Terra Firma
January 6, 2003 - UK
January 17, 2003 - US
4.13

Writer - Richard Manning
Director - Peter Andrikidis

Guest Cast
Kent McCord . . . Jack
Raelee Hill . . . Sikozu
Geoff Morell . . . Holt
Melissa Jaffer . . . Noranti
Katherine Thomas . . . Laura
Murray Bartlett . . . DK
Sarah Enright . . . Olivia
Joshua Anderson......Bobby
Erica Heynatz . . . Caroline
Amy Salas . . . Skreeth
Rebecca Riggs . . . Grayza
David Franklin . . . Braca


TRANSCRIPT
The episode opens at the point where we last saw John: standing in Moyas docking bay with his gun trained on what appears to be his father, Jack Crichton and he's just demanded that the man prove his identity. But before Jack can respond - Sikozu steps out from behind the 3 other Earthers who are standing in a respectful line-up to greet our hero.

Sikozu: (to John) They're not imposters. DRD scans confirm they are of your species.

Jack: It's me, son. It's all right - you're home. You're alive. (he looks around himself, at great Moya) And if that wasn't miracle enough - this ship is actually a living organism? (John doesn't lower his weapon)

John: (softly) Yes she is.

Jack: And her - (he glances at Sikozu, who smiles toothily) - another alien lifeform.

John: (curt and suspicious) How'd you get up here?

Jack: We sent a shuttle - to open up communications. Everyone at IASA had a coronary when she - (he indicates Sikozu again) - answered finally. In English! (John repeats an opinion he'd expressed quite awhile ago of Sikozu as he lowers his gun)

John: (whispering) She's too smart. (one of the men standing behind Jack steps forward. He's a middle-aged fellow in a conservative suit and with hair that's threatening to go grey at his temples any second now)

Holt: Commander Crichton. I am T.R. Holt - Special Advisor to the President. Congratulations! You have accomplished something truly momentous - Earths first contact with extraterrestrial life.

John: (with a humorless laugh) Well - T.R. - today's your lucky day. D'ARGO! AERYN! (at his call, Aeryn exits Lo'la. At the sight of strangers aboard Moya, she flips back the skirt of her long leather oat and lays her hand on her gun. john offers some advice to the humans) Just don't make any sudden moves. (D'Argo, Chiana, Noranti and Rygel come off Lo'la, and as they do, they all stop and return the stares of the waiting party of Earthers. Holt is stunned by the variety of alien life that is arraying itself before his eyes)

Holt: Good God. (while the contingent from Earth is distracted by this close encounter, John takes Sikozus arm and pulls her aside to have A Quiet Chat, but Sikozu gets in the first shot)

Sikozu: What delayed you? Moya arrived 42 of their days ago.

John: The wormhole's unstable - some time dilation may have occurred. Where the hell is Scorpius?

Sikozu: He's in a pod at the far end of this wormhole. He's transmitting us a signal so we can find our way back.

John: (snapping her off) Yeah you can stop pimping for him anytime.

Sikozu: (snapping HIM off) What is wrong with you? These are your people - or do you think they pose us a threat?

John: (apprehensively) No. It's the other way around.

(Old Sol burns silent in space and sends his golden glow over the curve of the little blue, green and white planet that circles him at a close, but respectful distance. The scene shifts to later. John is back on Earth. He's sitting at the end of a dock. The watery light of a misty morning bathes him in pale light. The only sounds are the gentle lapping of quiet water and birds crying. A box of ishing tackle sits near him, but the fish are sage tosay - he's writing in his notebook. His thoughts are heard as he writes)

John: (voice-over) Earth. Terra Firma. Seems forever it's filled my thoughts, been my goal. And now - I'm here.

(as he continues to write, the scene shifts to a giant warehouse-like military facility. The Farscape 1 and Lo'la are parked there. IASA staff bustle about)


John: (voice-over) Family, friends... Seeing them again is so... (dismayed) So normal.

John enters the warehouse, followed by Holt. A woman rushes to throw her arms around him - it's Laura Kopecki, former IASA colleague and Woman Who Rebuffed The Passes He Made At Her In The Past.

Laura: John! You're alive. (a moment later John is standing face to face with his best friend, DK - and noticing that Lauras last name is no longer just Kopecki)

John: DK! When did that happen? (DK and Laura beam)

DK: A few years ago. Married on a boat in Naples. I wish you coulda been there.

John: (to Laura) You said he was a geek.

Laura: He is a geek.

DK: I won her over anyway. (he and Laura beam some more, and John is soon lost in a swarm of Secret Service, IASA researchers , reporters and others)

John: (voice-over) I figured Earth would freak out and it's delivered in spades - on time - 30 minutes or less. Uncle Sam is keeping the aliens safe and contained. A waterfront mansion for their personal use, with full security team standing by.

(as he writes, the scene shifts to his extraterrestrial friends being ushered onto the grounds of a tastefully luxe house by a contingent of Secret Service guys)

John: (voice-over) It's a cage - but at least it's a gilded one.

The crew of Moya file into the mansions bright, spacious living room whose floor to ceiling windows open onto a veranda and overlooks a bay-like body water. Noranti pauses at one of the vases of flowers that decorate the room and proceeds to eat a partly opened lily)

Chiana: Good? (Noranti grunts and nods. Sikozu picks up an apple from a bowl and takes a bit while Chiana flops into a deeply cushioned chair with an appreciative chuckle. Sikozu pulls a face and explosively spits her bite of apple out onto the floor)

John: (voice-over) Of course the suits are more interested in the technology. (ruefully) No surprise there. So we let 'em look.

(the scene shifts back to the warehouse where a shooting range has been set up. John is sliding a chakkan oil cartridge into a pulse gun as two 'suits' look on and a third guy in a lab coat takes a film record of the event. John is telling them: "I don't usually recommend this setting.")


John: (voice-over) They just can't comprehend what they're looking at - much less replicate it.

In the warehouse, John hands one of the suits the pulse gun and tells him: "Be careful."

John: (voice-over) Not yet. So let 'em look.

John grabs a pair of ear protectors and walks quickly away while the man takes aim and fires at one of two crash-test dummies that are wired with sensors. The pulse blast blows the entire torso off one of the dummies amid the firework-like chaos of sparks and smoke that is typical of pulse fire. Several computers that are attached to the sensors blow up as well. John grimaces - and doesn't look back. A larger group that's sitting about 50 feet away from the firing range jump and look over their shoulders at the pulse-fire melee)

J
ohn: (voice-over) Some of the VIPs have accepted translator microbes.

A pair of chairs are set up in front of the group. D'Argo sits in one and an older man is a suit and tie sits in the other. One of Moyas DRDs, who is sitting on a table, rams it's little hypodermic into the mans arm while D'Argo speaks Luxan. As the microbes speedily colonize the mans brain - D'Argos harsh language segues into English.

D'Argo: ...Ashtento broit! Ashtento broit! Hai... under strict supervision. No power ups unless I-

John: (voice-over) But even translator microbes aren't going to help some people listen. Not that you can blame them...

