"Do you know why Weebles wobble but they don't fall down?" Harry Stone was intently staring at the little figures lined up on the front of his desk.
"No, Sir, but it's a catchy commercial."
"They don't make them like they used to, Bull."
"No, they don't, Sir."
"Aah, well." Harry cleared his desk. "They're here?"
Here we go again. "Show them in."
Bull opened the door to Harry's chambers. "Commander Riker, Mr. Mason. The Judge will see you now."
Bull mouthed a quick, "Good luck!" to the judge as he showed the men in.
Harry motioned for the two of them to sit down.
"Well, gentlemen. Let's get this ball rolling again, shall we?" He pointed at Riker. "You first."
"It's getting drastic out there, Judge. Since the end of the hearing, we've had cave-in's, multiple character deaths, a very upset General, an unsettling turn of an event - where you think it's done, but it's not - and something so awful, so terrible, I can't even speak of it, sir." He choked.
"Uh, uh." Harry said. "So you want me to get this case expedited?"
"Yes, otherwise, who knows what will happen? And, sir, there have been more of them coming out of the woodwork, and some of them are doing two at once!"
"Mason, what's your take on this?" Harry asked.
"Well, I actually think everything's under control. It seems the characters are handling things well enough on their own…aren't they, Riker?" Perry turned and glared at the Starfleet officer. "In fact, the authors were shut out of the site recently, weren't they? What do you know about that?"
Riker gulped. "Nothing. I have no control over that stuff. Oh, I'm sorry to hear about the authors. Must have been…tragic."
"Oh, boy." Carter said as he listened to the conversation between the Judge, Riker and Mason. The heroes had, of course, planted a bug in the Judge's office. It was located in the picture of Mel Torme that was hanging behind his desk. "Think, they'll find us out, Sir?"
"Don't know how," Hogan replied as he swept more dirt and dust from his hair. "From what I hear, it's hard to track computer mischief. But let's lay low for a while, just to be sure." He walked over to Olsen's bunk and checked on the Sergeant. For days now, Olsen had been almost catatonic. Recent events had taken a huge psychological toll on the normally cheerful chap, and he had now been reduced to curling up in his bunk with a security blanket; sympathetically knitted by Newkirk.
"Come on, Olsen. It's okay," Hogan murmured. "Look, Judge Harry and Commander Riker will help us. They're talking about going to trial."
"Not okay." Olsen turned towards the wall. "Too late, sir. I've had a sneak peak."
"Buck up, Sergeant! That's an order!" Hogan decided to try the military approach. Sneak peak. What is he talking about? Whatever it is, it doesn't sound good.
Olsen sniffed, rolled over, and, blanket in hand, attempted to stand up.
"That's better," Hogan said. "Here, sit and listen in."
Harry had decided to expedite the case and ordered an immediate start to the testimony, as soon as technical details could be worked out. He and Riker were discussing options, while Mason sat and sulked.
"Now, Commander, I recall that, due to planes of existence problems, the defendants could not be here to provide their testimony, correct?"
"That's true, Judge. But we've figured a way around the problem." Riker started a PowerPoint presentation. "It is common knowledge that witnesses can provide video testimony and not even show up to court. In this case, defendants and other prosecution witnesses will provide their testimony via e-mail."
"Interesting." Harry said. "So you guys will ask questions, they'll answer them, and then somehow it will get posted?"
"That's the gist of it, Judge."
"I don't like it," Mason complained.
"Well, what do you suggest?" Riker sneered. "Snail mail? Federal Express?"
"No," Mason responded. "It just doesn't seem right, that's all."
"Oh, I see," Riker said. "It's perfectly fine for these people to post their character angst all over the net, but when they have to answer for it the same way, suddenly it doesn't seem right."
"They have a right to face their accusers!" Mason was adamant. He wasn't known as one of the greatest defense attorneys of all time for nothing.
Mason was right and Riker knew it. Besides, if the perpetrators could see their victims in person…that could prove interesting. Suddenly, he snapped his fingers. "All right, Mason. We'll do it your way. I'll bring them in. But it's going to involve some hocus-pocus with our technology, and I have to warn you that, due to the complexity, we may be skipping from one side to another."
"I'm cool with that. Is that okay with you, Judge?" Mason asked.
"Hey," Harry reached for his gavel, which wasn't there. "Whatever works is fine with me. Let's just send out the subpoenas and get this thing moving. But, due to time constraints and the psychological anguish it will cause the characters, I won't have you rehash the previous testimony. That's already been put on the court record. This will be new testimony from other witnesses and the defendants. Got it?"
Riker and Mason agreed to the conditions and left to prepare. Harry, meanwhile, went back to contemplating his Weebles.
And this is where you come in. PM me if you are interested, and I'll send you my e-mail. (or check the yahoo group) Then send me your testimony and I will post your chapter. You can either testify as a defendant (most of you, I guess!) or as a prosecution witness. If you are a defendant, Mason will ask you questions and then Riker will do the cross-examination. If, however, you are appalled at the treatment given our beloved heroes, are just readers, or have only written nice stories and want to help take revenge on the writers, by all means do so. Riker will ask the questions first, and then you will be cross-examined by Mason. You come up with all the questions and answers. Feel free to include interludes, comments from the Judge, other characters, spectators, side-effects on the characters-whatever!!! Turn on each other, or help one another. You can do it! You're all talented!
Don't worry about Riker or Mason's characterization if you aren't familiar with Star Trek or Mason's character. Not an issue. Or bring in a guest attorney!
Don't forget to include your own original characters, if you wish.
Don't worry about following proper legal procedure or that stuff. Can't deal with that, after all this is just for fun!
The testimony will likely be out of order if I get testimony from both sides. I will not rehash previous testimony, you'll have to either recall what occurred in part one or go back and reread it. Any new stories posted can and will cause problems, if that's your choice. (cough, cough, hack, hack-someone call Wilson!)
If anyone wants to bring Kinch, Carter, LeBeau or Newkirk to the stand-be my guest!
Please proofread before sending!
Remember: Stand up for yourself!!!
Let's hope this works. I know. I'm nuts!