n Na'ctaMagh'Ba Liane sat huddled on a rough stone near the waterfall. With her head she leaned against one of the thick calcite pillars. She shivered and pulled a plaid tightly around her. Her thoughts whirled around in her mind, making it impossible to fully concentrate on the Force. Ian had called her and begged her to help him. He was wounded, she had felt his burning pain again. Ian, her friend, who had taken care of her on Wegoyy, when she had been tortured.
"Don't give up, Ian. Don't give up! I've told Luke. I've told him what you said to me. Oh, Ian, I'd wish I could leave this place and fly to you now and help you. You know I can save you. Don't give up, Ian, please!"
Liane felt some tears welling up in her eyes. Annoyed she brushed them away.
"You must concentrate on the Force, Liane," she said to herself, "You must concentrate on the Force and see if you can find the exact place where Ian is."
Again she shivered. She put the plaid around her shoulders and closed her eyes.
"Concentrate, Liane, use the Force meditation principles which Luke has taught you. Use the Force like you did as you were helping the wounded Ewoks."
Unwittingly she placed her hands in her lap in the same position, as if she was holding the head of an injured or sick person.
'Ian, do you hear me. Listen to me. Where are you? Please, tell me.' She murmured, reaching out to the Force, but her words didn't produce any vibration in the Force. She deepened her concentration and imagined Ian's friendly face, his friendly blue eyes and his gentle features. Again she repeated her questions.
'Ian, do you hear me. Listen to me. Where are you? Please, tell me.'
'Ian, do you hear me. Listen to me. Where are you? Please, tell me.'
'Ian, you called for help. I heard you plea. Luke's on his way to you. Please, tell me where are you?'
On Palomintar Six Ian Tydon opened his eyes and listened intensively. Some one seemed to call him and tried to reach him through the Force. He moved his arm and felt the burning pain of his wounds.
'Concentrate, Ian, concentrate. Maybe, Luke, or Leia, is trying to reach you.' He thought.
He turned inward and suddenly he heard a pleading voice, repeating the same sentence over and over again.
'Ian, do you hear me. Listen to me. Where are you? Please, tell me.'
The voice was familiar and Ian's heart missed several beats. Liane! His beloved Liane was reaching out to him. Why, was she? Was she in danger? Had Darth Golluth captured her, as he had seen in that Force vision months earlier. Again he felt the burning pain in his limps and at his back.
'Concentrate, Ian, concentrate. You have to practise the Jedi meditation to ease the pain you're feeling.'
Again he reached out to the Force as Luke has learned him. He desperately tried to banish the burning pain to the back of his head.
'Liane, is that you? Do you need help?' He moaned.
Back in the underground waterfall cave Liane held her breath. She had heard Ian's voice. Now she could ask him more details about the place where he was.
'I'm fine, Ian. It's you who needs help. I want to help you. Shall I help you? Do you want my help?' She asked reaching far out through the Force.
'Liane, my daughter, you're doing fine. This is wonderful. Go on. I will assist you to perform this task.' A soft female voice whispered.
'Mother?!' Liane blinked with her eyes.
'Keep this deep concentration, my daughter. Just listen to my voice. Together we're going help your friend Ian.' The soft voice whispered. 'Reach out to him, use your healing skills already to ease his pain. Use those healing powers you posses, my daughter. Your friend is badly wounded. Together we can ease his mind, so he can use his own Jedi healing powers. You have to use the Force to heal his wounds. When his mind is at ease, the Force will help him to recover and to reach out to the Force so Luke Skywalker and his sister can find him."
'Mother! Ian will survive, won't he? Please, tell me, mother, he will.' Liane murmured almost in tears.
'With your healing powers there is a great chance your friend will survive, my daughter. However your healing skills are immature yet, so I'm allowed to help you, but you must fully surrender yourself to the Unifying Force now, if you want to fulfill this task.'
Liane wiped her tears from her lashes. Determined she reached out to the Force at the same way as Luke has taught her.
'The Force is my ally. She can help me to save Ian. I want him to live. I want ...'
All at once she felt herself lifted, surrounded and united with the Force. She became a part of the Force; a luminous being reaching out to safe the life of her wounded friend. Long soft unseen threads loaded with a tremendous power seemed to encapsulate, guide and protect her through time and space. She saw a dense forest with huge trees, a small path was leading to a clearing with a well maintained wooden shack with a high domed roof. She entered the wooden house and saw her friend laying on a couch surrounded by dozens of soft pillows. His face was contorted in pain. He suffered. He didn't notice her presence.
