s Wedge and Liane returned to Cantamaga, Manall, Ian and Yarmod walked over to meet them. Wedge greeted the old harvest man cordially and and their acquaintance brought a beaming smile to the old man's face.
"I feel a very fortunate person, master Antilles," Manall said, "that, at my age, I can witness the rise of the Jedi again. Especially, because probably in the near future two of them are the children of my good old friend Obi-Wan Kenobi."
Liane had joined her brother and Yarmod. She looked at her friend and Wedge's former padawan whose braid had been cut off. No longer was he wearing his hair in a ponytail fastened at the back of his head. Quickly she averted her eyes, when she saw that her brother was the only one who was wearing his hair in the ways of a padawan learner, but Ian grabbed her arm and kissed her.
"My dear sister, master Antilles initiated you indeed as a Jedi Knight, as Yarmod told me. He was certain that his former master would make you a Jedi Knight, because the two of you took a private walk. Hey, where did you get that brooch?"
Embarrassed Liane put her hand over the clasp of her Jedi coat.
"It's Wedge's," She whispered, "I may wear it temporarily, because Wedge thought I wouldn't believe him, if he would tell me I am a Jedi Knight."
"Master Antilles surely knows you well, Shaayla-Car," Ian said and kissed her again, "Well, so I am the last us being a padawan learner, for on board the Astræa master Antilles has given Yarmod his initiation to Jedi Knight too. I knew that that had happened the moment he entered Manall's house. Manall was astounded and could believe his eyes. Over and over he expressed his gratitude for meeting another Jedi Knight. And you were right, my dear sister, Manall, like Kamalin, is a Force-sensitive Quelan. He predicted that Yarmod was on his way, before he even had walked up the hill."
Toallin and Mugin joined their company. Kamalin was following them at short distance
"We have arranged a meeting with our council for tomorrow morning. Shaayla-Car Kenobi, may I introduce one our most respected council member, master Kamalin. Against all odds, he managed to lead our community during our long absence. Your friend Luke has asked him to be my daughter's tutor and guide, for she has to learn a lot about the special power of the Jedi, before my good friend Ian will become her master."
"Pleased to meet you, master Kamalin," Liane said friendly, and made a slight curtsey.
"The pleasure is all mine, miss So ... miss Kenobi," Kamalin said.
Liane looked at the old advisor. She smiled friendly as she clearly felt his presence through the Force.
'You wanted to address me with my old surname, didn't you, master Kamalin.' She said, using Force telepathy.
To her surprise Kamalin answered her in the same way.
'Yes, but perhaps you would rather not be reminded of that name.'
'Solichor is the surname of my mother, master Kamalin,'Liane answered, 'It isn't an insult, as some one calls me by her name.'
'I've heard a lot about you, miss Kenobi.'
'You do? Then I fear that it's not all positive.'
Kamalin offered Liane his arm.
'What made you think so?' he asked, while he gently lead her out of the crowd.
'My brother has told master Toallin and master Mugin who I am and where and with whom I grew up, hasn't he?'
Kamalin seemed startled at her words. Liane felt his uncertain feelings about her.
'You're very Force-sensitive, master Kamalin, if you can converse with me in the special way common among Jedi Knights and their padawans. Why haven't you become a Jedi Knight?' She asked, surrounding the older man with feelings of friendliness and comfort.
'My parents weren't aware of my special talents, miss Kenobi, and Jedi Knights didn't frequently visit the Palomintar System. So I never was brought to the Jedi temple as a youngster. By the time Manall's friends came to visit him I was already too old to start the Jedi training.'
'You're talking about a time I'm not aware of. I grew up on Morantan under the guidance of the emperor's servant Darth Vader. By that time the Jedi Order had ceased to exist, as the emperor has ordered to wipe out the order.'
'So, you know what happened to the Order of the Jedi Knight?'
'I do, master Kamalin. The Supreme Chancellor, lady Mon Mothma, has given me access to the history of the Old Republic, the rise of the emperor and the Sith, and the Civil War. My father, general Kenobi, and many others Jedi Knights of old have told me about the rise of the Jedi Order, and their decline and demise through the machinations of the Emperor.'
