((Told from Kyriaki's point of view. Represents a far-off future scenario.))

Elpsis was never one for pomposity. The final resting place of her ashes is a simple matter. A humble tombstone on the top of a hill at the edge of a forest. Marked with her name.
Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori, beloved daughter, sister, partner, friend.
She saved many innocent lives.


It’s hard to imagine that it’s been about twenty years since she saved me from Tephrike. A planet that almost killed her the first time she came. A hellhole no one in their right mind would want to return to. A fool’s quest no one sane would undertake. Yet she did. For someone she knew nothing about save that she was her clone. I come here every year with flowers to tell her what’s been going on in my life. I place the flowers at her tombstone and sit down.

“Hey, Elpsis, it’s, uh, been a while. I was re-elected as Advocate. It wasn’t an easy election. Apparently listening to my speeches is like staring at a statue that talks. Badly. But it seems the people liked common sense politics enough to forgive that. The Free Communes are growing. People’s lives aren’t easy, but they have education, employment, freedom...I hope you won’t be too grumpy about me failing to exercise my veto against them naming a school after you. You’d be proud of Rhea. She’s grown into her own as a leader. We make a good team, surprisingly. Shakka and I have...we’re not friends....I don’t think we can be. but we can talk to each other.” I pause.

“And...I’m married. I like to think one of my old teachers suffered a stroke after having a vision of me saying yes to a ‘xenos’." I chuckle a bit before my expression turns more serious. "She...knows everything about my past. She loves me anyway. You'd like her.”

“We’re not done with Tephrike. Nor am I. The Vaderites have splintered. Petty lords are fighting over the scraps, slaves are rising up, the Dominion and the Guard are trying to pick up the pieces. But they’re still dangerous enough to cause misery. We’ve got confirmation of an extremist faction using chemical weapons against civilians. It’s time to continue where we left off – and finish this.” The wind brushes against my skin. Tears are forming in my eyes. My voice wavers. “May you be happy wherever you are.” I take a breath. “I love you.”

And I feel a presence I have not felt in a long time. “Enyo Typhos. You're supposed to be dead.” I stare into a face that is the spitting image of Siobhan Kerrigan – just younger. Dark shirt, cargo pants. no visible weapons, other than the lightsabre on her belt. Not that Enyo needs weapons to kill anyone.
Her face is expressionless, but there is something...off about her aura. “Mortality is such an organic concern.”
“What do you want? Firemane security will...”
She cuts me off. “ I didn't come here to fight. I was visiting Siobhan and...we have a few minutes, I reckon. “
And somehow, I believe her. “ A truce then.” Elpsis would have never offered that. She would have struck her with righteous fury for all the evil she has done and undoubtedly still does. But she's useful. And a lot stronger than me.

“Yes.” She crosses the distance and stands alongside me. “Curious that she's here...and not over there in that absurd mausoleum they built for Siobhan. “
“Believe me, Siobhan wanted Elpsis to be buried with her. But that wasn't Elpsis. I had to put my foot down. There was yelling, then she relented. Truth be told, I didn't entirely live up to my promise. Elpsis wanted her ashes scattered to the winds, but...I needed a place to visit her. I'm selfish that way."
She gives me a knowing look – thousand miles stare in her eyes. “Love is fundamentally selfish. She died in battle, yes?”
“She could never slow down. Never stop. I hate her a bit for it, even as I love her for it.”
“And Siobhan died of a heart attack, of all things,” Enyo scoffs. “To rise so far and then to perish to an enemy so minuscule. Mundane. She knew her components were defective, but she never replaced them. Stupid. I was angry when I heard the news. “

“Thought you hated her.”
“Once. It is of no consequence now. It's just us now, Kyriaki. The clones of mother and daughter. The last of the Kerrigans.”
Many absurd things have happened in my life. Bonding with a death machine at the grave of my sister still ranks pretty high. But then we've both done terrible things. For survival for power, for security. “I'm no Kerrigan. Or an Elaris, for that matter.”
“You’re more of a Kerrigan than those pampered brats on the Arx.”
Livia and Adril. Elpsis loved them. I never felt much of a connection to them. “They've been through their own share of trials.”
“Not like us or Elpsis or Siobhan, for that matter.”

