Durka Returns
August 13, 1999 - US
March 27, 2000 - UK
1.15

Writer - Grant McAloon
Director - Tony Tilse

Guest Cast
David Wheeler . . . Selto Durka
Tiriel Mora . . . Salis
Gigi Edgley . . . Chiana

TRANSCRIPT

The episode opens with Moya in starburst. Rygel and Zhaan are in the Command. The ride is bumpy and small items on a table tinkle from the vibrations.

Rygel: (dully, looking greener than usual) Gad, I'm gonna be sick.

(cut to John, making his way unsteadily through Moya's corridors and calling to Pilot via comm)

John: What's with the rough ride? Moya need a tune-up or something?

(cut to Pilot in his Den)

Pilot: (calmly) Moya's pregnancy has drastically weakened her ability to starburst. Some minor turbulence is an unfortunate by-product.

John: If this is minor I don't wanna see major.

(cut back to the Command)

Zhaan: (via comm) It's not just the starburst John. Moya's sensors are dimmed. We're practically flying blind.

Pilot: (irritably) I'm compensating for that.

Zhaan: All our systems are running less efficiently as well.

Pilot: She can't help it. Her child has first call on her resources.

Zhaan: (quietly, to John as he enters the Command) Now I understand why the Peacekeepers tried to prevent this pregnancy.

Pilot: (coolly) We are to exit starburst. There is no reason for concern.

John: Famous last words. (Moya slides back into normal transit) I guess we can turn off the 'fasten-seatbelt' sign now. (but as the view out Moya's main port clears - he spots the outline of another spaceship just crossing their path) PILOT! INCOMING!

Pilot: I SEE IT! (Moya swerves sharply but sideswipes the smaller ship. John, Rygel and Zhaan are tossed about)

John: WHOA!

Zhaan: (picking herself up) Pilot, any damage to Moya?

Pilot: None detected, but the other ship has lost propulsor control. I'm employing the docking web to bring her aboard.

Zhaan: Is that wise?

John: Our record with guests hasn't been too sweet Pilot.

Pilot: (distressed) Moya and I should have avoided that collision entirely.

John: Yeah, but isn't there some way we can -

Pilot: (cutting him off decisively) No!

John: (with resignation) I'll rally the troops.

(cut to the docking bay where Aeryn, D'Argo and John wait as a man, pacing slowly, exits the alien ship. He is tall, dressed in black and grey and wears a patch over his right eye. His silvery-white hair falls to the middle of his back. He is Durka and he speaks in a deep, quiet voice, almost a whisper. His speech has an oddly menacing cadence - slow, measured, there is a moments pause between almost ever word he speaks)

Aeryn: (her pulse rifle raised) Stop there.

Durka: I am unarmed.

D'Argo: But your ship is not.

Zhaan: (running in) We've detected a massive energy - (she stops upon seeing Durka) - weapon.

Durka: Powered right down - for the moment. Is that not evidence of our peaceful intentions?

John: There are more on your ship.

Durka: Two others, also - unarmed. May I inform them that is safe for them to emerge? (Rygel sails in on his hoverchair, concentrating on something he's eating)

Aeryn: All right. Go ahead.

Durka: (as he turns his head in profile to call to the others on the ship - Rygel looks up and gasps) Salis. You may join us now.

Rygel: (he mentally flashes on Durka, over a hundred cycles before, dragging him along the catwalks aboard the Zelbinion, he half whispers:) You! You can't be alive. (he flashes again on himself, in a cage, being tormented by Durka) I saw you dead. I saw your stinking corpse! (he floats forward and spits in Durka's face)

John: (quickly putting himself between Durka and Rygel) Rygel! What the hell are you doing?

Rygel: (agitated, furious, as Durka silently watches and wipes the spittle from his face) It's him! It's Durka! Vicious, murdering bastard! Captain of the Zelbinion, the first ship I was imprisoned on - my torturer!

Aeryn: (quietly) Don't be ridiculous Rygel. Durka died well over 100 cycles ago.

John: Rygel, you're way off-base here.

Durka: No. He is not, "off-base." I am Durka.

Rygel: (snarling like a pit-bull as D'Argo brings his Qualta up into firing position on Durka) Let me at him! (he lunges at Durka and tries to bite, John grabs him from behind and holds him back)

D'Argo: You claim to be Captain Durka, from the Peacekeeper Command Carrier Zelbinion.

Durka: I was.

Rygel: I told you it was him!

John: (struggling to contain the raging Rygel) BEHAVE!

Aeryn: (incredulous) How is it possible? Even if you survived the Zelbinion, you would have died of old age over 50 cycles ago.

Salis: (entering) It was fortunate. We saved him. I am Salis. My people are the Nebari. (Salis is soft-bodied man with a flat, affectless voice. He is dressed in a conservative grey pants and coat and there is a small round device, like a button, on his right temple. His hair is short and black and a long narrow sideburn runs along the extreme edge of his jaw line almost to his chin, his skin is pale, dove-grey. The overwhelming impression of him is as a bland and flat to the point of it being creepy)

Rygel: (fighting to free himself from John) You brought this monster onboard!

John: Rygel!

Salis: He poses no danger.

Rygel: No danger?! He tortured me!

Salis: That behavior will not recur. He is now incapable of evil.

