aster, he must be a kind of Jedi, for he could wield a lightsaber with great precision. I send eight killer droids, but he parried their attack and defeated them effortlessly."
"So Tydon is a Jedi? Well, well, Skywalker knows how to find the right persons to form his new Jedi Order," Darth Golluth mused. "But that means, that if Tydon is a Force sensitive guy, being trained as a Jedi, it's obvious that Skywalker has also trained him to defend himself with a lightsaber."
For a moment Darth Golluth was silent.
"Master, do I have to continue with my task," the holographic image of Trimas asked.
"Yes, you have, but don't kill this guy. I'll have to think about how I can use this guy. Get on with the job, but don't harm him too much, do you hear."
"Yes, master," Trimas said.
The screen went blank. Trimas switch off and shrugged his shoulders.
"Always changing his commands. Does that guy really knows what he's up to." He grumbled. "Alright, he gave me a new mission, Ian Tydon. I will see to it, that your stay in Ktafunda will be thwarted as much as possible and that you will have some very unpleasant experiences. You have lied to me, and that calls for revenge."
Leia was sitting on the terrace, sipping at a soft drink when Luke and Liane came out of the forest cave, holding hands and laughing at each other. Amazed Leia saw, that Liane was no longer reluctant to show her affection for her brother. A strong Force flow started to whirl around in the cave, and seemed to encapsulate the couple, unifying them, and filling the cave with the great power of the Good Side of the Force. For a moment Leia wondered, if her brother really had expected this outcome of this visit. Liane's unconditional acceptance of their long standing bond was probably more than he had hoped for.
Smiling she watched the striking change in her brother's attitude. He looked younger, and so much relaxed, as if a great burden had been taken away.
Leia rose and smiled, when the pair walked up the steps to the terrace.
"My sweet foster-sister, you don't have to tell me, what the two of you have been talking about," She said.
"You know? You know about the long relationship between Luke and me? Did he tell you?" Liane asked.
For a moment she looked at her brother, sharing his happy feelings with him as his Jedi twin, then she nodded.
"He did, but not very willingly. Liane, after you had disappeared on Wegoyy, Luke spent all his time, trying to find you. After several months I persuade him he should tell me, if his promise to Anakin, was the real motive for his desperate search. I had to insist, before he wanted to tell me the truth. Reluctantly he told me about his Force visions on Morantan. It is incomprehensible that Luke and you have been partners for generations."
"Wasn't it very disappointing for you, Leia, that Luke cares for me. After all you're his twin sister," Liane said at an apologizing tone.
"Not at all and I'm very happy that you have accepted your eternal bond with him at last. I'm sure, this will also help you, to see your own future and possibly your destiny from a different point of view."
Liane look at Luke. Imperceptibly he squeezed her fingers, and smiled, before Leia hugged them both.
"It looks, as if Liane and you are part of the Unifying Force, my dear brother."
"Han and you were right, Leia. Liane knew already a lot about our relationship, more than I expected. She too has had many Force experiences and visions about our former lives. I only had to confirm the truth of her Force visions, and what the Force had shown me, after I've met her on Morantan," The young Jedi answered with a happy smile.
"I still can't apprehend, why I have been so ignorant about the real meaning of your friendship, Luke," Liane said looking at him.
"My lovely foster-sister, you had to cope with so many problems and ordeals, that it's obvious, that your mind wasn't focussed entirely on the deeper meaning of my eternal bond with you," Luke said with a smile, pulling Liane next to him on a couch.
Leia looked at the happy couple. Finally her brother seemed to have found a new destiny in his long lasting eternal relationship with Liane, and Liane couldn't be a happier young woman.
"I hope you two will be as happy, as Han and I are. You deserve it."
"I heard my name, what are you Jedi talking about?"
Han and Chewbacca stepped on the terrace, after having inspected the submersible. Han looked at Luke and Liane.
"Well I don't have to ask anything, do I?" He said grinning. "Hey kid, what did I tell you? I was right, wasn't I? Couldn't be mistaken, with all my life-long experiences with women. Well, you've chosen yourself a wonderful sweet lady as your partner, like I did, my kid-brother. Come here, Liane, let me give you a kiss, as your future brother."
Before Liane could comment on his words, Han took her in his arms and embraced her.
"Sweetheart, you deserve a much better person, someone like me, but a Jedi is not a bad choice," He said teasingly and started laughing, as an annoyed glance appeared in Liane's eyes. She tried to push him away, and struggled to free herself.
"Let me go," She said, showing her irritation about his words, "You're hurting me. Why are you always enjoying to mock people? Why do you have to be so impolite always, and make fun of people's happy moments? You rebuked poor Threepio for interrupting Luke's secret chat with me, but you're not much better, than that droid. Your behavior is sickening. Maybe I should make clear to you, that I dislike your manners?"
Liane managed to free her arms, and before Han knew what happened she had grabbed the lapels of his waistcoat, placed her right foot behind his legs and pushed him backward. Han lost his balance, and fell backward on one of the couches. Liane released her hands, made a high jump over Han and landed behind the couch with a somersault. Chewbacca roared with laugher and also Luke and Leia laughed at Han's astounded face. He struggled to get to his feet, looking for Liane.
"You, little shrew. You'll pay for this humiliation in front of my wife and friends."
He dived in Liane's direction, but she made another high jump to stay out of reach.
Luke watched her, but when she laughed at him with a teasing smile, he imperceptibly nodded at his sister and the Wookiee to stay put. Liane wasn't angry at Han, but just teasing him for his jibe on their friendship.
"You have to be much faster, general Solo, if you want to catch me," She challenged him.
"Should I?" Han retorted, "You'd better be careful, sweetheart. Here with you?"
Liane jumped out of reach, and ran off to the lawn, now laughing out loud.
"Luke, try and hold him off," She yelled in a fit of laughter, making several high somersaults to stay out of reach of Han's hands.
"Can't you manage without the help of a Jedi?" Han sneered while running after her. He caught up with her and took a dive to grab her legs, but Liane noticed his intentions before he acted and made some high leaps to the left. She ran away to the other side of the lake.
