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care of that hours ago," he said, emerging in his clean, fresh robe. He heaved a long-suffering sigh. "At least someone's had their morning meal."

Jaina gnawed her lip, anxiously scanning the sky for any glimmer that might herald the arrival of the Millennium Falcon. She and Jacen stood at the edge of the wide clearing in front of the Jedi academy, where the hideous monster had appeared the day before. The area's short grasses had been trampled down by frequent takeoffs and landings.

Jaina smelled the rich green dampness of the early morning in the jungle that surrounded the clearing. The foliage rustled and sighed in a light breeze that also carried the trills, twitters, and chirps that reminded her of the wide profusion of animal life that inhabited the jungle moon.

Beside her, Jacen shifted impatiently from one foot to the other, a frown of concentration etched across his forehead. Jaina sighed. Why did it seem like everything took forever when you were looking forward to it, and things that you didn't want to happen arrived too soon?

As if sensing her tension, Jacen suddenly turned to her with a mischievous look in his eye. "Hey, Jaina-you know why TIE fighters scream in space?"

She nodded. "Sure, their twin ion engines set up a shock front from the exhaust-"

"No!" Jacen waved his hand in dismissal. "Because they miss their mothership!"

As was expected of her, Jaina groaned, grateful for a chance to get her mind off waiting, even if only for a moment.

Then a comforting hum built and resonated around them, as if the sound of their mounting excitement had suddenly become audible. "Look," she said, pointing at a silver-white speck that had just appeared high above the treetops.

The glimmer disappeared for a few moments and then, with a rush of
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