'But you grew up with those special teachings of knowledge of the Dark Side, didn't you?' Kamalin asked, feeling highly uncomfortable about the open and spontaneous reactions on his interrogation. Liane had become fully aware of the meaning of the serious conversation. Calm and with a peaceful mind she walked on with the old Quelan advisor. They had reached the streets of Cantamaga outside the center. Liane turned to her companion and continued in a normal way of speaking.
"Master Kamalin, I sense you're very concerned about my influence on governor Toallin and his wife. You think that I am a threat to Quelan community, don't you?. You're especially concerned about the question if I will ever use the Force in the same way Darth Vader has taught me, aren't you? You have strong doubts about me, for you're aware that I am a strong Force user. It's important to me to find a way to make you believe I'm here with the best intentions for your people.
Let me explain to you, why I'm here. The intruder, who calls himself Darth Golluth and who has invaded Ribana and ruined the way of life of your people, is ruining my way of life with his unrelenting search for me. Like you, he is convince that I am a Sith lady, a Force user of the Dark Side. He wants me to work with him and teach him the evil knowledge, I once had to study and practise under my foster-father tutelage. You think that I want to go to Myr to team up with the guy who has ruined the way of living of the Quelans. Master Kamalin, Trevor Matrik is your enemy and the enemy of your people, but he also is my enemy and a great threat to this galaxy for I feel his intentions. I want to go to Myr to join my friend Luke Skywalker, his companions and the Quelan harvest men, and make sure that Darth Golluth, or former imperial admiral Trevor Matrik, will give up his arrogant and overconfident plans about the future of our galaxy, voluntarily or under pressure. And I want to undo the injustice he has done to your people.
Master Kamalin, you probably have heard from master Manall that my real father is general Obi-Wan Kenobi who - many years ago - fought in the Clone Wars and had to go into exile and hide himself for emperor Palpatine's revenge. My name is Shaayla-Car Kenobi, and Jedi Master Antilles made me a Jedi Knight, like my father Obi-Wan Kenobi, like my mother Severini Solichor. I'm their daughter, and I'm proud to know they are my parents. They have passed on their Force sensitivity to me, and that means that I want to use the Good Side of the Force and have the Force as my ally, not do her will as she expects me. Your doubts about me, my Force knowledge, and my plans are justifiabl. They aren't an indignity or offending me, for they don't, although they hurt me deeply, for although I'm a Jedi Knight you want me to proof, that, despite the knowledge I have of the Dark Side, I'm not a Sith Lady."
Kamalin looked at the young woman in front of him. He clearly felt the truthfulness in her words, he believed everything she had explained about her past and her determination, quietly, with a great dignity. She served the Good Side of the Force; she was a Jedi Knight, he felt it.
"Your honesty surprises me, miss Kenobi. Are you aware that your plan to fight the intruder of Ribana holds many dangers?" He asked.
"I'm aware of it, master Kamalin, but that doesn't scare me off. I have faced much hardship and many losses and dangers on my own in the past. On this mission I won't be alone. All the friends who came with me have promised to help me, so together we can make sure that your people can return to Ribana."
"Your determination and commitment tell me that our life in exile in Cantamaga will come to an end. You have my blessing and my support, Shaayla-Car Kenobi. May the Force be with you."
"Thank you, master Kamalin." Liane said.
Kamalin offered her his arm again and together they walked back to the center. The two governors of Cantamaga seemed pleased with their appearance. Liane asked Toallin how his wife was doing. Showing his gratitude he brought Liane inside the private wing of the community building where Udin took her inside and hugged her. Toallin joined Mugin and Kamalin.
"You had a long talk with Shaayla-Car, Kamalin. Have you changed your opinion about her?"
"She certainly is a great Force user, Toallin," Kamalin said elusively.
Mugin looked skeptically at the chair man of the Quelan council.
"What my brother wants to know, Kamalin, is, if you believe she is a Jedi Knight," He said quietly, "We know she is a Force-user."
The three men weren't aware that Manall had walked over to them.
"Kamalin, did I hear, that you are expressing doubts about the daughter of general Kenobi?" He asked irritated, "Haven't you heard that master Antilles has made her a Jedi Knight, as he will do to general Kenobi's son, Tama-Hinn, soon. How dare you insult the children of my good friend, Obi-Wan."