'Excellent, my daughter! Go on. Now use your healing powers in the same way, when you helped your wounded Ewok friends.'
Liane felt how the Force lifted her to the top end of the couch, so she could take Ian's head among her hands.
'Ian, do you hear me. I will help you, as I did with Teebo. Do you remember?' She said to him through the Force.
'Liane, is this really you? How did you get here? Oh, yes, I feel your warm hands. I feel them. Help me, Liane, my whole body is burning. I can't move. I feel so much pain.' Ian moaned.
'Use your healing powers, my daughter. Make sure he relaxes completely, so he will feel less pain.'
Liane placed her hands over Ian's face; her thumbs on his forehead, her fingers over his eyes and his temples. All of a sudden her arms and legs seemed to begin burning and her back seemed ablaze. It was the same experience as in her former Force vision about his injury.
'You're hurt, Ian, you're badly hurt. I can feel your pain and suffering now. Tell me what happened?' She moaned.
'There was blast and a fire. I ran into it. It was the burning home of Toallin and Mugin. I thought they were inside. I wanted to save them, but the floor gave in and I fell. Burning slats fell on top of me. I failed master Luke. He entrusted me to go on with our mission on my own,' Ian moaned.
Liane saw the images of what had happened to her friend now vividly in her mind. The pain she felt slowly ceased, and suddenly she felt how an even more powerful Force was supporting her own healing powers. Her body and mind became one with another great power.
'Stop thinking about what happened. You did well. Don't blame yourself. Relax and concentrate on your healing.' She whispered at a low voice on soothing tone.
'Very good, my daughter. Tell him, to use the Force to start the healing process. Luke has spoken him about the way a Jedi can use the power of the Force to heal when a Jedi is injured.'
'Ian, relax and concentrate on your own healing powers. Surrender to the Force,' Liane repeated, 'Luke taught you how to use the Force to start a healing process if you're injured. You know how to use those powers to start your recovery.'
'I'm unworthy to become a Jedi Knight. Everything I did, went wrong, Liane. I failed master Luke. He will certainly cast me out the Jedi Order.'
'Stop these disturbing thoughts, Ian. Relax and concentrate on your healing. Start the healing process through the Force, Ian. You know how to use the Force that way.' Liane said neglecting his words.
She began to hover her hands above his injured arms and legs. Very slowly the burning pain she had felt subsided. Through the Force she felt how the blisters and the burned tissue began to heal, until the skin on Ian's limps returned to normal. Finally she placed her hands again over Ian's face.
"You will feel less pain now, Ian. Now get some rest, my good friend, and get some sleep. You surely will find your way to call on the Force to complete your healing process as Luke has taught you."
"Can you stay with me, Liane?" Ian murmured half asleep.
"For a while, yes, I can, until you have fallen asleep. So relax and get a sound sleep."
Liane repeated her last words a few times. Ian's eyes were closed. With compassion Liane looked down on him while she still held her hands around his head and face again. Like Ian, she also closed her eyes and in her mind some blurred images started to take shape. In those images she saw her friend Ian. He was assembling is own lightsaber, fully concentrated and one with the Force, performing the difficult Illum-meditation. Then another image popped up: she saw Ian dressed as a fully trained Jedi Knight, wearing proudly his own assembled lightsaber. Luke, Leia and Wedge Antilles were congratulating him. Liane smiled.
'Look Ian," she whispered, "You will become a Jedi Knight and Luke, Leia and Wedge are welcoming you in their midst.'
She passed the images in the mind of Ian Tydon who already seemed to be half asleep.
'Will this become real, Liane?" He murmured, "Will this happen, after I did everything wrong?'
Liane passed the image she had seen again and repeated slowly her sentence. She felt elated and was aware of the strong support of Force and her mother, whose soft voice vibrated not only in her mind, but through every living cell in her body. Again and again she repeated her soft healing sentences. At last a smile appear on the half asleep Jedi padawan. Liane felt how he turned inward reaching out to the Force. Reaching out for his own healing powers. His breathing became quieter, less superficial, more and more powerful and deeper. His face was no longer contorted in pain. Finally he surrendered himself to the Force and fell in a deep healing sleep.
