Previous episodeNext episode


by Lord Thanatos


10/01/10 21/01/10







1. Survival of the fittest

2. Loophole

3. A killer diagnosis

4. Judge, jury and executioner






SCENE 1: Survival of the fittest


India Amini and Charles Wedgwood leave Charles’ quarters. They’re carrying ropes and backpacks.


Amini: “What kind of place where you thinking of this week?”


Wedgwood: “Well, I don’t know… Let’s let the computer generate the surroundings at random…”


Amini: “Alright, but nowhere cold this time… I don’t want to see any snow or ice.”


Charles laughs…


Wedgwood: “I’ll limit the computer’s options… Or should we just ask for a Hawaiian setting and learn how to survive in a hammock?”


Amini’s turn to laugh… They turn left in the corridor into a curved section, towards holodeck 1.


Amini: “A hammock in the shade, drinking Hawaii Kai Swizzle from a coconut and no stars to chart… Yeah, that doesn’t sound too bad…”


Wedgwood: “And how about something more…”


As they move through the curved corridor something slowly becomes visible. Amini stops her friend in the middle of his sentence.


Amini: “Hey, someone’s on the floor…”


They both run over to the body of a man that has apparently collapsed.


Wedgwood: “Hello? Can you hear me? Can you hear me?”


Amini: “He’s still breathing…”


Wedgwood: “Wedgwood to sickbay.”


No response is heard…


Wedgwood: “Wedgwood to sickbay, please respond. This is an emergency.”


Still nothing…


Wedgwood: “My communicator must be damaged…”


Amini: “Ensign Amini to sickbay, medical emergency.”


Again nothing…


Wedgwood: “The com system must be out entirely… I’ll go get the doctor…”


Amini: “No, I’ll go… Stay with him…”


Wedgwood nods once and Amini starts running towards the nearest turbo lift. A short while later she enters sickbay, panting like a dog. She starts looking for the doctor and calls out in a loud voice.


Amini: “Doctor?”


Doctor Shelley’s voice can be heard from the adjacent office.


Shelley: “In here…”


Amini hastily walks into the office.


Amini: “Doctor, we’ve found an unconscious man near holodeck 1.”


Shelley immediately gets up and walks into the main sickbay area with Amini following… Shelley picks up a medkit.


Shelley: “Why didn’t you call me over the com?”


Amini: “The com system isn’t working…”


Shelley: “Holodeck 1 you say?”


Amini: “Yes, in the corridor…”


Shelley takes off as quickly as she can… Amini, out of breath, stays behind and uses the doorpost as a support to keep her upright… A few seconds later Nurse Halstead arrives in sickbay.


Halstead: “ India , are you ok?”


Amini: “Yes, I’m fine… I just need to work out a little more… Spent too much time in astrometrics lately…”


The nurse smiles…


Halstead: “That doesn’t explain why you seem so exhausted…”


Amini: “I just came running down here after we found an unconscious crew member and the com system was out…”


Halstead: “An unconscious man?”


Amini: “Yes, the doctor is already on her way…”


Halstead: “Where?”


Amini: “Outside holodeck 1.”


Halstead also grabs a medkit and hastily walks to the door…


Halstead: “I’m going there as well in case the doctor needs me… Stay here…”


Amini: “Don’t worry, I won’t be going anywhere for a little while…”



SCENE 2: Loophole


Serrag enters the bridge and approaches the 2 highest ranked officers onboard.


Serrag: “Reporting as ordered sir…”


LT: “Ah, good, good… How are things down in engineering, commander?”


Serrag: “Efficient.”


LT: “Is everyone keeping busy?”


Serrag: “There’s always enough to do sir.”


LT: “And the preparations for mounting the Greate Canon?”


Serrag: “We’ll be ready to start mounting the weapon in 3 hours and 20 minutes…”


LT: “Make sure you are; I want that thing underneath the hull by the end of the shift…”


Serrag: “No problem sir.”


Eisinga: “Have you forgotten what the admiral said captain?”


LT: “Nope…”


Eisinga: “About that we aren’t allowed to mount the canon?”


LT: “He never said that…”


Eisinga: “It’s not 5 minutes ago that you said to the admiral that we needed to mount the weapon… And he specifically said he didn’t want us to stop to mount the canon and that we needed to continue our mission…”


LT: “Indeed. He didn’t say we couldn’t mount the weapon… He indeed said we couldn’t stop to mount the weapon. Serrag, can you mount the weapon at 5 KPH?”


Serrag: “No problem...”


Eisinga smiles and shakes his head the same time…


LT: “Oh, don’t worry, Eisinga… We’ll continue our mission while we don’t stop to mount the weapon. Stuckman, keep scanning for Inj activity.”


Stuckman: “Of course sir.”


LT: “There you go… Serrag, inform the bridge as soon as you and your team are ready to mount the weapon… The helm will reduce speed to 5 KPH.”


