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

Chapter 34

Cap_L
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.
Still smiling she switched off the projector, left the library and walked through the lavish living to the terrace and the garden with the underground lake. She sat down on a rock near the edge of the water. It was bright daylight and she heard all kind of noises coming from the forest near by: the leaves were rustling, several different were birds singing, and a soft warm wind was blowing through her hair. Except for the vegetation everything was artificial. No birds were ever seen, nor were there any animals.
Still feeling contented she looked around and let out a happy sigh. The first sight of this beautiful view at the day of her arrival had astounded her. At first she couldn't believe that this beautiful spot would be hers for as long as necessary. Mon Mothma who had joined their trip to Na'ctaMagh'Ba, had shown her around and Luke and Ian had activated the housekeeping and the tech droids that would carry out all routine daily chores and keep the accommodation up and running.
Five standard days all her friends and the Supreme Chancellor had stayed with her, enjoying the short break in their chores and duties. To her surprise Leia had ordered Threepio and Artoo to stay behind and be her companions so she shouldn't feel less lonely.
Her thoughts lingered on the memories of the last day with Mon Mothma, Luke, Leia and her new friends: Han, Chewbacca and Ian. That day, she would remember for the rest of her life.
After a joint breakfast Han and Leia had left together, telling the rest of the company they needed some private words. Luke had taken Ian and Chewbacca on some explorations in the caves which were part of the underground residence and Mon Mothma had invited her to join her in 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 Solichor. The sight of it still made her happy.
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 her conversation with the Supreme Chancellor.
"You will have this whole staff of droids to take care of you. If necessary Artoo can activate and program any other droid you need. They will prepare and serve your meals and do all the necessary cleaning and other routine tasks you want them to do." Mon Mothma had said and had looked at her very seriously. "Our technicians have constructed an artificial light system, emulating a normal day and night rhythm in these huge underground caverns. The caverns at the far side of the lake will supply you with all kind of vegetables and greens, 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. Unfortunately, and that what worries me a lot, you will be all alone, Liane. We can't take the risk that your stay will be revealed to spying eyes."
"It won't be any different from Morantan or Wegoyy, madam. I'm 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, his dark leader, your foster-father Darth Vader and our resistance against the Empire during the Civil War.
"I have heard a lot about the Alliance's struggle against Emperor Palpatine. Luke has told me all his adventures and those of Han and Leia during the Battle of Endor."
Mon Mothma had smiled.
"There's a lot more 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.
"I will be in touch with you often, Liane," Mon Mothma had said, "Probably I will call you via our highly shielded communication on Quoith every two days."
"Madam," 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 emotions and it's necessary you can tell some one your thoughts. I want to be in touch with you, Liane, so I will know how you're doing and if you have any special needs. Remember, Luke and the others will be busy elsewhere in the galaxy. I want them to find your adversary and our new opponent. I don't expect they will be able to pay you a visit after they have gone back to Irithim. How long you have to stay here is unpredictable. Therefore Leia has asked me to keep in touch with you. She will leave Threepio and Artoo with you to keep you company."
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 and had switched it on. Immediately a map of the underground accommodation popped up.
"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 projection to a datapad so you won't get lost."
Mon Mothma had zoomed in on the library and had pointed to the 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: 'holographic display unit'. 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 the 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.
"Map of the caverns. Zoom in for further details." 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 warmly. She had put her hand on her arm still looking very concerned.
"I hope, you understand, why we have brought you here, Liane. Don't feel this exile as a way of detention. You had a terrible time on Wegoyy and afterwards. I apologize for what has happened to you. That should never have occurred."
Liane remembered how she had blushed.
"I have learned a lot since then ... I mean... you're 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 relatively safe place, where the Draga would find me. My time with the Grann brothers was a great experience, as was my stay with the Ewoks."
"But all that time, Liane, you suffered of a terrible form of amnesia, caused by a mind drug, that should have never been used on you, or 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 compensate you, is to pardon you for what you did in the past."
She had looked at the Supreme Chancellor inquisitively.
"You mean ... ", she had stammered, "that,...I'm no longer a convicted prisoner, madam?"
