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

Chapter 52

used the purple octagonal holocron without any advice from master Yoda or Ben, Luke," Liane said with a sparkling glance in her eyes, "The old Jedi master I've been talking to has lived more than four thousand years ago. Can you imagine; four thousand years! His name was master Odan-Urr. He once studied the ways of the Jedi and Sith, and he has shown me many images of the first big war between the Jedi and the Sith. It was horrible to watch the slaughter of tens of thousands of Jedi warriors. Do you know if we have been in that battle too? Master Odan-Urr said we've fought in many different battles against the Sith."
Her voice sounded elated.
'There's a good chance we were, my eternal comrade. It's also likely we've lost our lives in that battle. Haven't you asked, master Odan-Urr, Luke said.
"No, I didn't, it was all too frightening. He had told me a lot about the dangers of the Dark Side for the Jedi. Master Odan-Urr told me that in the past there also have been Jedi Knights who have fallen victim to the Dark Side. I asked him if that could happen to you, as well."
Her cheeks flushed at her confession. Luke started to laugh.
'Did he answer that question?' He asked teasingly.
"He told me that you've learned to control your emotions, relying on the will of Force. But as a Jedi is overwhelmed too much by his emotional feelings, like anger, hatred, frustration among other, he can easily fall victim to the Dark Side. You've told me more or less the same that that happened to father, ... I mean Anakin. But because Anakin redeemed the Dark Side, he lives on as a Force ghost, and has become the Jedi Knight again he once was. You've always felt that good side in him."
Luke Skywalker smiled serenely.
'You have felt those conflicts in him too, Liane, after Anakin had told you about me, but Master Odan-Urr has spoken wise words. It's reassuring to know, that a Jedi master of old also knows who I am.'
"He also said, Luke, that I must learn to control my worries and anxieties of you, because those emotional feelings obscure a strong connection with the Force. I understand what he meant, Luke. I'm worried about you, because I care for you. Master Odan-Urr is so wise, Luke. He said, that I have to learn to rely much more on the Force, if I really care of you."
She blushed and Luke felt a warm flow of affection for the girl that was sitting next to him.
'Thank you, my precious pixie, for your kind and lovely words. I care of you too, Liane, you're such a fine companion.' He said with a smile.
Liane chuckled.
"I haven't been always nice to you, if I recall what happened on Morantan." She said with a restrained chuckling smile. Luke felt that her old memories of their first encounter on Morantan weren't really bothering her anymore.
"Oh, Luke, there was something very odd, when master Odan-Urr ended his teachings. During our conversation, he always called me: young Force learner. He never called me Liane, or Severini daughter, like master Yoda did. However, I still had the feeling, he knew exactly who I was. When I asked him, he said something odd, 'I can't call you by the name that does belong to you, because you haven't yet mastered the skills you need.' I was so intrigued by those words, that I forgot to ask him what he meant, for subsequently he said that I must become someone's padawan learner."
Now her face has become red hot. She shook her head and laughed cheerful.
"He couldn't mean, that you must be my Jedi master, for you already have a padawan."
'I don't have a padawan learner at the moment, my dearest friend. I have been Ian's master only temporarily. Leia is now completing his training, until he ready to pass his final trials. ' Luke said.
Astounded Liane looked at his apparition.
"You mean, I could be your padawan, and you would accept me? But how would you be able to tell and explain to me what I need to know, if I have to stay here. Didn't you tell me that a padawan always accompanies his master during his missions and act with his master in unison?"
'That's right, my little pixie, but sometimes a padawan has to accomplish a mission on his or her own. A Jedi master doesn't constantly control or instruct a padawan, many time he observes a padawan's a progress. That's what I've been doing while we were together.'
Liane looked at him. Luke grinned as he noticed her unspoken questions.
'Ever since we returned from Ortel, I have been showing you the ways of the Jedi. During our first talk on board the Tychorion, I taught you the most important basic skills a Jedi has to develop: patience and commitment. You have remembered that first lessons very well, and even too serious in most respect. You've also developed these basic skills further, during that long period when you couldn't recall your past, while you couldn't rely on any help or support. On Endor I taught you how had to feel the connection with the Good side of the Force and how you should rely on her influential power on you. You weren't always easy to convince, but the huge progress you've made is incredible. Think about the way you have developed your healing skills using the Force. You've saved the lives of your Ewok friends, Han and Ian using your Force healing skills. Think about how you brought yourself in that deep Force trance to recall, what really had happened on Morantan when father condemned your friend Tijan. You also can seek your connection with the Force to get access to the hidden library, not to mention the beautiful Force vision you've shared with me on Tatooine. You have learned to use the power of the Force so well, my dearest comrade, that at this moment I can't come up with how I could teach you something new.'
Liane started laughing, but she also blushed, because Luke referred again to the Force vision which was still given him so much happy feelings.
"Luke, I'm not a Jedi yet, I'm even not a real padawan learner. There's so much I still don't know."
'You're not a fully trained Jedi yet, but you have the abilities to become a powerful one, as our father once told me.'
