iane stood in front of the large projector table in the center of the library watching the holographic map of the underground accommodation. She looked at the blue lines and spaces. They marked all the explorations she had done since her arrival. She touched a spot at the display and typed a caption: gorgeous underground waterfall. With a smile she walked around the projection. The blue lines and spaces extended to the left of Mon Mothma's residence, connecting with the yellow caves of the main accommodation. The underground network of tunnels and caves was huge. Her explorations reminded her of the wanderings in the jungle forest of Morantan. She really enjoyed to find new caves around her underground safe haven.
She switched off the holographic projector and left the library cave. With a happy feeling she sat down on one of the comfortable couches on terrace, looking at the lake and the green lawn, listening to all the artificial noises.
Already two months had passed since her arrival. The first couple of days on her own she hadn't known how to spend her time. She had done some explorations in the caverns behind the residential area, had walked into the forest cavern, had read some files in the library.
It had taken some weeks before she really felt a bit at ease, but finally she had become accustomed to her new accommodation. To make a good use of her time, she had set up a tight schedule to fill her days with different chores, as has been her habit on Morantan.
Only in the evenings, after the well prepared dinners, she took some leisure time on the terrace, looking at the lawn and the lake. She admired the technology that had been used to create a splendid day and night rhythm. At night even the twinkling of the stars had been simulated at the high ceiling of the cave. Actually there never passed a day, when she hadn't discovered some new technological designs. It amused and intrigued her.
A couple of times she also had asked Threepio to read out some old files with stories of the Old Republic which weren't written in Basic, or she had played a holographic board game with Artoo.
The two droids were fine companions and made her feel less lonely, despite she was the only human resident.
Still there was one shortcoming, for more and more Liane began to realize how much she missed Luke's presence and companionship; his friendly and peaceful attitude. She often recalled his soft spoken words of reproach during her Force training, if she used her old Dark Side knowledge in stead of committing herself fully to the Good Side of the Force. She also often thought about his teasing words if she had become annoyed or angry at him. Many of those quiet evening hours she always spent, thinking about their adventures and she felt more and more ashamed of her silly quarrel with him on Endor.
In fact there never passed a day when she didn't think of Luke, a Jedi Knight who had become her most beloved friend. She still wasn't fully certain about her feelings for him, but she cherished every moment they had been together: their two-month stay on Endor after she had remembered her past and how she could make contact with him, using the Jedi-pendant, his gift to make it so easy for her to keep in touch with him. In Ben's house on Tatooine he had accepted her help and had shared with her the deep rooted emotions of pain of his many losses. He had taken comfort in her company and had often put his arm around her, while telling her about his youth on the moisture farm of his uncle and aunt. Next was the remarkable moment on the terrace of the top floor apartment when he had pulled her close to him after which she had felt as if she had become one with him. He had wanted to tell her something very special, and she had felt his hesitation. But most of all she cherished their last moments together here: his warm embrace, his face close to hers and his whispered words.
Her thoughts began to linger on the last day her friends had been with her. A day, she would remember for the rest of her life.
After breakfast Han and Leia had left the group, telling the rest of the company they needed some time in private. Luke had taken Ian and Chewbacca, doing some chores somewhere the many technical caves of the underground residence and Mon Mothma had taken her to the library.
Slowly Liane took a brand new ID-card from a pocket on her belt. That new ID-card had her real name on it: Liane Severini Solichor and the name of her mother: Severini Liane Solichor. Reading the name of her real mother made her feel happy beyond words.
After Mon Mothma had closed the door of the library, she had taken her to one of the couches and had pulled her next to her. Liane remembered every word of their conversation.
"You will have all the droids to carry any task you want them to be done. If necessary Artoo can activate and program any droid you need. They can prepare and serve your meals and do all the necessary cleaning and other routine tasks." Mon Mothma had said but she had looked at her very seriously. "Within a few weeks all kind of fresh vegetables and greens can be harvested at the caverns behind the lake. In the larder next to the kitchen cave I have made sure there are enough provisions for a start. In the forest cave you will find herbs in the undergrowth to provide you with the possibility to create medical potions and ointments. You may enjoy all the facilities that have been set up and I want to encouraged to make full use of them. You can change anything you want. Unfortunately, and that what worries me a lot, you will be alone, Liane. I can't leave any of your friends with you. Our Jedi Knights need to find a way to deal with your adversary."
"I'm really looking forward visiting all the facilities here and do some explorations around this beautiful spot. May I also use this library?"
"Yes, everything is completely at your disposal. You will find all the data of the ancient archives of the history of the Old Republic and lots of information about the Empire, about his dark leader emperor Palpatine or Darth Sidious as he revealed himself after he had wiped out the old Jedi Order, about your foster-father Darth Vader and about our resistance against the Empire during the Civil War.
"I already have heard a lot about the Alliance's struggle against Emperor Palpatine. Luke has told me much about his adventures, how he met with Han and Leia and how he fought with his father during the Battle of Endor. Are there more stories about the old Jedi Order in the library."
Mon Mothma had smiled.
"There's a lot about them and the way they have always served the Old Republic in the library's memory banks here and you always can ask me, if you have any questions."
She remembered she had looked up at the friendly face in front of her.
"Because you're alone I often will be in touch with you, Liane," Mon Mothma had said, "Probably I will make a holographic call via a highly shielded communication relayed via Quoith every other day."
"Ma'am," she had answered, "I appreciate you concern, but I'm sure I will be doing fine on my own? I'm used to be alone and you said, I have the whole staff of droids available."
"Communicating with droids is completely different from the way we humans communicate. We have emotional feelings and it's necessary you can share your thoughts with another human. How long you have to stay here is unpredictable. Luke and the others will be busy elsewhere in the galaxy. I don't expect they will be able to pay you a visit after they have gone back to Irithim. Leia has asked me to keep in touch with you. She also has ordered Threepio and Artoo to stay behind. "
She had smiled thankfully.
"Thank you, madam, for your concern. I would love to tell you how it is to live here and Artoo and Threepio will be fine companions."
Then Mon Mothma had walked over with her to a holographic projector table and had switched it on. Immediately a map of the underground accommodation hovered about the display.