Kamalin neglected the angry glance in the eyes of the old harvest man. Mugin grabbed Manall's arm.
"The chair man of the council may express any doubts he has about our policy and plans, Manall."
"Ridiculous," Manall commented. He cast another angry look at Kamalin, before he walked away, muttering in himself about the injustice, which had been done to the daughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi, while she had come to their village with the intention to help them, so they all could return to Myr. Kamalin watched him go, and shrugged his shoulders. Toallin put his arm reassuring on his advisor's arm.
"We all know, that you and Manall, are always disagreeing, Kamalin, about many things. Tell me in honest, are you willing to accept Shaayla-Car's help."
"I told her, that she has my support, Toallin. I no longer doubt her intentions or her plans, butbut we must remain cautious as long as it is not clear when we can return to Ribana. We mustn't expect fast results of her mission with her friends," Kamalin said.
"That's a good for a start, my friend. That's a good for a start." Toallin said and patted the arm of his old friend.
Admiral Vestor looked at the group of holographic images on the display on his desk.
"Admiral, we've finally located your position. You have been using your prerogative to roam the Outer Rim Territories without sending us a regular update on your activities. We order you to return to Coruscant immediately."
The commander of the Basilisaea raised his left hand in protest.
"Consul Thai, I have to object. I can't return to Coruscant. Darth Golluth keeps lieutenant Doran Whain, the young officer your council has appointed especially to my crew, imprisoned."
"Lieutenant Whain can take care of himself, admiral Vestor, he qualified at our academy with the highest marks ever. You're only his commander, not his guardian, nor his protector. We order you to leave the Palomintar System at once, and return to Coruscant without further delay. This is an order, admiral."
Admiral Vestor looked astounded at the grim faces of the members of the provisional government.
"Sir, a New Republic's star cruiser, the frigate Tychorion, is still in orbit around the system. May I advice you to leave the Basilisaea at her position to keep the Rebel Alliance at bay."
"Admiral, the Rebel Alliance has ceased to exist many years ago, as we assume you know. The imperial government is now dealing with the official New Republic's councils as an equal. You're violating the truce our two official political bodies have signed to cease fire and end hostilities. And as far as Lieutenant Whain is concerned, you're no longer responsible for his involuntary detention in Admiral Matrik's, or should we say, Darth Golluth's unlawful sojourn at Palomintar Four."
"I only expressed my concern about one of men, sir. I will follow your order, but I want to issue an official report of objection." The admiral said, in a last attempt to prevent the unforeseen departure.
"We will discuss your arguments after your arrival on Coruscant. Admiral, we are expecting the arrival of the Basilisaea in Coruscant's orbit without delay," The first consul said on icy tone.
The holographic images of the triumvirate of the provisionary imperial government disappeared. Admiral Vestor looked at the display and gritted his teeth. He activated his infocom, "Officer, send an urgent message down to Palomintar Four at the known coordinates and frequency. Tell lieutenant Whain that the Basilisaea has been ordered to return to Coruscant. Tell him, we can no longer support him."
Shirty he switched off and left his quarters. Still feeling angry about the reprimanding tone of the first consul he went over to the command bridge.
"Captain, prepare the ship to leave the Palomintar System. I've got the order to return to Coruscant at once."
"Yes, sir," The captain saluted, and hurried to his infocom system.
Admiral Vestor walked over to the big lookout window and watched the nearby planet, Palomintar Six. Slowly the image of the planet started to change her position as the imperial star destroyer turned around. The buzz of the sublight engines cause slight tremors in the ship, and as the admiral looked back the planet became smaller and smaller. As the PA-system warned that the Basilisaea would go to lightspeed within two minutes, he went back to his official quarters and sat down in his security chair and fixed his webbing. The count-down had started and as the hyperdrive started the Basilisaea disappeared.
On board the Tychorion the officer on duty warned general Madine as he noticed the movements of the star destroyer. Together with his commanding staff Madine watched to maneuvers of the ship until the Basilisaea went to lightspeed.
"Warn Gold Squadron to board, sergeant; their surveillance is no longer needed, and prepare a message to Irithim, that the Basilisaea had left the Palomintar System unexpectedly."
