In the 28th century, the technology of rejuvenation allows for immortality. This device is also used for sentencing as well. A penitatas; a criminal that is sent back to childhood to live a highly strict and disciplined life to start anew. (Story Fourty-Two)
Concept by Lurking Dragon
Kayla and story by Professor Bob
More Kayla Stuff!: www.Professor-Bob.net
Silence. Long, dreary silence.
It was all Jacob had as he was surrounded by the confines of four grey walls in a place he was not familiar with. He had been arrested by his Starfleet fellows and thrown in a holding cell, for a reason he was sickened to hear and could not believe one would fathom him doing. Once shoved into the room, the door pnumatically hissed itself closed with a clang, and had never opened again. The cell was a neutral temperature, providing only minimal comfort on a padded bunk that protruded from the back wall, facing the door that just looked like yet another wall. Tight, lonely, and prison.
The Karrian once timid and shy about being called a hero was now sitting in a solitary confinement cell, nurturing the wound of someone whom clearly saw him as a dangerous villian. Sitting on the bunk with his small legs dangling, and his head held in his claws, that was where he remained in the anxiety driving solitude. Scared to the point of nausea, there was little he could do but scream in his mind; trapped with no way out, and for no reason. He wasn't a killer.
Shivering where he sat, tail curled tightly and protectively against himself, his right claw reached up and held his battered and bruised snout to wipe some dried blood from his nostrils that had began to flake away. Suddenly, breaking his reticence and the silence of the room, the boy released a sharp teary cry as he sobbed, since there was no one there to make this an embarassing moment. There was too much else to worry about as it was. Taking his claw from his muzzle, the teary eyed dragon punched his fist into his bunk, growling and showing his teeth from sheer frustration and pain of it all. Seething those few moments until his blue, bloodshot eyes opened up again, they slowly peered forward towards a small pannel beside the door which resided a clock. He had been in that cell for two and a half hours now. Is this how Kayla felt, those two years ago? Was she frightened, or was she fighting? Being called a criminal, sabotur, traitor, murderer...
"Foolish bastards. Give me my trial so I can go home and live in peace", Jacob spoke low, angrily, and tear strikenly to the empty room. Home was where his parent Lory was, and where he kissed his penitatas sweetheart, Kayla Ackart. The place where he finally wasn't alone, and never would be. Here, this doom laiden prison cell only provided sorrow and a sense of abandonment. Wasn't the kind of place he would wish to be in, seven years old, or seventy. Knowing well his nervous, sad tears were from primarily his age, he did have to think of the older him would have cried after being arrested under the accusation of such a horrible crime. Even at his small stature, and highly adolescent age, it wasn't enough to keep the lead Starfleet officer at his arrest from nearly breaking his muzzle. The green scale was discolored at the end of his snout, and his nostrils red colored from the remains of dried blood. Jacob's claws looked similar, with loose bits of flaky blood that had yet to fall from between his scales. Being a doctor, he knew he was okay, but the child in him wanted to cry out for his parent.
Miss Lory, he began to wonder.. did she know? Was this all planned out so they would rush his home once he arrived there, even without his mother's knowledge? To arrest him with such force and violence that they would need to be heavily armed? The woman he had known for just over two months appeared in his mind, remembering her voice and face. Her black hair, and oftenly silken black dresses, smiling as if a ghost of the past now. That wonderful life with her love and care, giving him both the support and distance he required, felt like it had been taken away. Jacob's puzzle fell and the pieces scattered, leaving him again alone as he began in this endeavor. What he would give to have Kayla at his side, to clear his head and provide the insight he would need to get through this. Then he'd show them!
Startled by a clang directly in front of him, the Karrian boy shot back slightly where he sat, using his arms and claws for support as his eyes locked on the door. Hearing a quick winding from the door's mechanisms, it slid open into the left side of the doorway, revealing two Starfleet officers that had been standing on the other side. Both had yellow colored shoulders, and looked to be lieutenants, and one Jacob was able to recognize as the person whom sent the blunt end of their phase rifle into his snout. That man stood at the doorway and used his right hand to wave the other officer forward towards Jacob, as he curled his Karrian muzzle in disgust and anger.
"Get up. You are to stand trial", the officer approaching him stated, as the officer behind him placed his right hand back onto his phase rifle and made a waving motion with it down the hallway.
"Hurry up. Don't make the admiral wait", he said with lack of care towards the other officer, with his tone of voice ripping at Jacob's mind. It was the voice that accused him. That lying, sickening voice. Shoving himself off of the cell bunk, Jacob lifted his arms without a friendly expression on his face to allow himself to be pat down briefly. As quick as it began, he was given a shove against his upper back that made his legs stagger into walking, being escorted out of his cell with one in front, and one behind. His head stayed down as they walked, while his eyes kept forward and he tried to summon some bravery. There would be no tears during his hearing and trial, and he'd pull out his maturity and adult mind from his memories and experience. There was no way he'd sit idly while young Starfleet rookies shoved him around. Taken down the hallway, his tired, sullenly angry eyes saw a few more holding cells, then a pair of open double doors that looked as if they'd seal if he was in trouble. Through them, the officers ushered him into a turbolift, then down another hallway, which began to look distinctly fancier and dignified. It made Jacob scoff while he was being marched through the building. It was a courthouse, and likely the Calleet Courthouse, concidering he wasn't taken far once he was lifted from nursing his bloody snout by two men and thrown into a small military transport vessel. Taken right through the back entrance, he was placed in a holding cell to await trial. Seemingly immidiate trial.
However, what he found when he walked through the door he was instructed to, was something less then the stellar construction that the rest of the courthouse lavished in. This room was small, with white walls, and plainer wooden tables, benches, and judge's stand. It wasn't a typical courtroom, with barely any room compared to the large spaces a real trial would be held in. Seeing admiral Palmer sitting where the judge would be, the Karrian began to figure this wasn't a "real" trial. Stopping only when instructed, Jacob stood behind the defendant's table on the room's right, while his eyes scanned to his left to what looked like a prosecution team. Two human men, dressed in formal Starfleet uniforms, pulling out datapads and even slips of paper. Across his muzzle, all Jacob could do was scowl and wait for this to begin. Staring up at admiral Palmer, eyes burning, the older officer noticed and gazed down to return a biting scowl of his own. It was a tense moment, but Jacob couldn't back down. Judge, jury, and executioner in front of him, along with armed officers behind, he was as much a criminal to them as any penitatas they had ever looked at.
