A-to-Z Challenge — Letter Y
You Will Yield!
Astraeus Earth Force Station, 2115 A.D.
The delegates from the Alien Alliance arrived in full gala—twenty delegates, two from each of the ten alien nations which made up the Alliance, and one judge representing Earth, a Katharsi, the closest thing Murphy would get in the form of compassion.
Commander Rourke extended an invitation to the delegates for a dinner in their honor, a courtesy extended to all friendly aliens aboard an Earth Force Station, but he knew they would decline. And they did. They had one agenda—the trial of Alex Murphy, and they would convene as long as necessary to try the case and reach a verdict. Unlike Earth-based trials, Murphy would not be given an attorney. He would have to defend his actions alone.
The delegation gathered in the main conference room. The twenty delegates formed a circle around Murphy, the judge, Honorable Aloon Amut, and the witnesses. The judge sat in at a desk high above the others, with Murphy sitting on a small stool positioned far beneath everyone else. In their eyes, he was as an ant and he would be treated as one. A witness bench was placed ten meters from the accused where Rourke, Davies and Kerchev sat awaiting their testimonies. No one else was allowed into the proceedings and only a vid camera was visible to broadcast the trial back to Earth Gov and the IBI. Language decoders were used to insure that no language barriers existed.
At 1800 hours, the trial of Alex Murphy began when the Honorable Aloon Amut struck the desk with a large gavel. “Alex Murphy of Earth, stand and be accused!” the Katharsian demanded.
Rourke had attended other Alien Alliance trials, but never against an Earthling. He watched the nervous, but defiant, man stand—his hands and feet shackled, and his face void of color. Rourke glanced around at the gathered aliens. He couldn’t read their faces because some of them were rigid and reptilian in nature, but he understood why IBI forced Earth Gov to let the Alliance handle the trial. The Makaa were a danger to all races.
An Anok Matal delegate stood and read from a scroll. “Alex Murphy of Earth, you are accused of Universal Endangerment, a charge that bears the death penalty if found guilty. How do you plead?”
Murphy looked around at the delegates within his frame of view and then at the judge. “Not guilty!” he declared. He then turned and stared at Rourke with dark piercing eyes.
“Alex Murphy, before testimony begins, I will afford you a moment of declaration. Remember, I do not have to give you a declaration, but as a courtesy to Earth, I will allow it. Choose your words carefully, Alex Murphy. You will be held accountable for them and judged accordingly!” Honorable Amut warned.
“I am an innocent man!” Murphy began as he turned in a circle before all of the Alliance. “I sought K’Tol, a term I know all of you are familiar with. It means honorable vengeance! That man,” he continued as he pointed at Rourke, “wrongly accused my father of High Treason and had him imprisoned. My father perished there! It is my right to honor him with K’Tol!”
A delegate from Luesta stood and declared, “Alex Murphy, I have here in my claws the transcripts from your father’s trial. He was charged with High Treason for assisting the Makaa. The same charge you have been accused of!”
The delegate’s words caused an uproar among the other delegates. The judge slammed the gavel on the desk. “Order! There will be order!” When the room quietened again, the judge waved his hand at Murphy. “You may continue your declaration.”
Murphy nodded at the judge and continued speaking. “The Makaa are not the feared race you proclaim them to be! You have imprisoned them on their home world and they are now a dying race—a race who once ruled the Universe! It is you, all of you, who should be charged with Murder!” Murphy screamed, his voice echoing through the room.
Murphy’s declaration caused another outburst among the delegates who all rose to their feet, screaming and raising their fists and claws into the air. A delegate of the Waluk Em Neti yelled above the crowd of shrilling voices. “We will not be accused!”
“Enough!” the judge demanded as he stood and smack the gavel on the desk. A hush filled the room as the delegates sat back down. “Alex Murphy, you were warned! Sit!” the judge ordered.
Murphy ambled back to his stool, but in a last moment of defiance, he screamed, “Murderers!”
“Gag him!” a delegate from Arzania stood up and cried out.
