Home Pharos Fiction Site Map Updates Search

 

                                                                                                                        Back Next

Halexandria Foundation
Communications
Sacred Mathematics
Connective Physics
Synthesis
Chronicles of Earth
Justice, Order, and Law
Daath
Extraterrestrial Life
Creating Reality
Tree of Life

Sanhedrin, et al

Now showing -- July 4, 2003

  Episode Four

Copyright 1996, 2003 Dan Sewell Ward

FADE IN:

INT:  GREAT SANHEDRIN COURTYARD -- TIME OF CHRIST, MID AFTERNOON

Howell (as Kalifas) and Sophing (as Abrams) are dressed as Sanhedrin members.  They are standing to one side conferring with NICODEMUS, while several feet away, Tom Strong (as Lysus) is talking to two other members (one of them is John Robinson, Lin Sueís Station Manager and a London judge, while the other is William Leaver).

HOWELL (Kalifas)

We are in crisis!  The radical is causing unrest, and the Romans will not tolerate it!

 

SOPHING (Abrams)

But he is a Rabbi.  He is one of us.

 

HOWELL (Kalifas)

And will you join in on the cross?

 

NICODEMUS

Surely, the Romans are not concerned about one man.  Heís preaching peace.

 

HOWELL (Kalifas)

But not a Roman Peace.

Abruptly, Starling as a Roman CENTURION walks into the courtyard, trailed by four Roman soldiers, their swords drawn.  He walks boldly up to Howell and the others, each of them wide eyed at the appearance of the Romans in their hall.

HOWELL (Kalifas)

Centurion! 

 

SOPHING (Abrams)

Why have you entered here?  You have previously agreed...

 

STARLING (Centurion)

I have entered to either put you to the sword, or to reason with you.

 

NICODEMUS

Then we are reasonable men.

 

STARLING (Centurion)

As I expected. 

 

SOPHING (Abrams)

What is this about?

 

STARLING (Centurion)

The Governor General is greatly concerned about this man, this troublemaker...

 

SOPHING (Abrams)

Jesus of Nazareth?

 

NICODEMUS

But why?  He poses no threat.

 

HOWELL (Kalifas)

At least none we cannot deal with.

 

STARLING (Centurion)

Are you attempting to dictate to the Governor General?  Do you wish to tell him what his concerns should be?

 

SOPHING (Abrams)

No, no, not at all.  We merely...

 

STARLING (Centurion)

You merely.  Yes, exactly.  For the sake of the peace you enjoy, you will now merely convict this troublemaker.  That way, in its zeal to silence the man, the wrath of Rome will not fall upon you as well.

 

HOWELL (Kalifas)

Condemn perhaps, but please understand it cannot be unanimous.

 

NICODEMUS

Condemn?  We have not even heard...

 

STARLING (Centurion)

Why not unanimous?

 

HOWELL (Kalifas)

Our law requires that at least one member of the Sanhedrin defend the accused.

 

STARLING (Centurion)

Your law?  As opposed to Roman Law?

 

SOPHING (Abrams)

It is not a problem.  Thereís another way.

 

NICODEMUS

I am not hearing this.

Nicodemus turns and walks away, while none of the others bother to take notice.

SOPHING (Abrams)

There is Lysus.  He is never persuasive.  He can defend the convicted man.

 

STARLING (Centurion)

I care not what machinations you undertake.  Accomplish the task.

 

SOPHING (Abrams)

Of course.  Lysus!

As Strong (Lysus) turns and walks toward them, Howell (Kalifas) raises a hand.

HOWELL (Kalifas)

We also have a tradition to take two votes on any such issue.  Spaced days apart.

 

STARLING (Centurion)

Ignore the tradition.  The Governor General is not a patient ruler.  I will rely on each of you to expedite the proceedings.  You will not want to disappoint me.

The Centurion turns on his heels and walks away, just as Strong (Lysus) joins Howell (Kalifas) and Sophing (Abrams).  Sophing, with a conniving smile, turns to Lysus.

SOPHING (Abrams)

My dear Lysus...

The manís face lights up, as if enjoying the momentary attention.

