A crowd of anxious people entered the courtroom. Notification had come in that the judge had reached a decision. Would the case be dismissed, leaving the characters to the mercy of the writers, or would the defendants be held over for trial?
Word had spread around fan fiction; and now, nervous characters from other shows had shown up to show their support. They were jammed into the back of the room, along with reporters and interested attorneys.
Judge Harry had taken his time reviewing all of the evidence. He had gone over the testimony line by line, and had conducted hours of his own research on the issue. The judge had even signed onto the site again, and had been appalled to find at least two other angst ridden entries posted recently that had not yet had an impact on the prisoners. He became so stressed that he found himself popping antacid tablets while listening to his Mel Torme records. But, what the case boiled down to was evidence. Harry had to put his personal feelings aside, overlook his sympathy for Hogan and his crew, and make a sound legal decision.
Again, Bull proudly announced the judge. "All rise. Judge Harry Stone presiding. Case number 0876707, Sergeant Andrew J. Carter et al vs. Those who cannot be named."
Harry motioned for everyone to be seated. He then began to speak.
"This has to be one of the most difficult and emotional cases I have ever worked on. Before I reveal my decision, I want to assure both sides that I considered every piece of testimony, and every twist and turn, no matter how unusual, before reaching any conclusions."
The crowd leaned forward in anticipation of a verdict. Hogan looked at Kinch and gave an unobtrusive signal, which Kinch quietly acknowledged.
But, the verdict didn't come. Harry was not done with his speech. The crowd groaned and leaned back.
"I would first like to address both counselors. Congratulations are in order to both of you for conducting yourselves in a professional manner, and for handling such a difficult case. Commander Riker? This is not your level of expertise, but I found that you managed to pull off a credible prosecution, and expertly represented your clients. Mr. Mason? Your reputation precedes you, and, once again, you do it justice. I did not; however, fall for your emotional blackmail near the end of your portion, but your point was expertly made. And now…"
Finally. The crowd leaned forward.
"And now, I'd like to have a word with the characters."
The crowd leaned back. This time they moaned.
"First, Major Hochstetter. I think you really need to learn to chill. Take a vacation. One of those all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean might do you some good. General Burkhalter and Colonel Klink. I think you both need a support group. You always seem to be a little confused. Check it out. Now, the prisoners. You've suffered the most. I can't imagine how much. I've been fortunate up until now. My show ran. It ended. Nothing bad has happened. I'm still a judge. But you; you're certainly in a bad position aren't you? You can't go home. You're in jail, but not criminals. Must be pretty depressing. I know you keep busy and all, with your extracurricular activities, but geez, yeah, that's got to be tough. And being the puppets of these writers." Harry shook his head. "Just awful."
Hogan looked at his men. It was beginning to look like Harry may rule for his side. He mouthed to Kinch. "Hold off, wait for it." Kinch nodded.
"Now," Harry said.
The crowd held their breath
"My decision. I have determined that there is ample evidence to show that these authors have willfully caused damage and harm to these characters. The case will be held over for trial."
A loud whoop could be heard from the prisoners. Riker went "Yes!" while Perry looked aghast.
Harry looked over at the prisoners. "However, justice is slow and the civil court is backed up, so unfortunately, there may be a wait. Colonel Hogan, I'm afraid there is nothing we can do to protect you until that time. You'll just have to hang on. I'm sorry."
Hogan and his men sat there, stunned. Some of the prisoners actually started to cry in relief. The rest of the fan fiction characters, who were hanging around in the back, left.
Riker was happy, but concerned about the wait and the danger the characters were still in. Hopefully, Hogan and his crew might be able to protect themselves by making use of his clandestine assistance. He walked over to the prisoners to wish them luck and shake their hands.
Hogan looked up at Riker and smiled. "Thanks, Commander. I guess we'll see you at the next phase?"
"You can bet on it, Colonel."
The prisoners sat quietly and waited for the ruckus to die down. "What'll we do now, Colonel? Riker said there's more stuff up on that site. We could be dead before the trial!"
Hogan had already planned for this contingency. "Gentlemen, we have the e-mails and passwords. Let's just say we're about to expand our sabotage business."
A/N Sorry folks, but at this point the rest of this chapter kind of "disappeared" from the document manager. I think someone may have hacked into my account and messed around with my stories. Which is really a shame, because this one's not done yet. I also lost, (I know I should have saved them somewhere else, my bad), the story where I had the entire camp come down with chicken pox, the angst-filled story with 47 chapters that examines what happens when Klink discovers the operation, but this time he's not nice about it and decides to lead the torture party himself, and the final show-down between Hochstetter and Hogan; including gunfights, character deaths, bombing raids, poison…well, you get the idea. So, you guys may want to change your passwords just in case this is going around. The funny thing is, my heartwarming tale about Carter's pet rabbit is still in there. LOL. And a nice non-violent ,liberation, happy-ending story showed up in there, and I know I didn't write it. Weird. I promise I will try and finish this eventually, because I know we all get mad when these things aren't completed. But, I have to warn you that real life, etc., gets in the way…yadda, yadda, yadda. And I have to rewrite these things from memory, which will take a while. Oh, I forgot. I did receive an odd private message from someone with the pen name of "Theboysofbarrackstwo." It says to keep vigilant and be afraid of a sequel! I don't know what that means. If any of you have a clue, please pm me. Thanks! Sue.