Mika silently guided her 'guest' through the vast labyrinthine TARDIS corridors into the small sickbay. Seldom used, it was a bright white room, lined with cabinets of supplies and impressive-looking electronic equipment. There was a long examination table in the centre of the room and this is where she settled the litter bearing Qui-Gon's still body.
"Now then, time to wake up Master Jinn." She picked up the hypo spray from the counter behind her where she had prepared it earlier. She then turned back to her 'patient'. "Let's just hope this works," she chuckled mirthlessly. She touched it gently to the side of his thick, sinewy neck and injected the revival compound. Within seconds, his eyes began to flutter and the gentle giant began to stir. Mika then allowed herself a small sigh of relief as she smiled unconsciously. She placed her tiny hand on his chest to calm him as he awoke.
Slowly he opened his clear blue eyes, blinking as they adjusted to the harsh light. Slightly disoriented, Qui-Gon scanned his surroundings, not finding anything familiar.
"How do you feel?" came a soft voice from the vicinity of his left elbow. He turned his gaze in that direction and eventually recognized the lovely face of the timelord, Mika.
"M... Mika?" he said, his voice whispery with 'sleep'. "I'm not dead?"
"No," she smiled softly, moving closer towards his head. "Well, you were, but I managed to save you."
"And how did you manage to do that ?" was the Jedi's soft response, his deep-set eyes turning to look into hers, with a question in them perhaps more harsh than the tone of his voice.
"I.. my people have the ability to heal by touch. I just couldn't bring myself to let you die." Her amethyst eyes held his, trying to convey the emotions that had gone into her decision. "I .. I hope you don't mind."
Jinn sat slowly up, he felt his strength returning rapidly. He dangled his booted feet from the bed and gripped the edge with his strong hands. "A Jedi does not reject life, however given. The Force is generated by all living things. And any life saved strengthens the Force." he looked down at her, marvelling for a moment. Every time she opened her mouth it seemed, another surprise came out. "But... at the same time, you yourself have said you can't cheat history. I was... according to history... supposed to die on Naboo. Am I not right ?"
Mika looked down at her hands as they fidgeted nervously with the edge of her cloak. She felt almost ashamed at having acted so selfishly in what she had done. But done it was and now she had to deal with it. "Yes," she said softly.
"And are you not afraid of repercussions?" asked Jinn, hopping from the bed, his big booted feet landing silently on the TARDIS floor. "I mean, I don't think I'll make a very good pet." he gave her a slight grin with this remark, and then put his hands to his hips. The first thing he noticed was... there was no light sabre.
"Would you have let me die knowing that you had it within your power to save my life? And, I most certainly do not regard you as a pet." Her eyes flashed almost angrily, mostly because she felt a little guilty at the remark. "I will gladly take you anywhere you want and let you off. Only, you can never go back."
Qui-Gon placed a strong hand on her shoulder. "I would never deny you... or anyone life. If I could give it." he said consolingly, "And... I was... teasing about the pet. Jedae do laugh. Though there are those on the council who probably haven't tasted laughter in a long time." He gave her a gentle pat, almost a caress on her shoulder and then stepped past her, glancing around as if searching for something.
"Obi Wan has it," she stated, turning towards him. "His was lost in the battle so he used yours. He kept it as a memento since he knew you wouldn't need it..." her voice trailed off. "I'll get you another if you wish..."
Jinn turned his head to her quickly and then returned to his looking as if he didn't believe her. "A Jedi must construct his own light sabre. It is part of our code. And I doubt if you have what I'll need." he turned fully to her, arms crossed, looking at her quizzically, his chin out and beard bristling.
Mika remained calm, if a little sad. She wondered when she'd stop putting herself and others in these situations. "I have a fully-equipped workshop. I could build another TARDIS with all the spare parts and raw materials I have on board. A light sabre should be simple enough."
"Do you have a ditridium crystal and a nutronium power cell ?" the Jedi queried, taking a step closer to her. His eyes seemed oddly to offer her comfort, despite his awkward situation.
"Of course..." she said softly. "Is that .. all...you need?" Mika asked, her eyes held by his, her mind and hearts racing. One of these days, she thought, I'll learn to control my hormones.
Jinn proceeded to rattle off a short list, mostly of metal-types, and crafting tools, some of which she had heard of, some she had not, but guessed she could find their equivalent.
"I'll also want... if it's no trouble, to ask your plans ." he added on.