Serrag: “Yes sir…”



SCENE 3: A killer diagnosis


Doctor Shelley finds the victim on the floor near holodeck 1. She feels for his pulse but shakes her head. She quickly flips open her medical tricorder and scans the body and shakes her head again… She knows there’s nothing she can do for him. Moments later Halstead comes rushing down the corridor…


Halstead: “Doctor?”


Shelley: “Ah, Nicole…”


Halstead: “Amini informed me…”


Shelley: “Too late I’m afraid; he’s dead…”


Halstead: “What’s the cause death?”


Shelley: “Respiratory failure due to intentional injection of an extreme overdose of sedatives.”


Halstead: “Intentional? He was murdered?”


Shelley: “Yes, I’m afraid so… I just can’t think of any other reason why there would be 50 to 60 times the lethal dose in his system…”


Halstead: “Oh my god…”


Shelley: “With this amount of sedatives he must have died very quickly… He wouldn’t even have been able to walk here from his quarters in that time… He must have been murdered… Go and find Commander Reinard and inform him immediately…”


Halstead: “Yes, doctor…”


Halstead leaves again…



SCENE 4: Judge, jury and executioner


Commander Eisinga sits in the chair at the head of the conference room table. But he’s less than comfortable judging from the words he enters into his log. Counselor Spalding is present as well, soon joined by Mark Philips from security.


Eisinga: “Ship’s log, stardate 63656.01. Entry by Commander Eisinga, temporarily in command of the ship. The murder that took place onboard 2 days ago still holds a firm grip on the crew of the Greate Pier. All those who couldn’t be ruled out as the murder suspect are still confined to quarters pending the investigation conducted by Commander Reinard. Among that large group of people is Captain LT. The 3 prime suspects, however, are in the brig. The atmosphere on the ship is understandably tense and everyone seems a little quiet…”


Commander Reinard comes in…


Reinard: “Good evening everyone…”


He sits down and the other commander starts talking…


Eisinga: “Now then, everyone’s here… Commander Reinard, the stage is yours… Inform us of your progress…”


Reinard: “First of all, sorry to keep you in the dark so long. But as this is a difficult case, I couldn’t afford the share most information with anyone. Now, I’ll start at the beginning… I was awaiting the final report from Doctor Shelley. Normally the doctor’s report is the best place to start an investigation when poisoning is involved. But I’d already started my investigation when the doctor came to my office.”


A flashback to Reinard’s officer…


Shelley: “He was definitely murdered, commander… I’ve checked and rechecked my initial findings… He died of an overdose of sedatives.”


Reinard: “Hmmm… What kind of sedatives? Are they hard to obtain?”


Shelley: “No, they can be found in any sickbay and in every corner shop…”


Reinard stares at his desk for a while…


Shelley: “Is everything alright, commander?”


The chief of security moves his eyes to the doctor, but remains motionless…


Reinard: “I’m afraid not, doctor… I’m afraid I have to relieve you of duty for the time being…”


Shelley is furious.


Shelley: “What?!”


Reinard: “You’re officially a suspect in this investigation and your findings will have to be confirmed by someone else from your medical staff…”


Shelley: “I can’t believe it! I was there to help that man, not to kill him! I’ve sworn to the Hippocratic Oath, dammit!"


Reinard: “I know… But unfortunately, that does not exempt you from any murder investigation…”


Shelley: “This is unbelievable…”


Reinard: “I’m sorry, doctor…”


Shelley snaps back at the security chief…


Shelley: “Yeah, I bet you are…”


Reinard: “You had access to the used sedatives and you were in a position to administer it. And you do have a considerable medical knowledge.”


Shelley: “Until just now I always regarded that as a good thing… Next to that, I think anyone in Starfleet with 2 fingers and half a brain cell could operate a hypospray…”


Reinard: “I know you’re upset doctor, but I have to do my job… And if you’re not guilty, you have nothing to worry about…”


Shelley: “Yeah…”


Reinard: “All I’m really saying is that you had access to the sedatives, were in the position to give it to the victim and most importantly, you don’t have an alibi…”


Shelley: “I was in sickbay the whole time…”


Reinard: “But no one to confirm it…”


Shelley: “Well… no… But it’s still ridiculous… I’m a doctor, not a killer…”


Reinard sighs…


Reinard: “Believe me; I don’t draw pleasure from this, doctor… It must be like telling a patient he has a terminal illness. The patient may get angry at the doctor; however the doctor is not to blame.”


The doctor now sighs as well and calms down. But still doesn’t look very happy…


Reinard: “Listen, even the captain is pretty high on the list of suspects. He was alone and no one to confirm where he was or what he was doing… Eisinga is currently in command. I would have put myself high on the list as well if I wasn’t in a meeting with 6 of my staff…”


Shelley: “I suspect you gave the same royal treatment to Amini and her colleague?”


Reinard: “As a matter of fact, I’m speaking with Amini next… But what colleague are you referring to?


Shelley: “Well, when she came into sickbay she said we found an unconscious man’, so I assumed there was at least one other person with her when she found him.”


