title - Mooncast Shadow
author - Athena Leigh
char - Qui-Gon
rating - G
subject - Qui-Gon takes some time out to commune with nature.
notes - I wrote this last night in honor of the lunar eclipse. Oh, 'twas so beautiful! Yes, I know the
title isn't quite accurate, but it's just a title, so who cares! I guess this sort of explains the title
of Imp, and clearly it comes before A New View. Enjoy!

Mooncast Shadow

A gust of wind kicked up as he set the shuttle upon the frosty plane, then fell still again. Warmly
dressed and carrying his gear, Qui-Gon stepped from the shuttle, thick boots crunching into the surface.

He made his way across the icy ground and across the snow to the hill behind which he had landed. Digging
his feet into the frozen ground, he climbed up to the summit and down to a small ledge overlooking the
frigid ocean below. He lay down his thermal blanket and stretched out upon it. He gazed into the dark
night sky. It would be starting soon.

About him, the icy terrain reflected the shimmer of penetrating silver and cool blue moonlight. Above, the
full moon shone down on the empty, quiet land. He had chosen this place just because it was barren. This
entire system was uninhabited, full of planets and moons that were dead, frozen, or balls of gas, or some
combination of those so that they were unlivable. This was the only planet with a breathable atmosphere
for humans, but was ignored due to the ice that covered it from poles to equator.

Qui-Gon however, thought it was fantastic. There was no life, but the planet was hardly dead. Water
slapped at the shore, freezing to become the shore, the shore melting to become ocean, in an endless
cycle. The ice would rise up and form new peaks, or fracture and fall into the ocean. This place was alive
as any other world could be.

As a newly-promoted Knight, he had come here to escape the hectic life of a Jedi. Tomorrow, he would
return to the Temple and accept his first mission of his new position, but tonight he would enjoy the
natural beauty of a most spectacular event. In addition to its glacial landscape and bone-chilling seas,
this world sported only a single satellite, dazzling high above. It looked so small, but Qui-Gon had been
there. He knew it was very large indeed, but from here, he could simply reach out his arm and blot it out
with his thumb. However, that was unnecessary, as in essence that very action would be taking place in
just moments.

And there it was.

Qui-Gon gazed into the clear, speckled sky, taking note of the small dent in the side of the great, patchy
moon. The lunar eclipse he had come to see was underway. A cold breeze blew, and the Knight pulled the
blankets closer about himself, wiggling his toes to make sure they were still there. He got comfortable
and set in for the long haul. It would be an hour before the moon was completely inside the planet's
shadow, then another hour plus as it moved through the umbra, and again as it moved out the other side. He
would watch the whole event, and revel in the beauty.

He had once heard one of his Masters say that a moon passing through its motherplanet's shadow had an
imperturbable serenity. He understood what that meant now. Here, in this place with its silence and unique
magnificence, he felt a calm that nothing could take away. No matter what happened to him or the Jedi or
the Republic, this planet and its lone moon would still perform this dance, in silence, in darkness,
without audience. It was the way of the universe, the Force's driving power behind everything. He closed
his eyes a moment and felt the tremors of the encompassing energy as the show took place around him.

Then totality was reached. The moon darkened in the sky, becoming black a moment, the land around fading
as the light it reflected faded, the fainter stars formerly drowned out by the moon's bright light shining
forth in the sudden dimness. A moment later, the satellite was again visible to him, but now as a dark,
blood red sphere. The moon was completely within the planet's shadow, light from the dayside of the planet
refracted by clouds in the atmosphere onto the now obscured ball of rock, indirectly lighting it.

Qui-Gon slowly turned his head as the planet rotated and the moon's position in the sky changed throughout
the night. He basked in the simple, unalterable calmness of the moment, not waiting for it to end, just
watching and enjoying as it happened. He had no words to describe the feeling, but he asked for none.

At last, a sliver of grey moon could be seen emerging from the eclipse, and the land about began shining
ice blue and snow white again. Qui-Gon waited until the last vestiges of the veil retreated from the
celestial body, then hurried back to his shuttle, where he prepared himself some tea and hot soup, then
clambered into a nice warm sleepcouch.