then ran her callused hands along the side of the crashed TIE fighter. "You know, I think we could do it," Jaina said.
All eyes turned toward her, questioning.
"I think we could fix the TIE fighter."
Her brother stared at her in stunned silence for a moment, then clapped a palm to his forehead. "I've got a bad feeling about this."
As the whine of the T-23 skyhopper faded into the jungle distance, the frightened forest creatures settled back into their routines. They scuttled through the underbrush, chasing each other across the branches, predator and prey. The leaves stirred and flying creatures sent their cries from treetop to treetop, forgetting the intruders entirely.
Far below on the forest floor, the branches of a dense thicket parted. A worn and tattered black glove pushed a thorny twig aside.
The pilot of the crashed TIE fighter emerged from his hiding place into the newly trampled clearing.
"Surrender is betrayal," he muttered to himself, as he had done so many times before. It had become a litany during his years of rugged survival on the isolated jungle moon of Yavin.
The pilot's protective uniform hung in rags from his gaunt frame, worn to tatters and patched with furs from an incredible number of years living alone in the jungle. His left arm, injured during the crash, was drawn up like a twisted claw against his chest. He stepped forward, cracking twigs under his old boots as he made his way to the crash site that was no longer secret. He had camouflaged the wrecked Imperial craft many years ago, hiding it from Rebel eyes. But now, despite all his work, it had been discovered.
"Surrender is betrayal," he said again. He stared down at his fighter, trying to see what damage the Rebel spies had caused.
Over the next few days,