January 28, 2000 - US
June 5, 2000 - UK
Writers - Rockne S. O'Bannon
& David Kemper
Director - Tony Tilse
Lani Tupu . . . Crais
Wayne Pygram. . . Scorpius
David Franklin . . . Braca
The episode opens where BTBW left off. Moya and her child, still adrift in the asteroid field. Cut to D'Argo and John, walking down one of her corridors. Zhaan speaks with them via comm from the Command. She has just relayed some very disturbing news to them...
John: Oh you have GOT to be kidding! Tell me there is some kind of sick punch line coming!
Zhaan: Unfortunately John - it's true.
John: Great. Abso-fudging-lutely great.
D'Argo: We must go after him.
John: No, two pods out there would just compound the problem.
Zhaan: No change in his course. He's accelerating away from Moya. (Chiana stalks into the Command. Aeryn joins D'Argo and John in the corridor)
Aeryn: Let's be anything but surprised. Our weakest link is often the smallest.
Chiana: Can't we do something? He's about to exit the asteroid field.
Zhaan: Peacekeepers haven't spotted him yet. But they will shortly. Pilot?
Pilot: I shall attempt to contact him again. (cut to a view of one of Moya’s pods zooming through the asteroid field. Inside, Rygel smiles and pokes deliberately at the controls) Rygel! Please respond! (he tries appealing to Rygel’s sense of majesty-) Your Eminence, I beg you! Respond! (Rygel does not)
Aeryn: (calling via comm as she jogs down a corridor) Remember, Rygel, Moya’s baby has weaponry! (she, D'Argo and John reach the Command where they take turns appealing to Rygel via comm)
Pilot: Rygel's already too distant and the asteroids block a clear salvo.
D'Argo: Rygel, listen to me. And listen very, very carefully. (he says something very guttural in Luxan - cut to Rygel in the pod listening. He makes a sound of disgust)
John: What the hell did you just say?
Chiana: Something about his corpse and a - body function.
John: Oh that'll help.
Zhaan: (pleading) Rygel, what you are doing is wrong.
Rygel: (finally responding) To you, maybe.
Aeryn: (warning) Rygel! They'll take your head off. Whatever deal you've cut with them, Crais will never honor it.
John: (reasoning) Rygel, kill your engines. Float dead. Maybe they won't spot you. Let's talk about this.
Rygel: (finally responding) And isn't that the whole point Crichton? That's all your people ever do is talk! I am a Dominar of action! (and with that his pod arcs directly for the looming Command Carrier)
(cut to the Command Carrier. Crais and Scorpius are in the Captain's quarters. Scorpius occupies the Captain's chair as Crais paces in front of him)
Crais: One unarmed transport flying straight towards us. Makes no sense.
Scorpius: A pity we can't follow its trail back to the Leviathan. Any other vessels in motion out there?
Crais: Just our own outbound Marauder with the alien girl you adopted.
Scorpius: Have you found my security officer assigned to watch her?
Crais: (ignoring the question) Why would the Hynerian be traveling alone?
Scorpius: Perhaps he wishes to become part of your... collection. (he eyes the mounted head of a Hynerian)
Crais: This is just a game to you isn't it?
Scorpius: On the contrary. I care a great deal about one thing. The knowledge of wormhole technology the human, Crichton, has locked in his memory. (the door to the room opens and Braca enters with a small contingent of soldiers. They have Rygel in custody)
Braca: Sirs, this Hynerian royal was alone aboard the Leviathan transport.
Rygel: (boldly) You want the Leviathan. The Leviathan gunship offspring. The other escaped prisoners. The defector Aeryn Sun. And especially, you want the one called Crichton. Well I want my freedom. Interested? (with a creak of leather Scorpius turns at the mention of John's name and gazes intently at Rygel)
(cut back to Moya’s Command where a heated discussion is in progress)
D'Argo: They may not be on their way now, but they will be coming.
Aeryn: If the Peacekeepers knew where we were, D'Argo, they'd be here already.
John: Look, is it possible he's just stalling them for us? (the rest of the crew look at him like he has 25 heads - none of them with a brain) Right. Okay. Well, let's just think this through. What do we know?
(he, Aeryn and D'Argo exit the Command and talk as they walk)
D'Argo: The map of this asteroid field you took from the botanist has allowed Pilot to plot starburst path away from the Peacekeepers.
Aeryn: Moya will not abandon her baby.
John: Who is too young to starburst on his own.
D'Argo: Is there any way we can use the offspring’s weaponry to our advantage?
Aeryn: Well against a Command Carrier, until he's fully grown, it'll be like throwing stones.
John: Well I can tell you this for free - I will not be taken alive. I've been in the goddamned Chair and I am not going back in it.
D'Argo: I know of the concept, but there is no Luxan word for it.
John: (speaking over Aeryn’s comment) I am not talking about suicide. (they stop) But it doesn't look like we're gonna get out of this one and if we're gonna go down, I wanna go down swinging.
D'Argo: (with fraternal sincerity) Then we shall do so together.
Aeryn: (she stalks away from them with a sarcastic, verbal roll of the eyes) Ugh! Just to be in the warm glow of all this testosterone! The smallest ship Crais and Scorpius will send can overpower us effortlessly! (the implication being there isn't likely to be much of a fight for the boys to go down swinging in)
John: Okay. What did we see? Rygel flew that transport right in to their ship.
