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instead on another figure walking alone, emerging from the lower levels of the temple pyramid, confidently gliding over the clipped grasses and weeds.

Luke Skywalker wore only his Jedi robe. Jacen expected to see him holding his light-saber, but both of Luke's hands were empty.

Luke stared at the creature, and the creature stared back with a dozen eyes waving at the ends of tentacles covering its face.

The Jedi Master continued to walk forward, directly toward the monster, as if he were in some sort of trance. He took one step, then another. The beast bristled, but held its ground, bellowing loudly enough to make the trees swish. Jungle birds and creatures fled from the horrifying sound.

While the beast was momentarily distracted, old Peckhum dove to the ground, scuttling on all fours through the open cargo doors of his battered shuttle. Jacen was glad to see the supply runner safe inside the shielded metal walls.

The monster roared upon losing its prey. But Luke spoke in an oddly calm and clear voice that was not at all muffled by the distance. "No, here! Look at me," he said.

Tenel Ka reached the ground by leaping down the last four steps and landing in a crouch. Puffing and red-faced, Jacen and Jaina dashed down beside her, then all three teens stood rigid, watching Luke Skywalker face the jungle beast. They had no weapons of their own.

Suddenly, unexpectedly, old Peckhum charged back out of the open bay doors of the Lightning Rod, In his hands he held an old-fashioned blaster rifle. "Ill get him, Master Skywalker! Just stay there." He ducked down and aimed.

But Luke turned to him and motioned with his hand. "No," he said.

The blaster rifle went flying out of Peckhum's grip. The old supply runner stared in astonishment as Luke continued to stroll
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