In the warehouse - D'Argo seems to sense something and he hisses as he whips around in his chair and bellows at a lab-coated man - who just hears Luxan of course:

D'Argo: ORHI DORT! (but the lab-coated man touches one of Lo'las' landing struts and is thrown off his feet by the little ships force shield. He lands on the floor a few feet away)

(cut back to the mansion. Secret Service guys keep watch while Chiana and Sikozu - in bathing suits - lounge at the pool. Noranti and Rygel are hanging around the outdoor grill and a boy of perhaps 15, is taping everything with a camcorder. Aeryn, who's still attired in her dread black leather space gear, lets a brown-haired woman of about 30 into the pool area. It's John's sister, Olivia, all grown-up)

John: (voice-over) At least the alien life's not going too crazy. My family has been helping out.

Olivia: (to Aeryn) Would you like me to bring you some of my clothes?

John: (voice-over) My sister, Olivia - she's hangin' with 'em.

Aeryn: (she looks down at her clothes and smiles politely at Olivia) Sure. Thanks.

John: (voice-over) And my cousin Bobby. Bobby is totally fascinated by the ETs.

He certainly is - especially the young, skimpily-clad female ones. Chiana seems to feel the eye of this junior paparazzi on her and fixing him with a meaningful stare - she bestows one of those third-finger greetings that she learned back in 1986 upon him and his camera. She then turns to Sikozu and says:

Chiana: Hey! I got this great idea. How about- how about we break outta here and go make some new friends? (Bobby can take a hint - he's turned his photographic focus onto Sikozu. He's crouched next to her patio lounger and filming her chest which is somewhat covered by a yellowish-green bikini bra. The Kalish is not down with Chianas suggestion)

Sikozu: Chiana, you know the humans will not let us out unescorted. And the way you make friends - I do not blame them. (as she speaks, she turns an intense, baleful stare on Bobby - which is even scarier than the color of her bikini top. Meanwhile, Rygel is peering happily into a pot and Noranti holds up a bottle)

Noranti: Rygel! Have you tried this?

John: (voice-over) Sparky and Wrinkles?

Rygel: (eagerly) What? Another delicacy? (the old woman upends the bottle into Rygels mouth. He greedily gobbles down half its contents)

John: (voice-over) They're the happiest of the crew. They're in gastro-heaven.

Rygel: What's it called?

Noranti: (dyslexicly, as she chews her own mouthful of the stuff) It's called... cop-porn.

(the scene shifts to John and Holt. They're walking outdoors at the IASA space center installation where ig, nondescript buildings dot the paved-over Earth)

John: (voice-over) But T.R. Holt - he is not happy.

John: What's the big deal? It's a simple proposal. A trip on a spaceship for 500 of Earths best and brightest.

Holt: Yeah but who picks the 500? You?

John: Me? Nononono. Let UNESCO handle that or the Nobel Committee.

Holt: Be much simpler to keep it local.

John: (weary) Local - meaning only red-blooded Americans. No deal. No cookie.

Holt: Some would disagree. Quote: "The Farscape project was and is an American initiative. I do not think it is unfair that America should reap the first benefits of it."

John: Yeah? What big-hearted patriot said that?

Holt: A former astronaut by the name of Jack Crichton. (John stops, and probably rolls his eyes behind the sunglasses he has on. Holt knows that hurt) Did you know we're making him IASAs Project Director for Extraterrestrial Studies? Father and son - (he clicks his tongue) - dynamite PR. (he lays on the guilt-trip) Jack is just so happy to be making a contribution - don't screw it up for him. (and all John can do is insult the mans wardrobe)

John: That's a nice suit. Do you have to buy that or does it come standard issue? (he stalks off)

John: (voice-over) Which brings us to Dad. Dad...

(cut to a view of the Crichton family home living room seen from the outside through filmy curtains that hang in front of French doors. Jack and Olivia are putting up holiday decorations)

Jack: Alright - time for a lighting test. T-minus 5 and...

John: (voice-over) Dads world was upside-down, so he's trying to make it right side up by putting up - Christmas decorations.

Jack and Olivia pause to admire their handiwork.

Jack: Might need a little more work around... (the sound of his voice trails off as he fusses with his Christmas tree lights and John's narration continues)

John: (voice-over - dryly) Christmas decorations - even though it's Florida and the whole block is cordoned off with security.

Outside the house - in a scene lit only by the strobe of police car flashers and the pop of camera bulbs - cops work to keep an unruly gaggle of reporters and other rabble behind barricades. Meanwhile, John enters the family living room and takes a seat on the sofa. Jack is pleased with his tree

Jack: It's lookin good.

John: (voice-over) Family traditions. They're supposed to bring us together. And to make everything - normal.

Aeryn trails in behind John and looks around at the twinkling decorations.

Aeryn: (interested) So! You do this every cycle?

John: Year. Every year.

Aeryn: (to herself) Year. Year...

Jack: (with bluff pride) Yeah Christmas has always been our favorite holiday. We never get tired of it.

John: I loved that Christmas where you lit the fireplace and the smoke came back down because- (he whips up a framed photo of a black and white tuxedo cat which he aims at Olivia, obviously it was her cat) - MR JINGLES was in the flue! (Olivia smiles despite herself)

Jack: Oh come on - one little mistake - you're going to hold it against me?

John: (grinning) The cat didn't have hair for 3 months Dad! (he passes the photo of poor Mr Jingles to Aeryn)

Aeryn: (muttering to herself) What the frell is that?

Jack: (to Olivia) Remember the time we gave you the riding lessons, honey? Thought you were going to cry.

Olivia: I did cry.

Aeryn: (to John) A cat?

John: Yeah - it's a pet. (Bobby enters, camcorder rolling)

Jack: Hey! And this. (Jack'll have his revenge for John bringing up the Mr Jingles Incident. He produces a particularly inept childs drawing that's trimmed in battered gold tinsel and shows it to Olivia)

Aeryn: (to John - she's still struggling with the concepts of 'pet' and 'cat') Does he talk?

Jack: Baby remember this that your brother made?

Olivia: (laughing) Yeah - show him. (Jack obligingly holds up the kindergarten masterpiece for John and Aeryn)

Jack: Remember this, John?

John: (in a tiny voice as he averts his eyes ) Yeah.

Jack: (solemnly) Made this when you were 5 years old. Your mother loved it. (Aeryn leans in for a closer look - Her upper lip curls and she casts John a sidelong glance)

John: So what's next? We break out the bare-ass baby pictures?

Jack: Hey! That's not a bad idea!

Olivia: (laughing) Yeah! Let's take a vote - Aeryn?

Jack: Lemme get the photo album.

Aeryn: (grinning - in a way like she doesn't quite get the hoke) Of course!

John: (not smiling - to Aeryn) No - we're not gonna... You're not lookin' at my bare ass.

Aeryn: (puzzled, in a tone low enough to be mercifully unheard by John's gleeful family) Why not? I've seen it already.