D'Argo: Presumably screaming, “I surrender,” all the way.
John: Yeah, but what if one of us did the same thing, but at the last second veered off straight into the bridge? A Trojan Horse.
Aeryn: It won't cripple their operations.
John: And what if the transport is loaded down with explosives? What if we blow the holy hell out of their nerve center? Would that buy us enough time for the rest of us to get away?
(cut back to the Command Carrier. Rygel is in the Captain's quarters still. He's eating. His manner throughout the scene is calm. Rational. Businesslike. Careful but confident)
Crais: (wearily) That's your third helping.
Rygel: Mm. That's for my third stomach. That's what happens, you see. By the time it's full, first one's empty again.
Scorpius: (pacing) Dominar Rygel, my Gammak Base is but a short distance away. Once seated in my Aurora Chair, your hunger pangs (Rygel belches) will be the least of your discomforts.
Rygel: With all - due - respect. Wrong. You won't get anything out of me that way. Ask him. My physiology won't tolerate it.
Crais: He would be dead almost instantly.
Scorpius: Oh, no need to travel - to accommodate that.
Rygel: Look, if I were afraid, I wouldn't have come, would I? Pass the terleum mollusks, please.
Scorpius: I believe... your offer - was the capture of John Crichton in exchange for your own freedom?
Crais: And the Leviathan and the others-
Scorpius: (cutting him off) Insignificant, Captain. (to Rygel) A simple deal, to which I agree.
Rygel: Hardly simple. I also require a ship, a qualified crew, negotiable currency, a map to my homeworld, and a full pardon.
Scorpius: You're lying.
Rygel: All right I could forgo the cash.
Scorpius: You're lying about why you're here.
Rygel: No, I'm not.
Scorpius: You're wasting our time. (to Crais) Imprison him. We will capture the others in due course. (he walks away from Rygel)
Rygel: I don't think so. Look, I know him. John Crichton will not be taken alive.
Scorpius: Now he's telling the truth. (he looks back at Rygel) But are you willing to help me capture the human, Crichton? (Rygel sighs heavily and makes no response)
(cut back to Moya, D’Argo’s quarters. Chiana is there and she furiously throws a pair of handcuffs across the room)
Chiana: I will not! You CAN'T make me!
D'Argo: Listen, Chiana, it is the only way.
Chiana: Why do you care? You'll be dead!
D'Argo: (picking up the cuffs and approaching her) You are the only one of us who the Peacekeepers do not hunt.
Chiana: I went down to their base with Crichton. They know who I am.
D'Argo: That is why you must wear these restraints.
Chiana: (attempting humor unsuccessfully) I doubt I'll be able to subdue them with those.
D'Argo: When they board Moya, lock yourself in one of the cells, slip these on, and maintain no matter how many times they ask that we forced you to help.
Chiana: (furious, loudly) Don't tell me how to lie! It's one of the BEST things I do!
D'Argo: (shouting) You are a real PAIN IN THE EEMA! (softly) But one I have grown to enjoy.
(cut to Zhaan’s apothecary. John is there with her as she prepares a mixture that's putting out evil-looking yellowish-green vapor)
John: Exactly how volatile is this lutra oil?
Zhaan: Not at all. But once it's injected into containers filled with kronite shavings from the floor of Moya’s cargo hold, the mix becomes highly explosive. Almost anything will set it off.
John: Say, like - a high speed impact?
Zhaan: (pausing to look intently at him) John, are you sure there's no other way? (a bubbling pot on a burner explodes as if in response, Zhaan looks at John and laughs)
John: Oh yeah! Ah, the tools of the chief anarchist.
Zhaan: John? I've made new family here, surrounded by all of you. And now I sense it's coming to an end.
John: Well, it's a Jerry Springer kind of family. But for what's it's worth Zhaan - you are family.
(cut to Pilots Den. Aeryn is there with him)
Pilot: I - appreciate your concern Officer Sun. But I no longer require a chaperone.
Aeryn: Are you sure Pilot? You seem quite upset.
Pilot: (resolutely) Y-es. Moya is terrified for her offspring and for herself. That anxiety translates through her being, into mine. Combine it with my own fear and-
Aeryn: Pretty potent adrenaline surge for you. I understand. (there is a long pause)
Pilot: Officer Sun... Aeryn. You and I - we've shared quite a lot in the time we've been together.
Aeryn: DNA for one. You helped me learn some rudimentary science.
Pilot: You've kept me alive where no-one else could.
There's - no reason we all need to be recaptured. You have your Prowler. (he gazes quietly at her with his big beautiful eyes)
Aeryn: Hmph! Don't think that option hasn't entered my mind! (there's another long pause and she shakes her head as she looks at Pilot) I'm not going anywhere.
Pilot: (his gaze drops, as if listening to something else for a moment) Moya wants to know - have you come up with a name for her offspring yet? In casssse... something happens, she doesn't want her son named by the Peacekeepers.
Aeryn: (taking a deep breath as if fighting back tears of emotion) Please tell Moya, that it remains my honor, to name her son. It will be a good, strong name that he will bear proudly. (she reaches out and strokes Pilots face) In freedom, if I have anything to say about it.
Pilot: (very quietly as if fighting back tears of his own) I will tell her.
