((Continuation of the story started here and continued here, here, here, here, here and here))

I awake with a start. How long was I out? I cannot tell. My head hurts. My body's feels like some weak, frail thing. I'm not among the ruins, the bodies, the fires and the blood anymore. Instead the air is sterile. Smells like hospital. Figures. I have to measure my life in hospital and significant maimings at this point. The covers are soft. I sense a presence. "Mother?"
The voice that responds doesn't belong to Mother. Her tone's formal. Slightly accented. She rolls her 'r's. "Lady Kerrigan is still in the ICU."
"Oh...Brigadier. Sorry, head's a little fuzzy. Is she gonna make it?"
"Too early to tell. Whatever you did...helped her, but she's not out of the woods yet," Leonina Varkathras, my boss, responds.
"Don't even know what I did, to be honest. She was dying, there was so much blood. I prayed and...it was like all energy was being ripped from me and pulled into her."
"Your heart stopped." Oh. "We'll have to investigate this further," she raised a fur-covered paw. "When you're up for it - and not a moment before. You're staying here until the doctors have cleared you." Her voice is stern.
I groan. "How's Hunter? He got hit by the Sith, I think. Wouldn't have been able to get the drop on her without him."
"Cracked rib, a concussion - but alive. Ms Harmony is a bit in shock, but alright. The same cannot be said for many of the delegates and the guards. It's a debacle. Kerrigan's attacker got away."

"Frak," I sink back into my bed. "We know anything about her?"
She pauses for a while before continuing. "Her name's Darth Soteria. She used to be called Shakkara Kalon, Jedi Master."
I snort. "Great. Another Jedi turned Sith. One of their Dark Lord's 'lackeys'?"
Leonina shakes her head. "No, she's not one of them. She's something very different."
"You sound like you know. Sorry, I didn't mean to pry but..."

"You did, but it's a professional matter you need to be in the know about," she cuts me off. "As you know, I was a Jedi before I joined Firemane. As was common back then, the Order took me in at a young age and I was apprenticed to a Master. Shakkara was that Master." Her accent's gotten stronger. Her 'w's sound like 'v's.
"Frak. What happened?"
"She betrayed the Republic and joined the One Sith, like many others. She made me an offer. I refused. She didn't take it well."
"So she...went for us because she couldn't handle you not being her minion?" I blurt out.

"I'm not so arrogant to think that her actions revolve around a singular obsession with me. What matters is that she's a extremely dangerous Force-wielder. I know she isn't associated with the Empire. She's always had her own mind. She's not someone who'd kowtow to anyone sitting on a throne. We don't know the extent of her resources, but she was able to penetrate our security. In the coming days, everyone with knowledge of Lady Kerrigan's itinerary and security arrangements will be questioned."

Heads will roll. Maybe literally. "And then we must find her," I finish. "You want to fight her, ma'am."
"It's not a matter of want; it's my duty, Lieutenant. Shakkara used to be a," she is searching for words, I can tell, "...formidable Jedi Master, committed to fighting injustice instead of sitting in a conclave. But whatever she once was, now she is a butcher, a war criminal, and it's our duty to kill her." I want to say something in sympathy. It must be like...fighting your parent. Except one you used to have a good relationship with. I shot my father, but he was always a monster. But I hold my tongue. "Order of Fire leads the way, ma'am. I've got a slug with her name on it," is what I say instead.

I can tell the topic's not one she wants to dwell on. Don't blame her. "You did well today. Don't expect honours."
"I don't want medals. Or another stupid propaganda movie." I still hate that dumb movie they made about Tephrike. Full of whitewashing. Least my actress was cool - and actually interested in what really happened. Whatever. "Just doing my duty."
"Good. Because what happened is no cause for celebration. It's a warning that we've got to be stronger. More resolute."
Painkillers must be wearing off. My head is starting to hurt. "So...since Mother's, well, out of commission, who's in charge now? Mum...Director Alcori?"
Leonina shakes her head. "Vice President Kaylah Danton has stepped in as interim CEO until such a time when Lady Kerrigan is sufficiently recovered to resume her duties."
Mother must be hating this. But the name doesn't ring a bell. "Danton?"
"A long-term member of the Board of Control," Leonina emphasises. I can tell she's annoyed. "You should pay more attention to our hierarchy, Lieutenant. Military and political."
"Respectfully, I try to avoid politics, ma'am, and just get on with my job."
I can't quite read her aura. "Politics has a way of finding you no matter how hard you try to avoid it. Being apolitical's a pipedream for us."
A rebuke's a rebuke. "Yeah, fine. So is this Danton woman one of the bootlickers who slept their way or does she know her stuff?"
I shouldn't have said that. "I will attribute that remark to the damage to your head and the painkillers." Her tone's very sharp. Cutting even. "The Vice President is an experienced administrator who has been with Firemane from the very beginning." So not the power-grabbing, backstabbing vizier who'll make nice with Sithlings? Great. "But regardless of who signs our paychecks, we will abide by our oath."
"Yes, ma'am."
There's a figure standing outside the room. A doctor, I guess. Seeing her, Leonina turns and walks away. "Rest. Don't try to sneak out," she says as a parting shot and closes the door behind her. I can still perceive them because walls are no barrier to Force Sight, but their voices are muffled. Something about Mother and surgery. I fight to remain awake, but slowly sink back to sleep.