The Essence of Anger Pt 2

The Essence of Anger Pt 2

Status: Finished

Genre: Fan Fiction

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Fan Fiction

Summary

Same as Pt i

Summary

Same as Pt i

Chapter1 (v.1) - The Essence of Anger Pt 2

Author Chapter Note

Same as Pt i

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: July 03, 2013

Reads: 320

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: July 03, 2013

A A A

A A A

“Yeah, well it was probably cabin fever, but Beverly eventually decided to take the kids for a walk in a nearby park. Unfortunately, it was a memorial park of some description and considered sacred. And because of the way they viewed Beverly...you know that lurin thing...well, those three males took it upon themselves to punish her...teach her a lesson. I don’t think they actually meant what eventually happened, at least I don’t think they intended to kill, Captain, but it seems things got out of control. Maybe it was because Beverly and Monique were aliens or maybe it had something to do with the civic unrest about the negotiations or it could be that they were so incensed that a woman who they considered, well you know, to desecrate the park by walking in it...who knows. The thing is and forgive me, Captain, but as far as Ereban law is concerned, what those males did to Beverly isn’t considered a crime.”

Clearly outraged, Jean-Luc shot to his feet, and grabbed the front of Will’s uniform with his manacled hands.

“What?! Are you telling me it’s legal to rape and brutally beat a woman so badly she loses her unborn child? I refuse to believe you!”

Will stayed calm, making no attempt to remove his Captain’s hands. Selar lifted the hand containing the hypospray, but Jean-Luc growled,

“Put it away, Doctor. I’ve had enough drugs!”

Deanna gently laid her hands over Jean-Luc’s and said quietly,

“Let’s sit down, Captain, it’s not Will’s fault.”

The effort to regain his composure was plain to see. He forced his hands open and released Will, then slowly sat down, but his entire body was rigid.

Again Will hunkered down, but he refrained from touching his Captain, instead resting his elbows on his own knees and loosely clasping his hands.

“It the lurin thing, Captain. Apparently lurin have no legal standing, no rights and no protection under the law. Although it is a crime to kill a lurin, it’s not a crime to chastise them.”

His voice soft, it lost none of its pent up rage.

“And what about Monique and our unborn?”

The Lieutenant spoke for the first time.

“Had the males who perpetrated the crimes not been...killed, Captain, they would have faced charges of murder, of both your daughter and the unborn child. Also they would have been charged with the defilement of your daughter and with interfering with a ...corpse.” She hung her head and whispered,

“I’m sorry, Captain.”

Deanna could sense Jean-Luc was closing down. His voice was flat and emotionless as he asked,

“And what would’ve been their punishment?”

“The children of lurin are not considered valued citizens, howeveroewever it is illegal to kill them, but with you and your family being...forgive me, Captain...aliens, capital punishment would not have applied. The perpetrators would have faced incarceration in the correctional centre for a lengthy time, Sir, where they would have been required to attend therapy for anger management.”

“Anger management? Not sexual violence? Not paedophilia? Not necrophilia?”

No one said anything. What could be said?

After an uncomfortable silence, the Lieutenant said quietly,

“Captain, although we are determined to make sure it doesn’t happen, the Ereban government is very keen to see what they consider justice carried out. If your guilt is proven they are insisting the sentence of execution be carried out.”

“Execution?” Jean-Luc was withdrawing further into himself, but despite a warning look from Deanna, the Lieutenant continued.

“Yes, Captain. Their method is death by exsanguination. The condemned’s throat is slit.”

There was no reaction from Jean-Luc; he just sat stiffly, staring at his manacled hands.

“But we’re not going to let that happen, Captain! We’re going to get you out of here.”

Will nodded.

“It’s true, Captain. It wasn’t murder and it wasn’t unprovoked. You acted in defence of your family. The Prime Directive doesn’t even count in this case. Ereban is not a Federation member and they’re warp capable. If this goes to trial, they’ll have to throw it out!”

There was a rap from the door. Without looking up, Jean-Luc said quietly,

“You’ll have to go now.”

Will, Deanna, Selar and the Lieutenant all looked at each other as Will slowly stood. It was he who said softly,

“Okay, Sir. We’ll come back tomorrow.”

Just as they moved awkwardly in the cramped space, Deanna bent and whispered in Jean-Luc’s ear,

“I’ll tell Beverly and David you send your love.”

There was no reaction. Once they were gone, Jean-Luc lay down on his back and stared intently at the recessed light in the ceiling. It was bright and hurt his eyes, but he refused to even blink. His memories, all of them had returned.