"Indeed, Liane Solichor, you're no longer a prisoner. The members of the High Council have decided to grant you full amnesty."
"Oh, madam! Thank you, thank you so much! I can't believe it! I will never have to go back to Wegoyy, " She had laughed, but all of a sudden her emotions had prevailed and tears had streamed down her face. "Thank you! Thank you!," had been the only words she could sob. Mon Mothma had given her some tissues to wipe her eyes and had laid her arm around her shoulders.
"I wanted tell you this personally, Liane, that's why I accompanied you and your friends on this trip. Now go to your quarters, wash your face and take some moments to relax. If you feel alright again I want you to come back to this library, for with your new status as a free person comes your official citizenship of the New Republic and you should take the oath in the presence of two witnesses."
Gently the Supreme Chancellor had brought her to her new quarters. Still sobbing and wiping her eyes, she had sat down on her bed staring at the opposite wall. Completely stunned she had recalled Mon Mothma's words.
'I'm no longer a prisoner, I don't have to be afraid anymore to be send back to Wegoyy. I'm free, I'm a free person. I'm a citizen of the New Republic. I can start a new life and forget whatever has happened to me.'
The new truth had slowly dawned on her and she began to understand the full truth and meaning of the words of the Supreme Chancellor. Overjoyed her fingers had touched the Jedi-pendant to share her happiness with Luke.
"Luke, I'm so happy. I'm no longer a prisoner, says the Supreme Chancellor." She had whispered.
"I know what you mean. Liane"The apparition of her friend had answered met a smile, "So you don't have to be scared anymore that you would be sent back to Wegoyy?"
"I still can't believe it, Luke. I'm free. I feel so rel ..."
Her voice had broken off.
"Who told you the Supreme Chancellor has pardoned me?" She had asked surprised.
"The Supreme Chancellor herself. She just called us all to the libray some minutes ago. Leia and I will your witnesses, when you take the oath to become a citizen of the New Republic. We're all waiting for you in the library at the moment. Mon Mothma said that that you felt overwhelmed and upset by her message. Feeling better now."
"I'll be right with you. I couldn't held back my tears after the Supreme Chancellor told I'm free," she had said.
"Take a moment to find your composure, Liane. Remember what I once told you, nobody will blame for showing your emotions, if you have a good reason." Luke had said with compassion in his voice.
She clearly had felt how much he cared 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 ran to her bathroom. Quickly she has washed her face. Before she had gone back to the library she had looked in the mirror. Her eyes still were a bit red, but there was a happy sparkle in them.
"You'd better hurry, Liane," She had encouraged herself and left her room. When she had slid aside the door to the library all her friends had looked at her with a smile. Leia had taken her hand and had brought to the desk in the corner of the library. Behind it Mon Mothma had been waiting, holding a datapad in her hand. Luke and Leia had flanked her in front of the desk. Mon Mothma had looked at her with a reassuring smile and she had smiled back a bit nervously. 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 those moments.
"Liane Solichor, will you, please, repeat after me: I, Liane Solichor, promise..." Mon Mothma had started.
"I, Liane Solichor promise ... "
"... 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..."
"... that I promise." Mon Mothma had ended the official oath.
"... that I promise." Liane had said. Finally her voice had been 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 handed her the small card, she was now turning over and over in her hands, and had congratulated her.
"I hope, Liane, that soon the day will come, that you be really free to go where you want. Please confirm your official citizenship with your holographic image on this datapad. 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 has 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 and had looked amazed at the official card.
"Well, sweetheart," Han had said, "you can now discard that card of Eilidh Grann. You're now officially Liane Solichor." Chewbacca had wrapped his huge arms around her and had given her a warm hug.
"Welcome again 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. Her eyes had widened in surprise. She had looked at Mon Mothma, who was standing at a little distance.
"Madam, how did you find my mother's name. Is this her real name... I mean... is this true... Is she ... Is Severini really my mother?" She had whispered.
"She is, Liane. Leia has found the confirmation of your birth on Morantan."
"This is incredible. I'm someone's daughter. I have a mother."
She had hugged Leia.
"Thank you, Leia, thank you. This means a lot to me, you know. This really is a big surprise,"
"I knew this would really please you, Liane," Leia had answered and had returned Liane's hug.
