|Heads Will Roll|
|Summary:||The NLM has a meeting about events on the Faux, and what they’re going to do about it|
|Cast:||Jantine Dirionis Taeren Indira Norton|
Meeting Room <Hancock Station>
- This executive room is carpeted in a utilitarian midnight blue weave, with a large, round table in the middle of the room. In a hole in the center of the table sits a miniature holographic imager. A viewscreen adorns one wall, and a rewritable board adorns the opposite wall. A port-style door leads to the Command Deck.
Taeren stands behind the far end of the table, hands clasped behind his back.
Jantine walks in slowly "You...wanted to see me, sir?" he asks neutrally, before coming to a salute.
Taeren returns the salute. "At ease, Osligoth. Yes, I did," he says. "First off, can you tell me what all this nonsense is about Silvereye Paintedheart being in jail?"
"Norton" Jan says simply, a trace of bitterness in his voice as he comes down from his salute.
"One-word answers aren't going to cut it," Taeren replies. "I want detail and I want honesty. Norton is part of this Militia too and if he's in deep shit, we are too." He steps out from behind the table and towards Jantine. "If he fucks up, he fucks -us- as well as him. Which means if he's in it, we need to get him out to save ourselves. That's how a crew works, and Hancock Station is one big crew. So please, tell me what you know." He pulls himself up to take a seat on the table.
"He boarded the Faux, legally by obtaining a warrant, but did so for personal reasons. He had me come on board, I found nothing illegal in engineering, where I was told to search. He then told me to leave, and besides the fact that the Faux's crew is in prison, I know nothing else." Jan says, he's near the doorway, unmoving. Tay has jsut sat down at the head of the table.
Dirionis heads into the Meeting Room, standing at attention and saluting as he does so, towards Taeren.
Taeren stands to return the salute. "Corporal," he says. "Thanks for coming. At ease. Now." He clasps his hands behind his back and walks back up towards the pair. "Can either of you tell me about the part where Silvereye's in jail?"
"No, sir" Jan says neutrally.
Dirionis eases up, nodding to the Captain, "I can, Captain."
"Please do," Tay says.
Jantine is quiet.
A pause as he recalls the events, Diri then says, " We were standing outside the Faux, Myself, Captain Norton, Sergeant Lucius, and two Privates, in which the orders were from Norton to finish the search." His eyes lower, " Sergeant Lucius, after a while, refused the order, leaving myself and the two Privates, who entered the Faux. I did a brief search on the Captains quarters, under watch from a man named 'Nix.' Before I was called into the loading bay. What happened there, Captain, was unprofessional, and morally wrong. The battle claw came and told us to get off. Captain Norton said no, and the situation went on for a long time. It was then that the Battle Claw told was gonna take us with him to Demaria, lock down the ship and take off. Captain Norton gave me the orders to stun him..." He pauses, " And I did....This is where it got wrong. Nix, got on the ground, posing no threat, and Norton still shot stun at him. Another Faux member came as well, we were ordered to stun her. All three of them were taken to jail." He shakes his head slowly in the recollection.
"Were any of them yelling or making verbal threats?" Taeren asks.
Jantine still remaind quiet, he does blink a few times as Diri recounts his story, shaking his head slightly, but no other signs from him
"The Battle Claw had said if we hadn't gotten off, he was taking us to Demaria. Other than that, we tried to keep it calm...Until we were ordered to shoot." Diri says.
"I see," Taeren replies. He stands near Jan and Diri, who are at ease. "Did he move to follow through on his threat?"
Jantine remains standing quietly.
Dirionis nods to Taeren. " Yes. He told Nix to lock down the ship, and he was going to pilot. He turned his back, and thats when Norton ordered me to fire."
The door into the room bursts open and Indira storms in. "What the fuck, gentlemen?" she promptly asks as she moves toward a seat. "Who forgot to send me the memo about us becoming a three-ring circus."