The judge pointed his gavel at the Arzanian. “I will give the orders here! Sit back down!”
The Arzanian took his seat and leaned over to his companion and whispered in his ear. Rourke watched the face of the other delegate turn from anger to amusement. Whatever the Arzanian said, it was humorous in nature. Rourke wished he had been closer to hear it. The judge took his seat and shuffled some documents on his desk.
“The trial will proceed,” the Katharsian judge declared. “Anton Kerchev, stand and give your testimony!”
Kerchev stood and cleared his throat. “Thank you, Honorable Amut. Delegates of the Alien Alliance, I have here in my hands,” he began, holding up a document, “the unencrypted email sent from Alex Murphy to the Czar of the Makaa!”
“Read the email, Anton Kerchev,” the judge ordered.
Kerchev began reading the email. “My father served you many years ago, my dear revered Czar. I wish to serve you now. I declare K’Tol upon Earth Gov and the Commander of the Astraeus. Please send assistance.” Kerchev stopped for a moment and then concluded, “It is signed Alex Murphy, son of Lt. Oscar Danton!”
A flurry of astonishment broke out among the delegation once more and the judge had to gavel them again. When they quietened down, the judge pointed his gavel at Murphy. “Do you deny sending that email?”
“It is my right to declare K’Tol and gain the assistance of anyone I deem worthy to assist me!” Murphy yelled back.
“Answer my question!”
Murphy clinched his jaw. “I do not deny it,” he stated.
“Thank you, Anton Kerchev. You may sit,” the judge said as he motioned toward the Tech. “We will now hear the testimony of Security Chief Charles Davies,” he declared.
Davies stood and faced the judge. “Honrable Amut, if you will permit, I have a vid feed showing the arrival of three Makaa aboard the Astraeus in the company of the accused.”
The Katharsi nodded. “I will permit it.”
Davies bent down and picked up a tablet from the bench. He turned it on and waved a vid feed into the air above the entire delegation. “As you can see here,” he began as he pointed to a frame of the feed, “that is the accused in a black hooded sweatshirt followed by three Makaa in shrouded cloaks. This,” he continued as he pointed at a stilled frame, “is the face of a Makaa.”
Murphy jumped from his seat and screamed, “There is no way you can prove that is me!”
“Sit down, Alex Murphy!” the judge ordered. Frustration washed over Murphy’s face, but he sat back down. “Continue, Chief Davies,” the judge said returning his attention to Davies.
“Thank you, Honorable Amut. I have here the black hooded sweatshirt and mask found on the accused when we arrested him yesterday. And,” Davies said as he bent and picked up a document, “the sworn statement of Jack Sparks who dealt with the accused numerous times over the course of a year. He states that every time he met with Alex Murphy, the man wore a black hooded sweatshirt.”
“Are you satisfied that the man in the vid feed is the same man accused here today, Chief Davies?” a delegate from Nezra Prime asked.
“I am,” Davies insisted.
“You have no solid proof!” Murphy screamed.
“We have the email, Alex Murphy and you did not deny sending it!” Honorable Amut yelled back at the man. “We will draw our own conclusions when we review all of the evidence and testimony.”
Murphy stomped his feet on the floor and leered at the judge, but remained quiet.
“Thank you for your testimony, Chief Davies. You may sit,” the judge said. He looked at Rourke and stated, “Commander Rourke, you may testify.”
Rourke stood and began walking around the circle of delegates. “Honorable Amut and delegates of the Alien Alliance, because of the recklessness of Alex Murphy and his so-called K’Tol, I lost two valuable officers of my Security Team—Officers Bruin and Hicks. Both of these men served me and the Astraeus faithfully. However, because this man,” Rourke stated as he pointed to Murphy, “brought the Makaa aboard my Station, those men lost their lives. Furthermore, he endangered the entire Station and any aliens who boarded here because one of those Makaa was a queen. That endangerment continues until we are assured that every single immature Makaa has been eradicated.”
“I didn’t know one of them was a queen!” Murphy exclaimed.