 

 

 

Once outside the cell, Will asked the guard,

“Would it be possible to speak to Captain Picard’s legal representative?”

The huge man nodded.

“Yes, I think so. Follow me.”

They were led through a labyrinth of corridors past row after row of cells, each with the door firmly shut. What struck Deanna was the absolute silence. She had found Erebans not as easy to sense as humans, but from what she was getting, she could only surmise every patient was sedated.

Eventually they entered a brightly lit, moderately large room. Some effort had been made to decorate it; the walls were painted in soft pastel colours, the ceiling white. The floor was carpeted in a thick plum covering and three landscapes graced the walls. On a shelf under a barred window was a large blue vase filled with what Deanna was sure were artificial flowers. Still, it was better than the cramped metal box their Captain endured.

At a wooden table with comfortably padded (although far too large) chairs they waited half an hour before a harried looking Ereban female joined them. She introduced herself as Advocate Jeran. Will made the introductions of his team taking care to point out the Lieutenant was a JAG officer. Trying not to gloat, the Advocate pointed out that as Ereban was not yet a member of the Federation, the Judge Advocate General had no power or jurisdiction in the case. Will tucked his chin in and stifled the urge to tell her to go fuck herself.

Deanna easily sensed his anger and frustration and spoke to ease the situation.

“We would like to discuss Captain Picard’s case, if you don’t mind?”

The Advocate shrugged.

“There’s not much to discuss, Counsellor. It’s pretty much an open and shut case.”

Will smiled.

“So you agree he acted to defend his family.”

Jeran frowned, obviously confused.

“Sorry? Your Captain has been charged with three counts of unprovoked murder. I can’t see how his guilt won’t be proven.”

“You are his defence Advocate, aren’t you?” Will asked curtly.

“Yes.” Jeran replied tartly.

“Then why aren’t you defending him?” Deanna’s soft hand on his knee made him take a calming breath.

“Look, Advocate, the facts are three Ereban males attacked, without provocation, a pregnant woman, savagely beat her, brutally raped her in every orifice and in the process, caused the death of her unborn child. Now if that wasn’t bad enough, they also murdered her four year old daughter and after her death, they raped her too, Captain Picard walked in just as they were finishing raping his dead daughter. He saw his battered partner lying semi-conscious in a pool of blood, the body of his unborn child lying between her legs. Beside her was the violated body of his dead daughter. Yes, he attacked and managed to kill the males but he acted in defence of his family! It was NOT unprovoked!”

The advocate sighed and rubbed her forehead.

“If it were that simple, Commander, Captain Picard would not be here, he would not have been charged and he would not be facing trial and execution!”

“Then what’s the problem?” Will was getting very exasperated. Deanna sought to calm things down.

“What do you know that we don’t?”

With a look of gratitude, Jeran offered a tired smile.

“It was what happened later.” She sighed. “How much do you know about Ereban male physiology?”

Will shrugged.

“Not that much I guess, except you’re all huge.”

That made the Advocate smile, lightening the mood a little.

“Yes we are, and we see humans as diminutive and frail, but human males have one distinct advantage over Ereban males.”

“And that is?”

Jeran blushed, turning her tan skin a sallow light gold. “I’m aware that the testicles of a human male are very sensitive and that a blow to that area can render a human male in agony.”

Will nodded. “Yeah, so?”

“The same organs of an Ereban male are even more sensitive, but not only that. They are extremely delicate. It’s not only the testes themselves, but even the sack that contains them is very easily damaged. Young Ereban males, upon reaching seed are taught how to protect themselves. Even in a fight between Ereban males, they would never even consider attacking that area. Even the slightest damage can render the male infertile and an infertile Ereban male is a thing of great shame. It is not uncommon for an Ereban male to take his life rather than live with the humiliation of not being able to produce seed.”

Will frowned and shook his head.

“If it’s such a flaw, such an Achilles Heel, why don’t your males wear some kind of protective gear? I mean your species is so big and strong and robust. I can’t believe your males would allow themselves to be so open to damage if the stakes are so high.”

“Our medical scientists have been studying the problem for years. It seems to be some kind of evolutionary error. Forgive me for being so personal, Commander, but I have done some study on the differences between the sexual organs of your species as opposed to mine. I have learned that human male’s testes can raise and lower to keep an optimum temperature for healthy seed production, is that correct?”

Will nodded, wondering just where this was going and what the hell it had to do with the Captain.

“And I have also learned that the kind of undergarments a human male wears is important for the same reason.”