"Han, be careful. She isn't one of the rogues you've fought in the past," Leia called, seemingly worried.
"She's a Jedi, a Force user, darling, haven't you noticed she knew what I was up to."
In the mean time Liane had reached the other side of the lake and was quite ahead of Han. He caught up with her again and try to grab her arm this time, but once again she jumped out of reach and made a high double somersault back to the other side. She ran back to the terrace, where she sat down next to Luke on the couch, still laughing. Han walked back to the terrace, out of breath.
"Didn't I tell you, Leia, she a Jedi. She was using the Force to stay out of reach each time I nearly manage to grab her. She could predict my intentions."
He pointed with his finger at Liane.
"I'll have to give up, young lady, but only this time, for I don't want to challenge your Jedi friend, but I warn you. I won't forget this humiliation."
He started laughing.
"You really surprised me, Liane, but you won't get a second chance, sweetheart."
Liane turned to Luke. She saw him smile.
"Liane, you should gradually know by now, that Han always has his own special ways to express his feelings."
"I do, but I like to tease him with his blunt manners. He is married to Leia and has to learn to behave as the husband of a senator. He is a general in the New Republic's space force again, he told me." Liane said.
Leia started laughing. Han walked over to Liane again. He pulled her gently to her feet, and gave her a kiss.
"I apologize for what I said about your Jedi friend, lovely Eilidh Grann. You have chosen the best guy in the galaxy and I mean it. Not because I'm married to his sister Leia, but because Luke is the best friend I have. Hey kid, if Leia and I had known you had plans for a marriage proposal to this lovely sweetheart of yours, we would have postponed our visit."
Liane's cheeks colored red.
"Luke, didn't propose to me. We have only been talking about our ... " She protested with glowing cheeks.
"Don't tell me, sweetheart, you're not going to marry your Jedi. You and Luke are inseparable." Han grinned and look at his two friends, then he started laughing.
"Hey Chewie, did you know that even a Jedi Knight can blush."
"Han, please stop, with your teasing," Leia said sternly. Han was still grinning.
"I will, darling, but shouldn't we bring out a toast to celebrate their new bond. So where are the drinks and the food? Threepio, where are you!"
"I am here, general Solo. How can I be of your service?" The gold colored droid said.
"Get us some more drinks and some food. We're celebrating the future marriage of master Luke and this new mistress of yours."
"What do you mean, general Solo? Master Luke are you really ...."
"Enough, Goldenrod. Just serve those drinks and food. I'm starving."
"Most certainly, general. Mistress Liane, should Artoo and I going to prepare ..."
"Threepio, please, serve some of rolls and buns. We're all are a bit hungry. You can postpone dinnertime for several hours."
Threepio left the terrace, commenting to Artoo about Han's manners. Artoo gibbered a long digital stream which seemed to upset the golden droid even more. Indignantly he shuffled through the living followed by the little barrelshaped droid which was still hooting his comments. Luke and Leia started to laugh.
"Well, Han," Luke said, "You've found yourself a supporter in Artoo. He just confirmed your words."
Luke had put his arm around Liane's shoulders and looked at her happy face. Loose strands of her amber brown hair whirled around her head. Luke gently wiped them aside.
"You did well," he said, "You haven't forgotten your training on Endor."
"Anakin taught me how to use the Force to outrun dangerous predators in de Morantan forest. On Endor you continued his lessons and I've done your exercises to improve those high jumps here."
"You can do those exercises here? You absolutely need more height for the high jumps I taught you?" Luke said, looking at the nearby forest cave behind of the garden cavern.
"There are several unused caves just outside the residence which are much higher than the forest cave. They are much larger too. Some of them have broad ledges along the walls. I love to practise my jumps to reach those ridges, then I try,... no, I do a single or double somersault to land, like I did on Endor. In the beginning I practised, using some lights to illuminate the cave, but now I can do it in total darkness too. There's a whole underground world outside Mon Mothma's residence. The whole continent must be a big underground maze of caves. I've entered all my explorations in the library computer and included several images. I can now generate an extended holographic map of all the caves with those pictures. I'll show it if you want, Luke."
"I certainly want to see your explorations, Liane." Luke said and brushed away other strand of her hair.
Liane jumped to her feet.
"I'm going to redo my hair. Those loose hair strands are annoying. I'll be right back."
"That's the story, as far as I know," Ian said.
"So, you Jedi think, that the guy who's calling himself Darth Golluth is after the girl you and your master are protecting," Mugin said, "because she has learned a lot of strange knowledge from Darth Vader, a Sith Lord, who has been terrorizing our galaxy for more than twenty years. Are you sure, she isn't his real daughter?"
"She isn't. She has been brought up by him, as I told you. He is her foster-father, because he adopted her as his daughter, but my master knows much more details of her life on Morantan."
Mugin shook his head.
"Never mind, Ian, we believe this story. Problem now is, that your life is in danger. I'm quite sure that that Twilek' guy you've been talking to recently, is one of the mercenaries who are spying for Darth Golluth. We have to make sure, that you survive his assassination attempts," Toallin said.
"We?" Ian asked.
"Of course, we, Ian. My brother and I will help you as much as we can. First of all we have to get you out of Ktafunda safely. We own a small cabin in the middle of a wild forest. Do you have any experience with surviving in the wild? We can bring you there, but we won't be able to send you food supplies. Once there you're on your own. Does that suit you?" Mugin said.
"I have survived in the wild once before," Ian said humbly. "but why are you doing this?"
"We once lived in Ribana. We will tell you later in more detail what that guy Darth Golluth has done to Ribana and its citizens. Come with me, I'll bring you to a safe place where you can stay until we can get you away unseen. While you're in that hide out we'll provide you with as much information as we can about the intruder on Palomintar Four. After your story I'm convinced that the guy is a Sith lord, or wants to become one, for he is looking for a way to obtain the knowledge he needs from the girl you've been talking about, but we'll leave it to you Jedi to find out the real reason."
Toallin rose and beckoned Ian to follow him.
They walked through the court yard to the far end of the building to the private quarter of the two brothers. Toallin entered a closet and put several crates with clothes aside. A trapdoor became visible. Toallin opened it and a solid stone stairway let to an underground cellar.
