Kile lead Jedi Shander to a different landing bay than where the Namout Se had docked. It was in a slightly more isolated area of the spaceport. By that time, twilight had engulfed the mountain-metropolis, and the lights of the city were, indeed, a beautiful sight of a giant ring of lights emerging from the encroaching night at Mount Kotokai’s base. From the distance, one was able to see the other mountains’ ringed-cities, along with the stretching network of inter-cities roads.
Kile’s transporter was a small, two seater pod that exhibited the typical Nagai design: aerodynamic, vertical fins for atmospheric travels, and tinted glass-again, most likely to keep out Nagi’s harmful sun rays.
“Does this dining establishment specialize in any of your local vegetation,” Jedi Shander inquired as Kile tapped in a series of security codes to the pod. “I’m vegetation-centric with my meals.”
“That should be interesting,” the young Nagai responded as the lid to the transporter opened up, “because the Nagai culture is exclusively flesh-”
Just then, the Jedi Force-pushed Kile away from the pod; flinging his lithe body perhaps ten yards away without seriously hurting him! Jedi Shander then hopped into the pod, entered the same code he had noticed Kile use to open the craft, and the duraglass dome quickly sealed shut.
A couple of other pedestrians, local Nagai, had witnessed the encounter and began running straight for the pod. Shander noticed from the corner of his eyes that Kile keyed in something into a communicator and the whole section of the spaceport was awashed with blaring lights and warning sirens!
So much for avoiding Nagai entanglements...
As with so much of Jedi Shander’s experience, even as a young Human, Humanoid physiology tended to dictate the ergonomics of a space craft. So operating the craft and blasting out of Kotokai’s spaceport was easy to do.
Unfortunately, the pod was entirely too small for hyperdrive capability. And with the port-wide warning that Kile had set off, there would, no doubt, be several of Kotokai’s defensive ships on the way to blast the young Jedi out of the thin skies of Nagi! It was not as if Shander had a back-up plan or some fellow Jedi waiting up in orbit to rescue him. The only thing he could think of was try to punch the pod’s system to take to another part of the planet and land; find a place to hide in all those mountains; send out an emergency signal to the other Jedi back on Coruscant, and wait for them to get him from Nagi...and start, yet, one more battle between the Nagi planet and one of the galactic-powers!
That was not an option for Jedi Shander. No way in the Galaxy would he let himself be responsible for another military skirmish between Coruscant and the Nagai-all for an academic quest to discover the proper name of the Galaxy!
The pod’s detection system alerted Shander to several on-coming craft. Obviously, the city’s defenses. He had already punched the ship’s systems and was already going at top speed. Those Nagai ships would be on him in mere minutes at such a rate!
But then the pod’s system alerted him to something. Something that Jedi Shander doubted that any other space craft that was non-Nagai would ever be alerted to...
At approximately three hundred miles above the surface of Nagi was an orbiting Infinity Gate! The astronomical portal was comprised of several floating platforms-themselves, the size of a mid-sized star ship!-that formed an enormous “ring” in low-orbit space. It seemed the Nagai had constructed the Gate so that it could adjust its diameter based on the size of the largest of star ships known in the Galaxy: the Super-Dreadnaughts that still traversed space, even those six years after the fall of the Galactic Empire.
"By the stars,” Jedi Shander said aloud to himself. He could not believe what he saw in the telemetry. “So that is the Kwa connection...no wonder the Administrator didn’t want me to hang around!”
The very ancient civilization of the Kwa had somewhat inherited the technology of the Infinity Gates from a rather mythological species that no one else in the Galaxy seemed to know much about. Indeed, it was one of those subjects that Jedi Shander researched a bit in the past years, but needed more time. Time, indeed...for the Infinity Gates were basically an instantaneous teleporter! And right at that moment, Jedi Shander was in a situation of Time severely about to run out for him with the approaching Kotokai fighter ships!
On Coruscant, it was very customary for many to use astromech androids as co-pilots. In addition to being sufficient at navigating and even piloting, they were also wonderful at being a companion...but in a Nagai star pod, it was totally up to the Humanoid that was piloting, with help from the ship’s computer.
Seeing no alternative, Jedi Shander quickly scanned the pod’s computer for coordinates and planets and set a course for the Orbital Infinity Gate...