Within the cramped confines of Shuttle 2, the crew made merry with the remaining rations while awaiting the arrival of Holmes. The shuttle was an optimistic tangle of jury-rigged repairs; having miraculously achieved lift-off and the journey to Juno without major mechanical failure, Ishikawa wasn’t intending to push his luck further by attempting re-entry.
“Jettison him now, while we have the chance,” muttered Culver through a mouthful of protein cake. “They ain’t going to thank us pushing that thing on ’em.” He pointed upwards to indicate Bates, tethered to the outside surface, and took the opportunity of diverted glances to sip from the pouch of bootleg berry juice secreted in his clothing. Warmth spread through him.
“Justice has to be seen to be done,” replied Ishikawa, watching him levelly. “Besides, we need everything he can tell us about the Synod. Isn’t that right, Commander?”
The blank face of Reckall’s suit swivelled towards him.
“You have little control over your men, Captain,” Reckall observed.