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Jailhouse Rock

Posted on Thu Apr 7th, 2022 @ 2:58am by Commodore S'thenosis Gorgox & Commander Finchley Kerr & Commander Savar cha'Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen & Lieutenant Commander Dean House & Lieutenant Sarah Wilson

Mission: *CD*
Location: Brig
Timeline: As the Sunfire returns to DS9

Brig

Savar along with Commodore S'thenosis and Dr. Wilson entered the brig to see Commander House to ascertain his fitness as well as what punishment he could face for his shooting of Savar.

Finchley arrived moments later. Joining the group, he patiently waited to hear what was to be said.

Once everyone was in and assembled, S'thenosis stared down at Dean, unwavering. "There is but one charge against you Mr. House and as you are a learn-ed man, I am sure you understand the full weight of what you've done today. However, there are strange and unusual circumstances that surround your actions which must be addressed before a conclusion on this matter can be reached." She never took her eyes off of him. "Doctor, have you scanned Mr. House to determine his mental frame at the time of the incident in question?"

" I wasn't on the bridge when it happened, however, I have here some data from a cross-section of the crew, showing many were experiencing a wide variety of psychological and physiological symptoms in relation to our proximity to the nebula creature" Dr Wilson replied, casting her eyes over those assembled in the room.

Dr Wilson brought a padd along with her with a baseline of the crew's reaction to the creature they had encountered. Paranoia, heightened emotional responses, and fear were just a few.

Finchley nodded his head, he'd witnessed what had happened to some on the bridge who had succumbed to the aliens' influence on them. He himself had as well, but this was after the incident that was now under investigation regarding Commander House's actions.

Savar stood silently waiting for both Wilson and House to reply to the Commodore's question.

"And of this data, you've collected, were you able to conclude the high probability of these effects upon the variety of crew members? Most importantly can we conclude without a shadow of a doubt there was a before and after effect of the Nebula creatures' influence upon the crew?" She glanced at the doctor when there was no immediate response, an effect she had often. Forcing herself to 'dumb it down a bit' she asked again, differently. "Simply put, do we have a scan before and after the alien creature took hold?"

"Here is a neurological scan conducted during Mr House's last physical, and here is a scan I conducted just after he was confined to the brig" Sarah replied, highlighting several areas. "These areas show increased activity on par with that of the rest of the scans I conducted on affected crewmembers."

“Are you saying, Dr Wilson, that you believe Commander House was under alien influence when he shot the Captain, baring in mind, there was no proof that the Captain was under alien influence?” Finchley asked.

"I am. In fact I believe everyone on the ship was effected to some degree. From what we've seen, those who are telepathic like Aurora were effected moreso than others. The only ones who claim not to have seen or felt some level of paranoia were those with strong mental defenses like Captain Savar or who have a unique mental chemistry such as the Commodore."

She took a pause before looking at Dean and continuing. "Dean is human, though genetically enhanced, there is nothing that can say whether he was acting on his own accord or reacting under duress, except Cmdr. House." She finished.

"Thank you doctor." S'thenosis replied before turning and facing Mr. Kerr. "As a witness I invite your perspective and professional evaluation of the incident to be admitted to the record Commander Kerr." She gave a small wave of her hand, "if you please?"

"I don't have a perspective or professional evaluation Commodore, I don't speculate and I don't hypothesise, I can only tell you what I saw and what followed" Finchley replied.

He closed his eyes and thought back to the moments on the bridge "Commander House looked towards the Command chair, took a phaser out and shot the Captain without speaking to him or asking him any questions. After that, he contacted Sickbay, asked them to beam the Captain there and put him in a forcefield. He then made ship wide announcement that as of that moment he'd be assuming Command till further notice due to extenuating circumstances that may have compromised the Captain as it had...he used past tense at that point...Lieutenant Vali. I then asked Commander House if he'd like me to fill in for him, as temporary Executive Officer, being as I was Second Officer. Commander House then expressed that I would momentarily but first we had to deal with the creature" he finished.

He wasn't leaving anything out about himself, he wasn't hiding behind anything, just gave, in his opinion, an account of what had happened.

She eyed his with some inquisition as in one breathe he suggested he had no perspective and then delivered that perspective almost as if he had an idedic memory. "Thank you Mr. Kerr for your astute recollection." She was about to ask Savar the same question when Dean stood up.

Other than acknowledging what Savar had said "Yes,sir. Dean hadn't said anything more at the moment. Nor was he saying anything to explain or defend himself, at least right now. After listening long enough, he finally sat up, and then stood up from the 'bed,' Turning to them.

Dr Wilson watched and listened, wondering what the outcome would be. From her opinion House was most likely acting under the same delusions and paranoia that the rest of them battled with. How much her opinion counted though was to be decided.

"Actually, Finchley. I was acting upon information saying as such that the Captain was indeed possessed. Which I stated before after we had a moment to breath." Finally, Dean spoke up. "Which you should already know when you found it, and there was that life form. That of which had been body jumping. Good work I hear by the way with taking care of it."

"Are you trying to lay blame at my feet Commander?" Finchley asked House.