"I am Admiral Vadius Palmer, and will be the arbiter of your trial. This will be conducted by Starfleet as a military trial, subject to Starfleet and Earth law, due to the nature of the alleged transgressions. You stand before this tribunal accused of treason, sabotage of a Starfleet vessel, conspiracy to commit a large scale murder of Starfleet personell, and dishonorable conduct unbecoming of a Starfleet officer. You will state your name, rank, and duties to this tribunal", the man called down from his podium to the young, green scaled boy. His voice was demanding and sharp, despite it's tone being threateningly low. Jacob didn't like where this was going at all. A sudden trial, where an Admiral was summoned to administer a military arbitration where they were borrowing a courthouse room to conduct it. This way, Starfleet could lay down their own law as if he was still an adult in their ranks. A courtmartial.
"My name is Jacob Vasse, Commander on board the starship U.S.S Apollo, registration NCC-9669M. I commanded deck twelve, overseeing medical research of various application", he answered firmly and confidently, placing his right claw upon the table. He wasn't an adult's size, but he intended to speak like he was. Eye ridges curling, and muzzle throbbing still, he wished to give this no less then his full attention. No shy intimidation, no quiet answers. His mind locked on his life that he rebuilt, and the girl that gave him the willpower and knowledge to slip past all his deficiencies and be strong with his words. Knowing he was brave and selfless, and this trial was a farse, was the other half of his strength. Standing alone at the defendant's table solidified how much of a farse it was, as his eyes peered around without much moving his head. Appeared he was by himself on this side of the room.
"I would also like to inquire as to where my representation is", Jacob made sure to ask accusingly up towards the Admiral, who's rank lapels shined as he turned his head from the prosecution table to glare at the accused. Like Kayla, he had the ability to read human facial expressions easily. All he could read from the man's eyes was hatred and malice, as if he was staring down a weapon pointed at his face from a merciless slaughterer.
"Do you feel incapable of speaking, Commander?", were the words that came down from the judge's stand, which sounded more like a pot shot then an actual question. Jacob had to lower his head slightly, baring some of his sharp reptilian teeth. There was a feeling boiling up inside of him. Something wasn't right about this.
"I can speak fine", Jacob responded, which caused the Admiral's head to again turn away from him, back to the prosecution.
"Good. Then we can continue", the Admiral spoke again, almost mockingly, placing a hand on his chin atop the grey stubble upon it. Now Jacob knew with certainty this wasn't good. There had to be a reason they were all behaving so jadedly. What crackpot excuse did they even have to bust his muzzle and haul him into a military tribunal under such outrageous accusations and claims? Not even cleaned up after bleeding, with his shirt having a few stains, and wearing his casual school clothing, this appeared to have been rushed into fruition. Hell, the reason he was in holding for so long appeared to be due to their being unprepared.
"Prosecution, you may begin when ready. Please establish evidence your evidence and motive", he spoke with a different tone towards his colleagues, not sounding so much like a proper arbiter would. No one could say this old Starfleet patriot was being impartial. This was beginning to break Jacob's spirt and place more weight on his chest before the evidence was even laid out. Each moment made him feel more alone, and more helpless to defend himself. Seething through his sharp, dragon-like teeth, he turned his head to his left, shifting his black hair as he watched and listened anxiously. The first of the two younger looking humans, lifted first a datapad, tapping his finger at it a couple times to get to where he needed. At that point, he handed it over to his partner, whom approached the bench and handed it off to Admiral Palmer. The wait was making Jacob's tail stiffen.
"Your honor, we will begin by outlying the root evidence we have against Jacob Vasse, and establish his guilt. We assure it will not be hard, and the information my partner has compiled contains copies of the Apollo's computer records, so that you can see for your own eyes that the defendant should not be allowed back into the public a free man", the leader of the two spoke while his associate returned to their table, using body language and a charismatic voice as any master of law would. Hand motions combining with his words, gesturing to Jacob only seemed more offensive to the panic stricken boy. What could they possibly have? He spent the morning reviewing research results - what could he have possible done in the computer system? Took restraint to keep from lashing out, but he needed to know what trivial evidence they believed they had against him.
"You see, Commander Vasse wasn't the loudest and most commanding of most officers of his rank. His deck ran smoothly, and his follows had called him a good leader and brilliant doctor. But, we had come to find that Jacob was often bored of his work. Hated filing documentation, hated looking over experiments that seemed to be useless to him. A sign of an officer with other things on his mind. Distracted, perhaps?", the law expert attempted to portray, as it was his job to paint his own version of the picture. Being seven, Jacob couldn't help but growl aloud. That sounded so stupid! Surely no one would believe...
"I see. What was he distracted by?", the Admiral asked, seeking clarification while he thumbed through the datapad he had been provided. This was unreal.
"His plan. Check page twelve on the datapad and you'll see what we are referring to, your honor", the second man had spoken up, while going through another datapad himself. A slightly larger, legal one. Jacob's blue eyes looked back and forth between the men, from the Admiral to the pair of law-men looking to take away his life, growing more frustrated with the fact he was in the dark.
"I would like to know what is on page twelve, and what is the evidence that makes me stand here today", Jacob set out as a demand, keeping his voice up. He was an honored Starfleet Commander, and he could play the game as well as they could. Instead of the Admiral responding when his eyes shifted from the datapad to him, the prosecution began speaking.
"You should remember it Commander Vasse. On Earth date December first, you ordered Radiology Lab One taken offline and did not state in the report you made as to the 'why'. All it says, is that it was shut down for examination. For what? Did you have probable cause that the lab was malfunctioning at that time, and an accident like what occured would happen?", the head prosecutor spoke in Jacob's direction, attempting to use the Karrian's own question to back him into a corner. Where the hell was his representation! Balling up his right claw upon the table into a fist, Jacob tried to quell his anger so he could respond appropriately.
"Radiology Lab One worked with a sensitive and potentially dangerous reactor. I had the ship's engineering team inspect it, and my deck's safety team sweep the room for any biological hazards that could comprimise the control of the radiation reactor. It was a precaution I took as commander, to keep my crew safe", Jacob responded, speaking quickly and firmly as if the room was moving a mile a minute. The situation was dire, and it took a lot of willpower to overcome his young mind's inabilities. Adult Jacob needed to stay in control and not be influenced. Words were always being spoken in the room, and missing a beat could spell his failure. Sharp, back and forth attacks in the name of justice.
"Then you believed the reactor was unsafe? There had been no such accidents since the ship's commission, before you were that deck's commander. Where is your justification?", the prosecutor hurled at him, making the Karrian flick his tail away in a fit, while raising his voice in his own response. How could he respond to that?
"I already told you, that was my decision! It couldn't hurt to examine the ship's systems and ensure they're safe!", he fired back, trying to keep in control.
