Coming Attractions

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Chapter 2

Darkness became bright light and as Brain looked around he saw that he was in a courtroom with a military presence. He looked at his own self to see he was in a black Navy uniform and he glanced to his left to see Demi Moore in her dress whites with Kevin Pollack right next to her in his uniform. He glanced to his right and saw on one of his favorite actors of all time Kevin Bacon in what appeared to be a army or maybe Marine uniform. Brian couldn’t help himself and he got up and walked over to Kevin Bacon and began telling him how much he loved in him though out his career as an actor. Brian kept on talking about footloose and how much he wanted to be able to dance like him. Captain Jack Ross didn’t know what was going on here. He looked at Brian with wide eyes trying to tell him to sit down by motioning his head and finally came out and said “Kaffee would you please sit down your embarrassing yourself.” Brian took a step back and realized that he was serious and he sat down and turned to Demi Moore and said “Hey G.I. Jane don’t you think Kevin is taking this a little too seriously?” Lt Commander Joanne Galloway was taken aback by his comment and told him how inappropriate that was. Brian was really confused and he turned to Kevin Pollack and asked “hey Kevin don’t you think Demi is taking this too seriously also?” Lt Sam Weinberg got up from his chair grabbed Brian and walked him outside of the court room. He pushed him up against the wall and said “Look Kaffee I know you are stressed about calling Jessup to the stand but, to act like a complete asshole and basically get each one of us court marshaled for doing what we are about to be doing is not the way to go by. So take the next minute and clear up your mind and get in there and be the trial lawyer you know you can be.” He let go of Brian and walked back inside. Brian was really confused about what was happening and then he saw for the first time what everyone else saw. He wasn’t Brian Hughes anymore he was Tom Cruise and this wasn’t a set this was real life in the scene of a few good men and he was Lt Daniel Kaffee and he thought back to what god had said and remembered he was going to have to save lives which meant the two Marines who gave the code red lives were at stake and if he didn’t get them a verdict of not guilty they would die and it would be game over. Brian knew this movie very well and then it hit him and he knew what was coming. He was going to have to get Jack Nicholson to confess to giving the order but, the question wasn’t how he was going to do it but how did Kaffee do it in the film. Brian straightened himself out and walked back into the court room and sat down at his chair. He leaned into his colleagues and apologized for his rude comments and said it was just jitters he guessed. He looked over to Bacon and told Jack he was just joking around and needed to break all the tension. Jack Ross looked at him and said “Joking around with two people’s lives isn’t a way to break tension and if you go and do what you’re about to do they will hang and you will be a goner.” Brian sat back and wiped his brow and thought a goner is the least of my problems here. The Bailiff walked in and announced with a deep voice “All Rise.” This Brian knew he could do well without messing up and the judge came and took his seat and they all sat down. You know that moment when ice cream completely melts and is a bowls of cold soup well that was Brian’s stomach. The judge asked Brian if he was ready to call his witness and Brian stood up and said profoundly “The defense calls Colonel Jack Nicholson to the stand.” All he could hear was muttering going on and the judge looked confused and looked over the papers on his desk and asked Brian “Hum Lt Kaffee we don’t have a Colonel Jack Nicholson on the list, did you mean Colonel Jessup?” Brian realized what he did and swallowed hard and replied “excuse me you honor, I meant the defense calls Colonel Jessup to the stand.” Before the colonel made his way in the Judge asked him “What about this Colonel Nicholson, I don’t see him on you witness list?” Brian knew he had to come up with something creditable and shot back “Your honor I am truly sorry Col Nicholson was someone I met in China Town last week and for some reason I said his name by accident and it won’t happen again.”

“See that it doesn’t and stick to you witness list and not your friends list.”

The doors opened and Col Jessup walked in with the fierceness of a lion on the prowl for its next prey. He walk passed Brian and Brian’s eyes opened wide and a big gulp could be heard as Jessup passed by and Brian walked over to his table and hoped to find that there was going to be some notes for him to look at to give him a clue of how to start. He poured himself a glass of water to stall for time and this was the first time he looked at his defendants and into their eyes. Brian knew the ending what really happened but, if he failed and didn’t get the results he was supposed to get then life would be just one of the things they would be depraved of. Hit took a sip of water and turned to Col Jessup and he was ready to begin his questioning. One thing that Brian knew that it was not going to be exactly like the movie but it all had to lead up to that scene where he gets him to admit he ordered the code red and save these two men’s lives and his own as well. The Colonel made his way to stand and sat down. Brian tried to give his best intimating look but that wouldn’t have penetrated a piece of foam rubber the way his heart was beating. Jack Ross stood up and swore in Jessup. Brian knew that this was his time to shine so he was going to have to give it his best shot.

“Col Jessup it’s good of you to be able to make here today on such short notice.”