My eyes are hard and cold. No one should ever have to do the things I did to survive. “Hardly a badge of honour. No one should go through what we did. I won't scorn them for being well-adjusted human beings.”
“The true trial is yet to come. Perhaps my 'nieces' on Tygara will impress me. I have heard rumblings about a Saobana...rallying Qadiri to her cause. The next decades will be interesting to watch.”
I raise an eyebrow at that. What she says is true. I'm sure many Firemane pen-pushers curse the day Siobhan decided to legitimise a bunch of Qadiri and Xioquo ex-slaves who took her name. “Your doing?”
“I'm sure Firemane would love to attribute it to me and not their own failings.”
“Surely Archangel would love the opportunity to expand its interests and gain an edge over the competition. Especially one you've obsessed over for so long."

She shrugs indifferently. “I don't run it anymore.”
“You were toppled? Did the loyalty of your ‘siblings’ run out?”
Her eyes flash. “I gave it to people who still feel enthusiasm for its work instead of ennui.”
“Don’t tell me you felt the call of conscience.” I would not believe a word of it if she claimed such. I know how Archangel conducts its business. It is a machine of death – albeit a lot saner than the tyrants whose chains I cast off.

“What do you think I am? Human? I am what I am. I make no apologies for my actions. But I’ve grown weary of this world, the stupidity, the short-sightedness. So I shall simply...watch.” Even butchers get tired, it would seem.
“You lost a part of yourself when Siobhan died.” So did I when Elpsis fell. I remember something the machine woman told me once. “’Clones are like children trying to escape cloying parents.’” I am met with stony silence for several heartbeats. It is all the confirmation I need.
“You are not done with Tephrike.”
A statement of fact, not a question. “The Dominion may be playing at liberalisation and the Humanists have de-Vaderised themselves, but scratch the surface and nothing has changed. And the Vaderite civil war is getting out of control. Our work is unfinished. I have a few old ‘colleagues’ to deal with.”

“Hmm. You will find this useful, niece.” For just a moment irrational paranoia flares inside me when she reaches for something in her backpack. To my surprise, she retrieves a...neat folder with aurebesh sigils and a datapad and passes them to me.
After a moment, I take both and start flipping through the folder. It takes me but a moment to realise what she has handed me. “How did you get this?”
“I sold the Dominion a droid army in its darkest hour. Some of your former colleagues among the Vaderites also took an interest. I know what my creations know. Every piece of intel they’ve gathered is contained there. And if you check the datapad you’ll find the command codes.”
Assuming they haven’t wiped the machines clean. But even so, the implications are staggering. Orders of battle, intercepted communications, missile sites, secret bases – my mind is reeling with possibilities. “Just like that?” She says nothing. “Tell me the catch.”

“I want to see what you do with it. Consider it a gift from your mechanical aunt, if you like. Try to ‘save’ your planet if you like, no matter how futile that is. Or damn it even further, if that’s possible. Just make a choice and make sure it is yours and you’re not just chasing your template, trying to be someone you are not.”
My eyes narrow slightly. “I am no child on a futile quest to be her. I was born on that hellhole of a planet. If anything, it was I who pushed her to go back. Elpsis was ever the Cylix. Deadly, dangerous, unpredictable. No man dared read on her. I was the grass. Pleasant, complaisant, sweet-smelling, swaying with every breeze. Who fears to walk upon the grass? But it is the grass that hides the Cylix. from her enemies and shelters her until she strikes. It’s my turn now. I fight my own way – with the dagger, not the broadsword. I could not be her, she could not be me.”

“Remember that. And don’t grow so obsessed with a cause that it consumes you.” She starts to walk away. “Causes, ideals, nations, flags – none of them matter. They rise and fall, and the clock keeps ticking. Those who sing your praises today will sharpen their daggers tomorrow to stab you in the back."

"I survived a viper's nest. I was one of those vipers. I don't need a lecture from you, Enyo."
"Then never forget what that nest it taught you."
"I see the fruits of those lessons every day. And I escaped it because the woman lying in that grave did something utterly illogical. Maybe you should remember what led you here - purposeless and lost."
Her eyes narrow. "How organic of you. There’s no point in having faith in anything...except your family. Until the day when the clock strikes midnight, and the end comes."
Then she is gone. And it is just me and Elpsis. I bend down to touch her tombstone. It is getting dark. “I’ll be back. One day we'll be together again. May you be at peace. Feel free to haunt me whenever your Lifeweb lets you pop by.”