A day later Luke was scheduled to be released from the Sullustan hospital.
As the young man from Tatooine sat on the bed pulling on his black boots, Too-Onebee, medical droid, floated into his room. "Commander Skywalker, I reviewed the data from the bioscan you had yesterday and I'm afraid we can't release you just yet."
The young Jedi's smile turned into a frown. "I don't see any reason for you to keep me here. I'm fine."
In its spindly outstretched mechanical hand Too-Onebee held a silver disc. "I afraid this report contradicts you, Commander Skywalker. Your bio scan shows your mechanical right hand is severely damaged."
Glancing down at the black glove, Luke instinctively balled his right hand into a fist. His mechanical right had been damaged when a blaster bolt seared a hole in his right wrist during the foray aboard Jabba's sail barge. "I know. I should have it replaced."
“That's true , but apparently you or I don't have much say in the matter,” the droid's disapproval was clear as he said the words, even though there was no indication of it on his visage. “Because I've been ordered to immediately release you with a clean bill of health.”
Luke was certain Mon Mothma, the Alliance's leader, was responsible for obtaining his prompt medical clearance but she probably wasn't aware of the extent of all his injuries.
As he moved off, Too-Onebee told the young Jedi, “Commander, you're instructed to report to the docking bay as soon as possible.”
With a nod, Luke made his way through a maze of corridors to the temporary Rebel headquarters' docking bay where a number of shuttles zoomed in and out. The unmarked shuttle that had set down a few minutes earlier carried his sister, Princess Leia Organa, and his friend, Han Solo.
Luke frowned mildly. What was his sister doing coming back so soon? She should be taking advantage of the well deserved time she had with Han, the man she loved, on Endor, not worrying about him.
He, his sister and his best friend exchanged hugs and friendly kisses. Giving the Alderaanian princess a kiss, the Jedi Knight asked her, “What are you doing back so soon?”
“I volunteered to be one of the diplomats to join Mon Monthma and other higher ranking Alliance military and political leaders welcoming the delegates from the Tion Cluster.”
Luke certainly wouldn’t have volunteered for such a duty especially if he was supposedly on vacation, stealing some well-deserved time with someone he loved, but he had to admire his sister for never failing to fulfill her responsibilities. Still, now that the war against the Empire was over but a new chapter had begun for the Alliance who was forming a new diplomatic form of government. As a part of that process it was entertaining diplomats from other worlds to form new alliances.
Jumping on his thoughtful silence, Leia added, “By the way, I told Monthma that we could count on you attending the dinner welcoming the delegates tonight.”
He’d just as soon wrestle with a Rancor! Shaking his head, he tried to chase away distracting thoughts in mind. Maybe battling bounty hunters, mercenary hit men and evil alien thugs and creeps vs. boring himself to death dining with diplomats weren’t his thoughts, but they sure were Han’s. To be honest, he didn’t really had no desire to go to a diplomatic function. He would have preferred a night of quiet introspection – something I really need right now, especially with that nightmarish vision I recently had.
Unruffled, the young Jedi answered, “Of course.”
That left him back in the spot he’d stood for too long it seemed. Looking deeper into his closet, he tried to figure out what the Hell he was supposed to wear.
He sighed. He didn't have that much to choose from when it came to apparel. He had a white outfit he'd worn during his life on Tatooine, a beige outfit he'd worn on Bespin, his orange flight suit, his formal dress Alliance uniform and a black outfit he had worn when he confronted the Emperor and Vader.
He really didn't think he had any appropriate outfits for a formal diplomatic function. But he'd promised Leia he'd come so he'd better find something to wear.
That still left him with his original question. What was he supposed to wear? What did people expect him to wear?
He settled for his black outfit, which included black boots, black pants and a long sleeved black shirt. He fastened his black utility belt around his waist. He reached for his lightsaber, clipping it to the right side of his belt.
Yoda's advice echoed into his mind: Your weapon you will not need it.
Maybe not, but I'll have it just in case.
Glancing in the mirror, he frowned at his reflection. Leia would have a fit when she saw him dressed like this.
The obsessive fear Leia had of their father disturbed him. He understood she'd been tortured by their father. He shuttered thinking about the suffering and pain she'd endured as Vader interrogated her aboard the first Death Star and then later on Bespin. Not only had Vader tortured her and Han to get to him, but she had watched helplessly as their father put the man she deeply loved into carbon freeze.
These experiences would have devastated a lesser woman, but Leia was not an ordinary woman. She was strong. She was a Skywalker, heir to the powers of the Force and traditions of the Jedi Knights, whether she liked it or not.
Leia definitely didn't like being reminded of her feared former opponent. But she'd seen him in this outfit before and she hadn't had any problem with it.
That didn't mean him dressing entirely in black wouldn't set her off now.
This is setting yourself up trouble, Luke. Dressing like this is going to provoke her into an argument, one can't win ... at least not yet.
Whenever he suggested Leia learn to become a Jedi she became hostile. The subject caused his sister to launch into an argumentative tirade.
Once again Yoda's voice rang throughout his thoughts: When gone am I last of the Jedi will you be. The Force is strong in your family. Pass on what you have learned.
He frowned. He didn't know if he'd be able to fulfill Yoda's request.
He donned his brown cassock before leaving his apartment.
He headed toward the main Alliance headquarters building located in Sullust's downtown district.
What amazed him were the number of citizens that flooded the Sullustan streets that night. As he walked, humans and aliens alike stared at him
His identity wasn't a secret any more. To them, he was Luke Skywalker, hero of the Alliance and Jedi Knight. He was the man who had defeated both the Emperor and Darth Vader, bringing freedom and restoring peace and justice for countless people and planets throughout the galaxy.
