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

Chapter 40

Cap_W
hen Liane woke up the next morning, she immediately recalled her first official Jedi practise. She smiled thoughtfully. Luke hadn't exaggerated; he had been a very demanding Jedi master, almost as demanding as his father once had been, however, with one big difference: Luke's ways of teaching were friendly and kind, although she had to pay full attention to his instructions and carry them out until he seemed completely satisfied. The most important principle of Jedi meditation hadn't been easy. She had to stay mindful, focussed and concentrated on the Force, not getting distracted by disturbing questions or emotional feelings, only feeling the Force around everything that surrounded her: around Luke, around the waterfall, around the stones, around the calcite crystals, around the dripping water from the ceiling, even around the tiny life forms she hadn't noticed before, which were living in the water, on the cave floor and the walls and around and inside herself. She had to become fully aware of her own presence in the Force, being part of the Living Force. Luke had insisted, that she had to become one with the Force, having a conscious, but open mind, without prejudices, for much knowledge could be gained from what the Force could reveal. It could show her what had happened in the past, what was happening now, what could happen in the future. Once again he had explained to her that the images she had seen on board the Falcon - the frightening vision of her encounter with Trevor in a dark cave - shouldn't be interpreted in the same way as her Force visions of the future of wounded Ewoks, or the images of Leia's wedding gown which she had passed on to Han. Luke had emphasized that it seemed highly unlikely that Trevor would come to the underground residence, or that he would be able to use any Force skills to harm him. Reluctantly, but not fully convinced, she had accepted his point of view that what she had seen, probably seemed to occur in some underground cave elsewhere. However, he had made her promise that she would tell him immediately, if those images of Trevor and himself would show up again. Next he had asked her to concentrate on a more recent event in the past. Applying her new skill the Force had shown images her arrival on Rasth, and the warm welcome of Marek and Aaliyah.
She had enjoyed the vision, but Luke had stimulated her to look further, deeper and behind those first joyful images and let the Force show her what had happened after she had left and ran away without saying goodbye, only leaving them her short note. The Force had shown her the bitter argument between Marek, Yarnick and Bran after she had run away and she had felt the grieve of Aaliyah and had seen her in tears as she was reading the message she had left behind. She had felt the deep concern of all the family members when they had wondered, where she had gone, and what they could do to find her. Those images had filled her with a great sadness, for she now realized that her unexpectedly flight had caused much sadness and worries in the family where everyone had treated her as a family member.
She had felt ashamed for leaving the friendly family so inconsiderate. Her sad feelings had overwhelmed her so much, that Luke had to ease those emotions with his explanation of what she had seen. He had had a long and serious talk with her about the meaning of these kind of Force visions and had explained to her that the Force could help her to get a better insight in her actions in advance, so she could reflect on and think about all the different consequences of any future plans.
A knock on the door interrupted her musings.
"Liane, are you awake?" The voice of Luke sounded behind the closed door.
Liane shot upright. She nearly had forgotten that he wanted to show her how he had reached Mon Mothma's residence.
"I'll be ready in a couple of minutes, Luke," She said aloud and jumped out of bed. She took a quick shower, dressed herself and and rushed to the living where Threepio had already laid the table for breakfast.
"You're very early too this morning, mistress Liane," The droid said, "Master Luke was here a moment ago."
"Luke and I are going to do some explorations outside this residence, Threepio. Will you tell, Artoo, that I don't need his surveillance today."
"Yes, mistress Liane, but Artoo won't be pleased. Are you sure, you can't take him with you?"
"He knows that as long as Luke is here, I'm well protected. Where is Luke?"
"I here," a voice sounded from the terrace. Luke sat himself at the breakfast table, "Threepio, can I have a glass of juice. Great, I see you have served nut bread with honey and a bowl of fruit salad. Liane, were you still asleep when I knock on your door?"
"No, I was thinking about what you said about those images of you and Trevor I have seen, but also about the other outcome of my use of that Jedi meditation you taught me yesterday."
Luke laughed.
"You were quite impressed after the Force showed you the consequences of your flight from Rasth, weren't you?"
"Yes, I feel really embarrassed about what I have done. I never realized what my flight would mean for Marek and Aaliyah. Are you sure, they will forgive me?"
"They understood your decision, Liane. Didn't Yarnick and his brothers came to Endor to help us?"
"I would feel more relieved, if I could asked them myself, Luke."
"One day you will, Liane. Forget your worries about the Granns for now, we have other plans for today."
Liane nodded. Silently she reached for three slices of nut bread and put two large scoops of fruit salad in a bowl and started to eat in a hurry. Luke watched her with a smile.
"You seem to be very hungry," He commented.
Liane looked up.
"Yesterday you said that you wanted to leave after breakfast. Aren't we already a bit late? Shouldn't I hurry?"
"We will leave after having breakfast, but that doesn't mean, that we shouldn't pay our full attention to Threepio's delicious breakfast table. Now it's time to have breakfast, so we should concentrate on what we are doing at this moment? A Jedi always pays his full attention to every activity and that counts absolutely for the food he is eating. A calm and peaceful mind is the most important lesson that's what master Yoda taught me. Be patient and peaceful under all circumstances. Never do anything in a hurry or inconsiderate. If you eat with full attention the food will give you a lot more energy. You're always in a hurry, Liane, always looking for things to come, for what's going to happen. Pay attention to what you are doing now, at this moment, fully focus yourself on this moment."
Liane heard in his voice the tranquil learning tone with which he interpreted her actions. A bit ashamed she wanted to put the three slices of nut bread back on the tray, but Luke started laughing and grabbed her hand.
"Eat as much as you want, Liane. I'm only telling you this because the habits of a Jedi are so different from those of others. I know, you're eager to start with the exploration I promised you, but we don't have to hurry."
During the rest of their meal Liane paid attention to the way Luke was eating. She tried to follow his quiet and calm manners and to suppress her excited feelings about their oncoming exploration. To her surprise she turned out completely saturated after having eaten two slices of nut bread. She took a few pieces of fruit salad and looked up at her companion.
"Finished?" Luke said smiling, having noticed her attempt to pay full attention to her meal. "Now get your flashlight and don't forget to take your lightsaber with you."