Madine went to the communication system and hailed the Millennium Falcon. To his surprise Han Solo responded immediately.
"Any news, general?" Han asked.
"The Basilisaea has suddenly left their surveillance around Palomintar Six. They went to lightspeed a couple of minutes ago."
"That's good news, general. I will tell the others at once," Han said cheerful.
"Might be, general Solo, but it might also mean that Mon Mothma will withdraw the Tychorion too. I have to inform her immediately. If I'll get the order to return to Dalmaran, you will be on your own on Palomintar Four."
Han nodded and turned to Chewbacca.
"General, hold on. Chewie, get Luke and Leia, and hurry. No, I don't where they are. Let's hope they haven't gone to do some further investigations in the underground riverbed. Take Chati with you. Where is she anyhow? Oh, I remember, Cornell needed her help inside the cave."
The big Wookiee left and hurried outside. He ran up the winding path to the main cave entrance and rushed in. No one was inside and the Wookiee barked a long loud series of grunts. Chati climbed out the underground cave immediately.
"What's the matter, Chewbacca?" She asked.
With wild movements of his arms Chewbacca began to explain Han's message. Chati listened and nodded.
"I'll get them for you. They went into the underground riverbed not so long ago. I don't expect them to be far inside the tunnel already. Wait here."
Chati lowered herself, but Chewbacca followed her. At the noise of the Wookiee's grunts Ronall had left his work in the other tunnel.
"What's wrong, Chati?" He asked.
"General Solo wants Ben and his sister to come over to the Millennium Falcon at once. They went into the old riverbed, if I run, I might catch up with them. Here, take my belt."
She dropped the heavy equipment belt, switched on her flaslight and ran into the old riverbed. Chewbacca watched her go, and ran after her. The low ceiling was a big obstacle for the big hairy Wookiee, and he often bumped his head against it. He lowered his speed and grunted annoyed, as he couldn't catch up with the Quelan girl. As he ran into a large protruding rock he let out some frustrated loud rumbling grunts which reverberated along the tunnel walls.
Inside the tunnel Chati held her pace. Startled by the loud echoing noise she stopped.
'This is not good, I'd better go back and tell Chewbacca he shouldn't follow me any further,' She thought.
She turned around, but before she had rounded one of the winding corners in the tunnel, she heard running footsteps behind her. Luke Skywalker caught up with her, followed by Leia.
"Was that Chewie?" She asked.
"I guess so, madam," Chati said, "I fear he ran after me and has ran into the protruding rock around the forth bend."
"What's he doing inside?" Luke said worried.
"Master Solo wants you and his wife to come over to his ship, Ben. Chewbacca said it was urgent," Chati said.
"Let's go back, all of us," Luke said and followed the winding path to the underground entrance.
Chati had been right. Near the forth bend Chewbacca sat on the tunnel floor and rubbed frantically along the side of his head. His nose was bleeding. Leia went over, and took a cloth from her belt.
"Hold it to your nose, Chewie. I take care of the bleeding once we're outside again. Luke, you go ahead with Chati," She said.
Luke and Chati ran on and reached the entrance within minutes. Luke jumped out of the underground cave, while Chati quickly climbed to the top using the ropes.
"Come on, Chati. Let's find out what Han wants of us," Luke said, forgetting, that Han had asked to see him and his sister.
They ran over to the Millennium Falcon and rushed up the ramp.
"Han!", Luke yelled.
"Over here, Luke, in the control room. What took you so long? Where's Leia?"
"She's coming, she is taking cae of Chewie. He has a big lump on his head and a nose bleed, because he followed Chati into the tunnel."
Han noticed Chati who stood near his brother-in-law.
"Why did she come with you?" He asked, pointing at her, "Chati, get back to your work. Cornell said he needed your help inside the cave."
Chati turned around, but Luke held her back.
"You'd better stay with us, Chati," Luke said, before he turned to his friend, "Han, what's urgent?"
"Madine has news about the Basilisaea. She has left and went into hyperspace unexpectedly. I've asked him to hold on, until you and Leia had come," Han said, and cast a not understanding look at the young Quelan female.