“Yes. Too warm or cool and sperm production falls.”

The Advocate nodded, her blush deepening.

“In Ereban males, the testes, all four of them must hang outside the body with no encumbrance. If the temperature alters even in the slightest, seed production ceases and it does not restart! There is, within the Ereban male’s body, an organ which regulates a constant temperature of the testes. Protecting the area with a cover or shield just isn’t possible.”

Deanna sat on the edge of the huge chair and asked softly,

“What has this to do with our Captain?”

“When Captain Picard entered the living room, he stood motionlessly for several seconds then exploded into action.”

Tapping her finger on the table, the Lieutenant asked,

“How do you know this? Captain Picard has no memory of the events.”

“The entire thing was recorded.”

Will was on his feet in seconds.

“What?”

Gently tugging his sleeve, Deanna coaxed Will back to his seat. The Advocate offered an apologetic smile.

“Your Captain, his lurin and the children were recorded from the first moment they set foot on Ereban. Everywhere they went; everything they did. It was a standard security procedure.”

Will’s voice was laced with ice as he said,

“Her name is Doctor Beverly Crusher and she is Captain Picard’s partner!”

Jeran shrugged and inclined her head by way of apology.

Deanna hoped Will could keep his temper under control. Happily it was the Lieutenant who asked,

“Well if you saw what happened, what’s the problem?”

“As I said before, it was what your Captain did after he had rendered the attackers helpless.”

Deanna felt alarm.

“What did he do?”

“Your Captain must have been aware of the very specific vulnerability of an Ereban male because he targeted his attack on the groin area. He quickly rendered the first male helpless with a well-aimed kick and the second with a series of extremely hard punches. With only one attacker left, a fight ensued. The third male spent most of his time trying to protect his groin while attempting to get your Captain into a position where he could...nullify him.”

“Kill him, you mean.” Said Will with barely unrestrained anger.

“Commander, we have to keep emotions out of this. Let’s just stick with the facts, hmm?”

Will glared sullenly.

“Your Captain, realising he couldn’t land a crippling blow, spent his time punching and kicking the third male’s face and stomach and I must say, your Captain is far stronger than he looks. The post mortem shows he actually managed to not only bruise the male, but actually cut him.”

Will felt a surge of pride and satisfaction for his CO.

“But he was tiring. The third male noticed and said something to your Captain. The audio isn’t very clear, our techs are working on it, but it appears he was saying something about the Captain’s deceased daughter, probably trying to goad him.”

“Bastard!” Snapped Will.

The Advocate shot Will a hot glare and continued.

“Captain Picard then did something completely unexpected. He opened his mouth wide, although audio picked up no sound, and lowered his head, then charged. The third male was taken completely by surprise. The Captain’s head smashed into the male’s testicles, bursting all four. He dropped to the floor, utterly helpless. The post mortems show the first male had three burst testes, the second two. Now we get to the problem. Your Captain has now rendered the attackers helpless. There is no more threat. But instead of going to his lur....partner or calling for the authorities, he didn’t hesitate but went to each male and did something so shocking I find it difficult to describe.”

She took a deep breath.

“The larynx of an Ereban is a sacred organ. It is what gives us our distinctive voice and it is interconnected with the major blood vessels of the neck. To deliberately attack the larynx is an act of blasphemy, but your Captain went to each male and deliberately and with great force, kicked each male in the larynx, thus crushing the organ and rupturing the blood vessels. The males died clutching at their throats, unable to breathe and drowning in their own blood. That is why he has been charged with unprovoked murder and that is why he will be found guilty and executed!”

“Holy shit!” Will gaped. “Captain Picard did that?”

“If he’d only waited a few minutes, Commander. Someone in the apartment block had summoned the authorities with a complaint about the noise. They arrived two and a half minutes after Captain Picard had murdered the last male.”

Everyone sat in stunned silence. The Lieutenant’s voice was hushed as she asked,

“Why is the execution death by exsanguination?”

The Advocate smiled sadly.

“It’s the blood. Blood is what ties us, family life. Life force.”

“But why slit the throat? There are many more...humane ways of killing a person by exsanguination.”

With a sigh, the Advocate shrugged.

“You remember I told you the larynx is sacred?”

“Yes.”

“The blade that is used is very special. It has been made of a metal that has been laser sharpened until it is so keen the convicted criminal barely feels it. The cut...” She frowned and seemed worried. “I will have to make sure the dispatcher does not press too hard, lest he decapitate your Captain.” She shook her head.

