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Damos & Telaan - Cross Examination: Harrisson Ross

Rahman and Rivi Vataix

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(( Courtroom, Deep Space 10 ))
::And here it came. Harry looked across at Telaan, mentally bracing himself. For all Damos had known he didn't want to be here and didn't want to cooperate with her prosecution, she had still provided him with a few sage words of wisdom.
::"Keep your answers short. Don't elaborate. Don't lose your temper," she had said. Advice to live by, perhaps.::
::Gaareth took a deep, relaxing breath before standing. He needed to keep his temper under control. He needed to fight this fight like a Vulcan, not a Tellarite. His friend's career depended on it. Starfleet regulations supported Kells completely in this matter, but Damos had turned it into a witch hunt. She was considering Commander Ross an expert witness and, as such, attempting to use his opinion to destroy Aron's career. Well, two could play that game. Sparing one quick glance toward Aron, he turned his attention to Commander Ross as he approached the witness stand.::
TELAAN: Would you state your name and rank again for the record, please?
::Harry gave the lawyer an odd look, but complied readily.::
ROSS: Commander Harrison Ross.
TELAAN: Commander, would you consider yourself a career officer?
ROSS: Yes.
TELAAN: ::looking down at the PADD in his hands:: Looking at your file, I see a list of commendations as long as my arm for courage above and beyond the call of duty. Citations of your cool head under pressure, and a near flawless understanding of Starfleet regulations. It's quite impressive. ::raising his eyes to Ross again:: You hope to have a ship of your own some day?
ROSS: I do.
TELAAN: Is it true, Commander, that one of the primary functions of a ship's Executive Officer is the preparation and issue of duty rosters?
ROSS: It is.
TELAAN: Could you explain to me, then, how it's possible that you might have been completely unaware of Dr. Saveron's disposition toward his required duties during the mission to 83 Leonis-II? Did you not read his file along with the rest of the crew upon your assignment to the Mercury? Starfleet personnel files do still include personality profiles, do they not?
ROSS: I was aware of his disposition, he was quite vocal in the briefing. But he also accompanied me on an away team, and though he didn't like it, he did appear to accept the decision not to interfere.
TELAAN: I see. Were you aware of Saveron's clearance levels aboard the Mercury?
ROSS: I was aware of his major security clearances. But there are more than five hundred people on the Mercury, Starfleet and civilian; I don't remember the replicator privileges for them all.
::He almost said, "that's for Operations to manage", but he had no intention of throwing someone else under a bus. Truth be told, he'd simply assumed that Saveron would only have basic replicator rights, rather that his Starfleet privileges carrying over to his civilian posting.::
TELAAN: Interesting. ::glancing back down to the PADD:: You have been married twice, is that correct, Sir? And divorced as many times?
DAMOS: Objection! Relevance?
::Damos was on her feet, fingertips resting lightly on the desk. She was quite placid, despite the force in her voice, there was something in her eyes that Harry didn't care for.
::Smug. She looked smug.::
TELAAN: Your Honour .. if I may be allowed to continue, I am merely attempting to ascertain the Commander's moral fortitude and credibility; something I believe to be quite relevant if he is being asked to condemn the actions of another officer in regards to the moral implications of the Prime Directive.
SHYN: Objection overruled. You may continue, counsellor.
::Damos left it at that and sat back down, still occasionally taking notes on her PADD.::
TELAAN: So Commander… married and divorced twice. Is that correct?
::Harry flicked a look at Kells, taking a breath and struggling to keep his face neutral. He'd expected a few things, but not that he would be dragged over the coals regarding his personal life. He wondered if Kells' lawyer had gone so far as to contact Sveta and Mary about the divorces — as far as he knew, the official paperwork simply cited 'irreconcilable differences'.
::He hoped not. Mary had never quite forgiven him. He'd never quite forgiven himself, either.::
ROSS: Yes.
TELAAN: How did your first marriage end, Commander?
::Damos was staring at him, and he could hear her voice in his head: "Don't elaborate. Don't lose your temper." He released a slow breath, and answered the question.::
ROSS: I issued divorce proceedings.
