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a Jedi's destiny?" he asked Yoda. "To wander everywhere and never be at rest? If so, I accept that. I pledged my life to the Order and I won't take that back, but I guess... I guess I didn't know it would be so hard. I guess I didn't know I could never be at home."

Yoda refilled Whie's glass, and sighed.

"Never step in the same river twice can you. Each time the river hurries on. Each time he that steps has changed." He furled his ears, remembering. "On many long journeys have I gone. And waited, too, for others to return from journeys of their own. The Jedi travel to the stars: and wait: and hope, with a candle in the window. Some return; some are broken; some come back so different only their names remain. Some choose the dark side, and are lost until the last journey, the one we all must take together. Sometimes, on the darkest days, feel the pull of that last voyage, I do." He threw back his glass of juice and glanced at Whie. "The dark side within you is: you know this."

Whie looked away.


"But other things, inside you there are." Yoda tapped him gently on the chest. "The Force is inside you. A true Jedi lives in the Force. Touches the Force. It surrounds him: and it reaches up from inside him to touch that which surrounds."

Yoda smiled, and Scout felt his presence, warm and bright in the Force, like a lantern shining in the middle of the cabin.

"Not a pile of permacrete, home is," Yoda said. "Not a palace or a hut, ship or shack. Wherever a Jedi is, there must the Force be, too. Wherever we are, is home."

Scout raised her glass, and clinked it gravely against the others': rink, ting.

"To coming home," she said, and they drank together.

Far, far away, on a minor planet in a negligible system deep behind Trade Federation lines, Count
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