I'm not sure how long this is going to end up being. It may only be a short story of 3 posts. Or it might end up going longer. We'll all find out together I guess. This is the result of trying to come up with a response for the Action Qui challenge posed on the [link=http://boards.theforce.net/Fan_Fiction_Resource/b10304/13076745/?743]Qui-Gon Jinn characterization thread[/link]. For more fun responses see the [link=http://boards.theforce.net/Before_the_Saga/b10475/16981717/?202]Qui-Gon Jinn Challenge thread[/link]. Mace is Qui-Gon's Padawan in this story because that idea, once it lodged in my brain due to first padawan and timeline discussions on the Qui-Gon thread, has refused to leave. Without further ado: Title: An Improbable Mission Author: Knight_Dilletante Timeframe: Pre-Jedi Apprentice Characters: Knight Qui-Gon Jinn, Padawan Mace Windu Genre: action Keywords: Qui-Gon Jinn, Mace Windu Summary: Some 20-30 years prior to the events that would later become known as "The Battle of Naboo" A Jedi Master and his first Padawan undertake an improbable mission for the Jedi Council. Disclaimer: Obviously, all film and EU characters and other elements recognizable as from or related to Star Wars belong to George Lucas and/or Lucas Film Limited. I have not received financial renumeration of any kind for writing this tale and no disrespect is intended. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ He dropped a good few feet before the cable caught again, stopping with a painful jerk. His body had reacted badly to the sudden free fall and his limbs had all curled inward. Now he was twisting back and forth, and getting much too close to the alarm sensors. He extended his arms and legs again to slow the turning. How did I get into this? Qui-Gon thought dizzily. This is the sort of thing padawans are for. The harness was cutting into his body where his limbs joined his torso in a most uncomfortable way. And unless he was very careful it was all going to be for naught in any case. Because if he set off the alarm, there'd be no getting out in time, not even with the Force and Mace Windu to assist him. He spoke quietly into his commlink. "Just another few feet, Mace. Not so fast this time though, please." "Sorry, Master. The controller slipped, I think we must have miscalculated the weight of the harness and cable. I've tightened it up a bit." Qui-Gon felt his body slowly lowering again and focused once more on the jewel encrusted box below, ignoring all the other jewels and artifacts on display in the large room. As it wavered in his view he recalled his first shock on hearing about it. And hearing what the Council proposed to do about it. "Mission we have for you, Knight Jinn, Padawan Windu. Difficult it will be. Steal you must, Sith artifact from wealthy businessman on Malastare. Knows not what he has, we hope. But sell to us, he would not. Allowed to keep such a dangerous device, he cannot be." The jewels were mainly blood rubies from Iago. Interspersed with obsidian carvings that glowed with the dark fire indicative of an origin on one of the Bespin moons. The jewels moved in a mesmerizing dance as he was lowered the last few inches. "Stop, Mace." "Yes, Master" He came to a halt just above the sensor beams. Reaching out with the Force he traced each one end to end, building a mental map in three dimensions. There was no way to reach through and pull up the jeweled case. He could not even simply float it up using the Force. He would have to use the Force to levitate the box through some rather interesting maneuvers in order to thread it through the openings available and out of the nest of sensor beams. "We entrust you with this mission Qui-Gon because your skills in manipulation of the Force rival Master Yoda's in areas. Perhaps this is due to your affinity for the Living Force, perhaps it is something else. In either case, your impressive skill in Force Levitation will undoubtedly be useful.