Sunday, July 21, 2024
Source GuideThe Acolyte

The Acolyte – S01E07 – Choice

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Scouting on Brendok
Sixteen years earlier, Sol and his fellow Jedi Master Indara, Padawan Torbin, and Kelnacca surveyed the vegetation on the planet Brendok. Sol collects a sample of a bush and stores it inside a metal container strapped around his back. Later, Master Indara activates a different type of scanner on top of a post. While she checks her datapad, Kelnacca surveys the grass with a long instrument. Sol collects a sample of water from a nearby stream. While Kelnacca roars, Torbin collects a sample and drops it into an analyzer machine.

Later that night, the four Jedi sit beside a campfire. Kelnacca has cooked a meal, but Torbin is reluctant to eat. Master Indara counsels her Padawan that refusing a Wookiee’s cooking is unwise. Torbin grumbles about being sick of eating Nuna legs and says that he wants to go home to Coruscant. Indara is sympathetic but reminds Torbin that they are on a mission. Torbin grumbles that they have spent seven weeks on Brendok without finding anything worth reporting.

Indara explains that Brendok was reported as lifeless a hundred years ago due to a hyperspace disaster. However, the planet is thriving. Torbin grumbles about investigating vegetation on Brendok, prompting Indara to tell Torbin not to let his anxieties get the better of him. Torbin does not understand the purpose of their mission on Brendok. Sol explains that they are looking for a vergence on the planet. Indara explains that a vergence is a concentration of Force energy centered around a location. Sol thinks a vergence can create life on a plant and is worth studying and protecting. He believes that this is a noble mission that is important to the Jedi.

The following day, Kelnacca explores the forest with his scanner. While Torbin drops more samples into his analyzer, Indara speaks with Sol, lamenting that her Padawan is too distracted to understand the significance of the vergence. She is also unsure whether the vergence triggered the explosion of life on Brendok. When Sol remarks that Torbin is distracted and unbalanced, Indara reminds him he was disturbed and tells him not to confuse his feelings with Torbin’s. Indara says that she does not tell Torbin answers to ease his mind but rather to seek the answers for himself. When Sol sighed, Indara said she had a Padawan, while he did not.

First contact
After Kelnacca calls to them in Shyriiwook, Indara decides that the four should split up. Indara asks Sol to follow the river and to explore the Northlands, which have not been explored. They agree to meet back at camp. Sol heads to the Northlands on a speeder bike. After parking his bike, Sol is drawn to a bunta tree around stone ruins, where he witnesses two human children, Mae-ho Aniseya (“Mae”) and Verosha Aniseya (“Osha”). Sol witnesses Mae using the Force to trap a butterfly until Osha tells her to stop. He hears the two children arguing before walking into the forest. Sol witnesses Osha and Mae reaffirming their relationship with each other. He also sees Mother Koril chastising the children for alone running off into the woods. Sol contacts Master Indara with a comlink, telling her they are not alone.

He follows Koril and the twins to the gate of the Brendok fortress. There, he watches Koril unlock the gate and usher the children inside. Sol waits for the three to disappear inside before attempting to unlock the gate himself. After unsuccessfully attempting to unlock the gate, he climbs the mountain fortress and uses a catwalk to enter the Fortress common room. Watching from a crack, he watches Mother Aniseya training the twins in the arts of the Force. He sees Mae defending Osha with her Force powers. Hearing a sound on the catwalk, Koril investigates but sees no one. Near the top of the mountain fortress, Sol witnesses several witches engaging in a ritual.

Confronting the witches
Later that night, Sol reports his findings to Master Indara and the other Jedi. Sol thinks that the Force cult he encountered are witches. When Torbin asks if the witches are Nightsisters, Kelnacca growls. Indara says they do not have all the information and adds that Nightsisters do not raise or train younglings. Sol says that the witches do not treat the girls like children. Indara thinks they should return to the ship and seek guidance from the Jedi High Council. Sol is concerned for the girls’ safety and tells Indara that the witches are preparing them for the ceremony. Fearing that the girls are dangerous, Sol insists they act fast rather than consult the High Council.

The four Jedi travel on two speeder bikes towards the witches’ mountain fortress. Reaching the gate, Kelnacca rips a panel from the wall. Torbin recognizes the gate hosting an old platform elevator and thinks the mountain fortress was once a mining site. Under Indara’s orders, Kelnacca slices the elevator’s controls. Indara wants to investigate alone, but Torbin insists on accompanying her. Indara disagrees, saying that the witches might take the presence of multiple Jedi as a threat. When Sol counters that there are over 50 witches, Indara responds that there are 50 witches and two children. Sol insists they go as a team, and Indara relents but warns them to be vigilant.

