Viceroy Gunray captured!Senator Padme Amidala has scored avictory against the Separatist Allianceon the remote world of Rodia, securingthe arrest of the diabolical Confederateleader, Nute Gunray. The Jedi Councilhas dispatched Master LuminaraUnduli and Anakin Skywalker's PadawanAhsoka to escort the Viceroy to Coruscantunder heavy guard. Once there, he willface trial for his many war crimes....
A Republic frigate carrying Luminara Unduli and Ahsoka Tano lifts off from Rodia, soaring toward the Venator-class Star Destroyer Tranquility. Senate Commando leader Captain Argyus clears the frigate for landing within the cruiser's ventral hold. Aboard the Tranquility, the Jedi march a shackled Nute Gunray down its cold corridors, escorted by Clone Commander Gree. Gunray wails about this "miscarriage of justice," and demands his litigator, but there's no sympathy to be found as the viceroy is handed over to Argyus and his commandos. Ahsoka is confused as to why Gunray rates such elevated levels of security, but Luminara advises her not to underestimate the viceroy.
Elsewhere in space, within a Separatist fleet, Count Dooku bends on one knee to receive the holographic presence of Darth Sidious. Dooku's dark master worries about Gunray's capture, for the spineless Neimoidian is not likely to last long under Jedi interrogation, and could spill all sorts of valuable secrets. Dooku assures Sidious that he has already dispatched his most trusted assassin, Asajj Ventress, to infiltrate the Tranquility and either free Gunray, or permanently silence him. Sidious is skeptical about Ventress's abilities, but allows Dooku to proceed. After Sidious' form vanishes, Dooku turns to Ventress and stresses the importance of her mission.
The Tranquility breaks orbit from Rodia as Gunray is secured in his ray-shielded cell. Luminara is coolly questioning him. The Jedi Master senses Gunray's fear that he may lose the power and wealth given to him by the war. Desperately, Gunray claims innocence. This infuriates Ahsoka, who erupts in a show of anger; she ignites her lightsaber, and holds it to Gunray's neck. He scurries into a corner, terrified. Luminara scolds Ahsoka for brandishing terror as a weapon. Ahsoka sheepishly explains she wasn't serious, but thinks that the coward Gunray will only talk if scared enough. Gunray composes himself, ready to negotiate.
Just then, a tremor shakes the ship. Gree gets a status report from the bridge: the Tranquility is under attack. Vulture droids buzz the bridge, and a trio of thorn-shaped boarding ships darts toward the cruiser. Gree orders Green Company to prepare to repel invaders. The spiraling boarding ships spear into Tranquility's ventral spine, their blade-like nosecones sticking through the hangar bay ceilings beyond. These nosecones blossom open, disgorging super battle droids into the hold.
A firefight erupts as Green Company arrives to blast away at the infiltrators. They are overwhelmed by the super battle droids, who push their way deeper into the ship toward the detention levels. Luminara and Gree depart to assist the hangar troops, but Master Unduli orders Ahsoka to remain with the prisoner and Captain Argyus.
After the fighting in the hangar bay has subsided, Asajj Ventress emerges from one of the boarding vessels. A wounded clone survivor takes a shot at her, but she easily deflects it and beheads him before he can get out his call of warning. Asajj picks up the fallen clone's gauntlet comlink and then cuts her way into the Tranquility's ventilation systems.
The inexorable super battle droids march through the interior corridors of the Tranquility, as clones hunker down to repel them, sealing dilating blast doors to slow their progress. Master Luminara and Gree arrive at a cross corridor, and ambush the droids. She and Gree cut through them, eliminating the infiltrators, but Luminara does not feel their troubles are over.
Elsewhere, Ventress emerges in the engine room of the massive vessel. A simpleminded Treadwell, 327-T, is inspecting the ship's inner works, shining its luminous photoreceptors into various nooks and crannies, but it fails to spot the stealthy assassin. A clone captain and a fellow trooper enter the reactor room to check for any signs of infiltrators, but their cursory glance reveals nothing. The clones ask the Treadwell to keep an eye on the place before moving on in their patrol. Asajj slinks around, careful to stay in 327-T's blind spot. She affixes explosives on several key spots around the reactors, and then makes her way back to the grate unnoticed.
In the detention center, Ahsoka teases Gunray since its evident the attempt to rescue the viceroy has failed. Suddenly, she spots Ventress' twin lightsaber blades carve an entrance into the detention center's control room. Ventress drops into the room from a hole in the ceiling and quickly subdues the two commandos on duty. Ahsoka ignites her lightsaber blade, and squares off against Ventress. She orders the commandos to open fire. The remaining three commandos on duty -- Captain Argyus included -- try to blast Ventress, but she deflects their bolts back at them, dropping two of them, and leaving Argyus standing. She tosses Argyus aside with the Force, and continues pressing on Ahsoka.
Asajj slips past Ahsoka and runs to Gunray's cell. She deactivates the shields, pulling Gunray out and kicking Ahsoka in! Gunray relishes this reversal as he reactivates the shield, locking Ahsoka inside.
