hat do you think, Chancellor?" Leia asked.
"I think we should ask Liane what she knows as soon as possible," Mon Mothma said, "If what you and Han found out about Trevor Matrik is true, then Liane certainly must have known him, even met him. You have my permission to go. Report back as soon as you're back."
Leia nodded and rose.
"I'll contact the Dalmaranian authorities. You can leave for Na'ctaMagh'Ba any moment. I'll have the submersible ready for you," Mon Mothma said when she walked with Leia to the door.
"Thank you, Chancellor."
"Good luck, Leia."
Leia Solo left the government building and headed for the top floor apartment Han and she were living. Meanwhile she contacted her husband who had picked up his former job in the Republic's Space Army.
"Han, we have Mon Mothma's permission to pay Liane a visit. We can leave with the Mon Mothma's submersible as soon as we're ready."
"Great, I'm on my way home. Any news from Luke and Ian?"
"They have started their investigations on Palomintar Six, the only planet with a space port, where foreign space ships have landing rights. Luke wants to collect as much information as he can get about the other planets of the system, in Ktafunda."
"Let's hope, he doesn't run in to problems. You know your brother, don't you?" Han said mockingly.
"Luke's a Jedi Knight, Han. He's no longer that ignorant farm boy, you've picked up on Tatooine."
"And he's still great in getting himself into trouble, I think."
"Han, please, Luke has matured since master Yoda gave him his Jedi training. Stop, patronizing."
Han started to laugh.
"Don't always get so irritated, darling, when I comment on your brother's behavior. I just teasing you, "Han said teasingly, "please do me a favor, tell Luke we're going to Na'ctaMagh'Ba and don't forget to tell him why we're going to visit Liane."
"I will. See you shortly."
Leia switched off her infocom and started her messaging system. Quickly she typed a coded message for her brother. When she had finished she heard the unlocking of the apartment door and Han and Chewbacca entered. Han took Leia in his arms and gave her a passionate kiss on her lips.
"Hmm," Leia said and put her arms around his neck, "I like that. Do it again."
Han released her for a moment, grinned, and whispered before he kissed her again.
"We have a spectator, sweetheart. I promised Chewbacca, that you would tell him the details you and Ian have found out about Trevor Matrik. Are you really sure, Liane must have met him? I'll get some drinks, you do the talking this time."
They went over to the huge living, where Chewbacca occupied one of the large couches. Han put a tray with refreshments on the table.
"Thank you, my love, you're a wonderful replacement for Threepio" Leia said teasingly and smiled.
"I do a lot better than Goldenrod," Han said grinning and sat next to her. He put his arm behind her, pulled her close and gently kissed her neck. Leia crept closer to him with a happy smile.
"You certainly wouldn't allow that droid such intimacies, I guess." Han whispered and kissed her neck again.
Leia looked up to her husband and started to laugh, as she imagined the fastidious behavior of Threepio.
"I'm absolutely certainly it would be beyond any of his protocol programming, " She chuckled.
Then she regained her formal composure and activated the datapad which she had put on the table.
"I've finished my investigation of those logs of Morantan. It wasn't easy, because those files use and older way of imperial encryption, but our encryption masters on Quoith have done a great job. They managed to crack the encryption and now we can read the files as a book and have a full overview of all the daily events of the Morantan domains from the moment Anakin became the overlord of the planet till the moment the domains were occupied by our ground forces. That's some twenty years of information. My father must have gotten his assignment some four or five years after Anakin's final battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar. I've found some very interesting information: Trevor Matrik has become a kind of resident on my father's stronghold on Morantan about a year after the destruction of the first Death Star in the Battle of Yavin. His name is registered as a permanent member of the Morantan staff. His assignment seemed to have ended shortly after the defeat of the Empire. We know that Liane was in charge on Morantan before the New Republic took over, which was..."
"... about three years after the battle of Endor, right? So, your conclusion is, that Liane certainly must have met Trevor Matrik in your father's stronghold on Morantan"
"I want to hear from Liane if she can confirm our findings."
"How high-up was this guy in the echelons of the Empire?"
"He was one of Palpatine's favorite praetorian guards. Palpatine had assigned him as an admiral in the imperial fleet, but Trevor was in command only once. It might be, that Palpatine used him to spy on Anakin, for why would an praetorian guard visit Morantan so often."
"Could it be that Palpatine has given this guy some Sith training as a possible future replacement for Anakin?"
Leia shook her head, "As a Sith lord, Palpatine could have only one apprentice at a time. Anakin has been his sole apprentice and subordinate; later his second-in-command and ally, but it is possible that Trevor Matrik, of whom is known that he was very sensitive to the Force, has developed some Force use as one of Palpatine's praetorian guard."
"And after getting to know the power of your father's Dark Side knowledge on Morantan, he has convinced himself that after the collapse of the Empire Liane would be the right person to teach him the ways of the Sith, because your father taught her his knowledge of the Dark Side?"
"And what will happen afterwards, Leia, when she's no longer of any use to him?" Han said aggressively.
"The answer is obvious, don't you think, darling?"
"I would like to have a thorough chat with that guy, Leia. If he hurts Liane one hair, he's a dead man. What do you think, Chewie?"
