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

Chapter 27

Cap_N
o, Your Highness, commodore Skywalker has left Endor more than a month ago." The holographic image contained a lot of static noise.
"Did he leave alone?" Leia asked and looked up to Ian Tydon, who was standing next to her. His face expressed the tension he felt.
"I'll have to check that, Your Highness. Hold on, I'll be right back."
The image vanished.
"What do we do, if Liane hasn't left with him?" Ian asked her.
"We should rely on the Force to tell us what our next action must be, but most of all, we have to be patient, my young padawan, only then can we take the right decision." Leia said calmly, but sternly.
She knew how difficult it was for him to trust his unseen ally to make the right decision. His emotional attachment to Liane seemed to blur his concentration with Force. Over and over he had been asking her to leave Dalmaran at short notice and go to Endor together to check out what had happened, and even so many times she had told him to be patient and rely on the Force.
The holographic image of the commanding officer of Endor space port returned.
"Your Highness, as far as we can check, commodore Skywalker has taken nobody with him. "
Leia heard Ian hold his breath.
"He asked clearance to leave immediately. He left in a hurry and didn't mention his destination, nor did he tell us about any passengers," the holographic image of the officer continued.
"Thank you, officer," Leia said and switched off, looking up to Ian.
"Let's pay the Ewoks a visit ourselves, Ian. They know for sure what has happened. Get to the space port and prepare my shuttle. We're leaving as soon as we're ready. I will inform Mon Mothma. Threepio, you're coming with us. I need you to talk to the Ewoks."
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"I'm sorry, sir. It's impossible at the moment to leave Tatooine. Space traveling control has reported severe galactic turbulences and storms of space dust in many entries to the hyperspace lanes around the planet. We can't estimate when it's safe leave."
"I'll find some accommodation in Mos Eisley; please, keep me informed. I want to leave as soon as the situation has been normalized." Luke said calmly.
"Certainly, sir. You can get updated information from every infocom. Use your personal identification and you'll have access to all the information you need. If you're looking for a temporary accommodation you should check some of the new apartment buildings which can be rented for reasonable prices. You'll find them in the new outskirts of Mos Eisley."
Luke thanked the desk officer and turned to Liane.
"Let's find a place to stay, Liane." He said.
They left the building and crossed the road. Mos Eisley's center hadn't changed much. It was still a hive of narrow streets and slums, where all kinds of dark creatures found a way of living. The only exception was the new modern extension of Mos Eisley's space port. After the end of the Civil War the availability of new technology had made it possible for colonists to earn a more proper living on Tatooine's barren surface and those new prospects had given many settlers some wealth. With the raising of the standard of living, space trading had increased too. More goods from other planets were finding their way to the homesteads of Tatooine's inhabitants.
Luke and Liane walked around in the old center streets to find a place to stay. When they turned a corner, they suddenly stood in front of an old cantina. Liane looked at the entrance.
"Here I've been with the Granns several times. On my first visit I talked to that friend of yours, what was his name again?"
"You mean Han?"
Liane nodded.
"He was engaged to Leia, wasn't he? Had they already plans to marry?"
Luke grinned.
"No, although Han loved my sister dearly, he couldn't decide when he wanted get married."
Liane looked at him amazed.
"I don't understand. You say he loved Leia very much, so why couldn't he made up his mind about their marriage. Wasn't he really sure about his feelings for Leia."
"Han was devoted to Leia, he adored her, admired her and loved her and as for Leia, those feelings were mutual. But Han doesn't believe in the power of the Force. He denies that the Force influences people."
For a moment Luke silenced, then Liane said.
"So Han basically was offended and angered, because you had trained Leia as Jedi Knight without asking his opinion? Now I understand why he gave me such a rude answer, when I asked him if he knew where Leia was."
Amazed Luke watched his companion.
"Yes indeed, Liane. When Leia and I came back from Dagobah where she passed her Jedi trials, Han didn't want to talk to her anymore. He broke off their engagement and left Dalmaran soon afterwards. We haven't heard from him ever since."
"I'm sure Leia feels sorry for him, for she still loves him. "
"She does and she would do anything to get him back. Sometimes I think their break up is partially my fault. I insisted on completing Leia's training as a Jedi. My reason to train Leia as Jedi wasn't motivated by objective judgment, but by my selfishness. After I had become a Jedi Knight I felt alone, for there wasn't anybody who shared the larger world I had become part of and who felt the needs of a Jedi Knight. As my sister, Leia is as Force sensitive as I am. So after the Battle of Endor I began to teach her and instruct her in the Ways of the Jedi. I wanted Leia to be my fellow Jedi, my equal, trained to use the Force, like me. It would have been much wiser to have taken Han's opinion about the Jedi Knights and their use of the Force into account. I didn't, nor did Leia."
Liane shook her head.
"No, Luke. This isn't your fault. It's quite obvious that Leia would become a Jedi Knight sooner or later. She is your twin sister and, like you said, as sensitive to the Force as you are. She surely must have enjoyed your lessons which gave her so much more knowledge. No, it's Han who doesn't believe in the Force, because he can't feel her influence, can he?"
Luke started to laugh.
