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heaved a sigh. "Well, Lowie," she said, rubbing her hands together with a look of gleeful anticipation as she looked at the battered T-23. "Need any help getting this bucket of bolts up and going?"

Realizing that even though Jaina was younger, she probably had more experience tuning speeder engines than he did, he nodded gratefully.

They spent the next few hours preparing the T-23 for its first flight on Yavin 4. Jacen occupied himself by telling jokes that Lowie didn't understand, or fetching tools for the two enthusiastic mechanics. Jaina smiled as she worked, glad of the rare chance to share what she knew about speeders and engines and T-23s.

When at last they finished and Lowbacca leaned into the cockpit to switch on the engine, the T-23 crackled, sputtered, and roared to life. It lifted off the ground on its lower repulsorlifts, and a bright glow spluttered from the ion afterburners. The three friends let out two cheers and a bellow of triumph.

"Need anyone to take her for a test flight?" Jaina asked hopefully.

Lowie stumbled over a tentative answer. "What Master Lowbacca is trying to say," said Em Teedee, who had long since finished his rest cycle, "is that, as kind as your offer is, he would vastly prefer to pilot the first flight himself."

Lowbacca grunted once.

"And?" the little droid replied. "What do you mean, 'And?' Oh, I see-the other thing you said. But, sir, you didn't mean . . ."

Lowbacca growled emphatically.

"Well, if you insist," Em Teedee said. "Ahem. Master Lowbacca also says that he would be honored to have you as his passenger, Mistress Jaina. However," he rushed on, "let me assure you that last statement was made with the utmost reluctance."

Lowbacca groaned and hit his forehead with the heel of one hairy hand in a Wookiee
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