Liane shook her head and wanted to deny his words, but Luke quietly continued,'We've been discussing a lot of knowledge about the Force together. You're absolutely right, that at the moment I can't be your Jedi master, but you can carry on the way you are doing. You don't need my support all the time, Liane, for you have had a skilled teacher on Morantan. Remember the many good things he taught you, especially your growing awareness of the Living Force. His lessons have made you aware of your Force abilities. Carry on with those exercises with those training remotes. It will certainly help you to learn how to wield your lightsaber; go on with your visits to the Jedi archive and the use of the holocrons. I'm sure that the Jedi masters of old will show you a lot of interesting knowledge. As soon as I can, I will come back to Mon Mothma's residence, then I will ask you again to become my padawan learner. In the mean time I can only tell you're doing fine, so carry on.' He said, and Liane heard a relieved tone in his voice.
"Well, master Luke, you finally have convinced me to become ...."
Luke shook his head.
'No, my beautiful pixie, you have found your own way along the Jedi path. A completely different path from the one I have taken. I will teach you to piece together all the knowledge you have gained and to help you to see your knowledge in a greater perspective. That's what I see as my most important task, if you're my padawan, for you already know so much about the Force.'
They looked at each other with smiling faces, when suddenly Liane frowned.
"Luke, there's something else on your mind, isn't it?"
'What made you think so, my dearest friend?'
"You didn't want to interrupt my story, but you want to tell me something of great importance, isn't it? You're worrying about me, aren't you?"
'Well, it seems that, you are developing some new Force awareness which allows you to attune on my thoughts and feelings,' Luke said laughing reassuringly 'Indeed I want to discuss your stay in Mon Mothma's residence, more precisely your safety in the hidden residence. My lovely comrade, I'm still worrying about what you've told me in our last chat, in particular that some intruder has tried to find out about your whereabouts. Artoo and Threepio did well to intercept that call and record the data of that call. Artoo has even disconnected the communication system completely, but that means that no one can reach you, and you're cut off from Leia, Mon Mothma and me, who feel responsible for your safety.'
"I'm not completely cut off, Luke. I have the Jedi-pendant, and I'm using it now every day, as I promised," Liane protested.
'You do, and I'm really glad you have kept your promise this time, for I want to hear how your doing as often as possible, because I miss you, my lovely pixie. Our contact via the Jedi-pendant is the only way at the moment we can keep in touch, but that might not be sufficient in the future. I'm facing a number of difficulties and I want to be sure that you're absolutely safe. My dearest friend, please listen and do not object. I'm going to ask Wedge Antilles and Yarmod Martan to stay with you for the time being. You know my friend Wedge from Endor. He is my best friend and a fully trained Jedi Knight. You also know Yarmod Martan, his padawan.'
"I do, Yarmod was the first one who said that I was using the Force as a healer. I didn't want to believe him, but he was so sincere in his believe. Luke, are you sure, that your friend and his padawan are willing to undertake the boring task of being my guardians. They certainly live a more active life in the outside world."
'I'm absolutely certain they will. Wedge also can be the intermediary between you and Mon Mothma as long as the Supreme Chancellor can't use the communication system. Hand Wedge the data chip with the recording of the intruder so he can provide Mon Mothma and our intelligence force with information about what's going on.'
"That would mean that he had to come and go between Irithim and this residence. Isn't that dangerous, Luke? Someone might notice his visits." Liane protested.
'Wedge will only leave if necessary, and he won't make use of Mon Mothma's submersible.'
"Will he use the entrance which you have been using, when you paid me a visit, which you used to leave me, after I had that Force vision of Ian."
Luke laughed again.
'Indeed. Listen, my dearest comrade, I'm going to contact Wedge and I'll let you know when he will enter the Jedi archive cave which also has a special connection with the secret Jedi entrance. But Wedge and his padawan don't know the secret connections between Mon Mothma's residence and the Jedi archive, so I want you to go to the archive caver and take them with you to the residential area.'
Liane imperceptibly shook her head.
'Liane, I know, that you're not really convinced, but it's the best I can do at the moment. You will find a good friend in Wedge, I promise, don't see him as some one who's going to tell what you have to do. He's a good guy. He won't meddle in what you're doing. You can continue to do what you are used to' Luke said on a convincing tone.
"Can't Wedge take over your task, so you can come to me?" Liane asked reluctantly.
'I would love to, my dearest, but I have told you what has happened to Ribana and its inhabitant. You agreed that I had to help the guys who took care for Ian when he was in trouble. They have sacrificed their way of life and had to abandon their property on Palomintar Six to save our friend Ian. Darth Golluth has overthrown and occupied their city on Palomintar Four. I want that injustice to be undone.'
Liane frowned thoughtfully and her eyes got the familiar gloomy dark expression. Finally she nodded in agreement.
