Darkness Falls Chapter 8
Anakin and Ben's spirits arrived on the planet that the strong Force presence had come from, they were shocked to find the planet filled with training Jedi.
"How is this possible?" Ben asked.
"This planet has been lost for many centuries, even before the fall of the order. There is a Force presence of a Jedi Master here," Anakin answered as he led Ben onwards.
He led them through the students who were training; they both noticed the lightsabers they were using were very old ones. Both Anakin and Ben were surprised to see so many Jedi alive, how had the Emperor not detected them and then wiped them out? They came to a halt in front of what looked like a huge tree.
"This is where the presence was coming from," Anakin said, as he looked around.
"It has been a long time since I sensed the presence of other Jedi Masters," the tree spoke with a warm voice.
"Who are you?" Ben asked.
"I was once a Jedi Master and this world was one of the best places for Jedi to train, but it was almost destroyed in the Sith war. I used my Force energies to guard this place. It has secrets that only a true Jedi can know. These students you see are survivors from the war, generations of Jedi have lived and died here, but can do nothing to help the galaxy without a means to escape the planet," the being told them.
"My name is Obi-Wan Kenobi and this is Anakin Skywalker," Ben introduced them both. "A lot of things have happened since your time, but at the moment we need the help of your Jedi," Ben told him.
"Why?" the being asked.
"There are only two Jedi alive at the moment, Luke Skywalker the last Jedi Master and Mara Jade the last Jedi Knight," Anakin answered. "They face an army of Sith, which no one could detect arising, not even the Force," he added.
"How did this happen?" the being demanded.
"I believe we should start at the beginning," Ben sighed and began to tell the old Master everything that had transpired since the end of the Sith War.
Han gasped in a deep lungful of air, as Ja'non continued to beat him mercilessly. His attack on Ja'non had made the Sith lord even more deranged than he already was, at least in Han's view.
"You should count yourself lucky Solo. If not for Leia you would be dying so slowly you'd beg to never have been born," Ja'non sneered at him.
"Not likely," Han managed to bite out.
"Your defiance is really beginning to annoy me Solo," Ja'non said as he kicked Han's prone form again.
"That's my talent," Han replied. "Never surrender, especially not to you," he added, managing to smile.
Ja'non's eyes narrowed dangerously, but before he could lash out again one of his servants entered the cell.
"My lord, the Empress commands your presence," the servant said bowing respectfully.
"Your luck will run out soon Solo, count on it," Ja'non hissed and then stormed out of the cell.
"Shmuck," Han said.
"Quiet, slave, or you'll bring more of my lord's wrath down on you," the servant hissed, as he closed the cell door and locked it, leaving Han lying painfully on the floor.
"Let him come," Han replied, before he fell asleep.
Lando walked into the command center rubbing his eyes. He had gotten very little sleep. He was beginning to get very worried about the chances of Luke and Han still being alive. If Luke was alive, then where in the hell was he?
"Master Lando," C-P3O said. "Admiral Akbar is looking for you," he continued as Artoo reeled past silently.
"Thanks," he nodded and went in search of the Admiral.
He found him talking with Wedge, who was finally out of the med bay, and Colonel Zars.
"General, we've been picking up a lot of Imperial signals, it seems one of the Sith search parties has been dispatched. They've been sighted in the Hoth and now Dagobah Systems," Zars reported.
"They're searching for another Jedi potential to twist," Lando said.
"I don't think so, sir. It appears they are looking for Commander Skywalker," Zars shot back with a smile.
Lando's head shot up to look at each of them. "Are you sure?" he asked, not daring to hope that they now had confirmation of Luke being still alive.
"In their last report to Coruscant, they reported no signs of Skywalker hiding in the old rebel bases and they were moving on to Tattooine. Luke's old home planet," Zars told him still smiling.
"So they want to find Luke and are searching the old bases, but so far no luck which means Luke is most likely on a planet the rebellion never used as a base," Lando mused.
"So what do we do?" Akbar asked.
"Send out small search parties, have them search planets we've never used as bases. If Luke is alive and in hiding, we have to find him first," Lando ordered, feeling his old strength return at the thought of having Luke back with them.
"Yes, sir," Zars replied and quickly left to carry out his orders.
"If Luke is alive and in hiding, why hasn't he contacted us?" Wedge asked.
"Most likely because he fears Leia catching him, and who wouldn't. You've seen the videos, our few spies managed to get out, how she loves to torture people," Lando answered with a shudder.
Ben and Anakin watched as the old Master thought about everything, they had just told him. They had heard of certain Jedi who could use the Force in such ways as to transform themselves in the way he had, but to see it was quite interesting.
"The galaxy has fallen into very dark times," the being mused. "Send Master Skywalker and Jade to me, guide them to this planet and from there we will train a new order to face this darkness," it commanded.
"We don't have much time for them to train, the darkness continues to spread." Ben told the old master.
"We will have time, do not worry and trust in the Force," the old master replied. "Now go," it told them.
Ben and Anakin both nodded respectfully and vanished; they headed straight back to Yavin hopefully to find Luke in better spirits than when they left.
Luke sidestepped Mara's swipe and quickly came back with a side sweep that she easily jumped over.
"Come on Skywalker, give me a challenge," Mara said with a smile.
"Okay, you asked for it," Luke said, as he launched a huge fury of swipes, which Mara just barely managed to block.
"Enough," Yoda's voice broke through both of their concentration.
Mara and Luke both fell to their knees with fatigue as they deactivated their lightsabers. They had been training for five hours non-stop. With Yoda and Mara's help Luke had easily got back into shape. His lightsaber skills were returning, as were his Force skills. He had recovered nearly everything that he lost since Leia had been turned to the Dark Side.
His guilt, however, was still there and he knew Mara could sense it, but for now it wasn't getting to him. He was managing to keep it in the back of his mind, whilst they trained and prepared to fight the Sith.
"Good both have become, but still much to learn," Yoda told them, as Ben and Anakin began to manifest into the room.
"Ben, Father?" Luke said shocked.
He had been shocked enough when Yoda had appeared, just as Mara and he were about to begin meditating and now his father and his old master were here too.
"Son," Anakin said with a smile.
"Hello Luke," Ben said warmly.
"Help did you find?" Yoda asked.
"We found a planet full of Jedi, protected by an old master," Ben told them all. "The planet was lost during the Sith war, and yet it flourishes again. I believe the Emperor did not find it, due to the Force shielding it," he added.
"This is good," Yoda said.
"The old master has commanded that Luke and Mara be taken there, so that we can train a new order to combat the Sith," Anakin told Yoda.
"Then go we shall, prepare your ship," Yoda said facing Luke and Mara who both nodded and took off.
"A second Sith war is about to begin," Ben said sadly.
"Help it we cannot," Yoda said with a shake of his head. "The Dark Side must be defeated," he added, as he, Ben, and Anakin vanished and prepared to guide the Falcon to the Jedi planet.
Leia sat on her throne and watched as Ja'non finally entered, she knew he had been torturing Han again and she felt a growing sense of anger at her lover.
"What is it my love?" he asked.
"There is a disturbance in the Force. Something I cannot make sense of," she told him as she stood.
"I feel nothing," Ja'non told her.
"They've found each other, our search teams have found no sign of either Luke or Mara," Leia said with a frown.
"It is a possibility," Ja'non said with a shrug. "But they are only two Jedi, we have an army of Sith," he added. "They cannot win," he finished, as he turned and stormed away.
Leia watched him go, her frown deepening. She was beginning to suspect that Ja'non's hate and anger were beginning to cloud his mind. She turned and looked out of the window and once again felt the disturbance in the Force.