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The Shifting Sands

Chapter One

The Padawan stared out of the window of the Jedi Temple. It was sunset. He closed his eyes and tried to block it all out. For the first time in years, he felt like crying. Only moments before, his Master, his beloved teacher since childhood, had practically betrayed him. His Master, mentor, and father, had abandoned him. He gathered the Force around him and cleared the pain from his mind. He tried to put the whole thing behind him. He felt the Force ripple in his mind and soon he was at ease. For a moment. The Force would always bring to him thoughts of his Master, for that is what connects them.

The sun had now disappeared below the gleaming Coruscant skyline. He felt terribly alone. He heard someone enter the room and immediately recognized the tiny shuffling footsteps.

"Why wait you here, Obi-Wan?" Yoda asked. "A mission awaits you."

"Yes, Master Yoda. I was just getting ready to leave." Obi-Wan said.

"Hmmm..." Yoda looked at him thoughtfully. He stared at Obi-Wan through those heavy eyelids. "I think not. Preparing in what way were you?"

Obi-Wan knew that even if he wanted to lie toYoda, which he didn't, he couldn't anyway. The Master could see right through him.

"Actually Master, I was just taking a moment for meditation."

Yoda squinted at him again. "Again, I think not. Mediation brings peace. Not at peace are you."

Obi-Wan thought for a moment. "Perhaps I am not, Master."

"Troubled you are, Obi-Wan. It is best not to leave for Naboo until resolved the matter is." Yoda said.

Obi-Wan knew he was right. But how could a Padawan tell another Jedi about misgivings with his own Master? It was practically disrespect.

"About Qui-Gon, this is." said Yoda knowingly. "And his eagerness to train the boy. And in your mind, his eagerness to forget you."

Obi-Wan looked painfully at Yoda. He could not hide the truth. Yoda knew it was true, even without the Padawan admitting it.

"I just don't understand." Obi-Wan sighed. "Have I disappointed him?"

"Search your feelings Obi-Wan." Yoda said. "A fault of yours you know it is not."

Obi-Wan nodded. He knew it was foolish to think his Master was unhappy with him. Qui-Gon was always very pleased with his progress. And Qui-Gon hadn't lost him completely. The Council wouldn't permit him to take Anakin as his Padawan Learner so long as Obi-Wan was still under his training. Perhaps the only reason Qui-Gon said Obi-Wan was officially ready to be a Knight was so he could quickly take on a new apprentice.

"Do not yourself torment, Obi-Wan." Yoda said. "Care for you, Qui-Gon does, but strongly he believes in young Skywalker's future."

"Even against the urging of you and Council." Obi-Wan added, sighing.

Yoda closed his eyes for a moment.

"Many things about Master Qui-Gon I do not know. But one thing I do. Forget you, Obi-Wan, he never will."

"I hope that is true, Master." Obi-Wan sighed.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
Chapter Two

Obi-Wan strode along the landing platform. They would be departing momentarily. He and Qui-Gon were in the midst of a mission to protect Queen Amidala during a tumultuous time on her planet, Naboo. They were about to accompany her back there, even though the Trade Federation and their vast armies of battle droids had possession of the planet.

He spotted Qui-Gon out of the corner of his eye. He was talking with the pilot. Anakin was with him. Obi-Wan was not surprised. Qui-Gon had never let Anakin out of his site since the two met a few days ago on Tattoine. He could not help but be jealous. He did not want to lose his friendship with Qui-Gon. And Anakin's presence reminded him that he would not be a Padawan forever. In all truth, the time for him to become a Knight was approaching swiftly. He could not lean on Qui-Gon forever. Perhaps it was time to let go. But could he trust himself to stand alone?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"I am not sure of what to do. It is obvious that his future is clouded."

The Council sat in their circular chamber in the Jedi Temple. Night had come, and only a faint glow from outside illumiated the many troubled faces.

"Agree with Master Windu, I do." Yoda said. Though the one currently being discussed had already departed, the Council continued to debate over Anakin Skywalker's fate.

"But the fact that he has the highest midi-chlorian count ever must be considered." Mace Windu continued.

The room fell silent for a moment.

"He would become the oldest first-time inductee ever into the temple." added Depa Billiba, a dark skinned, broad minded woman.

"While that is true, we should not allow it to interfere with our judgement of his character." siad Eeth Koth, an Iridonian from Zabrak.

"I think we should not push the boy away so soon." Ki-Adi Mundi said in his soft voice.

Yoda, though he felt strongly that he was right, did not wish to go against the wishes of his peers.

"What shall be done then?" he asked.

"We should wait." Yaddle spoke up. She was of the same species of Yoda, though much younger. She rarely commented, but when she did, her soft-spoken words spoke volumes.

"Indeed." Mace Windu said. " If the path is unclear, it is always best to wait."

"Until when wait?" Yoda asked. "Cautious we must be, but also definite."

"One more test then." Adi Gallia spoke up. "Give him a chance to prove himself against great odds. Perhaps in completeling a great feat, he can prove that his future can be overcome."

"I agree." Eeth Koth said.

"And I." Ki-Adi said.

"And I." Plo Koon whispered through his breathing mask.

"I also agree." chimed Yaddle.

One by one they agreed.

Mace Windu turned and nodded at Yoda, who still didn't look entirely convinced. Perhaps he saw a different destiny for young Anakin.

Chapters 3 and 4