THFWS & TTM’s: Sebastian in Court

Despite the legal maneuvering, posturing, politicizing, and other distractions amplified by the media to generate “sound bites” (rather than look deeper because the format is not well suited to hourly updates) there remained several essential questions that would either have to be defined and answered by the courts or else someone in any number of very high places would have to create enough of a diversion lasting at least ninety days to allow for a non-sequitur.

Regardless of anyone’s best intentions, if an issue goes unanswered long enough, the public loses interest because the Court of Public Opinion only generally entertains items and persons of interest suitable for National Enquirer, The Globe, TMZ, The Star, or if they are feeling really high-brow, People Magazine, (The magazine for people who don’t like to read).

Eventually, even Rolling Stone decided to do an article and photo shoot entitled “The Talking Monkeys: The Siege of The Home for Wayward Souls becomes Everyday Zen”.

It was a beautifully photo illustrated cover article with almost three thousand words written by a very articulate young man trying desperately to fill Hunter Thompson’s shoes.

It was the definitive last word on the action, the drama, and what was really at stake, and in so doing issued cease-fire orders as a media event, effectively stating “Nothing More to See Here, Go Back to Your Homes…” knowing full-well that once a verdict was reached, there would be plenty more public attention.

And for everyone at The Sanctuary, although they knew an answer was forthcoming, they were in no real hurry to get any verdicts themselves, even though they seemed to be the only ones who knew what the real questions were…or at least that was what it felt like if you had been there.

They became the new rock stars of the new millennium.

They had all become “everyday famous”, like “Bradgolina”…cheap, plentiful pulp for The Mill.

They knew there was no free lunch, and there was no other way to ride this one out, and no hurry to get to the end, because everyday life was fucking great for the here and now.

Besides, the strawberries were sweet, and the tigers were hungry.

“Bravo! Network” wanted to do a series called “The Housewives of Polyamory” but the group unanimously agreed to vote any such trash down any time the offer was so much as proffered.

Because they did not run or shy away from TMZ, no matter how much they tried to put their sleazy spin on any of the actions at the Sanctuary, the fact that its members acted and behaved as if they had nothing to hide, devoid of shame became their greatest strength.

The dog chases the deer because the deer runs.

They were all in for a showdown regarding The Answers, and a great deal would be determined by what Sebastian Galbraith Lodge had to say in court. Needless to say, he was in no way prepared for any of it.

Men like Lodge were meant to be petty bureaucrats. They have the family, the education and the breeding, but deep down, they know that although their position in life is privileged, it is not until their strength and character are challenged that the false bravado of their arrogance bred by too many assurances and self-righteous indulgences since the moment of their birth erodes faster than a sand castle in the desert.

Certain government agencies and private corporations specialize in keeping straw men like Lodge around just to throw them to the mob if it actually reaches the castle walls.

(Plaintiff’s Attorney): “Mr. Lodge, how would you describe your duties and responsibilities at The Center for Primate Studies?”

(Sebastian G. Lodge): “My primary responsibility was to insure that the best interests of Management’s investments were protected. I received directives, not mission statements…I saw to it that they were carried out regardless of my own personal beliefs or feelings.”

(Plaintiff’s Attorney): “Have you not previously stated that you have no background in animal research or laboratory operations of any kind…is that not correct?”

(Sebastian G. Lodge): “Yes. At first I relied upon The Center’s Director for general guidance, but when I found that he was not entirely in alignment with Management’s objectives…as if he believed that he somehow existed outside of their instructions, I determined that his position was expendable.”

“It is not an uncommon trait in academic types…their primary allegiance would appear to be to follow the dictates of their personal belief systems, like Science for Science’s Sake, Truth, Justice, or answering to some Godless mysterious higher power and therefore subject to becoming loose cannons and wild cards….”

(Plaintiff’s Attorney): “And whistle-blowers?”

(Sebastian G. Lodge): “In my line of work, that is not an appropriate term…all employees are subject to very stringent security protocols. There is no whistle to be blown, because the whistle does not exist within those protocols.”

“The popular term these days is ‘Leaks’ but that is really just a euphemism, and the term ‘whistle-blower’ is no better. Potentially, this could involve treason. It was my job to keep our information secure and protect our assets.”

(Plaintiff’s Attorney): “And just whose assets would that be?”

(Sebastian G. Lodge): “Without trying to sound too evasive, it would be fair to say that I am hired as a consultant for PharmaCorp who is subcontracted, to insure that my primary employers, who are the contractors get best utilization and return on their investments and protection of their assets.”

(Plaintiff’s Attorney): “And that is your best ability to not sound too evasive?…Let’s get to the point…who are your real employers?…to whom do you ultimately answer?”

After a great deal of time in the judge’s chambers, it was mutually agreed that Sebastian Galbraith Lodge’s answer would be Science Applications International Corporation and/or LEIDOS (an acronym that emerged from the word Kaleidoscope and was spawned when the courts ordered the breakup of certain functions of SAIC).

