Lost Boys - The Good, the Bad, and the Crazy
Lost Boys - The Good, the Bad, and the Crazy
Summary: Shem grills Gosling while Drusilla plays Quorum.
Date: 130 ACH
Related Logs: Lost Boys - Discussions From the Rear Beat the Drum Slowly

Ward Room - Genesis - Deck 11
130 ACH - 24277 Souls
Condition Three - Duty Area

The Ward room is used for meetings. Carpeting covers the floor in a muted gray/blue color. Colonial flags line along one wall, representing all the colonies. A sideboard for refreshments is along one wall and a large conference table sits in the center with a dozen, comfortable chairs around it.

The ward room is quiet, the once blood-soaked flag long since cleaned. Shem and Drusilla sit on one side, with whatever things they bought along, waiting for the Marine detail to bring Gosling up for the questioning.

Gosling seems in decent enough spirits when she's brought, coming along without the guards having to compel her in any given direction. She even tosses one of them a grateful smile as she opens the door for her, a brief nod and a word of thanks on her way over the threshold.

Drusilla Oliveira was reviewing documents held in a plain manilla folder as she waited for the woman to be brought, bringing herself up to speed on events and refreshing her memory of details that would have been awash amidst the bustle of the week. The 600 deaths were certainly a priority but not the only one she had to deal with as there was still the matter of the survivors as well as talks with the civilian authorities. "Ahhh, Miss Gosling. Good evening." Drusilla said with professional courtesy as she tucked her current paper back into its manilla coverings and closed the folder. "Thank you for coming. You do not mind if I address you as 'miss' while your brevet is still in question, I hope?"

The lieutenant, for his part, brought nothing. He glances sidelong at Drusilla when she speaks, saving his words.

"Hm? Oh!" Tak understands, "Yes, that's quite alright," she replies, "I quite understand. Would you mind if I—" she trails off, gesturing a hand to a chair, since she wasn't offered a seat.

"Yes, please do." Drusilla said, nodding in affirmation to Gosling. "Lieutenant, please start the recording." The lady lawyer set aside the manilla folder and replaced it with a blank notepad. When she was content that the electronic transcription had begun, she proceeded to say, "As of this moment we initiate investigative hearing docket 77384. Present is the witness Miss Etakkana Gosling, Marine Lieutenant Jang Shem and Captain Drusilla Oliveira, presiding." Looking back to Gosling, she inquired formally, "You understand, miss Gosling, that your testimony here is under oath."

Shem clears his throat and clicks on the tape recorder. His expression is stark, and he crosses his wrists on the desk.

"I understand, Captain," Gosling leans forward slightly and raises the intonation of her voice along with her chin as if to make certain that the recording device can hear her. She keeps her hands on the table, for now, palms flat on the surface in an odd sort of gesture.

"Very good, Miss Gosling." Drusilla said. "You are here to testify with regard to the incident regarding the Colonial research vessel Peerless and the residents of correctional colony DW-739 leading up to the eventual assumption of control by personnel of the Battlestar Genesis." Her dull grey eyes bearing into the woman's sitting across from her, the lady lawyer paused dramatically before beginning the interview. "Would you begin by explaining to the panel the events detailing your enterance into service of the vessel Peerless."

Gosling keeps her hands where they are as she begins to speak. "Of course, Captain," she begins, her voice still vaguely stilted, each syllable enunciated clearly for the device. What's more, she's actually… -looking- at the tape recorder, as well, addressing her answer to it rather than to the Captain herself. "I wasn't meant to be long on Peerless. There's a base— was a base— I don't know whether there still is a base on Outpost Columbine, where I was due to come visit and consult with those performing research there. My scheduled transport flaked on me and I managed alternate transport on Peerless, which was to have had its final contact with Carpathian on its way out. It was -several- months out of my way, but out as far as we were a ride was a ride, you understand. Not long after I arrived there was an incident in sickbay. I'm still not sure of the technicalities, but they should still be on file somewhere in the Peerless databanks. There was a fire and a good number of the medical staff were killed. They approached me with a commission in hand, and I thought that as long as I was along for the ride I'd make myself useful. Then there was a problem on the landing deck, and our CMO went down with several others to tend to the wounded in situ. The crash had mucked up the landing bay hatch and… well… that's also in ship's records, or should be." She sighs. "I'm not a doctor, by trade, really. I have a medical degree, and I've done my share of surgeries, but I'm a biochemist and a medical engineer by trade. I spent most of my time doing labwork. But being the best and the brightest of those left, they gave me the CMO spot. That was the night of the crash."

