For now.

Malgus acknowledged the salute with a nod.

You are servants of the Empire, he said. And of the Force.

They shouted once more in response.

Malgus kicked the hilt of Zallows weapon out of his way, deactivated his own lightsaber, stepped over Zallows body, and strode among the rubble, among the fires, among the dead, until he reached Eleena. He felt the eyes of his warriors on him, the eyes of Adraas, felt the change in sentiment come over them. He did not care.

He knelt and cradled Eleena in his arms. She remained warm, breathing. The puckered blaster wounds Zallow had given her looked like black mouths in the skin of her shoulder and chest. She appeared to have no broken bones.

Eleena. Open your eyes. Eleena.

Her eyes fluttered open. Veradun, she whispered.

Hearing her pronounce his name before other Sith surprised him, and his hand closed into a fist so tight it made his knuckles ache. She must neverneverbehave familiarly with him in front of other Sith.

She must have sensed his anger for she blanched, cowered, staring at his closed fist, her eyes wide.

That she understood her transgression diffused his anger. He unrolled his fist and extended his hand.

Can you stand?

Yes. Thank you, Master.

He lifted her roughly to her feet, heedless of her wounds. She winced with pain and leaned on him. He allowed it. Her breath came in pained gasps.

Summon a medical team from Steadfast, he ordered Adraas.

Adraass eyes narrowed. No doubt he thought the task beneath him.

You heard Darth Malgus, Adraas said to a nearby Sith warrior. Summon a medical team.

No, Malgus said. You do it, Adraas.

Adraas stared at him for a moment, anger in his eyes, before he pulled a curtain over his irritation

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