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

Chapter 29

ir, we're sorry, it's impossible to transmit any messages at the moment. The galactic turbulence is blocking all our off world data traffic too," The officer on the holographic display said.
"Thank you, officer. Tell me, is it safe to leave Tatooine and set course to Rasth?" Luke asked, "I need to reach Dalmaran as fast as possible; I thought about going via Rasth."
"Difficult to say, sir. You're right, if you say that Rasth isn't in the direct flight path of the heart of the galactic turbulence, but you might still feel its influence on your ship."
"I'll have to leave. I'm going back to the space port now and report back to you as soon as I've arrived."
"Good, sir."
Luke switched off the infocom and grabbed the traveling bags on his way out. Quickly he checked out, telling the caretaker that a personal matter had prevented him from staying any longer. He left him the four days rent, he had payed in advance.
On one of the Falcon's speeders he went back to the docking bay. He put the speeder in the rear hold and walked up the ramp.
"Chewie, where are you?" He called.
The hairy Wookiee put his head around the passage to the cockpit.
"Hi, pal. Get the Falcon ready for take off. We're going to Rasth and from there to Dalmaran. I want the best possible treatment for Han, therefore I want to bring him to Dalmaran. Once in Irithim Leia also will be able to visit him, and her presence might help him to wake up. Where's Liane?"
Chewbacca grunted a long sentence.
"Fine, you'll get the ship ready and I'll first see Liane and then I will contact the tower."
Luke walked to the sick bay of the Falcon; he held his pace and stepped inside without any noise. Liane was sitting on the stool again. Her head was bowed. Luke couldn't see her face, but he felt how she was one with the Force. He reached out to her and carefully touched her mind.
'We're leaving within ten minutes. I want you to get yourself strapped in in the flight control room.'
'I'll be right with you.'
Luke left and walked back to the cockpit. There he contacted the space port tower.
"Commander Skywalker speaking."
"Go ahead, commander. We've heard you want to leave. Our ground staff can have your ship ready in half hour."
"I'm leaving with the Millennium Falcon, officer. I'll come back to Tatooine to pick up my ship. Could you ensure that my ship will be taken care off."
"Certainly, sir, no problem. When can we expect you back?"
"I'll let you know, when I have reached Dalmaran. I'm ready for take off now, can I get my clearance to leave?"
"There's no traffic at the moment, sir. You can leave any moment."
"Thank you, officer. I'll come back to you shortly."
Luke put his conversation on hold. He looked at Chewbacca.
"Ready to go, pal?"
The Wookiee let out a howl.
"I'll check on Liane. Oh, there she is. Strap yourself in, Liane. We're leaving now."
He looked concerned at Liane's tired face, but returned to the control panel and switched back to the tower.
"Millennium Falcon's asking clearance to leave."
"Falcon you've got your clearance. Have a good flight."
"Thank you. Out!"
Luke looked to his right.
"Get her out, Chewie, and set course for 576-431."
The engines of the Millennium Falcon roared and slowly the ship rose from the landing pit. The power increased and Mos Eisley fell back quickly, then the ship made a turn and headed for her new destination.
On board the Basilisæa Darth Golluth was pacing up and down the private quarters of admiral Vestor. He looked grim.
"Admiral, what kind of evasive action is this. Have you become a coward, fearing those rebels?" He snarled.
"This special star destroyer is the only remaining fully operational destroyer of the Imperial fleet, my lord. After the truce and the cease fire the Provisionary Imperial Government has cut back the expenses of maintaining and building new class one star destroyers. The imperial fleet can rely on the old models only, my lord. I'm lucky they let me stay in command of the Basilisæa and I'm not looking for a confrontation with the New Republic. Senator Organa or the princess of Alderaan, is known to be a tough opponent with relations in the high echelons of the rebels' government. Their Supreme leader is a close friend of her. If it's true, what she told me, we're lucky we got away in time. Our intelligence force have told the leaders of the Provisionary Imperial Government, that Jedi Skywalker has trained her as a Jedi Knight too, but they couldn't find real evidence for that yet."
