,()()()!


The memory of Master Zallow was her weight to bear.

You know where to find me, Syo said.

Thank you, she said, too softly for him to hear.

She passed the hours in solitude. Day gave way to night and no word came from Master Darnala or Satele. She tried to sleep but failed. She dreaded what the morning would bring.

She lay in her bed, in darkness, staring up at the ceiling. Alderaans moon, gibbous and hazy, rose and painted the room in lurid light. Everything looked washed out, ghostly, surreal. For a moment she let herself feel as if shed stepped into a dream. How else could matters have transpired so? How else could the Jedi have failed so?

Master Darnalas voice replayed in her mind, over and over: I fear we will have no choice.

The pain of the words came from the fact that they were correct. The Jedi could not sacrifice Coruscant. The Republic and the Jedi Council would accept a treaty. They had to. All that remained was to negotiate terms, terms that must be favorable to the Empire. In the end, the Empires betrayal, the Sith betrayal, would be rewarded with a Jedi capitulation.

While Aryn recognized the reasonableness of the course, she nevertheless could not shed the feeling that it was wrong. Master Darnala was wrong. Senator Am-ris was wrong.

Such a thought had never entered her mind before. It, too, brought pain. Everything had changed for her.

Her fists balled with anger and grief, and she felt more shouts creeping up her throat. Breathing deeply, regularly, she sought to quell her loss of control. She knew Master Zallow would not have approved it.

But Master Zallow was dead, murdered by the Sith.

And soon he would be failed by the Order, his memory murdered by political necessity.

Her mind walked through memories of
  






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