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Meeting the JAG

Posted on Wed May 24th, 2023 @ 8:59am by Lieutenant JG Andrew Griffin
Edited on on Tue Jun 20th, 2023 @ 9:50pm

0 words; about a 1 minute read

Mission: The Sins of History
Location: JAG Officer's Office - Deck 6 - USS Artemis
Timeline: MD002 1000 hrs

Andrew knew that sooner or later he would have to visit the JAG office. So it was no surprise he had a call from Lieutenant Commander Miller.

Andy tried to remain calm as he made his way to the JAG office. He knew this would be the start of many visits here. So he put on his best smile.

Kelly was in the office today-she'd been separating her time between the office and Bridge since the Captain. She hated it; she really just wanted to hole up in her office with legal stuff all day but it was in between cases and things and she was BORED and a bored Kelly was a dangerous Kelly. She and Kidd had come to this agreement in the small hope that they could forge some kind of decent working relationship. Day two was proving too intense. She had spoken with her friend and mentor Lahki the day before, who simply reminded her that it was a different kind of court battle-she was being judged, this time, on her ability to lead. Kelly was TRYING to keep that in mind. However, the briefing the day before had buoyed her spirits-a new case, one that promised to be stimulating. Today, she had a meeting with the CI. She knew she'd need to work closely with both of them, but she just wanted them to do THEIR work, let her do hers, and she'd mesh them together. *That* was her specialty. When the chime rang, she put down the file, and spoke loudly.

Andrew jumped as he heard her call. He silently counted to ten then walked through the opening door.

“ Lieutenant junior grade Andrew Griffon Criminal Investigator reporting as ordered ma’am.” Andy said standing to attention before Commander Kelly.

She nodded, but sighed. "Feel free to sit down." She didn't offer anything-drink or small talk. "I just thought it would be...nice for us to officially meet each other. We'll probably interact a bit on this upcoming case." She said, making a slight face at the word "nice". This nice thing was really impacting her ability to use actual words because legalese sounded cold and distant. She was cold and distant but she also wasn't *quite* ready to be called up for her own Captain's Mast, so she was going to try. "Along with Lt. Benson. Have you met her yet? And Lt. Corwin, as well. If you haven't met them, make that a priority." She said. "All I would like is for YOU to be proactive in giving me information. If I need specifics, I will ask, but generally, send me everything. I'll fit it into the files as appropriate-or Benson will, whomever-and then we'll go from there. I don't want to have to-It would be helpful if you could do that for me. I am not sure how Corwin runs his own investigatory process but it should be mostly the same." She almost said "I better not have to come and find you," but realized how it sounded and hopefully, this was at least better than that.

Andy choose to stand so he could look at her better.

" I have met those people except Lt.Corwin as yet. Ma'am let's cut to the chase. I don't like bullies Commander so please do not think I am someone who can be pushed around. I know you have your duties and your rank commands respect. But please do not think for one moment I can be pushed around. I would rather be an ally to you. But if you feel that you would rather attempt to bully me about. Then remember I am british and we brits don't take kindly to that sort of behaviour." Andy said.

Kelly's brown eyes blazed. "If you thought that was me trying to push you around, you have no idea what that means," she said, her voice dripping with venom. "Because I CAN bully you. Choice is yours. In fact, you should probably go, before I call security AND the Captain-he knows what exactly my rank AND my job title entail and it's not this." Arms crossed over her chest, she was stiff in her chair, and her face dared him to make another remark. "I don't care where you come from. You're either fit for your job or you aren't. So far...I am seeing that you aren't. Which is a pity, but something the senior staff will need to discuss. You're free to go." She said. It wasn't a suggestion.

"Typical JAG officer. If someone cant be pushed around out they go. Who are you to tell me how good I am? There is only one person on this ship who can remove me and you're not the one. How do you know if I am good or not? Oh I remember a JAG officer on DS9 just like you. A real bully who stuck their nose into our investigation. Thanks to their constant meddling a young child lost her mother. So I am warning you if you try and meddle in any investigation we are working on. I swear I'll have you tied up in so much red tape your eyes will cross and before you start huffing and puffing again. I have a few powerful friends further up the line in the JAG department at Starfleet Command. Who would be very upset if a lowly Commander tried to ruin my career. Ma'am." Andrew said dangerously.

Kelly stood up now, and simply crossed to the door, opened it, and gestured to the hallway. "There is where you need to go. I, too, have friends at Command, that I've had for longer than you've been alive. A subspace relay to them and the only cases you're investigating is who peed on the wall at DS16. And yes, I am a "lowly" Commander, but I am a Commander, a rank I have EARNED in my thirty five years in the Fleet. On your way out, make sure you stop by the Captain's office, because he's about to get a message to expect you." She gestured to the hallway again, daring him to step out. Once he did it, there was no going backwards from here. "Twenty seconds before I call security. And they don't fuck around."