Darth Golluth whirled around.
"That little senator has been trained as a Jedi Knight! Impossible, admiral! To become a Jedi Knight takes years of training? The second Death Star exploded less than eight years ago. No, admiral, that's unbelievable. I should have sensed her presence with my powers. There weren't any tremors in the Force, while you were talking with her, so she can't be a Jedi Knight. "
"You're right, of course, my lord, but rumors are circulating on Coruscant, that Jedi master Skywalker already had been founding a new Jedi Order, before he killed emperor Palpatine on the second Death Star."
"The emperor would have sensed his efforts and thwarted his plans! So the rumors you've heard are misleading. No one can become a Jedi Knight in eight years time."
Darth Golluth started pacing up and down again.
"I'm sure that this lady senator is hiding my precious little girl on Endor. We must get back and land on the rear side of that forest moon. You must me help to find the girl, Vestor. Her knowledge is the key to a new Empire."
"I will serve you, my lord, like I served emperor Palpatine, but the Basilisæa alone is no match for the rebel fleet. I can't take the risk of fighting a battle with those rebels as long as you're on board. If we want to revive the glory of the Empire, your existence should be kept secret, until we are ready to overthrow that illegal government of a band of rebels. Go back to Palomintar Four, my lord. Stay in that new stronghold you've built under the mountains. My men and I will continue the search for the girl and Jedi Skywalker. We will pursue them through out the whole galaxy. They will not find a place to hide."
Darth Golluth looked at the admiral with a stern face, then he slapped admiral Vestor hard on his shoulder, laughing in a nasty way.
"Well spoken, admiral. You're right. Indeed you and your crew should continue the search for them without me, but I want you to report to me only, and regularly. From now on you and your men will be under my command. I'm your new overlord. Seek Liane Solichor and her Jedi brother Skywalker for mee. I'm sure they are hiding on Endor. Bring me back to Palomintar Four, admiral!"
Darth Golluth turned around and withdraw to the admiral's sleeping quarter. Admiral Vestor bowed slightly.
'I will serve you, my lord, for I believe in the greatness of the empire, but you should leave any needed action to my men, and not getting involved personally. I will get the girl for you, and if possible I will find that Jedi Skywalker too.' He thought, while returning to to the command bridge, ordering his helmsman to set course for the Palomintar system.
Luke watched Liane while she was in a deep Force meditation. He was worrying about her. Since their departure from Tatooine - three day ago, she had dedicated most of her hours to wake up Han.
Almost immediately Liane responded.
'Luke, don't disturb my concentration, please.'
'You look so tired, I'm getting worried.'
'I'm alright. Please, leave me.'
He got up and left. Deep in thoughts he went over to the cockpit and sat in the co-pilot's seat. Chewbacca growled a few sentences. Luke shook his head.
"No, it's so difficult to convince her, Chewie. When did she have a last proper meal? This task really takes too much of her."
The Wookiee had listen carefully to Luke words and got up. With long strides he passed the flight control room and went to the sick bay. There he uttered a long monologue of howls and grunts. Immediately Liane woke up from her Jedi trance and looked up to him. When Chewbacca noticed she was looking at him, he simply lifted her and carried her to the flight control room.
The Wookiee put her on the couch and covered the passageway to the medic bay with his huge body. Luke, who had heard the Wookie's comments and Liane's loud protests, entered the flight control room.
"Liane, don't get angry with Chewie. I told him, that I was concerned about you. You haven't gotten a proper meal for days. I've tried to convince you to take a long rest , and the only thing Chewie now has done, is protecting Han... and you. Chewbacca feels you're doing good to Han, but he doesn't want you to exhaust yourself. Neither do I."
Liane took a deep breath.
"You both have to understand that your friend's recovery is my only concern."
"I do understand, Liane, and so does Chewbacca. We both know that there's a good chance that Han might wake up with your help, but the way of your help is undermining your own health. You must take some moments to sleep and eat something. You may go back to Han now, but consider our words and don't be so stubborn."
