The episode opens on Earth, at Cape Canaveral, on the day John took the Farscape 1 into orbit to conduct the experiment on the use of gravitational force to enhance acceleration of space vehicles which he and his best friend, DK, had set up. The shuttle that carried the Farscape 1 module is seen lifting off and the scene shifts to soon afterwards as John prepares to begin his test run. DK runs the experiment from the Canaveral Control Center as John's Dad, the space hero Jack Crichton, looks on.
John: (in the Farscape 1, radioing Canaveral as he separates from the shuttle) Are you with me there, Mama Bear?
DK: Oh yeah Farscape. I'm reading you loud and clear.
John: (as he flicks switches in the modules cockpit) Authorizing flight computer to initiate acceleration sequencing - now.
DK: Roger Farscape. You are go for insertion procedure. (and with that, far above the Earth, the modules engines flame to life and John rockets away from the shuttle. Back at Canaveral, DK suddenly stands as he gets new data) Farscape 1 - hold a moment!
John: (having a hard time hearing due to static and the turbulence of his run) Hold? Canaveral what?
DK: (anxious) Meteorology reports some kind of electromagnetic wave. Repeat - some kind of wave. John, do you read me? (but John's response is broken up and unintelligible)
Jack: (moving in front of DK) Son, you have to abort! Abort now!
But John either cannot hear their warnings or it is too late. The Farscape 1 hits the leading edge of the energy field that became a wormhole and swept him away. As before, he blacks out - but when he awakens - he's not on the far side of the stars - he finds himself resting on an procedure table in a large, airy hospital examining room. There are electrodes for an EEG attached to his temples. Jack is standing a few feet away, talking to someone on a cell phone.
Jack: (with his back to John as he talks on his phone) I only know what the doctor told me.
John: (he moans softly to himself) What the hell?
Jack: (still on his call) I think he's gonna come out of it on his own... All right. I'll call you if there are any changes. (he ends his call and turns to find John awake and plucking feebly at the electrodes. Jack hurries to his side) John?
John: (he sounds hoarse and groggy) That's my name. Don't wear it out.
Jack: (calling over his shoulder) Nurse! Call a doctor. (back to John) Hey, how you feeling?
John: Hot. Dizzy. Kinda - feel like I've been hit by a house.
Jack: You're gonna be okay son. You gave us all quite a scare. I told 'em you were a survivor.
John: Yeah. I am that. (he shifts, as if moving to avoid Jacks closeness. He's clearly not much interested in anything his Dad has to say)
Jack: It's good to have you back son. (he leans down to embrace John - but John grabs him and using the Procedure table as leverage, lifts Jack off his feet and throws him over the table to the floor on the other side, John rolls off with him and pins Jack to the floor as the older man bellows with surprise and alarm-)
WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! SON!
John: (furiously remembering the deception of the Ancients seen inn "AHR") I'M NOT YOUR SON!
Jack: (he struggles against John's violent attack, 2 orderlies burst into the room) GET HIM OFF OF ME! (the room quickly begins to fill with medical personnel who proceed to wrestle John into submission. It isn't easy since he has the strength of a man both furious and frightened out of his wits. He screams inarticulately at the orderlies and Jack, all the while thrashing and flailing wildly as they get him back onto the table)
John: YOU'RE A FAKE! GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME! GET 'EM OFF ME! GET YOUR HANDS OFF OF ME! LET'S GO EH? DON'T TOUCH ME! (as they get him into restraints he gasps and sobs with terror - but then suddenly he spots a familiar face, a woman in a lab coat talking to the orderlies. He calls to her with relief and desperation-) Aeryn! Aeryn!
Aeryn: (she ignores him as she speaks to her colleagues) Alright, we'll need full restraints, and can you get me a clean IV please?
John: (he's hyperventilating, hysterical as he begs her-) Jesus! Get 'em off! Get 'em off me! Get the bast- (he can't complete the word for lack of breath but he stops as the woman looks at him with cool professional concern - and not one iota of recognition. It is as if he is a stranger to her. He looks up at the ceiling and gasps-) This is not real! It's not real.
(cut to later. John has come down from his panic attack and is now restrained upon the procedure table, which is tipped up at about a 45°angle. The woman in the lab coat who looks like Aeryn is walking around the table, giving him a cold clinical eye. An orderly stands by and innocuously calming piano music tinkles blandly)
John: (flatly) Aeryn? Honey? Could you get me out of these straps? What happened? Last thing I remember I was on a commerce planet.
Aeryn: Mr Crichton, my name is Dr Bettina Fairchild. Not "Aeryn."
John: "Bettina." Cool name.
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: (she leans close to him and shines a light in his right eye) Still disoriented? You have no brain damage, as far as we can tell. You do have a fever, probably a low-grade infection, but some antibiotics should clear that up. Might clear your head as well.
John: (whispering to her) Hey - are they listening to us? Is that why you can't talk?
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: (as she circles around to his other side to look into his left ear) Violent, and now paranoid. Perhaps another CAT scan would be indicated.
John: (backing off) Sorry. I ah - fuzzed out there for a minute. What day is it today?
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: Today is Monday.
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: Been a week since you crashed.
John: (in a mildly compliant tone, like one who's going along with some sort of ruse) I crashed? I don't - remember crashing. But, I-I did have this - this terrible nightmare. I was on a ship full of aliens.
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: (her tone is curtly professional) Is that why you went after your father and bruised 2 of his ribs?
John: (all innocent cooperation) Yeah. He- he looked like he was human - but he had alien goo on the inside. It was - pretty freaky, huh?
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: But now you know better.
John: Yeah. Yeah I'm all clear. Look, I'm not gonna hurt anybody. You can - you can let me out of these straps.
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: You called me "Aeryn."
John: Old girlfriend. You- you look a lot like her. Except you have prettier hair. (Dr Fairchild smiles a little and goes "Hm") Is my dad around?
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: Out in the lounge, I think.
John: I - I'd like to say I'm sorry.
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: Probably best you do that yourself. (to the orderly) Thank you. (to John as she leaves) Do you good to move the muscles. Thank you Mr Crichton. (the orderly steps up to John and proceeds to undo the restraints that hold him to the procedure table)
(cut to moments later. John exits the examining room clad in a bathrobe over his white jammies and starts down a busy hospital corridor. Overhead, the public address operator makes her mundane announcements - "Will the owner of the green van parked outside admissions please move it immediately. You will be towed." John proceeds down the hallway and spots a Ladies Room. He whistles wisely to himself and mutters-)
John: Won't get fooled again. (and with that he pushes to door open to reveal - the woman’s toilet - with a woman in it - instead of the nothing he found in the last alien construct of Earth he was in)
Woman: (eyeing him) Hey! You mind?
John: Sorry - I ah - thought it was co-ed. (he lets the door swing shut as the woman snorts-)
Woman: Co-ed? What planet are you from?
John: (muttering to himself) Not this one. (he is undaunted by his Ladies Room miscalculation though. And certain he is in yet another alien construct like the one the Ancients created before, he just knows he'll have this one sussed out in no time. So when he spots a man passing by with a newspaper, he stops him-) Hey! Yo! Yo, dude - ah - you done with that paper?
Man: Yeah. Sure. Here ya go.
Man: No problem. (John continues down the hall, checking the headlines as he goes)
John: "Gator Victim Number 6." Last week it was 5. They're getting the details right. (he comes to the lounge, a bright, airy room with potted ferns and nice big windows. The bland piano music tinkles softly here as well. Jack is waiting there and John tosses the paper aside as he enters, having found it in order, and breezily greets his father)
Jack: (rising) Hey! How you doing?
