Jinn stood by, watching the proceedings as calmly as if he were in the
Republican Senate Chamber, the vision of Anakin, grown, and Obi-Wan placing
Padme's hand in his, running through his mind. He watched as the Council played
back Mika's last acts. His eyes were transfixed to the images before him as he
committed all to memory.
he would cast his gaze at the throng watching the trial like a circus spectacle.
When his eyes would meet one of them, they would blink or back away.
anger was rising in Qui-Gon Jinn. The same anger that had given Obi-Wan the
strength of the Force to overcome Darth Maul... the same anger that... years yet
to come would give another young Jedi the strength to overcome not only the
hulking form of a Sith called Vader; but the Galactic Emperor himself.
the order to take Mika away came out, Jinn stepped forward, his robe open and
billowing as a wing-like cloak as he moved soundlessly in his large boots.
I should be alive or not, Master, is the subject of debate. But I am alive. And
as long as I live I will not allow my voice to go unheard." he said.
voice was strong and powerful. There was a charisma in Qui-Gon Jinn. Some of the
younger timelords in the audience, spurred by the old Surgeon's outburst,
actually smiled that the Master Jedi had spoken up.
the council's leader began.
have my say. And if my words don't sway you, you may do as you wish... with
me." Jinn finished for him.
looked at him with desperation in her eyes, her worst fears coming true. But
Qui-Gon gave her only a smile, and a glint of light in his deep blue eyes.
say a crime has been committed. That Mika has done wrong in saving my
life." Jinn began. "Yet, as you can plainly see, history in my
lifeline goes on as all should have gone. As it has gone, and will go on. You
can't stop the great flood of events that are our ever moving universe. Even the
mighty council of Gallifrey couldn't hope to change the course of an entire
people... because people must change themselves... for good or ill."
broke the law, and she must be punished !" shouted the chancellor.
"That is our ruling."
ruling." Jinn repeated. "Yours... Chancellor... and yours alone. For I
have heard only one voice speak... and you promptly removed the speaker from
your presence like an insect sitting on your lunch plate." Qui-Gon folded
his arms over his chest as if he expected something to be said, "I assure
you you will not remove me so easily."
crowd around them was abuzz with murmuring. The Chancellor banged his gavel a
full three times, hard and loud and bellows of "order !" took to the
air in the great hall.
looked around calmly, as if everything was going according to plan.
the crowd had calmed somewhat, the leader of the Timelords council pointed a
long and haggard finger at Jinn. "You are wasting your words.... we have
ruled. You will be returned to your own time... to your proper history.
not deal in absolutes...." Jinn interrupted. "I have twice now heard
you say that 'we', your council has ruled, yet only you have spoken. And you
speak of justice. Is your ruling then, Gallifreyan justice ?"
it is the ruling of the council."
is the ruling of one bitter old man, who has not travelled the universe...
forced upon a woman who does so... because she cannot return to her own
chancellor banged his gavel. "Silence !" he barked and raised the
gavel to bang it again.
lifted two fingers and the stone flew from the man's hand, shattering, in mid
air, into a thousand pieces; as if it had hit a pillar of granite. Yet it had
struck only the same air the throng in the chamber were breathing. A small smile
crossed Jinn's lips.
to hear the truth ?" Qui-Gon asked in a mild voice, almost as if bantering
with an old friend. "The old man spoke true justice and you had him
removed. Let me ask a question, Master. Are all these people here under your
stared at the Time Lord, awaiting an answer. None came.
must be. "For I hardly believe that that man there..." he pointed to a
young looking man with a bristling moustache, "Or her... ... or him... all
clear and pure of mind would sit back and allow you to commit murder without
trying at least to stop you if you did not govern them."
will listen to no more of this.... yours is but a voice from the grave to me,
Qui-Gon Jinn... take him away !" and the Chancellor sat.
guards approached their stasers ready, but Qui-Gon simply stepped forward, an
open palm floating a bit at his side. The two guards both seemed to find, oddly
enough, something to trip over on the floor, and were soon viewing it much
closer than they had been.
Jinn continued, as if oblivious to what had befallen the guardsmen.
"Murder. For if you take away her life.... her regenerations .... she will
surely die. But if you send me back to my death. Then we both shall die. And she
will live on... but only in body." Qui-Gon locked eyes with the Chancellor.
"Your justice will not be served here this day. Despite your power, you
must see the truth. The truth is always clear, plain, and simple. The old man
saw it. To turn a blind eye to it, would be the folly of a fool. And a fool
cannot govern but other fools who follow him. 'One must control himself, before
he can control others'.... a wise quote. Wise words to follow Lord Chancellor.
" and the Jedi stepped back, a quick glance to Mika. "If you send me
back to my death, then history shall be avenged, but it will be an empty
vengeance, as nothing that is now will change..... in my timeline. Yet if you
punish Mika so... then things will change. Look in your own futures. What deeds
has she left to do that you will have prevented from happening. What lives has
she yet to save.. worlds to save... whole cultures to save... at your bidding;
that will not be saved because you dealt out her own death."
pointed an accusing finger at the central council seat. "Own yourself a
coward, Oh Mighty Chancellor ! Afraid to bend your laws... and by your fear you
doom every event that Mika has yet to touch to never take place. You will
rewrite history that is yet to be written, and yet should be.... to satisfy your
law ! I submit to this council that in enforcing your law... you are yourself
breaking your law, not once, not twice... but tenfold... punish Mika... then
have the courage to punish yourself !"
the Jedi spoke his last words the lights dimmed in the room, all but one that
focused on the head of the council, like a probing eye. A deep seeing eye
showing him out for what Qui-Gon had called him. A coward... living by a rule
book... instead of the true justice of the heart, and of the universe at large.
chamber was awed to silence by the mighty Jedi's words.
