t took Luke and Chewbacca four hours to reach the overhanging cave behind the junk yard where they had left the Millennium Falcon. The rain was now pouring down and the two companions were tired and soaking wet. Through the curtain of rain they saw the shape of the outcropping under which Luke had hidden the Falcon. Chewbacca ran over to lower the ramp. Glad to be back on board they entered the relative warmth of the ship. Inside everything was pitch black. Luke switched on his flash light, walked quickly through the passage to the cockpit and flipped several switches. Some of the internal lights went on. Suddenly Chewbacca let out an agonizing cry. Luke rushed over to the flight control room, where the big Wookiee held the seemingly lifeless body of Liane in his hairy arms.
"LIANE!!" Luke shouted.
The Wookiee looked desperately around, then turned around and walked through the passageway to the aft of the ship where Han and he had their private quarters. Luke followed his friend. Together they took care of the unconscious girl. Luke used his knowledge to find out what had happened to her. After some moment he looked up at Chewbacca relieved.
"She is alright, pal. If she wakes I'll tell her to stop her way of help. We'd better get to work on the Millennium Falcon and see if we can reactivate the navi-computer. It's important that we get to Rasth as soon as possible. They have a medic center with capable droids to help Han and Liane. It's been a foolish idea to think she could wield the Force to wake up Han. "
The Wookiee grunted sadly. Luke shook his head.
"No, pal. She'll be alright. Maybe her help has been of some use to Han's recovery. Let's see how he is doing."
After he had put a blanket over Liane to keep her warm and comfortable Luke and Chewbacca went to the medic bay of the Falcon. Again Luke used his Jedi knowledge to tune in on the Force to check his friend's condition.
"Han is in a deep sleep without any disturbing dreams. We'll let him rest too. I'm going to change my clothes now and give you a hand."
Luke quickly put on his Jedi clothes and went back to the flight control room.
"Come on, Chewbacca. Let's see if we can get the Falcon operational again. Activate the droid, so we can feed him with the data on this memory bank. "
Chewbacca pressed the activation switch on the droid's head. The limbs began to stretch and two bulbous light began to glow in the head. At the back of the head Luke found the slot to insert the external memory bank. The slot was dirty and frequently used. It took them awhile before the memory bank fitted. Finally the memory bank slit into place and connected with the droid's internal memory.
"Ok, now let's see if you can synchronize the navi-computer with this content. Go to the cockpit and plug yourself in," Luke ordered the droid.
Stumbling and wobbling on its unstable legs the droid staggered to the cockpit supported by Chewbacca. The little device reached out one of his dangling limbs and hooked on to the ship's computer, releasing a series of loud beeps and blips. Chewbacca switched on the ship's display and check the information. He grunted joyfully and and pressed several switches on the console.
"Ok, let's overwrite the old program. You're sure it'll work? How long will it take to replace the code?" Luke asked.
The Wookiee grunted again.
"Fine, I'll leave it to you to monitor the progress. I'm going to see how Liane is doing?"
Luke left the cockpit and walked back to the rear quarters. Liane was still unconscious. Carefully Luke placed his hand over her face and turned inward. After a few minutes, he pulled back his hand reassured. No, harm had been done; she was in a deep sleep. She would be fine after she woke up again. For some minutes Luke watched Liane's regularly breathing. He brushed a few strands of her hair backwards and checked if the blanket would be sufficient to keep her warm. Then he went back to help Chewbacca.
Although the memory bank, Candaluwwa had sold them, turned out to hold the right code; it took Luke and Chewbacca seven long hours to reset the ship's navi-computer. The repair droid was an very old model working very slowly, but finally Chewbacca let out a loud grunt and pointed to the display. Luke sighed relieved. The navi-computer was resetting itself.
"So far, it went well, pal." He said patting the Wookiee on his broad shoulder.
The resetting procedure took another three hours, but at last they got the message that the computer was operational again. Luke unhooked the droid and took out the memory bank.
"Thank you for your help. We couldn't have done this without you."
The worn out droid beeped. Luke pressed the button on its head and the droid collapsed on the floor of the cockpit.
"I'll put it in the cargo hold. In time we'll return it to Candaluwwa."
He picked up the droid and carried it to the passageway to the aft of the ship's large cargo hold. After fixing the droid in a jacket he hurried back to help the Wookiee.