 

EXT:  STREETS OF JERUSALEM, TIME OF CHRIST -- MORNING

An unruly mob is congregating as the procession of Jesus (not seen) and Roman Soldiers are marching by, led by Sophing, Kalifas, Nicodemus, Lysus and other members of the Sanhedrin.  Across the way can be seen Brightman (as a Jewish spectator), who watches for a moment and then turns away, slipping into the crowd.  Thena Pales (Jewish mother) is there as well, dropping on her knees and grieving loudly -- with Lin Sue (a Jewish woman) bending over to cry and comfort her.  Next to them is Terri (another Jewish woman), who looks at the two women, and then at Michael Veer who as a Roman Soldier is looking intently at the three women.  Terriís expression turns to one of fear.  Abruptly she turns her attention to the procession.

TERRI

Crucify him!  Crucify him!

Olivia (as a Jewish woman) reaches down from the other side of Lin Sue to help Thena.  Together the two women raise Thena -- still crying profusely -- to her feet.  Some distance away, on a slight rise which gives the man a better view of the procession, is Henry Michel (as a Jewish man).  Michel is grim faced, tears running down his cheeks. 

MICHEL

It didnít have to be like this.

As Jesus passes by, Bill Pence and Billy Matson (as the other prisoners), can be seen with more Roman Soldiers.  As the procession continues, the shouting and confusion suddenly becomes more intense, with the mob carefully giving way to the Roman Soldiers and their charges -- the mobís chanting slowly building to a crescendo.

MOB

Crucify him.  Crucify him.  Crucify him.

 

EXT:  JURORíS BUS, STREET OUTSIDE OF DENVER FEDERAL COURTHOUSE

Jack and the other jurors are on the bus as it moves along a narrow corridor provided by the police through the demonstrators outside the courtroom.  The demonstrators are not attempting to breech the police lines and are basically orderly.  But they are intent upon getting their message across with signs and shouting.

DEMONSTRATORS

Crucify them.  Crucify them.  Crucify them.

Thena watches the mob, tears starting to stream down her face, while Olivia reaches from the seat behind to put her hand on Thenaís shoulder.  Lin Sue, from across the way watches Thena as well.

 

INT:  LIN SUEíS ROOM, JURORíS HOTEL, DENVER -- EVENING

Lin Sue opens her door, and discreetly ushers Jack inside, taking the time to look down both directions in the hallway.  Closing the door, she locks it and slips on the chain.  She then approaches Jack with an embarrassed smile.  Jack smiles back, as if to reassure her.  For a moment they just look at each other.

JACK

Are you okay?  That scene outside the courthouse was pretty...

 

LIN SUE

Terrifying.  Yeah, I agree.  But thatís not exactly why I asked you here. 

 

JACK

I just assumed it was bothering you.

 

LIN SUE

Oh, it was.  Still is.  But thereís more to it than just that.  Maybe we can sit down.

 

JACK

Sure.  Whatís on your mind?

 

LIN SUE

I need to explain about John. 

 

JACK

Your conjugal visit?

 

LIN SUE

Except it wasnít like that.  John Robinson is the station manager for channel seven.  He had been in the process of turning me down for a job, when he discovered I was on this jury.  He essentially hired me on the spot to do an exclusive report on what was going on behind closed doors.  It was his idea to pose as my significant other and thus spend a night debriefing me.

 

JACK

Which it explains why you looked like...

 

LIN SUE

Like death warmed over the next morning.  Exactly.  We had been up for hours while he had alternated between taking copious notes and complaining about not having his laptop with him.

 

JACK

Sounds like your evening was almost as rewarding as mine.

Lin Sue watches Jack, tilting her head slightly as if to get a different viewpoint.

LIN SUE

I think that what Iím trying to say is that Iím having a crisis of conscience.  Iíve already decided to sever my connections with Mr. Robinson.  I canít do that anymore.

 

JACK

I admire your courage.

 

LIN SUE

You may change your mind when...  The reason I first went into journalism was because I thought I could make a real difference -- sort of a grandiose idea of saving the world.  But when I see those crowds screaming for blood -- like thatís going to do anything for the victims -- I have to stop and wonder about what the hell Iím doing!  Who am I saving, and from what?  Are they even worth it?

 

JACK

When I see the immense diversity in people I sometimes wonder if weíre not different species all together.  Itís hard for me to believe that I have the same genetics as some of the people Iíve met over the years.

