Mind The Baby
March 17, 2000 - US
June 12, 2000 - UK
2.01

Writer - Richard Manning
Director - Andrew Prowse

Regular Cast
(in order of appearance)
Ben Browder . . . John Crichton
Virginia Hey . . . Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan
Anthony Simcoe . . . Ka D'Argo
Lani Tupu . . . (voice) Pilot
Jonathan Hardy . . . (voice) Rygel XVI
Claudia Black . . . Aeryn Sun

Guest Cast
Lani Tupu . . . Bialar Crais
Wayne Pygram . . . Scorpius
David Franklin . . . Braca


TRANSCRIPT

The episode opens with a looming head-on view of a Sheyang ship charging its plasma weapon arrays. Cut to Moya, who is what the Sheyang are aiming at. Only Chiana, Rygel and Zhaan are aboard, having been forced to leave Aeryn, D'Argo and John behind after their escape from the Gammak Base and the asteroid field....

Pilot: (in his Den, speaking to the crew via comm) The Sheyang vessel is about to fire.

Rygel: (frantic) Starburst! Starburst now!

Pilot: Moya can't. She isn't ready.

Chiana: (as Zhaan enters the Command Chiana runs to her and grabs her pleadingly) Zhaan? Zhaan! Do something!

Zhaan: (she smiles, but seems to be in shock from the loss of their crewmates) D'Argo. He can help them.

Chiana: Nonono!

Zhaan: (nattering on, oblivious to her fear) He can talk to them.

Chiana: Nono - Listen to me - D'Argo- D'Argo is gone!

Rygel: (frustrated and impatient) No D'Argo! No Aeryn! No Crichton!

Chiana: (her voice is harsh with fear) Just us, okay? And in a few microts, we'll be dead, too!

Zhaan: (tormented) NO! D'Argo can save us! He can! He-he has to save us!

Pilot: THEY'RE FIRING!

Zhaan: (crying into her comm) D'Argo! We need you! (but of course there is no response and the Sheyang ship launches a huge fireball at Moya. She is rocked violently as it hits, lights flicker wildly, the crew screams in the chaos. Zhaan can be heard crying for D'Argo)

(cut to an abandoned building on an asteroid back in the field Moya just escaped from. D'Argo is laying on the ground, unconscious while John watches over him in the dark blue gloom of the place)


John: (in a tone that suggests he's been talking to D'Argo's inert form for quite awhile) D'Argo. Shake it off. Come on back. Get off the canvas. You can do it. Rise and shine. Up and at 'em. Break through. Man, this is getting old. Least you could do is talk in your sleep. (and with that D'Argo suddenly jerks to life, gasping and disoriented, John, surprised, moves to help him)

D'Argo: (gasping for air) What would you like me to say?

John: Whoa! How about, 'Great to be back'?

D'Argo: (eyes wild with panic) Was I away?

John: You sure as hell were. Days. I don't know how many. I kinda lost track of time. Do you know who I am?

D'Argo: (speaking rapidly, panting) Yes, I recognize you, John, but I do not recognize this place! Am I dead? (he seizes Johns shirtfront as John tries to reassure him) AM I DEAD?!

John: No! You're not dead. (D'Argo begins to laugh with relief and exhaustion)

D'Argo: (stops laughing as he regains his orientation) I, uh- I thought we were dead. Why aren't we?

John: Aeryn. She finally managed to scoop us up. Brought us here. Some... asteroid. Abandoned mining camp. Factory. I don't know. Something like that.

D'Argo: Where is she?

John: She's in the Prowler grocery shopping. This rock gets a 9 on atmosphere but only 2 on food and water.

D'Argo: We have a lot to thank her for.

John: Yeah.

(cut to outside in the asteroid field, then to Aeryn in her Prowler. The scene shifts between her in her Prowler and Crais aboard Talyn)

Aeryn: Prowler to Talyn.

Crais: (on comm) What delayed you? You were supposed to check in two arns ago.

Aeryn: I can't always get away on schedule. Don't forget, I still have to give Crichton some reason for my absence.

Crais: He still has no knowledge of our - arrangement?

Aeryn: None.

Crais: It might facilitate matters if you explain to him-

Aeryn: No.

Crais: Eventually, you'll have to.

Aeryn: Only when it's too late for him to interfere.

(cut back to D'Argo and John hanging around on the asteroid and waiting for Aeryn to return. D'Argo sits as John paces)

John: You sure your memory's okay?

D'Argo: How long was I without oxygen for?

John: Long enough to scare the hell out of me. (he gives D'Argo a friendly punch on the arm. E.g. - he shows Guy Affection) What's the last thing you remember?

D'Argo: Space. Kronite. Gammak Base aflame. Magnificent sight.

John: Absolutely.

D'Argo: Did Moya get away?

John: Moya did. But Talyn...

D'Argo: Talyn?

John: Yeah, Moya's baby.

D'Argo: Awful name. What happened to him?

John: Crais happened. He made off with the baby.

D'Argo: We should NEVER have let him live!

John: Yeah, I know.

D'Argo: What happened to the Command Carrier?

John: It's still in the area. Aeryn has spotted Marauders checking the asteroid field out, but they haven't seen us yet.

D'Argo: (increasingly annoyed) So now we evade Scorpius, and then we have to find Crais. Remove him from Talyn - who the YOTZ named him Talyn?

Aeryn: (as she enters) I did. After my father.

John: Aeryn, check out who finally woke up from his little siesta.

Aeryn: (coldly) Yes, I have eyes Crichton.

D'Argo: (heartfelt, to Aeryn) I have eyes as well. And they are very pleased to see you alive. (she makes no response and after setting down the load she carried in, turns to leave)

John: (stopping her) Hey! Yo. What's the matter? Is there a problem? (D'Argo comes to join them)

Aeryn: All I managed to find was a little water. I'll have to keep exploring.

