PART FIVE: THE STAR WITNESS
By the ending of the first day of trial proceedings of Princess Edna, Oracle Emica was stumped. There was evidence pointing towards the Princess of Mialand being guilty of ritualistic first-degree murder but her Defense team had successfully cast doubts on whether that evidence necessarily applied to Princess Edna at all.
As the Oracle went to bed that night, she felt completely defeated. She knew that the just thing to do would be to send Princess Edna to jail but also knew that convicting the Princess when there was so much reasonable doubt would defeat the purpose of the trial in the first place which was to give the Princess a fair shot at defending herself.
What was worse for the Oracle was that her ruling would not appease the King and Queen of Mialand who still gave their surviving daughter the benefit of the doubt in the case. There would be no closure for the parents who had suddenly learned that their last-born daughter had been brutally murdered without certainty that their murderer would face justice.
Ruling in favor of the Prosecution would not automatically mean that Princess Edna was guilty. It would be seen as subjective and when the time of the Oracle of Timeline Beta 3 came, the leaders of the Magical Realm would demand a retrial.
The Oracle knew that she needed to get a Confession out of the Princess but as the presiding judge in the trial, she could not intervene unless…
Oracle Emica wondered if the peoples of the timeline would forgive her intervention in this case or if indeed she would earn the ire and fear of all world leaders prompting the demand for a retrial when the Oracle of the timeline finally appeared.
She barely slept a wink that night and when she was back in that courtroom, felt more like a deer in headlights than a judge who felt confident enough that justice prevailed in her courtroom.
All the character witnesses had been called to stand, examined and cross-examined. It appeared that there was only the closing statements to be made by the Prosecution and Defense and thereafter, a date for a verdict set.
However, just as she was about to call the Prosecution to make their Closing Statement, something unprecedented and strangely unforeseen until that last moment happened. Oracle Emica opened her mouth and eyes ajar in shock and then shook her head.
She turned to face her Protector Nobu and he immediately went to her, vigilant and bracing for a fight.
“Nobu, there’s someone out there that needs to enter the Courtroom. I need you to allow for that to happen,” Emica explained.
Nobu was surprised but did as his charge bid him.
An impeccably dressed warlock walked into the Courtroom and immediately rushed to the Chief Justice of Mialand, whispering in her ear. She gasped and then immediately stood up and stated, “My lady, your honor, permission to approach the Bench?”
“Granted. Mr. Blake, you need to hear this too so kindly approach the Bench as well,”
The Lead Defense attorney was stunned as both he and the Chief Justice approached Oracle Emica.
“My lady, I know this is unprecedented but we have an additional witness to add to the Prosecution,”
“Your Honor, this is unacceptable. The Defense simply cannot allow for this underhanded tactic that the Prosecution wants to introduce which shall be a mockery of justice itself,”
“Your Honor, this is a case that shall determine the entire fate of a nation. Shouldn’t we exhaust every possible resource in ensuring a fair ruling?”
“I shall allow it. However, the information pertaining to this special character witness must be thoroughly examined and shared with both parties. We shall resume court in two days’ time to allow each side adequate time to prepare,”
The Chief Justice nodded and the Defense attorney nodded too albeit reluctantly.
The Oracle announced the next hearing date and adjourned court proceedings until then. The two days passed by faster than Emica could have predicted and by the time court resumed, she felt extremely tense for what lay ahead.
After all the formalities were observed, the Chief Justice boldly stood up, adjusted her suit coat and boldly stated, “Your Honor, the Prosecution wishes to call its final witness to the stand.”
Her proclamation caused an uproar of murmurs and the Oracle had to quiet the courtroom.
“Very well, Chief Justice Grayson. You may proceed,” she stated.
Emica turned to see Princess Edna shaking like a leaf and the Defense looking grim even as the Chief Justice stated, “My lady, the Defense hereby calls Princess Edenia of Mialand to the stand.”
The uproar resumed as the Court doors opened to reveal Princess Edenia of Mialand in the flesh. The King and Queen of Mialand were shaken as they witnessed their purportedly ‘murdered’ daughter walk towards the stand and take a seat on the podium.
“Princess Edenia, kindly explain to the Court how you were able to make it to the stand today.”