"Go down the stairs, Ian. There's a large comfortable space underneath this house to stay out of sight for a while. If they inquire after you, I tell them you left suddenly and went back to ... What should I say?"
"Say I went back to Irithim on Dalmaran. That's where our government is. I don't think they will follow me there."
"Good, you're back to your home planet. When we close for the night, I'll bring you food and drinks. Now get inside and I'll see you tonight."
Ian stretched out his hand to Toallin.
"Thanks for your help, boss. I won't forget what your doing, neither will my master."
"Alright, son, maybe you and your Jedi master can come back to Ktafunda after you've dealt with that Darth Golluth guy, to tell us that my fellow Quelans can return Ribana. My brother and me would be grateful to get back there."
"We certainly will, boss," Ian said and disappeared down the stairs. Toallin closed the trapdoor and put back the crates.
What do you expect of this unexpected visit, Leia?" Luke asked, looking at his sister.
"I hope Liane can confirm, that the guy who calls himself now Darth Golluth is indeed Trevor Matrik," Leia said.
"Liane probably doesn't know him as Darth Golluth. Although his new name implies, that he is a Sith lord, it's very unlikely that Palpatine has been his master. Master Yoda once explained that there can be only two Sith at a time: a master and an apprentice. After the death of Palpatine and our father, the Sith have disappeared, but that doesn't mean that the influence of the Dark Side has been totally elimated forever."
"Luke, are you in doubt of our findings?" Han said.
"No, I am not, but it worries me, that Liane will be confronted once again with her past," Luke said sternly. "Let me explain, what I mean. Since I've found Liane on Endor; I've spent very much time to reduce the influence of our father's teachings on her, but she keeps struggling with the knowledge and the use of the Force Anakin has taught her. She seriously doubts his teachings, but she hasn't detached herself fully from what he has taught her."
"Luke, aren't your objections a bit exaggerated?" Leia asked.
"Leia, don't underestimate the power that Anakin's teachings still has on her. She knows his teachings were wrong, but her use of the Force is still driven by the way the Sith do," her brother answered determinedly.
For a moment Leia was lost in thought, then she nodded.
"It's good to look at this from another point of view, Luke. If Liane's behavior is still influenced by the our father's teachings, I'll be careful how I will choose my words," She said.
Leia looked up and saw Liane coming back, wearing the white dress, she had given her. Luke had noticed Liane's presence too and looked at her with an admiring glance. Han jumped to his feet and offered Liane his arm.
"You look absolutely gorgeous in this dress, Liane," Han said grinning, as he walked over with her to Luke, "It suits you even better than Leia. You surely should wear this dress while Luke is here. He can't keep his eyes off you."
"I know Luke likes it, but I only can wear it on special occasions," She said bashful.
"Well, sweetheart, isn't today such a special occasion,?" Han asked, and continued with a theatrical gesture, "My dear brother-in-law, this beautiful lady is a worthy choice as your companion. Take a seat next to your Jedi friend, my sweet lady, your appearance makes this Jedi Knight speechless, and me too."
"For someone as speechless as you say you are, general Solo, you're more talkative than Threepio,"Liane commented on Han's words, while she sat down next to Luke.
Luke and Leia laughed. Han grimaced, "You do no better, sweetheart."
Liane turned to Leia.
"Leia, yesterday you mentioned a guy called Darth Golluth. Luke has already confirmed to me that he is the guy who seems to be in search for me. You can tell me more about him, can't you?" She asked.
Luke heard a strange determined tone in her voice. He clearly was aware that Liane's attitude had changed much, while she had been living in solitude in Mon Mothma's residence. He looked at his sister.
"That's right, Liane. I want to tell you, what Ian, Han and I have found out about a guy who seems to be looking for you," Leia said.
Leia gave an outline of their discoveries on Endor and their investigations on Coruscant and Quoith. She avoided details, and just summarized their researches. Liane listened attentively. When Leia had finished her short explanation, Liane nodded with a serious expression.
"You have found the real name of this person who goes by the name of Darth Golluth, haven't you, Leia? The experts on Quioth have decoded all the files, that you've discovered on Corusant."
"Han and I have done some investigations on Morantan. We have found confirmation of Darth Golluth real name in the archives of the daily logging of the former imperial domains."
Liane looked at Luke, who put his hand on her arm.
"You've found the guy's real name on Morantan? " Liane asked, "You mean that Darth Golluth has lived at my fa... Anakin's strongold on Morantan?"
"Han and I found out, that Emperor Palpatine had assigned him as a member of the Morantan staff. You might have ..."
Before Leia could finished her sentence, Liane frowned and looked at Leia with incomprehension.
"Leia, do you want me to believe, that Trevor Matrik, one an admiral in the imperial space fleet, as he boasted to the commander more than once, is Darth Golluth? Do you want me to believe that Trevor Matrik is the Sith Lord who is looking for me and has made several attempts to kidnap me? You're not serious, are you?" She said.
Leia, Han and Luke looked surprised at Liane.
"So you do know him? "Han exclaimed and Chewbacca grunted an amazing grumble too.
"Of course I know him," Liane said on a disgusting tone. "Anakin became outraged, when the emperor had told him that he had assigned Trevor as a member of the Morantan staff. After Trevor had arrived as a permanent member of the Morantan staff my f.. ,I mean Anakin, often called him a pompous imperial braggart without brains and a creep. Trevor's assignment took place when I was in my early teens, fourteen or so. If Anakin was not present he always was the most bragging member among the officers, boasting that he was the youngest admiral in the Imperial fleet ever. The emperor had personally granted him his title and rank. He often challenged the commander that he wouldn't take orders from him, because he outranked the commander. Although I wasn't allowed to speak to him I once asked him, why he was a member of the Morantan staff, instead of commanding the imperial fleet, he bragged that the emperor had assigned a new special mission to him: he was a special envoy or liaison who had to pass on orders from the emperor himself to fath...Anakin. That was an obvious lie. Fa...Anakin could get in touch with the emperor, his master, in his meditation chamber, using their special Force connection.