The Col smirked and replied “When one is subpoenaed he makes every attempt to be here when requested Lt.”

Brian smiled and realized he was off to a horrible start. “Of course col a man of you stature would never disobey an order if one was given right.”

“If I am given an order from a higher command then I follow it to the letter Lt Kaffee.”

Brian paused for a brief second and had to remember the entire movie in a split second so he could make things work out correctly.

“Col we are hear cause these two men have supposed ably gone against an order that was given by you to Lt Keifer um sorry I mean Lt Kendrick and Col um Markinson that Pvt Santiago was not to be touched and that he should be moved off the base. Actually transferred for his safety. Is that correct colonel.”

“Yes Lt I gave the order to Lt Kendrick for Pvt Santiago not to be touched and I gave the order to Col Markinson that he should be transferred.”

“At this time Col Markinson is not here in this room correct.”

“Excuse me Lt?”

“My question should have been did you know that Col Markinson killed himself with his service gun just days ago and can’t be here to refute that.”

“Objection. Relevance.”

Brian’s heart was beating just way too fast for him and was glad that Jack Ross called for an objection. Brian took the minute break and kept on going.

“The relevance is that I was unaware if the Col Jessup knew that Col Markinson killed himself?”

“Sustained bellowed the judge.”

Col Jessup nodded his head to affirm he knew that Col Markinson had taken his own life. At that moment he straightened out his uniform a little and a light bulb went off in Brian’s head and he knew just where he had to be is this part of the story.

“Col I see that you wore your classy Dress outfit today in court.”

“I call it my dress uniform just like you are wearing yours Lt.”

“Did you wear this and only this on the way up to the hearing today Col?”

“No I wore utilities on the plain and flew my dress uniform up.”

“I am sure you brought other items like a change of clothes, toiletries and I just have to ask you this. What type of underwear are you wearing?”

Well needless to say this brought laughter to the room and Brian knew he screwed up and of course he got an objection from the Captain but Brian knew he was ok because he replied with.

“Is the Col’s style of underwear a matter of national security?”

Brian walked over to his table and grabbed a piece of paper from Galloway and began reading off an inventory of items. These were the contents of the private’s locker in his room. Brian clearly remembered this part of the questioning because it followed the question about the Colonels clothes. After reading off the list to the Jessup he walked the paper back over and placed back on the table. He turned around and looked at the Colonel and was about to say something when an objection came from Ross stating relevance and Brian looked at the Colonel and asked “ I want to know why if he was leaving in the morning to never come back why wasn’t he packed. You were leaving for a few days and packed a few days of clothes. Also Colonel I pulled your phone records the day before you left.” He grabbed a piece of paper and walked over to the colonel and handed it to him and asked “Can you tell me if you recognize any of these numbers.” The colonel took the paper and looked it over and handed it back to Brian and answered

“The first call was to a senator to discuss U.S. foreign policy. The second was to another senator to let him know I would be in town and the last was to my sister Elizabeth.”

“Why did you make that call Colonel?” Brian replied

“I wanted to know if she would like to have lunch.”

“Again you were leaving for a few days and prior to Santiago leaving you know how may calls he made upon finding out that he was getting his transfer. None absolutely not one call to a family member to tell them he was coming home. Not a call to a buddy asking him if he could get a ride from the airport. Pvt Santiago was leaving for the rest of his life and neither wrote nor called anyone.”

The Colonel was a little agitated sat up straight and replied. “I can’t speak of the personal packing habits of Pvt William Santiago. Maybe he was an early riser and liked to pack in the morning. Maybe he didn’t have any family or friends to write to. If this was the reason why I was called to Washington to answer questions about phone calls and letters then I have answered the questions. I hope you are not basing you defense of these two young Marines lives based on these questions. DO you have any more questions for me?”

A feeling came into Brian’s stomach of pure dismay. His heart was beating rapidly and sweat was building up on his forehead. His eyes started to get a thin glaze in them. Brian looked up at the two defendants and saw the dismay in their eyes and then he turned his attention over to his colleagues and looked at Weinberg and saw that he ever so slightly shook his head no. Brian knew that if he didn’t get the information he wanted especially the fact to get Jessup to say one of the best lines in movie history right in front of him it was game over. That made Brian realize that this wasn’t a game right now and that yes this is from a movie but in retrospect if I fail and don’t come through here then these two will die for the wrong reasons and I am not going to get a shot at redemption. Colonel Jessup got up from his chair and began to walk out of the courtroom and said “Thanks Danny I love Washington” Brain knew what needed to happen and turned to him and replied “I didn’t dismiss you yet sit the hell back down.” Jessup flashed a glare at him and answered “Colonel. I would like him to address me as Colonel.” Jessup continued walking back to the witness stand and sat down and while that was happening Brian wiped the sweat off his head took a sip of water and blew his nose. He looked down and on the table he saw two books marked tower chief’s logs and remembered he needed these. He picked them up and walked over the judges stand and handed them to him admitting them as defense exhibits A & B stating that a flight that taken off 7 hours earlier was not recorded as leaving or landing at Andrews 7 Air Force Base 6 hours ’s earlier than the last flight that is written down. The judge was confused on why he was admitting evidence about a flight that neither took off or landed and Brian answered “Neither do I but I will get to a point soon.” The judge looked at him and told him that he hoped so. Brian walked over to Colonel Jessup and began to question him yet again but, this time he felt more confident about where he was going to go with this line of questioning. As Brian approached he thought that if this was a movie he would be in slow motion and heroine type music would be playing softly as he walked towards the Colonel.

