M7NBC line-up concludes with M7 Night Court!
9:30 Night Court, M7 style....
This wacky court needs no introduction. Just sit back, relax, and let Buck call you all to order!
(As with MASH, I had to adjust the setting a little)
"All Rise!" Buck looked around the small courtroom, a small smile on his face as he checked out the somewhat less than respectful moaning from the public in the gallery.
"Criminal Court part two is now in session," he continued formally, "the honorable Christopher T. Larabee, presiding."
Standing in the doorway, brushing some dust from the sleeve of his black robe, Chris looked up and nodded at his oldest friend.
"Thanks Buck." Walking in front of the bailiff, he jumped up the stairs to his bench. As he sat, he heard Buck tell the room they may be seated.
As usual, Ezra Standish, the prosecutor and resident playboy, stayed standing, looking through his files one more time to get them in order. The man was dressed to the nines in an Armani suit, the cut more befitting a big firm partner rather than a lowly government employee. It was a sign that, above all things, Ezra loved money, and he was more than willing to let people know that.
On the other side, the public defender stood, or rather sat, in stark contrast, his foot up on the table while he waited for Chris to call the room to order. Vin wore his hair long, wore the same tweed sports jacket almost every day – except on Fridays where he wore a buckskin coat with fringe (everyone else had casual Friday, he'd explained to Chris -- he was just being a trendsetter while he waited for the government to catch up. Chris had then sarcastically asked whether that meant he could arrive wearing a black duster and cowboy boots. Vin had grinned and replied that he thought the judge already did.), and generally the PD did everything in his power to piss off Ezra.
At the same table sat Josiah Sanchez, the legal services representative. The former preacher was to whom most people went before even going to the police, looking for both counsel and a friend. The sheer number of cases the arraignment court covered in a day prevented Vin from ever being able to delve too deeply into any one case, and that was where Josiah came in. In any case requiring more than your cursory fine and time served, Josiah either helped Vin with the research, or, depending on the client, even pleaded on the criminal's behalf sometimes. Together, the two made a good team.
Chris nodded at them both once before banging the gavel and calling the noisy room to order. Down in front of the bench, Mary Travis, the court reporter, looked up to catch the time, and started typing. Chris looked to his right and nodded at his court clerk.
"What's up first, Nathan?"
Nathan Jackson stood up from his desk, a file in hand, and headed up the steps.
"People versus Melinda Watkins, your honor," he looked over at where Buck and JD were leading in a woman wearing what could barely be called a skirt. She smiled at Vin, who was walking forward to meet her, and scowled at Ezra. He barely noticed. Nathan shook his head, "Crime is solicitation."
"Ms. Watkins was arrested on the corner of Broome and Essex, your honor," Ezra said, reading off of his file before looking up again. "She was picked up by a plainclothes policeman during a sweep."
"I was only trying to bum a cig off the man, your honor, sir," Melinda interrupted, doing her best to bat her eyelashes at Chris. Vin tried to keep a straight face as he nodded.
"She is pleading not guilty, your honor," the PD said. "Her argument is that she merely asked...."
"Whether Officer Stern would like to help her get sssssmoking," Ezra filled in, his eyes lighting up as he stretched out the last word, a Jim Carrey grin on his face. "Somehow I don't think Officer Stern was too impressed."
"It's just a figure a' speech, I swear," Melinda tried, staring daggers at Ezra for a moment before turning a simpering smile back at Chris. The smile faded when she realized the judge wasn't smiling back.
"I think perhaps, Ms. Watkins, you might consider quitting the habit."
"Oh, I try, I really do. But, with three kids at home to feed, your honor...."
"Three?" Chris raised an eyebrow, "Two weeks ago it was only two, wasn't it Nathan?"
"Yep. Although Mary would know better. Did you know she types down every word we say?" The clerk grinned at Melinda, who was looking Mary with a defeated expression. The reporter shrugged at her. Melinda sighed.
"Yeah, okay. I meant two kids," she said quietly.
"Okay, okay, none. Just my deadbeat brother. But believe me, he's worse than ten kids all screaming for the potty after three grape slushies." She shook her head in disgust.
Vin stepped forward, "Your honor, look. The prosecutor's case is only based on subjective innuendo and...."
"Innuendo?" Ezra leaned forward to look at Vin, "My friend, what this woman used was not innuendo. Innuendo suggest subtlety. This woman is about as subtle as one of Buck's pick up lines."
"Hey!" Buck shouted, standing up from his lean on the wall behind him. JD, standing next to him, instantly started snickering. The taller bailiff proceeded to elbow him sideways, strong enough for the kid to almost fall over the bar into the gallery.
"My apologies, Mr. Wilmington, offense only mildly intended." Ezra said, brushing some imaginary dust off his sleeve.
"Now, damn it, I said, Hey!" Buck said, taking a step forward. JD had made it back to his side, the smile still bright on his face, and he was openly chuckling now. Buck glared at him. Ezra opened his mouth to make another smart comment, but never made it.
"Ezra, can it!" Chris glared at the prosecutor, who responded by morphing his features into a mask of pure innocence. The judge just rolled his eyes and looked back at Melinda.
"I'm sorry, Ms. Watkins, but, as much as I hate to admit it, I agree with the prosecutor." He picked up the gavel and quickly brought it down. "Hundred dollar fine, and time served."
"Ah well, can't win 'em all," the prostitute gave Ezra one more glare before smiling at Chris as she was led out.
"Subtle innuendo, baby," Ezra sang after her, "Must be something inside."
"Lord help us, Adam Ant's in the room," Josiah said to Vin as he returned to the defense table.
"Could be worse," Vin replied.
"Yeah, could be Buck singing."
"Hey! Now that's it!" Buck took three more steps forward, glaring at Vin, as JD proceeded to fall backwards over the rail into the gallery all on his own, he was laughing so hard. "No more picking on the bailiff! Remember who has the gun here!"
Up on the bench, Chris shook his head and looked over at Nathan. "I'm sensing a real long night ahead of us, Nate," he sighed. "But, we live to entertain. Now, who's the next victim?"
Nathan picked up the file and brought it up to Chris, a small smile on his face, "People versus the heads of CBS and TNN, your honor."
"CBS and TNN? What's the charge?"
"Yanking a great show off the air."
Thank you for watching! It's been a great run for M7NBC! Until next time!
Same M7 Time! Same M7 channel!
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