Lilly cracks her neck, then dials Durian’s number. It rings once, rings twice. She is just starting to get nervous when he finally answers. “Lilly, Lilly! Are you okay?” Durian asks urgently.
“Yeah…” Lilly sighs. “I’m sorry. I just got your message. Sorry.”
“Were you at the prison? I saw Imogen there. I know you two hang out a lot and you’re in business together.”
“Yes, I was there,” Lilly admits.
“Is Imogen bossing you around or something? Is she a problem?”
Durian wants to believe in her, but Lilly cannot throw her friend under the bus. Still, the honest answer is hard to say. “No…”
“This was both of yours idea? Or this was your idea?”
“Lilly, you gotta turn yourself in, okay? This—”
“I’m really sorry, Durian.”
“Look, Imogen’s really crafty. I’m sure your testimony is going to be critical for convicting her. And I’m sure they’ll work out a deal with you… Look, those are bad people in that prison. I know some people say, ‘Oh, they’re just a bunch of dissenters,’ but no. They had a slaver in there. There were some bad, bad folks.”
“Yeah, I know, but you know I can’t turn Imogen in.”
Durian sputters at that. “I mean… she’s literally a terrorist!”
“Yeah.” Lilly sighs. There is no good way to say this. “We both are—”
“No, no, Lilly, I think she’s just been manipulating you. And, yeah, you’re going to have to face the music for some stuff, but I can try to find a good lawyer. You gotta do right by this.”
“I can’t turn Imogen in. She didn’t act alone, Durian.”
“Was there someone else?”
“It was me.”
“Oh, Lilly!” Durian squeezes both disbelief and despair into those few syllables.
“I was the someone else,” Lilly reiterates.
“No! How… how can you do this?”
“We took a job,” she says simply.
“You’re doing this for credits?!”
Lilly trusts Durian, but she likes Jimmy too, and she does not want to betray him. She settles on, “No, we didn’t do it for credits, we did it for our friend.”
“Who? Are you working for Raynor’s Raiders? They saw Hyperion.”
Lilly realizes one of those wraiths must have gotten out word before being blown to bits. “Yeah, Durian,” she admits.
“Do you know how many people his group has killed? Uncountable numbers, from what I’ve seen.”
“Yeah,” Lilly says. There is no arguing with that.
“He betrayed Mengsk! Right at the beginning of the revolution. He wanted to seize power for himself.”
“Jimmy’s not like that,” Lilly argues.
“What? He’s a raging alcoholic, a power-hungry maniac.”
“Durian, Mengsk is insane.”
“What do you mean the Emperor’s—what?!” Durian’s voice rises in pitch, incredulous at these words. “Lilly, you are out of line!”
“I know, and I’m sorry,” Lilly says, apologetic about how this makes Durian feel. “But I’ve heard him talk. He ordered the zerg attack on Tarsonis.” She leaves Egon’s lab and heads back to Saffron as Durian continues to sputter.
“What? That’s a crazy conspiracy theory.”
“I heard the recording of him saying it.”
“What? Who’s been feeding you this stuff?”
“We have a recording from a toaster. It was on Tarsonis when we were there.” Now that she is back at the ship, she fishes out the rough copy that she and Imogen still have. She plays it for Durian over the line.
“I don’t… What… this is all crazy! This doesn’t make any sense.”
“Look, I’m just telling you what I know and giving you the facts. I’m not trying to convince you of anything.” Durian fishes around for something to say, and Lilly bursts out, “I know I’m no good for you, Durian.”
“Don’t say that! Look, Lilly—”
“I mean, how much trouble am I?!” Resocialized, zerg pets, a terrorist…
“A lot,” Durian admits. “But, look, if you turn yourself in, maybe in the trial, you can bring this kind of evidence… Maybe… I mean, of course the Emperor’s not perfect; he’s a human being. But it’s a whole lot better than the Confederacy was.”
“Durian, you know turning myself in would be dumb,” Lilly says. She cannot believe he does not realize what would happen to her if she did so. They would kill her!
“Sometimes the dumb thing is the right thing,” Durian tells her. “I don’t know if that’s a saying, but I’m saying it.” Lilly actually chuckles at that. He really is so endearing, even in all this. “Look, I think… I think you’ve got to turn yourself in, Lilly, and then we’ll see how this all falls out.”
“I don’t want to be resocialized again, Durian,” she insists.
“Well, look at it this way, they resocialize murdering criminals. They don’t resocialize terrorists.”
Is that supposed to be comforting? Lilly wonders. “So what do you think’s going to happen?”
Durian lets out a long breath. “Look, if you bring the evidence, I’m sure they’ll find out that it was probably Imogen—or maybe an Umojan plot. Maybe other people are using you two. Umojans have advanced technology. Maybe they put together that recording.”
“I…” Lilly is at a loss for how to respond to such a ridiculous interpretation.
“I don’t know, okay?”
“But that’s why they were attacking Tarsonis! To recover that evidence,” she tries again, hoping to make him understand.
“That is also a crazy conspiracy,” Durian flatly rebuffs her.
“They resocialized the guy who found it!”
Durian did not interact enough with Imogen’s marine escort to conclude anything from those words. “Look, Lilly, you’ve got to turn yourself in or… or… or you’re a terrorist.”
“I’m not a good person, Durian.”
“I didn’t ask if you were a good person. But I guess you warned me.” Lilly is silent, unsure of what else to say. Finally, Durian says, “When you’re ready to give your location… you’ve got my number.” Then he hangs up.
Lilly stares at the silent phone. Did he break up with me?! Was that an ultimatum? Durian is not wrong; she did do all those things. Lilly has really let him down. Depressed, she heads to the bar. There she slaps credits down on the counter and grabs a bottle. The place has plenty of dark corners where she could drink sadly by herself, but Lilly takes the bottle back to Saffron and locks herself in her room.