"No, he can't. Han rejects the influence of, what he calls, hokey religions and the use of ancient weapons, in other words the way the Jedi rely on the Force and their use of a lightsaber for defense. He probably has a very low midi-cholorian count."
"What do you mean by that?" Liane asked amazed and inquisitive.
"All life-forms can communicate with the Force through the midi-chlorians in their cells. The midi-chlorians tell us the ways of the Force. My first lesson with Ben was, that the Force surrounds us, penetrated us and binds the galaxy together."
"But what precisely are ... what you say ... midi-chlo ....
"They are tiny life-forms that form a symbiont circle with a life-form. Their existence has mutual advantages to both, provided a life-form can sense the will of the Force. The number of midi-chlorians defines a life-form's sensibility to the Force. Some life-forms have a high sensitiveness to the Force. In their cells the number of those tiny particles is high above an average level. All Jedi Knights for instance have a midi-chlorian count far above the average. Aeons ago the Jedi Council made a chart with the midi-chlorian count of all the living Jedi at that time. That chart became a lead for the Council to decide, if some one could be trained as a Jedi. Master Yoda and Ben Kenobi, for instance, had a midi-chlorian count at the high end of the chart. They were Jedi Masters, extremely sensitive to Force. "
"What about you?" Liane asked expressing her curiosity.
Luke looked serious.
"Master Yoda once told me that Anakin's midi-chlorian count was so high, it ran off the chart. The Force is very strong in my family. Leia and I have inherited our Jedi skills from Anakin. Our midi-chlorian count runs of the chart too."
"So Leia and you are Jedi Masters too, like master Yoda and Ben Kenobi.
Luke shook his head, and laughed about Liane's quick conclusion, "No, we aren't. We're Jedi Knights. A Jedi Knight only becomes a Jedi Master by long experience, training many padawans. Sometimes it takes a life time to reach that level."
"I see, but to me you are already a Jedi Master. You have so much knowledge ..., you have such a well-balanced... state of mind. Well, most of the time, and you're a trustworthy friend." Liane said.
Luke stopped and grabbed Liane's arm.
"That's a great compliment, Liane."
Liane shrugged her shoulders and started laughing.
"I mean it, Luke. I feel safe and protected while you're with me. You also show me respect and you trust me. Even if I fall back on my old behavior you see me as your friend."
They walked on, but Luke cast a glance at Liane. Amazed he saw the calm and confident expression on her face. Her long stay on Endor among the Ewoks had changed her in many ways. For sure, her old habits and the many wrong lessons she had learned from his father on Morantan, were still noticeable, but already to a much lesser extent. In time she would learn to overcome that dark aggressiveness his father had taught her to use and her true self would surface and she would find her destiny as a Force healer. For a moment Luke pondered on his last conclusion. As soon as she would have accepted her destiny, she would be ready to become a Jedi Knight and he would make sure that she would become his padawan learner. At the moment nothing reminded him of the young woman who had attacked him so fanatically on Morantan. Suddenly Liane looked at him.
"How did the Jedi Order determine the number of midi-chlorians in a future padawan, Luke? Do you use their way to check the midi-chlorian count of a new padawan?" She asked.
"I do. It's very easy. I only need a blood sample of a Force sensitive person, put that on a special chip which relays the information to the equipment that can compare the sample with the data on the chart of the Jedi Council. Want to know yours?"
To his surprise Liane nodded.
"Yes. You told me that my mother is ... was Force-sensitive. I want to know if I really have inherited my use of the Force from her. Darth ... Anakin knew that I was sensitive to the Force and he taught me how to use my Force skills in the wrong way. You, on the other hand, let me experience, that I can use my Force power to do good with it. Ian and Yarmod told me that I used the Force when I was curing the Ewoks, and so did Ben, your old master. Maybe one day ... "
She stopped in her sentence, but Luke had picked up her last unspoken thoughts. For the first time she had been thinking about learning to use the Good Side of the Force as a healer just like her mother has done.
"If you still want to know your midi-chlorian count when we're back on Dalmaran, I will check yours."
Liane nodded decisively.
"I want to know," She said, then she looked at him again, surprised.
"You can do those midi-chlorian test on Dalmaran? Are you always checking a person's midi-chlorian count?"
"I have taken all Ben's old equipment with me to Dalmaran. So far I haven't used it often. Most of the time I can feel if some one can become a padawan learner, because I feel a strong Force flow between that person and me. That was the case with Yarmod Martan, Wedge Antilles' padawan, who I met on the Tychorion while he had an assignment as young liaison officer. Your former guard Ian Tydon already amazed me the first time I met him, for when I visited you on Wegoyy, he resisted my use of Affect Mind the first time. I had to repeat and emphasize my words that he had to wait outside the cell, and I felt he reluctance against my influence. When I met him again at the rendez-vous in the Wegoyy desert, I became convinced about the influence of the Force on him, so I took him with me to Irithim, not only because I needed him to tell our Supreme Chancellor what had happened to you, but also because I wanted to develop his slumbering Force skills. During our travels through the Outer Rim Territories, looking for you and the Grann brothers, I've told him about the Jedi Order, the Jedi Knights and their commitment to the Force. During my last trips I've asked him, if he had ever thought about becoming a Jedi Knight himself. My question didn't seem to surprise him, Liane, and he accepted my proposal immediately, after I'd shown him his Force potential during some simple Force practises, like moving objects using Jedi telekinesis. After those first lessons he has dedicated himself fully to his new perspective. He is showing a great commitment to his future task as a Jedi Knight. Because I had sensed his strong Force ability, I asked him if I could check his midi-chlorian count. Without questioning my request he agreed, and the outcome of the test amazed him, for his midi-chlorian count also nearly runs off the chart. It is almost as high as mine. The outcome of the test still amazes me, because neither his parents nor his siblings are sensitive to the Force."
