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before anyone noticed it was gone.

He slipped out into the dim hall, his dark round eyes flicking from side to side to check for anyone who might notice him. Then he ducked into the next rounded stone doorway and stood blinking in the shadows of his sister's room.

One entire wall of Jaina's quarters was filled with neatly stacked containers of spare parts, cyberfuses, electronic circuit loops, and tiny gears taken from dismantled and obsolete droids. She had removed unused power packs and control systems from the old Rebel war room deep in the inner chambers of the temple pyramid.

The ancient temple had once been headquarters for the secret Rebel base hidden in the jungles on this isolated moon, long be fore the twins had been born. Their mother, Princess Leia, had helped the Rebels defend their base against the Empire's terrible Death Star; their father, Han Solo, had been just a smuggler at the time, but he had rescued Luke Skywalker at the end.

Now, though, most of the old equipment from the empty Rebel base lay unused and forgotten by the Jedi trainees. Jaina spent her free time tinkering with it, putting the components together in new ways. Her room was crammed with so much large equipment that Jacen barely had enough space to squeeze inside. He looked around, but saw no sign of the escaped crystal snake.

"Jaina?" he said. "Jaina, I need your help!" He looked around the dim room, trying to find his sister. He smelled the sharp, biting odor of scorched fuses, heard the clunk of a heavy tool against metal.

"Just a minute." Jaina's voice echoed hollowly inside the barrel-shaped hulk of corroded machinery that took up half of her quarters. He remembered when the two of them, with the help of their muscular female friend Tenel Ka, had somewhat clumsily
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