Obsidian Command
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The Trial (Part 4)

Posted on 25 Aug 2018 @ 6:37am by Lieutenant Commander Kerry Malone & Lieutenant Colonel Richard Sharpe & 1st Lieutenant Quinn McKenna
Edited on on 25 Aug 2018 @ 8:37am

Mission: The Admiral's Daughter

Jarvis turned to Quinn and gestured for her to proceed.

"Defense calls Major Richard Sharpe, Your Honour." Quinn said, giving the man beside her a nod as she stood.

Richard stood and made his way over to the witness stand. After being sworn in, he took a seat and looked over at Quinn expectantly.

"This is probably starting to get repetitive for you Major, but I want you to walk me through what happened. Start at the beginning. What was the mission?" Quinn asked.

Richard rolled his eyes and looked at Quinn. "Our orders were to secure the embassy compound on Pharos 9. It was a very cold planet, and we were there because the residents had become restless over the introduction of some sort of new root vegetable. The powers that be wanted us to be on-hand if something happened."

"Anyway, on day three, we were attacked from orbit by an unknown vessel, which abducted many marines -including myself." Richard explained. "When I awoke, I was on my own in a laboratory of some kind, having been 'altered' in some way. I was then summarily put into a game called the 'Death Dome', where I was pitched against hundreds of other sentient beings in a game to the death, where the rule was to be the last man standing. I was in there for about three weeks before I was rescued by a team from Obsidian Command."

"You were abducted off the surface of Pharos 9? So you didn't have any air or orbital support on this mission?" She asked.

"We didn't need it." Richard replied. "The mission was just to be there in case the population got a bit rowdy. Our RoE's were very clear that we could only use limited suppressible force against the population. Therefore we were only carrying basic weapons."

"Alright, so let's jump back to when you woke up. Do you have any memory of what happened? Flashbacks, dreams, hallucinations?" Quinn asked.

"I only remember waking up in the laboratory, inside a tube. I spoke to some creature who claimed they'd bought me. When I asked why I was there, the creature flooded my mind with images of what I was about to do. The creature explained what my new enhancements were, and what they'd mean in the game. Beyond that, not much until I was thrown into the game." Sharpe said.

"Alright. And you were rescued after approximately three weeks by a team lead by Captain Towers, correct?" Quinn asked.

"Correct." Sharpe replied.

"Now let's jump ahead again. One of the major issues here seems to be the incident with the rogue holograms. Briefly take me through what happened from your point of view." Quinn said.

Richard sighed. "I'd agreed to go out on a holodeck adventure with Paul, Matt, Caroline & Rebecca." He said. "I'd only been back a week or so, and I was trying to re-acclimate myself into my old routine. Whilst I was talking with Paul and Matt, the girls had run on ahead to explore a flower garden. The holodeck appeared to create a few boys for the girls to interact with, and the boys became somewhat... over-enthusiastic. I don't remember exactly what triggered it, but hearing Caroline scream when one of the boys grabbed her, caused me to suddenly believe completely that I was back in the Death Dome. Everything I could see or hear was from that environment, it was terrifying in its accuracy. I could see these three enemy players trying to grab my little girl, so I produced my sword and attacked them, like I was in the game."

Richard paused, feeling clammy and uncomfortable. He took a drink from the glass in front of him before carrying on. "I went into a combat frenzy, and cut down the enemy fighters, but they didn't bleed or anything, they just vanished. I could sense something was wrong, but I was trapped in my own hallucination. When I looked down at my hand holding my sword, it was covered in blood, the sword was covered in blood, and there was blood everywhere..."

He stopped talking, looking ashen, and swallowed hard. It took him a few moments to compose himself. "After what felt like forever, my reality came back to me, finding myself on the floor of a deactivated holodeck, with Paul crouched down next to me, and a medical team. They sedated me, and I was taken to sickbay. After a few hours, I was woken up, and informed that I'd had a severe Post Traumatic Event, and that I wasn't responsible for my actions. I disagreed, still do, and after discussing the matter with my friends and family - decided to go into rehabilitation at the Minos Facility."

"You disagreed with the idea that you weren't responsible for your own actions?" Quinn asked.

"If I wasn't responsible, who was?" Richard asked back. "No one made me attack those holograms. I may well have been a frenzied state, but I am still responsible for my actions, right or wrong. I can't blame someone else for my actions. I am a marine officer, we accept responsibility for our actions and the actions of the people under our command."

Quinn smiled. He had made a point there that was a continuing theme. Action and intent. She took a moment before continuing.