Liane got to her feet and walked over to Chewbacca.
"Let me pass," She said annoyed, "I don't want to start all over again."
The Wookiee shook his huge head and grunted dangerously.
"You have promised Chewie, that you will have supper with us tonight and afterwards get some sleep."
Liane looked at Chewbacca, who looked very determined to block her return. She felt annoyed and highly irritated; she wanted to help Han and Luke and Han's friend were holding her back.
"We don't, Liane. Chewie, let her pass," Luke said, answering her thoughts, and noticing her growing irritation. He followed Liane to the sick bay.
"Liane, promise me, that you will take a meal tonight."
Liane looked at him with weary eyes.
"Luke, I have no appetite, while I'm using my Force skills to help Han."
"Don't you think, this task is too much for you. Although you can use the Force this way, you're not a fully trained Jedi, Liane."
At that moment the Millennium Falcon took an unexpected steep dive and started to roll over. Liane tried to keep her balance, but fell against the couch and bounced her head against the ceiling. Luke tried to get hold of her, but both fell on top of each other against the frame of the passage. Liane frantically started to get to her feet again. Luke got his infocom. They were still tumbling.
A long howl came through the amplifier of the device.
Liane cast a last look at Han, but Luke's firm grip pushed her through the passage. Stumbling and trying to hold their balance they managed to reach the flight control room.
The Falcon was still rolling over and over and Chewbacca was grunting and growling in the cockpit. Somehow Luke managed to help Liane to get on one of the seats and strap her in. Hand over hand bracing himself against the flight console he reached the passage to the cockpit. Chewbacca grunted something.
The large Wookie's hands were pulling the lever. Luke managed to reach his seat and strap himself in. He reached out through the Force, looked aside to his old friend and nodded. The plasma streaks round the Falcon stopped.
The Millenium Falcon's ion-drive whined in a high pitched sound. The ship's plating cracked and streaks of fire from exploding circuits were scoring her hull, then the whining slowly died out.
Chewbacca howled.
Suddenly the complete ship became pitch black and the whining of the ion-engines stopped.
"LUKE, WHAT'S HAPPENING!" Liane yelled from the flight control room. She unbuckled her straps and stumbled the cockpit.
"STAY PUT, LIANE!" Luke shouted. However, Liane had managed to reach the cockpit.
"WHAT'S HAPPENING! I DON'T SEE THE STARS ANY MORE. WHAT'S GOING ON? WHERE ARE WE?" Liane asked, looking through the windscreen.
Chewie jumped out of his seat.
Liane grabbed the joystick.
Luke followed Chewbacca midships of the Falcon where the Wookiee was frantically trying to push his body through a grate to reach the engine's compartment. Quickly Luke jumped after him. Chewbacca crawled through the narrow space and pushed several valves. Luke heard how the exhaust ports of the Falcon shut. He looked at the Wookiee.
The Wookie nodded and grunted and went to the backup operation console.
At the same moment Luke and Chewbacce pushed the four buttons on the console to start the engines. A whining was heard and died out again.
Again they pushed the button, but the whining of the engines didn't start.
The Wookiee let Luke pass, while grunting an answer.
"I know it's risky, but we have to get out of this dust storm."
Luke crawled through narrow space between the pipes and outlet vents to the rear exhaust ports. He used the Force to close the first two shutters at the right side. Then he crawled to left side. One shutter closed, but the last one was broken. Luke managed to push the shutter against the exhaust port and braced it with a strip of duraflex tape. Then he crawled back.
"Let's try to start those anti-gravity engines, Chewie."
They left the engine compartment and rushed back to the cockpit. Liane quickly left the pilot seat and Luke and Chewie looked at each other.
"Ready, pal. Now punch it."
A soft roar at rear was heard, it became louder and then the lights of the consoles came back with a soft glow. The roar of the engines now was deafening.
Chewie growled.
"I know, Chewie. We must have the ion-drive back on in less then thirty seconds. Can you reset the Ion-drive?"
Chewbacca left his seat. He rushed back to the engine compartment. Some moments later a long howl sounded through the cockpit.