D'Argo: If this is Durka, how can we be certain that he no longer poses any threat?

Salis: Because we spent over a 100 cycles making sure.

Rygel: (upset) A million cycles would not change him! He will always be Durka! (to John) Put me down! (John obliges and Rygel flies off, panting with rage and terror)

Salis: Your friend will soon understand that he is wrong.

John: Might take a while. Being tortured has that effect.

Salis: I suppose you would know. You are a Sebacean.

John: No. I'm a human.

Salis: (preternaturally calm and flat) Human? I'm not familiar with your species. We are due to rendezvous with our host ship in this quadrant. In the interim, we will require quarters and sustenance.

Durka: Does this ship possess any kind of containment cells? We are transporting a very dangerous criminal.

(later - cut to a corridor near one of Moya's cells. Durka leads Chiana past D'Argo and John. She is a beautiful young Nebari woman, hands cuffed behind her back and a collar with blinking lights around her neck. She's dressed in a long, fitted grey coat. Her hair is short and silvery-white, her skin grey like that of Salis. Her lips are parted slightly as she looks silently at D'Argo and John. She is placed in the cell and Salis closes and locks it)

John: What's her crime?

Durka: Nothing you need to concern yourself about. Our quarters?

D'Argo: They're ready. This way.

Durka: I will supervise the repairs to our ship personally.

D'Argo: The DRDs have nearly completed their damage assessment. (he and Durka exit, Chiana sits and looks up at John beseechingly, he gazes back)

Salis: Have you ever been stung by the watruka plant?

John: Not yet.

Salis: They too present an intriguing exterior.

John: Yeah. Yeah appearances can be deceiving.

Salis: I'm sure the same has often been said about me.

Chiana: (to John, whispering) Please - help me.

Salis: (warning) Chiana...

Chiana: (continuing) They won't tell you what I've done because they're embarrassed. You - you wouldn't consider it a crime.

Salis: But we do. And that's enough.

Chiana: (her voice cracking) I beg you. I beg you for amnesty.

John: (uneasy) We're not a diplomatic ship.

Chiana: Then use moral authority, please. What they're going to do to me is cruel by anyone’s sta-

Salis touches the device on his temple and Chiana chokes and cries out as she is thrown back with pain inflicted via the collar around her neck

John: (to Salis) Stop it! What the hell do you think you're doing?

Salis: Her behavior was inappropriate. Which is why she wears a collar in the first place.

John: I don't give a damn if she was an axe murderer Elvis! She was just talking to me!

Salis: You crippled our ship. Endangered our lives. Disrupted our plans. Are you now the arbiter of our justice system, as well?

(later - cut to another room on Moya. Salis sits at a table. Zhaan stands in front of him. D'Argo stands off to one side, as if on guard)

Zhaan: (appalled) The Nebari practice mind control?

Salis: We simply eliminated those thought patterns that led him to behave inappropriately.

Zhaan: (more appalled) Eliminated?

Salis: (totally calm and bland) A process of neural realignment so intricate that each subject must be placed under cryonic suspension for nearly 100 cycles.

D'Argo: So it is the real Durka

Zhaan: (barely concealing her disgust) And what does each subject feel during this - this "treatment"?

Salis: Durka appreciates what we did for him. Ask him if you don't believe me.

Zhaan: Perhaps I will.

Salis: Had it been possible, we would have saved everyone aboard the Zelbinion. Not just Captain Durka.

D'Argo: Why was it not possible?

Salis: (ever so mildly regretful) They refused to surrender.

D'Argo: You defeated a Peacekeeper Command Carrier? How many warships did it take?

Salis: We have no war ships. One of our standard host vessels engaged the Zelbinion. Much like the one coming for us.

(cut to Rygel’s quarters. He is honing a knife. Aeryn enters)

Rygel: Get out of my quarters.

Aeryn: (sitting down) What are you up to, Rygel?

Rygel: Nothing. I'm just sitting here reflecting on my fond memories of Durka and the Zelbinion.

Aeryn: Right. Reflect all you like but you will leave the visitors alone. Is that clear?

Rygel: Visitors? Has Moya turned into a Glendian pleasure vessel now?

Aeryn: I'm just here to make sure that you don't think it's a good idea to run amok on some childish vendetta.

Rygel: THAT is a sadistic madman out there!

Aeryn: So you have claimed.

Rygel: I was there! Imprisoned aboard the Zelbinion nearly a 100 cycles before you were born! What do you know of Durka? Nothing!

Aeryn: Actually I was taught a great deal about Captain Durka’s distinguished career.

Rygel: Force-fed a pack of Peacekeeper propaganda! Heh! And what did you think when we came upon the wreck of the Zelbinion and found that your brave Captain had shot himself?

Aeryn: Simply this - You said you had found his corpse, obviously you were mistaken.

Rygel: Apparently he chose to end his distinguished career by faking his own death! All to save himself as his crew died around him.

Aeryn: You don't know what happened.

Rygel: I know all I need to. Durka is alive.

Aeryn: (snatching Rygel’s knife and holding its tip to his face) See that he stays that way. (she leaves)

(later - cut to the maintenance bay. Durka and a couple DRDs are working on fixing the Nebari ship. Aeryn stands behind him)

Aeryn: I must say I am more than curious. I studied all your achievements at Peacekeeper training.