A short pause in the flashback…


Reinard: “So I had Ensign Amini brought to my office to shed some light on the issue…”


The flashback continues when a security officer escorts Amini into Reinard’s office…


Reinard: “Please, sit down ensign…”


Amini sits down in a vacant chair next to the doctor.


Reinard: “Ensign, I unfortunately have to inform you that you are currently a suspect in this murder investigation…”


Amini seems to be equally annoyed as the doctor and doesn’t hold back on the volume.


Amini: “Really? I kind of figured that out having spent the last hour in the brig!”


Reinard: “Please, calm down ensign…”


Amini: “You better hope I do!”


Reinard: “Now now, no need for that… You’re just a suspect, just like the doctor here, the captain and over a hundred other crew members onboard this ship.”


Amini: “Oh really? I just saw 1 other officer in the brig…”


Reinard: “I have a question, ensign… Can you please tell me what you said exactly when you came into sickbay to find the doctor?”


Amini: “What I said? How is that important? A man is dead, commander! And even worse: I’m being blamed for it!”


Reinard: “Just calm down for one second. And no one is blaming you for anything. There’s a very big difference between a suspect and a convict. Now please, what did you say to the doctor when you came to ask for her help?”


Amini calms down a little, apparently to recall exactly what she said…


Amini: “Uhm… Something like ‘We’ve found an unconscious man’ and something about the com system being out…”


Reinard: “Are you certain you said We’ve found…’?”


Amini: “Yes, ‘we’… Me and Charles… Charles Wedgwood… The both of us found the unconscious man…”


Shelley: “That’s impossible…”


Amini: “Listen, whatever you think, I didn’t do it… Besides, he was still alive when we found him…”


Shelley: “I don’t doubt you, India , but…”


Amini interrupts the doctor’s speech... She turns to Reinard.


Amini: “And you? You do doubt me, don’t you?”


Shelley: “ India , Charles is the man that was murdered…”


Amini: “What?! Charles is dead? That’s not possible! You must be mistaking… Charles and I found that man together…”


Shelley: “I’m afraid I confirmed his identity, India …”


Amini: “How is that possible? It can’t be…”


A few tears roll down India ’s cheeks…


Shelley: “I’m sorry…”


In a soft voice she starts her sentence…


Amini: “Charles was one of my best friends and definitely the best friend I had onboard this ship…”


…and ends it with yelling…


Amini: “and you accuse me of killing him?”


The non-flashback Reinard explains what happened next…


Reinard: “She was obviously very emotional and moments later she even fainted… It was a little too much for her. But I had to remain objective; for all I knew it could have been a well rehearsed act… I was able to rule out a lot of people by reviewing the combadge tracking data from the ship’s computer. It told me all the locations of all the combadges at the time of the murder.”


Eisinga: “But what about the people who weren’t wearing their combadges?”


Reinard: “Good point, commander. I indeed could not exclude those from the list of suspects… I could only rule out the badges that according to the computer had been moving around at the time of the murder… Then I realized I could probably rule even more people out by talking to the one person that could truly be trusted: Bart. He would be able to corroborate the presence of all those in the lounge at the time of the murder. Bart certainly has a personality of his own, but he isn’t biased, doesn’t lie and remembers everything he sees… So I paid him a visit.”


A flashback to the lounge…


Endersby: “Certainly, commander…”


Bart picks up a PADD from a shelf, pushes a few buttons and hands it to the commander.


Endersby: “A full list of everyone who was in the lounge at the time…”


Reinard: “Thank you, Bart. This will be a great help.”


Commander Reinard prepares to leave.


Endersby: “I hope so… Maybe all of this suspicious activity will stop once you catch him…”


Reinard stops and returns to the bar…


Reinard: “Suspicious activity?”


Endersby: “Well, there’s a lot of weird stuff going on, commander… Aliens from another galaxy attack like this is all science fiction, we all of a sudden drift around for 2 months like a helpless chick falling from its nest, yours truly was abducted by an engineer for 3 weeks, a murder takes place on this ship… I think that would normally be enough excitement for a lifetime...”


Reinard’s facial expression reveals that he’s sure it’s Bart’s uncontrollable suspicious nature speaking again...


Reinard: “Ah, I see… Uhm, maybe I should have been more precise… Did anything suspicious happen in the last 24 hours?”


Endersby: “Well, when I was activated this morning the carpet had a mysterious stain near the…”


The commander stops Bart before it turns into a 45 minute monologue.


Reinard: “The short version, Bart…”


Endersby: “Oh, eh… Stain in my carpet, Lieutenant Faulkner looked happy this morning, Crewman Stilson came in 7 minutes before his lunch break started, Crewman Suder wasn’t wearing his combadge and the replicator hums a little lately when you order a warm drink…”


We return from the flashback to the present day…


Reinard: “I evaluated all the information Bart gave to me and was able to rule out all of the people who were present in the lounge during a certain window of time. Bart also mentioned that Crewman Suder wasn’t wearing his badge…”


Spalding: “Suder? Morand Suder? Isn’t that the guy who walks his cat through the corridors? On a leash?”