"My lightsaber?!" Liane said puzzled, but she didn't ask for a further explanation; Luke wouldn't say anything more. "I'll get it."
Within minutes she returned with her flashlight, and hooked her lightsaber with an uneasy feeling at her belt. Luke smiled as he sensed her uneasiness mingled with curiosity. Gently he put his gloved hand on the wristband with her infocom.
"This time you shouldn't wear your infocom," He said and took it off, "What I want to show you has to remain secret. You'll see for yourself why I'm saying that. Shall we go?"
Artoo whistled some objections, but Luke made clear to the little droid that he wasn't needed. He took Liane's hand and together they walked outside the residence. Luke pointed to the opposite side of the underground stream.
"There's the broad ledge you mentioned. It is a path on the other side of stream which we will follow it until we can't go any further. Follow me, Liane."
He jumped and landed on the path. Liane looked at the opposite side.
"The stream looks wide, Luke, and the ceiling is too low to somersault."
"You should use the Force to jump the water. You can do it. It's easy."
Liane laughed, but still looked doubtful. Luke stretched out his hand.
"Concentrate on my hand," he said sensing her growing uncertainly. Patiently he waited, but Liane felt more and more unsure.
"I don't think I can do this, Luke?" she said, looking at the ledge on the opposite side.
"I'm sure you can. Close your eyes and concentrate?" He said .
"How am I supposed to see where I have to land, if I keep my eyes close." She objected.
"Feel the Force, Liane, remember the branch you saw. Now see my outstretched hand in your mind. Your eyes can deceive you."
Unconvincingly Liane looked at him.
"Alright, I will close my eyes and stretch out with my feelings to the Force as you said."
"Now reached out to grab my hand. See the other side of the stream in your mind and see the spot were you want to land. Concentrate, Liane. Now go!"
She jumped and landed perfectly on the opposite side next to him.
"Excellent. You did very well and I knew you could do it. Didn't you tell me that you jumped on those high ledges in one of the caverns you've found in total darkness?"
They followed the underground riverbed upstream. Liane wondered where they were going, for on the left side the river ran along a solid rocky wall. As they rounded the bend Liane saw that the ledge continued. They walked on and to her surprise, they could cross the river at a kind of natural formed bridge and reached the rocky wall on the other side. The underground stream vanished through a wide gap underneath. Luke watched Liane, grinning, as she looked around, showing her disappointment.
"This wall isn't what it looks like. I'll show you."
Luke placed his left hand on the rocky wall. Slowly the lower part of the rock started to turn inward and upward. Aghast Liane turned to her companion.
"It's not a solid rocky wall," She said perplexed, "It's a door. Does it lead to another cave?"
"This is one of the entrances which lead to the place I want to show you. There is a second one," Luke answered.
"Another entrance?"
He saw Liane's inquisitive look, he released his hand, the door closed and became part of the rocky wall again.
"You do it, Liane. Open this entrance, using your Force skills."
Liane wanted to object, but she heard the demanding intonation in his voice. Hesitatingly she laid both her hands on the wall and pushed, but the wall didn't move, then she concentrated on the Force, pushed again and slowly the gap in the wall reappeared.
"Well done, my Force pixie," Luke grinned, "Let's move on."
He stooped and crept through the gap. Liane followed him amazed and excited.
"Now ignite your flashlight. It's really dark in here," Luke said, closing the entrance door behind them.
Liane switched on her flashlight and looked around.
"Wow, this is awesome, Luke," She said, "Another cave! Did you enlarge it?"
Luke grinned.
"Leia and I have smoothed the lower parts of walls and created a path to the other end. There's something else I want to show you. Follow me."
He walked to the carved stairs and pulled Liane with him through the small passageway.
"Now I want you to push this wall too, using your Force power," He said and added, "and don't be surprised."
Liane placed the palms of her hands against the wall and focussed on the Force. With a soft grinding noise the wall slid aside. She stepped through the opening and looked at the space behind the door.
But this is ... the last storage room," She exclaimed, "So this is how you ..." She shook her head, "No you came in through the main entrance. Oh, ... you came in this cave ... and then you walked along the other side of the stream.... But that means that there are many more caves connected with this one. So behind the last storage room there's also a lot for me to explore. I would never have found this cave myself."
Luke saw at the perplexed look in her eyes.
"Leia and I had already discovered this part of the cave network under Na'ctaMagh'Ba, shortly before Mon Mothma got permission of the Dalmaranian government to install her underground emergency residence. It wasn't a good idea to have a direct connection with the emergency residence and the cave which we are using for our special purpose, so we blocked the wall of the last storage room with this secret door. When this hidden entrance is closed, you won't see any difference between the plastisteel rocks on the durasteel door and the real rocks of the wall. Because Leia and I weren't certain about how this last storage room would be used, we made a second door. That's the one we have used to enter this cave. There is a third door at the other end of this elongated cave. Behind that third door starts a long winding path partly along, and partly through the shallow riverbed of the underground stream to the special cave which I want to show you. When I'll have to go back to Palomintar Six you can choose one of these secret entrances to access this part of the underground network."
Startled Liane grabbed his arm.
"I thought that you wanted to stay with me for some time," She said. For a moment she realized that when Luke would have to leave her, she would alone again. Luke put his arm around her.
"I'm not leaving immediately, but I can't stay here for a very long time, I can't leave Ian too long on his own. He still is a padawan learner, Liane, and I'm responsible for him as long as Leia hasn't resumed his Jedi training again. Come on, I'll show you the last secret door."
After Luke had closed the secret door to the last storeroom, they descended the rough carved stairs. Luke had turned on his own flashlight too and Liane could now see the enormous size of the cave. He took her to the other end of the elongated cave.
"Please, hold my flashlight, Liane."
Liane took both the flashlights. The broad beams illuminated the space where they stood. Luke bowed his head and raised his hand. Grating the rocky wall in front of them raised. Completely stunned Liane watched the complete wall disappear.
"Wow! This is enormous!" She exclaimed.
Curiously she tried to penetrate the darkness behind the vanished wall.
