,()()()!


not this time.

She was thinking of jumping after all.

Having made the decision, she knew she had to act on it immediately or let doubt assail her certainty. She rose, feeling light on her feet for the first time in hours. She gathered her pack, tightened her robes, and stepped back out onto the balcony. The wind had picked up. The leaves hissed in the breeze. The next step, once taken, was irrevocable. She knew that.

She spared a glance at Syos room, saw it was dark.

Heart racing, she turned and leapt into the open air, following her thoughts groundward, untethered from the Order, from nonattachment, from everything save her need to right a wrong.

Using the Force to slow her descent, she hit the ground in a crouch and sped off. No one had seen her leave and no one would mark her absence before dawn. She would be at her ship and gone well before that.

Shed need to figure a way to get to Coruscant, and she had an idea of who could help her. She wanted those surveillance vids. And then she wanted to find the Sith whod murdered Master Zallow.

The Order might be forced to betray what it stood for, but Aryn would not betray the memory of her master.



Chapter 4



The rest of the Sith force had returned to the fleet, but Malgus lingered. He stood alone among the ruins of the Jedi Temple. He powered off his comlink, putting him out of touch with Imperial forces, and communed in solitude with the Force. Walking the perimeter of the ruins, he loitered over the destruction, pleased at his victory but flat with the realization that he had defeated his enemy and no obvious replacement was apparent.

He longed for conflict. He knew this of himself. He needed conflict.

There would be more battles with the Jedi and the Republic, of course, but with
  






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