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Qui-Gon reached the ship of choice, and brought his own sabre to bear as two Vegalans charged him. With a raised hand the Jedi disarmed both Vegalans of their pikes, and sent the weapons flying across the plane of Batraxis. With a nudge of his broad shoulders, he pushed between the two momentarily stunned Vegalans and started up the ramp into the ship.

An energy blast hit next to his head on the ship's hull and Jinn turned swiftly. His sabre was up and it deflected the next shot. Mika had said these creatures were armed only with pikes, yet they had displayed some sort of phased laser rifle, and now a hand held disruptor. The Jedi made a mental note that this warranted further investigation, and trudged back down the ramp to continue his fight.

A quick sideswipe of the sabre removed one weapon and it's wielder, as the backswing of the same blow sent a blast of high energy from the Vegalan's disruptor back into his own face, turning it into a mass of mangled flesh.

Qui-Gon took a moment to relax, just a second really, and he was attacked again. This time the assault came in the form of the full weight of a Vegalan landing on his head in a flying tackle. Jinn was hurtled onto his face and his sabre flew from his hand, deactivating immediately.

In a quick reflex-move, Qui-Gon forced himself onto his back and ended up lying on top of the creature that had a moment ago been on top of him, and slapping his head from behind. A sharply placed elbow from the Jedi collided with the Vegalan's distended ribcage. A breathless grunt and the creature was momentarily winded. Jinn leaped to his booted feet, and whirled.

But the Vegalan recovered fast. He was also on his feet, winded, but ready. He delivered a kick to the Jedi's midsection, and followed it up with a hard, bony fist to Jinn's face. Another fist came up, but the punch was quickly blocked. Qui-Gon then sent a trio of punches into the Vegalan's face, causing him to stagger back.

Qui-Gon lifted his hand and with an almost in audible swishing sound, his lightsabre hurtled it's self through the air, to land, instantly activated, in his hand. The Vegalan fell unconscious.

Jinn then turned his attentions to the vessel he had been assigned to capture, as he heard the soft footfalls of Mika racing up behind him. Without a second thought, he turned up the ramp, deactivating his lightsabre.

Mika followed him silently, turning off her own weapon as well.

The ship was small, and it did not take long for them to find the cockpit. Jinn took a position beside the door, and lifted a quieting finger to his lips, indicating to Mika to take a position on the other side of the door. "There is a powerful presence beyond this door." Jinn whispered. He brought out his sabre, and the blade flashed to life.

Mika nodded, igniting her own weapon as well.

Jinn hit a control and the door flew open. A figure, robed in black stood suddenly from the pilot's seat. A weapon was drawn, and soon a deep mauve energy bolt hurtled into the bulkhead near Jinn. The Jedi charged and brought his sabre up to bear, holding of bolt after bolt as the being fired on him over and over again, deep purple sending mauve ricocheting across the cockpit.

Mika charged in and lifted her own weapon. The figure turned on her, and she brought the sabre up to block his fire. The lavender lightsabre caught the bolt and sent it back into the chest of the alien, just as Jinn disarmed him using the Force.

The form fell flat, lifeless, over the pilot's seat.

As the mist and vapour of the weapons exchange cleared, Qui-Gon Jinn stepped over and removed the alien's hood, half expecting the face of Darth Maul, or another Sith, to be revealed to him.

Instead he saw a face, basically human, but hairless, and with dully coloured, almost dead looking skin, with an almost purplish overtone. Qui-Gon shot a glance to Mika, and she shrugged her shoulders.

"Another species taking advantage the Vegalans." the Timelord responded.

"It happens to them all the time. They may be mean, and tough, and cunning... but they are oh-so stupid."

"But... what sort of being is he ?" asked Jinn quietly.

"I've never seen his species before." answered Mika, "But if they've taken control of a colony of Vegalans, odds are I will see them again. Right now, our worry is destroying that mother ship. That way they can't plunder this planet. Or worse... set up some kind of base here and attack the outlying systems."

Mika glanced around at the fallen Vegalan bodies, seeming to be searching for something in particular.  Having found what she was after, she gave a small "aha" and headed for a particular one.  This Vegalan had a slightly different uniform from all the rest, apparently signifying that he was the Captain.  She bent down and yanked a small medallion from around his neck.

"We'll need this if we're to access the ship's computers," she added by way of explanation.

To the surprise of the big Jedi, Mika seemed to know her way around the cockpit of the small craft. She pushed the odd alien's corpse aside, and took his seat. Taking the medallion in one hand, she hit a small stud on the console with the other.

A column rose up, topped with a disk shaped, clear panel with an empty space in the centre. Mika placed the medallion in this space, and rotated it. It slid into place with a soft click.

All the lights in the cockpit were activated, and the sound of the small ship's computer coming to life was clear to hear.

