Zemos fixed him with a steady look. “The war is over, Captain. You need to surrender your vessel. Not to Kalquor. Go to the Galactic Council and surrender to them.”
Despite the care etching worry lines, Walker’s features were still those of a young man, and he looked almost like a child to the Dramok as he shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other. “It would make life simpler wouldn’t it? I let that option go three years back when the war ended, though. It’s too late.”
Miragin spoke, his tone gentle. “It is never too late to listen to your conscience. It’s obvious you’re a good man with high values. You can still end this useless madness of fighting our destroyers and taking us prisoner.”
Zemos added, “Earth is dead. Your people scattered. Why are you still fighting?”
Walker scowled, his shoulders hunching defensively. Yes, at just over 30 years of age, he was only a boy compared to Zemos, and he certainly looked the part right now. “Because that’s what a man who’s backed into a corner does. He fights or he dies.”
“Somehow we’ve become a weapon for you.”
Walker gave him a startled look. “Why do you say that?”
Zemos stepped close to the containment field so he could be closer to Walker. He folded his arms over his chest and looked down on the Earther, doing his best paternal attitude. “There is no other reason to keep us alive. You plan to use us somehow. As weapons – or as bartering objects.”
Walker’s gaze skittered away. Aha, thought Zemos. That’s what’s going on then. We’re some sort of bargaining tool for the Earthers.
Unfortunately, his discovery had rattled young Captain Walker. He took a step back and glanced down the corridor, apparently ready to leave.
The Earther said, “I’ll see what I can do to have the tactical officer move personnel around so you don’t have to deal with Remington anymore.”
“Joseph—” Zemos started, trying to keep the young man from leaving. He needed to know what the Earthers had in store for him and what survived of his crew.
Walker interrupted, talking even as he walked away. “I have to get back to the bridge. I’ll check on things again soon.” He nearly ran out of the cell block.
Tentative release in October.