"You certainly have to help this people who have lost their city, and had to flee and live in exile. I understand your point of view, but your promise means that we won't see each other for a long time. I also want you to be very careful. Remember what I told you about Trevor; he is an imposter, but a dangerous one, with a treacherous behavior and malignant intentions. As soon as I hear from that your friend and his padawan have found their way to the Jedi archive I will take them to the residence. After all, your friend is a Jedi Knight, like you. I'm sure that I can asked about the skills a Jedi has to learn, even if he bring a padawan learner with him. And now, my dear friend, I want to do my exercises. May the Force be with you."
'That's a fine idea, my dearest. May the Force be with you.'
Luke, Han and Chewbacca watched the group of thirty men that stood in front of them.
"Our governors have told us you need help from us to free our home town on Myr. We volunteer, and if you need more of us to help you, I'll find them for you," Their spokesman announced proudly.
Han cast a skeptical glance at the group.
"How much more?" He said.
"How much do you need, general Solo?" The spokesman said.
"Well, some ..." Han wanted to answer sarcastically, but Luke interrupted.
"We're very glad with your help. You must be the leader of the harvesters Toallin has been talking about."
"I am, sir. All of us are used to work under difficult conditions, we've been living for months on Tyr during the nut harvest. Toallin has told you about our way of life, hasn't he. We want to do everything to free Ribana, so we can go back to our normal way of life. Cantamaga has been a prosperous village these last six years, but the inhabitants of Ribana miss their old lives. So, tell us what we must do."
"How well do you know Ribana and its surrounding area?" Luke asked, "I mean, are you familiar was the area around the mountain ridge."
"We are, sir. We all grew up living in the wild. Being a harvester is not a job you choose, it's what you're born to. All these fellows descent from several generations of harvesters. We know our skills, we won't disappoint you." The spokesman said again proudly.
"I'm sure, you won't. We have seen a map of Ribana and we have visited the town itself, but we lack a lot of detailed information of the surrounding landscape and especially of the mountain ridge. Can you provide us with it?" Luke asked kindly.
"Anything you want to know, sir. You're welcome to come to our community house, let's say tonight, if that suits you? It's that large building outside Cantamaga up on the mountain." The spokesman said pointed at a building on the left flank of the mountain ridge.
"We appreciate you're cooperation and accept your invitation, .... " Luke bowed.
"Ask for Cornell, sir. We'll see you tonight."
The group left. Han opened his mouth, but Luke made a warning gesture. Chewbacca grumbled under his breath.
"No comments, Han," Luke said, "I know what you're thinking, but they are a very proud bunch and it's the best we can get at the moment. Don't insult them, we might need their help desperately."
"What's your plan, kid?" His brother-in-law asked.
"Do you have one?" Luke counter questioned.
"None, whatsoever, kid, but these thirty guys are absolutely insufficient, if we want to attack that weirdo."
"So, that's what we're not going to do, Han. We won't attack, that's not a good strategy. We need to investigate the opportunities on Myr. The first thing I want to know is: what's the origin of that mountain ridge. Toallin has told us that there has been an upheaval in those mountain in the past. What was the cause of that change? An earthquake, a volcanic eruption elsewhere on Myr? Are there active volcanos? Has the ridge stabilized itself? If so, will it stay that way, while we're working out any plans? I hope those harvesters can tell us more."
Han looked skeptically.
"I think we should go back to Dalmaran. Inform Mon Mothma and ask her to make an exception for the citizens of Ribana. With help of our space fleet we can fix this in no time."
"Mon Mothma certainly will not condone an action that will start a new galactic war, Han, and violate the truce between the New Republic and Coruscant. You know, as I do, that the imperial fleet hasn't been totally destroyed. Possibly there might be some star destroyers whose commanders seek revenge, and will gladly start the war all over again. We have to be cautious. I don't want to provoke the imperial leaders on Coruscant. Let's get back to Toallin's and ask him, if he and his brother want to join us tonight when we meet the harvesters."
Talking about their options they had reached the center of Cantamaga where Toallin and Mugin had once again taken their position as governors of their fellow Quelans.
The administration building had been built around the central plaza. Toallin, Mugin and their families were living in the left wing of the building, the Council of the Eldests with Kamalin and Wildon as provisionary leaders had used the right wing during the governors absence. Part of that wing had immediately been rearranged into a guest house for the Jedi and their friends. The large middle section was the community center and also functioned as the central administration. On the large plaza they saw Ian and Leia. Luke's sister was using their stay to continue Ian's training. She was practising with her padawan the several different stances of Jedi lightsaber battle. She constantly challenged him to ward of her attacks with her lightsaber, using the right lightsaber defense position. There was a large group of onlookers who watched Ian's training session. Among the onlooking Quelands was Chati. She seemed to be completely mesmerized by the spectacle. Luke walked around the crowd and positioned himself at some steps behind the young woman.
"Won't she harm him, master Jedi," The girl asked immediately without turning her head.
"No, she won't. My sister is using a training lightsaber. In case her padawan doesn't react fast enough, he only feels a paralyzing stab. Tell me, Chati, how did you know, I was standing behind you? You seemed to be fully absorbed in Ian's training, so you probably haven't seen me coming?