It was also agreed that no further inquiries would be made as to the exact nature or purpose of SAIC/LEIDOS pursuits…“in the interests of national security….”

The official doctrine was that the experiments by PharmaCorp centered around the so-called “Talking Monkeys Project” as a way of minimizing expenses to conduct telemarketing strategies while exploring the potential for simian communication to and from humans, as well as identifying primal motivations as an indicator of human behavior and its potential for additional modifications.

The excursions to North Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas were dubbed as “retreats” to help better study ways to offset Repetitive Thought Injury, the existence of which they neither acknowledged or denied, but were merely looking for a way to “optimize the performances” of their test subjects.

There were to be no further inquiries about their activities off-campus beyond that point.

The Plaintiffs considered this to be a huge concession on the part of Management to avoid addressing the much bigger pariah of Commando Chimps leading a shadow army at the bequest of the “government within the government protecting the nation within the nation.”

(Plaintiff’s Attorneys): “Would it be fair to state that you were completely dependent upon the information and data that you received from your researchers?”

(Sebastian Galbraith Lodge): “To the extent that I felt comfortable with their allegiances…I simply forwarded the data to Management to let them decide how it should be interpreted.”

(Plaintiff’s Attorneys): “Was it your Management that deemed it necessary to instead conduct surveillance of the personal lives and religious pursuits of those researchers?”

(Sebastian Galbraith Lodge):“Not initially, but I cleared it through channels on the basis of the fact that since Frederick was leaving campus, there was the potential for harm to come to our most valuable test subject…the subject of kidnap was raised for instance…Stanley Linderman was the ideal agent to protect those interests…and his loyalties were beyond reproach.”

(Plaintiff’s Attorneys): “Yes, indeed, he was very careful to maintain your mutual deniability about subpoenaed inquiries made by you in email and text messages, in regard to certain aspects of the religious and sexual practices of all of the members of The Home for Wayward Souls, including reports that were also subpoenaed that nonetheless begged the question of who ordered them….”

(Sebastian Galbraith Lodge):“Was there a question in there somewhere?”

(Plaintiff’s Attorneys): “Who ordered the additional invasions of their privacy, and under what authority?”

(Sebastian Galbraith Lodge):“Under the circumstances, I would say it was well-advised, considering the outcome. I stand behind my decision.”

(Plaintiff’s Attorneys): “Was it also your decision to withhold the information about disturbing behavioral signs exhibited by so many of the primates? Is it just possible that you let your personal beliefs about the origins of Man and Creationism cloud your judgement regarding acknowledgement of the sentience of anything other than Man?” 

(Sebastian Galbraith Lodge): “It is still my contention that the rebellion, and escape of the primates, as well as the destruction of PharmaCorp’s properties and loss of income are the direct result of seditious ideas implanted by the members of their cult including some of the highest-ranking and most trusted PharmaCorp research employees under the direction of their so-called minister…he claims no religious affiliation to any specific denomination, but any right-minded individual can easily recognize the words of Satan coming from the mouth of the Serpent in the Garden….”

Even the crickets stopped their restless-leg Serenade to a Wool Sweater in mid-chirp.

(For the third time since this story began, a fly was suddenly startled by the sound of a pin dropping to the floor.)

Interestingly enough, this was also one of those few times in jurisprudence where the Plaintiffs did NOT wish to have the remarks of a member of the Defense stricken from the record and the Defense Attorneys did, but not before the Plaintiffs pointed out that…

“In order to be seduced or even mislead, the parties in question had to possess the ability to make a decision in the first place.”

The jurors were instead instructed to regard Mr. Lodge’s remarks to be wholly his own opinion, and in no way representative of PharmaCorp’s policies or procedures, and court was summarily adjourned for the day.

Tomorrow they would ask the really big questions, like:

“Were the Primates really self-aware…and sentient?”

…or:

“If so, were they responsible for the consequences of their actions? …and when did Sebastian first learn of their higher levels of consciousness? …And what did he do when he did become aware of it?”

…or:

“If they were sentient, were they not entitled to rebel against inhumane treatment, given their level of consciousness?”

…or for that matter:

“What level of intelligence or self-awareness entitles a living being to self-determination, especially if they can demonstrate their ability to effectively communicate those desires?”

…or even:

“Are there some things that any sentient being can decline to be subjected that humans may willingly embrace, or is it simply inhumane no matter who is required to do it?”

Humans willingly surrender their self-determinism, their will, their civil rights and civil liberties and even the lives of their children before they are even born…every day.

They choose to wallow in greed and ignorance thinly disguised by  jealous insecurities stimulating consumerism in the name of the public safety and the greater good.

There is slavery as well as safety in numbers. The self-proclaimed protectors of the weak will never quit filling their pockets through the labors and votes of those who believe they cannot protect themselves and the sympathies of those too lazy and clueless to do it as a natural course of action.

…and:

Who will protect us from our protectors?

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