"To find your way in this huge complex a first crude map has been set up with all the caverns of this accommodation and their connecting passages. You can zoom in on any cavern to see a more detailed map and you can download this holographic projections to a datapad or your infocom so you won't get lost."
Mon Mothma had zoomed in on the library and had pointed some little captions with descriptions.
"This is only for a start. I would be much obliged to you, Liane, if you could add as much information as possible. Just touch a caption and you will be provided with a screen where you can add any information you like or think useful. Give it a try."
Hesitantly she had touched the caption that read: 'library cave'. In front of her a transparent screen had popped up.
"You only have to talk to the computer to add information, or you can activate a virtual key board at the bottom of this screen," Mon Mothma had said and had pointed to the corner of the screen. Immediately a second screen immersed with a classic keyboard.
"Information about the Old Republic." She had said aloud. The computer had asked for confirmation. She had confirmed the changes and the screen had disappeared.
"Well done, Liane," Mon Mothma had said, while she had smiled at her. However she still had remained very concerned, while she had taken her to the couch again.
"I hope, you understand, why we have brought you here, Liane. Don't see your stay here as a form of exile, or as a way of detention. You had a terrible time on Wegoyy and afterwards. On behalf of the New Republic government I have to apologize for what has happened to you. It should never have occurred."
Liane remembered how she had blushed.
"I have learned a lot since then ... I mean... the New Republic is not to blame for what commander Dendicott did to me. It was him, who drugged me and gave the order to leave me in the Wegoyy desert. I've been very lucky, that Ian Tydon was my guard. He brought me to a spot, where the Draga would find me and my time with the Grann brothers was a great experience, as was my stay with the Ewoks."
"But during that long period, Liane, you suffered from a terrible form of amnesia, caused by a mind drug, which never should have been used on you, or on any prisoner of the New Republic, no matter what they have done," Mon Mothma had said sternly. "Our prisoners have to be treated fairly. Torture and drugging should never be used on them. I can only say, that the New Republic is in your debt, and the only way to do justice, is to pardon you for what you did in the past."
She had looked at the Supreme Chancellor inquisitively and uncomprehended.
"You mean ... ", she had stammered, "that,...I'm no longer a prisoner, ma'am?"
"Liane Solichor, you're no longer a prisoner. The members of the High Council have decided to grant you full amnesty."
"Oh, ma'am! Thank you, thank you so much! I can't believe it! I will never have to go back to Wegoyy, "
She had started laughing nervously, but all of a sudden tears had streamed down her face. "Thank you! Thank you!," had been the only words she could sob. Mon Mothma had laid her arm around her shoulders and had hold her in her arms a few moments.
"I personally wanted to tell you this, Liane, that's why I accompanied you and your friends on this trip. Now go to your quarter, wash your face and take some moments to understand your new status as an inhabitant of the New Republic. If you're feeling a bit better again, I want you to come back to this library, for with your new status also comes the official citizenship of the New Republic and you should take the oath in the presence of two witnesses, your friends Luke and Leia."
Gently the Supreme Chancellor had brought her to her quarter. Still wiping away her tears, she sat on her bed and stared at the opposite wall. Each time, still completely bewildered, she had whispered Mon Mothma's words aloud.
'I'm no longer a prisoner, I will never be send back to Wegoyy. I'm free, I'm a free person. I will be a citizen of the New Republic. I can start a new life and forget whatever has happened to me.'
Slowly the new truth had been dawned on her, when she began to understand the full meaning of the words of the Supreme Chancellor. Overjoyed she had touched the Jedi-pendant to share her happiness with Luke.
"Luke, I feel so happy, The Supreme Chancellor has told me something so wonderful," She had whispered.
"I know what you mean, Liane"The apparition of her friend had answered met a smile, "You have been give amnesty. The Supreme Chancellor has pardoned you, hasn't she?"
"Yes, she has. I still can't believe it, Luke. She told me I'm free. I feel so ela ... I can only laugh and cry for ... "
Her voice had broken off.
"Who told you I've been given amnesty?" She had asked surprised.
"The Supreme Chancellor herself. She just informed us all, when we were asked to join her in the library. Leia and I will your witnesses, when you take the oath to become a citizen of the New Republic. We're waiting for you. Mon Mothma said that that you felt upset and overwhelmed after she told you. Feeling better already."
"I'll be right with you. It feels so silly, that I couldn't held back my tears after the Supreme Chancellor told I'm free," she had said.
"Take a moment to get your composure again, Liane. Remember, what I once told you, nobody will blame you, for showing your emotions, when you have a good reason." Luke had said with compassion in his voice.
She clearly had felt his compassion for her. Her face had become hot and warm under his Jedi-look.
"Tell the Supreme Chancellor, I'm coming, Luke."
She had jumped to her feet and had run to annexed room that was laid out as her bathroom. Quickly she had washed her face. Before she had gone back to the library she had looked in a mirror. Her eyes still were a bit swollen and red, but there was a happy sparkle in them.
"You'd better hurry, Liane," She had encouraged herself and left her room. When she slid the door to the library all her friends had looked at her with happy faces, smiling at her. Leia had taken her hand and had brought to a desk in the corner of the library. Behind the desk Mon Mothma had been standing with her official dignified composure, while she had been holding a datapad in her hand. Luke and Leia had lined up on either side of her. Mon Mothma had looked at her with a reassuring smile and she nervously had smiled back. The Supreme Chancellor's had asked her, if she felt better.
She had nodded with a tense smile. What had followed had been so ceremoniously, that Liane still felt warm, when she recalled the moment.
"Liane Severini Solichor, will you, please, repeat after me: I, Liane Solichor, promise..." Mon Mothma had started.
"I, Liane Severini Solichor promise ... " She had answered, raising her brows slightly as she heard her second name, but Mon Mothma continued.
"... that I will comply with ..."
"... that I will comply with ..."
"... all the obligations of citizenship of the New Republic..."
"... all the obligations of citizenship of the New Republic..."
"... I pledge allegiance to its laws..."
"... I pledge allegiance to its laws..."
"... and I will serve the New Republic with all my heart and commitment...
"... and I will serve the New Republic with all my heart and commitment...
"... that I promise." Mon Mothma had ended the official oath.
