DarkRula had wondered off somewhere. The Doctor didn't know where. He was left at the ship with a burning desire to explore the Temple as a whole. "Ah, what harm can it do?" The Doctor says to himself. Standing up, he walks out of the ship and takes a look around. He notices how the hangar design seemed to be made from the ice itself. The lower half had been reinforced with metal bulkheads, allowing for the equipment to be safe. Looking up, he saw the energy field that kept the wind and snow, as well as the frigid cold, at bay. Walking to one of the exits at random, he continues looking at everything. He had seen a lot of places before, even ones made entirely of ice, but he couldn't resist looking and comparing. There seemed to be a lot of rooms and not enough corridors. And each room gave him something vastly different to look at. There was a huge library, with massive blocks of data cores, all connected to a hundred computers dotted around the room. Several busts carved out of the ice stood on plinths dotted around the outside of the room. The Doctor assumed these were of famous Jedi, and after looking at a few up close, moves onto the next room. He had slowly moved in a circle around all the Temple had to offer, and now found himself in a rougher area of the Temple. This area looked more natural. There was no additions to the decor, and the corridors were all made up of the ice crystal that seemed to make up the entire of the Temple. The only addition were several lights. The Doctor walks along this corridor, and finds himself at an open doorway. He could hear humming. The static soulless hum of a weapon. Looking in, he sees that a training session is in progress. Around twenty young Jedi were stood around the cavern, blast shields over their faces, holding up lightsabers and occassionally blocking something that was fired at them. Walking just inside and peering around the door, he saw an older Jedi stood with various weapons. This Jedi swapped between weapons various times, aiming at the various younglings one at a time, and it appeared they needed to sense the danger and either block or evade it. Some were successful, and some were not. The Doctor watched for a while, then moves on again. The corridor ended at an intersection. On the right, he could see what looked like the main hub of the Temple, a massive open space with various rooms attached onto it. The left corridor looked a lot more promising. He couldn't see what was down it. It looked darker, less used, and had the feeling of powerful energy. The cool air blowing out from the corridor gave The Doctor the idea that this place was going to be full of something interesting. Before he had taken two steps, a voice called out. "Ah, sorry!" The Doctor calls, turning around. "Do I need per-" Before he could turn fully around, a shockwave passed through him. He could feel himself slowly lose all feeling. Then he felt nothing at all.
When The Doctor awoke, he found himself bound against a wall. He couldn't see the room around him. There were no lights. "Where am I?" he inquires. He doesn't shout, just asks. Even so, there is no response. He had no idea how long he had been there, but a shuffling alerted him to someone moving. An exit must have been to his left, as that was where the noise was coming from. "So you like to wonder, do you?" a deep voice calls out. "Is that really so wrong?" The Doctor replies. "It is when we know nothing about you." A red blade lights up within his field of vision. A red face with cranial horns glared at him. The face was smiling in a wicked way. "All I wanted to do was explore," The Doctor implores. "I'm bored with waiting in the ship all the time." "Oho! So you decided to take another trip around, picking and choosing at our wares, and smuggling them off planet. Is that why you made friends with a Jedi?" "No, I-" "Zabaran!" a quick, sharp voice interrupts. "What are you doing?" "This is the man we're after, isn't it?" Zabaran asks, turning to the exit. "Yes. But all this?" The lights come on. An interrogation room is revealed out of the darkness. And so is Master Tee Vol. "Now put that away," Tee Vol states, indicating Zabaran's lightsaber. Zabaran does as he is told, looking slightly grumpy at his fun being interrupted. "Now, yes," Tee Vol says. "This is the man we are after. But there was no need bring him down here and attack him. All I wanted was a conversation with the man." His voice sounded chirpy, slightly rising and falling in intonation as he spoke. "You'll no longer need to worry," Tee Vol says to The Doctor. "It's just we've noticed recently that Jedi Golden seems to have taken a liking to you." "Oh. Yes. It seems the loss of his master changed him somewhat." "Almost too close." "As soon as we met formally for the first time, he asked whether he could become my apprentice, as funny as that seems." The Doctor gave a quizzical