Laser fire laced the Temple.

Shaak Ti couldn't believe it. She had passed into shock long ago, when Anakin had found her in the meditation chambers. He was deep in the Force, searching for answers to what she had felt in the Force just minutes ago. A huge shift, like a boat overturning and sinking in seconds. A massive movement, deep in the Force, that had sent Shaak Ti crumbling to her knees at the onslaught of it. Several others in the Temple who were also deeply intertwined with the Force, as she was, had experienced similar reactions. But Shaak Ti was hit so hard…she had immediately slunk off to the meditation chambers, both furious and hurt at the same time. She must have looked like a nexu with its tail between its legs, practically on all fours as she made her way to the meditation chambers. The second she sat down and immersed herself in the Force, she had felt better. But she knew it was not to last; once she had centered herself and delved deeper, the immense emotions had taken over and practically drowned her in the Force's simple essence. Death…destruction…murder…and then a sudden, sharp turn. Shaak Ti could see a symbol in her mind's eyes, vaguely reminiscent of a ying-and-yang symbol. Suddenly, the black side rose up and enveloped the light side in itself, smothering all but one, single, tiny flame. Shaak Ti felt herself suffocating in the darkness-what had happened?!

The door opened.

Shaak Ti shocked herself back to consciousness, but tried to make it seem she was still in meditation. She searched the room through gentle currents in the Force, trying to determine who would interrupt her. Anakin! Shaak Ti's heart leapt with joy. The others must be back! They must have succeeded in killing Palpatine! But then…those darker currents in the Force…what had happened? Shaak Ti felt her heartbeat increase; she tried to deny it, but she was nervous. The energies surrounding Anakin were certainly dark; almost murderous. Shaak Ti made up her mind: she was going to talk to Anakin. She slowly uncoiled her long-limbed body, standing up and turning to face Anakin. She caught the sound of a lightsaber igniting, and horror suddenly filled her heart. Anakin…had turned dark. That was the overturning she felt! The Chosen One had turned dark! Shaak Ti's lightsaber leapt to her hand, and she felt the heat of a lightsaber a bit too close to her back-Anakin had tried to stab her in her back! Shaak Ti's blue blade met the iridescent azure of Anakin's, and she harshly shoved him back. Anakin stumbled back, blue lightsaber flailing as he fell back a few steps. Shaak Ti lowered her sword, staring at Anakin as if staring at a stranger. Anakin's eyes were full of fury; his entire aura seemed toxic. Shaak Ti was simply appalled.

"Anakin," she whispered, "what have you done?"

Anakin seemed overcome by Shaak Ti's voice; it seemed to fill him with rage. Shaak Ti suddenly found herself on her back on the floor several feet away, a brutal Force-shove the cause. Shaak Ti stood up quickly, and met Anakin's overhand chop just in time. A Force-shove of her own served as retaliation, and Shaak Ti advanced on Anakin-but she did not seek attack. No, she wanted to simply get out of the room, and get at least the Younglings out of there! If Anakin had gone dark, there was no telling what else had been done! As the door opened and Shaak Ti bolted through, nothing could prepare her for what she encountered.

Blaster fire almost amputated the end of one lekku.

Shaak Ti cried out in surprise, and bolted across the hallway, taking shelter behind a pillar. She used her lightsaber to deflect the blaster fire headed her way, taking in the situation as she did so. Clones were firing wildly-and seemingly at Jedi. Shaak Ti felt herself growing sick to the stomach as she watched clones slaughter Jedi left and right. The Jedi were overcome by sheer number. Shaak Ti glanced around; no one she knew was there! Where was everyone? The Masters? Was she alone in this? Had they already been killed? Shaak Ti decided to find out.

With a mighty battle cry, the Togruta launched herself from behind the pillar, lightsaber flashing and slicing and lancing through white armor. Shaak Ti grabbed the nearest Padawan, shoving her behind herself, and yelled over the blaster fire, "Gather everyone you can and get to a ship! I'll cover you!"

Everyone turned out not to be much. Shaak Ti could only count four Padawans behind her, and she could only see a few more Jedi fighting around her. "Go!" she screamed, giving the girl behind her a push. "Get to the hangar! Get out of here! I'll be along shortly-just go!"

Screams of pain were all she heard, and then the sound of a lightsaber stilling its motion.

