Liars, Guns And Money Part 1
A Not So Simple Plan
December 4, 2000 - UK
January 4, 2001 - US
218

Writer - Grant McAloon
Director - Andrew Prowse

Guest Cast
Wayne Pygram . . . Scorpius
Paul Goddard . . . Stark
Claudia Karvan . . . Natira
Nicholas Hope . . . Akkor
David Franklin . . . Braca


TRANSCRIPT
The episode opens on Moya’s Command. Zhaan, the Kahaynu Appointed Protector Of Moya And Pilot, is there, clutching Stark's mask lovingly and bullying Pilot.

Zhaan: (demanding) Just keep going. Follow the nexus coordinates.

Pilot: But we've been following them for 3 solar days!

Zhaan: (angry) Just follow them Pilot! (John enters the Command and approaches her. Chiana and D'Argo have come with him but they hang back at the entrance, watching as Zhaan threatens Pilot) Or do I have to take over manual command?

John: Zhaan, maybe-

Zhaan: Go away Crichton! (John makes to oblige but Chiana and D'Argo silently wave him back. He sighs and makes a U-turn to try a little harder to talk sense into Zhaan)

John: All right look - we've all been talking and we think maybe we should turn back.

Zhaan: (angry and petulantly stubborn) No. When Stark communicated with me he insisted that we follow the nexus coordinates! If we do what he says, he will be there.

John: (frustrated) There's nothing out there, OK? Aeryn has gone and done the long-range recon-

D'Argo: (he can't stand it anymore and strides furiously in) We should return the slave auction immediately!

Zhaan: (softly but dismissive of his counter-agenda) And do what? We have no currency D'Argo. We cannot save your son. But we can save Stark.

Chiana: (timidly approaching) Zhaan, maybe, uh-

Zhaan: (eying her) What?

Chiana: (trying to be gentle and supportive) Well - maybe - I'm just saying maybe - you didn't communicate with Stark. You know Zhaan, sometimes, when we want something really badly, we think things happen and they don't.

Zhaan: (dismissive) I do not need a lesson from you child. (she angrily brandishes Stark's mask at the others) THIS MASK TALKED TO ME! (challenging) Unless you all think I'm imagining it.

D'Argo: (gently but firmly) I do. Stark is gone. But my son is still alive. So I want you - to turn - this ship - around.

Zhaan: (she approaches John and asks with soft bitterness) Crichton. Do you also believe I am imagining my communication with Stark?

John: (gently taking the mask from her hand) Bluey - since we've been together, you've shown me some pretty wacky things. But it's been 3 days, and D’Argo’s son is- (but at that moment, John experiences another wacky thing - he is interrupted - by the mask, Stark's face appears in it, making it look as if John is holding the Banik's head in his hand they hear his voice pleading urgently - " Don't give up! Don't stop Zhaan! Hurry! I'm dying!" But before either of them can react, Pilot breaks in)

Pilot: Moya's found something! There's a ship directly in front of us! (and he puts a view of it on the main port screen. John and Zhaan rise and move towards it)

Zhaan: (murmuring) Stark.

Pilot: Moya’s sensors are picking up one being.

John: Maneuver close and deploy the docking web.

Pilot: The life is faint Crichton. We have to reach him quickly! (and following his own suggestion, the docking web engulfs the small ship in a shimmering blue-green energy field and pulls it aboard Moya )

(cut to the docking and maintenance bays - which are connected - John and D'Argo have boarded the ship and fetched none other than Stark off it. They hustle him through the cavernous room. He is wrapped in coarse rags, giving him a mummy-like appearance as he gasps for air)

John: He's barely breathing!

D'Argo: This is impossible! We saw him die!

John: Well let's get him to Zhaan before he dies again.

Stark: (he excitedly chokes out -) D'Argo! D'Argo! I've done it! I've found it! I know how to save your son! (D'Argo gapes at him - amazed that not only is this guy alive but that he's been thinking of how to help him even after how crappily D'Argo has treated him. Or maybe he just thinks Stark is a loon...)

(soon after, cut to Zhaan’s lab. The entire crew has gathered to gape at Stark, who is madly agitated. Zhaan tries to calm him)

Stark: (panting eagerly as he waves a container at D'Argo) It's all here D'Argo! Everything! Everything!

Zhaan: Be calm Stark, be calm!

D'Argo: (snatching the container from Stark with his usual finesse as he growls) What is this dren? How will it help me save my son?

Stark: (excited and feverish) I've got a plan! A plan!

Zhaan: Shh! Stark! Your life signs are still weak.

D'Argo: (impatient) Just let him talk!

John: Hang on, before we hear about any plan - inquiring minds want to know - how the hell did you get here?

Stark: I stole a ship!

John: (referring to the events of TUT) No - on the hubcap - you were executed. You were dispersed.

Stark: (panting) Crichton, this body is only a molecular creation, which enables me to live in your realm. It's merely a - a vessel for my true, incorporeal self. (as he speaks, Zhaan unwraps the rags from around his head, exposing the glimmering patch of light that is the right side of his face)

John: You wanna run that by me one more time?

Stark: (he speaks with difficulty as Zhaan places the metal mask back over the right side of his face and secures it) When I dispersed I instantly traveled to locate these plans and blueprints. And then I - I reconstituted the shell of this body and - and - stole a ship - to come find you.

Chiana: (to Rygel) I told you he was still alive.

Rygel: (sailing forward on his hoverchair) I don't believe it! Zhaan was telling the truth! I-

D'Argo: (clamping Rygel’s mouth shut) Go on, Stark.

Stark: (increasingly excited as he speaks) Ka D'Argo, your son is being sold in a lot of 10,000 slaves. Now - this - (he takes a film from the container he brought and holds it up) - is a blueprint for a depository!

Chiana: What you mean like a bank?

Stark: Yes!

Chiana: (excited) Are we gonna rob a bank?

Stark: Yes! (Chiana chortles with glee)

Zhaan: (appalled) Steal other peoples currency to help ourselves? We can't do that! I can't!

Chiana: Sure you can!

Stark: Zhaan, this is not a normal depository. It is one that services only criminals that wish to hide what they have stolen from others.

Rygel: (savvy about these things) Wait a microt - Are you talking about a shadow depository?

Stark: Yes! And it's within the range of a transport pod from here!

Rygel: (savvy about these things...) Hm, now - so you are insane.

Aeryn: (she states her factoid with loud confidence) Well I saw a shadow depository once that had more firepower than a Gammak Base.

Stark: Yes, but with these - (he shows them some clear data chips) - I can control the internal depository door motion detectors. And these - (he waves the blueprints at them) - these are a complete set of blueprints - vault layout, everything. (and he says with relish rather unbecoming of an incorporeal being-) In one container is enough wealth to buy an entire shipment of slaves and still have enough left over to make all of us filthy rich forever! (Chiana can barely contain herself)

John: Where did you get these?

Stark: I helped the deposit designer cross over to death. His last thoughts led me to these. They're genuine.

John: (suspicious) Did you kill him?

Stark: Not exactly.

Aeryn: (she snorts) Did the designer have enough time to explain to you how much firepower is actually inside this depository?

Stark: Not - not precisely.