look to the Lurmen Jedi. "He's not going to be in any trouble, is he?" "No. No. This meeting is about you." "You said this was to be just a conversation," The Doctor says. "Can you let me down now?" He indicates the bindings that hold him with his fingers. "I'm sorry, but now you are already in place, that would seem foolish. At least, until we know what you are doing here, of course." "What do you mean, what I am doing here?" The Doctor asks. "You know what I'm doing here. I'm here with Max." "We know you came to this temple with Jedi Golden," Tee Vol states. "But what we meant was how you came to be in this universe?" "I don't know. I just... came to be here while travelling." Tee Vol narrows his eyes. Zabaran looks unimpressed. "If you were just travelling," Zabaran says, "then you must know where you were going." "Well, I already had a course plotted, but the navigation fried itself and I ended up here. My ship is slowly repairing itself, and until then I'm stuck waiting." "So that's why you're always with Golden," Tee Vol exclaims. "Yes." "And I assume that something else from wherever you come from also came here when that happened." "No," The Doctor slowly says. "The Daleks got here before me, and I'd love to know how." "So, you're travelling around hoping to stop them." "Correct." "While we can't direct you, we will certainly let you know if we hear anything." The Doctor is then let down. The bonds snap open and he falls lightly onto his feet. "We needed to be sure," Tee Vol informs. "There have been some funny things going on. Technology being stolen, that sort of thing. We then hear of things relating to the items stole, like the fact most of it appears on the black market. Unfortunately we can't buy any of it back, and so want it stopped instead." "And you thought I was the one who was stealing the technology?" The Doctor asks. "Sorry we ever doubted you," Tee Vol says. "Just so long as I know. And if there is anything I can do to help-" "While you're here, just keep an eye out. If we can capture whoever is doing this, we should be able to close any security leaks we have." "Should I tell Max?" "If you feel that it will help. We're trying to keep the operation as silent as possible so we don't alert the person we catch. Of course, if we do alert him, it might be that he just runs away and never returns. But capturing him means we know for sure and, as I said, allows us to close off any security leaks we may have." "I'll be sure to keep as quiet as possible about it," The Doctor says, and after thanking the two for their hospitality, leaves to find DarkRula.
DarkRula was getting bored of waiting around for an assignment. He decided the time had to come soon when he was called, but no. He'd been waiting for ages. He had told The Doctor not to leave the ship, and wondered off himself. The last time he had been here, he hadn't had time to meditate. These days he hated to do it on board a cruiser, even in hyperspace. And so he had settled down in the vast ice caverns where he had once learnt lightsaber combat from Kronis, and settled into the Force. After an hour or more, he had slowly reverted back to the present, and slowly walked back out to the main of the temple. When he had reached the Scimitar, the ship the Mandalorians were so interested in reclaiming, he found that The Doctor was nowhere inside it. Walking back outside it, he looks around at the people present. Not one of them looked like they were giving the ship a glance, but he shouts out the question anyway. "I left about an hour ago, dear chap," a voice says quietly behind him. DarkRula jumps. "Woah, Doctor! You're back. I thought I told you not to leave the ship?" "I am indeed back. And it's a good thing I went for a walk as well. It seems there's a bit of a problem here." "What? In the temple?" DarkRula asks, stunned. The Doctor looks around at the people within the hangar, and DarkRula does the same. No-one appeared to be paying them the slightest bit of attention. "The masters have told me to keep this as quiet as possible." "You were in contact with the masters?" DarkRula asks, still not quite recovered. "Well yes. They thought it was me at first." "Thought what was you?" "Can't we hold this conversation elsewhere, dear chap?" The Doctor whispers, looking again at the people around. "We coul- Wait." DarkRula hesitates. Heaving out his breath, he indicates with a hand, and the blast doors start closing on the hangar. One of the pilots milling around the hangar drops what he was holding and ran to the nearest ship. Before he could get in, the blast door clangs shut and the pilot changes direction mid-step. Still latched onto the blast door with the Force, DarkRula couldn't do anything himself except shout "Someone stop him!" Not one other person around could use the Force, and though clumsy attempts were made, the pilot escaped through one of the exits.