Chewie was seated in the pilot's chair and had switched on the antigrav engines. The powerfull engines slowly released the Millennium Falcon from Myydkr's surface. Chewie pulled a lever to increase the power and flipped the switches to pull in the landing claws. The ship now hovered some seven hundred meters above the planet's surface.
"Here we go, Chewie," Luke said loud.
He switched over to the ion drive. Simultaneously Chewbacca switched off the antigrav engines. The Millennium Falcon shot away into space.
"We're going to Rasth," Luke said when they had reached Myydkr's orbit at four planet diameters and were outside the planet's gravityfield.
Chewbacca fed the navi computer with coordinates of their destination. Luke watched the computer's calculation cycle waiting for the confirmation to go to hyperspace.
"Standby, Chewie. I'll cut off the sublight engines. Engage the hyperdrive. Activate."
Chewbacca pulled the hyperdrive lever and the Falcon shot away into deep space.
Liane opened her eyes, but immediately closed them again. A light above her head was shining right into her eyes. She raised her hand to shield off the beam. Restlessly she moved on the couch and tried to get up, but some one pushed her back.
"Rest easy, Liane, how do you feel?" A familiar voice said.
Next to the couch stood Luke who was pushing her back on the couch. She saw the concerned glance in his eyes. It took her some moments to control her thoughts, for she felt, as if she had slept for a long time.
"Where are we?" She asked.
"Still on board of the Millennium Falcon on our way to Rasth." Luke said.
Almost immediately Liane pushed his hands away, sat upright, and jumped off the couch.
'Han!' She thought, "How long did I sleep?" She asked.
Luke was looking serious and worried.
"You didn't sleep, you had passed out. Chewie and I found you some twenty hours ago, when we returned from Pogyy. You lay unconscious on the floor of the control room.
"Twenty hours; and no one wake me up."
"Liane, you were exhausted. You needed this long rest."
The images of what had happened during her last Force trance with Han, flashed through her mind again.
"I have to see Han immediately."
"Liane, I don't want you to continue your task. You've done enough. Han's still asleep. We'll arrive on Rasth within ..."
Luke look at his wrist chrono, but Liane pushed him aside.
"YOU'RE NOT TELLING ME WHAT I HAVE TO DO! " She snarled.
Luke grabbed her arm.
"Han is alright. Let him rest. You can't do no more for him, you've done enough. When we're on Rasth we'll bring Han to the medic center in Bestine. "
Outraged Liane pushed his hand from her arm and rushed through the passages to the medic bay. Halfway she turned and looked at Luke with a furious face.
"IT STILL SEEMS, THAT YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THE WAY I CAN HELP HIM! I'M THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN HELP HIM NOW. I HAVE INHERITED MY MOTHER'S HEALING SKILLS. SHE WAS A FORCE-HEALER. EVEN IAN AND YARMOD FELT THAT I USED THE FORCE TO CURE THE EWOKS, AND CALLED ME A JEDI-HEALER. THOSE MEDIC DROIDS CAN'T FEEL WHAT I FEEL. THEY ARE NUMB, STUPID MECHANICS WITHOUT FEELINGS. THEY CAN'T INTERCEPT HIS THOUGHTS, NOR CAN THEY FEEL WHAT'S CAUSING HIS PAIN. THEY CAN NOT SOLACE HIS OVERPOWERING FEELINGS OF REGRET AND REMORSE." She shouted furiously.
Luke walked over to her. He gently put his hand on her arm.
"Liane, when will you finally admit that this task is too difficult for you. I know your help is led by the Force, but you should also be aware that you haven't mastered the skills your mother had. You're not a Jedi yet."
"IT NOT NECESSARY TO USE THE FORCE AS A JEDI. I CAN USE THE FORCE LIKE MY MOTHER COULD. SHE WAS A FORCE-USER, LIKE ME, AND NO JEDI? " Liane yelled, becoming more and more enraged, "WHAT DO YOU THINK I'VE LEARNED DURING MY YOUTH ON MORANTAN? I WAS ALREADY FEELING AND USING THE POWER OF THE FORCE, WHEN YOU WERE STILL AN IGNORANT FARM-BOY. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR FATHER TAUGHT ME? HE TAUGHT ME TO FEEL THE FORCE IN EVERYTHING THAT SURR..."
She was interrupted by a sharp voice.
"What the hell is going on here? Who's talking about that Force nonsense! And stop yelling and shouting, will you!"