Aeryn: (taking a deep breath) Toward that end - we need the DRDs to start scraping kronite shavings from the cargo holds. (Aeryn gazes at Pilot. He looks away)
(cut to John in his quarters, making a recorder entry to his Dad)
John: Dad. This is probably the last note in the bottle you're going to get. Things are going bad here, and, uh... (he flicks the recorder off and groans) Why don't I just start screaming and leave him a really happy memory? (he sees Aeryn standing outside his door and beckons her in)
Aeryn: Is he anything like the man I met?
John: Oh... Nonono. The man you met was an alien who had taken the form of my father.
Aeryn: But he was constructed from your memories and- was it accurate?
John: (smiling a little at her) A little idealized, but, uh, mostly. Yeah.
Aeryn: You're lucky you know? When I was very young, one night a soldier appeared over my bunk. Battle-hardened. Scarred...
John: Cool. Your father.
Aeryn: (dreamily) My mother. She told me I wasn't merely an accident, or a genetic birthing to fill the ranks, that she and a male that she had cared about had chosen to yield a life. Mine.
John: And what about your father?
Aeryn: I know even less.
John: Well. (he slides the recorder to her) Leave him a message. You never know. They might get it. (she smiles at him as if he gave her an idea)
(cut to the Command Carrier. Rygel is soaking in a big bathtub of steaming water. It seems to be lit from below and we see his little toes - and something else - long, stiff tentacle-like thing poking from the water as he sits up from having submerged himself. It moves to his left side, he seems quite familiar with it as it scratches his neck while he looks around the bathing chamber. He gasps in alarm as he notices a pair of Hynerian heads gazing down at him from the dimly lit walls. Crais enters)
Rygel: Excuse me! Do you mind? (the tentacle sinks out of sight)
Crais: (stepping up to the tub) You have eaten. You have bathed. What next? A nap?
Rygel: Hm. As a matter of fact -
Crais: We must talk about your future. (he sits down on the edge of the tub)
Rygel: (fearlessly) Tcha! You're clearly not the one to decide my future Crais.
Crais: What do you mean?
Rygel: Well, you've lost control here, haven't ya? Not that it troubles me, but - this Scorpius fellow - he's obviously the one in power now.
Crais: Be that as it may, allow me to make a case for my value in these negotiations, Your Highness. (he lashes out at Rygel and forces him under the water, holding him there for a long moment as Rygel struggles frantically. Long locks of Crais's dark hair that have come loose from his neat Peacekeeper pull-back frame his face. He releases Rygel who comes up yelling)
Rygel: YOU MADMAN!
Crais: (he slaps a small data chip into Rygel’s hand) Do you know what this is?
Rygel: YOU MADMAN!
Crais: This is your death certificate. Proof you expired.
Rygel: You're early! Come back tomorrow!
Crais: I am not your reaper. Scorpius is. Did you really think you could strike an honest bargain with a Scarran half-breed like him? The moment Crichton is in custody, he's ordered your execution to show everyone what he thinks of traitors. (Rygel gasps) Slow death.
Rygel: Why tell me?
Crais: Because ironically, we find ourselves in similar situations. No matter what I do, I have no life beyond court martial. Incarceration. Execution.
Rygel: So what do you want?
Crais: To survive. As you do.
Rygel: And just how do we do that?
(later - cut back to Moya. Aeryn, D'Argo, John and Zhaan are gathered to watch Rygel’s transport pod come home. They speak in hushed voices)
Aeryn: What the frell is he doing back?
D'Argo: We know what he's doing back. It's a trap.
Zhaan: He was assuring Pilot that it wasn't.
John: And you believe him?
Zhaan: Well, he wasn't followed.
D'Argo: Which makes no sense. This is definitely a trap.
Aeryn: They wouldn't just let Rygel go, I'm sure of that.
D'Argo: If given provocation, I will shoot him in such a way that he still is able to answer all your questions. (as they hear the sound of the pod landing all 4 bring their weapons to firing position and await Rygel’s entrance. Cut to Chiana in the Command)
Chiana: No Peacekeeper tail ships. So far.
Pilot: (cut to him in his Den) Moya’s sensors detect no military activity directed towards us.
(cut back to the docking bay. It's door slides open and Rygel enters to face his shipmates)
Rygel: Please don't shoot. Of course, I would have demanded the same precautions myself, but-
Aeryn: (cutting him off) Off the throne sled, Rygel, and face-down on the ground.
Rygel: Well hardly. Then I'd miss your reactions for what is about to happen. And please, whatever your reaction, don't let it include weapons fire. (Crais appears behind Rygel)
John: (he begins to laugh) MY BOY, CRAIS!
Crais: (evenly, businesslike) Clearly an awkward situation. However, I have asked Dominar Rygel XVI for asylum and he has accepted.
Zhaan: By the Goddess, that's insane.
Aeryn: What do you need asylum from?
Crais: Before I can answer your questions, I would feel safer in protective custody. With passions calmer.
John: Protective custody.
Aeryn: Pilot, have the DRDs check the transport for tracking devices
Pilot: At once. Chiana, reinstate the cell door functions on tier 7.
Chiana: (cut briefly to her on the Command) With pleasure.
Zhaan: (to Rygel as she sees him off to his cell) Move it.
Crais: As you can see, I am unarmed. (he shows his hands. D'Argo, breathing heavily, passes his Qualta to John and approaches Crais)
D'Argo: As you can see, I am also unarmed. (he assaults Crais and savagely beats him to the ground)
Crais: (he makes no move to resist) You've always said you wanted to kill me.