"So... What were you saying?" DarkRula says loudly as he and The Doctor follow the pilot who had ran. "The Jedi Masters, well that small one, anyway-" "Tee Vol?" "Yes. Him. He was telling me how things have been disappearing from the temple, and that they later appeared on the black market. To keep the smuggler from realising they knew something was happening, they kept quiet about it, operating very quietly." They stopped when they found themselves in the library. Looking around produces nothing. No sign of the pilot. "Couldn't you try sensing him through the Force again, dear chap?" The Doctor asks. "I didn't sense him, I sensed interest in our conversation. It felt..." Without warning, DarkRula moves again. Quickly whirling around one of the large shelves, he sees a man in a pilot's uniform is running away. He starts running, but is held up short when another Jedi passes with a group of younglings. Instead of waiting for them to pass, he Force leaps over them and continues on, locating the exact person he was after in the Force. Concentrating on how they were different to the rest, he felt confident he could find the person within the temple. The Doctor walks up to him, asking "Where is he?" "Somewhere..." DarkRula vaguely says. "Somewhere within the northern reaches of the temple." "And what would be in that direction?" The Doctor asks. "Where else do you think the accommadation is?" The Doctor says nothing as both run on. In the one corridor linking the main of the temple with the rear accommadation block, the two run through more corridors. These are more welcoming and more warm. A lot more comfort was put into the accommadation than the main building, but it still didn't have the feel of a place that was lived in. Through yet more corridors, and veering closer west, the two reach another hangar. This one was inactive, but the command centre overlooking it had one person in it. The person they were looking for. He seemed to be frantically moving his hands over the computers, and slowly the lights of the hangar lit up. Without bothering to say anything, DarkRula leaps up to the window, activates his lightsaber, and slings it at the window. The glass smashes, but before the lightsaber or the glass could injure the man, both had been pulled into the hangar. As DarkRula lands, the man climbs over the computers and drops down into the hangar. He runs, but The Doctor clamps a hand on his shoulder. "Get that hand off me!" the man shouts, trying to shrug the hand holding him off. "It's okay Doctor," DarkRula says. "You can release him." The man looks surprised at these words, but as The Doctor lifts his hand from the man's shoulder, he tries to run forward and is unable to move, wiping the surprise off his face. "Should have known the Jedi would track me down," he says in a resigned voice. "After all I've done, there had to be one time when it went wrong." "You caused everything to go wrong," DarkRula informs. "It was you running when you heard us talking that alerted us to you in the first place. Had you not ran, we wouldn't have known." "Well it's easy to panic." "Which means you, my dear chap, are not suited for the job," The Doctor comments. "I was fine when no-one knew about me, when it was just escorting Jedi to and from missions. But you try and not panic when you hear someone talk about you." "Funny thing, though," DarkRula says, remembering back to when the chase began. "I don't remember The Doctor here telling me about a smuggler in the temple, that things were going missing and being sold on the black market. He just said something was wrong and that it was being kept quiet. You must have been real quick to jump to the conclusion we were talking about you with just that to go on." The man continues to struggle against the invisible bonds that hold him there. He even looks to The Doctor for support. "I have to wonder," The Doctor murmurs. "What else he might have been doing?" "What do you think I've been doing?" the man snaps. "I've just been making money from things I find here." He grunts as he tries to move. "But that's the thing, dear chap. If it really was just a case of taking things and selling them, you wouldn't be trying to escape nearly as much." "You think," the man grinds out, "that I'm trying to escape my crimes? Have you any idea what happens-" "Quiet," DarkRula commands in a ringing voice. "You can tell the masters. I can't be bothered hearing it." A low piteous moan sounds behind DarkRula as he comms security. He takes no notice of it. He just makes sure the man is still bound by the Force. When security personnel turn up, they take the man with arms behind his back. DarkRula and The Doctor follow, added protection in case he made another attempt at escaping. When the security personnel head down to the holding cells, DarkRula and The Doctor head back to the Scimitar, again awaiting for a mission to come.