John: Oh that's comforting.

D'Argo: We're gonna have to go down and have a look for ourselves.

Aeryn: (dismissive of the whole cockamamie idea) Their arsenal would be massive. This is suicide D'Argo!

D'Argo: Well if it's the only way we can save my son we must consider it.

John: D'Argo, wait - nonono - I know this is important, I know you want to do this - but it is not possible.

D'Argo: (aggressively) You won't even consider this?

John: I just don't see how we-

D'Argo: (cutting him off angrily) Well fine! We'll go without you! We'll go without all 4 of you! Chiana, it's just you, me and Stark.

Chiana: (concerned by the others hesitation) Well sure, b-b-but you know, maybe - maybe we should just-

D'Argo: (cutting her off furiously) What? Now you're against me too?

Chiana: No! No! I'm with you! it's-

D'Argo: (cutting her off again to turn his fury on John) WHEN YOU ASKED ME TO DO SOMETHING, DID I EVER QUESTION IF IT WAS POSSIBLE? (actually, yes, but this wouldn't be the time to bring it up would it?)

John: D'Argo, I-

D'Argo: NO! I DIDN'T! You're cowards. All of you. (he storms out, leaving them all looking after him speechlessly)

(cut to soon after. A transport pod accelerates away from Moya. Cut to Aeryn and John, striding urgently through Moya’s corridors)

Pilot: (defensively, via comm) He does not need my permission!

John: (he doesn't want to hear it) Get him on the phone!

Pilot: He is not responding to any of my signals!

John: (yelling into his comm) D'ARGO?

Aeryn: How much of a head start does he have?

Pilot: (cut to him in his Den as he speaks) He cleared Moya not more than - 15 microts ago.

(cut to the transport pod. D'Argo is at the helm as John's voice yells over the comm)

John: D'ARGO! PICK UP THE DAMN PHONE! I KNOW YOU CAN HEAR ME! D'ARGO? (the angry Luxan ignores him)

(cut back to Aeryn and John)

Aeryn: We're taking the Prowler.

Moments later Aeryn and John streak away form Moya in pursuit of D'Argo. With the information Stark had brought, the Luxan has made his way to the planet where the shadow depository is located. Aeryn flies the Prowler over what appears to he a city rising out of a mist under gray skies and pouring rain. The buildings are black and skeletal, jutting skywards in complex, asymmetrical arrays of girders, great wheel-like structures and sharp spires. It looks more like some sort of industrial grid than a city. The central, fortress-like building is shaped like a many-pointed star. This entire "city" is the shadow depository and its defenses. Aeryn and John gaze apprehensively at it all from the Prowler.

John: That's big.

Aeryn: It's very big.

Soon after, Aeryn and John have parked the Prowler and entered the main processing chamber (read: Lobby) of the depository. It is a huge, dimly lit room with great pillars. Around its circumference are portals leading to private areas that are covered by massive octagonal security gates whose bars are intricate star-shaped designs. The lobby is crowded with people bustling about and talking. One person stands out though. She is a shapely female creature with blood red eyes and long, clawed, finger-like structures on her head that seem to grow out the back of her skull and curve forward gripping her head like long fingers. Jagged spines protrude form her shoulders. It's hard to tell if she is wearing clothing or if the blue scale-like plates that artfully define her body are in fact - her body. Her name is Natira and she is talking to a Sebacean man - she is clearly the one in charge. Her voice is sweetly feminine but her words are harsh.

Sebacean man: (outraged by something) ... DON'T threaten me Natira! And DON'T forget who I am!

Aeryn: (in a low voice as she looks around) John where's D'Argo?

Natira: (to the Sebacean man as she firmly pushes him to arms length away from her) I haven't. You're nobody here. (as John observes this interaction, he hallucinates the Sebacean man morphing into Scorpius) But do as I say - and we'll let the relationship unfold. (John takes Aeryn arms and pulls her urgently behind a pillar)

Aeryn: What?

John: (whispering) Scorpius!

Aeryn: Where?

John: Over there. Talking to that weird blue alien.

Aeryn: (she peeks around the pillar and sighs) That's not Scorpius, you're having visions again. Have a look. (he peeks - and sure enough, it's only some Sebacean guy) See?

John: Sorry about that.

Aeryn: I'm worried about D'Argo. (they step back out into the open lobby and immediately, something about them sets off an electronic alarm accompanied by strobe lights and a deep throbbing sound. They startle, draw weapons and take defensive postures as a Depository guard orders-)

Guard: Hand over your weapons! Slowly! (the alarm is cut off as they comply and are scanned with hand-held wands by guards. Another man, Natira's assistant, Akkor now approaches them, He is completely human in appearance, tall and dressed with understated richness. His pate is bald but for a circle of dark hair that goes around the back of his head from ear to ear and is extravagantly combed up to little pointy frill, His tone is imperiously businesslike)

Akkor: What is your business here Peacekeepers?

John: (putting on the swagger of one who is pleased by the security of the place) Good! Very - very good! You in charge here?

Akkor: (dryly repeating his query) What is your business?

John: This is a depository, right? We have something to deposit.

Akkor: What makes you think we'd be interested? (must be a Citibank branch)

John: You ever hear of KFC?

Akkor: KFC?

John: It is, to my knowledge, unique in the universe, and unique - is always valuable. (over Akkor's shoulder, he spots D'Argo - trying to manipulate the security code of one of the great gates - his eyes wobble a bit but he relentlessly tries to keep Akkor’s attention with his cock and bull story) Now we have managed to procure all 11 secret ingredients. What we need to do now is discuss the terms-

Guard: Security breach in Portal 5! (Akkor whirls around just as D'Argo manages to get the door open - all hell breaks loose)

Akkor: GUARDS! THE LUXAN! SEIZE HIM! (a brief, violent struggle ensues as Aeryn and John quickly duck aside and several guards subdue D'Argo) Get him on the ground!

Guard: On the ground! (D'Argo is roughed up) Hold him!

Aeryn: (whispering to John as they watch the chaos from the sidelines) Wait.

D'Argo: (the angry Luxan digs his hole deeper) I was told the security here was weak. I was right. The security here IS FRELLED!

Guard: SILENCE! (they rough him up some more and use a stun-gun like device on him. Akkor glances over his shoulder, sensing the languid approach of Natira. Arriving at the scene of the disturbance, she stoops, and gazes intently at D'Argo as she says coolly)

Natira: As a race - Luxans can be - inartful at love. Inadequate at war - and intrinsically inept. But this one - is intelligent.

Guard: Shall I execute him?

Natira: No. He also expects to be interrogated. Don't you?

D'Argo: (he's flat on his back on the floor, beaten, and he replies with some effort) Ka - D'Argo.

Natira: (straightening up) See? It's a dance, gentleman. Let's not disappoint him. (D'Argo laughs as he is pulled to his feet. Natira smiles at him, showing her wickedly sharp teeth) You went to so much trouble to open that door Ka D'Argo. (she glances at the guard) Be my guest. (and with that, the guard delivers a vicious blow to D'Argo that causes him to scream and double over, gasping and coughing)

John: (whispering) It's time to go. (Natira slowly turns and looks in their direction, John is already turned away and urges Aeryn, who seems fascinated by the spectacle, to come away too) Aeryn...