Liane turned the ID-card and read the name of her mother: Severini Solichor. Her fingers caressed the letters: Severini Solichor. It felt so great to know the name of her real mother.
Again her thoughts wandered to that last day. Luke had confirmed the confirmation of her birth his sister had found on Morantan. 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 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 strolled leisurely in the direction of the forest cavern, ordering a chores droid to follow her. She entered the forest cave which was cooler and darker than the cave where the main part of the underground residence had been assembled. Slowly she followed a path under the trees. She breathed the cool air with the fragrance of forest odors. Under one of the largest tree she left the path and started to harvest the leaves of several different 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 been able to arrange 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 trees, reached out to the Force as Luke had taught her, jumped and landed on one of the lower branches. 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 again wandered to the last day she had been together with her friends. That last day had been full, almost overloaded with more 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 after she had given Liane her new ID-card, because later that evening the company would be heading back to Irithim.
Liane remembered how amazing she had looked when Mon Mothma had asked Han and Leia when they wanted to make the 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. Confused Liane had followed her, but her confusion had vanished when she had seen the dress Leia had taken out of a box which stood in the corner of her room.
"Leia!" She had exclaimed, "I have seen this dress 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. That was a few moments after he proposed to me. I had to hurry back home to took this box with me, for I knew that Mon Mothma would be willing to lead our wedding ceremony here. This dress has been made just after the Battle of Endor, because at that time I thought Han and I would marry soon. Liane, it's unbelievable that you have seen this dress in your Force vision? Even Luke didn't know about it."
"I don't know, Leia. 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 the 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 patterns. 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. Leia 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 dear little sister, Han and I owe you so much. I'm so glad we have become good friends."
"I wanted to repay you for your kindness, Leia, when I was in detention on Ortel."
"You're a lovely friend, my dear. Forget what went wrong in the past, forget what my father once taught you. Listen to my brother and follow his lead. You will greatly benefit from his help. We both love you so much, Liane."
"I haven't been always kind to you both, Leia. I remember there have been moments I hated Luke and you."
"You've come a long way, Liane, but my brother was right, you always have been good inside your mind. You only masked it with your aggression and anger. Please, hand me that box and help me to put those jewels on."
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 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 ruler 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, my 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 my dreams. In those images Liane has shown me."
Tenderly he had taken Leia in his arms, careful not to crease the tiny feathers.
"You look gorgeous, darling."
Liane had looked at Han and saw that he 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 closet if she had some more ceremonial clothes too.
"I don't have anything proper for this occasion," she had murmured, half aloud.
"You can do the same as Leia and you did on the Falcon recently. I'm sure my sister won't mind," A voice had said, when she was rummaged through her clothes.
Embarrassed she had whirled around.
"Luke! Why are you following me?"
"Because I assumed, you might need some help. Come, let's get 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 dressing closet. Quickly he had scanned through Leia's wardrobe 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 this one on. 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 sure 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 that go with this dress. Hurry, you can't have our Supreme Chancellor wait any longer for us. You're Han's witness," 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 a Jedi out. Quickly she had stepped out of the clothes she was wearing and had the dress glide over her head. It had fitted perfectly. She had put on the shoes and had cast a quick glance in the mirror. The dress was absolutely perfect for this occasion. She had used Leia's hairbrush and had brushed her hair with a couple of quick strokes. 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.
"Coming, Luke."
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, more than my sister."
"Shouldn't we get 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 of 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 be wed, 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 had been waiting with a smile on her face, but finally she beckoned the four 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 the company would leave and get back to Irithim she had been silent, having much difficulty to pay full attention to their last common dinner. 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 the company had 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 and walked over to her.
"We are leaving, Liane."
"Yes, I'm coming," she had whispered, still looking at the lake, "I can't let you all leave without saying goodbye."
He had placed his hands on her shoulders and gently had turned her towards him. She had looked at him and a very strong emotional feeling, that she was longing for his kiss, had sprung to her mind. He had tenderly caressed her cheek with his gloved hand.
