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

Chapter 56

dmiral Vestor of the Basilisaea paced slowly up and down the command bridge of the star destroyer. His face had a gloomy look and he felt an twist of frustration in his stomach. After Darth Golluth had scoffed his best technical engineer and had sent him away as if he was just a simply any errand boy, he had contacted secretly some old imperial friends; not members of privisonary imperial government, but some loyalists who once had been advisors of the emperor. He had asked them to send him any information they had about admiral Matrik. The information in the seven transmitted files had shed a complete different light on his secret alliance with the former admiral, who was calling himself Darth Golluth.
The admiral looked at the spherical planet that hovered in the middle of the large view screen: Palomintar Four, an unknown and insignificant piece of rock. How could some one get the idea that this Outer Rim planet could become the center of a new empire?
Admiral Vestor pondered about what he should do. He could carry on with the order Darth Golluth had given him and continue his search for those Jedi, or he could stay just outside the Palomintar System and wait for his lieutenant to contact him. It would be a great loss for his crew, if he had to leave the young lieutenant behind. He was a very competent technical engineer and a dedicated imperial officer. There was nobody on board the Basilisaea nobody that could match his skills.
Admiral Vestor had some clear doubts about the return of his lieutenant. Darth Golluth wouldn't release his technician voluntarily. He was quite sure that lieutenant Whain would be a more permanent resident on Palomintar Four, a prisoner of Darth Golluth for an indefinite time. He straightened his back and looked once again through the screen to Palomintar Four. Pensively he shook his head. No, he would abandon his search for those Jedi; he had to stay in this corner of the galaxy and make a plan to get his young officer back on board the Basilisaea.
'We'll stay in the section of the galaxy. Those Jedi can wait,' He thought.
He walked over to the command group.
"Captain, move the Basilisaea outside the Palomintar System. When the ship has reached her new position all unnecessary activity has to be shut down."
"Yes, sir!" The captain of the star destroyer saluted and passed the order to the helmsman.
The engines started and slowly the star destroyer set course to her new position.
"You have changed, Liane. You're completely different from the person I met on Endor," Yarmod said. He looked in awe at the young woman who could so easily use the Force in her actions.
"Don't you think so, master?" He said, turning to Wedge Antilles.
Wedge Antilles didn't comment on the words of the young padawan who seemed to be in awe of Liane's use of the Force.
"Luke has taught me a lot about the Force, Yarmod," Liane said, "He taught me how to feel the Force and use her power to raise these doors."
They had just entered the last store room and Liane put her hands on the wall to close the secret door.
"There is another way to get to Mon Mothma's secret residence. It's much shorter that the path we're following now. I'll show you one of these days, for now we have to climb on top of these containers. There's only little space between the containers and the ceiling, so mind your head."
Liane jumped and wormed her way on top of the stacked containers to the other side of the cave. There she jumped down and waited for the others.
"It's not to easiest way to get to Mon Mothma's residence, but Luke thought it would be better not to move these containers." She said, when Wedge and Yarmod stood next to her.
They stood in front of the durasteel door that separated the last store room from the long passageway that led to the herb caves and the underground lake.
"This door lead directly to the garden of Mon Mothma's residence, " Liane said and wanted to place her hand on the doorlock.
"What kind of lock is this, Liane?" Wedge Antilles asked, "I mean, can anybody open this door who knows the code."
Liane shook her head.
"It's what Luke called, a random lock; for it changes the code every time the door has been opened. I have to reset the code using the Force to open this door.
Wedge Antilles nodded. Yarmod laughed.
"So, only a Force-sensitive person can open this door on this inside," The young padawan remarked.
"Yes, but not on the outside. As soon as this door has been opened from the inside; which means that someone has been visiting the Jedi archive, the code will be resetted to the code Mon Mothma's technicans installed. As long as someone is inside nobody will be able to enter this cave. Luke told me, it's one of his precautions measure to avoid any unauthorized access to this cave."
"Well, this will be a great opportunity for my padawan to use his alliance with the Force. Yarmod, I want you to open this door," Wedge said and stepped aside.