"I felt your presence, master Jedi, you walked deliberately around the crowd, so I wouldn't notice you," the girl said, and shrugged her shoulders "I also felt that my father and my uncle were onboard your ships, before those space ships landed. Mum always says I'm imagining things. Look, sir, what has he to do with those remotes?"
"He has to repel the tiny blasts those remotes generate before they hit him. Those blasts don't hurt, they are just sending an itching pain. With his training lightsaber he has to learn to fend off those blasts."
Leia held the seven remote practising balls in her hand.
"This time, my young padawan, you have to avoid and repel all the beams. Remember what you've learned, commit yourself fully to the Force, because this time I'll set these remotes to maximum fire power."
"Yes, master, I'm ready," Ian Tydon said and took a defensive stance. Leia released the remotes one by one. The seven balls hovered in the air and then shot in Ian's direction continuously firing their small laser beams. Ian easily repelled some forty of the blasts, but didn't notice that one of remotes had taken position out of sight. Chati pointed at the small ball behind Ian's head.
"The next beam will hit his right hand and he will have to drop his lightsaber," she commented.
Almost immediately the ball fired and hit Ian's right hand. His lightsaber slipped off his hand.
"You must concentrate, young padawan. Stretch out with your feelings around you, " Leia said quietly and raised her hand. The seven remotes hovered in her direction. Ian stretched out his hand and his lightsaber jumped to life again. Again Leia released the remote balls. This time Ian showed his audience that he could defend himself against the nasty paralyzing beams. Effortless he repelled all the blasts and the little balls dropped to the ground one by one. The audience cheered and Ian thanked them with a bow.
"He really is doing very well," Chati commented not to someone in particular.
"Indeed, he is," Luke said, "but, tell me, Chati, how did you know that he wouldn't succeed the first time. You predicted the position of the laser beam perfectly and you also knew that he would drop his lightsaber."
"I saw what would happen to him, master Jedi," Chati said and her cheeks colored.
Ian's training had ended and Leia walked over to her husband and Chewbacca. Ian followed her. Luke put his hand on the girl's shoulder.
"Do you often know in advance the outcome of what's going to happen?" He asked.
"Most of the times I do, sir, but don't tell my mother I've told you, for she will certainly reprimand me again."
Gently Luke led the young female Quelan outside of the group of spectators.
"Do you have any chores to do, Chati?" Luke asked gently.
"Not at this moment, sir. Why are you asking?" Chati answered, looking at Luke with some curiosity in her eyes.
"I wondered, if you can to show me around in Cantamaga. Yesterday there was so much welcoming excitement, that I hardly had time to look around. I want to see more of this village and its surroundings."
"I will gladly be your guide, sir. Are your other friends coming with us?" Chati asked.
"I don't think so," Luke said and looked at Han and Leia who were laughing with Chewbacca and Ian, "Let's take a walk together. Tell me all about the different buildings here and meanwhile I want to hear what happened when your family had to flee Ribana. How old were you?"
"Twelve years old, master Jedi, according to standard time reckoning. I remember the day as if it happened yesterday. I had to carry Radin, my youngest brother all the way to the harbour. He was only a three year old toddler at that time," Chati said, while she pointed at the main administration building, "Immediately after our arrival in Cantamaga master Kamalin and master Woldin, the two old men, who addressed my father and my uncle Mugin as governors, ordered all the men and women to build this new building for my mother and her sister, my aunt and their children. It wasn't really fair to all the ones who had fled with us, but nobody objected. Afterwards I have tried to help with the building of the other houses, but I was treated as a kid and I wasn't always taken seriously. Over there, sir, is our school building. Master Kamalin has been my teacher until last year. Now I have to help my mother. Master Kamalin is a wise man who knows a lot. Oh, look, he is just leaving the building. Master Kamalin, over here, I was just telling our Jedi guest about you?"
The old teacher and the most important leader of the Council of Eldest looked up when he heard his name and his face brightened. He walked over and shook hands with Luke.
"I hadn't time to bit you really welcome, master Jedi, and I must apologize for my uncivil and blunt question. Of course, you didn't bring an army with you. We must all be thankful that you and your friends have brought back our governors safe and sound. What has this lady "daredevil" been telling you about me?" The old man said, as he put his hand affectionately on Chati's shoulder.
"Chati told me you have been her teacher. I asked her to show me around in Cantamaga, for I might be staying here for a while," Luke said.
"Well, master Jedi, you've chosen yourself an excellent guide. Did she tell you she has been such a great help and inspiration to all of us when we had to establish a new living here, after we had to leave Ribana so very unexpectedly."
"Master Kamalin, you were the only one who accepted my help and listened to what I said. I was always cast aside when I proposed my ideas in public. Nobody else listened to me." Chati protested.
"You are a girl, and a young girl when we arrived here, Chati, and youth have to learn they must listen to the elders in the community." Kamalin reprimanded her, but his eyes laughed.