"... that I promise." Liane had said. Finally her voice had become more steadfast and clear.
"Welcome, Liane Solichor, as a citizen of the New Republic. Here is your ID-card, the official document of your citizenship," Mon Mothma had said, when she had handed her the ID-card, she was now holding in her hands.
"My congratulations and I hope, Liane, that the day soon will come, that you be really free to go where you want. Would you, please confirm your official citizenship with your holographic image on this datapad and your full name. Commander Skywalker, senator Organa, will you confirm that you have been miss Solichor's witnesses. "
A small holographic camera had taken her picture, after which it also had taken the pictures of Luke and Leia. Leia had hugged her and Luke had put his hands on her shoulders and had wished her good luck. She had felt bedazzled, having continuously looked at the official card in her hand.
"Well, sweetheart," Han had said, "you can discard the card of Eilidh Grann now. You're now officially Liane Solichor." Chewbacca had wrapped his huge arms around her and had given her a hug.
"Welcome on Dalmaran as a free person," Ian had said and he had given her an affectionate kiss on her cheek.
"I still don't believe it," She had said, turning her card over. Suddenly her eyes had widened in surprise. She had looked at Mon Mothma, who was standing at a little distance.
"Ma'am, how did you find out who has been my mother, my real mother. Is this really her name... I mean... is this true... Is she ... Is Severini Liane Solichor really my mother?" She had stammered.
"She is, Liane. Leia has found the confirmation of your birth on Morantan."
"This is incredible. I have a mother. I'm her daughter. "
She had turned to Leia and had hugged her.
"Thank you, Leia, thank you. This means a lot to me. This really is a big surprise,"
"I knew this would really please you, Liane," Leia had answered and had given her a hug too.
Liane turned the ID-card and read the name of her mother: Severini Liane Solichor. Her fingers caressed the letters: Severini Liane Solichor. It felt so great to know the name of her real mother.
Luke had confirmed his sister's findings about her birth. He had told her what Anakin and Ben had revealed to him about her mother Severini, and that both had known her mother on Coruscant as the principal Jedi healer in the Jedi temple. Her mother, Severini, had passed her healing skills to her. Severini Liane Solichor, her mother, once had been a Jedi healer in the Jedi temple on Coruscant.
Carefully Liane put her ID-card in the pocket of her belt. She rose and walked to forest cavern, ordering a droid to follow her. She entered the forest cave which felt cooler and was darker than the cave where the main parts of the underground residence had been assembled. She followed a path under the trees. She breathed the cool air with the fragrance of forest odors. Under a largest tree she left the path and started to harvest the leaves of some herbs that grew in the undergrowth. With her hands full of soft smelling herbs she went back to the path and ordered the droid to bring them to the small laboratory she had installed in a small cave behind the lake.
"Prepare the oven to dry these leaves," She ordered.
The droid confirmed her order and left.
Liane looked up to the tree, reached out to the Force as Luke had taught her, jumped and landed on the lower branch. From there she could see the living, the terrace and the lake. The view reminded her of her tree house on Endor. She sat astride on the branch, leaning against the tree stem. Endor! It seems so long ago she had been there. How would her little friends fare? She missed them, like she missed Luke's company and presence.
Her thoughts wandered to the last day again. That last day had been so full, almost overloaded with so many amazing events, for not only had she become a free citizen of the New Republic, but Han and Leia also had made her Force vision of their wedding come true, for they had been wed in a short ceremony.
Liane closed her eyes and mused on the memories of that beautiful moment. It had been a sober ceremony with only Luke, Ian, Chewbacca and she as witnesses, but Han and Leia wanted to share their new union with their closest friends only.
Mon Mothma had led the ceremony several hours before the company would be heading back to Irithim that evening .
Liane remembered how amazed she had looked when Mon Mothma had asked Han and Leia if they were ready to take their wedding vow. Both had asked for a slight delay, because they wanted to change their outfit. Leia had taken her to her quarters and asked her to help her with her dress and her hair. Liane had followed her and let out a cry of surprise when she had seen the dress Leia had taken out of a box which stood in the corner of her room.
"Leia! This dress I have seen in my visions of your wedding. I passed those visions to Han. Oh my, it's even more beautiful than when I saw it in those visions."
"Before we set out to this underground residence Han described the dress you had shown him. I hurried back home to take this box with me, for I knew that Han and I would be wed while we were here. He proposed to me this morning and I don't have to tell my answer, should I." Leia said laughing happily, "This dress was made just after the Battle of Endor, because at that time I thought Han and I would marry soon. Liane, it's so unbelievable that you have seen this dress in your Force vision? Nobody knew about it. Even Luke didn't."
"In my vision I just saw you wearing this dress when you and Han would be wed."
"Don't you realize, how powerful you are as a Force user, my dear? Only those who can use Force Battle Meditation, can see a detailed future like you do. Come help me to put it on. I'm finally going to wear it."
Carefully Liane had helped Leia to put on the beautiful dress. Painstakingly she had straightened the long skirt of the delicate fabric which was decorated with tiny shimmering sequins and soft feathers in a beautiful pattern. The fabric shimmered thousands of colors when Leia moved. She had brushed Leia's hair so that it became soft and shining. Leia had shown her how she had to fix the long braids in small loops. She had put on some make-up and had looked at her image in the large mirror. Then she had turned around and had put her arms around Liane.
"My lovely sister, Han and I owe you so much. I'm so glad we have become good friends."
"Helping Han with my healing skills became a way to repay you for the kindness you showed me, Leia, when I was in detention on Ortel."
"You're a lovely friend, darling. Forget what went wrong in the past, forget what my father once taught you. Listen to what Luke want to tell and teach you and follow his lead to the Good Side of the Force. You will greatly benefit from his help. We both love you so much, Liane."
"I haven't been always kind to you and Luke, Leia. I remember there have been moments I hated both of you."
"You've come a long way, Liane, but my brother was right, you always had a honest and fair consciousness. You only masked it with your aggression and anger, because you feared the influence of the Force. Would you please, hand me that box and help me to put on those jewels."
She had handed Leia a fine wooden box. When Leia had opened it she had seen a beautiful necklace, earrings and a small tiara, all fitted with soft white gem stones.
"They are beautiful!"