Qui-Gon watched as Mika's small hands flew deftly over the alien controls.  "Now to find the self-destruct sequence," she muttered, as if talking herself through her plan.  "Hmm, self-destruct sequence requires separate input from that terminal over there."  She whirled around and pointed to what appeared to be the navigator's station.

Rising from her seat, Mika moved to the smaller terminal and began inputting the commands for the secondary confirmation for the self-destruct sequence.  When she was done she turned to her companion.

"Now, we have to activate our panels at the exact same moment in order for this to work.  You work this one and I'll take care of that one.  I'll count to three.  On my mark, press this panel."  Her hand hovered over a nasty snot green panel with strange runic figures on it.  "Got it?"

"Oh... I've got it, all right." Jinn responded smiling. He was quite impressed with her. She had all the makings of a first-rate Jedi Knight, and was, in the dim lighting of the cockpit, irresistibly attractive.

Almost distracted by his smile, Mika shook her head and moved back to the main computer terminal.  She activated a few more controls, talking her way through them as if to keep her mind on what she was doing.  "Now, I'm setting the auto pilot to return to the mother ship.  I estimate it will take about fifteen minutes to reach it, so I'll set the auto destruct for ... sixteen minutes.  Any less and we might miss it; any more and they might be able to detect it and deactivate the sequence."  She let out a huge breath and turned to Jinn.  "Remember, once we hit these controls, we only have thirty seconds to get off the ship before it takes off.  Ready?"

Qui-Gon simply nodded, his hand above the panel.  Mika turned back and reached for hers.  "Ok, here goes.  One, two, three, now!"  They both pressed their panels in unison and the whole bridge seemed to go dark then come back to life as it was bathed in a red glow.  A disembodied voice began counting down in the strange guttural language of the Vegalans, which, strangely enough, Qui-Gon could understand.

Mika sprang from her seat and grabbed his arm.  "Come on!" she shouted.  "We've got twenty seconds left to get clear!"

Mika bounded for the landing ramp just as it was pulling up, Jinn hot on her heals. A leap and they both landed in the soft dust that was Batraxis. Qui-Gon landed on his face but quickly turned over to watch the small ship lift off, scattering dirt into the air with the rush of wind from its engines.

The fighter turned in the atmosphere and began it's trek to the mother ship, its speed increasing as it neared the outer atmosphere of the planet.

"That was rather close," Mika gasped as she tried to catch her breath.  "I certainly hope this works.  I'm usually quite good at guessing about ships."  She looked over at her companion and winked, all the while counting off the seconds, then minutes in her head.

The small fighter proceeded on course. Aboard the Vegalan mother ship, simple automated docking instructions were received, and the officer in charge at the docking bay rerouted them to the bridge.

There was a hesitant moment, but the command codes checked out. It was the mission commander's ship. The officer in command of the mother craft immediately allowed it to dock.

The fighter slid into position snugly. A trio of Vegalans approached it, expecting her docking ramp to lower and their mission commander merge with a satisfied grin on his face.

On the surface of Batraxis Mika, and Qui-Gon Jinn stared at the star filled sky, then, suddenly; both of them through their hands to their faces to cover their eyes. The explosion was blinding as the Vegalan mother ship blasted itself apart from within, as a reaction to the overloaded engines of the fighter craft.

The debris flew in all direction, some even whistling into Batraxis' atmosphere, to burn up in the upper layers. For a brief instant there was a lingering flash of flame over the sentient planet, before the oxygenless vacuum of space extinguished it.

There was a low rumble in the ground. Batraxis was chuckling to himself.

Mika watched the sky that surrounded Batraxis, as the last bits of fiery destruction that was the Vegalan mother ship was squelched by the oxygenless void of space.  She stood and brushed herself off.

Qui-Gon was soon at her side, and his hand came to rest on her shoulder. "Nicely done." he said softly. "We've saved your.... friend."

At that the planet rumbled and they heard words again in their heads. "Mmmrrroooommm.... thank you... Mika.... both of youoooorrrroorrr. You've saved me from a terrible indignity. Being the.. brrooommm... Vegalan's buffet table." the ground shook slightly and Jinn assumed the planet to be laughing.

"Any time, Batraxis my friend," Mika smiled. "I still wonder why the Council refused you. Oh well, I'm sure I'll find out sooner or later. Good bye. And don't hesitate to call should you need my 'pest extermination services again."

"Thank you again.... rrrrruuummmmm.. I shall not." the planet replied, "And.... please return soon to visit!"

Mika grinned, slinging her not-so-white-anymore leather jacket over her shoulder, and began trotting back to the TARDIS. "No problem, dearie. Coming, Master Jedi?"

"Yes... of course." responded Jinn. Mika lead the way through the countryside of Batraxis and back to the TARDIS, which had taken the shape of a tall rock outcropping.

Using her ever-present key, she opened the door and allowed herself and the Jedi Master inside.