“Oracle Emica, Queen Elira and King Heb of Mialand, Princess Edna of Mialand, Chief Justice Valarie Grayson and all peoples gathered in this Courtroom, today by the grace of our Divine Mother, I sit before you alive and well…”
“It is nothing short of a miracle that I am here today before this court. To put it simply, I am a Hybrid of sorts; one who has merged with my doppelganger from this timeline and am both Princess Edenia of this timeline as well as of my original,” she stated. Silence succeeded the Princess’ pronouncements prompting her to address the courtroom further…”
“Allow me to explain myself further, Chief Justice. From around two months ago in my original timeline, Beta 4, I began to experience very vivid dreams in which my very own flesh and blood sister, Edna, murdered me and my fiance, Alexander, in cold blood…”
“I tried everything I could think of to get rid of the dreams. I even went to the trouble of consulting all manner of spiritualists and experts to try and discern the real reason behind the nightmares but nothing took those dreams away and I was no closer to obtaining answers on their meaning…”
“On January 16th 2017, in Beta-4, it became clear why I had those dreams. I must first stay that, well, I had been dating and was secretly engaged to my fiance, Alexander. For the reason of discrimination on the basis of clans that is so rampant in Mialand, I could not freely marry the man I adored who is from the infamous Alison clan. My love and I had then decided to elope. We planned on meeting on the evening of January 16th 2017 at Ambrosia Bridge in order to set our elopement plans in motion..”
“As fate would have it, I would soon understand why I had such disturbing nightmares… They were a premonition of my fate- of what had happened to my doppelganger in this timeline. They forewarned me of my sister’s wicked intentions…”
“That night, I evaded death because of the premonitions I had had of it. I understood why my own sister wanted to kill me- she is barren and she saw the child in my womb and sudden elopement plans as a way for me to try and usurp the throne from her when the time was ripe…”
“In this timeline whose events precede my own timeline’s events, Princess Edna did not listen to reason and instead rejoiced in slaughtering me and my beloved- she stated that the spillage of royal blood would appease the Goddess that she has sworn her allegiance to- the Entity,”
“Princess Edenia, you stated that you merged with your doppelganger. How is that so?” the Chief Justice asked after several moments of pregnant silence in the courtroom.
“Well, it is a rather complicated process but the soul of Princess Edenia in this timeline escaped from the Limbo she was trapped in and merged her soul with mine, as the Divine Goddess deemed it fit.”
“Princess Edenia, now that you have explained that you are merged with your doppelganger from this time, can you describe the exact manner in which your doppelganger expired?”
Princess Edenia gave a very detailed explanation pertaining to the manner in which she died. So vivid was her testimony that there was very little doubt that she had at the very least, witnessed the murder of her doppelganger. By the end of her testimony, none dared speak as Mallory Blake cross-examined her.
The Defense tried to discredit the ‘Hybrid’ Princess Edenia as much as possible to no avail. Mr. Blake even tried to stick the crime on Edenia herself stating that there was no way she would recall details of her own murder in such perfect detail unless it was because she herself had committed the murder of her doppelganger.
However, no one in that Courtroom really fell for the Defense’s angle and Oracle Emica was hopeful that based on the testimony of Princess Edenia herself, she could fairly judge in favor of the Prosecution.
Princess Edna calmed down significantly despite being so terrified at the start of the cross examination. She whispered into Mallory’s ear throughout the examination of Princess Edenia by experts called by the Defense to try and poke holes in the latter’s witness accounts.
Princess Edenia passed all the tests and by the time she left the stand, there was little doubt in anyone’s mind that she was exactly what she purported to be- a merged hybrid of two timelines.
Before leaving the courtroom for an undisclosed location, Princess Edenia turned to her parents and apologized for the pain they had suffered not knowing what really happened to her as well as for the grief they would suffer knowing one of the children had turned against her own kin. She also apologized to Alexander’s parents and the Alison Matriarch for the pain and misery she had caused their family and thanked them for their relentless pursuit of justice for their son. She then left as mysteriously as she had come raising more questions than answers.
Emica was prepared to adjourn court for the day to review the crazy day in her Court but just as she was about to issue the order of adjournment, Mallory Blake stood up before the court and stated, “Your Honor, as the Defense in this case and as a means of showing all gathered here the innocence of my client, I hereby wish to invoke the Confession Act.”
The entire Courtroom was stunned and there was a collective gasp as all eyes once more turned to observe Oracle Emica. It appeared that the dramatic trial would never cease to amaze all its witnesses.
TO BE CONTINUED…
An unprecedented trial with many twists and turns. Does anything appear to be a miss? Do you simply wish to ensure you have all your facts straight? Worry not. Find links to the previous parts listed below. Enjoy;