EJAX-472: Ch. 09byfmcchris©
"All rise," the portly man announced.
The entire audience stood up.
"His honorable Judge Sven Carlsdotter presiding this day the 17th of July in Stockholm District Court. This hearing of the state versus Dr. Christiana Swensen is now in session."
The judge abruptly entered from a door that stood directly behind the bench and sat down without once looking up. The bailiff then ordered the audience to be seated.
"I know that prick," Philip said. "I'm the one who put him in that chair."
"Judge Carlsdotter is a tough son of a bitch," Stephan said, looking somewhat uneasy. "But he's fair. Be on your best behavior—all of you."
The judge was a rather stout man somewhere in his middle sixties. His head was bald on top with short gray hair surrounding his head on the sides. On his face he wore a pair of thick, black-rimmed glasses. His features revealed a man who might have been considered handsome at one time, but who, with the passing of years, had developed a sternness of countenance that bespoke of a hard and uncompromising character. He sat impassively for a few moments, reviewing the documents and related items before him.
"The counsels are aware," he began in a stentorian voice, "that this is a formal hearing and that if, in my estimation, the evidence against the defendant is insubstantial, I will order a dismissal pending further investigation."
Both attorneys acknowledged the judge's statement with a nod.
"Are there any more items remaining to be admitted as physical evidence?"
The two counselors acknowledged that all the evidence had indeed been submitted.
"Very well," he said. "Both of you will now have the opportunity to present your arguments before this court. You may call upon witnesses to support your arguments but I warn you to keep such testimonials brief." He turned to Stephan. "You may proceed counselor."
"Thank you your honor. My intention here today is to prove that the charge of 'reckless endangerment' leveled against my client is unfounded, and that she is blameless of all such charges brought against her. It has been inferred from the evidence thus far submitted that doctor Swensen was in league with her brother-in-law, Philip Olmstead, in that she willingly supplied him with samples of her drug with the intent of distributing EJAX-472 on the international underground drug market. As Mr. Olmstead has already sworn in a signed deposition, doctor Swensen was in no way whatsoever involved in such illegal activities, and no substantial proof of duplicity has, of yet, been forthcoming. In view of the lack of evidence in this regard, the charge of conspiracy must be ruled out. It is therefore in answer to the charges of reckless endangerment that I shall address my argument." Stephan's eyes fell on Rebecca. "I call doctor Rebecca Hellstrom to the stand."
Rebecca dutifully rose from her seat and approached the witness stand where she was duly sworn in. She sat down and crossed her legs, giving the audience a splendid view of her astounding limbs. She looked quite at ease sitting up there, as if the insecurities she had experienced earlier in the day were now only a fleeting memory. For the first time Stephan got a good look at her lovely legs and I could tell the sight had made an impression upon him.
"Doctor Hellstrom," he began. "As this is a hearing, and the court is aware of the background and particulars of this case, we are going to dispense with the usual routine questioning and get right to the heart of the matter at hand."
"I understand," Rebecca replied.
Stephan looked at me. "How would you describe the character of doctor Christiana Swensen?"
Rebecca took a deep breath and cleared her throat.
"She's a good and decent person."
"Could you elaborate?"
Rebecca thought for a moment. "Well, she's extremely brilliant, dedicated, compassionate..."
"If you could describe her in one word," he interrupted, "what would that be?"
Rebecca looked down at her hands that lay folded in her lap. She paused for a few seconds and then lifted her head and looked at me.
"Driven," she replied.
"Driven to do what?"
"To help ease people's suffering."
Stephan's eyes surveyed the entire room. "So, you're saying that doctor Swensen's motivation is derived from a desire to do good?"
"I see," he said. "How long have you worked at the Clinic?"
"Almost eight years."
"And how long have you known Dr. Swensen?"
"The same amount of time. She was the one who hired me."
"And what was your job function?"
"My expertise is in mathematics and cellular biology. Dr. Swensen needed someone to assist her in the development of a new drug she was working on and my skills were employed in this area."
"That new drug was EJAX-472 was it not?"
"Tell us a little about it."