The lady lawyer carefully wrote notes in her pad as the witness gave her testimony. She was recording in addition to that data which was being picked up by the aural device and magnetically stores, probably thoughts and points of minutinae that she was experiencing as well as observing. "I see." Drusilla looked down at her page, contenting herself, before restoring her attention to Gosling. "And what universities did you attend for your degrees, Miss Gosling?"

Shem scratches an eyebrow with his thumb, closing his eyes for a moment.

Gosling smiles faintly at the question, though it's aimed at the tape player, as if the device itself had asked it of her. "Acragantine for my pre-medical and medical degrees. I also got my doctorate in diochemistry there. I went to University of Tauron, Theban campus for my second doctorate."

Another notation made, a touch more ink applied to Drusilla's tablet. "Thank you." she said, continuing nonchalantly, "Moving on to the hostile transfer of power aboard the Peerless, you continued in your function as Chief Medical Officer, am I correct? Our records indicate that you provided the prison population with…" Drusilla paused to review her files in the folder, "lysergic acid diethylamide, a recreational drug." Also useful for interrogation, though she did not feel the need to vocalise the thought.

"Yes," Gosling replies, "I did. I also provided them with phencyclidine, benzylpiperazine and desoxyephedrine. Depending on their particular tastes," she adds, after a moment. "I tended the wounds of any that were brought to me in sickbay. I didn't go after the ones they let bleed out on the deck. I don't know how well that qualifies as continuing in my function as Chief Medical Officer there."

Drusilla merely nodded this time in affirmation. Her hand was busy scribbling. Oh, how cute! She dotted one of her 'i's with a heart. "Of the total of your patients during this period, Dr. Gosling," the honourary had been amended according to the new information as to her educational exploits, "approximately what percentage would you conclude were chronic substance abusers? Specifically of pharmaceuticals."

"Chronic?" Dr. Gosling replies, considering the question. "I can't be certain. I'm not sure that they had any access to pharmaceuticals before they came across our vessel, but a good deal of them seemed to know what they wanted once they realized that I could make it for them. I presume at least some of them had been chronic users before their incarceration. Fifty percent? Sixty?"

"Thank you for your estimation." Drusilla said again, nodding her head. Two quick strikes as she underscores, or crossed out, text upon the tablet. Raising a hand to cover the microphone, Drusilla turned her head to whisper to Shem, "Do you have any lines of inquiry you wish to pursue before we proceed to the Genesis' involvement?"

Shem looks sidelong at the captain. "No, sir." He returns his attention to Gosling and laces his fingers.

Drusilla nodded and relinquished her obstruction of the aural recording. "Dr. Gosling," she said, "please relate to us your meeting with Specialist Miller, Ensign Sloane, Lieutenant St. Germain on the 114th day of contemporary reckoning and your account of their admission to the Peerless."

"Of course," Gosling replies, neatly and clearly articulated for the machine.

"Of course," Gosling replies, neatly and clearly articulated for the machine. "I was brought to the CIC in order to help them read the DRADIS when they picked something up. We closed the landing deck doors when we realized that they were colonial vessels, but when we saw smoke we realized that they had crashed, not landed. I asked permission to be allowed to leave the ship and see if they required medical assistance. They knew by then that I was cooperative, and my ability to keep them supplied with recreationals had earned me some modicum of freedom and trust. I went out to the group and was admitted to their raptor, where I treated Specialist Miller for a dislocated shoulder, Ensign Sloane for a broken leg and Lieutenant Rozalkis for cranial trauma. I informed them of the situation on Peerless and warned them that if they were captured they would likely be killed. Then I returned to the ship."

