Memory And so, like everything else, it ends. There was little surprise, for that is the way of the universe and the cycles that govern life. Rather, the way it ends draws pause. For a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace, the protectors of the Old Republic. A thousand generations. To the small of mind, that would seem like forever, when only a small drop in the ocean of the galaxy?s history. Still, the Order served. Confident in its place until one day, it just ended. No, not a day. Three years of war and strife had dwindled the Jedi?s numbers. Soldiers, they were not. Still, they served, commanding armies of Clonetroopers, fighting against those who would tear the Republic apart. It was the Separatist?s fault. But was it really? Certainly there had been dissention in the ranks before. It was the not the first time that worlds unhappy with the governance tried to break away. Often succeeding. But the scale of worlds falling under the spell of Count Dooku of Serenno was staggering. It seemed that he had more than an enigmatic presence and rightly spoken words to cajole systems into joining his cause. Dark magicks. But they are not spoken of. Not here. Not in the sacred places. Three years, compared to generations upon generations was little more than the batting of an eye. A breath in the night, gone almost as soon as it existed. But Jedi, made of sterner stuff survived, their light would go on in the galaxy, had not their armies revolted and slaughtered them. Had not their own betrayed them. And the memory of all that had been before could was watch, silently, as the tides turned, drawn toward the darkness that spread its cold tendrils across the once mighty Republic, replacing it with fear and martial law. Terror. Silence. The Force grew still. But it did not forget. ~ A child of its creation?one of its faithful students?found shelter in its energies. Comfort that he was not abandoned in spirit?but only in body?as his strength faded. In his arms, he sheltered a most precious package. Wisps of gray frosted dark brown locks as they drifted across his vision, yet he did not have the strength to push the hair back. He knew, against all hope that he must preserve it for running, for holding the tiny youngling. A bright star of hope?the future. Worn boots carried him through the damp streets of the city, through grimy back alleys and over broken paths. Still they pursued him as they had through the Mid Rim worlds. If only he could escape beyond their reach, to the Outer Rim. They would be safe there. A hope that so many had possessed before being cut down in a rain of blaster fire. The last to fall, a dear friend, who had gave his life, so that they may escape more than just the Temple fall. Fall, no. The Jedi Temple, that had stood so bright and dominating of the Coruscant skyline had been ripped from the clouds and crushed into rubble by the machines that had been created to protect the Republic from its seceding children. The images still haunted him, forever imprinted on the mind?s eye. Had he only not looked back at the clouds of destruction, if only he had closed his eyes?no, it would have changed nothing. But so like the others, all he could do was stand there in stark silence and watch helplessly as his world came tumbling down as the Force cried out in agony before being silenced. Though it no longer mattered; there was nothing but the running left and even that had come to its end. Time had run out. ~ The knight found himself far from shelter on a wide street. Walled in by broken shanties of the poor and downtrodden that littered the port and his escaped routes cut off by soldiers in white armor. Former allies. Instinctively, he rested the weight of the youngling, who held desperately to him, on one arm as his other hand sought the comfort of his lightsaber at his hip. The clatter of blaster rifles readying made him pause.