Previous Next

Trial of Ms. Smith

Posted on Wed Jul 14th, 2021 @ 2:42pm by Lieutenant JG Mishka Ru'fallo & Senior Chief Petty Officer Harriet Hastings & Lieutenant Commander Daynah Ral & Ensign Lisa Creed & Lieutenant JG Rianna Repatha & Lieutenant JG T'Pel
Edited on on Wed Jul 14th, 2021 @ 2:45pm

Mission: Diplomacy by any means necessary.
Location: Landing Grid, Valdivae Space port
Timeline: Day 1, Valdivae

Chief Hastings walked through Valliant’s port hatch and down the gang plank. The day had dawned bright and warm as USS Valiant had settled onto the landing grid in section 7, 21A of Valdivae’s military landing grid. The pad Valiant had been directed to was approximately a kilometer long and half that wide. In Valdivae’s past, a majority of their ships, both commercial and military, had landed terrestrially as they had not gained transporter technology until much more recently.

From what Hasty had learned, the bugs had bought it from the Ferengai. That deal had been decidedly one sided and added yet more fans to the mercantile inclined and (in her opinion) criminally bent race.

Still, that was lumping all Ferengi together and she knew better, but still….

Chief Hasty turned and saw that the Valdivae had finished setting up sun shades and carpeted areas around the hull of Valiant. Under one of the shades, they’d set up tables for the Judgement; even though Commander O’Donnaghue had not returned from city central and the meeting with the Valdivae leader.

Upon Valiant’s entering Valdivae space, they’d been invited and ordered to land as guests of the people and informed. They’d been further informed that after due consideration, the Federatioin had acquiesced and allowed a Justice of the Valdivae Judiciary to hear and advise on the matter of the Ambassador’s death.

Fleet had argued that Day should (rightly so by Hasty’s estimation) have her case dealt with by the Fleet, but they had lost out. Scuttlebut had it that word had come down from the office of the President that if Valdivae was to be humored.

Valiant’s COB shook her head and decided this was going to be nothing more than what used to be known as a dog and pony show. Hasty was wearing her dress whites and made sure that the ship’s security contingent was turned out, guarding the gang plank.

A hundred meters out and encircling the ship were approximately one hundred Valdivae Home Guard: citizen soldiers who had been called up to provide an honor guard for the USS Valiant and the Federation’s ambassador to their people.

Rianna was sitting in one of the couches on the deck. Dressed casually, she took in the sights and sounds and wondered exactly how this court investigation was gonna pan out. Would they convict Day or would the defense exonerate her. Rianna hoped it would be the latter.

T'Pel did not agree with Starfleet or the Federation's decision to allow a Starfleet officer to be tried and convicted by a foreign power. In her only way to protest this decision, she did not wear her uniform. Dressed in traditional Vulcan attire in a dark brown wrapped dress with brown tights, her family and name crest stitched in gold along her collar bone.

Though it was her investigation that not only led the discovery of Day's guilt, the irony of it all still sat on her shoulders. She found this entire affair...most illogical.

Daynah sat on the couch as she watched the proceedings. She was worried that there would be no justice here. Although guilty as sin Day deserved to be tried in a Starfleet court as was befitting. Starfleet's decision to let the Valdivae preside over this case was abysmal. With all the uncomfortability of the trial Daynah did not notice that her dress uniform was uncomfortable. The only part of her that was ok with what was happening was Norah Ral, the diplomat. He knew that allowing the Valdivae to preside was a diplomatic coup that would help keep relations between them and the Federation on a good level.

*****


In time, a ground effect vehicle could be seen headed for the Valiant's landing zone which paused only at the security check point. The bus like vehicle eased up to where the curved tables had been set up surrounding a two meter dias. The bus settled to the ground and panels in it's side first slid out, then moved to the side as a delegation of three bugs stepped down. The leader's carapace was black and she regarded Valiant's crew for quite moments, then said "I am Decider Stoav. This is law giver Dast," the black bug said, indicating a Valdivae with a white carapace carrying a scroll. "And this is recorder Nox," she said, gesturing to the scarlet bug to her right who bore a monocle.

"Simply put", she continued after a moment, "They advise. I decide. We will review the evidence against Star Fleet Officer Day and decide her fate." After scanning Valiant's crew, she said. "This proceeding will be broadcast in their entirety to the Valdivae people, and the one hundred will be chosen to represent our interests while the crew of the USS Valiant will represent Star Fleet. In this instance, I believe Lt. Commander Dayna Ral will act as speaker for the defense."

After another pause, Stoav said, "Computer. Choose the 100 so that we may begin." Behind them, the bus panels that had slid apart flickered to life as a screen and then broke down into a hundred separate screens which were populated by an equal number of Valdivae citizens.

