Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Da Vinci I



Radio stings break up the news bites. News presenter's voice: “The top story in today's news, attracting worldwide attention, is trial of Dr. Novatius. He is accused for crimes against humanity, specifically for destroying his discovery, the immortality gene. We'll be going live to the trial as soon as its begins... In other news...”

The corridor to courtroom is full of waiting people. Atmosphere is nervous. New guy appeared, it is Reporter crawling through a crowds directly to the guarded doors: “Sorry, sorry, excuse me... Hello, sergeant, I just need to get a little closer.”
“You can't get any closer,” say Sergeant patiently, “The whole passage is closed. There is no admission.”
“Hey, you know me, right? Just one question, I'll slip in. No one will notice me.”
“Mr. Collin, it's impossible today. Strict measures.”
“I understand, everybody wants to see him. And I heard something about a lynching, too. But I work here. Don't you listen to the radio? In 45 minutes I'm broadcasting live.”
“Don't get excited, it's not my fault.”
Reporter get immediately excited: “What do you mean, not my fault, it's nobody's fault. Then why are you here? You are here to decide who can see him and... Hey, there is man leaving cell over there. What's going on?”
Sergeant is answering without looking that direction: “It's his lawyer, and if you want to see the defendant, you can ask him.”
“Oh, good! I thought it was the competition.” Meanwhile lawyer approached crowd and is trying to get through out. “Just a minute, sir, you, as a lawyer...”
Lawyer is passing the Reporter with no answer, looking strictly forward. It is also possible that he simply didn’t hear him as more and more bustling, humming is coming from crowd in the passage. Reporter in the midst of the crowd: “Wait, sorry, hold on! They're pulling my microphone apart! One moment. Testing microphone - one, two, three. Okay. Could you tell us, sir, how the defendant, Mr. Novatius, feels before the trial?”
Surprisingly lawyer stop for a while, turn his head back to the Reporter and says shortly with cold face: “I can't.”
Reporter move quickly closer to lawyer, whole body and face expressing hope and eagerness: “But you spoke with him just a moment ago.”
“He doesn't speak with anyone.”
Reporter is for a while loosing his drive. “I'm so relieved...”, he says instinctively but these few seconds are enough to lose lawyer who is continuing his way through crowd. Reporter see just back from the leaving lawyer. As he is trying to attract lawyer's attention back, he is partly screaming and immediately changing a voice to that official tone announcing first question to his microphone: “Just a moment... don't run away, please. Could you tell me what you think about ...”
Clamour of crowds drowns out Reporter... Another policeman is trying to get order in front of the courthouse.
“Tickets, show me your tickets! Entry to courthouse with tickets only. Do you have your ticket?”
Addressed man stopped hesitating: “I am... I haven't, but I cooperated with him as a scientific colleague, you know... My name is Grobius, Dr. Grobius.”
It has no impact on the policeman: “It's interesting how you're all family and colleagues now. Even stabbing can make someone famous, and this...”
Reporter is here again. He appeared like he jump up from the floor. As obviously, full of energy and eagerness: “Sorry, are you defendant’s former colleague, mister...?”
Unknown man repeated patiently: “Grobius, Dr. Grobius.”
Reporter is shining: “Oh, this is great.” And with authoritative tone to the policeman: “He's coming with me. Let's go!”
Policeman without change in his face: “Whatever you think, Mr. Collin.” Turning back to the crowds he is again in his official tone: “Tickets, let's see your tickets!”
Studio in courthouse is small and when Reporter and Dr. Grobius enter it, somebody is already sitting and waiting there. Soon they could say anything, voice of Director come from the speaker: “Mr. Collin, Peter, do you hear me? Are you with us?”
Reporter is gasping for breath: “Yes, I just arrived.”
“We start in 10 minutes. Do you have something on tape?”
“Nothing. The crowd almost pulled apart my microphone, and my hand with it. But I have his former colleague here. He's a schoolmate, friend, or something like that.”
“Great. We introduce him like a scientific expert. What about the legal expert?”
“He is already here. I'm pleased to welcome the distinguished barrister, Mr. Hokius.”
In a moment it is crowded now also in studio, like in the corridor outside. Legal expert woke up to shake hands with Reporter and Scientific expert: “Good afternoon.”
Because studio is really small, the best for those three is to sit and not too move. Reporter is managing them to the chairs.
“Now, we're together. Let's play some quiet music and after five minutes we begin.”
When louder music come from speaker, Reporter turns to the experts: “Now we've met each other, and I hope everything is clear ...this Novatius is so uppity. He doesn't speak with anyone and his lawyer is even more uppity. He speaks, but about nothing. In brief, this whole process is so ridiculous, in fact it's the last chance to see that bubble burst. We show this miserable scene to the public, so they can find out that even in our little district, we know why flies die. Don't worry, take heart!”

In moment music sound decrease replaced by Announcer's voice: “And now, as promised, we're going live to the town courthouse.”

Reporter blinked at the experts, to encourage them, and in next moment is fully focused at broadcasting: “Good afternoon. I'm here in the middle of the court case that is the focus of worldwide attention. At this moment, the judges are arriving. Five dignified men, led by their Judge. They're sitting down. The lawyers are in their places and, now, here comes the defendant... As you certainly hear, audience in the courthouse welcome him with whistling, bustling and humming. They came today to see Novatius with their own eyes. And he's provoking them, and they're angry. On the first day of the court, the Judge respectfully asked: 'Mr. Novatius, what right did you have to destroy your discovery, which have to be understand as the property of our progressive society?' And Novatius answered... 'fortunately, for human civilization, the soul and brain of man never became the property of any society.' But while the defendant claimed to speak on behalf of humanity, the actions for which he stands trial seem to be clearly against humanity's interest. But, meanwhile back in the courtroom... Here in the hall, the atmosphere is nearly explosive. But, unlike the turmoil in the audience, the trial itself is like in the eye of hurricane. In front of the judges stands the defendant, and now it's a fairly routine process taking place. We can take this occasion to ask our legal expert, Mr. Hokius, what's going on?”

Legal expert: “This formal part that begins a trial is an example of the progress in our judicial system. It's a process of checking of testimony by computer. In the past, investigators tried to gain complete confessions at any price, or, at least detailed testimony of a presumption of guilt from the perpetrator. At first glance this seemed right but it was a case, unfortunately, of the means celebrating the end, and it wasn't fair. Consequently, the lawgivers established the right of the defendants to answer only when their lawyer was present. But an experienced lawyer always came with some objections with aim to get the investigator off the topic or confused him. It shaken presumption that the interrogator can investigate effectively only when he is sovereign and know his own intellectual power. Fortunately, this problem was solved a few years ago by electronic equipment, and now you can see the result. A greater part of the interrogation can be delivered holus bolus to the court in a lawful way. Only the computer can ask and register the answers of the defendant. This way has secured the freedom of expression of the individual on the one hand and the respect for the law's sovereignty on the other.”
“Thanks for your answer, Mr. Hokius. There will be more questions during the trial, but let's go back to the courtroom...”

(To be continued)

Translated by Robert M. Davis

No comments: