“You’re telling me, hostile aliens board the space station, murder countless humans, and I’m charged with murder?”
The carbon dioxide poisoning manifests as a relentless pounding in my temples. It helps to dampen my tantrum. Prendable and the beautiful medic look back at me apologetically. For a moment, I regret losing my temper in front of her.
“Is that why the doctor asked if I remember having any dreams?”
“Yes.” Prendable nods his head in empathy as he answers.
“So, this mind probe allowed my entire day, the entire Ralgoth massacre, to be witnessed by everyone?”
“Not everyone. Just the Council members, myself, and a few high ranking individuals.”
“Did they decide to swing by my childhood and watch my first sports game, too?”
“No, but your morning…activities were on display.”
There is that fucking grin again. What is with….oh, shit. Tina! I hope she made it out okay.
“May I interject?” Alvarez looks flustered. “With all due respect, what do I have to do with any of this?”
The Commander seems surprised by the medic’s questioning tone.
“You are here because I invited you to be here, Martina. Beyond that, you were instrumental in the resuscitation of Sergeant Mendoza. I wanted to give him the chance to thank you.”
I wonder if that was mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
“No need to thank me. After rescue crews retrieved Mr. Mendoza, I was the nearest medic available. I just did my job.”
Prendable doesn’t even acknowledge her awkward modesty before turning back to me.
“Look, soldier, the Council is desperate for any excuse to avoid a conflict with the Ralgoth tribes. To put it bluntly, you are being used as a scape goat. The Council would be happy to put all those deaths on one of our own instead of admitting me have a hostile enemy knocking at our door. The government fears that we are not capable of winning a war with the Ralgoths, and as you might be aware the civilian population isn’t exactly in favor of a conflict either.
A small seed of anger quickly sprouts throughout my body, flushing my face and turning my hands into clenched fists.
“The Executive Council is nothing but a group of fucking cowards.”
My outburst was much quieter this time. This was not an exclamation of uncontrollable anger, this was the cold response of rage.
“Unfortunately, cursing the council’s existence won’t aid your defense. I still have a great deal of influence, but that soon won’t last. I’m willing to help you, but I need you to do something in return.”
A commander asking for a favor is never a good thing, but I have run out of options.
I stare at him in silence, waiting for him to continue.
“I want you to resign from the military and join my crew…..Both of you.”