See prologue for notes and disclaimer.

NOTE: I'll mention the same thing I did over at the TFN boards: I decided that this story needed to be longer than I was planning and I want to do it right, so I'm separating it into two stories. It works better for me this way, too, since I want to plan out the sequel better than I did this one and write the whole thing before I post any of it.

I know I'd mentioned somewhere that I was going to write a sequel to Remnants in the Mind when I finished this. I still may write that sequel, but I don't want to start posting anything else unless it's finished first. :o) I was about to stop writing fanfic altogether, however I've decided to write some more . . . for awhile.

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this story. And I hope this little end will be okay and keep you hungry enough for the darker, angstier sequel when I get it done. There's no Obi-Wan here in this part, but he'll be featured prominently in the sequel. Please read this anyway; it's short. And don't forget to leave a little review! They help give a little extra motivation to keep writing. :o)

Thanks Athena Leigh Jinn and Elizabeth Goode for the reviews for the last chapter. And thank you littlejedibee for the reviews on my other fics. :o) If anyone wants me to e-mail you to let you know when I get my next fic ready to post, just leave your e-mail address in a review. :o)



Warm golden light flushed the clouds in the distance, preparing to end another day. Qui-Gon stood on his terrace, hands resting upon metal railing, hair blowing lightly in the approaching evenfall's breeze. He drew in a breath, hoping it would ease his tension, but was instead left light-headed in the cool wind.

He had returned to the Temple on Coruscant since there had been no leads to point them where Obi-Wan had been taken. Qui-Gon had been shaken, to say the least. Not only had he lost all sense of where his padawan could be—thanks to the Force-suppressing wrist bands placed on the young man—but also he had lost a part of himself, part of his faith in that all-encompassing power.

"We will continue to keep our field operatives on the lookout for him, Qui-Gon," Mace's impersonal voice assured him from behind.

But it was not reassuring, in the least. And Qui-Gon smiled bitterly at that thought.

The Councilor had apparently let himself in without Qui-Gon's knowledge, and come to stand at the threshold of the terrace. Another point to his loss of focus. How could he expect to ever find Obi-Wan in this condition?

"I know you will, Mace." Calm. Unmoved in his tone, in his posture, yet none could see the storm that raged beneath, unrestrained and wild in all its tenacity.

But Mace guessed what was there. He had known the taller man since they were initiates together in the crèche. "I believe Obi-Wan will be found. We must keep faith."

There it was. The appeal to stay true and mindful. To never abandon his conviction.

A quick tuck of hands in his rough robe's billowed sleeves and Qui-Gon turned to meet the steadfast gaze of his longtime peer. "I will meditate." Succinct and serene.

Mace's dark eyes faltered briefly, showed his understanding of that simple statement. The mahogany-complexioned man swallowed, gave a short nod, before spinning on his heels and letting himself out of Qui-Gon's apartment.

Loresce and her friend Jalin had been as much help as they could on the planet Briyenna—the planet's name where their troubles had begun. Qui-Gon held no unforgiveness toward them. The young woman had developed a terrible crush on Obi-Wan; she would pay for her part in the padawan's disappearance. Dooku had returned to the far reaches of the galaxy, out where he felt free of Republic control.

Qui-Gon was alone here. There would be no dirty laundry in the most unlikely places, no datapads left on his bedsheets to remind him to read the next mission report, no waiting to use the 'fresher, no padawan draped provocatively across the old gray stuffed chair in front of the window.

Turning back to the sunset, Qui-Gon reflected on his life, all the pain he had endured, two apprentices lost. Different ways, but lost, all the same. A Jedi's life was never easy, never safe. He had never disillusioned himself in that respect. Attachments were greatly discouraged, but he had never let the Code deter him from what he felt was right. And his heart had borne the brunt of that decision.

As the sun slid deeper in the distance, he saw hope's light fleeing, saw the end of another day, saw sullen shadows closing in on another chapter in his life.

"Obi-Wan," he breathed on the twilight wind. "I'll find you, my Padawan. I will."

finis (for now)


The sequel has been posted: Spindle of Fate; a link can be found on my author profile page.