"I did. They came to the Peerless. I'm…" Gosling's eyes skirt briefly to Drusilla herself, "Still not sure why, precisely. I was endeavoring to gain permission to go out again and bring a course of antibiotics for Ensign Sloane, when they showed up and were taken prisoner. Fortunately I was able to convince one of the more… feared of the inmates to conduct most of them safely to sickbay. Lieutenant Rozalkis was… taken." Now -there's- an uncomfortably stated half-euphemism for what happens to attractive young women who crash in the middle of a penal colony. The Doctor clears her throat. "May I have some water?"

Shem takes a deep breath. He stands and walks toward the sideboard.

Drusilla looked up to Gosling. "Of course." she said as Shem proceeded to address the witness' request. "Would you care to take a brief break as you refresh or continue, Dr. Gosling?"

Gosling's eyes shift swiftly to Shem, though her hands don't leave the table, some paranoia in her eyes as she watches him go. Too long among prisoners. "A brief respite would be welcome, Captain, if you're willing to grant it. Otherwise I'm willing to continue."

Pitcher touches glass and the water is poured. The lieutenant returns and puts it down next to Gosling. No ice, just flat water. Nothing fancy. He nods slightly, almost imperceptibly, at her, before he moves to his own side of the table.

"Let the record show that it is," Drusilla looked at the clock, "2245 hours. We shall recess for ten minutes." Drusilla said. As Shem was only beginning his return to his seat, Drusilla took the initiative of leaning over to stop the recording.

Gosling takes a tentative sip of the water, then a longer one, then rests an arm on the table and puts her head down on it, still gripping the water glass with her other hand. Ten minute nap.

Drusilla spent her time going over her notes, cross referencing them with material in the manila folder. Periodically she cast her gaze upward to watch the clock as it made it's progression to the appointed time. Upon that eventuality Drusilla leaned to Shem and said quietly, "It's time." Upon waiting for him to resume recording the session, continued to say for the benefit of the room. "As of this moment we resume hearing, docket 77384. Present is the witness Doctor Etakkana Gosling, Marine Lieutenant Jang Shem and Captain Drusilla Oliveira, presiding." Noting that said witness seemed to be napping, she looked up to one of the marine guards. "Private, if you would kindly wake the doctor."

The marine guard takes a few steps forward and pats Gosling's shoulder with a gloved hand. Shem clicks the recorder on and continues his taciturn silence.

Gosling rises quite suddenly from what otherwise seemed a deep and abiding slumber. "I'm awake," she informs everybody, her face momentarily blearily somber before she clears her throat and resumes her usual cold, emotionless stare, finishing the glass of water before she sets down the glass and sets her hands down on the table in front of her once more. She takes a deep breath. Feeling nothing.

Drusilla looked to Gosling as she returned her documents to the manila folder and placed her tablet back into writing position. Her face was expressionless, her voice bearing the same monotone she used before committees of the Colonial legislature back on Caprica. The woman seemed almost an automaton, going through the motions of the hearing, saying the right words here, the appropriate gesture there, overseeing the decorum of this bland judicial ceremony. "On day 119 of contemporary reckoning you met with Ensign Ramiro of Battlestar Genesis." Drusilla said. "Could you please describe this event and explain to the panel the conversation you engaged in with Ensign Ramiro."

