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Mika and Master Jinn were escorted to a large chamber much like a typical courtroom. At the front of the room sat a large raised platform, behind which sat several berobed figures, some in red, some in gold, some in olive green. All wore huge flared cowls that surrounded their heads and shoulders,  and tight, decoratively adorned skullcaps. Every figure also wore a look of utter contempt and stoic, immovable resolve.

Andred and his men guided the couple to stand before the Supreme Council of Timelords. Mika leaned to Qui-Gon, her hand gripping his like a vice, and whispered, "The ones in red are the Cardinals. They hold the highest office save that of the Chancellor. He's the one in the middle, Borusa,.... the one with the real power..."

"Silence!" The ancient looking man in an ornately adorned robe of red ordered as he picked up the round stone gavel and slammed it upon the dais, the silencing sound echoing throughout the great hall. Gracefulness belying his apparent years, the Chancellor fixed his steely, cold eyes on Mika and her companion. "Mikanostinocolai, fellow of the Patraxes College, you have been charged with disregarding the primary rule governing all Timelords, that prohibiting the use of a time capsule to reverse the flow of time. How plead you?"

Mika stepped forward, finally releasing Qui-Gon's hand, letting it fall back as she steeled herself for the battle to come. "I plead ... guilty, your Honour," she said in a loud, strong voice. The audience that had gathered in the seats that ringed the top of the chamber gasped in hushed tones, not expecting her to answer in such a manner.

The Chancellor bashed the gavel three times slowly. "There will be order or I shall clear the chamber." He waited for the crowd to hush then proceeded to address the accused. "You are fully aware of the consequences of your actions?" he asked of her.

Here Qui-Gon stepped forward, his face grim and resolute. Even in the presence of the council Jinn was still a powerful figure. A Jedi Knight, the Force as his ally, and his confidence unswerved.

A lesser man, even a Jedi Master might be somewhat daunted by what he now stood before. But not Qui-Gon Jinn, he had spent his life defying those who sat in power and authority. In a way, he looked on authority figures as if they existed to be challenged, and humbled.

Too much power, he had seen many times, often led one to the Dark Side.

With his hands folded in the billowing sleeves of his robe, Jinn approached the bench. His voice rose up strong and full.

"Your honour. I am Qui-Gon Jinn. Jedi Knight." he said, "I believe this... trial also concerns me. And for my part, I do not believe Mika to be guilty of any crime, certainly not one punishable in civilized society."

The crowd stirred once again at this unspeakable breach of procedure. Borusa lifted the gavel and brought it down once more. "Order!" he demanded. Are you a timelord?" he asked the Jedi.

"No, your honour, as I said..."

"Then silence. We shall address you at the appropriate juncture, when we decide what is to become of you. It is with Mikanostinocolai that we are concerned now."

Qui-Gon stepped back, bowing to their wishes.  He showed no sign of intimidation, only classical Jedi patience.  He knew the time would come for him to have his say.

"Timelord Mikanostinocolai.  You are aware that reversing one's own timeline without prior consent and just cause is an act punishable by removal of all remaining regenerations."

"Yes, your honour.  But I'd like to say..."

"Silence.  You will get your turn."  The Chancellor turned to his neighbouring councilwoman and exchanged hushed words.  He then turned back to Mika.  "We have accessed the Matrix records to  prove beyond any doubt that you did indeed commit the said offence. Castellan Kelner, if you please."

Chancellor Borusa motioned for the Castellan to activate the Matrix viewer.  The Matrix was a sort of living computer that housed the minds of every Timelord ever, living or dead.  Even the mind of the great Rassilon, the founder and benefactor of the Timelords and guiding prophet of Gallifrey, was reputed to reside within.

Thus it was with great trepidation and dread that Mika shrank visibly at the thought of having her innermost thoughts and actions broadcast within view of the entire council chamber.  But she knew there was no stopping it.  She stood in silence as a large screen on the far wall lit up and the events from her last few 'days' was played out upon it.

Mika watched, her eyes transfixed though it broke her hearts, as she was forced see her beloved Jedi's death once again.  Those assembled in the Council Chamber watched with morbid curiosity, much the same way they would a hanging.  Qui-Gon stood silent and commanding, fascinated and yet fearful for what the Matrix would reveal.  No matter the reason, all eyes were riveted upon the screen as the events played out before them.

They all watched as Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn battled the evil Sith, Darth Maul, to an obvious end.  They all gasped as Qui-Gon was run through by Maul's lightsabre and dropped to the floor.  Some even cheered when finally the young Padawan defeated the Sith and rushed to his fallen Master's side.  It was like watching a vid to them.  Only, Mika and Qui-Gon knew it wasn't... it was all only too true.

Mika, so far, had not been evident in this playback.  Then suddenly, cradling the dying Jinn's head in his arms, Obi-Wan looked up, sorrow and anger livid in his blue eyes.

"Why do you not do something?  Save him!  I have seen your powers, timelord, why do you not use them?"

Gradually, Mika came into view.  "Because, I ... cannot."  Her voice was low and hushed, the pain of her inaction clearly evident.

"Damn you!  He's dying!  You can't just let him lie here like this when you possess the powers to save his life!"  Obi-Wan pleaded desperately.

Mika just shook her head slowly, her violet eyes flashing angrily.  "You do not understand...  history cannot be changed..."

"Dammit!" Kenobi shouted.  "We must do something!"  He stood and grabbed Jinn's lightsabre, activating it threateningly.  "Save him or you shall join him!"