Liane looked at her young friend expectedly. The young padawan focussed his thoughts on the lock and touch the buttons with his fingers. Several soft clicks were heard and the door slid aside.
"Wow, great, Yarmod," Liane said with a smile, "You can easily use the Force without going into a Jedi meditation trance. Luke says, that I still have to learn to feel the Force in everything around me."
"You have already learned some other ways to use the Force," Yarmod said, "Have you been using those Jedi healing powers after you and Luke left Endor. By the way did those four tree bears recover?"
"They did, Yarmod, thanks to you and Ian too," Liane said, "I have been using my healing powers twice after I left Endor. I'll tell you later about it. Especially my last experience was overwhelming and I still don't understand how I did it."
Meanwhile they had entered the dimly lit passageway. Liane walked ahead, using her flashlight to support her guests.
"Only the tech droids use this part of Mon Mothma's secret residence. In these locked caves all kind of different technical supplies are stored. I seldom came here before Luke showed me the secret entrance to Jedi library, now it's my main access to the Jedi archive from Mon Mothma's residence."
"You said there's another shorter way to the caves behind the last store room. Why didn't we use that?" Wedge asked.
"Because Luke advised me to shut off the main entrance to the residence. He fears that some spies of my adversary might find their way to this hide-out. I'll show you," Liane said.
They walked on for some time, but suddenly Yarmcod stopped and sniffed.
"Whats that smell, Liane?"
"We just passed the cave where I use to dry the herbs and berries I harvest."
"Smells nice, but it's a very heavy fragrance. Can we have a look?"
Liane walked to the wall and pressed the pad to activated the light tubes.
"Have a look," She said and made a inviting gesture.
Wedge and Yarmod stepped into the small cave and looked around.
"Luke liked what I have done. It's one of the chores I scheduled. On Endor Logray, the sjaman, taught me how to preserve all kind of herbs and berries. Mon Mothma encouraged me to develop some regular tasks to do."
"You must have felt lonely, Liane, being here all alone," Wedge said with some compassion in his voice.
"Some times, yes, I do, but I've set up a tight schedule of tasks, so I don't have much time to realise I'm alone here. I have Threepio and Artoo around to talk to, but it's nice you two want to stay with me for a while. Shall we get to the main part of the residence."
They passed the entrance to the garden.
"Stay here. I will turn up the lights again," Liane said and rushed over to the terrace. She quickly activated the control panel. As she resetted the light switches the central system took over.
Wedge Antilles and his padawan stoppedWalking to the terrace door they looked around in wonder.
"I knew of the existance of this place, but I couldn't imagine what it would look like," Wedge said, looking at the lake, the garden, the lawn to the terrace and the huge entrance to the forest cave.
On the terrace Threepio and Artoo appeared.
"Master Antilles, master Martan, so good to see you. Welcome to this very comfortable and quiet accomodation. Artoo and I have prepared your guest rooms, so you can refresh yourself," Threepio said with a bow. Artoo whistle a welcoming stream of binairy bleeped.
"Thank you, Threepio. Nice to see you again," Wedge said.
"Can you show us the other parts of this place, Liane?"
"Sure, Threepio, will please serve drinks, after I have shown master Antilles and Yarmod this place."
"With pleasure, mistress Liane, come on, Artoo, I need your help," the droid said and shuffled inside.
The next hour Liane was busy showing Wedge and Yarmod Mon Mothma's residence with all its facilities. Finally Liane brought her guests to the living. She activated the wall panel, and pointed to the wall with the camouflaged blast doors.
"The wall consists of two diagonal blast doors. They protect the main entrance to this accomodation. I'll show you."
She pressed the red button. The blast doors disappeared in the floor and the ceiling. Wedge walked over to the transparasteel doors.
"There aren't locks on these doors, Liane?" He asked.
"No there aren't. The first time I never bothered about my security. There are two set of blast doors, this one on the inside of the residence, the other set closes off the main entrance on the outside."
