armod Martan looked at Jedi master Wedge Antilles.
"Are you serious, master Antilles?" He asked highly surprised.
Wedge Antilles nodded.
"We'd agreed you should call me, Wedge, from now on, and yes, you and I are going to Palomintar Four too. You'd better contact our friends and the Grann brother, and tell them we will join their mission. Tell them to stay away from these position coordinates of the Tychorion, the Basilisaea, and Gold Squadron.
Wedge handed Yarmod his infocom.
"The Grannd Traveler should approach Palomintar Four at the rear side. Do you know if their ship has a cloaking device."
Yarmod shook his head. He still couldn't believe Wedge Antilles' cooperation with Liane's plan.
"Now get going, Yarmod. Time is running out. The Grannd Traveler is a much faster ship than the Astreaga. They probably will be in range of the Palomintar System by now," Wedge urged, "Use your Jedi skills to contact Ian or Liane. Ask them to make contact with the Astreaga immediately. I want to discuss Liane's plan with her personally."
Yarmod Martan rose and walked to the cockpit of the Astreaga. The plasma flashes of hyperspace traveling were whirling along the windscreen. For a moment he watched those plasma flares, while he contemplated about everything that had happened on board the Astreaga, since he and Wedge Antilles had left Tatooine. He sat down in the co-pilot seat and reached out to the Force to Ian Tydon.
'Ian, do you copy,' He said through the Force.
It took a few moments before Yarmod heard the voice of friend through the Force.
'Anything wrong, Yarmod? Having troubles with master Antilles?' Ian asked.
'Not at all. I'm fine. Have you reached the Palomintar System already.'
'We're leaving hyperspace within an hour and a half. Why?'
'Tell Yarnick to approach Palomintar Four from the rear side. He should land on the other continent, and keep the planet between the Grannd Traveler and the coordinates of the Tychorion and the imperial star destroyer that are orbiting the system. I'll send you their positions, now'
Yarmod felt his friend's many unanswered questions through the Force.
'Yarmod, we planned to land on Myr, near Ribana' Ian objected, after he had cast a glance on the figures.
'Yes, that's what Wedge wants to avoid. He also wants Yarnick Grann to connect to the Astreaga, before the Grannd Traveler reaches the Palomintar System.'
'I will tell them, Yarmod, but I think Liane will object against master Antilles' plan,'Ian said.
'Convince your sister, that Wedge and I support her and her mission.'
The telepathic connection through the Force disappeared rather abruptly. Yarmod looked through the windscreen and sighed. Thinking about all the new developments since he had left Tatooine with Wedge Antilles, he slowly rosed and walked back to the control room.
"I've explained what you've told me, Wedge, to Ian. They are reaching Palomintar Four in about an hour and a half."
Wedge Antilles looked at the synchron of the Astreaga.
"Did you ask him to tell Yarnick Grann...?" He said, as the infocom system of the Astreaga started flashing, indicating an incoming message.
"Master Antilles," Threepio said, "There's a message coming in from a Corellian freighter HAD731VN. Shall I activate?"
"Yes, Threepio," Wedge said and sat himself at the console.
Almost immediately the holo-image of Yarnick Grann appeared.
"Commander Antilles, this is captain Yarnick Grann of the Grannd Traveler. Ian Tydon has asked me to contact you. We're on our way to Palomintar Four as you probably know."
"I do, captain. Did Ian Tydon also tell you that you should stay away from the continent of Myr, to avoid the two space cruisers that are orbiting the system."
"He did, but your suggestion to meet on Tyr is crossing our original plan. I agree with you there is a danger, because our ship isn't equipped with a cloaking device. We're traders as you know, but we know many tricks to stay out of sight if that's your problem, the captain of the Grannd Traveler said with a grin, "And our former adopted sister Eilidh sharply objected against these new plans. She wants to talk to you. Here she comes."
Liane's image popped up.
"Wedge, what are you up to?" She asked.
"Staying with you, and give you all the support you might need, Liane," Wedge said, but he felt her suspicion.
"I'm not going back to Na'ctaMagh'Ba, Wedge," Liane said stubbornly.
"Calm down, young lady. Yarmod has explained to me what you have in mind. You want to confront that guy who is calling himself Darth Golluth, don't you?"
"Yes, I have to, Wedge, and I don't want you or Luke, or anyone else to keep me out of sight anymore, oh, and don't call him Darth Golluth, for he isn't a real Sith Lord. He is just Trevor Matrik, a disgraced admiral of the imperial fleet who has lost his assignment on the imperial fleet. Thanks to his stupid actions and decisions the emperor no longer favored him. Trevor Matrik is a fool, Wedge. He always has been, but his plans are dangerous," Liane said out of breath, and she continued, "Wedge, I've had two devastating Force visions, They weren't just nightmares, as Luke tried me to believe on board the Millennium Falcon. Trevor is planning to use Luke for some his malignant ideas and I must prevent that. Luke means a lot to me, more than anyone else in this galaxy."