Gosling considers the question for a long moment. Perhaps still waking up as much mentally as she looks to have physically. "I was in Sickbay with Kay and the Genesis pilots when we heard shouting from outside asking for someone to come out and negotiate. Kay instructed me to go outside and give his demands. That was when I met Ensign Ramiro. I told him the demands and returned inside. However, once I got back inside, the pilots had overcome Kay with the help of one of the convicts. I knew that if word got out to the deck crew — that's what we called those of the convicts who inhabited the deck area — that Kay was dead, all hell would break loose. He was the only one they listened to. The only one they respected. For the rest it was simply a matter of might makes right, as far as I could tell. I told the pilots to stay in sickbay and keep it locked except to me. I went back outside and found Ensign Ramiro about to board the ship with his marines. I knew that the Deck Crew were well armed, and a good number of them not unskilled with weapons. I knew that if the marines entered the ship there would be a great mess. So I offered to get rid of the deck crew in a way that would save the Marines the trouble of getting killed. I explained to Ensign Ramiro that I would poison the latest batches of drugs before I sent them out to be distributed. He accepted my proposal. He did ask me if it would be possible to put them to sleep, but I told him it was impractical."

"Ahh, yes, I have a question regarding your development of these drugs, Doctor, in follow up of your prior statement." Drusilla stated, a finger upon a secton of her notes. "You previsously offered the panel an estimate of fifty or sixty percentile in the probable population of your patients who were chronic substance abusers. Would you say that your manufacturing capabilities of recreational drugs was enough to sustain 450 to 540 individuals or lower?" The lady lawyer looked to her notes momentarily and then continued in asking another question. "And of the prison population, approximately how many would you classify as 'deck crew', to use your terminology? Did you share this information with Ensign Ramiro during your consultation?" She fired off the questions, one after another.

"Not indefinitely, certainly," Gosling replies to the former question. "Fortunately, none of them were currently addicted when I began giving them the substances. I suspect that most of the convicts for whom I ended up making drugs simply wanted them either a) to escape the fact that they were trapped on that pit, or b) to not be shown up in front of the other convicts. I'd say over ninety percent of the convicts on Peerless had something from me at least once. Most of them only once or twice. For all that it seemed like an eternity we'd only been down there… a week or two. Not long enough for them to develop a serious addiction, but long enough to allow them to trust me to deliver an enjoyable product." She clears her throat at that. "I would have said that the bulk of them were, but I didn't know them as well as I might have. Sully, the one who helped take down Kay, talked to some of the more sober-minded of them, and got together a group who agreed to hand over the ship to the military. They were warned not to take the drugs. I sent them out to the rest. I didn't go into those details with the Ensign, no. I believed that with Kay not there to take the reins, time was of the utmost essence."

Drusilla nodded her head affirmatively as she took in the data. She lifted the top page from her tablet and set it aside, continuing to affix fresh markings upon the clean page. "Individuals have purported that you continued to provide laced pharmaceuticals to the population after the Peerless had been returned to Colonial control." Drusilla said neutrally, with no more emphasis than she would lend to her grocery list. "Do you wish to introduce to the record of this hearing a response to such allegations or posit any supposition as to why they may have been made?"

"I don't see how I could have," Doctor Gosling replies. "After the Peerless was returned to Colonial control I was first kept under guard in my office in sickbay and then transferred to the brig here," she points out, then, for the recorder, "No. I did not continue to produce poisoned pharmacauticals after Peerless had been returned to Colonial control."

Shem keeps his expression close to the cuff, but his eyes flick to the right, toward a bulkhead.

"Thank you." Drusilla said. She glanced to Shem, noting his uncharacteristic aversion. Taking her hand over the recorder, she leaned over to whisper to the lieutenant, "I will be wrapping this up soon. Are there any additional lines of inquiry you wish to pursue before then?"

"Absolutely, sir," Shem mumbles back. He doesn't glance at Gosling.

"You're welcome," Gosling replies.

The lady lawyer removed her hand from the recorder and returned her posture to its straightened position. "I yield to Lieutenant Shem such time as he may consume to make additional inquiries of the witness." she announced. Looking to Shem, she nodded her head in deference. "Lieutenant."

Shem nods to Drusilla. He swivels his head forward to Gosling. The lieutenant's voice is straightforward. "Doc, when Ensign Ramiro accepted your proposal, as you say, did he tell you anything else besides how he wanted to only make them sleepy?"

