Acacia Drii sat listening as her mother and uncle discussed the position of the Protectors of Concord Dawn and the political state on Mandalore. Obi Wan was listening as well, through Acacia could tell something was bothering him. As if seeing Acacia’s worried look, Satine touched Obi Wan’s arm.
“What is it Obi?” Satine probed as Acacia was suddenly aware of the complete lack of sense from the guards outside.
Standing up, Acacia scanned the room looking for what her mind already told her was there. The others has risen as well, Kenobi reaching for his light saber and Rau for his saber. Suddenly, Acacia ignited the Dark Saber waiting for the ripples in the Force that would give away the assassin. Allowing the Force to guide her blade, Acacia deflected the blaster bolts as she moved toward the lone assassin. Leaping high so that she went over his head, Acacia brought the Dark Saber’s hilt down hard on his head. The assassin fell to the ground stunned just as the door opened as two Senate Guards along with a few of Satine’s personal guards hurts into the room.
“Is everyone alright?” The Senate Guard Captain inquired as his companions moved to cover the assassin.
“We are fine, Captain. How are the men?” Obi Wan responded, supporting the shaken Duchess.
“Alive and on their way to the best medical facility we have. Are you alright, Padawan?” the Captain asked as he noticed Acacia’s pale face and that she was holding her right arm.
“I’ll be alright. It is just sore, that’s all.” Acacia replied distractedly as she sat back down on the couch.
“We’ll do a quick search of the area and then set up a security perimeter until the investigator gets here. I would request that you all stay here until he arrives.” the Captain explained, signaling his orders to his men who had just arrived.
“Of course, Captain. However, your investigator should be informed that this is part of an ongoing investigation by the Jedi Council.” Obi Wan Kenobi informed him as Satine and Rau sat back down.
“That certainly changes things. I will inform him myself, General.” the Captain acknowledged with a salute. Giving a few more orders to his men, he left to check on the condition of the perimeter set up outside the door.
Anakin Skywalker pushed through the crowd of gossiping officials. Just as he approached the ring of guards around the door, he heard Acacia’s voiced raised in protest.
“Excuse me sir, you need to stay back. This is an active Jedi investigation.” One of the guards protested as he stepped forward to go past him.
“Yeah, my investigation.” Anakin said irately, shoving a data pad in the man’s hands and pushing past him.
“My uncle is not a suspect, inspector. Just because he is Mandalorian, doesn’t mean.” Acacia was saying when the Investigator interrupted her.
“A Mandalorian with an outspoken love of the old ways, and a saber in his hand similar to the ones used by the assassins. Uncle or not, he is my prime suspect.” The Investigator stated, waiving his hands at the droids handcuffing a familiar looking Mandalorian.
“Excuse me, what are you doing upsetting my witnesses?” Anakin inquired, glowering at the investigator. Everyone turned to look at him just as the Captain of the guards came up holding the data pad Anakin had handed the guards.
“Your witnesses? This is a senatorial investigation,” the investigator began
“Actually, it is not. These orders clearly state that any Mandalorain assassination attempts on the persons on this list are part of a Jedi Investigation led by Masters Skywalker and Kenobi. And since all 4 of your witnesses are on this list, you have no jurisdiction here.”the Captain interrupted, signaling the droids to let both Acacia and Rau go.
The investigator huffed and sulked off with his droids.
“Is everyone ok?” Anakin whispered in Acacia’s ear as he guided them both back into the room.
“Everyone is fine, my arm is a little sore though.” Acacia replied sounding very relieved.
Anakin assessed the room before turning back to his young friend. “What did you do to your arm?”
“I was injured during the battle of Kano Toro. It is healing, but apparently not as fast as I thought. Notice any difference between these?” Acacia responded nonchalantly, handing Anakin the assassins sword and her uncles.
“Different markings and this one is lighter, which indicates it’s probably higher quality.” Anakin observed, tossing them both up in his hands before handing Rau’s blade back to him.
“And that is the key difference between a warrior chieftains blade and a rookie’s training replica. I am impressed, Master Jedi.” Fenn Rau commented, placing his blade back on his belt and giving Anakin a friendly smile.
“I’m learning. The symbols on this one looks slightly different than the ones on the other swords we have. I wonder why that is.” Anakin said, examining the sword closer.
“I am an expert on clan and house symbols, and their meanings in relation to weapons. If you want, I could take a look. The investigator may have been wrong about my reason for being here, he wasn’t wrong about my knowledge of the old ways.” Rau offered.
“If Acacia vouches for you, I don’t see what it could hurt. We could use any advantage we have to find these guys before anyone else gets seriously hurt.” Anakin remarked, handing him the assassin’s weapon. Rau nodded and the two walked off to the Jedi Temple.
Acacia stood in the circle light, examining the data her warriors had been able to retrieve from Oba Diah and its moon. Everything pointed to Kamino and proving that Count Dooku and Lord Tyranus are one and the same. The only issue was how to do that without tipping the Count to her plan.
“Studying niece?” Fenn Rau inquired as he entered the room, followed by Anakin and Obi Wan.