"It's all I have, that is left of Alderaan. These are Alderanian gems; raindrop gems they are called. My foster father Bail Organa, the vice-roy of Alderaan gave me these jewels when I was coming of age. They are the heir looms of the Alderanian Royal House. Help me to fasten the necklace and the tiara, Liane," Leia had said, while she had put on the earrings.
When she had finished, she had taken a last look in the mirror and had walked over to the door.
"Come,dear, otherwise, my future husband is going to look for us. I want to surprise him."
With a laugh they had walked back to the library where Han had been waiting for his bride. Liane would never forget his astounded face when he had looked at Leia.
"That dress you're wearing, darling. I have seen it in those dreams, in those images Liane has shown me."
Tenderly he had taken Leia in his arms, careful not to wrinkle the tiny feathers.
"You look gorgeous, darling."
Liane had looked at Han and saw that he also had changed his clothes. He was now wearing his official uniform as a general in the New Republic's Space Force. She had started laughing.
"Now my dream is complete," she had whispered to Ian, who was standing next to her, watching the wedding couple. She had looked up to her former guard and then suddenly she realized that he was wearing his ceremonial Jedi padawan outfit. Quickly she had cast a glance at Luke. Like Ian he was wearing his Jedi ceremonial robe. Without any one noticing it, she had slipped away to her room and had looked in her wardrobe if she had some more ceremonial clothes too.
"I don't have anything proper for this occasion," she had murmured, half aloud.
"Do as Leia and you did on the Falcon recently. I'm sure my sister won't mind," A voice had said, when she had been rummaging through her wardrobe.
Embarrassed she had whirled around.
"Luke! Why are you following me?"
"Because I assumed, you might need some help. Come, let's go to my sister's quarters."
He had grabbed her wrist and had pulled her with him. When they had reached Leia's room he had opened his sister's wardrobe. Quickly he had scanned through Leia's dresses and had nodded with a smile. He had taken out a beautiful pure white dress.
"I was right. She always takes this dress with her, wherever she goes. Here, you put on this one. It will suit you. "
She had shaken her head.
"I can't use that one, Luke, it's too expensive. This is surely one of Leia's ceremonial dresses. She surely don't want ..." She had objected.
"You're right, Liane, this is one of my sister's ceremonial dresses. That's why she always puts it in her bags as she leaves Irithim. This is the dress she wore at the ceremony after Han and I blew up the first Death Star, and she was the most impressive appearance I had ever seen, but you will look even more gorgeous in it."
He had reached to one of the shelves.
"These are the shoes and the belt that go with this dress. Hurry, you can't have our Supreme Chancellor wait any longer. You're Han's witness together with Chewbacca," He had said rather bluntly. "I'll wait outside for you. If you're not ready in two minutes I'll come back and help you put it on."
Angrily she had pushed him out of the room while he had looked back at her with his familiar teasing grin. With a frown she had closed the door and had locked it from the inside. For a few second she had looked at the closed door, then she had to laugh inwardly. That lock wouldn't keep him out. Quickly she had stepped out of her clothes and had the dress glide over her head. It had fitted perfectly. She had put on the shoes, fasten the belt and had cast a quick glance in the mirror. The dress was absolutely perfect for this occasion. Hasty she had fixed her hair at the back in her neck, leaving a few strands at her left shoulder. One last glimpse in the mirror had convinced her she had been ready.
"Are you ready, Liane," Luke had called from behind the closed door.
She had walked over to the door. The door had slid aside and Luke had turned around. Aghast he had looked at the beautiful person in front of him. Without a word he had walked over and taken her hands in his. For several moments he had looked at her dumbfounded. She had felt a certain uneasiness under his stare.
"Beautiful. I can't believe it's you. You see, I was right. You look even more gorgeous in it indeed, than my sister."
"Shouldn't we go back to the library and join the others, Luke. You said that the Supreme Chancellor is waiting to proceed with the wedding ceremony, " She had said in a whisper, hesitant to disturb his admiration.
He had looked at her, as if he was waking up from a long, almost forgotten memory.
"Yes, of course, sure. Let's go. May I accompany you, my beautiful lady."
He had offered her is arm. With a uncertain feeling she had placed her hand on outstretched arm. Together they had walked back to the library where Mon Mothma had been waiting with the others. When they had entered every one had turned their heads and had looked at them. Leia had left Han's side and had walked over.
"You look absolutely superb in this dress, Liane. Oh my, you're so beautiful."
"Luke took it from your wardrobe, Leia, and urged me to put it on. If you don't me to..." She had whispered.
"My brother has a fine taste, darling. No, I don't mind you're wearing it. It suits you."
"Hey, Liane, it's Leia and me who are going to marry, this is not your wedding day." Han had said with his familiar lopsided grin as he had looked at her with a critical, but admiring, look. Her face had become hot and warm by his quasi wisecrack.
"Luke said, you wanted me to be your witness," she had cut him off quickly. "So I wanted to be dressed properly for the occasion."
Mon Mothma still had been waiting with a smile on her face, but finally she beckoned the six friends to step forward.
"Can I proceed, Leia, Han?"
Han and Leia's wedding had passed in a dreamlike cloud. She had watched Mon Mothma while she had been asking Han and Leia to answer the wedding formulas. She had heard their unqualified confirmation on those questions. Han had tenderly kissed Leia after Mon Mothma had confirmed that they were now officially husband and wife.
Yet she had been more aware of Luke undisguised and admirable glance at her during the whole ceremony. She had felt uneasy and didn't know how to cope with his attention and Han's particular remark.
The few hours before her friends would leave and get back to Irithim she had been silent, having much difficulty to pay full attention to the exquisite dinner Threepio and Artoo had prepared. Every now and then she had cast a quick glance at Luke and every time he had intercepted her stare and had smiled back in admiration.
Shortly before everyone had gathered their belonging and prepared to depart, she had walked over to the terrace. With a disquieting stare she had watched the lake and had listened to artificial noises coming from the forest cave. Suddenly she had felt Luke's presence through the Force. He had entered the terrace.
"We are leaving, Liane."
"Yes, I'm coming," she had murmured, still looking at the lake, "I can't let you leave without saying goodbye."
