�I have spent so long following him that his absence feels like a void.� Carmil murmured to her interior of her cabin. �I have been unable to leave him, and he has kept me within his reach at all times.� The interior lacked the luxuries that it used to hold save for a few personal possessions that Carmil could never fully discard. A mask, a holorecording, and a crystal on a chain.

 

For a long time, they had been locked away with the promise that she had let go. For the most part, she had when she embraced Kadrius� cloak of pain after Keieva�s death. At least, she reminded herself, she had not watched the holorecording. It was kept close, though, and passed between her hands with her fingers always ready to push the command. Like every day since Kadrius� disappearance, it was stored away unused.

 

A part of her subconscious mind thought by wearing Adric�s old crystal around her neck and keeping his memories close,  that he would somehow speak to her from beyond, but there was never a response. Even if he was dead beyond communication, she still felt he was the only person she could speak to without fear of attack. While she was not necessarily forgiving, she was when it came to Adric despite his betrayal, but she could never forgive herself.

 

�I have risen to command of all within Kadrius� influence, and in doing so, there is no one I can trust. There is you.� Carmil�s head dropped forward, and her hand rushed to meet her forehead. Her fingers tangled in the mess of dark locks and tugged with a sharp gesture. Pain helped to relieve the panic that threatened to rise up, and in the past days, new wounds were etched into her thighs. It provided some normalcy in Kadrius� absence, but most of all, it let her power flow. �There is always you.�

 

�My lord.� The call from the bridge echoed into her spartan room. �There�s a ship on our long range scanners. It looks to be a Republic transport, but it seems to be damaged.�

 

Carmil lifted her head and looked towards the projection of the sound.

 

How many lives had been lost in battle already? She asked herself. Whole cruisers under Kadrius� command had been destroyed, and numerous troops slaughtered. They were still counting what little assets they had left, and only a few ships of varying sizes had been able to retreat successfully.

 

Carmil had fallen silent and in deep thought regarding the state of the forces. The forces that Kadrius had abandoned and left Carmil to pick up the crippled remains.

 

�My lord?�

 

�Captain, have my Fury prepared.� She forced herself off the floor and spoke with confidence, though a portion of it was false. Though she believed that if she did not show confidence, then the remaining forces would not hold together. Several had already left when Kadrius� absence had become known, but a great many remained simply because there was nowhere left to go. �Notify Lord Tarokus to be prepared for combat. Is Lord Raxium on one of our close ships?�

 

�No, my lord.�

 

�Very well. Have the boarding party assembled in the hangar within fifteen minutes galactic standard. I want what engineering crew we can spare to be on standby.� Carmil rolled her shoulders back as she crossed the room with a proud gait towards her armor. �While we are seizing control of the Republic ship, I want message put out to every ship under Kadrius� command. They are to rendezvous on our location, and we will begin rebuilding our fleet.�

 

But under whose authority? The question crept into her mind and made her freeze in place. A statement needed to be made, but it did not necessarily have to be a loud one. Something simple, but something close to familiar for the forces.

 

Her mouth started to form the words, and doubt nagged at her to stay quiet. It had only been a moniker at one time in her life against Darth Variton. A taunt to show that Kadrius� legacy had never been truly destroyed and that it could never be destroyed.

 

Then she saw it.

 

Her eyes focused in on her armor and she sank to the floor, staring at the suit in some form of twisted awe. Carmil laughed. Genuinely laughed at the feeling of madness momentarily taking over her brain.

 

She was a wild attack dog before she met Kadrius, but he had beaten and leashed her. He had molded her, sculpted the way she moved and fought, and cultivated her power in the Force. He gave her the tools and clad her in armor that resembled his own. He had even gone so far as to have her heart replaced with a cybernetic organ. While it was a testament to his word to never allow her know the peace of death, it would not tire out as quickly as human tissue and could be maintained to ensure full function. She would live on, and so would his influence.

 

She was the legacy, or so she believed.

 

�Captain.� She called back as she picked herself up from the floor once again. �Relay the messages under the order of Darth Kadrissa.�

Author Esreiella
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