"From the beginning, master Jedi, this young lady continued to argue with me and Woldin, and the other member of the council about the plans and the building of this community in exile. I must admit that in most cases she was right. One day, Chati, you will be our first female governor and the successor to your father as our leader. But I warn you, you must stop with your new plan to retake Ribana. You must leave that to others. Enjoy your stay with us, master Skywalker, and now I'm going home I still have a lot of work to do in my garden, and Woldin and I also have a meeting with our governors."
"When I've finished, showing our guest Cantamaga, I'll come over to your house and give you a hand, master Kamalin, so you can rest, before you go to that meeting."
"You're a good girl, Chati, but this time you should accompany our guest. Answer any of his questions and listen carefully to what he tells you," Kamalin said and winked at Luke with a meaningful smile. They watched him walk away. Luke smiled.
"What did I tell you, sir, he is a very wise and friendly man. He also said that my father and my uncle would come back one day. I always believed him, even if most of my people believed they were dead," Chati said and looked warmly to the old man.
"You're very fond of him, don't you?" Luke asked.
"I am, sir. If master Kamalin hadn't been around, mom would have kept me home years ago. She wanted an extra pair of hands in our household, for she had to raise my two brothers on her own, for my father and my uncle went back to Ribana, after they had brought us to Tyr. They wanted to discuss the release of our young males who had been taken prisoner, but Father and uncle Mugin didn't return. Until yesterday. Mom always told me I had to help her in the care of my brothers as long as my father and his brother hadn't returned. It was master Kamalin who persuaded her that I should follow his lessons as long as it seemed necessary to him and I'm still going to see him one day every week. I hope I will have more time to listen to his lessons, now that my father has returned. Shall we continue our walk, sir?"
They passed the school building and Luke deliberately took Chati to the outskirts of Cantamaga. Soon they were walking uphill along a small mountain path. Luke didn't have to ask much, for Chati was constantly talking, telling him in detail what had happened when Darth Golluth and his army had invaded, and occupied Ribana. When they had reached a wide plateau half way up the mountain they stopped and Chati pointed to the the small village in the valley below then.
"Great view, don't you think so, sir," Chati said, "I love to come here and look down on our new village."
"It is, and I thank you for bringing me here," Luke said and turned to the young female.
"Tell me, Chati, why did master Kamalin call you a lady daredevil?"
Chati laughed, "Because everybody calls me Chati, sir. My mother always calls me Mayan, for my official name is Mayan Fonaldris, but my father started calling me Chati, because I always do what I want to, and what I feel I should do, even if it seems dangerous. Chati comes from chatinaro and means fearless or reckless in some ancient Quelan language. I love that nickname, sir, because it means what I am," the girl said, "I hope you understand what I want to say, sir."
"I do," Luke said and looked the young female Quelan with great interest, "But tell me, are you really a fearless and reckless girl, Chati?"
"My mother always says I am, because while I grew up in Ribana, I did things most of the other young male Quelans don't dare, but I didn't really do any real dangerous things. I always knew if what I want to do would be was really dangerous. I'm sorry, sir, but it's difficult for me to tell you exactly what I mean. What I did wasn't dangerous to me. Maybe, you'd better understand me, if I tell you about one of my adventures, if you have time to listen to me."
"Go on, Chati," Luke said encouraging the girl, feeling her uncertainty about how to express herself.
"It happened while we're living in Ribana just after that strange old man came, a few months, maybe half a year before he occupied our city and send us into exile. I had seen how he had entered the old exit of the riverbed in the mountain ridge, and I wanted to know what he was doing there. One evening I slipped out of bed and went to the dry riverbed myself. I had asked my cousin, Dolan, to come with me. Dolan is the eldest son of uncle Mugin, and two years older than I am," Chati explained, "We found our way in the darkness to the cave stealthily and entered it. It was very dark inside and Dolan wanted to use a flashlight, but I had a feeling we shouldn't ignite it. Crawling along the wall we walked on and all of a sudden we rounded a corner and stood in the huge cave which had been a water cistern in the past, with a burning bonfire in the middle of the floor. On a chair near the flames sat the strange old man and he seems to be talking to himself, mumbling to a statue in front of his chair. I wanted to know what he was talking about, if he was making any plans to threaten us. I crawled closer, hiding myself behind one of the natural pillars that supported the ceiling of the cave. As I was close enough I could hear his words. He was talking to the statue and he was saying that he would be a better leader than the emperor. He seemed to scold and scoff the statue, for I heard him say, "I'm more powerful, than you have ever been, Lord Vader." The name Vader I had heard when I had been overhearing a chat between my father and my uncle, and the other elders earlier that year. The elders were worried because there were rumors that the Civil War had ended and that the empire had been overthrown. The emperor and Darth Vader were both dead. So I didn't understand why that strange old man was talking to Darth Vader, was he talking to a dead guy? Then he was a lunatic, completely going nuts, and we - the citizens of Ribana - wouldn't have to fear him. I went back to Dolan, who had waited in the dark and we went back to Ribana. The next day I told my father what I had heard. Father became very angry with me. He forbade me to seek out the guy again. He told me the man was dangerous; he had attack him and my uncle with a stick that generated very painful electric bolts. I had to promise, that I would stay in Ribana and avoid the mountain ridge. I felt very clearly that my father was scared, so I stayed near our house at the vineyard, or in Ribana, where I went to school. Shortly afterwards our town was swarmed with heavily armed soldiers in white armor. Where they had come from I don't know. They ordered everyone to leave the town immediately. I've never seen the weird guy again, sir, but master Kamalin later told me, that some of our younger males had been taken prisoner and had been forced to do force labor for the guy. That is why my father and his brother went back to Ribana after they had brought us to Tyr."
