Levi and Lieutenant Commander Jonathan Freeman were just exiting the small clapboard building that General Hiawithus used as his office building when Marcus found them. They both looked grave, like men on an unpleasant mission.
"Ah, Doctor Alexander!" Freeman said in greeting. "How are things going?"
"Touchy," Marcus answered. Freeman was always such a stickler for protocol. "Levi, have you got a moment?"
"Not really. We're on our way to a meeting with the Elder Council. Walk with us." The old man looked at him suspiciously, but then he had always done that. With all ConFleet persons, it wasn't just him. "Did you find out what Doctor Gold wanted of you?"
"Yes, we were discussing the dosing for the new medicine he's made." He changed directions easily. "And that's actually what I want to discuss with you."
"Well, go on," prompted Levi, not breaking stride.
"Ah, well...are you sure you want to do this on the go?" Marcus asked.
"We've no time to lose," Levi replied. "We're going to talk to the council about suing the Conglomerate for restitution under...what code was that, Jon?"
Freeman didn't bat so much as an eyelash. "Code 154, subsection 27, Part B."
"You can sue the Conglomerate?" Marcus asked in surprise.
"It doesn't happen often," Freeman admitted. "But it can be done."
"Has it ever happened?" the doctor asked in spite of himself.
"Once. Shortly after the end of WW2 in 2021, the remainder of Earth's old Nation of Israel sued for crimes committed during the war. And they won."
"So in a way," Levi commented, "We already have a precedent."
"I'm...speechless," mumbles Marcus. He shook his head and tried again. "Levi, I need to talk to you about Miri."
Levi's step faltered, and stopped. Freeman and Marcus came to a stop as well. "What about Miri?
"She came into the lab when Byrin and I were arguing...and she..."
"Well, spit it out man!" Levi rumbled angrily.
"She injected herself with the virus to give us a test subject."
Silence ruled the moment.
"Yes, she would do that wouldn't she?" Levi said softly. "How sick is she?"
"Very. Byrin has already given her a dose of medicine. I don't know if it's having effect yet."
Levi closed his eyes. "Lord Jesus, protect my foolish, bravehearted girl." He opened his eyes and pierced Marcus with his glare. "Go back and keep an eye on her for me. I've got to meet with the Council, then I'll be right there. Miri will understand my delay, if she's even aware."
"Yes sir." Marcus let out a breath he didn't realize he was holding as the two walked away from him.