D'Argo: Look, if this asteroid is unsuitable, then we should all leave.

John: Good idea. Change of scenery.

Aeryn: (quickly) No. This is the only asteroid I've seen with structures that'll hide you from the Marauder patrols.

John: Yeah, but - D'Argo's awake. We get out of the asteroid. We signal to Moya. She comes and she picks us up.

Aeryn: (contrary) We don't even know if Moya's in range, and we can't outrun a Command Carrier, so we have to remain hidden until the carrier withdraws.

D'Argo: (confrontational) What if it never does?

Aeryn: (talking fast and loud) Well, Scorpius can't look for us forever, and he can't even be certain that you survived.

John: (quietly, he's tired of hanging around) Aeryn, Scorpius wants me pretty bad. His patience may outlast your Prowlers' fuel.

D'Argo: (angry and impatient) When the Prowlers' fuel runs out, we starve! As John once said, 'I would rather go down on a swing.'

John: (aside to D'Argo) Swinging. You wanna go down - swinging.

D'Argo: (muttering) Swinging.

Aeryn: (loudly) The only reason we'll starve is if you don't stop this useless discussion and let me keep searching for food. (D'Argo and John burst out simultaneously at her-)

D'Argo: THIS DISCUSSION-

John: AERYN! D'ARGO'S-

Aeryn: (shouting at them angrily) Stop it! Both of you! If not for me, you'd both be dead, all right? So stop fighting me! (she storms out. D'Argo and John glare sullenly after her and John silently slaps a water container into D'Argo's hand)

(cut back to Moya as she moves through space. They seem to have survived the Sheyang attack and got away before any serious damage was done. Chiana and Rygel are in the central chamber)

Chiana: (she proffers a foodcube) Rygel - eat!

Rygel: (shaking his head) I can't eat.

Chiana: (a bit worried) What, you? You can't eat? What, any fever? Or dizziness? Or secretions that are even abnormal for you?

Rygel: (squirming away from her prodding) I'm not sick! I'm simply not hungry! Ask Pilot why!

Chiana: Bad news Pilot?

Pilot: Moya is returning to the asteroid field where she last saw Talyn.

Chiana: What?

Rygel: There, you see?

Chiana: (annoyed & frightened) Is Moya unclear on the concept of why we ran away?

Pilot: She insists on searching for her offspring despite the risk.

Rygel: A Peacekeeper Command Carrier is slightly more than a risk!

Pilot: Moya and I have chosen a course that should allow us to re-enter the field undetected.

Chiana: Even then, we're flying back in unarmed, defenseless.

Pilot: (standing - er - sitting - his ground) We aren't entirely defenseless.

Rygel: Huh! As good as! All we have is that antiquated defense screen we took from the wreck of the Zelbinion.

Chiana: (eyeing the DS panels and components that are still leaning against the wall gathering dust) This pile of dren? Well is it even functional?

Pilot: (impatient with the nay-saying) I'll have the DRDs give it a thorough going-over. (a couple of DRDs roll out and begin to do just that) Moya doesn't understand your distress. Besides Talyn, we might also find Crichton, D'Argo and Aeryn.

Chiana: If they could have gotten out, they would have by now.

(cut to the Command Carrier. Scorpius' quarters. A nurse is changing his coolant rods. Scorpius is half Scarran and half Sebacean.. The Sebacean part of him is intolerant of heat while the Scarran half is heat-producing. He must be artificially cooled by a device implanted in his head. which is accessed through a round port on the left side of his skull. When activated, the device rapidly spins out to reveal an approximately 7 inch long rod, red with heat, that is replaced with a cool blue one. The process is a fairly revolting sight. Bits of flesh or brain tissue hang off the device and Scorpius grimaces as it unscrews and then screws itself back into his cranium)

Braca: (entering) All patrols still report nothing, sir. (he misses a beat as he catches sight of what is going on - then continues, not quite as briskly-) Uh, no signal from the Leviathan offspring. No trace of Crichton. (limply) Nothing.

Scorpius: (deadly) I comprehend the meaning of "nothing," Lieutenant. After Crichton ejected from the transport, it may have been a mistake to pull back and allow that rogue Prowler to rescue him.

Braca: You had little choice sir.

Scorpius: Oh, true. He would have chosen to perish rather than to be saved by us. But, (he grabs Braca's shirtfront and says at close range-) the Prowler eluded capture, and continues to.

Braca: (defensive) In a field of this size, we may never find it.

Scorpius: Time for a change of tactics.

(cut to Talyn in the asteroid field as Aeryn's Prowler arcs towards him. Cut to Crais in his Command)

Crais: TALYN! Stop this senseless behavior! Your mother has gone! Do you understand? Moya has abandoned you! (the little ship begins to power up his engines) What are you doing? Power down your engines at once! Leaving the protection of the field right now is suicidal! (he takes on a wheedling tone) I know you detest all this hiding. You're a gunship! A warrior! You want to move, to fight! But you're not yet strong enough to take on a Command Carrier. (he turns to Aeryn as she enters) He's going berserk. TALK to him!

Aeryn: (grinning at putting her hands against his ceiling) Talyn! What's the matter? (the young Leviathan natters with a variety of ponks and squeaks in response) Show us. There's no reason to be afraid. I'm here. So is Crais. Talyn, we want to help you. Please, let us see what's upsetting you. (in response a console activates, staticky sound is heard)

Crais: (making for the console) Communications.

Aeryn: (following him) Broadband transmissions. Random noises mixed with distortion spikes.

Crais: Scorpius.

Aeryn: Talyn, these signals mean nothing. They're intended to alarm you and to make you run.

