun an opponent temporarily, but he can't cut through any material or kill an opponent with it. At this moment Ian and Yarmod are practising with a training lightsaber. They defended you on Endor against Dendicott, remember."
"So a training lightsaber doesn't do real harm," Liane muttered and concentrated on her task. Luke watched her for a moment, but concentrated on the other training saber he was constructing. For more than an hour neither of them spoke; finally Liane looked up and held the assembled hilt out to Luke.
"Did I do it right, Luke?"
"Ignite it," Luke said, while finishing his own training saber.
Liane hesitated, but then she firmly pressed the button. A blue blade extended from disk. Stunned she looked at the hilt of the lightsaber in her hand and the extended blade. Several sparks emitted from the blade.
"Why should a Jedi Knight need to kill an opponent, if he can use stunning to get himself to safety?" She asked him, switching off the lightsaber.
Luke took the training saber from her hand and put it on the workbench next to his. Then he took her to the living again.
"I'll explain it to you, Liane. The missions a Jedi Knight has to carry out, aren't always easy ones. Sometimes a Jedi Knight has no other choice than to kill an opponent, but he will always make this decision using the Force. The death of a living being, even it's an opponent, always causes a stir in the Force. Luckily there are lots of other possibilities to disable or disarm an enemy without doing real harm, for instance Affect Mind, Force push, or in case of real danger Force Choke. Killing an opponent is always a last option. A Jedi Knight respects all forms of life even that of his worst enemy, because a Jedi is part of the Living Force that binds all life in this galaxy together, but the fact remains that it is sometimes inevitable for a Jedi Knight to kill."
Luke noticed Liane's skepticism.
"Let me give you an example. After I had surrendered myself to my father on Endor, I wanted to bring him back to the Good Side of the Force. I never expected I would be obliged to kill him; I even never wanted to fight him. He challenged me at the Death Star, but I managed to use the Force to defend myself against his attacks. By accident I revealed to him that Leia was his daughter, my twin sister. He used that revelation to threaten me that he would turn Leia to the Dark Side of the Force. His threat changed the situation for me, for I realized that I couldn't let that happen to Leia or the galaxy. I had to attack and fight him. The frenzy with which I attacked him, brought him off balance. I don't know for sure, if he had underestimated my skills, but I defeated him in that fight. During our fight I had only one aim; kill him, for he represented everything I hated. The anger and hatred I felt, blurred my mind. I lost control of my emotions and I forgot all master Yoda's lessons. My loss of control nearly brought me down the dark path of the Force. My wrath and feelings of revenge disappeared at once, when I cut off his arm which was holding his lightsaber. At his wrist I saw wires and metal spokes; it was a mechanical hand. Once he also must have lost his real hand, like I had lost mine in my first encounter with him on Bespin. Looking at my own artifical hand I realized how much my father and I had in common. That was the moment I decided I would oppose emperor Palpatine. I switched off my lightsaber and refused to kill the man, who was my father, because I was a Jedi and immediately I remembered Yoda's lesson that a Jedi never kills a defeated enemy."
Liane looked at her hands that lay in her lap, then her eyes wandered to Luke who seemed to be contemplating on his last words. She thought about the anger, that he had felt when Anakin had challenged him to seduce Leia, but he hadn't succumbed to the temptation of the Dark Side of the Force. He had refused to kill his father. His refusal had angered the emperor who had attacked Luke with his Sith knowledge and nearly had killed him. She shuddered, pondering on the thought what would have become of the galaxy if the last Jedi would have been killed. Darth Vader, her foster-father, had remembered his true self in time. He became Anakin Skywalker again, as he renounced the Dark Side of the Force and hurtled Darth Sidious in the abyss of the Death Star, saving the life of his son. He had sacrificed his life to save Luke and the future of the galaxy, as Luke had carved on that stone on Endor, but if he hadn't died, he certainly would have helped Luke to rebuild the Jedi Order. Now Luke was on his own, the last Jedi Knight. Master Yoda had put a heavy burden on his shoulders. It wouldn't be easy to establish the Order of the Jedi Knights again. A padawan had to practise for a long time, before he was ready for his final trials. Luke needed help as much help as he could get to realize this seemingly impossible goal.