"Not at all, Commander. Why would I do that. I'm the one that shot him. Simply stating you know about the creature. Also I did state after where I got my information from, before I did it." Dean was now standing right at the cell force field.

S'thenosis interjected. "I believe what you are attempting to suggest is there is now proof such an entity existed, am I correct Mr. House?" She asked before carrying on. "However, I'm sure you understand that there is still a protocol when one is suspected of being under the influence of a foreign body and you have bypassed that protocol. All we are trying to establish is why and whether or not your brain chemistry was altered at the time of that decision." She raised her eyebrow to question him and his moral character.

"Actually Commander House" Finchley interjected "There was no proof Captain Savar was under any influence from the creature before you shot him. Doctor Korial messaged the bridge and said that Lt Vali was awake and wanting to speak to the Captain, because she was worried, that she was worried, about the creature being inside Captain Savar, not that it definitely was. As I said just now, you made no attempt to speak to the Captain or communicate in any way with him, so you could not have know he was, as you said just now, definitely possessed. I don't doubt your motive for what you did, believing it to be correct, but you acted without any certain knowledge the Captain was possessed."

"You misconstrue a number of things in that statement. Firstly, if I had tried to talk, as if I knew. Which I suppose, on that part you are partially right. However, given from the Doctors opinion and thoughts have always been correct 90% of the time. I hate to say this, logically, it's probably true, which it was. If I'd done that, it would have given time for it to have done something. Also a gut feeling, so I acted first. I was trying to protect the crew, which lead to you doing what you dead and no live person being shoved into space or something else. If I was wrong...what would have happened." Dean raised his hands motioning to the Brig.

"Being correct ninety percent of the time still leaves a huge margin of error Commander, a huge margin" Finchley replied "you don't know what would have happened had you tried to talk to the Captain, you're simply hypothesising, you didn't give the situation a chance, you didn't give the Captain a chance. Gut reactions can be wrong as well as right. The crux of this Sir, is you had no proof the Captain was possessed, you just shot him because you 'assumed' he was."

Dean crossed his arms across his chest, "Actually, Commander. The more and more you keep trying, the more it sounds like you want me to be wrong and guilty. You're not looking at all the variables. Did I shoot you," glancing to Savar, "Yes, I did. I'm not going to say if I had it to do again I'd do something different." Back to Finchley, "Part of being in command is making choices and sometimes those are given from having half the information. There are only certain things in this universe that are 100% concrete. Have you thought of what may have happened if I hadn't done it? It could have learned listening to us, invading minds, and figured out, if it stays mostly hidden. Banks off of what it now knows of the crew, it could have had Savar doing, ordering, whatever it wanted. None of the crew question it."

"What I want Commander is there to be accountability for actions. Please don't tell me what I am and am not taking into account, I'm not the one who shot the Captain without proof he was possessed. Being in Command means you make informed choices, you weren't making an informed choice, you were guessing. Again, you have no idea what may have happened had you spoken with the Captain. What if by doing so, you could have had changed the situation around, what if this entity had possessed the Captain, but then communicated 'why' it was doing what it was doing and you could have suggested an alternative way of it be sated 'food wise' and it accepted that suggestion... you don't know what could have happened because you acted without full knowledge of the situation Commander. I'm disappointed you didn't try Sir, the situation could have ended very differently, but we'll never know."

S'thenosis tapped her hands together twice, "Gentlemen, that will be enough. Honestly, I thought the petty bickering and posturing would have been done with when we moved past the influence of the nebula. Clearly, I was mistaken." She looked at each of the individuals present. "There was a clear violation of protocol regarding information and rules of engagement. It has also clearly been established that there was an influence at play during the time of the incident."

Lastly, she turned to Savar, "Captain Savar, as the victim I wouldn't normally defer to you to provide a testimony let alone a verdict, however, this situation may come down to someone with intimate knowledge of what was going on inside your head at the moment Commander House fired his weapon. Perhaps you can tell us, was he justified?" It was up to Savar now.

Savar looked at the Commodore, Kerr and then House. The situation was delicate. Both officers had made strong points in their arguments. House was his Executive Officer and they needed to be united in what they did and presented to the crew. Kerr was his Chief Stratrgic Officer, who knew the workings of a starship as well as coming up with clear plans of action The Commodore was the mediator in all this. He spoke slowly, "I went to see Lt. Vali after her collapse on the bridge. While in Sickbay, I talked with her. After my talk I returned to the bridge, I felt another presence in my mind but I did not feel possessed. However that could have been the entity making me feel I was in control. Was Commander House right? He acted on an assumption based on information passed on to him but had not been verified or proven. Was he justified? I would have preferred he waited for an indication of me being possessed. However, he was doing what he felt was in the best interest of the ship and crew."

It wasn't exactly a decision, but it gave the much needed perspective the Commodore needed. "From what we've witnessed, I whole heatedly agree with you Captain. And unless Mr. House has anything further to offer on his own behalf, I suggest at least a night in this cell while we deliberate on a punishment for his severe lack of adherence to protocol."

Savar cast his eyes at House and waited to hear what if anything he had to say before deliberations on punishment could be discussed.