"Liane, will you, please, listen to me for a moment without interrupting me. First of all; I don't want to bring you back to Dalmaran, for you can't go back to the residence. After the attack Dar... Trevor Matrik surely knows you've been hiding there. Mon Mothma's residence isn't a safe place anymore for you, but you might need he... support from your friends. That's what I'm offering you. I'm taking those Force visions you had about Luke laying on a funeral pyre, very seriously. Luke has been my Jedi master; he's my best friend. Like you I want to prevent that Trevor Matrik will do anything harmful to him, but Luke has told me, that Dar... Trevor has protected himself with an army of droids, some of them killer droids. You and Ian, assuming your former guard has more or less developed the same skills as Yarmod Martan, can't take on a group of heavily armed droids on your own. Yarmod and I want to support you too, and defend Luke and you against Trevor's droid army."
Wedge Antilles' words seemed seemed to temper Liane's objections.
"What do you have in mind, Wedge?" She asked in a fully controlled way.
"Ask the captain of the Grannd Traveler to hand over the ship to Ian, and let him pilot it to Tyr, the other continent. He knows how the coordinates of Cantamaga, the settlement where the exiled Quelans live. Yarmod and I will follow shortly with the Astreaga and meet you there."
"And how will we get to the other continent where Trevor has sought coverage? Yarnick and his brothers agreed to land near Ribana, because Ian told them that's the name of the deserted town where he has seen Trevor."
"If Yarnick Grann tries to land on Myr the Grannd Traveler will probably be intercepted, and brought on board the Tychorion, or, in the worst case, on board the Basilisaea. In the last case you all will be kept prisoner. If Yarnick lands on Tyr we will make some further plans to get to Myr more safely and unnoticed"
"Why would the Grannd Traveler be intercepted?" Liane asked determinedly.
"There no time to give you a full explanation now. There is a truce between the New Republic and the remains of the empire: the Provisional Imperial Council. One of their agreements is, that no foreign spaceship may land on any of the planets of the Palomintar system, with the exception of Ktafunda on Palomintar Six. The Tychorion and an imperial star destroyer, the Basilisaea, are orbiting the Palomintar System at the moment. If one of these star cruisers intercepts the Grannd Traveler, the ship will brought on board with a tracker beam and its crew will be under arrest. That's why Ian has to fly the Grannd Traveler and land on Tyr. If the ship comes out of hyperspace near Palomintar Four from the rear, the side of the continent of Tyr, the planet will be between those orbiting space cruisers. Besides Tyr is covered with a high layer of thick clouds which might prevent the discovery of the Grannd Traveler. Those clouds probably disturb the read-outs on the Tychorion and I hope on the Basilisaea too."
"We'll see you on Tyr, Wedge. Thanks for taking time to explain this to me," Liane said calmly and composed.
Wedge started laughing, but looked at her with great intention.
"I'm beginning to know you better and better, Liane. You're never taking things for granted. It's a good habit for a ... Jedi Knight to remain cautious and observing, young lady. Yarmod and I meet you on Tyr."
"We'll be waiting for you. Oh, eh ... Wedge, I'm sorry I didn't believe you. I really appreciate your help," Liane said and Wedge saw a grateful smile appear on her face. Her image disappeared and the image of Yarnick Grann appeared.
"I have followed your conversation with Liane, commander. We'll see you on Tyr," He said.
Wedge closed the connection and looked at his companion.
"How much time before we reach Palomintar Four, Yarmod?"
"Eight hours from now, master. We already on top speed, we can't get there any faster."
"We'll use the remaining time to discuss some possible plans, for we need the cooperation of the governors of Cantamaga, and ask them to support any of those plans to get our company to Myr"
Doran Whain crept stealthily along the dark passageway to the main entrance of the underground hiding place. He knew that the doors where guarded at night, but as he looked around the last corner he saw, to his relief, that the four reprogrammed droids were indeed guarding the entrance as usual. From the pocket of his jacket he grabbed a small remote and pressed four buttons simultaneously. Immediately the four guarding droids became motionless. Doran Whain walked over to the doors, unlocked it, pushed one of the doors ajar and slipped outside. Staying in the shadows of the mountain ridge he hurried along the path to the western hillside. Meanwhile he pressed the tip of his left collar. Almost immediately the hidden button buzzed. Whain hurried along. Although it was dark he could find his way easily, as he had put some secret markers which lit the path as he approach. Within an hour he reached the spot where the hills dropped down along the steep sloping track. With big strides he jumped down the hillside and plunged into the bushes in the darkness of the vineyard valley. He ran along for other half hour, then he slackened his pace and looked around. To his left the sparkling beam of a lightsaber appeared for a split second. Whain walked over to the spot where he had seen the flash of the laser blade. Luke Skywalker stepped out in the open and the two new friends shook hands.
