PHD #273: EVENT - Wages of Sin
Wages of Sin
Summary: The execution of saboteur John Borenstein
Date: 26 Nov 2041 AE
Related Logs: Borenstein logs
Borenstein Constin Madilyn Richards Samuel Sawyer Sofia 
Auxiliary Airlock
Small, metal, space on the other side of one wall
Post-Holocaust Day: #273

One of the auxiliary airlocks has been selected for the day's use, a pair of black clad marines standing guard outside. It is a small space, barely large enough for the single row of chairs which line one wall for the witnesses to sit, facing a single vacant chair set before the airlock. The choice of locations has dictated that the attendance to this incident will be small, with no more than a half dozen non-essential personnel present.

The wireless units in the room chirp with regular updates as the MP team makes its way from the SecHub to the designated location, escorting the prisoner. In short order, the hatchway opens and the guards admit the final seven players in this little drama: six enlisted marines and John Borenstein, dressed in an orange Deck jumpsuit, wrists and ankles cuffed and chained. The ranking marine among the six new arrivals, Constin stands straight and offers a salute to the ranking officer on deck. "Major."

Borenstein, looking about as tired as a human being can look while breathing, is escorted to the single lonely chair, and cuffed into his last seat.

One of the Marines escorting the prisoner is Richards, one of the newest members of the Cerberus' MP team. Following the others' lead, he is serious, stoic and business-minded, none of his playful grin or impish demeanor to be seen. When Constin addresses the Major he falls into rank near the prisoner, his mind growing still in light of the responsibility they are facing.

A very stony faced Sawyer is already seated in one of the folding chairs, her legs crossed primly at the ankle and tucked to one side beneath her seat. A pad of paper sits in her lap, the page blank and her pen idle. Her eyes are what is doing the recording this evening, and as the hatch opens, they slowly move that way to take in the macabre procession. If she has something to say, her voice is silent and her eyes are expressionless. For all intents and purposes, she's nearly as dead to the surrounding world as this man is about to be.

Samuel is one of those other Marines, expression unreadable for the moment. Stopped where he's supposed to be stopping, his gaze moves around to those that he can see from there, very momentarily.

Handling the coordination inside the airlock, Madilyn has managed to wrangle up the witnesses. The wireless chirping as the security team moves from deck to deck, hatch to hatch, the pressue and gravity of the situation building. As the MP team enters, she returns Constin's salute. "Sergeant. Please take the prisoner to the designated location," she says as she motions to the chair. A look at her wrist watch follows shortly, as she continues to hover near the wireless in case a stay should be made.

Among the witnesses is Sofia. She doesn't look too thrilled, but she is quietly solemn. Her eyes are a touch wide, as she takes one of the designated seats. She takes a deep breath, and pauses. She's near Sawyer! There's some curiosity, but only silence.

Constin lowers his hand from the salute, expression stern and steady. A look aside to Richards and a nod of silent instruction given to the man. "By your leave, sir," he drawls to the Major's curt words. Borenstein's bindings are clicked into place, checked and double checked. At some point, the prisoner catches his eye, and Borenstein's lip curls in a wan grin. The row of witnesses are now faced with a big man in an orange jumpsuit, bound into a chair set before an airlock.

Richards' rifle is slung over his shoulder as he starts to work his way towards those brave enough to witness, a small box of disposable 'foamy' earplugs held in his left hand. It's offered to them first, his expression making it more than known that it's a good idea to use them, the Marine pausing before each person until he's sure they'll accept a set from him. Once done he starts to filter his way towards his fellow Marines, the same expression lingering as he does, his ears already protected by a pair he put in before arriving here.

Steady breath in, steady breath out. It's the only indication other than an occasional blink that the reporter is even alive at this point. Maybe she's just bound and determined to me as much of an impartial witness as possible. When she locks gaze with the prisoner by happenstance, hers waivers only slightly for the briefest of seconds. Stone she is not, but she's damn well trying.

Samuel keeps quiet as he watches the prisoner now, expression just as unreadable as earlier on.