All eyes looked upon their so-called leader with expectancy.
However, Borusa was still. Not
so was Runcible. The old man rose to
his unsteady feet and cried out in rebellion, always one to voice his own
said, young fellow. Now let's cease
this nonsense and get back to our business.
Let them go and be on their way."
words were soon echoed by another voice, this time a woman's from the crowd that
began to rustle in the gallery. "He's
right. Let them go. They've done no harm."
her words were taken up and the crowd began chanting.
Runcible grinned from ear to ear as he stood on his ancient and unsteady
rose to her feet, still shaking from the whole ordeal and ran to Qui-Gon's side.
He put his arm around her and held her close, as the voice of the people
spoke out in the Council Chamber.
was on his feet, screaming for order, but no one listened.
In fact, the chanting grew louder. In
the back of the room, Cardinal Runcible was fairly leaping for glee at the
ruckus he had caused. He may have
been over four thousand years old, but he still had a bit of the trouble maker
in him. Others rose to their feet,
fists angrily in the air, demanding Mika and Qui-Gon's freedom.
almost timidly, one of the Council members, a younger-looking woman wearing the
same burgundy Prydonian robes as the Chancellor stood.
Expectantly, the crowd grew silent.
Borusa, inasmuch as the young timelord here has indeed broken the rules, I,
however, do not see the need for such severe punishment. Life is not always
black and white. If it were, we
would not be needed as Megaran justice machines would suffice.
We are here to judge whether the actions these people took were harmful.
Did she break the law, yes. Did
it make any difference? Only to
these two before us. So I say let
them go and do their work. I believe
I speak for my fellow Council members when I say that the good that she does far
outweighs the mistakes she may make along the way."
this true?" Borusa spoke quietly, looking to the other members.
"You all agree with Cardinal Nirada?"
other nine cardinals who sat on the Council all nodded in agreement.
Even Runcible who had since managed to make his way slowly to the front
of the chamber shouted his agreement as well.
knew when he was beaten. The
outsider had been right. This was a
Council of twelve, not one. "Very
well then. It is the concurrence of
this Council that the Timelord Mikanostinocolai shall be allowed to retain her
regenerations, and that the outsider, Qui-Gon Jinn shall be allowed to remain
with her." He moved to bang his
gavel then remembered that he didn't have it anymore.
"This Council is adjourned."
finally allowed herself to smile, which she did, looking up into Qui-Gon's
gentle eyes. She gave him a huge
bear hug, not believing that they had actually won.
returned her embrace, and, in front of the whole gathered populace, kissed her
lovingly on the lips. "I told you," he then said, "I wouldn't let
anything happen to you." and he held her close again.
then Surgeon General Runcible came tottering up to the happy couple.
"Well done, young man," he said, clapping the tall Jedi on the
back. "Couldn't have made a
better speech myself, even in my younger days."
let go of Qui-Gon and hugged her old mentor fondly.
"You old fool. Thank you
so much. I.. we owe you our
'twas nothing. Made my day just to
see old Borusa squirm," he chuckled.
the Chancellor ?" remarked Jinn, "Yes. There's good in him, but it's
buried beneath much greed, and perhaps even a bit of jealousy." Here the
Jedi Knight, quite amused at being called "young man" gave a knowing
look at the old Timelord.
you're right. Personally, I could
never stand the man. Never saw eye
to eye you know," Runcible pointed to his eye and looked up into Qui-Gon's,
chuckling lightly at his little joke.
nodded his agreement. "And we could never have made it without you,
sir." he added, "My words just served the purpose of lighting the
fire. But you fanned the flames, thank you." and he shook the old man's
hand; surprised to find he still had a good grip.
to help little Mikalai here," he winked at his former student who blushed
instantly at being called by her former nickname.
"Well, I must be off. Inciting
rebellions always tires me out." He
chuckled as they watched his feeble legs carry him towards the chamber exit.
After he had gone a few feet, Runcible turned to Qui-Gon.
"You take good care of her now, young man.
If you don't, you'll have to answer to old Runcible the Rebel."
offered the old man a bow, and said with a smile, "I'll take the best of
care of her, Master, you needn't worry."
hmmph!" he murmured, chuckling his way down the aisle.
Mika fondly watched him go. "He was always like a father to me," she commented more to herself. She looked up at the eloquent Jedi. "Let's get out of here before they change their minds."
placed an arm across Mika's shoulder, and together they started for the door,
only to be stopped by a female voice behind them.
will you go now ?" it was Nirada, the counsel woman who had spoken up in
turned, and Mika turned with him. They were standing in front of the open door
to the council chamber.
time takes us !" Jinn responded.
and our hearts." added Mika, snuggling into the big Jedi.
the wisdom of Rassilon guide you." said Nirada, and she bowed, then turned