John: Oh I'm better. I'm much - much better. Look I am - sorry about earlier.
Jack: You don't need to apologize son. You've been through a lot. I lost it myself when your mother died.
John: (his self-confident skepticism vanishes as his head snaps up to look searchingly at Jack as he murmurs) Mom...? (but before he cam ask any question DK enters the room with a jovial yell)
DK: Papa Bear!
John: (he responds with equal, but cynical, joviality) Whoa! Ho! DK! Hey-ey-ey! You made it this time!
DK: Glad you're up and about man. I'm sick of getting reamed on my own.
John: (looking a bit annoyed despite himself) Oh. Getting "reamed" are we?
DK: Well IASA's got a blown mission. They're tossing around words like "Pilot error."
Jack: (as annoyed as John is) There was no pilot error. It was meteorology’s screw up. They didn't give him enough warning about that electromagnetic wave.
DK: (not backing down before Jack) He was told to abort a dozen times.
Jack: (snapping) He did abort!
DK: Yeah, not soon enough. He blacked out.
Jack: And he still managed to land the module.
DK: (unkindly) He trashed the sucker! The Farscape Project's circling the drain.
John: (shrugging) Okay, what do you want me to do?
DK: Pull it together. First thing you need is a clean bill of health.
Jack: Dr Fairchild says you're okay physically. But, she's not going to kick you loose without a full psych report.
John: Doc Betty said that?
DK: That's right. You gotta get shrunk.
Jack: She wants to you see a - Dr Kaminsky
John: (he raises his chin and says ruminatively) Dr Jane Kaminsky...
(cut to sometime later. John is now dressed in jeans and a jacket and alone in Dr Kaminsky's office, waiting for her. It's a classically conservative professional office. Dark wood paneling, walls lined with bookshelves. The wall behind the big desk displays several diplomas and John is standing back there looking at them. Bored, he turns away and mutters to himself)
John: Man! Hot in here. (and with that, he plops down in the doctors chair, picks up her phone, and dials) Hello! Yeah, hey. Ah - I'd like to order a pizza? (brief pause) Um - medium. Deluxe. (as his order is taken he says to himself aside -) Man! These guys are good. (and at that moment, Zhaan enters the office. She's wearing a very mannish dark blue suit with a white blouse and talking on a cell phone. John gapes)
Zhaan: (into her cell phone) Thank you Charles. (she ends her call and there is a moment of silence as she regards John, sitting in her chair, using her phone. and staring at her as if she were blue and bald, before she says coolly-) Sorry to keep you.
Zhaan: (leaning towards him with her hands clasped behind her back) "Zhaan?" Adjective or name?
John: It's a name. (he hangs up the phone and quickly vacates her chair to moves to one of the patients chairs in from of the desk)
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: Then I'm afraid you're mistaken. I'm Dr Kaminsky.
John: (as he pours himself a glass of water form a pitcher on her desk) U-huh. And ah - you are a psychiatrist? (Dr Kaminsky makes an affirmative sound) I don't think so. On Earth - psychiatrists don't come in blue.
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: Do you have a problem with people of color?
John: (confrontationally) I have a contextual problem. You're an alien.
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: Yes, that's true. But I do have a green card.
John: Interesting. Are you, or are you not - blue?
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: Would it matter to you if I was?
John: Do you always answer a question with a question?
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: Does that bother you?
John: Stop it! - Facts - You're a Delvian. A plant. 10th Level Pa'u. We shared Unity once.
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: "Shared Unity." Interesting euphemism. No Mr Crichton, you and I have never had sex. I'm sure I would remember if we had. (John sets down his water cup and comes around to stand next to Dr Kaminsky behind her desk)
John: Put your hands on my face. (she makes no move to comply, but John is sure he can beat this one and persists-) Humor me. Just - here - (she rises to face him and puts her hands awkwardly up to his face, He takes them and lays them, palms down, on his cheeks. He then places his hands on the sides of her head and they stand there for a moment like that before John withdraws his hands and swears softly to himself) Damn- (he backs away, puzzled and disturbed by his failure to connect)
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: What were you expecting?
John: (as he sits back down) Expecting? Nothing. Hoping - for an ally.
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: You feel you don't have any allies?
John: (looking tired and dejected) Not in this joint, no. And my enemies haven't revealed themselves yet.
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: And who are they?
John: (running over the possibilities as he knows them so far) The Ancients? Nah, they picked my brain already. Maldis? Hm-mm. Not his style - not gothic enough. Delvians - hm - yeah! Occam's Razor, Tahleen and her wacky bunch. (he chants in a creaky, story-tellers voice-) Come out, come out, wherever you are! And see the young man who fell from the star!
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: (ah - that did it! She's got a live one! She flicks on her intercom and says briskly to her secretary-) Kim, cancel my 3:00 appointment. In fact, cancel the rest of my day.
(cut to later that day. DK is hanging around in the parking ramp of the building Dr Kaminsky’s office is in waiting for John. John exits with the restless air of a guy who's spent a long afternoon engaged in mental sparing with an annoying therapist. He strides right past DK)
DK: Hey! (he falls in behind John) What did you tell her?
John: (dismissive of DK, Dr Kaminsky, and preoccupied) Oh - Trauma, stress, crash - you know. Made me imagine things. Everything she wanted to hear. But hey. I'm all better now.
DK: So you got a clean psych report? Great!
John: Yeah, go - (he takes a second to look behind him at the sound of squealing tires, but it's just a red convertible entering the parking ramp) - figure that. She let me loose. I would have locked me up in a padded cell. (at that moment the convertible squeals its tires again as it rounds a corner in the ramp and roars dangerously close to John and DK. It makes a donut in front of them as its driver whoops and laughs before coming to a stop. Remember the old joke about he difference between Porsches and porcupines being that on porcupines the pricks are on the outside? OK that's the picture. But John gapes as the driver of the car languidly rolls out. He's dressed in an outfit that only straight-arrow flyboy geeks could think is cool. White golf shoes, tan slacks and a black with a conservatively loud pattern on the front that mimics a sweater vest. But the funny thing about him is that he also has long fleshy tentacles hanging off his head and a beak on his nose. As he shuts his car door, he leers sensuously at a pair of attractive female military types who giggle and simper as if meeting a celebrity heartthrob)
D'Argo: (like a '70s funkster) Oooohhhh ladies.... (and he proceeds to chat the cute female military types up as John watches)
John: You know that guy?
DK: Gary Ragel. Newest hotshot to come out of IASA Astronaut Training. Watch your back, he's got ambition.
John: (reality testing) Gary Ragel - has tentacles.
DK: (a tad envious) Yeah.
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: (spotting DK, he exclaims with mocking flamboyance) Oh my God! Oh my God! It's a straight boy!
John: (to DK) What? He looks normal to you?
DK: It's a lifestyle choice. Anyway, his looks are the least of his problems. He's a jerk. (truer words were never spoken)
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: (he rolls over to them chortling in a fake Jamaican accent) AAYY! DK! 'Ow yoo doin? (he makes to offer DK an high-five but when DK raises his hand Gary deliberately misses and leaves DK standing there with his hand in the air like a dumb schlub) AAYY! NANA-NNOO! Missa dere! (to John) How you goin'?
DK: You almost ran us down Ragel.
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: (dismissively, in a perfectly normal voice) Yeah, not even close my friend. (back to John, in his face, as John backs up and Gary keeps advancing) How you doin'? My name's Gary Ragel. I know you. You are John Crichton. I've heard you're one hell of a flyer. Let's go get a beer. (he nods to emphasize his suggestion)
DK: We don't have time for a beer.