"I'm glad you could make it at this hour," Whain said a little bit out of breath.
"Your coded call reached me in time. Why did you arranged an appointment in the middle of the night?" Luke answered.
"It's much easier than during daytime. The guy has become a bit suspicious about my wanderings around Ribana, so I stopped visiting the vineyard building and the town. Listen, Luke, the guy is still determined to capture your padawan lady, and he also wants to get you as well. He has even been talking about another Skywalker."
Luke started to laugh.
"So our friend isn't content with Liane and me, he also wants to capture my twin sister Leia."
"So there are really two Skywalkers?" Whain asked amazed.
Luke nodded, but neglected Doran's question.
"Nori, did you get a message from your intelligence force on Coruscant?" Luke asked seriously.
"I did indeed. My order to prevent the guy from capturing Liane Solichor has been withdrawn. I'm no longer allowed to take any action against her. It seems that your government has contacted the Provisionary Imperial Council on Coruscant. I have deleted and erased the message immediately, but honestly Luke, I wouldn't have done her any harm after you assured me that she is your padawan learner and that she has to become a Jedi Knight like you. To me she isn't a Sith lady any longer."
Luke sighed relieved, and smiled.
"Thank you, Nori, for trusting my judgment, for it's possible that Liane will turn up unexpectedly in Ribana or in it's surroundings."
"What!" Doran hushed.
"My padawan is a very determinedly young woman who has her own particular reason to meet the guy you're serving involutarily."
"I have to pretend I'm loyal to him, Luke. I have to watched him closely, and jeopardize his plans as is my mission."
"I understand your position, Nori, so we have to set up a plan in case my padawan shows up."
"Luke may I ask you, why does she want to see the guy?"
"That's a long story, which dates back to her many encounters with him on her home planet of Morantan. You probably know she has been brought up by Darth Vader, emperor Palpatine's trusted commander. Our man has visited Morantan often and always tried to gain some knowledge of the Sith. Neither Darth Vader, nor Liane has ever explained any knowledge of the Dark Side to Trevor. They have always ignored his requests. This probably has outraged him, and I'm sure by now that wants to revenge himself on Liane, for she has been telling him, just before he left Morantan for a last time, that she disgusts him. I have read the information you shared with me at our first encounter. That information also sheds a peculiar light on his behavior, Nori. You said that Trevor wants to capture Ian or me, or even both of us, and use us as a bait to bring Liane to Palomintar Four."
"I even had to concede to this ridiculous plan. He wants to send a special message to the government of the New Republic to tell them that one of you has been captured. He believes that your government will deliver your padawan and bring her to Palomintar Four in exchange for your freedom or that of the other guy, her former guard."
For a moment Luke was in thoughts.
"Nori, that might an opportunity I want to reconsider." He said.
"What do you mean? Luke, I can't take you prisoner and tell the guy that I've captured you, while you were sneaking around Ribana in the middle of the night. He wouldn't believe a story like that. He is too smart to be deceived so easily."
"We won't do it that way, but it's important that I will be inside those caves before Liane shows up on Palomintar Four."
"You really think, that she is on her way to Palomintar Four?"
"I have a strong suspicion. She has left the place where I thought she would be reasonably safe."
"But that place was attacked by the spies I send. I thought those guys were complete fools and incapable to bring it to a good end. So they have frightened her, and she decided to leave and fled."
"Nori, if you ever will meet Liane, you will understand, that Liane isn't easily frightened. No, my padawan has made her plan to leave some time before it was attacked. She is a gifted organizer and talented with a tremendous insight as a leader. The only thing she needed was to find the right way out of the place, and unwittingly my friends and I have given her a formidable opportunity."
"How did she leave?" Doran asked surprised.
"She has stolen my private shuttle," Luke said, "and she has convinced the two guys I had assigned as her protectors to leave with her. However she hasn't come straight away to Palomintar Four, but stayed for a while on another planet?"
Doran Whain looked at his new friend astounded.
"She has stolen your shuttle, took her guards with her, went to another planet, and wants to come to Palomintar Four to face Trevor?"
"Exactly, Nori. Recently my ship has been recognized, and my government has send a friend of mine to claim the ship on my behalf and take the three fugitives with him. If all goes the way I hope it will, Liane will be kept onboard the New Republic's frigate Tychorion which is in orbit around Palomintar Four to keep an eye on the Basilisaea. As soon as I know my shuttle is onboard the Tychorion I will have a talk with my padawan."
"So you still want to prevent her to encounter with Trevor again?"
"I hope I can. It isn't that easy, Nori, and I want you to help me, for one thing is clear: Trevor Matrik's plans have to thwarted; as long as he cherishes the idea to become a Sith lord, he'll use any possibility to bring Liane to Palomintar Four."
"Luke, the more I learn about the guy's intentions, the more I'm getting annoyed with him. Tt becomes more and more understandable why your padawan detests him," Doran Whain said frustrated.