Crais: Talyn, do not play into the hand of your enemy. Remain right where you are. You're brave enough to do that - Aren't you? (Talyn powers down, leaving Aeryn and Crais in near darkness)

Aeryn: Very good Talyn.

Crais: Talyn, excuse us for a moment.

Aeryn: D'Argo's regained consciousness. He and Crichton are eager to leave. And don't suggest that we simply abandon them, because that was not part of our arrangement.

Crais: We can't leave just yet. Talyn is still too immature. No weapons. No starburst. And he continues to ignore my commands.

Aeryn: You can't command a Leviathan; you can only persuade it.

Crais: Talyn is part Leviathan, part Peacekeeper. He was designed to take orders.

Aeryn: Why don't you let me talk to him? Alone.

Crais: No. I am willing to share command of Talyn. I will not relinquish it.

(cut back to the asteroid where D'Argo and John are whiling the time away with a game of Intellect And Skill...)

John: Again?

D'Argo: Yeah.

John: One, two, three. (each shakes his fist three times - Rock, Paper, Scissors...)

D'Argo: (chortling with triumph) Again, I win!

John: No, I win. Paper wraps rock.

D'Argo: No, paper cannot possibly beat rock.

John: It does. Paper beats rock.

D'Argo: (protesting the absurdity of it all) Rock rips through paper!

John: (annoyed) D'Argo, that's not how it works! Paper - beats - rock!

D'Argo: That's unrealistic.

John: Well, it's the rules! And it's not supposed to be realistic, it's supposed to be entertaining!

D'Argo: (grumbling) My coma was more entertaining.

John: (offering a pouty explanation) It's a kids' game. (Aeryn re-enters with a load and walks right past them without a word. John gets up and follows) Aeryn! Good hunting?

D'Argo: (eager to DO something, he follows her too) Should we give you a hand?

Aeryn: No need.

John: It's no problem.

Aeryn: What did I say? I don't need any help. (she turns and makes to stalk back out)

John: (irritated by her behavior) You know what? (he stops her) I think you do.

D'Argo: I'm certain you do.

Aeryn: This is ridiculous. (she turns to continue her exit but John grabs her arm again, forcing her to stop and turn back to face him)

John: I have a question. How many times have we saved each others' lives?

Aeryn: I've lost count.

John: Safe to say more than once?

Aeryn: Sure.

John: Right, and how many times have you and I been close?

Aeryn: (glances at D'Argo before smiling and whispering-) Just the once.

John: (embarrassed, he whisper back-) Uh, nonono, not that kind of close.

Aeryn: (embarrassed, loudly-) Oh. Um. Friend close.

John: Yes.

Aeryn: (clearing her throat-) Um, er - More than once.

John: Yeah,, well, whatever our relationship is. We should be in a place where we can trust one another. I think you're holding something back. Look me in the eye. (she is avoiding eye contact) Look me in the eye. Tell me - that I'm wrong. (Aeryn turns and walks several paces away from him and D'Argo)

Aeryn: You're not going to like what I have to say.

John: Mm. Maybe not.

Aeryn: (turning to face them) In order to save your lives, I had to make a deal with Crais.

D'Argo: WHAT?

John: (apprehensive, angered, he says quietly-) Slow down - Stop. You had to what?

Aeryn: By the time I retrieved you, Moya had gone. You were both about to suffocate. And then Crais signaled me from Talyn with the coordinates to an oxygen-atmosphere asteroid.

D'Argo: THIS ASTEROID?

Aeryn: I never would have found it. Not in time, anyway.

John: Back up. What's your end of this deal?

Aeryn: When Moya left, Talyn got upset, stopped obeying Crais. I agreed to help calm Talyn down, and teach him to start obeying Crais' orders.

John: (furious) Oh all right. Makes sense. You're helping Talyn obey the guy who KIDNAPPED HIM!

Aeryn: (shouting back) I didn't have another choice!

D'Argo: YOU SHOULD HAVE LET US DIE!

Aeryn: No I couldn't have.

D'Argo: That offspring has weaponry! And you've put that weaponry within the grasp of Crais!

Aeryn: (loudly) Oh, what would you prefer D'Argo? That Scorpius gets Talyn? Or destroys Talyn? Right now, even Crais' control is better than no control at all.

John: RIGHT NOW? OKAY WHEN EXACTLY IS THAT GONNA CHANGE AERYN? AFTER CRAIS HAS BRAINWASHED HIM, HE'S GONNA GIVE HIM BACK?

Aeryn: I TOLD YOU YOU WOULDN'T LIKE WHAT I HAD TO SAY!

John: I DON'T!

D'Argo: NEITHER DO I!

Aeryn: Yeah well, it's all we have.

D'Argo: No it isn't. (and with that he lashes out at her with his whiplike tongue. She falls to the floor, senseless)

D'Argo: (he strides towards Aeryn from one side and meets John striding towards her from the other) All right. We cannot allow Crais to remain aboard Talyn. Do you agree?

John: Absolutely! (they give each other a finger point to signal agreement. John takes Aeryn's weapons while D'Argo gets his Qualta) She's gonna be pissed when she gets up, though.

D'Argo: It was a time-saver. You look after her while I go and break Crais' neck!

John: D'Argo, you couldn't break wind right now! I'm going!

D'Argo: I owe Crais.

John: You think I don't owe him? (they face off silently for a moment) Shoot for it. One, two, three. (D'Argo throws paper, John throws scissors. D'Argo looks disgusted) I'll see ya. (John exits)

(cut to Moya. Zhaan is heard chanting in her quarters as Chiana approaches and enters)

Chiana: Zhaan? It's me. Hello? (Zhaan is standing, her hands raised, chanting softly and making no response to Chiana who walks right up to her and begins talking) It's me. Chiana? Look, I hate to disturb you while you're so busy - well, not that I understand what you're doing - I mean, I understand it's part of the Delvian Seek thing so you can become a priest again, or... or something... But I don't see how it works! (she trails lamely off) Not... not that it's my business...