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: (he rolls his head and makes a school-marmish mockery of DK) "No time for be-ah."
John: Beer? (Gary nods and John holds up his hand) Keys. (Gary snorts with triumph and flips the car keys to John. John exits and Gary steps up to DK and pats him on the cheek)
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: My friend - one thing you have to learn. There is always - time for beer.
(cut to soon afterwards. Gary and John have relocated to a bar and are talking over a pitcher of beer. A live band sets the tone with mellow jazz dominated by a lazy beat and an electric keyboard.)
John: I got a theory though. You wanna hear it?
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: (snickering like a jerky guy who's either too drunk or too perplexed by what's being said to him to know what to say) Yoooo (he points a finger at John and makes a shooting sound and continues to snicker and giggle)
John: (giggling back) This is an experiment. Somebody's messing with my mind. Tryin' to see which way I'll move next.
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: Sort of like a - rat in a maze kind of thing, huh?
John: That's right. I am some aliens personal science project.
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: I so - know how you feel. Y'know, life's a bitch. Let's get another drink. (he yells for the waitress) HEY!
John: (a little drunk, and believing the point of all this is the same as it was before with the Ancients)
I got a plan, though - 'cos they're testin' for reactions to the freak show?
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: (uncertainly) Uh-huh.
John: (conspiratorially) I'm not gonna react - Let 'em deal with that!
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: (laughing with relief that John's plan poses no threat to the beer supply) Yeah!
Someone else in the bar echoes Gary’s "Yeah!" John glances at the jazz band and his self-satisfied smile fades. He stands and stares dully at the musicians, who include Pilot in a dashiki on the bongos and keyboard and Scorpius on drums. "YOW!" Pilot yells. But John's moment of dumbfoundedness is broken by Dr Fairchild, in a tight dress with a high slit, who comes up behind him, slips one arm around his neck and pats his cheek with the other as she says-
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: Hey! Buy a girl a drink?
John: (with deeply exaggerated sarcasm) Oh my GOD! The off duty DOCTOR! Join us! OH- Gary Ragel! Meet Doctor - Bettina - Fairchild!
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: Ohhh...
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: Hi.
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: Hi. (Dr Fairchild proceeds to crawl onto Gary’s lap and engage in some very familiar lip work. John's flip sarcasm evaporates)
John: Excuse me. You two know each other? (they pause to look at him and shrug)
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: No.
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: Never met (he chuckles and they turn back to each other as Gary breezily tosses off to John-) How bout another one. Yeah?
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: Another drink! (yelling for the waitress again) More drink! Come on! Hey? 3 more drinks!
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: (laughing as she goes back to sucking face with Gary) You know!
John: Yeah I got it. (he takes his glass and leaves them to it. But he doesn't get far before he spots Scorpius, sitting alone at the bar. John glances at the Scorpius with the band, who's still on stage at his drum set, and then back at this second one. He drains his glass and walks over to the Scorpius at the bar. He says to the bartender-) Pitcher of beer. (and then to Scorpius-) Dig your style Ringo.
Scorpius: John, we haven't got much time.
John: Twins. Pity your mother.
Scorpius: (referring to his drum-playing doppelganger) Now listen to me - he - he is not real.
John: (carelessly) Oh. Right. You are. So what's your name? Who do you play in this - funhouse?
Scorpius: You know my name. Scorpius.
John: (narrowing his eyes) Scorpy - you don't fit the pattern. You got not Halloween costume, got no assumed name - you're not playing a role. That suggests something to me. That suggests that you are the man behind the curtain! (he grabs Scorpius and pins him against the bar)
Scorpius: (calmly) In fact, I'm the only one that can help you.
John: (furious) So what are you looking for this time? You looking for wormholes again? Huh?
Scorpius: In fact, I have to leave now John.
John: NUH-UH! YOU AREN'T GOING ANYWHERE! (he takes Scorpius and in a brief flurry of action, makes to throw him, but as he does so, Scorpius disappears and John is suddenly frozen beneath the disco ball of the bar, head thrown back, limbs stiff, choking as if caught by a seizure. The sounds of the bar fade and are replaced by a staticky skip, Then the muscles of his body go limp as suddenly as they seized and he crashes down, hitting his head on a table and sending broken glass flying. On the stage, the other Scorpius bobs his head and keeps the beat and reflects darkly in John's staring eye)
(cut to some time later. John is back in Dr Kaminsky’s office. He's laying on her couch and clutching a pillow)
John: Okay. Let's talk. You're not Zhaan. You're not a psychiatrist. But you're as close as we'll get to either one.
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: I'm flattered somewhat.
John: (bursting with nervous anxiety) Look, somebody is gaslighting me! It's probably Scorpius. Got-gotta-gotta be Scorpius. Been having hot flashes of the bastard ever since he stuck me in the Aurora Chair. W-what am I supposed to think? W-what is this? Uh - I never left Earth? Uh, uh - the whole Moya thing is-is-is-is an illusion? It's- It's a dream? (Dr Kaminsky makes no response so John continues his babbling speculation) What does that get him? See the thing is, he didn't start out too badly. Y'know? They didn't make the mistakes the last guys made. (he sits up and leans forward, agitated) Even Aeryn. Even Aeryn, I could have bought - Probably not, but I-I-I- could'a bought it.
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: Aeryn. You may have caught a glimpse of Dr Fairchild. She treated you after your crash.
John: (doubtfully) Yeah. And my feverish imagination turns her into a Peacekeeper chick? (there's a moment of silence) So what's the game?
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: (blandly) I wish I could help you Mr Crichton.
John: (dreamily) It's strange... I miss Moya. A ship full of aliens becomes so normal.
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: There is of course another interpretation for your confusion.
John: (somewhat fearfully) Yeah - I'm still on Moya. I'm gibbering. I'm DROOLING! And everybody's wondering what finally made me snap!
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: That is one possibility
John: (softly) Maybe.
(cut to some time later. John is standing, like a kid, on the second rail of an 8-railed fence around an IASA launch area. He's rocking back and forth, looking around, about a block away a space shuttle sits at the launch tower. There is the general bustle and constant chatter over the PA system of a busy launch operation. DK and Jack approach John)
Jack: Son? Got some news.
John: (perfunctorily) Oh yeah? What is it?
Jack: IASA's brought in a new Project Administrator. A - Douglas Logan.
DK: You can't afford to piss this guy off, John. He's a tough bastard.
John: (bitterly) So what? (DK makes no response and John hangs his head a bit, as of ashamed of his harsh response)
Jack: Listen, tough guy or not - right now your future's in his hands.
John: (with hoarse dread, as he questions Jack about the new boss) Thin face? Pale skin? Bad set of choppers? Likes leather?
Jack: I've only talked to him on the phone. I don't know. Nasty piece of work though.
John: Nasty? (ah - can't be Scorpius then, Scorpius is always very polite) Excellent. Let's talk to him. (he sets off for the new PA's office) Come on!
(cut to shortly after as John strides into Douglas Logan’s office. Logan isn't there and John boldly looks the place over. The furnishings are simple, masculine and expensive. Potted palms line the wall of windows behind the sleekly modern desk. DK and Jack trail in behind him)
John: Whoa - Nice digs, man. (and with that the sound of an electric motor is heard. John turns, completely unsurprised, to see Rygel, in a dark suit and tie, a cigar clutched in one stubby hand, roll up to the Position Of Authority behind the big desk on a motorized chair)
Rygel: Hey! Come in! You're late!
John: (loud and jovial) GUIDO! YOU'RE HERE! (John throws his arms wide and sweeps behind the desk where he companionably puts one hand on the bosses back and takes his cigar with the other. Then, as Rygel scowls at him, he says breezily to DK and Jack-) Oh! Hey! Fellas - Meet the new boss! Not the same, as the old boss.
