The clone troopers swiftly clear the arena. Their blasters take down even the super battle droids. Though they are still outnumbered, the clones are able to act with the perfect concert of a single mind, and the droids are not programmed to face such a foe.
The Jedi Knights, their spirits rallied by the reinforcements, begin their pursuit of Count Dooku, leaping up the arena bleachers to the top of the outer wall.
"There!" Mace Windu shouts, pointing at a ship rocketing out the side of the colosseum. "They're heading toward the space port. After them!"
Propelled by the Force, the Jedi Knights bound across the industrial landscape after the fleeing rebel leaders. From every factory, hanger and shed march droid machines of war, kicking up great clouds of dust as they charge. Bombardment cannons pick their way along on spiderlike robot legs while mechadozers roll over everything in their path. The clones have machines of their own--starfighter ships zip overhead, providing cover fire while massive walker tanks and additional troopers are airlifted to the ground. The rebel ship disappears into the billowing smog of Geonosis as the armies collide in the streets, flashes of blue, green and red glinting in a dusky storm.
A clone commander jogs toward the only Jedi Knight remaining in the arena, Obi-Wan Kenobi, who stands arguing with his apprentice while Padme looks on helplessly.
"Sir!" the clone trooper interrupts, giving Obi-Wan a salute before handing him a holographic transmitter. "The Chancellor is waiting to speak to you!"
Obi-Wan activates the holopad, and the image of Palpatine appears before them.
"Master Kenobi!" says Palpatine. "Reverend Padme! What a relief you're still alive! I thought you could use some backup."
"It's always nice to have help," Obi-Wan shouts over the thunder of the battle.
"I've commanded the clone troopers to submit to the authority of the Jedi Order," continues Palpatine. "The Army of the Republic is now yours."
"Chancellor!" protests Obi-Wan. "We are a religious order! We have never sought military command!"
"You think I sought this?" Palpatine says. "I'm a politican, Master Kenobi. I know less than you do about leading an army. Yet I'm afraid these times call us all to difficult responsibilities, and the Jedi are the only ones I can trust with this power. Please, use it to stop Count Dooku!"
"Have no fear, Chancellor," shouts Obi-Wan, "We won't let the traitor get off the planet!"
"Thank you, Master Kenobi! And may the Force be--"
The transmission dissolves into static.
"Well, soldier," Obi-Wan says to the trooper, "it looks like I'm your new boss."
"Sir, I've been looking forward to this, sir!"
"Commander...Cody?" Obi-Wan asks.
"No, sir! My designation is KC-192."
"Ah," says Obi-Wan knowingly, "but when I met Cody..."
"...we all met you, sir!"
Though she is keeping her cool, Anakin senses Padme's thoughts tugging at him in fear.
"Master, what exactly is going on here?" Anakin shouts angrily. "One of these things was trying to kill Padme! And now we're surrounded by them!"
"I'll explain later," Obi-Wan says. "These ones are on our side...I think." He turns back to the trooper. "Commander Casey, can you sense the progress of the battle from here?"
"Yes, sir! We have just reached the spaceport, but rebel ships are already launching. Our starfighters will pursue. There's one now, sir!"
A large spherical space cruiser arcs across the sky above them, blotting out the sun. Starfighters spin around it like gnats, unable to halt the progress of the behemoth ship.
"Aim right above the fuel cells," Anakin tells Commander Casey, still annoyed at having to work with the troopers and eager to show them up. Though he has never seen this class of ship before, he has always had the ability to sense the inner workings of mechanical things, uncanny for even a Jedi.
"Yes, sir!" says the trooper, and moments later the rebel ship transforms into a plummeting fireball.
"Good call, my young padawan!" says Obi-Wan.
The ground quakes, reminding them that they're not in the safest place to be watching ships fall from the sky.
"Commander Casey," orders Obi-Wan, "Please escort the Queen to safety. Anakin, you're with me. It's time to rejoin the fight."
"I told you already," says Anakin, "I'm staying with Padme."
"I could have you expelled from the Jedi Order for this disobedience!" Obi-Wan threatens in exasperation, but his student does not budge. "Anakin, I need you on this! I can't take on Count Dooku alone!"
"You won't catch him at all if you follow that army," Anakin snaps back. "Dooku is running the other way, towards the citadel to the south. Am I really the only Jedi who sensed that?"
Obi-Wan cuts himself off mid-response, shuts his eyes and breathes deeply, extending his senses to confirm what Anakin has said. He sighs.
"You're welcome," says Anakin. "Now go!"
"We'll discuss this later, young man!" Obi-Wan says. "Commander Casey, get them both out of here!"
Giving Anakin one last angry look, Obi-Wan bounds away.
The clone commander escorts Anakin and Padme over to a transport ship. Anakin whistles and R2-D2 rolls out from cover to join them, dragging the deactivated body of C-3P0 behind him on a thin tow cable.
"Ani, you should follow Obi-Wan," says Padme as they stand at the entrance to the transport ship. "You have to do your duty. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine."
"You say that," says Anakin, "but you can't hide your desires from me. Not anymore. You don't want me to leave your side any more than I do."
"Come to your senses!" Padme says. "Ani, I love you, I always have, and I want us to spend many happy years together, to make up for all the years we've lost. But if Dooku kills Obi-Wan today, that will never happen. You'll wither in misery and guilt, and you'll blame it on me, and I can't accept that."
"I'd give up everything for you," Anakin whispers.
"I don't want you to give up everything," Padme cries. "I want you to be the man I've fallen in love with. Please!"
Anakin flushes, then turns to address the clone commander.
"Do whatever she asks of you," he orders, "just keep her safe."
"I love you," Anakin says to Padme, gripping her around the waist and kissing her passionately as the transport ship lifts into the air. Then he lets her go, and leaps out the hatch.
Padme steadies herself against the wall, fighting back tears.
"Sir," the clone trooper says, addressing her, "We can take you directly to our control ship in orbit. Right now it's the safest spot in the system."
For a moment she falters at the sight of a ship full of Fetts, the mask of her would-be assassin on every face, but she uses the shock to steel her nerves.
"No," she says resolutely. "No, we've got to get that army turned around. Tell all your troops to redirect their attack to the south citadel. Tell every Jedi you can find, too. The other rebels don't matter--we can end this war right now if we stop Dooku."
"Sir, yes sir!"
Finally Padme notices the Jedi Master on the ship with them. Her eyes widen.
Threepio reactivates under the prodding of Artoo.
"Oh, my," says the confused protocol droid, "I've just had the most peculiar dream!"