(cut to soon after, Aeryn and John have returned to Moya where they seek out Stark)

John: (he strides up to Stark, furious, and seizes him) You! You set him up! D'Argo is DOWN there because of YOU!

Stark: (protesting the accusation with maniacal vehemence) Look! You left him no choice! He had to! He had to! It's the only way to save Jothee! It's the plan!

Aeryn: (she takes over the manhandling of Stark and pins him against a wall) WHAT PLAN? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? (uh - duh Aeryn - the one to rob the bank?)

Stark: (sounding more than a little crazed) The plan! The plan! To get - to get D'Argo back! AND to rob the depository!

Aeryn: But you put the whole place on security ALERT! (she and John shove Stark between them and pin him down on a container)

Stark: (insistent as he shakes his blueprint of the depository) It's here! It's all part of the plan, you see! Because D'Argo's breached their system, they'll scramble their codes. And - and while they're resetting their security codes I can link in and they'll never even know! Bu- I have to work quickly! (he suddenly throws Aeryn and John off him and faces them, shouting) SO YOU'LL LEAVE ME ALONE! I've only got 6 arns before they reset their codes!

John: (to Aeryn) I'm gonna reset his codes! (he powers after Stark again, pushing against the wall one more time) HOW THE HELL ARE WE SUPPOSED TO GET D'ARGO BACK?

Stark: Don't worry about a thing. I've got it all figured out, it's all part of the plan.

Aeryn: You better have it all figured out. D'Argo bet his life on that.

Stark: (calm and deadly rational) No. He bet his sons life on that.

John: (angry and resentful as he releases Stark) You manipulated us.

Stark: This plan - will work.

(cut back to the depository. D'Argo has been taken to a room where he's been stripped to the waist and restrained on a circular metal frame that sits on a slightly raised platform in front of floor to ceiling windows that overlook the grey skies and spidery black skyscrapers of the depository precincts. He is sitting on the floor at the base of the frame and being beaten by guards as Akkor looks on. Natira enters)

Akkor: He hasn't said a word.

Natira: (with a bored sigh) He's Luxan. He'll die first. Which means all this pain has been for nothing. As it will continue to be. (she strolls over to him and taking one of his head tentacles in her hand, squeezes it hard with her sharply clawed fingers. D'Argo screams with pain) But perhaps you like pain? Is that it? I hope so. (D'Argo roars with agony as she digs into him)

(cut back to Moya where the crew is preparing for their raid on the shadow depository. Zhaan and Chiana are present as a DRD plays a beam of focused light over Rygel that is creating a sort of cocoon around him)

Rygel: I've changed my mind! 7% isn't nearly enough. I want 10! (he yelps as Chiana grabs one of his earbrows and twists)

Chiana: Listen slug! You'll get what we agreed upon, and you'll be happy about it. Ok? OKAY? It's easy Rygel. Now - Stark's gadget will switch our container for the valuable one. (she drops a device into Rygel’s cocoon as he grumbles from the pain of Chiana’s rough handling of his erogenous zones. She then whips his comm badge off him) And no comms.

Rygel: (in a horrified gasp) What?

Chiana: All transmissions will be detected.

Rygel: But what if something goes wrong?

Zhaan: (delivering a decidedly backhanded compliment as she puts together another device) We have complete confidence in you Rygel, especially where money is concerned. (Rygel chuckles proudly) Chiana, swallow this. (she passes the Nebari a pill and takes one for herself) It will protect you from the effects of the melar gas. You ready Rygel? (he lets a juicy fart in his cocoon/can and says in a Munchkin voice)

Rygel: Do I look ready?

Zhaan: (smiling despite herself) You have nothing to fear. The gas will suspend your biological functions just long enough to avoid being detected by a bio scan. (Chiana silently mouths with her the words) Goddess be with you. (and with that, Zhaan releases a pink colored gas that wafts over the Hynerian) Brave Rygel.

Rygel: (rushing, in his Munchkin voice, to say his last words) 10%! Do you hear me? 10! I consider this an... oral... compro- (and he slumps into unconsciousness as the DRD continues to build up the cocoon around him)

Zhaan: Strange. Should have been instantaneous; I'll have to adjust the mix next time. (Chiana makes a small sound like "Hm!" and pulls Rygel into an upright position so the DRDs cocoon is shaped like a formally seated Hynerian)

(cut to Moya’s Command where Stark has commandeered a console and is trying to get his act together. His paraphernalia is strewn everywhere and he's plugging chips into the console with the feverish air of a very frustrated computer user...)

Stark: (nattering to himself loudly) No! No! No! Wrong chip! Bad chip! (he tries another one and tosses it aside) Bad! (John enters)

John: Have you accessed their security systems yet?

Stark: (cheerily) Soon. (he tries another chip)

John: You said we had less than 6 arns.

Stark: (annoyed) I know what I said. (he rejects another chip)

John: That means you have less than an arn left.

Stark: (he pushes a pile of rejected chips to John and proceeds to fit another into the console) All bad. It's a matter of precision timing. I must create my link at the precise moment they reset their lock- (and at that precise moment - the chip whirs and a hologram of the shadow depository rises from the console. It reveals all the levels of the building, winking lights denote doors, elevators etc. He and John stare at it for a long moment, stunned. Stark breathes softly, as if speaking too loudly will blow the fragile light of the hologram out) I'm in. I'm in!

John: Are you sure this is gonna work?

Stark: Yes it will work, I've spent too much time thinking it through.

John: (murmuring apprehensively to himself) I spent too much time thinking through the Farscape project.

Stark: (suddenly furiously possessive) Your side, my side! My side, your side! Now GO! Go back to your quarters, get something to eat, take a nap- do nothing - (pettily vindictive) - That's what D'Argo said you do best. (John eyes Stark, who is focused now on his hologram, and then pulls his gun and paces it to the Banik’s neck)

John: (quiet and deadly) Ground rule: You don't lie to me. Did D'Argo say that?

Stark: (he stiffens, and replies. rational and contrite) No. I'm sorry. He didn't.

John: Do you have any other lies you want to confess?

Stark: (very softly) No. (John withdraws his gun)

John: You want to guilt trip me that's fine, just - (he waves a hand wearily) -don't lie to me. (he exits)

(cut to some time later as Chiana and Zhaan enter the lobby of the depository. Chiana is outfitted in her ling grey traveling coat - but Zhaan is decked out in a black leather hooded catsuit and the black eye patch Durka left behind. She affects a strident, arrogant tone. They are looking for attention)

Chiana: (looking around the place she laughs derisively) This is it? Ha! Lame. We can do better.

Zhaan: (curt) Better is what I say it is.

Chiana: I knew that.

Akkor: May I help you?

Zhaan: No. (she does not deign to look at him and keeps walking. Natira observes this from a discreet location nearby) Bring me whomever is in charge here.

Akkor: I assure you, madam, I am more than capable-

Zhaan: (cutting him off imperiously) Don't try to elevate yourself. I know a functionary when one crawls in front of my face. Now fetch me your master like a good little minion.