He pushed several buttons and the deafening roar of the anti-gravity engines died out, now the soft whining of the ion-drive filled the cockpit. Luke leaned back and left out a deep sigh.
"Come back, Chewie. The Falcon is back in business, pal. Thanks for your help, Liane. Don't worry, we're safe now. "
Quickly Liane got up and went back to the medic bay. The small room was a mess. Luke who had followed her, saw the look of despair in her eyes.
"I'll give you hand, Liane. Luckily the straps have hold Han in place."
He put his hands over Han's face and turned inward.
"He hasn't noticed anything. Here's your stool, get on with your help. Let me clean this mess."
He saw a thankful glance in her eyes. She looked around.
"Nearly all the vials of the life support system are damaged, Luke. Look they've got cracks all over. We need new ones before they will break."
"Relax, Liane. Help Han. I'll ask Chewie about those vials."
Liane grabbed her stool. She pressed herself between the wall at the top of the couch. When she had taken her seat, she looked down on Han's face. Luke watched her. With a gentle gesture she placed her hands in a caring ritual around Han's head; her thumbs on his forehead between his eyebrows; three fingers of each hand over his eyes and the little fingers pressing his temples, then she turned inward, forgetting everything around her.
'Han, how are you feeling?'
'Where were you? I thought you'd disappeared too, like Leia.'
'Leia hasn't disappeared. You know she is on Dalmaran. She is waiting for you. Don't you think it's time to get back to her.'
There was a long silence.
'What's making you feel so ashamed, Han? ' Liane softly whispered, 'Is there a reason to feel the way you do.'
'I left her and ran away; I told you I did, didn't I.'
'Yes, but you didn't tell the reason? Why did you leave Leia? Why did you ran away? Can you tell me what happened?'
There was another long silence and Liane noticed how hard Han was fighting his emotions.
'I don't want to think about it,' He murmured, 'I don't want to recall it. Leia, please, help me. Why can't I find you?'
Liane tightened her grip on Han's forehead.
'You still don't trust me, do you?' She asked.
'What's the use. I have said terrible things to her. You'd better leave me alone.'
'You want me to go.'
Again a long silence.
'You will come back, won't you? You always come back. Do you have a name?'
'Call me Eilidh,' Liane said, using her old alias.
'Strange name; Eilidh. I'm sure I have heard that name before. Are you sure you can help me to find Leia again?'
'Yes, I am, and I want to accompany you, as long as you can't go on alone.'
'Leia, Leia my dearest. What have I done to you? Will you ever forgive me?'
Han moaned. Liane concentrated on the Force to visualize the happy images the Force had shown her before. But instead of getting images of Han and Leia as a happy family the Force showed her some different images. Now she was looking at Leia who was wearing a beautiful dress covered with tiny feathers and sequins. She stood next to Han who looked so splendid in his uniform of a space fleet general. They had given each other their right hand. Han looked down at Leia's face while Leia looked up to him radiating her great happiness. In front of them stood a distinguished lady who held out her right hand and nodded. Han leaned to Leia's face and kissed her. Liane felt how a great happiness began to surround her. These images show Han and Leia at their weddingday. Would Han accept these images of his future?
'I want to share some images with you, Han. Some images of you and Leia. Please, have a look at these images. These images show your secret desire. Look at them and enjoy these images for as long as you want, then you should go to sleep again, Han. This is what you want, Han, and it will come true if you wake up from your long struggle.'
To her surprise Han began to smile.
'She is lovely, don't you think, Eilidh? She is the most beautiful woman I know.' He commented, 'Yes, I would love to look at these images, before I fall asleep. They are reassuring, although I don't think they will ever become true.'
'Why not, Han? This is your future, believe me. Don't bother yourself with those feelings of shame, regret, and remorse. They aren't of any use. Believe what you see, Han, and let these future images become reality. Your reality. Leia's reality. It will make her the happiest woman in the galaxy. Believe what you see, Han. Take these images with you while you fall asleep again, for this is what you want.'
