PHD #321: EVENT - Call No Man Happy Till He is Dead
Call No Man Happy Till He is Dead
Summary: Admiral Abbot is executed.
Date: 13 Jan 2042 AE
Related Logs: All logs related to the trial of RADM Abbot.
Madilyn Richards Ryker Samuel Pony Pewter Abbot NPC Polaris 
High Orbit — Reza — Bey System
The wreckage of Parnassus Anchorage.
Post-Holocaust Day: #321

If nothing else, the military is at least punctual.

At precisely 2000 hours, six over-strength security teams initiate a security lockdown of the Midship Stairwell and the Port Hangar, redirecting all foot traffic to less vital sections of the ship. A seventh guards Colonel Andrus Pewter and Major Madilyn Willows-Cavanaugh as they make their way to a specially-prepared Raptor waiting on the Cerberus' flight elevator. Unlike their escorts, these two are dressed to the nines tonight, their grey uniforms seeming specially tailored for the severity of this occasion: for it's a uniform also worn by the man — man? — at the center of the Marines' formation, on whose collar gleams the brilliant brass chevrons of a rear admiral in chains.

"Pony here. All systems green," their pilot reports from his harness. "Dino, confirm go for launch."

"Five by five, Pony." This from the ECO, sitting in the co-pilot's chair, in whose slender hands there might be visible just the slightest of tremors. "Dino confirms Provider-Two-Two-Eight is go for launch."

And then into the Raptor this little convoy goes: first the brass, then the four Marines, and finally the prisoner, who takes one last look around the hangar deck before bowing his head to allow the hatch to close.

"Take us in," Pewter orders curtly. And with a roar of engines the Raptor hums to life, the view from her cockpit changing from gunmetal grey to flashing white to the blasted black of space. The ice planet Reza soon looms like a cancerous blue boil to the right of the canopy, and before it stretches a vast field of debris that was once a Colonial Anchorage in full bloom of health.

How times change.

Present as one of those Marines, Samuel studies the prisoner carefully for now, keeping silent for the moment. Waiting for the time when this thing will be happening. Not every day one gets to be a part of something like this.

Well, this is certainly something Ryker didn't expect to be doing anytime soon. However, he got his orders and so, here he is. He is wearing his full MP uniform, but no gun in this case. Those were handed over before the Raptor departed Cerberus. Mostly, he just looks ahead with a stone style expression; but soon, his gaze moves slowly over the Officers and finally over Abbott. After this, he just tilts his head from side to side and takes a deep breath.

Richards's also present, stoic and quiet. This still new to him he can't help but to feel a knot of discomfort in his belly, a tension that nervousness leaves to linger.

For the second time aboard Cerberus, Madilyn is part of something somber and serious. In silence, she follows the MP detail with Pewter, making only the obligatory yes or no along the way. Inside the Raptor, she sits and stares into space, watching as the planet grows, as the Raptor drifts out into the wreckage and debris, soon to be plus one.

"Entering the irradiated area now, Dino. Stay sharp." Captain Dhaval's voice — normally so twitchy — has turned icy cold under strain, each syllable sounding so brittle his words might well shatter under strain. But it's with expert precision that he guides the bulky Raptor past a pair of spinning hangar doors into the field of death beyond: acres upon acres of blast-blackened metal, interspersed here and there by the flash of shattered glass glowing like a star's corona around the wreckage of the station.

Abbot, for his part, sits unmoving in his seat, his, cool blue eyes staring straight ahead — past Pewter, past Madilyn, past the Marines, past even the pilots — at the glowing planet beyond. Replaying what happened the last time the ship came this way, perhaps. His ship, back then, and his for a few months after, until the retrieval of a certain video from Leonis — a mission devised and executed on his orders, no less. And he smiles: in appreciation of whatever cosmic irony now leads him here, to this place, where the whole thing began.

"Rad-meter's pinging hard." Dino's trembling hands freeze over her instruments. "There. Bearing six-oh-niner carom four-two-five. ETA forty-five seconds at current speed." The woman doesn't dare look back. "Should be a high enough concentration to forestall — res — uh. You know, sir."

Pewter doesn't immediately respond. His silence Pony takes as permission to go, and it'll take a five full seconds of flight before he opens his mouth. "Major Willows-Cavanaugh," he says, tone flat. "Prepare your men."

