Chapter Four - Luke's Discovery
Arcona and Arkania are planets mentioned in the prequel series, therefore Luke probably wouldn’t know anything about them. DISCLAIMER
I don’t own anything canon from Star Wars
or Lord of the Rings
Ghostly whispers flitted through the Force as Luke walked slowly through what was once the Temple’s grand hall. There was hope and light and pain and tears. The walls of the Temple still mourned the atrocities that Anakin Skywalker had committed so long ago. But they also remembered the centuries of peace and goodness that had come before.
Luke knew that his answer was here somewhere among the stones and spirits of the Old Republic’s Jedi. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply, letting the Force wash over him. He listened to its voice and let it guide him. Soon, he began to walk.
He walked up a crumbling staircase and down a silent corridor. As he turned into a doorway, the ceiling above him opened up into a cavernous room filled with towering shelves. Curiously, Luke took a closer look at one of the thousands of boxes and found that it was full of data chips. His heart leapt. This room could only be one thing. He had found the Jedi library.
He knew that the Jedi of the Old Republic had not stored the secrets of their teachings in their library, but all of their knowledge of the universe was right here in this room. It could open up worlds that had disappeared under the Empire’s regime and could now be brought back into the Republic.
Now was not the time to ponder such things, though. Luke could feel that he was close, so for the moment he put the incredible find out of his mind and closed his eyes once again. The Force reached out to him, leading him with voiceless words. Around the next shelf, it said. Down this way. Not that box, the one next to it. That’s it.
Luke pulled down a box, raising a cloud of dust. Inside he found old data chips stacked neatly and labeled with names of planets. There were some that he recognized – Alderaan, Almania, Alzoc III – and others that he did not. He took the box to the ancient table in the middle of the room.
All of the planets began with the letter A. It was obviously one of the first boxes in an alphabetical series. He pulled out the chips and began going through them one by one. Planets he was familiar with went back in the box. Those that he wasn’t he left lying on the side of the table.
Once he had gone through them all, he was left with only three chips, labeled Arcona, Arda, and Arkania. He held them for a long time, then kept just one and took it to the data reader.
Whether by the Force or by a miracle, the reader had not fallen victim to decay. Luke slid the chip into the slot. The holo that came up was grainy and jumpy, but still readable. Name: Arda Region: Outer Rim Inhabitants: Humans, Elves, Hobbits, Dwarves, Maiar, Valar Conditions: Breathable atmosphere, temperate climate Major Cities: Minas Tirith, Edoras, Rivendell Notes: No knowledge of the universe past their planet. No technology. Valar, Maiar, and Elves all naturally attuned to the Force but most cannot wield it. All can sense the existence of the Force elsewhere and interpret it as the stars speaking to them. Planet on the brink of war between users of the Dark and Light Sides. Some inhabitants have learned how to manifest the Dark Side into physical form and have corrupted some Elves and Maiar into pure Dark Side creatures Languages: Basic (known in inhabitants as “Westron”) and Elvish
Luke frowned. A war between sides of the Force? Pure Dark Side beings? He went to pop out the chip, but caught sight of the note on the bottom. The entry was written less than a year before he was born by Master Obi-Wan Kenobi.
He returned the box to its dusty home, but pocketed the chip marked “Arda.” Then he promised, “I’ll be back,” and left the Jedi Temple in silence once again.
Mara was waiting for him, nervously pacing around the living room when he walked through the door. “Luke!” she cried when she saw him. “Did you find anything?”
He kissed her hello and nodded. “I think so, but we have to check with Artoo first.”
“Where is he?”
“Still at Leia’s, I think.”
Mara did not hesitate. She was out the door and waiting in the hallway before Luke could turn around. She gave him a teasing smile and crossed her arms across her chest. “Well farmboy? I don’t have all day.”
He grinned and joined her, waving the door shut as he left. Leia’s and Han’s apartment was in the same building as his and Mara’s, but the Imperial Palace was so large that they might as well have been blocks apart.
Leia opened her door before Luke had a chance to knock. “What’s up?” she asked.
Behind her, Anakin ran to the door. “Uncle Luke, you’re back!” He pushed past his mother and hugged Luke tight around the waist.
Luke and Mara both sensed the little boy’s concern. Frowning, Luke looked at Leia, who shrugged. “He’s been like that ever since you left earlier.”
Luke reached down and pried his nephew’s arms open. He knelt down. “What’s up, Anakin?” he asked.
Anakin shrugged and looked at the floor. “I just don’t want anything bad to happen to you.”