"Essentially, it is a fertility drug that was designed to treat problems associated with the male reproductive system such as low sperm motility, erectile dysfunction, and so on."
"And you helped doctor Swensen to create this fertility drug?"
"Primarily, but there were others on her team who also contributed."
"But you were her right-hand woman, so to speak?"
"If you want to put it that way, yes, I was."
"Were you well treated by doctor Swensen?"
"Oh, yes. She always treated everyone on the staff with respect."
At this point I could sense that the prosecutor was growing impatient with the line of questioning. He shifted position in his seat several times and finally stood up.
"Your honor," Gustafson said with a discontented snarl, "all this information is known to the court. I would ask the counselor to get to the point."
Stephan returned the prosecutor's disgruntled look. "My intention, sir, is to prove that doctor Swensen's character is such that would preclude any suggestion of irresponsible behavior."
"Get on with it, Mr. Ambrose," the judge said, showing barely little more patience that the fidgety prosecutor.
"Now, doctor Hellstrom," Stephan continued. "Once the drug's testing phase was concluded, what did you do?"
"We submitted a prototype sample of the drug to the Pharmaceutical Association of Sweden and were granted permission to administer EJAX-472 to human subjects."
"This was after you had finished testing with animals?"
"How long did those experiments last?"
"I'm not quite sure. Several years at least, I believe."
"So, would you say that doctor Swensen acted responsibly in that she waited for a sufficient period before using the drug on human beings?"
"She followed all the standard protocols regarding animal testing and was granted approval to administer the drug to humans by the Pharmaceutical Association."
"You also got permission from each of your male subjects' personal physician to give them this experimental drug?"
"That's correct. You have their signed statements."
"You must have been very excited to see what the results were going to be."
"Yes, I was."
"What were doctor Swensen's feelings at this point?"
"She was happy, but anxious."
"Anxious, of course, because that would have been the first time the drug was tested on human beings?"
"Yes, but she was happy too, as I said."
"And what happened after you administered the drug to these...what was it? Ten men?"
"Yes, at the beginning. But four men withdrew from the program, and we wound up with only six. During their stay at the Clinic we began to notice changes around the beginning of the second week."
"How long had they been taking the drug at that point?"
"Approximately eight days."
"What kind of changes did they experience?"
"Well, during our first conducted test, all the subjects displayed increased sperm count, full-volume emissions, and protracted orgasms."
"Would this constitute a dramatic change in your opinion?"
"As a result of these tests, would you say the experiment was a success?"
"Yes, I most certainly would."
"Did doctor Swensen regard it as such?"
"Yes, she did."
Stephan turned to the bench. "At this time your honor I should like to present as evidence a videotape of an experiment conducted at the lab by doctor Swensen and doctor Hellstrom utilizing EJAX-472."
"Proceed," the judge instructed.
"Before we begin your honor, I would remind the audience that this video contains material of a prurient nature and may not be suitable for all viewers."
"Duly noted. If anyone in the court would like to leave, he or she is free to wait outside until the video has concluded." He looked out at the anxious faces of the girls from St. Bridget's. "I understand that the students of St. Bridget's are all of legal age. Is that correct counselor?"
"That's correct your honor." Stephan replied. "There is no one under the age of eighteen among them."
The judge and the attorneys waited to see if anyone was going to leave, but no one did. I thought the schoolgirls' parents would have sent them out, but, oddly enough, they seemed quite willing to let them watch the video. The girls' themselves leaned forward in their chairs to get a better view and several jokes were made.
Stephan ordered the court attendant to dim the lights and start the videotape. On a large television monitor that had been placed on a table to the left side of the bench, an image appeared of a man's back, and in his hands he was holding what appeared to be his penis—a huge, black shaft that almost filled up half the screen. Two women in lab coats sat across from him with notepads in their hands. A glass divider separated them from the man. It was Rebecca and I, and we were testing none other than Barney Cole, who was about to provide us with a sperm sample. I looked at Barney just then. His grinning expression indicated that he knew it was he, himself, who was on the video, but he said nothing. Adam and a few of the other men chuckled.
The audience reacted with mild surprise and amusement upon seeing the towering black phallus, but they quickly grew quiet when the onscreen dialogue began.