Wedge walked through the transparasteel doors to the artificial terrace and the jetty and carefully checked the entrance. Liane and Yarmod followed him. He looked around, noticed the small path at the other side of the underground river Luke had mentioned, jumped to the other side and squated. Carefully he seemed to inspect the artificial terrace and the jetty. Then he rose and looked at his padawan and Liane.
"Get back inside, Yarmod. Liane, could you, please, close those blast doors again."
Liane raised her eyebrows, but Yarmod pulled her inside.
"Do as he asks you. My master will explain later," Yarmod said.
They walked back to the living. Liane pressed the red button. The blast doors activated and Liane shrugged her shoulders.
"Why did he ask me to do this? What's he looking for, Yarmod?" She asked, but the young padawan didn't seem to hear her.
'Yarmod, ask Liane to deactivated the doors. It's just as I thought,' Wedge Antilles said to his padawan using Jedi telepathy.
'Yes, master,'Yarmod answered and turned to Liane.
"My master asks you to deactivate the doors again, Liane."
Liane looked offended and her eyes got a dark gloomy look.
"Master Antilles could have asked me that himself. Luke taught me how to use Jedi telepathy already on Endor," She snapped.
For a moment the young padawan was left dumbstruck after Liane's blunt remark.
"Sorry, Liane, we didn't know you're familiar with the use of Jedi telepathy. You'd better tell my master yourself."
Liane had already pressed the red button and a few moments later Wedge Antilles entered the living. Immediately he sensed the tension between his padawan and Liane.
"So you heard what I asked my padawan, Liane?" He said and looked at the girl.
"Yes I did," Liane answered unfriendly.
"And how are we supposed to know you can use this Force use?" Wedge Antilles said sternly.
Liane heard the same reproachful intonation in his voice she knew so well. Immediately she controlled her dissatisfaction.
"You're right, master Antilles. Of course you can't know everything Luke has already taught me. I apologize for my unreasonable outburst," She said apologetic.
Wedge started to laugh and the tension between them disappeared.
"It's lucky I know you've quite a personality, Liane, moreover Luke has warned me not to provoke you. Now come with me; you too, Yarmod."
Wedge walked them to the entrance and jumped to the other side. He beckoned them to follow him. Liane looked curiously, but jumped immediately. Wedge looked approvingly at her. Yarmod landed next to his master.
"Well done. Now look closely."
He stretched his hand and to Liane's surprise the blast doors on the outside closed, but even more surprisingly she looked at the mooring place, the jetty and the artificial terrace. Slowly the blast doors sealed off the complete entrance, while the construction, that could betray the existance of a secret hide-out, disappeared underwater.
"How did you know?" She stammered.
"I didn't, but the Force showed me that the entrance could be sealed off completely, leaving no trace at all. Now it looks like a bend in an underground river and nothing gives away the existance of Mon Mothma's secret residence. These are very good precautions. In case an intruder finds the underwater entrance by accident, or deliberately, he will not get any indication about what behind those walls."
"You mean, I'm absolutely safe if I leave those doors closed," Liane said with a frown.
"Absolutely, but I agree that the entrance looks more welcoming if those blast doors are hidden. Walking from the jetty to entrance you can look straight inside up to the inner terrace, the lawn and the lake. Anybody can see what's going on here. Liane, I know what you've been thinking; with the doors closed it feels like you're imprisoned again," Wedge said on a serious tone and he placed his hand reassuringly on Liane's arm.
Liane looked up at him.
"I'll keep them closed, master Antilles, for that's what you're advising me, don't you?" She said determinedly and she continued with a twinkle in her eyes.
"Now, could you, please, lower those blast doors, so we can get inside again. Threepio will serve your drinks and supper on the terrace."
Wedge bowed and said laughing. "As you wish, Liane. Yarmod and I will gladly accept that invitation?"
Suddenly Liane started to roar with laughter, she grabbed the sleeve of Wedge's cassock.
"So that's why you jumped to the other side of the stream, without telling Yarmod and me, why we had to get inside and ... "
... raise those blast doors. I didn't want you both to get soaking wet."