The big Wookiee, who had listened attentively to Leia explanation, started the grunt veraciously. His expression was one of total aggression.
"Han, stop with those reactions like in the old days. You are no longer a rogue spaceman. We need to figure out how dangerous Trevor Matrik is; if Liane has taught him his knowledge which I doubt and I need your help and advice with that."
Han laughed and pulled Leia close. He kissed her.
"Sorry, darling, you know how much Liane means to me. Whoever will do her harm, will deserve my eternal wrath. But I think it's a good idea to see Liane first and have her story."
"I've told Luke, that we will be in Na'ctaMagh'Ba in about a day or two. The trip with the submersible takes more than a day."
"That's a nice time together, sweetheart, without any official obligations. Chewie, when we're on board you're the pilot and don't disturb us." Han said and grabbed Leia even tighter to him. Leia look up at him and started laughing again.
"Yes, we will have a very nice long time together, my beloved fly-boy."
"Ian, I want you to stay here on Palomintar Six and continue with our mission. Collect any information on this datapad, but don't ask about the situation on Palomintar Four. I've sensed some odd Force vibrations when we approach that planet." Luke said.
"Yes, master. I sensed those strange vibrations too. Were those vibrations emanated by the Dark Side of the Force?"
"They weren't, Ian, and that's puzzling me, for the Dark Side emanates emotions of full of passion and lust for power, but that's not what I felt when we passed through the orbit of Palomintar Four. I only felt a short, but weak, Force flow. It was too short to pinpoint its location or source. But I was aware your anxieties, young padawan. Stay focussed on the Force, Ian, center yourself on her guidance. A Jedi must stay in control of his emotions and have himself be guided by the Force. Emotions like anxiety might lead to fear, and fear is an emotion that leads to the Dark Side."
"I was worrying about Liane, master. You said, that she's still vulnerable to the influence of the Dark Side, if she would meet a wrong person."
"She changed since her stay with the Grann brothers and on Endor. Especially during her stay with the Ewoks on Endor the changes in her behavior have become apparent. All that time there were people or creatures around her who respect her and who cared for her. That has given her a great opportunity to find out who she is and what she really wants. It's reassuring that she's safe in Mon Mothma's underground residence. I hadn't the intention to pay her a visit so soon, but my sister's message has made me change my mind. I will use this unexpected stay on Na'ctaMagh'Ba to give her some more instruction and help her to find more self-confidence at the Good Side, but I want you to carry on with our mission. I'll be back in a few weeks. You're capable enough to act on your own."
"Thank you, master. I won't fail you."
"I'm sure you won't."
"I've made a better acquaintance with our Quelan hosts. You told me that they are a species which stems originally of human origin. I've talked to them about their origin, but they only could tell me that a small group the Quelan colonists have come to the Palomintar System about several hundred years ago. These colonists have adapted to a new way of life, especially in their relation with other foreign species. The Quelans are reluctant in their social intercourse with other species. Yet they communicate in a very respectful and friendly way with others, although they never talk much about what's in their minds. They are known as reliable negotiators.
Toallin and Mugin, our hosts, told me that they are brothers and they are the proprietors of this lodging house and the tavern where we had our meals. They asked me a few time, if I was interested in a job in the tavern, for they are looking for a reliable fellow to help them. I rejected their offer, but that was before you told you had to leave, master. Shall I tell them I'm able to do some work for them as long as you're away."
"Excellent idea, but be careful. Do not tell anyone you're a Force user. I leave our mission in your hands for the moment. If you need help, you know how to reach me, don't you?"
"I do, master. Please, send Liane my regards."
"I sure will. She likes of you very much. And you're fond of her too, aren't you, my young padawan."
Ian bowed his head to cover the coloring of his cheeks.
"I won't deny, that I'm fond of her, master."
"As soon as our investigation in the Palomintar System will be completed we will visit her together. I'll have to go now."
"May the Force be with you, master."
"Mezorahim dejan Forca tusale, Ian." Luke said, giving Ian his wish in return.
He left their accommodation and headed for the space port. Ian Tydon was doing fine. It was a pleasure to have him as a padawan learner. He would be ready for those final aptitude tests on Dagobah soon, and with Wedge's padawan Yarmod Martan, there would be five trained Jedi in the near future.
At the spaceport Luke boarded the Astræa and asked for clearance to take off. He fed the navi-computer with the coordinates of Dalmaran. It gave him a great feeling to be on board his own space craft again, but even more did he cherish the thoughts, that after three months he would see Liane again.
The most important reason for this hasty return to Dalmaran was the unexpected visit of his sister and Han to the underground residence. Leia had mentioned that their investigation at the Morantan domains archive had revealed that Liane probably had met Darth Golluth very frequently on Morantan.
However his relationship with Liane also played a role. Luke finally had made up his mind, that it was up to him to tell Liane the deeper meaning of their friendship. He hoped, that she would be willing to see, accept, and understand how meaningful their meeting on Morantan had been for both of them and how significant their growing friendship was. During their stay on Endor, and even more on Tatooine, her presence had become of immense value for him. She had shown a great understanding and insight for the importance of his task as a Jedi Knight. However he wondered, if she was aware of the real importance of their friendship.