Very slowly Liane turned on her heels. Dumb struck, Luke stood behind Liane, still holding her arm, as he looked at the man who was standing in the passageway to the medic bay. From afar came the loud howl of Chewbacca who rushed in from flight control room. The large Wookiee looked at the person who was steadying himself against the passage wall in amazement.
"Well, does anybody have a proper answer for this way of conduct on board of my ship. Chewie, Lu..." Han asked irritated.
Now the captain of the Millennium Falcon stopped in the middle of his sentence and gasped Luke and Liane.
"LUKE! LUKE SKYWALKER! YOU, KID! HOW DID YOU GET ON BOARD OF THE FALCON?"
The passage of the space ship became the scene of a complete pandemonium.
"HAN!!" Liane and Luke yelled in unison. Chewie let out a earsplitting howl, and was trying to wrap his long arms around his life long friend, grunting and growling in Shyriiwook. Han gently pushed him aside and tried to find his way to Luke, grabbing his old pal at his arm, but he stopped and turned his head to his co-pilot.
"Hey, pal, what are you telling me. I was what..."
Chewbacca grunted a very long answer. Han Solo listened with growing amazement. When Chewbacca had finished his story, they all looked at each other in total silence. Han still held Luke's arm. The young Jedi had placed his gloved hand on Han's arm.
"Luke, kid!" Han said, finally breaking the silence, when he suddenly noticed Liane who was looking at him in wide-eyed surprise.
"Hey, sweetheart, so you're not one of my wild phantasies."
He steadied himself on Luke's and Chewie's arms.
"Guys, I feel somewhat dizzy. I have slept too long. Get me to the control room, will you. Where are we heading? Stop looking at me as if you're seeing a ghost, Eilidh Grann," he said mockingly, looking at Liane with a cynical smile.
The two friends brought their old pal to the couches of the flight control room. Completely astonished, Liane followed them. Images of her encounter with Han in the Mos Eisley cantina flashed through her mind. He surely must have recognized her earlier already. She remembered his cynical smile, the curtly sound of his voice and after she had asked him about Leia, his rude answer, but now he had woken up from that strange comatose state. Maybe he wasn't quite his old self yet, but that would be a matter of time.
In the control room Han grabbed Liane's arm and pulled her next to him on the couch. He sighed deeply, before he looked at Luke who had taken a seat on the opposite site. The captain of the Millennium Falcon shook his head in disbelieve.
"I can't believe, but it's you, kid. How did you get on board the Falcon? It's all such a long time ago, pal," He said and his voice suddenly sounded hoarsely, "It seems ages ago since we've spoken each other. How is ...?"
Abrupt he stopped. Luke sensed his friend's sudden confusion and reassured him with compassionate feelings.
"I'm glad I've finally found you, Han," Luke said, "We've all missed you, Han. You've been away too long. Much too long for friends."
Liane wanted to get up, but Han squeezed her arm.
"Sit down, Eilidh Grann, and stay where you are. You've offered me your help, so I want you to keep me company. How are your brothers doing?" He asked with a lopsided grin.
Chewbacca was still grunting for joy, glad to see his friend had woken up and reacted as if nothing had happened to him. Still they all felt too surprised through this unexpected turn of events, but their amazement turned into joy and laughter. Luke watched Liane, sitting next to his old friend. Her Force abilities as a healer had woken up his friend. Luke felt her feelings of joy and relief, mingled with some uncertainty about Han's blunt remarks. He also noticed the growing tension on his old friend's face. Liane must have sensed it too, for she turned to Han and intercepted his stare.
'Ask Luke what you want to know, Han?' Luke heard her say to the freighter pilot.
To Luke's surprised Han seemed to have heard Liane's words, for he blinked and looked at him with a serious expression.
"How is... your sister, how is ... Leia, Luke? Is... she... has... she... found... some one else."
"Leia is waiting for you, Han, when will you come back to her?" Luke asked quietly.
He felt the enormous joy these words brought in the mind of his friend and for a moment he reached out to the Force to inform his sister. She too would be so happy.
"Really, are you sure, kid? She is really still waiting for me?" Han asked. Again his voice became hoarse.
Chewbacca grunt a long sentence. Han raised his hand.
"I know, Chewie, you told me more than once, that we should return to Dalmaran."
"Then why haven't you done so, Han?" Liane asked.
Han looked aside.
"Like Leia, you cried, when you heard what I said to her?" He said snappy.