Jack: (strained) Mr. Logan, please excuse my son, he's been through a lot-
Douglas Logan [Rygel]: Shut up! (to John) So - you're the reckless son-of-a-bitch who refused to abort, fainted, and wrecked a multi-zillion dollar module!
John: That's me. (completely unconcerned, he rolls back to the other side of the big desk and takes a seat He grabs a bunch of the PA’s business cards and while Logan rants, he props his feet on the desk and mutters "Douglas Logan" under his breath as he flips the cards around carelessly and puffs on the cigar)
Douglas Logan [Rygel]: Aaawww - astronauts! Cockier than God! All of them! Give me one reason why I shouldn't fire your ass and shut down the whole Farscape Project!
DK: (meekly, attempting to compensate for John's behavior) Sir, th- the project could still bring great benefits to this organization.
Jack: John's experiment will pave the way for deep space exploration sir.
Douglas Logan [Rygel]: Cork it already! (snapping at John) Quit it with the cards! (John pauses and eyes Logan) Now listen up. IASA can't afford another failure. We get your sorry project right on the second attempt. (John provocatively flips another card at him, Logan pounds his fist on his desk and snaps again) Quit it with the cards! People will forget about the first.
John: Second attempt? (he takes the cigar out of his mouth)
Douglas Logan [Rygel]: Yes, the one I just authorized. Now either you can fly it or Gary Ragel can. I hate to reward failure, but it's better PR if you fly it. (with contempt) Public LOVES come from behind wins.
DK: John, the module could be ready within 2 weeks.
Jack: You can do it again son. Prove your theory is correct.
John: (he picks up a little model of the space shuttle and makes like it's flying while he says in a theatrical tone-) So that's the play? The play, the play, the play is the thing. I reenact my initial mission. I show you how I create the giant blue twister that sucks me down to Oz! (he makes a screeching sound as he puts the little shuttle into a nose dive and then tosses it onto the desk in front of Logan) Forget about it. (stubbornly) Don't know how I did it.
Douglas Logan [Rygel]: (dangerously as he, DK and Jack stare at John) Crich-ton... (but before he can get any further John stands and loudly addresses the air-)
John: HEY SCORP! ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND? YOU THINK IF I KNEW HOW I DID IT I WOULD HELP YOU? GET LOST!
Douglas Logan [Rygel]: Who the hell are you talking to?
John: Oh, um - not you. (he waves his hand in front of Logan’s face) You're not real.
Douglas Logan [Rygel]: What? (John turns and ambles out of the room, muttering "Mr D. Logan" derisively under his breath as he goes. Jack looks stunned and humiliated and concerned all at once. Logan is stunned, insulted and furious) Wha? - Where are you going?
(cut to moments later. John is walking towards the parking ramp, closely pursued by DK and Jack)
Jack: What the hell was that about? Are you trying to sink the Farscape Project?
DK: The guy gives us a second chance and you throw it back in his face.
John: (fed up and shouting as he walks ahead of them) THE GUY? THE GUY - THE GUY - T-THE GUY'S A 2-FOOT GREEN SLUG ON A - ON A GOLF CART!
Jack: (reproachfully) What does a man's disability have to do with anything? (John throws his arms up is despair and at that moment Logan is heard shouting as he comes after them on a motorized cart)
Douglas Logan [Rygel]: Crichton! CRICHTON!
Jack: Son - apologize to him please? (John clasps Jack arms reassuringly and swings off to meet Logan as he arrives in his cart on an elevator)
Douglas Logan [Rygel]: (growling) Crichton - I wasn't finished with you!
John: Aw honey! I'm sorry, let's kiss an' make up! (he bends down and gives Logan a big kiss on the lips. Logan yells with outrage - but then John grabs him off his seat and runs with him up another floor of the parking ramp, both of them talking and yelling over each other)
Douglas Logan [Rygel]: Oh! ARE YOU DERANGED?
John: WELL YES OF COURSE I AM. LET ME SHOW YOU HOW I CRASH LANDED THE FARSCAPE MODULE!
Douglas Logan [Rygel]: HOW DARE YOU! I COULD HAVE YOUR HIDE FOR THIS, YOU UNDERSTAND? (as DK and Jack rush after John, he arrives with Logan on a landing of the open-air stairwell several stories up and begins to swing Logan is wide arcs imitating the flight of the Farscape 1 as he describes what happened. Logan screams helplessly)
John: THERE'S AN ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVE! ... SON, YOU HAVE TO ABORT! ABORT NOW! ... JOHN! .... NOOO!
(and with that, he lets go of Logan and the little boss flies over the railing and plummets, screaming, to his death. John shrugs and turns to walk back down the stairs, only to find Jack and DK standing a few steps down, staring up at him in shocked horror) What? It ain't real. They made you up out of my memories. It's just - annoying - that you're acting exactly the way I thought you would act! You! (he points at DK) Look at you! Look at you! You're crapping yourself because you think you're gonna lose your job. And Dad - you're just pissed off 'cos I ain't playin' the game your way! It is annoying - go away. Go home-home. Go home - shoo! (he flicks his hands at them is a shooing gesture and then turns and walks away from them, leaving them stunned and speechless on the parking ramp stairwell)
(cut back to the bar. The mellow sounds of the jazz band drone on and John has returned there to drink and hang out. He gazes up at the slowly spinning disco ball as he swigs his beer. Gary and Dr Fairchild are still there and they've been joined by a pale woman. The 3 of them sit boozing it up and hanging all over each other at a booth table. John walks over to them and he and Gary greet each other like old buddies)
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: HIIII! HOW'RE YOOO?
John: COMO ESTA HOMBRE! (giggling, he slips into the booth with them)
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: John, I want you to meet a good friend. This is Jessica. (John is of course not surprised to see that the pale woman who Dr Fairchild has her arm draped around is Chiana)
John: (in a sing-song sarcastic tone) Oh my God. Everybody's finally here.
Jessica [Chiana]: You're an astronaut too?
Jessica [Chiana]: (simpering up to him) Oh. I like astronauts.
John: You're an astronaut groupie?
Jessica [Chiana]: Yeah.
John: (figuring he might as well have some fun as long as none of this real anyway) That so works for me. You want to go for a drive? (but at that moment a familiar voice interrupts from behind John, in the next booth)
Scorpius: No John. We must speak. (John glances over his shoulder before turning back to Gary et al and asking-)
John: Does anybody see the - freak, in the next booth? (they all glance at Scorpius before responding in the negative. A shrug from Dr Fairchild, a loud, stupid "Nope!" from Gary and a giggled denial from Jessica. Thus supported, John doesn't see him either and repeats his suggestion-) Let's go for a drive. (his buddies voice their various drunken approvals of this and they're off, leaving Scorpius in the bar)
(cut to soon after. The foursome is in Gary’s red convertible, speeding down a highway. The guys are in the front seat and the bimbos - I MEAN LADIES - are in the backseat. The radio is pounding and all except John, who's at the wheel, are whooping and yelling)
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: (like an asshole) WE'RE ON FIIIIIRRRRE! Come on John! You're drivin' like a cheecken!
John: (staring straight ahead with a grim look on his face) I got a new theory on life. You wanna hear it?
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: (totally flip, always affecting some jerky party-boy accent) OH YEAH MAN! LAY IT ON MEH! LAY IT ON MEH!
John: Life sucks, nothing matters, so screw it all! LET'S PARTAAAAAYYYYY!
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: (he and the others roar with laughter) I AM SO THERE!
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: Me too!