Mika turned away and began putting up things... like the used hypo spray and other items she had set out just in case. "Plans? Timelords don't make plans. We are like doctors. Or police, always on call, waiting for the next crisis that requires our intervention. If you would rather not remain here, I will take you somewhere more suitable to your tastes. Though you are more than welcome to stay. I.. " here her voice dropped to just above a whisper. "I would welcome your company."
"If I am to understand rightly, I can't return to my own time, or my own people," Jinn began. "I think for now, I'll stay here.. and try and make myself useful," he offered her a smile. He was truly grateful for his life. His only worry was how would his being alive affect those he had... should have left behind.
"I am sorry to put you through such an awkward situation, Mr. Jinn. Sometimes I just let my hearts get the better of me. But I'm not sorry I healed you." She returned his smile. "You are already most useful to me, just by being here. The life of a timelord is not so unlike that of a Jedi. It's dangerous and difficult at best.. and very very lonely."
Qui-Gon's smile in response gave her a comfort he could feel emanating from her. "Well, I shall try to be good company. And help you if I can." he said, "I owe you my life. A great debt. For whatever reasons, you saved me. Your hearts can't be wrong if they tell you to save a life."
"You owe me nothing." Mika looked at him, that old familiar feeling beginning to return to her battered hearts. "I can only pray that someday you know the full reason I did what I did."
Qui put one hand on her arm, and turned her to face him. He lifted her chin and she found herself looking up into those distant, yet farseeing eyes. "Your reasons aren't fully hidden from me." he said, "Though your mind is hard to read, it is not hard to feel. Carry your feelings in your ... hearts." he grinned and stroked her chin gently, "They serve you well."
Strong though she was, Mika found herself melting into those eyes, her whole body tingling at his touch. A sigh escaped her lips, unbidden as her hearts raced wildly. "You are so amazing," she said finally, realizing just how much taller he was than her. "Not many beings can even feel a timelord's mind unless allowed to."
"The force allows me to do many things." answered Jinn, "Though I promise you, I will never violate your mind. " his hand seemed to stray over her cheek, nearly touching it, before he slowly let it fall to his side.
"I trust you," she said softly. Just then a low chiming sound could be heard from deep within the recesses of the time capsule. Mika's face darkened as she recognized the sound of the distress alarm. Someone was calling for help and the TARDIS had picked up the signal. "Please follow me. You'll get lost if you try to find your own way." She headed for the door and the main control room.
The Jedi responded quickly, right behind her the full way. As if taking in every detail, his eyes danced over the roundel design on the walls, and noted each door he passed. Through the Force, he would remember every step with perfect clarity, if he needed to do so.
It seemed a short walk, and then Mika through open the doors of the control room, and Jinn followed her in. He stopped just inside the door, hands on his hips; as if he were admiring his surroundings.
Quickly, Mika moved to the hexagonal control console situated in the centre of the room. She switched off the alarm and began to decode and receive the transmission. She glanced up at her guest and saw the expression on his face. "What do you think of my ship?" she smiled perhaps a little too fondly at him. Mika listened as she went back to work, fingers flying deftly over complex controls.
"It's a remarkable vessel." he replied, as he walked casually around the room, glancing here, and occasionally floating a hand over something, as if he were afraid to touch, or hesitant to. "I've never seen anything quite like it... like a mansion... that flies through space."
"Thank you. Harnessing the ability to move between dimensions does have its advantages. Limitless available space is only one of them. There, got it," she said finally. "It's a sub ether message. From... Batraxis." She stood straight, her face creased with worry. "He's in danger of being destroyed and is asking for my help. He says the Supreme Council refused him." This didn't make any sense to her. One of the number one rules of the timelords was the mandatory giving of aid when requested. If this were true, then the Council itself was breaking a rule punishable by death.
Jinn looked over her shoulder, and studied the message in his quick, but attentive style. "This Batraxis. The name seems oddly familiar. " he looked into her eyes as she looked up at him, "How may I help , if I can ?" he asked softly.
"You should know it. It's the name of the fourth planet in the Anare system." She sighed and shook her head. "We have to answer the call. It's what I'm here for. If you want to help, just stay by my side. Just knowing you're with me does wonders." She smiled at him over her shoulder, trying her best to ignore his nearness.
Mika set the controls for Batraxis' spatial and temporal coordinates and activated the TARDIS, sending it on its way through the time vortex. "According to this, it will take a couple of hours to reach our destination. So, what do you want to do?" She smiled then sighed. "I know. You'll want to build another light sabre. Come on then. I'll show you to my workshop."
