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The Outcome

Posted on Tuesday August 27th, 2019 @ 5:46pm by Libby Ellison & Tabitha Vale Ph.D. & James Eve

Mission: #1 Prelude
Location: Earth, Vienna - UN Starfleet Headquarters
Timeline: FLASHBACK - 2241.10.18 12h25

Summary: The outcome of the court-martial is announced, after which Tabitha and James meet up and are interrupted by Libby.

= BEGIN

The courtroom was full to bursting long before the legal trio returned to take their places. Rumours were rife as to the outcome, all based on supposition, of course, yet that minor detail didn’t stop the speculation.

Tabitha had found her seat in the gallery and sat on the edge of it waiting for the trial to resume, looking across and down at Richelle who glanced around now and then but gave most of his attention to the door leading to the judge’s chambers.

He got to his feet along with the rest of the gathering as Judge Admiral Davenport entered the courtroom, her face dark with displeasure. Behind her Libby Ellison appeared shaken to the core and two steps behind her James Eve wore a serious expression that told Tabitha nothing.

The Judge mounted the four steps to her place as the JAG officers peeled off to their own desks where they stood in respectful silence until told to sit by the judge. She looked at them each in turn in lengthening silence. Finally she broke the stillness.

“I am deeply disappointed with the manner in which this case has been handled. What at first seemed like an attempt to scapegoat a reckless pilot for the shortcomings of a mission commander ended up turning into a personal battle between the prosecution and the defense, arguing against each other instead of their case. I will not repeat here what I said in chambers to counsel, but needless to say I will not tolerate this kind of behaviour from either officers in my courtroom again, and I hope I have made that very clear.” Davenport sighed and leaned forward, picking up the gavel lying next to her. “Given the circumstances, I see no alternative alternative but to declare a mistrial based on prosecutorial misconduct. Lieutenant Richelle, all charges against you are dismissed. This court-martial has now ended.” She struck the gavel twice on the bench and added, “Court dismissed!”

“Thank you, Your Honour,” James said as he got to his feet, but she was already making her way down the steps and with her head high as she disappeared back into her chambers, the door closing with a click of finality behind her.

Richelle stood uncertain what to do next so James, turning to him, offered a hand. “Free to go,” he said but when the pilot made no move, James added, “That’s it. Over… done… you’re free to leave.”

This at last brought a response of a firm handshake and relieved smile which James returned in kind. He hadn’t had time or need to unload his case so merely picked it up as he turned to scan the gallery, seeking the face that he sought and finding it with a sudden wide and generous smile.

Libby looked his way a couple of times but received no contact from him in word or deed, the ever present aide Kylie fussing and fretting at her side.

His smile held as he saw the soft expression Tabitha gave in response and his gesture that she meet him outside the main door gained a nod of agreement.

It was too crowded and noisy for any conversation until they’d made there way to the relative peace of the courthouse cafeteria.

“A humble celebration,” he said, setting a cup and plate down in front of her. “You once told me you like doughnuts.”

She met his amused gaze with a grin of her own. “Perfect,” she said, admiring the sugar coated bun before waiting for him to sit opposite and square up to a similar feast.

“Is that really the end of it then?” she asked.

James gave the faintest shrug. “In theory a second case could be brought but I doubt it will be.” He sank his teeth into a bite of heaven.

“Would you represent him again if it was?” Tabitha asked lifting a cup to her lips.

“Uh uh,” he replied, shaking his head and chewing the mouthful then swallowing it. “That wouldn’t happen but the case notes are there so any defense counsel would have full access to them. They could work with all of it and present the same arguments… but… I really can’t see it happening. You heard what the judge said....'shortcomings of a mission commander'...it wouldnt get off the floor."

Tabitha nodded, having lowered her cup which she now held in both hands. “Will anything happen to them?” she asked setting the cup onto its saucer with a ‘chink’.

“Them? You mean Richelle and Libby? Well, Richelle is free to return to duty and to wear his medal which he justly earned and deserves with as much pride as he chooses. Libby… well… the judge can't turn a blind eye to something like this… there could be repercussions.”
He didn’t elaborate, not seeming overly concerned whether there were or not. A second bite of doughnut was taken, a smile given to her.

“I meant Libby and Captain Leonidas,” Tabitha said, taking a bite of her own which immediately caused the raspberry jam to ooze out and drip to her plate.

A second shrug answered her comment. “There could or not be charges laid against him now. None have been to date but this has brought a spotlight into play so who knows.”
James licked his lips free of sugar. “He acted improperly… the possibility is there.
You know it’s impossible to eat these things without licking your lips?”

Tabitha chuckled feeling the jam on her own lips and unable to resist copying him.

“Told you!” he said and laughed.

“You son of a bitch.” Libby Ellison appeared out of nowhere beside James and Tabitha’s table, the rage she felt towards him nearly seeping through her skin. She hardly gave Tabitha as much as a glance before continuing. “Do you know I could get my law license suspended for this? Not to mention a reprimand on my record!”

"Thought you might turn up." James replied giving her a quick look. "Maybe you should have thought of that before you arranged the little chat with Richelle." He took a bite and began to eat it apparently with enjoyment. Tabitha had laid her snack onto its plate and began wiping her sugary fingers on a napkin watching the exchange between the two.

Libby clenched her fists in anger and was about to retort when she saw Kylie rushing over towards them with concern. "I'm fine," she said, restraining herself before her aide could begin fussing. "You know, I'm just glad I won't have to see you again. You think you're so righteous, sitting on your high horse and looking smugly down on people whenever they step out of line. One day you're going to get what's coming to you, mark my words, James."

What that she shot a dismissive glance at Tabitha and stormed off, her aide close behind her.

James had looked quickly at Libby but he resumed his snack as she and Kylie moved off together.

"Are you alright?" Tibbs asked as his gaze shifted to her.

"Of course," he replied and a second or so later grinned as though to prove it.

"Good," Tabitha chuckled but silently thought Libby seemed extremely wound up even given the circumstances. The term 'highly strung' sprang to mind.

= END

LtCmdr Tabitha Vale, Ph.D.
Psychologist
UN Starfleet Medical Corps


LtJG James Eve
Law Officer
UN Starfleet JAG Corps


LtJG Libby Ellison
Law Officer
UN Starfleet JAG Corps

 

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