Logbook entry

Rokkotaco / 12 Sep 3305
EXPEDITION TACO 2 9-12-3305 -Supplemental/Judicial-

System: Styemeae OJ-I D9-1257
Planet: 4
Satellite: C

TFAS-EX Pitter Patter

CMDR/ Rear Admiral Rokkotaco presiding;

"I hereby surrender my authority as Judicial Officer to Crewman Vega, as per Federal Judicial Guidelines. I shall act as the prosecution in this case, and will trust his judgement in all matters."

Vega: Very Well. The Federation shall be represented By CMDR Rokkotaco, the accused shall be represented by Crewman Astra. Prosecution, you may now provide opening statements.

CMDR Rokkotaco: On the third moon of the fourth planet of the Styemeae OJ-I D9-1257 system, during a routine expedition on to the moon's surface for synthesis materials, I encountered two occupied escape pods.
                              As the pitter patter lacks the cargo space to take them aboard, I logged their position for later pick up, after we sell our data to Universal Cartographics.  As I inspected the crash site, I realized several
                              things. First. There were large amounts of canisters containing several tons of illegal narcotics and several units of personal weapons.  Upon further inspection, it was revealed that the craft was a
                              stolen
                              F56 Condor, with a homebrew Frame Shift Drive outfitted to it. Homebrew Frame Shift Drives were banned by the Pilot's Federation because they are largely unstable, and have been known to create
                              weak tunnels in witchspace.  Given the evidence at hand. It is my suspicion that these pods are occupied by drug runners working for cartels who brazenly tried to supply the Distant Worlds
                              Expeditions with drugs. I believe that these men are in connection with some of the massive pirating and general chaos caused along that journey. I hereby bring them up on Charges under the
                              Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 34, Article 112a, and Article 118."

Crewman Vega:   Very Well, Defense?

Crewman Astra:   Your honor, the prosecution's case is entirely  based on circumstantial evidence, and a clear prejudice against these people.  His brother had serious narcotic's addiction problems, and he's basing his
                             judgement of them, yes judgement, entirely on that history. For all we know this fighter was caught in the wake of a larger freight ship while trying to fight the criminals. I'd also like to point out
                             that though the Commander is technically  a Rear Admiral in the Federal Navy, he is a reservist, and his commission only applies when he is activated.  We have no jurisdiction in this part of the
                             galaxy. In fact, our closest jurisdiction is almost 40,000 Light years behind us. We have no legal right to execute these people.

Crewman Vega:  Prosecution?

CMDR Rokkotaco: Federal Military Code article 13-4-A states that any craft under the command of a Federal Flag Officer is Federation space. It goes onto state that this jurisdiction is applicable within 1km of the craft
                              itself, with the exception of when such a space would cause intergalactic incidents. When this craft landed here, I was given jurisdiction.  

                             Also, I was well within my rights to do a summary tribunal without turning over my authority to Crewman Vega. This should show a sincere attempt from the prosecution to provide due process. As for
                             the accusation of the defense that my evidence is circumstantial, I have provided the pods, the drugs and the weapons, and have provided all relevant video of the crash site. When we ran the ship
                             I.D. numbers, we found that the fighter was stolen from a mining craft out of Eurybia, and the authorities there have reason to suspect it was performed by the Eurybia Blue Mafia. This shows a clear
                             connection to known criminals.

Crewman Vega:    And for the defense.

Crewman Astra:    In response, I'd like to pose a question. Why are we even doing this? We could leave these men here, alive, for thousands of years, if nobody comes to get them. I understand destroying the drugs an d
                             weapons, but why are we acting as if we are duty bound to act as judge, jury, and executioner. This is personal, sir. You know it, I know it, this is just you trying to justify it.

                             I respect the hell out of you, but I know you're better than this.

Crewman Vega:    Do either of you have anymore evidence to provide the court?

Crewman Astra:   No

CMDR Rokkotaco: No

Crewman Vega: Very Well. We will now move to deliberation. As Crewman Astra was unable to refute the evidence provided by the prosecution, I am bound by duty to find them guilty on the Charges of Article 34 and
                          112a.  There is insufficient evidence to prove that Article 118, or Murder, applies here, and personally, I find it ridiculous, given that No bodies were found at or near the crash site, other than those
                          belonging to our perpetrators. However, this will be inconsequential of their sentence, which is the following: I crewman Vega, in accordance with the authority given to me by Rear Admiral Rokkotaco
                          and under the guidence of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, do here sentence these men to die. I do this for two reasons. First, their criminality has been establishedto an extent that warrants their
                          death per Federal Guidelines. Second, we are not equipped to provide rescue, and as criminals, their rescue priority is almost zero. To allow these men to sit here, frozen, for eternity, or worse, until a
                          malfunction in their pods causes them to wake up just in time to suffocate would be cruel and unusual punishment. Third, if their cohorts are looking for them, they could be revived, and we are
                          duty bound to destroy the contraband. to leave enemies at our back in such an isolated environment would put this ship and her crew in risk of retaliation. The destruction of the entire site will cover
                          our tracks, and tie up more criminal resources.

                         The Court is hereby adjourned. Thank you for your time.

Commander's remarks:
This was rough. Astra had a point, but so did Vega. Even if they were innocent, we can't afford to have any criminals searching for the drugs and weapons stumble upon our tracks. Only the SRV is armed. If they find out we were here, they may assume we took the cargo, rather than destroyed it. We'd also have to explain leaving it there when we got back to inhabited space. The only choice in the end was to kiill the men and destroy the cargo. I've synthesized some premium Ammo for the SRV, and Vega is setting it to overcharge. He says it should do the trick.

She's going to have to forgive me soon. We need to stick together if we're going to do this. We'll be out here awhile, and we might be the only family we've got before this is all over.

I'll have Snarf, the ship's cat, spend time with her. They get along well. I've discussed it with Vega, and he thinks the best course of action in the future might be to just annihilate the pods without a trial, but that doesn't sit well with me. I don't hide things from my crew.  Astra is a part of the Federal Scientific arm, and doesn't have the stomach for true military decisions, but she knew what she was getting into when she signed on. They don't call it "the black" just for it's color. Every meter we travel away from Explorers Anchorage will bring more danger. I need my crew.
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