"When I explained to him that that was impractical, and that time was of the essence, and pointed out to him that he only meant to kill them, anyway, since he was coming in fully armed into an area where they would certainly be attacked, he agreed that killing them my way was more practical than attempting to kill them his way and dying in the process," Gosling relates, then tries to think of anything else he might have said, pausing in thought. "Oh. He asked me whether I might be able to take out some sort of command structure. I told him that the only command structure in place was already taken out, and that it wouldn't stop the deck crew from defending their booze and their slaves, each man for himself."

Just because Drusilla was no longer the one asking the questions, it didn't lessen her interest in the proceedings. The woman continued to make markings upon her tablet, writing down notes, and little memoranda. Or, then again, perhaps she was just doodling. Regardless, her pen swiveled with only the occasional pause as Gosling testified.

"Did Ensign Ramiro tell you to protect innocent life as a condition of accepting your proposal?" Shem asks.

Gosling thinks. Hard. "I don't believe so? He—" she pauses, brows furrowing. "You'll have to pardon me, it was a long and taxing day. I don't believe he did. But all the same, I don't believe that any innocents were killed. I don't know for certain, as I haven't had a chance to look through the bodies. I can't say for certain that none of the Peerless crew who were enslaved to the convicts were taking the drugs I was sending out. I didn't have access to them in order to warn them not to take them."

Shem asks, smoothly, "Did you advise Ensign Ramiro of the number of people you would have to kill?" The questioning is taking a hard line.

Drusilla leaned back in her chair. She raised her hands and spread her fingers, touching tip to tip in a pyramid before her as her grey eyes surveyed where the other woman was sitting. She didn't express any change of emotion with regard to Shem's choice of questions or his manner of address. Indeed, she remained stoicly placid in demeanour, curiousity the only expression to bubble up from those fair features.

"No. No, I don't believe I did mention a number. At the time I thought that it would be a great deal more than it actually was, in fact. I made it clear to him that I intended to make it so that he could take the vessel with his eighteen men," Gosling finally sums up. "In my mind, that meant a few dozen, perhaps, still fighting. But I don't know how many armed men the Ensign thought his troop could subdue."

Shem asks, "How did you make it clear to the ensign?"

"I told him that once I was finished I would give him the all-clear to come inside," Gosling elucidates.

"Did you tell the ensign that you thought the Marine unit would be able to handle only a few dozen?" Shem asks.

"I never did, though," Gosling realizes with a frown. "I locked myself in sickbay in case anyone survived long enough to realize what was happening and come for revenge. No. No I didn't."

Shem leans forward slightly. "Did you tell the ensign, then, that you would kill over two-thirds of the population?"

"No. No, I didn't," Gosling repeats herself.

"Did the ensign, at any point, tell you that his marines would not be able to handle six hundred?" Shem asks, immediately after Gosling answers no.

"No, he didn't," Gosling answers steadily.

Drusilla looked passive upon the exchange as it heated up. She looked upon Gosling, trying to discern how well the woman was taking the hard hitting questions, determining whether she should intervene or allow Shem's question to continue unabated. For the time being, the lady lawyer let her marine colleague the full bredth of his privileges.

"Did you have any regrets about the deaths of these men and women?" Shem asks, intensely.

Gosling doesn't seem to be that perturbed by the questions, though the last one makes her think for a moment. "No, not particularly," she finally replies.

(OOC Note: RL intermission as the players paused to resume play the following evening)

Shem asks, "Do you think that this information that you withheld could've been important?"

"Which information? That I believed I would need to take out most of the deck crew?" Gosling asks.

Drusilla looked from Gosling to Shem as the lieutenant found himself the subject of a question of clarification. She continued to remain silent, carefully studying the dynamics of the scene as it played out. Having Shem play the hard liner as she performed the busy bureaucrat made a good blend and thussofar the Doctor did not seem to chafe under the assault of the pointed line of inquiriy.

"Yes," Shem replies.