Shaak Ti gasped, whirling around. The bodies of the four Padawans she had tried to save had been burned open by lightsaber, and were now falling to the ground, lifeless. Shaak Ti screamed in horror, staring at Anakin as if he had suddenly grown a second head. A small whimper of fear reached her throat, but she swallowed it. Fear could not be shown here-it was too easy to succumb to the dark side as it was. Shaak Ti crossed blades briefly with Anakin, and then broke away again. She needed to get out of there-she was having trouble combining Soresu and Makashi, and doubted it was going to get any easier. Shaak Ti dove behind a pillar again, seeking shelter from the blaster fire and Anakin's deadly saber. She could outduel him, she knew. But the entire deal with the clones…? No. She was confident in herself, but she knew that one Togruta, even a Council member, against the new Dark Lord's apprentice and an entire battalion of clones, was asking for death. Shaak Ti decided to do something she had never done before:

She ran.

OOOOOOOOOOO

Shaak Ti ran until she could run no more, fighting down tears and trying her best not to be sick. She couldn't afford the time it would take to mourn-she needed to get off Coruscant, and fast! She needed to go somewhere far away…somewhere where no one would even think of looking for her, let alone find her. Well, start somewhere where she could easily disguise herself…Tattooine came to mind, because it would be easy for Shaak Ti to re-invent herself. But Shili would welcome her with open arms for sure, and she didn't have to worry about the Hutts. But some people might know her, and some might want money. The new empire would seek her death for sure. Shaak Ti hurried through Coruscant's streets, eventually ducking into a random doorway. 

Loud music was blasting from inside; probably a night club. And, sure enough, Shaak Ti found herself in the middle of a mass of dancing humanoids of all different species, colors, and statures. Shaak Ti wove through the crowd, shaking off anyone who came close to her at all. She broke free of the crowd, shoving into the back of the nightclub and breaking free of the masses by dodging through an exit door. Well, dodging was the graceful version. Shaak Ti practically fell out of the nightclub, then took off again, dipping and dodging through the back alleys of the city. Shaak Ti couldn't even stop to breathe: she needed to move!

Getting off the planet seemed to be a good thing. Shaak Ti knew that she couldn't go back to the Temple and get a starship-too risky. Public transit? Someone might recognize her…Shaak Ti wasn't about to steal a starship. She didn't need even more bounty on her head. Well, it would be public transit, then. Shaak Ti headed for the station, slipping quietly onto the ship. "To Shili," she said softly, paying the pilot, "and I was never here."

The pilot, a Mon Calamari, nodded, and accepted Shaak Ti's pay-plus the small extra she threw in there. She knew money could be an incentive for people to keep their mouth shut, and also knew that some people were willing to pay decent money for her location. Well, that should hold out a few standard days, if anyone managed to track her this far. Shaak Ti sat down in the back of the ship, keeping her face turned away from the window. Better not to take chances; she was quite famous. The ship took off shortly after, and Shaak Ti found herself staring back at Coruscant as the ship cruised away from the planet. I'm sorry, she found herself thinking, as if that could do anyone any good now. Shaak Ti slouched down in her seat, bracing her knees on the seat in front of her.

All alone in the universe.

I never could've seen this far
I never could've seen this coming
Seems like my world's falling apart

Yeah…

Shaak Ti felt the ship jump to hyperspace, and settled down even further in her seat. She stared out the window for a while, satisfied with the streaks of light that was the inside of hyperspace. She was thinking too hard. Anakin...she had known he was antsy, but so that he would turn to the dark side? There had to be something else to this. And Darth Sidious suddenly emerging? This must have been in the making for years! Shaak Ti shook her head, resting her forearms on her thighs. This was so confusing…

Why is everything so hard
I don't think I can deal with the things you said
It just won't go away

The ship dropped out of hyperspace, and Shaak Ti glanced out the window, shaking her head and focusing her eyes. There it was…the red orb that was Shili. Her homeland…the ship began its decent, and Shaak Ti slowly sat up. She stretched her coiled muscles, shaking herself out as the ship docked in the station. Shaak Ti stood up, exiting the bus and slipping the pilot a bit of extra money. "I was never here," she repeated, and exited the ship.

White armor met her eyes.


In a perfect world
This could never happen
In a perfect world
You'd still be here
And it makes no sense
I could just pick up the pieces
But to you
This means nothing
Nothing at all

"Jedi Master Shaak Ti, you are under arrest for high treason."

Shaak Ti rolled her eyes. "If only you knew how many time I've heard that one," she drawled. "Excuse me." She stepped forward confidently through the clone troopers waiting for her, acting as if nothing was wrong. The first one, apparently the leader by his speech and position at the forefront of the troops, grabbed her arm. Shaak Ti easily twisted her arm, sending the clone flying into his comrades. Shaak Ti bolted, careening kamikaze-style through the ten or twenty clones that were standing in her way. Her lightsaber leapt to her hand, deflecting any blaster fire headed for her back. She ran again, heading for the wild lands of Shili. She could always tame a reek-they were wild, and she could usually get them to listen to her by using the Force. If she could get t the scrublands, she would be safe.