Reinard: “Yes, indeed… I checked out everything on Suder. And indeed, when Suder was in the lounge according to Bart, his badge was in his quarters according to the ship’s combadge tracker. I simply assumed Suder had forgotten his badge and left it in his quarters. According to Bart, 5 minutes after he came in for a drink he was feeling for his badge on his chest, but realized he wasn’t wearing it. He promptly left, presumably to fetch it.”


Another flashback.


Reinard: “Come in…”


Suder walks into the office, escorted by a security officer…


Suder: “You wanted to see me, sir?”


Reinard: “Yes, please sit down…”


Suder takes a seat…


Reinard: “As you might know I’m conducting an investigation into the murder that took place today…”


Suder: “Ah, I see… Am I a suspect, commander?”


Reinard: “Technically? Yes… But I only want you to clarify one little thing for me…”


Suder: “Of course… Anything…”


Reinard: “Bart told me you didn’t wear your badge when you were in the lounge earlier today?”


Suder: “Yes, I’m sorry about that sir… I’d forgotten my badge… But when I noticed it wasn’t there I went back to my quarters…”


Reinard: “So you just forgot your badge?”


Suder: “Yes sir, sorry sir… It won’t happen again…”


Reinard: “Oh no, no problem crewman… It’s not mandatory to wear one off duty… I was just figuring out everybody’s whereabouts and Bart told me you didn’t wear your badge, that’s all…”


Suder: “I see sir…”


Reinard: “Alright, that’s all I had to ask, Mr. Suder, you can go.”


Suder: “Thank you sir…”


And Suder exits the commander’s office to conclude the flashback.


Reinard: “These things happen of course… I didn’t even place him higher on the list of suspects.”


Eisinga: “He was still a suspect at that point? I thought he was in the lounge at the time of the murder…”


Reinard: “No, he left the lounge just minutes before the murder took place… But he was only technically suspicious, simply because I couldn’t rule him out. Besides, I was concentrating on the most likely suspect, Amini. I called her in for a second interview, which actually incriminated her even further. As a sort of a compliment, to make her feel more at ease, I said she looked a lot calmer than before…”


Amini: “Don’t bet your jawbone on it…”


Reinard acts like he doesn’t hear it.


Reinard: “Well, ehm… Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? You and Charles Wedgwood were walking down the corridor…”


Amini: “Yes, we were going to holodeck 1 for our weekly survival training…”


Reinard: “A sort of hobby the 2 of you shared?”


Amini: “Yes, we went on actual trips with a few other survival enthusiasts on a number of occasions. After the both of us were assigned to the Greate Pier we were no longer able to do that, so we decided to keep our skills up by going to the holodeck once a week…”


Reinard: “Alright… And what about the man you found? Can you describe him to me?”


Amini: “Well, I didn’t recognize him... He was face down on the floor, so I could just see half of his face… His eyes were closed and his muscles were relaxed… Maybe I knew him, but I didn’t recognize him anyway…”


Reinard: “And his clothes? Other features?”


Amini: “Well, he was wearing a yellow uniform… I couldn’t tell his rank, as he was face down… His height was hard to estimate also because he was on the floor… He was Caucasian, around 20 years old and he had short blonde hair…”


Back in the conference room…


Reinard: “I couldn’t think of anyone who looked like that… But hairstyles and such do tend to change sometimes… I proceeded to visit every male, yellow uniformed officer onboard to find one that matched the description. Just to be sure. When I found no one with short blonde hair, I checked all other male personnel onboard, regardless of the color of their uniform… It took me many, many hours to do, but then I was sure no one onboard fit the description. Amini became the prime suspect and despite that a colleague confirmed the doctor’s research, Doctor Shelley joined Amini at the top of the list. Followed by Bynes…”


Eisinga: “Bynes?”


Flash… Ahaaaa!


Reinard: “Bynes, come in, sit down…”


Bynes: “Thank you sir…”


Reinard: “Sorry to keep you in the brig, ensign…”


Bynes: “That’s ok, commander… But I would like to know why exactly…”


Reinard: “I will tell you, of course…”


Bynes: “It’s something to do with this murder, isn’t it?”


Reinard: “Yes, it is…”


Bynes: “I swear it wasn’t me sir… It was the butler…”


Reinard laughs…


Reinard: “You seem to deal with this a lot easier than the others I have interviewed so far…”


Bynes: “What else can I do? I can make a fuss about it or I can make a joke about it and wait until all of this blows over… I didn’t kill anyone, so I have nothing to hide…”


Reinard: “Then you probably won’t mind if I ask some questions?”


Bynes: “No, of course not… But who was murdered? Can you tell me?”


Reinard: “Yes, I can… Charles Wedgwood…”


Bynes: “What? Charles? Is this a joke?”


Reinard: “I’m afraid not…”


Bynes sigh and rubs his eyes with his right hand…


Bynes: “Damn…”


Reinard: “What was your relationship with Mr. Wedgwood?”