The four Jedi enter the lift, which takes them up to a corridor of sharp-edged metal panels with three triangular lights in yellow and green. They enter a courtyard, where the warrior witches stand down with their bows and arrows. The rest of the witches are clustered on the steps amidst a fog. Master Indara introduces herself, Sol, Torbin, and Kelnacca. Mother Aniseya responds that the women in the coven are under her protection, while Koril denounces the Jedi for trespassing.

Indara apologizes for the intrusion and says that they thought Brendok was uninhabited. While Aniseya expresses disbelief that the Jedi could not sense their presence, she uses her telepathic powers to toy with Torbin’s mind. He finds himself alone in the courtyard. Mother Aniseya reads his mind, recognizing him as a Jedi Padawan and the son of paupers from the planet Bonadan. Apparitions of Aniseya speak to him, telling him that he has traveled so far only to be trapped and describing him as a strong and good Jedi. Aniseya senses that Torbin has natural desires that he suppresses and asks if he desires to escape Brendok. She offers to help him.

During the trance, Indara asks Osha to meet her sister Mae. Aniseya toys with Torbin, playing on his desire to return to Coruscant. She offers to grant him his desire. Aniseya tempts him with the desire until he gives in and says he wishes to return to Coruscant. This causes Torbin’s eyes to turn black, and he falls to his knees. Torbin’s trance-like state unnerves the other Jedi. Aniseya warns the Jedi to leave in return for restoring Torbin’s mind. Amidst the confrontation, Osha begs Aniseya to let her take the Jedi test. Indara backs Osha up. Aniseya releases Torbin and agrees to send scouts to bring Mae and Osha for testing at the Jedi’s camp the following day. The Jedi depart under the watchful gaze of the witches.

Indara and Sol
Aboard the Jedi starship, Master Indara tends to Torbin, who is still shaken from the telepathic attack. Master Indara is pleased with Sol’s idea about testing the girls since it would buy her time to consult the Jedi Council. Sol confides that he feels a special connection with Osha. Indara is concerned about testing the twins and thinks Osha is too old to join the Jedi Order. When Sol says he feels Osha is destined to be his Padawan, Indara takes him by the shoulder and warns that her coven will not let her leave. She describes the coven as insular and strange.

Sol is concerned about Osha’s well-being, saying they marked her sister Mae with ceremonial markings. Indara responds that ceremonial markings are customary in many galactic cultures. Sol recalls that Osha did not have one and opines that she was not safe. Indara says they cannot be certain that Osha resisted receiving the marking. Sol says the Jedi must protect Osha and believes she wants to leave with them. Indara cautions Sol not to mistake his desires for what Osha wants. Indara walks away, leaving Sol with a weighty expression.

Testing the twins
The following day, Torbin meditates outside the Jedi starship. Opening his eyes, he sees Koril leading the scouts and the twins toward the Jedi starship. Torbin accompanies Mae aboard the ship while holding a syringe. He collects a sample of blood from her arm after she consents. In the medbay, she is greeted by Indara and Sol, who have prepared a Jedi test for her. Indara tells Mae that she must divine what images appear on the testing screen. This prompts Mae to ask them what they want her to do.

Sol holds the screen to his face and asks Mae to tell them what she sees. Though the screen shows a wampa, she tells them she sees a starship. When the image of a loth-cat appears, Mae says she sees a castle. When the third image of a power droid flashes, Mae sees a planet. Sol eyes her with disappointment. Before the fourth image appears, Mae claims she sees a necklace, prompting Sol to say that the image has not appeared yet.

After Mae asks if she can go home, Indara questions her about the ceremony the Jedi saw last night in the witches’ fortress. Mae says that it was an Ascension ceremony. Indara asks if she likes it, prompting Mae to nod. Indara says that the ceremony was very beautiful and remarks that the Ascension must have been very powerful for Mae to receive such a marking on her forehead. Mae adds that her mother, Aniseya, explained that the Ascension ceremony means Osha and that she will lead the coven, following in their mother’s footsteps. When Indara asks how children can be expected to lead a coven, Mae says she doesn’t know.

Misunderstanding her mother’s words, Mae says that her Mother said that “everyone must walk through fear” and that “everyone must be sacrificed to fulfill their destiny.” Indara thanks Mae for the explanation before allowing her to leave. After Torbin escorts Mae out, Sol tells Indara that Mae was instructed to fail the test. He seeks her permission to try a different approach with Osha—following Mae’s revelation about the coven’s beliefs, Indara relents.

