Monday, September 25, 2023
Source GuideThe Mandalorian

The Mandalorian Chapter 19: The Convert

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<< Chapter 18 The Mines of Mandalore | Chapter 20 The Foundling>>

Story

Ambush
The Mandalorians Din Djarin and Bo-Katan Kryze are on the steps leading down to the Living Waters in the Mines of Mandalore: Kryze sitting, staring into the water, and Djarin lying down, coughing as he wakes up from his unexpected fall to the depths of the pool. Once he gets his bearings, he says he has been redeemed. Kryze, despite the scorn she held for his quest earlier, affirms his statement, proclaiming that he is once again Mandalorian, and that she witnessed his submersion. Before they leave, Djarin fills a small flask with Living Waters, and as he puts the flask in his belt and picks up his foundling Grogu, Kryze hesitates. She asks if he saw anything in the water. He responds that he saw the chasm as he fell, surprised that it was so deep, and Kryze replies that it was not always that way, and it must have been changed by seismic activity from the Great Purge of Mandalore. She asks again if he saw anything, this time specifying if he saw anything alive, but when Djarin asks what she means, she backtracks, refusing to answer. As Djarin exits the cavern, she hesitates, looking back again at the water, but it remains undisturbed.

Kryze, Djarin, Grogu and the astromech droid R5-D4 depart the planet in Kryze’s ship. Djarin asks to be taken to his ship, after which they would part ways. Kryze says that she would offer to hold him a feast, but doubts his helmet will be removed again. “This is the Way,” he intones, and she repeats his words. Grogu babbles something unintelligible, and Djarin and Kryze are distracted, looking back at him and then at each other, heedless of the many TIE interceptors pursuing them. When one of the TIEs scores a hit on the Gauntlet, they realize they are being attacked, and make plans to have Djarin join the fight in his ship once they reach it, as Kryze’s shields will be unable to hold against so many TIEs. As Djarin mans the Gauntlet’s guns, he asks who is coming after them; in response, Kryze points out that she has angered a lot of Imperial warlords. Djarin says that he could provide support on his N-1 starfighter, to which Kryze says it will be risky but agrees nonetheless.

As Kryze’s ship nears her castle, Djarin drops out of the ship from the back and activates his jetpack right before he hits the ground. Sprinting to his starfighter, he enters the hatch and starts up the engine, flying away just in time as a dual laser shot from a nearby TIE fighter hits the launch pad. He ascends vertically before plummeting back towards the water on a collision trajectory with the TIE trying to shoot him. He shoots a proton torpedo which destroys the TIE and pulls up just in time to escape the explosion.

Meanwhile, Kryze flies between the seaside cliffs with multiple TIEs on her tail. She claims to the anxious R5-D4 that she grew up flying these cliffs, although she immediately undermines this statement by accidentally scraping a wing against one, admitting that it has been a long time. Although one TIE flies into a cliff and explodes, she fails to shake the others until Djarin’s N1 comes to the rescue, shooting one out of the air. Kryze instructs Djarin to go right as she flies out over the water, where she cuts her engines and turns one of her wings, using the wind shear to spin her ship around and shoot the last TIE. She destroys it and turns her engines back on just before she would have hit the water. Now clear of enemies, Djarin and Kryze exchange damage reports (Djarin has none and Kryze only has damage to her shields) and Kryze compliments Djarin’s shooting before Djarin picks something up on his scope as an alarm goes off in his cockpit.

They look over the verdant landscape to see explosions in the distance, plumes of smoke rising from Kryze Castle as TIE/sa bombers destroy it. Kryze gasps as she surveys the ruins of her home, shock turning to fury as she pursues the bombers. She blows one up with a heat-seeking missile. Djarin sees over a dozen enemies appear on his scope, and tells Kryze that they have to leave, as there are far too many of them to fight. A swarm of TIE interceptors emerge from the clouds, and Kryze remarks that the sheer number of ships make it less likely the enemy is the forces of an Imperial warlord. Kryze reluctantly turns away, following Djarin in jumping to the coordinates he sends her. They disappear, leaving the TIEs behind them.