"Then answer this! If safety was your goal, why was the lab still offline after both perscribed searches were complete? Your own report we have here states the lab was not authorized to reactivate until twenty two hundred hours, when both team's reports state their work ended at about nineteen hundred hours. And, on page thirteen of the evidence, the computer recorded you entering the lab during this downtime! You were alone!", again landed on the Karrian's shoulders to try and deflect. This was growing to be more and more frustrating as his heart pounded. All of the men moved, but it was like slow motion. It was like being pinned down with a knife to your throat. Jacob wasn't strong enough to throw them off. There were so many of them compared to his small, adolescent frame.
"Inspecting the room personally was an intended goal from the start. I'm not the type that would write off that the inspection passed without making sure each and every pannel was put back! Try harder!", Jacob snarrled, smacking his fist into the table, which got a less then friendly look from the Admiral. The boy never saw it, as his teeth and eyes were gleaming straight at the prosecutor trying to prove he was some sort of killer. All the man did was smirk, lifting a datapad up with a slight wave of the device. Jacob walked into a courtroom trap and didn't even know it. With a flick of his wrist, the man tossed the pad which landed with a clatter in front of Jacob, on his table.
"Your DNA was found inside of one of those pannels you just mentioned. The primary power pannel to the reactor, which was found to be the root cause of the explosion and failure. What were you doing in there? The prosecution claims you, at that time, sabotaged those systems under the guise of a non-routine systems examination!", was the man's strong retort, getting in the pointed end of his argument that would draw the most blood. The datapad in Jacob's claw stated exactly that; evidence he was in the affected systems logged by a Starfleet Security investigation.
"This is rediculous!", Jacob shouted, dropping the datapad and swinging his right arm.
"What this is, is a military trial, and you will lower your voice mister Vasse!", Admiral Palmer said aloud, not caring to hear the rejuvenated doctor's accusations when a serious topic was still active in the room. Pointing his right index finger at the two men at the other table, he spoke again.
"That report listed other people as having worked in there. Can you prove this is the time of sabotage?", he asked directly, going right to the point. What he recieved were two nods. Holding another grey datapad in his left hand, the lead prosecutor skimmed his eyes over it's display while he spoke again.
"The root cause of the accident was indeed Commander Jacob Vasse. The pannel had to be opened by a command passcode, which was logged. His passcode, on that date, was the last time it had been opened. From there, under that protected pannel, the power systems we believe were adjusted. Not enough was left of them to get full accuracy, but something occured. What we claim, is direct sabotage, that caused the explosion and eventual failure of the safety shutdowns, and Jacob Vasse was the last person to touch it!", the prosecution unveiled, showing their cards. They had no idea what happened, but he was guilty because he was the last person to touch it. Nice!
"That pannel could not be opened by either team I had assigned. I had to do it myself", Jacob spoke differently, growling and speaking slowly. His insides were ripping to shreads under the worry and position he had been placed in.
"And what did you find behind the pannel?", the second law-man asked with an almost carefree voice. Jacob wasn't stupid enough to walk into another trap, but the truth was all he could provide. He would do just that.
"The power systems were operating within specified parameters. No, I'm not an engineer, but the acadamy taught me how to at least examine and repair power relays on a ship. That is all that was really behind that pannel - a large, specialized power relay. All I was really looking for were power leaks, burn marks, and anything my tricorder didn't like", were the words that defended himself and his actions, with the Karrian crossing his arms and shifting where he stood. Couldn't have looked too confident, but he was seven. Not a whole lot he could do about it.
"Or so you claim. The prosecution had determined the 'how' using evidence and 'common sense'. You were the last to access that system, and that system is the root cause of the failure in Radiology Lab One. You can try to call it a freak accident all you like, but your inspection proves all too suspicious. It was the perfect time to do something drastic, wasn't it Commander? This is where we go into motive.. ", the man began to go into, using his open arms as if welcoming the subject matter into his charismatic light. It was like he was the only person in the room, and his words were true. This wasn't right; Jacob wanted some sort of defense other then just his words to their's.
"The how? You can't even say what happened to those power systems, and your 'common sense' is just mockery and word play!", was Jacob's sudden retort, which was to naturally recieve more harsh words from the Admiral. The Karrian was beginning to not care about that, having so much else to focus on.
"Mister Vasse. Prosecutor?", Palmer snapped Jacob's way, before inviting the prosecution to continue. The way his muzzle curled was hurting the bruise upon his snout, but it was impossible to not sneer at the people surrounding him. All around him were word games and a picture painted by a master crafter, who's sole duty is to aquire a guilty verdict. The picture was based on the viewer believing what it held within was true. Heresay was rampant in their argument.
"Yes your honor. Jacob Vasse's motive was that of simple, selfish malice. Being in the right place at the right time; all too convenient. Becoming a medicalos was his goal all along. Being able to escape the life he was living, and obtain an honorable discharge. Ever since December first, Jacob was distracted, waiting for the event to occur. He'd be a hero when he repaired the damage he caused and shut down the lab. His ticket off the Apollo", the man went into with a smile, as if this was all fact. No evidence to support it, yet the taunting words left his mouth. It enraged Jacob to the point his child-like side wanted to cry, but he had to keep control. It's now or never!
"See here! I had nothing against my duty, and I reassigned to Starfleet at my own accord! I was proud of my crew and would never place them in harm's way, and I certainly would have never tried to kill myself!", the Karrian snapped, again slipping right into the prosecutor's pocket. Another trap.
"Exactly. You didn't plan on dying. On page twenty of our logs and evidence, we have your own rejuvenation report filed by Cameron Richardson. In the medical documentation filed by the rejuvenator computer system at the time of your initial rejuvenation, it filed that your body had taken a massive dose of anti-radiation medication. The drug was called Barazine. It was enough to keep you alive in order to be rejuvenated, and more then enough to be lethal to the extent that you wouldn't even know what was going on around you, much less the radiation burns. Your own logs detailed your missing Earth, and wishing to return to it 'sometime soon', they said", he combatted, laying their evidence and shaky motive right across the tribunal floor. Jacob made another sharp growl, smaking his claw upon his table.
"The Barazine was in Radiology Lab One! It's their job to test drugs of that nature, and would not have been out of place! I was trying so hard to save everyone, I gave myself the full hypospray of the drug. I'm a doctor, I knew it was lethal. It's what I had to do, and damn you for trying to make up foolish stories!", Jacob continued the back and forth barrage, until the Admrial himself pounded his podium with his fist to obtain some order. He couldn't speak with his defense and prosecution squabbling.