D'Argo: You knew. You knew all along. Tell them. Tell them!
Crais: Ka D'Argo did not commit the crime that he was imprisoned for- (D'Argo delivers a vicious kick to Crais, who continues with some difficulty) His mate was killed by someone else.
Aeryn: Her own brother. A Peacekeeper.
John: You knew, and you kept him in chains.
Crais: No matter what I knew, only a Tribunal Order can release a convicted murderer.
John: Easy answer.
Crais: (from where he is laying on the floor, panting) There is much in life that is unfair. We are all proof of that.
John: If life was fair, you'd be dead.
(later- cut to Aeryn and John escorting Crais to his cell. Crais pauses after he steps in, as if in momentary shock of his new reality)
Aeryn: So. Is there anything you want to say to me?
Crais: I think we covered it all when you left me for dead in the Aurora Chair.
Aeryn: Good. (to John) I'm gonna go check out their transport. I still don't trust either of them. (she leaves. John closes the cell door behind Crais)
John: What are you doing here Crais? Really.
Crais: I believe that my best chance is to let the Hynerian explain my position to you.
John: (smiling) You're letting Rygel be your advocate? You're worse off than you look.
(cut to Rygel in the center chamber with Chiana and Zhaan)
Rygel: If you had seen Crais aboard his own ship, you'd know it was no act. This Scorpius character is carrying Crais' mivonks in his hip pocket.
Zhaan: So you decided to take pity on poor Captain Crais.
Rygel: I don't take pity on orphans, much less that butcher. However, as the mind that engineered our original escape and virtually every correct decision since then, I recognize his value.
Chiana: Like Crais is really gonna help us.
Rygel: No choice. He's a walking corpse on his own ship.
Zhaan: All the more reason why Scorpius would not let him go.
Rygel: Again, for that tiny part of your brain that calculates strategy - we didn't present it that way. Crais told Scorpius that if he came here under a flag of truce, he'd be able to convince you all to surrender.
Chiana: So Crais must know what they're planning. Well that could be useful to us.
Zhaan: (angry) Possibly. Something went wrong. You went there to sell us out Rygel.
Rygel: You bet your shiny blue ass I did. Hmph! But I didn't. So make the most of it now.
(cut to D'Argo in a transport pod, calling to Zhaan via comm. Aeryn is helping him set up their suicide mission against the Command Carrier)
D'Argo: Zhaan! Do I inject the catalyst into every one of these kronite shaving containers or only the first row? (no response)
Aeryn: She didn't say.
D'Argo: Perhaps she doesn't even know. (there's a long pause as they take a breather)
Aeryn: D'Argo, perhaps there won't be much time later.
D'Argo: I know.
Aeryn: We've had our differences but - you've become someone I rely on now.
D'Argo: I've become similarly affected.
Aeryn” I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to meet your son, Jothee.
D'Argo: I miss being a part of his life more and more each day.
Aeryn: Your blood runs though him D'Argo. That's influence enough. I'm sure he's very much like you.
D'Argo: Hopefully his mother’s nose. (they both chuckle. There's a long pause) I thought I would live much longer.
Aeryn: I never thought I'd live this long.
D'Argo: (rousing himself to carry on with the preparations) Zhaan!
(cut to the Command Carrier - Captain's quarters. Now the domain of Scorpius. Braca enters)
Scorpius: Report, Lieutenant.
Braca: As the vector narrows, our search team is confident of locating the Leviathan within several arns.
Scorpius: Excellent Lieutenant. Keep me informed. Any word from Captain Crais?
Braca: None, sir. (he makes to leave, but stops and turns back) Sir? Permission to speak freely?
Scorpius: Of course Lieutenant. If you weren't free to, I would not have you here.
Braca: If you suspected the Captain might not return of his own volition, why did you let him go?
Scorpius: We all have windows of usefulness. If we don't take advantage of them, our careers may fade. For example, my instincts tell me that your career may well be on the rise. (he pats Braca’s shoulder encouragingly and walks away. Braca looks apprehensive, likely because he has no idea what Scorpius is talking about but is wary of any of it being about him...)
(cut to a view of Moya’s underside, passing overhead in the gloom of the asteroid field. Cut to John, sitting on the floor across from Crais' cell)
John: How're you doing?
Crais: Why would you ask?
John: I look at you... And I get homesick. I'm desperate for human, male-to-male conversation. And I figure cars, football... They're out of the question.
Crais: Do you think it's an accident, our species are so much alike?
John: You know the answer to that?
Crais: No. It's one of the mysteries I will miss solving.
John: Yeah. Kinda makes you feel your mortality doesn't it? Being in there. That's what it's like for us every day. Every hour. Every minute. Every second, with you riding our asses.
Crais: (contemplatively) I understand you didn't mean to kill my brother. It was an accident. I realize that now, as I look back and try to understand it all.
John: (a tear runs down his cheek as he wearily watches Crais) Do you have any idea what you put me through? All of us through?
Crais: (regretfully) I thought it was about my brother. It should've been about my brother. Somewhere along the way my priorities... Decayed. I realized I'd became more concerned with my own image and career.
John: If you mean to help, now's the time.
(later - Crais and the crew, except for Rygel, are assembled to finalize their plan)
D'Argo: The transport pod is almost loaded. Zhaan says that there's enough lutra oil to create an immense chain reaction.
Aeryn: How long is Scorpius likely to delay attacking us?