He also wanted to share the existence of the hidden Jedi archive, which also lay hidden under Na'ctaMagh'Ba, the Valley of the Four Lakes, with Liane. Hitherto, the Jedi Archive had only been known to him and his sister. He hoped, that this would help Liane to get a better insight in her Force abilities.
Han Solo looked at the sleeping person next to him. He stretched out his hand and tenderly caressed the dark strands of Leia's hair. Leia, his beautiful princess! Together again! Married! How many times he had dreamt about her, after he had left Dalmaran. Lovely Leia, the princess of Alderaan, Luke's twin sister, a Jedi Knight and since his return his beautiful wife. What a fool he had been, running away, because Luke had trained her as a Jedi Knight. He should have listened to her ...
"You didn't, darling," A soft voice said in his ear, "you didn't and you have tormented yourself, because you didn't want to return to Dalmaran sooner."
"You're awake! How did you know, what I was thinking? Did you use some Jedi trick?" Han said and pulled Leia to him. Gently he kissed her.
"I don't care, my love. I love you, my beautiful princess, I will never let you leave again, I'll swear!"
"I love you too, darling. I am your wife, Leia Organa Solo," Leia said with a smile and ruffled his hair with her fingers.
Han kissed her again.
"Leia Solo, my beautiful wife. I have been very foolish leaving you alone for almost four years, " he murmured between several kisses, "How I've missed you!"
"I've missed you too, my love, but from now on we will be together forever ."
Leia pushed the covers and sat up. Han looked at her and stretched out his hand. Tenderly he caressed her soft skin. With a smile Leia looked at him.
"Beautiful princess!" Han said and pulled again her to him, "There have been so many women in my life, but they are nothing to me since I've met you on the first Death Star."
They both started to laugh when their first encounter flashed through their minds.
"You and Chewie cut off our only escape route, Han," Leia said, while she remembered how she had addressed him in the corridor of the detention area.
"You didn't seem very worried about it, your worshipfulness. Remember, how I held you in that garbage chute. I was really afraid to touch you. You seem so fragile, but you turned out to be as cold as the ice sheets on Hoth."
"Oh, Han, that's not fair! I had duties, I had no time for personal feelings."
"Well I hope that's different now."
"It is. We're lucky that Luke said that he would be Ian's master for awhile."
"Yeah, although your padawan is a nice fellow, I don't want a young fool around spoiling the happiest time of my life." Han said grinning. Leia gave him a push.
"Ian is not a young fool. He is a very serious dedicated padawan and a fine companion. I hope Luke will soon decide he's is ready for his final trials on Dagobah."
"Luke's new order is growing steadily. I think he has chosen the right persons to start with. You in particular." He grinned again and kissed Leia.
"Don't object, your Highness. I know that you wanted to protest."
Leia crept into his arms and cuddled his bare chest, a superior smile on her face.
"I'm glad Chewie hasn't left us," she said. "Thanks to him, we can spend so much more time together."
"Yeah, great. Come on, sweetheart, proof that to me." He pulled her close. Leia laughed.
"I love you, Han Solo, I love the most lovely scoundrel in the galaxy!" She said and kissed him.
For a while they both forgot all the ones they cared for and only enjoyed the love they felt for each other.
"So you have visited Palomintar Four?" Ian Tydon asked one of customers, a Twilek', while placing the local draught in front of the creature. "What kind of planet is that? Is it different from this one? Is there any permanent habitation?"
"You've never been to Palomintar Four?" the creature asked.
Ian shook his head.
"No, I am not a trader like you. I'm a scientist. I love to be here on Palomintar Six for a while, but maybe I want to visit some of the other planets too?"
"You're not born here?"
"No, I'm from Corellia. After my scientific studies I got a commission from the government of the New Republic to do all kind of researches on former Imperial planets near the Outer Rim; I'm traveling with a diplomat and a business man who is investigating possible alliances and trading facilities for the New Republic."
"If you have been traveling in the Outer Rim, you certainly have been on Morantan, haven't you? Interesting planet, for during the reign of emperor Palpatine it was Darth Vader was the overlord of Morantan."
"Yes, I have been there. I was a member of the invasion force of the New Republic."
"Have you seen or met Lady Vader there?"
Ian's attention suddenly became tense. Was this creature inquiring about Liane?
"Lady Vader? I didn't know that there were women in the imperial forces, or do you mean that Darth Vader had a mistress?"
"No, you idiot, he had a daughter: Liane Vader. She is about your age, a few years younger I think, and she seems to be a real beauty, although she is a mean, evil and unapproachable creature. Her father has taught her all that nasty stuff of the Sith. Darth Vader was once a Jedi Knight, or so they say, but the Emperor taught him to wield a greater power to control: the Dark Side of the Force, and he became a Sith Lord. I don't know what that means, but I've heard that there are two ways to use that a kind of unseen power, called the Force. The Jedi Knights once used it to defend this galaxy and bring peace and justice. They were diplomats and judges, and their main goal was to help and bring order. The other side of the Force, is to gain power and ultimate control. Those warriors become mighty rulers, spreading fear, for that's the aim of the Sith. Take a drink, give me another one and put them on my account."
Ian filled a new glass and poured a light drink for himself.
"I haven't seen you here before," the creature said.