"Enough! Prosecution, you have detailed an account of how Commander Vasse performed the sabotage of the U.S.S Apollo's radiology lab. The accident had not been recorded and was not expected to happen. All the failsafes in place did not stop the explosion and subsequent radiation leak that placed the ship in danger, as well as it's young crew. Prior to this accident of sorts, there was an examination of this lab ordered by the defendant. It was unscheduled, and unorthodox, but claimed to have a greater cause. After the teams left, it was confirmed Commander Vasse accessed the pannel that covered and guarded the main power relay for the reactor. Traces of himself were left behind, as well as his passcode. The prosecution claims this was an unnatural incident, and the only person able to sabotage the unit was the last person in it. To add to it, they established a possible motive; Jacob's wish to leave Starfleet. The distraction up until the accident, ability to adapt, and your wish to live in a penitatas neighborhood all appear to be psycological signs of guilt and premeditation, says our evaluations", the Admiral spoke long, and slowly, detailing a summary of the case for the tribunal record. Jacob still couldn't believe the nonsense he was hearing, still wanting to cry and embrace those he loved. To escape this torment and saddness, and painful accusations. All the while, Admiral Paulson had a datapad in his hand, adding that there was even more evidence present that quoted Jacob's actions to be strange. Guiltful.
Staring down from the wooden podium, from his perch up high compared to the young doctor, Admiral Paulson quietly scanned over Jacob. Jacob looked scared, hurt, small. Perhaps he should feel that way, the supposed arbiter figured to himself. "What have you say?", he asked the green scaled boy. Looking down a moment, Jacob swallowed, trying to find his words. There was no concrete evidence, but he didn't know how to explain that. A doctor was not a lawyer. Defending himself was one thing, but combatting elaborate stories and personal opinion were not on that list.
"There is no evidence, and I never would have done such a thing. I was going to leave Starfleet when my time was up, and never would have hurt my crew. I checked those relays because I could, and I found nothing wrong with them at that time. Where are the power system logs for the Apollo? All we've got are people who have never met me quickly analyzing the situation for some stupid report to be thrown at my face in this courtroom", Jacob spoke harshly, picking up the grey datapad and smacking it back down against the table in disgust. Liars, sham artists!
"They believe I did it because I was the last person under that access pannel. What happened to accidents? Where is the solid evidence that proves it was even sabotaged in the first place?", Jacob turned around on the attack, now that he had the opportunity.
"Read the pad instead of playing with it. The investigation found that it was not any known issue with that relay system, and it's a common junction for high power systems on board starships. Where are the other accidents?", the prosecution closed down his statement with. Jacob didn't know - and he never would! That didn't discount the possibility of a sudden accident, just because someone felt it wasn't normal and 'could' be tampering!
"Then I'll ask where your motive is? Why would I want an honorable discharge to be a medicalos? Why would I want to harm my crew? You took my personal logs and command logs and took them way out of context to even imagine something so horrible. You paint the picture, finish it!", Jacob then challenged, claws clenched tight to the point they were shaking. Even his tail was. Bravery was coming at a price, as his fear was getting the best of him. So close to the end.. this had to end right! It had to!
"A decline in productivity, lacking interaction with your crew. Classic signs, but you were a strong, dignified sort of man. Your entry evaluations always said the same thing. Quiet, dignified. Wouldn't be so quiet and dignified to just up and resign your commission, would it?", the prosecution said lightly with a shrug of sorts, before rolling it into more of his elaborate hand motions and body language. Jacob was getting overwhelmed. He couldn't do this alone, he just didn't know how against people that used such wordplay. Pointing to reports and documents that barely have relevancy to finish their painting of events, and doing it successfully. He knew in the end they weren't saying much, but it sounded as if they were. Making him look guilty without proving guilt. All they could say was that sabotage was 'distinctly possible' since they didn't want to call it an accident, and that for reasons they couldn't even explain, he wanted an honorable discharge from service to be a child again and escape the reality of responcibility. And, in the course of all that, placed his crew, and his friend Cameron, in mortal danger to the extent they call it attempted murder. The room was quiet, all eyes on him, while the nails of his claws began cutting into his scales he was clutching them so tightly. Trying not to cry, Jacob's head snapped up, and taking a step back on one footclaw, he threw out his right arm again, punching the table. Tail out and body shaking, it was clear he was enraged.
"Trumped up charges and a prosecution best suited to be teaching panglish at the acadamy! After all this time, you've proven nothing!", Jacob accused loudly, trying not to sound like a child trapped in a well. Shaking his head as the boy had spoke, he struck his podium again with his open right hand, waiting for the Karrian to stop his shouting.
"What they established was called probable cause. As I requested, they presented their evidence, and a motive. You were the only one possible to commit sabotage, and investigative reports found that to be what occured. They also provided a motive, pointing to your psycological reports made each time you rejoined Starfleet. It's enough for me to provide my verdict, and provide you the peace and justice you need", Admiral Palmer spoke to the room, but with Jacob Vasse always locked with his eyes. As Jacob looked back at the almost cruel gaze, hearing his slow and heavy words, he didn't need to be told the verdict. Peace and justice.. those words came out like knives, thrown verbally at Jacob. There was no justice! There wasn't even a trial! In a fit, Jacob placed his claws and arms right onto the table, leaning over it as he shouted up at the so-called arbiter, showing all of his white draconic teeth and thrashing his green tail.
"Justice nothing! To hell with your wild imaginations and faux-evidence! This was not a trial! I ask you again, arbiter, where is my damn representation?", Jacob assaulted, as if fighting the inevitable. Voice shaking and rage trying to overcome the feeling of horror and loss, the deathly weight of reality fell onto his ears. While the two prosecutors exchanged handshakes of victory, Jacob was alone. Vulnerable, and defenseless.
He was guilty.
"Commander Jacob Vasse. As I see it, you are guilty of the crimes you have been accused. What you claim occured, stands outside of the realm of normal, and contests almost two months of Starfleet research. If the system was sabotaged, you did it.. ", the man began speaking, even as Jacob continued to yell, so close to crying as his confidence fell out from under him when his neck was caught by the noose.
"No! This isn't real! I have done nothing!", the young Karrian had cried out pounding his fists into the table as he paniced. The Admiral never once stopped his words, ignoring his pleas entirely.
".. And therefore, as the tribunal sees fit, you are hereby stripped of your rank and title of Commander, and dishonorably discharged from Starfleet.. ", the words went on, while Jacob's eyes watered and he fought to keep screaming back, taking some steps away from the defendant's table. His jaw shook, and so did his arms, legs, and tail. Terror, and injustice, overcame his young mind. Children's brains could not comprehend injustice. Jacob knew the truth, and his innocence, but none would listen. A piece had been painted, and his fate already decided.
"Where - is - my - representation?", he shouted one word at a time, now sounding horribly teary and choked up.
".. For your crimes against Starfleet, and humanity, while orbiting Earth, your punishment is subject to Earth law. You are sentenced to thirty cycles, ages seven, to ten, as a penitatas. Future chances for parole or soft time will be determined by a district judge, and.. ", Paulson was almost too happy to continue, speaking clearly despite the shouting directed towards him. Jacob was barely older then seven, based on medical readings after his rejuvenation. This way, they could get started right away, and not have to wait, if his starting age was seven; all to eject this traitor from his sight.
