tensed, knowledge in their eyes.
“We are betrayed,” she answered, her voice a hiss.
She left it unsaid that her Master, the man who had been a father to her, was dead.
She was surprised to find her legs sturdy under her as she stood up straight. A group of people stood near her. No, not people. They were statues, Alderaanian statues. She was on Alderaan for peace negotiations with the Sith.
And the Sith had betrayed them. She had fought the Sith on Alderaan before, during the battle for the planet. She would do so again. Now.
“How do you know this, Aryn?”
But Syo’s voice, his doubt, did not erode her certainty.
“I know,” she spat.
The Sith knew, too. They had known all along. She could see it in their faces.
Her view distilled down until it consisted entirely of the two Sith and nothing else. A roar filled her ears, the crashing surf of grief and burgeoning rage. She heard a voice calling her name from some distant place, repeating it as if it were an invocation, but she paid it no heed.
Both Sith eyed her, their stances ready for combat. The man wore the same contemptuous sneer, the curve of his thin lips uglier than the scars that lined his face.
“Aryn!” It was Syo calling her name. “Aryn! Aryn!”
They knew. The Sith knew.
“They knew all along,” she said, speaking as much to herself as Syo.
“What? Knew what? What has happened?”
She did not bother to answer. She fell into the Force, drawing on its power.
Time seemed to slow. She felt as if she existed outside herself, watching. Her body moved across the antechamber, her boots scattering the coral of her bracelet. Violence filled her mind as she moved among the statues of men and women of peace.
“Aryn!” Syo called. “Do not.”
She did not reach for her lightsaber. Her need