back to the pain she’d felt when Master Zallow had died. She had felt it physically, a searing shock in her abdomen that burned away doubt. Closing her eyes, she inhaled deeply, a new, clean breath, and shed her outer Jedi robes, the robes she’d earned under Master Zallow’s tutelage.
She could not avenge him as a Jedi. She could and should avenge him as his friend.
“What are you doing, Aryn?” Vollen called from behind her.
She turned to see that Vollen and Keevo had followed her to her ship. Vollen wore a concerned frown.
“Are you following me?” Aryn asked.
“Don’t,” she said.
“What are you doing, Aryn?”
She put one hand on the ladder to her cockpit. “I already told you, Vollen. Something for Master Zallow.”
“But your robes? I don’t understand.”
She could offer no explanation that would satisfy him. She turned, climbed the ladder to the cockpit, and pulled on her helmet. Thankfully, T6 held any questions it might have had.
Vollen and Keevo walked toward the ship. Aryn felt Vollen’s alarm, his uncertainty. He stopped when he reached Aryn’s robes. He looked as if he were standing over a grave. Perhaps he knew what it meant that Aryn had left them there.
“Tell Master Dar’nala I am sorry,” she called to him. “Tell her, Vollen.”
Vollen and Keevo did not come any closer. It was as though the discarded robes demarcated some boundary they could not cross.
“Sorry for what?” Vollen called. “Aryn, please tell me what you’re doing. Why are you leaving your robes?”
“She will understand, Vollen. Be well.”
She lowered the transparisteel canopy on the cockpit and could not hear whatever Vollen said in response. The engines grew louder and Vollen stood on the landing pad, staring up at Aryn. Keevo stood beside him, his dark eyes on Aryn’s