"Answer me! This tribunal is a fraud!", Jacob was able to scream up into the air, claws clenched as he lunged forward, only to get caught from behind by the Starfleet officer that been some paces back. His arms were pulled behind his back, while his legs kicked and and his tail attempted to thrash - slightly bloody school clothing shifting against himself from all the movement.
".. you will be subject to the justice you have earned. Get his classification changed to penitatas and get him out of here. Dismissed!", called bellowingly from above the tiny boy as he shrank to nothingness. Restrained, eyes clenched and tear filled, he couldn't see the uncaring hand gesture from the Admiral to the other officers to just take him away and get him out of his face. As ordered, the officer restraining him shoved his body forward, catching his midsection on the table which made him howl aloud. All the man's weight appeared on top of his arms once they were forced onto the table. Above him, despite all his thrashing, he was well held. Screaming and cursing, even if it wasn't his nature, time slowed down to the crawl of blood. Over him, the lead officer held a cellular re-scanner over his restrained claws, erasing the silver 'M' from his cellular coding, and adding a new letter. Painstakingly, crying himself hoarse as he yelled out anything he could think of, the signature filled in 'P' of a hard time criminal was re-written onto the backs of his claws, all while Admiral Paulson and the prosecution team walked out of the room as if nothing was going on. Insignificant and transparent, Jacob's life had been born anew once again. From riches to ruin.
Once more the Karrian found himself in a holding cell of sorts, though much less prison-like and formal. It was more like a waiting room, bright white with comfortable chairs, and even colorful paintings. At least this time he had an idea as to where he had been taken and abandoned. To be away from the tension of that courtroom and those hateful people was little compensation to being left alone to look at his claws. The tools he used to save lives and work hard, to spread his ideals and care, now stared back at him. The silver, filled in 'P's told him he was a liar. A criminal that maimed, and tried to kill. Even his body now lied to his face. Jacob's chest was in a lot of pain, from the stress he was under and the panic. As dignified as he tried to be under most situations, even the once quiet doctor was vocal in his tears.
The poor boy, hero at heart, was left broken and bawling on the floor of the waiting room. A door to the side was labeled to be a rejuvenation lab, and the empty room was meant for a rejuve to be picked up after what the court had ordered. This was where his fate would wash over him, waiting for the door back out to the hallway to open. Tears streaming down his smooth green cheeks and muzzle, the cries were sharp and hard, burrying his muzzle and eyes in his claws. Never before did he feel so hurt and dispaired. To think of the horrors that awaited, and the injustice that occured. The thoughts roared through his mind faster then a child's mind could process, and his adult side couldn't get a word in edge-wise, in the sea of thoughts he was drowning in. Both sides knew this was bad, and what happened was wrong. Wrong to the point that Jacob had threw-up into a waste paper basket beside the door to the rejuvenator room just after getting to this mess of white.
Reality not seeming the way it was, he couldn't get up off the floor. The carpet had ridges of sorts that bit into his knees, but it felt real as he curled up with his snout to the floor and cried in his solitude and misery. Being alone, he couldn't take it. He needed someone, and there was no one. There needed to be some sounds of life, and there was silence. Only his own cries, and aching belly as he grew hungry from not eating since lunch. Not a single thought made sense, while he tried to understand what happened. There was his life one moment, and gone the next. No crimes were comitted, but here he was.
A penitatas. Like his friends, and Kayla. But why? Why!
"Miss Lory!", Jacob screamed out in a cry to the floor, sounding desperate as he bawled out his pain. Shaking, he cried out again. "Mom! Momma! Please help me!", were what he howled out into the carpet, calling his parent his mother for the first time. If there was a time he felt he needed to be defended, or saved, it was now. The boy broke down and didn't care of undignified or imperfect he was. Jacob wanted out. He wanted his home, and life. For things to be right and this to be corrected!
"Kayla!", he cried longingly in his trepidation, tail frozen to his body as everything trembled in unison as he cried. He was innocent! Innocent! Damn all of you bastards! There wasn't anyone he would hurt, and he was no criminal! This wasn't supposed to happen, this never happened! If he had a real trial, with a real judge, and witnesses, it wouldn't have. But there was no one for him. Jacob had been courtmartialed, and sentenced. No longer a medicalos by classification, he was now a member of the justice system. To be spanked, disciplined, and held under strict guidelines to create penance for his crimes.
It took time, and the young Karrian had cried his eyes out and exhausted his lungs by then from sobbing, but the door opened. That white, false-wood door in front of him, slowly opened up. Startled the boy, buy not enough to make him panic more then he already was. Though, instinctively, he pushed himself from the floor and staggered back on his footclaws, wiping at his eyes to see whom was there; afraid of being struck in the snout or something similar again. But as the door moved out of the way, his arms slowed their tear wiping, lowering so he could see. What a sight to see.
"Mom!", Jacob could have nearly screeched, flinging his tail out behind himself as he ran the few steps to her and latched to his mother's side. Pressing his muzzle to her hip, he sniffled and sobbed a couple solitary times while the mother in her black dress held Jacob lightly. Hand behind his head, fingers through his hair, her expression was more solid and solumn, just letting the boy have his way a few moments after something so painful. There were however, duties to be performed. In her other hand, resided a datapad. Looking down at the young rejuvenated doctor, she thought of all the stories he had told. Took him a long time to be able to tell any, but all in all, he was a wonderful child. Mistakes were not common, and he was a joy to have around. Quiet, but still caring and enjoyed the attention she provided. To think, the claw holding her side had a mark of a hard time penitatas. There it was, right there for her own eyes to see. Sadly for Jacob, this couldn't have been more real, as detached from the world as he felt.
"Time to go home Jacob", Lory said after some time, even if her hand remained on the back of his head, with her fingers feeling those golden colored plates on the back of his neck. Jacob had called her 'mom'. A first, and would not be the last. Able to get Jacob to come along, the boy spent his time trying to calm down while walking in public and staying as close to Lory as he could so he'd feel less alone. Seeing the sun once again, it was setting and the sky was a brilliant orange. He was no different a person then earlier that day, but now everything would change. Not even Lory looked at him the same way, and she was so quiet. Once in the hover car and on their way home, he waited for her to say anything, but there was nothing. Hover car rides were short, so he had to try and breathe. Just.. speak. Jacob was still Jacob, life was still life. His classification didn't change who he was on the inside. Looking ahead to the front of the hover car, he held his seatbelt like a child would a stuffed animal.