Crais: Once he discovers your location, expect no delay. Fly a transport into the bridge of a Command Carrier? Suicide. The ship’s sensors will detect explosive content and you will be destroyed well out of range.
Zhaan: The kronite won't be active until the catalyst is added. It will appear to be a perfectly normal transport.
Crais: With weighted tonnage, moving slowly. What do you think, officer Sun?
Aeryn: It's a long shot, but it's all we've got.
D'Argo: No. I have another idea. What does Scorpius value more than this Leviathan? I'd wager that precious research base down on that moon.
Chiana: The oil-covered moon. (Rygel enters in his hoverchair) Brilliant. Light his world on fire.
Rygel: No. Scorpius is no fool. He'll never allow it.
D'Argo: Perfect. If he is as clever as you all say that he is, he will see the weight and explosive content for exactly what it is.
Zhaan: A flying ignition source.
D'Argo: Which will force him to do what?
Crais: Theoretically, to turn and pursue. Closing range to destroy you.
D'Argo: And when they change course?
John: Moya has the time to get clear of the asteroid field and starburst to freedom. Solid, D'Argo.
Chiana: What about Moya’s baby?
John: Ah he tucks in close - and we take him through starburst with us.
Zhaan: Someone still has to fly it, though.
D'Argo: One of us will have to sacrifice ourselves for the others.
Crais: Your plan is flawed. Scorpius will not chase the transport, because there's one thing he values more than his precious base. (no-one says anything, but perhaps they all, along with John and Crais, knows what thing it is that Scorpius values so highly)
(later- cut to the transport pod. Aeryn and D'Argo are slamming around equipment and arguing as they make final preparations)
D'Argo: It is not open for discussion!
Aeryn: You're being ridiculous! We were going to draw lots!
D'Argo: I did draw lots! I lost! Matter closed!
Aeryn: You are not the captain here!
D'Argo: No one is! It is anarchy! And today is my day to rule!
Aeryn: D'Argo, will you just-
D'Argo: (cutting her off) LISTEN TO ME! Time is short and so is my temper! FETCH ME SOME MORE KRONITE!
(cut to outside the pod. Aeryn is complaining loudly and bitterly to Zhaan)
Aeryn: D'Argo INSISTS he's flying this suicide mission and I have to stay behind and deal with Moya’s offspring!
Zhaan: Well he's right. You're the only one of us that the baby trusts. Have you selected a name for him yet?
Aeryn: (steaming) No. Any suggestions?
Zhaan: (chuckling) Christening a warship is outside my purview.
Aeryn: (a little bitterly) You know you amaze me being a priest. To live in such a violent world and yet somehow manage to keep your center.
Zhaan: The instant I committed murder I sacrificed my right to exist. Since then, I view every microt as a generous, yet undeserved gift from the Goddess.
D'Argo: (looking out of the pod to yell at Aeryn) AERYN! MORE KRONITE!
(cut to John's quarters. Chiana is standing at the door, looking very upset)
John: What's the matter?
Chiana: You're going flying with that crazy Luxan, Aren't you?
John: Well, you heard Crais. Scorpius wants me. If I'm in the transport, it's more likely to draw the Command Carrier away from the rest of you guys.
Chiana: (approaching him) Well ah - what if other people want you, too?
John: Is this some sort of weird alien send off
Chiana: (she moves closer) Call it what you like. I know of no other way to thank you for what you're doing.
John: (he sits Chiana down and crouches in front of her) Never - before - the big game. Hm? But thanks.
Chiana: You saved my life.
John: Pass it on.
John: When someone else needs it, return the favor. You pass it on. (he touches his forehead to hers, she moves her mouth to kiss him lightly on the lips once. He then gets up and leaves)
(cut to the Command Carrier. Brace enters the Captains quarters to speak with Scorpius)
Braca: High Command has responded to your communiqué sir. Due to his now prolonged contact with the fugitives aboard their vessel, Captain Crais has now been officially pronounced - irrevocably contaminated. You are officially authorized to take control of the situation as you see appropriate. Congratulations sir!
Scorpius: Let's prove them correct Lieutenant. Search status?
Braca: Any moment and we'll have them! I suggest we broadcast an appeal for surrender.
Scorpius: Since that will only lead to an act of desperation, we attack unannounced.
Braca: Orders of engagement?
Scorpius: Cripple the Leviathan so it can no longer function. If the offspring responds to our signal, take it into custody. If it attempts to retaliate or flee - Destroy it. We want Crichton.
Braca: What of Captain Crais and the other fugitives?
Scorpius: (dismissively) Insignificant. Dispensable.
Braca: Sir. (he leaves to carry out his orders)
(cut back to Moya floating in the asteroid field, her baby tucked close under her side. Cut to the tiny Command of the Leviathan child. Aeryn has brought
Crais: (fiercely appreciative) Mag-NIFICENT! Kal tanega chivoko!
Aeryn: A crowning glory for whom?
Crais: (sounding like his arrogant old self) For US Officer Sun. Peacekeeper minds who believed that a Leviathan-warship hybrid was possible!
Aeryn: Are you aware of other attempts to breed a ship such as this?
Crais: (jaunty) Numerous. All ending disastrously. Killing both mother and child. But now I know why.
Aeryn: Well, the other Leviathans were in captivity wearing control collars, whereas this one was free when she gave birth.