He had walked over to her, had placed his hands on her shoulders. He gently had turned her towards him. She had looked up at him and a very strong emotion, that she was longing for his kiss, had engulfed her. He tenderly had taken her head between his hands.
"I will be back, Liane, as soon as possible," He had said. She had nodded, desperately trying to cope with the strong emotion she had felt, Suddenly he had put his arms around her and had pulled her close. Gently he had pressed her head against his chest while bowing his face to hers.
"You will remember how you can reach me, won't you?" He had whispered.
"Yes, Luke, I will." she had murmured, feeling safe in his embrace.
"For now, I have to say goodbye, Liane, I'm sure you will enjoy your stay here. Please, tell me all about it."
He had looked into her eyes.
"You will tell me, won't you, Liane?" He had asked on a whispering tone.
She had nodded, but wasn't able to answer his question, for she had felt a lump in her throat.
'Don't go away, Luke. Please, stay, don't leave me here on my own.' She had thought. When she had caught his eyes she had seen his familiar Jedi look and she knew that he intercepted her thoughts. She had tried to laugh as she reluctantly had released herself from his embrace.
"I have to say goodbye to the others too, Luke," she had said, forcing herself to use her normal voice. Together they had walked over to the jetty. Leia had hugged her warmly.
"I'll leave you my whole wardrobe, my dear sister, especially this dress. I give it to you. Wear it when Luke will visit you again. You will please him. He really loves it to see you so beautiful," Leia had whispered in her ear. She had blushed violently at these words. Again her overwhelming feelings for Luke which she had felt some minutes ago, had made her face feel warm and hot. After Leia's embrace Han and Chewbacca had hugged her. Ian had taken her hands in his and had drawn her close to him, but she had felt a strange reluctance when he gently had kissed her cheek.
"Goodbye, Liane. I will miss you," He had said, "One day I will accompany you back to Endor and we will stay there for a long time."
"Ask Luke if you both can come back soon." She had answered on a friendly tone. Then she had turned to Mon Mothma.
"Thank you, ma'am, for this beautiful place. I'm sure I will be safe here."
"I sincerely hope you will feel happy here, Liane. We'll be in touch soon."
The whole company had entered the submersible. Chewbacca had released the mooring clamps and had waved goodbye before the hatch closed. She had been standing alone on the jetty with Threepio and Artoo, watching the whirling of the water when the engines had been started. Slowly the submersible had sunk deeper and deeper into the water of the stream. She had watched the little whirls that disturbed the surface for a while, finally the surface became smooth and still again. Luke was gone. They were separated for the first time since he had answered her plea on Endor.
While Liane finally had managed to feel herself more comfortable and at home in Mon Mothma's emergency accommodation under the mountains of Na'ctaMagh'Ba after the first two months, Mon Mothma, as the New Republic's Chancellor, had to cope with quite a number additional tasks, after she, the Jedi twins and Han and Chewbacca had returned to Irithim right away. Already in the afternoon of her return Sorjon Tyloban had informed her about his holographic meeting with the leaders of the Provisional Coruscant Council and their request to ask the Jedi Knights whether to lend their assistance to a mission near the Palomintar system. Mon Mothma immediately had scheduled a secret meeting with Luke and the others the next morning to discuss the request the leaders on Coruscant had brought up.
With a slight sigh Mon Mothma looked at her visitors and friends. She took a long pause before she started.
"Given the seriousness of a request from the leaders on Coruscant, I had to arrange this unexpected meeting, because I have to call on your skills as Jedi Knights right away, before you all can carry on with your own duties or plans, " Mon Mothma said, "I can imaging that Leia and Han want to go on honeymoon.
During our absence Sorjon Tyloban have spoken with the triarchy on Coruscant. Master Tyloban wanted to discuss a new plan with the Coruscant leaders to tighten the net around our new adversary at the Palomintar System. This new plan also needs some fast cooperation from the government of the New Republic with the Provisional Coruscant Council. A delay could cause problems in our combine vision to establish and maintain a peaceful cooperation between Irithim and Coruscant. The plan contain the following: The covert agent on board the Basilisæa wants to infiltrate the communication system of their former admiral Trevor Matrik on Palomintar Four in cooperation with our technicans on Quoith. We already know that he has made several attempts to kidnap Liane Solichor. I still have to discuss the exact details of the plan with Quoith and Coruscant. The actual implementation of the plan will certainly take some time. However, Coruscant also has asked our government if our Jedi Knights can help them to intensify the investigations near the inner planets Four, Five and Six of the Palomintar System in the meantime"
Han, Luke, Ian and Chewbacca were looking at the Supreme Chancellor in silence, but Leia interrupted Mon Mothma's explanation.
"As far as I know, ma'am, they already have sent the star destroyer Basilisæa to the Outer Rim to do investigations. Aren't they trusting admiral Vestor of the Basilisæa anymore, since he left his position and unexpectedly went to Endor to look for Liane."
"That's exactly what I have been thinking, Leia, but Coruscant hasn't informed us yet, if they will order the commander of the Basilisæa to head back to Coruscant. As far as our intels know, the Basilisæa has returned to the Outer Rim and is carrying out a mission around the Palomintar System at the moment."
"Then what will be the point of another mission with the Jedi Knights? As soon as they turn up near the inner planets of the system, the Basilisæa probably will use its tracker beam and draw their ship on board, arrest the Jedi and keep them in detention on board a star destroyer. I sense some trouble is laying ahead," Han said cynically .
"There aren't any more hostilities between Coruscant and Irithim, general Solo. Coruscant wants to do both missions in cooperation. They haven't asked us to do anything specific, explaining that they leave it up to the Jedi Knights to follow their own leads. The triarchy is aware of the special skills of the Jedi Knights."
Luke and Leia nodded, but Han remained skeptical.
"Ma'am, two missions with the same purpose, three former imperials who doesn't seem to trust their own commander who they have sent on a mission and now they want to hire our Jedi Knights as their mercenaries to keep an eye on their commander? Ma'am, don't you think this will be an odd way of cooperation between our two governments. As I already remarked: much trouble is laying ahead. If it turns out, that the commander to the star destroyer has pledge loyalty to our new adversary, then the Jedi Knights will be in severe danger."