"Say something miss Lory. You don't believe any of it, do you? What can we do?", the Karrian asked quietly, sadly, and slowly. It was difficult for Lory to listen to, much less respond. The hover card might have been on automatic pilot with her just monitoring it's actions and controls, but her hands gripped the wheel tighter.
"What is there to say, honey?", was her response after a pause, sounding as if her chest was tight and constricted. The fright wouldn't be leaving Jacob any time soon it seemed. There was no being saved, or anything fair. Was she trying to say he was a penitatas, and that was that? No fanfare, no chance for redemption?
"Mom, it's a lie. All of it's a lie! There was no trial!", the boy called out to the front seats, sounding teary again in his pleas to be believed.
"Don't make this harder then it needs to be!", was what had been snapped immidiately back, which was sharp enough from his parent's voice to make him wince and sink into his seat. Jaw quivering, he was forced again to wonder if this is how Kayla felt. No.. it wasn't. Kayla was strong because she wanted to be a better person, and knew she was guilty. She was sorry for being guilty, which made her lift her tail for those switches and paddles willingly. She.. was sorry.
Jacob didn't have anything to be sorry about. He was innocent. There was no inner will to pull strength and acceptance from.
"I read this thing already. I know there was a trial, cause I read it's overview", Lory said again, causing Jacob to look up with his watery eyes to see her leaning around her seat, wagging the grey datapad almost angrily. It was the pad that contained all the information of a penitatas. Their crime, who they were. Just like when he arrived as a medicalos, she got a report. This one was different from the last. It called him a criminal. It called him guilty, and convicted. A bloodthristy narcissist. His heart wouldn't stop racing, hearing such harsh words.
"But.. they're wrong. I'd never hurt anyone. Please believe me. I couldn't defend myself, they made all kinds of stories, and.. ", Jacob said so softly, lightly crying from his tired, reddened eyes, until his mother's voice made his words promptly end.
"You were tried and convicted of trying to kill your crew. If my husband were home, he would thrash you himself. Learn to cope, Jacob, or you'll never learn from your mistakes", she had said so scoldingly, with an air of parental disappointment and anger, facing forward and making sure her hover car landed straight. The feeling of throwing up enveloped Jacob's stomach again, but there was nothing to cough up. Indeed he was not a different person, but that mattered little. To hear Lory scold so firmly and almost motherly on such a subject brought further tears to his eyes, and choked back his words. As the car seated itself back upon the Earth, his parent helped him from the car to walk the silent reptilian boy inside with a single hand on his back for direction. Once inside, he found that home seemed like home, at least from first glance. His mother stepped ahead of him, kneeling down and placing her hands underneath his shirt to look at the bit of blood that had been stained into it. She had made a sympethetic sort of sound, rubbing one of the spots with her thumb, before looking up and placing her hands on her teary son's muzzle to examine where he had been struck by the officers. Right on the end of his snout, between his nostrils. A single press from her thumb made Jacob squeel and pull his head away, to hold and rub his muzzle. While he sniffled, Lory leaned in and kissed his cheek where his claws were not blocking her. This had been as sudden for Lory as it had been for him, not having seen anything of the sort coming. Having a husband in Starfleet, when the officers rushed in, they recieved full cooperation. Now, sentence carried out, she was obligated to lay down the punishment to the best of her ability. A Starfleet officer that tried to kill his fellows.. was that really the boy she was looking at? It made her want to smack that wound on the end of his snout.
"How much as Kayla told you about a penitatas' first day? The welcome spanking?", Lory decided to inquire; voice sounding different and strained. It was not the happy, light, and loving tone the Karrian heard when he came home from school. Letting go of his muzzle, he shifted his tail and placed his claws together atop his chest. He looked so pleading, so sad and desperate. Hard for the mother to decide if this was the selfish person the report had described, or if this was just her boy as she was used to.
"This isn't right. Please mom, you need to believe me. Please. I can't hurt anyone, and I don't want to be hurt either", Jacob almost whispered, with his voice and body both shaking. Lory again had to shake her head lightly, filling the Karrian's belly with dread.
"Don't make this harder on yourself, or harder on me. Right now you're a penitatas. A convicted criminal, and I am now your penitatas parent. My liscense is now back in full active status. Do you understand me Jacob? The behavioral route you are choosing to take is not something I can tolerate", Lory laid down, as the law. She wanted to make him listen, and needed to make him come back to reality. Look at those silver 'P's, and accept what they bring. This, Jacob, is your prison. However, the boy's teary, docile sort of sadness told her that it wasn't going to be that way.
"You don't believe I'm innocent.. do you?", he asked, slowly with disbelief, while a pair of fresh tears rolled down his green scales.
"It's not my place to decide that. The courts do, and you were found guilty. A Starfleet tribunal of all bodies, found you guilty. As your penitatas parent, I simply care for you, and discipline you. You pay for the mistakes of today, and the crimes you were brought to justice for", came that dull edged, explainitory tone. The words made Jacob sob again. Crimes to be brought to justice for.. he hadn't comitted any. This was so wrong, he wanted to scream. But what good would it have done? Everyone set his fate in stone. Now Lory had a duty to perform, and all he wanted was to escape it. His adult side said he was innocent, and his child side wanted to protect his tail. Seeing what befell Kayla on a standard basis was enough to fear for the safety of his tender scales. While he remained silent and tearful, Lory pulled out her first order upon him; penitatas parent to penitatas. The words went to Jacob's damaged securities and emotions and trampled upon them.
"Go to your room, and strip bare. Your welcome spanking will be after, then bed. You will be able to eat tomorrow", was her command and instruction, sounding gentle and parental even when laying down painful words. Jacob blubbered and froze, but just to get away, even if briefly, his eyes clenched closed and his footclaws took off across the livingroom for the hallway. Tail disappearing around the corner, Lory had to take a deep breath and sigh. This would not be easy. Through the den, up the stairs, and into his room his legs took him, crying the whole way. He hated it, but couldn't help it. There was nothing quite like imagining ninety years of this. So long, and having done nothing wrong. Imagining the horror, and pain.
Once inside of his room, he had to stop and look around, breathing heavily as he whimpered much like the child he was. The bedroom that was once his comfortable sanctuary now looked bare and desolate. His computer console, medical lab, tools, and even his holo were gone. Toys, and even with a quick bolt to his desk, he found his medical supplies had all been taken. Every piece of the life he was living earlier was taken away. His comfort, his parent, his belongings. To top it off, and rip the last of his heart in two, the only thing left on top of his desk was an empty glass case where his medal once sat. It was empty.
He truely had nothing.