The Amnesty Program
On the planet Coruscant, patrons fill the Galaxies Opera House to hear Penn Pershing, a former Imperial scientist who once worked for Moff Gideon, speak on his experience in the Amnesty Program. He claims it saved his life, as he had no choice in working for the Empire, and he now wished to use his expertise to help the New Republic. One of the people in the audience is the Communications Officer who also formerly worked for Moff Gideon. Pershing recounts how his mother died of heart failure, and it was that incident that inspired him to work towards organ cloning technology, to prevent a similar incident happening to others. When he finishes his speech, he is surrounded by socialites fawning over him, which he endures with an awkward smile.

Pershing takes a taxi to his new home, Amnesty Housing. The taxi droid gives him recommendations for sightseeing opportunities on Coruscant, as he is relatively new to the planet, including the Skydome Botanical Gardens and Holographic Museum of Extinct Animals. He exits the cab and walks into the courtyard of Amnesty Housing, where four residents, all wearing Amnesty uniforms, are chatting over drinks. One calls him over, introducing himself as Amnesty Officer M34. Pershing shakes his hand, offering his designation in turn: Amnesty Scientist L52. Pershing’s pins indicate that he is new to Amnesty Housing; he explains to Amnesty Officer M34 that he has just arrived from the Re-Integration Institute. M34 introduces the rest of the group: Amnesty Officer M40, Amnesty Officer G27 and Amnesty Officer G68, who Pershing recognizes as the Communications Officer who worked for Moff Gideon. When he remarks on this, the group exchanges the rumors they have heard about what happened to Gideon: one heard he had escaped on the way to a war tribunal, and another claims that is merely a cover story to hide the fact that the New Republic had used a Mind Flayer on him. When they turn to G68, she admits that she tries not to think about him, as she focuses instead on how she can contribute to the New Republic.

The group reflects on their time under the Empire, naming things they miss about the old regime: one names the lights of hyperspace and another, the fit of the uniforms. When he is asked, Pershing is quick to insist that he is happy the Empire has fallen, which G27 reassures him is a sentiment they all share; instead, they are reminiscing about small, inconsequential things. After some hesitation, Pershing offers the yellow travel biscuits from the ration packs as something he misses. Later, as he is lying in bed in his apartment listening to a recording about Coruscant, Pershing’s doorbell rings and he opens it to find a small crate of the yellow travel biscuits he had mentioned earlier, with no indication of who had brought them.

Cube Farming
The next morning, on Benduday, Pershing sits in a cubicle surrounded by other identical cubicles, peering at his viewscreen. A colleague brings him a tray of datacards for him to archive. His new job has nothing to do with his expertise, but he tells his coworker that he is happy to do whatever he can for the Republic. Later, he and G68 go sightseeing on Level 5127, each eating a glowing treat on a stick. Pershing admits he is overwhelmed by the crowds and remarks that the sheer number of people on Coruscant makes him feel insignificant, but G68 says she feels special because she knows just how much it took for her to return here. She grew up on Coruscant, and remarks that while not much materially has changed, it feels different. She says they thought they were doing something good under the Empire, and Pershing says that he thinks about his unfinished research sometimes, and how it could help a lot of people. At G68’s suggestion he continue it, he points out that because of the ethical complications of cloning, the New Republic was not interested in his work. G68 responds that merely following orders is what got them into the mess of the Empire in the first place—the New Republic was struggling as a fledgling state, and his work would help, even if it would be against orders. The pair reach a large rock jutting up from a hole in the flooring and G68 tells Pershing that it is Umate, the only part of the surface of Coruscant that can be seen on the upper levels. G68 encourages him to touch it, laughing when a droid hurries to prevent him from doing so. She offers to buy him a photon fizzle in apology for tricking him, still laughing.