Just then, Luminara and Gree arrive in the cellblock, and the Jedi Master charges down the corridor, her lightsaber ignited. Using the Force, she opens Ahsoka's cell, and the Padawan emerges, lighting her blade and flanking Ventress who now has to deal with two combatants. Ventress seemingly surrenders, lowering her weapons, raising her arms... but she grins as her timed explosives in the engine room detonate.
The whole ship is rocked by the blast. Ventress takes advantage of the distraction and bowls over Luminara. She runs to the open turbolift tube and dives in, spearing her lightsabers into shaft wall to slow her descent, leaving a pair of molten metal trails in her wake. Ahsoka tries to impulsively follow her down the open shaft, but Luminara stops her just in time to avoid being smashed by a descending turbolift car.
Argyus examines the status boards, and reports the grim news. Security doors, turbolifts, communications and propulsion systems are all haywire. But all is not lost. The commandos are still in possession of Gunray. Luminara orders the guards to be extra vigilant while she sets off to stop Ventress. Ahsoka implores Luminara to let her help, but Master Unduli orders her to stay in the detention block.
Unduli arrives in the smoldering engine room, where she is promptly pounced upon by Ventress. Asajj cuts through a nearby vent, blasting a jet a steam into Unduli's face, momentarily blinding her.
Ahsoka is not happy to be left behind, especially since she has firsthand experience dealing with Ventress. She voices her frustrations to the guards. Argyus seems to sympathize with her, and states that sometimes being a good soldier is doing what you believe is right. Gree, however, voices the opposite view: that following orders matters above all else. Gunray, unhelpfully, offers that he would never do anything that would risk his own neck. At Argyus' nudging that Gunray is in safe hands, Ahsoka leaves her station to help Master Luminara.
The duel between Jedi Master and dark assassin intensifies, moving from the relatively safe upper platforms into the thick of the reactor chamber fires. Ventress cuts through some heavy machinery, sending it crashing down at Luminara. Luminara uses the Force to keep the debris from crushing her, but is nonetheless pinned by a heavy pipe. Ventress closes in for the kill.
Ahsoka rushes in, Force-pushing Asajj in the middle of the assassin's leap. Ventress goes hurling into the debris as the Padawan runs to Luminara's side. Ahsoka cuts Luminara free, and braces for her rebuke, but there's no time. Ventress emerges from the wreckage and attacks anew. She leaps into the upper levels, but the Jedi give pursuit. Hidden in the shadows, she activates a signal on her wrist gauntlet.
At that exact moment in the detention center, Captain Argyus receives a signal on his gauntlet. He suddenly spins around and coldly blasts his fellow commandos. He turns to blast Gree, but the clone trooper takes cover. Argyus opens Gunray's cell, and holds the viceroy hostage in front of him, knowing that Gree will not kill the valuable Separatist prisoner. Argyus is a traitor: he's being paid a fortune by Count Dooku to deliver Gunray.
In the engine room, the Jedi find someone stirring in the debris, but it's only 327-T. As they work their way deeper into the ruined chamber, Luminara concedes that she did underestimate Ventress, and that she does need and appreciate Ahsoka's help. Just then Gree communicates to Luminara, informing her of Argyus' betrayal. The Jedi start to rush back to the detention level. Ventress resumes her attack.
The standoff between Argyus and Gree continues, with a whining Gunray in between. Argyus feels confident behind his Neimoidian shield, but Gree targets his blaster and shoots the weapon from Argyus' hand. The commando captain shoves Gunray at Gree, distracting him, and then kicks the clone's blaster from his hands. It's down to fisticuffs. The two soldiers circle each other. As a clone fervently loyal to the Republic, Gree cannot understand Argyus's betrayal. Likewise, Argyus cannot understand Gree's commitment to "empty servitude." Argyus lunges for Gree's fallen blaster, but Gree steps on the weapon and delivers a stunning blow to the side of the commando's head. But all the while, the two warriors have taken their eye off Gunray. The viceroy slams Argyus' discarded blaster rifle butt onto Gree's unhelmeted head, knocking him unconscious.
With Viceroy Gunray free, Argyus signals Ventress in the engine room. Her mission accomplished, Ventress activates several leftover explosives to cover her escape, leaving Ahsoka perilously dangling over a battered catwalk to be saved by Luminara.
Argyus and Gunray escape to the Republic frigate in the Tranquility's hold. With the Star Destroyer in such turmoil, its outer shields are down, allowing the smaller vessel to ease out of its docking bay. Ventress, meanwhile, cuts her way to an escape pod bay and launches from the crippled ship. Luminara and Ahsoka are a few steps behind and witness the pod launch towards the frigate.
Captain Argyus gloats about his success as Asajj comes aboard. He cockily mentions that he'll ensure Ventress' contributions to their rescue efforts will be noted in his report to Count Dooku. Ventress suddenly drives her lightsaber into Argyus' back, killing him.
Aboard the Tranquility, communication systems have been restored. In the bridge's war room, Ahsoka and Luminara confer holographically with Yoda and Anakin Skywalker. Yoda is troubled by the treachery of Captain Argyus; the Jedi are coming to realize that they are surrounded by enemies. On a more positive note, Luminara reminds her fellow Jedi that Gunray fled in a Republic ship, which can be tracked. Master Kit Fisto's fleet was near the viceroy's last known position. Fisto is tracking the signal, determined to recapture the Separatist leader.