"Be careful, Nori. Trevor is known to be Force-sensitive, that's why he made such a fast career. Never show your annoyance or your frustration. He might notice those feelings. Carry on with your mission, you're not alone on this rather dangerous mission to end Trevor's plans."
"I want to find a way to contact you much faster, Luke. The tracker is a good option, but it's insufficient and too time consuming. I have been assembling a special holocom access with Coruscant on a seldom used frequency, maybe I can assemble a similar kind of holocom, so we can be in touch in an easier way. May I ask you to tell me the access code a communication system where I can reach you?"
For a moment Luke watched his nightly visitor with caution. Could he trust this guy and tell him the frequency of the Millennium Falcon? If this imperial professor turns out to be a traitor Han would certainly be outraged. Maybe it would be a better option if Nori would send a message for him via the Tychorion, using his procon access code? Procon messages were highly encrypted and unreadable for spying eyes. The general could give the order to transmit any incoming personal messages to his infocom. Doing it this way the presence of Han, Leia, and the harvest men on Myr would remain secret.
"Nori, if I wouldn't cooperate and deny you the access to my infom, I know, that one way or the other you would find a way to locate my device and hack it. You're professor Nori Thai, my friend, the most sophisticated communication expert in this galaxy. No one surpasses your knowledge, expertise and experience." Luke said with a big grin.
"Too much honor, Luke, but I certainly would," Doran grinned.
"So I'll give you the access code to the procon system I use on board of the Tychorion. I will inform my commander, that he will relay any incoming message to my infocom immediately."
Doran shook his head.
"No, Luke, that's too dangerous. I'm an imperial officer, working for the Provisional Imperial Council. The procon system is the messaging and information system of the New Republic."
"Accessing my infocom directly might be even more dangerous, because the Basilisaea might intercept the messages we would exchange. My procon system via the Tychorion is shielded off the main system, so it's the safest way to exchange information at the moment."
Doran was silent for a short moment, then he held out his hand, "You have a lot of confidence in me, Luke, allowing me to access your personal procon messaging system."
"Sometimes, Nori, opponents have to step over their differences, and help each other, if necessary. I trust that you won't take advantage of it, and try hack our computer communication center on Quoith once again."
They laughed and shook hands.
"After this combined mission is over, Luke, you should reset your access code and get a new one," Doran said.
"I'll think about that, Nori, maybe I will, maybe not, because sometimes it's advantageous to keep in touch with friends, even if they belong to the New Republic's opponents. Here's a datakey card with my access code. You can hand it back on our next meeting."
Doran took the remote from his pocket, and put the datakey card in a slot at the top the remote.
"I'll copy the code now, Luke. I've assembled this little device to deactivate the four droids I reprogrammed, but it also has a tiny memory bank. Here's your card back."
Luke slipped the card in his pocket. He looked up at the sky, "We'd better split up now. Can I give you a ride to the top of the hillside? It'll save you a long walk."
He beckoned Doran Whain to follow him to an impenetrable entangled bush. With a slight gesture of his hand the branches moved away and revealed a small path to a speeder. Luke jumped at the wheel and invited his imperial friend to take the passenger's seat. Under the shadow of the darkness in the valley Luke drove up to the mountain ridge, where Doran jumped off.
"Luke, if by accident your padawan lady turns up one of these day near Ribana, I'll let you know immediately. I'll promise, and I will try to keep her away from Trevor, if possible, until you have spoken to her," He said as a goodbye.
He walked up the path that led to the entrance doors. The soft hum of Luke's speeder died out in the distance, before he had reached the doors. He slipped inside, locked the door, and looked at the four droids who were placidly waiting until they would be activated again. He chuckled to himself, walked out of sight and pressed the four buttons on the remote. The four droids resumed their supervision without knowing that they had been idle most of the night. Doran found his way to the underground cave that served as his accommodation. The rest of the night he was busy with the assembly of a highly sophisticated looking piece of equipment.
"We're going out of hyperspace in ten seconds, ... eight,... seven, ... six, ... five, ... four, ... three, ... two, ... one, ... sublight engines started," Brion the co-pilot commented.
The Grannd Traveler drifted in space at a reasonable distance from Palomintar Four.
"Approach the planet slowly, Brion. Back to hyperspace on my mark," Yarnick said as he looked on a map at the display. "Go!"
The ship vanished into a minor hyperspace lane. Yarnick grinned at Ian's astounded face.
"If you know the hyperspace lanes even the smaller ones, Ian, you always can get away without being noticed."
"What you're going to do now?" The young padawan asked.
"Getting back to Palomintar Four from the rear at lower altitude. Normal scanning of surveillance or reconnaissance ships occurs at an altitude of about three planet diameters. At an altitude below three their scanning scopes interfere too much with the cosmic radiation around the planet. It makes the scanning unreliable, and armed frigates like the Tychorion will ignore those scanning information completely. Next round, Brion, and out of hyperspace, descend below three planet diameters, and get back to our hyperspace position."