"This one is so much larger, than the other two. How have you been able to install these doors without telling the Supreme Chancellor? Does she know what you did?"
Luke released the door and slowly it sank, until the wall had taken its original position.
"No she doesn't and I want to keep it that way, that's why I didn't want you to take your infocom with your former explorations with you. But to answer the first question: we used some very special droids to get those doors installed on site. After those droids had installed this durasteel door, they molded plastasteel to create the artificial rocks on the it, so it looked as if it's a dead end. This third door is the entrance to the inheritance of the Jedi Order, the old archive of the Jedi Temple of Coruscant. One day I hope to build a real Jedi library, then I will transfer what's hidden here to a new building."
"You mean, there's books behind this door; the ancient books of the Jedi Order?" Liane asked flabbergasted and inquisitive.
"Almost the whole history of the Jedi Order and their history in the Old Republic lays behind this door, painstakingly transferred onto datacrons by the Jedi archivists. The emperor destroyed the Jedi Library with all the ancient books, scrolls and maps, but deep down the ruins of it Leia and I found an enormous hidden vault. In it we found a huge treasure, for all the knowledge of the Jedi Order had been accurately transferred to hundreds of thousands datacrons. Together with the Jedi-holocrons we also found in that vault, we still have access to the old knowledge of the Jedi Order in the future. It took a lot of effort and time to bring the complete content of the hidden vault to Na'ctaMagh'Ba."
"What are datacrons and what are Jedi-holocrons?" Liane asked.
"A datacron is special data carrier on which the content of books, scrolls and maps can be stored as holographic images. With the use of a special reader that content can be made accessible again and studied in a very easy way. A Jedi-holocron is a more or less similar device. It also contains old Jedi knowledge, but it is a polyhedra device in which the Jedi masters of old have recorded their personal knowledge, so that it can be passed on the new generations. The difference with the datacrons is that the images of the old Jedi masters are stored in the holocron too. A holocron also makes it possible for Jedi Knights to communicate with those Jedi masters who have long been united with the Force. This artificial door is protecting these Jedi treasures. We have installed this very heavy door so only a Jedi Knight would be able to lift this door using the Force."
Luke noticed Liane had listened intently to his exlpanation, but suddenly she frowned.
"You said, that I will probably visit that secret cave on my own, but how will I be able to raise this door once you're gone. It's so huge and heavy. It's as large as the total wall and it's made of durasteel, you said. It's so much larger that the other two."
"I'm sure you can learn, how to raise it. It's a similar form of Jedi telekinesis you have used to lift small objects. You've told me you have been practising to lift your dinner plates and other objects and the rocks in the waterfall cave."
"Those were less heavier objects, Luke. This door is something different," She protested.
"You can do it, Liane. You've been a servant of the Force for a long time. Believe me, you can lift this door. Use the power of the Force, feel her power, become one with the Force, like you did when you crossed the stream and when you saw what happened on Rasth during your first Jedi meditation yesterday evening."
Luke's voice had become more and more penetrating and all at once Liane felt as if she became part of an enormous overwhelming power, a Force power much stronger than ever before. Just like Luke she bent her head and felt how the Force took possession of her and supported her own strength. She stretched out both hands and concentrated on the heavy door. Through the Force she saw how the door slowly started to rise; first a small gap near the cave floor widened. That gap became wider and wider while the door was rising. Finally a soft click was heard, and the wall came to a halt near the ceiling of the tunnel. She released her Force trance and looked at the door; amazed and with her eyes wide open.
"Did I really..," She said startled, then she felt Luke's hand on her shoulder.
"You surprise me every time, Liane. You really were one with the Force, one of those luminous beings who are the true servants of the Force."
"I can't believe it," She stammered, still looking at the durasteel door. "Are you sure, you didn't help me?"
Luke laughed and pulled her with him through the gap. Once on the other side he lowered the door. Liane looked up to the ceiling, which hid the secret door.
"Master Yoda would have been really proud of you. Did I ever tell you what happened to my space ship the first time I landed on Dagobah."
Liane shook her head.
"I tell you, while we continue our walk. Now you have to use your lightsaber. Ignite it. I made some markings with my lightsaber on the wall so you can easily find your way. They will light up as you pass the beam of your lightsaber above it. Ready to go on?"
For a while neither of them spoke. Liane moved the blade of her lightsaber along the wall, looking for the markings. She was completely absorbed in finding the markings, while following her friend. Suddenly she grabbed the sleeve of his cassock.
"You said you've made these markings for me, didn't you?" She asked.
"That's right." Luke said smiling.
"Are they visible to others too? You said you want to keep this all secret, what if some one finds out how those secret doors work."
"These markings are only temporarily visible and can only be seen by you and me. Only lightsabers can reflect the markings. As soon as you know your way to the hidden cave the markings will start to fade, for you no longer need them, but you can also wipe them out yourself. Touch one of the markings with the point of the blade."
Liane did it and the luminous marking disappeared without leaving a trace. She looked up at him in wonder.
"Luke, I still have so much to learn about the power of the Force. I'm so glad you are around to teach me."
"And I'm glad you've accepted me as the one to teach you, Liane." He said with a warm smile.
"How did you learn more about the Force, after Ben and Yoda had gone? Ben couldn't your teacher anymore, after Anakin had defeated him on the first Death Star and you told me that master Yoda became one with the Force after you returned to Dagobah to complete your training," Liane asked.
Luke look around and pointed to a rock.
"Let's take a short break. I'll tell you how I developed my Force skills."
They sat down and Luke continued his tale.
"After Ben had surrendered himself on board the Death Star and had vanished I felt completely lost. I didn't know how I should carry on, although I heard Ben's voice many times in the years that followed. However, there was no one to tell me about the Force and how to use its power. Step by step and with many failures I learned to use the Force for simple things, like moving objects, feeling people's presence and extending my leaps. It wasn't much and very frustrating. I often wondered how I could become a Jedi Knight if I had no one to tell me more about the Force.
