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his gaze to each of them in turn. "Jacen, you've grown again-bet you even caught up with your sister. And Jaina," he said with a wicked grin, "if I didn't think you'd throw a hydrospanner at me for saying so, I'd tell you that you're even prettier than you were a month ago."

Jaina blushed and gave an unladylike snort to demonstrate what she thought of such compliments, but secretly she was pleased.

A loud, echoing roar from inside the ship saved her the embarrassment of having to come up with a response. A large form thundered down the boarding ramp. Huge heavily furred arms reached out to grab Jaina and threw her high into the air.

"Chewie!" Jaina shrieked, laughing as the giant Wookiee caught her again on the way down. "I'm not a little kid anymore!" After Chewbacca had repeated this greeting ritual with her brother, Jaina finally said what she and Jacen were thinking. "It's good to see you, Dad, but what brings you to the Jedi academy?"

"Yeah," Jacen added. "Mom didn't send you to check if we had enough clean underwear, did she?"

"Nah, nothing like that," their father assured them with a laugh. "Actually, Chewie and I needed to come out this direction to help my old friend Lando Calrissian open up a new operation."

Jaina had always had a great fondness for Lando, her father's dark and dashing friend, but she also knew him well enough to realize that her adopted "uncle" Lando was always involved hi some crackpot moneymaking scheme or another. She held up a hand to stop her father.

"Wait, let me guess. He's-he's starting a new casino on his space station and he needed you to bring him a shipload of sabacc cards."

"No, no, I've got it," Jacen said. "He's opening a new Nerf ranch and he wants you to help him build a corral."

At this Chewbacca threw
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