"That's right. When we arrived here, we started to explore the planet. My superior has been called back to Dalmaran. He left me an amount of credits to continue my own research, but I ran out of the money and had to look for a job. When I have earned enough I want to continue my explorations."
"What are you looking for?" the creature grinned
"Since I'm no longer working for the New Republic I'm looking for precious metals and gem stones. You see, I want to get rich one day and my job for the government became a bit boring, although they paid me well," Ian answered and laughed also. "As a trader you've been doing a lot of traveling, haven't you?"
"I roamed the galaxy from one end to the other, but not as a trader, " the creature boasted. "I'm a Twilek' and most of our species love to smuggle. I has been earning a living as a smuggler all my life. You can earn a lot of money with smuggling. But to resume our topic: you're sure you haven't seen Liane Vader, when you were on Morantan?"
"Not that I can recall at the moment," Ian said trying to look as if he was searching his mind. "You said she is a beautiful young lady. Do you have an image of her? I fancy beautiful women."
The Twilek' looked around.
"This is not a good place for this discussion. We'd better talk at another moment. Shall we meet at my place after closing time."
"I don't know if I can be of any help."
"I'll show you a holographic picture of her. It would be a lucky coincidence if you could tell me, where I can find her. I have to deliver an urgent message to her from an old friend of her father. Here's where you can find me. Ask for Trimas," The Twilek' scribbled some notes on the backside of his coaster and slid it to Ian.
Ian his glass on it. He carried on with his work behind the bar. After some moments he slipped the coaster unnoticed in the pocket of his pocket. The Twilek' watched him and nodded approvingly.
"Good, you don't want to attract any unwanted attention. See you after closing time," He whispered, emptied his glass and disappear among the customers.
Ian Tydon watched him go. The name of the creature was that of the Twilek', who had been under surveillance on Dalmaran. The creature had made inquiries about Liane at the detention building at Irithim. Ian activated his datapad which he had hidden below the bar, and opened an encrypted file. He secretly added the questions and information that the Twilek' had exchanged with him.
"Stay alert, Ian," He said to himself, "This guy surely is one of Darth Golluth' spies who are looking for Liane."
Liane stood on the jetty just outside the entrance of underground residence. The day before Mon Mothma had told her to expect the submersible with Han, Leia and Chewbacca. It would be the first time in three months, she would meet some of her friends again.
Three months had passed since she had spoken to them. Three months in which she had been living in this secret underground accommodation in a kind of voluntary exile. She hadn't really missed the outside world. The gardens and the forest, created in the enormous caverns, were a good replacement for a life in the outside world. The plants, flowers, vegetables and herbs were real, and so were the trees, although they were much smaller than the ones on Endor.
Her wanderings and explorations in the underground cave network had given her the illusion of a life in freedom. She could do what ever she wanted. No one was given her orders, no one was telling her how to spend her time. She had been her own master and she felt happy and contented.
She had spend a lot of time to write down the knowledge she had gained from Logray. Several of the herbs and leaves the little Ewok shaman had used, were growing in the underground forest too. With the help of Artoo two tech droids had gotten additional programming to prepare the herbs for the different ointments and potions Logray had taught her. Together with the tech droid she had furnished a small cavern to dry the herb, and also use it as a store room for the finished products.
Although there wasn't much time left to feel lonely, she enjoyed the short chats with the Supreme Chancellor every other day. She had admitted to the friendly leader of the New Republic that she missed her friends, but she hadn't told her that she missed her friend Luke Skywalker in particular. Despite the possibility she could reach him through the power of the Jedi pendant any time she wanted, she had used the pendant only a few times. In her opinion her chores in this voluntary exile weren't compelling enough to bother him. He had a much bigger problem to deal with, besides she had also become uncertain about her feelings for him. During the three times she had spoken to him, she had told him how she passed her days and how she enjoyed the information about the Old Republic. Luke had given her some extra information about the decline of the Jedi Order, the rise of the Empire and the Civil War. After their talks she always had felt an overwhelming loneliness, although she didn't want to admit it. It had annoyed her, that during her last chat with him, she had told him that she missed him, and that she wanted to be together again.
The water rippled and slowly the top of the submersible rose above the surface. Finally the complete deck became visible and the top hatch opened. Han was the first to climb out and jumped on the jetty, followed by Chewbacca, who helped Leia. As soon as Leia was on the jetty she ran over to Liane.
"Liane, my dear, how are you doing?" She exclaimed and wrapped her arms around her, hugging her.
"I'm fine, Leia. This is really a great place, almost as wonderful as the way I have lived on Endor. It would be perfect if the droids would assemble the Ewoks," Liane laughed and gave Leia a hug. "How are you, Leia Solo, still happy with Han? You look overjoyed."
"More than happy," Leia laughed and look back to see where her husband had gone.
Han and Chewbacca were activating the magnetic mooring clamps of the submersible, then they walked over to the two women. Chewbacca greeted Liane with a tremendous hug in his enormous arms. He grunted a welcome. Liane caressed the long brown fur of this arms.
"I'm fine Chewbacca," She said, "Never felt better."
"So, now it's my turn to hug you, sweetheart. Let me look at you. Not feeling too lonely," Han said while he looked at Liane, for for he thought he saw a hidden grief in her eyes.