 

LIN SUE

I guess itís simpler for me.  Iíve always had some overly optimistic view of people.  Now Iím thinking the number of people Iíd really like to help is much fewer in number.

 

JACK

My rule is to never try to save the world.  Itís okay to set an example, but anything else if a violation of their free will.

 

LIN SUE

Doesnít that assume everything that happens to people is in reality their responsibility?

 

JACK

Oh yeah.  Itís not particularly welcome news all the time, but I think itís true.

 

LIN SUE

Iíll have to see how I feel about that one.

 

JACK

About Terri and me...  My conjugal visit wasnít a whole lot more fulfilling than yours.

 

LIN SUE

Oh?

 

INT:  JURORSí HOTEL, COMMON ROOM, DENVER -- EVENING

Charlie, Edward and Katrina are alone and sitting around a small table.

CHARLIE

Rocket scientist, huh?

 

KATRINA

Technically, an astronautical engineer.

 

CHARLIE

Must play hell with your dating life.

 

KATRINA

Which is close to non-existent.  But I canít really say Iím all that interested in dating.

 

CHARLIE

Which is truly amazing. Youíre an extremely attractive woman.

 

KATRINA

Thank you.  But I think true attraction is based on more than just looks.

 

CHARLIE

I agree.  I, on the other hand, find intelligence to be very attractive.

 

EDWARD

What once might have been termed ďwit and charmĒ, an accomplished individual.

 

KATRINA

But isnít that all just rational explanations for what really draws us together?

 

EDWARD

Which is?

 

KATRINA

A sense that two people have known each other before.  That thereís already a bond...

 

CHARLIE

Yeah.  I sometimes feel that with Edward.

 

EDWARD

Really?  You care to elaborate?

 

CHARLIE

Donít know what to say.  Itís just that I trust you.  Itís an automatic response.

 

EDWARD

Thatís quite a compliment.

 

KATRINA

Goes for me too.

 

CHARLIE

Thatís an even better compliment.

 

EDWARD

Iím indebted to both of you.

 

KATRINA

I wouldnít think of it as a debt.

 

CHARLIE

I would.  And Iím charging interest.  Whoo boy!  The power of compounded interest!  You owe me big, man!

 

EDWARD

Actually, I would agree with you.

 

KATRINA

I think Iíd prefer to forgive all debts, and then begin again.  Better that way.

 

EDWARD

Very wise, provided of course that the old debts are truly forgiven.

Katrina takes a long look at Edwardís pointed remark.

KATRINA

Now why does that make me sad?

 

CHARLIE

Maybe because youíre thinking only of the old debts, the history, and not the next beginning.

Katrina, with just a hint of a tear in her eyes, turns from her concentration on Edward to look at Charlie.  Both men have their full attention on Katrina, as she turns back to Edward and then lowers her eyes and takes a deep breath.

 

INT:  DENVER FEDERAL COURT HOUSE, COURTROOM -- MORNING

Pence and Matson are standing together, with Sophing only beginning to get to his feet.

PENN

Your honor, Mr. Matson and I would like to testify on our own behalf.

There is a momentary hush in the courtroom, as Sophingís, Howellís and Starlingís show varying degrees of surprise.  Sophing is the first to gather his wits.

SOPHING

Your honor, this is contrary to my advise as counsel and I respectfully...

 

HOWELL

Sir, may we approach the bench?

 

STARLING

Both counsels and the defendants in my chambers.  Now!  Bailiff, take the jury out.

 

INT:  DENVER FEDERAL COURTHOUSE, JURYíS HOLDING ROOM -- FOLLOWING

Everyone is milling around, only a few taking a seat.  Veer leans against the wall next to the door, watching the others.  Several of the different jurors make eye contact, but no one says anything.  Then Edward smiles, turns and leans against the table in the center of the room.

EDWARD

Interesting.  Very interesting.

Lin Sue smiles at Edward.  Then she sits at one of the vacant chairs around the table, where she leans forward her arms forming a prayer mode and touching her lips.

LIN SUE

Iíve always been very curious about what really goes on in a judgeís chambers.

 

CHARLIE

Iím just trying to figure out why the judge would object to a defendant testifying.

 

JACK

That is very strange.

