Acacia woke up in the darkened fighter with only the sound of breathing and flicker in the Force to tell her master, her father, was still in the co-pilot seat. Acacia could tell by the sounds that it was night outside. Wondering why Cody and the others hadn’t come for them, Acacia checked herself for injuries. Groaning, Obi Wan started to wake up and immediately Acacia knew something was wrong. She only had a few scratches and minor burns thanks to the protection of her helmet and the blaster resistant body glove she had gotten into the habit of wearing underneath her uniform. With no way to know what attempting to power on the ship would do, Acacia pulled her flash light out of on of her pockets and slowly stood up as far as the tiny space would allow.
Acacia and Obi Wan Kenobi had been assigned another mission shortly after arriving back from their distraction. While the Jedi Council hadn’t been real happy that Acacia and Anakin had run into a trap on purpose, they hadn’t acted surprised. Though Acacia expected their quiet recon assignment was the result of the distrust the action had created.
Grateful that they appeared to have landed in a balance position, Acacia examined the tiny cockpit. Other than the open door of the small storage compartment a few feet behind the two pilot seats, there were no other compartments on the two man cargo fighter. Designed personally by Acacia, the small fighter was perfect for fighting in the sky or space. The Mediator only had enough cargo room for two speeders and enough supplies to support two people. Acacia had left the speeders at the Jedi Temple, in favor of more room for supplies and military grade scout equipment.
Acacia moved carefully to the hatch that allowed limited access to the cargo from the inside. Taking the emergency kit off the inside of the hatch, she turned around. Acacia scanned the cockpit again checking for any signs of leaking or loose debris.
“Cia?” Obi Wan called with another grunt of pain as the shaft of light landed on the back of his chair.
“It looks like you won’t be able to use your right arm for a while. A few other minor scratches, but nothing else that should impede your movement.” Acacia answered the unspoken question a few minutes later as she examined him and began tending the large wound on his right shoulder and arm.
“Are you alright?” Obi Wan queried through gritted teeth as Acacia removed the piece of debris from his shoulder.
“A few scratches, but nothing else thanks to my body glove and helmet.” Acacia replied wincing in sympathy as he groaned with pain as she prepped the area for the bacta pad.
“And the ship?” Obi Wan inquired thankful for the slight distraction of the conversation.
“Power is out and the back is a bit of a mess, but nothing dangerous or unrepairable. I have a general idea where we are, but I have no idea why no one has tried to get to us yet.” Acacia informed him as she injected the pain medicine into his neck. Then she began wrapping bandages around the bacta pad. As if to answer the question, there was a distant explosion and the sound of a battle commencing. The mixed sounds of an aerial battle and the cannons firing explained the absence of Cody and his troops.
“The Separatist forces must have arrived while we where doing our scouting mission. That’s why we couldn’t raise Cody.” Obi Wan observed, forcing his body to stand. Looking up at the now not-so-dark sky through the cockpit, Obi Wan Kenobi glanced sideways at his daughter. Not needing any verbal instruction, Acacia used the Force to shatter the windshield outward. Jumping up to the nose of the small craft, she turned to help her master climb out. After pocketing the remainder of the emergency pack, they set off towards the sounds. Obi Wan put his left arm around his padawan’s shoulders and leaned on her as the two Jedi navigated the rough terrain.
Cody grimaced as the echoing sounds of the cannons began up again. Opening fire on the reinforced droids with his blaster, Cody shouted orders to his men without outwardly making a sound. The comm station behind him crackled with the Separatist interference making the image of Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka flicker sporadically. Skywalker was trying to say something, but Cody couldn’t make it out. Before he could bark at the comm officer to boost the signal, a stray blaster bolt hit the comm station and blew a huge hole in it. Nothing about this recon mission had been normal. Knowing that Admiral Yularen’s fleet would arrive on the scene any minute meant that most of his boys would make it out alive. But the delay in their search for the downed fighter containing Kenobi and Drii might have cost the two Jedi their lives.
Acacia wondered at her father’s silence as the sinister presence in the Force that grew closer each moment. Halting at the top of a hill they looked into the ruins of a courtyard. Beyond the almost intact outer wall was the field that contained the droid army. And standing in the middle of the courtyard facing them with a triumphant expression was Count Dooku.
“You have come at last, my young apprentice.” Dooku called sardonically up at her in the same tone he had used the last time she had seen him.
Remembering that moment made Acacia’s anger rise. He had betrayed and killed her master and had dared to treat her the same he would have had they been standing in the Jedi Temple. Like nothing had happened. But, something had happened and Acacia had known even then that she would never forget the lesson it had taught her. Leaping down still supporting her father, Acacia chose to ignore his comment as she lowered her exhausted master to the floor. Fighting the pain and meds she had given him, Obi Wan Kenobi tried to rise. Putting a firm hand on his shoulder, Acacia whispered to him in Mandalorian.
“Where are your bodyguards Sith? Hiding in fear? Or have you decided to handle me yourself?” Acacia mocked Dooku as she ignited both her weapons.
“Do you really believe you can beat me child? If that is, so you are sadly mistaken.”
“It is you that is mistaken, Sith.” Acacia retorted scornfully attacking with a barrage of attacks she purposefully made reckless. The more Dooku underestimated her, the easier it would be to fight him. Over confidence breeds carelessness in the mind of a master, as her uncle had once said.
Obi Wan Kenobi watched his daughter’s fight, wondering how Dooku could be so blind as to not see her strategy. He had always known his daughter’s amazing strategic skills and Acacia’s experiences had sharpened her fighting technique in a way the Jedi Council had never seen. Whether or not it was completely from her own specialized powers that had brought it about or the uniqueness of her training, Obi Wan didn’t know. But he had feeling it was a perfect combination of both. The pain he was feeling suddenly increased as a Force blast from Dooku sent him flying into the cliff wall behind him.
Acacia cried out in defiance as her father’s body went limp from the impact. Increasing the speed of her attack so as to pull Dock’s attention away from Kenobi’s battered body.
“Your teachers have taught you well. If only you knew the truth.”
“What truth Traitor? That you ordered the creation of the clones and organized the foundation of this war?” Acacia shot back, her attack continuing as they moved across the courtyard. Acacia had, upon speaking, dropped her perceived inexperience. Taking it in his stride even as she forced him back, Dooku gave her a condescending look.
“The truth about Syfo-Dyas.” Dooku responded casually, joyful at the impact his words caused. Acacia looked confused and unsure as their blades clashed. Holding the position, Dooku took advantage of his verbal advantage.
“He was the reason my master’s plan succeeded so perfectly. If it hadn’t been for him, the Prime Minister of Kamino wouldn’t have agreed to create the Clone Army and the war would have taken a different form. You call me a traitor and yet…” Their lightsabers clashed again, and Dooku waited a few seconds before finishing his sentence. “Your precious former master was the one who betrayed you.”
“Liar!” Acacia screamed at him tears streaming down her face. Almost on cue a dozen Clone troopers came from the two side paths that led to the courtyard. Moving to cover the medic that had rushed to check Obi Wan’s prone form, they all pointed their blaster’s at the leader of the Separatist Alliance.
Attacking him with a Mandalorian’s ferocity, Acacia didn’t catch him by surprise. Behind her, Obi Wan Kenobi’s body rose from the ground as if an invisible hand had grabbed him. Acacia didn’t have to look to know what Dooku’s intention was. Drawing on the Force like she never had, Acacia seized her master’s life from his grip while simultaneously driving the Dark Saber into his chest. The following explosion of escaping dark side energy knocked her out but not before she heard her father cough.
To be continued
To read more episodes of The Phantom Jedi and check out other related posts, click here.