"Just about there," Barney gasped.
"Okay," I said, as I wrote something down in my notebook. "Keep going."
There was a moment of silence in which all that could be heard was the big man's fist roughly jerking his penis.
"Rebecca, please make sure that sensor light is working properly."
Rebecca glanced at the readout attached to the glass panel. For a few seconds her face was bathed in the soft, green glow of the LED display.
"We're in the green," she said.
"What is that sensor used for?" Stephan asked Rebecca.
"It tracks the number of ejaculations," she replied. "We try to count them but sometimes there's just too many to follow."
"I'm gonna cum doc," Barney exclaimed.
"Don't shift position," I told him. "Keep your hands and penis exactly where they are."
"Okay," he replied, with a loud groan.
Suddenly, the sensor began to beep, signaling that Barney was now ejaculating.
The audience seemed to derive great amusement from watching the onscreen images of Rebecca and I as we followed every ejaculation, both our eyes moving up and down rapidly in time with the spurts. Sometimes the ejaculations were so intense that we actually craned our necks backwards to follow each trajectory. And with each spurt, the sensor would beep, sometimes registering an astonishing three to four beeps per second, in keeping with his ejaculations. Ultimately, his orgasms became too difficult to track. Seconds later, amidst Barney's impassioned cries of ecstasy, a torrent of sperm came pouring down the glass partition in immense rivers of white as his cock continued to fire off round after round of the viscous fluid. By the time he was finished, he had ejaculated no less than twenty-nine times. Stephan ordered the attendant to stop the video and had the lights turned on.
Those members of the audience who had never seen the effects of EJAX-472 sat there captivated, reacting with disbelief as they tried to come to terms with what they had just witnessed. A few of them loudly protested that the entire thing was a sham; that no man could ever ejaculate in such a fashion. To which Barney replied that it was indeed possible because he was the very same man in the video. Arguments arose and the judge had to use his gavel to bring order to the court.
"I will not tolerate these outbursts," he said firmly. "If it happens again, I will have those responsible removed."
I noticed that neither the judge nor the prosecutor seemed too surprised by what they had just seen on the video, which puzzled me. They seemed to regard what they saw as a commonplace occurrence, while Stephan reacted with wonder.
"That's quite amazing, I must say," Stephan said to Rebecca. "What sexual problem was the subject in the video suffering from, may I ask?"
Even the stern-faced judge smiled. "Do you have anything more to offer Mr. Ambrose?"
"I just want to say that what was depicted on that video was real, nothing was faked. What we have all just witnessed was the effects of EJAX-472, a drug that was created for the sole purpose of helping men with sexual dysfunctions to live a normal life."
"Those ejaculations were far from 'normal' Mr. Ambrose," Gustafson said.
"For the people who suffer from sexual problems, it is a boon. And doctor Swensen has done nothing but give hope to these men where there was none before."
Stephan looked at me just then and smiled. At the time I didn't know how to account for it, but something inside me, a feeling that had long laid dormant, suddenly awoke, and I wanted to share that feeling with him, if only for a moment.
"I have no more questions your honor," he said, and resumed his seat next to me.
"Your witness, Mr. Gustafson."
I noticed a look of uneasiness come over Rebecca' face as she braced herself to be cross-examined. The prosecutor stood before her, arms folded in front of him and legs spread wide apart. He appeared to be itching for a fight.
"Is it not true doctor Hellstrom, that EJAX-472 has been a problematical drug from the start?"
"Yes," Rebecca replied. "There have been some negative side effects."
"And is it not true that these side effects occurred not long after initial treatment began?"
"And is it also not true that these side effects have been responsible for the dismissal of John Cardelli from his teaching position at St. Bridget's Preparatory School?"
"I'm sorry to say that it was, yes."
"Describe for us these side effects please."
"Well, the drug has, in a few cases, acted like a growth hormone."
"Indeed. And what part of the human body was affected?"
"The scrotum increased to almost one-half its normal size and the penis grew several inches."
There was a general murmur in the audience, which quickly subsided when the judge let his gavel fly a few times.