TELAAN: And the second?
ROSS: She issued divorce proceedings.
TELAAN: Can you elaborate on the reasons for the court, Sir?
ROSS: We had irreconcilable differences.
TELAAN: Commander, you have been subpoenaed and ordered to cooperate with these proceedings. If you will not answer, I'm afraid that I will have to insist that your ex-wives be subpoenaed as well.
::A look of disgust crossed Harry's face as he looked at the lawyer. Telaan and Damos were every bit as bad as each other.::
ROSS: ::Flatly,:: I had an affair.
TELAAN: ::raising his brows and nodding in clear disapproval:: I see. What is your current role aboard the USS Mercury, Commander?
ROSS: Acting Captain.
TELAAN: It's funny how things work out like that isn't it? So let me see if I've got this straight. You expect this court to believe that even though you knew what Doctor Saveron might think about letting the population of 83 Leonis-II perish, and you knew that he very likely had high level clearances aboard the Mercury, you failed to provide any oversight to the team that he had been assigned to on this mission. Such a lapse in judgement would be very uncharacteristic of an officer with your service record, would it not?
::Harry had to unclench his jaw to answer, else he would have spoken through gritted teeth.::
ROSS: When you put it like that, yes.
TELAAN: ::shaking his head as he turned to Shyn:: Your Honor, I move that the entire testimony of Commander Harrison Ross be stricken from record and not given any further consideration during these proceedings.
SHYN: On what grounds, counsellor?
TELAAN: The Commander may have served with distinction in Starfleet to this point, but he has also shown questionable moral fortitude in his own personal history. He has admitted his desire to advance through the ranks, and with Captain Kells removed from command he has received an instant promotion. His records show an impressive history of following regulations and besting his peers at every turn, yet somehow he managed to turn a blind eye in regards to a prominent figure among the Mercury's crew. Commander Ross is either incompetent or corrupt, and I'm not sure which one would be worse. In my opinion, the Commander should be removed from duty until a formal investigation can be launched into his own actions at 83 Leonis-II. He had both motive and opportunity, Your Honor. All I'm asking today, however, is that his opinions not be taken into account, and this case be settled based solely on facts and regulations.
::As Damos rose to her chair to answer, Harry stared at the back of the courtroom, unable to trust himself to look at either Telaan or Kells. He was being portrayed as a man delighted to testify against his captain, desperate for a chance to sell him down the river and take his command. It was a trade, a barter — his career to save Kells'.::
DAMOS: Your honour. There was nothing in that testimony that warrants it being struck from the record. As my colleague so kindly pointed out — repeatedly — the Commander is a Starfleet officer of particular merit, honour and distinction, as well as being present during the events in question, easily fulfilling the requirements of relevance and reliability. His appearance as a witness in these proceedings is entirely appropriate.
::She paused, apparently considering something more, then left it at that. Shyn dipped her head in thought for a few moments, before nodding.::
SHYN: The motion is denied.
::Harry grimaced. He had thought, for a moment, he had been presented with a get out of jail free card; had his testimony been dismissed, his entire appearance would have never had happened. No insinuations about his conduct in his married life, no tearing down his decisions and performance on the Leonis mission. Free to go with a clean slate.
::No such luck.::
SHYN: ::She gestured toward Telaan.:: Do you have anything further?
::Gaareth tugged on his uniform as he turned to Commander Ross with a look of grim determination on his face. He had tried to get Ross's entire testimony dismissed. Doing so would have saved Aron's career, while also sparing Ross's. Unfortunately, it seemed that Damos was out for blood and Shyn could hold a grudge. Now he was going to have to do this the hard way.::
TELAAN: .oO Sorry, Commander. Oo. I do, Your Honour.
::Harry grimaced, bracing himself. His bad day was about to get much, much worse.::
A Joint Post by
Captain Quinn Reynolds (as Kora Damos)
Lieutenant Commander Isaac Bale (as Gaareth Telaan)
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