“Nothing’s going to happen to me,” Luke assured him, but he felt worry coming from both his sister and his wife.
Still skeptical, Anakin nodded. “If you say so.”
Luke nodded firmly. “I do.” Then he stood up and led Anakin into the living room. “Do you know where Artoo is?” he asked.
Before Anakin could answer, Jacen and Jaina appeared out of Jacen’s room with Artoo rolling at their heels. “Hi Uncle Luke,” Jacen said. “You’re back already?”
Jaina went immediately to Mara’s side and hugged her fiercely. Mara looked at Leia, who mouthed, “Later.” Mara simply shrugged and hugged her niece back.
Artoo rolled around the corner into the living room. Luke grinned. “Hey buddy. How are you?”
Artoo whistled an affirmative, then beeped a question. Threepio said, “Artoo would like to know why you were wanting to know about Master Kenobi’s accident.”
“Accident?” Leia repeated.
Luke sat on the couch next to where Artoo stood. “Obi-Wan crashed somewhere, didn’t he?” he asked. Artoo’s warble led him to go on. “He crashed on a planet that no one had ever found before and then when he came back to Coruscant, he wrote an entry about it for the Jedi library.”
The droid was getting more and more excited as Luke went. After giving Artoo a minute to calm down, Luke asked, “Was the planet called Arda?”
Artoo’s reaction was so loud that Luke jumped and Mara and Leia shared a look. “I’ve never heard of Arda,” Leia said slowly. “Artoo, are you sure?”
Luke pulled the datachip out of his pocket before the droid could answer. “Leia, do you have an old reader?”
Leia nodded. “I think I shoved it in the closet when we got the new one.” She disappeared into the hallway for a minute before calling out, “Yes, it’s here!” Then there was a dull thump. “Sith, this is heavy!”
The children giggled and Luke had to chuckle as well. He reached out and lifted the heavy machine with the Force, calling it to him. Leia followed it, an annoyed look on her face. “I would have gotten it eventually.”
“Just thought I’d give my little sister a hand.”
Leia sighed and rolled her eyes. Anakin glanced back and forth between them. “Which one of you really is older?”
Luke and Leia shared a sad smile. “We don’t know, Anakin,” Luke said. “We probably never will.”
All three kids looked sad. Jaina was the first to break the moment as she moved to hook up the data reader. A minute later she said, “Okay, it should be ready.”
Carefully, Luke slid the old chip into the slot. The others gathered around the projection, squinting to read the scratchy image. Leia looked back at Luke, her eyebrows raised worriedly. “Pure Dark Side creatures? I’ve never heard of such a thing.”
“Me either,” Luke said.
“Sounds dangerous,” she added.
Luke gave her a grin. “Since when has that stopped me?”
Leia glared at him. “I’m serious.”
He put an arm around her shoulder. “I know. But I also know that this is where we need to start to look.”
Mara left the kids still peering at the chip reader to join her husband and his sister. “Well?” Luke asked.
She nodded. “I’m willing to try anything. I guess we’re going to the Outer Rim.”
Leia, Luke, and Mara looked at Anakin, whose eyes were wide with fear. He ran to Luke and threw his arms around his waist. “Don’t go there!” he begged.
Luke and Leia shared a look. Leia’s eyes plainly read, see?
With a sigh, Luke put his hands on his nephew’s shoulders. “Anakin, look at me.” Reluctantly, Anakin did so. Luke asked, “Do you have a bad feeling about Arda?”
Lip trembling, Anakin nodded. “You’re going to get hurt if you go there.”
A flare of panic rippled through the Force from Leia, but Luke kept his focus on Anakin. “I know you’re worried,” he said. “And I’m glad that you’re practicing the things I’ve taught you. But your Aunt Mara and I have to do this. It’s important.” He glanced at Mara and grinned. “Plus your aunt is a very tough woman. She’ll protect me.”
Behind Anakin, the twins giggled. Luke looked at them and winked. They knew that Luke had been a great hero during the war just like their dad. He was perfectly capable of protecting himself.
“Besides,” Luke said. “You’ll always be able to feel us through the Force.”
Anakin looked unconvinced, but still nodded. “Okay.”
“Okay.” Luke broke out of the boy’s grasp, then gave Leia a kiss on the cheek. “I’ll be in touch soon.”
She nodded. “Be careful.”
Luke smiled. “You know me.” After saying goodbye to the kids, he and Mara left the apartment and found themselves alone in the hallway. “Well,” Luke said. “Let’s go to Arda.”