In the morning, Pershing is interviewed by a parole droid, who asks him about his feelings towards the New Republic and his general emotional state. At the end of the interview, he asks the droid whether he is allowed to continue his prior research in his own time. The droid responds that cloning is forbidden by the Coruscant Accords, so that would not be possible. Pershing returns to Amnesty Housing, where he finds G68 sitting in the courtyard. He tells her that he has been thinking about what she said, and that he wants to prove to the New Republic that his research can be used for good. In order to do so, he would need a mobile lab station, which G68 claims they could acquire if Pershing is willing to go outside the boundaries set by their parole conditions, the punishment for which is being returned to the Re-integration Institute. G68 responds that she regrets her past actions in the service of the Empire but says that she is willing to help if his research means a lot to him. When he refuses, saying it is too dangerous, G68 tells him to sleep on it before leaving him alone in the courtyard.

At his cubicle, Pershing is confused that all the equipment he is tasked with archiving is set to be destroyed, despite being in working order. When he asks a colleague, the colleague refuses to entertain Pershing’s claims that the equipment could be put to use instead, confessing that the department is extremely behind on everything, between clearing Imperial disposal yards and decommissioning the Alliance Fleet. At Pershing’s continued insistence that he could do something, the colleague admits it may be possible through a C-1023 request, although he is unsure whether it’s possible for someone from the Amnesty Program to make one. Pershing drops his line of questioning, defeated, and his colleague leaves after assuring him that he is “is truly helping the New Republic.”

Pershing is once again interviewed in the parole office, answering the rote questions about his feelings the same way he had earlier. However, when he is asked whether he feels any anger or resentment towards the New Republic government or its employees, he hesitates, rubbing at his ear. When the droid repeats the question, he hurriedly answers no. He then interrupts the droid who had started on the end of its spiel, asking it, “Our main objective is to help the Republic, right?” When the droid answers in the affirmative, he asks whether it supersedes everything else, which the droid confirms as well. Pershing leaves, deep in thought.

It’s A Trap
Later, Pershing meets G68 in her apartment and seeks her help in accessing the mobile lab station. G68 pauses before consenting to the plan and suggests the following night. Later, Pershing removes his Amnesty uniform and dresses in a brown coat and matching trousers. Before leaving, he tells himself that he is helping the New Republic. He and G68 walk through the streets of Coruscant. G68 tells him to relax and follow her lead, reassuring him that he will be fine. They walk past several New Republic soldiers and sneak through a checkpoint. The two board a board a hovertrain where G68 briefly greets a Bufopel, asking him if it is Taungsday. The Bufopel nods in return. G68 gazes out of the window at Coruscant’s crowded skyline.

G68 tells Pershing that they are heading to Gideon’s light cruiser in the disposal yards. She reasons that Imperial ships will have mobile labs. Pershing is uneasy due to the ship’s connection with the “Old Empire.” G68 reassures him that the ship is mobile junk and suggests that he sneak in and get what he needs before returning to Amnesty housing. When Pershing asks if she has done it before, G68 hints that she snuck out to steal the biscuits. The hovertrain enters a tunnel which takes them from the inner city into the disposal yards. A pair of ticket droids come to collect tickets, which G68 takes as their cue to leave. The two access the rear door of their carriage and climb into another carriage. The two brush through the passengers.

A ticket droid follows them through the rear carriages. G68 and Pershing reach the rear carriage. With the train approaching the Shipyard Depot, G68 tells Pershing that they have to jump. Pershing is afraid but she tells him to trust her. At G68’s signal, the two jump of the train and land near several crates. Pershing chuckles, prompting G68 to chuckle as well. The two approach Gideon’s former light cruiser, which has been hollowed out. Pershing admits that he has not done anything as risky as their adventure before. The two walk through the light cruiser’s connecting bridge, which leads into a darkened corridor that is littered by wires and cables.

G68 tells Pershing that she passed Gideon’s ship’s a hundred times. Having gained Pershing’s trust, G68 identifies herself as a former communications officer named Elia Kane. Pershing introduces as a scientist. Kane leads G68 into the mobile lab before asking him if everything he needs is inside. Pershing is pleased with the condition of the laboratory but says that he will only take what he needs. Kane reminds him that everything inside is going to the scrap heap. Pershing regales Kane with a story about his childhood dream of being inside a laboratory; mentioning that his mother grew in a small town and never lived to see that dream. Pershing asks Kane what she aspired to be as a child. She replies that she did not have time to think.