The timelord led the tall, commanding Jedi through the interior of her seemingly limitless ship to her "workshop". The term was a gross understatement. In this room were all manner of machine and tool that anyone could possibly imagine. There were racks and shelves and drawers all filled with tools and raw materials. If it wasn't stocked in here, it probably didn't exist.
She showed him to the workbench in the centre of the room and switched on the halogen light overhead. Qui-Gon sat on one of the stools and watched as Mika bustled about the room gathering tools and materials and placing them on the bench before him.
"Is that everything? I tried to remember as best as I could from what you said earlier." She smiled, her hands on her hips, glad to not have to look straight up to meet the Jedi master's inviting blue eyes.
Jinn took a long, slow inventory of the items laid before him. He was nodding and giving off a few "hmmmms" as he rummaged in the box. In what felt to Mika like at least a solid half hour he had the things arranged in a neat row on the workbench. A sigh escaped his lips. This would be an interesting task.... and make a very... individual light sabre.
Lastly he held up the small box full of channelling crystals she had produced. He took one in his finger, a red one, and held it up to his eye, gazing through it. "The Sith lords always use red crystals." he remarked almost absentmindedly.
Mika looked over his massive arm into the box as he held it. She plucked out a purple one. "I'll use this one. I like violet," she grinned, blinking her large, violet eyes at him. She then held up a pink one. "I don't suppose you'll want the pink one..." she joked., trying to lighten the mood. She noticed that he was always so serious.
"You'll use the violet one... for what may I ask ?" Jinn questioned calmly, but his eyes were more serious than before.
She looked at him innocently. "For my light sabre of course. They *are* my materials." She was serious too.
"That's all well and good." said the Jedi, "But I assure you, it takes years of training, and studying of the technology of the original Masters before you can construct a light sabre."
Mika chuckled softly. "You Jedae think you are so mysterious. Just show me how and I'll have no trouble. It's only a piece of machinery after all."
Jinn gave her a quizzical look, and shook his head slightly. "All right, you can watch me work. But remember, I tried to caution you." he said calmly, returning to his rummaging of the lidless metal box holding the crystals. In the end he produced one of a darker shade than Mika's, a deep purple. "At least we'll match, after a fashion." he offered.
Mika smiled and took the box from him, placing it on the far side of the bench. She then stood at his elbow, watching him carefully. She didn't think it would be too difficult to build her own weapon. Besides, she always loved a good challenge, and the light sabre, she thought, was only the beginning.
"Ok. What do we do first?" she grinned.
"First I need to shape the handle." said Jinn. He held up two pieces of metal, a little over a foot long each and curved so that they would form a tube once attached together.
The Jedi placed a pair of goggles over his eyes, and advised Mika to do likewise. He then took a small, narrow hinge and cut it to fit. Laying the two pieces of metal against it he welded one edge of each piece into the hinge so that it would open and close. Next he took the small trilithium powercell, one of only three she had in storage, and placed it in the bottom of the tube, and a piece of blackened steel he wetted thoroughly before inserting.
Mika followed his actions carefully, her own handle looking exactly like his. "Like this?" she asked innocently. She knew what she was doing. Still, she wanted to make him feel like he was teaching her something... being useful. And she was having fun.
Jinn nodded, "Be sure to wet the conducting plate good." he advised. "Next he installed the crystal, placing it in direct contact with the small piece of metal he had called the conducting plate. He ran a small piece of sturdy wire from the power cell to the crystal and back, making certain it touched the wetted plate both times it passed it. Then he squeezed the tube shut, and reached into the small pouch on his belt.
From it he produced a small, almost minute little latch, two, in fact, and he gave one to Mika.
Jinn attached his to the unsealed side of the tube, and fastened it tight. Then he rubbed a bit of gooey sealant over the crack. "Now... that'll take a moment or so to dry."
Mika did likewise and nodded, blowing on the sealant to speed its drying time. timelords were never ones for being patient. As she waited for it to dry, she found herself studying her new companion. He was an odd fellow, but handsome in a rough sort of way... crooked nose and all. She felt she could get very used to having him around.
"You do realize what a dangerous weapon a light sabre can be, of course." Jinn said casually, "May I ask a question ?"
"Hmmm?" she was still lost in her thoughts. She shook her head as she realized he was speaking to her. "Oh, um.. sure."
"Why do you wish to build one ?" was his question, as he gently fingered the nearly dry sealant.
"I suppose you want the truth." She met his eyes once more, fighting the compulsion to daydream again. "Just to prove that I can. And, you never know when I might have need of it. I don't usually carry weapons. I prefer a more... peaceful approach. But I'm not beyond fighting when I have to. Tell me, have you ever taken on three armed Klingons at once, unarmed and bare fisted?"
