Nerve
January 7, 2000 - US
May 8, 2000 - UK
119

Writer - Richard Manning
Director - Rowan Woods

Guest Cast
Gigi Edgley . . . Chiana
Stephen Leeder . . . Javio
Anthony Kierann . . . Heskon
Alyssa-Jane Cook . . . Gilina
Wayne Pygram . . . Scorpius
Imogen Annesley . . . Niem
Paul Goddard . . . Stark
Lani Tupu . . . Bialar Crais


TRANSCRIPT

The episode opens with Aeryn. She is in the midst of an intense workout that consists of a violent, championship-level pummeling of a heavy punching bag in Moya’s gym. Yes - Moya has a gym - but don't get excited. The PKs installed and it and its equipment is limited to a large sparring area, the punching bag and a few other items along the lines of the gladiatorial.
John enters. She ignores him)


John: Here you are. (he circles the perimeter of the sparring area - watching her) You sure you should be exercising?

Aeryn: (sharply, not pausing in her assault of the punching bag) Why not?

John: Well, 'cos a little while ago a commando skewered you with his Swiss Peacekeeper Army Knife.

Aeryn: (grunting with the force of her blows to the bag) Muscles are completely healed. Do you want something?

John: Yeah. Your comms on the blink? We called you three times for dinner.

Aeryn: Not hungry.

John: No? Next time answer. It's kinda rude not to reply.

Aeryn: (yelling as she delivers a couple particularly vicious punches) LEAVE ME ALONE!

John: Yeah. Sure. (he walks to the bag and holds it still as she continues to beat at it) As soon as you tell me what the problem is. (she makes no response but continues to flail furiously until suddenly she vomits blueish material and gasping, staggers to the sidelines - John is alarmed and follows) Hell, Aeryn, what is that? (he can only stop her by grabbing her and flipping her gently onto the mat) You're ice cold - All right, knock off the "completely healed" crap and talk to me. Better yet - we'll talk to Zhaan - closest thing we've got to a doctor. (he makes to pull her to her feet, she breaks away and faces him)

Aeryn: No! Don't summon the others! Just let me get to my Prowler.

John: Your Prowler? What, you're going to go for a drive? Last I heard we weren't within Prowler- (he stops short and eyes her with growing concern and suspicion) No. You are not gonna die.

Aeryn: Didn't lie to you. My muscles are completely healed. But that knife must have penetrated my paraphoral nerve - and once that is damaged, it doesn't regenerate. So within 50 or 60 arns, its going to fail - and I am going to die. There's nothing you can do about it.

John: (watching her intently as he waits for her to give the rest up) There's something we can do.

Aeryn: The only treatment is a tissue graft from a genetically compatible donor.

John: Fine. We'll find someone. We got what - two, three days?

Aeryn: (with a bitter little snort) At best. We're nowhere near a Sebacean colony. (she lurches to her feet, groaning with pain)

John: (stopping her again and touching her face) But we are near a Peacekeeper base. Less than 20 arns and those commandos were kind enough to leave the address.

(shortly thereafter - cut to the entire crew of Moya - except Aeryn, meeting. John has broken the news about Aeryn and suggested his plan)

Rygel: (incredulous - to John) You aren't just fahrbot! You're magra-fahrbot!

John: I did it before. I can do it again.

Chiana: (unimpressed) Yeah, by the skin of your mivonks.

Rygel: Your masquerade as a Peacekeeper fooled four battle-weary commandos - briefly.

Zhaan: (gently) Infiltrating a top-secret Gammak Base is quite another matter though John.

D'Argo: (also gently) When you get inside the base, you're gonna have to find a tissue match.

Zhaan: And obtain a tissue sample.

Rygel: (to everyone) If he's found out, we're all put at risk!

D'Argo: (thoughtfully) Will Moya be able to get us out of here with her pregnancy so far advanced?

John: So what are you saying here? We do nothing? We let Aeryn die? Is everybody happy with that?

D'Argo: No John. I do not want Aeryn to die.

Zhaan: Nor do I.

John: Well you could've fooled me. (he looks at D'Argo and Zhaan, then turns to Rygel) What about you Guido? How do you feel about this?

Rygel: Look. What's the difference what we want? She is dying. We must face reality here - the only sensible course of action is - (he stops)

John: I'm sorry Sparky - you were saying?

Rygel: (sags) - is to do everything in our power to save Aeryn's life.

John: (looks at the others. Evidently if even Rygel is willing to try - everyone else will go along too) Right. (he leaves)

Rygel: (as the others look at him) Even though it's likely to get us killed.

(later - cut to Aeryn in her quarters, she's coughing weakly. John enters, wearing PK gear. He's abandoned the rather cheesy black and red uniform of ABL and has donned Larraq's more stylish Special Ops field uniform. Emphasis on black leather and silver grey hardware)

Aeryn: (looking over her shoulder at him) This mission is foolhardy Crichton. It makes no sense for you to be killed as well. Let's just cut our losses.

John: Drop the martyr routine Aeryn. I'm not gonna let you die.

Pilot: (he appears in holographic form on a clamshell viewer. His manner is very subdued) Crichton - we've reached the designated coordinates.

