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EPILOGUE

Set Harth was too smart to go back to his estate on Nal Hutta. If Zannah had survived the destruction of the Stone Prison it was only a matter of time until she went there to look for him, and he had no desire to ever run into her again.

Luckily, Set had built his life on the underlying principle that he might have to go on the run at any time. He had other mansions on other worlds, from Nar Shaddaa all the way to Coruscant itself, and at least a dozen false identities he could assume if he didn't want to be found. He wasn't worried about Zannah, not when he had something far more interesting right in front of him.

He was sitting cross-legged on the floor of the shuttle he had stolen from the Stone Prison, Andeddu's Holocron resting on a small table a few meters away. All his attention was focused on the small holographic figure being projected from the black pyramid's top.

"It will take years for you to learn the lessons I must teach you," the gatekeeper warned him, its skeletal features serious and grim. "You must prove yourself worthy before I reveal the ritual of essence transfer to you."

"Of course, Master," he said, nodding eagerly. "I understand."

He had chafed under the tutelage of Master Obba and the Jedi. He had felt serious reservations about serving as an apprentice under Zannah. But Set was more than willing to do whatever the gatekeeper required of him.

For one thing, he knew he only had to answer to the gatekeeper when the Holocron was active. Unlike a living Master, Set was the one who would decide where and when he would begin each lesson.

More important, however, the Holocron was offering him something he actually wanted. Zannah had tried to tempt him with promises of power and the chance to destroy the Jedi and rule the galaxy. But Set already had more than enough power to get what he needed from life.

Plus, you're charming, smart, and handsome. What more could anyone ask for?

The last thing he wanted was to rule the galaxy. Let the Jedi and Sith wage their endless war. The outcome made no difference to him. He was a survivor; all he wanted was to live a long and prosperous life. And if he learned the secrets of essence transfer, his life would be very long indeed.

He would have to be careful, of course. Never draw too much attention to himself. Try not to cross paths with the Jedi or powerful people like Zannah.

No problem. Basically, just do what you're already doing. That, and guard the Holocron as if his life-his long, long life-depended on it.

"Are you ready to begin your first lesson?" the gatekeeper asked.

"You have no idea, Master," Set replied with a wry grin. "You have absolutely no idea."