He lowered the blast doors and the jetty and the terrace reappeared. One after other they jumped to the other side and stepped through the transparasteel doors. Immediately Liane went over to the wall and activated the doors again, before they all went to the terrace to enjoy the supper Threepio had prepared.
"Ian, where are you?" Han Solo yelled.
"I'm in the control room, Han. I've just finished the final check out." Ian answered and appeared on top of the ramp.
"Have you seen, Luke?" Han asked.
"He's saying goodbye to Toallin and Mugin and their families. He said, that he will accompany Cornell and his men afterwards."
Leia walked up the ramp.
"With all these folks it will be a bit cramped inside the Falcon," Han said, "Oh, there's your brother, darling, with those harvesters. Tough guys, these men."
Han walked back and met his brother-in-law at the end of the ramp.
"Have you seen, Chati?" Luke asked.
"Yes, she has been helping Chewie with the cargo. Afterwards she left, looking after a flock of nagawa's. I saw them going to the mountains. Is anything wrong?"
"Toallin asked if one of us had seen his daughter, for she hasn't been sleeping in her room," Luke said.
"Chewie told me she was here very early, even before daylight. She probably had some chores to do and slept outside with those nagawa's. Stupid animals,"
Luke grinned.
"According to Liane, they are very savory when roasted."
Han looked confused.
"What does that girl knows about nagawas?"
Luke's face had a broader grin.
"She knows how to roast them. During a survival mission on Morantan she had to kill a nagawa to get some food."
Han shrugged his shoulders and looked over Luke's shoulder where Cornell and the other harvesters were placidly waiting. Each of the thirty men was carrying a dangerous looking variety of weapons and tools. Han made a gesture to invite them on board.
"Find yourself a place inside. You can store your arms and tools in the hold if you want to."
"We like to keep them with us, general Solo."
"That's alright with me."
Han turned, walked up the ramp, followed by the harvesters, Chewie and Luke Skywalker. Inside the Falcon it took some time before every one had strapped in. Han, Chewie, Leia, Luke and Ian went over to the cockpit, where Chewie started the engines. Han closed the ramp and took the controls.
"Here we go, fellahs," He said to no one in particular. He looked back to his wife, who was talking to Ian Tydon.
"I sensed it too, Ian, maybe we should tell Luke about it." He heard Leia say.
"What's matter?" Luke asked while he turned his chair.
"Luke, Ian and I sense some Force flow inside the Falcon." Leia said.
Luke nodded.
"I sensed it too, Leia. Probably some of those harvesters are Force-sensitive, like Chati. I felt that Force influence also during our meeting with Cornell and his men yesterday evening. Don't pay any further attention to it. Their Force-sensitivity might have helped them in the past to survive all alone on Tyr during the harvest season."
The Corellian freighter started to hover about the grassy plain. Han increased the power on the ion-drive and the space ship vanished inside the cloud layer. It took a couple of minutes before they had passed those thick clouds, but then the Falcon shot away into space.
On board the Basilisaea a junior officer in charge watched the images of the wind screens at the command deck, when suddenly he noticed a short movement coming from behind one of the planets of the Palomintar System. He warned a substitute officer to take over the observation screen. He walked over a control desk and asked a replay. Step by step he watched the short movement which seemed to have come from the rear side of Palomintar Four.
Once again he replayed the sequence this time with maximum magnification. On two images of the sequence the object that emerges of Palomintar Four's surface was visible. He separated the two images and used a enhancing sequence to get a better image of the object. Slowly the object became sharper and more recognizable. After the enhancing sequence had ended the officer fed the image into main computer of the ship. On the display some familiar markers popped up.
The officer looked aghast at the screen. Then he turned on his heels and hurried to the briefing room of the ship where Admiral Vestor and his staff members were discussing their situation.
He asked the guard on duty permission to enter. After several minutes the doors swung open and the men around the table looked up. The officer brought a formal tight saluted and waited.
"Yes, officer?" Admiral Vestor asked.