"Ian and I can carry out an investigation mission around the Palomintar System, ma'am," Luke said, "The Astræga easily can keep out of range of the Basilisæa. Moreover the Astræga won't be spotted on their detection system easily, as I will keep my ship cloaked. But I agree with Han, that our mission shouldn't be interpreted as a kind of control on their commander. I won't keep an eye on the Basilisæa and report anomalies in the ship's behavior, that's the responsibility of Coruscant."
"That won't be necessary, commodore Skywalker. Coruscant's covert agent on board the star destroyer certainly will report and ask for interference if the commander of the Basilisæa forgets or oversteps the orders he has been given," Mon Mothma said, "Are you willing to carry out that mission, commodore Skywalker?"
" I most certainly am, ma'am Chancellor, for it also will be a great opportunity to find out more about our opponent's use of the Force. Leia has told me what she and Ian have experienced on Endor. It's really necessary to have a closer look near the planet where Darth Golluth seems to resided. I need to know what kind of knowledge he possesses and what kind of threat his knowledge is to Liane. The more I know the better I can protect her against his intentions."
"Good, then I want you to go on that mission to the Palomintar System, commodore Skywalker. However, I have to mention some restrictions: landing on the planet in the Palomintar System where Darth Golluth seemed to be hiding himself, is prohibited according to the peace treaty. This also is the case for the other planets in the system. At least for now. There is one exception: Ktafunda, the small trading center on Palomintar Six. You're free to land there, if necessary. Any new information about Darth Golluth you have to report to me or master Tyloban. We will pass it on to Coruscant. I will contact the Provisional Council on Coruscant that they will order the commander of Basilisæa not to seek an encounter with you. I don't expect any objection on their side as I will also discuss the covert operation with them. When will you be able to leave?"
"My shuttle Astræga is still on Tatooine, but Han and Leia surely will be willing to drop me off on Tatooine, before they are going on their honeymoon. I can be back at Irithim in about five standard days," Luke said.
"Good, then I leave it further up to you, commodore Skywalker, " Mon Mothma said calmly, then she turned to Leia and Han with a smile.
"I endorse your skepticism, General Solo, there might laying new troubles ahead, but as your brother-in-law just said: the main goal for the New Republic in this case will be the safety of Liane Solichor. So I'm not going to send you and Han on a specific mission regarding Darth Golluth, Leia. I want you and Han to enjoy your new status as a married couple. Where are you planning to go?"
"We haven't any specific plans made, yet, ma'am. I want to show my new wife several interesting planets I have been visiting in the past and perhaps she also has good ideas of her own," Han said.
Mon Mothma rose.
"Then I will see you again when you return, Leia. Enjoy your voyages with your new husband. Commodore Skywalker, after your return from Tatooine you will let me know when you will set out to the Palomintar System."
She walked her visitors over to the door of her office.
"May the Force be with all of you."
"Thank you ma'am," Luke, Ian and Leia said and brought a formal Jedi salutation. Mon Mothma answered with a civil nod.
When they had left the government building Leia said goodbye to Ian.
"When Han and I return I'll will complete your training, Ian, and be your master again" She said.
"Enjoy your trips with general Solo and his Wookiee friend, master. Thank you, for letting me use your apartment as my home while I'm waiting for master Luke to return. May the Force be with you. " Ian said.
"Thank you for your wish, Ian," Leia answered.
"Master Luke, I'll see you in five days. I know what you expect of me," the young padawan said, while he walked over to a speeder.
The two Jedi Knights with Han and Chewbacca watched him go. Leia looked at her brother.
"Take care of him, Luke. He's doing fine, but he still isn't in full control of his feelings, especially for Liane."
"Don't worry, Leia, you should enjoy your honeymoon with Han. I will look after Ian," Luke
"Let's get to the Falcon. I want to reach Tatooine as soon as possible and stay out of trouble for a while," Han commented
Chewbacca grunted a long sentence.
"Yes, Luke told me about Myydkr, we'll make a stop there, after our trip to Tatooine. Sure, I want Candaluwa to get that droid back. What is it, Leia darling. I will tell you about the failure of the navi-computer while I wasn't able to help these guys. But they did a good job. The restored program never worked better. Come on, you Jedi. I want to lift off as soon as possible."
Leia had raised her brows and looked at her brother who was laughing at Han's comments.
Mon Mothma looked at the holographic images of the leaders on Coruscant.
"Thank you, grand admiral, I highly appreciate the efforts of your expert on board the Basilisæa to work out a plan to expand the grip on the use of the communication system on Palomintar Four. I have had a contact with the main technical operator on Quoith who has spoken with your man several times. He has convinced me that what your man has in mind certainly requires our attention and interest. The plan is highly feasible according the info I've gotten from Quoith." She said.
"We also have gone through all the pros and cons, ma'am, and we are about to tell our man to proceed. Knowing the high level of his expertise we think that his plan will give us a lot more information about the situation on Palomintar Four," Jerno Thai said, "All members of the Provisional Council have agreed with our proposal to give this plan the highest priority."
"Then we will tell the special group on Quoith to proceed. I know they will monitor the progress and keep us informed about any necessary precautions they have to take. I understand that the cooperation between your man and the special group on Quoith will issued encrypted reports to both sides which will provide both our governments to keep track of their progress."
"I'm obliged to you and your staff, ma'am, for the support you will give to his plan."
"We want to express our gratitude for the cooperation between us, grand admiral. But I've noticed that master Ru'undo also a question," Mon Mothma said.
"Ma'am Chancellor, about two months ago Liane Solichor has returned to Irithim. We haven't been informed about what has happened to her. Could you tell us what your government has decided about her. She hasn't returned to the Wegoyy prison, as far as we know."
"You're well informed, master Ru'undo. I can tell you that the government of the New Republic will protect miss Solichor. She is not in Irithim anymore, but she also hasn't been brought back to the Wegoyy prison. Where she is now, I won't reveal, but I assure you that we have found a place where she is safe against another attempt of Darth Golluth to bring her to Palomintar Four."
"She also won't be able to leave that place?" Kalip asked.
"Difficult to say, master Ru'undo. She isn't imprisoned again, if that's what you mean."