Liane whispered her last words over and over again, until she felt how Han was drifting away again in a deep Force sleep. She took her hands away and woke up from her trance. Feeling exhausted she looked around. The alcove had been cleaned, some cracked vials had already been changed. Then she noticed Luke who was standing in the entrance of the sick bay.
"He still doesn't want to show me, what has happened between Leia and him," She said, taking his hand he had reached out to help her get to her feet.
"You know. I told you."
Liane nodded.
"That's not it. Han needs to relive and share that scene with as if it's happening again, for that's what's making him so ashamed, otherwise his recovery won't start. Thank you cleaning the mess."
"I've replace the most important vials too. There are no spares left now."
"When will we reach Dalmaran, Luke?"
"Difficult to say. Our dive in that vortex has partially damaged the navi-computer's program. It's gone berserk. I've checked all the ship's back up systems, but I couldn't find the backup files to do a recovery run. We need to reprogram it completely, before we can use the hyperdrive again."
"Are we going back to Tatooine?"
"That's not possible. While you were helping Han, Chewie and I have set course to Myydkr. We can reach that small moon in a day or two on sublight velocity. It's small smuggler's outpost. Chewie has good hope that we will find an old pal of him there who might be able to help us."
Luke placed his hands on Liane's shoulders.
"If Chewie and I are going to look for that old friend, you have to stay in the Falcon alone with Han. I don't like it that way, but I don't have another choice."
"I'll manage, Luke," Liane said.
"Yes, Your Highness, this must be your man, Trevor Matrik, former admiral of the Imperial fleet. After the Battle of Endor and the collapse of the empire admiral Matrik has left Coruscant unexpectedly, although he had been assigned to the group of high-ranking officials who would negotiate with the Alliance about the cease fire and the truce. Read the data, we've collected, and look at the picture, Your Highness. We can't be mistaken."
"Thank you for your cooperation. Your research has been a great help. I'll will activate a download to my ship's info system." Leia answered politely.
"You're welcome, Your Highness," the Quoith computer scientist said.
She connected a datapad at the ship's computer and downloaded the different files the Quoith computer expert was transmitting. As she quickly scanned one of the file, she immediately handed the datapad to Ian Tydon.
"Look at this picture of our suspect, Ian. It's not a recent one, but we can be sure now, that admiral Trevor Matrik and Darth Golluth are one and the same person. Yet, we have to do further investigation and collect as many evidence about him and his whereabouts after he has left Coruscant."
Ian looked at the image of a high-ranking officer in an spotless imperial uniform. The haughty and arrogant gaze of the admiral's face showed his deep-rooted aversion to subordinates and ordinary soldiers. It showed the face of an ambitious man who would not shy away from eliminating opponents. His face clearly reminded Ian of commander Dendicott and his rigid regime in the Wegoyy prison.
"Surprised, my young padawan?" Leia asked, looking at her companion, "You were comparing him with commander Dendicott, weren't you?"
"I see similarities, master," Ian said, "but I need more knowledge to be sure if my judgment is correct."
Leia smiled, "You are, my young padawan. Commander Olon Dendicott and the Phylotar brothers once servedunder admiral Matrik. Please, read on. This data provides us with a lot more information about Liane's adversary.
"This is really incredible, master. Here is some evidence about his assignment on the Coruscantaea. Darth Golluth was once the admiral and commander of that ship, but the Alliance has destroyed in one of the battles after the empire had collapsed."
"His assignment came to late. He probably never served on that destroyer, Ian, because the Coruscantea was indeed destroyed six months after the Battle of Endor, "Leia said.
"Look here, master," Ian said, looking more and more amazed. "The admiral got his rank from the emperor personally, after a secret meeting him. Isn't that strange. During my education at the Academy, I'm told, that the assignment of a promotion is the privilege of the group of highest officers in the space fleet, after consultation with the government."
"During the empire, there wasn't any government, Ian. The emperor's reign was based on oppression and fear. The Senate had been dissolved, and the military staff showed only loyalty to the emperor."