Anakin always got a particularly bad mood, when Trevor was the officer on duty. He bluntly refused to speak with him. To humiliate Trevor Anakin asked the commander of the Morantan garrison to confirm what Trevor had been reporting several minutes before. "
Liane was silent for some moments, before she continued, "I was eighteen, when Anakin left Morantan on a special mission. He put me in charge of the whole garrison, which meant that all the men had to obey my commands, even the commander who was assigned as my advisor. Although Trevor had been present when Anakin presented me as their leader, he tried to overtake the command as soon as Anakin had left. According to him, he had a special mandate from the emperor to be in command during the absence of Anakin. This mandate overruled Anakin's orders. It was another lie, for all those years he never had mentioned that mandate. The commander strongly objected against Trevor's ideas and told him that Anakin had put me, his daughter, in charge of the Morantan stronghold and Anakin's wishes had to be obeyed strictly. Trevor became angry with the commander of the domain, telling him in my presence that he would inform the emperor about the commander's insubordination. The next day Trevor was no where to be found.
She look at Luke, "I'm not really proud about the way the commander urged me to keep Trevor under control and obey to Anakin's strict orders, using Force Mind Control as Anakin has taught me."
Leia made an unexpected gesture and Liane looked at Leia's questiong look.
"What's the matter, Leia?"
"You used Affect Mind to make Trevor obey, Liane? Are you sure he didn't pretend he obeyed your Force suggestions, like I did when you tried to influence me with the Force?"
"Absolutely not, Leia. He surrendered to my Force suggestions even easier and faster than Zolgathrii. Why are you asking?" Liane said, raising her eyebrows, "If I compare it with what I tried to do with you I can tell you that I completely overruled his own thought pattern which wasn't the case with you. Why are you asking?"
"Your answer sheds a different light on what I have read in Trevor's personal file. Before the emperor gave Trevor his promotion to admiral in the imperial fleet, Trevor was a member of Palpatine's elite guards: the praetorian guards. Any member of the emperor's elite was trained in a special way of martial arts. They were chosen because of their Force-sensitivity. So I expected, that Trevor would resist your attempt to control him with Affect Mind."
"I understand your explanation, Leia, but I can assure you that I hadn't the slightest difficulty to make him follow my orders."
Luke looked at his sister.
"Enough on this matter, Leia. Maybe we should do more investigation on other members of Palpatine's elite guards to find out to which extent they were Force-sensitive. Liane, you said that Trevor disappeared and didn't turn up again after you had become in charge on Morantan. Did he leave the planet? Did he return afterwards?"
"He did, Luke. About a year or so before the New Republic's forces took control of Anakin's stronghold Trevor unexpectedly returned to Morantan after more than a year, maybe longer. All that time Anakin too hadn't returned. Trevor seemed agitated, although he tried to hide his nervousness behind very amiable behavior. The true reason of his behavior is obvious to me now: he must have heard about the destruction of the second Death Star and death of the emperor. Probably he also knew that also Anakin was dead. He urged me that I should leave Morantan with him immediately. I told him that I still was in charge of the Morantan garrison and had promised Anakin to carry out the order he had given. In case the Rebel Alliance would invade Morantan I had to defend the stronghold, so I rejected all Trevor's plan."
She looked at all her companions, before she continued.
"What happened next, still sounds too weird to me to believe it really happened. After I refused to accept his plan, Trevor confessed that he had fallen in love with me. He wanted to leave Morantan with me, because he felt a strong obligation to save my life and marry me. His proposal sounded to ridiculous that started to laugh at him. Probably my answer hasn't been very polite, not to say rather blunt and humiliating, for I answered him, that even if he would be the last living person in the galaxy, I would never accept a marriage proposal from him. My answer must have angered him, for the following day he had disappeared again and he never returned to Morantan before the New Republic forces took over the planet. Maybe Trevor is now looking for me to seek revenge for this humiliation."
Liane laughed nervously after her story and added horrified: "Marrying Trevor Matrik? He was.. is at least fifteen maybe even twenty years older. I was not yet nineteen at that time. In my eyes he was an old man, although he probably was in his thirties."
After those words she silenced and seemed to have forgotten every one around her. Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca looked at her, while she looked away with staring eyes, completely overwhelmed by her old memories. Finally she looked at Leia.
"You are serious, Leia, aren't you?" she asked with a questioning look.
"I'm afraid I am, Liane. Please have a look at these images."
Leia handed Liane a datapad with two images. Liane cast a glance at the screen. Her hands started to tremble as she looked at the two images. One showed Trevor Matrik as she had known him, the other was a drawing, but the similarity was striking. The datapad nearly fell from her hands, and quickly she gave it back to Leia.
"Yes, you're right. This is Trevor Matrik as I remember him and the drawing also shows him," She said thoughtfully, but confused, "I can't believe it!"
Luke felt how Liane's aversion for Trevor Matrik became a mixture of fear and anger in her mind. Reassuringly he put his hand on her arm.
'Control your feelings, Liane. You don't have to frightened. Trevor can't do you any harm while you're here. Control your aggressive emotions, because you feel scared,' He said quietly.
Liane took a deep breath, shook her head in disbelieve, and continued, still feeling agitated.
"Trevor, can't be a Sith Lord. Even if he might be Force-sensitive. He is a cheater, a bragger. He can't have any knowledge of the Dark Side. Who should have taught him? Certainly not Anakin. I've overheard several arguments between Trevor and Anakin. Trevor always asked my fa... Anakin, if he could tell him how the Sith came into power and what the essence was of their use of the Dark Side of the Force. Anakin always refused to answer any of Trevor's questions. Already shortly after Trevor's arrival on Morantan Anakin had enforced me a promise, that I should never tell Trevor anything about the ways the Sith use the Force. Now that Anakin and the emperor are dead, Trevor probably thinks he can force me to tell him the evil knowledge of the Sith. "
She suddenly burst out: "Already during his last visit he asked me to share the knowledge Anakin has taught me with him. I will never tell him anything. Never! What Anakin has taught me is evil. It can't be used to do good, so what does Trevor need that knowledge for?"