"But some one is guarding her, or keeps an eye on her. Master Skywalker's space ship recently landed in Ktafunda. After a few hours the vessel has lift off again."
"On your former request Jedi Master Skywalker and his padawan carry out further investigations around the inner planets of the Palomintar System. I told him that he could use the space port at Palomintar Six. Possibly he wanted to get some new supplies. Concerning Miss Solichor I can reassure you. She lives in complete solitude at the moment with only two droids as her companions."
"Those droids send you regular reports about her."
"Not at all. I personally have regular contact with her about her wellbeing and her needs," Mon Mothma suppressed a smile as she noticed the astounded looks on the faces of the three Coruscant leaders, "I know, master Ru'undo that you still have doubts about her. Growing up with the knowledge of the former oppressive regime of Emperor Palpatine is not immediately a comforting thought for many. Your doubts are ratified, because you're responsible for the machinations of Darth Golluth. I can't take away your doubts about miss Solichor, but she is the concern of the New Republic, so we take care of her."
Kalip Ru'undo nodded.
"Ma'am Chancellor can you tell us if Jedi Master Skywalker and his padawan have reported any results to you about their investigations in the Palomintar System."
"Jedi Master Skywalker is a prudent man, master Namaran. I leave it up to him to find out what possible danger Darth Golluth might be for a peaceful future. He surely won't take any decisions without consulting me or master Tyloban."
"We have gotten intel information that princess Leia Organa and general Solo have been spotted on Morantan. Did you send them to Darth Vader's former stronghold?"
"Leia Organa and general Han Solo were on their honeymoon, so I can't answer your question at the moment. They are free visit what ever planet of the New Republic they wanted to visit."
"The princess and the general have finally married. That's good news. Will you please, send our congratulations to the newly weds, ma'am," Jerno said.
"Thank you, grand admiral. I'm sure they will appreciate your wish. I'm glad we have spoken each other again and I will guarantee that my government will continue to support our cooperation with Coruscant. With the new plan the cooperation gets a new and more enduring status. We will do what is needed on our sides and I'm sure you will do yours. Don't hesitate to seek contact with us."
"Thank you, ma'am for your support. We will do what is required."
The encrypted and shielded connection between Irithim and Coruscant disappeared. Mon Mothma looked at Sorjon Tyloban who had followed her conversation with Coruscant's leaders from a connected monitor.
"They are still in doubt about Liane Solichor, Sorjon," Mon Mothma said with a slight sigh.
"From their point of view that's obvious, Mon. Miss Solichor upbringing will always remain a point of concern to them. I think, that only miss Solichor herself will change their opinion about her," Sorjon Tyloban commented, "We already know that she isn't as dangerous as they assume, but we have met her and have listened to her testimony about her treatment in the Wegoyy prison. I've gotten the impression that she is aware of what she has done wrong in the past and that she is much willing to change her habits."
"It really is a relief for me, that she is safe at the moment and that she is doing well, living on her own with only Threepio and Artoo," Mon Mothma remarked as she switch off the holo display on her desk.
"Mistress Liane, where are you?" Liane heard Threepio call to her on the lawn near the terrace. She heard the concern in the droid's voice.
"Over here, Threepio, I'm in one of the caves behind the lake. I'm coming over to you." Liane answered, as she left the cave and walked over to the droid.
"Mistress Liane, I'm want to remind you of your appointment with the Supreme Chancellor three hours from now."
Liane looked at the chrono on her infocom. For a couple of seconds she watched the figures change, constantly counting the time, then she looked at Threepio.
"Thank you, Threepio. I'll remember. I'll go over to sit near the lake. Warn me when the connection with Quoith has been set up. Please, bring me a drink and some sandwiches."
She sat down on one of the flat rocks near the edge of the lake. Artoo rolled over on the lawn with the drinks and the sandwiches followed by Threepio who spread a plaid on the grass.
"Thank you, guys. This looks like a real picknick. Wow, these rolls look great."
"Thank you, mistress Liane." Threepio said, "It's very rewarding to be in your service. I'm enjoying my stay with you."
Liane laughed. Artoo hooted a string of binary beeps.
"Mistress Liane, have you heard from master Luke lately. Artoo wants to know where he is at the moment, and if he will back soon.
"No, Threepio. I haven't used the pendant recently. Maybe I should call him, but Luke is busy, trying to find some guy who is after me. The Supreme Chancellor has sent him on a mission to the Outer Rim. He is doing investigations near the Palomintar System."
"So it isn't likely, that he will visit us soon?"
"I don't think so, Threepio." She said and thought 'It's a pity he isn't able to come. I'll miss him, I'll miss him so much. I really wish he was here.'
So far she only had used the Jedi-pendant twice. Her own uncertain feelings for Luke made her reluctant to use his gift more. If she would call him more often, she feared that she might reveal too much of her feelings for him.
'Luke Skywalker, do you know how much you mean to me, how much I care about you', she thought. Her stare became hazy; she forget the two droids and her thoughts turned further inward and unwittingly her fingers started to take the Jedi-pendant in her hands
'Luke, can we talk again?' she whispered.
Almost immediately she saw the bluish apparition of Luke appear at the end of the lake. He smiled and radiated his compassion and friendship for her.
"Hello, Liane. Of course we can talk. I was already beginning to think you had forgotten me, " He said with a warm laugh, while walking over to her. He sat himself on a rock next to her. "How are you doing?"
Liane felt how a hot glow rose to her face, as she looked into his eyes.
"I'm alright. How are you, Luke?" she answered, feeling suddenly a growing shyness.
"At the moment Ian and I are again in orbit around the inner planets of the Palomintar system, especially doing more investigation near Palomintar Four. Do you remember that commander Dendicott wanted to bring you to Palomintar Four. The oncoming days Ian and I will set course again to Palomintar Six. We already have landed several times in Ktafunda to pick up some fresh supplies. Next time I want to carry out some minor necessary repairs. By the way I must say hello to you from Ian." Luke said.
"Thank you," Liane replied, but quickly changed the subject of their chat.
"Mon Mothma has told me that Leia and Han have returned from their honeymoon. It seems that your sister and her new husband also have used their honeymoon to carry out a number of investigations concerning our adversary during their trip. Isn't that a bit odd?"
