n board the Millennium Falcon Luke Skywalker was nearly asleep, when he heard a familiar voice.
'Luke, I have a very urgent question?' Leia's tense voice reached out to him through the Force.
Luke opened his eyes, smiled, turned inwards and reached out his sister.
'You want to know, if the message you have heard is true, isn't it, Leia!'
'Yes, I do. Is it, Luke? Did you really find Han and is he coming back with you to Dalmaran?' She asked.
'Yes, it is, my dear sister. Han and Chewbacca are on their way to Dalmaran in the Millennium Falcon and Liane and I are traveling with them.'
'I hardly can believe it. This is almost unbelievable, and you already knew who told me, didn't you?'
'I did,' Luke said smiling, 'Ian, your padawan, isn't it?'
'Yes, he told me, that he had heard Liane's voice. Has she told you, she spoke to him?'
'Liane has reached out to you and Ian while she was asleep.'
'During her sleep?'
'I think that she used the Force in her sleep, for she wanted to tell you, that we have found Han and Chewbacca. She told me she called for you, but instead of you she got in touch with Ian, her former guard. The most importance of her message is that Han is coming home to you. We'll reach Dalmaran in about thirty hours. Where are you?'
'Ian and I have just left Coruscant. I've found some vital information I must pass on to Mon Mothma. I've discovered who is after Liane. I will tell you the details later, but Liane has to be protected. Ian and I will be back on Dalmaran in six hours. I will talk to Mon Mothma immediately after our arrival.'
Luke heard the sheer concern in his sister's voice.
'You should worry about Liane, Leia. You should look forward to your reunion with Han. He's gone through a terrible time without you, but he is convinced now, that he can't do without you.'
'I still can't believe it, Luke! Han is on his way back to Dalmaran.'
'Han, is on his way back to you, my dear sister. It's you, he wants to see again, Leia. Only you. He knows how important you are to him.'
Leia didn't respond immediately to Luke's words. Then he heard a soft cheerful laugh in her voice.
'Tell him, I love him, Luke. Tell him that I'll be at the space port to welcome him.'
'I will, Leia. Your words will make him happy, I'm sure of that. But you'd better say those words to Han in person when we're back.'
'Of course, my dear brother. I'll see you at Irithim just over a day.'
Luke came out of his Jedi trance and blinked. He sighed relieved. His sister would be back on Dalmaran when the Millennium Falcon would land. He turned on his other side and closed his eyes. Now he could go to sleep undisturbed.
"Very well, Leia. Your explanation is clear and I think it's absolute necessary to protect Liane Solichor against this person, especially because the safety of the New Republic might be at stake too. Problem is that the High Court has exiled Liane Solichor to Wegoyy for her part in the coup of Zolgathrii and his followers. I have to talk to the prosecutor, if we can change that verdict in this special case. But that's not all. We also have to make sure, that Liane Solichor will be safe here on Dalmaran. We have to make sure that nobody knows where she is staying. I'm quite sure, that there are many spies on Dalmaran who are willing to pass on any information about her whereabouts to our new adversary," The leader of the New Republic said, looking very concerned.
"You mean, that the detention building isn't safe enough, madam?" Leia asked.
"I do, and I certainly don't want to put her in detention again. We need to find another place where she can stay safely for as long as ... Wait a minute, how about ... it could be an option... have a look, Leia,", Mon Mothma went over to her desk, activated her infocom, and showed Leia some holographic images.
"The urgency of this new situation might be a good opportunity to try out the usefulness of the place too," Mon Mothma said and deactivated the display, "What do you think, Leia?"
Leia looked a her leader with surprise.
"That would be a very safe place, madam, and very generous of you if you would let Liane stay there." She said.
"It's a very comfortable one too, if I may believe the reports of my technical staff, but how can we get her there without anyone noticing it."
For a while the two leaders and close friends where silent then Leia looked up and said, "Maybe we could use the way Liane proposed to me, when she escaped with Zolgathrii. You certainly remember, what happened."
Mon Mothma nodded.
"I do. Would she cooperate with such a plan another time?"
"I'm sure I can convince her, madam."
Leia took her datapad from its cover, opened a new file, and outlined a possible plan to bring Liane to the proposed safe place. Mon Mothma listened attentively.
"Do you think, that general Solo will cooperate. I think he doesn't want to be separated again from you."
Leia's cheeks blushed.
"Han will understand, madam. The two groups can come together again in the basement of this building, if we can find a secret way of transport from the detention building to this one."