During Osha’s test, Sol reassures her that thousands of other children are like her in the Jedi. He tells her she must have the courage to say what she wants. While Indara makes eye contact with Torbin, Osha tells the Jedi she wants to be a Jedi. Sol tells Osha she must have the courage to tell her coven the truth. Indara permits Osha to continue the test. While Sol holds the screen to his face, he asks Osha to tell them what she sees. Osha says that she sees a planet, which Sol says is correct. Indara looks concerned about the test.

Jedi deliberations
Later, Indara instructs Torbin to run Mae and Osha’s blood samples. She tells him that she has contacted the Jedi High Council for advice. While awaiting a response from the Council, she tells Torbin and Kelnacca to continue their fieldwork. After Torbin leaves, Sol tells Indara that Osha has passed. She says she will meet him at the camp once the Council has responded.

That evening, Kelnacca prepares dinner at the campsite while Torbin and Sol wait. Master Indara exits the starship. She explains that the Jedi Council will not sanction bringing the twins to Coruscant or separating them from their coven. Torben says the witches are dangerous, citing their telepathic attack on him. Sol responds that Indara can sense that the twins are not safe. Indara responds that the Council says they have interfered too much with the coven already. When Torbin asks if the Council will let them return, Indara gives a negative answer, prompting Torbin to sulk. Sol offers to speak with the Council, but Indara says they have already decided.

When Sol protests that Osha passed the test, Indara counters that he coached her and warns Sol not to form an emotional attachment to the child. Sol angrily denies that he is attached to Osha and wants to do what is best for her. Indara disagrees, saying it is not up to him. Then, Torbin returns with a datapad containing the twins’ blood test results. He notices that their M-count is unusually high, making them very Force-sensitive. He says the girls are not twins because they have the same symbiont. Sol and Indara conclude that the twins were artificially created by tapping into a power dense enough to split one consciousness into two bodies.

Sol says that only a vergence can create that kind of power. Believing the girls are in danger, Torbin climbs onto a speeder bike despite Sol’s warnings. Torbin replies that the twins prove that the Jedi Council needs the vergence they sought. He says that this is their ticket home. Indara sends Sol on the remaining speeder bike to stop him while she and Kelnacca follow in their starship.

The approaching storm
Meanwhile, at the Brendok fortress, Osha and Mae fight, prompting Mother Aniseya to tell Mother Koril to bring Mae out. Soo weaves through the forest on his speeder bike. Osha tells Aniseya she wants to be a Jedi in the witches’ common room. Aniseya hugs her daughter and promises to discuss the situation with the other witches. Before leaving, the mother and daughter reaffirm their love for each other.

Elsewhere, Koril drags Mae out into the courtyard. She orders Mae to stop Osha from going to the Jedi and warns her that the Jedi will not warn her before they attack. In a brief practice session, Koril attempts to strike Mae with her staff, but Mae uses her Force powers to deflect her attack. Koril encourages Mae to give in to her anger.

In the common room, Ensigns Rane and Eurus object to Aniseya’s decision to release Osha to the Jedi. Aniseya counters that Osha has chosen to go and says they should respect her daughter’s decision. When Rane objects to sacrificing their future, Aniseya counters that her children are their future and insists on respecting Osha’s wish. A dark-skinned human witch reminds Aniseya that she may be a mother, but she is also their leader. Aniseya chooses to be a mother first.

Meanwhile, a furious Mae smashes the elevator control panel with a pipe. She tells the other witches that nobody can get in or out. Koril backs her up and orders the other witches to arm themselves for an impending Jedi raid. On the ground, Sol catches up with Torbin outside the elevator at the base of the fortress. Torbin tells Sol that the elevator is jammed.

Meditating through the Force, Sol hones in on Mae, telling her sister Osha that she cannot leave the fortress since they are stuck here. Soo leads Torbin to the fortress wall. After finding a handhold, he tells Torbin that he needs help rescuing the girls and that he cannot let the witches get into his head again. As the two prepare to climb the mountain, Mae locks Osha inside their room before picking up an oil lamp.

Indara and Kelnacca approach the fortress in their starship. Unable to land, Indara convinces Kelnacca to descend from the starship in order to stop Torbin from inflaming the situation. As Koril prepares the witches for the Jedi raid, she tells Aniseya that the Jedi have breached the fortress again. Aniseya objects to using violence, but Koril is unwilling to let the Jedi take their children. Mae sets Osha’s journal on fire. The fire gets out of control after Mae drops the oil lamp, causing the flames to spread to a circuitry panel on the wall. As the fire spreads, Mae calls for help.