Durka: I achieved nothing as a Peacekeeper.

Aeryn: The liberation of Mintaka 3? The quelling of the Senobian Rebellion? These - these are legendary.

Durka: No, these are meaningless, brute-force solutions. The Nebari showed me a better way.

Aeryn: The Nebari took over the Zelbinion and killed your crew.

Durka: We had invaded their sector.

Aeryn: How did you survive their attack?

Durka: I faked my death and left on an escape pod.

Aeryn: (watch those illusions crumble...) You deserted your ship?

Durka: I have done far worse in my time.

(cut to Chiana's cell. John approaches with food, her hands are still cuffed behind her back)

John: I thought you might be hungry.

Chiana: (smiling hesitantly) I am. Thanks. (she comes to the bars and John feeds her a food cube through them) Mm, not very tasty.

John: Nope. But it's the best we have. They're pretty worried about you.

Chiana: Of course they are. I - I don't respect authority. I do what I want. When I wanna do it.

John: Is that the only reason you're in there?

Chiana: (laughing nervously) This - this is stupid. I'm not gonna eat like this. I appreciate your trying though.

John: So, you were about to tell me why Salis and Durka went to so much trouble to bring you back.

Chiana: Because I left the half-dead sanctimoniousness of my planet the first chance that I got. I stole food when I was hungry. Jumped transport without voucher. Defended myself when necessary.

John: Did you ever kill anyone?

Chiana: They tell you I did?

John: I'm asking you.

Chiana: (smiling) No.

John: Then help me understand the collar and the cuffs.

Chiana: Among my people you conform. You don't do the things I - I did.

John: What will they do with you now?

Chiana: (breathing faster) Same thing as Durka. Mental cleansing into a... into an obedient zombie.

John: They do that to their own kind?

Chiana: (agitated) Yah. They do that to anybody they please. They think they're doing you a favor. (bitter anger) Like hell! Not to me they're not! (she is approaching hysteria, sobbing) No! I won't let them! (she kicks the cell door)

John: Chiana, relax.

Chiana: You relax! They're not going to frell with your brain are they? No! And they're not gonna with mine, either! I'd rather be dead! (she throws herself against the cell door, staggering back and gasping hysterically)

John: Chiana stop it! (he enters the cell and takes her in his arms, comforting her) Easy. It's all right. You're all right.

Chiana: (sobbing) Don't let them take me. Please.

John: You're all right.

(later - cut back to the maintenance bay, Durka is still there - John is with him now)

John: According to Chiana, the Nebari mental cleansing is - a bit like brainwashing.

Durka: No. It is more - a correction.

John: There's a difference? (as they talk we see a metal sphere roll into the bay and come to a halt near them)

Durka: Yes. As much as difference between a knife attack and life-saving surgery. (at that moment the sphere explodes, throwing Durka and John off their feet)

(cut to Pilot in his Den)

Pilot: Zhaan? Zhaan! Moya's detected an explosion in the maintenance bay!

(cut to the Command)

Zhaan: (calling frantically via comm) John! Aeryn! Anyone?

(cut to a corridor)

Aeryn: (via comm) Zhaan, stay put. D'Argo, meet me down there! (she takes off running)

Rygel enters the maintenance bay warily. He glances at John, laying on the floor, moaning softly and moves towards Durka. Durka lies on his back and appears dead or unconscious. Rygel moves closer and Durka suddenly comes to life, he lashes out with one hand and grabs Rygel by the throat, there is a decidedly unpeaceful gleam in his single eye as he fixes it balefully upon the choking Hynerian before falling back, unconscious again

John: (comes to and sees Rygel. He lunges, grabbing him out of his hoverchair and pins him to the floor) YOU! You set off a bomb inside the damned ship?

Rygel: (gasping) He grabbed me! Tried to strangle me!

John: He's been brain-neutered you moron!

Aeryn: (running in with D'Argo close behind) Crichton!

John: (shouting) This - BASTARD - just tried to frag us!

D'Argo: Did not.

John: Yeah, he did! And I'm ready to kick his sorry ass off the ship. Right now.

Rygel: (gasping frantically as Durka awakens again) Listen to me! He isn't cured! I saw it in his face! The evil - it was there!

Durka: (getting up to his feet) My presence - obviously seems to give you great pain. With Salis's permission, I shall confine myself to areas - outside your sight.

D'Argo: No. We'll lock Rygel up first. (he reaches down and unceremoniously grabs Rygel off the floor and stomps away down the corridor with him. A pair of DRDs scurry behind)

Rygel: You stupid Luxan! I'm trying to save us from that maniac!

D'Argo: (as they pass near Chiana’s cell. Salis is standing outside of it) A ship capable of destroying the Zelbinion is headed our way. We do NOT want to make them our enemies.

Chiana: Salis - what's going on?

Salis: There was an explosion.

Chiana: You thought I had something to do with the blast?

Salis: (checking her handcuffs) That was my first assumption yes.

Chiana: Well, switch to your second assumption. I had nothing to do with it.

Salis: (again that mild, mild regret) I can never believe you Chiana. (now like hideous parody of Mr Rogers) Remain calm. We'll be home soon.