Olivia: (teasingly) Yes - we a-re! (but much to John's relief - a delicate chime sounds)

John: Excuse me - I hear the door. I got it. (he jumps up and hurries away as Jack returns with the photo album and heads for Aeryn, saying: "Here - let me show you this..." John opens the door and finds himself face to face with one of his old flames - Caroline Wallace)

Caroline: Special delivery from the Ghost of Christmas Past! (and with that - she holds a sprig of mistletoe over his head)

John: (stunned) Caroline- (but that's all he can get out before she throws her arms around his neck and kisses him on the mouth - she's brought a bottle of wine too. Aeryn leans over to look at what's going on by the door)

Caroline: (perky, as she releases John) Welcome back to terra firma. (John stares at her for a moment and then glances back at the others. Aeryn quickly turns back to the photo album)

John: (calling awkwardly to the others) Ah - hey um... Caroline's here. C'mon in. (she brushes past him and goes into the other room. She seems breezily familiar his father and siste)

John: (voice-over - ominous) But things have changed.

Jack: Hi Caroline!

Caroline: Hey Jack!

Jack: Come on in. Merry Christmas! (Aeryn looks up from the photo album, smiling at the joviality - but her smile fades quickly - she's an outsider in all this and is pretty much ignored)

John: (voice-over) And we don't get to close our eyes and pretend they haven't.

(the scene shifts back to the dock where John sits and wathces a little phalanx of ducks flying low over the water)

John: (voice-over) And everyone is telling me - how different I am. They're right. But they don't have a clue why. They can't know... what I've seen. What I've done - what's been done to me. They can't know what's out there waiting for them and I can't tell them, because they wouldn't believe me. Hell if I tried - they'd lock me up. Frell - I'd lock me up.

Caroline strides down the length of the dock towards him.

Caroline: Hey Buck Rogers. (she puts her hands on his shoulders and leans over him) You're supposed to be fishing - not writing memoirs. (she crouches down behind him and looks boldly at what he's writing) What's that?

John: (flatly) Its homework.

Caroline: This was supposed to be a weekend off. No homework. No stress. No aliens. No demands. I guess I'm not doing my job. (she turns his face to hers and kisses his lips, He accepts her attentions and kisses back - but his demeanor is more polite than passionate)

(cut back to the Crichton family home. John is lounging on the sofa eating bag of microwave popcorn - that's been popped - and watching TV where a pundit is jawing)

TVPundit: Mankind has always seen himself as the center of the universe. To discover that's no longer true is highly traumatic. A fundamental status quo is being threatened here. The very existence of Homo Sapiens may be under threat. (Jack enters the living room as the man blathers on) It's hardly surprising the hysteria's rising.

Jack: Here. (he sets a drink down for John and then takes a seat himself to watch)

TVInterviewer: Hysteria? In what sense?

TVPundit: The presence of these alien creatures has induced various forms of societal hysteria... (John offers his Dad the popcorn bag)

Jack: No thanks. (he changes the subject) Holt says it's bad on the political front. Every nation is demanding equal access to the aliens - and all the information we get from them.

John: Of course they are. We're going to give it to 'em.

Jack: I don't see why. Why should we give them access to technology they can use against us?

John: 'Cos it's the right thing to do. Wouldn't worry about it Dad. Subcommittee'll tie it up for years and load it down with a ton of guidelines.

Jack: Now you're being naive, son. The best and safest thing to do is keep it to ourselves.

John: Space travel was your dream to unite mankind - when did that change?

Jack: 9/11. This isn't the same world you left 4 years ago, son. People don't dream like they used to. It's about survival now.

John: (softly) Whose survival?

Jack: Olivias survival. And Susan and Frank and Bobbys. Imagine them blown up by a suicide bomb or coughing up blood from a poison gas attack. This country - is under siege. (Irritated and trying not to show it) You just don't understand the global situation. (uh-oh, he's gone Republican - Think Locally - Act Globally)

John: (sitting up) I don't understand because I've been out of town? Or because Daddy knows best?

Jack: (spluttering, and no longer trying to hide his irritation as both men rise from their seats) Ah-oh come on! Now that's not fair, son! If you want to argue with Holt - or even the President - I can arrange that!

John: No I don't want to argue with anybody.

Jack: No you don't want to argue - you just want to be obstinate and insist everyone agree with you.

John: (with quiet irony) Are you accusing me of being the only one in this family to be stubborn?

Jack: (angrily) No! You're the most stubborn!

John: That - I would argue with.

Jack: Alright - let's split the title.

John: I am going into space tomorrow. If you'd like to come along - you're welcome. Unless you're too stubborn. (he walks out of the room and Jack chokes back his angry response)

(cut to Moya. The creature Grayza had planted there to await and identify John creeps, spider-like, through the great ships shadowy corridors. The scene shifts to the docking bay. A transport pod roars down the great leviathans launch tunnel and settles on to the deck. D'Argo is there to greet it. Disembarking, are John, Jack and - of all the worthy scientists, dreamers and philosophers in the world - Bobby)

Bobby: Awesome!

John: Yeah and this is just the garage.

Bobby: Come on! Show me more!

John: Nah - I got some stuff I've gotta do first- (loudly) 1812! (the red, white and blue DRD comes a-rollin')

Jack: (rubbing it in a little) I'll give him the tour, son - I know my way around.

John: No Jack (uh-oh, he's callling his father by his first name. Not a good sign) It's a big ship. You're gonna to need a Sherpa. (he squats down by 1812) Gimme that arm. (the little old guy holds out one of his tiny mechanical extensions and John squirts it with what is probably WD40 as he says:) This should fix it up. It's a miracle. (1812 swivels his rusty appendage liberally about) 1812; this is Bobby. Bobby; this is 1812. 1812 is going to be your tour guide. (quietly - to 1812) Don't let him break anything.

Bobby: I won't break anything. Where's that Pilot you told me about?

Jack: I'll show you. You won't believe it. (that's HE! Pilot is a PERSON - not a museum piece! 1812 has a gun hasn't he? Anyway - Jack and Bobby start off - but John stops them)

John: Jack! That way. (the pair of humans troop off after 1812 to gawk at poor Pilot and John mutters to D'Argo) Think they know how to open doors?

D'Argo: Can you check wormhole stability from Command or do you need to go outside again?

John: No - Command'll be fine. I've had enough EVA to last a lifetime. (at that moment, Aeryn strides up and addresses D'Argo)

Aeryn: Apparently all systems check out normal with the Prowler so the scientists don't seem to have caused any damage.

D'Argo: I made sure they didn't.

Aeryn: I appreciate it. Thank you. (she stalks pointedly off without acknowledging John's presence)

D'Argo: (awkwardly) O-kay... (she pats John on the back) Meet you on Command. (he exits)

John: Thank you. (he goes after Aeryn) Aeryn - listen up. (she's back to fretting with her Prowler) You got a problem with them poking around at your Prowler - why don't you leave it here? The IASA boys got enough to look at with D'Argos guppy and my module. (she straightens up from her inspection of her craft and faces him)

Aeryn: Would it be better if I stayed here as well?

John: Why would you want to do that?

Aeryn: (a bit shaky) I'm clearly not fitting in.

John: (softly) You're fitting in as well as any of us are. (suddenly businesslike) Whatever it's - up to you.