Natira: (stepping out of concealment as Zhaan draws even with her) I'm Natira. Are you here to make a transaction? (Zhaan stops and the two women eye each other for a moment from several paces apart)

Zhaan: I am Aralla.

Natira: You act as if that name should means something to me.

Zhaan: (ignoring her) I understand you've been having security problems.

Natira: You've been misinformed.

Zhaan: Reeeaaally? I had one of my operatives test your systems himself. He got halfway into your vault before you even noticed him.

Natira: The Luxan? He barely made it through the first door. He belongs to you?

Zhaan: He's still alive?

Natira: Last I checked.

Chiana: (sneering) They couldn't even kill a Luxan.

Zhaan: Unbelievable. I will take him back now.

Natira: You'll take whatever I give you. How did he get our code?

Zhaan: It is not my job to plug your security leak.

Natira: (with a dangerous smile) Then why have you come here?

Zhaan: Time sensitive goods. Short-term deposit.

Chiana: (hunkering behind Zhaan and playing the toady) Short term!

Zhaan: I need storage for one solar day.

Chiana: One solar day!

(cut to soon after. Aeryn and John have joined Chiana and Zhaan in the depository lobby. They've brought several containers - including the sarcophagus-like cocoon that holds Rygel. The guards are scanning the "deposit")

Guard: Explosives negative.

Second Guard: Biologicals negative.

Guard: Power field emitters negative.

Natira: (noticing the cocoon) Hynerian?

Zhaan: Yes. Neltoth era.

Natira: (she touches it curiously) Hm - It's extremely ugly.

Zhaan: But priceless. (she removes Natira’s hands from it, Natira sidles away) And now my Luxan.

Natira: (she beckons her toadies and a door opens. Several guards, supporting D'Argo between them, bring him out. He appears exhausted, ready to collapse) This way please.

Zhaan: (coldly, to Chiana) Girl!

Chiana: Yes?

Zhaan: Take him back to the ship.

Chiana: (she goes o lead the guards to the transport pod) At once.

John: (under his breath - it isn't clear if he means Zhaan or Natira) Freakin' Attila the Hun.

Natira: (unconcerned with D'Argo, she continues with Zhaan about the deposit they are about to make) Your guards can watch you from the observation area.

John: (quietly to Aeryn as he watches D'Argo being led past them) He looks bad.

Natira: (finishing her statement to Zhaan) Those are my rules, and if you don't like them - leave. Now! (she walks off and with a grim glance at Aeryn and John, Zhaan follows her. Don't worry - if D'Argo needs to be beaten on to make his blood run clear we're sure Pilot will be happy to oblige)

(cut away from the lobby to a large, windowless, private chamber. This room is a large, white octagon, each of its walls is dominated by a massive octagonal portal, unlike the lobby, it is brightly lit. These portals are accented in pale blue and feature an eight-pointed star design that recalls the shape of the building itself. The chamber has a Moorish feel to it, intricate white latticework at the tops of the walls facilitate air circulation and conceal what lies beyond. In the center of this chamber is a blue 3-dimensional star shaped console that Natira approaches as she talks)

Natira: The vault is made from madium steel. Strong enough to withstand a metavec explosion. Does that alleviate your security concerns?

Zhaan: I'll let you know in one solar day.

Natira: Please. (directing Zhaan to place her hand on the console) The code to your container is now linked to your genetic profile. (the console announces in a feminine electronic voice that it is retrieving the container in which Zhaan’s "deposit is to be placed) Only you will able to gain access. Here comes your container now. (one of the huge baby blue portals swings open and with a little smile Natira leads Zhaan over to stand in front of it. They look into a vast warehouse area where octagonal containers the size of railway cars move about automatically in the far distance. One turns towards them and suddenly rockets on its tracks towards the vault control chamber at nightmarish speed. Zhaan leaps back, catching hold of the console in the center of the room as the container juts inside and stops inches from Natira who stands there coolly and eyes the cowering Zhaan with sadistic satisfaction as the barn door-sized end of the container swings open with the ponderous thunk of very heavy metal) Mm. The first time can be a little intimidating.

(cut to Aeryn and John in the dimly lit security room where they observe Natira and Zhaan on an octagonal screen under the watchful eye of Akkor. Other screens show security views of other places in the facility)

John: Bonnie and Clyde. Oh no - forget about that one, it's a bad ending. (Aeryn wisely ignores him and instead watches as a guard enters the room and whispers something to Akkor who leaves with him. John mutters anxiously at the screen) You know, it's really not nice to whisper. All right Zhaan come on. Come on - wrap it up. (but his thoughts are interrupted by the voice of Scorpius/Harvey whispering to him in his head - "You can't escape me, you can't escape me, you know that." John paces and mutters back to the voice, annoyed) Not - now you freak! Get outta my head!

Aeryn: Scorpius.

John: Yes - Scorpius.

Aeryn: (she walks past him towards one of the security screens) No. Scorpius.

John: You see him? (and now so does John - Scorpius, Braca and a PK woman walking down a corridor of the shadow depository) This is bad.

Aeryn: This is very bad.

(cut to Scorpius and his small entourage in the corridor. Akkor hurries to intercept them)

Akkor: Scorpius? Scorpius!

Scorpius: (he seems in a foul mood) Don't talk. I've come for my property.

Akkor: (a note of reproach in his tone) You could just be a little patient.

Scorpius: (he makes a sound somewhere between a snarl and a groan) Agh - Nonononono. I must see Natira. Now. (he walks past the man)

Akkor: Yes, but-

Scorpius: You're stalling me Akkor.

Akkor: (protesting) No!

(cut back to the security room as Akkor and Scorpius continue to speak and Aeryn and John watch)

John: He's about to walk in on Zhaan. We'd better warn her.

Aeryn: We can't use the comms 'cos they'll hear us.

(cut back to Scorpius et al in the corridor)

Akkor: (as Scorpius breathes heavily, clearly in distress) She'll be right with you. Please! Understand. Natira’s policy on clients confidentiality is very strict. (he tosses in a self-pitying note) I could lose my position.

Scorpius: Of course. Oh I understand. (Braca steps forward, punches Akkor viciously and then delivers disabling blow to the mans head. Akkor collapses, unconscious) That won't be your fault. (and suddenly, with a snorted growl like a wounded animal, he falters and the woman, a PK nurse, steadies him)

PK Nurse: All right - hold still.

(cut back to the security room where Aeryn and John watch as the nurse proceeds to touch the device on the side of Scorpius' head that holds the cooling rods he needs to survive)

Aeryn: What is that?

John: (staring intently at the screen) My boy Scorpius. (they watch as the nurse removes the used up coolant rod right there in the hallway and replaces it with a fresh, blue one. She then sends the device whirling like a drill back into his brain) He's half-Scarran, gotta handle the heat problem. That must be how he stays cool.

Zhaan: (her voice is heard over the security audio while on the other screen Scorpius rises and he and his entourage continue on their way) I trust your machinery will not damage my possessions.

John: Come on Zhaan - quit your yakking and get out of there. Come on Zhaan.

(cut to Natira and Zhaan as they exit the blue and white vault control chamber)

Natira: We safely store items far more fragile and valuable than yours. (they come to an elevator and as Natira hits its button, a guards trots up to her and whispers-)

Guard: Scorpius is here.