John: Thank you Pilot.

Aeryn: Do humans have some sort of ritual for occasions like these?

John: Well, there's the handshake, followed by "Good luck."

Aeryn: (she rises and grips his hand) Good luck. How was that?

John: (softly) Perfect. (he goes)

(cut to a view of Moya riding below the horizon of a huge yellow planet. Beyond the curve of its edge can be seen the sickle shape of a moon on its far side. Cut to Moya’s Command, Pilot speaks to Zhaan via clamshell viewer)

Pilot: The planet is an uninhabitable gas giant. But it has a large moon on the far side.

Zhaan: Large enough to have an atmosphere Pilot?

Pilot: Yes. The base must be located there. In this orbit, the planet's huge mass will shield us from it completely.

(cut to the hangar bay - John is performing a pre-flight check of Aeryn's Prowler. Chiana enters. She's wearing the long grey coat she had on when she was first brought aboard Moya)

Chiana: Hey! Gotta love a man in a uniform.

John: Yeah? Well I love a girl in gray.

Chiana: (chuckling) Traveling outfit.

John: Yeah? You going somewhere?

Chiana: With you.

John: Think again.

Chiana: I'll think out loud. What you need on this jaunt is a talented burglar and distraction-causer.

John: You volunteering? What's the angle?

Chiana: I wanna earn my keep aboard this boat.

John: You? Uh-uh. I don't think so.

Chiana: At least take this. (she hands him something) Peacekeeper ident chip. Maximum security clearance.

John: (recognizing the item and impressed despite himself) This is Larraq's. How'd you get this?

Chiana: Told you I was talented.

John: All right. Fine. I could use the help. (he leans in close and looks intently at her. He knows better to trust her completely) If you're gonna - help.

(shortly thereafter - cut to the Prowler arcing away under the planet's horizon towards the moon. Cut to John and Chiana in the cockpit)

John: We'll pull the same routine we pulled on those Marauder commandos.

Chiana: You're the boss-man and I'm your meek little server. (the Prowler wobbles) Sure you don't want me to fly this thing?

John: You know how?

Chiana: Yeah. Do you?

John: (not really very convincingly) Oh, yeah. You should see my Immelmann. (before she can respond he calls her attention to a structure on the surface of the moon which they are approaching) Check this out.

The surface of the moon is dark and covered by grey mist or clouds. Jutting from the clouds we see a jagged black rock outcropping. In the center of it is a dark, industrial-looking cylindrical shaped structure. It is almost indistinguishable from the black rock.

Chiana: Looks like some kind of mining complex. Maybe a refinery?

John: Looks like it's been nuked. Long time ago. Big-time. Could be camouflage. Could be dead.

Chiana: Aaaahhh - it's not dead. (she gives a wicked little laugh as something pings in the cockpit) Eight targeting systems have just locked onto us.

John: Typical warm Peacekeeper welcome. (he opens a commlink and assumes his fake PK accent - a bit less fruity this time) Prowler to Gammak Base. What's with the weapons locks you idiots? Can't you tell a friend from a foe?

Base Security: Prowler, identify yourself.

John: (going for the competitive PK bravado he's observed in others) On an open channel? I don't think so. You want to count my teeth - do it after I land.

Base Security: The channel is secure. If you don't identify yourself, we will-

John: (cutting the speaker off) You'll what? Shoot me down? It's not a good idea to gun down a superior officer without first checking his ident chip.

Base Security: Prowler - you have a landing vector. (Chiana watches his performance and chuckles approvingly)

John: (smoothly imperious) Thank you - so much.

Chiana: You're not completely untalented yourself!

John: (dryly) Thank you so much.

The Prowler arcs downward towards the base which is indeed blasted and ruinous-looking on the outside. But inside the Prowler comes to park in a sophisticated hangar bay carved out of the rock. John slowly finds his way from the Prowler to a pair of waiting PK officers who are attired in the red and black dress uniforms.

Javio: (he is an older Sebacean man, stern, wearing a black cap with a dent in the top - we've seen Captain Crais wearing the same style before. The style is reminiscent of some traditional Japanese headwear) I am Tollona Javio, Commander of this base. This is Lieutenant Heskon. And you would be -?

John: (nervous. First he forgets his accent - then quickly overdoes it and uses Larraq's own arrogant M.O. to cover) Larraq. Captain. And don't even think of asking what my assignment is.

Javio: (a man accustomed to secrets) I wouldn't dream of it Captain. But we do need to see your ident chip.

Heskon: (he approaches John and takes the ident chip. He examines it briefly before inserting it into a device that sits in the hangar bay) Ident chip verified sir. (he returns it to John)

John: Satisfied?

Javio: Delighted to have you with us Captain. Though, I am wondering - how you knew this base was here.

John: (recovering his bravado) Keep wondering. I'll need quarters for myself and for my personal server.

Javio: Your - (he stops - incredulous as Chiana enters)

Chiana: (sensuously drawing out her syllables) Larraq? Make sure the quarters are comfortably cool. It's - hot - in here.