Chiana: Didn't you ever... ever want to travel? See other places? Do... other things?

Salis: Yes. And I have.

Chiana: When you were my age?

Salis: When I was your age, I was focused on what I could do to fit in. Not stand apart.

Chiana: (seductively) But I thought my - my "standing apart" appealed to you. I see the way you look at me. You want to run your hands around again? (Salis touches the device on his temple and Chiana screams and falls back in agony)

Salis: Remain - calm. (DOWN boy!)

Chiana: (from the floor) I'm perfectly calm.

(cut to the maintenance bay. D'Argo shows Durka and John his findings from a search of Rygel’s quarters)

D'Argo: I found this in Rygel’s quarters. It's gelifan fire paste, sevar crystals and detonators. Fortunately the ignorant Hynerian got all the proportions wrong. Not enough sevar crystals.

John: And if he had gotten them right?

D'Argo: Well, we wouldn't be having this conversation now.

(cut to the Command, Salis is there with Zhaan)

Pilot: (on comm) The explosion doesn't seem to have damaged Moya's systems.

Salis: What if he tries again?

Zhaan: He won't. He's locked in his quarters under restraint.

Salis: You will of course turn him over to me when the host ship arrives.

Zhaan: (firmly) I will do nothing of the sort.

Salis: He has serious flaws in his character that must be corrected.

Zhaan: Even Rygel with his many faults does not deserve that.

Salis: There are many aspects of your character that would benefit from adjustment. (Zhaan steps closer to him and fixes him with a steely glare) My point exactly. (he turns and leaves)

(cut to Chiana in her cell, she has a mirror and is picking at the collar. There is a snap and an alarm goes off on it. Cut to Rygel laying on his bed, tied up. The door to his quarters opens but he can't see who enters)

Rygel: Who is that? I'm in no mood for visitors. (the door closes) Is someone there? Pilot? Are you playing with the doors?

Chiana: (suddenly jumping Rygel and pressing a pillow over his mouth. She's lost the long overcoat and is now wearing a tight, grey, midriff-baring two piece outfit with furry things on the shoulders. Her manner is cocky and threatening) Quiet down! Or I'll have to hurt you. (Rygel tries to struggle) QUIET! Toad. Let's deal. All right we both want something, don't we? (Rygel nods) You want to be untied so you can kill Durka, right? (he nods again) And what I want is to get off this ship. You got any problems with that? (Rygel shakes his head) We're making great progress. You scream, I push this cushion down to your colon. (she lifts the pillow away from his mouth)

Rygel: Untie me.

Chiana: Haha! Typical male. Satisfy yourself first.

Rygel: I can tell you exactly how to get to the transport hangar and what codes will open the door.

Chiana: Got to do better. I can find it myself and crack the door code. I got in here - didn't I?

Rygel: I can create a diversion and, uh, draw everyone away from the hangar. They'll be too busy chasing me to bother with you.

Chiana: Okay. I - uh - apologize for calling you a toad.

Rygel: Mmm. I make allowances for stress on this ship.

Chiana: Oh, no. This isn't stress, old man. Stress is if you don't come through for me. (she unties him and he immediately hits his comm)

Rygel: The Nebari woman's escaped! She's in my quarters! (Chiana yells with frustration and smacks the pillow over Rygel’s face again)

(cut to the maintenance bay, D'Argo, Durka and John)

John: Rygel? Rygel?

(cut to a corridor)

Aeryn: Rygel! You'd better not be lying!

(cut back to the maintenance bay)

John: If Chiana has escaped she'll probably head here.

D'Argo: I'll wait here for them.

Durka: (into his own comm) Salis? Chiana may have escaped.

(cut to Salis, in a corridor)

Salis: Find her. Make sure the others know that she's capable of violence.

(cut back to the maintenance bay)

D'Argo: So are we.

(cut to Aeryn and John as they enter Rygel’s quarters. They find him tied up in a silky bed sheet in the closet)

John: I guess he wasn't lying.

Rygel: She's headed for the hangar. Wants to steal a transport.

John: (via comm) Zhaan, we got a problem. Chiana's on the loose.

Zhaan: (in the Command) Pilot! Get the DRDs searching.

Rygel: (as John exits and Aeryn follows him out) Wait! Wait! Untie me. I'll help you search! I'm the one who told you she'd escaped!

(Aeryn pauses in the corridor to look into Chiana’s cell and see her restraints laying there on the floor. Cut to Salis, touching the device on his temple - it buzzes but of course is no longer connected to anyone. The following scenes are spoken via comm and cuts to each speaker. The atmosphere is tense and quiet as they search and wait)

Pilot: The DRDs are searching all the atmosphere ducts.

Zhaan: John, no sign of her on tier 3.

John: Got it, Zhaan. Keep searching. D'Argo?

D'Argo: She won't get by me.

(cut to Zhaan looking under a table, Salis walking the corridors, then to Aeryn, who's gone back and is trying to untie a squirming Rygel)

Aeryn: Oh! You can do it yourself Rygel then!

Rygel; Ah! That hurts! (Durka enters and touches Aeryn’s back - she starts up and spins to face him, Rygel yells) AAH! AAH! Get him away from me!

Durka: I can't find Chiana. Is someone guarding Command?

