|A Bee or Not a Bee
by Michael Bard
© Michael Bard -- all rights reserved
"Objection! What relevance does this have?" broke in Rachel Marth, defense attorney for the accused, Dr. Dan Minlard.
Jason Randal, public prosecutor for the state of California, approached the judge. "Your honour, although the defendant does not deny his actions, he states that they were not murder. The court must see this video footage that proves that Dr. Minlard's actions were indeed murder. Cold and calculated."
Rachel Marth continued,"But it's just the video of the lab where the accused is claimed to have committed his crime. It's already been shown."
"True, you showed it earlier for your defense. Ms. Marth. But, we have something to show in parallel to it that is vital for the state's case."
"And what is that?" asked the judge.
"Evidence that proves that who the defendant killed was actually the missing Dr. Malcolm."
The judge frowned for a second, thinking, until he was interrupted by Ms. Marth.
"Who? Your honour..."
"Enough. Your objection is over ruled - we will watch the video again. However, I reserve the right to restore the objection if the video's relevance does not quickly become clear."
Ms. Marth frowned and turned away.
Jason smiled. "Thank you, your honour. The relevance will become clear almost immediately." Then he turned and walked back to face the jury. "Just to refresh," he began, "what you are about to see is a video that shows the actual murder taking place. Although you have seen it before, the right half of the screen will now show what was being typed into the workstation just before the cold-blooded murder took place. I apologize, as some of the information could not be recovered after the defendant deleted..."
"Objection! There is no proof that the defendant deleted any file."
"The jury will ignore would they just heard. Would you please rephrase, Mr. Randal?" asked the judge.
Jason turned to face the judge,"I apologize." and then he turned back to the jury. "As I was saying, some of the information could not be recovered," he turned to face Dr. Minlard, "as someone deleted the file." Jason smiled as he watched Dr. Minlard frown.
Then the courtroom lights were darkened and the video recording was played for the jury. Like before, it showed a darkened computer lab dimly lit by the night lighting from the few overhead lights that always remained on. It started earlier than the video the defense had shown, but was clearly from the same tape. What could be seen in the corner was that one workstation was still on, and something was buzzing around the keyboard. But this was only the left half. The right half showed a close up of a workstation and something being typed.
Jason turned back to the jury. "I apologize, but the information you are seeing being typed was reconstructed from recovered information from the workstation in question. The typing has been synchronized with the video as best we could, based on analysis of what could be made out from the computer screen on the video tape."
Then text slowly appeared on the right half of the screen, as it was typed onto the workstation - apparently by the bumble bee that could be seen buzzing up and down to press the appropriate keys:
"The experiment worked! It's amazing - I've actually been compacted down and transformed into an insect. The colony even accepted me and somehow I understood the messages that they were sending to each other. I could walk in and mingle freely and without harm. The..."
The workstation display stopped scrolling for a few seconds as the message "
"...transformation. In fact it was almost completely pain free. We couldn't believe it when the test animals showed no pain. I should have let someone know - I should have told someone that I was going to try it - but I'd always dreamed of this, I, Brian Malcolm. To be the first! To be..."
At this point the typing broke off as Dr. Minlard entered the room, switching the lights on. Once again the jury saw his astonishment as he saw the bee buzzing around the computer. Again they watched him stare at the computer screen for a second, and then roll up the newspaper that he was carrying and chase the bee for a few moments before he was finally able to swat it, dead. The video continued for a few minutes more, even though the defense had ended it at this point, as Dr. Minlard sat down, stared at the workstation, and then closed the file. At this point, the video finally ended.
Jason smiled and whispered to himself, "And thus the prosecution proves its case."
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