 

VEER

I donít think we should be talking about any of this right now.

 

EDWARD

You may be right.  So what would you suggest as a topic of conversation?

Veer, with a stoic expression, looks at Edward and then smiles.

VEER

Something you said earlier, about the Sanhedrin, about itís being ďindirectlyĒ responsible for Jesus being crucified.

 

EDWARD

The overriding law was Roman Law.

 

VEER

But it was the Jews who crucified Christ!

 

EDWARD

Crucifixion was a Roman punishment.  Exclusively.  Only Rome could crucify someone.  Had the Jews wanted Christ dead, they would have stoned him.

 

VEER

You must be some kind of lunatic.

 

EDWARD

Quite possibly.  Iíve always liked the Moon.

Veer and Edward continue to stare at each other, faint and possibly cynical smiles on their faces.  The jury room door opens, and the Bailiff steps in part way.

BAILIFF

Time to party again.

With heavy sighs, the jurors prepare to return to the courtroom.

 

INT:  SESSIONS HOUSE, MAIN COURTROOM, 1670 LONDON -- LATE MORNING

A Redcoat soldier, LANSING, is in the witness box as Howell stands near by.  The presiding Justice, Lord Mayor, looks on approvingly, while Penn at the defendantís table appears frustrated and ready to leap out of his seat.

LANSING

It was nip and tuck for me, your honor.  The only thing that kept me from firing into the threatening mob was my military discipline.

 

HOWELL

The kind of discipline to which the Crown and the People of England owe a great debt of gratitude.  Thank you, Corporeal Lansing.  You may step down.

 

PENN

Your honor!  I must again request the opportunity to cross-examine...

 

STARLING

And I must again refuse your insolent...

 

PENN

I beg of the court to allow Mr. Mead and myself to present witnesses...

 

STARLING

I said, ďSit down!Ē

Penn hesitates, then sits down and turns to look at Mead.  Mead shakes his head ďyesĒ. Lansing is leaving the witness stand as Howell turns to the Justice.

HOWELL

If it please the Court, these unimpeachable witnesses have clearly shown the guilt of both prisoners.  They have made it...

Out of the corner of his eye, Howell catches Penn again standing.  Howell hesitates, as he turns and stares at Penn.  Starling, scowling, turns to look at Penn as well.

PENN

I desire that we may come close of the point.  We confess ourselves to be unwilling to recant or decline to vindicate an assembly by ourselves to preach, pray, worship the eternal, holy just God.  We further declare to all the world of our belief in our wholly indispensable duty to meet incessantly upon so good an account.  And never shall any power upon this earth divert us from reverencing and adoring our God.

 

ROBINSON

You are not on trial for worshipping God, but for breaking the law.  You do yourself a disservice in going on with your discourse.

 

PENN

I affirm I have broken no law, nor am I guilty of the indictment that is my charge.

 

ROBINSON

Not guilty?  The evidence is as clear as ever put forth to a jury.  You seek now to justify yourselves, to declare that whatever laws the king and Parliament provide, you will ignore!  What arrogance!  Surely both king and Parliament will take notice of your arrogance in the next session!

 

MEAD

What are doing, Sir?  You are no justice if you seek to sway the jury.  Come down off the bench.

 

ROBINSON

You impudent...!  I am a justice and...

 

STARLING

The defendants will speak to the indictment or they will be silenced and taken from this court.  You cannot violate the law, and then find defense in disputing the law.  The only question here is whether you are guilty of the indictment.

 

PENN

On the contrary, the question is whether the indictment be legal.

 

HOWELL

The indictment is based upon common law.  Lex non scripta -- unwritten law, that which the justices of this court have studied thirty and forty years to know.

 

MEAD

If the common law is so laborious to understand, it is far from being common.

 

STARLING

This court sees no merit in tolerating your insolence, your troublesome mannerÖ

 

PENN

If I may ask one question of this court...

 

HOWELL

If we should suffer you to ask questions until days hence, you would be no wiser.

 

PENN

Such might be the value of the answers.

 

STARLING

You cannot dispute the law until you are found guilty of the fact.  But your design to affront the court and amuse the people constitutes an unseasonable discourse.