Crais: (magnanimously) Your intelligence would qualify significantly for promotion.
Aeryn: Pity, I don't think a referral from you would mean anything now.
Crais: (flattened by the reminder of his situation) To answer your question, this ship will have zero effect on Scorpius no matter how it is used.
Aeryn: Unlike his mother this ship responds to direct voice command.
Crais: (savagely enthusiastic again) By design. What captain would want a Pilot - such as the one on Moya - interpreting his commands?
Aeryn: This ship will never have a Pilot?
Crais: It can support one, but why? Why dilute the direct command and response possibilities?
Aeryn: Don't get too excited. If we don't escape from Scorpius, there'll be no possibilities.
Crais: Agreed. This ship would have no part in our escape - I repeat - our escape. N not until it is fully grown.
Aeryn: (intently. Perhaps regretting she brought him there?) So let's leave him right out of it
(cut to John and Rygel. John is placing his accumulated possessions in a pile in front to the Hynerian)
Rygel: (warily, not making a move as he watches John) You're not joking. I can have your possessions?
John: If I die and you don't - yeah. Have at it.
John: Well, you're a material kind of guy Rygel. Have some material.
Rygel: What does that mean?
John: It means, Sparky, that you're a soulless bastard.
Rygel: I am not.
John: Hey, who knows? Maybe you'll get lucky. We'll all die and you can have all our stuff.
Rygel: (in a low tone, genuinely offended) That's not fair.
John: Sparky, Spanky, Fluffy, Buckwheat XVI. (he crouches down and yanks the hoverchair, with Rygel in it, closer so they are face to face) You tried to sell us out.
Rygel: But I didn't - did I?
John: They weren't buying - were they?
Rygel: (he tries to turn away but John jerks him back. Rygel hangs his head a bit-) No. And I became convinced that after I turned you in, I would be next.
John: Aw. Now how does that taste in your mouth?
Rygel: (regretfully) Look I-I know I can be selfish, but given a chance I can usually-
John: Do what? Do the right thing?
John: Rygel, I figure the right thing starts at the beginning of the day. Not after you've been caught. (Rygel hangs his head in shame and John leans forward and plants a kiss on the top of his head. Rygel startles. John turns to leave)
Rygel: Thank you. (John looks back at him, his brow is furrowed as if he's near tears, Rygel looks away and adds) For the possessions.
(cut to the center chamber of Moya. Chiana has laid out a big meal for the crew. We hear the voices of Chiana and the crew outside the room)
Aeryn: Why have you brought us here Chiana?
Chiana: Zhaan said we still had half an arn before the final batch of lutra oil distills down.
Chiana: So I, uh, I wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate everything you've done for me. For each of you - your favorite dishes. (she leads Aeryn, D'Argo and Zhaan into the room and they stop and stare at the feast) Krawdla, smoked pronga sinew, hepatian mint stew, and of course - crispy grolack.
(cut to John again, alone. Speaking into his recorder. The DRD whose eyestalk he fixed with electrical tape on the first day he was aboard Moya is with him)
John: One other thing Dad. You remember the day I left? You told me that every man has a chance to become his own kind of hero. Well, I don't think I'm ever coming home, so I won't get that ticker tape parade, and I doubt that I'm ever gonna have kids, so I won't get the chance to be a hero to them. But I think I know what you meant. (he chuckles a bit and taps the DRD) I've got - a strange life here Dad. It's different, but it's my own. (as he speaks the scene shifts to the center chamber where the others, including Crais and Rygel, are eating and talking amongst themselves. But only John's voice is heard. As he speaks, there is a lingering look at each person who sits at the table) I have people who rely on me. People I care about
People who - mystify me and people who have become allies. (Rygel) Friends. (Zhaan) And people who teach me patience. (Chiana) And people who teach me... other things. (Crais, D'Argo, Aeryn) Well, you said the time would come, and I think it has. I have a job to do and I am unafraid. That's what you said when they asked you what it was like to walk on the moon. (he turns Jack’s lucky puzzle ring over in his fingers) You did good Dad. You taught me well. This is John Crichton, somewhere in the Universe. (end recording)
(later - cut to Zhaan, she is conducting a short service for blessings upon D'Argo and John as they prepare to leave on their suicide mission)
Zhaan: (she says a prayer in Delvian) Ka dare-e sincono, apudax a-helio, frotar li pluro sincono. In the eyes of the Goddess, all are equal. All are worthy. May your journey bear fruits of success. Of safety. Any blessings earned over time by my soul, I now extend to you. (she has a vial like a perfume bottle. Using its stopper, she anoints the foreheads of D'Argo and John. They turn to leave and D'Argo mutters to John-)
D'Argo: I hate this stuff.
John: (muttering back) Chicks love it. (they exit to where the rest of the crew await. John pauses near Aeryn and Rygel to pick up his gear)
Rygel: You know I'd do the same for you if it made sense. No wait - don't read into that! It's not what I meant, er-
John: Sparky - it's okay. I know what you meant. Thanks. (he walks a few paces towards the pod bay and stops by Crais, who is standing apart from the others) So you got any final words of wisdom?
Crais: Our pilots are trained to expect evasive maneuvers. Fly a direct course.
(cut to D'Argo, picking up his gear near Chiana and Zhaan)
Chiana: Come back to us. (he makes no response but stops and strides back to Zhaan. He hands her a small item. She looks at it and calls after him in distress-)
Zhaan: This holds the holo-image of your mate Lo'lann and your son!