"My, my, my!" Gustafson exclaimed. "Most men would not regard that as objectionable I would think. Anything else?"
"And there was the problem of involuntary ejaculation."
"Involuntary ejaculation is a condition brought upon by the drug in which a person is compelled to masturbate until he reaches orgasm, irregardless of his surroundings."
"I would tend to think that would ruin one's social life pretty quickly."
There was general laughter from the audience.
"But you said 'compelled to masturbate,' he continued. "Why is that so?"
"Dr. Swensen discovered that increased production of adrenalin acts as a trigger mechanism that reacts with the drug to override normal behavioral inhibitors in the brain. Increased stress is associated with the phenomenon."
"Did this phenomenon occur in all the men who took the drug?"
"No, only in some cases."
"And what has doctor Swensen done to rectify this problem?"
"She has developed a new version of the drug which corrects for the abnormality."
"Has it been administered to the patients already?"
"Only to one of them thus far, and he's fine now. As you may be aware, our Clinic was completely destroyed in a fire early this morning. However, the blood and sperm samples had previously been taken to Stockholm University where we used their laboratories to synthesize the new version."
"Who is this person who received the dose?"
Rebecca leaned over in her chair. "That's him over there. The blonde boy in the third row. Craig Lundquist."
Gustafson glanced at Craig. Craig, in return, smiled nervously.
"And the side effects have been eradicated in this person?"
He turned to the judge. "Your honor, I should like to question Mr. Lundquist shortly."
"As you wish counselor."
"As for you doctor Hellstrom," he began. "All I can say is that, from what you have told this court, doctor Swensen may have acted prematurely in her desire to help these men. The untoward symptoms you described, the growth spurts and the uncontrolled masturbation, have certainly caused your subjects great anguish."
At this point Stephan interrupted.
"Your honor, as with every experimental drug, there are risks involved. These men knew that. Counselor's remark that Dr. Swensen's actions have caused her subjects great pain is purely subjective."
"May I remind you Mr. Ambrose," the judge said stiffly, "that this is not a trial, only a formal hearing. The counselor therefore has every right to express his views without interruption. Now please refrain from making any further comments."
Stephan had wanted to strike out at the presumptuous attorney for what he perceived to be an injustice done to me. Even though he told me later on that he knew that what he had done was inappropriate, he nonetheless felt motivated to protect my reputation because he genuinely liked me and respected my work. His outburst was a gracious, if not miscalculated effort on his part, but it endeared him to me in ways I could not comprehend at the time.
"I am finished with this witness your honor," Gustafson said. "I would now like to call Craig Lundquist to the stand."
The bailiff escorted Craig to the stand as Rebecca rose and walked toward me. She gave Gustafson a sour look as she passed him, but he remained impassive.
"What a jerk," she said to me. "Did I do okay, Chris?"
"You were great," I said, smiling.
As Craig was being sworn in, I noticed that Cheryl seemed very much on edge. She watched her boyfriend intently, her lips tightly pursed. She was protective by nature, and I knew that it troubled her greatly to see her newfound boyfriend being grilled by the truculent attorney.
"How did you get your hands on EJAX-472, Mr. Lundquist?" Gustafson asked.
"I was working as a waiter at a party and some guy laid some on me."
"What party was that?"
"Ms. Olmstead's birthday party."
"And would this guy be none other than Philip Olmstead?"
Craig took a few moments to answer.
"Did you ever consider that the drug you were taking was illegal?"
"No. I thought it was like the stuff you order through the mail. You know, like Spanish Fly or something."
"How did you react to the drug?"
"It made me have really...huge orgasms," he admitted, blushing.
"Like what we just saw on the videotape?"
Craig glanced at Barney. "Yeah, something like that."
"But it also did something else to you didn't it?"
"I don't know what you..."
"What happened to you, Mr. Lundquist?"
"Nothing happened," Craig replied, growing uncomfortable. "I just had these really big orgasms that's all."
"Really?" Gustafson said smugly. "You never experienced any of the negative side effects?"
"No, I didn't."
"No growth increases, no involuntary ejaculation?"
"No, nothing like that."