The Hidden Truth

The Trial

One would think that if one was exposed to a council, one would feel comfortable going back. Somehow, that wasn’t so with me. I found myself much like the first time I stood outside of the council’s door, waiting to be called in. The only difference was the increase in nervous sweat clinging to my body and the speed of my pacing.

I knew why I was here and that made the situation all the worse. I had been called to be judged. I was here to be questioned about my commitment to the Jedi and the order. I was brought to see what side of the Force I stood on. All of this hit my ego, smacked my pride, and tore at the core of my being. The past events had not made me look good in any light from any angle, but I knew with all my heart who I was and with who I stood by. Yet, I feared the council had made up its mind and this was just a polite act to kick me out. My worst fear was turning from a bad nightmare to intense reality.

It was a real surprise to hear the door I came in, open, shocking me out of my seizure of fright. Mirmo came walking in calmly and with his normal presence of being at easy, open minded, and peace with the world. I saw or more possibly felt the slight frown and disappoint as his eyes set on me. I gulped and remained quiet, not wanting to make the matter worse. It was very unclear of the reason behind Mirmo coming here. He very well could have come just because it was the duty of masters to be by the side of their apprentice when facing the council, but he could have had other unidentified reasons for coming. What hurt the most was Mirmo kept silent and ignored my plainly obvious fear of what was to come.

I was not made to wait long, for the doors opened a minute after Mirmo came in. We both turned to face the door, then walk in, me letting him go in first. I did this on purpose to give a feeling of respect and that I knew my place, but really I was letting the council pour any emotion they had onto the first person that went in, letting Mirmo take all the unseen hits. Once in the all important room, I stepped away from Mirmo, forcing myself to present a decent image of myself. It was so hard to make myself meet the eyes of so many that were stronger, wiser, and greater than me. I wanted to look away, to leave this room, and never enter it again. But, as I reminded myself, it was my duty to stand here and hear out my fate, no matter how unbearable it was.

“Hello and thank you for coming. Master Mirmo, the council does not require you to be here. You may leave if you wish.”

A lady in bright, flaming red hair said this. Her equally bright green eyes flashed with a strong personality, reeking dominance and power in the Force. Mirmo, with his deep calm eyes, raised his chin and spoke in a soft voice, full of respect for his fellow Jedi.

“With all due respect I ask that I be allowed to obey the basic duties of a master/apprentice relationship and witness this meeting.”

The lone, tall Jedi stood tall and straight, unwilling to sink beneath the twelve set of eyes that bore their will upon him. The Force seemed to nearly crack around my body, informing me of unsaid play.

“Very well. If you wish to stay, then we ask you to stay for the duration of the meeting.”

Mirmo titled his head in a small bow of agreement. The council now turned their focus on me. I fought the urge to squirm or stare down at the ground. The red hair lady spoke directly to me.

“Karen Nightingstar. You have been summoned here on the recent accounts of your actions. Many of the Jedi have questioned your right to remain in the order. We will now proceed with a fair trial in which you will be given the chance to defend yourself if you wish.”

There was nothing for me to say. I had gone strangely numb inside and felt blank minded.

“We will now lay out the offense that has brought up this doubt in the council. Seven days ago you were reported missing by your master, Mirmo, early in the morning. It was suggested that you had forgotten to tell anyone of a sudden day trip and would be back by nightfall. When you failed to come back, a rescue team as assembled and sent out into the jungle. By dawn, the team had reported finding your sack full of enough supplies to last you over a week and your shoes. Further attempts were made and your presence picked up on by of your teachers. Your tracks were followed to one of the temples, but it was unclear if you had entered the temple or not. The team was unable to find your presence through the Force and went back to the temple a few hours after dawn. When hearing of the trail ending at the temple, Master Mirmo went out, accompanied by Master Skywalker. It was Master Skywalker who noticed unusual dark energy originating from the temple and it was deduced you were in there, with your presence hidden by the darkside that reside in the temple. You were found shouting at an empty chair. They hesitated. Master Skywalker reports that a strong wave of the Force, seemingly good, was being aimed at the chair and once done, you collapsed. Your injuries were reported to be from a harsh hike through the forest, but there were no other indications of harm being done by another person. Do you agree to all of this to be true?”

I nodded. There was plenty for me to explain and defend myself, but I decided to wait until given the opportunity to.