"Sir, a space ship has come out of hyperspace behind Palomintar Four. I used the enhancer to get a better image of it. You'd better have a look at it, sir. It's on screen at your desk."
Admiral Vestor activated the screen on his desk. It took a few moments before the information popped up. The admiral looked at it for a moment. Then he looked at the officer.
"Thank you, officer, dismissed."
The officer left and admiral Vestor look at his staff.
"I'm postponing this meeting. I've just got note that the Millennium Falcon has gone into orbit around Palomintar Four. You all know what this means, don't you?" He said looking at the circle of men around the table.
They all rose and walked over to the door.
"Get the Basilisaea ready to intercept this freighter. I have a feeling we will have some interesting visitors soon. "
Admiral Vestor left the room and strode to the command bridge. Several thoughts were rushing through his mind. The Millennium Falcon; in this system. Could that mean that the New Republic knew about Darth Golluth's whereabouts? Then they probably also might know Darth Golluth's other plans.
"Start the engines, captain, and bring the ship far out of the system. I want to intercept that freighter."
"Yes, sir!" the captain responded and a short while later the Basilisaea began to move to the other side of the Palomintar system.
The Millennium Falcon increased her velocity and altitude. Han Solo wanted to reach Myr from the back side of the planet. He was very busy talking to Chewbacca, when suddenly Leia and Luke who were sitting behind him, made an unexpected gesture. Leia jumped to her feet, reached over to the control panel and wanted to flip a switch
"What are you doing?" Han interrupted and pushed her hand aside.
"Switch on the ship's cloaking, Han, immediately," Leia said, "there's an imperial-I star destroyer moving outside the system's gravity field."
"An imperial-I star destroyer? Here? Come on, sweetheart. You know better than I do, that our fleet wiped out nearly all those star destroyers near Jakku," Han boasted.
"Yes, nearly, but not all," Leia snapped, "Do as I tell you, Han, otherwise we have to cut off this mission."
"How can you be so sure. Chewie, check this sector of the galaxy."
The Wookiee flipped several switches and grunted a long answer.
"See, darling, there's nothing out there. You're imagining things."
"Imagining things," Leia remark furiously, "I felt the ship through the Force. Ask Luke, if you don't believe me. He has felt the same."
"Alright, alright, if you Jedi think there's a star destroyer out there I'll do as you please," Han said sarcastically and pressed the button to cloak his ship.
"Leia is right, Han," Luke said calmly. "We'd better get into high orbit outside the system and see what those imperials are up to."
Han shrugged his shoulders and turned to Chewbacca.
"Get the navi-computer ready for a short hyperspace trip, Chewie."
Luke and Leia looked concerned outside the windscreen of the Falcon.
"On my mark, Chewie, three-two-one."
The Falcon shot away into hyperspace. Han watched the controls.
"Outside, cut in sublight engines. Now!"
The Falcon came out of hyperspace just outside the gravity field of the Palomintar System. She flew at a high orbit. Chewbacca pointed to a screen and Han whistle.
"My apologies to the Jedi members of my family. There's indeed an old friend out there. Probably one the last remnants of their fleet."
"It's the Basilisaea," Leia said in her Jedi voice. She looked at her brother. "Admiral Vestor is in command of this star destroyer. He landed on Endor when Ian and I were looking for you and Liane. Darth Golluth was accompanying him. It seems that the admiral and Darth Golluth have teamed up again."
"The Basilisaea is setting course to Tyr," Luke said, "We have to lure them away. The cloud layer forms a kind of defense shield, but if they discover Cantamaga, the Quelans are sitting ducks. Han, deactivate the Falcon's cloaking and make sure they see us."
"And your next step will be their tracking beam?" Han asked cynically.
Luke grinned.
"We will avoid that. The Falcon is no match to a star destroyer if it comes to speed. We might have a good chance to out run them. Maybe we should play a little game with them. Fly in their direction until we're sure she going to follow us."