Bynes: “He was a friend and an engineering colleague of mine…”


Reinard: “A friend? For how long?”


Bynes: “About 3, maybe 3.5 years… We met in the academy…”


Reinard: “And how would you describe this friendship?”


Bynes: “Well eh… Bynes: “Well eh… Pretty normal I’d say…”


Reinard: “Did you ever have disagreements?”


Bynes: “Well, of course… You can’t agree on everything all the time, you know… We had a disagreement just yesterday in fact…”


Reinard: “Yes, I heard about that… In fact, the entire engineering section heard it…”


Bynes: “Yes, we were kind of loud I guess…”


Reinard: “What was it about?”


Bynes: “Some parameter setting in an EPS manifold… Nothing important really…”


Reinard: “Does this sort of thing happen often?”


Bynes smiles and thinks up a statistic.


Bynes: “In engineering about 2.3 times a week on average, by my count…”


Reinard shows a little smile.


Reinard: “Ah, ok…”


The smile soon disappears from the face of the suspicious ensign…


Bynes: “I can’t believe he’s dead though…”


Reinard: “Was the matter resolved between the 2 of you?”


Bynes: “Lieutenant Commander Serrag decided that Wedgwood’s setting was the proper one; so the problem was solved…”


Reinard: “And that made you feel angry…”


Bynes: “Angry? No, not at all… More like embarrassed… I caused a scene and I was wrong… We’ve had our share of disagreements, but our friendship was never dented by it… And besides, all disagreements were work-related…”


Reinard: “Did you at any point during that disagreement have an urge to hurt him?”


Bynes looks to be annoyed by this question…


Bynes: “No of course not…”


Reinard: “Did you at any later point in time get angry when you remembered the incident?”


Bynes: “No. Like I said, I never felt angry after I was proven wrong… I even apologized to Charles… We even had a laugh about it just minutes later… You can ask anyone in engineering…”


Reinard: “I intend to. One last question, ensign… Did you kill Charles Wedgwood?”


Bynes: “No, absolutely not!”


Reinard: “Alright, that’s all for now…”


And we’re back in the conference room…


Reinard: “I had no conclusive evidence against either Amini, Shelley or Bynes after I exhausted all possible sources of information regarding this top 3. I had no option but to examine the rest of the list of suspects as closely as I could… I started to piece together what all those people, still 89 in all, had been doing that day. Where did they go? Who did they talk to? And even: what did they replicate in the past 2 weeks? Anything that might be considered suspicious in any way… I found a few things that were out of the ordinary, but each of those trails led nowhere. Except for one seemingly unimportant thing…”


Eisinga: “And what thing would that be?”


Reinard: “I’ll tell you in a minute. Let me first tell you what else I found… I also found out that for a short while the internal sensors were used to monitor all activity in the corridor where the murder took place, just before the murder happened... The computer console that was used to do this is the one in the quarters of Mark Philips. Both Mark and his wife Kerrttu Hakonen had an alibi. Mark was in the same meeting I was and Kerrttu has at least 4 colleagues who could place her at her station at the time of the murder. They claim not to have given anyone permission to enter their quarters, let alone use their computer console. Which seems to be backed up by the fact that apparently the manual override was used to gain access to those quarters, as there was no log in the computer of that door being opened in the normal way.”


Eisinga: “And this break in has something to do with the murder you think?”


Reinard: “I think so, as the console logged off within 2 seconds after Amini and Wedgwood entered the corridor according to the combadge tracker. Amini wasn’t lying when she said that she and Wedgwood walked into the corridor together…”


Eisinga: “And the seemingly unimportant thing you were talking about?”


Reinard: “The one lead I had left… I was reviewing the combadge tracking data of all remaining suspects a little further. I came across Suder’s file again… I realized that after Suder returned to his quarters to get his combadge, he did not return to the lounge.”


Spalding: “Is that so out of the ordinary?”


Reinard: “Not really, he might have simply decided not to go back, especially since his shift was due to start in just 20 minutes or so. As Suder later left his quarters to go to engineering to report for duty, he was stopped by Mark Philips who asked him to stay in his quarters as a murder had been committed. We had to inform everyone to remain in their quarters manually, as the com system was still out at that time…”


We flash back to that moment, just outside Suder’s quarters…


Philips: “Sorry sir, you will have to remain inside for the time being.”


Suder: “Why? I need to report for duty…”


Philips: “Sorry sir, Commander Reinard’s orders. There’s been a murder onboard.”


Suder: “A murder? Who?... Who’s dead?”


Philips: “I don’t know, he didn’t tell me… But please, stay inside…”


Back in the present…


Eisinga: “Is this going anywhere?”


Reinard: “Well, as a desperate act, and like I did with other suspects, I later had Suder removed from his quarters so I could take a look around… I brought along the combadge tracking data on a PADD to check what he had been doing… And I came to a shocking conclusion…”


Eisinga: “Which was?”