Again the two women were silent, considering the possibilities of the plan that began to take shape in their minds.
"How about using the Grand Sewer, Leia. It runs under in the basement of this building, and is connected to the secret escape route we want to use."
"Can the Grand Sewer be reached from the detention building?"
"Let's check the underground town plans".
Mon Mothma pressed a button on the table and in the middle a holographic projection of Irithim became visible. She zoomed in on the detention block and eliminated all unnecessary information. What remained was a hologram of the sewer system of that part of the town.
"Here runs the Grand Sewer", Mon Mothma said and pointed to a broad blue lane. "And that's is the detention building. A sewer maintenance vessel can be picked up under the detention building. It only depends, if the second group is able to get access to the sewer system in the detention building," Mon Mothma pointed several secondary blue lanes, "if that's possible they can reach the Grand Sewer at this junction."
"The maintenance vessel can be navigated manually through the Grand Sewer to the basement of this building. There the group will join the second group and together they can leave Irithim using your submarine vessel. If this works out, we can bring Liane safely and unseen out of Irithim."
"The sewer maintenance system is run by droids. They have to be re-programmed so the sewer system under the detention building will be accessible freely by the second group. Who could do that?"
"Artoo can do it from the maintenance outlets in the detention building. He can tap in to all the city systems and have the maintenance droids reprogrammed. Afterwards he also can undo the action."
"Let's do it this way, Leia," Mon Mothma said, "I will do my part and will make sure the prosecutor will cooperate as will the other members of the High Council."
Thank you, madam," Leia answered, "Maybe you should remind the prosecutor about what happened to Liane on Wegoyy and the two years she has suffered of amnesia."
Mon Mothma smiled, but didn't respond to Leia's remark.
"Concerning the data you brought with you from Coruscant I will order one of our intell agents to have this datapad transferred to Quoith and have its content analyzed. I also will confirm to Coruscant that your action has my approval. We will discuss Trevor Matrik, after we've brought Liane to that safe place, and after I've got the decrypted files back. I want your brother to attend that discussion too, will you tell him that."
"Certainly, madam." Leia said, but hesitated before she rose.
Mon Mothma looked at the little senator and Jedi Knight with an questioning look.
"Is there anything else you want to discuss now, Leia?"
"Well, madam. We've celebrated our five years of regained freedom, recently."
"That was some seven months ago. What about it?"
"We've granted some of our ..."
"I know what you're thinking off, but I can not decided that on my own. I have to discuss this matter with the other members of the High Council. If they don't object maybe we can arrange something. Now, go home, Leia and welcome that runaway pilot of the Millennium Falcon. Where has he been all those years ... How long has he been away, Leia?"
"More than three and a half standard years, nearly four, madam."
"That's too long, too long to have his bride waiting. Don't you agree?"
Leia's face colored and both women laughed.
"Good luck, Leia. "
"Thank you, madam. Do we meet again before the Millennium Falcon lands."
"As soon as you know her exact schedule, let's say, a few hours before she goes into orbit around Dalmaran."
Leia Organa left the office of the Supreme Chancellor and went to the ground floor where Ian Tydon was waiting.
"Well, my young padawan. Mission completed."
"Will Liane be set free, master?" Ian asked.
"Let's not discuss the future in public. I've asked Mon Mothma for protection against a possible kidnapping by Trevor Matrik's men." Leia said.
"Does that mean she will be send back to Wegoyy?" Ian exclaimed.
"Not likely. I think there's a chance that we will find a safe place on Dalmaran. "
"Our Supreme Chancellor won't take into account what has happened on Wegoyy?" Ian asked.
"She will, but our Supreme Chancellor can't decided on her own in this matter. She has to discuss this with the members of the High Council. Rest assured, padawan, I know Mon Mothma very well. She will do everything to work out a plan that will suit our needs. Let's go to my apartment, Ian. I want to tell you something in private."
Ian was silent for several minutes. Leia watched him and felt that her padawan was using the Force to see the reasons behind Mon Mothma decision. Finally he looked at her.
"Master, do you really want me to accompany you to the space port, when general Solo arrives?"
"Yes I do, my padawan. We will welcome the general as members of the Jedi Order. So wear your full Jedi clothes. You're my padawan, and I want to introduce you as such to general Solo, my friend. "
"Master, your reunion with the general is a very personal matter. I don't want to be an obstacle, or annoy the general with my presence," Ian said.
"You won't. Han will need to get used to your presence as long as you are my padawan learner. I have an obligation to you, Ian, " Leia said.
