Nigel CooperLocation: Education Center (M)
Nigel, with his awe-stricken attention aimed straight at the epic spectacle of Troyan propotions up on stage, could only just hear the hushed words of Ashton sitting beside him. What he lacked in active hearing though, he made up for in nodded agreement. So many words had been spoken, so many lies deconstructed and images torn apart before the very eyes of the audiance attending the trial, that what Ash pleaded Hunter to do had been his fairest attempt at redemption. Without turning his attention away from Hunter and the Professor exchanging verbal thrusts of weaponry up front, Nigel nodded to Ash's words.
"Nemo tenetur se ipsum accusare, Ashton…"
The neo-Roman straigthened himself up in his seat, his forward-leaning stature making his back stiff as the proceedings continued forward. If it had been bad before, this was turning into a Teutoburg Forest-moment in history. In other words, a complete and utter shit-fest as his students would have called it. Rather than absolving himself or painting himself in a more favourable light, to Nigel's eyes this was a downhill slope going straight into the depths of Hadens himself at this point. Words were exchanged, heated passions fired into the testimony and a less-than-favourable spectacle made of Hunter. The Professor, whether you liked her or not, proved to Nigel that she was not one you'd want on your bad side.
To him it seemed the clear-cut answer was to throw him to the wolves, so to speak. Nigel didn't like the thought of exiling Hunter, but the pragmatic Roman mindset spoke volumes in times like these; Hunter had made a very good case against himself, and it was difficult for Nigel to see how he would remain inside the comfort of CMB's walls without great reprecussions, even for how much Hunter had grown on him. But it wasn't friendship and kindness that had built the Roman Empire, nor his own survival all those years at the hands of Hades' minions…still, when the chance was given for them to speak up, Nigel pondered on what he could or should say.
In the end he didn't know what he could say in good faith to help Hunter. The die had been cast, the Rubicon crossed, and now all roads led to Rome. So he was surprised to see so many lining up to speak at the end. Perhaps most of all two people: Thana, who he understood to not have much to do with Hunter, and the old veteran named Alexander.
Alexander PolawskiLocation: Education Center (M)
Time and strung-together strings of sentences flew past old Alexander, his weary state of mind dipping in and out of attention as he blinked his eyes tightly. Up and down, closed and open, trying to clear the foggy memories that drew a heavy haze over his vision - Hunter's words ringing all too familiar in the old veteran's ears. Why he joined the military when he didn't like authoritiy figures? Hell, why did Alexander join? In the same lane as the young soldier on the stand, it didn't have to do with a love for the armed forces.
No, like Hunter the reasons were his family. Family and friends. Family he hated, friends he loved. Not the same completely, but enough for Alexander to see a mirage of himself in the form of Hunter sitting up there, defending his own actions. Blink. Blink. Hunter was back, and so was Alexander in his seat.
Alexander felt a bead of sweat run down his forehead, down his chin and dangling effortlessy on his chin as more words were spoken, questions asked and statements made faster than an approaching hurricane north of Cuba. The Professor was really getting down and dirty with Hunter verbally, who clearly was shaken by it. Alexander couldn't blame him in the slighest. Had it been him up there, at that age? Hell, who knew if he'd done any better.
The latter part of the testimony didn't fare well for him…Hunter, that was, though the old Veteran still couldn't find it in his heart to judge the kid too harsly…he was just a kid for God's sake! A fuck-up, messed pile of contradictions who needed some serious help…but still just a kid. A kid who, in his mind, focused his issues onto those brass-chested bastards who sent him out to do those things, instead of blaming himself…like Alexander did.
And then Heaven itself called down upon him. So it felt at least when the Professor announced they would be given the chance to voice their thoughts on Hunter's fate. It wasn't anything like the Military old Alexander knew, with its strict set of rules, regulations and round-house kicks over your sorry head. Should he say something? Did he even had anything to say? The old veteran felt the black hole inside of him expand once more, filling his whole chest with the power to drag him into it and its terrible contents of trauma. But…if he had been up there, would anyone have spoken in his place?
The world shook underneath his feet as he stood up on his good foot and pegleg, one slow step after another as he approached the stage, more determination and fear drenching his stature. The old veteran was marching into battle, if for the one last time. Alexander gave the Professor a humble look, perhaps fearful of her oraly wrath from moments earlier, as he took stage.
"Uhm…yes…Alexander Polawski, as told before…I, in my opinon…" Alexander's voice trembled, the old veteran filled up with doubt and fright as he felt every single person lay eyes on him and his worn body. Worn out, tired of all the shit he'd been put through…put himself through. But it was because of that he took stage, finding a sense of courage he hadn't felt for years.
"I cannot with good conscience excuse or even explain the actions of Mr. Monroe…Hunter. He's done what he's done…but…" Alexander cleared his throat as his old, wrinkled eyes looked over at the young soldier, seeing himself sitting there once more. "I'll only ask for anyone, myself included, to forgive his behaviour, as stupid and destructive as it has been…because…because I know that even the most broken of men can be fixed, given time and care. I must believe that. If a man such as myself, young and rising against the world around me can find any sense of redemption…for I must believe that. If I do, and you do, then even Hunter may have a path made for him…by the Lord…by anyone who sees him for him, flawed as he is…"
His words shook with stage fright, his old hands gripping tightly around anything he could hold as he spoke, but he relented. "Hunter, I wish you the best…" his parting words broke his voice in the end, choking up and giving him the great shakes as he stepped down and rushed down the aisle to find his seat beside Manny again. It hadn't been a masterfully crafted speech, inspiring or anything. What it had been, was honest.