Reinard: “Suder eats cat food…”


Eisinga: “What?”


Reinard: “When he returned to his quarters after his visit to the lounge, he immediately walked over to the cat food tray next to the bedroom door. He stayed there for 3 and a half minutes before moving to the nice and comfy cat basket, about a meter away underneath a big potted plant.”


Eisinga: “Are you joking, Reinard?”


Reinard: “Deadly serious, sir. No pun intended… Anyway, he stayed in that cat basket for 11 minutes and then moved to the replicator and finally to the chair behind the desk. And 6 minutes later he tried to get to engineering when Philips stopped him…”


Eisinga: “Can you formulate your conclusion in a human language, commander?”


Reinard: “It wasn’t Suder who entered Suder’s quarters… It was his cat.”


Eisinga: “Suder left the lounge and when he reached his quarters he turned into a cat?”


Reinard: “No. The cat was on a leash so she would be near the door when Suder arrived. Without letting the door close, Suder most likely picked up the combadge from the dresser next to the door and attached it to his cat’s collar. He then released her into the quarters. He himself left. He used the Jefferies tubes to move one deck up and used the manual override to get into Philips and Hakonen’s quarters. But as there was no evidence he actually did all of that, I had to find out some other way… By bluffing.”


A flashback to Reinard’s office… Suder is again the one answering the questions.


Reinard: “Why did you break into Philips’ quarters?”


Suder: “What do you mean?”


Reinard plays it cool…


Reinard: “Cut the act, will you? I know for a fact you were there… The only thing I still need to know is why.”


For one brief moment we’re back in the meeting.


Reinard: “Suder didn’t call the bluff… Instead, he gave me an unexpected explanation…”


Back to the security chief’s office… Suder sighs and pauses a moment before answering…


Suder: “I was seeing Kerrttu…”


Reinard: “You were seeing Kerrttu? A married woman?”


Suder: “Yes, we had an affair, commander…”


Reinard: “Both Mark and Kerrttu deny having given permission to anyone to enter their quarters.”


Suder: “Of course! Kerrttu is married… She doesn’t want Mark to know… I didn’t want Mark to know… I was sleeping with his wife, you know? It’s not something you want the husband to find out… She could have instructed the computer to allow me access to her quarters, but that doesn’t seem like a real good idea, does it? A security officer like Mark would find that out sooner rather than later… So I used the manual override to get in… We were supposed to meet there.”


Reinard: “Just 15, 20 minutes before your shift started in engineering?”


Suder: “Yes, we take every chance to be together… Even if it’s just 5 or 10 minutes… You won’t tell Mark, will you?”


Reinard: “For now I don’t see any reason… Your personal life is none of my business… But I will of course ask Kerrttu about it…”


Suder: “She’ll deny everything… I know her. She doesn’t want Mark to find out. It would not only mean the end of her marriage, but it would also put a tremendous strain on her career. She would probably request for a transfer… She’d have a hard time settling in anywhere else…”




Reinard: “I’m sorry for this intrusion in your personal life…”


Hakonen: “I understand, commander… But it’s total nonsense! I never had an affair with Suder or anyone else for that matter…”


Reinard: “Whichever way you want to deal with this… Just know that Mark won’t hear anything from me… I make it a point not to interfere in the personal lives of people if the investigation isn’t aided by it.”


Hakonen: “He’ll hear it from me right now…”




Philips: “He what?!”


Hakonen: “That’s what Commander Reinard told me anyway…”


Philips: “I don’t know what’s worse… Sleeping with my wife or telling everyone you did… Well, I do know what’s worse, but anyway… He’s not getting away murder and he’s not getting away with spreading these lies… I’m going to talk to him right now…”


Hakonen: “Honey, I don’t think Reinard would agree with that…”


Mark stares into the distance, thinking…


Philips: “Hmmm… Maybe you’re right…”


A short while later the door to the brig opens and Reinard steps in…


Reinard: “I asked Kerrttu, Morand… And as you said, she denied everything…”


Suder: “Hmmm, that does make me look very suspicious indeed… But I don’t blame her… I’m very sorry for breaking in, commander, but I hope you understand I had a good reason. Although the only one who could testify in my favor understandably denies the whole thing…”


Reinard: “What did you use the computer console in her quarters for?”


Suder: “The console? Uhm, I was checking the corridor, sir… To see if Kerrttu was coming… You can probably understand I wanted to know who was coming through that door if it opened… It would probably not be a good thing if Mark came in and saw me naked between the sheets… There would be 2 things he could be thinking; neither of them is good…”


Reinard shows a little smile…


Reinard: “I understand… Why did you log off when you did?”


Suder: “Well, the computer reported no one in the corridor, so I logged the console off after a while…”


Reinard: “And then?”


Suder: “Then I waited for another 10 minutes or so and left.”


Back in the conference room.


Reinard: “During those 10 minutes the body was found and moved to the pathology lab… I could now place Suder near the murder site at the time of the murder…”


We flash back in the brig.