Natira: (to Zhaan) If you'd allow my assistant to escort you. (Zhaan and the guard board the elevator. Aeryn and John immediately make their exit from the security room. Just as Zhaan and the guard disappear in the elevator car, Scorpius rounds a bend and approaches Natira)

Scorpius: (he and the spiny woman greet each other with wary, exaggerated affection ) Natira!

Natira: Scorpius! How good to see you! (they embrace)

(cut back to Zhaan as she exits the elevator with a look of relief on her face to see Aeryn and John waiting for her there in the lobby. She strides off and makes for the exit with only a terse command to them)

Zhaan: Follow me! (they hasten from the building and moments later the transport pod is roaring back towards Moya)

(cut back to the room with the high windows where D'Argo had been beaten in front of the panoramic view of the stormy skies. Natira sits on a couch, Scorpius is several paces from her. Both have their entourage with them)

Scorpius: I'm here to claim my property.

Natira: (she rises and comes over to him as he takes a seat on another lounge, her tone is sensual) Is that it? Straight to business? Mm - Scorpius - for a half-Scarran you can sometimes be so - cold. We have so much to catch up on. I heard about the destruction of your Gammak Base.

Scorpius: And you thought I was dead.

Natira: Well I'm glad I was wrong.

Scorpius: You seized my property.

Natira: Well of course! (her guard sidles up closer behind her and there is a long silence) But I'll provide you with merchandise of equal value.

Scorpius: No. For my inconvenience you'll provide me with triple the value.

Natira: (long pause) Double.

Scorpius: (short pause) Triple.

Natira: (shorter pause) I'll make the arrangements.

(cut to Moya’s Command as John enters, Stark is there at his console)

John: Hey Stark! Riddle me this - what's black and white, and black and white, and black and white, and black and white...

Stark: (his mind is just warped enough to make the right guess from a clue that is total gibberish - he is horrified) Scorpy!

John: And in the bank!

Stark: Here?

John: You KNEW! You knew that he had a safe-deposit box in that bank! OOHO - What - we've talked about lying!

Stark: Yes I knew, but if I had told you-

John: HELL! (he furiously starts to throw Stark's datachips around) WE WOULDA STAYED THE HELL AWAY FROM THE BANK! WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?

Stark: I didn't know he'd BE here!

John: NO NO NO NO, YOU JUST WANTED, YOU WANTED BOOST, BOOST, BOOST HIS STUFF! YOU JUST WANTED REVENGE!

Stark: (defensive) That is NOT true! My people and D’Argo’s son are the reason I'm here. (Aeryn enters) Now, if it's Scorpius' wealth that frees them, well, that's an added bonus. You want revenge!

John: No I don't. I want to kill him. That's justice. (to Aeryn) How's D'Argo?

Aeryn: Recovering. Pilot is there any sign of Scorpius' Command Carrier?

Pilot: (cut to him in his Den as he speaks) None, but Moya did sense one small vessel approaching the planet earlier.

Aeryn: (with sarcasm as she looks at Stark out the corner of her eye) Oh that's fine, that's probably just a Marauder on a stealth trajectory.

Stark: There's no need to panic, we can still pull this off undetected. Look, I've modified these comms so that they'll encrypt all transmissions. We can communicate safely at all times. And this passkey has been calibrated to control all their doors. You see, this plan will work!

John: In any event, we're committed. I need one more thing. (he touches his comm badge) Zhaan?

Zhaan: Yes John?

John: Can you concoct something for me that reacts with heat? And by react, I mean explode?

Zhaan: (cut briefly to her as she speaks, still in her black get-up, hesitant) I can - prepare some jellifan paste.

John: Do that please.

Aeryn: Don't turn this into a vendetta John.

John: I didn't.

(cut back to the shadow depository as Natira re-enters the high-windowed chamber where Scorpius, Braca and the PK nurse wait)

Natira: I'm procuring a quarter sakmar of borinium ingots for you. At least 3 times the value of the property you had stored.

Braca: And where are you stealing them from?

Natira: Do you care?

Scorpius: No. How soon will we have them?

Natira: (staring at Braca) The arrangements are rather complex.

Scorpius: And what am I supposed to do while I wait?

Natira: (she leaves Braca and sashays over to Scorpius) Accept my apologies.

Scorpius: (to Braca and the nurse) Return to the Marauder; I will summon you if I need you. (the nurse makes as if she's about to protest but he cuts her off and instructs her to leave her medical bag with the coolant rods) Leave that. Natira will attend to me - should I require it.

Natira: True. I know many ways to bleed off your excess heat.

(cut back to Moya. Chiana is tending to D'Argo in his quarters as he lies, limply on his bed. John enters)

John: How you doing?

D'Argo: (brusque) How do I look?

John: You look like crap.

D'Argo: (irritable) Well there's your answer.

Chiana: (in an attempt to defuse the tension) Blood's clear. Not much damage. He's still in a lot of pain though.

John: Yeah we're uh - we're going ahead with the plan.

D'Argo: (bitterly) Because now it's begun you have no other choice.

John: Yeah who exactly got us into this great plan anyway?

D'Argo: Well someone had to act.

John: You mean someone had to take matters into their own hands?

D'Argo: And you never do?

Chiana: Crichton just - just leave him alone ok?

John: No that's fine. He wants to get into it, we can get into it.

Chiana: Well yeah sure. Now's just a great time. Hey how about I just go grab some rags in case he starts bleeding again? (she stalks out)

John: (contrite) I didn't come here to fight. Came to see how you are.

D'Argo: (stubbornly unforgiving) Well. We've already covered that. Is there anything else? (John leaves)

(cut back to he depository. In the dim blue interior of Zhaan’s container. Rygel has come back to life and is struggling to get out of his cocoon like - well like a bug trying to break out of its cocoon... His voice is muffled as he struggles and recites what he is supposed to do)

Rygel: 1- Get out of statue. 2 - Use gadget to retrieve prize. 3 - Jump into containers full of riches! The problem is - Step 1! (and with a final wriggle. he manages to tear his delicate, Hynerian-shaped prison open and force his head and one arm out. He pauses for a moment, panting and looking droopy) Frell! The blue bitch said this would be easy! (actually the grey one said that but who can tell 'em apart anyway?)

(cut back to the depository lobby. Zhaan and Chiana have returned and are speaking to Akkor, who is safely ensconced behind a long counter of what are basically teller cages)

Akkor: Withdraw your possessions already? That's unusual.

Zhaan: My life is unusual.

Chiana: Very unusual.

Zhaan: I said this was a short-term deposit.

Chiana: Short term.

(cut back to Zhaan’s container where Rygel is scaling its inside wall with some difficulty)

Rygel: (grunting and groaning with the effort) Dren! (he finally manages to reach a trapdoor on the ceiling of the container and opening it, hauls himself partway out so he can see the inside of the huge vault with all the other containers parked on their tracks. He takes out the device that Chiana had dropped in his cocoon) Ah! Oof! No Dominar should have to work this hard! All right! Let's see if this thing actually works.