When the Alliance had found a refuge on Hoth I've got a vision of Ben after I had had a frightening encounter with a Wampa ice monster who nearly killed me. Ben urged me to go to Dagobah and seek master Yoda. Master Yoda's tough teachings and excersises brought me the deeper meaning of the Force and the way a Jedi Knight should rely on her power. I returned to Dagobah, after my failure on Bespin and the rescue of Han from Jabba's clutches, to complete my Jedi training as I had promised I would do. To my amazement master Yoda said that I didn't need any more training, because I already knew what I had to know, but only after I had had my final confrontation with my father I realized I had fulfilled my obligation to Ben and master Yoda. After Anakin had renounced the Dark Side and had become one with the Force as my father Anakin Skywalker I knew I was the last Jedi Knight. I had come a long way and a lot of what I learned in the beginning I gained by doing and evaluating the outcome of my actions. I have to rely on the Force and let her tell me, what she wants of me. I still have a lot to learn, Liane. Compare my ongoing learning process with the way you have found out you can heal other life-forms and how you are still developing your healing skills using the Force."
"It's a pity, I think, there aren't any other Jedi masters in this galaxy anymore to tell us what we have to do." Liane mused.
"Us!" Luke asked surprised.
Liane looked up to him.
"Of course," She said, "for I want to know how I can improve my healing skills and you just said that you're still learning, although master Yoda has told you on Dagobah, that you didn't need anymore of his training."
"Although his words didn't mean, I was already a fully-fledged Jed Knight at that time," Luke said, recalling for a moment his last talk with his old Jedi master. He rose and pulled Liane to her feet.
"While we walk on I'll tell you what happened after my first landing on Dagobah and how master Yoda taught me a lesson I will never forget."
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"Fools! Idiots! What kind of action is this! I wanted that guy alive!" roared Darth Golluth and clenched his fists.
"He not dead, master," The holographic image of a Y'vanna said.
"Who gave the order to use a kifusa device?" Darth Golluth snarled.
"Probably Trimas, master," The Y'vanna answered, "There is good chance he hired those assassins."
"I told him to bring the guy to Palomintar Four. Bring Trimas before me. I will deal with this blunder head myself."
"He disappeared, master. Our spies have checked every corner of Ktafunda, but they found no trace of him."
"Find him. What about that Tydon guy; you said he isn't dead."
"One of the owners of the bar had him transported to the medic center. My informant in the medic center told me, they have put him in a bacta tank to recover. The bacta will cure the burned flesh and skin, but the process is slow and it might take some time, before he will be allowed to leave the medic center."
"Tell your contact to monitor his progress closely. If he's fit for traveling, have him kidnapped and brought to Palomintar Four, understood."
"Yes, master. Any further orders, master.
"Is the search for that Vader girl ongoing?" Darth Golluth asked.
"Our spies on Dalmaran have lost track of her. They are now investigating the other planets of the Vagrel System."
"In fact you're saying she has vanished, disappeared, receded from view, and none of my spies can find her. What about the bounty hunters you hired?"
"Negative, master. After the girl's arrival on Dalmaran we've simply lost track of her."
"Check the whereabouts of that Skywalker fellow. He was her guard on Endor. He certainly knows where she is now. Follow him, but be aware of his abilities. He's a Jedi Knight. If possible bring him to me too, together with that wounded Tydon."
Darth Golluth gnashed his teeth.
'He's a Jedi Knight. Who trained Skywalker? The Emperor wiped out the Jedi Order and had all its members terminated. How could it be that one Jedi of that accursed order survived?' He thought.
He again turned to the holographic display in front of him.
"Do as I've told you, and see to it, that everything is carried out smoothly, no failures, no mistakes anymore."
"Yes master!"
Darth Golluth rose, turned his back to the display and started pacing up and down the room. The girl had arrived on Dalmaran; she had been transported to the detention block, but it seemed that inside the detention building she had vanished. Could it be that the New Republic knows that he is after her? No, he had been very careful. He hadn't revealed his true identity to anybody. What about that little senator? She has frightened and threatened Vestor with her boasting that the Rebels could fly faster through hyperspace than an Imperial star ship. Where has that Skywalker gone? He had left Palomintar Six, my spies told me, but he hasn't arrived at Irithim. He certainly knows where the girl is, but it is difficult, almost impossible to kidnap a Jedi. The only thing his spies can do was to keep a close watch. Even those bounty hunters he had promised a million credits haven't been successful. He had to wait. Sooner or later she would turn up, and he could speed up that moment if he could lay his hands on that wounded Ian Tydon. Yes, that Tydon had to be brought here, to Palomintar Four. Possibly the girl possessed the ancient Jedi talent of healing of her mother. She can cure wounded creatures. She has done so on Endor, he had been told, and Tydon is a close friend of the girl. He would make sure that rumors are spread on Dalmaran that Tydon is severely wounded, has captured on Palomintar Six, and brought to Palomintar Four. If the girl will hear that he is in a very bad shape, probably she will come to Palomintar Four from herself to help him. Yes, yes, that would be a good tactic.
Darth Golluth turned to the pedestal and activated the holographic statuette of his predecessor, Darth Vader.
"Can't you be a bit more cooperative, Lord Vader. You know I need the girl to complete my goal. If you know where she's hiding I expect you would reveal to me, where she is hiding."
The statuette remained numb.
"Why aren't you talking now? Earlier you were convinced that your son and daughter wouldn't never turn to the Dark Side. You accused me of being over-confident."
Angrily the Sith lord kicked the pedestal. The statuette moved to and fro, but stayed numb.
"Of course, you can't talk, it's my imagination, that's what it was the other times. Well, Lord Vader, I guarantee you that the time of my ultimate leadership of the galaxy is coming closer everyday. I will find your daughter and I'll put her under pressure to reveal all she knows to me. After she has taught me everything I need to know about the Sith and their control of the Dark Side I will find a way to get rid of her."
Without any further word Darth Golluth left the room, leaving the statuette aglow.
'Shouldn't we warn Luke and Leia, Anakin,' a familiar voice sounded through the deserted room.
'They are already aware of his hiding place, Obi-Wan. They are keeping a watch on Palomintar Four. They will do what has to be done at the right time. I'll watch with him closely, Obi-Wan.' the other voice answered.