"No Han, I'm enjoying it here, and it's great that you have come to visit me so soon." Liane exclaimed and gave Han and Leia an arm, "Come to the terrace. I have ordered a light lunch. You must be starving after the long travel."
Leia and Han grinned.
"We spend most of the time on board together and undisturbed, sweetheart. Our daily duties and chores don't leave us much time to be together for a long time. Chewie has piloted the submersible," Han said.
"Mistress Leia, general Solo and Chewbacca, so good to see you," A familiar voice said, when the four friends passed the double transparisteel doors and entered the living.
"Threepio, hello Artoo, you're both still happy with your assignment," Leia asked.
Artoo whistled a long series of binary. Threepio seemed to look offended and gave a angry reaction.
"Very impolite, Artoo, and unkind. I'm so sorry, mistress Liane, but Artoo thinks he could be more useful, if he could accompany master Luke."
"I understand Artoo, you're not happy here, but I love your company. It's good to have you both with me, but I will ask Luke to take you with him, if he comes to visit me, Artoo," Liane said, "Have you heard from Luke lately, Leia. I hoped he would come with you."
"Luke and Ian are doing investigation in the Palomintar System. They are now on Palomintar Six. Luke has chosen the disguise of a diplomat, business man and Ian is a scientist. Luke doesn't want to attract too much attention, that's why they choose this cover up. We're almost sure now, that your adversary lives on Palomintar Four," Leia commented and addressed the barrelshaped droid. "Artoo, I want a word with you."
"You see, " Threepio sputtered, "Now you've made mistress Leia angry with you."
"Artoo and I will join you shortly," Leia said and put her hand on the little droid's dome. "Liane, darling, please be a lovely hostess to my husband and his friend."
Liane accompanied Han, Chewbacca and Threepio indoors. Threepio looked back to Artoo and made a gesture as if he shrugged his shoulders. Liane laughed.
"Mistress Liane, I hope mistress Leia will tell that pile of scrap heap to get some manners. His words were really an offense to you. As if you're not always kind to us. His words are very disrespectful. Maybe mistress Leia should erase some of his memory banks, especially those that remind him of his adventures with master Luke."
"What about your memory banks, Goldenrod," Han sneered, "Your verbosity hasn't diminished, since we left you here behind. Liane, are you coping with this smart ass?"
"I am, Han. Threepio is a great help to me. Most of the droids here can communicate only in binary language. They are programmed to serve a specific task. It's lucky to have Artoo and Threepio around which are both so versatile."
They had entered the terrace where a table was set with a variety of dishes. Han looked around in awe.
"This view is so awesome. It is a real lake, not artificial, isn't it?" Han asked.
"It's an original underground lake. This is where I spend most of time during my evenings, when it's getting dark and the night flowers in the forest cave begin to smell so sweet and lovely," Liane said, "The technicians did a tremendous job. If the Republic would be in jeopardy Mon Mothma and her council could live here for years.
I have ordered to have the refreshments on the terrace, so you can relax and enjoy the view. Threepio, will you, please, tell our servant droids to get a extra large lounge for Chewbacca. The normal couches are too small for him, and will you serve some drinks while we are waiting for Leia."
Amazed Han Solo looked at Liane.
"My goodness, sweetheart, you have developed a great style to give orders. Mon Mothma was right, you are a princess in behavior, you remind me of Leia in her old days."
"I have been trained to give orders, Han. On Morantan Anakin always put me in charge of his men as he left the planet. Look, there's Leia with Artoo. What do you want to drink, Leia? Threepio, ice cubes are in the refrigerator underneath that sideboard," Liane said and pointed to the lower drawer which held a refrigerator for all kind of soft drinks.
Artoo rolled over to and protruded some utensils to hold a tray. Liane looked at Leia.
"Artoo, are you going to help Threepio to serve the drinks? That's really nice," Liane laughed.
"I made Artoo more aware of his mission here again," Leia said, "His abilities as surveillance droid are exceptional, that's why he's accompanying Threepio. Thanks to Artoo we were in time to save you as Dendicott and his men raided the Ewok village."
Leia had entered the terrace where three droids were busy setting up Chewbacca's special seat. Liane followed her, feeling some uneasiness about what Leia had said about Artoo's mission.
"So in fact Artoo is my security guard, Leia. He has to prevent that I will leave this place unexpectedly," She said. "Is he reporting to you and Mon Mothma?"
"No he isn't, Liane. Your free to go, where ever you want, you're even free to leave, but for the time being it's better if you stay in this underground residence. Artoo doesn't report to any one. His task is to advice you, for even here, in this secret place it might be possible, that spies of Darth Golluth find out that you've found a safe haven here. They might be planning new attempts to capture you. Artoo has the looks of a normal working droid, but his abilities stretch out much further. Only in case of an emergency he is able to warn any of us."
Reassuring Leia put her hand and Liane's arm. Liane sat down on one of the seat, suddenly feeling less happy.
"Spies of Darth Golluth? Who is he, Leia? How does he know about me? What does he want of me? Is he the guy who wants to bring me to Palomintar Four?" She said, making a gesture to the droids which had finished their chores. Han stepped on the terrace followed by Artoo with a tray of cold drinks.