"Could it be possible, master, that the emperor has initiated the admiral as a Sith Lord? You told me it takes years to master the dark side."
"That's right, Ian, but Trevor Matrik started his career at the Imperial Academy at the age of fourteen. He was a brilliant, but very ambitious young cadet. Already at the beginning of his education at the Imperial Academy he was selected to fulfill a place in a selected group of talented young officers. They got a very special training on Coruscant where the Emperor has personally overseen their progress and training."
"The Emperor was building a special force of Sith Lords, but I've read that there could only be two Siths at the time: a master and an apprentice. By that time emperor Palpatine was master and Darth Vader was his apprentice."
"That's right, but the group of young officers didn't get any knowledge of the Sith. They were trained to be the emperor's guards. They got a special name: the praetorian guards, and were dressed in long crimson robes and masks. They were trained to protect the emperor against assassination, and could wield any weapon needed. Most of the praetorian guards had developped some sensitivity to the Force and made use that power.
"So, admiral Matrik was sensitive to the Force, too?"
"He is, Ian, and we have to find out the extent of his Force knowledge, and his possible knowledge of the Dark Side."
"Listen, master. This record says the admiral got his promotion at the age of twenty-two. That's hardly unbelievable."
"Yes, and it all happened shortly after he had been selected to join the emperor's praetorian guards. Let's change our course and go to Coruscant. We have to check his complete records which is stored in the imperial archive at Coruscant."
"Isn't that data classified, or inaccessible, master?"
"Not for members of the New Republic's government or members of the High Council. Let's set the navi-computer for Coruscant. The sooner we have a full record of admiral Trevor Matrik the better we will be able to see through his plans with Liane."
Not long after their conversation the senatorial space ship Alderaan, bearing the crescent of the former Royal House of Alderaan, made the jump to lightspeed on her course to Coruscant.
Myydkr, the smuggler's moon near the Kessel Trade Route, was covered with dense clouds most of the time. The weather on the moon was often damp and moist, like a giant swamp. Little droplets covered the hairy body of Chewbacca and Luke felt a constant drizzle on his face. They were heading for Pogyy, the only colony and self-appointed capital of the moon. The city lights were shimmering through the mist in front of them.
Luke was had changed his Jedi clothes for the outfit of a space trader.
"Let's hope, we find a astromech droid fast," He said to Chewbacca.
The large Wookiee grunted a confirming answer.
Luke thought that it would have been advantageous, if he had taken his droid friend Artoo with him after he had left Dalmaran some six months ago.
Slowly they plodded on through the drizzling fog. The lights of the outskirts of Pogyy were already visible through a curtain mist and drizzle. Although night hadn't fallen yet, daylight was already fading. The road was deteriorated and full with rocks, stones and pot-holes; its surface once had been paved, but now it was muddy and slippery.
Finally they reached the first small houses, not more than shacks with only a small front door. They hurried along what seems to be the main street to the city center. Some street lights, scattered all over the place, cast tiny yellow dots on the muddy road.
'What a place,' Luke thought, 'I hope Liane and Han are safe on that junk yard.'
They had left the Millennium Falcon in the neighborhood of an enormous junk yard, after landing the ship behind some natural formed rock formations. Before they had left, Luke had instructed Liane not to leave the ship and use the Jedi-pendant in case of emergency. They had secured the ramp and Luke had noticed that Liane immediately had switched off all the ship's landing lights. Still Luke had an unpleasant feeling about it.
Now that Chewbacca and he neared the city center the buildings and the traffic density grew. They left the main road and entered the smaller back streets and alleys, where the dark and shady bars and shops were standing on top of each other.
Chewbacca grabbed Luke's arm and pointed to one of the doors. Luke nodded.
"Is that the place, Chewie? I hope that your friend Candaluwwa still has that astromech."
Chewbacca readied his cross bow and Luke put his blaster within reach. They pushed the door and entered. A tall Wookiee whirled around aiming his blaster at them, but he held back when he saw his customers.
"Chewbacca!" He grunted in Shyriiwook.