Wedge Antilles was watching Liane and Yarmod who were practising with their lightsabers against several floating remotes. Yarmod was an excellent padawan and could repel all the random laser beams in the blink of an eye. Liane was a bit slower, but it amazed Wedge Antilles how fast she could jump to avoid the laser beams if she couldn't repel it. He raised his hand and the remotes sailed in his direction. Liane and Yarmod switched off their lightsaber and walked over to him.
"Well done, good practise, both of you. You're absolutely doing a good job, Liane. What about a lightsaber fight against each other?"
Yarmod looked at Liane and grinned. Liane looked concerned.
"What's the matter, Liane. You dare to have a fight with me, don't you?" He asked.
"Master Antilles," Liane turned to Wedge, "We might hurt each other in a lightsaber fight, don't we?"
"You're both using training lightsabers, Liane. They only paralyze when you hit your opponent. It's the same feeling as the beams of the remotes. Yarmod loves to train that way."
"Are you both fighting each other?" Liane asked. "Seems dangerous to me, as you are a skilled Jedi, master Antilles."
"I'm not using this lightsaber, Liane," Wedge Antilles answered, pointing at the lightsaber on his belt, "I still have the training lightsaber Luke gave, when I started my training as his padawan."
Liane looked relieved and Wedge and Yarmod both started to laugh.
"You don't like fighting, Liane, do you?" Yarmod said.
"I hate fighting. I've seen too much of it. It's not the way I want to use the Force, but master Thon and master Odan-Urr told me I had to learn to wield a lightsaber, if I wanted to become a Jedi healer."
"A Jedi doesn't fight to win, Liane, a Jedi only fights if he has to defend himself. In a conflict fighting is always the last option a Jedi chooses," Wedge said.
"Luke said the same to me, when he gave this training lightsaber. I can't imagine a situation where I could have to use my lightsaber or become engaged ..." She stopped in mid sentence.
For a moment she stood transfixed. Her eyes got a distant staring expression. In her mind she saw flashes of her Force visions as a Jedi. Wedge and Yarmod watched her. She focussed again on her guest and laughed.
"Buut if I can't really hurt you, Yarmod, I will gladly accept the challenge," She said, walking to the middle of the lawn.
Yarmod looked at his master. Wedge nodded with a vague smile.
"Remind the positions you've learned, young padawan," He said.
"I will, master," Yarmod answered and followed Liane.
Liane had ignited her lightsaber and took a defensive position. Yarmod raised his lightsaber and made a upward move, but Liane parried it effortlessly. She pivoted and brought her lightsaber upward under Yarmod's beam. The bright beams of the lightsabers clashed, sending tiny sparks to either side.
Once again Yarmod wanted to break through her defense, but Liane seemed to see each of his moves in advance. Concentrated Wedge watched the training duel of his padawan and the young woman. His padawan defended himself amazingly good against Liane's blows, but Wedge became more and more amazed about the way Liane wielded her lightsaber. She would become an excellent fighter one day. Once again Liane made a high somersault. She landed on her feet and immediately took a defensive stance. Yarmod slashed, but Liane made a swinging move and send his lightsaber off his hand. The young padawan raised his hands and made a deep bow.
"You win, Liane. Excellent action, you fully took me off guard."
"I didn't have the intention to win, but it's been a nice training, thank you Yarmod."
"When did master Luke gave you your lightsaber, Liane?" Yarmod asked.
"When we were in Ben's house on Tatooine. Luke taught me how to assemble a training lightsaber. He also told about the Illum crystals which are used in real lightsabers. It's one of the final ..."
"Yarmod is padawan, Liane, don't reveal what Luke and I expects him to do to become a Jedi Knight."
"I'm sorry, master Antilles. Luke and I have been discussing a lot of all his Jedi knowledge."
"You have a special relationship with him, don't you?" Wedge said and looked at her in a special way.
Liane looked at him and understood the meaning of his words. She nodded and smiled serenely.
"Yesterday everning you said you wanted to show us some of your explorations," Wedge said changing the subject of their conversation.
"I can show you the waterfall cave. It's really lovely. Do you want to go now?"
"Good idea. Afterwards I want to have a look at the extentions you made to the original map."