"Darth Golluth seems to live on Palomintar Four. Leia and Luke think, that he is a Sith Lord, like Anakin once was," Han said.
"Han, let's discuss that matter later. Liane, don't feel upset about what I told you. You're safe here. It's very unlikely, that your adversary will find this place," Leia glanced at the delicious dishes, "You've prepared a great refreshment for us, my dear. We'd better do justice to your table and forget all our troubles for a while."
Luke landed the Astræga on the space port of Mas'onom. After he had secured the ship, he hired a small amphibian speeder and crossed the sea strait to Na'ctaMagh'Ba.
At the small harbor of Wa'Magha, not more than a jetty and a small wooden cabin which served as an office, the stationed Dalmaranian official welcomed him. He got permission to continue his journey on the prohibited continent without delay. The speeder brought him near the mountain range that separated the valley with the scientific research farms and laboratories from the outside world. Luke entered a deep and narrow gorge between two huge wooded rock formations and followed the path until the mountain ridge on his right curved to the left and became one with the wall at the other side of the gorge. He slowed down near the dead end of the gorge. There he hid the speeder in a cave behind some huge thorny bushes. He ignited his flashlight and disappeared through a crevasse in the rear wall of the cave. The narrow crevice was just wide enough to let him pass. Cautiously he found his way through the passageway behind the crevasse. The path sloped downward under the mountain ridge. After some three hundred meters Luke stopped as he reached the sudden end of the path; he jumped down some ten meters and landed in a shoal underground stream. He started to wade through the stream, keeping close to the wall. After half an hour he stepped on a small plateau on his right and entered a short passageway, in fact no more that a niche. At the end he raised his hand. With a grinding noise the wall stirred and slid aside, and a wide, dark gap became visible. Luke walked on and closed the hidden door behind him. For a moment he stood behind the closed door in the total darkness. Again he raised a hand and a cave of enormous dimensions was filled with light. Luke looked around with a satisfied face.
'Excellent,' He thought, 'Mon Mothma doesn't know about this secret entrance to her underground residence, nor does she know that the hidden Jedi archive is part of this underground cave network.'
As he stepped further into the cave, he ran his hand along one of the many racks that were fixed orderly along the cavern walls and in the middle of the cave floor. On the racks numerous amount of metal boxes were stacked and stored. To his left some durasteel cabinets were filled with similar boxes, but these ones were neatly labeled and catalogued boxes. These cabinets, racks, crates and boxes contained the ancient Jedi lore and history.
After the defeat of the Empire Leia and he had gone to Coruscant on a secret mission to search the ruins of the Jedi temple and they had been able to get hold of these boxes stacked with hundred of datacrons from a secret underground vault. Those datacrons contained all the collected and secured data Light and Dark of the original old Jedi archive.
Looking for a safe and secret place where they could store the Jedi repository temporarily, they had discovered this huge cave as par of the enormous cave network of Na'ctaMagh'Ba, where Mon Mothma's technical staff of droids, with the approval of the Dalmaranian government, were secretly planning the Supreme Chancellor's emergency residence. Thanks to Leia's diplomatic skills the Dalmaranian government had sanctioned the Jedi to enter the forbidden continent whenever they needed and use the huge cave as a temporary storage room for the ancient knowledge of the Jedi. Now the large amount of datacrons, holding the knowledge of thousands of generations of Jedi, once noted and recorded in scrolls and books in the ancient Jedi language, was safely hidden here. Even more important was the rediscovery of some hundred, beautiful Jedi holocrons in which the Jedi Masters of Old had recorded their knowledge, ready for new generations to explore.
Luke walked over to a transparisteel cabinet and opened the door. On the shelves the Jedi holocrons had been carefully placed in rows, giving each device enough free space to pick it up without touching one of the others. Luke took out an emerald green holocron and held it on his hand. Almost immediately the holocron began to vibrate. A bulb of soft green light illuminated Luke's face and filled the cave.
'Welcome, Jedi Knight Skywalker,' A voice said with a friendly chuckle.
"Welcome, master Yoda," Luke answered with respect.
'Time you found, to continue your study, you have?' the voice said again and in the bulb of green light the apparition of Jedi Master Yoda appeared.
"I'd wish I had enough time, master Yoda, but my skills as a Jedi Knight are needed in the outside worlds of the galaxy."
'Time you will find, when your mind is peaceful, remember. Why have you come?'
"Master Yoda, I want to talk to you about, Liane Solichor, the young woman Anakin has raised as his daughter. I feel I need your advice how I have to proceed after I have found her on Endor again. She needed my help, and used the Jedi-pendant I gave her."
'Lucky it has been, your gift she had with her all the time. Talk about Severini Solichor's daughter, you want, Luke? Difficult matter, very unfortunate developments, in the past. So much dark side knowledge she learned, lots of dark knowledge Anakin passed on to her. Great advantage her stay on Endor might be, but Severini daughter very uncertain about the great Force skills she has, she still is. Clouded her future, still is.' Yoda's apparition said.