'I will look after Liane,' the first voice said.
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"Luke wants to wait, Chancellor," Leia said addressing Mon Mothma. "He thinks, that if we act now, we might endanger our first plan."
Mon Mothma stood with her back to the room, looking out over the growing city of Irithim.
"You disagree with your brother, Leia, don't you?" She asked. "I hear worries in your voice."
"Luke is our Jedi Master, his skills are far beyond mine," Leia said hesitatingly.
"But... " Mon Mothma turned around.
"Your right, Chancellor, I am worried. I had a Force vision about my padawan Ian Tydon. I had a feeling he was in danger."
"Does your brother know, what you've seen?"
Leia shook her head.
"No, the vision came recently, it's not clear to me what has happened. Luke taught me that Force visions might be images of the future which not really show what will happen. The future is always in motion, that makes it difficult to interpret such a Force visions."
"I know we have to rely on your brother's skills, but when he isn't around I need to make my decisions using the abilities of his twin sister, shouldn't I?" Mon Mothma said with a smile. "If our young Jedi stays with Liane Solichor in my secret accommodation without notifying me, I have to rely on you."
Leia looked at her superior and started laughing.
"Who told you this, Chancellor?"
"Liane's guardians, Threepio and Artoo. This morning I contacted my residence and Threepio told me that Luke and Liane had left together. He couldn't tell me where they went. Threepio reported that Luke had ordered Artoo to stay at the residence. Did you know your brother was coming too, when you visited Liane?
"No, Chancellor. Luke's arrival was unexpected. I had send him a message, telling him Han and I would visit Liane to ask her about her possible encounters with Trevor Matrik on Morantan. Luke came to Na'ctaMagh'Ba to protect Liane against our revelations."
"So Liane's wellbeing was the main reason for his unexpected visit? How did he get at the residence, Leia? I can't remember that I gave him my permission to go," Mon Mothma asked sternly, but with a smile.
For a moment Leia hesitated, then she said, "Chancellor, my brother has promised Ana... our father he would do everything to turn Liane to the Good Side of the Force. "
Mon Mothma frowned, "I know that, Leia, but I think, there's another reason. Am I far from the truth if I say that your brother has fallen in love with our protégé, Liane Solichor?
Leia hesitated.
"Don't deny my words, Leia."
"Chancellor, it's not for me to reveal my brother's real reason. You should ask him yourself. I only can say that Liane means more to him than we all can comprehend. Even I was surprised, when he told me."
Mon Mothma laughed.
"Your brother couldn't find him a better lawyer than you, Leia. Alright, I accept this insufficient explanation. So your brother's friendship for Liane is beyond our comprehension. I only wonder if there is a good reason for me to give him permission to spend his time with Liane together again. Hasn't he been long enough together with her on Endor and Tatooine? If I'm right he was with her on Endor for more than eight months, before he fled with her to Tatooine instead of coming back to Dalmaran. When he finally returned with her to Dalmaran, almost ten or more months had passed since he had found an escaped and convicted prisoner from the Wegoyy prison on Endor, and all that time he completely neglected the mandate he had been given."
Leia raised her hand in protest.
"Chancellor, it was your idea to pardon Liane and grant her her citizenship of the New Republic after her arrival on Dalmaran. You defended the act of oblivion in the High Council. Why are you referring now to her former status? Her conviction and her unfortunate stay on Wegoyy lays in the past."
Now Mon Mothma laughed even louder.
"Not only has your brother a perfect lawyer in you, my dear senator, you also are the warm defender of Liane's case. I was disappointed that Liane wasn't in my residence this morning when I contacted my secret accommodation. I have become used to my contacts with her. Our former prisoner from Morantan has become a nice young lady; she has become a good friend of mine and I wish her all the happiness she deserves. If that happiness includes the friendship of our young Jedi Master, I will not interrupt their reunion at the moment. For now I will agree that your brother is protecting her. However, if the safety of the New Republic will be at stake, because of this new Sith Lord on Palomintar Four, I want him to take his responsibilities as one of our last Jedi. And as for you, my dear senator, if those Force-visions of your padawan become clearer and you are convinced, that he needs our help, go to the Palomintar System. I'm sure that your husband and his pal will accompany you."
"You're very generous, Chancellor. Be sure, that my brother will never put the safety of the New Republic at risk."
Relieved Leia left the office of the Supreme Chancellor.
divider
In the medic center on Palomintar Six Ian Tydon awoke again from his artificial bacta sleep. He didn't try to panic, when he felt the stickly slimy fluid all around him. Concentrating on what he had learned from Leia and Luke he focussed his mind on the power of the Force. Her healing powers would support and intensify the healing powers of the bacta. He closed his eyes and turned inward and immediately he felt how he became part of the Force. However this time his connection with the Force became odd and different. It was as if he left his body and could freely go wherever he wanted. Supported by the Force he drifted through strange layers fluids. Suddenly he found himself in the ruins of Toallin's. He entered the rubble and was surprised that he could pass any door and entrance. In the bar he saw Mugin and Toallin. They were alive! They hadn't been at home when the backside of the house had exploded. Relieved Ian left the bar and drifted further along the streets of Ktafunda. Then the Force drove him to a dark alley in the outskirts. He entered a house and saw some twenty untidy creatures quarrel.
"Tamida dalamma decuma", a big bloke with a red nose said. [The boss is very angry with us]
"Himkodu swazomi", a second redneck brawled [I want my share]
"Kinomok tamdanku", a third commented [The Jedi is dead]
"Kosino! Kanora midic mafotina." the first bloke said angryly [He isn't. They brought him to the medic center.]
Their crude talk went on. Ian listened and he felt surprised that he could understand what they were talking about. The Force enabled him to understand their alien brawl. These were the rogues that had attacked the bar and dwelling of Toallin and Mugin. He had to warn his former patrons, so these guy could be captured. Then he heard the rascal with the red nose yell: "Katonodo wakuno socigale tanu," [We'll finished him off tonight]. The others agreed and all of them rose.
Suddenly Ian felt a pang of fear, but then he heard a calm female voice.
"Concentrate on the place where you left your body, Ian Tydon. See the bacta tank in which you are floating and return."
