Acacia watched as her father and Bail Organa talked quietly in one corner, while Anakin and Padme had a hushed conversation in another corner. With her mother checking on the food and Cole off on patrol, Acacia had no one to talk to. Koric had gone to the Grand Army of the Republic’s base to attend to his other patients. Standing near the window, Acacia allowed herself to relax and feel the exhaustion and pain. Closing her eyes, she could see Dooku’s shocked expression and feel the surprise of the clones behind her.
It had been an easy choice to expose the spy instead of reveal the information about the creation of the clones. Once she had seen Fenn Rau’s report, Acacia had known there had to be another way. As she had told her uncle: “I will not end this war by hurting the very ones we owe so much to.”
“Darling, are you alright?” the Duchess asked in surprised concern, putting a hand to her daughter’s forehead to check for a fever.
“I am worried about how this war will end, Mother. My fever is gone and the headaches will soon follow.” Acacia responded without opening her eyes.
“I was under the impression that your injuries where minor, Acacia?” Bail Organa commented, Satine’s comment having caught everyone’s attention.
“My physical injuries are, Senator. However, due to my proximity to Count Dooku when his dark energy was released there are other wounds that will take longer to heal.” Acacia explained opening her eyes and smiling at them.
It wasn’t till after supper that the Jedi Council made their appearance. The supper party had just sat down in Acacia’s perfectly sized conference room when Acacia’s waiter droid came in.
“The Jedi Council has come to speak with Master Kenobi, Mistress. Shall I tell them he is busy?” C4-83 inquired in his most bored tone.
“No, C4. Put them in the northern conference room please.” Acacia responded after glancing at her father. Obi Wan rose and with a reassuring look at his wife, followed Acacia’s waiter droid.
It wasn’t until early the next morning before the council’s conversation ended. At some point all but Acacia and Satine had left. Anakin had been loath to leave, torn between his support for Obi Wan and his need to speak to his padawan. After promising to return in a few hours, Anakin had headed from the GAR base.
Acacia was asleep in the chair when Obi Wan returned. Without saying a word, Satine embraced him. They stood together for several minutes in silence before Obi Wan led his wife back to the couch.
“They have all the facts and I think have a decision. We will know what it is soon enough.” Obi Wan informed her as she leaned on his shoulder. Just then Acacia stirred and muttered something in a Mandalorian variant Obi Wan had never heard before.
“It sounds like something Rau taught her: without honor, there is no victory.” Satine remarked answering his unspoken question. Studying his daughter’s face, Obi Wan meditated on the events that had brought them to this point.
Ahsoka stood in the Jedi Temple garden, her mind on what her master had confessed to her. Not only had he told her that the rumors about Master Kenobi having a daughter and wife were true, but he had told her of his own secret. The shock had left her speechless and Anakin had sensed that she needed some time to think. Instead of pushing her for support, her master had told Ahsoka that it was her choice whether she would stay in the order or follow him into the unknown.
Ahsoka well remembered the Jedi they had met who had held different beliefs about love. The impact that experience had on her master was also fresh in her mind. But should she ignore the warnings of her masters completely?
Acacia found herself once again in the past as she and her cousin Ava walked on a hiking path on Concord Dawn. This time however, she was not in third person. Ava was carrying her baby brother, Korkie, and looked every inch the Mandalorian heiress she was. Acacia, in contrast, was wearing a simple belted tunic, trousers, and boots. The only things that set her apart from other children in the village were her Padawan braid and the highly decorated case that hid her lightsaber.
“It’s not fair! I can handle a stun staff as well Chen can.” Acacia said petulantly, kicking one of the many pebbles on the path.
“Maybe so, but I am sure Uncle Rau has his reasons.” Ava observed in what she thought was a soothing tone. However, it had the opposite effect on her younger cousin. But before Acacia could vent her frustration with a verbal rampage, a disturbance in the Force caught her attention. Stopping, Acacia reached out with her limited senses. As if on cue, Korkie began to cry loudly. The feeling was unlike anything Acacia had ever felt before and yet it felt familiar. Like something she had felt in a dream. The pure all enveloping evil fog that now surrounded them in the Force didn’t feel like a person. It felt like a monster.
The ground began to shake and the ground in front of them erupted with a earsplitting howl. Acacia stood frozen in fear to the spot as before her rose a baby rancor. Behind her, Ava screamed and Korkie’s cries got louder. At the sound of her cousin’s scream, Acacia was no longer afraid. Anger and protective love rose inside of her. Acacia let go and allowed the Force to guide her lightsaber that had magically appeared in her hand. Only half conscious of her own voice shouting at Ava to run, Acacia attacked the creature. The memory of the fight was blurred confused jumble, but the outcome was inevitable. Acacia stood dazed before the dead rancor, when she heard two voices calling her name. Turning around, she saw her uncle and his son, Chen, running towards her. Then she was falling and her world went dark.
Acacia woke up with a start. Sitting upright in the chair Acacia was greeted by the sunlight streaming in, broken by the moving shadows of Coruscant traffic. C4 was making noise in the kitchen and her parents were asleep in their room. Rising quietly, Acacia went to her own room and freshened up. Changing into a simple light purple dress, Acacia wandered through the house checking on various things. An hour later, she stood in the shielded garden in mediation. Acacia had been there for some time when the door that open onto the garden from her parents room opened. Satine, dressed in simple light blue gown joined her in the garden.
“Your father said I would find you out here.” Satine observed.
“The flowers remind me of home.” Acacia said as an explanation. After a few minutes, Satine spoke again. However, her tone had changed to a more serious and reflective one.
“When I was your age, I inherited a troubled empire from my dying father. Soon after his death, there was civil war. I have made a lot of hard decisions as Duchess, but the hardest part was watching as brother’s tore each other to pieces and the only thing I could do about it was stay alive and wait. You were a light in the darkest time in my life and you still are. There was a time I despaired that you would be willing to accept your birthright as a daughter of Mandalore. But now… Now I think you are ready to lead Mandalore into a new age.”
“What are you saying, mother?” Acacia probed, turning slightly to look at her mother’s face.
“I have spoken to the Mandalorian Council and they have agreed that you will be named my successor. There is only one condition, I want it to your choice, not mine or theirs.” Satine explained gently, putting hand on her daughter’s shoulder. Acacia looked at the ground, stunned.
“I will do as you ask, but I do not feel I am qualified to rule Mandalore.” Acacia answered after taking a few moments to consider Duchess Satine’s words.
“No good ruler ever does, my dear. I feel relieved to be able to leave the future of our people in your hands.” Duchess Satine responded with a motherly smile.
“What is it father?” Acacia inquired turning to Obi Wan who had just joined them.
“The Jedi Council has been informed of the identity of the Separatist spy and has summoned You, Anakin and I to be part of the sting team. Ahsoka will be on standby with the 212th and 501st just in case.” Obi Wan replied looking more worried than he sounded.
“But your arm hasn’t healed yet.” Satine and Acacia both protested.
“I am one of the few Jedi who has actually defeated a Sith and Master Yoda has requested my presence in the battle room. I doubt he is planning on sending me into combat. But we have to act quickly.” Obi Wan explained, giving his wife a quick kiss and heading in the direction of the landing platform. Acacia followed him after giving Satine a quick hug. As they boarded the waiting speeder that the Jedi Council had sent for them, Acacia reflected on how the need for experienced Jedi eclipsed the matter of tradition.
To Be Continued