I used to think that I was strong
Until the day it all went wrong
I think I need a miracle to make it through

Yeah

Shaak Ti was flying at this point. She had a skill that the troopers didn't at moving through crowds. She had switched off her lightsaber; it drew too much attention. And now that they were in a crowd, the troopers had stopped firing. Most of the people in the area were Togrutas, and Shaak Ti blended in perfectly. She flew through the city, though, instead, seeking the scrublands that were home to the reeks and other wild beasts that normally preyed on Togrutas. Shaak Ti found herself at the edge of the city again, and suddenly had a tough decision to make. Safety in numbers, or safety in the open? Shaak Ti decided to stay within the crowd, and only flee to the open land if she was forced to. The Jedi ducked into a bar-she could easily lose the troopers in there.

I pictured I could bring you back
I pictured I could turn back time
Cuz I can't let go
I just can't find my way
Yeah
Without you I just can't find my way

Left and right, back and forth…Shaak Ti found herself weaving calmly through the bar, threading her way through to the front of the establishment. She sat down at the bar itself, ordered a drink, and took a look around. It seemed that she had lost the troopers…thank the stars. She was beginning to wonder how much like Qui-Gon she was becoming. She had met the Jedi master in her lifetime, and had been on a mission or two with him. He didn't find trouble: trouble found him. He seemed to have a knack for sniffing it out, though.

In a perfect world
This could never happen
In a perfect world
You'd still be here
And it makes no sense
I could just pick up the pieces
But to you
This means nothing
Nothing at all

Shaak Ti spent a few minutes in the bar, drinking down a soft drink and taking swift glances around. Her montrals allowed her to keep track of just about everyone in the room, and they also told her a small bit about the conversations going on around her. Apparently, news of the Jedi Slaughtering hadn't reached Shili-no one was talking about it. Shaak Ti left the bar, slipping a tip for the bartender under the edge of her empty glass. She left the bar through a back door, closing it softly and turning around to walk away. She made her way back into the street, mingling expertly and pondering her next move.

Obviously, she couldn't stay here.

I don't know what I should do now
I don't know where I should go
I'm still here waiting for you
I'm lost when you're not around
I need to hold on to you
I just can't let you go

Yeah
Yeah

More troopers ahead. Shaak Ti breezed past them easily, blending right into the crowds. She made her way back to the more populated part oft own, heading for an old friend's place. She and a male Togruta named Talz had met up a few years ago on a mission of Shaak Ti's, and Talz owed her a favor. Shaak Ti knew exactly where to find him: he had told her himself. Now, Shaak Ti headed for the closest mechanics shop, knowing that was where she would find her friend Talz. He had told her: "first shop off the port," and so that was what she was going with. As Shaak Ti parted the curtains hanging over the door, she called out, "Talz!" A male Togruta popped up from behind a starship, covered in grease and grinning like a Chesire cat.

"Heard you coming," he said, tapping his own montrals. "I can hear your step from light years away, I swear."

Shaak Ti smiled, and gave Talz a small laugh. "Thanks, but I came here looking for a way off the planet," she said. "Preferably something that isn't too noticeable…"

Talz nodded. He walked around to the other side of the starship he had been working on, wiping his hands on a rag stuck in his back pocket. "Can do," he said. "Pretty little Jedi made an enemy already?"

Shaak Ti rolled her eyes. "The entire effin' Empire," she growled. She waved her hand at Talz's confused look. "Holonet will have it up in a few minutes. Watch the news tonight, 'kay? And I was never here."

Talz smiled and nodded. "You were never here."

In a perfect world
This could never happen
In a perfect world
You'd still be here
And it makes no sense
I could just pick up the pieces
But to you
This means nothing
Nothing at all
Nothing, nothing at all
Nothing at all

As Shaak Ti worked with Talz to flee Shili, she found herself thinking again. How many other Jedi had been lost? That massive shift in the Force...it wasn't all from the Temple, Shaak Ti knew. Other Jedi had to have died. Especially with the clones seemingly turning on the Jedi-Shaak Ti saw that from the incident at the landing platform. Her friends: Luminara, Kit, Obi-Wan, Aayla-! And what of the Masters sent to arrest Palpatine? Mace, Saesee, Agen...they must have been killed. Shaak Ti felt tears blossoming again. She may well be...the last Jedi alive.

A/N: Well, another Star Wars thing from me…second one, I'm proud of myself. Anyway, this will follow Shaak Ti's journey through her time in self-exile, until she finally gets to a settlement with herself-and the Empire. She will meet Vader at some point, so stay with me. Review, please. It makes me happy. Except flames-I feed those to my pet fire demon. Song is Perfect World by Simple Plan.