"Something nasty Master Yoda would give, think you?"
Scout and Whie exchanged looks. Gingerly, they tilted their glasses and sniffed. The fragrance of fine Reythan berry juice stole through the little cabin, sweet as sunshine on millaflower.
"Almost home," Scout said, bravely tilting her glass and sipping. The juice went down like honeyed summer rain.
"Thanks to you," Whie said grinning. "I can't wait to tell everyone how you commandeered those ships at the spaceport to get us off Vjun. 'Quick, Lieutenant-the Jedi assassins are getting away in their Chryya! We've got to scramble up some ships and follow them!'"
"It was you guys doing your Mind Thing that sold it," Scout said modestly, flushing with pleasure.
It was nice of Whie to make her feel as if she had really contributed to the mission, rather than being nothing but the excess baggage Jai Maruk had expected her to be. Jai and plenty of others, she thought, remembering Hanna, her white Arkanian eyes full of contempt during the Apprentice Tournament. She sipped her juice.
"Whoa. I just found myself missing Hanna Ding."
"The Arkanian girl who gave you such a hard time?"
"She's worried she might be killed in this war," Scout said, surprising herself. "She doesn't want to die for nothing. The Jedi matter to her. To all of us. The Order is the only family we have."
For the second time in as many minutes, she clapped her hand over her mouth. Whie gave her a pained smile. Yoda snuffed.
"Hard it was, I think: to meet your mother after Dooku had fled."
"All those years she had been waiting," Whie said. "But the funny thing is, it wasn't me she was waiting for. Not really. What she lost was her baby, and that baby is gone. When she saw me, she saw a stranger."