"No." Jinn answered, "Though I have heard of the Klingon Empire; they're far beyond the sphere of influence of the Republic. " his sealant was dry now. He took what appeared to be some sort of crystalline lens from his pouch and placed it over the end of the tube where the crystal was. Then he took the two "screw on" pieces he had requested from her, and attached one, a closed-over one, to what was the bottom of the sabre, and an open ended one to the top so that the "lens" protruded out.
"Well I have. I prefer to find more peaceful solutions. My weapons of preference are knowledge, and a keen and open mind. I only use weapons when there is absolutely no other recourse."
"I'll admit that an attitude like that, as far as weapons go, would go along way towards winning favour with you from the council."
Mika grinned as she watched what he was doing. "I'll take that as a compliment," she said softly, only inches from his left ear. "Ahem," she cleared her throat as she waited for him to give her a lens as well.
Qui-Gon smiled and shook his head. "Sorry, I only have the one. You'll have to find your own."
She watched and thought for a moment. Carefully laying her unfinished sword on the bench, she scurried over to the huge wall of tiny drawers on the far side of the workshop. She appeared to silently eeny meeny miney moe with her finger before finally choosing a drawer. She slid it open and produced a small lens, almost identical to Qui-Gon's. "Will this do?" she grinned.
"Yes, quite well as a matter of fact." Jinn grinned. "Are you sure you didn't get all this off some unscrupulous Toydarian dealer ?"
Mika laughed merrily and lightly touched his shoulder. "My dear, when you've been around as long as I have, you tend to acquire all sorts of stuff, from all sorts of places and people....most of whom are notoriously unscrupulous."
"Well, I had to ask." Qui-Gon said with a smile, seeming not to notice the term of endearment she had used nor her touch. But something in his eyes conveyed that he did notice.
The Jedi pulled out a section of hide from his pouch and crafted it about the handle, using small metal studs to secure it and act as grounding plates.
Mika rummaged about in the pile of stuff she had brought to the table and attempted to mimic what he had done to his sabre. Of course her handle was a little more decorative with a few jewelled studs along the rim. "Is this right?" she held it out for him to see.
Jinn took a long look at it as if reaching for something critical to say. But he could find nothing. "It.... looks fine." he responded. His sabre was finished as well, and he stood from the work bench. "Now we have to see if they work."
Mika's face darkened. "Oh, well, that could be a problem. You see, this TARDIS is in a different dimension, held in place by a dimensional stabilizer. While we're inside, we're in a sort of temporal grace. Weapons, aside from simple hand combat ones, don't function within the field. So, either we have to wait until we get to where we're going.. or...." she thought a moment. "Yes," she said slowly, "that just might work. Come on, follow me."
Mika took up her new sabre and led the large Jedi back through the hallways to a large double door. Try as he might, Qui-Gon could not seem to remember coming this way, though he knew he had. It was almost as if the interior of the TARDIS was perpetually changing. Mika noted the look on his face as she fiddled with the genetic lock on the room. "It is confusing, and yes, the TARDIS changes around," she answered, smiling.
"You could perceive my thoughts ? Or are my features that obvious in their expressions ?" Jinn asked, fingering the haft of his new weapon.
It was her turn to grin slyly as the lock deactivated and she prepared to open the doors. "Perhaps a little of one and more of the other," she said softly.
Qui-Gon's face went a bit flat, his expression fading as if he were trying to hide it. But his eyes had a smile. His eyes were very expressive, a clear, untarnished blue that gave way to all manner of light and hue as his mood switched about.
"And what is beyond this door ?" he asked softly.
With a dramatic flourish that was typical Mika, she threw open the doors. "My own little piece of paradise," she smiled softly. As they opened, a bright sunlight poured through almost blinding them. When their eyes adjusted to the light, Mika led Qui-Gon through the doors and into her own 'special' place, a seemingly limitless tropical paradise within the confines of her time capsule. "Well, what do you think?"
The Jedi looked around, slowly at first; his eyes drinking in the unspoiled splendour of the place. "What is this.... where are we ?" he asked, "Surely we haven't reached our destination ?"
She laughed as she began to trot down the well-worn path through the lush tropical plants towards the lake in the centre of the 'chamber' crowned with a glorious waterfall. "No, I built this myself. It started out as a project for my transdimensional engineering thesis and grew into a sort of Shangri-La... a haven for when I need to escape. Come on. It's perfectly all right."