9 months after The 1st Battle of Geonosis. . .
Acacia lay on her bunk in her cabin aboard Destiny, reflecting on the events on Teilos. The encounter with the Jedi and his padawan had reopened an old wound even as it had answered many of her questions. Acacia scowled as her buried resentment reemerge from its hiding place. Resentment and anger I wouldn’t have to deal with if they hadn’t chosen to abandon me Acacia thought bitterly her scowl turning into a sardonic smile at the irony. Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi Wan had ignored those warnings and trained her until Qui-Gon’s death, after which the visits from her teacher had been few. Instead of learning from other Jedi, Acacia Rau had been forced to learned to be a Jedi by watching. And now she was one in everything but name.
“Commander, we’ve arrived at Thordia. Something is wrong. Base Command isn’t responding.” Cole’s muffled voice came through door.
Acacia stood up, wishing with all her might that the nightmare she had been having for the last week hadn’t come true. If it had… If it had, she would hunt that fool of a Zygerrian all the way to Separatist supporting planet of Zygerria if she had to. As the reports from her own contacts on Thordia came back to her, Acacia allowed herself another smile. Fool of a Zygerrian indeed. He had run right into her own back yard: right to Concordia and to the terrorists that called themselves Death Watch.
A week later. . .
Acacia ran the Dark Saber through the Zygerrian, her purple bladed lightsaber in her other hand. Feeling around her in the Force she could sense the monster that had dominated her latest visions. The Force had presented her with many different outcomes to this battle, and the path she had chosen would mean her friends would escape with their lives and captives. But Acacia would not escape the monster that was even now bearing down on her, any more than Pre Vizsula had been able to escape her sword. “I can see you, Sith. Stop hiding in the shadows and show your face.” Her confidence was unshaken by the knowledge of her upcoming capture, because the Force had also shown Acacia something else. Unlike the Jedi on Coruscant, darkness and chaos spread by the war didn’t cloud her vision anymore than the dust and smoke that surrounded her now.
Cole stood in his commander’s cabin, his mind still not believing that Acacia had been capture. Looking back at her demeanor before and during the battle, Cole could now see that she had known what was going to happen. So he was standing in her cabin looking for a clue, any clue about what he was supposed to do. As he scanned the room, something caught his eye. An odd shaped glass box sat in the center of her desk with a data crystal beside it. On the table underneath it was a piece of flimsy with 5 words written in Mandalorian on it. And suddenly Cole understood what he was supposed to do.
Standing on the bridge of the Dauntless, Jedi Master General Obi Wan Kenobi watched as Anakin’s gunships made their return journey to the landing bays of the remaining ships of the task force. The battle hadn’t been easy, but in the end they had won an important victory. Barely. Suddenly a sharp pain exploded behind his eyes, starting from the resident ache that had been there since his mission to the Sith planet with Bail Organa a few months ago. His mind was filled with a familiar malevolent presence and. . . No, it can’t be! Obi Wan thought as his mind registered the image now forcing itself into his mind as the darkness swallowed him.
Anakin’s voice pierced through the darkness, bringing with it an explosion of pain and an echoing ring.
“Obi Wan!” Anakin called again, his voice and sense growing more worried and urgent, clearing away the ringing noise.
“I’m fine.” Obi Wan responded with a dismissing wave of his hand as he sat up, trying to remember where he was and why his head felt like it had been split in two.
“No, you’re not Obi Wan. You passed out of the bridge! Something is wrong.” One look at his former apprentice’s face, and Obi Wan knew he wasn’t going to let this go. Behind Anakin, a clone medic and Ahsoka stood just outside the room’s door with worried expressions on their faces. Obi Wan rubbed his forehead and tried to remember what had happened. In another burst of pain it came back to him. Acacia!
“Who’s. . .” Anakin started to ask having heard his thought, but Obi Wan cut him off.
“Did any odd transmissions come in while I was unconscious?”
“Yeah one came through that decrypt is still trying to sort out, why?”
“I need to see it.” Obi Wan Kenobi replied, ignoring his former apprentice’s questioning look and moving as if to get out of the bed.
“You’re not going anywhere until you tell me what is going on.” Anakin insisted, pinning his former master with a glare and folding his arms across his chest.