"Is there a reason why Ian is Leia's padawan learner, Luke? Did she ask you to train some one? Leia is a powerful Jedi Knight too, I have seen her skills as a Jedi on Ortel, but you could have taken Ian as a padawan yourself, couldn't you?"
"I certainly could have done that, and probably it would have given me a lot of new knowledge, but I asked my sister to accept Ian as her padawan learner. It's important for every Jedi Knight to expand his growth in the Force. Training a padawan makes a Jedi master more aware of his own connectedness and unity with the Force, as he has to share and explain his own knowledge of the Force."
"I'm glad for Ian that he has found a new future and such a splendid destiny. He is a good friend, after you. You're the best friend I ever had."
Luke felt a warm emotion flowing through his body. For a moment he cherished the feeling, but then he controlled himself again. He remembered what had happened on Endor, as his emotions had been the cause of their quarrel.
"I'm still grateful to Ian too, Liane, because he decided to leave you the Jedi-pendant on Wegoyy."
Liane nodded, but didn't give any further comment on his words.
They had reached the newly build quarter of Mos Eisley. Here several new apartment buildings and an underground shopping mall had been built. Luke pointed to a larger building at the left.
"That might be the kind of building we're looking for. Come on, Liane. I need a drink and if possible a proper meal."
When they reached the entrance Liane saw that the building was a five storey block divide into small apartments which could be rented for an indefinite time. Luke entered the central hall and rented one of the largest apartments with four bedrooms.
"Welcome, master Jedi," the humanoid behind the desk said, "we're honored, that you've chosen our company to stay."
"Welcome, young padawan," he addressed Liane.
Luke shook his head.
"She's my sister, not my padawan learner."
"How clumsy of me, forgive miss. Of course, I should have noticed. Your apartment is on the top floor, master Jedi. Here are your access cards, one for you and one for the lady. Do you intent to stay for a long time."
"We'll stay until it's safe to leave Tatooine again," Luke said aloof.
"Yes, yes, I understand. We have several guests who have to stay, because the galactic storm keeps them on Tatooine. It's quite inconvenient. Well, you have a great opportunity to visit some interesting places here, like the former residence of Jabba the Hutt which has been transformed into a interactive playground, where you can fight with the holographic image of a Rancor," the humanoid said, "If you want I can make very personal arrangements along different sites, including a visit to an abandoned community of the sandpeople or Tusken Raiders. I can also recommend the guided speeder tour to the Pit of Carkoon. If you're lucky you might get a glimpse of the Sarlacc, a ferocious predator with an enormous lifespan."
Luke nodded and gave one of the access cards to Liane.
"We'll let you know, if we want any further information."
"Any time, master Jedi. You can have a look on the infocom in your apartment. You'll find all the details of any of our tours. If you stay long enough I also recommend the podraces which are starting next month."
"Thank you," Luke said friendly.
He took Liane's arm and walked over with her to the panoramic elevator in the huge atrium. Liane looked at him and saw a hardly concealed laugh around his mouth and in his eyes.
The elevator brought them quickly to the top floor. Luke opened the door and let Liane pass.
"Wow, this is awesome," she exclaimed and looked around before she stepped inside.
The size of their apartment spanned the whole top floor of the building with large windows on all sides and surrounded with large sun shades covered terraces. The terraces were decorated with a large number of flower pots in which several different exotic plants provided extra shadow to guarantee comfortable reclining places out of the hot suns of Tatooine.
Liane turned to Luke who was looking at her with a big smile, "This must be really expensive, Luke."
"It is, that's why the humanoid at the desk gave us all this information about Tatooine. I had to struggled to keep my laughter. Never expected that this big, wide, endless sandbowl would attract space tourism. Maybe I should have told him I once fought Jabba's pet-rancor and won," Luke said in a roar of laughter, "And a second encounter with a sarlacc is not something I'm looking forward to, neither am I interested in an encounter with some Tusken Raider. Most of their abandoned camp sites are sacred places to them. Have a look around, Liane, I thought that after our stay on Endor in the Ewok village and at Ben's sober dwelling you might love some real comfort for awhile. I'll call the space port to bring us the bag with your clothes."
"What about yours? Aren't you taking some belongings with you?"
"Just a small bag. A Jedi's needs are modest, but this time I will enjoy some luxury."
He went over to the infocom and contacted the space port.
"Certainly, sir. We'll get your luggage there as soon as possible."
