That Old Black Magic

June 11, 1999 - US
January 31, 2000 - UK
1.08

Writer - Richard Manning
Director: - Brendan Maher

Guest Cast
Chris Haywood . . . Maldis/Igg/Haloth
Grant Bowler . . . Liko
Lani Tupu . . . Bialar Crais
Christine Stephen-Daly . . . Teeg
Jake Blundell . . . Orn
Vic Rooney . . . Admiral Josbek
Wadih Dona . . . Tauvo Crais

 

TRANSCRIPT


The episode opens with one of Moya’s transport pods arcing into an industrial-looking spaceport on a dark planet. Cut to Aeryn, D'Argo, John and Zhaan entering a bazaar lit by hanging cloth covered lamps that cast a yellowish glow on the scene.

Zhaan: (as she and D'Argo go off on their own) I'll see if I can find some medication for Rygel.

John: (looking around, he sees a small bird-like animal for sale. It has two heads and makes little mewing sounds rather like a kitten, He goes up to it and grins and pets it, the little thing chirrups in response to his touch) Hey, little guy. Aeryn! Check this out! One critter, two-part harmony.

Aeryn: Trelkez. Don't get it then. Too few heads.

John: They come with more?

Aeryn: Yeah, the more heads, the better value they are. Their brains are the tastiest part.

John: (charmed by the trelkez) Yeah, right. Like you'd cook this guy and eat his brains

Aeryn: Cook? Never. Raw. (John looks dismayed. She probably eats fuzzy bunnies alive too!)

(cut to Zhaan)

Zhaan: (to Rygel via comm) No, Rygel. I haven't found you any medicine yet.

(cut to Moya where Rygel is laying on a couch while a DRD fusses at his side)

Rygel: Hurry up. I'm very sick. I'm dying!

(cut back to Zhaan)

Zhaan: You only have a touch of the Klendian flu. It's not fatal.

D'Argo: We only wish it were. (Zhaan chuckles)

(cut to Rygel)

Rygel: (sneezing and coughing miserably) Zhaan, I'm suffering here!

(cut back to Zhaan and D'Argo)

Liko: (enters from behind a drape between the sellers stalls. He is an attractive male alien, humanoid in appearance but his skin is red and his eyes are bright yellow) Your pardon? I sell jikset root... Among other interesting things.

Zhaan: Then you're a gift from the Goddess.

(cut to John, wandering alone in the bazaar. Suddenly he is accosted by a humanoid alien in clown-like dress with a wand and little jingle bells on his clothing. He talks fast and in a broad Aussie accent)

Igg: (blowing a loud raspberry at John) Hey, you with the big feet! Now, you want a hand with your problem - help's right here and his name is Haloth.

John: (smiling with the weary smile of a man who's become the target of a silly street performer) Thanks pal. But I think my problems are a little out of your league. (he makes to walk on)

Igg: Oooohhh! in-cor-rect! Haloth can fix up your crummy life - John Crichton!

John: (stops in his tracks) How do you know my name?

Igg: Aahh... I know lots of things. First, you're dying to get home to Earth. Second, there's a Peacekeeping cruiser hunting you. Third - you're not interested, are you? Oh, well. Sorry to bother you. (he makes to leave)

John: Whoa! Whoa! hold it! (Igg sidles back. John smiles limply) This is a scam, right? Right? Yeah, you must've heard Zhaan or D'Argo telling somebody all this, right?

Igg: How could I have overhead this? Your mothers' maiden name was McDougall. You skipped third grade. And you lost your virginity to Karen Shaw in the back of a minivan. (giggles maniacally and pokes Johns' crotch with his wand as he makes a "little piggy" sound)

John: (quietly weirded out) No, it wasn't a minivan. It was a four-by.

Igg: John, John! You're grabbing at straws, Look, what's wrong with listening to the pitch? You don't like the product, you don't have to buy it. Last chance, Johnny-o. You want to meet Alice, walk this way. If not - (he touches his wand to the ground) - hit the bricks!

John steps towards Igg, as he nears the point marked by the wand he is suddenly transported, as if by magic, in a swirl of red fire, to a dark, hall paved with smooth stone and lit by braziers. Odd statuary holding weapons stand about and a long table piled with food and cutlery and dishes stands off to one side. An old man in dark robes and with a long wispy beard and eyeglasses approaches.

Haloth: (in a thin, reedy voice) Hello. My name is Haloth. Welcome to my home.

John: (very quietly, apprehensive) How did I get here?

Haloth: Oh, the words I need elude translations' grasp. Suffice to say, I simply wished you here.

(cut back to the bazaar. Zhaan is in Liko's shop sampling the merchandise)

Zhaan: Ah - dried gavork. Quite aromatic. Oh, I've never seen such quality.