Aeryn" Why? Is she capable of taking over the ship?

Durka: Possibly. She's capable of anything. (he leaves)

(cut to Pilot)

Pilot: Crichton, there's movement on your tier. There's movement on your tier!

(cut to John, in a long, lonely corridor, he moves slowly towards a junction and sees something laying on the floor - it is Salis, he is dead, a pool of dark blood spreads out from his head)

(cut to later - Zhaan has joined John in the corridor by the body of Salis)

Zhaan: Chiana did this?

John: Looks like it.

Zhaan: Considering what Salis had in mind for her, I can't be surprised. The question is, how are the Nebari going to react?

John: We better find her. Before she racks up another victim.

(cut to the empty Command. Aeryn enters warily, weapon drawn)

Aeryn: Come on, Rygel.

Rygel: Right behind you.

Aeryn: Pilot. Any reports from the DRDs?

Pilot: (cut to him in his Den) No trace of her. She's - very good at staying hidden.

D'Argo: (on comm) If you see Chiana, shoot to kill.

Aeryn: If you insist. (she draws a second weapon and whirls at some sound or movement behind her that only she senses - it is Durka)

Durka: Did I overhear correctly? Salis is dead?

Aeryn: Yes, I'm sorry.

Durka: No. (he sinks to his knees before her) Please, no. Salis cannot be dead.

Aeryn approaches Durka with compassion, but as soon as she is near, he attacks viciously from close range. Rygel has time for only one scream before Durka, with lightning efficiency, seizes Aeryn’s weapons and overpowers both of them. He then removes the top of a control console and severs a handful of Moya's neural circuitry.

(cut to John in a corridor)

John: (via comm) D'Argo, I'm halfway through Tier Four, no sign of Chiana. You got anything there, yet? (strange sounds of circuits powering down emanate from Moya. A door that John is about to pass through shuts and seals itself in his face) Hey! D'Argo, you read me?

(cut briefly to a shot of Durka on the Command, continuing to tear out circuitry as Pilot watches him from a clamshell viewer)

Pilot: What do you think you're doing? (Durka makes no response except to draw a gun and blast Pilots image, Pilot gasps just before the viewer is destroyed. Cut to Pilot in his Den - unnerved) Crichton! D'Argo! Zhaan! Can anyone hear me? Come in.

(cut back to John alone in the corridor, trapped, no communications)

John: (to himself) Not - good.

Back in the Command Durka is alone with the trussed up Aeryn and Rygel. He seems to have finished his mutilation of Moya. He approaches the silent Rygel and draws a big knife. But he uses it to begin to cut off the long locks of his own hair. Cut to a shot of Moya moving through space and then back to Durka. He has managed to give himself a more impressive haircut with the butcher knife than you're likely to get at Vidal Sassoon I can PROMISE you THAT. He's also lost the eye patch and we see that his right eye is a blank, silver orb. Rygel awakens and gasps in horror at the sight of the closely-shorn Durka of his past standing over him.

Durka: (still in his oddly hesitant whisper) Hello, Rygel. You undid the Nebari mental cleansing. Isn't that the most superb irony?

Aeryn: (coughing as she too comes around) Durka!

Durka: And now, Officer Sun rejoins us. (she manages to get to her knees) I was just about to tell Rygel how good it feels to be back in my right mind. While I was - cleansed, I genuinely felt ashamed of who I was, and what I'd done. But do you know, thinking about it now, I have no idea why?

Aeryn: I take it you murdered Salis. (he eyes her but makes no response. He picks up his knife and turns to Rygel)

Durka: It's the simple things you really miss. (he slowly moves the knife over Rygel’s face , taunting him, before, with a quick movement, using it to cut Rygel’s comm badge loose. He then uses it to address the rest of the crew) Crew of Moya. This is Captain Selto Durka, the new commander of this Leviathan. I am in complete control of this ship, and I am holding Rygel and Officer Sun hostage. You will leave this ship immediately or you will die. (as he speaks we see the faces of the various crew members, all isolated. Pilot in particular seems horrified)

Aeryn: (shouting to be heard over the comm in Durka’s hand) Crichton! Durka murdered Salis- (Durka savagely slaps her down)

(cut to John in the corridor)

John: Pilot? Anybody? (he starts backtracking fast down the hall, trying to find a way out) Durka! Talk to me!

(cut to D'Argo in the maintenance bay)

D'Argo: Crichton! Zhaan! Respond! (he snarls and exits quickly)

(cut to Pilots Den - Zhaan enters)

Pilot: Zhaan! Thank goodness. That madman's taken over half of Moya's systems! Even the comms are under his control.

Zhaan: Can you override, Pilot?

Pilot: He knows every synaptic bypass. Every countermeasure I take, he anticipates.

(cut to a corridor - D'Argo and John meet up by nearly running each other over)

John: Whoa! Whoa, whoa. Point that thing somewhere else.

D'Argo: (tilting his Qualta blade upright) You heard Durka’s ultimatum?

John: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Nebari mental cleansing -doesn't get the tough stains out.

D'Argo: Even with the hostages, we must retake Command.

John: All right. You got a plan?

D'Argo: (snorts) Have I got a plan. (he leads John to a hatch opening onto a small service shaft) This hatch leads directly to Command.