"Yes, you finally shared that painful moment with me. All your thoughts were centered on what you've said to her, before you slammed the door in her face and locked her out. The remorse you felt over those words, has grown in your mind all these years and finally completely blocked all your other thoughts."
"Then you probably understand why I couldn't go back to... Leia. Even if I wanted..."
"You could have forget your hurt pride, go back and apologize, and make it up with Leia. It would have avoided these many lonely years of sadness for you ... and Leia.?"
Liane's voice remained soft and caring, but very determined. Luke felt how she wrapped his friend in her Force compassion, protecting him against his bitter emotions and painful memories.
Han turned to Liane, "How do you know that she hurt my pride, for she did, because she had decided to complete her Jedi training without asking me?"
Liane looked straight into his eyes, "Don't you think, that you reacted disproportionately to her Jedi training, leaving Dalmaran headlong, for after you had left Leia, you began to feel ashamed and lonely. More and more you began to realize, that your words could have hurt Leia too, but your stubbornness prevented you to admit that you should go back and have a word with Leia."
To Luke's surprise Han seemed to accept Liane's reprimanding word, for he looked away without one of his cynical comments.
"Leia hasn't blamed you for what you said to her, Han, she has forgiven you your words immediately," Luke said on a soft tone, to reassure his friend, "Come back, pal. Come back to Irithim. Come with Liane and me to Dalmaran and you ask Leia yourself."
Han stared to the passage way that led to the cockpit. For a moment he leaned thoughtfully against the cushions; then he looked at Luke and Chewbacca with wry smile.
'This is, what you actually want, Han, isn't it? It's time to go back to Leia, apologize for what you've said to her, or if you can't admit your fault yet, at least talk and listen to Leia. Haven't you suffered enough? Now you have the opportunity to be united with her again, for you love her, and she loves you too,' A soft female voice resonated in his mind.
Again Han looked into Liane's blue eyes.
"How is it possible that I can hear your voice in my mind, Eilidh Grann, although you're sitting next to me in total silence? Are you sure that those fancy images you've shown me, will come true," He asked with some suspicion in his voice
"I asked you, if you wanted my help, after I had heard your pleas. You've accepted my help, and you've shared your worries and pain with me. You've made me part of the most painful moment in your past which was the main cause of your worries and sadness. When you allowed me to touch and penetrate your mind, I became aware of those painful emotions, but you also allowed me to passed on to you the images of your wedding, because the Force had shown me many images of your future. I still feel your uncertainty about how to carry on, that's why I still want to help you this way. Call it a form of telepathy," Liane answered.
"If the Force has created those images you've shown me, than it's a kind of Jedi Mind trick, isn't it?"
"No, it has nothing to do with Affect Mind," Liane said indignantly and turned her back on him. Luke felt how much Han's words were hurting Liane.
"Liane has been using her very special Force healing powers, Han. She can feel suffering and pain in life-forms using her Force skills."
Han looked annoyed and irritated.
"We'll talk about this later," He said gruffy, "You all want me to come back to Dalmaran, don't you? Chewie?"
Han looked at his lifelong pal. Chewbacca grunted an affirmative.
"You've to make up your mind yourself, Han. It must be your choice." Luke said.
"So it's up to me," Han said and looked once again at Chewbacca and his old friend Luke. Then he got up, steadying against the wall of the control room. Brushing away any help, he walked over to the cockpit of the Falcon.
"Chewie, where are we?" He shouted, looking at the cockpit console
Chewbacca let out a grunt and jumped to his feet. Han had taken a seat in the pilot's seat. Chewbacca sat himself in the co-pilot's place. Luke went over to Liane who still looked disappointed and confused. He gently took her hand, "You shouldn't take Han's comments too seriously, Liane. Let's join him and Chewbacca. I sure, Han will set course to Dalmaran now."
Reluctantly, still feeling hurt by Han's comments about her use of the Force, Liane got up and walked with Luke to the cockpit. Han was studying the flight console of the Millennium Falcon and grabbed the lever of the hyperdrive.
"Yes, Chewie. We can get the Falcon safely out of hyperspace, pal! "
Han pushed the lever.
"Cut in the sublight engines, Chewie!" He said.
The Wookiee flipped several switches above his head. The sublight engines activated and the streaks of starlight came to a sudden stop, changing them into tiny dots. For a moment the Millennium Falcon drifted in the void of space. Han activated his log and looked at the markers on the map.