"I will be back, Liane, as soon as possible," He had said. She had nodded, desperately trying to cope with the strong emotions she had felt, Suddenly he had pulled her close and had pressed her head against his shoulder for a moment.
"You will remember how you can reach me, won't you?" He had whispered in her ear.
"Yes, Luke, I know." 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, let me know all about it."
He had lifted her chin and 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 acknowledge 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. As she had looked into his eyes she had seen his familiar Jedi look and she knew that he knew what she had been thinking. She had tried to laugh as she carefully had released herself from his embrace.
"I have to say goodbye to the others, Luke," she had said, forcing herself to use her normal voice. Together they had walked over to the jetty. Leia had hugged her warmly.
"Keep this dress, my dear sister. I give it to you. It's yours now. Wear it when my brother will visit you again. You will please him. He really loves it to see you so beautiful," Leia had whispered. 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 tenderly taken her hands in his and had drawn her close to him, but she had felt a strange reluctance when he had kissed her cheek.
"Goodbye, Liane. I will miss you," He had said.
"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, madam, for this beautiful place. I'm sure I will be safe here."
"I hope you will also 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 stood alone on the jetty, 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 had left her. They were seperated for the first time since he had answered her plea on Endor.
divider
The first couple of days on her own she had not 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. At nightfall she had sat leisurely down on the terrace watching the lake at the end of the day.
It took some weeks before she really felt more at ease, but finally she became accustomed to her new accommodation. To make a good use of her time, she 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, while slowly the light faded, that was her favorite moment of the day. 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 gadgets. It amused and intrigued her. A couple of times she 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 she didn't really feel lonely, despite she was the only human resident. Still there was one giant shortcoming, more and more she realized how much she missed Luke's presence and his serene 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 was annoyed or angry at him. A lot of time in the evening hours she spent, thinking about their adventures and she felt more and more ashamed of her silly quarrel with him on Endor. There never passed a day when she wasn't thinking of him. Luke Skywalker, he was 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 stay on Endor and in Ben's house on Tatooine when he often had put his arm around her, telling her about his youth on the moisture farm of his uncle and aunt, next the remarkable moment on the terrace of the top floor apartment when she had felt as if she had become one with him and especially their last moments together here: his warm embrace, his whispered words and his friendly kiss.
"Mistress Liane, where are you?" She heard Threepio call at the edge of the forest cave and noticed the concern in the droid's voice.
Slowly she opened her eyes and stretched.
"Over here, Threepio, in the forest. Wait, I'm coming down." She jumped to the forest floor and walked back to edge of the cavern.
"Mistress Liane, I'm want to remind you of your appointment with the Supreme Chancellor three hours from now."
Liane watched her chrono. 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 will stay on the terrace. Warn me when the connection with Quoith has been set up. Will you please bring me a drink and some sandwiches."
She sat down on one of the lounges on the terrace. Again her thoughts went back to Luke and his warm embrace on the day of his departure.
Artoo entered the terrace with the drinks and the sandwiches followed by Threepio who put them on the small table aside her chair.
"Thank you, guys. 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."
"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'd really wish he was here.'
So far she had used the Jedi-pendant twice. She realized that 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, her thoughts turned further inward and unwittingly her fingers started to caress the Jedi-pendant.
'Luke, can we talk again?' she whispered.
Almost immediately she saw the bluish apparition of Luke appear near the foot of the terrace. 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. "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.
"Ian and I are on our way to the Palomintar system. I want to do some investigation there, because commander Dendicott wanted to bring you to one of the planets in that system. 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 have used their honeymoon to carry out a number of secret investigations during their trip. Isn't that a bit odd?"
Luke laughed.