Startled he did what the voice had ordered. He saw the bacta tank in which his body floated. Slowly he freed himself from the power of the Force and opened his eyes. Then he realized that he had discovered a secret plot to assassinate him. He wanted to scream, but the oxygen mask stunted his efforts. Wildly he began to move his arms and legs, trying to free himself from the tank. At once a medic droid rushed in.
"Calm, sir. You're doing fine. We'll guard you until you're fully recovered."
But Ian continued to get out of the tank. The medic droid alerted a team of other droids.
"Sir, stay calm. Relax. No harm, will be done to you."
A flow of binary language shot back and forth between the medic droids. Then finally one of them pulled a stop and the bacta disappeared. Immediately Ian yanked the oxygen mask from his face.
"Help me out!" He screamed, "They are coming, they want to kill me. Get me my clothes."
The droids tilted the tank and opened the hatch. Ian stumbled to his feet.
"Sir, be careful. The bacta's haven't yet completely cured you. We'll prepare a new tank."
"They want to assassinate me!" Ian yelled again and tried to walk over to the door, but he had to grab hold off the nearest droid. "They want to murder me. Leia, Luke, help me!"
At that moment the door opened and Toallin entered.
"Ian, they have released you from the bacta!" He said and took hold of the swaying young man.
"No sir, we had to free him, because he didn't respond to a new bacta insertion."
Bewildered Ian looked at his former patron.
"Toallin, help me. They are coming. They want to kill me!"
"Who's coming?" Toallin asked.
"The ones that burned down your home and ruined your living. I have seen them. They on their way to this medic center to assassinate me."
"Take it easy, son. How do you know all this?"
"The Force showed me that they are planning to murder me. They know I'm a Jedi and they want me dead. Help me, Toallin."
"Put on your clothes, Ian? No, wait, I know something better. You can't put on clothes; your skin is too still to fragile." Toallin turned to the droid. "Do you have one of those bacta suit. Large ones."
"No sir, but can help with large foil patches."
"Get them and wrap him in. The bacta will do their job and I can take this guy with me. Hurry.
Several droids disappeared and returned within minutes with some odd looking foil sheets. Toallin grabbed a large piece of foil and a pair of scissors and quickly he cut out a kind of tunic and a pair of wide pants. He helped Ian to put them on and used Ian's belt to hold them together.
"Now to the backdoor! Give me those clothes."
"Where is my lightsaber," Ian said.
"Here, sir," One of the droids handed Ian the small cylinder. "Good luck, sir."
Supported by Toallin Ian hobbled through a small deserted passage. Within minutes they reached a emergency exit on the second floor. Toallin opened the door and they entered the flat roof.
"Stay here and stay low behind those eaves. I'll get my speeder. I whistle when I waiting for you below. Can you jump?"
Ian cast a glance a the street below. He nodded.
"Yes, I can."
Toallin disappeared and Ian threw himself flat on the roof. After five minutes he heard a sharp whistle. He jumped to his feet and look down.
"Jump!" Toallin hissed. Ian took a dive, turned in mid air and landed on the back seat of the speeder.
"Excellent. Now hold on and stay low at that back seat, I bring you to safety."
The speeder made speed and within minutes Toallin had reached the outskirts of Ktafunda. He turned to Ian.
"I'll bring you to that cabin of ours in the northern forest. I'll stay there with you until you're recovered. You can relax now. We weren't followed. Within ten hours you're on a safe place."
"I won't forget this, Toallin," Ian said with a weak voice and all of a sudden he fainted.
divider
While they were still following the path along the underground stream Liane had listened to Luke's story about his first landing on Dagobah, his first encounter with Yoda and the start of his training.
"I felt desperate when my X-wing submerged completely," Luke confessed. "I really believed I would never be able leave Dagobah again. Yoda told me I had to use the Force to raise my X-wing from the swamp. I tried, but I let it slip, because I didn't believe I could do it. I commented that it was too big. Then Yoda taught me a lesson in Force believe. I saw him make use of the Force in a way I'll never forget. Fully concentrate and tuned in on the power of the Force he raised my space craft and put it on dry land. When I said I couldn't believe it, he only said, 'That is why you fail?' It was a tough lesson, Liane, so the compliment I gave you after you could raise that door, was well deserved. Yoda would have been proud of you, just as I am."
"You helped me, Luke?" She said.
"I didn't, believe me. You raised that door on your own."
"I mean, the way you convinced me I could do it, using your special Jedi voice. You talked to me in a way, so I could find my connection with the Force and tune in to her power. It was such a great feeling. Do you think I can do it again."
"Of course you can. Even if I'm not around you will be able to raise that door. You're very strong with the Force."
Suddenly Liane seemed to remember something.
"Luke, when we were on Tatooine you promised me you would look at my ... , what did you call it, midi coli..." She said.
"Your midi-cholorian count. Do you still want to know?" Luke asked a bit surprised.
"You promised you could do a test after we arrived on Dalmaran."
"That's right. I can do it while we're here, if you want."
"You mean, now?"
"As soon as we reach the cavern I want to show you. Everything to check your blood sample is there. Are you sure you want to know your midi-chlorian count, Liane?"
"Yes, Luke, I want to know if it's high enough to continue my training with the Force."
Luke started laughing.
"You're still doubting your believe in your Force potential, aren't you, Liane?"
Liane wanted to walk on, but her foot slipped, she nearly fell and lost her lightsaber. Luke grabbed both her arms more firmly and put her to her feet.
"Mind your steps, Liane. Most parts of this tunnel can be slippery." He said.
Liane tried to penetrate the total darkness to see Luke's face, but everything around them was pitch black. Then she felt how he put his arms around her. He didn't say anything and Liane felt the same kind of vulnerability like he had shown after she had told him that he should bother himself about her friendship for Ian Tydon, but underneath his silent embrace she also felt a strange sadness she didn't understand. She raised her hand and gently touch the side of his head. She tried to comfort him and lessen those sad feelings.
"Luke, what's wrong? Why are you feeling so much pain? There's much sadness inside you," She whispered.