Javio: (ever so slightly disapproving) You brought a civilian with you.

John: You're getting nosy.

Javio: (blandly) Just admiring your taste. May I offer food and drink to you and your... server?

Chiana: (advance boldly past Javio - John follows. Javio eyes them) I'd love some refreshment.

(cut to the Gammak Base Officer's Lounge. Chiana sits at a table with Heskon while John and Javio stand at a bar nearby)

Chiana: (going very strong with her hot tart routine) Mmmmm... I could get real fond of this place. The raslak is good - and strong.

Heskon: Is that how you like it?

Chiana: (moaning suggestively) Strong and hot. Makes the mouth tingle. Help it go down smooth... and slooowww...

Javio: (to John as he watches Chiana’s behavior. John is watching too) I've never seen a species quite like her.

(back at the table-)

Chiana: Males outnumber females here? 5 to 1? What do you poor guys do for fun?

Heskon: (chuckling) Not very much.

Chiana: Well, I'd say I got here just in time.

(and back at the bar-)

Javio: What'd you pay for her?

John: You don't want to know.

Javio: Does she give good - value?

John: (cool - but he can hardly stand to even look at Cuana's carryings-on) She has her - moments.

And at that moment - Scorpius appears in the doorway of the Lounge. The sight of him is an apparition - little can be seen of him except the pale exposed parts of his face. He is basically human in appearance but his face seems deformed. The flashing lights of the Lounge reflect darkly off his black leather-clad body and he fixes Javio with a summoning stare.

Javio: (stiffening) Excuse me Captain. Duty calls. (he goes to Scorpius and they leave. Meanwhile - back at the table Chiana is getting cozier by the microt with Heskon)

Chiana: Soooo - I'm -

John: (loudly - not moving from the bar) Chiana! Front! (she groans and comes - he grabs her and holds her close with one arm and says in a low voice-) What the hell are you doing? You acting like a trollop was not part of the plan.

Chiana: They bought it - (she grabs his ass) - didn't they?

John: You're drawing a lot of attention.

Chiana: The more they look at me, the less they look at you.

John: Do you think - that before they elect you centerfold of the year - that we could get on with the business of saving Aeryn? (she sighs)

(soon after - cut to a hallway on the base. Chiana and John being shown to their quarters. They come to a checkpoint)

Heskon: Your quarters have been assigned. Level 4, number 6-lerg-5.

Chiana: (simpering) You're so helpful.

Heskon: I'll need your ident chip, sir.

John: Again? (he reluctantly hands it over)

Heskon: (inserts the chip into another device like the one in the hangar bay - but then asks it to be supplemented with a hand scan) If you would place your hand in here. Thank you Captain.

John: You know who we are. Let us past. (he makes a move but armed soldiers immediately step forward)

Heskon: Sir! Everything beyond this point is security 3-velka. Genetic verification required.

Chiana: (stepping up) Is this really necessary? Larraq gets sooo impatient with delaaaays...

Heskon: (ignoring her) Captain - I must ask you to place your hand in the device.

John: And I must ask you Lieutenant - who are you to give me orders?

Heskon: I can give you orders because I am a Chief Security Officer, Captain.

John: Not for long if this is how you treat your superior officers.

Heskon: (less impersonally military and more deadly now) You will comply Captain.

John slowly approaches the device - a computer with two oval areas on its surface. He places his hands - one on each oval.

Computer Analyzing. (diagrams of John's hands appear on it's readout as it natters for a moment - and then with a sound just like the "indigo" sound on an Apple Computer - it says-) Genetic scan verified.

John: (he doesn't know how or why - but he goes with it) Satisfied?

Chiana: (plucky after the scare) He's only doing his job - let's get to our quarters so I can do miiinnnne... (she pauses teasingly near Heskon while he gazes steadily at John)

John: Well I am for that.

Heskon: I'll take you there immediately.

John: 6-lerg-5 - I'll find it myself. (he strides quickly off, Chiana in tow)

Heskon: Yes, sir. (eyes half-lidded contemplatively)

(cut to Chiana and John making their way to their quarters)

John: (out of the side of his mouth to Chiana) How the hell did we get away with that? Did you do something to the chip?

They both stop suddenly as they hear a female voice hiss "LARRAQ!" from a dim side hallway- They look at each other and follow the dark figure of the person who called, into a room. The door closes behind them - they turn back towards it in alarm.

Gilina: (stepping out of the shadows) John. (she is the PK Tech Girl of PKTG who he met and fell for aboard the Zelbinion)

John: Gilina. What are you doing here? Is Crais here?

Gilina: No! I've been assigned to a new development project here.

John: To do what?

Gilina: They haven't told us. I assume it has something to do with developing - weaponry of some kind.

John: Huh. New weapons. In Peacekeeper hands. Yeah, just what this galaxy needs. (to Chiana) It's okay. She's a friend. (back to Gilina) How did you know I was here?

Gilina: I saw you in the Officer's Lounge. Wearing that uniform. Well, I knew you'd never pass a genetic scan so I overrode the security program.

Chiana: You did all that? What? From here?

Gilina: Yes.