Jessica [Chiana]: (leaning forward to say in his ear) Enjoy it while it lasts, Johnny-boy.
John: You betcha! 'Specially when nothing's real. (she leans back and the car roars around a wide curve, when suddenly, from out of nowhere - Scorpius appears and hits the windshield like a particularly large and ugly bug. He proceeds to lay on the hood of the car and talk to John, who looks only slightly surprised by this odd occurrence and very determined to ignore it)
Scorpius: This is no time to be having fun John.
John: (he turns on the windshield wipers) Get lost!
Scorpius: You've got to focus! Fight this delusion!
John: What? Like I'd believe anything that you'd say? Get over it!
Scorpius: John! John! Listen to me! (up ahead, John sees a big tanker truck crest the top of a hill, coming towards them in the other lane)
John: It's time to bail Scor-PY! (and with that, he swerves the car into the path of the oncoming truck. John shuts his eyes and there is the sound of screaming, shattering glass, grinding metal and then silence)
(cut to later. John opens his eyes and k=finds himself back in the hospital exam room. He sits up abruptly and Dr Fairchild, who is standing at the foot of the procedure table in her crisp lab coat with her hair full of absurdly large straightening rollers, greets him)
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: Good morning. The truck won I'm afraid. (she calmly begins her examination of him by peering into his left ear with her light)
John: (grunting a little as if hungover) How are our friends?
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: Gary and Jessica?
John: Mm - yeah.
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: They're fine.
John: (trying the reality check again) Hey As a doctor - don't you think a crash like that would have killed us?
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: (blandly as she continues her "examination" of the car wreck victim by taking out a tongue depressor to look at his tonsils) Well - we were very, very, lucky.
John: Oh yeah.
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: Now - (she commences to look in his mouth) You have a visitor.
John: (speaking around the tongue depressor with mock suspense) Oooh! Who? Dad? DK?
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: Someone new.
John: Ah - a Sheyang? (Dr Fairchild finishes her exam and leaves without another word, John calls after her-) Captain Bialar Crais? (defiant) Bring 'em on! (but instead of Crais, a slightly frowsy, middle-aged woman with reddish-blonde hair appears in the doorway. It's John's mother, Leslie Crichton. her soft shabbiness stands in marked contrast to the hard-edged crispness of his father. John is thunderstruck and the pair of them regard each other in silence for a long moment)
Leslie Crichton: Thank God you're okay. I came as soon as I could. (she crosses the room and makes to lay her hands in his face, but he takes her wrists and pulls back, stopping her)
John: (in a whisper) Don't. (then very quietly) This is a pretty good trick. Considering you're dead - Mom.
Leslie Crichton: (with a sob in her voice) I had to come. Oh, sweetheart- (she reaches to touch his face again and this time he can't quite bring himself to dodge her)
John: (he grunts, trying to resist the illusion) You're not real.
Leslie Crichton: You're sweating. Don't worry. (she gently pulls him into a motherly embrace that he just can't deny, although he makes little distressed sounds as if he's trying not to cry, not to allow himself to be taken in by this. She croons comfortingly to him) Don't worry... There... I'll make everything all right. (she brings his head to her shoulder, his eyes staring, making his little choking sounds and he slowly, slowly allows his head to sink onto her shoulder. He shuts his eyes and sighs as she whispers, with infinite softness, in his ear) There, my Johnny... There... there... That's it... yes... (they stay like that for awhile, John cradled in the loving arms of his mother, resting, while she murmurs words of comfort to him. Once he has calmed she speaks again-) You've changed.
John: (without moving his head from her shoulder he responds in an even tone) People change to survive.
Leslie Crichton: (she breaks the embrace, and tries to tip John's face up to look at her, but he keeps his eyes downcast) But did you have to lose so much?
You were so innocent - so full of wonder - it's all gone! (he makes no response) You've become callous - you've killed!
John: (he raises his head abruptly to look her in the eye and says huskily) You can't know that.
Leslie Crichton: It's true. Isn't it? That's what bothers you. That's why you can't sleep nights.
John: (he gazes at her for a ling moment before saying-) I sleep fine. (she gasps as he hops off the procedure table and strides towards the door)
Leslie Crichton: Where are you going?
John: (he stands in front of the open door, edging through it, as he looks back at her) Away from something that isn't my mother.
Leslie Crichton: Are you going to leave without saying goodbye? (yes he is. And he turns around and does)
(cut back to the bar as John enters it. It's deserted in the morning light but for a few employees and the band members, including Pilot who's presumably bonded to the stage, and Scorpius the Drummer, distinguishable from Scorpius the Archvillain by his funky vest. John's looking for Scorpius the Archvillain, who so far seems to reliably be in the bar all the time and so plunks down next to Scorpius the Drummer by mistake)
John: All right. Let's do this. Let's talk.
Scorpius the Drummer: What about?
John: About what's going on.
Scorpius the Drummer: Well I'm on my break my man.
John: Why don't you give me a break - my man?
Scorpius the Drummer: Well that's all I got for you man. I don't know you, and I don't care for your problems.
John: (realizing his mistake) Yeah, great. You're not the guy. You're not the guy - I need to talk to. (he sighs wearily and rests his head on his arms)
Scorpius the Drummer: (not without compassion, he calls to the bartender) Hey Cole! Cole, get this man a drink. (the bartender acknowledges, but before he can deliver the sweet succor of alcohol, John's mother enters to bar. The ante is upped this time - she's pushing an IV pole and wearing a hospital gown)
Leslie Crichton: (where maternal compassion fails, the maternal guilt trip may succeed. She look sick and confused) John? Help me.
John: (his head snaps up at the sound of her voice and he gapes at her in disbelief) You're not real. (he gets up and moves away from her but she follows after him with her IV pole, moaning feebly)
Leslie Crichton: I need you. I'm afraid.
John: You're-You're not real! They pulled you out of my mind! (he continues to try and back away form this cruel apparition, increasingly upset) You died 5 years ago! (he tries to make a break for it but runs headlong into a bar stool which sends him sprawling on the floor. Leslie shuffles relentlessly after him)
Leslie Crichton: (sobbing) John. I'm scared.
John: (moaning to himself on the floor) I just - want - out of this!
Leslie Crichton: (bending down over him as he weakly tries to wave her away) Stay with me this time. Be with me when I go. (she crouches down next to him as he lays on the floor, writhing with psychic pain)
John: (as his mother reaches for him and he halfheartedly tries to fend her off) No - please, this... please...
Leslie Crichton: Please...
John: (sobbing as he touches the phantom face of his dying mother) No. No - aw God!... This is cruel... This is cruel... Please don't...
Leslie Crichton: I need you ... with me.
John: (tears are streaming down his cheeks now and he sobs broken-heartedly) Please - don't... Don't do this to me - (but his weeping mother just nods and whispers "Yes" to him. It's too much for him to bear - he scrambles away from her on his hands and knees as he screams) DON'T DO THIS TO ME! (and Scorpius the Drummer watches sympathetically from the bar)
(cut to shortly after. John is walking outside in the bright sunshine, loose limbed and slack-jawed, eyes fixed straight ahead. He's looking a little traumatized. He doesn't notice a cop with a familiar face as he walks by, but the cop notices him)
Officer Muldoon [Crais]: Got a problem, pal?
John: (he stops at the sound of the voice, a few feet past Muldoon and says without even looking back-) Oh, well - If it isn't the good Captain.
Officer Muldoon [Crais]: Would I be patrolling a beat if I made Captain? Hell, I'm still buckin' to transfer to plainclothes.
John: And give up the uniform? Bad choice.