Luke walked over to the communication console and activated the holo-display.
"General," He said.
Madine who had used the time to give some further orders to his men, turned around.
"Hey Luke, you're still busy down there, I assume," General Madine said with a broad smile, then he noticed Chati, "Well, hello, young lady, you're still accompanying our famous Jedi master. I must say, you're a very obedient padawan learner."
Chati cast down her eyes and blushed, but inside she beamed.
"You're a lucky guy, master Skywalker. I always find you in the company of some lovely ladies," Madine teased, and continued still laughing, "but I miss your lovely sister, Luke, and my dearest friend: senator Organa, princess of Alderaan."
"Leia's coming, general. What's the news? Han just told me that the Basilisaea has left the Palomintar System."
"Indeed, Luke. She left very unexpectedly. I've ordained Gold Squadron to land board the Tychorion, for the disappearance of the star destroyer might have some dire consequences for the presence of the Tychorion, and for all of you on Palomintar Four."
Leia and Chewbacca, who was holding a large cloth against his nose, were entering the control room. She had heard the general's words.
"General, did you already inform Mon Mothma about the departure of the Basilisaea?" She asked.
"Not yet, but I have to keep her updated about the situation here, your Highness," Madine answered.
Leia looked at her brother and her husband.
"So soon we will be on our own again on this mission," Leia said.
"Might be, your Highness. I have to inform the Supreme Chancellor and wait for her answer, but I will try to persuade her to let the Tychorion stay in this part of the galaxy, but probably not as near Palomintar Four as I want."
Leia, Han and Luke nodded.
"We understand your predicament, general. Please, contact us, as soon as you have received Mon Mothma's answer." Luke said.
"Of course, I will, Luke. I keep you informed. Good luck down there, and may the Force be with you," Madine greeted and his image disappeared.
"This is an unexpected development, Luke," Leia said, "The Tychorion surely will be ordered to return to Irithim, and we haven't heard anything of Wedge. He doesn't know what's going on. One of us should contact him immediately. Maybe we should tell him to go back to Irithim too, if the Tychorion has to leave the Palomintar System."
"I'm sorry, Leia, I forgot to tell you. Wedge is on Tyr with Liane, Ian and Yarmod."
"What! When!" Han and Leia exclaimed.
"And you didn't tell us!" Leia said.
"The encounter with the probe droids distracted me. Wedge called me yesterday. Liane was with him too, and I've also talked to her. She is determined to come to Myr for a last encounter with Trevor. It's her decision and I feel she's right this time."
"Wedge should leave her on Tyr with Toallin and Mugin." Han said.
Chati who had taken care of the wounded Wookiee, made a surprised gesture, and Luke looked up.
"Your parents know that you're with Cornell and his men, Chati," He said, "Liane has told your parents you're safe."
"They must have worried about me, Ben?" Chati whispered, "Will they understand?"
"They are all too glad, that you're not killed in the nut forest, as they assumed for a while. At least your mother had been convinced, that the Urams killed you after you disappeared without telling anyone. You know what I've told you one of the first days after your unexpected arrival."
"Maybe we should bring her back, Luke," Han suggested, "Now that the Basilisaea has gone I can lift off with the Falcon and fly back and forth to Tyr. Maybe I should so, and get Wedge Antilles back with me."
For a moment Luke Skywalker stared to one of the passageways of the Falcon, then he shook his head.
"No, Chati stays on Myr with us. We might need her help in the near future. I have an idea of how we have to proceed. I will contact Wedge now and asked him to come to Myr without Liane and the padawans. As soon as he has arrived I will explain what we're going to do. I only hope that Mon Mothma will allow the Tychorion to stay close to the Palomintar System."
The others looked puzzled. Luke rose and looked at the remnants of the devices he had demolished.
"Any luck with those probes, Han?" He asked.
"The normal imperial rubbish: heat-seeking sensors, life-form detectors, and image recorders. Nothing sophisticated, but one of them had a laserbeam thrower which could cause a wild fire, and there is one other point; the one with the laser beam functioned as a main device which controlled the other two. If we should have another encounter, then wiping out the main device would stop the others. I have made some detailed scans of the differences in appearance. That will probably help us to detect the main device first."