"Very well, master, as you wish. I would love to meet such an important man as general Solo." Ian said.
"You will be surprised, my padawan," She said.
On board the Millennium Falcon Han Solo was pacing up and down the flight control room.
"Luke," He suddenly said, "Are you sure Leia will come to the space port?"
"Absolutely," his friend said, "She has confirmed that. She has been waiting so long to see you again."
"Kid, it was me, who broke off our engagement, remember."
"Han," Luke looked at his friend, "believe me, my sister wants only one thing: to be reunited with you."
Liane watched the two friends.
"Han, remember what I've said to you; you can't change what went wrong in the past, it has happened, you have to learn from it. Who should know better than Luke, what Leia's feelings are. You must believe him, Leia has forgiven you."
"I'm not so sure about that," Han said and started pacing up and down again.
After some minutes he cast a look at the display of the navi-computer.
"Time to leave this hyperspace lane. I'm going to the cockpit! Chewie!"
The big Wookiee let out a howl and followed his friend to the passageway.
"You'd better strap yourselves in. We'll come out of hyperspace in about five minutes."
Liane jumped to her feet.
"Han, can I watched our destination from a passenger's seat. I want to see Dalmaran before we start our landing."
"That's fine, as long as you keep silent," Han grinned and beckoned her to follow him.
"Are you coming too, Luke?" Liane turned to Luke.
"Certainly," Luke said wit a big smile, "I love to see my second home planet after such a long time."
He'd noticed that Han felt some relief because Liane would stay nearby. Her influence still quieted his nervous feelings.
Together they entered the cockpit. Liane took the seat behind Chewbacca, who has pressed himself in the co-pilot's chair. He looked at Han and grunted.
"Yes, pal. I'm also glad to come home again. No doubt about that."
He checked the read-outs on the display and placed his hand on the lever.
"Ready for sublight-engines?" He asked.
Chewbacca flipped the switches above his head and grunted.
"Here we go."
Liane saw the streaks of plasma light from the stars glowing along the windows. For a moment it looked like they were flowing backwards, then the streaks stopped and became the tiny dots in the blackness of space. In front of the Millennium Falcon drifted a cloud-covered planet with blue, green and yellow-brown patched.
"Dalmaran!" Han announced.
Suddenly Liane felt a nervous twist in her stomach. Dalmaran! She was back at the center of the New Republic. The New Republic whose leaders probably still saw her as an escaped prisoner, an enemy. Han, Luke and Chewbacca were coming home, but her future was uncertain. Would she have to testify before the High Council about what happened to her in the Wegoyy prison? Would they believe her? And what would happen afterwards? Would they allow her to stay on Dalmaran or would they send her back to Wegoyy? She swallowed and felt nervous.
"We're going in, folks. Let's find De'olon space port!"
Han accelerated and the planet's disk became slowly larger. Liane could see the land masses and the oceans. Han let the Millennium Falcon turn and set her on course of the space port of Irithim at De'olon.
"Beautiful, isn't it?" Han asked and turned to Liane.
She nodded. Tense, she watched how the outlines of a city which were growing steadily larger.
"That's Irithim," Han said, "Ever been there with the Granns?"
"No," Liane whispered and was silent again.
"You're ok!" Han said and looked at her.
Liane suddenly felt panic-struck. Then she felt Luke's hand reassuringly on her arm.
'Relax, Liane. I'm staying with you, whatever will happen.' She heard him say.
"Nothing is going to happen to you, sweetheart." Han commented, "I'm a general in the New Republic space force, and the captain of this ship. You're under my command. I will tell everyone, what you have done for me. You're not going into any detention again. Chewie and I will see to that."
Han sounded so determined, that Liane started to laugh.
"Thanks, Han," She said and the nervous feeling diminished.
They quickly neared Irithim. The buildings grew taller and taller and Liane could distinguish parks and water flows. She admired the beautiful organically curved architecture of the city.
"It's beautiful," she said and felt how much care the designers had put in the design of the newly build city.
"There's the space port. Slow down, Chewie and open the frequency to the tower."
"Welcome at Irithim space port at De'olon, please state your ship's identification." the voice from the tower sounded through the cockpit.
"This is the HAD72309, Han Solo speaking. I'm bringing the Millennium Falcon back home."
For a moment only static was heard, then a excited woman's voice entered the cockpit.
"Welcome home, Han. You have your clearance to bring her in. Use docking bay 710."
"LEIA!" Han yelled.
"I'm waiting on the platform, Han!"
The Millennium Falcon took a last dive and Han slowed the engines further.
