Court Martial Transcript

Prosecution Witness 1: Konieczko

Referenced evidence:

CMDR Harris Harris stands again. "The prosecution calls Captain Dmitri Konieczko to the stand."

CAPT Konieczko Konieczko positions nicely in the stand, glances once at the defense before looking to the prosecution.

Judge Aloran "Captain Dmitri Konieczko, do you swear that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”

VADM Ashkeph Ashkeph sets her elbows on the table and pensively broods over her laced fingers, eyeing Konie at the stand.

CAPT Konieczko “I do, your honor.”

Judge Aloran Esca nods to Harris with permission to proceed.

CMDR Harris The commander approaches the stand. “Captain Konieczko. Your command is the USS Sentinel, is that correct?”

CAPT Konieczko Konieczko nods, “That is correct.”

CMDR Harris Harris nods. “But at the time of the events in question - that is, on or about Stardate --”

CAPT Konieczko “Stardate 93510.” He fills in. “I had been the Captain of the USS Vanguard, as well as the 38th fleet’s Taurus Squadron.”

CMDR Harris Harris nods again. “Thank you. And it was in that capacity that Mz… pardon me, Vice Admiral Ashkeph…”

LT Stray Stray frowns at the fake slip-up.

CMDR Harris Harris directs a glance at the defendant, then resumes. “… ordered you to take on ‘additional cargo’, is that correct?”

CAPT Konieczko “That is correct.”

CMDR Harris “And did she make any statement or implication as to the nature of this cargo?”

CAPT Konieczko “Non-descript equipment bound for the Waydis system, as I recall. My involvement was to deliver it following our mission at Echomet.”

CMDR Harris “And what was your understanding, at the time, of the nature of that mission?”

CAPT Konieczko “The Echomet mission?”

CMDR Harris “Yes, sir.”

CAPT Konieczko “Our mission at Echomet was to meet with the Echometa World Guard – the system security force and hand over a group of Irreo children that the 38th fleet had discovered and taken guardianship in the Tower Keep system weeks prior.”

CMDR Harris “Is it fair to say that… tensions were high at that time? That you and the other ships assigned to the mission were on alert?”

LT Stray “Objection, relevance.”

CAPT Konieczko Konieczko looks to Esca.

Judge Aloran “Commander Harris, is the alert level of those ships relevant to this line of questioning?”

CMDR Harris Harris waves it off. “Just trying to establish context.” He addresses Konieczko again. “The Vice Admiral left the bridge as you approached the system, is that correct?”

CAPT Konieczko Konieczko nods. “To be discovered after the fact, that is correct.”

CMDR Harris “Do you recall if she gave a reason for doing so?”

CAPT Konieczko “As I stated this was discovered after the fact. So had there been a reason it was not observed as focus on the bridge was not directed to those present outside of it’s immediate operational need.”

CMDR Harris Harris hmms and nods, turning away from Konie for the moment. “Computer. Play bridge flight recorder logs for USS Vanguard, time index…” he reads off the padd again. “20:32:44.”

The computer plays a brief snippet of Admiral Ashkeph stating she was leaving the bridge to contact the Federation Diplomatic Corps

CMDR Harris Harris narrates for the tribunal. “The Vice Admiral claimed she was going to contact the FDC. But she didn’t. Instead, she used the terminal there to enter her command codes, and then put her plan into motion.”

LT Stray “Does prosecution have a question, your honor?”

Judge Aloran Esca looks to prosecution.

CMDR Harris “You say you learned of all of this later, Captain? After the fact?”

CAPT Konieczko “From my recollection of the events that took place years ago, Vice Admiral Ashkeph had been present on the bridge of the Vanguard as we approached Echomet. Upon being hailed by the World Guard the Vice Admiral, who said had stated she would-- engaged in diplomatic measures. Quickly thereafter however, we were much more focused on the perceived Undine threat.”

CMDR Harris Harris nods. “A threat that was, actually, pure fiction. A simulation, as you eventually discovered. Yes?”

CAPT Konieczko Konieczko nods. “Later to be discovered. Correct, a simulation.”

CMDR Harris “A simulation which was loaded into Vanguard’s systems, and then relayed to the other ships in your task force, by the Vice Admiral.” Harris looks to Konieczko for confirmation.

