Star Trek Hunter
Episode 12: Prisoner in the Ice Castle
Scene 9: Standing Order
After eleven days - each 11.5 hours - the andorians in the courtroom were starting to look exhausted. The andorian day was 23 hours long, leaving only 11.5 hours for rest and sleep. Dr. Tali Shae was older than most of the other andorians in the courtroom. The strain was beginning to show on Justice Minerva Irons - the fine lines of aging on her face becoming more ingrained - her internal movement through her Tai Chi regimen becoming more visible as she shifted her weight. Never before had she accepted steroid treatments to improve her stamina and reduce the pain in her joints, but there was no way she could have endured the strain without them now.
Of the people in the room, only Commander David Pepper appeared to be completely at ease, unphased by days on end of standing on a hard marble floor in a freezing courtroom. If he could have given some of his superhuman strength, stamina and poise to his captain, he would have done so in a heartbeat.
To an outside observer, to the andorians in this room, Minerva Irons might appear simply stoic and dispassionate. Pep knew her well enough to see the unimaginable pain she was suppressing. They had done this only a few years before and Irons had gotten through eighteen days of silence without showing any visible stress.
Pep could only hope she would soon see the sign she was waiting for, but given the reports he was hearing, or more importantly the reports he wasn’t hearing, that didn’t seem likely.
Although she was in no small amount of discomfort herself, Dr. Tali Shae was more concerned about Justice Irons. She did not appear about to fall over at this minute, but her distress was clear enough to her doctor. At her age she should not be putting her system under this kind of stress.
Irons was putting on a good show - an amazing show. But unlike her first officer, her doctor knew what her vital signs were. The justice had taken very good care of herself, but age was finally winning - softening her bones, weakening her joints, reducing blood flow to her muscles… Dr. Tali Shae grimaced as she could see Irons fighting off muscle spasms, stretching gently to relieve cramps. But there was no question as to whether it was worth it.
Dr. Tali Shae was not in the least conflicted. Her role was to provide Irons the treatments and drugs she needed to make it through this negotiation, even as those same drugs did lasting damage. That was the price for preventing a chaotic imperial succession that might jeapardize the Andorian Empire's alignment within the Federation and Irons and Shae were both well aware of this price and willing to pay it.