"In war, truth is the first casualty."
A diplomatic mission! As dissent threatens to tear apart the peaceful Mandalore system, Duchess Satine struggles to protect her people against the escalating violence. Betrayed by two of her trusted allies, Satine now travels to Coruscant. There, she hopes to convince the Senate that a destructive splinter group, DEATH WATCH, does not represent the entire Mandalorian government.
Aboard a Separatist frigate, Count Dooku confers via hologram with Pre Vizsla, who is preparing his troops on the Concordian moon. Vizsla is impatient, but Dooku's plot is unfolding to plan. The next step: the dispatching of a Death Watch assassin to Coruscant to target the Duchess of Mandalore.
A scout from Mandalore peers into the abandoned mining base that Vizsla has transformed into the Death Watch camp. He sneaks off onto his starship and jets away to Mandalore, where he confers with Prime Minister Almec. Almec worries that Death Watch could gain populist support if the Republic were to intervene in Mandalorian affairs. The splinter group would turn from a terrorist organization to an army of liberators. The situation is very tenuous.
In the Coruscant Senate, Death Watch is a primary topic of concern. The Supreme Chancellor deems it a significant military threat, requiring an immediate Republic response. Duchess Satine dismisses the fears about Death Watch, and insists on keeping this an affair of purely internal Mandalorian interests. But Palpatine surprises her with holographic evidence which he presents before the Senate.
It is a recording of Deputy Minister Jerec, admitting that the true scope of the Death Watch threat is greater than the Mandalorian government has revealed to their people. Jerec makes clear that Mandalore will require the help of the Jedi and the Republic to meet this challenge.
Duchess Satine cannot believe Jerec's words. He is an honorable man, and these are stark untruths. But any challenge she can mount is stalemated by the sad news that Jerec died earlier that day in a bombing on Kalevala.
Palpatine believes the Republic has all the evidence it needs to proceed on a mission of liberation to Mandalore. Satine sees it as occupation, a trampling of Mandalorian right to self-determination, and the making of Mandalore into a military target. The Senate will vote on military action in its next session.
Satine is incensed. She storms away from the Senate building. On the landing platform outside, Obi-Wan rushes to her out of concern for his friend, but she is too angry to listen to his advice. Satine boards her speeder, and zooms away with her retinue. A Mandalorian assassin remotely triggers an exposive aboard, and the speeder begins to plummet. Satine's guards leap with her to safety before the speeder and its pilot, Aramis, collide with a skytower and erupt in flames.
Satine's day continues to worsen. Meeting with Palpatine after the assassination attempt, she is offended to learn that no charges will be laid as no evidence remains that the crash was anything other than an accident. Mas Amedda sees this as further proof that the Republic is needed to rein in Death Watch.
Satine storms out of Palpatine's office and encounters Obi-Wan. He is concerned that Satine is now obviously a target. Not caring about her own safety, Satine sees the attempt on her life as proof that she is right: someone is deliberately pushing Mandalore towards war.
Senator Padmé Amidala arrives with yet another bombshell: the Senate has voted for an occupation of Mandalore. Satine is stunned -- the vote was pushed ahead in light of her assassination attempt, and she missed it while she was meeting with Palpatine. The Republic will invade Mandalore the next day.
That night, in the shadowy alleys of Coruscant, Duchess Satine meets with Davu Golec, a Mandalorian contact within the Republic Ministry of Intelligence. He has discovered that the recording of Deputy Minister Jerec was a forgery, and has the original data on a disc that he hands to the Duchess.
A shot rings out from the darkness as the Mandalorian sniper blasts Golec through the heart. Before the assassin can get a second shot off at Satine, police droids crowd the scene. Satine, looking guilty and no longer trusting any Republic authority, runs into the alleys, shaking pursuit.
The Mandalorian assassin reports to Pre Vizsla: the informant has been killed but Duchess Satine still lives. Vizsla urges the killer to find and stop Satine before she can unravel Death Watch's plans.
Count Dooku reports his status to Darth Sidious. He believes the Mandalorians will be so resentful of the Republic invasion that Death Watch will emerge as heroes. Sidious grins at this turn of events.
Satine finally asks Obi-Wan for help, requesting that he join her in a clandestine meeting at a Coruscant park. Satine hides herself in a heavy cloak. She hands Obi-Wan the recording and asks Kenobi to take it to Senator Amidala. She intends to turn herself in to offer Obi-Wan a distraction and to raise him above suspicion as an associate should she remain at large.
The Death Watch assassin strikes. He tosses a thermal detonator into the alleyway where Satine and Obi-Wan confer, but Kenobi spots it and uses the Force to push the Duchess to safety. Kenobi rushes the assassin, and the two brawl for several intense moments before the armored killer soars away on his rocket pack.
At the Senate building, Satine surrenders and is immediately shackled by Senate guards while Kenobi sneaks his way inside.
In the Senate chambers, the session is interrupted by Senator Amidala. She projects the undoctored hologram of Deputy Minister Jerec, calling for Mandalorians to unite against Death Watch, and to do so independent of any Republic intervention. With this revelation, the push to occupy Mandalore collapses.
On Concordia, Pre Vizsla is livid about having to postpone his attack. He intends to do so even without the specter of Republic invasion. Count Dooku advises patience. Sure, Vizsla could conquer Mandalore, but without the backing of the people, who would not be able to hold it. The Sith Lords have other means, however, to make their plans a success.
Back in the Senate, Palpatine offers his apologies and gratitude to Duchess Satine for uncovering the truth. Republic Satine personally thanks Obi-Wan for his loyalty and friendship in these increasingly uncertain times.