Officer Muldoon [Crais]: (pointing with triumphant recognition) SAY! You're that John Crichton guy aren't you? That astronaut!
John: (dully) I dunno.
Officer Muldoon [Crais]: A few too many, huh?
John: (sotto voce to himself) I don't know who I am anymore.
Officer Muldoon [Crais]: (briskly) You better come back to the station with me and sleep it off.
John: (muttering more to whoever TPTB are than to Muldoon) Just leave me alone. Please, just...
Officer Muldoon [Crais]: I'm gonna get you off the streets, mister.
John: Leave me alone! (but as Muldoon lays a not unfriendly hand on him, John goes berserk and attacks him ferociously) DON'T YOU TOUCH ME! (he grabs Muldoon and pins him to the hood of his own patrol car and then proceeds to viciously beat the hapless cop. With each blow he screams-) Me! ME! ME! ME! ME! (he then grabs Muldoon’s gun from its holster and for a second, it seems as if he might shoot the officer as well, but instead he takes off running with it as Muldoon’s body slides limply to the ground)
(cut to later as John enters the office of Douglas Logan, who seems to have survived his fall from the parking ramp after all. DK, Jack, Dr Kaminsky and Dr Fairchild are all gathered there behind the desk with Logan)
John: (taking in the scene as he shuts the office door) Oh my. Look at this.
Douglas Logan [Rygel]: Aaahhh - Mr Crichton. Delighted to see you again. We were just discussing your future.
John: (as they talk, he walks along some shelves on one wall of the room upon which are displayed photos) I don't have a future. (he gestures at a picture of the others in the office that shows them in exactly the tableaux they are now form) At least, not in this reality.
Jack: Son, you're in no shape for this.
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: Clearly feverish. (John IS looking flushed and moistly disheveled as he looks at the photos which include an absurd image of Gary Ragel straddling a space shuttle on a surfboard and a framed gold CD with the grinning face of Scorpius beaming out from it. John kisses his fingers and presses them the Scorpius' face as Dr Kaminsky says)
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: John, be careful - you are risking a full cognitive dislocation.
John: (he leaves the photos and meanders towards the others) Oh. I'm about as cognitively dislocated as they get. But I am clear on one thing. Scorpy can ah, either let me loose - or watch me go berserk.
Douglas Logan [Rygel]: (muttering) More berserk, I'd say.
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: You seem obsessed with this 'Scorpius' person. Can you tell us why?
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: Can't be healthy for you.
John: You're not real. Or you're in on the plot. (Dr Fairchild heaves a tired sigh) Either way. Doesn't really matter what I do. (and with that he draws the gun and fires it at Jack. The bullet hits the picture of Gary and Jack looks down with some surprise at where it passed harmlessly through his chest)
Jack: (matter-of-factly) I'm disappointed in you.
DK: You're holding us up John. (John fires at DK, the bullet hits the picture of the group of them)
Douglas Logan [Rygel]: Can we please get on with our meeting now? (John fires point blank into the back of Logan’s head but the little guy just puffs unconcernedly on his cigar)
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: Is anyone else hungry?
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: I'm starving.
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: Shall we send out for some lunch?
Douglas Logan [Rygel]: Oh, anything but Thai food. (John continues to fire Muldoon’s gun as the others ignore him and discuss lunch)
DK: Pizza? (John stops shooting and looks at he others, bewildered, eyes flicking form one to the other)
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: No, I'm sick of pizza. How about deli?
Jack: Corned beef on rye for me.
John: (squeezing his eyes shut and howling) SSSSSSTTTTTTOO-
(cut back to the examining room at the hospital where John suddenly finds himself back on the procedure table and finishing the scream he began in Logan’s office. Muldoon is standing at the side of the table holding a little white dog under one arm and glaring at him)
John: -OOOPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!! (he open his eyes but has only a second to take in his surroundings before Muldoon starts)
Officer Muldoon [Crais]: Have you any idea how much trouble you're in?
John: (weakly) Yeah. Do you?
Officer Muldoon [Crais]: I like your style hombre. But this is no laughing matter. (he begins a rapid-fire enumeration of John's offenses as he paces back and forth, the little dog under his left arm and brandishing a ticket at John with the other. John watches him silently) Assault on a Police Officer! Theft of police property! Illegal possession of a firearm! 5 counts of attempted murder! That comes to - $29.40! Cash, check, or credit card! (John doesn't even bat an eye. He whips up his left hand as far as the cuff that chains him to the table will allow. There’s a long, wary silence as Muldoon extends the ticket far enough to slip between John fingers and turns to leave, addressing his little dog as he goes) Toto. (he flicks off the overhead lights as he leaves the room, leaving John spot lit under an exam lamp)
John: (eyeing the ticket as he mutters-) This thing has gone completely off the rails... Or maybe I have. (and at that moment, as if in response, Scorpius appears, seeming to well up out of nowhere at the side of the procedure table)
Scorpius: Not yet you haven't. Oh, but there's a danger you will.
John: (he does a humorless Elmer Fudd laugh) You're here! (raising his cuffed left hand to the limit of its chain) Didja bring the keys?
Scorpius: It's not me doing this John. (he moves towards a light box with several x-rays clipped to it One of them comes into focus as Scorpius points at it with something that looks like a long knife) It's a Scarran (the x-ray does indeed reveal an interesting view of a Scarran skull) He captured you on the commerce planet.
John: I don't know any Scarrans. What would a Scarran want with me?
Scorpius: Well, now that the Scarrans know I'm after you. They want to know why. This is their um - standard method of interrogation. Induced delusions to break down all - mental defenses. (he returns to John's side) The Scarrans aren't trying to fool you John. They're trying to break you. This is a deliberate attempt to drive you into insanity and it's working. Your mind is about to crack. And I cannot allow that. (rather comically possessive) I was here first.
John: (he flashes for a split second on himself, back in the Aurora Chair before replying) No you weren't.
Scorpius: True. The Ancients were here first, implanting the wormhole knowledge I seek. (flash of Scorpius standing over John in the Aurora Chair)
But when my Aurora Chair failed to unlock that information, I had to implement a second strategy. (flash again on John in the Aurora Chair, this time Scorpius plunging a long, needle-like instrument into the base of John's skull, who screams with agony. Cut back to the present, John bolts upright on the procedure table to face Scorpius as he begins to connect the half-Scarrans words to his own horrific memories of torture)
John: (with dread, anger, revulsion) You put something in my head!
Scorpius: A very sophisticated neurochip - It contains - well - it contains me. Or, a mental clone of my - personality.
John: (his voice husky) That explains the visions I've been having.
Scorpius: Precisely. I was supposed to have remained hidden. But now and then your subconscious would become aware of me. (John flashes on the incident back on the Royal Planet when something stopped him from pushing Scorpius into the vat of foundry acid)
John: (numbly) That's why I couldn't kill you on the Royal Planet?
Scorpius: Of course. A simple fail-safe. But my main function is to access the wormhole knowledge you have in your brain. No matter how long that takes.
John: (he lets go another, very sickly, Elmer Fudd giggle as he puts what this Scorpius is into one of his customary pop culture references) You're Harvey. Or is it Clarence? Guardian angel? Invisible rabbit? (he bobs his head in sort of an eeny-meeny-miny-mo chant before sniffing decisively and giving this Scorpius, this neural clone, a name) Harvey. Does the Scarran know you're here?
Scorpius/Harvey: (annoyed by John's mockery but it would be beneath him to acknowledge it) I only manifest myself when the Scarrans attention is elsewhere, as it is now. I must disappear when he returns. Ignore the false Scorpius he has created. And do not confide in anyone else you may encounter.
