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Five-Minute "The Drumhead"

by Marc Richard

Riker: How did you manage to smuggle restricted information about our ship to the Romulans?
J'Dan: I did no such thing! You accuse me because I am Klingon!
Troi: That's not true. Humans gave up the practice of ethnic profiling a very long time ago.
J'Dan: My great-uncle Klaang was shot on sight by the first human to see a Klingon!
Troi: Make that "a reasonably long time ago."

Picard: Welcome aboard, Admiral Satie. We appreciate your help in investigating the explosion in our warp core.
Satie: My pleasure. Rest assured that I will uncover the conspiracy behind this dastardly act of sabotage whether it exists or not.

Worf: This hypospray suggests that J'Dan's information was sent to the Romulans in the form of coded proteins carried in the bloodstream.
Satie: Excellent, Mr. Worf. Now go extract a confession from the prisoner by using whatever Klingon interrogation methods are necessary.
Worf: Admiral, that could prove to be...uh, messy.
Satie: I'd also like to watch.

J'Dan: I did steal the information, but I did not sabotage the warp core!
Picard: If he's telling the truth, it would imply that there's a broader conspiracy at work here.
Satie: By definition, a conspiracy has to involve more than one person -- so I believe him.
Worf: Shall I cease the interrogation, then?
Satie: Yes. Please thank Mr. Data for letting us borrow his Irving Berlin recordings.

Picard: I'm grateful we have a jurist of your stature on this case. Your background is most impressive.
Satie: Thank you. I'm especially proud to have been the very first human to participate in the Inter-Species Legal Exchange Programme.
Picard: That's quite an accomplishment. What did you study during your tour?
Satie: Cardassian and Klingon courtroom procedures.

Genestra: My Betazoid senses tell me that one of witnesses we questioned is lying.
Picard: Who?
Genestra: Crewman What's-His-Name...you know, the one with the suspiciously pointed ears.
Picard: Crewman Tarses?
Genestra: Yeah, that's the one.

Satie: I want Tarses to be put under surveillance and barred from all sensitive areas of the ship.
Picard: Just because your Betazoid aide is suspicious of him? We should assume that Tarses is innocent until we have solid evidence against him.
Satie: I'll consider your recommendation, Captain...when this becomes a democracy.

Data: It turns out the explosion was caused by a manufacturing defect in the dilithium crystal articulation frame.
La Forge: In other words, it was an accident rather than a case of sabotage.
Satie: We should not jump to conclusions. The conspiracy may very well extend all the way to the workers at the articulation frame factory!

Picard: I disapprove of your opening this inquiry to spectators. You're making it look like a show trial.
Satie: Crewman Tarses will be more inclined to admit his guilt under the bright light of public scrutiny.
Picard: I also object to the fact that you've seated a kangaroo next to him.
Satie: He can't afford his own lawyer, so he has to be satisfied with whatever counsel the public defender's office can provide him free of charge.

Genestra: Is it not true that your paternal grandfather was a Romulan rather than a Vulcan?
Tarses: I refuse to answer that question.
Satie: The court orders you to answer.
Riker: Objection! Our Constitution's Seventh Guarantee protects the defendant against self-incrimination.
Satie: Not anymore. That right was suspended by the Federation's new security law -- the "Uncovering Subversive Activities by Prosecuting Alien Terrorists, Romulan Impostors and Other Traitors Act."
Riker: You're making that up. There's no such legislation.
Satie: Yes there is. It was adopted in secret last Tuesday.

Picard: These hearings are unethical and they must cease immediately.
Satie: These hearings will not only continue, they will be expanded to investigate you. Admiral Henry of Starfleet Security is coming here to observe the proceedings.
Picard: Admiral Henry is a fair man. He'll put a stop to this witch-hunt.
Satie: If he does, I'll have him arrested!

Satie: Are you or have you ever been a member of a communist organization?
Picard: No.
Satie: Really? What about when you were assimilated by the Borg?
Picard: The Borg hardly qualify as a communist organization.
Satie: They live in a commune, don't they?
Picard: It's called a "collective," not a commune.
Satie: Close enough.

Picard: How far are you going to take this travesty of justice?
Satie: As far as I have to! If necessary, I'll put all of humanity on trial to answer the charge of being a grievously savage race!
Picard: And for Admiral Henry's benefit, are you prepared to restate your belief that people accused of improper actions should be allowed to hang themselves with their own words?
Satie: I most certainly am!
Picard: Thank you.
Satie: Oops.

Worf: Admiral Henry has ended the hearings. Admiral Satie has been recalled.
Picard: Good. If I wasn't so tired of courtrooms, I'd sue her for wrongful prosecution.
Worf: Seeking redress through the courts is a human affectation. A Klingon would avenge himself with bloodshed.
Picard: Mr. Worf, you have a great deal to learn about human lawyers.
(The Enterprise sails away at Litigious Speed)


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This fiver was originally published on September 8, 2003.

DISCLAIMER: A lot of stuff in here is copyrighted by Paramount Pictures. My intent isn't to infringe on that; I and those like me are just having a little fun in the universe Gene Roddenberry created. I don't think he'd mind.

All material © 2003, Marc Richard.