Madilyn says, "Place the blindfold on the prisoner," Madilyn instructs. Another check of the watch, and another glance at the wireless. There's still several minutes before the execution is scheduled to officially proceed. Even though ship's time tends to remain more or less consistent save for some lighting conditions and activity, things are still scheduled for what would be sunrise. "Marines, take your positions on the line," Madilyn instructs the appointed members of the firing squad."

Constin rises from his inspection of Borenstein, blindfold secured as ordered. The sergeant turns back to the marines assembled within the small room as Madilyn calls them to order. "Detail, clear arms," he instructs curtly, as the first stage in upholding an old firing squad tradition. As the clips are clicked out and chambers cleared, the Master-at-Arms accepts each magazine in turn, offering a replacement clip back to each rifleman as he proceeds down the line. Reaching the end, Constin sets hands to the small of his back and goes to attention. "Petty Officer Second Class John Borenstein. In accordance with the Colonial code of Military Justice, you have been found guilty of treason. Murder. Attempted murder. Your sentence is death."

For his part, John 'forty-five' Borenstein loses any motions he had previously made when the blindfold goes on. No more glances around the room, or stirrings in his seat; his head just slumps forward and the big, bound man sits there, breathing in and out as the list of his deeds is read out.

The swapping out of clips is completed easily on Dick's part, it done with a short series of well-practiced motions which are concluded in no time flat. Once done he steps into the line, as stern as he has been when he entered the room and passed out the earplugs. Still, now, he waits for the call to take aim and fire, his mind firmly locked into a place where very little can register.

Silent Sofia. She listens as the charges are read off. There's a quiet, thoughtful look as if she were turning over what happened in her mind. Perhaps she's adopting a mirror of the Sawyer Expression. Or figuring it's most proper to follow the crowd. The snipe only squirms a moment to adjust herself.

The chronometer moves in seconds, though the seem to crawl by. Once the prisoner is blindfolded, the clips exchanged, and the charges read, only then does Sawyer become a bit more animated by looking to Madilyn and more precisely the wireless receiver. Willing it to ring? Hard to say, but the reporters fingers curl around the pad of paper in her lap until her knuckles have grown white. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Samuel steps up with the rest of the firing squad, frowning a little as he removes the magazine and readies the rifle for the work ahead. Expression still, attention firmly focused on the task ahead.

This is the solemn silence. There's no need to point out or ask for a moment of silence before the sentence is carried out. Thankfully, perhaps, the space is far too large for the ticking of wristwatches to be heard. The only sounds are breathing, the shuffling of legs and feet, and the sounds of the ship in flight. A time for reflection, for contemplation - right or wrong - waiting for the hour to hit exactly. Then, and only then, will the order be given.

Constin turns an eye to the chronometer, as it ticks over to '1600', the legally mandated time of execution. Posture already stiff, shoulders already squared, the sergeant barks out curtly, "Detail. Arms ready!" An instant passes to allow the rehearsed motion of shouldering arms to take place. "Aim!" again, an instant passes to allow the five marines on execution duty to take aim…

Although he had been resigned and unrattled for months, as the staccato instructions ring out, Borenstein starts to shake slightly, blind in his bonds.

Sawyer takes a sharp inhale of breath, her lungs filled to such a capacity that her posture becomes even straighter and then she just…holds it. Waiting for the final word.

The hour comes. The hour goes. There's no call, and no reprieve for the prisoner on this day. At the wireless, Madilyn finally steps away. When approximately 30 seconds after the hour ticks off on the watches, she gives the single curt nod to the Sergeant. No words are exchanged, just a single confirming motion. Do it.

There is a precision to the raising of the rifles, the team taking aim with a fluid grace which speaks well of their training. For Richards' part, he's steady, the weapon he has trained on the prisoner remaining level. Now all they need is the command to fire.