Aeryn: (faintly incredulous) It's up to me?

John: Yeah. Yeah it's up to you.

Aeryn: (hesitant - wanting to please him) Fine I... Well I don't mind your scientists poking around with my Prowler. I can even - field-strip a cannon if it- (John cuts her off - permitting her a modicum of dignity)

John: No - don't do that. Thank you. Don't do that - they've seen enough. (Aeryn nods tightly and turns away. Grayzas creature creeps into the hangar bay as John trails Aeryn - it's his turn to beg now)

John: You want a hand?

Aeryn: No.

John: (sulky) No. No, of course you don't.

(cut to Grayzas Command Carrier. She is in the Captains quarters and removes a small organic-looking object from a box as Braca watches . The object is green and spiny)

Braca: What is that?

Grayza: An explanation would be pointless. You'd retain no memory of it. (and with that - she saunters up to Braca - and plops the thing onto his forehead. He gasps and stiffens as the thing emits a flash of green light. Grayza then addresses the creature she left on Moya) Skreeth - can you hear me? It's Grayza - report.

Braca/Skreeth: (in a tightly constricted voice) I hear you. Crichton is onboard Moya. According to reports - Moya now orbits Crichtons home planet.

Grayza: Where is this planet?

Braca/Skreeth: Unknown. We traveled through a wormhole to reach it.

Grayza: A wormhole?

Braca/Skreeth: Yes.

Grayza: Are you certain?

Braca/Skreeth: Yes.

Grayza: Do not seize Crichton yet. Learn all you can about his planet, its technology, its defenses and its location.

Braca/Skreeth: Allowing me to interrogate Crichton will yield quicker answers.

Grayza: Crichton has already proved himself to be immune to several forms of interrogation - stay hidden - until we know more. Understood?

Braca/Skreeth: (grudgingly) Understood. (back on Moya, Skreeth - who from what can be seen of her in the shdows, is as green and spiny as the organic transmitter she uses to communicate - fades to invisibility. And back on the Command Carrier, Grayza removes the thing from Bracas forehead and he collapses into a chair. Grayza leans close and chucks him under the chin)

Grayza: We took a short break - for recreation.

Braca: (uncertainly) I see.

Grayza: (sensually) Don't you remember Captain? Perhaps you will - next time. (she straightens up and announces sternly as she walks away) But duty first. (Braca hurriedly scrambles to his feet) Run a full weapons systems check immediately. I want this ship ready - to destroy a planet.

(cut back to Moya, where John and D'Argo are reviewing the situation)

John: The readings match my homework. It's gonna be at least 70 arns before the wormhole's stable enough for Moya to get back through.

D'Argo: Pilot says he and Moya are looking forward to giving humans their first trip to the stars.

John: (wearily) Yeah. Right.

D'Argo: They're not going, are they?

John: No - we'll be long gone while they're still bickering over who gets the tickets.

D'Argo: (nonplussed by John's behavior) Well - then why offer them in the first place?

John: To give them something - otherwise they'll try and take it.

D'Argo: Yeah but we're not giving them anything. Their scientists can't even work out how to use pulse pistols.

John: Doesn't matter. My planet doesn't have chakkan oil anyway. (he eyes a hit of Norantis laka - and D'Argo watches him in silence. John quickly puts it away) Don't look at me like that. You know how paranoid my planet is.

D'Argo: (quietly) Yeah they... They don't like aliens.

John: They don't like anybody. (D'Argos response is soft - but hints at disappointment in his friends sudden cynicism and unwillingness to deal with problems)

D'Argo: I'm glad to see you taking a positive approach.

John: Cooperation. Teamwork. Distraction. We give 'em a few hints - then we get the hell outta Dodge and hope they get their act together before the real space monsters show up. (he marches briskly off - leaving D'Argo standing there)

(cut to Aeryn, walking in Moyas corridors. Jack jogs to catch up with her)

Jack: Aeryn? Have you seen John? Pilot says he's ready to head back down.

Aeryn: So am I. Would you like a lift in my Prowler? (another corridor merges with the one they're in and John - with his notebook in hand - emerges from it to join them)

John: Go for it Jack. She's the best pilot I've ever seen. (to Aeryn) Think you can manage a side trip to the moon?

Aeryn: I think I can do better than that.

(cut to soon after as Aeryns Prowler arcs towards Saturn. Inside the tiny craft - Jack sits in the seat behind Aeryn and chuckles softly with glee)

Jack: Saturn! I'm really lookin' at Saturn. I'm farther from Earth than any human's ever been.

Aeryn: Actually - no.

Jack: (with another little chuckle) Yeah... I guess my son does have a few miles on me.

Aeryn: He must be happy to be back on Earth though.

Jack: (his tone becomes serious, and concerned) I dunno... He's having a tough time readjusting. He - hasn't talked much about what he's been through.

Aeryn: Not even about his shipmates?

Jack: Nah he- He's... He's talked about your societies, customs. Remarkable stuff.

Aeryn: He thinks that your species and mine might somehow be linked.

Jack: Our geneticists are still lookin' at that. But I wouldn't be surprised. If I didn't know better - I'd think you were human.

Aeryn: I'm not.

Jack: Do you wish you were?

Aeryn: (she hesitates) Why do you ask?

Jack: (hesitant) You have feelings for John don't you?

Aeryn: Does that shock you?

Jack: No. I suppose it might if I thought of you as an alien lifeform, but I don't. John has not said anything to me - but I believe he has feelings for you too.

Aeryn: He did. (uncertainly) Now I- (but Jack stops her)

Jack: Now - he's home. That's one of the things he's gonna have to sort out. Just give him time. (Aeryn grunts very softly - and soon she and Jack are on their way back - arcing in toward Earth)

(meanwhile - back at the mansion, Sikozu is walking through the house and talking on an enormous cordless phone. Secret Service guys hover about, as unobtrusive as the potted greenery that decorates the place)

Sikozu: (testy) Biologic examination? I said - no. And I don't care how many of the others have consented. You can go stick your probes in one of them - I'm not interested. (she comes to stand with the others. Noranti is reading a Christmas book, Rygel is stuffing his face and Chiana, who's dressed in Earth clothes, is packing a gift box. She grins up at Sikozu)

Chiana: Well ya never know - you might like it.

Sikozu: (into the phone, with increasing annoyance) No I will not have an x-ray! I don't care how much it advances mankinds xenobiological knowledge. N- LEAVE! (she hurls the phone out the patio doors and stands there, panting with annoyance. Rygel invites her to take one of the burgers on a tray in front of him)

Rygel: Eat something. (coaxingly) You'll feel better.

Sikozu: I do not want to eat! (in a carefully measured tone) I want - to go back - to Moya.

