The non-Clone officers on Dantooine were worrying themselves down to the last bit trying to keep themselves alive. So it was only natural that they would kick out the messenger who had come in and told them that someone needed help from the medics. It was then that Mace Windu decided to step in. The Jedi General was shocked.
“Master Windu, what are you doing here?” and she noticed Mace’s arm. “And what happened to your arm?”
“Later, Tara,” he replied. “For now, get a medic droid to install a prosthetic arm for me.”
Jedi Knight Tara nodded and sent for the medics. Mace Windu was ushered into the Infirmary and work on his arm began.
36 hours later, Mace recovered from the effects of his sedative and walked out. He looked around and saw Tara. While his arm was being constructed, Mace had thought a lot about her. The Force was very strong in her. He had realised that when she was being trained by Master Yoda. Now, being this close to her, he felt as if it was stronger than it seemed. Tara was only 18. She was one of the few to get the rank of Jedi Knight at such a young age. Even Anakin Skywalker, the Chosen One, the boy who cost Mace his arm, had been endowed with the rank at the age of 21.
Tara was an all rounder. She had mastered all the forms of lightsaber combat and even invented a number of creative maneuvers on her own. She had two lightsabers that could be snapped together or taken apart at the ends by means of magnets.
“So could you tell me what happened to you now?” Tara asked, derailing Mace’s train of thought.
“It’s a long story.” Mace replied. At times, even people like her could get annoying.
Tara took the hint and dropped the subject.
“Our evacuation shuttles are prepared, Ma’am.” said a harried looking officer. Tara nodded.
“Right, tell all the survivors to get to the Hangars, I’ll cover your backs.”
The officer nodded and relayed Tara’s message throughout the base. Tara took out her lightsabers and ignited them, one blue, one green, and moved to the door. Mace followed her.
“What's going on?” he asked. “I never knew that the Separatists had enough droids to wipe out all our troops and cause you to evacuate.”
“It’s not the Separatists, it’s our own troops. They turned rogue as they were scouting the lands. They did that after they received a message from Chancellor Palpatine.
Mace’s eyes widened.
“What did he say?”
“Something like ‘Execute order 66’. Then chaos erupted.”
“What the heck is going on here? Skywalker falls to the Dark Side, Clones switch sides and massacre their own people. Next thing that will happen, my prosthetic will blow up.”
Close enough. As soon as Mace said this, his prosthetic sparked and fell to his side, dead.
“Well, you asked for it.” said Tara. Mace shook his head and unclipped his lightsaber with his left hand.
“And did you say Anakin fell to the Dark Side?” Tara asked incredulously. “You’ve been having nightmares, Master.”
Mace shook his head and replied, “No, Tara. He has fallen. He was the one to cut off my arm.”
Tara was visibly stopping herself from crying. She had looked up to Anakin as a big brother when they were doing exercises as children. She could not have perfected the Makashi and Niman forms if it hadn’t been for him. So it was only natural that the news of his defection would be a big blow to her.
Tara sniffed and said to Mace,
“Well, come on. We have to cover their escape.”
“Lead the way.” he replied and, igniting his saber, he followed her out into the grassy plains of Dantooine.