,()()()!


and stared out into space.



* * *



Dar'nala dismissed Aryn and Syo, presumably so she, Satele, and Senator Am-ris could take private counsel with Master Zym. With nothing to do and nothing more to say, Aryn returned to her chambers to

To what?

She did not know what to do. She felt as if she should be doing something, but she had no idea what. So she ate without tasting, paced the floor, and meditated, trying to keep the pain at bay by staying busy.

When that did not work, she checked the HoloNet for news. Unsurprisingly, the reports were filled with breathless speculation about the Imperial attack on Coruscant and what it meant for the peace negotiations. She could not bear the sound of the newscasters, so she muted the vidscreen.

There was no footage of Coruscant post-attack so Aryn assumed the Empire must have jammed communications. Instead, the footage showed old images of the Republics capital. Millions of speeders, swoops, and aircars moved in organized lines above the landscape of duracrete and transparisteel. Thousands of pedestrians strode the autowalks and plazas.

The image changed to a view of the Jedi Temple taken from an airborne recorder. Aryn could not take her eyes from the image, the towers, the tiered layers of the structure. Towering statues of old Masters, lightsabers pointed skyward, lined the broad avenue that led to the enormous doors to the Temple.

She remembered the sense of wonder shed felt walking under those statues for the first time, side by side with Master Zallow. Shed been a child and the Temple and the statues had seemed impossibly big.

This will be your home now, Aryn, Master Zallow had said, and smiled at her in his way.

She wondered how the Temple looked now, after the attack, wondered if it even
  






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