"I know she feels uncertain about her Force skills, Master Yoda, but I have promised Anakin to take her as my padawan learner. She refuses to become my padawan learner. She is scared of the Force and especially of the Dark Side knowledge Anakin taught her. "
'Not ready, she is, to be a padawan learner, Luke. Find out, she must, step by step, comparing her dark knowledge, with her experiences with the Good Side, and her Force skills you have shown her, but listen to your story, I will.'
Luke started to tell his former master, how he had gone to Endor after Liane had begged for help. He told about his difficult and disappointing experiences with her. How Liane had opposed the use of the Good Side of Force at times, but also how easily she could surrender herself to the Good Side, as she was using her healing powers. He also told his old master his worries about an unknown person, calling himself Darth Golluth who seemed to be looking for Liane. He wanted to take her to Palomintar Four, where he seemed to have found a shelter. The Force apparition of Yoda listen attentively.
'Strong feelings for Severini's daughter, you have, Luke. Aware you are? Warn you, I must,' The little Jedi Master said when Luke had finished his story.
"Yes, master Yoda, You probably know why?"
The apparition nodded, looking very concerned.
'Still much of Anakin you have, I fear. Yes, much like your father, you are. Anakin always concerned about Padm;é, he was. Control those feelings, Luke, you must. Those feelings a danger, they could be, to you, to Severini daughter, to the galaxy. A Jedi should be peaceful and serene. Emotional feelings, like in you, I sense, bring jealousy, jealousy leads to anger, hate and fear. Don't let these feelings seduce you, Luke, like they did your father. To the Dark Side, they lead. Be aware of those feelings.'
"I'm aware of what Liane means to me, master Yoda, but I would like to know if she has mutual feelings for me too?"
The apparition of Yoda was silent for some moments.
'Discover you will, how she feels about you, but aware of your emotions you must be. Be serene, be passive and peaceful, Luke. Great danger there is, if encounter with this Darth Golluth, Severini daughter would have too soon, great danger, because not ready she is, to make the right decision. To the Dark Side, he might seduce her. Important your protection, it is. Stay and help her, you must.'
"For the moment she is safe, master Yoda. The Supreme Chancellor has offered her the emergency residence on Na'ctaMagh'Ba as a refuge and a safe haven."
'Good, that is. Severini daughter, stay there, she must, until defeated Darth Golluth, you and the other Jedi Knights have.'
"I will protect her, master. We all will, but I also want to give her more confidence in her true Force skills. I having been thinking, if it would do her good to show her the Jedi Books of Knowledge. Years ago she has secretly read Anakin's copy of The Jedi Path, and enjoyed it. Maybe the Jedi masters of old, you, Ben, master Qui-Gon Jinn or others can use their influence and tell her about the Jedi, so she will change her mind about the Force. "
'Discover her Force skills and destiny, Severini daughter has to find out herself, Luke. Her Jedi master, you can not be yet, nor your padawan, can she be. For the time being, only your friendship and support, she needs.'
For a moment both Luke and Master Yoda were silent, then the little Jedi Master said: 'More there is, you want to know about her, don't you? Especially about her mother Severini, you want to learn more.'
Luke nodded, "Master Yoda, Ben Kenobi and Anakin have revealed a small part of Liane's lineage. Anakin also told me, that he assumed that Severini Solichor, the Jedi healer in the temple on Coruscant could be her mother, but he wasn't sure? Yet he had her registered as Severini's illegitimate child. Leia has found that evidence, and I have seen ..."
'Force vision, you saw, clear to you it must be, Luke. Severini daughter real mother, Severini is. Severini daughter, inherited the power of Force healing from her mother, she has. Severini Solichor very powerful Jedi, she was, not only a strong Jedi healer, but also a great Jedi Knight and a Jedi Master. Very powerful Jedi healer, she was. Severini daughter, her mother's healing skills, she has. Headstrong, stubborn, but also the same very compassionate character as Severini, her daughter has. '
"Anakin has admitted that on Morantan he recognized Severini as the Jedi healer of the Jedi Temple. He killed her in a lightsaber duel?"
'Luke, Anakin, many Jedi, he killed.'
"I know, master. One day I have to tell Liane, that my father, her foster-father, has killed her mother."
'Right moment will come, you will know it is, if in the Force you trust.'
"Master Yoda, you have known Severini, haven't you?"
'Known her, I have, yes, 'The Force image of Yoda chuckled, and the eyes of the old Jedi master lit up,'Yes, Severini, once my padawan learner, she was. Very talented padawan, she was, and strong with the Force. Advised her to leave Coruscant as situation became dangerous, I did. Urged her to take Padmé, your mother with her, together with Obi-Wan they fled. Obi-Wan to Morantan, he brought them. With Padmé to Mustafar; finding Anakin, he went. Save Anakin from the dark path, Padmé wanted.'
Amazed Luke sat down on a box.
"Ben brought Severini and my mother to Morantan, and then he went with my mother to save Anakin from the Dark Side of the Force. Ben and Anakin have told me, they fought a final duel, that ruined their friendship forever. Anakin lost and nearly died, but Palpatine saved him. After Leia and I were born Ben brought me to Anakin's step-brother Owen Lars and his wife Beru, my uncle and aunt, on Tatooine. Ben told me, it was his duty to stay on Tatooine, and keep an eye on me? Did it really happen this way, or not, master Yoda? "
Yoda made a wry face.
