"Surely..." Even words failed him.
Levi clasped his friend's shoulder with his hand. It was one thing to speculate about a matter, another to have it turn out to be the truth.
"Byrin is close to finalizing the sequencing on the antibiotics for this. I've looked over his work, and I have to agree with his conclusions. The Conglomerate did this to you...us." Marcus sat across the desk from his commanding officer.
"I authorized those vaccinations...I did this..." Archibald Hiawithus was close to sobbing. Tears pooled in the bags under his eyes and slowly leaked out and down his saggy cheeks. "Levi, I am so sorry..."
"It's not like you knew, Archie...I know you better than that," Levi said in a soothing tone.
"What happens next?" the general asked.
"Like I said, Bryin's almost finished..."
"Can he prove it?"
Marcus hesitated. "Not at this point, it's all speculation really. But give him enough time, and I'm sure he'll be able to prove it."
"Send him to me when he's able. I still have a few friends in the Hierarchy. I can't promise any action will be done, but a case will be made to the Presidential Council to rebuild Zeta Muria and make things right." He might have looked frail, but the desk thundered as the general brought his fist down on it.
"That's not necessary," Levi said. "We just want the Conglomerate to leave this planet."
A feminine throat clearing interrupted them. "Grandfather, if you give me a moment, I can tell you why that would be a bad idea."
Levi straightened and regarded his granddaughter with questioning eyes.