Chiana: (smiling as John gazes at Gilina) Crichton - this is a very good friend.

(cut to Scorpius and Javio walking in a corridor of the Gammak Base. Javio is a couple steps behind and they are in the middle of a conversation)

Scorpius: Not acceptable Commander. We must increase the efficiency of the Aurora Chair.

Javio: I'll need more techs sir. I'm understaffed.

Scorpius: Understaffed - or mismanaged?

(cut back to Chiana, Gilina and John - also in the middle of a conversation)

John: Unless I find a match for this tissue sample of Aeryn's she'll die. Can you help us?

Gilina: Of course. Stay here. I'll take the sample to the medical unit.

John: Nono. I'm not gonna put you at risk.

Gilina: I won't be. I can fake the orders and the med-techs won't ask any questions. We're used to secrecy.

John: Still too dangerous. I'll go.

Gilina: John. You should stay hidden. Suppose somebody here knew the real Larraq? (John watches her go)

Chiana: Well she's right. One close call's enough.

John: (not wanting to talk about Gilina) Yo Pip.

Chiana: I'm going back to the Lounge. Let our good friend Mr Chief Security Officer buy me another raslak.

John: (without looking at her) Come home alone!

(cut to Moya - Rygel enters Aeryn's quarters, muttering to himself, looking around. Aeryn is laying down, very still, but stirs suddenly at his approach)

Rygel: Oh! Oh! I came to see how you were doing!

Aeryn: (sounding weak and bored) You came to see if I was dead so you could start going through my possessions.

Rygel: Oh! I resent your unfounded accusation! Furthermore, you have no possessions worth taking.

Aeryn: How inconsiderate.

Rygel: Yes. How terribly inconsiderate!

D'Argo: (entering) Rygel, you are needed on Command.

Rygel: I am? What for?

D'Argo: (humoring him instead of trying force) A quick decision may be required if the Peacekeepers arrive.

Rygel: A quick and correct decision. I accept this vital responsibility. (he sails off with a self-important sniff)

Aeryn: (grunting weakly) Thank you. If a warrior cannot die in battle. She can at least die alone.

(cut back to the Gammak Base. Chiana and Heskon are in the Lounge - in the middle of a conversation and drinking)

Chiana: ...Talk about having something to remember him by... (she and Heskon laugh heartily)

Javio: (entering and standing over them) Duty cycle complete, Lieutenant?

Heskon: Ah, no sir. (realizing who's standing there and sobering up fast) Commander Javio. I was... leaving. (and he does)

Chiana: Aw - I thought I'd get at least another round out of him.

Javio: (taking Heskon's place and looking at what they were drinking) Raslak. We can do much better than that. (he pulls the cork on a bottle he brought with him)

(cut to Moya. D'Argo enters Zhaan’s apothecary)

D'Argo: Zhaan. Aeryn is deteriorating fast. This is no way for someone to die. Even a Peacekeeper.

Zhaan: D'Argo, all I can do is ease her journey. The nerve that was damaged regulates toxin removal functions. The poisons that are building up in her body = they're killing her.

D'Argo: Can you filter them out?

Zhaan: I have no means to do that.

D'Argo: Zhaan - Moya does, doesn't she?

(cut back to Chiana & Javio in the Gammak Base Officers Lounge)

Chiana: (looking around - more stoned than before) Not a bad way to live.

Javio: (pouring from his bottle) Not at all. How would you like to stay? Whatever you're getting from Larraq, I can easily double.

Chiana: I'm getting quite a bit. 'Course, I'm worth it.

Javio: I think you're selling yourself short. Covert ops types are always flying out to some backwater planet and getting shot up. This is much more civilized.

Chiana: I am getting real tired of uh - running from system to system with a guy who's got a real talent for getting himself into danger.

Javio: Exactly. With me, you'd be comfortable - and protected. Shall we continue this discussion in my quarters?

Chiana: My policy's no free samples. Let me uh - let me consider your offer on my own. (she looks uncomfortable, as if tempted - and slips away)

(cut back to the room where Gilina left John. She re-enters)

Gilina: Good news.

John: You find a match?

Gilina: Even better. We don't need to find a donor. Our medics can now synthesize paraphoral tissue.

John: Right. How long will it take 'em to cook up a batch?

Gilina: They already have. One dose, some bed rest, and she'll be as healthy as ever. (Gilina hands him a hypodermic)

John: "Thanks" doesn't even begin to cover it.

Gilina: (she smiles and touches his face) You don't have to thank me. (she kisses his forehead, just as he did to her back on the Zelbinion - then releases him)

John: I'd better get back to the ship. If I'm late, Aeryn dies.

Gilina: And I wouldn't even dream of stopping you. (they look at each other a long moment) We always seem to be saying good-bye.

John: Yeah. You'd think we'd get better at it.

Gilina: Go. (and with a last backward glance - he does)

(cut to John making his way through the corridors of the Gammak Base. As he nears a checkpoint - Scorpius and his assistant, Niem, are also walking by. Niem is a coldly beautiful Sebacean with long straight red hair. Like Scorpius - she wears tight black leather. They stop and Scorpius watches John intently as he passes)

Scorpius: That man. He is an imposter. Seize him.