Her high pitched voice had a shrill tone, expressing her suppressed frustration, but also her rising fear. Luke threw a irritated glance at his sister. It was Han who found the right words to comfort Liane.
"Stop worrying about this freakish guy, sweetheart, and listen to me. You will never see this guy again. Chewie and I will deal with him. What about you, Chewie?"
The big Wookiee let out a earsplitting roar. The sound echoed and reverberated through the caves. They all had to cover their ears with their hands. Liane looked up at the big Wookiee and suddenly started to laugh, forgetting her fear and anger. She jumped to her feet and embraced Chewbacca who put his long hairy arms around her, covering her completely, as if he wanted to protect her.
"With a friend like you, Chewbacca, I don't have to be afraid of anything," She said with a warm smile.
"Hey, what about me, sweetheart, I gave you the assurance." Han said quasi offended.
Liane released herself from Chewbacca's embrace and hugged Han.
"My thanks are for both of you," She said and returned to her seat next to Luke, who was still looking at her with a worried glance.
'I'm sorry, Luke, I know, you disapprove my aggressive outbursts,' She said using Jedi telepathy.
Reassuringly Luke put his arm around her.
'You did very well, my eternal comrade; more than before you had a much better control of your aggressive feelings which were nearly getting the upper hand of the frustration you felt by Leia's words,' He said through the Force, 'I knew the explanation about her findings would upset you, that's why I've come to Na'ctaMagh'Ba at once.'
Liane looked at him gratefully, before she turned to Leia.
"Is this what you wanted to know, Leia?"
Liane saw the compassionate look in Leia's eyes.
"I'm sorry if my story has evoked so many unpleasant memories, Liane," Leia said.
Liane tried to regain her composure, as she tried to laugh reassuringly.
"I didn't expect that the name of Trevor Matrik would turn up as the one who is my adversary, Darth Golluth, Leia. I don't blame you for telling me what you've found out about him. My disgust of him stems from my experiences on Morantan. I hoped that my story has completed your research."
"Partially, darling. We, I mean Luke and me, still have to figure out if it is likely, that Trevor might have gained some Sith knowledge somehow. Although you've told us, that neither Anakin, nor you, have passed on any Sith knowledge to Trevor explicitly, I wonder if he still might have learned something about the Dark Side during his long stay on Morantan? Liane, you're the one who knows - better than Luke and I do - what has happened on Morantan and we hope that you will tell Luke and me all you can remember about what happened between you, Anakin and Trevor."
Liane silenced, but a shameful blush covered her cheeks.
"Trevor might have seen the way I had to practise Anakin's teachings, Leia, for in the beginning he often witnessed how Anakin instructed me," she finally said in a whisper and averted her eyes. Her cheeks had become hot red.
"I always had to practise Anakin's lessons over and over again. Also after Trevor had come to Morantan," She looked up and nodded, "Yes, Leia, it's likely that Trevor has seen how he could gain some dark knowledge, for he often also seemed to have spied on me and Anakin very closely during my training sessions outside in the Morantan jungle. The commander has caught him several times, spying on Anakin and me. After the commander had mentioned Trevor's secret activities to Anakin. Anakin took me the islands of the archipelago at the east coast of the Morantan main land, using Anakin's private two men TIE-fighter."
She looked ashamed at the others and pushed Luke's arm away. With averted eyes Liane rose, but Luke wanted to grab her arm to reassure her, but without looking at him Liane shook her head.
"Please, Luke. Let me go. Leia, I really don't want to recall more, I can't. I'm wondering more and more why my past keeps catching up with me. I try so hard to forget what I learned on Morantan, " She murmured.
Luke let her go and Liane left the terrace. Deep in thoughts she slowly walked to the the edge of the lake, her head bowed in shame. There she sat down on a rock with her back to the company on the terrace, looking at the opposite side of the lake. Han looked surly at his wife. Chewbacca grunted angrily at Leia.
"Darling, why are you spoiling this great day for her? Why do you have to remind her of her past with a lunatic like this guy Trevor Matrik this rude way?" He asked cross.
"Han, Luke and I have to know what knowledge of the Sith Darth Golluth might have gained," Leia answered resolutely, and turned to her brother, "Luke, you talk to Liane. I'll need to talk to my husband."
Liane was still staring to the other side of the lake. Her mind was filled with images of her past on Morantan. A whirl of thousands of images flashed through her mind like a fast-playing movie. Once again she saw herself practising the different forbidden Force skills of the Dark Side, as Luke had told her. Many times Anakin had shown her the frightening outcome of his Force use and he had forced her to use her abilities the same way.
'But already at an early stage during your training you became aware that Anakin's teachings were wrong, and you often have argued with him, and opposed him. At least that's what he has told me.' A soft reassuring voice penetrated her thoughts.
"Mind if I join you, my dearest?" Luke asked with compassion.
Liane looked up and shove aside so he could sit down next to her.
"You're right Luke, already from the beginning I have felt that using the Force the way Anakin did, was dangerous, evil and wrong, but more and more I'm wondering if I will ever be able to forget the evil skills I have learned to use? Will I ever be able to forget all the dark knowledge he taught me. Will I ever be able to forget how Anakin forced me to kill Tijan?"
Liane looked at him with an overwhelming sadness in her eyes.
"You know what I mean, don't you? Why did Anakin force me to learn what was forbidden and dangerous knowledge? Why did he raise me as a Dark Side apprentice; why had I to become a Sith girl?"
"Anakin taught you, what was right in his eyes. He sought to control everything everywhere, so he could be the master of everything that happened in the galaxy. He saw that as the ultimate power a Jedi could gain. He was a victim of his strong emotions which he never learned to control. He failed the obligations of the Jedi Order when his uncontrolled emotions brought him down the path to the Dark Side guided by the person who he saw as his friend and protector: chancellor Palpatine, but who seduced him and became his Dark Master: Darth Sidious, the emperor. But to answer your questions, Liane; yes I know what you mean. Anakin taught you to use the ways of Force as the Sith would do."
"Yes, he taught me to use the Force to assault; to attack, to control and manipulate people, to break their resistance through this evil force, to kill them with forbidden Force powers. He demonstrated this Force use on innocent victims; even on members of the domain staff, his own men. Innocent men who had done nothing really wrong; they only made mistakes sometimes which he wouldn't forgive. He punished them for minor mishaps.