In the mean time Liane had opened the terrace doors of the the central living. She stepped outside and looked around.
"Luke, come over here and have a look. What a terrific view! I think you can see from here as far as the Jundland Waste, where Ben's home is."
Luke burst into a roar with laughter and entered the terrace behind her.
"It was almost a three quarters' flight to Mos Eisley from the Jundland Waste, Liane. But I agree with you, this view is wonderful. I've never seen Mos Eisley from above. Look over there; there's the space port," He said, pointing to the town center.
Liane saw a space ship lift into Tatooine's atmosphere. It reminded her of her space travel with the Grannd Traveler. The ship quickly gathered speed and vanished. She turned to Luke who was staring at the horizon.
"Why did you tell that desk official, I'm your sister? That's a lie," She asked.
"Really? Who has been your father, Liane?"
"He wasn't my father. He was yours, he only adopted me."
"So he was your foster father and that makes you my foster sister, and me your foster brother," Luke said teasingly, and laughed again as he noticed that she didn't know how to respond.
"What are those podraces, that man in the hall was talking about?" She asked feeling uncomfortable with Luke's teasing and laughing about their eventual family relation.
"Podracing is done on many planets in this galaxy. A pod has a compartment for the driver and two or more strong rocket engines which are loosely attached to the driver's compartment by the power sources and tubes that lead to driver's dashboard. They are very maneuverable vehicles. Those rocket engines produce an enormous speed and the driver needs all his skills to stay in control, " Luke said.
"Have you done it? It sounds like you would have enjoyed it," Liane said teasing him with a cheerful laugh.
"Oh, I certainly would have, but when I grew up here pod racing was forbidden. Too many deadly casualties. My friend Biggs and I simulated these races while we drove at top speed through Beggar's Canyon." Luke said.
He kept silent some moments, before he continued softly, "Jolly optimistic Biggs. He left Tatooine after he had finished his education at the Academy, and became the first mate on the Rand Ecliptic. He was the only friend I ever had on Tatooine. Our reunion on Yavin was a very short one. You have seen what happened to him. I will never forget him."
He was silent again and remained in thoughts for a long time, staring at the distance horizon without really seeing. Once again Liane felt the pain that the loss of this childhood friend and comrade caused in his mind. For several moments she stood silently close to him. Finally Luke looked at her and smiled.
"After I had lost Biggs, I've found many other good friends, but he will always have a special place in my memories."
He took her hand and laughed again.
"I've met Leia, Han, Wedge... and I've met an intelligent and very nice young woman in this galaxy, who has promised me to support my task as a Jedi and who wants to help me as best as she can. Just a moment ago you said, I'm your best friend, but you're also my best friend, Liane Solichor!"
Liane blushed vehemently. She shook her head and her eyes got a skeptical expression.
"You're lying, Luke Skywalker, I'm not a nice girl. I have been very unkind to you on Endor, while you only wanted to ..."
Luke shook his head. He put his fingers on her lips so that she could say no more.
"Your reaction at my words was my fault, Liane. I was too worried about you. If ..."
Now Liane shook her head and covered his mouth with her hand.
"Stop blaming yourself, Luke. It was me who misunderstood your concern," She said, blushing again.
Before she walked over to the balustrade that surrounded the terraces at all sides, she gave him a slight laughing push, "We shouldn't talk about what happened on Endor ever again, Luke. It was all my fault."
Luke saw how their good-natured banter was covering her cheeks with a warm blush again. Once again it gave him a warm cheerful feeling. He walked over to her and put his arm around her.
'Even though you see our argument on Endor as some misunderstanding, for me you have become the nicest young woman in this galaxy, and a fine friend,' He said still teasingly, using Jedi telepathy.
Liane felt the pressure of his fingers on her arm, he had pulled close and her head rested against his shoulder; his face was very close to hers. For a very short moment she closed her eyes and enjoyed the overwhelming feeling of the growing intimacy of their friendship.
'I can't recall if I have ever met a kinder person than you, Liane,' He whispered tenderly through the Force, 'Especially after you have shown me the wonderful future that's laying ahead of me.'
Although his soft whispered words raised again the dubious feelings about what the Force has shown her, Liane managed to control her unsure emotions. Hesitantly she answered him, using Jedi telepathy, 'Luke, those images of all those Jedi gathered together I saw ... you saw'
'We saw, Liane'
'We saw; They can't be true. I mean ... they probably aren't showing ... your ... my ... real future.'She stammered.
'Why don't you think so, Liane?' He asked gently, feeling her doubts and anxieties.
'Luke, those images ... I mean I saw you and me and the others... Do you really believe you I saw the future?'
'I do. You have a great talent to use Force Battle Meditation, Liane. Those skills have allowed you to share with me those images of the future, my future, so that I could overcome the sadness I felt, after I unexpectedly had been confronted with one of the most devastating events of my past. Therefore it's very likely, that what you've shown me will be come true one day.'
Liane sighed deeply, looking up at him clearly showing the uncertainty she felt.
'Luke, I saw us... I saw myself... did you notice what I was wearing?' She whispered.