"Won't they get any read-out on the Tychorion?" Ian asked.
"Yes, they will, but they only see some tremors around this small hyperspace lane and that's normal, so they won't pay much attention to it."
"Did you do the same with commander Dendicott's ship as he neared Endor?" Ian asked curiously.
"No, the Dendicott virus, as we call it now, is a cycle of resetting and re-activating the navi-computer a number of times. It runs automatically and can't be interrupted unless you stop and reset your completely system. This time Brion and I keep control manually, but, yes, the outcome looks the same. Here we go again. Standby, Brion, and out of the hyperspace lane and descend to one planet diameters. Hey, look those cloud layers, commander Antilles has been talking about, are already beginning to surround us. That's really good, now we don't have to get to hyperspace again. Ian, you should take over now, I'll take the co-pilot's seat, here's the main joystick."
Ian Tydon sat himself in the pilot's chair. He grab the vessel's joystick, reached out to the Force and plunged into the layer of greenish clouds. Yarnick watched the young padawan closely, but as he saw the calm and easy way with which Ian descended slowly through the clouds, he leaned back in his seat. He cast a quick glance at several scopes and raised his eyebrows. The read-outs had gone berserk and ran from one end to the other on the displays. Then suddenly the clouds vanished and amazed Yarnick and Brion looked at the landscape that unfurled before their eyes.
"Wow, hey guys, have a look. This is absolutely a terrific view. Never thought that underneath these clouds such a great diversity would be visible," Yarnick yelled at his brothers.
The four others and Liane entered the cockpit.
"Wow," Bran exclaimed, "Look at those mountains. They must be capped with ice and snow. Some of them even are as high as the cloud layer. This is really stunning."
Ian steered the Grannd Traveler to the mountains. He saw the small gorge.
"Strap in, all of you," He commented, "I'll have to bank the ship to get through that gorge."
They all went back to the control room. Ian waited until he got confirmation on a display that all had fastened their webbing. He banked the ship and flew through the gorge without decreasing the speed. Within minutes he reached the other end and descended to the plains behind Cantamaga, where another spaceship already stood.
"Is that the Astreaga?" Brion asked amazed.
"No, that's the ship with which master Antilles and Yarmod arrived here several months ago," Ian commented, "It's one of our older transport ships and mostly used for diplomatic traveling. These kind of space ship are very slow, but reliable. I'll land the Grannd Traveler next to it."
"You're an excellent pilot, Ian. If we ever need a extra pilot you're high on my list," Yarnick said and patted the young padawan teasingly on his shoulder.
Ian activated the landing gear and hovered the ship in position before he put it down. Yarnick rose and walked over to lower the ramp. The six brothers walked down, followed by Ian who held Liane's hand in his.
'I will introduce you to Toallin and Mugin, Shaayla-Car. They took care of me after my foolish action in Ktafunda.' He said, 'Look, there they are.'
Liane looked at him with a smile. She heard the care and compassion in her brother's voice. The two older men had become his friends for life. Liane saw the two Quelan males advanced, curiously looking at the bunch of brothers, when Toallin suddenly started to smile and increased his pace. Before Ian and Liane had stepped down on the plains, Toallin waved his arm.
''"Ian Tydon, welcome back to Cantamaga. We didn't expect you to return so soon. Where are Luke and general Solo and his wife? And who are these ...?"
Toallin stopped in mid sentence. In amazement he and Mugin stared at the six brothers who were waiting aside.
"The Granns!" Mugin exclaimed and walked to the six brothers, "Welcome, welcome guys. Did you get good money for those aludium crystals we sold you."
Yarnick Grann started to laugh, "Never expected to meet with you again, Mugin Fonaldris."
He turned to Ian with a laugh, "You completely forgot to tell us the names of your Quelan friends, Ian."
They all started to laugh and Yarnick told Toallin and Mugin how they had sold the aludium crystals to a transparisteel manufacturer.
"We could sell them with profit, Mugin. The guy was amazed about the quality of the crystals, but he regretted that we couldn't deliver more."
Toallin turned to Ian and looked at the young padawan.
"You have changed, son. I should say, you have grown up, I would say, you're more mature, more the Jedi you want to become. You're no longer the unsure guy from Ktafunda. And you kept your promise to bring that wonderful girl you have been dreaming of, and whose influence helped you to recover, with you. Welcome to Cantamaga, young lady."
"Toallin, Mugin, I want you to meet my sister, Shaayla-Car," Ian said with pride in his voice.
"Your sister? What happened to the girl you called Liane, Ian?" Toallin and Mugin exclaimed.
Ian laughed, "Shaayla-Car is Liane, Toallin. We found out that we're the offspring of the same parents. It's an odd story, Mugin. I hope I will have time to tell you all what happened after I went back to Dalmaran with the Millennium Falcon."