John: How do I know you're telling the truth?
Scorpius: You're sweating John. (he runs his gloved fingertips over John's glistening forehead) You've been unusually hot all this time because your real body - is reflexively responding to heat. (he glances back at the x-ray of the Scarran on the light box) The heat - a Scarran produces. When your body temperature lessens slightly - the Scarran is elsewhere, preparing another onslaught. It must not succeed.
John: How do I stop it?
Scorpius: (quickly imparting the information John needs to survive) Focus. Concentrate on what is real. Your true memories of Earth, of Moya. Your family, friends, even your enemies. Do not allow yourself to be pushed over the edge. But remember this -the Scarran has not disarmed you. Your weapon is of no consequence to a Scarran. Their skins ... are extremely tough (cut quickly to the x-ray of the Scarran head, focus on the scaly hide visible) Pistol fire will not kill a Scarran - (again cut to the x-ray light box, this time a film of John's gun is there, with an X drawn over it to reinforce the message) - before it kills you. So. Your best chance is not to shoot, but- (he stops abruptly)
John: But to what?
Scorpius: The temperature is rising, I must go (and he does)
John: To what? HARVEY! (the x-ray of the Scarran head seems to deepen and move) BUT TO - WHAAAT? (and with that, the x-ray image of the Scarran coalesces into a real Scarran, standing in the dark room and making a low growling sound. In the dim light its rough hide and deep eye sockets give it a corpse-like appearance. John falls back onto the tale, immediately unconscious in the presence of the mind- bending creature)
(cut to presumably an instant later as John opens his eyes on the ongoing hallucination he is trapped in. He's still on the procedure table, but now with his legs up in stirrups as if for a gynecological exam. The Scarran has been replaced by Drs Kaminsky and Fairchild. Kaminsky has traded in her severe suiting for a severe black vinyl dominatrix dress complete with opera length gloves. Fairchild has ditched her lab coat for a white vinyl nurses dress)
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: (speaking to John from between his legs, a hand on each of his knees) You look like you're ready to have some fun!
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: (blandly as she stands polishing some wicked-looking probes) We certainly are.
John: What are you doing?
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: Nothing you won't like
Jessica [Chiana]: (in her best sultry whisper as she leans in from behind him. She's sporting Japanese porn schoolgirl vinyl) Nothing you haven't already - fantasized about.
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: Admit it. You've had sexual thoughts about all of us - haven't you?
John: Not me.
Jessica [Chiana]: Well come on! You're a male!
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: (breathing sensually) It's just- the way- you- are- wired.
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: (as she casually drives a long sharp metal object through a dilator) Nothing to be ashamed of. Not when females are willing.
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: Say what's your pleasure boss.
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: I'm a doctor. Just relax.
Dr Kaminsky [Zhaan]: I can wear a Freudian slip.
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: I'll find new places to take your temperature.
Jessica [Chiana]: (almost desperate) I can teach you - the left-handed Latvian Rodeo Torture! (and at that moment Logan, in a black S&M mask and carrying a little whip, rises from under the table, breaking up the competition for John's nougats. The women shrink away like the wives of Dracula sinking back into their hellish bed of undead lust)
Douglas Logan [Rygel]: All of you bitches out! Now! Crichton is mine! (he flicks his tongue viperishly, like Hannibal Lector thinking of liver and Chianti. The women were disturbing, but the sight of Rygel as a dungeon master is cause for some REAL concern to John - and rightfully so as Logan proceeds to settle a few scores) This is for calling me "Sparky." (John winces as Logan snaps him with the whip) And this is for "Fluffy." (John deserves this one - he gets another lick of the whip) And this is for "Buckwheat," - (John yelps as he takes a third lash) - whatever that means! (and that's enough. In a burst of energy he tears himself free of the table and slugs the slug back under it before hightailing it out of the room)
(cut to John, out of the exam room and wandering the hospital of his mind, perspiring and looking shell-shocked. As he passes under a doorway that bears the legend "MOMMA WARD," surrounded by the sounds of bawling newborns, his attention is drawn by a hysterical scream, and he turns to see DK, being pushed in a wheelchair)
DK: OH! LEAVING SO SOON? I WISH I COULD! LOOK AT WHAT YOU MADE ME DO JOHN! I OPENED MY VEINS! (DK stretches out his arms towards John. His wrists are spouting blood like a character in a Monty Python skit. John slowly backs away as DK’s wheelchair is pushed relentlessly closer and he continues to scream and sob at John) YOU MADE ME LOSE MY JOB! YOU DUMPED ME FOR YOUR NEW PALS! SOME FRIEND YOU ARE! SOME FRIEND YOU ARE MAN! AAARRRGGGHHH!!! (John continues to slowly back away and into the arms of 2 orderlies who gently pick him up and lay him, unprotesting, legs hanging over the edge, in a hospital bassinet. They wheel him into another room where a young couple argue loudly over him)
Mom: (gesturing at John in his bassinet. John is laying there, slack jawed, staring into space) Oh! Come on Papa Bear! Look at what depths YOOUUR son has driven us to!
Dad: (shaking his finger at her) Don't look at me! You're the one who wanted a child! I wanted a terrier!
Mom: Oh you couldn't give me what I really wanted!
Dad: Oh! So we get this loser! He can't fetch a ball, he can't get my slippers! He can't even land a damn module! (and with that, Dad grabs the handles of the bassinet and roughly flips John out of it , but instead of just hitting the floor John finds himself falling from the window of the room. As he falls he can hear the woman screaming)
Mom: OH, NO! DON'T YOU HURT MY BABYYYY!
(cut to John as he plummets towards the pavement many stories below, screaming all the way. His screams end abruptly as he hits the street - but the only the air, not the life, is knocked out of him. A police car screeches to a halt in front of him and Muldoon steps out. He's left his dog at home this time but is now wobbling in a pair of bright red pumps with 3-inch heels)
Officer Muldoon [Crais]: (he trains his gun on John, using the door of his patrol car as a shield - and a prop on account of those heels - as he shouts) FREEZE! You're under arrest! You have the right to the remains of a silent attorney! (John slowly sits up and looks at Muldoon) If you cannot afford one - TOUGH NOOGIES! You can make ONE phone call! I recommend Trixie - 976-Triple 5-LOVE. Do you understand these rights as I have explained them to you? Well do you, PUNK?
John: (in a daze) No.
Officer Muldoon [Crais]: THEN I CAN'T ARREST YOU!
(and so, he grabs hold of his car door instead and pushes it sharply into John's face. John is knocked backwards and right into another absurd vignette. This time he finds himself at the wheel of Gary Ragel's red convertible, Gary is in the passenger seat. They are parked on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles. It's a romantic spot, with the city lights spread out below them like a glittering carpet. As John's head bounces from the headrest to the steering wheel and back again from the force of Muldoon’s blow, Gary is lisping - like a bad caricature of a flaming queen)
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: John - I really need to just unburden myself on you.
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: Well, lately - tch - I've been thinking about you in a very different way.
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: Mm-hm. And I was wondering, if you would mind participating with me in a little Luxan bonding ritual. (John shakes his head with disbelief) Here's the thing - okay? What we need are - some chaaaiiins - (he's flipping his hands around flamboyantly as John listens incredulously to this) - uh - my Qualta Blade, just a little thkirt of lutra oil, and - (he lets loose a girly squeal) - OH! (John jumps) Chiana! (he giggles like a giddy teeny-bopper)
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: (dreamily) Yeah. She wants to watch.
John: (as Gary strokes John's cheek) Oh no...