(cut to the depository security room. Akkor ushers Aeryn and John in to observe as before and then leaves)

Aeryn: Well so far we're right on schedule.

John: Let's hope Rygel is. All he's got to do is switch containers - he gets it right, I got one big kiss for him. (back in the vault, Rygel gasps as he looks around him at all the other containers, Stark's Device winks red lights in his little fist. Meanwhile in the Observation room John fiddles with the channels on the security screens)

Aeryn: What are you doing?

John: Doing what guys do best - I'm looking for Baywatch. (he hits upon a security view of Natira and Scorpius in the high-windowed room, engaging in er - mating behavior...) Better yet - the Discovery Channel.

(cut to the high-windowed room where Scorpius is reclining on a lounge with Natira on top of him. She's licking his left eye)

Natira: Are you still angry with me?

Scorpius: (languidly) Furious.

Natira: Good. It adds enthusiasm to our encounters.

(cut back to the security room where John watches as they get up and leave the high-windowed room)

John: (under his breath, willing Scorpius to leave the nurses bag there) Leave the cooling rods, leave the cooling rods, leave them- (Scorpius and Natira exit) Perfect! (he sprints from the security room) Come on!

Aeryn: Crichton!

John: Let's go! (she follows him out)

Meanwhile, in the blue and white vault control room, a guard and Chiana watch as Zhaan lays her hand on the computer console which duly announces it is retrieving her container. In the vault, Rygel and his device are in the process of opening the hatch of a different container and crawling in. He yelps with alarm as the container responds to the false signal of the device and starts to move. He struggles to hang on as the container attains its hellish speed, causing everything else to become a blur. He loses his robe as he screams and falls in.
Back in the high-windowed room, Aeryn and John lope in and he quickly makes to contaminate Scorpius' coolant rods with Zhaan’s heat-sensitive explosive - but he finds himself struggling against the voice of Scorpius/Harvey, the neural clone that lives in his head who says, "No John, don't! Stop! Don't!" John tries ignore it - but he fumbles at his task.
In the vault control room the door to Zhaan’s container is open and she and Chiana see Rygel trying to conceal himself in a box within. Zhaan quickly distracts the guard while Chiana hastens to help Rygel hide.

(and back in the high-windowed room John continues to try and sabotage Scorpius' coolant rods - but the neural clone of Scorpius won't let him)

John: (hissing madly to himself as Aeryn stands watch) Go 'way! Go on! Go 'way! (Aeryn shushes him urgently as she looks out the door. John hisses back in response) It's just Scorpius! He's in my ear. How about some jellifan paste - in his ear? (he struggles to contaminate the coolant rods with the explosive, but cannot make himself do it, he grimaces and snarls with frustration)

Scorpius/Harvey: (whispering, heard only by John) Stop John stop! Put it down! Stop what you're doing!

John: (squeezing his eyes shut and almost squealing with frustration) Shut up!

Scorpius/Harvey: Put it down John. I can't let you do this.

John: (as he painfully waves the paste in one hand and a coolant rod in the other, trying to bring them together) I can do - I can DO this!

Scorpius/Harvey: No John - I won't let you.

Aeryn: (she crosses to him - whispering) No you can't! Give it to me! (she takes the paste and the rod and does the dirty work as John fairly chortles with glee, rubbing his hands together and urging her on in an excited whisper)

John: Come on Aeryn! Comeoncomeoncomeon! (the boom of a heavy door opening nearby is heard) Aeryn! Aeryn! Quick! Pickituppickituppickitup! Comeoncomecome on! (she finishes the job as the PK nurse approaches the room)

Aeryn: Get down! (John vaults over a lounge and hits the floor on the other side, Aeryn follows and they lay there, not very well hidden really, but enough to escape the attention of the PK nurse as she enters, retrieves the coolant rods, and exits)

(cut to soon after, in the blue and white vault control room. Chiana and Zhaan have vacated it and Scorpius is there, having the nurse change a spent rod while Braca looks on. Natira enters)

Natira: The borinium ingots have been transferred into your container. You'll be pleased with their value.

Scorpius: I'd better be similarly pleased - with their quantity. (she hisses and he actually smiles)

(cut to a corridor in the Depository. Chiana and a guard are pushing a dolly with a huge stack of someone else’s containers on it. Zhaan leads the little procession, barking imperiously)

Zhaan: I will not be late for my Teledyne tea!

Chiana: (perhaps abhorring a genteel crook) You want to push? We'll be aboard the transport shortly - Aralla.

(cut briefly to Moya’s Command where Stark sits at the hologram of the shadow depository working intently as D'Argo looks on. Cut back to the vault control chamber where Scorpius' vault has arrived. But as he inspects its contents he is not pleased with either the quality OR the quantity)

Scorpius: (holding up the cast-off top of Rygel’s cocoon as he says sarcastically to Natira) Borinium ingots?

Natira: (furious) The Delvian woman! These are her possessions! (she hits the vault control console and the computer calmly announces "Security lockdown" as an alarm begins to blare)

Scorpius: A Delvian? Who was with her?

Natira: (looking worried) A Nebari, a Luxan and two Sebaceans.

Scorpius: (roaring) CRICHTON! Seal all exits!

In a corridor, Aeryn and John break into a run as the alarm honks and strobes flash. Scorpius, his entourage and Natira hasten from the vault control chamber. Security gates slam shut behind Aeryn and John as hey flee through the depository. On Moya, Stark gazes at his hologram, his jaw grimly set.
Back at the depository, a security gate closes in front of Zhaan, Chiana, the guard and the loot. "FRELL!" Zhaan spits. as Rygel peeps apprehensively out of his box. Elsewhere - another security gate slams shut in Aeryn and John's path, trapping them.

Aeryn: (softly) Frell.

John: Time to try Stark's lock pick (he produces the passkey Stark gave them but it seems to have no effect on the gate) Nope - time to try something else! (they run back the way they came as Aeryn calls to Zhaan on their secure comms)

Aeryn: Zhaan? Zhaan! Zhaan!

(cut to Zhaan, Chiana, Rygel and the guard, trapped in a section of hallway between gates)

Guard: (hearing Aeryn’s voice calling for Zhaan, he orders her back) Get away from the portal! (Zhaan impatiently knocks the guard senseless)

Zhaan: (on comm) The doors are sealed! Aeryn what's happening?

Aeryn: (cut briefly to her and John as they try the passkey unsuccessfully on another gate) Scorpius must be onto us.

Rygel: Stupid plan!

Chiana: Very stupid plan!

Aeryn: Don't panic - hold your positions. (cut briefly back to Stark on Moya as he works fast to try and override the depository lockdown)

Chiana: Do we have a choice?

John: (cut briefly to him and Aeryn as he hisses into his comm) Stark! Stark! Pick up!

(cut to Akkor, Natira and Scorpius in the security room, scanning for the location of the thieves)

Scorpius: I want him captured!

Natira: This facility is bristule tight. They won't get out.

Scorpius: (with disgust) I have less than a scarrag of faith in your words Natira.

Natira: (to Akkor) Locate them now.

(cut between Stark and D'Argo on Moya and Aeryn and John trapped in the depository corridor as they speak via comm)

Stark: (murmuring) This wasn't supposed to happen. Wasn't supposed to happen.

