The Trial : A Day in Court
Disclaimer: Not mine, never were, never will be.
Note: Bad language, mild adult content. Betaed by Kerry
Fucking Larabee, sitting there, scowling at me. I don't need to turn around; I can feel him, him and his team, his so called Magnificent Seven. Bastards have cost me a fortune over the last two years, shipments, cars, trucks, safe houses - all lost to them. Why? I'm just a businessman, trying to earn a crust, supply and demand; it's what made America great. You know, I'm coming around to the opinion that them survivalist freaks might have point about the federal government. After all, the local cops never bothered me, only the damned feds.
They're all back there, behind me, whenever one of them is on the stand they're all here, some half-assed show of solidarity. And they all get to testify too. First off is the black one, now don't get me wrong, I got no beef with the brothers - some of my best customers. But this one, well if he ain't the most self righteous, sanctimonious thinks he's right, about everything. So called forensic expert, blinding the jury with all that fancy science stuff to prove I handled the guns. Oil is oil, you can get it anyplace, who's to say were it came from. But no, Agent Nathan Jackson reckons he can tell one drop of oil from the next! And you know what? They believe him! Worse, that damned DA goes and makes him tell them about Wilmington getting shot, and how bad he was hurt and how he bled and how long he's gonna be on crutches - bitch! I don't care if she does call me Mr Pratt; she's still a Goddamn bitch.
See, the jury, they love Wilmington, he comes up, on his crutches, all scrubbed up and looking like a cross between the Marlborough man and a Calvin Klein ad. Buck? What kind of name is Buck I ask you? And he's so damn polite. He wasn't so polite in the warehouse. I'm a cussing man but - shit - Wilmington has a creative way with an insult. The DA asks him what happened, and he tells her, laying on the charm like it's butter on a biscuit, all about how he had to save Standish and how he was so heroic! Hah, makes me want to puke. Course he doesn't come right out and out say, 'Look girls I'm a hero'. Oh no, he just tells what happened, and fair play he told it straight, and they all lap it up. The DA and the two women on the jury under fifty, they want to get in his pants right then and there. The little old lady, the one with the specs, she wants to take him home and feed him up and the men? Well they want to be him, or at least buy him a drink, except the one on the end, 'cause he's just about as queer as a three dollar bill and he wants Wilmington. And me? I'm the devil, 'cause I shot him - me! All I was doing was protecting my investment and my property. He's sitting here while my lawyer cross examines him, just saying over and over what he said before, still full of charm and manners, and every now and again his eyes pass over the lawyer, right past me to whoever's sitting behind. I dont need to look, I know, its the rest of them, the so called 'Magnificent Seven'. Magnificent - hah! What makes them so magnificent, that's what I'd like to know?
After Wilmington is the big one, looks like a wrestler or a cave man or some such thing. He really doesn't have much to say other than what Wilmington has already told them. He keeps smiling, I swear that man has more teeth than is natural, no one should have so many teeth. Damn man manages to bring God into his testimony.
"Considering the number of people shooting, it seems amazing to me that only Agent Wilmington was injured. Can you explain that Agent Sanchez?"
"The good Lord was watching over us, along with Agent Tanner."
Now the damn jury think the sun shines out of his ass. Just like they do Tanner, who's all 'aw shucks ma'am' and long hair, fucking Texas cowboy type. Its as bad as Wilmington, all the women want to take him home, the guy at the end too. Why is it women love the shy ones? Someone tell me, what is the appeal of a date that can't string two words together or cut his hair - apparently? What does he think he is - an Indian or a hippie? The man's a federal agent for God's sake! When my daddy was running moonshine, feds wore suits, this is what's wrong with this country today, no standards, place is going to the dogs! Kid's today, no respect.
Talking of kids, just how old is he? I mean he can't be more 'an sixteen, standing there in a suit that looks like he bought it for the prom. All that black hair slicked down, trying to make him look older. He sounds like he's from Boston, never did cotton to them east coast yanks much. Is it even legal for him to be an agent at his age? Now there's a point, if it isn't, doesnt that make his testimony inadmissible? I'll ask my good for nothing lawyer as soon as there's a recess. Look at him, like some over eager puppy, can't sit still, though he tries, and every time he fidgets Larabee glares and he settles down again. It ain't right, being testified against by a spotty, snot nose, high school kid! See, we're back to standards, bet my dad never had a teenager testifying against him. It's downright embarrassing, really, and if I though the women on jury loved Wilmington and Tanner, they practically want to take Dunne over their shoulder and wind him, I swear it. If he gives the DA the puppy dog eyes one more time I may puke! Oh great, there he goes again, all the tech stuff, all about how he can hear a pin drop in Tokyo or some such crap. Now see the men on the jury weren't so keen on him, saw him as a boy in a man's world, but now he's talking gadgets they're all with him. Big boy's toys and they love it.
"Oh great, Standish, complete with Armani suit and that damned gold tooth. How the hell was I taken in by this guy? I mean, someone that good at acting, what's he doing working for the feds in sunny Denver? He should be in Hollywood. I meet Eddie Stevens, good old country boy from deepest Montana looking to score a little C4; how the hell was I to know he'd turn into that! If you ask me the jury don't understand half what he's saying, but no one's gonna admit that, especially when he tells them about me and how I was gonna kill him. See how does he know what I was gonna do? I dont know what I was gonna do. So I pointed my gun at his back, so he cost me a fortune and got me busted, so what? I might not have shot him, no one asked Wilmington to get between me and the rat.
Larabee just sits there and glares at me and my lawyer, he even glares at the jury, like he's daring them to disbelieve him. Damned man's daring them to contradict him. All he does is sit there in that black suit with the dark grey shirt and black tie, What is he - a fed or an undertaker? Never uses but three words, 'yes sir' or 'no sir' but he makes it sound like it's a whole statement, even the judge looks like he's gonna hand control of the court over to Larabee any minute now.
And what does my good for nothing lawyer do in the face of all this bullshit? Advise me to plead guilty and hope the judge is in a good mood? Good mood, with this lot in court, how can he be? Besides, my daddy never pleaded guilty in his life and I ain't gonna do it now - what's that? A verdict already, they were only out there ten minutes, they didn't even have time to eat all them free munchies.
Life!? I'm getting life? Just fer shooting Wilmington in the leg and offering to supply legitimate customers with armaments - like the constitution says I can? How was I to know he was gonna bleed that much. Who says I was trying to kill Standish, even if the rotten little, double dealing, side-winding sneak deserved it? Well fuck me! There is no justice in this world, not for a real entrepreneur like me. Okay, okay I'm coming; you don't have to put the cuffs on so tight. Leg irons? What is this, the mutiny on the Bounty? Oh great, now they're gonna stay and watch, great, just perfect, I should have killed the two of them when I had the chance.
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