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dressing?"

"Right. Makes anyone watching think that's all there is to it. A little something Pash Cracken came up with at that fiasco off Xyquine." Han glanced at the rear display again. "I think we've got enough lead to outrun them," he said. "Let's try."

"We're not jumping to lightspeed?" Leia frowned, an old and rather painful memory floating up from the back of her mind. That mad scramble away from Hoth, with Darth Vader's whole fleet breathing down their necks and a hyperdrive that turned out to be broken . . .

Han threw her a sideways look. "Don't worry, sweetheart. The hyperdrive's working fine today."

"Let's hope so," Leia murmured.

"See, as long as they're chasing us they can't bother Filve," Han went on. "And the farther we draw them away, the longer the backup force'll have to get here from Ord Pardron."

The brilliant green flash of a near miss cut off Leia's intended response. "I think we've given them all the time we can," she told Han. Within her, she could sense the turmoil coming from her unborn twins. "Can we please get out of here?"

A second bolt spattered off the Falcon's upper deflector shield. "Yeah, I think you're right," Han agreed. "Wedge? You ready to leave this party?"

"Whenever you are, Falcon," Wedge said. "Go ahead—we'll follow when you're clear."

"Right." Reaching over, Han gripped the hyperdrive levers and pulled them gently back. Through the cockpit canopy the stars stretched themselves into starlines, and they were safe.

Leia took a deep breath, let it out slowly. Within her, she could still sense the twins' anxiety, and for a moment she turned her mind to the job of calming them down. It was a strange sensation, she'd often thought, touching minds that dealt in emotion and pure sensation instead of pictures
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