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Silent enim inter arma Tribunals (Chapter Cover Art)

Chapter 37[]

Silent enim inter arma: Tribunals[]

Unity City
North America, Terra
Sol Star System
Republic of the Sphere
3079


[...in the Jury Room]

"She's insane...my god, I heard stories but..."  Lt. Colonel Henry Grier shook his head, "She's nuts.  That was disarming a bomb in your bathrobe nuts, christ..."

"What are the odds??"  Chu-Sa Kyeok asked.

"Excuse me?" asked Grier

"Ten point five billion people, and the prosecution's expert witness is a Blakist plant. What are the odds?" Kyeok asked again, "See, that's what I keep hitting in my own deliberations.  The Defendant refused three offers from Stone, we didn't have to sit through this...circus."

Tsennig poured a cup of coffee and sat down at the table.  "You mean we didn't have to sit through all of this?"

"She refused the deals." Kyeok said, "It really triggers the question of why she did, when she could be safe at home with some bad press."
"She would be safe at home until the war kicks off again." Ivanka joined them.  "But I agree with your first question.  Out of ten and a half billion people, the Coalition Leadership chose a Blakist Plant as an expert witness...For that to be random, or to be anything but arranged, defies reason."


Tsennig frowned, "Comstar leaks like a sieve." he said, "She claimed to be fighting the war, what was it again?"


"Winning. The. War." Ivanka's imitation of Elizabeth Ngo was uncanny and a little funny, she even mocked the expression.  "She is still fighting the war? Aff...which means she distrusts the victory."

"Founder! Is it so obscure?" Ilena sat down with her sandwich and a glass of milk.  "This 'test' was for us. She is pointing to the idea that the Coalition itself is infiltrated, probably at high levels-the odds are, as you put it, Kyeok, too slim to be coincidental, and her comment when she was revealed was telling as well..."

"You refer to 'At least we know you're not a plant', quiaff?" Ivanka asked.

"AFF." Ilena took a bite, chewed, and swallowed it down with a sip of milk.  "Stone's victories were too easy-when he was there. He has a background as a Blakist prisoner, and his battle plans..."

"Shouldn't have worked." Eric sat down with his own lunch.
 


Grier looked thoughtful, "Yeah, I noticed that too.  Not quite Mercer Rhavannion bad, but still questionable strategies unless you've got an 'in' with the enemy's forces.  We uncovered a few sleepers during the war in the Federated Suns, but we assumed it was a complex and difficult job to plant them. There were only a few rumors about 'triggers' that might activate them...I thought that Corpsman they brought in was just a grunt talking rumors and telling war-stories until..."

"Aff. so she's using this tribunal as a hunting ground." Ilena said, "That bothers me."

"Endgame." Ivanka said, "It is my consideration that if someone not directly critical to the war was compromised. Then it is a certainty that Terran Militia high command and everyone with command access to the nuclear arsenal probably was as well. In that situation, what would an offer of surrender have caused?"

"Boom." Tsennig said without humor.  "Christ..."

"There is a larger issue." Ilena said, "Who chose that expert? He was slotted to testify in hearings for at least twelve of the highest officials we have in custody, who selected that expert?"

"It was not the prosecutor, maybe someone on his staff." Lynn McKenna said from the doorway, before joining the other senior officers on the panel.  "Yamada's record is pretty solid prior to today, when he fragmented." she sat down with her own lunch. Then took the cover off, revealing a dish with green beans, chicken, and potatoes.  "You'll be happy to hear he was apprehended without bloodshed.  a search found no suicide devices or explosives in his quarters.  He is being referred for evaluation and treatment."

"So...do we declare a mistrial, acquit, or keep on with this charade?" Kyeok asked.

"It is up to you.  I think the better question is who the 'bigger fish' this fishing expedition is after might be." Lynn said it seriously.  "It must be someone in Devlin Stone's inner circle.  I think it unlikely to be the man himself-it would be too easy to uncover him."

"Fair."  Tsennig noted, "Damn, that smells good. Now I'm hungry."

"Cafeteria is open, and secured." she said, "We are in recess while the prosecution and defense reconfigure to deal with...events."


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