John Sheffler liked to think he was a fair man. Personally, he could have happily shot Petrovsky in the face and left the body where it fell without nearly so much show and ceremony. But he wasn't a Spectre, and if the Spectres preferred a little court procedure—which was probably not to the letter of the Alliance Code of Military Justice prescribing a true captain's mast—he wasn't going to argue too hard.
Petrovsky was too guilty to get off on any technicality, no matter how minor.
For a moment, as the jury exited—well, the human servicemen did, the non-humans remained where they were—Petrovsky simply gaped, as if he couldn't quite believe was happening. Good. It did Sheffler's twisted little Cerberus-hating soul good to see the idiot lost for words, disbelieving that he could actually be acted against, could be condemned so easily.
It was one of the things that amused him about Cerberus, the way they always made their more-important flunkies feel like they could never be expendable. The only person in that organization who wasn't considered expendable was the man giving the orders.
Sheffler hadn't given up hope of finding and confronting Jack Harper one of these days. Of walking up to the prick and calling him by his real name just before shooting him in the face. Oh, he would never hope for another birthday, anniversary, or Christmas present ever again, if he could just have that…
Petrovsky came back to life as the security team hastily cast around, then tied Petrovsky to a chair, the casters locked. There weren't any suitable uprights to simply lash him against.
The firing squad was a small one: himself, Capt. Courtney, Shepard, Alenko, Vakarian and Dr. T'Soni. Two Alliance officers, two Spectres, and representatives from two of the other Council races.
No one was listening to Petrovsky. There was no one but the firing squad, and the security detail to hear him. That was probably why this wasn't being treated as a public execution: the screaming and raving might soften folks' sentiments.
Not the folks gathered here though, Sheffler thought with a twisted smile. Nope. Judging from the icy expressions, the unveiled contempt, Petrovsky couldn't worm his way out of this punishment he so richly deserved.
Thousands of human lives, and he traded them in hopes of something better for himself. Despicable.
Petrovsky's noise abated when Van, on the security detail, found something close to hand and shoved it into Petrovsky's mouth to muffle the noise. Van never liked a lot of noise when he was working, Sheffler thought bemusedly. It came from having been a researcher; he didn't generally mind gunfire or explosions, which were just part of the job, but he did like people not to scream and rave like lunatics while he was working.
One of Shepard's men, Vega, nodded to Van in approving thanks, which Van waved aside easily.
Something in the cool cordiality, the easy nonchalance of the exchange momentarily silenced Petrovsky altogether.
"Now," Van declared frostily to the Cerberus stooge, "if you upset this chair, you will simply die sprawling with a lack of dignity. No one is going to pick you up and let you die presentably, like a man."
Vega nodded his full agreement before the four members of the security team broke off.
"It's a pity I forgot to invite the chaplain," Capt. Courtney said wryly.
Vessels as small as his and Shepard's didn't traditionally have their own chaplains.
They could always call Krios in, Sheffler thought benignly. He liked young Krios. The kid had a bright future with the Alliance. A little young to be the team's padre, but that was how things sometimes happened. Then again, did Petrovsky deserve that kind of treatment?
If no one else suggested it, he wasn't going to.
The firing squad lined up in a row, side arms appearing, then were checked out of habit, then raised to firing position.
How many people had looked at their future the way Petrovsky was looking at them now? Eyes bugged in terror, a feeble whimper all that escaped his mouth. How many of those deaths, those mutilations, could have been prevented if this guy hadn't been such a tool?
On Shepard's command, six pistols barked, five bloody holes appeared in Petrovsky's center of mass. The sixth bullet opened a hole in his forehead. Sheffler knew 'center of mass' was traditional…but he felt better, safer, aiming for the head. He'd never met anyone who came back from a headshot, and he didn't think Petrovsky was going to be Sheffler's first encounter with someone who had.
To his surprise, the crew of the Normandy all looked at Vakarian, who silently shrugged and shook his head as if to say 'it wasn't me.'
Sheffler caught Shepard's eye and winked, waving with his free hand as he shoved his pistol back into its place.
Petrovsky was untied—no sense leaving the restraints here, waste not, want not—while the body was unceremoniously dumped in a corner. Sheffler heartily approved: Petrovsky's victims hadn't gotten proper burials. Why should any Alliance serviceman bother expending the effort to bury his ass decently?
Now, there were other things to worry about. Namely, getting the survivors of this awful place safely installed in the Horizon colony. Apparently, one of Shepard's servicemen was from the colony and, while the colony itself wanted zilch to do with the Alliance, they weren't going to let a plea from one of their own, on behalf of such unfortunate souls, go unheeded.
I think she had to guilt trip a few people, but Traynor knows what she's doing, Shepard had assured him privately.
Without a word, the firing squad followed the security team out of the ruined Sanctuary facility and out into the lovely Horizon late spring evening.
If this war ever ended, Sheffler intended to come back here and oversee the dismantling of the facility—destroying what should be destroyed, and salvaging what could be salvaged.