Nearby PK soldiers comply instantly. John is accosted and in the ensuing melee he manages to conceal the hypodermic in a dim recess in the structural elements of the base under the checkpoint

PK: Get him up! (and John is dragged off)

Soon after - John finds himself in the laboratory of Scorpius. He has been restrained in the Aurora Chair. This device is part of the secret project for which the Gammak Base was constructed. It consists of a chair on a rotating platform - connected to complex equipment. The subject is strapped hand and foot into the chair and a headpiece is placed. The purpose of the device is to gain access to the very thoughts and memories of those who are subjected to it.
Scorpius is questioning John.

John: My name is Larraq. Peacekeeper. Special Ops.

Scorpius: Unfortunately wrong. On all counts. (Niem, makes some adjustment at her control panel and the headpiece John wears sends an energy probe painfully deeper into his psyche. John winces and exhales explosively) I am Scorpius.

John: But of course you are. Peacekeeper. (he loses his faked PK accent) Funny, you don't look like a Sebacean.

Scorpius: On the other hand - you - do look Sebacean. Yet your energy signature is quite dissimilar. What species are you? And who are you working for?

John: Get - stuffed. (Niem makes another adjustment to her console and John grimaces with pain)

Scorpius: (calmly) You attempt to provoke me. Perhaps you are hoping I will lose my composure and kill you - Before I have extracted any information. I long ago learned the advantages of patience.

Now Niem pushes the pots on her console to extreme positions and John screams in agony as the Aurora Chair sends a deep probe into his mind. It forces memories and thoughts to consciousness and they are played - like flickering indistinct film clips - on a round screen attached to the device. After a moment of what appears to be a complex mathematical diagram - flashes of his journey from Earth and his less happy experiences aboard Moya fire in rapid succession.

John: (red-eyed and perspiring as the Aurora Chair is powered down again) What the hell was that?

Scorpius: Pain memory - random and indistinct at the moment. It will take some time to map your neural patterns.

John: You stay the hell out of my mind, you- (Niem hits the Aurora Chair's pots again and this time flashes of Moya herself appear on the screen as John roars with pain before she brings him down again)

Scorpius: That was a Leviathan ship, was it not? (to Niem) I seem to remember a report of an escaped Leviathan prison transport. Have Javio check the data files. (back to John) You're a most interesting spy.

(cut to Moya. A sort of hemodialysis machine using Moya’s own body functions for removing toxins has been rigged up. Aeryn is propped up - her arms spread wide on a slant board. Her body jumps with the pulse of Moya’s rhythms as her blood is removed, cleansed, and returned to her. She is still weak and uncomfortable, she gasps also in rhythm with the machine)

Zhaan: This may help stabilize you until Crichton returns with a cure.

Aeryn : You sure this won't hurt Moya?

Zhaan: Pilot says no. The amount of toxins your body generates is insignificant to Moya relative to your sizes.

Aeryn: What about the baby?

D'Argo: The baby's already well over a sakmar. This will not affect it.

Aeryn: Whether it works or not Zhaan - I commend you on your ingenuity.

Zhaan: Actually it wasn't my idea it was - (she catches D’Argo’s eye) - it was Pilots.'

(cut back to the Gammak Base - Gilina and Chiana. Gilina is monitoring what's going on from her room)


Gilina: Crichton's been captured.

Chiana: Can you find out where they're keeping him?

Gilina: I can't access main control. They must have shut down the main grid because they suspect someone is helping him - sooner or later, they're going to find out who.

(cut back to John in the Aurora Chair. Javio is also present now)

John: (slurring as he comes out of a cycle on The Chair) Waste - of - time. I'm not a spy.

Javio: According to the report, the Leviathan had a Delvian, a Hynerian and a Luxan aboard. No mention of a creature like him or his female accomplice.

Scorpius: Whom you have yet to locate. (Niem powers up the Aurora Chair again and an interaction between Crais and John from the Premiere of Farscape plays out on the screen -

Crais: You charged my brother's Prowler in that white death-pod of yours!

John: You're talking about that near-miss I had the first minute I got here? That - that was an accident.

Crais: That was no "near-miss" for my brother.)

Javio: That was Captain Bialar Crais. The Leviathan escaped from his convoy.

Scorpius: As I recall, he received special dispensation from the council to head into the uncharted territories and hunt it down.

Javio: Right, but First Command lost contact with his Carrier some time ago.

Scorpius: I want to see more of that. (John quivers as Niem moves the Aurora Chair controls)

Niem: I can't locate it again sir - but I did find something (as John screams she brings up another snippet of Crais from his memory - a scene from TOBM -

Crais: Tauvo is dead. Struck down by a weak, pathetic, inferior being. You will die in my hands!)

Scorpius: I suspect our Captain has turned renegade. Broadcast a wide-dispersal message, coded to Crais' Command Carrier. Direct him to come immediately.

Javio: You think he'll actually show up?

Scorpius: Certainly. Tell him we have his prey.