John: Are you sure?

D'Argo: (as he pushes past John and enters the shaft) Just look for the girl!

John: Look, I'm not too sure that she - (D'Argo is moving away from him, apparently not caring what Chiana may or may not have done. So he just calls after D'Argo ) HEY! Try not to fall out of the ship again!

D'Argo: (glaring back at John) I'll do my best.

(cut to the Command. Durka standing at one of the control consoles)

Durka: There seems to be an obstruction in the access shaft. I was wondering how long it would take someone to try that. (he lowers grates inside the shaft that effectively trap D'Argo and cut him off from John. He drops his Qualta to avoid being crushed by the lowering grates and it skitters down the shaft, out of his reach)

John: (at the shaft entrance, yelling down) D'ARGO!

D'Argo: (in the shaft, yelling up) CRICHTON!

(cut back to the Command)

Durka: (as he works at cauterizing something in Moya's neural synapses) Witnessing a legend in action this must be quite a privilege for you, Officer Sun.

Aeryn: (laughs derisively) You're not a legend, Durka. I take that back. You're a disgrace.

Durka: Because I had the intelligence to know when to retreat.

Aeryn: Oh, but you didn't retreat when the Nebari took the Zelbinion. You ran.

Durka: The crew of the Zelbinion is dead. I am not. Officer Sun, how is it you are not a Peacekeeper anymore? (he approaches her with the knife) The one thing I've always admired about these Leviathans is their wonderful talent for starburst. (he crouches down in front of her as we hear the sound of Moya powering up for starburst) Say goodbye to the Nebari Sector.

(cut to John in the corridor, he hears it too)

John: (alarmed) Starburst? I thought we couldn't starburst!

We see an external shot of Moya as the starburst energy begins building up over her body - but then it fizzles out with a lurch and a whine. Pilot is jostled in his Den but seems unperturbed. Cut back to Durka in the Command

Durka: Score one up for the underdogs.

(cut to Pilots den)

Pilot: Because of her child, Moya is unable to starburst for several more arns at least.

Zhaan: He's obviously not aware that Moya is pregnant, but he's sure to find out about the pregnancy soon enough.

(cut back to Durka in the Command)

Durka: (via comm to all) Crew of Moya. You will reactivate starburst immediately, or I will kill the hostages.

Back in Moya's corridors, we see Chiana moving stealthily, then cut to John, who hears or senses her nearby. He warily moves away from the shaft where D'Argo is trapped and follows his intuition to a large, misty room.

John: (entering the room) Come on out, Chiana. Look, I don't have time to play this game. Durka's gone all Hannibal Lecter on us.

Chiana: (languidly, voice only - she is hiding) I don't know what that means. And why bother me, anyway? (nasty giggle)

John: I'm just here to talk.

(cut to the Command)

Durka: (muttering as he tries starburst control again) Still nothing. (he opens the comm link. His soft, forced whisper betrays some irritation now) Attention. Despite my demands, starburst is still non-operational. Perhaps it might expedite matters if I were to leave the channel open this time. (the following is heard throughout Moya)

Aeryn: This won't help you.

Durka: You have studied my techniques, Officer Sun. You know very well how good I am at getting results. Rygel. Do you know what we Sebaceans dislike more than anything else?

Rygel: (strangled whisper) Heat.

Durka: (as he turns back towards Aeryn, holding a device that glows and sizzles at one end) Intense heat. To think this could have been avoided.

Rygel: (suddenly speaking up in a calm, clear voice from the table where he lies bound) Durka, you are pathetic. Look at you. Salivating at the chance to maim and kill someone who can't even defend herself. Foaming at the mouth like a sick trelkez. Pathetic.

Durka: (switching off the heat device and turning back toward him) Why, Rygel - what's this?

Rygel: (flatly) Something I should have said to you a long time ago.

Durka: Yet you didn't. I was going to save you for a bargaining tool. But now I'm wondering - do you think your shipmates would really care if I just burnt your face right off?

Rygel: (resigned to his fate) Go ahead and find out. I don't care. Because the all-powerful Durka is a failure. It's the TRUTH DURKA! You tortured me without mercy, but you never broke me! You only made me stronger! And even if you kill me, I'll be laughing at you because the last thing I'll think of is you on Nebari Prime for another 100 cycles - being ground back down into nothing. This Leviathan you commandeered is pregnant.

Aeryn: (as Durka looks around in disbelief) Check the nutrient flow. Look at the power levels. All those resources are going somewhere, aren't they? Moya's diverting energy to her baby.

Rygel: Get ready to greet the Nebari Durka. Because there's nothing you can do to get starburst back.

Durka: (calmly) Yes there is.

(cut back to the misty room where Chiana is hiding. She suddenly drops down a few paces in front of John. She's carrying a tool commonly used aboard Moya, a long metal pole with a sharp flange at one end)

Chiana: Turn around.

John: I'm unarmed.

Chiana: Turn around.

John: (as he obeys) Listen... (but she immediately attacks him, going for his head with the metal pole. He anticipated what was coming though and is ready for her. He grabs the pole and throws her down, then pins her to the floor. She coughs in the mist) You okay? Are you finished?

Chiana: I'm sorry. I'm not used to trusting anybody.

John: I suggest you start.