“I think Cias is in trouble, though I won’t know for sure until I see the transmission.”
“Cias? The highly force sensitive Mandalorian who helped us on Teilos?” Anakin inquired after a moment of searching his memory for the name.
“Yes.” Obi Wan answered as the clone medic handed him a data pad with the encoded transmission on it. With a few quick commands, Obi Wan applied the code Acacia had created for their limited communications.
Cias is in trouble. I am waiting at Dawn’s Edge.
“Dawn’s Edge?” Ahsoka asked, looking from one to the other.
“A code within a code. Clever.” Anakin observed, noting the pain and guilt he could sense beneath his former master’s well controlled mask.
“It is a location from an old Mandalorian legend. I’ll explain the rest on the way.” Obi Wan responded brushing past the medic and heading toward the main hanger bay. Following him, Anakin and Ahsoka exchanged a worried glance.
The snow drifts covering the small Mandalorian fighter hid the ship from casual observers and appeared to distort the heat signature readings, though Anakin suspected the later was more likely due more to technology than the weather. The Force sensitive he could feel had sufficient training to blur their presence the Force and sense the presence of other Force users.
Glancing at Ahsoka, who was sitting in the Twilight‘s co-pilot seat, Anakin could sense her mind still trying to sort out their discussion on attachment after Obi Wan’s revelation about Cias Drii. That Cias Drii was an alias didn’t surprise him, but her history with the Jedi Order and her relationship with Obi Wan had been a bit of a surprise.
Obi Wan entered the cockpit and sat at the comm station and began keying in a set of encrypt codes.
“General to Mediator, is that you Pilot 1?”
“Yes, General. Mind if we take this conversation indoors?”
“There is plenty of room for the Mediator in the Twilight’s cargo hold if you think you can land it there.” Kenobi offered dryly smiling faintly.
“Copy that General.”
A few minutes later the three Jedi stood on the catwalk above the cargo hold floor watching the Mediator finish the landing sequence. Pilot 1 stepped onto the ramp his Mandalorian helmet under his left arm his sense, now solidified, reflected the tension, determination, and controlled fear Anakin could see in his green eyes and stance. Walking briskly towards the ladder that led to the catwalk with the air of a soldier on a mission.
“Pilot 1, this is General Skywalker and his padawan Ahsoka Tano. I assume since you used Acacia’s private code that you know. . .”
“Who you are, Sir? Yes, I do. Acacia told me a long time ago who the codename ‘General’ belonged to. Though, admittedly it wasn’t until after she was captured that I was informed of your real name.”
“How could she tell you if she was in enemy hands?” Ahsoka inquired as Pilot 1 followed them into a briefing room.
“It probably best I start from the beginning, when we found our home base empty.” Pilot 1 answered withdrawing a data card from his gauntlet.
Acacia . . . the Jedi have abandoned you . . . Your people have rejected you . . . and your father has forsaken you . . . Give in to your hatred . . . find freedom in your pain . . .
The sibilant voice continued to blast through her mind, repeating its scorching admonition with searing viscosity. Acacia fought to open her eyes, her mind screaming for relief and distraction from the command. When she succeeded, she found herself suspended in an old gravity field. The room around her was in ruins, its black and red stones scattered in pieces on the floor in many places, allowing the dim sunlight in. The doorway was mostly blocked by her Sith opponent from Concordia and around his neck hung the source of the voice playing inside her head: a psychic Sith crystal. With every step toward her he took, the voice grew in volume until it drowned out all other sounds, even her own screams.
“. . . By the time we realized what happened, it was to late to do anything. Whoever took her knew what they where doing and left no trace. When I went to Acacia’s cabin to see if she left me any clues, I found these, which prompted me to reach out to you, General.” Pilot 1 finished, placing the open Holocron (with the accompanying data crystal), and the piece of flimsy, on the table.
Obi Wan picked up the flimsy and read the simple words that had changed his life forever: Ben Rau is Obi Wan Kenobi
To be continued. . .
This post was posted in honor of Star Wars Month and Fan Fiction Friday.
The Phantom Jedi is a Star Wars Fan Fiction. To learn more, click on the image below.