Liko: (watching her intently) I'm honored to be complimented by a Delvian Pa'u. Twelfth level, are you?

Zhaan: Only ninth I'm afraid.

Liko: Ninth is impressive enough.

Zhaan: (sniffing the contents of a bottle) What's this?

Liko: Trellon oil. Careful with that.

Zhaan: Toxic?

Liko: Quite the contrary. It's a sensual stimulant. Enriches the conjugal experience.

Zhaan: (flirty) You can vouch for this personally?

Liko: Yes... Though it was some time ago.

Zhaan: (slight smile) It's still potent.

Liko: Nonetheless, I'd suggest you test it before you buy it.

Zhaan: Alone?

Liko: As you choose. But I'm willing to stand by my products.

Zhaan: (laughs a bit) Let me see what else you have to offer.

(cut back to John and Haloth)

John: Okay, you brought me here. What else could you do?

Haloth: Alas, I cannot transport you back to Earth or act as guide or compass to that end.

John: You can't send me home and you can't even - point me in the right direction.

Haloth: You are a fugitive pursued by Crais, who bears a dark desire for revenge although you did not seek his brothers' death.

(cut to Crais' Command Carrier, the bridge)

Orn: Captain Crais, all the Marauders have reported in. They're low on fuel, sir. They must return.

Crais: The Marauders will launch the moment they're refueled.

Orn: Captain, the Marauders have been on continuous patrol. The pilots are so fatigued that it would be dangerous to launch-

Crais: It's far more dangerous to have a Peacekeeper unable or unwilling to do his duties. Do you understand?

Orn: Yes sir. (he leaves. Other PK soldiers talk at their workstations in the background)

Teeg: Captain. Priority communication from High Command.

Crais: In my chamber, Lieutenant

(cut back to John and Haloth)

John: How - how did you - ? Never mind. However you know, you're right. That it was an accident. If I could only tell Crais that. Make him understand.

Haloth: Oh, that knowledge would dispel his vengeful thirst. My talents can provide you with the means.

John: I can talk to Crais? You can set that up?

Haloth: I'll summon the powers for this task. (he disappears)

John: Hey, wait! I got a couple of questions- (to himself) Good luck... Thousand more questions...

(cut back to the Command Carrier. Crais and Teeg are in his chamber, watching the message from Admiral Josbek)

Josbek: (as a holographic image) Captain Crais. You are to cease your pursuit of the escaped Leviathan transport. Withdraw from the uncharted territories at once and return to First Command for new orders. The Council awaits a full explanation of your failure.

Crais: The Admiral wanted you to hear this in case I refused.

Teeg: He'd expect me to take over command in that event.

Crais: Would you?

Teeg: My first loyalty is to my Captain.

Crais: And mine is to the Council. But perhaps I can negotiate for more time. Is there any other record of this transmission?

Teeg: No.

Crais: Dismissed.

(she leaves and he destroys the message chip. Suddenly Haloth appears in the room, but before Crais can make a move against him, he transports Crais back to his dark hall on the unnamed planet where John waits)

Haloth: My name is Haloth. Welcome to my home.

Crais: (loudly) What is this place? Where's my ship?

Haloth: Your swift and mighty vessel is undisturbed. Traversing territories yet unmapped.

Crais: Return me at once or die!

Haloth: I'll not. For first I'll have you hear my words. (Crais charges the old man but Haloth vanishes in a swirl of red flame and reappears a moment later) Before you vainly try and do me harm, behold this glimpse of one whose death you've sworn. (a red light comes up on John, standing a few yards away looking around. Crais and Haloth are obviously invisible to him)

Crais: Crichton. (to Haloth) What are you?

Haloth: (seeming tired, his head bowed) A friend. Who'll give you Crichton. For a price.

Crais: What price? Tell me! (Haloth slowly turns his face towards the Peacekeeper)

(cut back to the bazaar. Aeryn comes upon D'Argo)

Aeryn: Ah! Where's Crichton? He keeps wandering off.

D'Argo: He's over this way. I can smell him. (he moves off in the direction indicated. Aeryn follows)

Aeryn: Wait, you can smell Crichton in all of this?

D'Argo: Yes. His odor's even stronger than yours.

Aeryn: (confidently) I don't have an odor. (but before D'Argo can beg to differ, they find John at the spot where he had been standing with Igg. He is laying on the ground, unconscious) Crichton!

D'Argo: Is he alive?

Aeryn: Get Zhaan. Now!

(cut to Haloth's hall. He approaches John)

Haloth: Oh, dear... Oh, dear. Friend, Crichton. I have news that you will not like.

John: No luck, huh? Couldn't find Crais?

