,()()()!


fell. He hung there, impaled by the red line. He held Malguss eyes, and Malgus saw the flames of the burning Temple reflected in Zallows green irises.

It is all going to burn, Malgus said.

Zallows brow furrowed, perhaps with pain, perhaps with despair. Either way, Malgus enjoyed it. He waited for the light to disappear from Zallows eyes before jerking his blade free and allowing the body to fall to the floor.



* * *



The shock hit Aryn with little warning, the sensation as sudden and powerful as a blaster shot. Her body spasmed. The tranquillity bracelet in her hand, the bracelet given her by Master Zallow, snapped in her clenched fist and the tear-shaped bits of coral rained to the floor.

She doubled over, moaned. Her stomach sank. Her vision blurred. The room spun. Her legs dissolved under her and she felt herself slipping, falling, sinking. A fist formed in her throat, throttling the cry that wanted release and allowing it loose only as an aborted, grief-ridden wail.

Through their connection in the Force, she felt the sharp stab of agony that Master Zallow experienced, felt her own breath hitch in sympathy as he took his final breath and died. The line of his life, usually so bright in her minds eye when she felt the Force, usually so close to her own line, vanished from her perception.

Beside her, Syos sharp, surprised intake of breath told her that he had felt something, too.

Despite her pain, the rising despair, the reality settled on her immediately. She had seen it in the eyes of the Sith male.

What was that? Syo asked, his voice seemingly far away, but his question fat with ugly possibilities.

She lifted her head, her long hair dangling before her face, and stared across the room. Both Sith were standing, their bodies
  






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