The gavel hit with finality, a sound that resonated through the courtroom, and made Flynn wince. He still stood with his counsel, but he felt numb, watching detachedly as the judge and members filed out of the courtroom.
Commander Crisp turned to him, a sad smile on his face. “I’m sorry Cap—Mr. Flynn. We can try an appeal, but I don’t think it likely. There’s a lot of pressure on this case, and it fell on you. There was a very real chance of prison time, but I think everyone wanted this to go away.”
Crisp waited a moment for some reply from Flynn, but he didn’t have one. He simply stared. Crisp broke the gaze first and busied himself with collecting his things. Across the aisle, Commander Halladay made eye contact with Flynn. For having won the case, the trial counsel didn’t look pleased with herself. She closed her briefcase and strode into the aisle, still holding his eyes. She opened her mouth to say something, then closed it and shook her head. She took quick steps out of the courtroom.
Flynn let himself be propelled by Crisp out of the courtroom. It seemed to Flynn that the sound of the gavel still echoed in the room, along with the words from the members of the court martial “Dismissed from service.”