"I'll get my flashlight," Liane said and left the terrace.
Yarmod and Wedge watched her go.
"She's almost ready to become master Luke's padawan, don't you agree, master," Yarmod said.
"She already more than a padawan, Yarmod. The problem is that her knowledge of the Force isn't fragmented. She knows a bit of many Force uses, but doesn't control it fully. She really misses a master to tell her precisely what it means to be a Jedi Knight, but she's doing very well on her own. I admire her perseverance and her progress."
"There she is, admiral!" the captain of the Basilisaea pointed to the shape of the Millennium Falcon flying in high orbit of the Palomintar System.
"Track her!" Vestor answered.
"She's flying straight in our path, admiral."
Admiral Vestor looked through the windscreen of the command bridge and watched the small moving spot in the middle.
"Prepare the tracker beam, captain."
"Admiral, she has disappeared. Oh no, there she is again."
The Millennium Falcon had changed course and zigzagged through space in front of the imperial star destroyer.
"Don't loose sight of that ship, captain. I know who's on board. I want a word with her captain," Vestor commanded.
Once again the Falcon changed it course and now flew straight to the Basilisaea. Suddenly she disappeared again.
"What happened? Where is she?" Vestor yelled angrily, looking up from the view screen.
"We can't track her, admiral. She probably went into hyperspace." the captain answered.
Admiral Vestor gritted his teeth and slammed the desk of the view screen, as the Millennium Falcon came into view again, filling the windscreen of the command bridge.
"He is a mad man, he is on a collision course," the captain yelled, instinctively ducking and seeking coverage for the impact.
But the Falcon shot away, made wide looping and flew in front of the imperial star destroyer.
"Follow!" admiral Vestor commanded, "He is provoking us. I wonder why?"
The Basilisaea steadied her course and continued the pursuit of the freighter, but the distance between the two ships couldn't be decreased.
"She trying to shake us off, admiral. Probably she's preparing to go into hyperspace."
"Don't let her escape. Their captain mustn't be able to get away and warn those rebels of the New Republic."
The Basilisaea now went into full pursuit of the Falcon, which was still following a frantic course around the Palomintar System. The captain of the star destroyer managed to reduce the distance between the two ships slightly, but he couldn't get a direct aim to get the Falcon in the tracker beam. He didn't took his eyes from the screen, but the Falcon once tricked him again and vanished from the screen. For a couple of minutes the captain waited to see if she would reappear again, but this time all that remained was the empty void of space.
"We've lost her, admiral. She probably made the jump into hyperspace," the captain reported.
Admiral Vestor looked disgusted at the blackness of space. Why had the Millennium Falcon appeared in the Palomintar System? Investigations? The Palomintar System wasn't a very interesting system. Had the New Republic become suspicious because their main computer system had been hacked and infiltrated? Darth Golluth had told him, that he couldn't use his communication system anymore, but that was obvious, because the complete equipment had been taken apart by his tech droids. Had the technicians on Quoith found the cause of the hack? Should he go down to Palomintar Four and tell Darth Golluth what had happened? It would be another very unpleasant encounter with former admiral Matrik. An encounter he wasn't looking for. No, he'd better wait and watch what would happened. Darth Golluth wasn't aware of his presence, at least he hoped he wasn't.
"Should I get your shuttle ready, admiral," the captain asked, "You probably want to inform Lord Golluth about the pursuit of the Falcon?"
Admiral Vestor made a negative gesture.
"We have prevented the Millennium Falcon to land on the planet. She had to break off her mission and had to flee without getting any information. We stay in orbit around the system."
Liane looked up to Wedge Antilles and shook her head determinedly.
"I'm not going to tear down all I did, master Antilles. I use this place to practise the Force meditation Luke has taught me. Luke says, it's a wonderful place to feel the Force and become one with it," She tried to remain calm and dignified, but in her voice Wedge heard the stubborn rejection of his advice.
"I understand, you love this place, Liane..." Wedge said
"Not only I love this place, but Luke likes it too, and so does the Supreme Chancelor," Liane objected.