 

PENN

If you deny me a hearing of the law which you suggest I have broken, you will have sacrificed the privileges of Englishmen to your sinister, arbitrary, and unjust designs.  Where there is no law, there can be no transgression.

 

HOWELL

Take him away, my Lord.  Nothing else will cause this pestilent fellow to stop his mouth and we shall be unable to do anything.

 

STARLING

Take him away!  Bailiff!

 

PENN

Jurymen!  You are the jury and my sole judges.  I appeal to you to uphold the ancient and fundamental laws relating to liberty and honor.  Laws that cannot be indiscrimately levied

 

HOWELL

Silence him!

 

MEAD

Men of the jury, I now stand to answer the indictment against me, a bundle of lies and falsehoods.  I have preached, but I have broken no law under God.  The question before you is the justice upon which the indictment is grounded.  Is the law just?

 

PENN

I confess as well to preaching.

 

STARLING

You admit your guilt?

 

PENN

No, your honor.  We do not deny holding a Conventicle, but we do assert our right to religious freedom under the Magna Carta.  We had assembled peacefully, the only disturbance being caused by the soldiers.

 

STARLING

Silence!  Your contemptuous conduct has condemned you!  You admit to breaking the law, and then you dare...

 

PENN

There is a higher law, your honor.

 

STARLING

Silence!  Bailiff, remove the prisoners.  And if they attempt to speak further, silence them.

Tom and Jock Strong and two other bailiffs step forward to grab hold of both men, but Penn holds up his hands and says nothing.  The two defendants allow themselves to be led away.  The jurors turn to look at one another or just stare open-mouthed at the proceedings.

 

INT:  DENVER FEDERAL COURTHOUSE, MAIN COURTROOM -- MID MORNING

Pence is on the stand, with Sophing standing nearby.

PENCE

The idea of going to Mars was secondary.  All we were attempting was to do some-thing so extraordinary that everyone on the planet would know about it prior to our work being outlawed or classified  top secret or just being lost for another forty years.  This technology should have been here in the sixties, when it was first discovered, but I think it is clear that vested interests must have done everything they could...

 

HOWELL

Objection.  The witness is speculating on matters he has no knowledge of.

 

STARLING

Sustained.  The witness will confine himself to that which he himself knows personally.

 

PENCE

Yes, sir.  Just let me say that for whatever reason the technology did not surface forty years ago, we have rediscovered it and we know without a doubt that it can be the most significant scientific breakthrough of this or any century. The ramifications are immense.  Weíre talking about propulsion and energy systems that are sustainable for the long term, an energy resource that is virtually infinite, absolutely non-polluting, no waste products of any kind, and is simple enough to be used in everything from cars to homes to...

 

HOWELL

Your honor, I must object to this totally speculative, wishful description of some fantasy the defendant has concocted to sway the jury.

 

PENCE

Itís not fantasy.  Weíve done it!

 

HOWELL

Yes, sir.  You certainly have.  And we have the body count to prove it.

 

STARLING

Thatís enough.  I must again caution the...

 

PENCE

Your honor, with all due respect, how can I defend myself without making it clear that there are vested interests in this world that do not want this technology...

 

HOWELL

Objection!  Your honor, the witness seems intent upon injecting wild scenarios of bad guys and other sinister forces all bent upon enslaving mankind and preventing the defendantís so-called technology from...

 

PENCE

But thatís exactly the point!  They donít want it to see the light of day.  The oil...

 

HOWELL

Sir, no one but you and your co-conspirator are on trial! 

 

STARLING

Silence!  Mr. Penn, I will direct you once again not to attempt to suggest alternative perpetrators of the crime for which you are charged.  These alleged instigators are not on trial here.  You will cease with such attempts are be held in contempt.  Do you understand?

 

PENCE

Yes, your honor.  I do understand. 

 

STARLING

Are there any more questions?

 

SOPHING

No, your honor.  Your witness.

 

PENCE

Wait a minute!  Iím trying to explain why we were working on the technology.

 

STARLING

Sir, your intentions are irrelevant! 

 

PENCE

But weíre talking about things that could revolutionize the world for the better!

 

HOWELL

Please, your honor.  I must object...

 

STARLING

Yes, yes, Mr. Howell.  Mr. Pence.  You are not on trial for your intentions.  You are not on trial for what you hoped to accomplish, or for what you allege to be a significant scientific accomplishment.  You are on trial for causing the deaths of 36 individuals.  Is that absolutely clear?