Meanwhile, Torbin and Sol reach a mountain plateau near the perimeter of the fortress. As the Jedi reach the courtyard, they face Aniseya, Koril, and several armed witches lining a catwalk. Aniseya chastises the Jedi for returning. Sol says that they have come with noble intentions. When Aniseya asks if they have come to seek permission for the twins to be raised by an institution, Sol asks her where the twins came from and how they were created. As the archers aim their arrows at the two Jedi, Torbin backs away. Aniseya warns that the Jedi’s noble intentions could lead to the destruction of their Order.

Torbin reaches for his lightsaber, but Sol stops him. Just then, Mae interrupts the confrontation and asks for help. Sol mistakes her for Osha and calls out to her. Koril prepares to hurl her spear while Torbin ignites his lightsaber. Aniseya uses her powers to morph into a black smoke, enveloping Mae. Reacting instinctively, Sol slashes the black smoke with his lightsaber, causing Aniseya to return to her physical form. As Aniseya succumbs to her wounds, Mae cries out in despair. A dying Aniseya tells Sol she will allow Osha to follow the Jedi, honoring her daughter’s wishes.

As Mae tends to her fallen mother, Sol sees the ascension mark and realizes the girl is Mae. Koril tells Mae to run. While Torbin fends off the scouts’ arrows with his lightsaber, Koril attacks Sol with her staff. He finds her blow but doesn’t fight back with his lightsaber. Struggling with guilt, Sol refuses to fight her but holds off her staff when she launches a new attack. The fire caused by Mae triggers several explosions throughout the mountain fortress.

Meanwhile, Osha manages to escape her room through a tunnel. She hears the explosions above. Koril uses her powers to cause herself and the archers to disappear. Her voice can be heard taunting the Jedi. When Torbin counters that his mind is fortified, Koril reveals that the Wookiee has not. A possessed Kelnacca with blackened eyes ignites his green lightsaber and approaches his Jedi comrades menacingly. The witches in the common room, including Elder Naasa, conduct a ritual to possess Kelnacca’s mind, which also causes their eyes to turn black.

Kelnacca attacks Sol and Torbin with his lightsaber and Force powers. Using the Force, he hurls Sol against a wall. Kelnacca then chokes Torbin while trapping them against a wall. He attempts to strike Torbin with his lightsaber, but the younger Jedi fends him off with his lightsaber. During the struggle, Torbin’s face is scratched by the Wookiee’s claws. Sol manages to distract Kelnacca, causing him to let go off Torbin. The two engage in a brief lightsaber duel before Sol disarms Kelnacca’s lightsaber. Following a tussle, Kelnacca attempts to strangle Sol under the influence of the witches’ telepathic spell.

Indara comes to Sol’s rescue and jumps on top of Kelnacca. After knocking him to the ground, she uses her Force powers to counter the witches’ telepathic powers. She drives them away from Kelnacca’s mind, causing the witches to collapse. Kelnacca blinks as his eyes return to normal. While Indara tends to the Wookiee, she sends Sol to rescue the twins. Osha and Mae are separated inside the mountain fortress when the generator explodes, causing the walkway to split in half.

Sol runs into the tunnel and the common room. He attempts to keep the walkways from collapsing. Lacking the strength to hold both sides up, Sol lets go of Mae’s side and focuses on Osha. Mae falls into the depths of the mountain’s interior. Osha’s side collapses, but he manages to grab her wrist before she falls.

Later aboard the Jedi starship, Kelnacca paces outside the medbay while Sol attends to Osha, who has been connected to a respirator. A scarred Torbin apologizes to Master Indara. Indara tells Kelnacca to contact Coruscant while she speaks with Torbin and Sol, telling them she warned them not to interfere. Sol says he wants the twins to be safe and attempts to leave. Indara grabs his arms, and the two tussle until Torbin tells them to stop.

Following a tense moment, Torbin asks Indara what they should tell the Jedi Council. Indara says they will report that Mae burned down the witches’ fortress, causing the deaths of everyone inside. When Sol insists on facing the Council, Indara warns against retraumatizing Osha by taking away her dream. She asks Sol to consider why he chose before facing the Council. At that moment, Osha calls for her mother, and Sol tends to her. When Osha asks where she is, Sol tells her she is going to Coruscant. He tells Osha that Mae started the fire.




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PT White

I've been involved in creating content for Star Wars The Role Playing Game since 1992 and consider myself a Star Wars Super Fan and knowledge bank for the Star Wars Universe.

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