Zhaan: (she stops her chanting and eyes Chiana) You have thirty microts.

Chiana: (talking fast) Moya's got some fahrbot idea about going back into the asteroid field to look for her baby even though we're sure to get captured by Peacekeepers and I don't have to tell you what happens then. SO - I was wondering if you could talk to Pilot so he could talk to Moya to convince her that this bad idea is, well, a bad idea. Did you get all that?

Zhaan: Yes.

Chiana: So you'll do it?

Zhaan: No. (she returns to her meditative stance)

(cut back to the asteroid. Aeryn has regained consciousness. She sits on the floor as D'Argo gathers their gear together)

Aeryn: You've killed all three of us, now. Without Crais and Talyn's help, we'll never get out of here alive.

D'Argo: Do you really think that Crais would return us to Moya once Talyn is under his control? His word is worth next to nothing.

Aeryn: He no longer considers himself a Peacekeeper.

D'Argo: Or so he claims.

Aeryn: I believe him. He knows Scorpius would have him executed.

D'Argo: (stopping and looking at her) Oh, then his conversion doesn't mean much, does it?

Aeryn: Well, perhaps not. But he is a fugitive just as we are. Which means that his goals and ours may no longer conflict.

D'Argo: (he squats down next to her) If he has deserted the Peacekeepers, then his loyalties lie only to himself. Which makes him more dangerous. Not less. (he continues his work. Aeryn has no answer to his assessment of the situation)

(cut to Talyn. Crais is at the communications console. The scene shifts between him and Scorpius aboard the Command Carrier)

Crais: Locking scramble security 3-velka. Please confirm.

Scorpius: (on comm) Scramble confirmed. Proceed.

Crais: The gunship is still-

Scorpius: Not my concern. Where's Crichton?

Crais: Officer Sun won't tell me yet. Building her trust is time-consuming as is building the gunship's trust. The latter task is made no easier when the gunship is panicked by your spurious transmissions.

Scorpius: Your progress report was overdue. I concluded you were incapacitated and I attempted to retrieve the gunship.

Crais: Then it is among your concerns.

Scorpius: As a means to recovering Crichton, no more. Deliver Crichton to me, and I will allow you to keep the gunship.

Crais: Demonstrate some of the formidable patience you are always bragging you possess.

Scorpius: My patience is formidable, Crais. But it is not infinite. (the communication is ended. Crais speaks to Talyn-)

Crais: Talyn, you heard Scorpius. You are not his concern. Merely a tool he can use or barter away. This is how the Peacekeepers treat their own. You. Me. Officer Sun. But we are alike now. Orphaned from all we ever knew. We have only one another to rely upon. You must believe me. Trust me. (John enters) Crichton!

John: (sarcastically, waving his gun around as he speaks) I - I know. Sorry. You know, I shoulda called, but I was in the neighborhood, thought I'd drop in. Say hi. (he advances on Crais) How ya doing?

Crais: Where is Officer Sun? Have you harmed her?

John: You're asking me if I've harmed Aeryn? That's a winner Crais. Do Sebaceans have a word for "chutzpah"?

Crais: What do you want, Crichton?

John: Oh, a couple of things. Your head on a platter, for starters. (Talyn natters with a series of low electronic tones)

Crais: I'm unarmed. You can kill me easily. Be warned however, Talyn regards me as a friend.

John: Interesting. I heard that you had a long way to go in that department.

Crais: I have. Nevertheless, I believe he would react badly to my death and retaliate by killing you.

John: (looking around the little Command) Oh. Well. But, if you're dead, he's out of your clutches. Fair price to pay I'd say.

Crais: Consider this - neither of us wants to see Talyn in Scorpius' hands.

John: (facing Crais) Okay. I give. What do you want Crais?

Crais: Simply to escape. To travel deeper into the uncharted territories. To re-examine my path.

John: You want to have a mid-life crisis? Fine. Good. Just - ditch the firm, head off to Maui, shack up with the supermodel, BUT YOU DO NOT GET TO KEEP THE PORSCHE! You don't get the keys to Moya's baby.

Crais: Talyn. (Talyn ponks back at him) intruder. (the young ships response is instant. Guns mounted in the ceilings lower and swivel to target John. The door to the Command shuts, sealing off escape. John lunges for Crais and putting a gun to his head uses him as a shield)

John: You're about to lose your head. Now tell Talyn to put away the toys.

Crais: Talyn. (the weaponry retracts)

John: Now open the hatch. (Crais permits it and the Command doors slide open) We're gonna go for a little drive! (without loosening his hold on Crais, he forces him to the door as Talyn ponks and squeals anxiously)

(cut to Moya - the Command. Rygel is there alone as Moya suddenly leaps forward, jostling everyone aboard)

Rygel: (rocked even as he floats in his hoverchair) AAAHHH! Pilot! What the yotz was that?

Pilot: (on clamshell viewer) Moya is accelerating.

Rygel: I know that. I felt it in all three stomachs.

Pilot: She heard a transmission from Talyn. He's in the asteroid field, apparently in great pain. I'll try to find out more. (as he speaks Chiana gallops in and grabs Rygel's hoverchair, turning to face her as she bends down to speak face to face with him)

Chiana: Moya's in full lunatic mother mode.

Rygel: She'll blunder right into Scorpius' bad teeth!

Chiana: (quietly) Ah - that module thing of Crichton's is still operational. (cut briefly to Pilot in his Den, listening. He shakes his head and makes a small sound of weariness) We could let Moya go on without us.