“Once at the medical center, you were given a drug to promote you to sleep. Your mind was then examined by one of the council members. We found traces of a great darkness having been removed. It was still unclear if you had gone over to the darkside or not. An investigation was done in order to understand what caused you to leave in the first place. Master Mirmo retold the story of your recurring nightmares and of your abusive past. A search through your computer showed us of a recent story that you wrote that morning before fleeing. It looked at though you had run from the temple in a great amount of fear and anger. You were drawn to the power of the dark side and lead to the temple.

Now we must question you and your past actions of the temple. We must know if you still wish to be a Jedi and a member of the order.”

I told them I did.

“Defend that statement. How can we trust you if you dwell in such darkness?”

I frowned and probably had a glare on my face. I couldn’t help it. I knew I was a Jedi. Why couldn’t they? I told them I had to face this darkness alone.

“A Jedi does not do things alone. We are a team. The Jedi strengths lie not only in the Force, but in others. To abandon the team, you have broken our trust. How can we trust you?”

I told them I was on the light side of the Force. In that temple I had over come my fear once and for all.

“And with what proof do you have of this?”

I told them I sleep peacefully. I told them about what happened in the temple. How I saw an image created by the dark side and how I realized this.

“What did this image look like?”

I looked directly at Luke and said in the most meaningful way, I saw Master Yoda. The room went dead silent. Luke was startled by this answer, but remained quiet.

“So your biggest fear is of Master Yoda, the teacher that trained Master Skywalker?”

I shook my head and paused. I did not want to give away anything about the famous Jedi, for it would have given out a secret that only one person in that room had the right to hear. No matter how this turned out, I would have to confide this secret when the meeting was over. I told them that through this image, I was shown my greatest fear, myself. More silence followed.

“Interesting, but that still does not answer how or why we should trust you and allow you to remain in the order.”

I was starting to get very annoyed. I was sorry I had ran. I was sorry that I had briefly gone to the darkside. I felt they were being too paranoid about the whole thing. One slip did not mean doom for myself or to the order. If that was true then….yes, I had it. I had the answer of how to defend myself. I asked them loud and darling how they could trust Luke or Kam.

“Miss Nightingstar, neither of them are of the topic at hand.”

Oh yes they were. I explained each of the two people sitting on the council had gone over to the darkside. I went on to say that I knew some students had gone to the darkside and left the order, yet Luke kept bringing students. I said that Luke’s father was the most evil man the galaxy had know, yet Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda had both trusted Luke and won. This order was created after Luke had turned dark and then light, yet no one questioned him. I looked into each member’s eyes and asked how was I any different. Silence and then looks were exchanged. I felt Mirmo stir by my side and looked up at him. He seemed uneasy, as if I had hit a personal matter. I had no idea what that was about and didn’t care. Finally all eyes went back on me and Luke spoke up.

“Karen is right. If we can not trust her after hearing this speech from her, who can we trust. A Jedi must face their darkside and win in order to be called a Jedi. There is no proof in her voice or words that show me she is bent on an evil path of destruction as many darksiders are. The council announces her innocent on the chargers and will permit her to continue training her, should she wish.”

I told them I did. It seemed like the council was about to end right there when Master Mirmo took a step forward and cleared his throat.

“I admit I came in here ready to claim my apprentice guilty of the charges, but after hearing her story I have been deeply touched. I would like to formally apologize to you Karen for my coolness to you as you were healing.”

I looked at him, unable to think what to say, but a lame ‘it’s ok’” He nodded, his brown eyes promising more talk in the future of this matter and looked at the council.

“My apprentice has studied hard here, learning many skills, and showing many qualities. She has changed quite a bit since she arrived from a small, on the edge of the outer rim planet, but there is much to this galaxy she does not know. I request permission to take her along on a mission to Coruscant to help out a few of my old friends from my early missions. It is time she uses what she knows in a less remote place where dark temples can not tempt her.”

“Permission granted. You two are dismissed if there is nothing else to talk about.”

We both bowed and left the room. Once outside of that powerful room, I grinned sheepishly at my master who put an arm on my back.

“We have a lot to talk about, but not now. I want to leave as soon as possible, so start packing.”

I broke from his half hug and raced to my room, full of happiness. I was going to be a Jedi after all.