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L o s t T r i b e o f t h e S i t h # 4

S A V I O R

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Also by John Jackson Miller

Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith: Precipice Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith: Skyborn Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith: Paragon

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L o s t T r i b e o f t h e S i t h # 4

S A V I O R

JOHN JACKSON MILLER

D

L

BALLANTINE BOOKS • NEW YORK

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Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith #4: Savioris a work of fiction.

Names, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

2010 Del Rey eBook Edition

Copyright © 2010 by Lucasfilm Ltd. & ® or ™ where indicated. All Rights Reserved. Used Under Authorization.

Excerpt from Star Wars®: Fate of the Jedi: Alliescopyright © 2010

by Lucasfilm Ltd. & ® or ™ where indicated. All Rights Reserved.

Used Under Authorization.

Published in the United States by Del Rey, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

DEL REY is a registered trademark and the Del Rey colophon is a trademark of Random House, Inc.

This book contains an excerpt from the forthcoming book Star Wars®: Fate of the Jedi: Alliesby Christie Golden. This excerpt has been set for this edition only and may not reflect the final content of the forthcoming edition.

ISBN 978-0-345-51941-2

www.starwars.com

www.delreybooks.com

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Chapter One

4975 BBY

“Children of Kesh, your Protectors have come home to you. Again!

Korsin waited for the clamor from the crowd to die down. It didn’t. Commander Yaru Korsin, Grand Lord of the Tribe of Sith on Kesh, stood atop the marbled platform and looked across the churning sea of ecstatic purple faces. Behind him rose the columns and domes of his new home. Once a native village, Tahv was now a Sith capital.

The buildings had been raised quickly on the site of the old Circle Eternal for this day, exactly a quarter century in standard years after the Sith arrival on Kesh.

Korsin had been determined to make that anniversary one to celebrate, rather than lament. With today’s ded-ication, Korsin signaled his people’s intent to live among the Keshiri for good.

Now, years after the crash, it was clear that nothing more could be done to repair Omen.There was no reason to live in their lofty temple at the crash site when such beauty existed below. Korsin cast his gaze upward, toward the cloudy peak on the western horizon. A skeleton team of Sith and Keshiri workers was mill_9780345519412_2p_all_r1.qxp:8p insert template 2/25/10 1:27 PM

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John Jackson Miller

there, wrapping up affairs on the mountain. Sealed safely in its shrine, Omenwould be there if they needed it.

Korsin knew they wouldn’t. It was a charade. No one was coming for them; he’d known that as soon as he saw the transmitter’s melted guts. The planet Kesh was nowhere near anywhere, or Naga Sadow would have found them by now. Them, and his precious Lignan crystals.

He wondered about Captain Saes and the Harbinger.

Had they survived the collision that had sent Omenastray? Had the fallen Jedi won the glory that should have belonged to the Sith, after a victory at Primus Goluud? Or had Naga Sadow slain him for his incompetence?

Does Sadow even live?

Idle thoughts, Korsin knew. But he had to keep these questions alive in his people, so long as any remembered where they came from. Stability demanded it.

It had required an elegant balancing act. Sith facing a future onlyon Kesh would forever fight for status—meaning more days like the one, years before, when he and Devore had dueled. He looked at the Sith standing at attention on either side of the wide slate stairs leading down the platform. So many people, so many ambitions to manage. It was why Korsin had allowed them to think that he had indeed activated the emergency beacon once, before it failed. The prospect of departure had the power to unite; so did the specter of the arrival of a punishing superior power.

But he also had to make sure any hoped-for escape always ran second to their realjob: reshaping Kesh as a Sith world. What had happened to Ravilan’s people was partially due to Korsin’s failure at managing that, though he didn’t mind the result. Unlike his wife, he had nothing against the crimson-skinned Sith, but factions threatened order. A homogeneous Sith people was easier to rule.

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Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith:Savior 3

His wife.Marrying Seelah had been another nod to stability, a bridge between Omen’s crew and its mining-team passengers. There she was, across the dais, greeting the dignitaries the Keshiri were allowed to have.

Greeting, that is, without actually touchingany of them. Korsin never touched her anymore, either. It was a shame: she wasgorgeous now, black hair cascading in ringlets around flawless dusky skin. He didn’t know what dark sorceries her team of experts had wrought, but she looked scarcely a day over thirty-five.

This move was her idea. She’d hated the sterility of the mountain retreat; their new home was warmer, both in temperature and in appearance. The Keshiri artisans and Sith designers had learned much from one another. There was stone, yes, but thorned dalsa flowers scaled the exterior walls. Gardens appeared here and there, beside gurgling aqueduct-fed pools. It was a place for life.

Not all Keshiri cities had been places for life, Korsin thought as he acknowledged the elders hobbling past.

He could’ve lost the people entirely, years before. The mass deaths at the lake towns had been effectively ascribed to the residents’ lack of faith in the Tribe’s divinity. They’d even made a show for the doubters: a known Keshiri dissenter was trotted onto the Circle Eternal to proclaim against the “so-called Protectors,”

only to fall, seemingly choking to death on his own words. Korsin himself was able to appear benevolent and shocked—but the message was clear. Plague and pestilence awaited the defiant.

Gloyd had thought up that little stunt. Good old Gloyd. More old, now, than good. The stern Houk stood behind, lightsaber drawn, as Korsin’s ceremonial bodyguard—but the onetime gunner now looked like heneeded the protecting. He was the last nonhuman left from the original crew. An age would pass with him.

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John Jackson Miller

“The Daughter of the Skyborn, Adari Vaal,” Gloyd announced. Korsin immediately forgot all about archi-tecture and clever Houks. Adari, their native rescuer of old, stepped mildly before them and bowed.

Korsin watched her cold welcome from Seelah. If they weren’t in front of half of Kesh, it would be colder still. He always marveled when he watched the two together. There wasn’t any comparison. Seelah was attractive, but she knew it—and never let anyone forget it. She found the Keshiri ugly: more proof her judgment was never to be trusted.

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