D'Argo: Make sure that he remembers me. (he quickly strides away. Aeryn jogs after him and has a last word with him and John at the pod bay door)
Aeryn: Remember, if you get this right, the Peacekeepers will be so focused on the transport pod, they'll never notice the two of-
John: Zero margin for error
Aeryn: I'll be there.
D'Argo: I can only last a quarter of-
Aeryn: I'll be there! (D'Argo exits)
John: I, uh- I wasn't going to say goodbye.
Aeryn: Neither was I. (he enters the pod bay and the doors close behind him)
(shortly after - cut to the Command Carrier. Captain's quarters. Braca enters and addresses Scorpius' back)
Braca: A Leviathan transport has emerged from the asteroid field, just out of cannon range. Heading silka, vector nine-
Scorpius: (cutting him off) Toward our Gammak Base?
Braca: Apparently, yes. I can engage the prowler squadron-
Scorpius: (cutting him off again) Until you bring me more information, do nothing, Lieutenant. Could be Crais. It could be anything.
(cut to the transport pod weaving through the asteroid field at high speed. Cut to D'Argo and John inside it)
D'Argo: Zhaan said to inject the lutra oil into the largest container and that will start the chain reaction.
John: How much time do we have after it starts?
D'Argo: She was vague to the point that I suspect that she doesn't have a clue.
Pilot: (on comm) Commander Crichton? Ka D'Argo - come in!
D'Argo: Pilot, what happened to maintaining comm silence?
Pilot: Pointless now. Peacekeeper voice traffic indicates they now aware of your presence and your destination.
John: Are they following us?
Pilot: Negative. (cut briefly to Moya’s Command where Zhaan, Chiana and the others wait apprehensively. Then cut back to Pilot) They remained poised to discover us at any moment. Good luck to you both.
(cut back to the Command Carrier. Braca and Scorpius in the Captain's quarters)
Braca: The visual image is still processing, but our intra-scan revealed the Luxan and the human to be aboard the transport.
Scorpius: (after a brief pause) Break position. Go after them. And notify the base. Tell them - to expect to come under attack.
Braca: But sir, it's just one unarmed -
Scorpius: Do it!
(cut back to the pod)
John: How you doing?
D'Argo: I have to pee. (they look at each other and start to laugh)
(cut back to Moya’s Command)
Zhaan: It worked. The Peacekeepers are withdrawing to chase Crichton and D'Argo.
Rygel: (anxiously) Is there enough room for us to starburst to safety yet?
Chiana: Not yet. And we're gonna give Aeryn every chance we can to rescue them.
Rygel: Why risk it? They volunteered for this!
Zhaan: (fed up with Rygel) Oh -QUIET Rygel! (then, urgently) Pilot, please make sure that the baby Leviathan understands that once Moya starbursts he must stay close enough to be sucked along behind us.
Pilot: Yes, I will. (Crais, standing apart from the others is listening carefully and has a devious air about him)
(cut to the Command Carrier. An external view of the ship itself with the voice of Scorpius broadcasting to the swarm of small ships rising from it. Then briefly to Scorpius himself)
Scorpius: All pursuing Prowler commanders! This is Scorpius. The occupants of that transport are to be taken alive. That is my direct, inviolate order.
(cut to the pod)
John: Fleet of bogeys on the way. Fly fasta Rasta Man!
D'Argo: If I could fly any faster, don't you think I would?
John: (chuckling) Just a figure of speech D'Argo.
D'Argo: (gruff. Past the stage of tension relief via the use of humor) Figure less. Speak less. Arm the kronite shavings.
John: I'm on it! (and he is)
(cut to Aeryn in her Prowler, following the pod at a distance)
Aeryn: (talking to herself as she watches the pod’s progress) Come on you guys, do it. DO IT!
Pilot: (on comm) Officer Sun, the offspring is not responding to my entreaty. Perhaps you should- (oh for Pete's SAKES!)
Aeryn: Call him by his name Pilot.
Pilot: You have chosen a name for him?
Aeryn: Yes I have. It's Talyn. It was my father’s.
(cut to the Command Carrier. Braca hurriedly enters Scorpius' quarters)
Braca: (urgently) Sensors indicate an explosive device aboard the transport has just been armed. What should we do?
Scorpius: (coolly - seeing the game) Admire Crichton his strategy. If he ignites the oil surface of that moon, we will have to abandon our research and evacuate the base.
Braca: Should we shoot him down, sir?
Scorpius: I cannot risk killing the knowledge that he possesses and he knows that. (he rises and walks away, letting loose with a curse in his gravelly, demonic Scarran voice) Das-trak Krjtor!
(cut to a brief view of the dark, oil-covered moon where Scorpius' Gammak Base is. Then cut to the pod)
John: Kronite armed and cooking! Won't be long before these babies blow. (canisters hiss and steam ominously behind him)
D'Argo: I've set a crash collision course with the frelling moon. It's time we got out of here.
John: Hey - D'Argo. How come I'm not afraid?
D'Argo: Fear accompanies the possibility of death. Calm shepherds its certainty.
John: (smiling) I love hanging with you, man. (he holds up Jack’s lucky puzzle ring on its' chain) My Dad’s good luck charm.
D'Argo: Does it work?