In an upset fit, the Karrian growled and began pulling his clothing off angrily. Pulling his shirt off of his head, he threw it at his closet doors, with his shorts and briefs both following it to smack against it. There was nothing else he could do but comply if no one cared. Sobbing a few times, through the growling, he gave the closet door a swift kick that made it shake only a little due to his small stature. Standing there naked, with every adolescent bit hanging out, the boy couldn't have felt more lost. In his corner now resided a punishment stool that looked much like Kayla's own, and in his closet were now a couple of spanking implements. There was no time wasted in throwing him to the wolves. Without a fair trial, and without his mother's help, there was only one person he had left.
"Hope you believe me Kayla", Jacob began to speak to himself tearily, holding his chest out of self hurt. Tail flat against his backside, all he could do was step to his desk and look out the window as he normally would. The sunset was red now. It was like watching his happiness and chance for a normal life leave him. Damn Starfleet. He had no idea what happened, and didn't have the resources to find out. There was a dire mistake, and someone needed to listen to him. Jacob couldn't have felt more alone.
Hearing footfalls against the carpet behind himself, he turned his head from the window with a sullen sort of scowl, just to let Lory know he didn't appreciate this. Not having been a penitatas before, watching his actions wasn't something he was even remotely familiar with. His eyes could see in the fading light that she carried some things in her hands, likely meant for his rear. Yes, he was familiar with the welcome spanking. Kayla recieved more then one; of course she would elude as to what it was. Five swats from what ever his mother chose. He could see a belt, paddle, a small looking cane, a switch from the back yard, and a hairbrush. All classic, he knew, giving the tools she held a sneer. He would overcome!
Not providing any words to the child staring at her, Lory slid out the boy's desk chair as Emily did so long ago. Placing it right where it was then, facing the bed, she took her seat and placed her spanking implements beside herself on the floor. Hands in her lap, she looked over at the sad, angry, doctor. He looked tired, hungry, abandoned. She hadn't seen a penitatas like that before, trying to cry innocence, but it wasn't as if it never happened. Rejuvenated children were resiliant, but poor Jacob was so hesitant, so resistant.. he wasn't going to be cooperative. There was several moments of this silence, till Lory decided to sever it herself.
"Anything to say darling? I'm still your mother, it's just that things will be very different from now on. Your privacy will be at the way-side, and you will have strict rules to obey. No backtalking, perfect manners, accepting your discipline, and repentance for your misjudgement. We'll get through this, but I need you to be good. Okay?", she lended the child, trying to provide support while also stating the things that he needed to perform. Jacob listened, but it was hard to absorb. Knowing your innocence took precedence. Lowering his head a little, Jacob's black hair dangled till it touched his tear moistened cheeks.
"I've never been anything less. You won't stop this from happening?", Jacob asked with an accusing, quiet tone without moving much.
"My lap. Come, I'll finish this", Lory was forced to respond in her own, quiet sort of way, patting her right leg. Having his sheath and sac bare to the open air was nothing compared to the butterflies in his stomach as he anticipated pain he didn't deserve. Embarassment, ache, pain. None the less, the Karrian turned and stepped towards his parent, reluctantly complying to her orders. After all this, he wanted to see Kayla. Nothing less would be appropriate. Once over his mother's lap, the young boy wasn't sure of what to do. Following his female friend's lead, he held his mother's pantleg and lifted up his tail at his own accord, which he felt be gently pinned against his back with his mother's left hand. Her soft touch, and her long finger nails made him blubber yet again. The touch felt kind, like he was used to. Her hands were not meant to do this.
"You've spanked me once, miss Lory. Said you were sorry to, and never held it against me", the doctor spoke aloud, muzzle pointed down towards the carpet. It sounded like a strong statement. Lory didn't understand what he meant by it, right hand raised in the air above him to lay down the first blow. It made her pause, quickly re-building her resolve before swinging her right arm. The first intial swat, made Jacob's entire body wince, from his eyes, down to his back, legs, and toes. The other four were right behind, solid and hard - much more then the boy had ever felt before. Her hand against his tender green scale, spanking it at his rear and the base of his tail, it made sharp, heavy slap sounds. Over in an instant, it still had the Karrian's legs shifting, and his tears stronger. This was nothing compared to what would happen, and it scared him to know that. The burn and sting made him want to rub his tail, but Kayla's speaking of the repricussions made him stop for the moment. His will was weak, and there was little he could do to stop himself if the spanking went on. And it did.
Hearing some motion, it provided at least a small degree of warning before a thick line of searing heat and sting enveloped the base of his tail. Jacob opened his muzzle and howled out, lifting his head and trying to kick his legs. That, he figured, was the belt, snapping and cracking against his delicate, thin scale. From the base of his tail down to his upper thighs, the instrument of discipline spanked and lashed it's five in, one by one. For Jacob, he cried aloud with each blow. Never before did something sting quite like that, and it didn't subside. It burned, and he continued to scream a little after the belt stopped coming, fighting to rub under his tail with his free right arm. Was pointless, as Lory had taken it into her hand, using her left arm to pin his tail down instead. He could not move, and it was making him squirm out of frustration.
But then fell the hairbrush, the one he was familiar with his mother using. He had sat with her and spent quiet, relaxing times while she brushed her long black hair in the bathroom, with him playfully at her side. The brush was a warm memory, turned to a tool of his discomfort. Heavy and thick, the flat wooden end, darkly stained, landed upon his bottom. It was a thicker sort of 'pop' sound, almost leathery, against his defenseless scale. She swung hard, and it was like being punched under the tail with a deep sting to follow. The blows went under flesh to muscle, spanking deep, and providing the inexperienced Karrian agony. Lifting his head more, this time he cried out and kept it going until all five were in. At that point, his rear was turning a deeper shade of red and growing welted. His body was throbbing, aching, stinging, burning. Everything in him wanted to get away, but being pinned, he could not. Tears streaming down his muzzle in pain and inner frustration, his crying sounded winded and desperate. Sharp, like a young boy's would, squirming and writing their form against their parent's lap. Still though, Lory didn't like doing this. If he deserved it, fine, but something was wrong. Jacob.. he had to learn. He had to accept.
"Hold still. I'm not done", she said to him, while leaning down to change implements. Nursery cane in her hand, she took aim first, above his scales. At the base of his tail, there was a pink, tight little spot. That was her target, if she could lash it. Reeling back, the cane cut the air with a woosh, cracking against Jacob almost as loud as he screamed. That time, with the way the Karrian kicked his legs, Lory could barely keep him steady. Grunting, the penitatas mother was left with little recourse but to spank with the cane quickly and not provide any time for recovery between swats. One, two, three, four, in a straight line down his rear, with the last ending upon his taut legs. The sound poor Jacob made was like gasping for air, as if he lost all of it from the intensity of the pain. The sting, all new to him, sliced clear to his mind. Nerves and blood vessels all crying out, and thick little lines grew visible against his scales. Welts and indentations. As soon as he got his air, Jacob wailed out into bawling. Trembling against Lory's lap, his body was now quite tense. Two implements to go.