"Dalmaran? What about our harvest men? Didn't you bring them to Myr?" Toallin asked.
"We did, but an imperial star destroyer intercepted the Falcon and master Luke had to change his plan." Ian said.
"Let's go to Cantamaga, guys. You probably want some refreshments. We like to introduce you to the rest of our community, and hear your stories, Ian."
Toallin looked at Liane.
"You must have a very strong bond with your brother, may I call you Shaayla-Car?" He said, "He told me he dreamt you had been visiting him in our cabin on Palomintar Six, and the next morning many of his wounds were healed, and the next day he didn't have any wounds at all. I have never seen such a fast recovery."
"Thank you, sir. It's quite amazing to discover that you already have met our old friends the Grann brothers. In the past I have been traveling with them for more than a year. Did they pay you well for those ... "
"...aludium crystals. Oh, yes, more than enough. When we arrived on Palomintar Six we only possessed those crystals and a small stock of our wine. We used the credits your friends paid us for the aludium crystals to build a cabin in the forest of Palomintar Six."
"The same cabin where I have been when I visited my brother?" Liane asked, "For I wàs there, sir, not in person, but as a Force spirit."
Toallin looked at the young woman with the frank and honest glance in her eyes.
"You're a also Jedi Knight, like Ian, aren't you, Shaayla-Car? Like my daughter would have become, as Luke Skywalker told me."
Ian and Liane stopped and looked the Quelan leader who suddenly seemed bereaved.
"What happened to Chati, Toallin? Tell me," Ian said and grabbed the older man's arm.
"We don't know, Ian, we don't know. She disappeared the same day that Cornell and his men, you and master Luke Skywalker and his friends left for Myr. She hadn't slept in her room. I asked Luke if he had seen her. We fear that she has fallen victim to the Urams in the nut forests. It was my daughter's greatest dream to become a Jedi Knight."
Liane grabbed her brother's arm.
"Did you say, Chati, Tama-Hinn?" She asked.
"As Toallin says she was to become a Jedi Knight. We all, Luke, Leia and I, I mean, felt how the Force influenced her. Luke and I have been showing her some basic Force skills while we were here. She was doing so well."
"But Chati has gone to Myr with Luke," Liane suddenly said, "Luke told me about a Force-sensitive female Quelan he had met on Palomintar Four. I asked him if she was his new padawan learner. She had hidden herself in the Falcon before you and the others went to Myr."
Toallin, Mugin and the Granns stood around Liane. Toallin's face betrayed some relief Liane's words were bringing.
"Are you sure, my daughter is on Myr, Shaayla-Car. Mugin! Then Kamalin has been right all the time! He told Udin and me, that we should stop worrying, that Chati was alive. I have to tell this news to Udin myself. You have to take care of our other guests. Shaayla-Car, please, come with me, and you too, Ian. From the moment that my daughter disappeared my wife has blamed herself that she has always mocked my daughter's ideas and behavior. Come with me you two, you will bring the happiness back to my family."
Amazed Liane and her brother followed the Quelan leader. Within a few minutes they reached Cantamaga. Toallin hurried to the town center and entered the town's community building. He beckoned them to follow him to the part of the building where he lived with his family.
"Where's your mother, Talann," He asked his eldest son.
"She's gone to rest, father. Roninn mentioned Mayan's name by accident during our meal, and mother became upset and started crying again. Who are these people?" The young Quelan asked suspiciously.
"Some very good friends, Talann. Call your mother and Roninn and come to the living room. I've just received great news." Toallin ordered his son.
The young Quelan boy left. Toallin took Liane and Ian to the living, a large room with a beautiful view on the hills around Cantamaga. A few moments later another younger boy entered and nodded shyly at his father's guests. Toallin paced up and down the room.
"Wait here, Ian. I'll get my wife. Oh, there she is," He said and walked over a sad looking Quelan woman, whose face still carried the traces of tears. She looked at Liane and Ian with no real interest. Behind her the eldest son entered.
"Mother, wants to get back to bed, father," The boy said, "She had fallen asleep. I had to wake her up. You know that she doesn't feel her suffering while asleep."
The boy's voice sounded reproachful.
Liane looked at the Quelan woman and felt the great pain and suffering that surrounded her. She walked over and put her arm around the woman. Udin looked at her with a sad face, and wanted to push her away.
'Don't be scared of me, madam,' Liane said, using her soft Jedi voice, 'Your husband told me, about the disaster that has happened to your family.'
In vain Udin opposed Liane's gentle gesture.
"I want my daughter back," she whispered, "I want to tell her she's always been a good girl, and she may follow her wish to become a Jedi Knight, for that's what she always has been talking about. I never believed her. I even didn't believe it when that Jedi friend of my husband tried to convince me that my daughter had the special gift to become a Jedi Knight. I've been so stubborn in my believe that she was wasting her time with daydreams and fantasies."