Chiana: Good! Here! Here give this to Pilot. (she thrusts the big gift box she was packing at Sikozu and the Kalish snatches it furiously out of her hands. But before she can escape the room - a tinny electronic tune begins playing from Norantis book and the old crone starts to lustily sing/read the words that go with it)

Noranti: HAWK! The he-wald ankles sinka! Glow-ry to the nude boat king-uh! Peach on erp and murky millet! Goad and sinkers rek-un-silled! (Chiana grins inanely and happily bleats some of the words too - her 'singing' is significantly worse than Norantis' Rygel has the sense to try and cover his ears - but Sikozu is just plain offended by the racket. She whips the book from Noranti and hurls it out the door as well)

(cut back to the IASA installation, where Jack and John are walking and talking)

Jack: (excited) It was incredible! We flew through the Cassini Division! Beat the Cassini Space Probe by a year! Told Aeryn it was the best Christmas present I'd ever gotten. Except - for that tie rack you made me in Junior High School. (but John takes no pleasure in his fathers excitement. He eyes Jack coldly)

John: Speaking of - suits and ties - Holt is still fighting me on the tech-sharing plan and the explorer selection process. I could use a little support.

Jack: I've always supported you as much as I could, son. You're not lookin' at the bigger picture here.

John: You don't see the big picture. You can't conceive of it. Earth has to work together on this.

Jack: Yeah well - you're asking the impossible on that one.

John: (angry) Impossible. "Impossible is not in our vocabulary." Who said that? You! You did - 4 days before you set foot on the moon. You taught me to believe that. That belief kept me alive. Please - tell me - you still believe it. (there's a long pause before the older man looks at John and says:)

Jack: I'm not sure what I believe anymore. (there's another long pause while John takes this in. He then averts his eyes from his father and walks away. Jack makes no attempt to go after him)

(cut to soon after at the IASA warehouse. John has joined DK and Laura, who are looking at the Farscape 1 module and its Leviathan add-ons)

DK: (disparagingly) All this crap you've tacked on.

John: (gesturing at the "crap") Hetch drive. FTL.

DK: It can't work.

Laura: It's theoretically impossible.

John: Theory is wrong. (he meanders away and they trail him) Newton, Einstein, Hawking... We prove them wrong every time we pop out for groceries.

DK: Then tell us how it works.

John: (bored) I didn't design it DK - I just installed it. That's for you to figure out. (his old friends are understandably resentful)

DK: Sure - drop it in our laps. Let us scratch our heads and look stupid while you go on Nightline or have lunch with the President.

Laura: We need some help. we're Neanderthals trying to understand 747s. (John pauses to tap at one of the IASA computers that are sitting around on work trollies)

John: These new laptops are really... nice. (he turns to DKs wife) Laura - I cannot tell you what I don't know.

DK: (quietly) Then why'd you bring us these ships? (as he speaks - the 3 of them are observed by an unseen presence nearby that has trailed John here) If we're never going to learn anything - why rub our noses in how dumb we are?

John: (softly) You're not dumb.

Laura: Neither are you - Taka says you asked for a metallurgic analysis of these ships. You're on the track of something.

John: (cryptically, more to himself than them) It's just a riddle: Why do Prowler Pilot's turn to goo? (he turns away, leaving DK and Laura with furrowed brows as John calls back to them) Get back to me on that. I'm gonna to get a refill of coffee. You guys want some? (they don't answer - they just return to their work on the metallurgic analysis. But Skreeth doesn't follow John this time - she stays and watches his friends now and her invisible, spiky head casts a light shadow against the wall nearby...)

(cut to later. DK and Laura are knocking off for the day. Their labcoats are gone and they have their briefcases in hand as they follow a Secret Service guy through a parking garage to their car)

DK: Something's going on.

Laura: I'm sure John is holding out on us.

DK: Probably trying to grab more of the glory for himself. (the Secret Service guy unlocks their trunk and they hand him their briefcases to load in)

Laura: Again? He doesn't care about it. The only thing John cares-

But she's cut off by Skreeth, who literally comes out of nowhere and attacks the Secret Service guy. Laura screams and several shots are fired as the man and the small, but vicious creature struggle. Skreeth is human-shaped except for her head which has a very high cranium. Her body is covered with thick, rough green hide and the flattened edges of her arms and legs are serrated and spined like a Christmas cactus. Her look is somewhere between reptilian and insectile. In seconds, she has the Secret Service guy dead and stuffed into the car truck . She then turns on DK and Laura, who try to flee- but they're quickly brought down. They scream in agony as Skreeth pins them and hisses, her claws dig into their flesh...

(cut to Grayzas Command Carrier - where the chesty Commandant is using the titular Captain of the ship to communicate with Skreeth again)

Grayza: Are you sure that they're telling you the truth?

Braca/Skreeth: I can guarantee it. Plainly not all humans have Crichtons alleged ability to resist interrogation. (in the parking garage on Earth, Skreeth speaks to Grayza even as DK and Laura continue to bleed and scream under its claws)

Grayza: Then Crichton has given no wormhole information to Earth yet.

Braca/Skreeth: No - that knowledge can die with Crichton.

Grayza: Not until I have that knowledge.

Braca/Skreeth: I'm confident I can capture him - but doubt I can bring him to you.

Grayza: Nor can I yet come to you. Wherever this Earth is, the journey there is obviously impractical without wormhole travel - and only Crichton can command that.

Braca/Skreeth: Then our best alternative is to seize him, learn what we can from him, then execute him.

Grayza: I'm forced to agree.

Braca/Skreeth: Anything more, you need from the captives?

Grayza: No. (and back on Earth - Skreeth rears her head and parts her lipless, bloody teeth over DK and Laura)

(cut back to the Crichton family home. John is sitting at the dining room table looking at the photo album and drinking coffee as Olivia enters from outside and sets down an armload of bags near the door)

John: Hey - where you been?

Olivia: (with a rueful smile) Shopping with aliens. They closed off the whole mall and the store owners - I'm sure - were very annoyed.

John: I'm sure they love it. It'll be in all their ads tomorrow - not to mention something to tell their grandkids. (Olivia sits down next to him and eyes the photo album)

Olivia: What're you doin'?

John: Mm - nothin'.

Olivia: What's wrong?

John: Nothing.

Olivia: Do you want to go live in the past?

John: No thank you. I have been there.

Olivia: Well where do you want to live?

John: (pensive) I don't know. You tell me - where do I belong?

Olivia: (glancing at the album) Well do you miss this life?

John: I look at these pictures and I recognize the faces. Some of the places... But it's not my life. (he touches a photo of his mother) I miss her. (he touches another picture, of Olivia as a young girl, and grins) I miss that chick! (they both laugh and John taps a picture of Jack and says quickly) I miss him but I can't, I... He's changed.

Olivia: What? He's changed so much that you can't talk to him? You know he says exactly the same thing about you: "He's changed so much, and he's-" (John cuts her off, not unkindly - he just seems desperate to try and explain something to someone)

John: I have changed - and I can't tell him why.

Olivia: Why not?

John: Because - he is the Director for Extraterrestrial Studies and what he hears, the government hears.

Olivia: You're saying he can't keep confidence?

John: Coming here was a mistake. It was an accident. And it shouldn't have happened. And there are things that - the government cannot hear.

Olivia: What Is it bad? (John looks at his worried sister - and tells a big white lie)

John: No. Nonono it's not bad. (he lays one finger on her forehead and mimics ETs voice) Don't worry - it'll be okay. (Olivia giggles and does her own ET imitation)

Olivia: Okay.

