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SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE
by Steve Perry
excerpt from Chapter 3

Suddenly he felt something.

It was like hearing and smelling and tasting and seeing somehow combined, and yet it was none of those things. Something...impending, somehow.

Could it be something coming from the Force? Ben had been able to sense events happening light-years away, and Yoda had spoken of such things, but Luke wasn't sure. His own experiences in his X-wing and in his practice had been so limited.

He wished Ben were here to tell him.

Whatever it was grew stronger. For a moment, he had a flash of recognition: Leia?

He had been able to call her when he was about to fall from beneath Cloud City after his encounter with Vader. She had somehow received his cry for help.

Was it Leia?

He buckled on his blaster, adjusted the belt on his hip so he could draw the weapon quickly if needed, and went outside. Normally the Tusken Raiders- the Sand People - stayed clear of Ben's house. They were superstitious, Ben had told him, and with his control of the Force, he had shown them a few tricks, enough so they marked his place as haunted. But Ben was gone, and whatever he had done might not work forever. Luke didn't have Ben's control; the Raiders might not be so impressed with him picking up a few rocks with the Force. Then again, there was nothing wrong with his aim, and however inelegant it was, a blaster bolt splashing off a rock next to them would make just about anybody stop and think.

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