Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 5 – Answering the Call (ATC)

ATC 014 – Lawyers, Guns and Money, Part 1

R332 / House of Pora
02.05.2401 @ 0900
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Ensign Castillo tapped at the console as the USS Mackenzie dropped from warp, “We’ve arrived, Captain.  Engaging orbit.”  She kept one eye on the sensor scans scrolling across her console’s side.  The new assistant chief science officer had been making a name for herself on the journey here – she was an old Vulcan with a long life.  With most of the senior staff away, the feeling on the decks had been uneven at best.  To her captain’s credit he had been checking in with the various assistant chiefs.

“Thank you, Ensign.  Stations keeping for now.  Lieutenant T’Penga – what do we have down there?”

“It looks like they have been expecting us. There are many large cities on the northern continent. That also seems to be where the legal buildings are located. Scans indicate that they are equipped with standard planetary defenses and a whether control grid.” T’Penga reported as she looked over the data that scrolled on her console. More and more came in as she spoke. But she would have to sift through it and give a supplemental report.

As she finished her report, Atega spoke up.  “Captain, we have an incoming hail from the surface.”  He gave her a slight nod and sat forward in his chair.

The face of the Devore Imperium officer appeared, looking perpetually annoyed.  Harris didn’t react, opting for, “Good morning, Pantheon.  We’ve arrived at your request.”

The voice of the Devore was grave, unsettling Ambrose as he spoke, “The prosecution invoked a rare clause for a speedy trial.  They finished just hours ago.  Your crew has been found guilty on all counts and will face a firing squad in the morning.”  There was a smile tugging at the sides of the alien’s mouth.

Harris stood, infuriated, “This is unacceptable, Pantheon.  You cannot expect us to accept this.  There is an appeals process, from what I’ve read.  We will be requesting an immediate appeal.”

That was unexpected and something T’Penga had not even heard of. However, if it angered her, she did not show anything. All it served was for her to delve into the Devore legal code as quickly as possible. At the moment, she had to find something that would minimally stave off the execution.

Pantheon shrugged, “There is an appeals process, but the Supreme Court amended those clauses late yesterday afternoon to only allow citizens of the House of Pora to appeal, not foreign nationals or otherwise… foreigners.  You and your crew do not qualify for an appeal.”  He paused and stared at Harris, “You should know, Captain Harris, there are consequences for your actions against the Devore Imperium – here or in the Delta Quadrant.   I know of your and others’ interactions with my people back home.  Justice against outsiders is a supreme value with my people…and those I oversee here.”

Ambrose gritted his teeth, “You have to know we’re not going to allow you to murder our people.”

The Devore leaned into the camera, “It is not murder, Captain Harris.  It is justice.  They will be put to death for their crimes at 2000 today.  We will send you a live feed to your ship.  Good day.”  The channel closed.

As soon as the channel closed, T’Penga spoke up. “Sir, you should hail Pantheon again. I found a way for the execution to be staved off for a time at the very least. According to Imperative 26, Codicil 8 of Devore law. ”No member of a foreign race can be put to summary execution without a member of their species or government there at the time of sentence. That is unless the accused is a telepath. So the conviction is invalid by their own laws as no one from Starfleet was present when the verdict was passed. It seems that they are going to have to have the trial again. How does the human expression go? Use their own ammunition against them?”

Harris tapped at the console on his chair.  The assistant chief science officer was correct.  It was buried in the legal code, but it was there.  “Atega, let’s do this.”  Presley smiled and called the Devore back.  He appeared more annoyed.

“What do you want, Captain?”  Harris explained what T’Penga had found and had his communications officer send him the specific lines in the code that spoke to the requirements.  He stared at the screen and then muted his microphone as he turned to talk to someone in the room.

Ambrose motioned to Atega to do the same, “I think we might have hit their weak point.  Good work, Lieutenant T’Penga.”

T’Penga gave a curt nod in acceptance of the Captain’s words. She now knew something about her enemy that she did not know before. When logic is laid before them, they will back down. Her next thought is to keep looking through the code for something further that could help them. So, that was exactly what she did.

Atega signaled he was coming back.  Harris turned back to the screen as Pantheon seethed, “Your reading of the law is rudimentary, but our supreme court has reviewed the code of law and accepted the reading.  We will have the sentencing at 1800 hours and the presumptive execution at 2000 hours.  You will be allowed a brief conference with the crew not exceeding an hour.  We await your arrival.”  The channel snapped shut.

“That was close.  Atega, get T’saath and Tir back on board.  Signal Woodward to meet us in transporter room 1.”  He turned to his assistant science chief, “Let’s get to work.”

“Aye sir,” T’Penga replied. She quickly uploaded her notes to a PADD and followed the Captain into the turbolift. She still had not found anything further in the code, and she knew they were going to have to work fast in order to exonerate the crew. Her hope now was for the crew to relate the tale of what happened, and perhaps she will learn something there. Only time would tell, and time was of the essence..