'You were wearing the ceremonial clothes of a Jedi Knight, if that's what you mean. In your Force vision you were a Jedi Knight, like Ian and Yarmod,' Luke answered and tightened his grip around her shoulders.
'Then those images can't be true, Luke, for I don't want to become a Jedi Knight, I've told you,'Liane said, and wanted to avert her eyes, but Luke held her gaze.
'Liane, I... have... We have ... I want to ... Do you... I mean ... Let me tell you...' Luke's voice suddenly became hesitant, 'Liane, you must ... Don't you rec...'
The penetrating sound of the info com interrupted his stammered words. Luke slowly released her, but still held her gaze. He remained looking at her, while he went back to the living and pressed the button.
"Your luggage have been delivered from space port, master Jedi," the voice of humanoid said, "I'll have them brought to your apartment."
"Thank you," Luke said.
Immediately a knock on the door was heard.
"Your luggage,sir," a voice said.
Luke opened the door of the apartment and Liane saw a multi-eyed creature carrying the two bags. Luke gave the creature some credits, closed the door and put the bags in the living. Liane had followed him inside. She looked at him questioningly.
"Luke, you wanted to tell me more about those images, didn't you? You wanted to explain something, isn't it?" She asked in a soft voice.
Luke smiled, noticing her hardly suppressed uncertainty.
"We'll talk about those images at another time, Liane. Don't feel worried, because you have seen yourself as a Jedi Knight. The future is always in motion. Things or situations change, they always do. Possibly this also counts for Force Battle Meditation visions. Where do you want to sleep? I'm taking that room."
He pointed to the bedroom door on the other side of the living.
"Where can I see the suns of Tatooine rise in the morning?" Liane asked.
"On that side."
"Then I take one of those rooms."
She walked over to the door and opened it. Again the enormous luxury of the apartment startled hers. The room she had chosen had its own sun shaded terrace, a very comfortable looking sleeping couch, a large dressing room and an even larger bathroom. On the terrace stood such a wild bunch of different flowerpots filled with plants, flowers and shadow-giving trees, that it gave her the feeling she was back on her home planet again.
"Satisfied," Luke grinned and put her bag inside, "Please hurry, Liane, I'm getting hungry."
Liane noticed the small sack in his hand and remember what he had said. A Jedi's needs were modest. His outfit held almost everything he needed.
"I'll be right with you, Luke. To be honest I'm hungry too."
Luke left and Liane took some tunics from her bag. She choose a simple beige one and found a dark brown pair of pants. Quickly she washed her face and brushed her hair. For a moment she looked at her reflection in a large mirror. Pondering on Luke's strange behavior after he had confirmed, that she had indeed seen herself as a Jedi Knight in that Force vision, she took a small strand of hair at the right side of her head, braided it and looked at her reflection again. He had wanted to tell her something about the meaning of those images. Something that seemed to be important, but he had hesitated. All of a sudden a kind of uncertainty had surrounded him, a kind of embarrassment and vulnerability, as if he didn't know how to put it, as if he was hoping she would speak the words he couldn't find. After he had confirmed that he had seen them both as Jedi Knights, she had felt so intense and deeply united with him, so close, closer than she ever had felt before, as if they had become an inseparable unity. Could her Force vision have something to do with the strange words she had heard at Ben's house, or with the confusing images she sometimes saw as she had been using the Jedi-pendant. Slowly she tied the rest of her hair together making a pony-tail of it.
"Now I look as if I'm a padawan learner, Luke's padawan learner and a future Jedi Knight as in my vision," she whispered to her image in the mirror. Her cheeks started to glow red and she looked down at her lightsaber. The training lightsaber Luke had given her as a gift. She hooked the saber from her belt, pushed the button and held the activated weapon in front of her in the official Jedi salutation. She smiled.
"Are you ready, Liane?" Luke's voice sounded from the living.
Quickly she switched off the lightsaber, hooked it at her belt, untied the braid and brushed her hair backwards, then she rushed over to the door and opened it.
"What took you so long?" Luke asked, noticing the warm red glow of her face.
"Couldn't find my hair brush. Thought I had forgotten to put it in my bag, when we left Ben's house," she murmured quickly as an excuse and grab her coat.
"You seem to have found it," Luke concluded, looking at the brush she still held in her hand.
"Are you expecting trouble? I have never seen you wearing those Jedi clothes," Liane asked, averting his questioning look, while she pointed to his ceremonial Jedi outfit.
"Sometimes it's advantages to be recognized as a Jedi Knight. Come on, I'm starving."
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Rand Phylotar sighed relieved, as he found himself safely away in hyperspace at last. He still wondered, how he had managed to escape from that dreadful planet in Palomintar System, with its dark underground cold rocky prison caves under a mountain and that strange fearsome dark-cloaked guy.
His outstanding knowledge of droids had allowed him to short circuit and eliminate his droid guards. He secretly had left that prison cave. It had amazed him, that no one seemed to notice what he was doing outside his cell. No alarm had been setting off and no other guards had rushed over to investigate, what had happened. Cautiously he had sneaked through the dark corridors to find a way out of his underground prison. He had met no one, all corridors and caves he had passed had appeared to be deserted, even that disgusting person with his dark cloak didn't seem to have been alerted. Yet it had taken him quite some time to find main door.