"Attention on deck!" Taeren snaps, clacking his feet together and saluting, ramrod-straight, facing the approaching Indira.
Jantine snaps to attention as Tay calls out, saluting Indira.
Dirionis upon hearing the command, he gets into position, at attention and saluting, eyes focused straight ahead.
Indira uncerimoniously drops her datapad onto the table, and puts her hands on the table edge to lean over the datapad. "What. The. Fuck?"
Taeren lowers his hand and remains at attention. "Ma'm, I asked Corporal Callot and Corporal Osligoth so I could find out exactly that."
Jantine mimicks Tay, dropping his saulte while staying at attention, but he remains silent.
Dirionis does the same, remaining silent.
Indira looks over to the corporals. "Well?"
"Ma'm, if I may?" Taeren suggests. "They have briefed me on the subject separately."
Jantine looks as if he's about to speak, but then clamps his mouth shut and looks to Tay, then back to Indira.
Dirionis nods as Taeren speaks, looking at Indira.
Indira turns her steel gaze to Tay. "I don't care who tells me, just tell me," she says.
"Captain Norton decided to initiate the search of the Faux because, after Norton persisted in riding her, Faux's captain punched him in the face," Taeren says, "and Norton couldn't get one over on her in retaliation, no matter how hard he tried. However, ships that land on our soil -are- subject to search, and Faux -is- a privateer under a foreign flag. He had every legal right to initiate the search," Taeren says. "Corporal Callot found cargoes of metazone, frozen embryos and machine parts in Faux's cargo hold. I don't have intelligence on anything else that was confiscated other than those cargoes; you'd have to get that information from Norton. The metazone and the machine parts are, or should be, legal; the frozen embryos sound like they actually were suspicious. Apparently during the search, Silvereye Paintedheart declared that he was locking the ship down and flying everyone aboard to Demaria, including our Marine teams. When he looked like he was about to actually -do- that, Norton ordered Callot to stun him. Paintedheart and several other members of the crew were stunned."
Jantine remains quiet, noding slightly as Tay speaks, towards the begining, but once he begins finishing up he stops, remaining relatively motionless.
"What do you think about that?" Indira asks, turning her head to Diri, arching an eyebrow up at him.
"What do I think of what, Ma'am?" Dirionis asks politely, well as polite as a marine can.
Taeren remains facing forward, silent as Dirionis is addressed.
Jan also keeps silent, and relatively motionless still.
"You were ordered to shoot a high-ranking officer or a foreign government," Indira says, "By your son-of-a-bitch of a commander."
Dirionis replies in a second, " Morally, I thought it was wrong, but I followed orders."
Taeren opens his mouth, then clicks it shut again. "Ah ..."
Jantine simply remains silent, again.
"Well, here's my problem," Indira says as she stands up straight. She then starts to pace around the room, her hands folded behind her back, "I just got a call from High Command. And they are asking me, as Norton's boss, 'what the fuck?'" She swings past Diri's back before continuing. "Now, they're being somewhat nice about it for the moment, but the politicians are soon to be joining in," she says, swinging past Jan and Tay, "Now, I'm no politician, but I do know that when the politicans come in, they're going to want High Command to give them a head. And, High Command is going to want me to give them that head."
"Ma'm, with all due respect, I think chopping heads will do more to make it look more like we'll do whatever big powerful governments tell us to than it will make the situation any better," Taeren replies.
Jantine remains silent, he does frown as Tay speaks, but that's gone in a moment.
Dirionis is unphased by the yelling, staying quiet as he thinks over what went on.
"That, Captain, is not our decision to make," Indira says when she makes it back to her datapad. She pulls the chair out and sits down, folding her hands on the table. "But I need to be prepared for that possibility."
"I'm not sure Cap'n Norton can be faulted for what he did once he went inside the Faux, ma'm," Taeren replies. "But you can find something wrong with why he went inside in the first place as easy as you can prove he floats in vacuum." He, Dirionis, and Jantine stand facing Indira, who sits at the conference table.