Gosling shakes her head. "No. If I had stated a number, the Ensign would have hemmed and hawwed over it and raked his conscience until he finally either understood that I was right and gave his consent or tried to do it his way and got himself and his marines killed. He had no idea what those men were capable of doing. I did. Even if you had taken them prisoner, none of them ought to have ever been released into human society again. I know that none of the Peerless crew would ever rest easy knowing they were in the same fleet with that lot. Not after what they did to them."

Shem looks across the table at Gosling. He lets a few seconds pause. "I'm going to remind you what you said earlier, doc. You're not qualified to judge what our marines could or could not accomplish." He takes a deep breath. "Let me ask you, you believing that these people should never be allowed to rejoin the fleet, do you think that influenced your decision to cast such a wide net with your poison?"

Drusilla was not commonly taken by surprise. She had seen a lot of things in her years as a Navy lawyer, some things she was not supposed to have, even a few things a human being had no right to see. But when Gosling near abouts admitted to murdering 600 human being, and even offered a rationale as to her motive, Drusilla felt almost as if she were bathed in a healing light. Her heart bounced up into her throat, not out of anxiety but in a moment of bliss. That right there was all the case she required against the woman if it came to prosecution. If. There were still some variables dangling and a few other details that she wanted to satisfy for herself. The woman cocked her head to the side, only half listening as Shem intoned his next question. What an interesting day this had turned out to be, after all.

"Yes," Gosling replies simply. "That and becoming all too familiar with the effects three days' worth of gang rape has on a young Crewman's anus. After about three days evidently even the 'tight hole' gets a little slack, you see, and they move on to less abused pastures." She speaks calmly, coldly, clinically, despite her use of some vulgar vernacular around which the quotation marks are quite audible.

Shem presents a unaffected reaction. "Doc, nobody here is denying that some bad things happened. You're saying every single person that was poisoned was a rapist?"

"I couldn't say as to their sexual exploits, but over two thirds of our crew were killed in one way or another, and I know none of the women died peaceably— they were parcelled out by Kay himself— and I doubt many of the men did, either," Gosling replies. "Whether or not they were rapists is beyond the point. They were animals. Whoever put them on that rock made animals of them, caring only for themselves and their base needs and looking powerful enough that nobody else tries to kill them. They were dangerous animals, and, in my opinion, best put down. They never would have given up that ship, their food, their smokes, their women. The ones who -were- willing to give those things up and live like people? Lived. The ones who wouldn't? Died."

"You personally knew all of the individuals you killed, doc?" Shem asks, goadingly.

The present came back to sweep Drusilla off her feet; a metaphorical wave of cool water watches over her body as goosebumps tickled her arms. Ahh, yes, the hearing. Drusilla moved her hand to cover the microphone and once more she leaned to Shem to whisper in conference. "We have enough, Lieuteannt, to raise charges and to clear Ensign Ramiro of suspicion." she told him firmly. "Where are you going with this?"

"No. Not personally. But they were given a chance to surrender," Gosling adds. "I didn't begrudge them that. More of them took us up on it than I thought would."

Shem shakes his head slightly at Gosling. He lowers his voice and looks at Drusilla. "She's frakked up in the head, sir, I'm trying to get her to figure it out."

Drusilla thought for a moment. After sighing, she said, "That would appear to be the case, but she's the last person who would admit to it. If we need evidence I will have her scheduled for a psychological examination." She was not about to stop his technique, not yet at any rate while Gosling seemed perfectly willing to play ball. "Tread carefully." Releasing her hand from the microphone, she said to Gosling, "Please forgive the interruption, Doctor."

"Of course," Gosling replies.

Shem exhales and relaces his fingers. He recovers his original tone. "Doc, do you think that you were hasty in what you did? Do you think you overreacted?"

"No," Gosling replies simply and with great patience.

"Do you think you've committed a crime?" Shem asks.