“Anyway, with an Ereban, the cut is made from the bottom of one ear, down in an arc across the neck to the bottom of the opposite ear, making sure the larynx is severed in half. A special funnel is used to collect all the blood and once the official Doctor has declared the criminal dead, the blood is taken away and processed until it is reduced to a granular powder. The body is then taken and restored, but the larynx is left severed. The family, who are required to witness the execution, are then given the body and the urn containing the granulated blood. How the family dispose of the body is up to them, there are many endorsed methods of disposal, but the urn is taken to the criminal’s home and taken to their room where a...what would you call it..?”

“A shrine?” Deanna suggested softly.

“Yes! A small shrine would have been made, containing a few precious mementos. The urn would be put in the centre. In this way, the blood, the family tie is not broken.”

“And why is the larynx left severed if the body is restored?” Deanna was intensely curious,

“So the spirit cannot tell of his crimes in the afterlife! Can you imagine what it would be like if you died innocent, larynx intact only to listen to a criminal talk about the crime that led to their execution for all eternity?”

“Ah, I suppose not.”

A quiet beeping sounded and the Advocate consulted a small device clipped to her sleeve.

“I’m sorry, I have to go, I have another appointment.”

She stood, but paused when Will asked softly,

“How long have you been an Advocate?”

“Twelve years.”

“Always for the defence?”

“Yes.”

“Ever won a case?”

“No, never.”

She left and Will lowered his head into his hands.

“Oh fuck. We’re in deep shit.”

 

 

 

Will, having already established the fact that he would not tolerate being kept waiting unnecessarily, was pleased when the minister for interstellar affairs was only five minutes late for their meeting. As soon as she entered her office (another improvement), he could see by her smug self-satisfied smile that she’d seen the recording of the murders.

She took her place behind her enormous desk and rested her arms on the top.

“How may I help you, Commander Riker?”

Her tone was amicable, but her eyes were cold. Will summoned his best diplomatic smile and tried to look comfortable in the too-large chair.

“Since there has been no date set for Captain Picard’s trial yet, I would like to request that he be allowed to return to his ship for a visit. He needs to wash properly, shave...”

The minister held up one hand.

“I’m sorry. Shave?”

Taking a steady breath, Will kept Deanna’s words running through his head like a mantra.

“Stay calm, stay calm.”

“Human males, upon reaching puberty, grow hair on their bodies. The hair is thicker in some areas than others. One of the places the hair grows is on the face and neck. You may have noticed Captain Picard’s cheeks, under his nose, his chin and neck are now covered in stiff hair. If you recall, when he first arrived on Ereban, he was clean-shaven. By that I mean he had removed the hair from his face.”

The minister stared openly at Will’s beard.

“You do not...shave.”

“No, minister I do not, although I do trim and shape my beard. It’s a personal choice, ma’am. Some men shave, some don’t. Captain Picard prefers to shave.”

“And how often does one shave?”

“Every day. Usually in the morning.”

“How interesting! Erebans have hair only on their heads as do humans...except Captain Picard. Does he shave his head also?”

That made Will smile.

“No, minister. Captain Picard has inherited what is known as male alopecia. It is commonly called baldness. The hair on his head fell out when he was a young man.”

The female looked very confused.

“And he allowed this? Can your medical scientists not prevent it from happening?”

“Yes they can. Not only can the condition be successfully treated, the defective gene could’ve been removed from his DNA.”

“Then why did he not do that?”

With a soft snort, Will offered a small smile.

“You have to know the man, minister. He is very traditional and quite accepting of his appearance. He decided to let nature take its course. Apparently baldness has occurred in the males of his family for generations. Actually, I think he wears his baldness with some pride...like some kind of family badge of honour.”

The female smiled warmly for the first time.

“Well, I can understand that. I take it he only lost the hair on top of his head, not anywhere else?”

“No ma’am he’s quite hirsute everywhere else on his body.”

That made the female wrinkled her nose with distaste.

“Yes well, that aside, I’m not sure it’s appropriate for your Captain to be granted the opportunity for such a trivial reason as having a wash and a shave. I’m sure we could arrange for him to do that here.”

Will kept his smile in place, but it took an effort.

“It’s not just his ablutions, minister. He needs to be with his partner and their son. He is their only surviving child and all three are suffering terrible grief. Captain Picard’s health, both mental and physical is deteriorating. He needs to be with his family, if only for a short visit.”

The minister’s face became cold.

“Captain Picard’s trial is pending, Commander and his execution will follow immediately afterwards. If he is suffering as you say, I can assure you he won’t have too much longer to wait until it is all over and he will suffer no more.”

