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choose to honor him by using his complete name."

At another table, three short reptilian Cha'a sat around a trayful of warm, rocking eggs, staring fixedly at them like the predators they were. When the eggs cracked and opened, the Cha'a lunged for the bright pink furry hatchlings as they emerged fresh from the shells.

Two whistling avian creatures shared a plateful of thin, writhing threads covered with fluffy blue hair-tantalizing ropy caterpillars which they slurped one at a time through their narrow, horny beaks.

As Jacen sat at the table spooning his soup, trying to think of something amusing to say to Tenel Ka, or at least to continue the conversation with Lowie, he caught a glimpse of movement out of the corner of his eye-something slithering toward the table beside them. A glassy glitter. A serpentine flash.

Jacen's heart leaped into his throat. He suddenly wondered if he had fastened the cage of the crystal snake when his father and the Wookiees had finished their tour of his chambers.

"Hey," Raynar said, leaning over the table beside them, his flashy robes so brilliant that they made Jacen's eyes ache. "Would you mind giving our juice jug back?" Raynar used his own Jedi powers to snatch the jug from their table and carry it through the air back toward himself. "Next time please ask before you just take it." He leaned back and crossed his arms over his chest with a self-satisfied expression.

Just then, light fell on the crystal snake, and Jacen saw it with perfect clarity. It reared up on Raynar's lap and hissed at him, its flat triangular head staring the boy right in the face.

Raynar saw it and shrieked, losing his Force concentration. The jug wobbled, then fell, spilling deep red juice all over his bright robes.

Jacen leaped to his feet
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