"Weren't you afraid you would be discovered when you overheard the guy's talking?" Luke asked.
"No, sir, for he was sitting with his back to me, and he was in a kind of trance while he was talking. I knew he wouldn't notice me. Are you really going to help us to attack the weird guy and free our town?"
"That's what I promised your father and your uncle," Luke said and he saw the elated glance in the girl's eyes, "Chati, yesterday, you said that if you would be a Jedi Knight you would attack the guy and drive him away."
"I certainly would, sir. He has done injustice to our community. I want to put things right and get us back to Ribana, but I am no Jedi, and master Kamalin is right. The guy is probably really dangerous and we need a grand army to drive him away. I fear we will spent the rest of our lives in Cantamaga."
Luke nodded approvingly.
"You maybe called a fearless girl and a daredevil, but you're also a very sensible young woman, using your common sense, Chati, but a Jedi Knight never attacks an opponent, or an enemy, unless his own life is in danger. A Jedi Knight uses his knowledge and power to find the right way to undo injustice. Mostly it take a long path of diplomacy and requires a lot of commitment and patience."
"I understand, sir, but what if an opponent won't cooperate, or surrenders?"
Luke smiled.
"You're a good thinker, Chati. A Jedi can use his Force skills to convince an opponent without using violence. He has learned that during his training, being the padawan learner of a Jedi master. Chati, you asked Ian, if there is a school where you can learn to be a Jedi. Your mother interrupted our chat, but what she said is true. Once there has been an institute where youngsters of all species were raised to become Jedi Knights."
"There really was? Were there also Quelans who learned to be a Jedi Knight? Were there also girl and women who learned to be a Jedi Knight? Did you and your sister got your Jedi training there, master Jedi?" Chati exclaimed curiously.
"It's likely that there have been Jedi Knights of your people. And there certainly have been a lot of female Jedi Knights. I can't confirm that, because that Jedi Temple was destroyed before my sister and I were born. I've only seen the ruins of it."
"But how did you become a Jedi Knight? Mom says that all the Jedi Knights vanished, probably killed, because the emperor hated them," Chati said and jumped on a low tree branch near the rim of the plateau.
"Two Jedi Knights who had gone into exile, survived, and became my teachers. They trained me."
"How did they know you could be a Jedi Knight?"
"My father had been their friend and had been a Jedi Knight too, so they knew who I was. My first master made me aware of my Force-sensitivity, for, like you, I also could see ahead what was going to happen and predict the outcome of events, and on the planet where I grew up I had some very daring and dangerous adventures," Luke said and he cautiously continued, while he observed the young girl, "It is clear to me, Chati, that you are a Force-sensitive Quelan young lady."
Chati nearly lost her balance and would have made a nasty fall off the plateau if Luke hadn't stretched out his hand and prevented the girl from falling backwards. Amazed the young girl looked up at him.
"How did you do that? It felt as if I was held by some strange force field. Thank you, sir. "
"I used the Force to prevent you from falling." Luke explained.
"What is the Force, master Jedi?"
"The Force is an energy field that surrounds all living things. It surrounds and penetrates everything around us. It's the Force that gives a Jedi his power. A Jedi can use that power of the Force if he has a peaceful mind, so he can listen to her demands and advices. You can learn to use that unseen power too, if you want to. Your mother commented yesterday that you've always been dreaming about becoming a Jedi Knight, haven't you?"
"Eh.. yes, I have. Can I really become a Jedi Knight? Are you serious about what you're saying, master Jedi?" Chati said in a high pitch voice.
Luke started to laugh.
"I'm very serious, Chati, otherwise I wouldn't have told you all this, and the story of your adventure in Ribana strengthens my suspicions. My teachers have passed away. I am the last Jedi Knight in the galaxy. I've promised them that I will pass on my knowledge to others, so I always hope to meet Force-sensitive persons of all species to become my new padawans."
Chati's face got a excited glance.
"You're really asking me to become a Jedi Knight? I can't believe it. You want me to become your apprentice," She exclaimed and jumped of the branch, "Can we go to mom and dad and asked them their permission? Oh, my, I'm so delighted by your proposal, master Jedi. I'm sure my parents will be delighted too. Me, a Jedi Knight, like I always wanted. It's like a dream coming true."
"You are delighted, Chati, if your parents will also be excited about this idea, I'm not yet so sure, but I will do everything to convince them and get their permission to train you."
"Can I come with you when you leave this place, and help you to drive away that weird guy from Ribana."
