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Canadians own the memories.

Q.Q

Kallian stared intently at the white flower in her hand. She was aware of how the sun shone in the clear blue sky, bright and everlasting, and felt the breeze brushing through her hair, playful and refreshing. She saw the shadow of the eagle soaring overhead, its wings spread out in awe-inspiring breadth, but could not appreciate such breathtaking beauty this day. Not when saying good-bye to her best friend...her brother.

A year ago she would have scoffed at the man whose lifeless body lay before her; would have torn apart his naïve dream of unity in this divided country. Especially worthy of derision was his devotion to the Guerrin's. Incomprehensible to her at first, until she realized how important family, women and the infirm were to him. He never faltered in his convictions despite the amount of scorn directed his way. A man of faith, he tirelessly defended all in need, even those who mocked his values. In battle, he was always the first to charge, the first to protect the mages and rogues, and the first to draw enemy fire. Unsurprisingly, he was usually the first to fall.

The last confrontation had been the worst, in her mind. Closing her eyes, Kallian saw him once again - battered, bruised and bloody, yet somehow finding the strength to hold that sword high over his head and challenge the ultimate nemesis. In the end he won the war...tragically, he lost the fight. He had considered the sacrifice worthwhile, hoping his dreams would continue to live on long after he was gone.

Hope, compassion and humanity had been strangers to her when first she met Alistair the Bastard. But, having lived alongside Alistair the Warrior, Alistair the Champion and Alistair the Future King, she understood the void he now left behind.

Ferelden would never know how powerful his presence had been, how influential his belief in her. His optimism had somehow allowed for hope in their seemingly lost cause. His passions for truth, justice and liberty were only overshadowed by his generosity of spirit. Though he never became king, he was undoubtedly one of Ferelden's most remarkable heroes, a true Champion of the people.

A great fire had been extinguished that day on the roof of Fort Drakon. She prayed that someone, somewhere, was inspired enough to capture at least a single spark from his great spirit, ensuring that the dream did not die with the dreamer.

Kallian placed the rose across his breastplate, forcing herself to smile through tears. The elders told her if she remembered him - his cheeky grin, barking laughter, and gentle humanity - he would always stand at her side. She prayed that they spoke true.

Q.Q

'Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair.

So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.' Jack Layton. 1950-August 2011

Bye, Jack.

You will be missed.