Rygel: Hmm. We could. Not that any planet in this vicinity was very hospitable. (cut briefly to Pilot again. He groans audibly with disgust)

Chiana: (considering) Pilot and - Pilot and Moya didn't abandon us during Zhaan's trial. Ugh! We can't ditch. We gotta stick.

Rygel: Stupid though it may be.

Pilot: (breaking in, in an icy tone and not about to beg anyone to stay anymore apparently) There is a transport pod available should you not wish to accompany us.

Chiana: What? Leave you and Moya? No. We-we couldn't. Could we? (she swats Rygel's back)

Rygel: No. Oh. We'd never consider such a thing. (cut again to Pilot who has a priceless look of annoyance on his face. He makes a small sound of pure fluffed up disdain that can only be roughly expressed as-)

Pilot: Tcha! Hmph!

(cut to the Command Carrier)

Scorpius: This transmission can be only one thing - a Leviathan distress call.

Braca: And if Moya is anywhere in the area, she should come running.

Scorpius: If the gunship does not emerge from the asteroid field. If Moya joins her offspring in concealment - we have gained nothing.

(cut to Moya as she enters the blue chaos of the asteroid field. The scene shifts between Pilots Den and the Command where Chiana and Rygel wait)

Pilot: Nearing the origin of Talyn's transmission. But there's no sign of Talyn. He may have fled further into the field.

Rygel: Any other ships around?

Pilot: No. Wait! A Prowler.

Chiana: Has it seen us?

Pilot: Apparently, it's changing course to intersect with ours.

Chiana: (to Rygel) It's been a thrill, Your Frogness.

Rygel: (to Chiana) May your afterlife be almost as pleasant as mine.

Pilot: This is odd. The Prowler has not initiated any communications.

Chiana: Not sending word home?

Pilot: No. In fact, it's maneuvering as if it wishes to dock.

Rygel: You don't think...?

Chiana: No. It couldn't be. (but maybe it is, she becomes breathless with the possibility) Pilot? Let it dock! (she takes off at a run for the docking bay as Pilot and Rygel say in unison-)

Rygel: Chiana?

Pilot: Chiana!

(cut to the Prowler firing its retro rockets as it sweeps into the docking bay. Chiana is waiting, partially concealed, weapon in hand, as the bay doors open and John enters, his arm around Crais' shoulders. Crais' hands are bound)

John: (grinning) Yo, Chi! What up?

Chiana: (wavering just a little) Stay where you frelling are! How do I know it's you?

John: You wanna check my birthmarks?

Chiana: (stepping out of cover, but not lowering her gun) Yeah, maybe. Uh - why didn't you signal?

John: 'Cos the bad guys might be listening.

Chiana: (trying to think of everything she ought to be asking) Okay. So, uh - so what are you doing with him?

John: What? This guy? (he gives Crais a sarcastic kiss on the head and then pushes him to the floor) Put this guy back in his CELL! (Chiana and John face each other for a moment before Chiana tosses aside her gun and takes a flying leap into his arms with a yell of joy)


John: Whoa! (they laugh and hug as a DRD repeatedly rams Crais' head)

Chiana: You survived!

John: Hey don't I always?

(later - cut to John entering Zhaan's quarters, Chiana hangs back and watches. Zhaan remains in a stubbornly meditative state. She sits, gazing unblinkingly into space. Her hands are raised to shoulder height and a crystal rests in each palm)

John: Hey Blue. Zhaan! Hey darling, can you hear me?

Zhaan: Certainly I can hear you John. I can always hear you.

John: Uh-huh. (gently) You okay?

Zhaan: Perfectly.

John: You're not - surprised to see me?

Zhaan: Not at all. I apologize for shouting at you, John.

John: That's okay. Uh, when exactly was that?

Zhaan: On Litigara. I accused you of not being there for me. I realize now that - that wasn't true.

John: Liti-gara? Don't think that I've been there, but I'm here now.

Zhaan: Yes, your spirit is with me. The flesh is unimportant.

John: No, it's kinda important. (he realizes the depth of her trauma) Whoa! Oho! Whoa! I'm not dead! (he chuckles and says to Chiana-) She thinks I'm dead. (he turns back to Zhaan) I'm real.

Zhaan: (with the calm conviction of the truly insane) Yes John. You always will be, to me. (and with that, she reaches out to him and draws his face near to hers. She lays her ear against his in a short embrace, John gasps and collapses backwards onto the floor as she releases him and resumes her meditative stance)

John: (he staggers back to Chiana, moaning a bit and fingering his ear) What do you - help? (unsure what to do)

Chiana: Pilot thinks nothing's wrong. She's resumed the Delvian Seek.

John: Whoawhoawhoa - What are you telling me? This is supposed to be normal?

Chiana: Well you tell me. You've seen more Delvians than I have.

John: You think that's a help?

(cut back to the asteroid where Aeryn is dozing and D'Argo is playing Rock, Paper Scissors - with himself. And still losing...)

D'Argo: (grunts and mutters as he throws paper with both hands) Tie.

Aeryn: (coming awake) We're low on food. I'd conserve your energy, if I were you.

D'Argo: For what purpose?

Aeryn: To live longer.

D'Argo: If I am to die on this asteroid, I would it were sooner than later. Besides, if I die you can eat me.

Aeryn: You don't look ripe to me.

John: (entering) Somebody call for a taxi?

D'Argo: Crichton! You succeeded?

John: I'm one for two. I'll give you the details on the way back.

Pilot: (on comm - his tone is urgent) Crichton! you must return now! Moya's made contact with Talyn!

D'Argo: Where is Talyn?

Pilot: About to leave the asteroid field!

John: We're on the way Pilot!

(cut to the Command Carrier)

Braca: There is no mistake sir. The gunship is leaving the asteroid field and Moya is pursuing.