John: Trust - meee. (John breaks down and laughs too)

(cut to the mansion. D'Argo's siting in the living room with Rygel, who is surrounded by heaps and heaps of food. They're watching TV when Aeryn, Chiana and a Secret Service guy enter with loads of boxes and bags)

D'Argo: So I see we've been shopping again.

Aeryn: Yes. Crichton isn't here is he?

D'Argo: No. But uh - his cousin is. He's outside interviewing Caroline Wallace.

Aeryn: Really? Thanks Chi. (she exits with a big box and Chiana makes to follow with more boxes)

Chiana: (to D'Argo) Can you help with this? (the Luxan doesn't move)

D'Argo: What'd you do? Buy the whole planet?

Chiana: It's not mine - it's from Aeryn. (Rygel growls at something on TV and Chiana off-loads her boxes into the arms of another Secret Service guy) I don't know what it is but I - I know it's for Crichton.

D'Argo: Won't get him back. He hasn't forgiven her.

Chiana: Oh he will - sooner or later. Some males can actually forgive. (she bumps him upside the head with a large box and says insincerely) Ooh - sorry.

(cut to a little table on the patio outside where Bobby is acting as both interviewer and cameraman to Caroline)

Bobby: So - how long have you known John Crichton?

Caroline: I met him - 6 years ago. (Aeryn approaches from behind Bobby. She's wearing jeans and a denim western-style shirt)

Bobby: And how long have you been his girlfriend?

Caroline: (looking up at Aeryn) Bobby - cut. (she makes a slashing motion and clicks her tongue at the boy) Take five. (Bobby obediently takes himself and camcorder off. Aeryn smiles as he leaves)

Aeryn: Don't stop - I'm interested in the answer.

Caroline: (bluntly) Wanna tell me why you want to know?

Aeryn: That's fair. John and I were in a relationship.

Caroline: What kinda relationship? (she rises and her and Aeryn stroll side by side in the yard while Bobby wanders nearby with his camcorder)

Aeryn: It was complicated.

Caroline: Yeah - I can imagine. (she quickly corrects herself) Well actually no - I can't imagine. John and I had a much simpler one. No strings, no plans... Just - good casual times. Well at least, that's how it was before.

Aeryn: And now?

Caroline: Aah- he doesn't even want that much.

Aeryn: But he's been spending time with you.

Caroline: I think he's been testing himself. Working out what he really wants. It's not me.

Aeryn: I'm sorry.

Caroline: (with a little laugh) No you're not. You still want him - don't you?

Aeryn: Yes. But it doesn't matter. He doesn't want me either.

Caroline: I think he does. When I asked him about you, he said - there was nothing going on... He said that several times.

Aeryn: (upset) That's bad.

Caroline: You have a lot to understand about humans. Sometimes when we repeat a lie - it means that we're trying to convince ourselves of the truth. And that is - that he still loves you. Very much. (Aeryn stares back at the Earth woman and her face settles into its customarily somber lines)

(cut to the other end of the wormhole. Sikozu not only gone back to Moya - but she took a transport pod and went all the way back to Scorpius. Both their pods now hover just outside the mouth of the wormhole. Sikozu has joined Scorpius in his - the half-Scarran is working on something)

Scorpius: Your head is bruised. How difficult was your travel here?

Sikozu: Extremely turbulent, but not very damaging. Following your guidance signal was a great help. What are you doing?

Scorpius: Cross-coupling the fuel cells.

Sikozu: To turn this pod into a bomb.

Scorpius: This wormhole is traversable. It leads to Crichton. Therefore, I cannot have Grayza find it.

Sikozu: You think her Command Carrier will return?

Scorpius: (with quiet determination) My spy aboard the Carrier has been unable to discern her current strategies. But, should she return, as a last resort - I will detonate this pod within the mouth of the wormhole. That should destabilize it.

Sikozu: But how will you survive?

Scorpius: I wouldn't survive it. (Sikozu takes this in for a long moment)

Sikozu: You... would have a better chance of destabilization with... two pods. (Scorpius leans closer to her and takes her gently by the throat)

Scorpius: Would you like to observe the sequence?

(cut back to Earth. D'Argo and John are in the warehouse where Lo'la and the module sit. They're speaking quietly as they make their way to a reception that is in progress. Cheerful music is wafting quietlly from a stereo and a few Christmas decorations festoon the open gridwork of the place. A small crowd of VIPs and press is milling about an area where refreshment tables have beeen set up)

D'Argo: I just spoke to Pilot Sikozu went back through the wormhole.

John: She did what?

D'Argo: She met up with Scorpius.

John: That son-of-a-bitch... That wormhole must be stabilizing. She better not bring that bastard back through.

D'Argo: No, she says she's not gonna return to Earth.

John: Good. No comms.

D'Argo: There should be no signals that link back to us. (a suited man is overheard saying: "I will inform the President." as they pass Holt and Jack, who are having a private conversation of their own)

Holt: (sternly) Now I am getting major flak from the Hill about John's global initiatives. He's gotta bend a little.

Jack: I don't think he will.

Holt: Make him - it's your job. The Joint Chiefs are up in arms. They want to classify the alien technology as a -a national security risk and impound it.

Jack: (with a little laugh) John won't permit that. He'll take these ships outta here first.

Holt: Look I know you share my concerns about John's plans. All I'm asking for is a little compromise - is that unreasonable? (Jack looks away, then back at Holt - but he has no answer and moves off in the direction of D'Argo and John, who have met up with Chiana)

Chiana: (genuinely confused by this thing) Crichton - this isn't a very fun party.

John: (sourly) It's not supposed to be a party. It's a photo-op for VIPs. Smile. (Jack eyes his son thoughtfully)

Chiana: Can't we find a real party somewhere? (but at that moment, Jack makes an announcment)

Jack: (loudly) Could I have everybodys attention? (the little crowd of people quickly becomes quiet and moves to form an audience in front of Jack)

John: (under his breath) Here comes the 'My fellow Americans'...

Jack: I once told my son he'd... He'd get the chance to become his own kind of hero. Well he got it. And he made the most of it. I also taught him to stick to his guns when he thought he was right. So, I can't fault him when he does. I've heard it said - that he should accept our judgment over his. Because he - owes us. (Holt stares disapprovingly at Jack from the crowd) I've even said it myself. We're wrong. Look at the friends he discovered, the miracles he brought - and then ask yourself what he owes us as compared to what we owe him. Now John insists that we share these wonders with the rest of the world. But some people are afraid of what'll happen if we do. John's afraid of what'll happen if we don't, and I'll go with that. (John looks at his father from the crowd - stunned, and gratified. Jack hesitates - before plunging ahead and flying in the face of his own government - as well as publicly backing down before John) So as IASAs Project Director for Extraterrestrial Studies - I hereby invite all nations to participate in the ongoing Farscape mission. (and with a solemn, respectful demeanor - John starts the applause, with is quickly joined by the rest of the crowd - except Holt - who stares stonily at Jack)

(cut to Jack and John as they exit an elevator in the parking garage. They're accompanied by Secret Service)

John: What made you change your mind?