I had to practise on small animals: birds, rodents and reptiles and later I also had to use those evil powers to keep predators at bay or even kill them. I still can recall the fear my use of the Dark Side caused in the minds of those creatures as they realize they were going to die. I have often felt their anguish. There also was a book I had to study, until I knew it almost by heart. It contained only dark and evil knowledge. The title was: The Book of the Sith, Secrets of the Dark Side. Anakin handed it to me, after he had destroyed the other beautiful book about the Jedi," Liane whispered. In despair she burried her face in her hands.
"I know you have learned to use Sith knowledge," Luke said gently, putting a hand on her shoulder to comfort her, "When we first met, you've tried to use the Force Choke and Force Stasis on me; you tried to influence Leia using Affect Mind, and we had a serious talk about your use of your Dark Side knowledge, after you had attacked commander Dendicott. You told me about the frightening way your friend Tijan has died, but I can't believe that the Dark Side really is influencing you as much as you think and fear, my dear comrade, otherwise we never could have become such close friends."
Although Liane felt a reassuring comfort in his gentle gesture and soft spoken words, she didn't look up.
"Luke," she whispered, barely audible, "I can't really be your friend, or Leia's, as long as those dark teachings are still somewhere hidden in my mind, waiting to surface, if someone challenges me, or wants to harm me. It's the only way I've learned to defend myself and stay in control of threatening situations. I'm really scared, Luke, scared of what I know, scared of what I never should have known. Maybe the High Court was right to exile me to Wegoyy, maybe I'm a threat to the safety of the New Republic."
Luke felt bewildered about Liane's strong sense of guilt. For a moment he looked back at Leia on the terrace, who was still arguing with her husband. Han seemed pretty shirty. Every now and then his friend looked concerned at him and Liane. Imperceptible Luke shook his head, then he focussed again on his disheartened girlfriend. He gently forced her to sit upright so she had to look at him.
"Liane, my dearest comrade, what kind of talk is that. Put those thoughts out of your head, for they are wrong. You are my friend, my eternal partner, and my sister is your friend too. Yes, you have had too many experiences with the Dark Side of the Force, but in those many visions of our eternal bond you have seen yourself as a Jedi Knight, even as a Jedi Master and member of the Jedi Council. Maybe it's necessary for eternal luminous beings like us to get knowledge of the Dark Side too. Maybe that counts for every Jedi Knight. Remember, I told you about what happened to me when Anakin threatened to turn Leia to the Dark Side. In time I realized what I was doing, so I'm absolutely sure, that there are ways to find out, if you too have incorporated all that knowledge of the Dark Side you think you possess," He said softly.
The sadness in her eyes hurt him.
"New ways?" Liane murmured uncomprehending, "What ways? How? You can tell me, what knowledge I have learned is part of the Dark Side, but how can I get that knowledge out of my mind? If you know, how I can forget all those wrong and evil things I have learned from Anakin, I want you to help me, Luke."
For a moment Luke faintly smiled about her naive belief in his knowledge. He gently put his arm around her shoulders.
"You're absolutely right, if you say, that you've learned a lot of Dark Side knowledge from Anakin. Wrong knowledge, inspired by the Dark Side of the Force, as you have figured out yourself. That use of the Force has made you scared about her power, but the Force also can help you to gain new knowledge. You know that I can see events of my past, or meet old friends, long gone."
"You're a Jedi, Luke. How can the Force, the way a Jedi can use that power, be of any help to me?" Liane said helplessly.
"You're Force-sensitive. You've developed your Force skills on Morantan under my father's tutorship. That's one way to use the Force, but that use is wrong in your eyes, and I agree with your point of view. However, on Endor you've discovered that you could use the Force in a different way and for a better purpose, to heal wounded Ewoks. You also can use the Force to influence the future, for you seem to have a natural talent for Force Battle Meditation, and last but not least the Force has shown you the many lives we have shared in the past as you were using the Jedi pendant."
"Can I use the Jedi pendant to forget what I've learned on Morantan?" Liane asked, wondering about his last remark.
Luke shook his head laughing.
"The Jedi-pendant is your special connection with me, but you can learn the ways a Jedi meditates and let the Force turn your mind on things long gone or almost forgotten, so you will learn from knowledge of the past. If the knowledge you've learned on Morantan is still confusing you so much, I can teach you the ways a Jedi meditates, so you can use the Force to go back to your past experiences with her power. The Force can make you aware of the origin of your dark emotions: your fears, your anger, the humiliating practises you had to carry out, your aggression and frustration, all the dark things that still are in your mind. It will help you to learn and look at your knowledge from different points of view. You will learn that not all knowledge Anakin has taught you is useless."
"You mean, I might be able to forget the evil parts of Anakin's teachings?"
"Not forget, but you will become more aware of the value of all the knowledge you've gained, whether from the Good Side or the Dark Side of the Force. The Force will help you to choose the right path. The path that's part of your destiny. The path of the Jedi using the Good Side of her power"
"How will I recognize the good side from the bad, Luke. How will I know which knowledge is good and which is bad?"
"Master Yoda taught me, that a Jedi recognizes the good side from the bad if his mind is at peace, if he no longer asked for answers to the many questions which he has, but let the Force show him the right path, so he can look on what he already knows as a way to learn and grow."
Liane nodded. She looked inquisitive and interested.
"I don't know if I really understand what you mean, Luke. Are you sure you can teach me those ways the Jedi mediate? Are you sure the Force can help me to let me learn from my past?"
"After Leia and Han have gone back to Irithim, I will teach you the basic principles of Jedi meditation. I'm sure you will be able to learn these Force meditations easily. These first meditation principles also will help you to get a deeper knowledge of your own Force skills."
For a while they both sat in silence watching the small waves on the water surface, caused by an slight artificial breeze.
"Feeling a bit relieved, Liane?" Luke asked after a while.
"Maybe," Liane answered reluctantly, slightly shrugging her shoulders. She still was staring to the other side of the lake.
Luke rose and pulled her to her feet.