Scorpius: Follow them. But stay well clear of their sensor range. They must not see us until they are too far from the asteroid field to hide again.

Braca: But we won't be able to catch the Leviathan if she starbursts.

Scorpius: She won't because her offspring can't. On my signal - cripple both ships. Commando units will take Crichton alive. But I care for no other prisoners. Clear?

(cut to Talyn, rocketing out of the asteroid field with Moya in hot pursuit. Cut to Moya's Command as D'Argo and John enter. Rygel remains there on watch)

John: Sparky! How's my favorite Hynerian? (Rygel gapes and makes sounds as if he's about to have a heart attack)

D'Argo: Even I'm pleased to see you. (Rygel continues to choke and gasp for air) Are, uh, are you not well?

John: You got a frog in your throat? You need a Hynerian Heimlich? (he grabs Rygel from behind and gives him three big compressions that cause Rygel to flop like a rag doll in his arms)

Rygel: (choking out the words) Fine. I'll be fine! (Aeryn enters and Rygel starts gasping for air again but manages to say, before John can break his ribs-)
Slight case of the intons.

John: What?

Aeryn: (laughing a little) It's a Hynerian airway seizure caused by very strong emotions.

John: (laughing) I didn't know you had strong emotions in ya Sparky!

D'Argo: (smiling) Other than, ah, greed, of course.

Rygel: (indignant) A simple reaction to the shock of seeing you again! (John releases him from the Heimlich bear hug)

Pilot: (cut to him in his Den) It is good to have you all back aboard.

John: We missed you too Pilot.

Aeryn: Very much. What's Talyn's status?

Pilot: Highly distraught. He continues to flee and won't even acknowledge Moya's signals.

Aeryn: Pilot, I might have a little more luck. Is Moya willing to let me try?

Pilot: Moya consents. You may proceed.

Aeryn: Thank you. (she addresses Talyn via comm) Talyn, this is Aeryn. Please answer. Talyn you don't have to run from Moya. She only wants to protect you. Look - Talyn, I know you're confused. You've heard so many voices - but you know that I care about you. At least let me know that you can hear what I'm saying. (Talyn makes no response)

John: Hey. You might want to give it a rest. Poor kid's confused. He doesn't know who to listen to.

Aeryn: Moya's still trying to catch him, which can't be helping matters.

John: No. Look I'm gonna go have a chat with Pilot. (he exits)

(cut to Pilots Den. He and John start the instant John appears in the doorway)

Pilot: I'm sorry Commander. Moya refuses to allow Talyn to get further away.

John: Look, look, look - does she not realize that by chasing him she's making him more nervous?

Pilot: (defending Moya's actions) She's convinced she can still get through to him and talk him down! Having found him, she's terrified at the thought of losing him again!

John: (pacing) I know. Alright I know. It's her kid. It's her kid. I know that. I know that. Maybe mom does know best. There's no sign of the command carrier right?

Pilot: None. Yet.

(cut to Zhaan's quarters. She is slowly sweeping a crystal in a circular motion in front of her, creating repetitive tones, like a tuning fork makes, with it. Aeryn enters)

Aeryn: Zhaan?

Zhaan: Hello, Aeryn. Come in.

Aeryn: Crichton said you were chanting. (she sits down next to Zhaan who continues to produce her meditative tones without looking at Aeryn) Are you finished yet?

Zhaan: I'll never be finished. This is a different phase of the Seek.

Aeryn: Fine. Well, I just wanted to see how you were.

Zhaan: I love you.

Aeryn: You what?

Zhaan: I love you. (she seems to be fighting back a smile)

Aeryn: (she hurriedly rises and moves a few steps away) Oh! YES - I did hear it the first time. And you know what? I - I-

Zhaan: I love all living beings. The Seek has reopened my eyes to the wonder of the spirit. I am now going to devote my life to enlightenment.

Aeryn: Oh. Well, I think that's, um- (to hell with sensitivity and religious tolerance - Aeryn decides to say exactly what she thinks- rather heatedly. She returns to sit next to Zhaan for a moment-) -Really selfish, actually. You know, before you bliss off completely into oblivion, you might want to have a little look around you, because Moya and Talyn are in danger. (Zhaan breaks her crystal tones for a moment and looks at Aeryn before stubbornly resuming her retreat into the spiritual)

Zhaan: Worldly concerns do not interest me now.

Aeryn: Oh really? Well, then don't give me any dren about how much you love me!

Zhaan: (she pauses again and with a beatific smile attempts to cover the situation with a religious cliché) Love in it's most rarefied sense-

Aeryn: (cutting her off) Too rarefied for me! I'm just an ignorant warrior who believes that love means you are willing to fight and die for your fellow living beings! (she stalks out. Zhaan sighs and attempts to resume her mystic tones, but her motions are impatient and the tones discordant. The crystal shatters)

(cut to Crais in his cell aboard Moya. D'Argo stands watch outside it as Crais addresses him in a bold, direct tone. D'Argo's is low, flat)

Crais: You're an atypical Luxan, Ka D'Argo. You left your military service to raise a family upon a rural planet.

D'Argo: Spare me your disapproval.

Crais: I don't. I lived upon a farming community until the Peacekeepers conscripted me.

D'Argo: My wife was a Sebacean. Tell me you approve of that.

Crais: No. I find it repellent. That reaction - the concept of irreversible contamination - was instilled in me by the Peacekeepers. As such, it needs to be questioned. Re-examined.

D'Argo: A containment cell is a fine place for reflection.

Crais: (jaunty) True. Pa'u Zhaan achieved much during her incarceration. But I cannot stay here. Talyn needs me.

D'Argo: Too frelling bad.

