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Like Sands Through The Hourglass

VC: Like Sands Through The Hourglass
Ginny — 22 Sep 1998, 11:28 AM

Clare considered the individuals in the tableau before her.

The handsome, stalwart Marshal Tuvok standing between Sevenita and his desk, his posture, as always, perfect.

Her comely client, Sevenita, looking practically irridescent and just a little sullen in her new silver dress.

Scruffy young gunfighter Eric, wearing a tan duster and six-guns, and seriously in need of a bath and a dictionary.

Pretty, petite Kes Janeway, clothed head-to-toe in form-fitting leather and thigh boots.

That's a really smashing outfit, thought Clare. I wonder if it comes in maroon.

Kes' voice reverberated in her head. I didn't even think to ask, Miss Darrow. Let me check with my personal shopper, Tieran, and I'll get back to you.

Clare gasped and stared at Kes in amazement, but if eleven years in the practice of law had taught her anything, it was to carry on with aplomb in the face of unanticipated revelations. She steadied herself and addressed Marshal Tuvok.

"Marshal, it is my understanding that you have come into the possession of a notebook containing evidence that may have exculpatory value for my client. I demand to see that evidence immediately."

Kes, always the schoolmarm, leaned over and whispered to the young gunfighter, "Do you know what exculpatory means?"

The gunfighter whispered back, "No. Do you know how to spell it?"

Marshal Tuvok picked up a notebook from his desk. "I believe this is the item to which you are referring, Miss Darrow. However, it has not yet been determined that there is any evidence in it pertaining to the Jabin Ogla murder, exculpatory or otherwise. I am therefore not at liberty to grant you access at this time. However, I am confident that Voyager City's prosecuting attorney will give full disclosure of all of the evidence to you prior to the trial."

Clare folded her arms across her chest, displeasure evident on her face. "That raises an interesting question, in and of itself, Marshal. I am the attorney of record for a woman on trial for murder, and no one has yet informed me who will be prosecuting this matter on behalf of the state. Why is that?"

Tuvok's face was impassive. "I have insufficient information to answer your question, Miss Darrow. Perhaps you should speak with Judge Riker."

Clare's beautiful brown eyes sparked with irritation, and she snapped, "Believe me, I will. In the meantime, I don't want that untidy young man ogling my client any longer." She stared pointedly at Eric.

"Hear, hear," murmured Kes.

Clare continued. "Kindly return her to her cell or release her on her own recognizance."

Kes looked at Eric. "Do you know what recognizance..."

"Give it a rest, Kes."

The Marshal shook his head and said. "I am afraid that, under the circumstances, I cannot release Sevenita, Miss Darrow, but I will return her to her cell."

The young gunfighter stepped forward, as Marshal Tuvok took Sevenita by the arm, preparing to lead her back into the cellblock.

"Sevenita," he began, his voice strangled. He stopped, cleared his throat, and began again. "Miss Sevenita, I'm sorry that you find yourself in such dire circumstances. If there is anything I can do to help, please do not hesitate to call on me. In the meantime, I'll be pulling for yo--, er, I'll be rooting fo--, er... Oh, hell. Good luck at the trial." And the embarassed young man turned and hurried from the marshal's office, Kes right on his heels.

As the small blonde woman passed, Clare caught a brief mental flash of restraints and a bullwhip. The lawyer sighed nostalgically and thought, Ah, youth.

To be continued in So Are The Dames Of Our Lives