Once again she stubbornly shook her head. She determinedly switched off the five lamps and walked over to the steep entrance passageway of the cave.
"I'm going back to the residence," she said and turned her back on Wedge Antilles, "I'm sure you can find the way back on your own."
Wedge watched her go. He understood her feelings for this spot, for he also cherished the wonderful sight of the cave, but he also was responsible for her safety and this place wasn't safe. Not anymore. He felt sorry for the young woman who had to spend her days in solitude in this cave system, but he knew he had to be firm and convincingly. She also had to learn to understand the dangers of her explorations. He walked up the steep slope and thought about an possibility to show her the reason why he wanted her to give up all her explorations, without her persevering in her stubborn refusal.
When he entered the residence through the transparasteel doors, he only saw his padawan performing a Jedi meditation near the lake. Liane was nowhere to be seen. Wedge walked over to the terrace and set himself down on one of the couches. He observerde Yarmod who stood motionless on his hands, his eyes closed.
'Let the Force flow through you, young padawan and she will show you images of the past and the present,' He said through Jedi telepathy.
Yarmod almost lost losing his balance, but he recovered his control of the Force.
'Master, I see myself as a schoolboy, being bullied by one of my classmates. I can feel again who I hated him for his dominant attitude.'
'You should control those feelings of hatred, Yarmod. You know what the consequences are of any dark feelings inside you. Let the Force tell you how you could have dealt with his unfriendly manners. I feel you also feared him, didn't you?'
'Yes I did. I always evaded him as much as possible, but my actions never felt good, master.'
'Why not?'Wedge asked and rose from his seat to support his young padawan.
'I always felt cowardly, but I couldn't find a good way to cope with his dominant behavior at that time.'
'Now turn inside, Yarmod, and let the Force show you the cause of his behavior.'
'Yes, master.'
For a moment every thing went silent. The only noises were the rustling sounds of the leaves in the forest cave.
'Master, I see him now. His father is bullying and beating him. He is crying.'
'That's what you should have asked yourself when you became aware of those feelings of hatred for this opponent from your past. Learn from the image the Force has been showing you, Yarmod. Never judge a person only because of his appearances, manners or behavior. The same counts for everything that happens in the past, the present, even in the future. Use the Force to look for those hidden facts and you will learn to interpret the real causes at a different point of view. Tell me, do you still feel hate for what he did to you, for you've missed an opportunity, Yarmod, to show you cared for him. You could have become friends with him.
'I understand, master, no I don't feel anymore hatred. Now I pity him. He must have had a sad youth. My father never bullied me, nor did he ever beat me or my siblings. My parents always encouraged me to follow my own path.', the young padawan answered remorseful.
He released himself from his Force meditation and jumped to his feet.
"I will remember your words, master," he said and looked around, "Where is Liane, master, didn't she come back with you? Did you tell her, she can not go exploring the caves outside this residence any longer?
"I did, but she stubbornly adheres to her own view. I told her she had to take off all the illumination lamps in the waterfall cave and the ropes in the passageway, but she refuses to follow my advice. It's probably very difficult, my young padawan, to convince someone as headstrong as Liane to look at a situation from a different point of view. You didn't see her coming back, did you?" Wedge said concerned.
"Maybe Threepio has seen her, master."
Wedge Antilles walked over to the pantry, where Threepio and Artoo were always bickering about the dinner preparations.
"Threepio, did you or Artoo see Liane?"
"Yes, master Antilles. She came in with a angry look in her eyes. She didn't speak to Artoo or me and went to her private quarters. If she hasn't come to the terrace or the living, she still must be there, master Antilles. Shall I go and tell her to join you and master Martan." the golden droid asked.
Wedge Antilles raise his hand.
"Thank you, Threepio. It's alright, I only wanted to know if she's in the residence."
He walked back to the terrace.
"She has gone to her private quarters, Threepio said. I'll contact Luke tonight and discuss this matter with him. He knows her much better than we do, Yarmod," Wedge Antilles said with a deep sigh, looking concerned at his padawan.

To be continued...