(cut back to Chiana and Gilina. They've disguised Chiana to look more Sebacean by coloring her hair black and pinking up her complexion a bit. The effect is sort of punk-gothic)

Chiana: What do you think? Will it work?

Gilina: I don't even think John would recognize you.

Chiana: (she seems pleased with the make-over) Let's track him down and find out.

(cut back to Scorpius' lab. John in the Aurora Chair, screaming as flashes of memories of all the people and creatures he's met so far since leaving Earth race across the screen)

Scorpius: Your memory holds an impressive array of other races Crichton. You're quite a well-traveled spy.

John: (gasping, hoarse, looking bad) For the 8th time, Nosferatu, I am not a spy.

Scorpius: (to Niem, but without taking his eyes from John) His previous missions are unimportant. I want to know who sent him here . And why. Keep searching.

John: (getting punchy) It's deja vu all over again. (Niem powers up the Aurora Chair again - now a very garbled, memory flash comes up - it is of Jack/Ancient speaking some of what he told John in AHR-)

Jack/Ancient: There are but a few places we can live. The Ancients have stories of a world that will welcome us. We can only hope they're true.

an alarm notification is heard from the Aurora Chair's control panel and the entire device shuts down)

Scorpius: Malfunction?

Niem: No - he's put up a neural block.

John: (bordering on hysterical) It wasn't me. DAMN! Don't you hate it when the batteries go dead!

Scorpius: Break through it. Increase the extraction level. (Niem pushes up the pots on the Aurora Chair to a nearly intolerable level - Jack/Ancient appears again - this time even John looks surprised -

Jack/Ancient: John: These equations are necessary for creating a wormhole.)

John: (watching his own memories for the first time along with everyone else) I don't remember that.

(cut back to the memory flash - John standing in a shaft of light in the Ancient's hive area-

John: You're teaching me how to-

Jack/Ancient: No. You cannot access this data consciously. You won't remember this part of our encounter. We will not give you wormhole technology.

John: Why not?

Jack/Ancient: If you're not smart enough to discover it on your own - you're not smart enough to handle it wisely. You'll have to find it yourself. The unconscious knowledge we've given you will guide you - nothing more. That's all that we can do for you. But that should be enough. You are already on the right path.)

Scorpius: (ruminatively) Well, well, well. Our spy has an interest in wormhole technology.

John: (sweating, gasping, sick, stunned) He - he gave me the equations.

Scorpius: And that's why you came to this place.

John: (slurring badly) What's this base got to do with -? (realization hits him) That's why you built it? (he starts to laugh deliriously) All this research! YOU'RE TRYING TO CREATE A WORMHOLE!

Scorpius: (he paces slowly around John as he pieces together what he thinks is going on here) As are you. That creature knows how - but he wouldn't tell you - would he? Or so you thought. So. You sought that knowledge here. Never realizing - that you already had it. Locked deeply away. (to Niem) Find it. Segment his mind. As many layers as it takes.

John: (terrified as he realizes what he's stumbled into) No - No - Please! (Niem boosts the power of the Aurora Chair again. John screams in agony. She pulls back on the pots)

Niem: Or his mind may simply liquefy.

Scorpius: He seems to be an exceptionally strong species. (he considers) A short recuperation. And then we'll start again.

(cut to John, being dragged by PK guards to a dungeon-like cell. The cell is already occupied by Stark. Stark is a member of a race called the Banik. On the surface at least they are completely human in appearance. The only odd thing about Stark - other than the fact that he seems to be raving mad - is that the right side of his skull and face is covered by a metal mask that's held in place with leather straps)

Stark: (shouting - leaping to his feet and rushing the metal door to the cell as it opens and John is unceremoniously dumped inside where he collapses onto a pallet on the floor) Hey! HEY! You don't put that thing in here! I don't want a roommate! GET IT OUT! (the soldiers leave and Stark turns his fury to John) Hey! That's my mat! HEY GET OFF MY MAT! Go on! (John crawls towards the other side of the cell) GO!

John: (slurring like his tongue is numb as Stark direct his progress) Fine. I don' wan' enny troubba...

Stark: (screaming and panting with insane outrage) This is my side! THAT'S your side! This is MY side! You STAY on your side! (John stares at him with bloodshot eyes as Stark drives home his point) MY SIDE! YOUR SIDE! MY SIDE! YOUR SIDE! MY SIDE! YOUR SIDE! (there's a long pause as they stare at each other from opposite sides of the cell and catch their breath. Then Stark says-) You were just in my chair too weren't you?

John: What? You talking about Scorpius' chair?

Stark: Ah Scorpy. Scorpy puts me in The Chair over and over and over and over... (his voice trails off. He looks truly miserable and rocks back and forth)

John: The Chair did this to you? (Stark continues to rocks himself and he starts singing in demented syllables about spirits. John collapses onto his side and mutters to himself-) Danger - Danger Will Robinson! Beware of the chair - Beware of The Chair...

(cut back to Moya - Aeryn remains on the makeshift hemodialysis machine. She in not conscious)

Zhaan: The treatment's working. But all it seems to be doing is stopping her from deteriorating further. Why didn't you want me to tell her it was your idea?