"I don't think that would be a wise decision, for if you seriously want to commit yourself to follow the Jedi path you will have to go a long way of learning," Luke said with a serious face.
"But you will teach me, master Jedi, won't you? I will do everything you ask. Although many other male Quelans, the Elders and especially the harvesters, call me stubborn and headstrong, I can be very obedient, if I want to," Chati said enthusiastically.
Luke laughed.
"If you want to? Very well, my first lesson in obedience and assignment to you is that you will keep what I told you to yourself until your parents have given their permission. From now you have to pay full attention to, become aware of and develop a deep consciousness about everything around you. Why are doing you things the way you do? What's happening around you? What are your intentions? What are the consequences of any ideas, or actions? What further options do you have to realize a plan? You also have to learn to feel the Force in the people, and animals around you, for all living things radiate their union with the Force at their own level. I will help you to develop your Force awareness. You must feel the Force around plants, animals, trees, birds, even among rocks and branches, like these, " Luke said, pointing some stones and branches which started to hover above the plateau.
"Wow," Chati said, "You can lift objects with that power."
"That's how I prevented you from falling from this plateau. I will teach you some basic principles about the Force, but you have to do a lot of practising yourself. When I leave Palomintar Four, I won't forget you're here awaiting my decision if you will become a padawan learner, but you have to develop your slumbering skills here. It's up to you to become aware of the Force potential you have. You already see things before they happen, use that ability to support your mother and father, your brothers, the other members of your family and the citizens of Ribana, and see to it that they profit from your powers."
"Will I get a lightsaber, like that Ian, master Jedi? Will you teach me how to use it?"
"At a later stage you will get a lightsaber and learn how to use it, but first you have to become fully aware of the influence of the Force on your daily life and everything you do. If I come back to Cantamaga or Ribana, the latter I hope, I will decided if you have kept your promise."
"I will, sir, I certainly will. So that's why master Kamalin said I had to heed your words, and listen well."
"Master Kamalin is a fine Force-sensitive master. I will talk to him about my intentions and his guidance of you before I leave. "
"Is master Kamalin a Jedi Knight? I didn't know."
Luke shook his head.
"Master Kamalin is Force-sensitive Quelan, but he has chosen to use the Force in a different way which was a wise decision during the Civil War against the empire. He surely will agree to be your tutor, as long as I haven't returned."
Suddenly Chati looked very seriously and stretched out her hand.
"Thank you, master Jedi, for granting me this great opportunity," She softly said.
In Mon Mothma's hidden residence Liane stood outside the transparisteel entrance doors on the terrace with a deep frown on her forehead. The transparent doors didn't look real safe, although she knew transparisteel could withstand a blaster attack. In fact anyone could enter this residence as soon as he knew the hidden outlet of the underground river. Although Mon Mothma's residence had seemed absolutely safe, Liane felt not so sure about those safety measures anymore.
She passed the first set of doors which were closing automatically behind her. Looking at every detail she carefully searched the spacious hall. Through the next set of transparisteel doors which separated the hall from the living, she could see the terrace, the lawn and the lake. The doors slid aside as she walked on.
'Luke is right, I am vulnerable here. I have to think of some simple measures to lock these doors on the inside.'
"Artoo, Threepio, where are you?" She called out loud.
The barrelshaped droid wheeled over to her, followed by Threepio.
"We need safer protection, Threepio. I want you to talk to the techs and order them to come up with a plan to secure these doors on the inside."
"Mistress Liane, what are you afraid of?" Threepio asked.
"I am not afraid, Threepio, it is just that I want to avoid a surprise attack," Liane said, "So, what we need is a kind of lock on the inside of these doors. I'm sure you can handle this, don't you?"
Artoo beeped and pivoted his dome. Threepio listened to the binary flow the little droid released.
"Artoo thinks, you can make a safe refuge behind the last storage room."
Liane started to laugh.
"You're cute, Artoo. Do you really want me to leave this beautiful spot and live permanently in the Jedi archive cavern, for instance. That's not a solution. No, the techs have to come up with a plan to secure these doors. I'm sure they can do it. I will tell Mon Mothma later."
She passed the doors to living and walked over to the lawn. The two droids followed her.
"I am going to practise with my lightsaber. I don't need your presence at the moment, so inform the techs about my wishes and see to it that they start immediately."
Liane took the small box from a sideboard and carried it to the lawn. There she took out three remote training devices. One moment she hesitated: should she take four. She shook her head. No, three was enough to practise her skills. She took the balls in her hand and activate them. Quickly she threw them in the air. Almost immediately the remotes started to fire, but she had already ignited her lightsaber and repelled three beams. For a moment the remotes withdrew, but they returned and fired anew, hovering on different levels and firing the beams under different angles. She was hit a couple of times, but after a new attempt she managed to repel all blasts and the remotes drifted to the ground. She picked them up and wanted to start again, when some seven tech droids, followed by Artoo and Threepio, rushed up the terrace.
"Mistress Liane, we are safe! The techs says we are. We don't have to fear any intruders." Threepio commented.