“Colonel Jessup A moment ago said that you ordered Kendrick to order his men not to touch Santiago. Is that correct Sir?”

“That is correct Danny.”

“And Lt Kendrick was clear on what you ordered?”

“Crystal Clear Lt Kaffee.”

“Colonel Jessup would there be any reason to believe that Kendrick would have disobey this order and thought you were crazy.”

“There is no way on God’s green earth that Kendrick would have done that.”

“When Kendrick spoke to the platoon and ordered them not to touch Santiago, any
chance they ignored him?”

“Have you ever served in a forward area or in an infantry unit son?”

“No Sir.”

“Ever put your life in an man arms and have them put theirs in in yours?”

“No Sir”

“We follow orders, son. We follow orders or people die. It’s that simple. Are we
clear?”

“Crystal clear Colonel. If you gave an order that Santiago wasn’t to be touched, and your orders are
always followed, then why would he be in danger, why would it be necessary to transfer him off the base?”

“Private Santiago was a sub-standard marine. He was being transferred off the base because.”

Brian sees this going the right way and interrupts Jessup and begins to show a smirk on his face because he knows that he is on the right track because now everything is falling into place and he was going to hear what he needs to win. Brian straightens his jacket and continues.

“But that’s not what you said. You said he was being transferred because he was in grave danger.”

“Yes. That’s correct, but—“

“You said, “He was in danger”. I said, “Grave danger”. You said”

“Yes, I recall what” You can see the anger growing in Jessup as this line of questioning continues

“I can have the Court Reporter read back your”

“I know what I said. I don’t need it read back to me like I’m a damn”

“Then why the two orders. The one for him not to be touched and the one form him to be transferred.?

“Sometimes men take matters into their own hands.”

“No sir. You made it clear just a moment ago that your men never take matters into their own hands. Your men follow orders or people die. So Santiago shouldn’t have been in any danger at all, should he have, Colonel?” Brains entire facial expression was angry and he knew he was winning.

At this point Jessup was quiet and wasn’t answering. Ross had asked for recess but was denied by the judge. Brian knew he had to keep going to force him to say what he needed to say.

“If Kendrick told his men that Santiago wasn’t to be touched, then why did he have to be transferred?. Kendrick ordered the code red, didn’t he? Because that’s what you told Kendrick to do. ”

“You want answers?” Jessup answered furiously

“I am entitled.”

“You want answers.” Jessup now yelled back

“I want the truth.”

“You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s going to do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use ’em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I’d prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to.”

Brian had him dead to rights and he knew what was coming and he was going to live a part of history in the making again. He turned back to Jessup and asked profoundly. “Did you order the code red?”

“ I did the job you sent me to do.” Jessup replied

“Did you order the code red?” Brian asked once again

“You’re goddamn right I did.!”

A moment of silence went through the courtroom. Even though Brian knew he had won and completed his job he was still stunned at the fact that he got it out of him and remembered what he needed to remember. Brian knowing he was right went into a little dance and began singing “Jessup going down. Down ,down ,down. Jessup going down, down, down, down. Even though he got what he needed he forgot that he was still in the scene and he had not ended and he stopped at looked around at everyone seeing their looks of dismay on their face. Jessup rushed him and was stopped by two MP’s and Jessup was screaming curses and bad things to him along with death threats. Jack Ross was very impressed with the way that Brian had handled the case and told him “Jessup isn’t the only one getting arrested today. I’m heading to Gitmo and going to arrest Kendrick.” Brian laughed a little and told him “Say Hi to Kiefer.” Dammit Brian thought and said “say high to Lieutenant Kendrick for me.” Ross smiled and told him “You really need to remember the names of the people you’re dealing with especially in the military.” Brian nodded and knew he had to do better. He apologized for his actions to the judge before he cleared the room and took his seat seat. Just as he took his seat the room went dark and the same picture of what appeared to look at light speed happened and he was taken back to the cold room he was originally was in.

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