Paddle was next, and the same one he had seen Kayla disciplined with for her behavior those two months ago. It looked scary then, but Kayla rebounded. Then again, she always did. The first spank of the flat wooden tool was right across his backside, pinching the base of his tail to provide him with knowledge of how Kayla felt. It burned like fire over his other marks, making his legs tense up tightly. Locking his legs, his toes trembled upon the carpet, while the rest of his body took each little explosion of greater and greater hurt, as the punishment stacked welt on top of welt. It was becoming difficult to cry he was in such pain, exhausted and filled with sickening emotions. Each swat was something undeserved. There was no way to find comfort in repenting for actions he did not commit. Injury and pain, searing ache, all for waste. His suffering was in vain. Jacob choked on his tears, sputtering and gasping for air, legs going limp after the paddle stopped. Thrashing was dulling as he grew weaker and cried harder. The poor thing's fingers, though his arms were restrained.. with their little claws, quivered as they stretched back towards his tail as far as they could go. Trapped with no way to relieve his pain, they stayed like that.
The punishment wasn't over, until it was over. This time, the switch, the final implement from Lory's backyard, was tapped against Jacob's tail to provide adequate warning. This was her tool of expertice, and her tree provided thin but strong whippy branches. It felt rough, but straight; different from the cane. And, when it was swung to blast the final message of repentance into Jacob's mind, it sounded sharp and quiet. 'Thick!', was the sound it made against his scales, but multiplied by five as the parent used their wrist to lash them all into the base of the boy's tail. His tailhole sent the deepest, hottest, agonizing nerve impulses that made his spine blaze with pain. Down his legs he could feel the throb, and the sting of the switch shot down his tail. The lashes littered together like that got the reptile to scream one final time, body taut entirely, with his legs up and out into the air. With nothing left, he stayed that way until his muscles began to loosten. Maw wide, eyes clenched shut, tears coated his muzzle and face in the now dark room. His parent wouldn't even be able to see just how he felt. It was irrelevant, as long as the deed was done.
Over her lap, Jacob bawled, making squeeling sorts of cries and hoarse, gasping attempts to find air. His young frame heaved against Lory's legs, and while she was able to let Jacob's tail go, she had to hold his wrists. To the boy, it was cruel. The sting and burn urged him to rub and take care of it - relieving his throbbing blood vessels and damaged flesh and scale, but he was not allowed. Tail plastered to his spanked, whipped rear, he stayed there across his parent's lap for some time. Bawling turned to sobbing. Sobbing turned to sputtering and coughing. Lory had no use for the corner stool, as vocal and pained as the Karrian appeared to be. Denying him the ability to rub under his tail was punishment enough. Then, she felt his upset and empty belly growl against her legs. Why did her Jacob have to be a criminal? Guilty of treason to the institution she loved? Frustrated with the situation, she was ready to put her son to bed. Food could be for tomorrow.
"Leave your tail alone. Climb into bed and go to sleep", Lory said admitably harshly, using a tough penitatas parent tone with the boy when she released his arms and allowed him to get up from her lap. Naturally, Jacob's right claw bolted right under his tail once he began getting up. Catching his left upper arm with her left hand, Lory swung her thin switch twice which made him jump and howl as he pulled away. The whippy branch spanked across the back of his claw, promptly removing it from his rear. Instead, he hunched forward where he stood, cradling his now stinging paw. All of his teeth were bared and he was making the most pained growl, as if someone was pulling one of his claws out. He really did not handle this well. Ushered to his bed by his mother's directing hands, he climbed into it quickly with his unsteady legs, and his mother covered him with his blanket. At his own request, he wasn't tucked in at night, but this was different. Once she was sure he was secure in bed, crying distraughtly into his pillow, Lory silently left the room. There was nothing she could do to make this easier, and she was faced with the daunting task of raising an uncooperative son.
Door closed, and alone in his room, his claws slid beneath his tail and rubbed his scales briskly. His chest and belly hurt from crying, as did his muzzle's muscles. That was horrible. Utterly senseless. The ache and sting, accompanied by the heat of the welts, took him right inside the world of a penitatas. He was one. On the back of his right claw, he could see the two switch marks across the silver, filled in 'P'. One across his knuckles, and the other dead center. It hurt, in more ways then one. That pain he endured.. that was his life? The life he earned for crimes never comitted?
"Fuckers. I hate them all", Jacob whispered out in the dark silence of his empty, dreary bedroom. Admiral Paulson, those prosecution officers, the jerk that busted his snout.. all fuckers. The wise old doctor hated the word, but there was no other way to place his frustration. Two legal failures whom threw together a case and mended it's holes together with conjecture, some overzealous Admiral kiss asses, and of course, the jaded Admiral himself. The arbiter with the verdict before the trial began. Jacob couldn't be fooled, knowing he got a hasty, unfair trial simply because the evidence was lacking. In the end, they thought he did it, and sought to remove him from the life he was living. Once his guilt seemed apparent, and they were sure, a case was quickly thrown together, and his arrest made. The arresting officers and his arbiter knew the story before it was told. Why else would they hate him from the get-go? It was a case of legal vigilantism, conducted through the ranks of Starfleet. Out there somewhere, was the truth he needed.
It was somewhere he couldn't go now though. A penitatas - was a prisoner to their parents. Lory, the parent he had adored, would spank him again and again. The searing ache flowing through his exhausted body was not going to be the last. If he couldn't do something, this was going to be a long ninety years.
Little light or glow in the room, all Jacob could do was absorb the peace. Took much time, but his tears began to fade, so did some of the pain, even if the redness and welts did not at all recede. Comfortable in his bed, it was one of the few things that had not changed, even if it seemed lonely. If Kayla were here, he would be okay. This wouldn't hurt so badly. He wouldn't be afraid of his mother, and the rising sun. There would be something to look forward to. Someone who understood and believed him. Jacob wondered to himself, did Kayla know now what happened to him? Stuffed into his soft pillow, his weary head displayed his blank, sullen expression of doubt and sadness. The world was against him now, after so many years of loyal service to Starfleet, and being a talented doctor. Life was suddenly cruel and heartless. With no guilt to accept, the pain drove him to the point of not wanting to exist.
Voided hopes; there was no dream to wake up from, and no one to suddenly save him. The room did not fill with light, and his mother did not come in with his medical kit and an appology. Jacob laid there, trapped and ill from his own confused, agonizing emotions until his sniffled turned to quiet breathing as he fell asleep. For now, that was reality. Together with his Aspatrian comrade, in heart, and now classification, he would have to find his own justice and keep together until then.
The battle has only begun.