John: I'm alive. (he hands it to D'Argo) So far. (John heads to get suited up. D'Argo kisses the ring and follows him to the pod’s airlock. They stand facing each other, John in his space suit. John says-) Kirk and Spock. (he chuckles) Abbot and Costello. (serious) First base. (he hits the airlock release and they are both blown out into the vacuum of space as the pod streaks towards its destination)
(cut briefly to Zhaan on Moya’s Command)
Zhaan: Aeryn! Go and get them! D'Argo can't survive for more than a quarter of an arn!
Aeryn: (cut to her in her Prowler) I know, searching now.
John: (cut to him and D'Argo floating in space. They have joined hands) Aeryn, can you read me?
Aeryn: (cut to her in her Prowler) Yes, but I can't see you yet. How's D'Argo?
John: (cut to him, he gives D'Argo a thumbs up - which D'Argo returns) He's good. But we may have screwed up here. The transport should've hit the oil sea by now- (and at that moment he and D'Argo are silhouetted by a monstrous flash of white light emanating from the dark moon behind them. The flash subsides and a horrific mushroom cloud of fire is seen rushing over its surface outwards from the point of the pod’s impact) WHOOOHOOO! IGNITION! look at that mother burn! (cut briefly to Scorpius, his face lit by the red glare of the burning moon as he slowly turns to watch it go. Cut back to John and D'Argo) WOOHOO! All right, you guys starburst the hell outta here! Don't let this be for nothing.
Aeryn: (in her Prowler) Just relax John. We get one chance to grab you. That was the plan.
(cut back to Moya)
Chiana: The Peacekeepers are still moving way from us John. Find him, Aeryn. There's time.
Pilot: (on clamshell viewer) Someone has boarded Moya’s offspring.
Rygel: (entering) It's Crais.
(cut back to John and D'Argo)
John: (to no-one in particular as he watches the giant, flaming moon below) Hey you bastards. John Crichton was here. (then, as he watches D'Argo-) Aeryn - where are you? I'm losing D'Argo.
Aeryn: I can see you John. But there are too many other Prowlers around. If I swing in to pick you up, they'll spot my maneuver and shoot us all down. Just try to hang on.
(cut back to Moya’s Command)
Pilot: (on clamshell viewer) The offspring Leviathan, Talyn, has broken from Moya’s side and is operating independently.
(cut to Talyn’s Command. Crais stands imperiously at its center)
Crais: (addressing Talyn in a stentorian tone) Ship! Deeper into the asteroid field where the debris is densest! (Aeryn hears this on her commlink)
(cut back to Moya)
Rygel: Crais! What the yotz are you doing?
Crais: (smugly) Saving myself, Your Eminence. I'm sure to your envy.
Zhaan: (horrified, crying out to Crais) Talyn is not mature enough to starburst! If you attempt this, you will damage him! You may die!
Crais: (cut to him on Talyn) Thank you, priest, but I know that. We'll be fine. Where no one can follow us. You or the Peacekeepers.
Aeryn: (cut to her in her Prowler, furious) Crais! You listen to me now! You STOP what you are doing and you leave the ship NOW!
Crais: (briskly) Officer Sun. If by some strange quirk you survive your current situation and we manage to encounter each other again, I hope that our relationship away from the Peacekeepers will be a much different one next time.
Aeryn: You cannot take a child from its mother!
Crais: You forget. It was done to me. And it was done to you. Good bye Officer Sun.
Aeryn: (crying out) NO!
Zhaan: (whispering) No. (but yes - cut to Crais aboard Talyn as the little ship powers up, then to a view of him disappearing into the murky blue chaos of the asteroid field. Cut back to Moya’s Command)
Chiana: (softly, in terror) Oh my veen... The Command Carrier... It's coming back.
Pilot: (cut to him in his Den) Chiana is correct. The Peacekeeper Command Carrier has locked onto our position and is moving in.
John: (on comm - the scene shifts back and forth between the crew in their various locations) You guys gotta get out of here. Starburst now.
Zhaan: We cannot leave you and D'Argo!
Rygel: No. We can't and we won't.
John: Rygel, this is not the time to give up selfishness. Starburst!
Chiana: But Aeryn's not back yet, either!
Aeryn: I'm not leaving John and D'Argo.
John: Aeryn -
Aeryn: Pilot - starburst - save as many as you can.
Pilot: I believe that too is now impossible.
Pilot: Because Moya will not leave without her offspring. She fears Talyn does not understand what he is doing by listening to Crais' orders.
Chiana: The Peacekeepers are nearly in position to block our path.
John: Pilot, patch me through to Moya.
Pilot: Ah - done!
John: Moya, listen to me. We know how much you care about your baby. We feel the same way. That's why we've gone to all this trouble. It's not just to save ourselves, but to save you and him. Your only chance of rescuing him is to save yourself first. Moya, thanks for everything. Now do what you have to do.
Chiana: (despairing) 15 microts and it won't matter anymore. (cut to a view of Moya’s fusion plates and the starburst energy building up upon them)
Pilot: Prepare for starburst people.
Rygel: (whispering) Good bye. (Aeryn, D'Argo and John watch as Moya disappears into starburst)
Aeryn: I'm still here, but I still can't get to you.
John: It may not matter. D'Argo's unconscious.
D’Argo’s head slowly bends downwards as John hangs onto him. As he loses consciousness, his clenched fist relaxes and opens and the lucky puzzle ring floats from his grasp into dead space.
TO BE CONTINUED