CAPT Konieczko Konieczko nods, “That is correct.”

CMDR Harris “Something which she had all ready to go. But no one on Vanguard knew that, because - as the logs we have show - she disabled automatic notifications that would have warned Vanguard’s crew. And in so doing, exposed everyone on those ships to actual risk, isn’t that true, Captain?”

LT Stray Stray stands, finally, “Objection, counsel is testifying.”

CMDR Harris Harris had worked himself in his questioning, but now he lets out a sigh and steps back from the stand.

Judge Aloran “Sustained. Commander, limit your commentary, please.”

LT Stray Stray reseats himself.

CMDR Harris “Yes, your Honor. Captain, if Vanguard had been attacked, or had some other emergency, while this simulation was running, would your crew have been able to respond?”

CAPT Konieczko Konieczko nods. “In a limited capacity as our focus would have been split between the simulated Undine vessels, and whatever third party mystery assailant, but yes.”

CMDR Harris Harris frowns, but nods again. “When did you realize it was only a simulation?”

CAPT Konieczko “After the Vice Admiral had departed, after we had a breather after destroying the simulated vessels. I believe the Axiom had discovered it first.”

CMDR Harris “And was this before or after you were informed that your cargo had been transported to the surface of Echomet?”

CAPT Konieczko Konieczko lifts a hand, “It was around the same time.”

CMDR Harris Harris nods, smiling faintly for the first time. “Did you order that transport, Captain?”

CAPT Konieczko “I did not.”

CMDR Harris “Would you have?”

CAPT Konieczko Konieczko squints, perhaps dumbfounded. “Would I have ordered equipment bound for another system to be transported to Echomet? No.”

CMDR Harris “Let me reprhrase, then. You knew what you were carrying, but thought it was for someone else. Yes?”

CAPT Konieczko Konieczko shakes his head in the negative. “I was unaware of the contents I was transporting at the time. It would not make sense to transport the translators to Waydis at the time.”

CMDR Harris “If you had been told they were meant to be delivered to Echomet, would you have?”

Judge Aloran Esca holds up his hand. “Do not answer that, Captain.”

CAPT Konieczko Konieczko nods toward Esca.

CMDR Harris Harris raises an eyebrow, looking toward the judge.

CAPT Konieczko Konieczko mutters to himself. “Seems a bit speculative.”

Judge Aloran “Commander, you need to focus your line of questioning without the risk of the Captain incriminating himself by getting him to admit to an action that may have violated general order one.”

CMDR Harris Harris nods. “I apologize, Captain. I did not intend to impugn your character.”

LT Stray Stray stands, gesturing broadly at the prosecutor, “Your honor?”

CMDR Harris Harris paces in a small circle, his expression thoughtful, returning to Konieczko at the end. “It was understood, at the time, that giving such devices to the Irreo would be a violation of the Prime Directive?”

LT Stray “Obje–!”

Judge Aloran Esca holds up a hand again.

LT Stray Stray sits.

CMDR Harris Harris stops and looks to the judge again.

Judge Aloran “Commander, you may not impunge the character of anyone at this court martial. This is a matter of law only. I am adjourning this session until we’ve had a chance to clarify such issues. You will be able to continue with the Captain when we return, and Lieutenant Stray will have a chance to cross-examine.”

CAPT Konieczko Konieczko adopts his neutral admiral expression.

CMDR Harris Harris forces himself to smile and nod. “Yes, your Honor.”

Judge Aloran Esca bangs his gavel just to make it official.

Judge AloranEsca bangs his gavel. "This court is now in session. We will resume where we left off during our previous session. Of note, Captain Lyn will be joining remotely. Captain Konieczko, if you would please return to the stand, we will swear you in again and resume."

CAPT KonieczkoKonieczko moves to the witness stand.

Judge AloranEsca looks to Konieczko. “Do you solemnly affirm that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”

CAPT Konieczko“I do, your honor.”

Judge Aloran“Very well. Commander Harris, you may resume.”

