It wasn't true. The Sith always lied. That was the way of the galaxy,
and Tysy Dvukh, deep in her heart of hearts, could not believe that
Grand Master Luke Skywalker would turn to the Dark Side of the Force.
Operation Shadow Hand, indeed! Merely a clever fiction invented by this
malevolent presence, whatever it was, to try and sway her opinion!
Tysy fled back toward the Jedi Temple, her head filled with dizzying pain.
She would hide, would not give in to either the story or its distant teller.
Inside the confines of the Jedi sanctuary, she knew that the persuasive
voice beckoning to her through the Force could not reach her. Or could it?
"Grand Master Skywalker?" she asked, seeing a tall figure in the distance.
"Is that you? If it is, I would like to ask you something--if you have time."
Luke smiled as he always did, with that warm fatherly gaze he reserved
for the apprentices who meant the most to him. Tysy did, because in her
he sensed the desire not only to become strong in the Force but to
strengthen the galaxy through it as well. She not only wanted to serve,
but to sacrifice the power and glory she might have had for someone else.
To someone else. Luke suddenly had the sense he must be careful.
"What is it, Padawan?" he asked. "Is something troubling you? What's wrong?"
Tysy took a deep breath and began. "Was there a time where you turned
to the Dark Side of the Force, Grand Master Skywalker? Not when you
dueled your father in that final battle, of course, but afterwards?"
Luke sighed and bowed his head. Not many students at the rebuilt Jedi
Temple cared to ask that question, or had even thought about it enough
to come up with that theory. He decided that whatever he had to
do in his dealings with Jacen Solo, rebellious planets like Corellia, and the
escalating war against the Galactic Alliance, all that mattered was this now.
"Yes," admitted Luke. "There was a time after the Empire fell when I
succumbed to the Dark Side. Do you remember Palpatine, also known
as Darth Sidious? He had cloned himself, unbeknownst to me, and this
clone was the mastermind behind Operation Shadow Hand. Sidious
wanted to retake the galaxy, with me as his loyal apprentice.
Even though I discovered that this Palpatine was only a clone, clones
can often improve on the abilities of their original creators. It was this
way with the Emperor's clone. I surrendered to him because he had
become so strong. He forced me to bow and address him as Master."
"How did you turn back?" asked Tysy, choking up. "To the Light Side, I mean?"
"It was my sister who rescued me from the darkness," said Luke. "Leia's
love and loyalty to me were far stronger than even the Emperor's clone.
After I had been redeemed, I took a solemn vow to serve the Light forever.
No more would I be tempted by the Sith or the machinations of the Dark Side.
I knew firsthand of its insidious power, of how it could destroy you from within."
"Thank you for telling me the truth," said the apprentice, bowing solemnly
to her Grand Master. "I have been doing some--research lately, and I
believed that this Operation Shadow Hand story had come from a wholly
unreliable source. You've cleared up this misconception, although it pains me."
"I as well," replied Luke. "It is no rumor, no fiction. Operation Shadow Hand
is fact. You would do well to learn from my travails and my mistakes. Peace."
Tysy smiled. So it was true, but now thanks to Grand Master Luke, she
would not have to listen to the Force presence tell her the Sith were right...