Gosling considers the question for a long while. "I feel as though I must have," she narrows her eyes briefly in thought. "But I feel less of a prisoner in your brig than I did on that vessel with those men," she goes on. "And in any event, I hardly care," she adds, looking to the empty water glass. "I'm supposed to care, I realize that. I'm a doctor, this isn't what I do. I'm supposed to feel bad. To feel guilt. But I don't. I don't feel anything. I don't feel anything anymore."

Shem reaches forward and covers up the microphone. He advises Drusilla, in a low voice. "She's either faking or she needs to see a shrink, sir. That's all the questions I have for her."

Drusilla nodded her head in affirmation to Shem, taking in his assessment. "Possibly both." was her response. When Shem released his hand from the microphone upon the conclusion of the side converence, Drusilla stated to the room, "Let the record show that Lieutenant Shem yields the remainder of his time to Captain Oliveira." To Gosling, she continued the inquiry where the marine left off. "Doctor Gosling, please give me your opinion of Ensign Ramiro's conduct during the incident. Would you describe him as an exemplary specimen of a Colonial Officer given the circumstances of the situation? Acting appropriately to best advantage of the Articles of Colonization?"

"I don't think he quite had his head on straight leading eighteen men onto a deck with several hundred armed convicts on it," Gosling replies, "But I don't know what sort of grand strategy he was planning there, as you've pointed out, so I don't suppose you'd find me fit to judge."

Drusilla chuckled softly, effecting a smile for the benefit of the others. "Then would it be safe to say that your only qualm with regard to his conduct would be his overabundance of bravery?"

"Yes; otherwise he was quite professional," Gosling adds. "Kept his people in check, though you could tell they had itchy whatsit-fingers." She lifts a hand, finally, from the table, if only to make some triggery motions with her forefinger in order to show what she means. "I had a pen. I had a pen when I was taken into custody. May I please have the pen returned to me? It has sentimental value and I don't like to be without it."

Drusilla cast a look to Shem, mainly to see what was registering on his face than anything else. Whatever was to do with this pen, she certainly wasn't going to deal with it now. "The matter of your personal effects will be addressed at the appropriate time subsequent to this hearing. Would you to be provided with writing materials now, Doctor?"

Shem's expression is dry.

Gosling looks vaguely frustrated. "It's not about writing something," she states, her voice going slightly on edge before she pauses, takes a breath and controls herself. "My apologies. I'm quite tired, now. Was there anything else you required?" she asks.

"Of course, doctor." Drusilla stated, "We appreciate the time you are taking to answer our inquiry. Now a question of a different vein. A hypothetical, if you will." Drusilla was shuffling a page, busying herself for a disinterested moment before she raised her head to bear her dull grey eyes into Gosling's own. The woman did not blink as she relayed her scenario, taking in all of the visual cues the other's demeanour had to offer as Gosling focused upon the recording device. "You're in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden you look down and see a tortoise. It's crawling toward you. You reach down and you flip the tortoise over on its back. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can't. Not without your help. But you're not helping. Why is that?"

For a moment, a 'what the hell' look crosses the lieutenant's face before it's pushed away into emptiness. He glances sidelong at Drusilla and eventually fixes his eyes on the desk.

And for just a moment, Gosling's expression matches Shem's. Then, a flash of anger, quickly stifled. "You tell me, you're the one narrating," she asks, a bit of spite still lurking in her voice.

The lady lawyer did not respond but instead made a note upon her tablet. Once completed, she looked back up to the witness and said formally, "Doctor Gosling, this panel thanks you for your testimony. As of this moment investigative hearing docket 77384 is adjourned." Drusilla did not have a gavel. If she had, she would have been sorely tempted to use it, just as she was now tempted to rap her knuckles against the surface of the table in improvisation. No such ceremony was required, though, for this occasion. "You are free to return to your quarters, Doctor." she said to Gosling, though the message was really meant for the two guards flanking her. Turning her attention to Shem, she added, "Lieutenant, you may cease the record."

Shem clears his throat and clicks the recorder off. "Marines," he says, bringing the guards to action.

Fade to Black.

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