Resolutely, Mika folded her arms and simply stared at the young Padawan.  He still had much to learn about anger and fate.  "I cannot change history.  If your so -called Force is all powerful, then why do you not heal him yourself?"

The two faced each other in a silent standoff while Obi-Wan considered this.  "I'll tell you why," the timelord continued, her own anger abated somewhat.  "Because even the Force knows when it is time.  This was his time to meet his end.  There is NOTHING I nor anyone else can do."

Kenobi lowered the weapon and deactivated it.  "I.. I thought you loved him..." he said quietly.

"What?  How could you have known that?" Mika was taken aback.  "I never said anything or gave any sign..."

"I could tell.  Even he could tell, not so much by your words or actions, but in your whole attitude and bearing.  We knew just from the way you would look at him.  Your eyes give you away."

Her voice was soft and distant.  "Yes.  I do ... but still I cannot change history!"

"Then history be damned!" he turned from her in anger, fighting back his own tears.  "I see him lying there..." his voice became soft and still.  "And I.. I feel so helpless."  He turned back to Mika.  "You must have a cold and unfeeling heart to allow this..."

"No one feels worse about this than I do.  I have four hearts and all of them are breaking.  But still, the course of history cannot be changed.  Time must flow naturally and this must take place."  Mika moved forward and placed a hand upon Obi-Wan's arm.  "If I could change places with him, I would, gladly.  But I can't.  He is dead.  And there is nothing in this universe that can change that fact."

Kenobi pulled his arm away angrily and marched off to sulk, leaving Mika alone with Qui-Gon's body and her thoughts.  She watched as the young apprentice left then turned to the fallen Master.  She knelt beside the body and lifted his head into her lap.

"I am so sorry," she whispered, the crowd in the Council Chamber deathly silent,  straining to hear her words.  "I wish... I wish I could have prevented this.  But you know as well as I that it is the way things are meant to be."  Gently she stroked the hair from his still face.  She held his lifeless form in silent contemplation, tears welling in her eyes, both on the screen and in the Council Chamber.  The living Qui-Gon glanced over at her and discreetly took her hand, giving it a gentle squeeze.  He then turned his eyes back to the screen as that Mika, her body doubled over his own still one, began to sob.

Then she looked up and carefully lowered him back to the ground.  She placed a tender kiss upon his already cooling forehead and whispered, almost inaudibly.  "Forgive me, Qui-Gon.  My spirit is willing but my hearts are weak.  Whatever the consequences, let me bear them.  I can't let this happen.  Not to you."  With that she rose and returned to her TARDIS where she set the coordinates and threw the fail-safe switch, overriding all safety circuits and security protocols designed to prevent the very thing she was attempting...  to turn back time.

Then the scene changed to Mika emerging from her TARDIS and events playing out for the second time, only with much different results.  But only Mika and the audience knew what she had done.  To Obi-Wan his master appeared to have died... as before.

"See?" she could not stand it anymore.  "Nothing has changed!  The people involved still think that Qui-Gon is ..."  she hesitated on the last word, even hating the taste of it in her mouth, "...dead.  I have not altered history.  All is as it should be."  She fought back the tears, wanting to appear strong before her superiors and her Jedi Knight.

"Enough," commanded Chancellor Borusa.  "The fact still remains that you broke Timelord law.  And you must answer for it."

It was then that one of the Cardinals, an ancient-looking man dressed in the golden robes of the Patraxes College, same branch to which Mika belonged, stood and addressed Borusa and the rest of his fellow Council members. It was Cardinal Runcible, the Surgeon General and  Mika's old Academy sponsor.

"Your honour, if I may be allowed to speak.  I have known the accused for ... centuries now.  At the Academy she was one of my brightest pupils.  Graduated with a triple first in two subjects, head of her class.  I do not believe that she would do anything like this without thinking it through first.  If the timeline has not been changed, I do not see why we are even discussing this."

"Cardinal Runcible, I can appreciate your view on this matter.  However you are far too close to the subject to have an objective opinion.  Perhaps it would even be a good idea to have you step down from the Council for just this occasion.  Commander..."  Borusa motioned for Andred to escort the aged Runcible from the dais.

The Surgeon General did as he was instructed though not without huffing in anger. "Damned fool youngsters... think they own the world.  It's a dictatorship it is.  Hmmph, bloody bureaucracy," he mumbled as he tottered slowly to a seat at the back of the chamber.

Borusa then turned back to Mika.  "Now then.  Ladies and Gentlemen, you have seen the evidence for yourself and it is clear.  Mikanostinocolai formerly of the Patraxes College, I hereby sentence you to removal of all remaining regenerations and appropriation of your time capsule.  You may, however remain on Gallifrey for as long as you wish."

Mika remained silent, dreading the next words she would hear.

"As for you, Master Jinn," the Chancellor turned to Qui-Gon, "You shall be returned to your original timeline.  It is most unfortunate that..."

"No!" Mika cried, unable to stand anymore.  She ran up to the Council dais and practically threw herself at Borusa's feet.  "No, please, have mercy!  It was my fault that he's here.  Punish me.  Don't send him back.  Don't take away his life.  Take my last one if you must, but don't take his!"

Chancellor Borusa rose to his feet in anger.  "Guards!  Take her away.  We'll have no more emotional outbursts in this chamber.  The decision of the Supreme Council of Timelords is final!"

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