CMDR HarrisHarris finishes reviewing his collection of padds and approaches the witness, again. “Thank you, Your Honor. Let’s go back a bit, Captain, with some simple, direct questions to refresh your memory and this tribunal’s. While the simulation was running, were normal ship functions disabled?”

CAPT Konieczko“Some perhaps? From recollection I would say some operations would be hindered but not impossible.”

CMDR HarrisHarris nods to that response. “Did a transport occur during this time?”

CAPT Konieczko“That is correct.”

CMDR Harris“What was transported, and to where?”

CAPT Konieczko“It was the Universal Translator Mk 2, transported to the Echomet surface.”

CMDR HarrisHarris nods again, his face giving nothing away. “Did this action violate any orders, standing or otherwise?”

CAPT Konieczko“Echomet was firmly against further development of the Irreo populace that these translators offered. I cannot recall their own laws on the matter, it does however violate General Order 1 regarding the normal development of another society.”

LT StrayStray stands, “Objection, your honor. Whether the Prime Directive was violated is what we are gathered here to determine, is it not?”

CMDR HarrisHarris nods gravely, and is about to say something else when Stray objects.

Judge Aloran“Overruled. Captain Konieczko’s answer is not an official ruling.”

LT StrayStray gives a worth-a-shot shrug and retakes his seat.

CMDR Harris“So in your opinion, Captain, did this action, personally undertaken by Vice Admiral Ashkeph, violate General Order 1?”

LT StrayStray stands again, “Objection. Assumes facts not in evidence. Whether these actions were personally undertaken by Admiral Ashkeph is not established.”

CMDR HarrisHarris raises an eyebrow at Stray.

Judge Aloran“Sustained.”

CMDR Harris“Allow me to enter those facts into evidence, then. Ship’s logs of the Vanguard, time index…” He reels off a number, apparently from memory. “Someone using the admiral’s command codes initiated the aforementioned transport to the surface, at this time.”

Judge Aloran“Very well, you may ask your question so long as it remains neutral in terms of who carried out the action.”

CMDR HarrisHarris squares his shoulders and asks one more time. “Captain Koniezcko, in your opinion, was the transport of these devices to the surface a violation of General Order 1?”

CAPT KonieczkoKonieczko gives pause before answering. “Had you asked me years ago I would have told you that the transport of the devices to the surface was a violation of the prime directive. However, met after the fact by facts and after having the taste of sudden betrayal washed from one’s mouth you can see the necessity for the elevation of the Irreo within the Echomet system. The Irreo were lesser in the eyes of the Echomet World Union. They are forced to lesser opportunities, the Echomet have the technology yet they refuse to use it to elevate the Irreo. The fact that they allow the discard trade to occur is in simplest words utterly disgusting. Someone gave the Irreo a voice, and I-” He holds his tongue.

CMDR HarrisHarris turns to the judge as Konie goes on. “Objection, your honor. Non-responsive.”

LT StrayStray folds his arms and looks downward, perhaps to hide his expression from the court.

Judge AloranEsca quirks his eyebrows at that. “Sustained. Yes or no, Captain Konieczko.”

CAPT Konieczko“No, your honor.”

Judge AloranEsca looks back to Harris.

CMDR HarrisHarris frowns at that answer, but nods once more. “Nothing further.” He steps back and returns to his table.

Judge Aloranlooks over to Stray. “Lieutenant Stray, would you like to cross-examine?”

CAPT Konieczkolooks to Stray.

LT StrayStray clears his throat, reaching across the table to pick up a PADD. “Yes, your honor.” He approaches the witness stand and sets the PADD down for Konie, “Captain, I have here a copy of a comm you sent to DS13’s Chief Engineer, titled ‘Work Order Transport’.” Could you summarize its content for the court?"

CAPT Konieczkolooks over the PADD. “This was a request to have equipment that had been manufactured transported to the USS Vanguard for transport.”

“For further transport to it’s destination.” he clarifies.

LT StrayStray nods, “In other words, you ordered the DS13 Chief Engineer to transfer the translation devices to your vessel?”

CAPT KonieczkoKonieczko looks over the work order again. “I cannot recall the contents, and I’m afraid this does not note.”

LT Stray“Hm.” He takes a step back. “Let’s move on to the events that took place over Echomet. Your deposition shortly after returning from the mission states that Admiral Ashkeph was on the bridge at the time the ships went into simulation mode. Is that correct?”

