Day 41 Late Afternoon
“On that point Karl,” Andy said , “ why don’t you two pull up a chair and let’s talk about that. The Council is probably going to meet to discuss this very question.
“Who is going to give them recommendations other than the people right in this room?
“You hit it perfectly with that comment Karl, you need Cops and I need Warriors. Until we can define the Rules of Engagement or ROE, my people are going to shock everyone with their willingness to use Lethal Force. It’s what they are trained to do.
“We have to have some outside agent to determine when you can call in my dogs and when you can do a search in force.
“I don’t care if we call the position the Umpire, Judge or Chief Magistrate. It’s got to be someone who is out of the Command Chain and available. Neither of us can wait for a full Council meeting.
“Just for an example Karl. What were you doing putting Mariana in charge of a potential crime scene when she was the prime shooter?
“None of our house’s are clean after that little fiasco. Let’s do our best to get it right from here on out!
“So, what do you guys think?”
“Well Andy,” Karl began, “I can see how leaving Mariana there at Hanna’s looks in hindsight but, at the time I had some pretty good reasons. I recorded everything that happened that night so let me quote myself.” . . . “Please Mariana would you stay here and make sure anyone else that shows up stays, and that the bodies aren’t touched before Kurt does an examination? This could be very important.” He then continued.
“First off she was so hot that I wanted to give her something to do till she calmed down. What I was really afraid of was that she would insist on going with me and Joe when we went to Reye’s farm and I couldn’t have that because I suspected some would think her in some way responsible for the situation. If we had needed to use force at the farm, it could have looked bad.
“Second thing was that even though there was another member of the Council in the room, I wasn’t about to leave Reye in charge. Maybe not now, but in the past he had been entirely to close to both Jack and his crew.
“And I did say that Kurt had to perform the examination of the body. I wish I could have used someone not even related to one of the shooters, but there aren’t that many in the colony qualified to do that kind of an examination and at least he wasn’t there when it happened.
“So yeah, I can be second guessed and I might even have been wrong but with no time to waste, I made the best choice I could and I stand by it even now.
“But as you say we are going to be making some recommendations, and I’m sure taking some flack too, but my basic position is simple.
“Until or unless there is a planetary invasion by the UNWG or a civil emergency declared by the Council, the Militia does not act in civil affairs.
“The other night Jai and Summer should have been deputized in order to make it clear in what kind of capacity they were operating. But who was there to do it? I suppose Reye might have, but he was in a state of shock and if he had tried how far would he have gotten? And that’s why I agree with you that we need some published rules so we aren’t making it up as we go.
“I’ve had a lot of experience giving impromptu boardroom speeches, so if it seems like I know what I’m talking about just stop me ok?”
Andy snorted and then laughed for a moment then Karl went on.
“We don’t have the time to and I don’t have the inclination to write a comprehensive set of laws that can cover everything. Our population is so small that we can’t even adapt a reasonable version of civil law say from the 1950’s United States. We almost need the Greek Philosopher King but call him the Philosopher Judge. Someone who does right by nature and if he does it than it must be right.
“Well that isn’t me nor I suspect anyone else in the here and now. Still I almost think we have to delegate that kind of authority to someone but have a body such as the Council or maybe a Judiciary Committee that can overrule any decision made.”
Andy took a long pull on his drink, “Never meant to imply that you did not have good reasons and intents. Hell, everybody involved did. You had no way of knowing that Mariana’s medical Code of Ethics would not allow her to be part of the crime scene. Just as the Young Ladies I just chewed out did not know that it was a Guard crime scene.
“Joe you remember the old joke that the Military has a Standard Operating Procedure or SOP for taking a crap?”
Joe snorted and tipped his mug.
“Karl, I plan to train at least two people to be a stay behind force when we launch. Gotta plan for at least one lander getting past us, shit no one is perfect! That team should probably be cross-trained and sworn in as Reserve Deputies, that way they are Cops. The only way you ask for my Wolves, is as a SWAT team. That is pretty much a Combat situation anyway.
“I propose that each of our three disciplines and I will drag Mariana into this write up a set of recommendations to the Council, for what we see as our roles as to be presented on say a Day 50 Council meeting.
“And you have a good point Karl about the Great Judge. It does not have to be the Council, it could be a group of colonists who either know law or are just plain level headed. Jules and Hanna Parker come immediately to mind, although not at the same time. All we would need is that two or three, whatever number is picked. Stay in communications range during their tenure. Hell, if we can vote via comms, why not act as a Judge via comms.
“Now consider gentlemen and yes I use that term loosely. I have the shear joy tonight of informing Mariana that she fracked up the brief to CPT Kellerman and sweat waking up in the morning.
“Any further thoughts Gentlemen?”
“I screwed the pooch, and much worse than you did Colonel, after all I was there,” Fortson said. “There was a time, and not so long ago, we wouldn’t even be talking about mistakes cause I wouldn’t have let any happen.
“Karl and I are the only sorta authorized police we got and neither one of us plans on making it a career. We’ve got to close this thing down and get it to a just as needed basis. I could go with an appointed judge or judicial committee so long as it’s separate from the Council. That would rule out the Historian, but so be it.”
Karl said, “I’m with Joe. After the shooting, shuttle explosion and the rape investigations are finished Pam and I have to get on with the rest of our lives. I want to build sailing ships and explore this planet, not wait for the next crime to happen, so the Council and the people will have to figure a way. Let’s suggest the Judicial Board and put everyone on alert that unless they figure some other way of doing it that that’s how it’s got to be. Are we Agreed?”
I just picked up the bottle and asked, “Another round?”