 

PENCE

Iím simply asking for justice.

 

STARLING

And you are just about to receive it!

 

HOWELL

If I may be allowed to cross examine...

 

INT:  DENVER FEDERAL COURTHOUSE, MAIN COURTROOM -- FOLLOWING

Matson is now on the stand.

HOWELL

Are we correct in assuming, Sir, that you are the, what we might generously call, the ďbrainsĒ of the outfit, while Mr. Penn was the one providing the funds to carry on your alleged scientific experiments?

 

MATSON

Yes, sir.  Although I must acknowledge a debt of scientific gratitude to William Davis, G. Harry Stine,...

 

HOWELL

Yes, yes, your long deceased mentors.  I think we can dispense with your attempts to blame others.

 

MATSON

I was not blaming anyone!

 

HOWELL

Where is your laboratory located?

 

MATSON

1305 Tesla Avenue.

 

HOWELL

And is this an industrial neighborhood?

 

MATSON

No.

 

HOWELL

A residential neighborhood where you were conducting your dangerous science?

 

MATSON

It was not dangerous.

 

HOWELL

Totally safe?

 

MATSON

Any science experiment can fail, and some times cause some damage...

 

HOWELL

Like the death of 36 innocent people, the wounding and maiming of over a hundred...

 

MATSON

It couldnít have exploded like that!  Itís against the laws of physics.

 

HOWELL

You were building a rocket ship, were you not?

 

MATSON

It had nothing to do with rockets!  It was based on inertia, Newtonís laws...

 

HOWELL

Laws which you ďextendedĒ, ďdeveloped furtherĒ, beyond all of science...

 

MATSON

It was still science.  We just added a third order differential. 

 

HOWELL

Which no one else had ever thought of.

 

MATSON

Itís like we got out of the box.

 

HOWELL

The what?

 

MATSON

We had a different paradigm, a different belief structure.

 

HOWELL

Some sort of new age religion?

 

MATSON

No. 

 

HOWELL

But a very explosive ďbelief structure.Ē

 

MATSON

It canít blow up.

 

HOWELL

But it did.

Howell steps back for a second from the confrontation.

HOWELL

Let us review for a moment.  You were conducting a series of highly dangerous experiments in what you knew to be a residential neighborhood, experiments which you claim were not rocket science, but which had the same goals as NASA...

 

MATSON

Not the same goals.  We were far more interested in the truth.

 

HOWELL

Ah yes!  Only you know the truth.  Only you can accomplish real science.

 

MATSON

I didnít say that.

 

HOWELL

Tell me, were your highly dangerous experiments condoned or approved by other scientists, or what youíve termed as ďmainstream scienceĒ?

 

MATSON

Our experiments werenít dangerous.  At least not to others.

 

HOWELL

I think I know of several score of others who would disagree with you -- if they were alive.  Mr. Matson, couldnít you have accomplished your work in a laboratory far from the residential neighborhood on Tesla street?  Perhaps at a university or industrial research lab.  Surely they would have been delighted by your ďtechnology.Ē

 

MATSON

Iíve told you.  Weíre in a different paradigm.  Universities are extremely conservative.  They object violently to anyone who might rock the boat.

 

HOWELL

And youíre all for rocking the boat arenít you, sir?  Even when innocent victims are thrown overboard in the process!

 

MATSON

We didnít cause any explosions.

 

HOWELL

But you just said that no university would allow your experiments, that no scientist would accept your ideas!

 

MATSON

We have our own science, our own beliefs.

 

HOWELL

And which are deadly to others, isnít that so, Mr. Matson?

 

MATSON

We may not be part of mainstream science, the belief structure of the times we live in, but we were not trying to go against nature.  We werenít there to destroy Newtonís laws, but to fulfill their potential.

 

HOWELL

And damn the people who get in your way, right?

 

MATSON

We didnít kill anyone.

 

HOWELL

But your laboratory, your mission-to-Mars unguided missile science, caused the death and injury of hundreds!

 

MATSON

There was no rocket, no missile!

 

HOWELL

But it blew up, didnít it?  Do you deny the destruction of your laboratory and the surrounding buildings?