"There is no sadness anymore, Liane. I'm happy now I have been reunited with my eternal soul mate again," Luke answered, feeling her influence on his mind. "Believe me, my dearest friend."
"You're a bad liar, Luke Skywalker. You carry a great pain inside. You know I can feel it. What's bothering you?" She insisted.
For a moment Luke was silent.
"You're right, Liane, but I can't tell you about it at the moment. It would spoil our happy reunion."
Gently Liane pressed the fingers of her head against his temple, comforting his uneasiness, when suddenly the image of a dark haired woman turned up in her mind. Luke's sad feelings were concentrated around her. Startled she pulled her hand away. The image vanished. Who was that woman? Once again she felt Luke's arms tight around her. He pressed her head against his shoulder.
"You saw her, didn't you?" He whispered in her ear.
"Who is she? Is she the cause of those sad feelings?" Liane whispered putting her arms around him in an attempt to console and comfort him.
"She once was a good friend, Liane, in a time before I met you. She's gone?"
"Gone? You mean, she passed away?"
"Yes, but, please, Liane, don't ask me to tell you more at this moment," Luke begged her.
"Luke, my dear comrade, it worries me, if I know that you feel so much sorrow and pain. Are you sure, I can't help you again, like I did on Tatooine?"
She heard him laugh softly. Still standing in total darkness of the cave he laid his hands around her face and gently gave her a kiss on her forehead.
"You've already helped me more than you realize, Liane, also this time. Shall we move on? Here's your lightsaber! We'd better use our flashlight from now on. We're almost there."
The lightsaber jumped into his hand. Gently he place it in her hand. He felt her penetrating look.
"I'm alright, Liane. I assure you, I am," He said with an elusive soft laugh. He took her hand in his gloved hand. "Let's go."
However, Luke felt a growing concern in Liane's mind. After they had walked on for some moments he stopped, turned her towards him and put his hands on her shoulders.
"Liane, I asked you to stop worrying about what you saw. You're right; my memories of her are painful, very painful, but you also know that I carry many more painful memories inside. Memories of Ben and Yoda. My past is full of painful moments, but our reunion and the knowledge that we will be partners again gives me a lot of comfort. Thanks to you and your Force ability of showing people images of their future, I too can look forward to a brighter future. One day I will tell you about her, I promise."
Liane looked at him seriously.
"Then I will wait, Luke, until you're sure you can share those sad memories with me," She said.
They walked on in the dark tunnel. Finally they reached the chasm between the wall and a big boulder. After they had passed the narrow gap, Liane felt they must have reached an huge high cavern, for she shivered as she felt a kind of chilling air. Luke stood behind her, took her hands and raised them.
"If you want to see what's in here, Liane, you have to switch on some lights."
He held her hands tightly in his and again Liane experienced how she became one with the Force. She stretched her fingers and looked up to the dark ceiling of the cavern. Slowly several light tubes on the walls began to glow, until the whole cavern was brightly lit. Luke released her hands and slowly Liane stepped forward completely overwhelmed, looking at towering racks filled with numerous boxes. Several other boxes were still stacked on top of each other.
"Wow! This is incredible! I can't believe it."
Luke had already walked over to a box which stood apart and raised the cover. Liane saw some ten small elongate numbered boxes which fitted neatly inside. Inside the cover a small device had been mounted.
"That's the reader for these datacrons," Luke pointed out and removed the reader. He took a small battery from his belt and fitted it underneath. He handed Liane the small device.
"You don't have to switch it on. Take one of the datacrons and slid it in the slot at top," He said.
Hesitatingly Liane picked up the first of the elongate boxes, opened the transparent cover and took out the first datacron. She put the object in the slot and immediately a holographic book page started to hover above the reader. Carefully she looked at the writings.
"It's in Jedieese, the old Jedi language," Luke said.
"Yes, I see," Liane said completely stunned, "I recognized the writing from the book I once read secretly. It's indeed a pity Anakin destroyed it. It had such a lovely cover and I loved the images of the pendant in the last chapter."
She took out the chip, put it back in its place and put the box back next to the others. Carefully she fitted the reader in its place, handed Luke the small battery and closed the cover. Disappointment and confusion sought to gain control at the many contradicting emotions she felt. She looked around at the boxes on the shelves of the racks. Thousands of ancient books were stored in those boxes, but she wasn't able to read any of them. Clearly showing her frustration she turned to Luke again. She saw him smile.
"Feeling disappointed? I felt the same after having looked at those ancient writings. Jedieese is a very difficult and ancient language and none of the Jedi masters have written down its grammar or compiled a kind of dictionary with the meaning of the words in standard Basic. Luckily there are also, a few, more recent, datacrons in Standard Intergalactic Basic," Luke said, "and a couple of Jedi books have survived the total destruction of the Jedi library as well."
He walked over to one of the racks and took out a small booklet with a silver lined grey cover.
With a smile he gave it to Liane. Amazed she took it from his hand.
"This is ... " she stammered.
"... the book you just mentioned; the book you told me about on Wegoyy," Luke said and gently took her arm. He brought her to a comfortable lounge which was standing in a shielded area of the cavern. Liane saw a desk and a small kind of cabinet. Luke noticed her interest.
"I use to stay and study here. Sit down, finally you can finish your reading, Liane. This time there won't be anyone to interrupt you. I'm go to prepare the test for your midi cholorian count."
Absorb in the little book Liane forgot the whole cavern around her. Her fingers carefully flipped the pages until she found the chapter where the drawings of the Jedi-pendant were printed. Concentrated she read the chapter and whispered the sentence on the backside half loud. She took off the chain with the Jedi pendant and turned it over. Yes, it was exactly the same as was written on these pages: "Mezorahimed dejan Forka imajors dejan bacarlam."
"May the Force always be with the ones she has united forever," She whispered and caressed the engraved Jedieese symbols with her finger tips. A shadow fell on her hands and she looked up.
"Here it is, Luke," She said and she pointed to the Jedieese text. Her voice sounded tense.
Luke sat next to her and Liane showed him the pages with the text of the Jedi-pendant.