Rourke slowly walked over to Murphy and stood in front of him. He leaned down and stared the man dead in the eyes. “One out of every five Makaa born is a queen. Do you not understand those odds?” he questioned.
Murphy stared back at him and sneered. “They have a right to life, just like the rest of us!”
“Not at the expense of trillions upon trillions of other alien races!” Rourke shouted.
Rourke’s statement stirred the other delegates who all rose to their feet and began shouting and stamping their feet. The judge slammed his gavel, but the crowd would not be stifled this time. They continued to sling anger-filled accusations at Murphy. Rourke walked away from the man and circled the delegates again, waving his hands for them to stop. Finally, they relinquished and calmed down.
“The Makaa know what they are,” Rourke stated. “For eons they killed at will all over the Universe. It was only when an alliance of Earthlings and the other alien races joined forces that they ceased their carnage. We could have eradicated them from existence, Mr. Murphy,” Rourke declared as he turned and faced the man again, “and many races demanded that we should have. We chose to give them life instead. If they are dying, then it is their own fault! They have the ability to evolve as a species without the need to take over other races as their hosts. We know they can! We have proven it! They refuse to evolve!”
Rourke leered at Murphy for a long moment. He could hardly believe the blind ignorance of the man. His father had held the same ideals about the Makaa. Finally, Rourke turned away from him, went back to the bench and sat down. The room fell silent.
After a long moment of silence, the Katharsian judge declared, “This concludes the testimonies. It is my decision that we have heard enough from the accused. We will review the testimony and the evidence and reconvene when we have our ruling.” He slammed his gavel down. “The witnesses may leave and the accused will be removed. Commander Rourke, only your presence will be needed when we return.”
“Yes, sir,” Rourke said as he stood and joined Davies and Kerchev by the doorway. The three men watched as Murphy was led away and then they exited the room.
Rourke paced back and forth along the corridor outside the conference room. He had sent Kerchev back to his station. Davies leaned against a wall across from the closed door. Neither of them spoke. Every so often, they could hear shouting from the delegates, but after an hour, there was still no word on the ruling.
Finally, Davies broke the silence between them. “That email sealed Murphy’s fate, Jeremy. They will find him guilty.”
Rourke stopped a few steps away from Davies and leaned against the wall. “I know, but all of those other lives… they won’t see justice.”
“They will. One way or another,” Davies surmised.
“I asked Ananda to marry me,” Rourke said, changing the topic. He needed to get his mind off of all the sorrows and focus on something more positive.
Davies grinned. “I figured as much. I saw the ring on her finger. It’s about time you two stopped skirting about and finalize things.”
“Yeah, it’s been at least five years,” Rourke chuckled.
“Katie staying for the wedding?”
“She’s got the whole thing planned out. Decorations, music, dancing… can you see me dancing?”
Davies laughed. “The good doctor will need steel slippers to save her feet!”
The two men laughed and then fell silent again. The commotion in the conference room had completely died down and a female delegate from Baliska opened the door and motioned for Rourke to enter. Rourke glanced over at Davies, gave him a nod, and then followed the delegate inside.
All of the chairs, with the exception of Murphy’s stool, had been moved against the walls of the conference room. The delegates, including the judge, stood dressed in black robes in a circle around the man. The Baliskan delegate led Rourke to a spot beside Honorable Amut and then took her place beside the male Baliskan delegate. Once everyone was settled, the judge opened a scroll in his hands.
“Alex Murphy, it is the ruling of this delegation that you have been found guilty of the charges brought before you this day,” the judge stated as he read the scroll. “We sentence you to death by decapitation. Your head will be spiked upon the Qatol Outpost, in the galaxy of the Makaa for all of them to see. The rest of your remains,” he said, as he continued to read, “will be cremated and the ashes scattered into space. You will yield your body now!”
Murphy jumped from his stool and let out a blood-curdling scream. Two delegates grabbed him under his arms. “May the Makaa torment your souls for eternity!” he yelled as they dragged him away.