"Which is why you checked yourself into a treatment facility? To take responsibility?" She asked.

"Correct." Sharpe said. "I was aware there was a problem, I couldn't solve it myself, and I refused to endanger my family or friends any further than I already had. So I went to get help from people who could help me."

Out of the corner of her eye Quinn saw a couple of jury members nod approvingly.

"And did the treatment help?" She asked.

"I wouldn't say it was treatment, as such." Richard replied. "More a practical guide on how to cope with what I now have to deal with."

"In what way?"

"Well, you can't 'treat' psychological conditions in the same way you can treat a broken leg." Richard explained. "The psychosis is there, its permanent, but how you choose to deal with it is entirely down to the person. What they helped me do is identify what was actually wrong with me - namely the post traumatic stress - and then helped me work out what would trigger certain relapses in memory, help me understand when such a relapse was occurring, and how to cope with it when they happen - in such a way as not to endanger anyone. From breathing exercises to relaxation techniques. It took a while, and they forced me to confront a lot of things I didn't want to face, but whilst I'm not 'cured', I am significantly better."

Quinn nodded, satisfied. "No more questions, Your Honour." She sat back down, allowing Tucker his chance to cross examine Sharpe.

Tucker rose from his desk and walked over to where Sharpe was sat. He clasped his hands behind his back, and walked up and down in front of the marine defendant. "So, Major, as my esteemed colleague would have us all believe, you're perfectly in control of your emotions?"

Richard rolled his eyes. "I wouldn't say 'perfectly' in control, Commander, but certainly in control enough."

"Control enough for what, exactly?" Tucker asked.

"To function in Starfleet as per the regulations. I'm not in any way a threat to anyone, enhanced abilities not withstanding." Sharpe said, wondering why Tucker was having him repeat himself.

"But if you're not a threat, surely that makes you an ineffective marine?" Tucker asked.

"Well, I was a threat to the authorised combatants that Starfleet wished me to deal with long before I was augmented, Commander." Richard smirked. "Fifteen years of Starfleet service does tend to have that affect."

This reply solicited a few chuckles from the gallery, and Tucker smiled. "Very droll, Major." He said. "So, as a trained marine, you're a threat to anyone we point you at and say fire?"

"That's a very crude way of looking at it, but yes." Richard responded.

"Much like a phaser rifle or a photon torpedo?" Tucker asked.

"I think that's a rather vulgar way to put it, since I can see where you're going with this, and if you follow this train of thought, you'd need to lock up every security officer, marine or other combat trained personnel for being 'a threat'." Richard replied. "I don't think being augmented qualifies me to be more of a threat than I was before. I'm a trained marine, I can tell the difference between a combat situation or not."

"Even if you were under extreme stress or emotional pressure?" Tucker asked, probing further. "Could you restrain yourself then?"

"Yes Commander, I could." Sharpe replied. "I'm only human however, I can't guarantee I won't ever get angry, but I do have to be careful with how I express it - since I now have the capability of actually putting my hand through a bulkhead wall if I punch it, if I'm not careful."

Again, there was a smattering of chuckles from the gallery. Tucker ignored them and turned his back to Sharpe. "So, you're saying you're in complete control of your temper?"

"I believe I've already answered that, Commander." Sharpe replied.

"So you have." Tucker replied, grinning. "So, perhaps then you'll enjoy listening to a story I have to tell you." He said, and leaned against the witness box casually. He then began to relay a tale of what he'd gotten upto last night, claiming he'd found Rebecca alone in one of the bars on the promenade, and had plied her full of alcohol to the point she was extremely drunk. He'd then taken her home and taken full advantage of her.

Quinn started objecting, but Tucker kept going despite the objections, going into more and more implicit detail, as the blood vessels in his temple twitched. Suddenly, Richard put a hand on the wall of the witness box, his hand going white as he gripped it. The wood cracked with the pressure as he glared angrily at Tucker. "Enough." He growled angrily.

"Commander Tucker!" The judge snapped, banging his gavel down. "You are out of order!"

"My apologies to you and the court, your honour." Tucker said, stepping away. "I have no further questions for this witness."

"The witness is excused, with the courts apologies." Jarvis said. "Lieutenant McKenna, do you have any further witnesses?"

Quinn stood and shook her head. "No, Your Honour. The defense rests its case." There was such a thing as too much evidence, and Quinn knew that Tucker's witnesses had worked against him. The man was unbelievably arrogant in his own argument.

To be continued...

 

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