John: Yes well it did! Now can you pinpoint our location and turn off the damn camera?

Stark: I'm here.

Akkor: (cut briefly to him in the security room as his screens go staticky and Scorpius looks grim) What the frell-? They're jamming the cameras!

Stark: Give me your level, corridor, segment in that order.

John: Stark! this gizmo you gave me - it's supposed to give me control over all the doors!

Stark: (calm) Yes. Yes but they'll know right where you are, it's best to let me-

John: (not calm) JUST GIVE ME CONTROL!

Aeryn: (shushing John with difficulty, he splutters furiously in the background) Stark! Just - you and D'Argo get Zhaan, Chiana and Rygel out and we'll act as a diversion.

D'Argo: That is suicide Aeryn.

Aeryn: Almost as suicidal and strolling in and walking through a security door. (she opens the security gate as Stark releases control of the passkey to her and she and John take off at a run)

(cut back to the security room)


Akkor: Camera function restored. A portal's being breached - Level 19.

Natira: Is it Crichton?

Akkor: We can't be sure until we -

Natira: (under her breath, she's deeply miffed by this embarrassment in front of Scorpius) Make sure!

(cut back to Aeryn and John in the dim corridors, John is groaning and nattering incoherently as he slaps and paws frantically at his head. The voice of Scorpius/Harvey whispers and echoes in his brain)

Aeryn: Stop! What is the matter with you? (she grabs him and drags him off to one side where she pins him against a pillar. He grabs her head and kisses her, apparently to clear his brain, Aeryn’s protest is muffled but when he stops she demands-) What is wrong?

John: Scorpy. When he put me in his chair, he did something and it's getting worse. (at that moment a pair of guards appear in the corridor, Aeryn and John are able to ambush them as they run past and knock them senseless)

John: Oh hell! Got an idea! (so does Aeryn evidently for they dive as one for the fallen guards)

(cut to Zhaan. Chiana and Rygel as the gate blocking their path opens and they rush through with the loot. The scene shifts between them and Stark and D'Argo on Moya as they speak)

Stark: (directing their escape) Take your first on - the right.

Rygel: (yelling as Chiana and Zhaan push him and the rest of the loot through the halls) 10% of this plan is lunacy! 50% of these riches is not enough! One 100%of dead is dead!

Zhaan: Stark! Which way now? (back on Moya Stark is staring at the hologram and having trouble maintaining focus. His lips move but no sound comes out)

Chiana: (panicky) STARK! D'ARGO ARE YOU THERE?

D'Argo: (softly) Stark! They need you. If you fail them, I'll kill you. (thanks for your support D'Argo)

(cut back to Aeryn and John. They're stripping the uniforms off the unconscious guards)

John: Yeah yeah yeah yeah! This'll work, trust me-

Aeryn: (tonelessly) This will never work.

John: -we just need to find a place to - get our clothes off. (at that moment a few guards roar into sight and spot them)

Guard: You two! Hold it!

John: (whirling around and bellowing, he falls back on his Confuse-An-Alien tactic that has served him so well in the past) THEY WENT THAT-A-WAY! (the guards scatter and John and Aeryn duck out of sight)

(cut back to the security room)

Natira: (under her breath, to Akkor) They must be overriding portal controls.

Akkor: (sotto voce) Not possible.

Scorpius: (loudly) Notify me constantly of their progress. (he makes to leave, but Natira quickly intercepts him)

Natira: This is my facility Scorpius. You'll go nowhere without me.

Scorpius: (he starts to say in his threatening Scarran voice) Natir- (but he gasps with sudden pain and claps a hand to his head before regaining his cool and continuing in his normal, silky Sebacean voice) Natira. How much - (he raises her chin patronizingly with one hand) - do you owe me? In every way?

Natira: Too much - that I cannot repay.

Scorpius: If I leave with this man in custody - then all is forgiven. (and he leaves)

(cut to the crew of Moya in their various location in the depository and on Moya, The scene shifts between them as they speak via comm)

John: (he and Aeryn are in depository guard uniform now and aided by the fact that Natira has not equipped her facility with decent lighting, necessitating the use of searchlights) Blue, how you doing?

Zhaan: We're in the central processing area John! Stark! Open the last door!

Stark: (he's starting to mutter madly to himself) The plan the plan the plan. My fault my fault my fault...

D'Argo: (encouragingly - too little too late) They're almost out of there, come on you can do it.

Chiana: (whispering into her comm, terrified as guards are heard approaching) Stark! Stark! Open the door! We can hear them coming! Stark! (back on Moya Stark snaps under the strain of working with a Luxan hovering over his shoulder making death-threats and starts to beat wildly at the hologram with his hands. It disappears and D'Argo tongue-lashes him into senselessness and takes his place at the console)

(cut to Aeryn and John, still making their way through the dark, guard-infested corridors)

John: (slurring a little) Aeryn if Scorpius gets me-

Aeryn: I know, shoot you.

John: No. Nonono! Shoot him! Look, we have to talk.

Aeryn: Not here! You'll get us both killed!

John: Aeryn I have to tell you how I feel, I have to tell you-

Aeryn: No, you don't.

John: Yes, I do. I do.

Aeryn: (pointedly) No. You don't. (she moves on and he follows)

Scorpius: (cut briefly to him, Braca and the nurse as they walk the corridors. He comms Natira) Natira. Report.

(cut to Natira and Akkor in the security room)

Natira: Crichton's heading towards the main chamber, your current vector will intercept him. (she flicks off the comm)

Akkor: The Delvian still has the special reserve you intended for Scorpius.

Natira: Good luck to her. Least of our worries.

(cut back to Zhaan, Chiana and Rygel, waiting at the last gate. The scene shifts between them and D'Argo on Moya as they speak via comm)

Zhaan: (harshly commanding for real) They're coming D'Argo hurry!

D'Argo: (scrabbling at the console trying to get the hologram back up) I am working on it!

Chiana: (in a tiny squeak of panic) Just frelling hurry!

Zhaan: (taking matters into her own hands) Chiana! Get your pill for the melar gas. Take it now!

Rygel: Where's my pill?! This time I get a pill! (no he doesn't, he gets a swat from Chiana as she and Zhaan take the pills)

Pilot: (cut briefly to him in his Den as he gives D'Argo a taste of his own stress medicine) We have to reach them quickly!

D'Argo: (yelling with frustration) I'm following the frelling sequence! (finally the hologram of the Depository shimmers back to life)

Pilot: (fairly squirming with pleasure) That's it D'Argo! You're back in their system!

(cut back to Zhaan, Chiana and Rygel - time's up - they are spotted by a group of searching guards and beset - but Zhaan is ready)

Rygel: (despairing as the guards close in) A pill for Rygel? Of course not, when did anyone think of me?

Various Guards: (shouting) Stand your ground! Don't move! We'll shoot if you resist!

(they open the last security gate and move to take our heroes into custody, Chiana takes a step towards the open gate but is stopped by an armed guard)

Guard: Don't think about it! (and at that moment with all the guards at close range, Zhaan releases the pink melar gas)

Rygel: Aw frell! (and with that, he and the guards go down instantly)

Chiana: Much better.