D'Argo: Earlier on, Aeryn told me she wanted to die alone. As a warrior, I should respect her wishes and not interfere.

Zhaan: You did a good thing. You may have saved her life. Despite her words, she really didn't want to die.

D'Argo: I don't even believe that she wants to die alone. (suddenly Moya begins to shudder violently) Pilot! PILOT! Are we under attack?

Pilot: (in his Den) No - it's Moya - she's having muscular contractions.

Zhaan: (as she and D'Argo struggle to keep their footing) Is she giving birth?

Pilot: (nervous) I'm not sure! (Aeryn begins gasping and choking)

Zhaan: It's killing Aeryn! We've got to stop the treatment! Hold her down! (D'Argo goes to tend Aeryn who is thrashing about as Zhaan calls) Right Pilot! Isolate Aeryn NOW! (he does and both Aeryn and Moya go quiet) Let's hope Crichton gets here soon.

(cut back to the Gammak Base. Chiana and Gilina walk through the corridors. Chiana wears a PK tech coverall like Gilina’s. Gilina nonchalantly ducks into a low shaft full of various conduit for the base operations)

Gilina: (as she begins to patch into the conduit) This should bypass the grid and hooks us directly with - main control.

Chiana: (nervous and impatient in an unfamiliar role) Spare me the technobabble gadget girl. Let's just get on with it.

(cut to a view of a PK Command Carrier - then to Scorpius' laboratory where Stark is in the Aurora Chair screaming)

Stark: (he is an excellent screamer and gasps, defiantly as the Chair slows-) AGAIN! SCORPY! THRILL ME AGAIN!

Javio: (entering, followed by Crais) Excuse me sir. Captain Crais has arrived. (Niem powers down the Chair and Stark seems to recover almost instantly from the experience)

Crais: (arrogant) Where is he? Where's Crichton?

Scorpius: (almost, sort of acting like he might be inwardly smiling before he turns towards Crais) This way Captain. (he sweeps past Crais - who follows)

Crais: I have orders to recapture the Leviathan and its passengers.

Scorpius: Captain. Crichton has vital information. Until I get it, you may not have hi-

Crais: (cutting him off) I order you to release him to me.

Scorpius: (not looking at Crais but still with that inwardly smiling look on his face) Your adherence to orders is selective. You have repeatedly failed to cease the pursuit and return to First Command.

Crais: (chuckling as he smoothly utters his denials) I have received no - such - orders.

Scorpius: Your dereliction of duty is not my prime concern. Give me your full cooperation. And you can have Crichton. When I have finished with him.

Crais: (angry) Give me Crichton NOW and I will get you all the information he possesses.

Scorpius: Torture alone would be ineffective. Only the Aurora Chair can extract the information we need.

Crais: But the Chair might well - kill him - before you find it.

Scorpius: Therein lies the stalemate I must break. You know this human better than anyone. What would persuade him to stop resisting the Chair?

(cut to Chiana and Gilina - still working on hacking into the main power grid of the Base)

Gilina: I found him. He's in a cell on level 9. Hey I might be able to patch into it. Let's see...

(cut to John and Starks cell. John is there alone)

Gilina: (her staticky voice is heard via the cell's security monitoring system) John! John! It's Gilina. (John looks around for the source of the voice) Keep your back to the wall camera and its safe to talk. (he quickly turns his back and crouches down) I bypassed the audio at the monitoring station.

John: (he still sounds sick from his encounter with the Aurora Chair) How you doing? You OK? Are they onto you?

Gilina: No. Chiana and I are in hiding.

John: Chiana are you there? Listen, I stashed the tissue gizmo under the checkpoint. Third intersection past the T - You got that?

Chiana: Got it.

John: Good. Go find it and get it back to the ship.

Gilina: We've got to get you out of there.

John: Nuh-uh. Forget about me. Just get the sample back to Moya - Aeryn can't have that much time.

Gilina: John - (cut at that moment the cell door opens)

John: They're coming. (he scuttles away from the camera and turns to watch as someone enters. John has to let out a disbelieving chuckle at the sight of him) Crais!

(cut back to Chiana and Gilina)

Chiana: (trying to figure out how she's going to manage THIS getaway) How do I get out of this place? Once I take off, they'll blast me out of the sky before I'm half a metra.

Gilina: (not listening) I don't understand it. Why wouldn't Crichton try and save himself? Chiana? Does Aeryn mean that much to him?

Chiana: (her need to have Gilina’s help seems tempered with genuine sympathy for the PK tech girl) No. Aeryn's just a... just a shipmate. Crichton is in love with you. Why do you think he's staying? Look. Once Aeryn's okay, we'll - we'll come back with reinforcements. Get the both of you. Yeah?

Gilina: Okay. If he wants me to go with him. (she seems encouraged) Let's get you out of here.

(cut back to the cell)

Crais: You are dead Crichton. But you have one choice - Do you wish to save the lives of your shipmates on Moya?

John: What are you talking about?

Crais: Why do you think I'm here? I've recaptured the Leviathan. The fugitives are back in my custody. However - whether I deliver them alive or dead is up to me.

John: How do I keep them alive?