Pursing his lips, Will said quietly,

“Minister, the Ereban people are not deliberately cruel. Captain Picard needs to see his family and they need to see him. If he is indeed going to be executed, then surely his partner and son should be given the dignity of saying good bye to him in the privacy of their own home. I’m sure you can imagine their anguish at the thought of losing him too.”

“A lurin has no...”

“Doctor Crusher is NOT a damned lurin!” He shouted. Will struggled to calm himself. “Just because the Captain and Doctor Crusher are not married does not mean they don’t love each other or have not committed themselves to each other to the exclusion of all others! It is their very deep and abiding love for each other that prompted them to have children.” He took a deep breath. “Minister, please don’t judge us by your standards. To marry or not is a choice for many species, not just humans and just because we do things differently does not necessarily mean that it’s wrong. Different is just that. Different! Not right or wrong.”

The minister sat back in her chair and raised her pale eyebrows.

“You say their relationship is exclusive. What does that mean, exactly?”

“It is also called monogamy. It means they would only ever be intimate with each other and that means all kinds of intimacy, not just sexual.”

“So you’re telling me the lurin does not lie with other men?”

Somehow Will held his anger in check.

“Yes, Minister and I can tell you that Captain Picard and Doctor Crusher have been in a monogamous relationship for over twenty years.”

“Oh, I see.” The minister’s surprise was obvious. “Well, that doesn’t sound like the behaviour of a lurin, Commander. It seems I...we might have misjudged Doctor Crusher.”

“So it would seem.” Will remarked dryly. “So, Minister, may Captain Picard visit his family...on the Enterprise?”

Her intense stare made Will understand he was being assessed. Apparently he passed.

“Yes, Commander, he can. I will, of course, insist on guards, a light sedative and restraints but...”

Will shook his head. “No, Minister. No drugs, no restraints and only one guard. And he will not accompany the Captain inside his quarters.”

The female blinked her surprise.

“Commander, you are not in any position to dictate to me how I...”

“Actually, Minister, I am. I have at my disposal the means to annihilate every living thing on this planet, in fact, I can destroy the entire planet if I so wish. Now we are willing to allow the trial to take place, because we have evidence that your judiciary may find mitigates the Captain’s actions, but hear me now, I will NOT be allowing you to execute Captain Picard, no matter what the verdict is. I will do whatever it takes to liberate him before I permit any part of him to be harmed.”

Cold anger seethed from the female.

“Then why bother with the trial? To us it is justice being seen to be done. To you, Commander it is nothing but a charade! What do you hope to achieve? Are you trying to placate us? Do you have some kind of hidden agenda? Are we going to wake up to find Ereban a conquered race with the Federation as our overlords?”

Will sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.

“That’s a little melodramatic, don’t you think, Minister? You know enough about the Federation to know that won’t ever happen! You speak of justice; well Captain Picard is just as entitled to justice as your people. Now I have told you we have evidence that goes a long way towards explaining...mitigating Captain Picard’s actions and we will be presenting it at his trial. We do this according to your law, but my position is unequivocal. Captain Picard is not going to be executed.”

Will stood and strode to the door. He took the handle in his fist and turned to look over his shoulder.

“And just so you know, Minister. Ereban will not be joining the Federation. Normally it is the Captain’s job to write the report on the suitability of a candidate world, based on his experience and personal opinion but after what has happened here and the fact that your people don’t seem to be able to accept even the most basic tenets of the Federation, I can’t see the Federation Coucil agreeing to admit you.”

The female actually gaped.

“If Captain Picard won’t be writing the report, who will?”

For the first time, Will allowed his shit eating grin some time to shine.

“That would be me.”

“We will contest your report. It’s obviously prejudiced!”

“Really? Minister, we have enough evidence to keep your planet out of the Federation for the next century! As I see it, you have two choices. You can keep going as you are, treating members of your own society as pariahs, executing people with little legal right and carrying on as if your superiority of family ties will protect you from outside aggression, or...and this would be my advice, get your act together and start looking past your own damned noses! There’s a whole galaxy out there, minister.” Will pointed at the ceiling. “If you think this little local squabble you’re so worried about is a problem, think again. Sooner or later, someone is going to come and find you and decide they want what you have and if you don’t have the protection of something as powerful as the Federation, then God help you, because we won’t lift a finger to help unless you make some big and very rapid changes.”

He opened the door and strode out, not bothering to close it behind him. Rarely had he felt so damned good.

 

 

 


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