"Landing gear, Chewie!"
The Wookiee grunted an affirmative. Han stopped the engines and the big space ship slowly hovered and sank on her landing gear in the docking bay. Han cast a quick glance out of the cockpit window, jumped to his feet, and nearly tripped over the pilot's seat to the exit.
"Lower the ramp, Chewie, there's Leia," He shouted.
Luke and Liane looked at each other with a smile, then Chewbacca turned around and pointed out of the window. Luke rose and froze. On the platform he saw Mon Mothma with four of her special guards. Luke heard the ramp of the Millennium Falcon hit the platform and immediately the group began to walk over to the ship.
"They have sent us a welcome group, Liane."
Liane nodded and said softly, "I was afraid about that. Will they arrest me?"
From the entrance of the ship they heard the voices of Han and Leia cheering, while they were hugging and kissing each other. A little smile curled Liane's lips. Then she straightened her back and rose.
"It's no use to neglect the truth anymore, Luke," She said, "I'm still an escaped convict and a traitor."
"I'll stay with you, Liane." Luke answered.
"Welcome to Dalmaran, Liane," a familiar voice said.
"Ian!" Liane said and ran to the flight control room.
Through the doorway to the control room the young Jedi padawan entered the cockpit. He walked straight over to Liane and took her in his arms.
"You're finally home," Ian said.
"Liane, my dear, how wonderful to have you with us again," a female voice interrupted Liane's reunion with Ian as Leia pressed forward. She wrapped her arms around Liane too, "I'm so glad, my lovely foster-sister, that you and Luke have found Han and came back to Dalmaran with him. You must tell Ian and me about all your adventures. Where did you found Han?"
Leia took Liane with her into the control room. Luke and Ian followed. Mon Mothma had entered the control room and let two of her guards pass.
Chewbacca let out an earsplitting howl and jumped between the guards and Liane. In his enormous paws he held a dangerous looking bowcaster. Luke and Ian tried to grab Chewbacca's arm, but he pushed them angrily aside.
"General Solo, will you tell your co-pilot to put away his weapon, otherwise my men will arrest him." Mon Mothma said sternly to Han Solo who walked over to his co-pilot.
"Chewie, let me do the talking, pal. Put away that crossbow. Believe me, nobody is taking this girl anywhere without my consent. Madam, will you please tell me, the reason why you want to take Liane with you."
"Han, ... please. ...," Liane whispered grabbing Han's shirt.
"I'm the captain of the Millennium Falcon, sweetheart, and nothing happens here without my permission."
"You're right, captain, but before you continue. You are transporting an escaped convict. Maybe we should arrest you and your mate for obstructing the safety of the Republic."
Luke stepped forward holding out his warrant.
"Madam, general Madine has given me this warrant to bring Liane back to Dalmaran. According to my order I'm bringing Liane Solichor back to Irithim. I request to accompany her to the detention building."
"Request granted, commodore Skywalker. You will escort Liane Solichor with captain Tydon to our detention building. Captain Tydon is her guard from now on."
Luke wanted to protest, but Mon Mothma looked sternly at him, then she turned to Leia.
"Leia, will you please help miss Solichor to gather her personal belongings."
Leia stepped forward and grabbed Liane's hand.
"Come on, Liane. Where have you slept?"
Liane pointed to the rear of the ship. Slowly she followed Leia, looking back at Luke.
"Master, the girl has arrived on Dalmaran. They surely will bring her to detention building. The Supreme Chancellor and four of her special guards are at the space port at the moment. Oh, master, senator Organa is indeed a Jedi, master. I saw her wearing her ceremonial Jedi robe. The Wegoyy guard who deserted seems to be her padawan," a whispering voice said.
"It looks like Skywalker has indeed been busy training new Jedi. I wonder why he has chosen the princess of Alderaan to become a Jedi. I haven't sensed her presence through the Force, when I was on Endor," another voice muttered.
"Master, I'll need to find out what's going to happen to the girl and work out a plan to kidnap her," the first voice said.
"Off course, you have to. What am I paying you for?" the second voice snarled.
"Yes master. Soon the girl will be yours and transported to Palomintar Four. I'll report back later."
The display in front of the second speaker became empty. Darth Golluth stretched out his hand and switched it off.
'Again a step closer, my dear Liane Vader. It's good to have so many eyes to track your steps. You won't escape me this time. You're my only hope, although I also want to lay my hands on your brother. If I have you both I will reign with the knowledge of both sides of the Force.'
To be continued...