Then Nox stepped up, straightening his monocle and said, "These proceedings are in order and will be further broadcast to the Federation." The scarlet bug's voice was officious, and held a slightly snotty inflection. "All parties are prepared. We will commence in fifteen bidts."
*****


Lisa stood in her dress whites wondering how this case was going to turn out for Lieutenant Day, as she hoped that the Lieutenant was going to get a fair hearing and it is not one-sided or her being looked upon unfairly, as she decided to enter the courtroom to take her seat, as she did so, Lisa also hoped that this did not show the Federation or Starfleet in a bad light.

Rianna wondered about this type of court. It seemed one-sided to her.

Daynah had only been half listening to what was proceeding. Her mind had been distracted as she tried to think for a way to save Day from this circus. It was the sound of her name that brought her back to the here and now. She heard that she would be defending and while she wanted to mull the idea over, she did not want to be thrust into the limelight. Daynah turned toward Commander Thibideaux to see if he would save her. Surely he would have been the better choice. However, there was no such luck from the Commander. Daynah resigned herself to her assignment begrudgingly and rose to attention.

If there was anything to admire about this incident, it was the efficiency in which the Vadivae portrayed. There was an almost ruthless Vulcan approach to the administering of justice. T'Pel could sense on the surface the various emotions around her. From uncertainty and anxiety, to anger and hatred. The logic of the situation was clear, Day was guilty with extraordinary circumstances. If that could be conveyed, it might lead to leniency.

Mac was frowning, she had found no evidence that Day had been responsible during her autopsy of the Ambassador, no hair or other dna markers left on him. It didn't make sense. She kept her mouth shut because she knew if she spoke up she would be saying things that would likely get her removed from the room. Still she had not been able to prove it either. There was nothing to show otherwise but there was no DNA to connect Day to the crime but no other DNA to prove she hadn't done it. Double edged sword or something.

Not only was this one-sided but it was ludicrist. How could you prove that Day was responsible when there was no forensic proof? No something else was responsible for the Ambassador's death. Even though the security crew and intelligence crew went over the shuttle, Rianna was sure they missed something. She wanted to go back and go over the shuttle her way to see if they missed a critical piece of evidence proving Day's innocence.

Law Giver Dast stepped forward as Valiant's crew settled. A disk below the white carapaced Valdivaean glowed and then a holographic image of her appeared i and flickered to an image which became readily recognizable as the interior of the USS Valiant. "Upon review of, sensor recordings, subject interviews and extrapolations, it has been deemed that Lieutenant Day Smith, currently assigned as Chief Operations Officer aboard the Federation Vessel, USS Valiant did commit murder by asphyxiation of Federation Ambassador to Valdivae, Giles Telford."

The law giver paused for a few beats, then continued "The following is an extrapolation and visual representation with evidence tags for review:" The holographic image of Day in Valiant's corridor began to play out with occasional glowing yellow notes which were added to a scrolling display. The video showed Day moving through Valiant, the image blinking out completely at one point and the playback stopped, backed up to show Day working at a computer junction. "Here, our investigator's found where Day removed herself from most sensor signatures. However, she was picked up again by the Ambassadorial Shuttle's independent systems. Although these were tampered with, we were able to recover this."

The screen jumped ahead to show Day stepping into the shuttle, then moving stealthily toward the back of the Ambassador and then she was looping something around his neck. With a quick jerk, she tightened it. As the ambassador fought and thrashed in his death throes, Day staggered back and grasped at her head. Within seconds, the ambassador was obviously dead. A short time later the image faded with Day being discovered. The law giver again allowed quiet to consume the proceedings.

The evidence was mind blowing and Daynah had to act fast if she was to save Day from being sent to a Valdivae prison. But how??? Daynah thought. All the possibilities ran through her head. Ral began to process the centuries of knowledge that he had. It was Alaryc Ral's memories that caused Daynah to glance over to Natan, then it was Norah Ral's memories that gave her the answer. Without a movement to lose Daynah stepped front and center and broke the silence.

"Lawgiver I must object. I object to these whole proceedings..." She paused for effect and did not wait for a response, as Valdivae criminal proceedings dictated that she explain herself before the Lawgiver can render verdict. "Lieutenant Day Smith is a member of the crew of the USS Valiant, a Federation starship. The Valdivae subscribe to a long standing tradition that Starfleet subscribes to as well. This tradition is that of a Captain being responsible for the actions of those under their command. That would mean that Commander Natan O'Donnaghue as Captain of the Valiant is responsible for this crime. However, the Valdivae people have granted the Captain temporary Diplomatic Status, which means that he cannot be found guilty of a crime as he has diplomatic immunity. Due to this I respectfully show that this court has no juristdiction in this matter and all evidence as well as Lieutenant Day be turned over to Lieutenant Lisa Creed. The prisoner and evidence will then be turned over to the Federation justice system for trial and punishment. With all respect Lawgiver I request a verdict." Daynah had read up on the law prior to the trial, she wanted to understand the proceedings. At the time Daynah did not think she would be participating in the proceedings. However, she was now happy that she had read up.