"Let's take another walk together, Liane. We don't have to do more talking. I only want to be with you as your friend and your eternal companion."
He firmly took her hand in his. Liane looked at their intertwined hands.
"What's on the other side of the lake?" He asked
Again Liane shrugged her shoulders.
"There's not much to see. To the left are the many caves with the technical installations to keep everything up and running. It's the home of the many tech droids. To the right is a short passageway which connects a few smaller caves which have not been put in to service yet. I'm using one of those caves as a storage room to dry the herbs I've gathered in the forest cave. I also use it as a lab to prepare the potions and ointments Logray taught me. Next to those smaller caves is a very long corridor that leads to the many main storages rooms with all kinds of stocks. Shouldn't it be better, if we go back and tell Leia what I remember of Trevor Matrik, Luke?"
Luke cast a quick glance to the terrace. It was empty. His sister, Han and Chewbacca had left. He was alone with Liane.
"It's better to let it rest for now."
Luke started to walk along the edge of the lake towards the other side. Liane followed him reluctantly, but after some moments she took up with his pace. They rounded the far end of the lake and walked up to a dark entrance that led to a number of empty caves.
"You can already smell the fragrances of the drying leaves, Luke? There are so many herbs in the undergrowth of the forest. I know much of their usage. Logray taught me how to prepare many of them and save them for later use, but I also found several other herbs which I remember from Morantan. The leaves, flowers and berries of some plants can help you to survive in the wild, or can be used as medicines to cure injures."
"Who taught you that knowledge on Morantan, Liane? Anakin?"
Liane shook her head.
"No, Eremian. He was the leader of a group of the Baroontarian priestesses. I grew up among them until I was seven years old. After Anakin had taken me to his stronghold to get my further education from him or from the many teachers he brought to Morantan; he sometimes send me back to Eremian and his priestesses. Then I stayed with them for several months, until Anakin returned and took me back to his stronghold again. Although the priestesses were always kind to me, they formed a strange group. Sometimes several of those priestesses went back with Anakin and me. Anakin's officers were always elated, if some of the Baroontarian women came with us to the stronghold."
"Did Anakin always took those Baroontarian priestesses back to the domains?" Luke asked surprised.
"No, usually he only took me back with him, and he always came alone to pick me up at Eremian's island, as if he wanted to keep my stay on the island a secret. Eremian and his priestesses lived on a remote island in the archipelago on the other side of Morantan. It was a beautiful island with lots of flowers, plants, herbs and beautiful views over the water. You can't imagine a greater difference between that environment and the jungle around the imperial stronghold where I grew up. I liked going there. Eremian was, like Logray on Endor, a kind of medicine man, a shaman, a priest. He had a lot of old knowledge and parts of it he shared with me. He was a very friendly man and taught me a lot about the plants he was looking for, cultivating and preparing."
Luke had listened quietly to Liane's explication, but he could not help her story aroused some uneasy feelings. He pressed her hand and pulled her to the cave entrance.
"I would like to see your harvest, Liane. Remember, I have been a farm boy on Tatooine," He said with a laugh.
Feeling relieved and more at ease, Liane started to laugh too and walked over to wall of the dark entrance. She touched a small pad on the wall and several light tubes glowed up spreading a soft yellow glow, illuminating a passageway that went on for several meters before it ended at some four consecutive medium sized caves. To the left Luke saw a dark corridor winding and disappearing around a bend.
"The tech droids have helped me to install these light tubes in the passageway and in the first cave to the right, so it would be easier for me to arrange those tufts to dry. I also need some light if I'm busy preparing Logray's potions."
Luke now clearly smelled the heavy scent of the herbs and dried flowers that came out through the entrance of the first cave. The different aromas almost were intoxicating, so sweet and overwhelming were their fragrances. They walked over to the cave entrance. Although the cave was of a much smaller size than the main caves of Mon Mothma's residence it had a reasonable dimension so you could stand upright and walk around in it. Astounded Luke look around. On the ceiling bunches of flowers and all kind of tufts of herbs were hanging side by side in neatly ordered rows. The cave floor was covered with dried leaves that had fallen and had made a thick layer. Several flat rocks had been placed underneath so the dried bunches could easily be taken down. At the walls several durasteel shelves held pots and scales with dried fruits and crushed leaves. Near the entrance a small oven and several mortars and pestles. On the shelves above the workbench look Luke saw small jars containing liquids or ointments. Liane had walked over to one of scales and took a hand full of dried berries. She walked back to Luke and offered them to him.
"Take these dried rose berries. They're delicious, sour but after some chewing they taste sweet." They both sat down on one of the flat rocks and Liane watched Luke with a smile. He tasted the berries and nodded approvingly.
"Do you like what I've done, Luke?"
"You've been very busy. Now I understand, why I had to wait for your use of the Jedi-pendant for such a long time," He said teasingly.
He took her hand and pulled her next to him on one of the flat rocks.
"Feeling less sad now, Liane?" He asked.
He stretched out his hand and removed the hairpins that were holding the tresses of her hair together. Liane's long amber brown hair on her shoulders.
"What are you doing?" Liane protested faintly, but she refrained from further protest as Luke gently brushed several strands from her face.
"You're a beautiful young woman, Liane. In this white dress you look like the princess of my dreams," He said softly. Liane enjoyed his soft caresses through her hair. She felt safe and protective in his presence and his gentle touches made her feel happy beyond words, forgetting the sadness about her past. Luke had put his arm around her and she leaned against his shoulder and thought about the many adventures she and Luke shared.
Memories of their reunion on Endor appeared in her mind. After Luke had found her, he had immediately surrounded her with his compassion and friendship. At that moment he had already known what she meant to him. All that time, he had stayed with her; he had not only become her closest friend, but also her companion and her eternal partner, for he had wanted to stay with her as long as he could. He had shared stories of his many adventures with her, but also the grief of all his losses and the pain they had caused.
The loss of Ben, his first master, for instance. Ben, whose Force apparition had urged her to use the Jedi-pendant, Luke's gift, again after she had found out, that she was Liane Solichor and not Eilidh Grann. Ben must have known that Luke would immediately respond to her pleas.