"Chewie, set for 7-0-5-1-8-4-0." He said.
The Wookiee fed the instruction into the navi-computer. Some moments later the display mentioned their new destination: Dalmaran.
Han and Chewbacca looked at each other. The Wookiee let out a joyful howl.
"Yes, Chewie, we're are finally going home," Han said as he pulled the hyperdrive lever. The Millennium Falcon shot away. Luke squeezed her hand for a moment. She looked at him with a hesitant smile.
Leia looked at the officer who was in charge of the former Imperial archives.
"I want a full copy of Trevor Matrik's personal file."
"The content of personal files is classified, madam. I'm not allowed to hand over copies of personal files, unless you have permission from the Provisionary Imperial Government, or a warrant from the Supreme Chancellor of the New Republic."
"I need to inform the Supreme Chancellor about Trevor Matrik, officer."
"If you have a warrant of the Supreme Chancellor I won't object, madam."
The officer stretched out his hand. Leia blinked and smiled. Slowly she raised her hand, as if she wanted to brush a strand of hair away.
'You don't need a warrant to hand me a full copy of the information I need,' she said on a soft tone.
"I don't need a warrant to hand you a full copy the information you need," the officer said.
'You will copy Trevor Matrik's personal file, now.'
"I will copy Trevor Matrik's personal file, now. " he said again.
'I can wait for it!' Leia said softly with her deep Force voice.
"You can wait for it, madam. I'll be back within an hour."
"Thank you, officer. My padawan and I will wait here. Can you bring us some refreshments, please."
The officer left the room. Some moments later a cyborg droid entered with a large plate.
"Here are some refreshment, madam . If you need more, please press the blue button on this plate."
"Thank you, that will do," Leia said politely.
The droid left. Leia looked at Ian and smiled.
"Master, the content of the admiral's personal file is classified. We need a warrant from the Supreme Chancellor to get it." Ian said.
"We should have, officially, Ian, but I want to bring the content of admiral Trevor Matrik's file to Mon Mothma's immediate attention. I'm sure she will be very interested, for he might be a threat to the treaty with the former imperials."
"You're sure she doesn't know about him already."
Leia shook her head.
"After the Battle of Endor the Alliance immediately secured the Imperial Archives. After signing the truce and later the treaty the Provisionary Imperial Government and the administration of the New Republic agreed that the data would be transmitted to our secure computers on Quoith to give New Republic's government direct access to the ways Palpatine has led the Empire and its armada of space ships. But not all the data has been transferred yet. Only members of the High Council are allowed to access personal files of high-ranking former imperial officers, although they need a warrant of the Supreme Chancellor."
"You used Affect Mind to get this file without Mon Mothma's permission?"
"This time I couldn't stick to bureaucratic procedures too strictly."
Ian took a bite of his trowy-fish sandwich. Leia looked at him.
"You don't agree, do you, Ian?" She said.
"I don't want to criticize you, Master, but I learned to follow protocols strictly," he answered.
Leia started to laugh, "To a certain extent, don't you agree, my young padawan."
Ian's cheeks colored and averted his eyes.
Leia continued, "As long as you were an officer you had to, and also a Jedi Knight isn't allowed to break the law whenever he wants, or for his own benefit, but remember; our most important task is to be the protectors of Peace and Justice. So when our task requires tough and immediate action we may use our Jedi skills. We're in a hurry to find a safety procedure for Liane. If Darth Golluth finds and kidnaps her and uses her knowledge for any obscure plans the whole New Republic might be in danger. That's the reason, why I have used my Jedi abilities and not gone back to Dalmaran and ask for a warrant to get a copy the Trevor Matrik's file, which, as a member of the High Council, I would have gotten anyhow."
"I understand, Master. I wonder, if I will be ever able to judge a situation like this in the right way, when I'm a Jedi."
"You will, Ian, and you already did, when you informed my brother about what had happened to Liane. As a Jedi the Force will guide you to make the right solutions and judgments. Well, here comes our host."
The door slit aside and the officer enter.
"Here is the requested file, madam," he said, handing Leia a small size datapad, "Every document containing information about Trevor Matrik has been included. We've also found images and some holo tapes of him. Some of the documents are encrypted, but if you ask your data experts at Quoith to have a look at them I am sure you get that data as well."
"I know, officer. Thank you for your cooperation. We're leaving for Quoith now."
Leia and Ian left the underground building and headed back for the Coruscant space port.
To be continued...