Zhaan: (pleased) I knew I had to adjust the mix.

(cut to Scorpius, Braca, the nurse and a depository guard on the move to intercept John and Aeryn)

Natira: (cut briefly to her as she comms Scorpius) Crichton's outracing you to the main chamber! Move it Scorpius!

Scorpius: (to Braca and the guard who run on ahead) Capture them! Take Crichton - alive.

PK Nurse: (reaching for Scorpius) We must change your cooling rods, you're burning through them too fast. (Scorpius growls and knocks her hand away without breaking his stride)

(cut to the lobby as Zhaan, Chiana and the senseless Rygel reunite with John and Aeryn)

Zhaan: Oh, thank the Goddess you made it.

Aeryn: Is Rygel dead?

Zhaan: Unconscious.

John: Aeryn. You help them load, I'm going to seal the doors.

Aeryn: (wisely) No reverse that John, you do this, I'll do that.

John: This is mine. Load. (as the others set off to load the loot, John begins to go around the great lobby chamber which is now deserted, and shut and lock all the security gates. But Braca and the guard appear at one just as it is closing. The guard rushes to brace it open. John ducks out of sight behind a pillar)

Braca: Hold it!

Guard: Come on Braca!

Braca: Hold it!

Guard: Help me! (Braca helps by knocking the guard down where he is crushed in the heavy gate, and his body prevents it from closing. As Braca starts to squeeze through, John steps out of hiding)

John: Hiya, Braca. Tell me, is the rematch ever better than the original fight? (he shakes his head 'no' and the proceeds to TKO Braca with a single blow. He then tries to remove the guard from the gate so that it closes - but at that moment, Scorpius appears at the portal, one arm flashes through and seizes John by the throat as he effortlessly pushes the massive gate wide open with the other)

Scorpius: You have no idea how patient I have been for this moment.

John: (choking, what with Scorpius' hand clamped onto his throat and all) Well, since I got you here, tell me - what the frell did you put in my head?

Scorpius: Some awareness. A neuro-biotracer. (Dismissive of the specifics) Call it what you like. (he pins John against a pillar and taps at his head) A tiny chip, a tiny seed that's been growing in your brain, and touching every aspect of your - personality, your - memory.

John: Didn't happen to see Luanne Johnson, dijya?

Scorpius: And whispering advice. I trust - it's helped save you once or twice, since escaping my Gammak base! (without letting loose of John he suddenly makes an animalistic roar of pain)

John: (grinding out the words around Scorpius' chokehold) Whatsamatter Scorpy? You don't look too good! (Scorpius pants as liquid oozes from his cooling apparatus)

Scorpius: (in trouble, but still competitive) Neither do you Crichton!

John: (triumphantly tapping on Scorpius' head) I got a piece of you in me - now you got a piece of me in you! (Scorpius furiously throws John to the floor as the nurse runs in and grits out, in terrible pain-)

Scorpy: Change it! Change it now!

Nurse: Scorpius! (she touches his cooling apparatus and it spins out of his head. The rod within is a deep, angry red, she removes it and it explodes in her hand. She crumples to the floor and Scorpius turns to John, who he still has a firm hold of)

Scorpius: (he pulls John up and hisses with effort) You cannot let me die, anymore than I can sacrifice you.

John: That's what you're telling me in my head, but I think I'll give it a shot.

Scorpius: No - you will save me!

John: No!

Scorpius: (indicating the container with fresh rods in it) Now take one! Take it!

John: (horrified at this compelling development, he struggles mightily against the will of Scorpius/Harvey in his mind) NO!

Scorpius: Take it! Take it! Take it! (John takes a cool blue rod , his teeth are clenched as he fights the will of Scorpius) Now insert the rod! Insert the rod! Insert the rod! Insert it! Insert the rod John! (John's hand with the rod in it is forced towards the cooling apparatus, shaking terribly as he groans and tries to resist the force within him)

John: (using humor to help break the hold of Scorpius he forces out the words-) You're really not my type Scorpy-

Scorpius: Insert it!

John: (with a wild scream he manages to toss the rod aside and throw himself away from Scorpius. They both sprawl on the floor from the pain and stress of their battle of wills) DIE YOU GROTESQUE BASTARD! Even if it means I die too!

Scorpius: (writhing on the floor as John screams and yips to drown him out) Neither one of us can die!

John: (he starts to crawl away from Scorpius, singing loudly) O-OH SAY CAN YOU SEE?

Scorpius: (as John continues to howl the anthem) I command you John Crichton! Help me! I command you to help me! (but John just keeps on crawling and bawling that patriotic hymn, leaving Scorpius sprawled on his back, and struggling to reach the cool blue rod himself which lies just out of his reach)

(cut to later. Our crew have made it back to Moya and D'Argo, Stark and Zhaan are gathered around their stolen riches in the maintenance bay. Chiana and Rygel are bent greedily over one of the crates of borinium ingots, fingering them with glee)

Rygel: We've done it! We are rich! As soon as we establish an exchange rate for these ingots, we'll know exactly how rich we really are!

Zhaan: We agreed Rygel, nothing gets touched until after D’Argo’s son and the others get freed from the slave auction - all right?

Rygel: Yes, yes - let's all pretend we're not thinking how ill-advised that covenant was.

Zhaan: (she moves to Stark and takes his hands in hers as she looks into his face and says) It provides a perspective otherwise lacking.

Stark: (stiffly formal) I must apologize for my panic. My shame is great.

Zhaan: You did brilliantly, we wouldn't have had a chance without you.

D'Argo: For which I am eternally grateful.

Stark: (formally acknowledging him) Ka D'Argo.

D'Argo: You've proven yourself to be a worthy friend, and one not to be distrusted again.

Chiana: (approaching D'Argo, agreeing with him) My sentiment.

D'Argo: (waxing fond of Stark as long as things seem to have worked out) After all these desolate cycles, I'm about to see my son, and that tortured being there is the one who's made it possible.

Chiana: (reminding him of John) What about your other tortured friend?

D'Argo: (harsh) Friends support one another unconditionally.

Chiana: They also forgive one another. (she walks away form him)

(cut to elsewhere on Moya. John is sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall as Aeryn comes and sits down by him. He is pensive)

John: It was real. I didn't imagine it.

Aeryn: What was real John?

John: I got Scorpius in my head. (in a broken tone) It was hard, letting him die. There's still a part of me that wishes I'd saved him.

Aeryn: Well you mustn't forget what he wanted from you, he wanted to dissect your brain.

John: (there's a long pause as John listlessly pulls his knees up and rests his arms and head on them) Hm. Aeryn -I, um - I meant what I said... Didn't say.

Aeryn: (she puts an arm around him and draws his head to rest on her shoulder) I know.

And as the crew rests, reflects, nurses its wounds - and its resentments - down in the maintenance bay, something rustles amid the crates of loot. The lid of one of the containers rattles furiously and in the open box that Chiana and Rygel had been pawing through, an ingot suddenly sprouts legs. Nearby another ingot drops heavily to the floor from its container - and scuttles off into the shadows of Moya’s body.

TO BE CONTINUED...