Luke's companion grunted a social answer and pointed at Luke. A long conversation of grunts, howls and grumbling in Shyriiwook followed. Partially Luke understood that Chewie was explaining their situation. The hairy shop owner Candaluwwa was listening and grunted answers in agreement, then he took them both to the back yard of his shop. There he pointed out that he had to leave them for a while.
Luke waited patiently for Chewbacca to explain what his fellow Wookiee had said. When Chewbacca had finished part of his tale Luke sighed.
"Bad luck, that he has sold the astromech. What are we going to do now?"
Chewbacca grumbled an answer.
"He can help us to find a temporary solution. Is that what you're saying?"
The Wookiee nodded.
"Alright than we'll wait until he returns." Luke said, feeling a bit less depressed.
He sat down on a crate and turned inside, reaching out through the Force to try and contact Liane somehow.
'Liane, we have found help. Are you alright? Don't leave the ship.'
He reached out to send this reassuring thoughts. Then he felt a clear disturbance through the Force.
'Luke, is that you?' He heard Liane say, 'I'm alright. Like you told me I've switched off all the lights. I have a small green emergency light in the alcove. I don't need more.'
He felt how she reached out to him with Jedi telepathy. He grinned.
'Alright, Liane. Well, done. Keep in touch with me this way if you need help.'
Chewbacca pushed his elbow and Luke opened his eyes. Candaluwwa, the shop owner stood in front of them. He held out a small device and grunted an answer. Chewbacca repeated the answer, so Luke understood what the Wookiee was saying.
"It's better than nothing. I hope we can replace the ship's memory bank temporarily with this one and have the navi computer back on. What's the price?"
Chewbacca addressed his fellow Wookiee. Candaluwwa grunted a short answer. Luke started to grin.
"Tell him that's a fair price."
He grabbed several notes and coins from his belt and handed them to the shop owner.
"Thank you, Candaluwwa, for your help. We'll owe you."
The Wookiee looked surprised and grunted a long sentence to Chewbacca. Luke's companion growled back and shook his head. Luke nodded.
"That's right, Chewie. We have no time to bargain. We'll take it. Let's get back to the ship. Thanks again, Candaluwwa, may the Force be with you."
Still surprised the Wookiee accompanied them to the door of his shop. He seemed a bit embarrassed by Luke's refusal to negotiate and bargain about the price of the memory bank. At the door he beckoned them to wait and rushed back to the yard. Some moment later he came back with a small worn out looking repair droid. He pushed it in Luke's hands.
"Thank you," Luke said, "this droid will be a great extra help. I'm sure our repair will be easier. When we have finished the job we'll bring it back."
Candaluwwa frantically shook his head. Chewbacca grunted to Luke.
"We can keep it and we can bring it back when it suits us. Very well, I won't forget this. Thanks for your help."
They left the shop and went back to the Millenium Falcon.
On board the Millennium Falcon Liane sat in deep concentration in the small medic bay. Again she saw the beautiful images of Han and Leia's wedding. A warm smile enlightened her face, for those images gave her a happy feeling too. Gently she pressed her thumbs on Han's forehead and made small outward rotations. Han's face was relaxed, a faint smile curved his lips. Liane felt that Han was absorbing the images she passed on to him, in his mind
'Hi, Eilidh, she looks so beautiful in that dress, don't you agree?' He asked, being used to Liane's presence in his mind.
'She is, and she wants you to come back to her, take make this happen. How do you feel?' Liane responded.
'Much better, I wished ... '
Han silenced.
'What, Han? Tell me. You know you can trust me.'
'Your words are so full of happiness, Eilidh, but if I look at these wonderful images, I'm feeling so ashamed again. Ashamed and sad. What I see, can't be my future, can it?'
'Why not? What is making you feel ashamed, Han?'
'I've told you. I have been rude and very unkind to her. It can't be that Leia wants me to come back, after what I said to her. '
Liane now felt his great remorse again. It made him restless and uncertain. She began to feel restless too.
'Eilidh, are you still with me?'