DarkRula had got impatient again. Wanting to do something, he had begun pacing through the halls and corridors of the Temple, The Doctor following in his wake. "If you could just slow down!" The Doctor pants. Instead of slowing, DarkRula stops. The Doctor almost walks into him. Twirling around, DarkRula says "You don't have to be following me, you know," and storms back around, continuing his pacing at the same speed as before. The Doctor takes a moment of recovery before setting off after him. Following through three more corridors, The Doctor sees DarkRula slide into a room. Looking into the room, he sees that it is a training room. "Okay..." DarkRula breathes. "Calm down... Aghh, I hate not doing anything." The Doctor raises an eyebrow, but doesn't say anything. "Yeah, okay. When it's important to the mission I can wait," DarkRula continues monologuing, "but not even having the expectancy of action coming soon-" "That can be put to rest, then," a voice says behind The Doctor. Master Kanar Tee Vol is stood in the entrance to the training room. "I want a word. You have a new mission." "Really?" DarkRula asks, surprised. "I wonder... Could you tell me what the Federation knows about the planet Forsaad?" The name takes a moment to register on DarkRula. "The place with the Forsaraith birds? As far as I know, that's all they know." "Hmm..." "I can tell the mission is something to do with the place?" "Well, we had a base on that planet. It was doing research on those birds. And the other creatures of the planet. Recently, that base has gone quiet. Since we know you have been to that planet before, we are asking you to go there and check up on the base." "We can get onto it right away," DarkRula says. "The droids will keep The Ark going while we investigate, as well as scan for anything on the planet out of the ordinary." "One thing I will say, before you do get going. Don't take anything with you that you'll miss later." "I could use a Jedi-coded transport if you have one to spare. "A transport will be sent to The Ark before you depart here," Tee Vol states. "If you need anything else, make sure to say before you leave." Tee Vol about faces and exits the training room. DarkRula watches him along the corridor and around the corner before muttering "Finally." "All that whining and you've got yourself a mission at last," The Doctor says. "Now stop being impatient and let's get to the TARDIS and-" "The TARDIS?" DarkRula scoffs. "We don't need that." The Doctor tilts his head to the side, looking confused. "Of course we do. It'll be a lot easier to travel with the old girl than anything you have." "Look. The only thing we will be travelling in is the Scimitar. And before we even get to your TARDIS, we have to use the Scimitar to get to The Ark first." "Ah, you say that. But I could just call the old girl down right now." "She's broke and battered, Doctor. If you want to risk it, go ahead. Try as many times as you want. But considering the drives are destroyed-" "Only the time drive, dear chap." "-it would be a definite risk to even attempt simple space travel." "At least, not with me in it. She can be a bit tempermental when travelling without me, and in the state she is... Oh, okay. Let me at least take a look to she how she's doing when we get to The Ark." "No problem Doctor. There should be more than enough time." The two exit the training room and walk back to the main hangar. Along the way, DarkRula felt a stab of pain that was unrelated to him. He felt it through the Force. He realised that the slight connection he had made with the smuggler when trying to locate him was now giving him the slightest feeling of pain that the smuggler must be feeling. He mentally shook that connection away. He wanted no distractions. The Scimitar was exactly where he had left it. One of the maintenance crew says that the ship had been refuelled and checked over for faults, of which there were none. Only giving a nod in thanks, DarkRula and The Doctor enter the Scimitar and head up to the control deck. Within minutes it is back within the hangar of The Ark. Back on the bridge, DarkRula gives the command to head to Forsaad. The journey would take roughly thirty hours, which was more than enough time for him to prepare for what was coming.
The Doctor walks around the main console of his TARDIS, talking to it. "Well, you seem to be in better shape than the last time I checked on you old girl. It's frustrating, I know. I really want to fly you again, I do. But if Max says I can't, there isn't much I can do. Well, I know what I should have done long ago. Forgot young Max and travelled alone. Alone... You know, I always say I want to be alone, but when I have someone with me... Ahh, what am I saying? I'm never alone! I've got you, haven't I, my sexy girl? That's all I'll-" A knock on the door interrupted him. "Oh. Um..." The Doctor walks to the door and opens it. A droid stands on the other side. "Commander Golden wants to meet you on the bridge," it said. "Tell him I'll be there soon." "Uh... Okay." The Doctor closes the door on it. "Now. Where were we?" he asks.
