“What is it Captain?” the holo-image Bo Katan asked, coming strait to the point.
“Drii wants to see you and Ava as soon as possible.” Cole replied in a formal tone.
“Did she say why?” Ava inquired, more than a little confused.
“No, Ava, she didn’t. However, she seemed worried. She asked that you meet her at the meeting spot in person as soon as you can.” Cole answered with a look that reflected Ava’s.
“Understood. We will not delay.” Bo Katan responded firmly, ending the transmission.
“You summoned me, Masters?” Acacia said in a respectful tone, standing with her hands folded in front of her.
“Skywalker has been assigned to take your place in protecting the Senator due to your known affiliation with the Mandalorian Government. Therefore, you have been reassigned to command the reinforcements heading for Geonosis. General Kenobi is not responding to our transmissions, so we may not have much time. A gunship is waiting for you at the Republic Base here on Coruscant. You are to leave immediately. May the force be with you, Padawan Drii.” Windu informed Acacia.
“And with you, master.” Acacia responded with a bow. As she hurried out of the room and through the Jedi Temple, she wondered at the reassignment. Doing her best not to feel like she had somehow failed, Acacia focused on her new assignment.
When she arrived at the docks of the Republic Base, Captain Rex was waiting for her with a gunship. Nodding a greeting Acacia followed him into the gunship. Acacia closed her eyes, doing her best not to show just how tired she was. She had spent all night digging for more info on Ca’azar and several of Vizsula’s other rivals. Without her Master to train with, she had joined Anakin and Ahsoka for training exercises.
When Acacia had finished mulling over what she had learned the night before, she opened her eyes to catch Rex studying her.
“What is it, Captain?” Acacia inquired, wondering what was bothering him.
“Your last minute reassignment just seems… odd.” Rex answered hesitatingly in a respectful tone.
“I noticed that.” Acacia replied with a smile “Anything else?”
“Not that I am aware of, Padawan General.” Rex responded quickly.
Padawan General… That is going to take some getting used to. Acacia thought as the gunship landed in the hanger of the Waverider.
Cole was watching the passing vehicles out the window of the apartment, when a knock sounded on the door behind. Feeling for his blaster, Cole turned around slowly and crept towards the door. His blaster in hand, Cole opened the door to see Cara’s young son, Jakk, standing there. Cole put his blaster back in his holster. Jakk handed him the bag he had been carrying and simply said:
“May Mandalore live forever.” Then he left as quickly as he had come.
Cole watched him go and then looked at the bag in his hand. That was when his special comm-link went off.
“This is Pilot 1.” Cole responded, wondering why anyone was using that frequency.
“This is the Shadow 2. There appears to be a change of plans. Drii has been reassigned to a reinforcement mission to Geonosis. I was able to follow, but I don’t think she will be able to pick up or deliver the package.” The deep but mechanical voice on the other side informed him.
“Understood. Pilot 1 out.” Cole replied, flicking off the transmission. Shadow 2… Must be the new guy. Cole thought as he left the apartment, pulling up the hood of his cloak as he went.
Jedi General Obi Wan Kenobi watched as the Republic and Separatist forces clashed in the space above Geonosis. He stood in the bridge of the Dauntless which was the head starship in the small fleet that stood between the Separatist and their ally’s on Geonosis. Behind him, Kenobi could hear the Admiral giving orders. Below him the technicians worked in a steady rhythm to counter the enemy’s attacks.
“Where in the galaxy is Anakin with our reinforcements?” Obi Wan asked as turned and entered the command center at the back of the bridge.
“We don’t know Sir. The Separatists are blocking all our transmissions. Even if we do get something through, it’ll be one-sided.” Cody replied, looking up from the tactical holo-display on the round holo-table in front of him.
Cole was in the Senate building waiting for the right moment. He was following Anakin, Ahsoka, and Senator Amidala as they walked from the Senate Chamber to the Senator’s personal chambers. Cole could tell from the way Anakin was walking that he sensed that they where being followed. So he wasn’t surprised when Anakin turned to face him and looked him in the eye. Fighting his urge to run, Cole took the bag off his shoulder and took the few steps to close the gap between them.
“Lady Drii wanted this to be delivered to the Jedi Council as soon as possible.” Cole explained in a mechanically disguised voice, holding out the bag to the Jedi.
Anakin studied him closely for a moment and then nodded, taking the bag from Cole. As Cole turned away to disappear back into the world of shadows, Anakin called after him: “The council will want to know who delivered this.”
Cole stopped and half turned back before he spoke: “Pilot 1.” Cole replied and then he disappeared into the crowded hall.