Lisa sat there listening to the court proceedings and when Lisa sat up straight when her name was mentionedand hoped that she would be allowed to take her back home, as she knew that the verdict might go for her or against her but this would be a black mark on Lieutenant Day's service record and hoped that she might learn to forgive herself or Lisa started to hoped she would.

T'Pel continued to stare straight ahead as the evidence was given and displayed. While not the investigator, T'Pel had been on the one who accessed all logs and recordings that were being shown. Between the ship's logs, the Ambassador's systems that were separate from the ship. She had seen all of the logs, all of the recordings. Her view was that there was no question, Day was guilty of the crime. The only question was whom was going to find her guilty and pass sentence. She gave Starfleet's chances no better than one in four.

Law Giver Dast listened impassively and allowed for Dayna's words to sink in before speaking again. "Interesting turn of phrase that you believe your officer should be turned to judgement by the Federation." The white carapaced Valdivaen said as he turned so that the vid pickups registered him gesturing toward the USS Valiant and her crew now clustered behind him in a well planned shot. "Aren't we, the Valdivae the embodiment of the Federation? We have been members, subscribers, and supporters of the UFP for twenty five orbits of this planet."

The law giver turned back and the camera slowly circled back to keep him in frame. I perceive this as a problem that faces our race today, personified. StarFleet does not recognize member federation planets right to judge them. They believe they are above the simple judgement of those that they are here to represent. They wish to internalize. Seek a judgement for their officer by more sympathetic ears. Before a court where the Valdivae people are mere bystanders instead of a true voice."

Silence hung again until Recorder Nox adjusted his monocle and said in dry voice, some contempt evident in his voice. "Unfortunately, before this 100 are the charges against Lieutenant Smith. Not Valdivae's continued membership within the United Federation of Planets, nor even Star Fleet and it's debatable grandiose visions of itself. I would suggest to the Decider that the esteemed Law Giver's sermonizing are belong for after he announces his bid for Leader in a few months time."

Dast's antenna twitched angrily as he regarded his monocled fellow but was cut off by the Decider's voice booming through the PA system. "Enough. This is a court, not a showcase. More importantly, this is MYcourt. And you two shall remember that," the Decider said, addressing the Law Giver and Recorder.

Not bowed his apology and after a few more beats of locked eyes between the Decider and Law Giver, the latter too bowed his head in acceptance of the rebuke.

Turning his attention back to the monitors and then to the assembled Valiant crew. Finally he said, "Nox. Dast. Do either of you dispute the legality of Commander Ral's statements? And I remind you both, that they Lieutenant Day, and Commander Ral's words are not the only thing being weighed and measured in this forum?"

Not immediately said, "No, Decider. Her words are factual, especially in factual to our laws."

Dast glowered for a few beats and then said, "I concur with the Recorder, Decider. Though it is still my argument that the people of the Federation and in this instance the Valdivae need their voices listened to and weighed."

The Decider nodded at both of them and then considered Day and said, "There is merit in some or all of what has been said. I do find you, Lieutenant Smith of the USS Valiant, guilty. Under Valdivae law and customs, since your crime was committed against a protected and valued member for our Diplomatic Corp you will be remanded to and remain in our custody for sentencing."

Decider Stoav let that hang for several moments and then continued. "Sentencing is held in abeyance until Starfleet may have their say. "Recorder Nox, you will take charge of Lieutenant Smith and be my voice during those proceedings. Once you communicate those to myself and the 100, we shall see if the Law Giver's words ring true. These proceedings are adjourned."

Within Daynah there was a small amount of satisfaction. She had used diplomatic law to keep Day alive and it had worked. She sensed that Norah was proud of her. However, she was a little surprised that Day was not fully released into their custody. Her guess was it was so the Valdivae could save face. She watched as Day was taken away and exhaled sharply through her nose. Something deep within Daynah told her that this would most likely be the last time she would see Day. Daynah turned to the rest of the crew and made for the exit without a word. Truth was Day's actions disgusted both Daynah and Ral.

Rianna was shocked, pissed, peeved, upset, and adamant at the decision that was made. Deep inside her she felt Day was innocent and prayed the Federation would exonerate her eventually. Getting up, she slowly walked towards the exit, but simething told her it would be in all likely hood be tge last time she would see Day.

Lisa rose and knew that this was going to be difficult for her and for the Valiant and what with her fellow officers will say about what has happened here today, as she knew that things might not work out that way and the ambassador did die on her watch as she was the Chief Security officer at the time and maybe she had to do something to appease the Law-giver and the courts.


Lieutenant Commander Daynah Ral
Chief Science Officer/Second Officer
USS Valiant



Lt. Jg. Rianna Repatha
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Valiant

Senior Chief Petty Officer Harriet Hastings
Chief of the Boat
USS Valiant

Lieutenant Jg Lisa Creed
Chief Security officer
USS Valiant

Lieutenant JG T'Pel
Operations Officer
USS Valiant

 

Previous Next

labels_subscribe

Positive SSL