Althea forced herself to look back at him.
“It’s not over Trae,” she confessed. “It’s still out there.”
“You destroyed it,” he told her.
“No, no, no! Why do I have to continue to explain, I destroyed a corpore! That’s all!” she yelled at him.
Dorian’s voice tickled in her ear.
The communications core has responded. There is not much time left.
“I told you what a Macro is,” she reminded Traejan. He didn’t seem to understand. Was he that stupid?– Or was the grief so strong? “Don’t you remember?”
She waved at the wreckage around her, in the distance.
“This is only scorched metal, burnt composites, broken wreckage,” she pointed out as plainly as she could.
“This was just parts,” she raised her voice to make her point. “It’s nothing.”
Nothing but the Macro’s spare parts. She felt herself breathing again, faster harsher, sweating in the cold all of a sudden – in anticipation?
“I’m sure there are dozens,” she told him, fighting against the renewed need. Light came to his eyes. Yes listen to me.
“Dozen’s more,” she repeated. “After this… As large, as dangerous – coming.”
A look of horror crossed his face again. He looked back at Kyso.
“Then he died for nothing,” Traejan’s voice dropped, pained. Then strengthened, he accused, “you let him die for nothing!”
The charge angered her again. Why did everyone have to be a martyr? Weren’t there enough martyrs in the universe already?
“He died because he wanted to!” she told Traejan harshly
“You’re lying!” he shot back. “Kyso wanted to live!”
She’d wanted him to live. She felt the tears come again, but couldn’t pull away from the young man’s fury, his accusations.
“Is that all you have?! Lies and fake tears?”
“I’ve had head trauma!” she shouted at him. “I wanted him to survive more than anything else! Where were you? Why didn’t you make sure he was with you?!”
Traejan stopped, looking afraid – ashamed – then turned away.
Althea, you have to find the core.
She took in a ragged breath, wiped the tears from her cheeks.
“We were…” he started, but couldn’t finish the sentence. He stumbled back a couple steps from her, turned back, hopeless grief on his face.
“I ran…” he offered, a look of horror now settling in.
“He should have run too,” she finished, started to turn away, then looked back at Traejan, held his gaze, pointed at the thick wall only two sixes away, felt her voice rise in her grief, “He could have, could have made it, made it even behind that wall – and survived! But he made his choice not to!”
She stopped for a moment, inhaled a deep breath of the smoky air.
“I didn’t want him to die Traejan,” she insisted. “Why didn’t he protect himself? Why Traejan? Why?!”