"What do you mean, Threepio?" Liane said and hooked her lightsaber at her belt. Carefully she put the remote balls back in the box.
"The techs have explained us, that some extra precautionary measures have been taken to secure the entrance of the residence. They say that the Supreme Chancellor didn't want to have them activated permanently, but the techs can activate those extra security right now. They say the entrance can be sealed off with double set of blast doors which lock automatically."
Liane looked astounded, but began to laugh.
"This is superb. I already wondered what Mon Mothma would do in case she had to take refuge here and the outside world would be in turmoil."
"The techs say the Supreme Chancellor wanted a more welcoming entrance, so that's why those transparisteel doors have been installed, but on the outside a set of blasts door can be activated and also in the living, so the hall will be completely sealed off from the rest of the residence."
"Can they show me?"
"Artoo, will you asked the techs to demonstrate that extra security." Threepio ordered his counterpart.
A long binary flow of data between the seven techs and the barrelshaped droid went on for several minutes. Then the techs made their way to one of the walls of the living. That wall was covered with five beautiful engraved transparisteel panels which reflected the view of beautiful landscape in different colors. The main tech droid pointed at the engraved panels.
"You have to touch the left panel, he says, mistress Liane," Threepio said.
Liane walked over to the wall and laid her hand curiously on the left panel. The techs beeped. Artoo interpreted their comment and Threepio translated the binary flow.
"You have to push the panel, they say."
"Push it? Are they sure? I fear I will damage these panels."
Hesitantly Liane pressed the left panel. A soft click was heard and the other four panels slid upwards, revealing a huge control panel with switches, displays and control leds. Some of the leds were activated and Liane read the captions. Amazed she studied the control panel for a few moments. Then she pressed the left panel and the other panels slid back in place.
"This is the main control panel, that regulates everything in the residence, isn't it?" She asked the techs.
A stream of beeps followed her question.
"The techs say, that in normal circumstances this sheltered residence is controlled automatically. With that hidden control panel you can switch off most parts and control them manually."
"Splendid. I'm going to study this panel right now." Liane said and pressed the left panel again.
This time she took her time to read all the captions and instructions carefully. Together with her two droid friends and the tech droids she started to reset a few switches. One of the switches read: darkening. When she flipped the switch all the lights went out and they all stood in complete darkness. Quickly she switched the button again and the lights turned on. The techs beeped.
"That's a kind of emergency switch, mistress Liane. If this secret residence would be discovered switching off the lights would make it difficult for intruders to find their way around here."
"Might be useful," Liane mused.
Again the main tech beeped and extended one of his utensils. He pointed at a red button.
"You should push it, mistress Liane."
"There no description of its use. Ask him what it's for." Liane said.
"You will see by yourself, he says." Threepio translated.
Hesitatingly Liane pressed the knob. A soft humming was heard. The main tech droid pushed her leg.
"Oh, my, mistress Liane, look." Threepio exclaimed and pointed to the transparisteel entrance.
From the ceiling of the living and the floor just behind the entrance doors, two diagonal blast door appeared, sealing off the entrance of the secret residence. Several heavy clicks were heard. The tech droid beeped.
"Nobody can enter now from the outside, he says. These doors can withstand any heavy fire power."
"Excellent, I will tell Luke tonight about these blast doors. I hope it will reassure him, so he won't be worrying about me," She said and knelt before the group of tech droid, "Thank you very much for telling me this. I think it's might be wise, to keep these doors locked until we hear it's safe again to reconnect the holographic console."
For a moment Liane looked at the main control panel, than she nodded.
"Let's practise this once again. Threepio, listen, for I have an important task for you, if I'm elsewhere, then I want you to operate this panel."
"Are you sure, I can perform such an important task." the protocol droid asked reluctantly.
Liane pressed the red button; the doors unlocked and disappeared to their original position. She closed the panel wall and beckoned Threepio to come over.
"You press the left panel, Threepio and then you press that red button."
"Oh my, what will happen if I do this wrong."
"You won't. Press the panel." Liane said.
Not fully convinced the golden droid pressed the left panel. The main control panel became visible again and Threepio pressed the red button. Immediately the soft humming was heard and the blast doors sealed off the entrance to the hide-out.
"Now press the left panel again, Threepio, so the main control panel won't be visible."
The droid did what Liane asked him and the engraved landscape appeared on the wall. Liane grinned.
"Well guys, with these safety doors we really have a good protection."
"We will keep them closed permanently, mistress Liane?"
"Maybe we should, but I don't want to live in a kind of prison. We will use them in case of an emergency. For the moment you'd better reset these doors, Threepio. I am glad we don't have to fear we might face an unexpected challenge from the outside world. "
The protocol droid carried out his actions in reverse order and the transparisteel doors became invisible again. The tech droids vanished to their normal chores. Liane watches them go, beeping and gibbering to each other.
"They seemed happy," She thought, "Happy, because they could be of some great help. This secret residence has a lot of useful unknown facilities."

To be continued...