Chiana: How could Durka have broken the mental cleansing? It's irreversible.

John: It's not my department. Take that up with your mental engineers.

Chiana: That's why he wants to get away from here so bad, because he's afraid my people will-will recondition him.

John: Well that's something you have in common. We might be able to use that against him.

Chiana: (sly) Or maybe it's to my advantage to team up with him.

John: Do you have a hearing problem, Chiana? Durka's insane. He's a psychopath - legendary. And nobody knows what a 100 years of Happy Meals have done to him. (she laughs inaudibly) You could end up with your throat cut.

Chiana: (whose affectedly sensual way of talking sounds more than a little insane itself a lot of the time) Maybe. But I know how to hide. I know how to disappear.

John: Do you know how to breathe vacuum? He doesn't have to find you, he could shut off the life support everywhere except for Command. Commit Chiana. You're with us - or you're on your own.

Chiana: When my people find out what happened to Salis, they're gonna want to cleanse the lot of you.

John: Yeah. I guess that makes us natural allies.

Chiana: All right then - what's your plan? (John sighs) Why do I always get stuck with the weebos who don't have any plan?

John: No, no. I got a plan. You're just not gonna like it.

Chiana: Why?

John: 'Cos I don't like it. I don't trust you any more than you trust me.

Chiana: Fair enough. Let's hear it.

John: (touching her nose with his index finger) Bait. (she smiles)

(cut to Durka - he has left the Command and is striding through the corridors. He senses someone behind him and spins - weapon drawn - it is Chiana)

Durka: You are very resourceful young Nebari.

Chiana: Make it work for you. Here's some news: the ship's pregnant. We kill the baby - and we can starburst the draz out of here.

Durka: New information please. Or you die.

Chiana: You think the baby's down there? How bad did they mess with that great military mind of yours anyway? (snickers) Where did you get the directions? From the ship? Riiight. Shoot me.

Durka: What do you know?

Chiana: They've reconfigured data to send you in the wrong direction - a trap.

Durka: And why should I believe you?

Chiana: Because we both want the same thing.

(cut to Chiana leading Durka into the misty room where she and John had been earlier. We see John just inside, around a corner, laying in ambush for Durka. Durka stops in doorway, suspicious, and shoves Chiana in ahead of him)

Chiana: Hey! (sarcastic, but also nervous) No, no, no - let me go first. There's a hatchway through there. It leads straight into the birthing chamber.

Durka: (not budging from the doorway) I don't like dark rooms.

Chiana: Yeah? Well, some froth-mouth with a metal eye shut off all the lights.

Durka: And how is it you know this room?

Chiana: I did a lot of crawling through the ship's ducts. That's how I - I stumbled across the baby.

Durka: Did you, indeed? (he takes aim at Chiana with his gun)

Chiana: (ducks and screams) NO! (Durka fires, wounding Chiana in the arm. John leaps out and slams the door on Durka - shutting him out in the corridor)

Durka: (raising his voice a little in a choked shout) It isn't that easy, Crichton! (he makes off)

(cut to back inside the room)

John: (rushing to Chiana) You okay?

Chiana: (sobbing - so much for the big Bad Girl) Your stupid plan!

John: In the room. I said to get him IN the room!

Chiana: You said TO the room!

John: (sternly) Let me see. (he tries to look at her wound)

Chiana: (in pain, angry, crying) No! Frell that! He's going to kill us all anyway! Go get the - get the bastard.

John takes off after Durka. We see Durka arriving at the hangar bay doors and opening them.

(cut to Pilots Den)

Zhaan: Can we get control of the door?

Pilot: (moving fast) I'm trying!

(cut to John, arriving at the hangar - Durka fires at him, he yells and takes cover, partly intentionally and partly because Durka’s shots cause explosions that throw him off his feet)

John: Damn! (Durka makes for the small Nebari ship he arrived on)

(cut to Pilots Den)

Zhaan: John! John!

(cut back to the docking bay - John approaches the Nebari ship - which Durka is now powering up)

John: (calling to him via comm) Hey Durka! How far do you think you're going to get without your propulsion control?

Durka: (responding via comm) All I need is the transport's phase cannon. One shot to Moya's midsection will solve the starburst problem.

John: (he remembers the explosives D'Argo confiscated from Rygel’s room and runs to them) Pilot, stand by - we're going to give Durka the boot.

(TIME OUT FOR A WORD FROM YOUR TRANSCRIBER - Ok - now the plan here is this - there are TWO sets of doors - the outer ones - leading to space, and the inner ones, leading from the hangar into Moya. Johns plan is to open the outer doors and flush Durka out while he himself escapes back into Moya. Durka’s plan is just to swivel his ship inside the hanger and blast Moya from there. And now BACK TO THE STORY ALREADY IN PROGRESS)

Pilot: (protesting) He's cut off the controls! I can't open the outer door!

John: (working with the explosives) Dammit, Pilot, now's not the time! Get control back!

(cut to Pilot's Den)

Zhaan: Pilot's onto it, John!

Pilot: (plaintive, all four arms flying) The doors are malfunctioning! (we see the outer doors creaking and wobbling but staying shut)

(cut to Durka on his ship)

Durka: (unconcerned about the outer doors and thinking Pilot is trying to shut the inner ones to protect Moya from him) Those doors won't stop this weapon.

