TRAVESTY- Season 4, Episode 14

Chapter One

''I'm being denied Due Process!'' Michael shouted the second he entered the judge's chambers for a pre-Tribunal reading of the case. Jack Hansen took one of the shackled man's arms and Oscar took the other and they put him into his chair with possibly a little more force than was necessary. ''I've been denied access to an attorney, beaten while these men looked the other way -''

''Mr. Marchetti -'' the judge began.

''Doctor Marchetti, thank you. The charges against me have yet to be proven, so I still retain my rightfully earned title! And I demand my right to a jury trial - a trial before my peers - with an attorney for my side, instead of only one for my persecutors!''

''Mr. Marchetti, you're out of order. The Prosecutors-''

''Persecutors, Your Honor - in this case, they are solely persecutors!'' Michael shouted.

''Mr. Marchetti, you're not helping yourself here today,'' the judge pointed out. ''And if you continue in this manner, you will be removed.''

''Your Honor,'' Michael persisted, struggling to his feet (and nearly tripping over his own shackled ankles), ''if I don't speak for myself, then no one will! And this is a gross travesty of justice, if you allow it to continue! The conditions they're holding me under are inhumane - and they themselves are even more inhumane!''

''Remove the defendant,'' the judge declared firmly. After Michael was led away by an NSB Security team, the judge looked squarely at Jack and Oscar. ''Is it true that this man has not met with an attorney?''

''Yes, Your Honor,'' Hansen replied, ''but -''

''Even with a Tribunal, he's entitled to a defense, however limited.''

''Your Honor,'' Oscar tried reasoning, ''in addition to the charges detailed in the report you have before you, we're investigating the possibility that Doctor Marchetti has also harmed an OSI doctor - the head of our medical facility - and that the damage caused to him may be permanent. We'll need time to investigate any new charges that may result and request that he continue to be held in NSB/OSI custody until such time as we can proceed with this Tribunal.''

''Due to the extremely serious nature of these charges, Mr. Marchetti will continue in your custody and in your holding cell, should you deem such secure measures to be necessary. However, an attorney must be allowed immediate access to the defendant or you're looking at having these charges pulled into open court at a later date, when he vocally demands an appeal - because I can already tell you this defendant will be very, very vocal.''

''Your Honor, that's exactly what we're afraid of.''

Steve wasn't sure what to tell Jaime about Rudy's condition. While Michael had definitely not caused Rudy's first cardiac 'incident' (he'd been 20 miles away) and had most likely not caused the second one either, this third - and most serious - incident happened so suddenly and at such a convenient time (for Michael) that the possibility had to be considered that (given everything else he'd done) Michael had been behind this, as well. There was an entire team comprised of the best cardiologists in the nation examining him and they would hopefully have an answer soon - or at least within the next few days. Steve decided that Jaime was worried enough about her own testimony before the Tribunal and that he didn't want to heap more on her plate before they knew for certain, one way or the other.

When the phone call came in, just as Steve was fixing a breakfast tray to take to his wife, the news (and its timing) seemed serendipitous. The Tribunal was delayed for two weeks for further investigation (wonderful) and so Marchetti could consult with a lawyer and mount a defense (not so wonderful). Two weeks was exactly the length of time of their long-promised but still un-taken vacation/honeymoon...and he and Jaime could certainly use some 'down time'. If/when news about Rudy was available, Steve would break it to her gently (of course) and they'd be staying close by (right there, at home) where it was only a short drive to visit him often. But for now, rest and recuperation - and togetherness- seemed to be in order. Steve smiled broadly at his wife when he found her already awake.

''You...cooked?'' she marveled. ''I didn't hear the smoke alarm!'' There was a plate of scrambled eggs (not burned), bacon cooked almost exactly right, toast (buttered - and also not burned), orange juice and coffee. Jaime was suitably impressed.

''I guess I'm multi-talented after all,'' he joked lightly, placing the tray in front of her. ''And I have good news for you. The Tribunal - and your testimony, well, our testimonies - have been delayed for two weeks. So it looks like we might finally get to spend some quality time together and -''

''Steve?'' Jaime wasn't quite sure how to say this, so she had to simply blurt it out. ''I wanna see Michael.''

''That is not going to happen,'' Steve stated flatly.

''I need to talk to him - to find out why he really did this. Wire my ear again, if you want; he might tell me something useful that he wouldn't tell you or the others, and -''

''No, Jaime.''

''I need to do this!'' she insisted.

By the look in her eyes and the firm set of her jaw that he knew so well, from having lost so many 'discussions' with her in the past...Steve knew her mind was made up. If he refused to help her, Jaime would most likely find someone else who would.