Udin looked at her husband.
"Why did you bring these humans to our house, Toallin? Why did Talann have to wake me up? You know I only want to sleep, because then I can't forget we've lost our girl Chati," She whispered and suddenly she started crying again, "Chati, my dear, Chati, come back, please."
'Madam, please, let me tell you something. Something which will lessen your sadness, but you must stop blaming yourself for what you've said to your daughter in the past. That's the main cause of your pain and sorrow, ' Liane said in her soft Jedi voice, gently penetrating Udin's mind with her Force skills. She looked at her brother.
'Tama-Hinn, please, take your friend and his sons outside this room. I need to be alone with their mother for a while. It won't take long,' She said using Jedi telepathy.
Ian turned to Toallin who stood a bit helpless and with an unhappy face between his sons, looking at his crying wife.
"Toallin, I've told you about my encounter with my sister in your cabin on Palomintar Four. Shaayla-Car has a special Force talent, she's a Jedi healer. She just asked me to leave her alone with your wife for some moment, come with me, you can tell your sons what my sister has told you about Chati," Ian said and took the arm of his Quelan friend, "Come boys, follow your father and me."
Talann shook his head.
"I won't leave my mother alone with her," He said stubbornly, pointing at Liane, but Toallin grabbed the boy's arm and pushed his outside the room, "You've heard what our guest said. Do as he told you."
Liane took Udin to the couch that looked out on the hillside. Udin looked up at her.
"Thank you, young miss," She whispered, "You're very kind to a Quelan female."
Liane still held her arm around the suffering woman.
'You should forget the main cause of your sadness, for there's no need for it any longer. It's all the past. Those things can't be undone,' She said.
"You're talking to me in a strange way, miss. I can hear your voice, but you're not really talking, but your voice sounds very friendly and reassuring," Udin said.
'You must put your mind at ease, madam. It would do you good, believe me. You're exhausted, for you keep blaming yourself for not being a real caring mother to your daughter, at least that's how you feel it.'
"How do you know, miss?" Udin said shameful.
'I feel the cause of your suffering. I'm sharing your suffering at the moment, and your thought make me feel sad too. Those thoughts are telling me that you're blaming yourself of your daughter's disappearance. Over and over your thoughts are circling around her and your own behavior towards her in a endless spiral. I want to help you to calm your mind and break through that endless spiral of thoughts, for you need a clear mind before you can listen to what I want to tell you,' Liane said gently.
"I've been so unkind to Chati, miss. I never believed in her destination. I wanted her to live her life in our traditional Quelan tradition. Quelan girls never did the things my daughter has done. I was afraid, that she wouldn't find a husband. I was afraid, that the other members of our community would find her weird. I was afraid, that she would become an outcast in our community. But I never really listened to her; I never really listened to what she was telling me about her secret desires," Udin sighed and tears were dripping from her eyes again, "And now it's too late. Now she will never make that wish come true, because the Urams probably have killed her."
'Your husband told me that there's someone in this community who still believes that she is alive,'
"That's impossible. Kamalin is lying to Toallin and me. How could he know? He's only her teacher; I'm her mother. If she would be alive, she would have come back home. She always comes back home, even if she has been wandering in those forbidden nut forest where the Urams live."
'So Chati often wanders in the forest where those Urams live. She did that more than once? What are the Urams, a wild tribe, and enemies of the Quelans?' Liane asked, still using her soft penetrating voice.
"Urums are very dangerous birds, miss. I've never seen them, but the harvest men are afraid of them, and that tells me enough," Udin said.
For a moment Liane closed her eyes and reached out the Force. She became aware, that her unseen ally wanted to reveal something to her. Some whirling images began to appear. The images became clearer and Liane saw the young Quelan girl who was hiding herself behind a large pillar, looking at a man who was sitting in a chair with his back to her; the same young girl was walking in a dense forest while on the lower branches of the trees fierce birds with sharp beaks were watching her from above. In a next image she saw a young Quelan female about her own age, holding a lightsaber with a green blade. Luke's lightsaber? A split second Liane's thoughts seemed to become distracted, but she concentrated on the flow of images again. One image became clearer and she saw the Quelan young woman wearing heavy clothes and weapons, digging out stones. She used the Force to lift the stones and put them aside, relying on her new skills. Again the image vanished and the young woman appeared before her wearing the distinctive Jedi outfit of a padawan learner. The young woman looked up at a familiar person, standing next to her, her own brother Tama-Hinn.
'Madam, I want you to look an image I have just seen. I think I saw your daughter.'
"You saw my daughter?" Udin whispered, "You saw Chati? Where is she?"
'Look at these images, madam' Liane said, and softly pressed her fingers against Udin's temples. To her surprise the Quelan mother surrendered easily and completely to her soft penetration. Liane concentrated on the Force and the image of the girl in her padawan outfit appeared again. Gently Liane used the Force to penetrate Udin's mind, so she could share the image with her.