He cringed. If the truth be told, he hadn't defeated the Emperor or Darth Vader. He'd intended to save his father by bringing him back to the Light. He'd succeeded in that but his father rescued him.
He felt guilty about taking credit for something he didn't actually do. Ben had told him sometimes truths often depended greatly on one's point of view.
Except for Alestra, Trisha and himself, no one else knew about what had happened during his final confrontation with the Emperor and his father, so he was still Luke Skywalker.
He approached the headquarters building. He noticed the guards were conducting 100 percent security searches.
He frowned, knowing his lightsaber hung from his belt. He could have used a Jedi mind trick to convince the guards he was clean but he wasn't sure that was ethical. On the other hand, turning his lightsaber over the guards wasn't something he desired to do.
A crowded gathered at the main entrance of the building watching an official Alliance craft make its landing. He turned toward the commotion.
Rumors circulated among the masses crowding around the ship in the hopes of discovering the identity of the VIP who'd just arrived.
He knew who the VIP was -- it was Leia. He'd sensed her presence through the Force.
Surrounded by an elite Alliance honor guard, Leia gracefully stepped out into the crowd. She was welcomed by a thunderous applause and warm greetings.
She wore a smile on her ruby lips. She was garbed in a long white gown, one she'd worn long ago on Yavin. Her hair was wound up in an elaborate bun adorned with diamond combs. She sported her Ewok bracelet on her left wrist. An expensive jeweled necklace hung around her neck. She looked radiant.
Whenever the princess made an entrance, she succeeded in stunning people, including him. Leia could easily sweep any man off his feet. It didn't take much for her to win any man's heart.
He'd expected to see Han escorting his sister. Surprisingly the former smuggler and Alliance general was absent, leaving his sister alone.
The crowd cleared a path for her. As the princess swept past, several bowed or curtsied out of respect.
Halfway to the entrance, Leia stopped. She sensed something.
Luke, Leia cocked her head sideways, scanning the crowd for her brother who was no where to be seen.
"Princess," The detachment commander said concerned. "Is there a problem?"
"There's no problem," she said, continuing on to the entrance of the headquarters building.
A man wearing a brown cassock approached her. He looked awfully familiar and the sense she had about him -- she had a feeling he was trustworthy and safe.
The man's behavior aroused suspicion among her guards. Before the stranger got too close, the guards pointed their weapons in his direction.
"OK, buddy, stop where you are," the detachment commander ordered. "Don't come any closer or there'll be a scene."
The stranger's face was shrouded by the hood of his cloak. He raised one of his folded hands, making a slight gesture that caused the detachment commander's weapon to fly mysteriously from his hand.
The detachment commander stared at his empty hand. He stammered, stunned, "What the...?"
The rest of the detachment turned to each other trying to figure out what to do in the situation.
Without hesitation, the commander ordered. "Don't just stand there. Shot him."
As the detachment switched their weapons to fire, the stranger's hand headed toward the weapon hanging at his belt. The cloak the stranger wore had concealed his lightsaber. Now she clearly knew who the stranger was.
"Stop!" Leia ordered them. "Put away your weapons now!"
The detachment commander looked at her in surprise. "But, princess..."
"Put away your weapons now!" Her tone indicated that she was used to having her orders obeyed. "Do I make myself clear? Or do you have problems following simple instructions, captain?"
The captain gestured for the detachment to lower their weapons. "Princess, he was going to attack you!"
"Oh really, captain? It looked like he was trying to defend himself."
"With all do respect, princess, appearances can be deceiving."
"Indeed, captain," she smiled. "And it appears I'd be safer in this man's company than in yours."
The captain laughed. "I don't see how that's possible."
She gestured toward her brother. "This man isn't just an ordinary man, captain, he's a Jedi Knight."
The captain gazed skeptically at the stranger. "He's a Jedi Knight?"
The stranger's hands reached for the brim of his hood. The detachment raised their weapons threateningly in his direction. Undaunted Luke flipped back his hood revealing his identity. Once the guards recognized him they lowered their weapons.
The captain blinked. "Commander Skywalker?"
"Yes," he said simply.
Embarrassed, the officer apologized. "I..."
"...I think you and your men can go now, captain," Leia finished for him.
The captain and his men quickly dispersed.
"You always did know how to rescue a girl, Luke," she teased affectionately.
He chuckled. "And you said I was too short for a stormtrooper."
"At least you don't think I'm a committee."
He stared at her curiously waiting for her to explain.
"Never mind," she said dismissively and then gazed at him invitingly. "Shall we?"
A guilty expression clouded his face. "Leia, I..."
"I don't think Han will mind, Luke."
"I hope not," he joked and then sobered. "But that's not what I meant."
"What's wrong, Luke?"
He remarked dryly. "I'm afraid the guards at the door and I are going to have a problem."
She nodding, knowing he referred to the lightsaber hanging from his belt. "Why don't you let me worry about that?"
"I don't think you should, Leia," He advised, foolishly thinking she'd meant trying to use a Jedi mind trick to convince the guards to let him in with a weapon.
Anger flickered in her eyes. Here came the argument he'd wanted to avoid.
"I can get us in without using that method," she said miffed.
He didn't say anything. He wasn't about to argue with her.
As a trained and accomplished politician, she could handle herself in any debate or argument. Besides, tangling with an angry Skywalker was not a fight he could easily win. Nor was this family trait something he wished to encourage given that anger was of the Dark Side of the Force.
She cross her arms over her chest. "Do you want my help or not?"
He nodded, offering her his proffered arm. She smiled. She hung from her brother's arm like he was her escort for the evening.
When they approached the door. The guard at the door nodded at them as they passed by without having to submit to a security search.
She just smiled at him. She'd proven her point. He was a Jedi who could the use the Force to accomplish whatever he liked whenever he liked, but she'd just accomplished a simple task without any of it.