Jantine remains silent, once again.
Dirionis listens to Taeren speak without a word of his own.
Indira nods to Tay before looking at the rest. "/Every/ officer involved with this operation will be filing their own report on this, telling their own side of the events, without consulting others," she says.
"Ma'm, Captain Norton was the only officer involved," he observes. "With the exception of Sergeant Castus, who is non-commissioned. All of my knowledge has been second-hand."
Thus enters Norton as he smokes a cigarette, popping a can of dip in one hand. He says, "Look here, you can't find nothing wrong with what I did at any stage of the investigation because A. You ain't know what the hell is going on. B. I got the go ahead from the government. C. The government is the people you jokers supposedly work for. Now. Having cleared that up. I'm going to get back to work. File a press release that says the Battleclaw was not detained, arrested or otherwise mishandled. We simply wanted to make sure he was in stable medical condition for transport off our world after his antics in interfering with the lawful search of a vessel. The Demarians can come pick him up at their convience or we can pay shuttle fair. I'll cough it up out of my own pocket for him, the other militia member, and the two Faux crew members I am about to release. Diplomatic immunity is granted to diplomats, not soldiers. They can stuff it up their goat ass. Have a nice day. You can tell Demaria, Sivad, and whoever else that if they got a problem, they can come talk to me instead of getting it third hand from some moron with press written on his hat." By the time he's done talking, he's inserting a pinch of dip behind his lower lip and turning back for the exit. "As a side note, I'm the only officer neck deep in this operation, so I will be filing a report. If you want to talk to SFC Castus or CPL Callot, you can, but they got better things to do than write up reports unless you are filing charges."
Jantine suddenly stiffens at the sound at the sound of Norton's voice, frowning slightly, but not saying a word or turning around.
Dirionis glances back at Norton, just a moment, before he turns back to Indira.
Indira doesn't look to Norton and doesn't really seem to pay him any attention. "Everyone above the rank of PFC will be writing their own report on it," she amends. . "Norton," Taeren replies with a sigh, "I can find something wrong with what you did as easy as I can file an affidavit attesting that you told me point blank two weeks ago you are hassling the Faux because you have a grudge against its captain," he replies, turning to face him. "You're causing an international incident because you don't like the fact that you got punched out by a woman. You told me as much to my face. And I'm pretty sure the Colonel here can find something wrong with the fact that she has to go through -us- to find out things the press knew two days ago. Fates, I can find a lot wrong with that too -- I've got a possible Demarian space assault to worry about and I'm still not entirely sure why."
"Fine, I'll do it myself," says Norton as he walks out. "No big change. You can order up as much paperwork as you want to read after the facct." He tells Taeren, "I never told you that. I told you I was tired of it flying away when I was trying to search it. After the search warrant was given. That's not a grudge. That's a guy trying to do his job and being circumvented by a ship that constantly leaves before he can get his Ps and Qs together to organize a search due to a two mile long trail of paperwork. I'm not causing an international incident because I been punched out by a woman. That don't leave me quaking in my boots. I'm not even causing an international incident. The Demarian disregard for common sense is causing an incident. I filed a report. If she wanted to know more, she could have asked. It ain't like I am hard to find. It ain't her job to babysit my happy ass. Screw it. I'm going back to work. If you want to stop talking to me and hear what is going on, you can find me talking to the guy in the jail." He walks out.
Jantine relaxes slightly, still not turning around, but the frown is wiped from his face as Tay speaks, returning once again as Nort replies, however.
Unlike Jan, Diri's face is emotionless the whole time, just listening.
Indira is quiet for a moment before standing up. "I think we're done here," she says.
Taeren exhales through his nostrils. "Ma'm," he says, turning to leave.
Jantine nods to Indira, echoing Tay with a "Ma'am" before following the Captain out.
" Yes ma'am." Diri says as he turns, filing out at the end.
Indira watches the men leave for a moment before sitting back down.