"Luke, I want to help you as much as I can," she softly said, "You can't revive the Jedi Order on your own. You need more people to help you. Maybe I won't be a great help, but I want to do as much as I can. Perhaps I could stay here in Ben's house for a while and assemble those training lightsabers. If you would need one the begin the training of a new padawan, you only have to come to Tatooine and pick it up, so you won't loose time. If I stay here it would also solve my own problem. I'm still sentenced for eight years in exile. Would it make any difference if I pass that time on Tatooine or on Wegoyy?"
Startled Luke looked up and took Liane's hands in his.
"That's a great offer, Liane. I'll gladly accept your help, but your support would be of much greater value, if we stay together."
"If you find that more enjoyable, I will to stay with you, Luke. I will find another way to help you," Liane said, as she remembered her own secret wish to stay with Luke forever.
"You already have, for you've shown me a new future," Luke said and pressed her hand, "Your company is of a great value to me. Besides we must stay together, as long as we don't know who is looking for you."
Luke rose and pulled Liane with him. With her hand firmly in his, he descended again to the work alcove and picked up the two training lightsabers.
"Do you want the blue one or the green one." He said and held out the lightsabers to her.
Liane shook her head and started laughing.
"You'll never give up, will you, master Luke? You always will try to convince me to become your padawan learner, even if I have made myself clear I don't want to become a Jedi Knight. Tell me, what should I do with a training lightsaber?"
"Consider it another gift, like the Jedi pendant. You never know when you have to defend yourself against any opponent."
Liane looked at the lightsabers in his outstretched hand. For a moment the image of her Force vision flashed through her mind.
"If it's a gift, I accept your offer, Luke. I want the green blade, for that's the one you've assembled."
Luke put the lightsaber in her hand.
"Then this one is yours from now one." He said and gently put his hand on her shoulder, "Liane, I hope that one day you will learn how to use it. No, don't object. I give this to you to be more assured. A blaster is a fine weapon and you're an excellent fighter, but a lightsaber gives a better defence for a Force user."
Liane hooked the lightsaber at her belt. It felt strange, but also reassuring. Maybe Luke was right, maybe it also would be a better defence against that unknown person that seemed to be after her. She looked at him and suddenly a mischievous look appeared in her eyes.
"Master Luke," She said suspiciously, but her eyes laughed, "Why did we assemble two training sabers. Did you had in mind to teach me how to use it?"
For a moment Luke was speechless, then he nodded. Liane now laughed wholeheartedly.
"A gift, but a gift with a special purpose, isn't it?" She said and gave him a teasing push, "Don't try to seduce me, Jedi master Skywalker."
"Yes, Liane, I let you create a second training saber. I hoped I could convince you to practise and learn to use it."
Liane shook her head, but still her face was all laugh.
"Why don't you give up, Luke. Really, I can't be a Jedi Knight, not with that old knowledge Anakin taught me. Please, accept my choice, that I do not want to become a Jedi Knight."
"I will respect your choice, Liane." Luke said with compassion, but Liane felt his disappointment. She put her hands on his arm.
"Luke, don't blame yourself, because you can't keep your promise to Anakin. With all the knowledge your father has taught me I would be a danger to you, to Leia and to all the ones who are my friends, and for whom I care. It's me, who is making this choice, not you, and I think I'm making the right decision. If I would be sure I could learn to use the ways of the Force as you do and could become a Jedi Knight; I would gladly become your padawan learner. Being your friend and help you the best I can, is a far more better choice."
Luke silenced and looked at the other lightsaber. He turned it around, then he hooked it at his belt.
"I think I take this blue one with me as a gift from you, Liane," He said calmly. He started laughing when he saw her questioning look.
"I know what you're thinking, Liane: what should a Jedi Knight do with a training saber? I'll take this with me as a keep sake, as a reminder of the great time we've had here together, as a reminder of the promise you made me to stay with me and help me as best as you can, and most important of all to constantly remind me of the wonderful image you showed me through the Force."
Liane blushed shyly. In her mind she heard the mysterious voice again, speaking the puzzling words, 'You know, who he is and that you belong to him, like he belongs to you.' Yet after she had seen the image of herself in the Force vision, those words had made her feel more uncomfortable and uneasy than before.