As Acacia walked onto the bridge of the Waverider, one of the clones shouted “Commander on deck!” Instantly all of the clones that where walking around stood to attention. After taking a moment to recover from her surprise, Acacia managed to calmly say: “At ease, gentlemen.”
As the clones resumed their duties the noise of men whispered conversations started. Acacia stood watching them, wondering what kind of rumors where going around. Back on Mandalore, Acacia hadn’t cared much about the rumors because she knew her command knew her well enough to know the truth from the lies. However, the Clone Army was a different thing entirely. No one knew anything about her past, which meant the rumor mill had even less truth to work with than normal. And who knew what it would come up with.
“General?” A sharp female voice with a familiar accent came from behind Acacia, breaking her from her revere.
Turning, Acacia saw a female twilek dressed in the uniform of an Admiral. Her skin was of a purple hue that was a stark contrast to her grey uniform while her eyes where a golden color.
“Yes?” Acacia replied, looking questioningly at the Admiral who looked to be only a few years older than herself.
“I am Admiral Jai Tarris, captain of the Waverider and commander of this fleet. With your permission, we should begin making plans for what we will do when we arrive above Geonosis. Captain Rex and your other strategic advisors are waiting in the command center.” Admiral Jai informed Acacia.
Acacia just nodded and followed Admiral Jai to the command center. There, Rex and 2 clone officers stood around the round holo-table wit the tactical holo-display on. The captains of the other ships in the fleet had also joined them via holo-transmissions.
“What do we have to go on, gentlemen?” Acacia asked as she and Admiral Jai joined them.
“Not much, General.” One of the strategic advisors, the clone Edge, answered.
“We know where Kenobi’s fleet was last time we had contact with him. We also know that most of the known enemy fleets are busy elsewhere. However,” the other clone advisor, Will, informed her but was interrupted by a clone technician at the communication center.
“Incoming transmission from the Dauntless!” the clone technician reported, putting it play on the holo-table.
At first it was just static, but then a voice broke through along with a flickering image.
“…This…is…Obi Wan Kenobi…can your read me. We are in desperate need…of reinforcements. The Separatist fleet..was much larger…than anticipated…”
“Can we get a better signal?” Acacia asked as the transmission faded back out.
“I am sorry General, the signal has been blocked.” the clone technician replied, looking at the screen of his computer.
“If they are really under attack by a larger force than expected, communication may not be our only problem.” Admiral Jai observed turning back to the strategic display before her.
“I agree. Can we change our course as to come behind and underneath where a larger attacking fleet would be?” Acacia inquired as a plan slowly began to form in her head.
“Probably. Why?” Will answered.
“Under normal procedure, the upper, front, and side shields would be at max, while the lower and back shields would be on low. In addition, there aren’t as many cannons on rear side. If we could move fast enough to take advantage of this we might be able to cripple enough ships to regain the advantage.” Acacia explained, moving the ships on the holo display to demonstrate her idea.
“We would also have them surrounded, furthering our advantage.” Admiral Jai added with a note of hope in her voice.
“But will it work?” Edge asked hesitatingly.
“It should work.” Rex responded firmly, finalizing the plan.
Obi Wan Kenobi was on the bridge watching the battle when the reinforcement fleet arrived.
“Sir, a Republic fleet has just arrived behind the enemy. It looks like the Waverider is with them.” a clone technician reported.
“Good. Tell all gunners to press the attack and order the fighters to be careful. It appears they are going to try to destroy the enemy ships from behind.” General Kenobi instructed the clone technician.
As the enemy flagship began to smoke, the enemy realized what Acacia’s strategy was, but by then it was to late. Soon all of the Separatist fleet was either in flames or in pieces.
“Sir incoming transmission from the Waverider.” the clone technician informed Kenobi.
Walking back into the command center, Obi Wan touched a button on the holo-table and the holo-figure of his young padawan appeared on the other side of the table.
“Nice strategy, little one.” Obi Wan Kenobi observed, catching her attention.
“It was a team effort, Master.” Acacia replied with a smile.
“I am sure it was, my young padawan.” Obi Wan said returning her smile.
Acacia lay in her bed looking up at the ceiling as she tried to figure out where she had seen those ships before. Admiral Jai and Obi Wan Kenobi had insisted she needed to rest while they traveled back to Coruscant, leaving Admiral Yularen in charge of the fleet there. As the Waverider travelled back to Coruscant, rest had been the last thing on Acacia’s mind. However, sleep soon overcame her determination to solve the mystery. Within moment of laying down, Acacia was dreaming of things forgotten and things yet to be discovered.
Lightyears away Anakin Skywalker dreamed the same dream as he slept in his temporary quarters in the Senate building.
A dream that would change the course of history.
To be continued
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This episode marks the 1 year anniversary of The Phantom Jedi!