Once outside he had hidden himself in a deep dell with dense growing thorny scrubs just outside the cave entrance. Constantly he had checked, if any patrol had started to look for him, but everything had remained quiet. The survival rations in his belt had kept him alive and with some shallow water puddles at the bottom of the dell he had quenched his thirst. As the night feel he had left his hiding place and had ran down an uneven rocky path into a valley along as fast as he could. The ease of his escape had made him bolder and also annoyed and angry, and he had risked a possible discovery as he had crossed a plain valley covered with weeds and low shrubbery. Finally he had reached that deserted town, where he had landed on his first visit. To his surprise he had found the space ship, which his so-called 'friends' from Tropass had used to take him to Palomintar Four. Those 'friends' had fooled him; it had been a trap; they told him, that their master wanted to discuss a new plan to capture the girl and her Jedi friend. What a fool he had been, to agree with these villains to go to Palomintar Four and apologize for that mishap on Endor. He nearly had lost his life.
Rand Phylotar shivered, as he recalled the feeling of those painful electric jolts that had engulfed and had penetrated his whole body. One thing was for sure, he would quit. He didn't want to become involved in another plan to find the girl. Bounty hunters would surely find her and bring her and that Jedi brother of her to that a vile creature, that dark-cloaked person. Well, if that creature would ever get hold of them, they would all form a good team. They possessed a scary way to frighten people, especially the girl and that dark cloaked creature. The girl knew even more scaring methods to revenge herself.
He relaxed and look at the synchron of the navi-computer. He would arrive on Wegoyy in about sixteen hours. Enough time get a good sleep and recover from this terrifying adventure.
He set the alarm louder and went to the small flight control room. There he stretched on one of the couches and closed his eyes.
'Where would the girl be now?'
"Stop," he said to himself, "it's over. She is no longer of any concern."
'Yes, but what if she reaches Irithim with her Jedi brother and tells ...'
"She isn't going to reach Dalmaran before Dendicott's trial."
'Olon Dendicott, what he fool had been, thinking that he could win from a Jedi Knight. What's more four Jedi Knights, for it seemed that that deserter Ian Tydon had been welcomed in their midst. If Tydon hadn't deserted and informed that Jedi Skywalker, nobody would have known what had happened on Wegoyy. Clumsy decision of Dendicott to have that traitor bring the girl to the desert. But Dendicott would be acquitted for sure, because Tydon's testimony wouldn't be enough to have him degraded and sentenced and the girl wasn't a real threat, because one million credits was enough money to have all the bounty hunters in the whole galaxy on the look out. No, in the end everything would be as usual. Maybe Dendicott would get a new assignment, but that would clear the way for his own promotion.'
"It would be a wise decision of Mon Mothma. I'm Dendicott's second in command. I'm holding the oldest rights for promotion. Luckily I have still have enough ..."
He fell asleep, ascertained by his last thought, that he would be able to eliminate his involvement in this case and bribe some officials to ensure his promotion.
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"We want a separate booth and a good meal." Luke said to the man behind the bar.
The man grunted something and pointed to a booth in the far corner of the cantina. Luke nodded and took Liane with him.
"It's still the same," Liane whispered.
"It's always like this. Here come our meals. Thank you, and please let no one disturb us."
Again a grunt and the waiter grabbed the few coins Luke placed on the table.
"Here I met Han," Liane whispered, "It's really a pity I didn't know anything about his relation to Leia that first time.
"But even if I had known about it, I wouldn't have remembered it," She added mockingly.
"It also wouldn't have changed much, I guess," Luke said, "Yarnick told me that your question clearly annoyed Han."
"He was blunt, impolite and he scared me off, when I asked him about Leia. I didn't dare to say another word after his rude outburst. It's difficult to understand that Leia loves a guy like him, that much."
"Han is a great guy, a real pal," Luke said, defending his old friend, "He saved my life several times. You must try to see past his rude manners. He is not what he pretends to be: selfish, arrogant and rude."
They were silent for awhile. Again Liane had to admit that Wuher's cantina was a rough place, where you had to be on your guard almost every minute, but his meals were of excellent quality, sober but nutritious.
"What kind of meat is this, Luke?"
"Womprat. A rodent."
"Tastes good," Liane said picking another piece from her plate.
"It's probably a young one. Wuher must have good relations to get the young ones."
"Why?"
"The elder animals are fierce fighters and defend their nests against poachers. You can't shoot the young, for the nests are hidden deep in the mountain. You have to track ...
Before he could finish his sentence; loud utter shouts, grunts and howls interrupted his last sentence, followed by the stumbling noise of fallen chairs, tables and bodies.
Although Luke had been constantly on his guard; he hadn't noticed the two-meter tall hairy creature that had been watching them from the shadows in one of the opposite booths. The enormous beast was now running in their direction, swaying with his long hairy arms, while making scaring wild gestures and terrible noises. When the creature had reached their table it wrapped his huge arms around Luke and lifted him from his seat. Liane let out a scream, and tumbled of her seat as the creature pushed her aside. She tried to get hold of the blaster Luke had given her, but suddenly she heard Luke call out delighted and joyful.