Samuel remains quiet as he looks around a bit thoughtfully. Glancing around at the others present for a little while, then he looks up a bit more carefully as he hears Pewter's words.

Clearing his throat, Dick looks at the pilot and then the COs, his expression twitching when Pewter gives the go-ahead to get things going. Looking at the Major directly, then, he nods once. Not a pleasant thing to have to prepare for by any measure, a necessary 'evil' without a doubt, but it's one he has gotten himself ready for, his psyche tucked safely away for as long as it takes to carry this out.

Ryker remains in silence, looking right ahead. He hears Pewter's orders and then he moves his gaze to look at the Marine CO. He takes a deep breath and says nothing, not until spoken to of course and just in case he needs to. His attention drifts towards Abbot and he catches that smile. His expression doesn't even change.

There's only a nod on her part. The weapons, heretofore kept locked in an arms crate, are finally distributed using a small key that only the Marine major has. Specifically loaded and prepared for this matter, the pistols are all of identical make, Picon Five-seveNs. No thought is given to the magainzes, which are already loaded, to ensure that nobody knows which is the magazine with the blank. Each safetied pistol is handed to an MP, gripping at the barrel so they can take the handle.

Moving slowly, deliberately, Colonel Pewter withdraws a piece of paper from the pocket of his trousers and adjusts the fit of his glasses on the bridge of his nose. As the Major distributes the weapons, he pronounces the verdict. "A general court — " he begins, his deep voice hoarser than normal. That's easily fixed by a quick and booming cough that sounds ever so much like a gunshot in this claustrophobic environment. "A general court-martial having been convened," he says when he's done, "to adjudicate the charge of treason against Rear Admiral Michael Abbot, and the Members of the court-martial having unanimously found the accused guilty of the charge and also having unanimously voted to impose the sentence of death — "

Brown eyes — clear of all emotion; gods only know how long it took him to practice that — flick for the first time toward the sharp planes of the admiral's face. "And," he continues, "the convening authority Colonel Andrus Pewter having approved the sentence — "

Abbot's face twitches, though he says nothing.

"And," Pewter plows on, "in light of the unavailability of the person prescribed by statute, having by necessity signed the death warrant authorizing sentence to be carried out — it is hereby ordered that Rear Admiral Michael Abbot shall be executed in a manner prescribed by Colonial Fleet regulations, sentence to be carried out forthwith."

Breathing rather heavily, Pewter folds the paper in half and hands it to Madilyn. Then, raising his right hand to the sky — "I," he intones, thoughts veiled by the language of ceremony. "I, Colonel Andrus Pewter, do verify the authenticity of this verdict before these here witnesses and the Lords of Kobol above." He finishes right as, with a soft tap on the Raptor's RCS points, Pony brings the bird to a halt. Reza glowers cold and forbidding through a lattice of steel, polar auroras flickering red and green and turquoise over storming clouds of white. "If you please, Major."

The paper is taken up by Madilyn, who unfolds it long enough to read what was just said, to verify the signatures in ink, to verify the ship's seal and the other markings that validate the authenticity of such a printed order. "I…" she opens her mouth to start, but nothing comes out at first. A moment is taken to swallow and take a breath, before she begins again. "I, Major Madilyn Willows-Cavanaugh, additionally verify the authenticity of this verdict before these witnesses and the Lords of Kobol above." The paper is folded once more, and returned to the Colonel.

Samuel takes the pistol as it's handed over, waiting for the order to aim and fire now. Expression as expressionless as he can make it.

Ryker takes the Five-seveN offered to him. He lowers his gaze to take a look at it and verifies that the safe is on. The MP remains in silence while both Pewter and Madilyn speak, and on this opportunity, he doesn't look at Abbot. Index finger slides over the trigger but doesn't touch it yet, it's more as if he is getting ready to do what he has to do.

The pistol is looked at and then Richard nods, it left alone outside of it being claimed. As Colonel and Major speak he looks away, his expression hidden from the others.

"Let it be noted for the record that Major Madilyn Willows-Cavanaugh has verified the authenticity of this verdict." Pewter speaks in the low rumble of a thundercloud about to burst. "Admiral Abbot. Do you have any last words?" It's the second time he's been presented with the opportunity to say 'y'all' and the second time he's demurred. Evidently, even the colonel is feeling a weight upon his shoulders.

