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The Best Laid Plans...

Posted on Mon Jul 4th, 2011 @ 1:26pm by Lieutenant Commander Jonathon Bastin PhD
Edited on on Mon Jul 4th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

Mission: A New Beginning
Location: Various
Timeline: Various; From SL -08 to SL 01

=Magistrate's Chambers, Starfleet Disciplinary Court, San Fransisco, Earth=
=SL D-08, 1345 hrs=

Lieutenant Commander Jonathon Bastin sighed as he reviewed the material from the case he'd been overseeing for the last month. What had started off as a simple court-martial of a man accused of assault had turned into, and rather quickly as well, a three-ring circus. The defense had gone to great lengths, and by that he meant going so far as to recall an entire ship to Earth, in the name of providing a proper defense for their client. While their actions were not, in all fairness, outside of their realm of ability to do in their pursuit of a fair trial, having to sit through the testimony of every member of the crew was a bit excessive... not to mention boring.

If it boiled down to his personal feelings about the case, he'd have just called him guilty and moved on, since the evidence was fairly telling. However, many of the arguments and explanations by the defense had also brought to light circumstances and extenuating factors that could easily justify and negate the majority of the damning evidence. It was frustrating, if it was anything at all, and Jon was starting to understand why most Magistrates in the JAG Corps didn't stay in the position too long. If he had known when he took the job what he knew now, he probably would have stuck with the diplomacy side of the house.

Lamenting about it never got him anywhere, and with a case hanging by a thread over two conclusions, he didn't have the time to waste on it. As was his method, Cmdr. Bastin pulled the case apart and examined the bones of it. He weighed the evidence that had been presented from the beginning, the testimony that was relevant to the situation at hand, the motions made that he had accepted, the circumstances that had brought the defendant into the situation that warranted the court-martial, and the closing statements made by both sides. In the end, Jon was left with nothing but his inevitable conclusion...

=SL D-08, 1530 hrs=

Lieutenant Commander Bastin had arrived at the office of his direct superior, Rear Admiral Henry Foster, where he would have to make the inevitable report of his findings and ruling concerning the case he had just adjourned. Jon wasn't entirely sure how the Admiral was going to react, his decision had come with a great deal of shock on the part of those involved. As always, with cases that had received a great deal of attention, Jon was being called in to justify his verdict. It was all becoming routine...

"Admiral," Jon said as he walked fully inside of the man's chambers, "Figured I'd come before you called me this time."

"Good thinking, Jon..." the man behind the desk remarked, "And I'm hoping you're already prepared to take ownership of what you've done."

"Of course..." the Commander nodded, "To boil it all down... the woman wasn't guilty in the way the prosecution tried to set him out to be."

"Really?" the Admiral asked, knowing full well the man standing in front of him would elaborate without much prompting.

"The prosecution set out to claim that the Ensign assaulted the First Officer without provocation. They further set out to say that it was a malicious, premeditated assault. In the course of the tribunal, it was found that the First Officer had a history of abusive conversations and interactions with the defendant, as well as other members of the crew. He was also witnessed, just prior to the assault in question, pushing the Ensign up against a bulkhead. The defendant, in this case and in my opinion, acted as any rational person would do when they felt threatened. The fact that the Commander brought the charges against someone who he himself was attempting to assault was in poor taste, given that he did it in fair view of others. The fact that the Ensign punched him in the face and broke his nose not withstanding, had she not felt threatened and cornered by her superior, I doubt I'd have had to sit through six hundred and four individual witness statements to reach my verdict," Jon explained at length.

Admiral Foster nodded a few times while he listened to his subordinate speaking. Every point Jon made was legally sound and could be backed up with any number of precedences and laws. The fact that he'd spent the time he had actually sifting through it all to find out that truth was what was so impressive about it.

"I take it you're getting burnt out then..." the Admiral asked an obvious lead in question. Lt. Cmdr. Bastin chuckled at hearing it, knowing full well his dissertation about the case had fallen on deaf ears as a matter of protocol.

"If I were, anything less than telling me I already had orders would be an insult," Jon joked.

"And if you did indeed have orders?" his superior asked.

"I'd ask you when I can leave," came the curt reply.

"I'll have a ship leaving for that area pick you up in a few days. Fast enough for you?" Adm. Foster inquired with a smirk.

"No, but I'll take it!" the Diplomat replied cheerfully.

"Good. Clear your docket and pack your gear. The USS Bismarck will pick you up shortly. Until then, have a little fun... maybe take that girlfriend of yours out on the town for a change," Henry said with a chuckle.

"Right... about that..." Jon said, scratching the back of his head in an embarrassed manner, "She dumped me last week. Said I was married to my job and she wasn't going to compete anymore."

The Admiral's face drew down in sympathy, "Sorry to hear it... You two were such a nice looking pair too."

"It happens... and she wasn't wrong. I did probably spend way too much time scanning legal material and not enough time telling her she was pretty. Guess girls need that stuff... I dunno..." Jon shrugged it all off.

"Ok... go get drunk, and see what happens. Maybe you'll snag you a 'Miss Right Now' to tide you over," the older man smirked once more.