"No, I don't think so. I guess, it was Leia's initiative, not on request of the Supreme Chancellor and that's typical for my sister. There's always something that attracts her attention, but believe me, they have spent lots of time together. How have you spent your days since our last contact almost 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. If you're here again I'll show you. It's so great to explore these caverns, Luke. We should do those explorations together. Oh, and, Luke, I have started to work on those Force exercises 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 stones. Threepio was a bit crossed with me spoiling my dinner that way. I hope if we meet again, you will find I'm improving my skills. Have I told you about Mon Mothma's library; it's absolutely superb, and it's so great I'm granted access to all the books and files about the Republic's history, both the Old Republic and the rebellion uprising during the Civil War. That reminds me, Luke, 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 has turned upside down, as you know. Has Threepio also told you, how we managed to rescue Leia, after Anakin had put her in the detention block on the first Death Star? 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, I've also been roaming the forest cave and I 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'm setting up a small laboratory at the moment to make 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 a long time before you used the pendant again? You told me that you talk a lot with Mon Mothma who is calling you every other day. Already two months have passed since our sep... since we said goodbye, 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 a 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 or that we are on board the Astræga together, 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 during the outward journey in the submersible.
"You have found another good friend, Liane. 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 would have taught 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.
"I understand."
"Liane, do you really understand, why you have to stay where you are. 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 the care you all 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 your task as Jedi Master and it would take an eternity for any new padawan 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 intensily 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, and didn't he want her to become a Jedi Knight anymore, although he had made his father a promise? 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 and leaned back, recalling the great feeling of his arms around her while he had pressed her head against his shoulder, his whispered words and the tender look in his eyes when she had desperately tried to hide her unspoken thoughts.
divider
Back in his quarters on board the Astræga Luke meditated on what he had said.
'I should be more careful of what I'm saying. I shouldn't reveal too much about the real meaning of my friendship for her. She might not know how to cope with my words,' He thought, 'I don't want to scare her off unnecessary, but I still can't find the right way to tell her who we really are, and what the real meaning of our relationship is. What should I do if she sees Ian as her most trusted friend.'
After their return at Irithim, Leia and he had told Ian, that he would take over Leia's task as Jedi master temporarily. He had had a long talk with his friend and future Jedi. He had told Ian to stay at Irithim, and use to do a Jedi training program which he could carry out without a master's help. On board the Millennium Falcon he had gone back to Tatooine, together with Han, Leia and Chewbacca, so he could pick up the Astræga. Leia and Han had dropped him off at Mos Eisley's space port and had lift off immediately, together with Chewbacca. Although the Wookiee had suggested that Han would bring him to his home planet of Kashyyyk for the time Han and Leia would be on their honeymoon, Leia and Han hadn't agreed to Wookiee's plan. Chewbacca was an essential part of their relation and the three of them had stayed together. Luke had to admit that he slightly envied his sister, for after all his adventures and the losses of so many good friends who had been dear to him, he longed to share his life with someone who would fully understand his task as a Jedi.
During their flight to Tatooine he had had a long talk with his sister and his new brother-in-law. He had told them about what had happened between Liane and him on Tatooine, after the unexpected encounter with his past.
Leia had accused him of cowardice, when he had told them, that since their trip to Na'ctaMagh'Ba he felt uncertain about Liane's friendship for him.
"Luke, you've told me, that the Force has shown you your long relation with Liane and now you're telling me, that, because of my padawan's behavior, you're in doubt the special bond between you and Liane, although she has shown you, that her future lays with you and the Jedi," His sister had remarked unconvincingly.
"Leia, Ian clearly is showing his great affection for her. It's better if I give her a chance to find out if her feelings for him are mutual, for I think she loves him too."
"Luke, what kind of talk is this? Yes, Ian has fallen in love with Liane. That's the reason why he's always very upset if the Force is telling him, she might be in danger. But I'm absolutely sure Liane only sees him as a friend, and nothing more. Haven't you noticed her behavior when we left the underground accommodation? He tried to take her in his arms and wanted to kiss her more than once, but she released herself from this embrace and I clearly have felt her restrain, for she didn't enjoy the way he kissed her. You're gravely mistaken, brother, about Liane's feelings for my padawan."
He had tried to explain what he had witnessed during the trip in the submersible, but Han had interrupted.
"Kid, you might be a lot more sensitive to the Force than I am, but a blind man can see that Liane cares about you and no one else! Go back to the underground residence and ask her. I already know her answer. Liane adores you, admires you, cares about you."
