Episode 11: Birthright
“What is it you want to know?” Acacia inquired diplomatically, keeping her voice neutral.
“When you talked about the assassins before you left, you mentioned that it might not just be remnants of Death Watch on the revenge trail. We are trying to figure out what you meant, and some believe that your clan and house hold the key to understanding the situation. You did mention the possibility of non political enemies due to your heritage.” Ki Adi Mundi responded patiently.
“Clan Ordo, House Kryze.” Acacia replied in such a matter of fact way that it took Shaak Ti a moment to realize the significance of what Acacia had said.
“Clan Ordo, as in the Clan of Mandalore?” Mace Windu asked incredulously, a sudden feeling of tension filling the council chamber.
“So it is true. Mandalore has risen again.” Shaak Ti whispered into the silence, turning back to Acacia and looking at her with a mix of respect and concern.
“Mandalore?” Anakin asked giving Acacia an inquisitive look as the news created a ripple of apprehension and surprise through the gathered members of the Jedi Council.
“The title usually given to eldest child of the head of Clan Ordo. House Kryze is the only part of Clan Ordo that wasn’t banished during the civil wars, and as such is considered the head house of Mandalore.” Ki Adi Mundi explained, the respectful way he said it gave Acacia the feeling that his doubt in her had vanished. Unlike some other council members she could mention.
“Wait a second, wouldn’t that make you Duchess Satine’s daughter?” Anakin realized, giving Obi Wan a questioning look.
In the following moment of silence the feeling of shock in the room seemed to triple. Acacia sent a worried look at Obi Wan and felt his gentle support in the back of her mind.
“Indeed it would, Master Skywalker.” Acacia said in an amused tone.
“You are dismissed, Padawan Drii, Master Skywalker.” Master Windu told them with a wave of his hand.
Once the two young Jedi left the chamber, one of the other council members, Master Kyfus, spoke up “That is exactly why we exiled her! I told you this was a bad idea. She disregards the rules of our order and,”
“With all do respect master, I am not sure what you where expecting. You exiled her at a very young age because of what she could become outside the Jed Order. I assume it never occurred to you how much that would hurt her?” Obi Wan interrupted passionately, giving the truculent Jedi master an annoyed look.
“Mistaken we were, learn from it we must. Quick to judge, we must not be.” Yoda admonished in his matter of fact way.
Obi Wan took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He knew most of the people in the room probably thought he was to close to this discussion, but isn’t that the whole point? he thought.
“I don’t believe that is in question, Kenobi. What is in question how this will effect the assassin case.” Mace Windu said.
Master Kyfus’s first words could be clearly heard through council door as Anakin and Acacia walked away from the council chamber.
Shocked by the revelation, Anakin looked to Acacia to catch her reaction. She looked calm, as if she had already known.
“How did you already know?” Anakin asked once he was able to trust his voice.
“I’ve suspected it ever since I learned of it was my birthright. At first I hoped they would have had more sense, but that hope died about the time Master Syfo-Dyas did.” Acacia replied without slowing her step.
Anakin just nodded as all the puzzle pieces fell into place. Acacia’s wandering and uncertainty, her unwillingness to abandon her family, and her unflinching determination to prove to everyone that she could do anything.
The following morning, Satine looked out the window of the Mandalorian Fighter as they flew through the Coruscant towards Acacia’s private landing pad. Fingering the data pad in her hand, Satine thought back to the message that had brought her here.
As they approached the landing pad, Sating could see Obi Wan and Cole waiting for her on the bridge that connected the landing pad to the house (not to be confused with Acacia’s safe house).
“Duchess.” Cole said respectfully as he took the bag from Satine’s hand and bowed.
“Captain.” Satine returned his greeting and waived her hand for her guard to follow him into the house with her other trunk. Obi Wan watched them go, waiting until they had entered the house before he greeted Satine.
“It is good to see you, Satine.” Obi Wan said quietly, his Jedi cloak ruffling in the light morning breeze. Satine covered the distance between them and they embraced.
“And you, my dear.” Satine whispered in his ear. “How is she?” Satine added as she took a step back and Obi Wan offered her his arm.
“She is taking it better than I am, at least on the outside. I think I startled some of the council when I passionately defended her yesterday.” Obi Wan admitted, guiding her to the covered path that led to the garden in the backyard.
“I’m not surprised.” Satine commented teasingly with a smile and a shake of her head.
“Cia is resting, but she will be up soon. She, Cody, and I had a pretty intense training session earlier.” Obi Wan said, answering the question that had been bothering Satine since she had seen that Acacia wasn’t part of the greeting party. Satine just nodded, restraining herself from asking what kind of training it had been.
“Obi, there is something I’ve been meaning to tell you.” Satine informed him in the same low tone they had been using.
“Is something wrong? I can sense something is troubling you.” Obi Wan asked, suddenly concerned.
“I want to apologize for what I said about your duty as a Jedi. I shouldn’t have questioned you.” Satine apologized, looking down at the path in front of them.
“Satine, you pushed me to find answers. Your questions hurt, but in the end they helped me become a better Jedi. I’m the one who should apologize.” Obi Wan replied, cupping her chin in his hand lifting it up.
Acacia smiled as she watched her parents kiss, feeling the burden their separation had put on her heart float away.
“You look like you’re feeling better.” Cole commented from the main living space. He and Satine’s personal body guard, Sir Riel (Rie-el), had been discussing the security measures that Cole had put in place.
“I feel better. Has there been any word from Anakin?” Acacia inquired, joining them around the desk situated in the corner of the main living space.
“None, my lady.” Cole responded, looking to the data pad in his hand for confirmation.
Acacia sat in the darkened room, listening to the summoned clan and house elders greeting each other as their holo images appeared before her. She could tell from the way that they where acting that something was bothering them. Glancing to her right, she could see Cole and her parents sitting in a place where their image wouldn’t appear in her transmission. Noting the that each of the house and clan chairs had been filled, Acacia waited a second for everyone to be seated.
Rising from her chair, Acacia flicked a switch on her chair and joined the elders private holo channel. Instantly every man in the room rose to their feet in acknowledgment, some bowing their heads in greeting while others just stood there in shock.
“At ease, gentlemen. This is not the court of Mandalore.” Acacia stated teasingly, indicating with a motion of her hand that they could sit. Her comment brought smiles and a few chuckles from the gathered elders, relieving some of the tension in the chamber.
“My friends and fellow Mandalorians, there is a matter which I would like to bring to your attention. As many of you are aware, Death Watch has been essentially disbanded. However, it appears that another group has risen in its place. Not only does this group have more resources than Death Watch, but its agenda is not one of logic. Its sole target is the symbol of Mandalorians past and present, that is Mandalore and her house. It is our duty as her advisors and leaders of our houses to seek out info on this group and offer any other help that she requests.” Declared Sir Patrick, one of the elders of house Katan.
“Thank you for your words, Sir Patrick. In a few moments I will show you the evidence I have discovered, per permission of the Republic Investigators. However, I would first like make an announcement concerning certain members of Death Watch. As you are probably all aware, there have been rumors for some time that I had a spy within Viszula’s own inner circle. I am here to declare that I had not just one, but a mother and daughter pair serving as my eyes and ears within the terrorists camp. Therefore, I request the pardon of Bo Katan and her daughter Ava, per the laws concerning working undercover by command of the government.” Acacia announced, her dignified air reminding Obi Wan of her mother.
“If they truly worked for you as your eyes and ears, that is something we can do m’lady.” One of the other elders responded, his voice shaking slightly.
To be continued
Want to read more of Acacia’s adventures? Check out The Phantom Jedi chronological page!