Crais: Your hatred of me, though well-earned, blinds you. I can keep Talyn out of Peacekeeper hands. And I will.

D'Argo: You're not getting back aboard Talyn. Get used to the idea. Re-examine it.

Crais: (with a confident smile) I shall. Before you were arrested - were you happy?

D'Argo: Happier than you can ever imagine.

Crais: Then I envy you.

(cut to the Command Carrier)

Braca: Both the Leviathans are decelerating.

Scorpius: Either they have no plan whatsoever, or they're about to implement one which isn't immediately apparent. Our wisest move in both cases is the same. Overtake. And engage! (shortly after - Prowlers and Marauders are seen launching from the Carrier)

(cut to Moya's Command, the crew is hurriedly assembling there. The scene shifts between Pilot in his Den and the others on the Command)

Chiana: (as Aeryn jogs in) Well, don't take your time, or anything.

Aeryn: You're sure it's the Command Carrier, Pilot?

Pilot: Yes! Closing fast. Firing range in 6,000 microts.

John: Scorpius. He just can't live without me.

Pilot: Talyn sees the Carrier. He's powering up his main cannon. (cut to a view of the little gunship's cannon emerging and locking on target)

Rygel: Excellent. Have him aim dead amidships, right in Scorpius' a-

Pilot: (disbelieving what he's seeing) He's aiming for Moya. (Talyn fires a salvo at Moya, she and her crew are rocked by the impact)

John: DAMMIT! What the hell's he doing?

Pilot: Talyn says that was a warning shot. He's sending Moya a demand.

Rygel: (outraged) What's he want?

Pilot: A captain. Talyn's afraid. He doesn't know what to do about the approaching Command Carrier.

Chiana: (ticked) Oh, like we do?

Pilot: He insists he needs guidance.

John: Ouch. Let's get that boy some guidance before he turns into a full-blown Menendez brother.

Aeryn: I'll go at once. (she makes to leave)

Pilot: Talyn demands that we send over Crais!

John: WHAT?

Aeryn: (stopping) He said he wants Crais?

John: HE CAN'T HAVE HIM! Pilot, get that boy on the phone!

Pilot: He is unwilling to discuss it further. He says he'll fire upon us unless we agree to return Crais -Now!

Aeryn: Pilot, evasives.

Pilot: Moya won't! She doesn't believe he'll fire.

John: Pilot, let's get that defense screen up just in case mama's wrong.

Pilot: Done. But it may not hold. (Talyn fires again and indeed it does not. The DS burns off and Moya and the crew are rocked by a series of explosions as it shorts out and Talyn's shot hits home)

John: Man! Haven't you people ever heard of fuses?

Pilot: Moya is unhurt. But the defense screen is out.

Chiana: (sarcastic) No - really?

Pilot: (sternly) And another shot would do Moya considerable harm. (yeah tell it to Moya baby)

Aeryn: Scorpius will be upon us in no more than 5,000 microts. I'm going to take Crais to Talyn. (she turns to go, John stops her - but with less vehemence than before)

John: And then what? We leave Talyn in Crais' control?

Aeryn: His and mine. I'll stay aboard Talyn with Crais.

John: (alarmed) Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! For how long?

Aeryn: For as long as necessary to protect Talyn. He's very intelligent John. Once he matures, he'll no longer want a Captain.

John: Yeah, Aeryn, in the meantime-

Aeryn: I'll be there to mitigate any damage that Crais does.

John: Crais is never gonna go for that.

Aeryn: Yes he will. He's already offered to take me with him. (there's a long pause, John walks over to her)

John: And you'd do that?

Aeryn: (her voice wavering) I don't have another choice.

John: There are always choices, Aeryn.

Aeryn: The only other choice is death for everyone, Talyn included.

John: Well, I'm not gonna let you go with him.

Aeryn: There isn't another solution.

John: There has to be.

Aeryn: We're out of time. (she turns and continues to leave)

John: Aeryn...

(cut to Crais' cell. Aeryn and John enter)

John: Your nephew wants to see you.

Crais: (with a grunt of satisfaction) I knew he would. Eventually. Officer Sun. Make your choice.

Aeryn: I want to go with you.

Crais: (pleased, he speaks to John with the tone of a victor) Crichton. This is a beneficial turn of events for all concerned. With the happy exception of Scorpius.

John: Crais, I don't like this plan and I never will. So you better behave yourself with Talyn. And Aeryn. 'Cos if you hurt either one of them - I'm going to hunt you down.

Crais: You hunt me down. (he snorts at the irony) That would complete the symmetry nicely, wouldn't it?

(cut to the three of them approaching the docking bay. Crais enters and waits a few paces in as Aeryn pauses at the door and looks back at John)

John: Last time we stood here, we didn't say good-bye.

Aeryn: And it wasn't good-bye as it turned out (they clasp hands for a moment)

John: Here's hoping history repeats itself. (she turns and enters the bay. The doors close behind her)

(cut to Aeryn's Prowler arcing away from Moya and then to her and Crais entering Talyn's command)

Crais: Talyn, we have returned. We are prepared to guide you out of danger, take you far from the domain of the Peacekeepers

Aeryn: Maneuver very close to Moya and her starburst will carry us all to safety. (but before he makes a move Talyn strikes a couple of deep tones. Then, the central light on the pattern on his floor slides open. Vapors pour out from it and a metal tentacle topped with a small black cap, like a plug, rises. Aeryn stares warily at the thing reaching up from the floor) What is that?