The two hear movement but Kane claims that it is just the ship rattling and volunteers to keep watch while he continues packing. Pershing retrieves a box and the two exit the laboratory. When Pershing asks how they will get back, they hear movement approaching through a sliding door and run through a corridor that leads out of the light cruiser and into the disposal yards. While running, they are spotted by an airspeeder, which shines a light on them. The two are surrounded by New Republic soldiers who arrest Pershing. Pershing is shocked when the soldiers allow Kane to depart with the recovered box. Soldiers reiterate their order for Pershing to raise his hands. Pershing surrenders and is handcuffed by the soldiers.

Later, Pershing is restrained on an operating table by a Mon Calamari technician. Pershing tries to explain his actions by the technician responds that Amnesty Officer G68 has already submitted a report. When Pershing asks what she told him, the Mon Calamari replies that he understands that “adjustment” can be difficult. Pershing protests but the technician says that Imperial indoctrination can be difficult to overcome. When Pershing realizes that he will be subjected to a mind flayer, the Mon Calamari reassures him that it is Six-O-Two Mitigator, which he claims is a non-invasive experimental treatment recently approved for rehabilitation. The technician explains that at low voltages, it can be used to treat traumatic memories. As the technician briefs Pershing about the procedure, Pershing protests that it would purge him of his memories. The Mon Calamari disagrees, saying that he has been through the treatment himself and found it refreshing. The technician and his colleagues ignores Pershing’s account that Kane set him up.

Kane watches the procedure impassively. The Twi’lek Commissioner expresses disappointment in Pershing’s apparent deviancy and thanks Kane for alerting him. Kane replies that it will help him while the Commissioner commends her for being a successful candidate. The Commissioner begins initiating the sequence. Kane asks if she can stay, claiming that Pershing is a relapsed friend whom she cares for. The Commissioner relents and exits the room. In secret, she raises the Mind Flayer’s setting, which causes Pershing pain.

Homecoming
Elsewhere Kryze’s Gauntlet starfighter and Djarin’s N-1 starfighter exit hyperspace above the unidentified planet where the Children of the Watch’s covert is based. Djarin explains that this is how his people survived in exile. Kryze remarks that they still live by the “old ways.” Djarin advises her to keep her helmet on for the meeting, which she obliges. They land on the banks of the lake near the covert. Grogu exits in his cradle.

After disembarking, they are greeted by Paz Vizsla, who bars Djarin entry on the grounds that he is an apostate. Djarin responds that he is no longer an apostate because he managed to reach the Mines of Mandalore. Vizsla does not believe him but Djarin explains that it is a lie that Mandalore is uninhabitable and cursed. When Vizsla asks how they can ascertain if Djarin is not lying, Kryze speaks up for him. This prompts Vizsla to asks Kryze who she is, addressing her as a Nite Owl. Kryze introduces herself as Bo-Katan of House Kryze. Vizsla regards Kryze as an apostate. Djarin submits a cylinder proving that they have been to the Living Waters. Vizsla replies that they will see before taking the cylinder. The trio are permitted entry into a cave leading to the covert under armed guard.

Inside, they find The Armorer at work in her smelter. Vizsla reports that Djarin and Kryze claim to have bathed in the Living Waters. When the Armorer asks if this is true, Djarin submits the cylinder as proof. Kryze testifies that she was present and that she pulled Djarin out when he fell into the depths of the Living Waters. Grogu watches from inside his cradle while the Armorer empties the cylinder’s contents into a water container, releasing a turquoise liquid. The Armorer ascertains that Djarin is telling the truth and declares him to be redeemed, adding that “this is the Way.

She also rules that Kryze is redeemed by Creed. When Kryze responds that she is not a believer, the Armorer asks if she has bathed in the waters and removed her helmet since then. Kryze confirms this is true. The Armorer permits Kryze to join their covert and live as her ancestors once did. She gives Kryze permission to leave but states that until then she is one of the Children of the Watch. The Armorer leads her followers in chanting “this is the Way” as the other Mandalorians praise Djarin and Djarin. A symbol of a mythosaur hangs in the room.

Characters

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Force Powers

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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