'Of course, what's troubling you, Han?' Liane said reassuringly.
'Can you help me to get out of this dark maze? I'd wish I knew how I came here. This darkness is so depressing. I feel like a being blind man, running around in a void. How did you come here?'
'You called out to Leia, Han. I heard your pleas to her.'
A long silence followed. Then Liane suddenly noticed that some tears slipped from under Han's eyelashes. He was crying soundlessly. Now she began to feel the extent of the enormous loneliness he was carrying with him.
'Why don't you share with me what happened between Leia and you, Han,' She whispered, 'Please do. Share that painful moment with me.'
She felt how tears were welling up in her eyes too. His sadness was so overwhelming that she too couldn't hold back her tears any longer. With a convulsive cry Han started to sob in agony.
Liane's mind began to absorb Han's pain and she had to reached out to the Force to keep her composure.
'Share with me what has happened, Han,' She whispered again, 'Don't try to find a solution on your own. Share the sadness you feel with me.'
They were both crying now. Han's body was shaking under the convulsive sobs.
Liane bent over and some tears dripped on his face.
'Share that painful moment with me. Let me feel what you feel. Share what you're thinking now with me, Han, share them now' Liane whispered, while she gently was pushing and penetrating in Han's thoughts, so that he would share with her his feelings of shame and she would be a part of his pain.
She had steady herself on her stool, when a huge flow of emotions started to engulf her and a whirl of Han's memories poured into her mind, like a flood breaking through a dam.
'Now I feel what you're going through now, Han,' She whispered, restraining her tears.
Han's memories filled her mind and she recognized Leia, Luke's sister, in a white battle suit. Leia was bickering with Han and denying her feelings for him. She heard Han's cynical response. In fast flow of images Liane saw how Han's and Leia's lives intertwined and how their feelings for each other became mutual. She was back on Endor, and recognized the village where she had lived for more than a year, but now a battle was raging on. Strange walking vehicles were destroying the beautiful trees with laser blasts. Then there was a huge party and Han held Leia in his arms and Liane felt his tremendous happiness. But once again the images changed and she heard him being rude and abusive to Leia who was begging to be let in. Han's pain became almost unbearable now. For a moment she had to release him. Leaning against back the wall of the medic bay she tried to regain her composure. She felt shaken and still heard Han's harsh words. His crude and abusive remarks about her Jedi training had hurt Leia much, because Liane had seen that Leia had started to cry, had fallen to her knees, and had begged Han to listen. After a few minutes she calmed herself and looked down at Han's wet face. She dried his tears with her sleeve. Tenderly and with compassion she placed her hands over his face again. She let the Force bring her back to the place in his mind.
Eilidh, why are you crying to? It was so wrong, what I said to Leia, and now I have made you feel sad too,' She heard him say.
'Han, I'm alright. Relax and stop recalling these painful memories over and over again. It all happened in your past, and the past can't be undone. You must look at your future now. Recall the images of Leia's beautiful wedding dress, for that is what your future will be. You will be together with Leia again, Han. You've seen it, I've shown you those images. Clear your mind and look at the images I've shown you. Relax, let no sadness, no regret, nor remorse disturb your thoughts again. Soon Leia will be with you. I'll stay with you until you have found her. Relax... Clear ... your... mind... Relax... Clear... your... mind. You're... feeling... better.'
She released her hands and saw the slow up and down movement of Han's breast. Again she had brought him into a Force healing sleep. Without a sound she rose and stumbled through the dark passageway, to reach the flight control room. The darkness around her felt depressing. She sank on the floor against one of the couches and buried her face in the cushions. In her mind the images of Han's most painful memory was still whirling through her mind, disturbing her emotional balance. Again the tears started to stream down her face and she whispered, 'LUKE!!'
She grabbed the Jedi-pendant and tried to reach him through the power of his gift, but she felt too miserable and too shaken to concentrate. The flight control room seemed to roll and rotate, and the darkness of the room around her became an impenetrable blackness, as she slipped on the floor and lost her consciousness.

To be continued...