CAPT Konieczko“From what I recalled of the events years ago that is correct.”

LT Stray“Do you have any firsthand knowledge indicating that she is the one who activated the simulation?”

CAPT KonieczkoKonieczko shakes his head. “I do not.”

LT Stray“Right. So for a moment, let’s assume she did start the simulation, even if that’s not certain. Admiral Ashkeph was your Commanding Officer, at the time of the mission, correct?”

CAPT Konieczko“Admiral Ashkeph, as the Commanding Officer of the 38th fleet oversaw the grander picture of the diplomatic endeavor. I believe Captain Desimone of the USS Axiom had ship operational command.”

LT Stray“I see. As Commanding Officer of the 38th Fleet, was it within the Admiral’s authority to order a battle simulation?”

CAPT KonieczkoKonieczko tilts his head in consideration before righting it. “It is within her authority to run a training simulation, however she definitely needs to work on her timing.”

LT StrayStray purses his lips and inclines his head, as if conceding the point. “Captain, have you ever run an unscheduled battle drill aboard your vessel?”

CAPT KonieczkoKonieczko can’t help but smirk. “Not during a strained diplomatic meeting.”

LT StrayStray holds his hands up briefly, “Let’s continue. Did your ship, or any of the ships suffer any actual damage during the simulation? Any casualties? Injuries of any kind?”

CAPT Konieczko“Not reported.”

LT Stray“No harm done, then,” he comments, stepping back. “Let’s back up now. Reports indicate that you were present for several prior interactions with the World Guard, and the irreo. Could you please tell the court, briefly, what an irreo is?”

CMDR HarrisHarris watches the proceeding with hooded eyes, his face a mask of stone.

CAPT Konieczko“The Irreo, are Echometans that are born with a mutation rendering them mute. Aside from their inability to speak they are otherwise, healthy and as mentally capable as the rest of the Echometa population. This mutation can be detected during their egg phase which produces the discard trade. These citizens are unable to run for government, unable to stand in leadership positions and several other limitations put on them by the Echomet World Union.”

LT Stray“You were present when the Federation’s decision on Echomet’s application for membership was delivered to the World Union. Can you tell the court how they were classified by the Federation at the time?”

CMDR Harris“Objection, your honor. Relevance?”

LT Stray“The legal status of the Echomet at the time of the mission is quite relevant, your honor.”

“er, of the irreo, apologies.”

CAPT KonieczkoKonieczko looks to Esca.

Judge Aloran“Overruled. You may answer, Captain.”

CAPT KonieczkoKonieczko turns back to Stray. “As second class citizens, if that even. Echomet was conditionally accepted should they remove limitations of the Irreo and their caste based society.”

LT StrayStray mimes confusion for emphasis, “If the irreo were not represented by the World Union, Captain, what right did the World Union have to refuse a delivery on their behalf?”

CMDR HarrisObjection, your honor.”

LT Stray“Withdrawn. Captain Konieczko, were the translator devices harmful to the irreo in any way?”

CAPT Konieczkoseeks clarity, “Do you mean the use of them? As in health?”

LT Stray“Mhm.”

CAPT Konieczkoshakes his head. “Not to my knowledge.”

LT Stray“Great.” He pauses a moment, and then delivers another PADD to the witness stand. “Just … one more thing, Captain. I have here another message from you to the DS13 Chief Engineer. Isn’t it true that you were the one who originally instructed him to begin work on a technological solution to the-- quote, ‘irreo vocal problem’, which led to the development of the translators?”

CAPT KonieczkoKonieczko nods once. “That is correct. My desire was to have a solution in place that could be introduced later should diplomacy further.”

LT StrayStray returns to his table. “Thank you, sir. No further questions.”

CAPT KonieczkoKonieczko looks now to Esca.

Judge Aloran“Thank you, Captain Konieczko. This concludes your testimony.”

CAPT Konieczkonods once to Esca, and then to Minari before stepping down.

VADM AshkephAshkeph manages to give an acknowledging nod in return, expressionless.

Judge Aloran“Commander Harris, you may call your next witness.”