|“|| Winston Duarte's office was plain and comfortable. The desk was simple pressed polycarbonate, a little larger maybe than the receptionist's in the lobby. The screen on the wall was set to a calm semi-abstract piece that flowed in sepia and brown, evoking fallen leaves and mathematical proofs in roughly equal proportions. |
The only touch of luxury was a shelf of what appeared to be actual printed books on military strategy. The man himself fit in the space like he'd been designed for it.
| — Nemesis Games|
in Chapter 17
Winston Duarte is the High Consul of the Laconian Empire, and formerly an admiral of the Martian Congressional Republic Navy.
In Nemesis Games, he is a commander on Hecate Base, an aide to Admiral Long that Alex Kamal approaches for information on the missing ships. He does not reveal any involvement with the rogue elements conspiring to arm Marco Inaros' Free Navy but instead redirects Alex to the name of Kaarlo Henderson-Charles who is found murdered in his base housing unit. Duarte gave Alex a dead-end lead and might have actually had someone killed to accomplish that setup. Towards the end of the events in Nemesis Games, it is revealed that "a man from Mars" alluded to in the novella The Vital Abyss, is in fact Admiral Duarte, a rank he apparently takes on when establishing his rogue fleet secretly allied with the Free Navy and supplying Marco Inaros' fleet.
In the novella, he hosts a grand experiment that crammed many researchers and scientists together, on Thoth Station, working in teams, many playing each other to make themselves stand out to the men in charge.
The holding cells that the scientists are "housed" in were monitored. And while the scientists actual research was highly valued it seemed that the men running the experiment, were also very interested in how they interacted with each other. How they stepped over each other to gain recognition, and the creativity of their ploys.
Marco Inaros and his fringe faction of the OPA have been getting a hold of Martian ships and military tech. It seems Holden and the crew think these ring-bound ships are Inaros's. Many of the top brass on Earth, suspect top officials in the Martian government are in league with Inaros, but Fred Johnson suspects that Inaros is just being used as a tool by some by some rogue agent of the Martian government.
This rogue player has been revealed to be admiral Duarte, with a breakaway segment of the Martian navy following. This splinter group is allied with Inaros, but apparently views him as a tool for their own means. While Duarte's overarching mission is not clear yet, evidence shows that he's also responsible for the theft of the proto-sample from under Fred Johnson's nose.
Currently, Duarte and a growing number of researchers, scientists, and vessels have made a deal with Inaros' Free Navy to have access to the gates, and pass through Medina Station. They are stationed in the Laconia system.
He sentences one of his soldiers to death after that soldier, in a bout of negligence and insobriety, kills a young boy named Xan. Xan is the brother of the viewpoint character of this novella and friend of Santiago, the son of soldiers.
Winston has taken on the title of High Consul of Laconia while continuing to use his title of Admiral. He has the researchers of Laconia developing protomolecule technology to assure his immortality.
Winston appoints Singh to command a vessel, the Gathering Storm, that will emerge from the Laconia gate following the Heart of the Tempest when it confronts the forces they left behind decades ago in their original solar system of Sol. Winston also directs Singh to govern Medina Station and its population
When Singh is executed, Winston holds audience with the late captain's wife and daughter. He discovers that he has a new visual sensory ability that perceives people's mental thought processes as a colorful halo but, he's reluctant to use it on the grieving family.
Winston has no hesitation using the new abilities on James Holden who he now has captive.