"Fire!" comes the final, fatal instruction. The precaution of earplugs seem clear now, as within the enclosed space the uniform thunderclap of rifles discharging is deafening. The explosion rings out in the same instant that Borenstein jolts sharply with impact, the chair toppling over backwards with an echoing clatter in the silence which follows the fivefold discharge.

Even Sofia tenses a little, holding her breath as the clock seems to tick. The rifles raise. Maybe she's dreaming. But no. There's the signal. Do it. And that thunder, then the man is no more. It's strange, almost unbelievable. Even though she knows it's a right action in its way. Whatever she thinks, her eyes are just as wide as saucers.

The reporter's shoulders jerk sharply with the sudden but expected noise, the skin around her eyes wrinkling with a wince that doesn't quite let those eyelids close. No, Sawyer watches every gruesome second of Borestein's last. Throat dry, her lips part slightly as her held breath slowly rattles back out.

The loud rapport of rifles firing at the same time echoes in the confines of the area, the triggers pulled at close enough to the same time that it sounds almost like a single larger weapon had been shot off instead of several smaller ones. This is where one can do nothing but hope that the shots hit home and Borenstein was killed immediately since death by bleeding out is hardly ever a slow process, nor is it a clean one.

Then comes the part that most first-timers find unexpected: the tense few seconds while a Corpsman verifies that PO2 John Borenstein is in fact dead. The nod is not long in coming and immediately upon seeing it, Constin barks out, "Detail, stand down. Dis-missed!" Those instructions given, he looks aside and nods once to the guards standing at the hatch, who open the portal to allow the occupants out. Tending to the grisly remainders of his duty, Constin unsecures the cuffs from around the corpse's ankles and wrists, collapsing the folding chair Borenstein died upon, and attending the other grisly details of clearing the airlock for jettison.

The Marines turn and, with Richards in the lead, begin to exit the way they came. Richards looks at the scene over his shoulder, his face pale. At least that emotionless facade held up up till now otherwise his job would have been pretty damn difficult.

In the moment before the rifles were fired, Madilyn covered her ears with her hands. In the moment after the rifles were fired, her right hand falls upon the pistol holster on her right thigh. Should the Corpsman determine that the firing squad did not do its job, well…then it becomes her responsibility. When the corpsman gives the signal, her hand falls away from the holster. She'll remain, mostly silent, as the rest of the detail is tended.

Sofia lifts her eyebrows. There's a sympathetic look for Constin at least. Sofia relaxes a moment, though there's a pause as the grisly details are tended to. If she had a blacker sense of humor, the whole efficient set up might run into a joke. For now, she just looks to Sawyer.

Sawyer remains sitting, her complexion having grown slightly pale beneath her normal healthy flush. There's no telling what she's waiting for, maybe for her to trust her own legs again or needing to remain until this entire process is fully carried out. There's a new tension in her jaw, no doubt her teeth clenched within the confines of her mouth. Feeling a set of eyes on her, Sawyer slightly turns her head and spies Sofia. Wordlessly, she reaches over and simply pats the woman's knee.

The chains that run between wrist cuffs and ankle cuffs are gathered up and Constin rises, carrying the folding chair in one hand and the chained cuffs in the other. The Corpsman peels off the latex gloves and disposes of them before withdrawing in turn, while the MaA regards the rest of the chamber. Of the witnesses, two are still sitting, which leaves the marine four more empty chairs to gather up. "Need to clear the chamber for jettison," he drawls simply to the two ladies.

Right. Sofia looks appreciative, cautiously patting Sawyer's shoulder in turn. There's only a slow nod. She understands, wordlessly. She just takes a deep breath as she stands, slowly. Almost as if pulled by string. "Right." Being airlocked would suck. She'd ALMOST smile at the Sarge but it seems wrong somehow. So she … starts to file out.

At length, the reporter finally unfolds her ankles from their locked position twined around each other. Her heeled feet plant, and steadily she rises to her full height. "Sergeant." There is a slight waiver in the woman's voice which she clears away in an irritated swallow of air. Curtly, she dips her head in a little polite nod before she finally vacates the premises.

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