What more had Luke told her about Ben? Luke had left Tatooine with the old Jedi Knight. No, Ben couldn't have been simply a Jedi Knight, he must have been a Jedi Master, for Ben had already mastered very much knowledge about the Good Side of the Force. In the past he also had been Anakin's teacher and friend. Ben had taught Luke to rely on the Force and stretch out with his feelings, if he wanted to learn the ways of the Force and learn about her power. Ben's first lessons on board the Millennium Falcon had made Luke aware of his Force skills, but Luke had to forget much his old knowledge, the old way of thinking and response. He had to learn to feel the Force flowing through him, listen to the will of the Force, and control the power of the Force as only a Jedi Knight could do. In fact he had started his education completely all over, forgetting the prejudices he had been told.
Start all over, find out what is useful knowledge and what is not, that had been Ben's lesson to Luke. Surrender yourself to the Force, let her guide you, and learn to face and control your dark emotions. If she could do the same, she possibly could learn to cope with the evil things that Anakin had taught her. She might forget all his wrong knowledge and could chose to learn the knowledge with which she could do good using the Good Side of the Force, like Luke has learned. Could she do as Luke had done? Could she start all over too? Could she start doing it, while she was staying in Mon Mothma's residence, where she was safe? Surely Luke would help her with some first lessons. He had already said, that he would help her to learn some Jedi meditation to unravel things of her past that still haunted her. Was that a good first start, or was there a better way to learn the ways of the Force. Luke had already shown her a lot of her Force abilities, but was that enough to start a first Jedi training. Being Force sensitive doesn't surely mean you can use the power of the Force immediately as a Jedi.
Suddenly she became aware that Luke was softly laughing. She sat upright.
"It certainly isn't, my eternal girlfriend." Luke said.
"What has a padawan to learn in the beginning?" Liane asked inquisitive.
"A new padawan needs to learn to be mindful of his actions, of himself, his body and his mind. He has to learn become aware of the influence the Force on everything he does at any moment. He must learn to serious consider his actions and their consequences, look at them from different points of view, and he also has to learn to be mindful of the Living Force and feel the Force surrounding everything: the plants, the animals, the trees, even around stones and himself, for a Jedi is part of the Living Force. It surrounds him and penetrates him. It connects him with all life-forms in the galaxy." Luke said seriously, remembering how Liane had reached out to the Unifying Force on board the Astræga.
"So before you accept someone to become your padawan, such a person has to workout on many things and proof his or her progress?" Liane concluded.
"Yes, in the past the first Jedi training took years, before a student passed his first trials and became an initiate who could be chosen as a padawan learner by a Jedi master. The Jedi searched for newborns who were Force sensitive. Those little ones were brought to the Jedi temple where they were raised as future Jedi Knights. There is no time for me to do it that way. If I meet some one, like Ian for instance, I'll make him aware of and show him the influence of the Force in his everyday life at an early stage," Luke answered her question, "If I feel that the future padawan learner has become open to the influence of the Force I'll carry on with the first Jedi exercises and the main principles of Jedi meditation."
"Luke, you just said that you want to teach me the way of Jedi meditation, but shouldn't it better to start from the beginning. Can you teach me those first Jedi exercises?" Liane asked.
Luke was silent for a long time. Liane thought he hadn't heard her last question and gently pushed his hand.
"Liane, are you asking me to take you as my padawan learner?" He asked.
Liane shook her head.
"No. You have a padawan at the moment. I was only thinking, if it would help me to practise the elementary Jedi skills while I have to stay here."
Again Luke silenced. Liane started laughing.
"Is that idea so extraordinary, Luke?"
"No, not at all. Of course I can teach you those first Jedi exercises. Although you already know much of the power of the Force, it's a splendid idea to put your existing Force knowledge in the right perspective so you will be able to use the Force to help you to make your choices of my father's teachings," He said.
"That's what I want to learn. I want to do much of my Force education all over. You did the same after you left Tatooine with Ben Kenobi. You also started your Jedi training when you were older, so it must be possible for me too to unlearn my old beliefs and knowledge, especially Anakin's wrong teachings. I want to start at the beginning. Will you help me?"
Now it was Luke's turn to start laughing.
"I will teach you everything master Yoda has taught me. We will start with those first Force exercises while I'm here, but as soon as I have dealt with Darth Golluth, I want you to think seriously about becoming my next padawan. Do you agree?"
Liane was silent for a moment then she started to smile.
"Jedi master Skywalker, once again you are pushing me, aren't you?"
Luke rose and pulled her to her feet. Hesitantly Liane placed her arms around his neck. Luke wrapped his arms around her. He looked into her eyes.
"I do, because I still hope that one day you will accept me as your Jedi master, Liane,"
"You know, that I only want to use my Force power as a Jedi healer, not as a Jedi Knight, Luke. I hate violence. I'm not a real warrior or a real fighter. I have seen too much unnecessary fighting and killing,"
"But you have also seen us as a couple of Jedi Masters, Liane. You even wondered if that would be the path you have to follow this time."
"And you said that we have always served the Force living our lives within her power as luminous beings, but we haven't been Jedi Knights in all those lives we lived together. Luke, there must be a way for me to use my healing powers without becoming a Jedi Knight."
"We'll see, my eternal comrade. For now, we will let it rest. We'd better go back now to the residence and see if Threepio has our dinner ready. With all the excitement none of us have eaten the late lunch Threepio was about to serve."
Liane started to laugh.
"Poor Threepio. Han is always so unkind to him."
"Han doesn't like talking protocol droids. Shall we go. I haven't eaten since I started my walk along the underground stream," He said.
"Luke, why didn't you tell me, you wanted to eat something ?" Liane asked with some concern in her voice.
"I had to solve a more pressing matter first, my sweet comrade," He said with a warm smile.
He saw how Liane's cheeks got a rosy glow.
"You don't have to worry, I'm not starving. I had a good meal before I started my walk. A Jedi's needs are modest; he can satisfy his hunger with very little, as long as he is mindful of the food. That handful of dried rose berries, you have given me, are like a sumptuous meal for a Jedi."
To be continued...