'We may retreat now, my daughter. You have fulfilled an almost impossible task. I'm very proud of you. We can leave your friend alone now. He is now able to use the Force for his healing. I'll support you and will bring you back to that waterfall cave.'
'Mother,' Liane whispered, 'Can I talk to you, the way I talk to Ben, Luke's former master?'
Liane heard her mother laugh softly.
'One day you will, my daughter. This time I was only allowed to help you to save the life of your friend, but we will meet in the future.'
'Soon, mother?' Liane insisted.
Again she heard the soft laugh.
'That depends on what you are going to do with you Force skills, my daughter. Are you going to become a real servant of the Good Side?'
Liane sighed disappointed.
'Everyone is telling me the same: Luke, master Yoda, Ben and now you too, mother, but how can I be sure I'm following the right path.'
'Didn't Luke tell that you that you will know when your mind is at peace, my daughter. Rely on his words and follow his lead. He is a fine teacher and a good friend. Now, clear your mind of questions and relax. Slowly open your eyes. You're back in Mon Mothma's underground residence on Dalmaran.' the voice of Severini Solichor faded.
"I still don't sense anything, do you, Luke?" Leia said to her brother over the infocom of the Millennium Falcon.
"Nothing, and these forests seem to go on forever," Luke answered from the cockpit of the Astræa.
Both the Millennium Falcon and the former Imperial shuttle were flying at low altitude over the seemingly endless forest areas that covered almost the whole main continent of Palomintar Six. On Leia's advice they were scanning the area from east to west, turning around were the landmass reaches an ocean and flying back again along the same trajectory. Since they had lift off from the space port of Ktafunda in the early hours of the next day some fourteen hours had passed. Chewbacca was constantly scanning the images of the holographic monitor, Han listened to the noises and sounds and Leia and Luke were using the Force to find a trace of their friend, but so far their combined effort were in vain.
"Han, let's fly side by side, so we'll cover a wider area," Luke commented.
The Astræga accelerated and took up with the Falcon.
"Are you scanning on life forms too?" Luke asked.
"I do, kid, but I haven't picked up any life readings. These forests seem deserted of any larger life forms bigger than birds." Han commented.
"There is the ocean again," Luke said.
The Astræga and the Falcon banked above the water mass and dived low to start a next scanning flight.
"Kid, it will be dark within three hours. Don't you want to continue our search during the night." Han asked.
"Leia and I could do, but your visual scanning would be useless. If we don't make any progress in the next few hours, let's head back to the space port." Luke suggested.
"What about landing near those swamps Nimon and Hidon mentioned?" Leia asked, "If we're going back to Ktafunda, we loose time to start our search tomorrow."
"Wise words, darling, but can we find a safe place to land down there," Han commented.
"It must be possible to find a safe landing place there, Han," Luke said to his friend, "Every swamp has high grounds. Nimon said there are areas with bushes. I think those grounds are stable enough to carry out a safe landing of our spaceships."
"Alright, I'll agree, but I want to do thorough investigation. If those grounds aren't safe enough to land the Falcon, we'd better get back to Ktafunda." Han said, "I don't want to see my ship swallowed in a swamp."
"Won't happen, Han," Luke grinned, for he remembered the story he had told Liane about his sinking spacecraft on Dagobah and Yoda's tremendous use of the Force. The memory still filled him with awe.
The next two hours both spaceship made several scanning rounds, but neither Luke and Leia, nor Han and Chewbacca could find a trace of their friend Ian. Finally they headed for the swamps around Ktafunda. Luke let his spacecraft circle around the water soaked lands. He found a safe landing spot on a flat sandy hill with grass and bushes. The place was large enough for a safe landing of the Astræa and the Millennium Falcon. He signalled to his brother-in-law and put the Astræa down. Cautiously Han follow him, but he only set down the Falcon after he was fully convinced the underground would held his space craft.
"It went like you assumed, sir," The voice of the young officer said in admiration.
"It's you have done the job, my friend," Jerno said with a smile, "and I knew you could do it. So now he has the knowledge about Liane Solichor, and the Skywalker twins."
"Yes, I monitored all his actions. There's one slight thing I didn't expect. He has downloaded the information to his communication system. If I interfere now, he might detect, his actions have been monitored."
"We agreed with Quoith that he could read the information. How could he perform a download of the files?"
