on Talasea. That didn't surprise him, but it was also clear to Corran that Jula had not missed what had gone unsaid. The specter of Biggs's death formed the foundation for every question and comment.

And the comparison of Gavin with Biggs fuels the analysis of stories he's telling. There was no doubt that Biggs had been a hero and had acted heroically. His death at Yavin had allowed Luke Skywalker to blow up the Death Star. His death marked the extreme danger of the situation and was not unexpected, given the circumstances. Even so, the situations in which Gavin found himself were no less perilous, yet he had survived them. To Corran's mind, Gavin's parents had to be thinking that made him better than Biggs in some unde-finable away, and for Huff it planted the seeds of doubt about how great his son truly was.

Because he had been an only child born of only children, the Darklighter family gathering gave Corran a window into a whole different family dynamic. Because there were so many children among whom things were shared, personal boundaries and the ideas of ownership were weakened. Younger kids seemed to see every adult as part of the family, fearlessly climbing into laps or asking permission or asking for help.

At first this threatened Corranin part because of the utter chaos of the situation but mostly because the children thrust responsibility into his hands. The fact that none of the Darklighters seemed to mind their children paying him attentionas long as the kids didn't seem to be bothering him or to be ill-manneredmeant he had to accept that responsibil-ity and act on it. The openness of the families drew him in and they accepted him, but Corran was uncertain if he was ready to be accepted.

Mirax and her father, by way of contrast, formed a little

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