 

MATSON

Of course not.  There was an explosion.  But not because of our work.  Someone else must have done it.  NASA and its contractors would have lost billions if we had been successful!

 

HOWELL

Objection!  Move that the witnessís last remark be stricken from the record.

 

SOPHING

Your honor...

 

STARLING

Silence!  Iíve warned you, Mr. Sophing, and now you, Mr. Matson.  You and Mr. Pence are the only ones on trial here.  I will not allow irresponsible and crazy alternative theories to be presented here.  You will not defend yourself by obfuscating the truth with wild imaginings!

 

MATSON

But NASA does have a vested interest...

 

STARLING

Silence!  Or Iíll have you removed.

 

MATSON

But itís my trial!

 

STARLING

And you will obey the law of this court.

 

MATSON

But what about the Constitution?

 

STARLING

The constitution be hanged!  You are the only one on trial!  Now, do you understand?

 

MATSON

Yes, I think I do.

 

HOWELL

If I may, your honor...  Thank you.  Mr. Matson, letís make this very simple for you.  Did you acquire or even attempt to acquire a license to launch a space ship from the Secretary of Transportation as required by law?

 

MATSON

No, sir.

 

HOWELL

Did you seek to obtain liability insurance, again as required by law?

 

MATSON

No.

 

HOWELL

Did you seek any approval of anyone, as required by law/

 

MATSON

I didnít know about any of those laws.

 

HOWELL

Did you know that ignorance of the law is not a defense?

 

MATSON

That Iíve heard of.  But the idea that you need a license or insurance or anything else is crazy.  Those laws were from the sixties and obviously intended to apply to rocket science.

 

HOWELL

We will neglect for the moment that you, sir, are not qualified to comment on the intents of any law. 

 

MATSON

Did Lindbergh need a license?

 

HOWELL

Lindbergh didnít kill anyone.  He was not obsessed with secrecy.  Lindbergh was a national hero.  Is that what you aspired to, Mr. Matson, in your prideful, egocentric manner?

 

MATSON

I didnít kill anyone.  I was trying to make things better.  It could have been, can still be, a major revolution in science.

 

HOWELL

So youíre saying that you were attempting to initiate a ďrevolutionĒ?

 

MATSON

No, no.  Only in science.

 

HOWELL

But of course 36 died in your aborted revolution.  But wait!  Thatís no longer quite accurate is it, Mr. Matson?  As you probably have heard, another of your victims died a few hours ago.  That now makes 37!

Howell turns and walks away from a horrified Matson, who can only stare in disbelief.

 

INT:  DENVER FEDERAL COURTHOUSE, AN ADJUNCT ROOM -- MORNING

Howell, Gerry Mander, and Sophing are standing across a table and putting papers into their respective briefcases when Sophingís paralegal, Lisa, arrives.

LISA

Mr. Sophing.  The juryís on its way.

 

SOPHING

Thank you, Lisa.  Weíre ready.

Sophing smiles at Lisa, who returns the smile.  Howell glances at the two peopleís rather obvious affection for each other (above and beyond the professional need), and then smiles cynically. 

HOWELL

Youíve done good work, Counselor.  A credit to your profession.

Sophing turns red, as Lisa looks incredulously at the prosecutor, before turning with a hurt, bewildered expression toward Sophing.  Sophing can not meet her eyes.  Howell starts to chuckle to himself as he turns and leaves.  Gerry is also smiling mischievously.   Sophing suddenly turns grim, watching the back of the departing Howell.

SOPHING

Wait until you hear my summation!

 

HOWELL

Iím sure it will be equal to everything else youíve done here.

Howell exits, followed by Gerry. Sophing glances first at Lisaís intense appraisal of him, and then turns to stare intently at the closed door.

SOPHING

It might surprise you, dear Thomas.

Lisa continues to look at Sophing, her bewilderment slowly turning to an encouraging smile.  Sophing looks at her, his face beginning to beam courage and determination.

 

End of Episode Four 

 

                                                     Episode Three -- Diversions

Forward to:

Episode Five -- Judges

               

                                                                                      The Library of ialexandriah       

2003© Copyright Dan Sewell Ward, All Rights Reserved                     [Feedback]    

                                                                                                            Back Next