"I'd wish you were right, Han. Yes, Liane admires me, because I'm a Jedi Knight, because I'm a servant of the Good Side of the Force; a goal she thinks she never can reach. But I doubt if she sees me as Luke Skywalker whose secret wish it is to be her partner in the Force again and turn her Force vision into reality. She still isn't aware of our long bond as luminous beings and servants of the Force. "
"Kid, you assume too much without knowing the truth. This is what you must do; tell her about that eternal bond with her. Tell her about the visions the Force has shown you. Maybe she isn't aware of the importance of your friendship for her yet, but you're the most important person in her life and no ten thousands padawans like Ian Tydon can change that. You're an absolute fool, if you give up on her. Go back to Na'ctaMagh'Ba, tell her how important your friendship for her is."
"And destroy everything I have gained so far. If I would do as you suggest, Han, I certainly would loose her. She wouldn't believe me, telling me a Jedi can't a close friend of someone who is a servant of the Dark Side."
"A servant of the Dark Side, what kind of nonsense is this, Luke," Leia and Han had objected.
"That's what Liane thinks, she still is," Luke answered patiently.
"Why can't you look at it in another way, kid. Imagine the following scene; you are back on Na'ctaMagh'Ba; and you're telling her about those joined Force visions you have seen on Morantan. She looks at you, smiles, her arms around your neck and says 'I believe you, Luke'. Wouldn't that answer make you happy?"
Luke had started laughing.
"Of course I would be beyond words to express my happiness," He had answered.
"Then go back, and do as I suggest. Forget your silly objections and rationalizations on this matter, follow your feelings."
"As a Jedi I have to be in control of my emotions, Han. Master Yoda has told me over and over again I needed to learn to stay in control of what I feel and Yoda was right. When it comes to controlling my emotions, I look a lot like Anakin, and I don't want to follow the path to the Dark Side as has happened to him."
"You're no your father, kid, and I also remember, that that old wizard Ben Kenobi told you that you should stretch out with your feelings, if you wanted to use the Force."
Again he had started laughing.
"Those words were spoken at the beginning of my education as a Jedi, Han. Ben meant that I had to learn to feel the Force flowing through me and let her tell me what I had to do. How I had to react, and rely on her guidance."
"Then ask that unseen ally of the Jedi to tell you, if Liane already knows that her destiny and future lays with you."
He hadn't agreed with Han's arguments, but deep inside, Han's words had kindled some hope for his future. He knew that not only his Jedi training made him cautious to express his feelings directly, but that also his upbringing by uncle Owen and aunt Beru had unwittingly taught him not to express emotional feelings of affection too openly. His uncle had always expressed his love and affection for his wife reluctantly. Luke couldn't remember that he had seen his uncle embrace his aunt and kiss her affectionately. Uncle Owen had shown his affection for Beru in making her work on the moisture farm always as easy as possible, and his aunt had accepted the way her husband expressed his feelings for her, but she always had noticed his efforts and the reason behind them. Luke had often seen his aunt smile tenderly, as Owen had done her a favor.
During his Jedi training master Yoda had made him fully aware that emotional feelings could lead to the Dark Side. Yoda had constantly urged him to stay in full control his emotions. Luke still heard Yoda's warning, "Control, you must learn control", and also Ben had warned him to control his feelings when he left Dagobah precipitate to help Leia, Han and Chewbacca. After his return to Dagobah the Force had shown him, that Leia was his sister, Ben had urged him to bury the feelings he had for her, but during his second confrontation with his father he completely has lost control as his father had threatened he would turn Leia to the Dark Side. Luke sighed.
'Liane! My eternal partner! How can I make clear to you which strong bond binds us for aeons?' He thought, 'My bond with you means so much to me. You've shown me a wonderful future, but how can I make sure to you, that it's your future too. That you and I will stay together again. I miss you, my dear partner, I suffer just as much as you, because we're separated, and I can only hope you will use the Jedi-pendant again very soon. Please, Liane, use the pendant tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow and every day as long as we're separated.'
A knock on the door made him aware of his surroundings.
"Master, we have come out of hyperspace near the Palomintar System. I want you to come to the control room. There are strange vibrations in Force around one of the planets in this system." the voice of Ian Tydon said.
"Coming, Ian, " Luke said and rose. He straighten is tunic and walk to the door.

To be continued...