"Yes, that's Chati, that's my daughter, and she is dressed as that young man who was with you, miss. Oh, that young man looks like Jedi master Skywalker who brought Toallin and Mugin back home," Udin whispered in trance.
'You see your daughter as a padawan learner, madam. These are images of her future. Aren't you proud to see her this way.' Liane gently asked.
"Master Skywalker said that he would teach her some first lessons, so that is probably why the other guy is standing next to her? Can I see the image once again, miss."
Once again Liane penetrated Udin's mind so she could share the image of her daughter with her.
'Madam, what you see will become real, one day. Chati will become the padawan of my brother Tama-Hinn in the future. Your daughter hasn't disappeared in those forbidden forest; the Urams never have done her any harm, nor did they kill her. Your daughter Chati is alive, madam. Kamalin, her teacher, didn't lie to you and your husband; he told you the truth. Chati has gone to Myr with Luke Skywalker. Luke has told me about her. Chati is alive, madam, and I'm sure she regrets that you're feeling so sad about her. She only hopes that you will accept her Force skills wholeheartedly.'
A long silence followed Liane's soft spoken words. Slowly Liane felt how the Quelan mother opened her mind to accept the new truth about her daughter. Liane softly repeated her last sentences a few times, at the same way as she has done when curing the Ewoks on Endor. At last Udin sighed deeply and a faint smile appeared around her lips.
"Yes, it's true what your telling me. I can feel it's true, it feels like I hear her voice in my mind, like she is apologizing for the agony her disappearance has caused," Udin whispered and looked up at Liane, "Did you say, that Luke Skywalker told you about my daughter? Are you a Jedi Knight, like him."
"Luke is my Jedi master. We can easily be in touch with each other. Luke told me about the unexpected presence of your daughter, madam. He also has told me that Chati has only just beginning to discover her union with the Force. She still has to learn a lot, before she will become my brother's padawan."
"Did Luke Skywalker tell how Chati got to Myr? I know she was secretly making plans to free our old hometown of Ribana. She wants to revenge us. Did Chati tell you what has happened to us, and why we have to live here in Cantamaga?"
Liane shook her head, "I haven't met your daughter yet, madam. Luke has told me about what has happened to the Quelan community in Ribana. I too want to help Luke and your people to get your old way of life back, so you can return to your home town. I'm sure your daughter also decided she had to go with Luke and help him. So when Luke and his friends left Cantamaga with your harvest men, and went to Myr, Chati must have found an opportunity to hide herself in their spacecraft. Madam, Luke certainly wasn't pleased when he found out what your daughter has done, but I'm sure he is taking care of Chati, and she can't have a better protector."
Udin sat upright and looked around, before she looked at Liane again.
"I feel so certain about your words, more certain then when Kamalin told me that Chati was alive, miss. What's your name. I want to reward you one day for your kindness. I've never befriended a more gentle person than you. I never thought that a Jedi would show respect to me, like you did."
"My name is Shaayla-Car, although many of my friends still call me Liane Solichor, I'm not a Jedi Knight, not yet. I'm still a padawan learner."
Udin looked around, "Where's Toallin, Shaayla-Car? He was here, when I came in. I want to tell him about Chati's future, about the images of our daughter you've showed me. What I saw, wàs real, for I almost could embrace my daughter, and I'm sure I heard her voice."
"Those images will come true in the future, madam. I can't tell when, but what I saw and showed you is the truth." Liane said, "Your husband and your son are waiting outside this room."
Udin rose and walked over to the door. At the same moment Toallin and their sons entered. Toallin looked at his wife.
"Did Shaayla-Car tell you about Chati, Udin?" He asked and took his wife in his arms, "Do you believe her? Please do. Her brother has told me, what a great Force gifts our female guest possesses."
Udin looked over her husband's shoulder and saw Ian standing in the doorway. She smiled at him.
"I believe what I have seen, Toallin. For I have seen that your friend Ian will be our daughter's Jedi master in the future. I have seen her dressed up as his padawan learner."
She released herself from his embrace and wrapped her arms around her sons.
Talann, Roninn, Chati lives, she has gone to Myr with the harvest men and the other Jedi Knights."
Talann started to grin.
"That's typical, Chati, mother. She never informs any one about her plans. She always carries out what she has in mind, and afterwards she tells us what she has done. It has never been different, hasn't it, father."
Toallin nodded with a big smile and turned to Ian.
"Well, son, it seems that your sister has revealed part of your future too. I heartily agree with the idea to see you as my daughter's Jedi master." He said.
Ian looked at bit flabbergasted and looked at his sister.
'Did you really see me, as Chati's Jedi master, Shaayla-Car?' He asked through the Force.
'I did, and that means, my dear brother, that you will become a Jedi Knight, as I showed you before, in that cabin on Palomintar Six,' Liane said with a serene smile.
To be continued...