"Good work, Han. Cornell will be pleased, and so am I. The excavation site must be protected at all cost, especially because I fear that Chewie's howling has drawn attention at the other end of the underground riverbed. No, Chewie, I don't blame you for your outburst. It must have been very painful. Underground tunnels aren't really fit for Wookiees."
Luke patted his friend at his hairy arm.
"Chati, can you do me a favor? Can you ask Cornell if he has some medical support to ease a terrible headache? Maybe he also can help Chewie to stop the bleeding"
"Easy enough, Ben. I don't have to ask Cornell, my mother taught me to collect the bark of a certain tree to relief and cure any pain caused by falling or bumping. It also often helps to stop any bleeding. These trees are common, so I'm sure I can find one in the forest uphill."
"Well, well, here we have another future Jedi healer," Han grinned, and he continued mockingly, "Chewie, this time it's your turn to be the patient. Follow Chati, and let her help you."
Luke winked at the Quelan girl who looked uncertain after Han's mocking comment. He nodded encouragingly.
"Chewie, if Chati has helped you to stop the bleeding and ease your headache, tell her what Han meant with his words."
Chati and Chewbacca left. Luke waited until he was certain that they had left the Falcon.
"After I have contacted Wedge, I will contact Nori Thai, and ask him to meet me again near Ribana. My plan partially depends on his willingness to take part in it," He said.
"You're still relying on his cooperation, Luke," Han sneered.
"I do, Han. The more I talk to him, the more I'm convinced I have found a new trustworthy friend, although he is working for our former opponents. But you'd better leave Nori to me."
"Alright with me," Han said grumpy, "I'm not really looking forward falling in the hands of imperials again."
"You won't, darling," Leia commented, "The imperials you're referring to don't exist any more. Shall we get back to Cornell and his men to give them an update on your findings of the probes."
Luke left the Millennium Falcon and walked uphill to the forest entrance. Daylight was beginning to fade and soon the light of Palomintar's star would disappear behind the trees and the mountains. He had good hope that he could reach his like-minded friend Nori Thai at short notice. When he reached the edge of the forest he activated his infocom and started to wait.
'I hope that Nori's system amendments will indeed detect my infocom,' He thought, while he turned around to look at the mountain ridge that towered high above him. His sharp Force senses made him aware of the rustling sound of the waterfall, but also of the far off buzzing of the voices of the harvest men inside the main cave. He looked at the display of his infocom and sighed, when the display suddenly activated and the tiny holo-image of Nori Thai appeared.
"Luke, any news about your female padawan?" He asked.
For a moment Luke wondered, if his unexpected friend could know anything about Liane's arrival on Tyr. He decided not to reveal anything about her presence on the other continent.
"She has contacted me, if that's what you mean," He said.
"So she isn't in trouble," Nori said, and Luke noticed this friend sounded relieved. He had been wrong, Nori was as worried about Liane as he was.
"She is fine, but do you know, why the Basilisaea has left the Palomintar System?" He asked.
"That's caused by Trevor's new idea to get onboard the Basilisaea again to start looking for your padawan himself. I've informed my contacts on Coruscant about Trevor's plan. They probably have ordered admiral Vestor to withdraw"
"Can you talk freely, Nori, at the moment?" Luke asked suddenly concerned.
Nori Thai laughed.
"I can, otherwise I wouldn't have answered your call, Luke. Trevor has a weakness: he loves his stolen stock of Palomintar wine a bit too much. He shares several bottles with me each time I have dinner with him. After five or six glasses he retires to his sleeping cave, supported by his majordomos droid. He drinks the heavy Palomintar wine as if it's water."
"You still should be careful, Nori," Luke said.
"I am, don't worry. I have placed several series of trackers along the main corridors. As soon as Trevor passes these trackers I get an alarm at the tracker in the collar of my uniform."
"You're really quite busy with your mission," Luke said grinning, "Nori, I want to layout a plan to you to get me inside Trevor's underground dwelling with him permission."
"Sounds interesting, Luke. Can you tell me more now, or do we have to meet again."
"Can you leave again without being noticed? What about Trevor's army of droids?"