Suder: “I think she was unable to make it… She may have tried to contact me, but I heard the com system was out around that time…”


Reinard: “You wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?”


Suder: “No, I didn’t… and I don’t… I went back to my quarters and like I said, I was about to report for duty when Mark Philips of all people told me to stay inside because of the murder…”


Reinard: “The murder that happened just outside the quarters where you were waiting for Kerrttu at that exact same time…”


Suder: “Really? I didn’t see or hear anything… The only thing I saw was some ropes and some backpacks in the corridor which weren’t there when I went into Kerrttu’s quarters… I didn’t think much of it and entered the Jefferies tubes and climbed down…”


Reinard: “Alright. We’ll talk some more later…”


Reinard leaves. And we’re back in the conference room once again.


Philips: “About half an hour later, I paid a visit to Suder…”


A fresh flashback. Philips enters the brig and approaches Suder’s cell.


Philips: “So, you’ve had an affair with my wife, did you? Or at least you claim to… Both of which are bad things, buddy…”


Suder: “Things like this happen… I’m not proud of it, but there you go…”


Philips: “Is that all you have to say?”


Suder: “What do you want me to say? ‘Sorry’? What good will that do? It happened… Deal with it… It can’t be undone, as much as I would want that…”


Philips: “Just tell me one thing then, Suder… My wife had an accident a few years ago… The operation left a big scar… Can you tell me where that scar is?”


Suder: “Oh come on, can you get even more unoriginal? And operations don’t leave scars these days…”


Philips: “She fell during a survival trip, days away from any decent infirmary. It was a botch job done on site.”


Suder: “Bullshit. There is no scar. You’re just trying to trick me…”


Philips turns to the security officer on duty.


Philips: “Open a slot.”


The security officer complies and an opening appears in the force field, normally used to pass food through. Philips hands the suspect a PADD with a photograph displayed on it.


Philips: “You’ve just proven you didn’t sleep with my wife… And you’re right, in a sense… It’s not really a scar; it’s more like a missing chunk…”


The photograph shows a 5 inch long indentation in her left side…


Philips: “She fell during a climb and landed on a jagged rock…”


He throws the PADD on his bed…


Suder: “So what? It only proves that I didn’t sleep with your wife… Not that I committed the murder…”


Philips: “We all know you did it, Suder…”


Suder: “Of course I did it! You may know that, Reinard may know that, but no one will ever hear that from me outside this cell…”


Philips: “What makes you so sure this confession isn’t going to be in Reinard’s report?”


Suder: “Because of the privacy law. Since 2378 it’s no longer allowed to monitor detainees on starships visually or audibly.”


Philips: “Yes, that’s true… Ridiculous law. Nonetheless, I’m happy to inform you that that specific law doesn’t apply during an official interrogation… So, you were right, I did trick you in a way… The head investigator has been listening in and I assure you that all you have said will be added to your statement. But even without that I’m sure there’s enough evidence to prove you were the one that killed Wedgwood…”


Suder seems amused when he speaks his next sentence…


Suder: “’Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law’. Starfleet does seem to bend the rules when needed…“


Reinard comes walking in and joins his colleague.


Reinard: “No rules were bent… Ensign Philips is officially part of the team of investigators.”


Suder: “But this wasn’t an official interrogation…”


Philips: “Do you think we need to inform you when an official interrogation commences? Besides, deception as well as the com system seem to be at the heart of this murder and its investigation. I’ve beaten you at your own game.”


Suder: “Hmmm, I see…”


Philips: “I’m glad you get the picture… Speaking of pictures, Suder… You gave my wife a 2nd deep scar… Charles Wedgwood was her friend. Take a look at the next photograph on the PADD…”


Suder picks up the PADD again and clicks a button and another photograph appears. It shows Amini, Wedgwood and Hakonen with 2 others on their survival trip.


Philips: “And on top of killing him, you deepen the wound by claiming you had an affair with her… They went on this trip together with Amini and a few others…”


Philips is silent for a moment… Reinard seizes that opportunity to speak. But he’s cut short.


Reinard: “Ehm…”


Philips raises his hand to hush his superior, as he has one last thing to say…


Philips: “Killing my wife’s friend was a big mistake, but consider yourself lucky you didn’t really touch my wife… I would have been the killer then…”


Philips starts to walk towards the door... Before he reaches it, Suder yells to him from his cell…


Suder: “I’ll visit your wife later on; you made me curious… And the pictures are pretty appetizing as well… Scars are so damn sexy… I might just add 1 or 2 if you don’t mind…”


Philips charges back to Suder’s cell… Suder has the most annoying and provocative smile on his face… Philips barks at Suder.


Philips: “You won’t get off as easy as your father did, Suder! I’ll personally make sure of that! I’ll personally see to it that you won’t get any special treatment like your father did! You’re going to rot in jail for a long, long time…”


Suder continues to laugh as Philips barges out… We’re back in the conference room...


Eisinga: “What was that about his father?”