Andy did not like being sworn at.

“ So there we have it. Swearing. Go ahead tell the Captain. I will deny everything. Who do you think the Captain will believe. A JAG Officer with a reputation for being awkward and difficult to deal with or a lowly Lieutenant JG who is known to be likeable and hardworking.You could of course behave yourself and act like this person you claim to be and be nice. Instead of demand respect and pushing people around. Some good manners and a smile would not go amiss. We are on the verge of what looks to be the mother of all cold cases. The JAG and Criminal Investigation units need to work on harmony. Not be at each others throats like this.” Andrew said.

So he was all talk and no bite. Typical male Starfleet officer. She indicated the hallway again. "If you're not going to leave, you need to change your tone and do it now. It's interesting that you think that the Captain thinks so low of me. PERHAPS we have an understanding-one you're not privy to and one I don't need to explain. I started off friendly. YOU were the aggressor here. And all I would have to do is play the gender card. And believe me, I will. So either leave...or sit down so we can talk. You're not the only CI-I can work directly with Kaida-at least SHE is polite and worthy of her ranks. I can't say for you, Lieutenant JUNIOR GRADE. If I were you, I'd lose the chip on your shoulder, and sit down, and MAYBE you'll learn something from someone who's been around the block a few times. Choice is yours." The door was still open, and Kelly held it open with her foot. Her expression was still daring him to leave.

Andrew wanted to storm out. But what if she was correct? What if she did have a special understanding with the Captain? She started all this by thinking she could bully him. But think of how much infuriating it would be if Andy did the opposite. So he sat down and nodded.

“ Very well. So as JAG officer what exactly do you require of us?” He asked

Kelly slowly removed her foot from holding the door open. Instead of returning to her desk, though, she paced the office, as she did. "The only thing I expect is that you share with us-myself and Lt. Corwin-any pertainent information that you're allowed to share. I have top secret clearances but I know there's still things that I won't be told." That's just how it was-something she'd learned YEARS ago. "And if you can't tell me, please tell me that." She paced some more. "Mostly just the regular stuff, though. Be on time, in uniform, and respond in a timely fashion and we'll be fine. I know you have a job to do so I don't expect immediate results but unless you're physically gone or in the infirmary, by end of day is best." She said. "And then...I'd like you to pay attention to what Kaida does. Find the best experts in your field, and learn from them. That's how I got to where I am. I figured out the brightest minds in the legal corps, and I shut up, listened, watched, and practiced." She said.

“ Yes Commander. Look I am sorry about before. It’s just well…… when you’re the smallest kid growing up in Great Yarmouth the bullies home in on you very quickly. You either get used to being a punch bag or you stand up for yourself. That and being the only English accented kid in a classroom full of Scottish accents. Your self defence system sometimes gets in the way of common sense and knowing when to keep your mouth shut.”Andy said

Kelly glanced at him, but nodded. "I understand. I have a bit of...uh, trouble...with interpersonal communication myself. We'll consider it a miscommunication." She didn't offer condolences or the such, though. "I was born and raised on various Starfleet ships, so I was luckily spared most of that kind of thing, but my niece says that children of all races can be quite...mean." She picked her words carefully. "So. I hope that you learn that as we get older and move in different circles, sometimes our old defense mechanisms need to change." She was learning that herself lately. "Like I said...we can all learn from other people. You just need to be open to it." She paced back to her desk, and settled back in. Pacing was how she organized her thoughts.

Andrew nodded.” That said I have a bit of a puzzle you maybe be able to answer. What do you know of Cardassian Law in respect to a death.” Andy asked.

Kelly stared for a moment. "A death, or a murder?" She wanted to clarify. "For a simple death, it would work much like Earth law-it is processed by a probate court. For a murder or other suspicious death...well. The Cardassian legal system is more or less a Kangaroo court-it's for show. Every single person accused is found guilty, and executed. The executions range from firing squad to...more mysterious methods. Some people simply "go missing" after their trials, some are poisoned. Your spouse and children have a short opportunity to dissociate from you by testifying against you, or risk imprisonment as an accessory." She paused. "Cardassian law is swift, and, in MY opinion, not exactly true justice. However, I have argued a case in their jurisdiction once. I had to follow their rules, much like I'd expect them to follow OURS." She stopped speaking. Her views of the Cardassian "justice" system were poor, but was capable of recognizing it as a failure of the leadership, not the people. "Does that answer your question?"