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: (suddenly deadly serious, in the gruff basso of D'Argo) Oh yesss! (John turns his head away and closes his eyes, only to open them a moment later and find himself in Dr Kaminsky’s office, He's sitting on her couch and she's next to him, in her conservative suit again. Her fingers have taken the place of Gary’s on his skin. He startles away from her and turns at the sound of his mothers voice)
Leslie Crichton: (she appears to be in quite good health as she walks towards John and Dr Kaminsky holding a big book. She's dressed in a silky nightie and robe) Such a fascinating library you have, such wonderful, informative books! (she reads the title of the one she's holding and John draws a sharp breath) "The Oedipus Complex"? I'm not sure - I grasp that concept. Could you, um - (she comes up behind John and drapes one silky leg over the back of the couch, inches form his profusely sweating face) - explain it to me Johnny? '
John: (strained) No.
Leslie Crichton: (she slides down next to him on the couch and says in a sultry murmur) Oh please. You're such a smart boy. I really... I really want to know. (she leans towards him, her lips parted, and there's a moment of hesitation before John suddenly swings his face away from hers)
John: No - (and the turning of his head sends him into another act of this terrible delusion. He finds himself aback at the bar, music is pounding, people are dancing, disco lights are flashing and John begins to laugh with his friends as Dr Fairchild and Jessica bump and grind to the beat with him)
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: (shouting over the din of the music) HEY JOHN! GET DOWN AND BOOOGIIIEEE!
Dr Fairchild [Aeryn]: BOOGIE-OOGIE-WOOGIE! (John roars with laughter)
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: HEY MAN! GET DOWN! BOOGIE OR DIIIEEEE!
John: (laughing, but forcing himself to turn away form them and stand staring up at the flashing disco ball, his arms stretched out towards it) OH, NO NONONONO! I DON'T BOOOOGIIIIEEEE! (and with that the sound of the music begins to recede and echo and become discordant. The bright disco lights become dark strobes and from somewhere, the voice of Aeryn calls to him)
Aeryn: (her voice echoes strangely as if she's calling form some other place) CRICHTON! CRICHTON! WHERE ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? CLEAR THE DANCE FLOOR! CLEAR THE DANCE FLOOR! CLEAR THE DANCE FLOOR! (the dance floor clears except for John, standing under the disco ball and then he sees her, pulse gun in hand, taking aim in his direction from several feet away. He huts the deck and she fires - but she's aiming at the disco ball, not him, and it shatters in a brilliant explosion of glass and light. The music stops and John watches as bits of energy, fall like pixie dust and extinguish as they pass through the fingers of his cupped hands. Aeryn stands looking down at him and says in her customarily flat tone) Searched half this world for you.
John: Where am I?
Aeryn: Still on the commerce planet. But underground, in some sort of holographic chamber. I destroyed the projector.
John: Who nabbed me?
Aeryn: I killed him.
John: Scorpius? Was he , um - he was behind this?
Aeryn: "Was" being the operative word.
John: That's interesting.
Aeryn: Why is it interesting, John?
John: It's just that he - ah -
Aeryn: Tell me. (sweat beads on John's neck and he extends his hand to Aeryn, she obligingly takes it and gives him a pull up to his feet)
John: (panting) Later. Let's ah - let's get out of here.
Aeryn: No. Tell me now.
John: (he lifts his chin and fixes her with a long appraising stare before saying quietly) No. No you get nothing from me.
Aeryn: Frell you then. Stay. (she opens her mouth wide and undulates her tongue at him in a way that some may find sexy and others would find unpleasantly creepy, before turning and walking away. He seems to be immediately thrown into a trance and his head tilts slowly back. The disco music and the dancers and lights start up around him again, with intensified fury. John retains his paralytic stance, staring up at the resurrected disco ball for a moment before relaxing and gazing around him)
Gary Ragel [D'Argo]: (yowling inanely) BOOGIE OR DIIIIE!
John: (he turns slowly towards Gary and proceeds to make on obscene gesture at him, and anyone else who might be listening, as he roars) HEY YO! KISS MY- (but before he ban finish his curse he is yanked once again into that stiff, paralyzed pose, head thrown back, the sounds of the disco go dead again and he is bathed in harsh white light. Repetitive images from his travels in insanity begin to wrack his mind and body like gunshots - DK bleeding and screaming "SOME FIEND YOU ARE MAN!" - Gary Ragel simpering at him "...thinking about you..." - Officer Muldoon teetering on his high heels as he bellows "Then I can't arrest you!" - His sick and dying mother chastising him softly "Be with me when I go.")
(cut to reality. John is standing in the center of a small room, head tilted up towards a black, striated orb hanging above him. The walls of the room seem to be covered with blocky material, like acoustic tiles. and dull light throbs slowly between them. The Scarran approaches John slowly. The menace of his nightmare visage is only intensified by the grey gloom of the chamber. His name is Grath)
Grath: (he speaks aloud to no-one, as he records his work for others, John being present in body only. Grath's voice is a calm, guttural basso) Brain wave patterns are increasingly irregular. (he touches a control console with fingers tipped by 2-inch long claws. Some of the blocks on the wall rotate, sending streams of energy towards John) The captive is finally weakening. Increasing stimuli to kalvor 9. (John's head jerks violently in response to this stimulation) Kalvor 10 - (John's body stiffens and arches backwards - then, suddenly, the Scarrans machine cuts out. Its light and sound abruptly gone, and John collapses to the floor. Grath seems somewhat surprised) Deeeaaad? (well whatever- he's not too broken up by it. after eyeing John's body for a moment he turns back to his console and dictates his reports with an annoyed snarl) All neural activity ceased at 635 avneth 1. (but as the Scarran speaks, John's eyes flutter open and he hears Grath’s voice as a distant echo as he lays there on the floor and fumbles for his gun) Captive apparently suffered full synaptic overload at stimulus level kalvor 10. Because no baseline data exists with this species, this reaction could not have been anticipated. Remains of the captive will be held for post- (but he is interrupted by a click. John's managed to turn the pulse charge switch of his gun on. As he lays there, corpse-like on the floor, the building energy makes a small, shrill whine. Grath stops his report and slowly approaches John, suspicious. He cocks his huge head to one side to get a better view of the gun, which John's hand is laying limply on. Slowly the Scarran lowers his great head for a closer look and John erupts to life. He takes his gun, and with a yell, rams it into Grath’s toothy mouth as far down his throat as he can push it before rolling away. This pulse gun explodes, effectively blowing Grath’s head to flaming ruins. Even with his head off and an arm missing, the Scarran remains standing for a moment before going down with a thunderous crash. John sits, stunned - and suddenly he hears the muffled sound of gloved hands clapping. He looks up to see Scorpius/Harvey standing a few feet away form him)
Scorpius/Harvey: Well done John.
John: (dazed) What happened? I feel like - I died.
Scorpius/Harvey: (casually) I had to stop your brain function for a few microts - to divert the Scarran. No harm done. I'll go back in your subconscious mind now.
John: Don't get too comfortable. I'm gonna get that chip out of my head.
Scorpius/Harvey: (pleasantly) There's no chip in your head John.
John: (he struggles to articulate) Yeah there is. You - told me - There's a, um- Mmm-men...
Scorpius/Harvey: You were saying?
John: (barely able to forcing the words out, as if he's been brain-damaged) Mm-Mental chip! Mmm-
Scorpius/Harvey: Ah - you were saying?
John: (he seems sleepy and confused) What am I saying? I'm...
Scorpius/Harvey: (satisfied) As it should be. I won't trouble you again. Until I need to. There's an exit to your left which will no doubt take you back to the surface of this commerce planet. I leave you to your shipmates John. But rest assured - I'll be with you always. Keeping you safe.