Star Trek Hunter
Episode 2: The Colony of New Hope
Scene 11: Indicted
Lt. Commander Mlady looked at her hands, willing the retracted skin of her fingers to relax and cover her claws. She really didn't have much voluntary control over this - the skin would retract autonomically, exposing her powerful claws whenever her fight or flight response kicked in. Her breathing was returning to normal. She licked blood off her fangs and wiped it from her face with her sleeve. She hated having to fight literally tooth and nail - and not just because her fangs and claws could be damaged.
Mlady's unique metabolism could sustain incredible bursts of speed, driving her much faster than possible for any other animal her size, allowing her to deploy the weapons of a panther with the blinding speed of a snake. But she paid a terrible price for sustaining this blinding speed. As her cells were starved of metabolized oxygen and vital proteins burned, her higher brain functions began to shut down until she was reduced to a ravenous beast, driven only by ferocious hunger and the most brutish of survival instincts. Her victims paid an even heavier price - death by exsanguination as she extracted desperately needed oxygen and proteins directly from their blood. In this condition she was as dangerous to friend as to foe - they were nothing more than prey to her.
Her consciousness came back to her in surprising rags and flashes - gradually reminding her that she was much more than just a hungry beast. As her breathing returned to normal, Mlady slowly realized, as though for the first time, that she was a Star Fleet officer, a skilled lawyer, and an accomplished scientist - a brilliant biologist whose sentience and intelligence had come at a far more terrible price still.
Justice Irons was sitting on one of the benches near the door, nursing her broken wrist, looking more old and tired than Mlady had ever seen her. Mlady cleared her throat - not liking the growling sound in her voice. She calmed and relaxed her voice to her normal, studied alto. "Your honor?" she asked, almost apologetically.
Irons straightened her neck, squared her shoulders, and regained her composure before looking up, smoothing years from her appearance almost as an act of will. "Are you okay, Lieutenant Commander?" Irons almost never addressed Mlady by name.
"I'm worried about Pep. They tried to kill us - I think they meant to kill all three of us."
"David is fine," Irons responded. "Here he is now.."
Governor Ivonovic walked reluctantly into the room, followed by the enormous Commander David Pepper.
Mlady leapt to her feet, clearing the ground like a gymnast, then landing lightly; "PEP!!"
Pep bowed - partly as a gallant gesture toward his second officer - but mostly because it was the only way he could fit through the doorway.
Justice Irons stood up - her right arm held up by her makeshift sling. "Planetary Governor Emory Ivonovic," she said - her voice taking on a stentorian tone. "Given local conditions, I am delaying the hearing on local charges and focusing on the charge of conspiracy to defraud a charter Federation electoral system. On that charge how do you plead?"
Pep spoke up before the Governor could say anything, "Your honor - a moment with my client?"
Irons allowed herself a momentary look of exasperation. She waved with her left hand.
Pep draped an enormous hand over Ivonovic's shoulder and drew him aside. His voice became very soft. "This is a far more serious charge than you may realize, Governor. I strongly recommend you take it seriously and think carefully about your response."
"Election fraud?" Ivonovic's voice was incredulous.
"Involving a charter Federation electoral system. The Colony of New Hope is one of the nineteen charter worlds," Pep replied.
Ivonovic pulled away from the giant. The room stank of blood, but even that horrible reek didn't overcome the unpleasant smell of the giant's breath. He had no intention of getting close enough to the other abomination in this room to smell her breath. None of the corpses in the room appeared to have been partially eaten, but he could easily imagine it after seeing the little beast fight.
Ivonovic whirled imperiously, drew himself to full height and stated firmly, "Not guilty. No way. Never happened."
Irons was steely in her response. "Governor Ivonovic, I am holding you over for trial at the Federation Tribunal. Once you are in custody, you may contact your special counsel at any time to assist with your defense. You are also entitled to legal representation before the Tribunal by lawyers of your own choosing, if you can afford them."
"If I can afford.." the governor's voice trailed off as the more important part of that sentence got through to him.. "Federation Tribunal??"
Irons looked up at her first officer. "David.." she gestured with her head toward the governor, then turned and walked away.
"I told you it was serious. You have been accused and indicted for violation of Sections 2 and 29 of the Federation Charter. A charter world, once having established a democratic form of government, is protected by Section 29. Anyone attempting to defraud such an electoral system must answer to the Tribunal."
"I've never heard of this!" Ivonovic said.
You were given a printed copy of the Federation Charter," Pep responded. "You should have read it."
Ensign T'Lon's tactical team chose that moment to bustle into the room, followed by the ensign herself. Her eyebrows registered surprise at the carnage. "Are you ready for beamout, your honor?"
Irons turned to look at the young vulcan. "Yes, Ensign. Have your team clean up this mess."
"Aye, Captain," T'Lon responded. Belo Cantice, Belo Reece and Belo Garr were each carrying pattern enhancers slung on their backs. They placed these in a triangle and ushered the command staff into the area before engaging the devices. Jarrong, whose cardassian features were much stronger than her half-bajoran cousins, was headed toward the judges chambers as the transporter engaged, removing the command staff and their prisoner up to the Hunter platform in orbit.