“ What if the person who signed a death certificate and dated it. Could not of actually been there at the time he was supposed to have witnessed a death? You see Gul Dukat signed one for Gul Vancet but historical documentation shows that he was not even on Cardassia when he was supposed to have signed it.” Andy explained.

Kelly considered for a moment. "That's a serious charge, Lieutenant. But if you have proof, you should go directly to the Captain, because that means an innocent person was put to death and THAT is not ok." She said.

“ From witnesses I heard from when I was stationed on DS9 and recent files. Gul Vancet was anything but an innocent man. The guy ran one of the most notorious forced labour camps on Bajor. He was by all accounts a monster who believed that he was doing the correct thing for Bajor. Men , women even children were worked so hard they literally died of fatigue standing up. Those who survived when Cardassia pulled out where no more then skeletons.If anything this sounds like a cover up. Gul Vancet could well be alive hiding somewhere.” Andy said

Kelly shrugged. "This might sound terrible, but...then let it go. Let him die. If he was one of the...people responsible for the internment and deaths of the Bajorans, then why does it matter? It's justice." She paused. "I learned quickly that righting some wrongs isn't always possible, and when it IS, it's not always a pretty thing. The question what point are we dealing in justice, and then when do we cross that line to become what we're supposed to fight against? I don't know if I know that answer. I do know that if I were you, though, I would report it, and let the chips fall where they might. That way, your conscious is clear but if nothing happens, it's not because of YOU."

“ Thanks for that advice. Unfortunately we have uncovered something troubling. It seems that there have been a series of disappearances in the last six months of Bajorans who survived Panchet forced labor camp. Which was run by Gul Vancet. I will need to see the Captain with this evidence. It would explain minister Holmes reluctance to speak of this over the comm. As our JAG how do we conduct an investigation legally. If this mass murderer is alive. How do we ensure that he gets a fair trial without sinking to his level?”Andy asked

Kelly considered. "Both myself and Lt. Corwin are able to present a fair trial. Most likely, the Cardassian's would ask to take over the prosecution. I would do my best to fight it but it may be out of my hands. Our district's judge was one of my professors at the Academy and he's VERY much a rule of law type. If he felt that it would be best served by them, that's how he'd vote." She sighed. "But I will do what I need to on my end to keep it here for us." She said.

“ There is of course another aspect to this. What happens if Gul Vancet actually dies before he reaches a trial and the Cardassians blame us. How do we make sure that if that was to happen. We can show them it was not our fault. In a way that even with their perverted form of legal system. Cannot blame us for what happened?” Andy asked.

She sighed. "We present them the evidence you have. Luckily, the Cardassians are slowly changing and evolving-they're much more willing to call out their own than they were before. Wether that's for show or not, I don't know, but it's a good thing. As they are evolving as a race, they're becoming less war-hungry, and that's ALWAYS a step forward. I wouldn't worry; we're going to press ahead on this case and I've successfully prosecuted a dead man before. Not a Cardassian, but a Tal Shi'ar agent who was accused of war crimes. He was convicted posthumously. While it was just a symbolic thing, it DID mean something to the families of those affected." She said. "It was YEARS ago, but I am confident it could happen again. Especially as the Bajorans are more and more vocal about the things they experienced, and as the few Cardassian detractors are more and more willing to speak out against their government." She said.

Andrew had a cold chill suddenly run down his spine.

“ Maybe that’s why there have been so many disappearances? Someone does not want any witnesses coming forward……. I need to see the Captain, Commander…….” Andrew said

She nodded. "I'd suggest you go there next. If what you're saying is true, that complicates things. Have you shared this with Lt. Corwin, too? If not, go there after the Captain. I'll excuse you to Kaida," she said. "Let me know what happens. I need to be in the loop on this; I am sure Kidd will involve me, but I'd rather hear it from you, if that's Ok." She asked. "I don't have anything further for you. I am sorry we had a breakdown earlier-hopefully from here on out, we can work together better," she sighed. "Feel free to stop by; if I am not here, I am on the Bridge. You can speak to Lt. Benson, as well, and she'll pass on the message." She didn't elaborate-she figured it was known that Faith was her co-counsel. "Good luck." She said, simply.

“ Thank you. I hope we can work together in harmony.” Andrew said.

A Joint Post By:

Lieutenant Commander Kelly Miller
JAG Officer, USS Artemis
Starfleet Criminal Investigations Unit

Lieutenant Junior Grade Andrew Griffin
Criminal Investigations Officer, USS Artemis
Starfleet Criminal Investigations Unit


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