"Chewbacca! Oh boy, old pal, it's you. What a surprise? My goodness, pal, it's such a long time ago. Is Han here too?"
Liane scrambled to her feet and sat down again, watching the gestures, grunts and growls of the enormous Wookiee Chewbacca. Patiently she waited for Luke to introduce her and explain to her what Chewbacca was telling him. She felt a strange curiosity to know what the two old friends were talking about. Suddenly she caught a glimpse of Luke's face. He didn't seem to feel the former delight anymore. Instead he looked very serious now and he seemed impressed by the long story of his old friend. Finally he turned to Liane. He quickly introduced her to Chewbacca.
"Chewbacca is Han's co-pilot and friend. He has told me that he has just arrived with the Millennium Falcon. Han is laying in the medic bay of the ship. He was wounded four months ago in a fight with some of their rivals. It wasn't a severe wound and it has already healed, but Han is still unconscious. The past months Chewie has been looking for medical care on all known planets in the Outer Rim, but so far no medic droid could achieve some kind of recovery. Those droids have tried everything. Even a Bacta treatment hasn't worked. Liane, I'm going to the Falcon with Chewie. Maybe I can help Han."
"I'm coming with you," Liane said and put her plate aside. Her hunger and appetite had vanished. Luke went over to the bar and paid for their meals.
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A speeder rushed through the Endor forest. Ian Tydon drove at high speed following Leia's directions.
"We're almost there, slow down, Ian," she shouted above the roar of the engine.
Ian hit the brake and lowered the speed.
"That's much better, master Tydon," Threepio said from the back.
Leia smiled. She knew the droid's aversion against high speed driving.
"Turn left behind that big tree in front of us," She said and watched the navi display of the vehicle, "Now turn off the engine. From here we go further on foot."
Ian stopped the vehicle and was about to jump out of it, when a harsh voice said, "SURRENDER, YOU TWO, AND HAND ME THAT SPEEDER!"
Ian somersaulted and landed next to Leia who had already ignited her lightsaber. He also ignited his lightsaber and looked at their opponents. There were four of them. One of them had drawn a blaster and fired, but the weapon backfired.
"GET THAT SPEEDER!" the first speaker yelled to his companions and the four men closed in. Leia made a slight gesture to her padawan and at the right moment they jumped to the lower branches of one of the trees.
"GET BACK INTO THE SPEEDER, IAN, AND SAVE THREEPIO. ENTRANCE TO THE VILLAGE IS RIGHT IN FRONT."
Ian jumped, landed on the speeder's driver seat, regained his balance and ignited the speeder's engine in one flawless movement. He immediately hit the accelerator.
"AFTER HIM, GET THAT SPEEDER," the harsh voice shouted, but Ian was already out of reach. He looked in front of him and saw a dark tunnel of branches and bushes.
"I seem to have found the entrance, master," he shouted.
Almost immediately he heard Leia voice.
"I'm already right above you. Keep on driving, don't slow down. They are still following us. Fly a bit higher. Steady."
Ian looked aside and saw Leia jump from the branch he just passed.
"Great," he said and increased the speed again.
"Thanks," Leia said and turned to Threepio, "Feeling alright, Threepio."
The golden droid held both arms high as to protect his head.
"Oh, my, oh, my," he whimpered.
"Nothing has happened to you, so relax, Threepio," Leia continued.
They still rushed through the long dark tunnel of branches.
"These bushes haven't grown in this particular shape, have they?" Ian shouted.
"No, the Ewoks created this tunnel as a secret backdoor to their village. Mind the steep turn at the end of the tunnel."
They rushed on.
"There's it is," Leia shouted.
"Hold on," Ian answered.
He braked, turned the wheel and wanted to increase the speed.
Leia laughed.
"You may drive normally, my young padawan. Our attackers won't follow us here. If you're allowed to enter the tunnel this far you have been recognized as a friend."
"Where do these guys come from? Could they have anything to do with Liane? Are they holding her hostage?"
Leia shook her head.
"Haven't you noticed something peculiar about them, my young padawan."
"They looked very untidy; their uniforms looked worn out."
"Good, anything else you have noticed."
Ian recalled the situation of the attack.
"They didn't carry any proper weapons. The one they used backfired, it malfunctioned."
"Excellent. These men have been roaming the forest for some time. They have lost their weapons. I think we'll get our answers from Chirpa and Logray. Now stop, but stay in the speeder, we're are being watched from above. Threepio, tell them..."
A loud cheer interrupted Leia's words. Some twenty cheering Ewoks had entered the tunnel and were dancing around the speeder. Ian looked amazed and then he started to laugh, "I didn't expect this kind of welcome, master."
"We can get out now safely, Ian. Threepio, salute them officially."
"Haddo kano suna miko. Kano diddo tama nuwa. Tena mina Leia edo maza Ian." Threepio said.
['Mistress Leia and master Ian are very glad to be with you again and appreciate your warm welcome.']
"Haddo kami kuma dodo Chirpa" a loud voice shouted from the back of the crowd.
['We will accompany you to chief Chirpa']
"Teebo! You're fully recovered." Leia exclaimed and left the speeder.