"Admiral Matrik, what an unexpected encounter this is. After I've heard about the damage your destroyer sustained in that meteor shower near Avila and the fatal explosion of the other destroyer two years later we all thought you were among the victims."
Imperial admiral Vestor looked at the holographic image on the display in wonder. The person didn't resemble the former admiral as he was wearing a dark cloak with a cowl.
"I see that you've got your promotion to admiral, Vestor," The holographic image remarks, "It's good to talk to a peer leader, for I need your help."
"You're needing a transport to Coruscant, Matrik?" Vestor asked.
"No, no, not yet. I'm investigating a very serious matter, Vestor. Tell me, do you have any knowledge about Lord Vader's daughter, Liane Vader?"
"I have heard about her existence?" Admiral Vestor said cautiously, "Lord Vader seems to have taught her the knowledge he had gained from emperor Palpatine."
"Indeed, he did, Vestor. Liane Vader is a member of the Sith. A Sith lady. My investigation focuses on her whereabouts. She is a great danger to the peace treaty between the Coruscant leaders and the New Republic."
"What do you mean, Matrik?" Vestor asked.
"It's obvious, Vestor. No that her father Lord Vader and emperor Palpatine are dead, she is the only one who possesses the knowledge of the Sith, the knowledge of the Dark Side of the Force."
"Are you suggesting, Matrik, that that young woman might make plans to start a galactic war again. As far as I know, she's still in her early twenties, so how can she be a real threat to the galaxy at the moment."
"Not immediately, Vestor, but remember how our former emperor came to power. He started the Clone Wars to get rid of the Jedi Order. Liane Vader might do the same, for I have found evidence that she has already teamed up with one of the new Jedi a certain Luke Skywalker."
Admiral Vestor nodded, while looking at the strangely dressed former admiral.
"I see your point of view, Matrik. If that Liane Vader would convince the newly founded Jedi Order to team up with her, our galaxy would be drawn into a war again. Do you think there is a way to warn commander Skywalker against her intentions?"
"You're familiar with his rank, Vestor?" The cloaked image asked amazed.
"During the civil war and after the end the holonet issued a lot of articles on him and his relation with the princess Leia Organa of the former Royal House of Alderaan."
"Yes, yes, of course, but let's stick to Liane Vader. I need your help to arrest and capture the woman. I have some information about her whereabouts and I want you to bring me to the planet where she has been living lastly, Vestor."
The commander of the Basilisæa couldn't help to feel some suspicion in admiral Matrik's proposal.
"I'm under a strict order to do some investigations in the Urervik cluster, Matrik. I have to ask permission from Coruscant to postpone my order. Where do you want me to take you?"
"To Endor. That's where she has been seen lately. Vestor, if we came capture the girl and bring her to Palomintar Four you could continue with your assignment in the Urervik cluster without anyone on Coruscant noticing you have left for a couple of days. The woman is a danger. I want to imprison her for the rest of her life on a planet in the Palomintar System and keep her away from the galaxy, so we won't have to fear another war."
"I agree with your intentions, Matrik. If the woman is as dangerous as you say, I should cooperate with you. I understand you want to arrest the woman yourself, so I will send a transport ship to you. Would you please give me the coordinates of a nearby landing place."
"Seven-four-six-ten and five-three-seven on Palomintar Four. I'll be ready to board your ship."
"I will welcome you on board the Basilisæa, Matrik and I will order my liaison officer to have an appropriate uniform ready for you."
"That won't be necessary, Vestor. I'm really comfortable in the clothes I'm wearing. The only thing I want is a separate private quarter."
"You might expect the transport ship a standard hour. I'll have a quarter ready for you, Matrik."
The holographic image immediately vanished, leaving admiral Vestor a bit confused. He wondered if he should have accepted the other man's proposal to go to Endor without consulting his superiors on Coruscant. For a moment he looked at the empty display, then he ordered his chief communication technician to come to his quarter. Within a minute a young lieutenant entered his room.
"Lieutenant Whain, sent a message to Coruscant that I had a holographic meeting with some one whom our leaders thought he had perished. Further information will be sent later."
The young man left and admiral Vestor gave a further order to send a transport ship to the coordinates he had been given.
To be continued...