Crais: (his voice quavers a bit with excitement) It is the Hand of Friendship. It is the greatest honor it can bestow. Talyn! Who's it for? (Talyn responds with a series of ponks and squeaks which Crais seems to understand) Thank you. I humbly accept. (he turns his back to the metal tentacle and removes his coat and holds his tie-back aside to expose the back of his neck. Aeryn watches, aghast as the tentacle with its clawed plug hovers behind Crais)

Aeryn: No Talyn - Talyn! (but the tentacle strikes and the claws on its tip sink savagely into Crais' spine. He screams in pain and falls to his knees as the tentacle retracts back into the floor. It has left the plug device at its tip embedded in the base of Crais' skull) Talyn, what's happening? Talyn, what have you done? What is that?

Crais: (gasping) A neural transponder. A direct interface with Talyn. His senses. His propulsors. His weaponry. I command them all. (he rises and gapes around Talyn's Command with new vision)

Aeryn: You command him?

Crais: Every system. It's indescribable. It's a pity you can't experience it.

Aeryn: Crais, we were going to share command-

Crais: Talyn chose otherwise.

Aeryn: He needs both of us.

Crais: No. We no longer need you. Talyn can only have one master. You may return to Moya.

Aeryn: I will not.

Crais: (completely disinterested in Aeryn now and in full communion with Talyn) You must. He and I are of like mind on this.

Aeryn: Crais, take that thing off. (she advances, he ignores her) Take it off! (furious, she pulls her gun and puts it to the back of Crais' head) TAKE IT OFF OR I WILL! (Talyn lowers his internal guns and fires, Aeryn loses her gun but she continues to attack Crais and they struggle savagely, Talyn getting in pot shots at Aeryn when he can. He and Crais overpower her and she is tossed out of the Command and into the corridor) Talyn! I am not the enemy!

Crais: (panting) We know that. But you cannot stay aboard here. You have 50 microts to get back to your Prowler before we open that passageway into space. Good health, Officer Sun.

(cut back to Moya's Command)

John: Pilot, why hasn't Talyn tucked in close? We need a starburst damn soon.

Pilot: In 90 microts, the Carrier will be in range to fire.

Rygel: Then what's keeping them?

Pilot: The Prowler has just emerged from Talyn.

D'Argo: Who's aboard?

Pilot: (in a tone saying he senses something very bad has happened) Officer Sun. She's asking to return to Moya.

John: Pilot, get her aboard fast.

(cut to the Command Carrier)

Scorpius: 40 more microts.

Braca: Charging all frag cannons. Boarding parties standing by.

Scorpius: Fire when at optimal range.

Crais: (via comm) Scorpius, my final progress report.

Scorpius: Stay that command.

Crais: The gunship is secured - and I am resigning my Peacekeeper commission effective immediately.

Scorpius: Crais, cease this nonsense.

Crais: And as for Crichton, he is dead. I killed him with my bare hands. My brother is avenged. Here ends my report - Captain.

Scorpius: (he snarls and in his demonic Scarran voice says-) Fire upon both the Leviathans! (the frag cannons fire. Cut to Crais aboard Talyn and then to an outside view of Talyn - initiating starburst and disappearing)

(cut to Moya's Command as the crew watches him go)

Chiana: Starburst? I thought Talyn wasn't ready.

D'Argo: He obviously learns a lot faster than we thought.

John: Pilot is the Prowler aboard?

Pilot: Yes. Prepare for immediate starburst. (and with that - Moya too disappears)

(cut back to the Command Carrier. Scorpius paces dangerously around Braca who stands stiffly at attention, staring straight ahead)

Scorpius: (in a carefully measured voice) Lieutenant. Your tactical expert claimed the gunship's ability to starburst would not mature for an arm. Send him to me. So I might educate him.

Braca: Yes, sir. (he starts to leave)

Scorpius: Start searching for Moya on her most probable starburst vectors.

Braca: Not the gunship sir? After all, with Crichton dead-

Scorpius: (snapping impatiently) Crichton isn't dead! That's merely Crais' small attempt to take revenge upon me!

Braca: How can you be so sure?

Scorpius: If Crais had killed Crichton, he wouldn't tell me! Crichton is alive! And I will find him!

(cut back to Moya, Zhaan's quarters. She is sitting, but looking more pensive than meditative. D'Argo enters)

D'Argo: If you are going to sit there in a coma, you could at least smile.

Zhaan: (she looks up at him) Sweet D'Argo. I was just thinking.

D'Argo: (as he comes over to sit opposite her) Part of the Seek?

Zhaan: No, Aeryn was right. And as much as I want to immerse myself in the Seek and in the next level of existence, I cannot abandon you all. I will slow down the Seek.

D'Argo: The next level will always be there. This one will not.

Zhaan: Then we must cherish it while we have it. We must cherish each other.

(cut to Pilots Den. Aeryn and John are there, sitting on the floor in front of his Console. Aeryn is leaning against John. The mood of all three is subdued)

Aeryn: I failed.

John: Aw you did everything you could.

Aeryn: In other words - I failed.

Pilot: (perhaps trying to convince himself as well as reassure her) Officer Sun. Talyn told Moya he was choosing Crais of his own volition.

John: Yeah. For what that's worth.

Pilot: He'll contact her from time to time and let her know he's okay.

John: Oh they say they'll call home, Pilot, once a week. They never do.

Aeryn: Talyn will be all right, won't he?

John: Weeelll... He's young. And he's going to make mistakes. But he'll learn. And if Crais ever mistreats him, he'll bounce him.

Aeryn: Maybe Crais won't mistreat him. (John grunts doubtfully) He could've killed me, you know. He could have killed all of us and he didn't.

John: Yeah. Maybe just needed to save the energy for starburst.

Aeryn: Or maybe he's changed. (John makes another dubious grunt) Well, you do believe people can change, don't you John? (he chuckles a little as he looks at her) Well?

John: Well... You have.

Aeryn: Mm?

John: Mm? I have.

Aeryn: Mm?

John: But Crais...? (their smiles fade)

THE END