"I can't tell, sir. I suggest that you contact our allies in Irithim and tell them what has happened. If necessary I can instruct their experts on Quoith how to access the communication center on Palomintar Four and destroy the downloaded information."
"That's risky, my friend, but I'll pass on your suggestion. Carry on with your monitoring task. I'll contact you, after I have spoken to our allies."
Jerno closed off the connection and leaned back in his chair. Pensively he pressed the button on his desk to order Valann and Kalip to meet him immediately. After they had come in Jerno explained the new situation.
"Although our allies on Irithim agreed and cooperated with our interference plan, we should inform them about this unexpected development. Our man can help their experts to destroy everything our runaway admiral has downloaded. It's lucky that in our original plan no real harm can be done to the Quoith systems. The retrieved information comes from a shielded partition and only our opponent on Palomintar Four has gotten access to that partition. Our contact at Irithim has told me that his men on Quoith gave the data a classified label, but the files were copies of the originals."
"So no real harm has been done," Valann remarked.
"I don't think so, but I'm going call our contact man right now," Jerno answered.
Toallin stooped over the body of Ian Tydon. Amazed he listened to Ian's regular deep breathing.
"Good, son, very good. At last you seem to be sleeping soundly. This will do you good. This will help your recovery." He muttered in himself and laid his hand on the young padawan's forehead. "When you'll wake up, I shall apply those last Bacta patches on your wounds."
He went outside to chop some wood for the fire. After he had piled the logs, he went back into the cabin and grabbed a small laser gun. Once again he listen to Ian's breathing and nodded. Too bad that he had to use his last Bacta patches to cover the wounds.
Toallin went outside again and locked the door. Confidently he walked behind the cabin into the forest, where a narrow path began between the dense vegetation. After some fifteen minutes he reached a clearing with a large waterpool. Slowly he approached the grassy spot. When he saw a group of wild nagawas and trelfs which were foraging and drinking, he kneeled and his skin took on the same color of his surrounding. Slowly Toallin moved forward, carefully minding his steps he approached the group of nagawas. It would be a great catch, if he could shoot one. Once again he ducked deeper into the underground vegetation, when some of the nagawas looked up. Without making a noise Toallin adjusted his laser gun and aimed at the nearest animal, a young species, perhaps two years old. Its flesh would be tender and very tasty. Good to prepare a fine meal, which would stimulate Ian's appetite.
The soft ignition of the laser gun didn't disturb the eating nagawas until one of them collapsed near the waterfront. Immediately alerted all the animals vanished among the trees at the other end of the clearing. Toallin rushed over to the dead animal and hoisted it on his back. He grunted satisfied. It was a good shot. He still had the skills of a good hunter. His skin got its original olive color again. The animal was heavier than he thought and slowly he walked back to the cabin. In a shed next to the cabin he slew the nagawa and cut the animal into pieces. The animal was indeed a young species. Its meat was juicy and bloody. Toallin cut off some of the soft pieces and laid them aside. These he would give to Ian.
After he had prepared the rest of the animal, he clean the table in the shed and buried the waste in the woods. With four cans of meat, bones, and the animal's internal organs he entered the cabin. Ian was still sleeping and Toallin went to the kitchen to prepare some parts of the nagawa for their dinner later that day. Soon the smell of roasted meat, fried vegetables and their famous spicy seasoned broth filled the room. He went to the main room with some plates, cups, and cutlery. To his surprise Ian sat upright on the couch and smiled when he smelled the fragrances that followed Toallin from the kitchen.
"You're awake?" Toallin ask, "How do you feel, son?"
"I'm hungry," Ian said, "Better, I'm rather starving."
"Very good, son, but first I'm going to change those Bacta patches on your arms. After we have finished our meal I will apply those on your legs, your back and your chest. Unfortunately these are the last ones."
'I have to ask Mugin to get new supplies, if he can find some.' Toallin thought. 'I'll contact him after dinner.'
"You have slept for a long time." He told Ian.
"I'm fine," Ian said, "Where's Mugin?"
"Back to Ktafunda space port to find a way to go to Dalmaran and warn your friends. You had lost your consciousness the day before yesterday. We were worried that your condition was getting worse."
"You can tell him he can come back, I'm really feeling much better, I really do," Ian said.
"That's good." Toallin said while he carefully removed the Bacta patches from Ian's arms. Amazed he stared at the wounds.