"I'm still reprogramming them, so they obey to my commands too. Can you meet me - let's say - at night two standard hours after midnight at our former rendez-vous, the day after tomorrow?"
"I can," Luke said thoughtfully.
"Excellent. I'll meet you at our rendeze-vous point."
The image of Nori Thai disappeared. Luke switched off his infocom and walked further inside the forest. On a small clearing he sat down on a moss overgrown rock and reached out to his friend Wedge.
'Wedge, I want to discuss some further plans with you personally,' He said.
'What do you have in mind, Luke?' His friend asked immediately.
'Can you come to Myr with Artoo and Threepio, but I want you to leave Liane and the two padawans in Cantamaga?'
For a moment Wedge Antilles silenced, then he said thoughtfully, 'I can of course, Luke, but if I do what you ask, it feels as if I'm betraying my promise to our three new Jedi Knights to support them on this mission.'
'Three new Jedi Knights? Are you telling me, that you have inaugurated all three as members of the new Jedi knighthood?' Luke asked surprised.
'I have. Luke, all three have been able to perform the Illum-mediation to assemble their own lightsaber during their stay on Tatooine. I have challenged them and their combating skills with their training lightsabers on Na'ctaMagh'Ba. They're excellent fighters, able to defend themselves against any possible attack, using the Jedi lightsaber fighting stances. They can act on their own and take responsibility for whatever mission they have to undertake, relying on the Force. Their skills have grown and all three show they can control the Force, using and obeying to her power whenever they have to. I know that the initiation to Jedi Knight is officially up to you, but .... '
Luke had listened with intense interest to his friend's explanation.
'I trust your judgment, Wedge. In the New Jedi Order any Jedi master should decide to knight a padawan, as long as there is enough proof of the required Jedi skills. So not only Ian and Yarmod have passed the Illum-meditation and finalized it, but Liane also?'
'Yes, although I think that the two padawans need to prove, that they can fix the Kybercrystal stones they have used. After I met Yarmod again on Tatooine, I felt so strongly, that he had changed much, Luke. He wasn't a Force learner any longer. He had grown so strong with his commitment to support his friends and rely on their common Force knowledge. I saw an equal, a Jedi Knight who knew his responsibility. Maybe you want some extra proof from him and Ian at a later time, but for the moment I am absolutely certain that they would pass any of the Jedi trials I had to undergo on Dagobah.'
'Especially Liane, Luke. She has left me devastated. Never felt such a strong Force use, when I asked her to put the Kybercrystal stone halves together again, although she admitted that you hadn't told her a padawan has to reunite the broken rock again. Except for you, I have never met a stronger Force user as her. Her Force use, commitment, and determination to the task she sees as her most important goal, is so exceptionally overwhelming. I would really feel embarrassed, if I would leave her and the others on Tyr without informing them.'
'Did she accept her Jedi knighthood, Wedge?'
'Yes, that is to say. I decided to gave her the brooch you gave me at my initiation, for I felt I needed a true symbol to convince her of the truth of her initiation. It's my idea, that the discovery of her real relation with Ian and their common lineage, being the children of your old master, have convinced her of her destiny.'
Luke started to laugh.
'Wedge, you must tell me what really happened between Liane and you,' Luke said, and Wedge felt a great relief in his friend's words, 'You did well. Wedge, come and meet me on Myr, and take the droids with you. I need your cooperation and the use of the Astræa to provide the necessary support Liane needs as she will face Trevor Matrik. At a later stage I will settle everything with Liane, or should I say Shaayla-Car Kenobi. I wonder how she and Ian have found out the truth about their common descend. '
'What about the Basilisaea and the Tychorion?'
'The Basilisaea left the orbit of Palomintar Four unexpectedly. The Tychorion has registered her departure and the jump to hyperspace. You get get to Myr with the Astræa without being noticed. I'm sure that general Madine won't interfere.'
'The Basilisea has left the Palomintar System. Any idea of a reason, Luke?'
'We will discuss these new development after you have arrived on Myr.'
'What are the landing coordinates?'
'3287-1848. I will ask Han to deactivate the cloaking of the Falcon.'
'I see you soon, Luke,' Wedge said, but Luke was aware of the plight his friend felt for his three Jedi companions.
To be continued...