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- A glimpse of a black-robed figure standing with the stormtroopers stopped him in his tracks. On sight of him, it tilted its black helmet and ignited a red lightsaber. The stormtroopers dropped to their knees and fired.
- For the barest of moments, the apprentice was frozen. His stomach dropped away into Bespin's glorious skyscape, and he felt betrayed all over again.
- Then his mind caught up with his gut, shouting, That's not Vader! The red blade protruded from the top of a long black staff, not a lightsaber hilt. The helmet was smooth and rounded, lacking the familiar death's-head aesthetic of his Master's. Instead of two rounded photoreceptors, this helm boasted a single strip visor, suggesting that beneath might lie the face of an ordinary human mall rather than whatever blasted visage his Master kept permanently hidden. The figure wore combat armor under his flowing cloak exactly like one of the Emperor's Royal Guard, but entirely in black.
- The apprentice's blade came up of its own accord. Moving in extreme slow motion, as though the air were made of treacle, hi deflected volley after volley from the blasters back at the troopers who fired them. They staggered and fell with smoke pouring from shoulder and neck joints. Their cries barely registered.
- Chapter 15
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