"No, I don't think so. I guess, those investigations were Leia's initiative. The Supreme Chancellor hasn't send them on a specific mission like Ian and I are doing. Something must have attracted Leia's attention, but believe me, they certainly have spent most of their honeymoon together. How have you spent your days since our last contact some four standard weeks ago? Did you find anything interesting to do?" Luke asked inquisitive.
Liane laughed at him.
"Oh, yes I have. I've found a another cave where a second underground stream falls down in a beautiful waterfall. When you're here again I'll show you. It's so great to explore all the caves, Luke. We should do those explorations together. Oh, and, Luke, I have started to work on those Force exercise you taught me on Endor. Remember, you taught me to raise that branch. I'm practising with other objects as well: books, my datapad, my dinner plates." She laughed. "The first time I tried to raise my dinner plate it fell on the terrace. Threepio was a bit crossed with me spoiling my dinner that way. I hope if we meet again, you will find I have improved those skills. I already have told you about Mon Mothma's library; it's absolutely superb, and it's so great to read about the Republic's history, both the Old Republic and the rebellion uprising during the Civil War. Threepio has told me what happened after their escape pod had crash landed on Tatooine, and how he and Artoo came into your uncle's service. "
"With their arrival my life turned upside down, as you know. Has Threepio also told you, how we managed to rescue Leia from the first Death Star, and fled with her in the Millennium Falcon? You shouldn't forget to ask Threepio about his adventures, after Han and Leia escaped from Hoth and went to Bespin. But I don't think you're filling your days with studying and practising with the Force alone."
"No, in the forest cave I have found several plants Logray used to make his potions and ointments. He taught me how to distil and retain them for future use. I have consulted with Mon Mothma and asked her if she wants me to hoard some. Some of Logray's products can be kept for years, if prepared the right way. With help of Artoo and some tech droids I have set up a small laboratory to prepare those potions. Mon Mothma has promised me that I will get better equipment if you, or Han and Leia will be able to visit me. "
" 'You're quite busy, Liane. Is that the reason why I had to wait such a long time before you used the pendant again? Last time you told me that you talk with Mon Mothma every other day. Already two months have passed since our sep... since I have said goodbye to you, and you have used the pendant only twice."
Again Liane's cheeks became red. She heard some reproach in Luke's voice.
"I don't want to disturb you, Luke, using your precious gift whenever I want. It's not that I don't want to talk to you, I love to, but I don't want to annoy you with my chitchat." She said in a whisper.
"And I would love it if you would contact me every time you want to chitchat." Luke said with a warm smile. "I want to hear your stories and I enjoy talking to you, Liane."
Liane didn't answer. Luke felt her hesitation.
"You never bother me, Liane. We are e... close friends now, aren't we? I hope you won't forget that." Luke insisted.
Liane looked at him.
"Luke, why can't we stay here together? Why can't you come and stay with me," she suddenly said on a whim, "I'm not ungrateful to be here, but I wish you were here too, so you could tell me more about the Jedi. I would enjoy it, for I love being together with you."
Luke felt her sudden loneliness and reached out to comfort her.
"Can't you pay me a short visit? Maybe Ian could accompany you too?" Liane asked unhappy.
Luke remembered how her former guard had surrounded her with his care on their journey in the submersible.
"You have found another good friend, Liane, haven't you? Ian cares a lot about you," He said changing the subject of their chat to put her mind at ease.
"It's good that you're his master now, Luke. Your knowledge is so great, he deserves a Jedi master like you." Liane said, neglecting his comments about Ian.
"Leia is his Jedi master, Liane. She teaches him the same things I'm teaching him. I'm only taking over Leia's task as his master temporarily."
"I don't underestimate Leia's Jedi skills, Luke," Liane said, then changing the subject again to her secret wish. "I really hope that you both can come and stay. I would love to have both my best friends around."
"It's not likely that there will be an early opportunity to visit you soon, Liane, much as I would like." Luke said.
Liane looked up with a unhappy smile.
"Liane, we have to find your adversary. We have to make sure he can do you no harm, so you can live a free life. " Luke said on a soothing tone.
"I know, Luke, but despite this great accommodation and all the care you and the others gave me I would love to be with you again."
She looked into his eyes and for a moment her vision became blurred. She saw herself and Luke fighting side by side against a number of dangerous looking opponents who were attacking them with red glowing lightsabers. All around them a heavy lightsaber battle was going on. Like Luke she was wielding a green lightsaber and she was dressed as a Jedi Knight. She blinked and the vision vanished.
"One day we will be together again. Please understand why this all happens, and be patient." Luke said gently.
Liane nodded, Luke continued,"You know that we always can be together at any moment, no matter where I am. You only have to call me, preferably very often, several times a day or so, using my gift," Luke said with a grin, struggling with his emotional feelings for Liane.
A smile appeared on her face.
"If I should use your gift that often, Luke, you wouldn't have much time left to carry out Mon Mothma's mission and your task as Jedi Master and it would take an eternity for Ian to become a Jedi Knight. Let's say goodbye for now. If you want it, I will use the pendant more frequently."
"I do, for now goodbye, my eternal friend. Don't forget your promise. Use my gift any time you feel the need."
They both laughed. Liane blushed at his words. Her sad mood had disappeared.
"Goodbye, Luke. Don't worry about me. These are all nonsense wishes. This is a great place to be; I'm really happy here."
She released herself from her Jedi trance and Luke's image disappeared. For a moment she sat silent with an intensely happy smile on her face. Had she heard it right? He had made a slip of the tongue, and had called their goodbye a separation, although he had corrected his words immediately. Did he also feel they were separated? Did he in fact want to be with her, like she wished she was with him again. At the end he had called her 'my eternal friend'? What was the meaning of those words? That soft speaking voice on Tatooine had called him her eternal companion, partner and friend. Had that voice spoken to Luke too? After their long stay in Ben's home their mutual friendship had become more and more apparent and very strong. Maybe next time she should tell him about...? Maybe he could tell her...? But then the images of their goodbye on the terrace popped up in her mind again. She close her eyes, recalling the great feeling of his arms around her while he had pressed her head against his chest, his whispered words and the tender look in his eyes when she had desperately tried to hide her unspoken thoughts.
To be continued...