Scorpius: (stepping forward) Stop resisting the Aurora Chair. Allow us to probe freely...for any information we wish.

John: That's not a very good option.

Crais: You are not in a very good position.

John: So, everybody on the ship's okay? Zhaan? Aeryn?

Crais: They're all unharmed - as is the Leviathan.

John: They're all in perfect health.

Crais: That could easily change.

John: Fetch the comfy chair.

(cut back to Chiana and Gilina)

Gilina: There. I've programmed a blind spot into the targeting system. Keep your Prowler on this trajectory and they won't even see it.

Chiana: How will I know if it works?

Gilina: You won't get blasted out of the sky.

Chiana: Great. Now all I have to do is get to the Prowler.

Gilina: Well, I'll give you a diversion. How much head start will you need?

Chiana: Give me 400 microts.

Gilina: Go! (she does)

(cut to Scorpius' lab Stark is being hauled out of the Aurora Chair and John hauled in)

Stark: (madly as he's dragged off) Awe One more sir! Please! Please sir! More!

John: (as he's strapped in) I got my mind right boss. Be nice.

Crais: We will. (The headpiece clamps down on John's head and Niem pushes the Chair's pots up. As John starts to scream the scene shifts)

(cut to a corridor in the base - Chiana approaches the checkpoint where John hid the hypodermic gun. A soldier stops her)

Soldier: Where are you going, tech?

Chiana: Sorry, sir? (she strides right up to him, allowing him to shove her backwards, she falls down and as she scrambles to her feet she gropes under the checkpoint for the hypo gun John hid)

Soldier: Where are you going?

Chiana: I - I'm - Uh - (she finds the hypodermic) Level 3 sir. Commander's quarters? Please forgive me.

Soldier: On your way. (she leaves but makes instead for the hangar bay)

(cut to Gilina - still in the conduit access shaft. Some soldiers stop outside of it. Gilina freezes)

First PK: Report.

Second PK : Level six clear.

Gilina: (as she prepares her diversion she whispers with each of her actions-) 5... 4...3... 2... 1 -

And with that a klaxon begins to blare and a computer announces over the Gammak Base public address system "Evacuation warning! Evacuation warning! Reactor overload!" The warning continues as the controlled chaos of evacuation swings into motion. PKs rush in all directions.

(cut to the hangar bay)

Javio: (entering and making for Aeryn's Prowler as he shouts orders) Clear the area! Get everyone away from the reactor core! Emergency radiation gear is on level 10!

Chiana: (intervening, as she plays at being a tech, she tries to hide her face from his view) Commander Javio! Wait! Sir - this Prowler is non-operational. There's a faulty component in the - uh - in the froonium drive, causing instabilities in the - stabilizer. It may have been fixed - if I could just have a look.

Javio: (but he knows her voice - he slowly turns and draws his gun as he approaches her) Very good, Chiana.

Chiana: (dropping the act and falling back on her own sassy self) But I thought the Commander was meant to be the last one to evacuate.

Javio: It's only I believe just the opposite.

Chiana: We could both leave. Continue our earlier discussion.

Javio: It - won't - work - twice.

But before he can pull his trigger, Chiana attacks and kicks the gun from his hand. They fight - he regains the gun and fires at her but she has taken cover behind a canister filled with something very flammable. An arc of flame erupts from it and Chiana tips it in Javio's direction. He screams in agony as he is incinerated alive.

(later - the Prowler, piloted by Chiana, lands aboard Moya. Cut to Aeryn's quarters where Zhaan administers the contents of the hypodermic to Aeryn as she lays on her bed)

Aeryn: (groggy) What was that?

Zhaan: A tissue sample. Crichton succeeded.

Aeryn: I'm not going to die.

D'Argo: As you once said to me: "You will die. But not today."

Aeryn: (eyeing Chiana - who is there, still in her Sebacean make-over and PK tech coverall) Are you sure about that? I'm starting to hallucinate. You make a worse Peacekeeper than Crichton.

Chiana: Eh. Glad to see you're okay.

Aeryn: (sleepy) Where is he? I want to see him.

D'Argo: You will. Soon.

Zhaan: She should rest.

Chiana: Great idea. Some of us desperately need to bathe. (she leaves)

Zhaan: D'Argo?

D'Argo: I'll stay here and watch over her. Just in case. (Zhaan leaves as D'Argo sits by the bed and takes Aeryn's hand)

Aeryn: Thank you.

(cut back to the Gammak Base - Scorpius' lab. John is screaming in the Aurora Chair. Scorpius is operating it himself)

Niem: (entering) The reactor warning was a false alarm.

Heskon: (entering) Sir. The Prowler has launched without authorization. It has vanished. There are no sensor readings at all.

Scorpius: Crichton's accomplice. One of them anyway. The false alarm was a diversion. Who triggered it?

Heskon: We don't know, sir. We're still checking. (John laughs maniacally. Scorpius gives him a jolt of power from the Chair)

Scorpius: (smiling) Crichton will tell us. (he slides up the pots on the Aurora Chair controls and John screams horribly)

John: NNNNOOOOOOO!!!!

TO BE CONTINUED