“You could say that, Uncle. I have reason to believe the information I need to prove Dooku’s deception is on Kamino, but I have to find a way to find it without alerting him or the Kaminians he has decieved.” Acacia explained, waving her hands at the options she had tried.
“What kind of proof do you have right now?” Rau asked as they sat down in a semi-circle.
“Pieces of intercepted transmissions between Kamino and Coruscant, the recording of the meetings on Oba Diah, Dooku’s words to me on Felcucia (to which there where several witnesses), but it isn’t enough. While it does prove that he is a Sith Lord and that he killed Syfo-Dyas, it doesn’t prove that he helped orchestrate this war. Anakin and I have also had several visions, one of which pinpointed Kamino as a key part to defeating the Sith.” Acacia informed him, highlighting the evidence.
“Why didn’t you mention the transmissions this earlier?” Anakin questioned suspiciously.
“Because I didn’t know how involved he might have been until my team intercepted the transmissions to Kamino.” Acacia answered waiving her hand so that a holo image of a hidden man appeared. The man was having a conversation with a nervious Kaminian. His voice and manner matched the Count’s perfectly, and his reminder that the Jedi Council was not to be aware of what some of its members were doing was self evident.
“He’s been using Syfo-Dyas’ name this entire time as cover. As long as the people of Kamino believe he is a member of the Jedi Council, they will listen to him. Only by pulling the actual cloning order data and doing a complete anylsis will we be able to prove to both Senates that he is guilty.” Acacia finished, loooking from one face to another.
“I’ll do it. I work on Kamino training pilot clone cadets, and I should have the clearance I need to get transmit data card to an access terminal. There is a clone trooper about to be assigned to the 212th that I know I can trust to deliver it to you in the event I get caught.” Fenn Rau volunteered.
“In the meantime, we need to keep Dooku’s attention. And I have an idea just how to do go about it.” Anakin added with a mischievous smile.
“We arrived a few minutes ago.” Acacia said, answering Skywalker’s unspoken question as he sat down in the pilot seat. He had been resting in the main cabin, while R2 had been working on some repairs. Acacia was studying a data pad with a map and info about the area they where in. Looking around, Anakin knew why.
“There is nothing here. Not even a debris field.” Anakin observed, flicking a few buttons on the command board. “I am going to call the council to make sure we are in the right place.” He added, activating the comm-link on the dash.
“I just hope this works. What if he realizes,” Acacia began, but was interrupted by the figure of Obi Wan appearing on the dash board in front of them.
“Anakin, where are you? Based on our estimates you should have been back already.” Obi Wan admonished them, though the look on his face gave away how worried he was. Exchanging a confused look with Acacia as practiced, Anakin answered:
“We received instructions from the Jedi Council to investigate a missing fleet in the Doran system, Master.” Anakin replied forcing himself to sound suspicious.
“What? Anakin, there is no fleet in that sector, much less a missing one. Get out of there!” Obi Wan responded, his voice flickering in tandem with his image.
“R2!” Anakin shouted as he started flipping switches and pushing buttons.
“It won’t do any good, Brother. Whoever set this trap has a tractor beam locked on to us already.” Acacia explained, standing up and grabbing her cloak from the back of her chair.
“I will. . . council . . . . . . come. . .we. . . can” Obi Wan said, his words going sounding more faded and disrupted by the second.
“Master Obi Wan, can you hear me?” Anakin called needlessly as Obi Wan’s figure disappeared.
“The transmission was cut off. What is the plan?” Acacia inquired, looking to Anakin her cloak halfway on.
“Get the escape pod, I have an idea. R2, program the hyperspace drive.”
“Anakin?” Acacia sounded confused, but one look Anakin gave her told her not to question him further.
“When you get my signal, get out of here little buddy. Go to the nearest fleet and get this to Padme, got it?” Anakin said shoving a small data disc into R2’s data receiver. R2 beeped a sad response, promising to do as instructed. Following Acacia to the escape pod, Anakin hoped his ruse would work. Giving R2 time to program the nav computer, Anakin gave the signal and watched as they fell away from the Twilight which was still for one moment and then was gone in a flash of light.
“Let’s hope Obi Wan gets here soon.” Anakin commented, turning to his companion.
“What is the second phase of your plan?” Acacia asked, as she fingered her lightsaber.
“We exit the pod the minute it gets through the outer shielding and find a place to hide out until Obi Wan arrives with help.” Anakin explained, pointing at an almost invisible hatch in the bottom of the pod.
“Won’t they see us?” Acacia pointed out, positioning herself on the other side of the hatch.
“Not if we do right. I scanned the hanger bay they are bringing us into and it is full of crates which are stacked pretty high near the entrance. There was enough clearance for the ship, but our drop from the Twilight altered our course. We should be able to drop behind them without anyone below seeing a thing.” Anakin responded, preparing himself for the jump.
The pod went through the outer shielding with a bump, Acacia felt as if time slowed down. Opening the hatch, Anakin jumped out followed by Acacia. As they fell through the space to the bay floor, Acacia wondered where this adventure would take them.
To be continued
To read more of Acacia’s adventures, check out The Phantom Jedi page!