The Doctor had been an hour since DarkRula had first called him. And he still wasn't around. "What's taking him? Are you sure he said he'd be here? You did say the bridge?" "Yes, sir," a Battle Droid replies. "He said soon." "But I wanted him an hour ago!" "But instead you get me now," The Doctor calls from the entrance to the bridge. "What took you?" DarkRula asks, with an extra edge to his voice. "Oh, come on. It's not like it's urgent." DarkRula frowns at this. When he speaks, the edge had gone from his voice. "No. It wasn't. But I still wanted you so we could go through our plan for the mission. Whether you like it or not, you are still a part of this team." "Ah. Yes. The plan. Funny that, as I wanted to talk to you about that as well." DarkRula had a feeling he knew what was coming, but didn't say anything. "Why can't we just use the TARDIS? Now, I know what you're going to say, and I don't want to hear it. I've looked over the TARDIS. She's fine. I reckon she's good enough for at least same system travel, anyway." DarkRula had guessed right. And he knew he had to agree to it. That wouldn't stop him berating The Doctor if things went wrong, though. "I've thought a bit about that, and if you're sure... I'm sure it wouldn't hurt." "Brilliant!" "Just make sure the TARDIS is ready to go, and I'll meet you when we emerge from hyperspace."
It had taken a while after The Ark had emerged from hyperspace for DarkRula to join The Doctor at the TARDIS. He had wanted to make sure communication was working at full capacity, as well as the scanners. The plan was to set down somewhere and allow the scanners to do their work. Then the two would move in on the base and do what they needed to. At the TARDIS, The Doctor was stood by the console. As DarkRula enters, the doors close. A few beeps from the console make DarkRula look at it. "Coordinates are already locked, and so we can now get under way," The Doctor announces. He flips a lever, and the TARDIS thrums into action. The rhythmic tone rises and falls as it travels. A static whine starts up. A shake of the whole TARDIS, followed by an explosion of the console starts the whole journey going wrong. "Oh, dear. It seems we might have a problem, dear chap." "And why exactly did I let you talk me into this?" DarkRula asks through gritted teeth, keeping himself Force-locked to the floor. "Because," The Doctor replies, gasping as another explosion rips the console, "you know that I would have won over anyway." "Yes, but this is exactly why I said we wouldn't. We're meant to be on a mission. It could be vital to get it done quick, and now we're heading who knows where with possibly no hope of getting out of here." "Oh, please. I've got out of much worse." "Did you even know where you were?" "Of course I didn't. I never do." The thrumming of the TARDIS sounds strained, as though it's trying to correct itself onto the right flight path. More sparks fly out of the console. The floor continues to shake. The Doctor presses buttons and throws levers, but it doesn't seem to have any effect except to agitate the TARDIS even more. The strained sound increases. "When are we going to be able to get out of this?" DarkRula asks. "Whenever we get where we're going," The Doctor replies breathlessly. "Good," DarkRula says with a hint of sarcasm. "So when exactly will that be?" "I don't know. I don't even have the full details of this galaxy in the TARDIS' computers, do I?" "So just how exactly were you going to get us to our destination anyway?" DarkRula states crossly. "You can't just fly blind!" "Well I do, dear chap." "Don't you even c-" DarkRula is interrupted as a loud crash and grinding reverberate through the TARDIS. Both DarkRula and The Doctor are thrown to the floor. The straining of the TARDIS fades and the landing gong sounds. The Doctor is the first to get up, climbing his way up the console. As DarkRula pulls himself up with one of the railings, The Doctor is checking the readouts. "Well, we've arrived," DarkRula says. "Wherever we are, we've arrived." "And I hope there's nothing waiting for us right outside," The Doctor adds, almost to himself.