"I know, Liane. This is Ben Kenobi's copy of the book. I found it in his house on Tatooine when I was rummaging through his papers, because I needed to assemble my own lightsaber. I took it with me when I left Tatooine. After you were send to Wegoyy I use it again to make the Jedi-pendant for you. "
Liane held the Jedi-pendant on the palm of her hand.
"I'll never separate from it again, as I nearly did on Endor. Ben prevented that I would throw it out of a window. He was right, when he said I would wear it again. I wear it day and night now. It's such a magnificent and mysterious object. It's still a mystery to me, how I can reach you, if I'm only taking the pendant in my hands and am concentrating on you," Liane whispered still caressing the engraving. "It's so invaluable for me."
"It's invaluable for both of us, my little pixie," Luke said, "After you had disappeared on Wegoyy the Jedi-pendant was my only hope to find you again. If you hadn't had it with you on Endor I might have lost you for a long time,"
Liane was still caressing the Jedi-pendant with her fingers. She didn't look up.
"Luke, when you engraved these words, you already knew about our eternal bond, didn't you?" she asked after several minutes. "You wanted me to understand, maybe you even hoped, that I would become aware of our eternal union?"
"Isn't that obvious, my lovely eternal friend?"
"It is now, but on Wegoyy I couldn't comprehend why you gave me this treasure," She fastened the chain with the Jedi-pendant around her neck again. Then she look at him, and impulsively she put her arms around his neck.
"Luke, I want to help you with your task as a Jedi Knight, even if that means I have to become a Jedi Knight too," She said.
Luke started to laugh, took her arms away and held her hands in his.
"One day I will remind you of these words, Liane, but first you have find your own way along the Jedi Path. I have set up the midi chlorian count. Shall we proceed?"
He stood up and pulled her with him.
"All I need is a drop of your blood." He took her hand and pressed small device on one of her fingers.
"Ouch!" Liane said and pulled her hand away. A bright red drop of blood flowed from her middle finger.
"Why did you do that?" She asked, looking indignantly.
"I'm sorry, if it hurts a bit, but I can't tell you your midi chlorian count by looking at your happy, twinkling eyes," Luke teased.
Liane started laughing and sucked the drop of blood from her finger.
"What are you going to do now?"
Luke walked over to the large desk which stood against the wall behind the lounge. Liane curiously followed him and saw a small screen displaying a kind of chart with different colors. Luke slid the device with her blood sample in a slot at the left side of the screen. He pressed a couple of buttons and looked at the screen. Amazed and completely overwhelmed he tapped the buttons a few times, then he leaned back in his chair, looking in disbelief at the result.
"Is something wrong, Luke? Do you have to tell me there aren't any midi-cholorians in my blood?"
Once again Luke looked at the screen, then he turned to Liane.
"This is really odd, Liane. The midi chlorian count in your blood sample is as high as mine. It's running off the chart. Look!"
Curiously Liane looked at the small dots that had appeared at the left side of the chart.
"What does that mean?"
"There's a only one explanation. I'm now absolutely sure, that you have inherited your Force sensitivity from your mother Severini. I have told you that Anakin and Ben knew her as the principal Jedi healer in the Jedi temple."
"You mean that my mother must have had a very high midi-chlorian count?" She asked.
For some moment Luke was silent, looking again at the outcome of the test.
"I can't confirm your conclusion, Liane, for in the Old Republic the Jedi Council didn't register the midi-chlorian count of potential Force-sensitive candidates. I know only one: Anakin's. He had the highest midi-chlorian count ever."
Luke stared at the girl in front of him. Immediately the Force showed him the images he had seen only a few days before, when Yoda had warned to keep his Jedi insight to himself. This test confirmed the truth about Liane's birth. He took her hands.
"There might be another explanation for the outcome of this test, Liane. It is not unlikely, that not only your mother was highly Force sensitive, but maybe also your father."
Liane looked at his serious face.
"You're sure, aren't you?" she asked with a trembling voice.
Luke nodded.
"Yes I am, definitely. This test proofs it."
"I don't know if I'm really happy with the outcome," She answered, looking away from him. "You know how I still doubt my Force skills. I don't want to make use of Force, but I feel more and more obliged to give in to the skills that I seem to possess. I can use the Force whenever you ask me to reach out to her. I already have used the Force to help and cure people who are wounded or sick, for I seem to have inherited those Force skills from my mother. You've have just confirmed that. I see images of the two of us in many long forgotten lives. I can see and talk to Ben, your old Jedi master. I feel your presence through the Force even if you're not near me, and now you're telling me, that the midi-chlorian count of both my parents might have been far above the average most people have, and that the outcome of the test justifies that conclusion. It's so difficult to comprehend that the Force is influencing my actions. Her influence on what I do still confuses me. I don't know, Luke, what I have to do?"
Luke had risen, still keeping her hands in his. Liane looked into his eyes, feeling very vulnerable and uncertain. On whim Liane buried her face against his tunic.
"I will help you as much as I can, my dearest comrade. You don't have to find out everything on your own. If you're serene and passive, and listen to the Force with an open mind, she will tell you what she expects of you and how she wants to be your ally."
"How can I find the truth about my real parents?" She asked in whisper, "Can the Force help me to find my real father, if he is still alive? What do you think, Luke?"
Liane sighed deeply, but suddenly she seemed become aware of a new reality. She looked around the cave and nodded deep in thoughts.
"I must find my own way to cope with these news facts and my Force skills. I am sensitive to the Force, I am the daughter of the Jedi healer who once lived on Coruscant, and maybe my real father has been Force sensitive too ...."
"... and you should be proud of it, Liane. There aren't many people in the galaxy that can say the same. In the past the Jedi weren't allowed to marry, so they didn't have any offspring. Anakin married Padmé, my mother, secretly, but my mother Padmé never was a Jedi Knight."
Slowly Liane began to understand the meaning and the significance of Luke's words. Like Luke she was very Force sensitive. The Force was influencing her constantly. She only had to accept the Force as her ally.
"Can I take Ben's book with me? I want to read the other pages," She asked and walked over to the lounge where she had left the little grey silver lined book.
"I'm sure Ben will be happy if he knows you're using his old book," Luke said with a warm smile.

To be continued...