'Partly true, what you say, it all is. Know, you must, Obi-Wan, always very unruly Jedi, he sometimes was. Stubborn apprentice of Qui-Gon Jinn. Your mother, Padmé, and Severini, on Morantan, he should have hidden them. Instead to Padmé he listened, and to Mustafar, they went to save Anakin. Anakin nearly killed Padmé. After Obi-Wan defeated Anakin on Mustafar, back to Morantan he wanted to bring your mother. You and Leia were born, before Morantan, he could reach.'
Luke listened intently to his old master.
"Are you telling me, master Yoda, that Leia and I were born on a space ship before he could reach Morantan?"
'No, to nearby Polis Massa, he went. Your mother, unfortunately, after she had given birth to you and Leia, passed away, she did. Save her, Ben could not. Losing Anakin's love, broken her heart was,' Yoda continued, not paying attention to Luke's astonished exclamation, 'You, to your family, the Lars family, on Tatooine, Obi-Wan, he had to bring you. My instructions, that were. Obi-Wan, against my wish, to Eremian, leader of a group of Baroontarian priestesses on Morantan, he brought you. Raise you himself as a future Jedi, Obi-Wan wanted, asked Severini to help him. Found a place to live on a small island together, Obi-Wan found. Morantan dangerous place to hide Anakin's son, I told him. Too well known to the Core planets of the galaxy, Morantan was. Brought you to your family on Tatooine on my command, Obi-Wan did finally. Went back to Morantan he did, to Severini. Obi-Wan and Severini, against the ancient principle of the Jedi Order, they married.'
Luke nearly fell of his seat.
"Master Yoda, Ben married Liane's mother, but then Liane ..."
'Patience, Luke. Listen. Full story to hear, you will.' Yoda said sternly.
Luke calmed and took a few moments to regain his listening posture. Yoda continued.
'A son was born.'
"A son, but that means, that Liane has an older brother! Master Yoda, is he still alive?" Luke asked with great tension in his voice. Liane probably had a brother. Who could that be? Where did he live.
'Patience, Luke! Yes, brother of Severini daughter, alive he is. Grew up, hidden well, like you and Leia.'
Yoda watched intently at his former apprentice. At first Luke look puzzled. Severini and Obi-Wan had had a son. He turned inward and concentrated on a long gone past. Suddenly some strange images appeared in his mind. He saw Ben carrying a little boy about three old and hurrying through a dense forest. Ben's face was twisted with sorrow and pain. Luke could feel his old master's pain through the Force. Ben constantly caressed and talked gently to the boy. For a short moment the boy lifted his face and Luke saw the boy's eyes. He gasped and blinked, as he released himself of his Force trance. He looked at Yoda. His old master looked stern, but nodded approvingly.
'Yes, yes, great insight, you have. Good. Keep to yourself this, you must, Luke." the old Jedi said, before he continued, 'Luke, to the rest of my story, you must listen. Morantan very dangerous planet became, as Imperial troops scouted; Obi-Wan had to flee with his son. Never returned to Morantan and Severini, he could. Refuge and exile on Tatooine he sought, to look after you.'
Yoda stopped talking. Once again Luke's face expressed his connection with the Force. He saw what had happened more than twenty years ago on the planet, where his father had been proclaimed imperial overlord. He saw a beautiful young women, carrying a baby. For a short moment he thought he saw Liane, but then he realized that he had seen the same woman in the Force vision on board the Astræga. He came out of his Force trance and looked bewildered at his former master, but before he could tell his Jedi master what he had seen, Yoda raised his small paw.
'Great Jedi Knight you have become, Luke, great Jedi. Great Force insight, you have. On this matter, no more talking we do at this moment. No questions now will I answer,' his old master said.
Luke looked at Yoda still shaking his head in wonder. He nodded thoughtfully.
"I understand, master. I won't talk about these Force visions, not until the right moment has come."
'Wise decision you make, Luke. Strong you are with the Force. Anakin, after defeated and killed Severini, he had, Severini's one-year-old daughter, he found. Anakin, her Force potential, he felt. To Eremian, he brought her. Named her after her mother, Liane Severini Solichor. With Eremian Severini daughter stayed, until old enough, she was, to begin her Force training. Very Force-sensitive she had become. Took her with him and taught her much knowledge of the Dark Side, Anakin did.'
Luke remained in deep thoughts after Yoda's last words.
Finally he said, "Anakin told me what happened after he had found Liane, master Yoda. He told me about her upbringing and he regrets what he has done. It's clear to me now, that Liane surely could benefit from the knowledge in these old Jedi Books of Wisdom and Knowledge, for she is the daughter of a Jedi healer. I will show her how to get access to this cave from Mon Mothma's residence."
Yoda nodded and his lips curled in a approving smile.
'Advice you don't need it. Always you know, what to do, you have. Looking forward meeting, Severini daughter, I will, Luke'The Jedi Master said.
"Sometimes it still helps to seek your wisdom, master Yoda. Thank you for telling me these new facts. They will help me to support Liane even better. Mezorahim dejan Forca tusale, Yoda-mesla, " Luke said and slowly closed his fingers around the holocron. The bright green light slowly faded and carefully Luke placed the holocron back in the cabinet and closed the door.
To be continued...