"O," murmurs Abbot, his beneficent smile eerie beneath the Raptor's dim light. Jagged silhouettes dance across his angular face as he speaks: shadow puppets on this canvas of flesh. It sounds like he's saying 'No,' and Pewter begins to turn away, until — "O," he murmurs again, so quietly that his audience must strain to hear him. "O the sufferings, the sufferings of my city utterly destroyed!" Balled fists relax in his handcuffs, knotted fingers loosening to the gentle clink of metal. "Alas the sacrifices my father offered, the many pasturing cattle slain to save its towers! Yet they provided no remedy to save the city from suffering even as it has — and I — " The man pauses as — back straight, posture perfect — he surveys those men and women arrayed before him, gaze resting on each as if to commit all their faces to memory. " — My soul on fire — "

A pregnant pause; he doesn't continue. A second passes — then two — ten — until, at last, someone finishes the verse: "Must soon fall to the ground." But it's not Abbot but Pewter who speaks, completing the passage in a furious growl, and as he snaps to attention at his seat — the Raptor's not big enough for him to stand — those Marines with attentive eyes might see his right hand jerk up like he's about to salute. "Major," he snaps.

"Sir," she replies with equal crispness. The prisoner, brought in last so as to be at the back of the Raptor, is at the end of a very short gallery. Crowding up as far as she can with Pewter towards the front, she stands, hunched and waiting. "Place the blind fold on the prisoner, and take your place on the line," Madilyn says, forcefully as she can at barely above a whisper. When done, the next instruction is for all Marines to clear arms. "Take your aim," is the next solemn instruction. The last is simple, and she turns away after she says it. "Fire."

Samuel readies the pistol for firing as he hears the orders. Taking carefully aim as that order is given, he waits for the last order, before the finger on the trigger makes the movement neccessary to fire the weapon. Expression a bit stony.

Ryker looks at Madilyn now and nods firmly, in silence. He puts the gun in the holster and secures it, taking a step forward towards Abbot after that. He looks at the man directly in the eyes but says nothing, he just takes the blindfold and makes sure to cover Abbot's eyes with it, leaving the Rear Admiral in visual darkness. He takes a step back now and clears his throat a little bit. He waits for the orders, takes the gun from the holster, removes the safety and takes perfect aim at Abbot's chest. And now, the order comes. BLAM!

Sergeant Richards barely flinches when he does as ordered, his pistol fired almost in unison with those of the others. A flare of his nostrils is given as the strong scent of gun powder hits it, the only reaction from the MP to be had. Whatever his feelings are on this subject is left up for guess.

They hit.

Of course they hit.

There's a flash of blinding light, an explosion of blood — and then the deed is done.

"Close his eyes," orders Pewter curtly, his eyes watering beneath his glasses — it's the sting of sulfur and smoke, no doubt. The gunshots, at least, still echo in his ears, for when he speaks he does so far louder than strictly necessary. "Pony, inform Cerberus Tactical that the operation has been carried out. Prepare the crematorium for our arrival. You are clear for RTB." And then, at last, with fury he tries and fails to contain: "Someone close his godsdamned eyes!"

Even though she's looking away, there's still a noticable flinch when it happens. The sound leaves ears ringing for minutes after. Manuvering in a crouched position, Madilyn leans over the body and removes the blindfold, pressing the eyelids down with thumb and index finger, remaining silent for a moment while letting her lips move to say something to herself. Deed done, a few heavy breaths, then she turns to round up the pistols.

Ryker sees everything, he sees the explosion of blood, he sees the man falling. Yeah, it's not a pretty sight. He takes a deep breath and closes his eyes for a few seconds. When he opens them he finds Madilyn dealing with Pewter's request. He looks down at the gun and puts the safe one. Holding it by the barrel, he offers it back to the Marine CO when she approaches to collect them. Whatever prayers on his side, if any, were done silently. This is a day he'll remember forever.

The ride home is noticeably bumpier. Pony has to fight his Raptor tooth and nail to get her turned around, though his usually-chatty ECO says nothing at all, not even when Captain Dhaval almost slams into an I-beam he doesn't see until a second before impact. Pewter is slammed into the safety harness and then is slammed right back into his rigid seat — but no reprimand comes. Instead, all that's audible over the hum of the Raptor's engines is the sound of tearing paper: the execution order, which with painstaking care Pewter shreds in his wide and brutal hands.

The king is dead. Long live the king.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License