Location: Courtroom 113, Centauri Penal Colony
Timeline: Late Shore Leave
The increased tension in the courtroom was noticeable now. People were more on edge after the developments earlier, and now more eager to see where exactly this would go. Charlotte Reynolds sat at the defense table, avoiding eye contact with her now silently fuming father.
In the chair, Alina stirred restlessly. She'd taken the stand a few times during her actual trial, but this time the tables had turned. She was now going to be cross examined as a victim, as well as a defendant. The combination was making her head spin, and she knew she wasn't alone.
Maralen had as much legal training as any Starfleet officer, but he was not experienced in actually doing what he was about to do. The closest thing he had done was Interrogation, but this was different. It had far different rules and more of them, for one thing.
Standing, he approached the witness stand. He could smell the lady's unease as he approached but closed himself off from it behind his Calm Efficiency. "Miss Soyka, it has been made very clear by the Prosecution that you are more than familiar with my co-counsel. But could you please tell the court... are you also familiar with the Prosecution?"
Alina cleared her throat. “Uh...yes. I am. Though in a different way. The admiral and I had never met prior to my arrest. However, in the months since, we’ve spoken on several occasions.”
Maralen nodded to himself. "And on those occasions, Miss Soyka, which of you initiated the contact?" he asked, his tone unchanged. He was the picture of calm neutrality.
"The prosecution did, sir. Each time. I never attempted contact with them," Alina said calmly. She avoided eye contact, though she could feel the Admiral glaring at her. She hoped Charlotte was right about this, because things would get very bad if they were wrong.
Maralen nodded again. "And would you please tell the court what it was that the admiral contacted you to discuss?" he asked. He was establishing proof of Charlotte's charges of moments ago... or hoping to.
Alina took a deep breath. “The first time it was presented as a checking up on my statement. But the next few times, it became something else. Numerous questions relating to Charley.” She caught herself. “Sorry. Relating to Captain Reynolds. At first, case specific. Was she aware of my behaviors. Did she overlook my actions or appear to assist in hiding them in a any way. I repeatedly informed him of the truth. She did not.”
Alina looked a little more uncomfortable. “But his questions expanded. Questions about her leadership style. About punishments she enforced on ship. And eventually, about our relationship.”
Maralen nodded, taking in the information. Personally, buried deep in his mind, he found the admiral's behavior completely reprehensible. But none of that showed in his manner or expression as he continued. "And you in no way led him to ask these questions?" he pressed. He wanted her to state it for the court, that his more unprofessional questions had been of his own choosing, not related to anything she had said to him or driven by anything she had said to him.
The woman looked almost offended. “No, of course not. I had been answering questions about my case. But these were different. It didn’t take me long to realize they had little to do with me or my case. They were about trying to frame Captain Reynolds as negligent. Not long after, the idea of seeking a maximum sentence was introduced, should I fail to provide the kind of information he wanted to, information he could reframe to incriminate her. When I stopped answering, he proposed max charges.”
A murmuring spread through the room and the judge appeared visibly uncomfortable. Charlotte had a feeling they’d accomplished what they’d needed. Now they’d just have to wait. She nodded to Maralen, letting him know they should let this take its own shape.
Maralen, vigilant as always, did not miss the subtle nod. He did not outwardly acknowledge it, however. Rather, he appeared to have kept his focus on Alina. "Thank you, Miss Soyka." At this point, however, he turned his attentoion to the judge. "I have no further questions, Your Honor." He then turned and returned to his stat at the Defense table. He hoped, however, that it was enough to accomplish the goal.