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to joke, Jacen waved good-bye with the hand that still carried the invisible crystal snake.

Together, the twins raced back to their quarters so they could put on their own robes in time to hear Luke teach them how to become Jedi Knights.

2

Jaina ducked back into her quarters to change into fresh clothes as Jacen ran to stash the crystal snake in its cage. She splashed cold water on her face from the new cistern in her bedroom wall.

Her face still damp and tingling, she stepped out into the corridor. "Hurry, or we'll be late," she said as Jacen ran to join her.

Together, the twins dashed to the turbolift, which took them to the upper levels of the pyramid-shaped temple. They entered the echoing space of the grand audience chamber. The air was a bustling hum of other Jedi candidates assembling in the huge room where Luke Skywalker spoke every day.

Shafts of morning light glinted off the polished stone surfaces. The light carried an orange cast reflected from the orange gas giant hanging in the sky-the planet Yavin, around which the small jungle moon orbited.

Dozens of other Jedi trainees of varying ages and species found their places in the rows of stone seats spread out across the long, sloped floor. To Jaina, it looked as if someone had splashed a giant stone down on the stage, sending parallel waves of benches rippling toward the back of the chamber.

A mixture of languages and sounds came to Jaina's ears, along with the rich open-air smell that came from the uncharted jungles outside. She sniffed, but could not identify the different perfumes from flowers in bloom-though Jacen probably knew them all by heart. Right now, she smelled the musty body odors of alien Jedi candidates-matted fur, sunbaked scales, sweet-sour pheromones.

Jacen followed
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