Reinard: “It seems his father also killed a fellow crew member onboard his ship; USS Voyager.”


Spalding: “And he got of easy? I can’t imagine a starship captain going easy on someone who just killed one of his crew…”


Reinard: “Her crew, in this case… The circumstances where difficult. USS Voyager was lost in the delta quadrant and was facing several decades of travel before they got back to Federation territory… Putting him in the brig for that amount of time didn’t seem like the best option.”


Philips still is very angry about the whole thing…


Philips: “Well, I would have definitely thrown him in there… Killers belong in prison; it’s as simple as that.”


Reinard: “They chose to confine him to quarters…”


Philips: “To the luxury of his quarters…”


Reinard: “…and to rehabilitate him.”


Philips: “Once a killer, always a killer…”


Reinard: “They had a Vulcan onboard who performed a mind meld on Suder. Lon Suder that is, father of Morand Suder… It gave him the ability to control his violent tendencies. Through daily meditation he maintained a certain balance on the inside…”


Spalding: “These violent tendencies must be something genetic then…”


Philips: “Nonsense… Would be something if the judge said:”


And he continues in a whiney voice…


Philips: “‘Oh no, Mr. Suder does not have to go to jail, this is just the way he is… He was born like this, it’s ok…’


Eisinga: “And what happened to him when Voyager returned to Earth?”


Reinard: “Well he didn’t live long enough to make it back home… It turns out that he was killed in an attack after actually having saved the ship during a hostile take over…”


Philips: “Hurraaay…”


Commander Eisinga tries to call Philips to order…


Eisinga: “Philips…”


Philips rolls his eyes and breathes a deep sigh…


Reinard: “Anyway, we now have a confession… Suder claims to have killed Wedgwood… He was the man Amini and Wedgwood found in the corridor… After Amini left, Suder killed Wedgwood. With the amount of sedative used, Wedgwood died in less than 30 seconds…”


Eisinga: “Then one thing seems unclear to me, Reinard… Suder has black hair, and enough of it to put it in a little ponytail. The man they found had short blonde hair. Amini possibly may have been inaccurate, but I’m sure she would have been able to distinguish between short blonde hair and longish black hair…”


Reinard: “I honestly forgot about that since the confession…”


Spalding: “A wig perhaps?”


Reinard: “You can’t convincingly wear a wig of short hair over longer hair… Anyway, there’s only one way to find out if there’s any merit to this theory…”


Moments later Eisinga, Philips, Reinard and Spalding enter the brig. Before the senior officers can say anything, Philips takes the lead…


Philips: “Hi there, Suder… We were wondering if you’d be so kind as to take off your wig for us…”


Suder suddenly jumps up from the bed…


Suder: “You want a show? Of course, gentlemen!”


He rips his wig of and presents his bald head to the visitors with a big smile.


Suder: “Tadaaa! We’ll isn’t that something, ladies and gentlemen?”


Philips: “You’re a complete loon…”


Suder: “Why thank you, sir!”


Eisinga: “Why did you kill Wedgwood, Suder?”


Suder: “Do I need a reason?”


Philips: “Oh come on! Don’t give us a reason similar to the one your father gave… What was it that he said? ‘I didn’t like the way he looked at me’?


Suder: “You want a reason, ensign? I’ll give you a reason! Wedgwood was supposed to be trained in survival skills. But apparently he didn’t manage to bring into practice all that he had learned. He was too arrogant. That’s why I killed him…”


Philips: “Charles arrogant? You’re the one who’s too arrogant… Your father made his murder look like an accident, you thought that wasn’t necessary. You thought you had everything covered…”


Suder looks around in his cell, as if he doesn’t see the men… And in a very relaxed and casual way he responds…


Suder: “I must admit, it was mostly coincidence that Wedgwood was the one who I killed… If Wedgwood would have gone to get the doctor, Amini would be dead.”


Both Philips and Eisinga are heavily irritated by this last remark…


Eisinga: “Enough of this! Let’s go.”


Back in the conference room the discussion continues:


Reinard: “Means, motive and opportunity… That way of thinking just doesn’t always work. Suder had no real motive. Many others on the ship had means, opportunity or both…”


Eisinga: “For someone who had no motive, he planned this murder really thoroughly…”


With a deserved amount of pride, the chief of security responds to that.


Reinard: “He planned it alright, but not thoroughly enough… He went to the lounge on purpose, as he knew Bart was going to be a valuable source of information in the investigation. And he didn’t forget his combadge; he left it in his quarters intentionally… The combadge trick was smart, but that was eventually what got him caught… It gave him a reason to go back to his quarters with Bart knowing about it; he made sure Bart saw that he realized he ‘forgot’ his combadge. All evidence initially supported that he indeed went back to his quarters and moved around. After the murder he returned to his quarters, took the combadge from the cat’s collar and destroyed the blonde wig and the hypospray using the replicator. Unfortunately for Suder, his friendly pet helped solve this case… The cat’s out of the bag. Pun intended.”



Previous episodeNext episode