"I'll get drunk... but after that, it's not up to me..." the diplomat retorted as he made his exit.

=Visitor's Quarters, USS Bismarck, On Route to Starbase 322=
=SL D-03, 1925 hrs=

Jon sighed as he sat behind the desk residing within the quarters he'd been given during his stay on the Bismarck. No matter how many years had gone by since his last visit, the place hadn't changed. Captain Ballentyne was still in command, much of the crew hadn't changed, and they all remembered the Orn incident like it was yesterday. Commander Bastin was both elated that he'd gotten a chance to rekindle old friendships with the crew, and terrified at the prospect of dealing with Alicia again. To say that they had been close was a stretch. They'd slept together in a brief tryst that ended in a good measure of hurt feelings when Jon didn't stay on the Bismarck when she gave him the chance.

Luckily, she hadn't been there when he'd beamed aboard, nor had she made an attempt to seek him out. Jon was partly to blame since he didn't bother to seek her out either. She seemed content to ignore him, and he was content to let it go.

"Commander Bastin, please report to the bridge..." came the one voice that Jon was really hoping he wouldn't have to hear.

"Acknowledged..." he remarked as he pushed himself out from behind the desk. The short walk and even shorter turbolift ride weren't nearly enough to give the man time to prepare any measure of response to what might be coming. The best he could come up with was 'I'm sorry' and it hardly seemed enough. When he stepped onto the bridge of the Intrepid-class vessel, he was confronted with an absence that he found most puzzling.

"Where's the Captain?" Jon asked bluntly, unable to find Alicia anywhere.

"In her Ready Room, sir," the Ensign behind the Tactical Console reported. 'Great...' the Diplomat lamented silently as he headed that way. The door opened as he stepped toward it... another bad sign in the list of things that might signal a very bad scenario about to play out.

"Sit down, Jon..." the woman behind the desk ordered. The fact that she was using his name was even more disturbing than the fact that she had been laying in wait for him...

"Alright..." the diplomat said with a bit of hesitation, "What's up?"

"Aside from you having the nerve to use my ship as a taxi?" Alicia scowled.

"It wasn't like I asked for this..." Jon explained, "Admiral Foster set this up. I'm sure he wasn't aware that you and I departed on... uncomfortable terms..."

"Jon... you slept with me and then spurned me when I asked you to stay..." the woman frowned.

"And if I'd asked you to come with me to the Lancelot, would you have?" the diplomat retorted.

The woman's face contorted in confusion, "That isn't the same thing..."

"Bullshit..." Jon said angrily, "You asked me to leave my home behind to stay with you. Regardless of my feelings for you, the Lancelot was important to me, to my career. You were asking me to give that up to keep a relationship going. Did you ever think we could have still dated without having to be in the same room with each other all the time?"

"I hate long distance relationships..." the woman grumbled.

"So? Would that have been worse than where we are now? Hating each other..." Jon paused, "Scratch that, you're the one who hates me. I never did get all bent out of shape about it."

"You're such a jerk..." Alicia huffed, "You could at least have some kind of feelings about the situation."

"I wish things had gone differently, but getting bent out of shape isn't going to change them. Hating you for not giving up your career to be with me won't make it easier. You getting mad and staying mad hasn't helped you one bit either, has it?" the diplomat offered.

Alicia gave him a weary look. She knew what he was doing... and knew he was damn good at it. And unfortunately... it was working... again.

"No..." the Captain admitted finally.

"There you go... you've been torturing yourself for this long for nothing. Don't you feel foolish? Couldn't you have done something else with your spare time rather than hating me from afar for some imagined slight?" Jon said, getting out of the chair.

"Where are you going?" Alicia asked angrily, standing up herself.

"Back to my quarters. I'm not going to sit here all day and play Father Confessor. You're the one that's upset with me, not the other way around, Alicia. Until you can sort through that stuff and come to some sort of peace with our past... I've got nothing worth while to offer and you sure as hell aren't going to harsh my mellow..." Cmdr. Bastin answered her, pulling out an old phrase he'd heard in a movie back on Earth years ago.

"I didn't dismiss you!" the woman yelled after him.

"Yeah... I dismissed myself. Comes in handy, not being under your command..." Jon looked back at her with a glare just long enough to silence her before he walked back out. The Ensign that was standing at the Tactical Console gave Jon a worried look, to which the Diplomat graced the young woman with his 'winning' smile. He only hoped, deep down inside, that he wouldn't have to pay for his actions later...

=Transporter Room, Starbase 322=
=SL D01; 1400 hrs=

The blue-white haze that was the herald of a site to site transport had been a welcome escape from the tension on the Bismarck. While most of the crew had picked up with Jon where they had left off years ago, the Mexican Stand-off of emotions between himself and Captain Ballentyne had been something Jon was extremely eager to get away from. The consolation to it all was, at least he'd been able to say his peace, and it hadn't come back to bite him on the ass. She'd kept her distance, and Jon kept to himself when he wasn't in the lounge or some other place of recreation. All that 'fun' was now firmly behind him, and what lay before him was nothing short of a new frontier in both his life and career...


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