Dr Wilson waited patiently, her evidence had been given and considered, all that was left to do was wait to see what Commodore S'Thenosis and Commander Savar decided. She hoped the outcome would be favourable and enable Dean to keep working with the tight knit Sunfire family.

Dean was still standing where he had been, next to the field on his side of the cell, still at Parade Rest. "I'm fine with that decision for the night. As for a defense, or evidence. I believe enough physical and biological, technological, has already been presented. I've nothing further in those aspects that I can present. However, consistent with the Code of Military Justice, Article 844A, subsection 3.7b, and under tertiary subsection 15.9, no Officer, including Flag Officers may be present during closed hearings, or decisions to weigh in on the choice of any punishment or disciplinary action if they are either the defendant or the accuser, regardless of the actions being reviewed. We both don't have a voice on this part, Captain Savar."

Shifting on foot, to pace ever so slightly back and forth in front of them. "As for my closing. If you wish to call it that. Most of what the Captain said is true. I wasn't thinking of myself. I saw a threat, one we were not at the time controlling. There were ample instances to logically deduce that Aurora was possessed or...inhabited if you wish. We also know that what happened in Sickbay can also be true. Considering that Captain Savar was in physical contact with her before returning to the Bridge. In conjunction with the other information and testimonies given. In my mind, Captain Savar is also right again. My logical course of action was to detain the possible threat before something happened, for the betterment and safety of the crew. Could I have been wrong? Yes. In this instance, I got lucky. Not everyone believes in a gut feeling either, and it holds no weight as a viable set of evidence for a defense either. If I may, since I will be in here for some hours, may I please have a PADD now, so I may continue to read my book?"

"Actually, hold on a moment," Finchley said, walking over to the computer terminal close by. He tapped the screen a few times, then read what he found.

"Starfleet's Uniform Code of Military Justice is still based on what was known as just the Uniform Code of Military Justice" he said, "and though it's been slightly amended a couple of times over the last couple of centuries, it's not really changed very much, most of the laws are the same. I have here the most up-to-date version, and the Article the Commander just quoted pertains to substance abuse, it has no bearing on who says what and who does and doesn't have a say in any decision making."

He walked back over to where House was and asked "Whom do you suggest deliberates the outcome on your case Commander?"

The one-up-manship on this boat was high and there appeared to be an internal struggle that went beyond justice, on the surface. One thing was sure, S'Thenosis had heard enough misquotations of her sacred law books. First was Mr. Kerr on the bridge and now Mr. House. It seems everyone was well practiced in their bullshit but not their manners.

She addressed them both, "Let me make something clear. There have been no official charges brought and therefore there are no accusers, no defense, and no trial. And there won't be one unless Mr. House disputes his punishment." She glared at him. "Which I strongly suggest he not do." Then she returned to the group. "Doctor, Commander Kerr, thank you for your testimonies, I believe you may be dismissed. The Captain and I will discuss any potential punishment or lack thereof Mr. House will receive. Understood?"

"Oh, It's most certainly and perfectly understood Commodore" Finchley replied, giving his usual short bow from the hip and nod of his head to a Senior Officer. He turned and left the brig to make his way back to his office as he had things to do.

" Yes Ma'am" Sarah nodded in deference to the higher-ranked individuals in the room, offering a glance of support to Lt House, and left.

Savar nodded his agreement with the Commodore's statement before he addressed the Commodore. "Commodore, it is time for us to move on from this unfortunate situation. Let us decide upon an appropriate punishment for Mr. House. I have recommendations if you would like to hear them."

S'thenosis nodded curtly, "Of course Captain." She gestured to the far corner of the Brig where Dean was less likely to hear them talk. She had her ideas, but this was not her ship. Her role on board was more of a peacekeeper when she wasn't preparing for the trial.

The pair walked out of earshot of House before Savar turned to the Commodore. "Commodore, I have what I feel are reasonable punishments for Commander House. They are as follows. 1 night in the brig, two weeks of potato duty, and a temporary reduction to Lt. Commander for six months or until he proves to me he understands the protocol. What is your opinion of these punishments?"

She nodded, "those seem like fair punishments for a protocol breach such as this." She thought for a moment on his last bit, "how do you propose he prove his understanding of the regulations? Through actions, or self-determination?" It could be a complex set of requirements Savar would inflict upon Dean and Dean would be a slave to him until the outcome was reached. To some, this would be a tall order.

"An excellent question Commodore. I have given it some thought and I believe the best way for Mr. House to prove his understanding is through a combination of self-determination and actions."

Curiosity peaked, brow raised she responded, "You have me intrigued Captain. I look forward to reading your report on how that situation plays out." She shifted slightly, "One other thing Captain, before you deliver your punishment. Have you yet decided how to approach the similar situation of our Counselor Aurora?"

"I admit Commodore, that I pondered Aurora's 'punishment' a great deal and after a great deal of thought, I have decided on the following for Aurora, two weeks potato duty and a temporary reduction to Lt. JG for six months. She would still be the chief counselor and a member of the senior staff. In addition, there will be no brig time for Aurora." Savar replied with conviction.

TBC

 

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