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Nova looked around. It was just a place.

He'd spent some


time here; now he was leaving. Such was life. If he'd
learned nothing else from his studies, it was that one
went with the flow.

He wondered what kind of duty he'd be assigned on the


station. Perhaps he'd contact a few people who owed
him, try to find out.

Forewarned was forearmed, after all.

24

MACHINETOOL STORAGE UNIT ALPHA-FOUR,


CARGO TRANSPORT KJB-87, APPROACHING

THE DEATH STAR

The smart thing for Ratua to do would be to stay in his


crate until it was off-loaded and safely in a storage area
somewhere. But after a couple of hours, he couldn't
stand the cramped monotony anymore, and so he
undogged the hatch and cautiously emerged.

Save for the droids, which were all powered down for the
flight, he was alone. The ship was on programmed
remote control, so it was no risk at all for him to peep
through a viewport to see what was out there.

He'd heard about the battle station, of course, even


observed it once or twice through a dioptric scope he'd

151