The brown grayish little bear jumped for joy and somersaulted twice.
" Aay-lee kama sua kemo. Mido kana duda sizo keno edo tala mido tama dua. Aay-lee dini halo sue ina." the little bear said.
"Mistress Leia, Teebo is saying that Eilidh has wonderful healing hands. He is better, because she took care of him and showed him he wouldn't die. His wound has healed. No more pain. Eilidh has healed his wound, " Threepio quickly translated.
Leia looked at Ian.
"That's what I've explained to you, master, on board the Tychorion. The last time when we were here, Liane let Yarmod and me enter the tree house where she was helping Teebo and several other wounded Ewoks. She used the Force to heal them. Yarmod and I saw her put her hands over Teebo's terrible wound, as she did it seemed to Yarmod and me, as if the wound became smaller and less deadly. Then we felt how she seemed to absorb his pain, and under the gentle pressure of her hands he relaxed and fell asleep. I wonder if all the Ewoks have recovered."
"You can ask them," Leia said, "Threepio can translate you question?"
Ian addressed Teebo.
"Teebo, I saw you after you had been so severely wounded. You have recovered, I'm so glad. But there were six others. What happened to them?"
"Teebo, miko tana kudo toma dua. Kama dido meko, miko tana. Kema tuno deno teko. Tana kama nuda?" Threepio translated Ian's question.
"Kino kana. Aay-lee kala tuno. Kama dido Chirpa kemo nido pala." Teebo said with a loud cheer and grab them both their hands.
"No one is sick anymore. Eilidh cured them all. Now we're going to Chirpa and celebrate," Threepio translated Teebo's answer.
Five little bears pulled Leia's cloak. She started to laugh and beckoned Ian to leave the speeder.
"It's always the same with these tree bears. They use every opportunity to celebrate. Let's hope we'll be able to ask their leaders what has happened to Liane and where my brother has gone with her, but I think I already know the answer."
"You mean, Liane and master Luke aren't on Endor anymore and they have left together? Are you sure?" Ian said.
Leia nodded.
"Yes, Luke has taken Liane to another place. The question now is, where has he gone with her?"
"So our trip is in vain. We won't find them here?"
"Not in vain, my young padawan. We have discovered a lot, don't you think. It's quite reassuring to know that Liane is still safe with Luke, but what about these rogues? When did they arrive, and why? How many are roaming the forest. I'm convinced that Chirpa and his fellow Ewoks know a lot more about them."
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"Don't deviate from your present course. We have you on our scopes," A commanding voice said, "Who are you and where do you come from?"
Rand Phylotar stiffened when he recognized the voice. Commander Antilles, Jedi Knight and friend of those Skywalkers. How had they recognized this ship?
"Who are you and where do you from?" The voice repeated and continued, "Tell us your destination?"
No they hadn't recognized him. They really didn't know who he was. He could exploit that.
"I'm on my way to Tropass," Rand said using a voice transformer.
For a moment the infocom was silent. Then the commanding voice of Wedge Antilles returned.
"Welcome back in Wegoyy's orbit, captain Phylotar. We have you on our scopes. One wrong move and my men may fire. Follow us. We'll escort your landing, you're under surveillance of my squadron."
"I don't need any escort nor surveillance, commander, I'm familiar with the landing procedures of this planet." Rand Phylotar answered, frantically searching the ship's log for a possibility to get back into hyperspace. Suddenly his ship shuddered. A tracking beam! What was going on?
Then Rand Phylotar saw the shape of the New Republic frigate Tychorion. He was trapped!
"Captain, we're pulling you in. Turn down your engines, or you will blow up the engines of your ship."
"Shutting down," Rand answered, as he realized that at the moment he had been defeated. He did some quick thinking. If he would tell that Jedi Antilles, what had happened to him on Palomintar Four, perhaps he could persuaded him and general Madine to invaded the planet and capture the weird dark person.
Quickly the Tychorion pulled Rand Phylotar's ship in their transport bay. The bay door shut and some twenty armed soldiers ran over to the ship.
"Open up, captain," a stern voice said.
Rand Phylotar rose, straightened his uniform and walked over to the ramp. He pressed the controls and the ramp went down, but even before the ramp had stopped, twelve soldiers jumped up the ramp and ran into the ship with their weapons on standby. They aimed them at Rand Phylotar.
"You're under arrest, captain," a stern voice said again.
The ramp had hit the floor and a high ranking officer walked up the ramp.
"Welcome on board the Tychorion, captain. You will be brought to our cell bay. You have escaped from our federal prison on Dalmaran, stolen a federal fighter and you have contacted our enemies."
"I deny the accusations. I was kidnapped, general. I was taken prisoner," Rand Phylotar said haughty, "I was brought against my will to the shelter of a new common enemy. "
"You can tell that to the Supreme Chancellor and our High Court, captain. We'll bring you back to Dalmaran. Will you please, hand over your distinctions. You're degraded, you're no longer an officer in the New Republic's force. "
Rand Phylotar tried to break free, but the twelve armed federal soldiers grabbed the former officer and dragged him away.

To be continued...