Jack: 'Cos I believe in you.

John: That means a lot. There's a few things we should talk about.

Jack: Son - it's Christmas Eve.

John: Right. It'll keep. (the Secret Service guy opens their car door for them and they get in. Unseen by anyone - Skreeth becomes visible for a moment - just long enough to attach herself to the rear bumper before fading away again. And Jack and John head for home)

(cut to the Crichton home. Olivai opens the door for Aeryn, who steps inside with a shopping bag. The ex-PK is back in her black space leathers)

Aeryn: I know you're preparing for a private dinner so I won't stay long. Is he... Is John here yet?

Olivia: Um- no. Not yet. (she seems preoccupied and hurries back into the festively decorated living room - Aeryn has to follow her with the bag)

Aeryn: I... I wanted to bring you back the clothes you lent me.

Olivia: (a little bitterly) They didn't suit you, huh?

Aeryn: Oh no! it's not that - it's just... I'm more comfortable in these. It's what I am, I guess. (she and Olivia smile at each other) And I brought the books as well. I really appreciate it - everything.

Olivia: Are you leaving?

Aeryn: Possibly.

Olivia: Well you'll be here tomorrow morning to open presents with the rest of us won't you?

Aeryn: I may not.

Olivia: What's happened?

Aeryn: Nothing bad. It's not bad. It's just that I may be needed on Moy- (she's interrupted by a timer going off in the kitchen) - on Moya for a while. It's all right.

Olivia: I'll be right back. (she hurried off to take care of her cooking, leaving Aeryn looking ill at ease)

(cut back to the reception at the space center warehouse. Jack and John may have left - but Chiana's apparently been nipping at the local brew and is trying to jump-start the party. She approaches a silver-haired man in a suit and flips his tie)

Chiana: So - are you as bored as I am? (she shimmies down in front of him - but as her face gets to about belt-buckle level, Holt appears at the grinning mans side)

Holt: I'm sorry Senator - she's uh - still learning our customs. (Chiana rises and turns her attentions to Holt)

Chiana: Spank you very much! (she swats Holt on his tush) Maybe you can teach me. (D'Argo arrives on the scene and gently, but firmly steers her away as Holt glares and the Senator grins)

D'Argo: Okay Chiana - let's leave. Come on.

Chiana: (to any and all humans as she's led away) What's wrong with you guys? What? You all scared of us still?

(cut to moments later in the parking garage as D'Argo continues to march Chiana away. They have no Secret Service following them and we certainly hope D'Argos driving skills have improved from recently if he's planning on getting her home by Earth ground transport)

D'Argo: Don't you know that all humans are bigots? They fight even amongst their own species. (unlike Nebari and Sebaceans who just love their own species to death. Right?)

Chiana: (slurring a little) Well they do seem to fight alot amongst themselves. Hey maybe - maybe that's why they barely left their own planet. (D'Argo pauses for a moment and inhales deeply before resuming walking, more slowly) What?

D'Argo: Something smells bad.

Chiana: Well it's not me. (she giggles, but D'Argo is wary as he approaches a car. He and Chiana peer inside - and see the dead, staring, bodies DK and Laura slumped inside. Chiana sobers quickly and she says softly:) Frell...

(cut to the Crichton home as Jack enters, followed by the Secret Service guy)

Jack: Since you escorted us all the way to the living room, I insist that you stay for a cup of eggnog. (the Secret Service guy thanks him . Aeryn is still standing there in the middle of the room) Hi Aeryn!

Aeryn: Hello. (John enters and stops at the sight of Aeryn)

Jack: (calling) Livvy?

Olivia: In here! (Jack and the Secret Service guy go on into the kitchen, leaving Aeryn and John alone)

Aeryn: I'm sorry - I just have to drop some things off to Olivia.

John: Nah - that's alright.

Aeryn: Do you want me to go back to Moya?

John: We've already talked about this. It's entirely up to you.

Aeryn: Fine I'll go with what you prefer. (John looks uncertain. She rushes on - fed-up perhaps with his damnable refusal to deal with what is torturing them both. She's angry, yet close to tears of frustration as well) Look I'm not trying... to pressure you John. I'm actually trying to take the pressure off. Would you - be happier - if I wasn't here on Earth? You don't have to justify it or explain it. Just give me an honest yes - or no. (but before he can respond - Jack re-enters the room with Olivia)

Jack: Aeryn? Would you join us for dinner?

Aeryn: (loudly, stammering a bit) Oh! No. I c- I couldn't impose.

Jack: There's always room for one more.

Aeryn: It's a traditional family thing. (her back is to them - so only John can see the tear that's standing on her cheek)

Jack: We'll start a new tradition. Look it's up to you - but we'd love to have you.

John: Could I get some eggnog please? (Olivia grunts affirmatively and goes back to the kitchen. John steps close to Aeryn and might be about to say something - but it's too late. A shriek from Olivia as she re-enters the room signals the start of all hell breaking loose. Skreeth has appeared in the room - and the first person she attacks is the screamer - Olivia. John's sister is struck and and slammed to the floor)

Jack: LIVVY! (Jack charges the Skreeth, who deals him a couple vicious blows and he falls to the floor, clutching his chest. The Secret Service guy has rushed back into the and empties his gun into this monster . But the bullets do little more than slow Skreeth down for a momen and when his clip is empty, she attacks, and hurls him through a brick wall into another room. John charges next - but he too is tossed through the air like a rag doll and pretty much demolishes the dining table. Aeryn however, has her pulse gun - which elicits a little more respect from Skreeth. The green creature rolls and skitters around the room as Aeryn pivots, chasing her with fire. The e-PK manages to get in a few hits before Skreeth goes invisible.
In the lull - John picks himself up - the lights in the house are surging and dimming from damage done to the wiring. They listen for Skreeth- but the only sound Aeryn hears is John and she nearly blasts him. They breath a sigh of relief - and then the creature reappears next to Aeryn and grabs at her gun. As they struggle, John pulls the only weapon he's got on him - a hit of laka - and shoves it into Skreeths mouth - what with her not having a nose exactly and all....)

John: Suck on this! (Skreeth lets go of Aeryn and reels away momentarily)

Aeryn: What is that?

John: (panting) Eh - forget about it. (but Skreeth isn't down for long and comes at Aeryn again. Her pulse gun is damaged and useless so they're reduced to bare knuckle fighting - until John picks up a chair and uses it to bat Skreeth about the head. The creature goes flying into the Christmas tree amid the crash and tinkle of breaking ornaments)

Aeryn: John! Wynona!

John: Right. (John makes a dash for the semi-open staircase that lead up to his room - and his pulse gun while Aeryn braces herself for Skreeths next attack. She hasn't got long to wait before the thing comes flying out of the ruins of the Christmas tree and plows into her. Aeryn's thrown backwards onto a glass coffeetable which shatters beneath her - and she doesn't get up.
Skreeth then zeroes in on John. She's able to hear his feet pounding up the stairs on the other side of the living room wall and punches through it with one spiny green arm to seize John by the ankle and then pull herself through, onto the stairs beneath him
The scene begins to shift between the Crichton home and the Command Carrier, where Grayza and Skreeth speak through Braca)

Braca/Skreeth: I've got Crichton.