Qui-Gon smiled as she shut the door. "Where to now ?" he asked, almost with the seeming excitement of a young boy.

Mika leaned her back against the inner doors of the TARDIS, clearly quite exhausted. "Rassilon's Rod, don't you ever get tired?" she laughed. "I don't know about you, but I could use a shower and some food. Jedae do bathe don't they?" she teased.

"Yes, we bathe regularly as a matter of fact." Jinn remarked with a grin. "And I could use a meal as well. Perhaps we could make a bit of a deal. We clean up... and then, I'll fix dinner. What do you think?"

"You? Cook?" Mika laughed incredulously. "This I gotta see. Ok, deal." She held out her tiny, dirty hand to shake.

"Cooking is considered one of the Jedi arts." he replied as he shook her hand, "And I warn you not to underestimate my powers... with a skillet." He was smiling broadly and the smile warmed Mika's heart, thinking of how he had spoken of loneliness earlier.

"Ahhh, you know, somehow I believe you would be a good cook." Mika grinned and began leading him into the TARDIS interior. "Uh, how do you want to clean up," she began, the subject being rather an awkward one. "Take turns in the shower... frolic in the pool, or the lake..." 'Beneath the waterfall,' she added silently in her head, not bothering to shield her thoughts.

"I think I'd like a swim." Qui-Gon remarked. "But you didn't mention you had a pool. The lake will do fine."

"The lake it is then," she said cheerily and began bounding towards the set of double doors that led to her 'special place'. Somehow, her energy had returned and she seemed to almost walk on air.

Mika spoke over her shoulder as she led the way, "Pool? Oh yes. I have just about everything you can imagine in this thing. An Olympic sized pool, fully-stocked gymnasium, even a small museum filled with stuff I've collected in my travels. If there's ever anything you'd like or need, just ask. I probably have it somewhere."

Suddenly she came to a stop in front of what seemed to be a door just like all the others. Qui-Gon had to brace his hands on the walls to keep from running her over. "Hang on," she said as she opened the door. Inside was the biggest wardrobe the Jedi had ever seen, even bigger than Queen Amidala's, and in it were every style and size of costume imaginable. "You'll need some clean clothes. Help yourself," she gestured.

Jinn stepped in and surveyed the surroundings. He found an outfit that suited him, dark pants that would fit well tucked into his tall heavy boots and a blue shirt, that wrapped around at the waist and was fitted with a narrow tie-belt. "These will do nicely, thank you." he said. "Mika... if I'm not too presumptuous, may I ask a question ?"

She looked up at him with her soulful clear violet eyes. "Anything. What is it?"

"I've been outside you vessel at least twice now. It's obviously larger on the inside than the out." he slung the clothing over his shoulder as he spoke. "How is this... who built this TARDIS?"

Mika laughed and explained as they left the wardrobe, Mika's own selection of clothing (dark violet silk jumpsuit and lavender embroidered kimono) slung over her arm. "The TARDIS, which stands for Time and Relative Dimensions in Space, was built by the timelords on Gallifrey. This is actually one of the newer models. It is bigger on the inside than the outside because of the transdimensional engineering I mentioned earlier. It's a key timelord discovery. Without it, all this would not be possible."

They reached the large double doors and Mika unlocked them and led him once more inside. She paused and picked up two rocks, one larger than the other. She set the large one down on a boulder and held the smaller one in her hand. "Which rock is larger?" she asked.

"The one on the boulder." responded Jinn, "But the one your holding would appear larger... as it's closer."     "Exactly," she smiled, glad to have someone of intelligence to speak to again. "Now keep the larger one farther away but have it in the same location as the smaller one, and the large rock would fit inside the small one. Transdimensional engineering. The way this small world," she gestured to the paradise surrounding them, "can fit into a ten by ten foot room." She turned and grinned at him as she paused on the little wooden bridge leading to the island. "Pretty cool, huh?"

"Indeed, keep the larger object in a different dimension, and then store it interdimensionally in the smaller." Jinn rephrased, Genius. The Timelords must be very advanced."

"Hey, you're pretty advanced yourself if you understand all that." She turned to continue onto the island. "Perhaps you'll explain it to me someday," she joked.

"Honestly, I think you could handle just about anything that came along." Jinn said, as he followed, "You are a truly remarkable lady."

Mika tossed her clean things down onto the short grass and sat down beside them with a plop. "Well, you're pretty remarkable yourself, Qui-Gon Jinn." She tugged off one dusty white boot and laid it aside. "I think," she tugged the other one off and did likewise, "we make a pretty good team," she winked up at him sideways.

Jinn sat on a nearby rock, and followed suit, first laying his robe aside then removing his almost Klingon-like boots. "Well, my skills come from training.... 27 years of it under Master Yoda. I get the impression your abilities come more from knowledge, and how you apply it."

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