John: (via comm - talking as he works just to annoy Durka) C'mon, Durka. Don't be an idiot. You think Moya's gonna take you out of here after you kill her baby?

(cut to Pilots Den)

Pilot: His weapons are powering up!

(cut back to the hangar bay)

Durka: (on his ship, via comm as he turns it to fire into Moya) Sorry to have to cut this short - (at that moment John, having finished his bomb and packed it into a round sphere - steps in front of Durka’s ship and shows it to him before setting it in motion like a bowling ball rolling towards the Nebari vessel) No!

John: (turns tail and runs, yelling:) SHUT THE DOORS! (he means the inner doors which he's about to leap through as his bomb goes off, Moya is rocked, Durka is thrown back in his ship and John is thrown forward by the shockwave, but he doesn't make it out of the hangar)

(cut to Pilots Den)

Pilot: That's done it! The outer doors are open!

(cut back to the docking bay - with the outer doors now open everything not bolted down, including John - is beginning to be sucked out into space)

John: (shouting over the roar of escaping atmosphere and explosions on Durka’s ship) PILOT! SHUT THE DOORS!

(cut back to Pilots Den)

Zhaan: Close the doors!

Pilot: (rushing, frustrated) I'm trying! (he's working on the wrong doors - John means the outer doors 'cos he hasn’t got through the inner doors to safety yet)

Zhaan: John!

(cut to the docking bay - John manages to make it to the inner doors)

Pilot: (triumphant!) Doors closing!

John: (in the bay - being sucked out - now trying to trying to wedge the inner doors open so he can get out of the hangar) HOLD THE DOOR!

(cut back to Pilots Den)

Zhaan: Stop the doors. Pilot! Stop the doors! (it occurs to us that Zhaan is NOT being helpful here)

Pilot: (now completely, utterly, confused) What?!

Durka: (finally losing the strained whisper and letting loose with a pretty good yell) Crichton! Open the hangar now! At once! Or I'll blast my way back in! CRICHTON!

John: (struggling to get through the closing inner doors) HOLD THE DOOR!

Pilot: (and even if he could he wouldn't know which ones TO stop) I can't stop them!

John: (he manages to pull himself through the inner doors into Moya's corridor and they thud shut. He lies on his back, panting. Durka’s ship is sucked out into space) I'm in!

Durka: (on comm) Crichton! Don't leave me out here. I'll hunt you down and I'll kill you!

John: (from the floor) Get in line Durka. Besides, I don't think the Nebari are gonna let you do a lot of huntin'.

Durka: (now sounding quite dismayed) Crichton! Listen to me!

John: Give them my regards when they pick you up.

Durka: (as he propulsion control-less ship hurtles away) CRICHTON! CRICHTO-ON!

John: (weary) IF they pick you up. Either way, I really don't care.

(later - cut to the Command)

Rygel: Is Moya still mad at me for throwing that bomb?

Aeryn: Moya understands.

Rygel: Crichton threw a bomb, too.

Aeryn: But the one he threw stimulated her to expel Durka’s transport. (eh? First we heard of this - but - okaaay...)

Rygel: I didn't know she could do that. Did you know she could do that?

Aeryn: Moya didn't even know she could do it. Pilot says she's still in a lot of pain from the damage she caused protecting her child. (Aeryn leans forward suddenly with the knife she took away from him earlier and buries its tip in the table next to Rygel’s elbow. He yelps) You can have that back now.

Rygel: Sure. Now that I don't need it.

Aeryn: You know, I never thought I would say this to a Hynerian, much less to you-

Rygel: Stop there! Oh-hoho! Don't you dare thank me for saving your life!

Aeryn: I wasn't going to.

Rygel: (outraged) You weren't? Why not?

Aeryn: Because amidst all that unfinished business between you and Durka, I don't think you even knew I was there.

Rygel: Oh.

Aeryn: But you handled yourself well.

Rygel: I did, didn't I? Beat him at his own game!

Aeryn: (leaning close to him) You just compared yourself to a Peacekeeper. (she exits as Rygel takes a deep breath of satisfaction)

(cut to a cell. Zhaan is there, trying to treat Chiana’s wound. John enters)

Zhaan: Look. I have to find the pain before I can remove it. (Chiana struggles, bawling and sulking) Hold still!

Chiana: Stop it!

Zhaan: Chiana!

John: How's the patient?

Zhaan: (getting up) She's a brat.

John: You want we should kick her off the boat?

Zhaan: Ask me tomorrow. (she leaves)

Chiana: (her tantrum is abruptly over and she takes a sensual tone to speak to John) So - do I get to stay?

John: Moya's gathering her strength for a starburst. That should put enough distance between us and your people.

Chiana: Thanks. What's the matter?

John: We have rules.

Chiana: (lippy) Yeah? Well, when I see any of you following them, so will I.

John: I'm easy. I owe you. The others will not be so forgiving.

Chiana: Well, just drop me off at the next planet where there's something worth stealing.

John: This isn't a prison transport anymore Chiana. You can get off whenever you want. One question - where were you when Salis was murdered?

Chiana makes no response but gives him a blowsy smile which fades to a grimace of pain and regret as he turns and silently walks out.

THE END