Grayza: (with anxious anticipation) Yes?

But before Skreeth can finish John off - the human twists himself around and delivers a powerful kick to her face. She screams as she's thrown off him and tumbles back down the stairs, leaving John free to run for his gun.

The lights in the damaged house continue to flicker - somewhere - severed wiring sparks near a steady stream of water running from a broken pipe.

John reappears on the staircase with his gun and scans the lower floor from that vantage point. Strange shadows rise and fall as the lights surge and dim and short out - but no creature. No creature until suddenly - she becomes visible behind him on the stairs and pounces. They crash through the stair railing and hit the floor below, John fires one shot with of course goes completely wild before his gun is knocked out of his hand. The wind has been knocked out of him by the fall and he lays there on his back, gasping for air, with Skreeth on top of him. But just as the creatures claws tighten around his neck - Aeryn manages to pull herself together and grab his gun.

Aeryn: John! Clear! (with a frantic burst of evergy - John gets clear of Skreeth as Aeryn commences firing - not at the tough-hided creature who's already demonstrated her imperviousness to gunfire - but at a huge crystal chandelier hanging over her. Just as John manages to roll clear - Aeryn succeeds in loosening the heavy fixture which crashes down on Skreeth, trailing its wiring and effectively electrocuting the nasty creature amid much screeching and sparking
On the Command Carrier, Braca reels and echoes Skreeths shrieks.
And on Earth - Skreeth finally goes silent and lies still. Aeryn helps John to his feet and they stand there for a moment staring at the thing under the chandelier and panting - before John remembers where he is)


John: Where's Dad? LIVVY? (he stumbles over to where jack is still laying near the broken Christmas tree and Aeryn hurries to Olivia, near the kitchen door)

Aeryn: Olivia?

John: You all right old man? (Jack grunts painfully, but affirmatively)

Aeryn: Olivia! You all right? (John's sister groggily comes to)

Olivia: (moaning) What the hell was that? (from outside, the roar of something approaching fast - like a very low-flying plane is heard)

Aeryn: No idea.

And at that moment, the source of the roaring outside is seen as Lo'la lowers into view outside the wide French doors that run across one wall of the living room. Lo'la always has made a lot of noise and wind for such a little ship, and everything in the yard outside goes flying, chairs, tables, small trees... D'Argo is of course at her controls and is able to look right into the Crichton family living room

Olivia suddenly screams - but not at the sight of a very noisy alien peeping tom spaceship hovering just off her patio - rather, it is Skreeth. The nasty little greener doesn't die easy and she now crawls out from under the chandelier and stands up, screaming with indestructible fury. But before she can do more than scare everyone half to death - D'Argo pulls down his targeting visor and fires.

Aeryn: GET DOWN!

Everyone inside the house hits the deck as the little ships blue plasma cannon stream contacts with Skreeths head, passes through her and blows out the front of the house. This causes Skreeth some discomfort and she roars and screeches as her head and a good chunk of the Crichton home disappear.
Back on the Command Carrier Braca, who's still connected to Skreeth via the little spiny glob Grayza has stuck on his forehead, chokes as spasms as Skreeths head is vaporized and he goes down. Grayza bends angrily over Braca/Skreeth and demands:

Grayza: What is it? Tell me what's wrong! (Grayza wins the Stupid Question Of The Week Award)

And back on Earth - in the sudden silence of Lo'las' departure, the only sound is the residual buzz of electrical things shorting out as everyone looks around, stunned.

Aeryn: Well. Merry frelling Christmas.

John: Amen.

And on the Command Carrier - Grayza moves quickly to perpetuate her sexual charade to cover her use of Skreeth. She unzips Bracas uniform and with her fingers, uses some of the pheromone oil that secretes from the skin of her breasts to revive him. He comes to with a start.

Braca: Ma'am!

Grayza: (smoothly) Captain, that was the best ever. You continue to amaze me.

Braca: (uncertainly) Uh - I'm glad I could be of service. (he quickly rephrases that) I mean - I'm pleased I could satisfy... (she says nothing) Will that be all?

Grayza: Yes. For now. (he lurches to his feet, modestly pulling his unzipped jacket shut, and staggers off. Grayza stays reclined on the floor as she watches him go and scowls. Curses! - foiled again!)

(cut to later, back over the Earth. Aeryns Prowler soars down Moyas launch tunnel to the docking bay. The scene shifts to the great hangar bay itself where the crew is in the process of off-loading tons of loot from Earth. Rygel is directing the placement of a huge dolly piled with food from his hoverchair, where he sits with a sack of microwave popcorn)

Rygel: Uh - all the food goes to my chamber.

Chiana: Wellwhat' re we doing with Crichtons gifts? You wanna put 'em in his quarters?

Aeryn: Not the right time. Cargo bay for now.

D'Argo: We'll leave as soon as Crichton's aboard. Here - I'll give you a hand. (he takes over pushing the load Aeryn has been shifting and exits with it)

Aeryn : Thank you. (she spots the old woman walking by) Noranti - what's this? (she holds out a hit of the laka that John's been using. Noranti glances at it and keeps on walking. Aeryn follows her) Well I think you made it.

Noranti: It's for Crichton. (she keeps walking, and Aeryn keeps on her tail)

Aeryn: (demanding) What does it do? (the old woman stops and Aeryn repeats her question more insistently) What - does it - do?

Noranti: It's to help him move on. Surmount his feelings and forget.

Aeryn: Who? (but Norantis' only response is a little smirk - and she walks away. Aeryn eyes the laka thoughtfully)

(cut back to Earth. The 3 Crichtons are at the IASA space center, standing outside in the sunshine. John is clad in his space leathers and Jack stands apart from his son and daughter as they speak. Olivia holds out a little box to John, in it is a diamond wedding ring)

Olivia: I was gonna give you this on Christmas.

John: This is Moms. (tears stand in the eyes of both brother and sister) She left this to you.

Olivia: I want you to have it. Mom would love that. (John snaps the box shut as a jet roar overhead and Olivia whispers:) Don't go.

John: (whispering) I have to go. (they embrace for a long moment as the tears come and John kisses her on her forehead) You take care. (Olivia turns away, and Jack steps up to his son)

Jack: Stay. (John can't speak, he can only shake his head and try to keep from breaking down completely. Jack pleads) Look - we'll guard the wormhole. We'll... We'll set up a defense shield. Nothing'll get through.

John: No, I have a job to do. (he smiles and wags a finger at Jack) It's your words again.

Jack: (his voice braking with sorrow) I don't want to lose you son. (he gulps a few times before he can speak again) I can't shake... this feelin that you're not comin' back.

John: I'll be back. That's a promise. You take care of my home.

Jack: (in a barely audible sob) It's a promise. (John reaches out and laying his hand on the back of Jack's neck, sweeps his father into his arms for a long embrace and kiss. As they separate, Jack whispers) Take care of yourself.

And with that, John turns - and strides away.

THE END