"That deep sleep you had, has done you well, son. The Bactas have grown new skin and it looks thick enough to start your further recovery. Let me have a look at the wound on your legs."
Toallin removed the Bacta patches on Ian's legs and shook his head in amazement. Ian looked at his arms and legs. The skin looked complete normal. There weren't any traces or scars. Relieved he looked up to Toallin.
"Maybe I haven't been dreaming, maybe she was really here with me. Maybe she has helped me the way as I have seen her, helping the wounded Ewoks," Ian murmured.
"What are you talking about, son? Nobody has been here, or I should have known it. This forest is impenetrable. If you don't know the way in, you'll never find this spot or get out again."
"I know it sounds odd, Toallin, but I have been dreaming about Liane, you know, the girl I told you about. I dreamt she was visiting me last night. She has very special healing powers; my master told me that she has inherited those powers from her mother, who was a Jedi-healer."
"Tell me about it, after we have had our dinner, son. I think, I don't apply new Bacta patches on your limps."
"That's fine with me."
Toallin filled a cup with the spicy broth. Ian took it in both hands and sipped the warm liquid.
"You must give me the recipe, Toallin. I want to make this when I'm home again," He said with a broad smile.
After having finished his soup, Toallin handed Ian a tray with a plate filled with roasted meat and fried vegetables. Ian started to eat like a hungry predator. Toallin sat looking at him in amazement. When Ian had cleaned his plate, he looked at Toallin.
"Can I have another serving. It's delicious. It feels like I haven't eaten for weeks."
"Sure, son," Toallin said, and he put another piece of meat and several spoons of vegetables on the empty plate.
'His appetite is back. This is really unexpected. I thought, he was on the brink of dying. Amazing,' Toallin thought.
"When I've finished this plate, I will tell you about that dream." Ian said, putting a spoonful vegetables in his mouth.
Toallin nodded and started to eat his own meal. Finally Ian had finished.
"This was excellent, Toallin. You're a great cook. I'll recommend you to our Supreme Chancellor. I'm sure she has never eaten anything more tasteful."
"You know the Supreme Chancellor of the New Republic personally, son."
"I was one of her personal guards, before I became master Leia's padawan learner," Ian said, "but I want to tell about my dream of last night. It was as if Liane was visiting me in this cabin. I remember, I felt her hands on my face, like she did when she cured the wounded Ewoks on Endor. Her hands were warm and soft and I felt happy. She has shown me some wonderful images about my future. At first I didn't want to believe those images, but Liane insisted I should have a better look at them and accept what they were showing me. She is a wonderful girl, very kind, friendly. She is the loveliest girl in this galaxy. "
Toallin started to laugh.
"Ian, you're in love with this girl, aren't you?"
Ian blushed and nodded.
"I never have admitted it to anybody, Toallin, but yes I'm. I'm in love Liane, ever since I've been her guard on Wegoyy. I hope that I will marry her one day."
Toallin looked a bit skeptical, but he didn't want to spoil the young man's happy feelings.
"She must have a wonderful influence on your mind, son, if dreaming of her helps you to recover. But you said something about Ewoks. What are those? A species? Where are they living. I've never heard of them?" Toallin said.
"Ewoks are a forest tribe of high intelligible little furry tree bears. They are about forty centimeters in height. They live in the forests of Endor. Liane has lived among them for more than a year. All that time she was helping the shaman of the tribe to heal wounded Ewoks. She has shown me and my friend Yarmod the way she used the Force to cure them and in my dream she did the same to me."
"As she can use the kind of skills the Jedi has, she must be one too, I think, " Toallin remarked.
Ian shook his head.
"She isn't a Jedi Knight. She only wants to use her Force powers as a Jedi healer, like her mother has done."
"That's a good thing, son. I'm told that being a Jedi also means you have to do a lot of fighting, and I've told you that I'm opposed to unnecessary violence. But, now that you're feeling happy about your dream, and feeling less pain, you might be able to contact one of your Jedi masters."
"I have good hope I will succeed, Toallin."
"Then you better get to rest again. It will still take some time, before you will be fully recovered."
Toallin cleared the tray and applied the last Bacta patches on Ian's chest and back. With a relaxed smile Ian leaned back on his cushion bed and closed his eyes. Toallin dimmed the light in the room and left the young man to himself.
To be continued...