(Haloth morphs into Maldis, a tall, strong older man dressed in black Elizabethan garb)

Maldis: (strong, malevolent voice) Actually, I found him quite easily. (Crais appears out of the shadows behind him, smiling slyly)

John: Crais! (startled and afraid, he hurriedly backs away)

(cut back to Liko's shop. Johns' body has been moved there. Zhaan is examining him)

Zhaan: No obvious injuries.

Aeryn: Could he have been poisoned?

Zhaan: Who on this planet would want to harm him?

Aeryn: Well someone has.

D'Argo: (enters, hissing and dragging a local woman with him) This one says she saw Crichton entering the dwelling!

Woman: (terrified) He was alone! I swear!

D'Argo: (shouting) You are lying to me! You saw him with someone, didn't you?

Woman: No! (D'Argo hisses savagely. Liko intervenes and leads the woman away from the Luxan)

Liko: (gently, to the woman) It was Maldis, wasn't it?

Aeryn: Who is Maldis?

(cut back to Maldis' hall. John and Crais are circling each other, John trying to keep distance, Crais sizing him up)

John: (to Maldis) He's not really here. He's a - he's a hologram, right?

Crais: I am here Crichton.

John: To talk.

Crais: To kill you. (he takes a spear off one of the statues, it's really nothing more than a sharpened metal rod)

John: Hey. Just put that thing down. I'm - I'm not gonna fight you. (Crais silently attacks and John hurriedly takes a spear of his own to use defensively) Why are you doing this? We had a deal!

Maldis: (in the reedy voice of Haloth) My services found a better price. (in the strong voice of Maldis) I'm playing for bigger stakes now John. You can still talk to Crais. Just don't expect him to listen!

(Crais backs John against a wall after they spar ferociously and slashes his hand, forcing him to drop his spear. John cries out with pain and ducks away)

(cut back to the shop, a slash wound has appeared on Johns' hand and is bleeding)

Zhaan: This cut wasn't here before. Look at this.

Liko: Your companion is as good as dead. And so are the rest of you.

D'Argo: Is he contagious?

Liko: (bitterly) It's not a disease that's done this. It's something much worse - a dark and dangerous force, wielded by an evil sorcerer whose name is Maldis. He feeds upon pain and death, gaining strength by tapping into the life-energy of others. Maldis invaded our planet and killed half our population. We who survive are prisoners, kept alive only at Maldis' whim.

Aeryn: So this entire planet is subjugated by one man?

Liko: Not a man. A cruel and malevolent being who's learned to transcend corporeal form.

Aeryn: If you all rose against him-

Liko: We'd all die. I know how invincible Maldis is. Before he came, I was a high priest.

Zhaan: You were?

Liko: I fought back. But my spiritual powers weren't strong enough. It amuses Maldis to keep me alive. In poverty. He especially likes fresh victims. The rest of you will soon follow.

D'Argo: Not if we leave this planet first.

Liko: You can't escape Maldis' grasp. Even in space - hundreds, thousands of metras away - he can get at you.

Aeryn: And do what?

Liko: This. (he nods towards John) He can rip your spirit from your body.

D'Argo: (a believer) How can we fight against that?

Aeryn: We can fight. Where is this Maldis?

Liko: He's taken over the complex at the end of the bazaar. None of us go near it.

Aeryn: Well, he's done very well to terrorize primitive people. Let's go back to Moya, get some weapons, and see how he does against a pair of soldiers.

(cut back to Maldis' hall. John is hiding behind a stone column, wrapping his wounded hand)

Maldis: (heard by John as a disembodied voice) He'll find you soon you know.

John: What the hell are you doing? He wants to kill me.

Maldis: (approaching John. He says sarcastically-) No, really? Fathom that. Oh, by the way - my name is Maldis. (in the reedy voice of Haloth) But you can address me as Haloth if you like. (in the Aussie accent of Igg) I got a lot of names, John-boy. Call me whatever pops your cork.

John: Yeah. Right. You're a regular Lawrence Olivier. Why are you doing this? (shot of Crais jogging along a wall with his spear) What'd he offer you?

Maldis: Much bigger stakes than you can. And the bidding's closed. Here you are. Here he is. Now deal with it.

John: (he throws a punch at Maldis, who disappears, laughing wildly, and John punches the stone wall instead) Damn! (he looks anxiously around him, we see Crais loping though the shadows)

(cut to Moya. They've brought John back up to her and he's laying on a bed)

Rygel: Looks dead to me.

Aeryn: Don't start Rygel.

Rygel: Why did you bring him here?

D'Argo: For safekeeping.

Aeryn: Someone needs to tend to him if he starts to bleed again.

Rygel: Shouldn't Zhaan do that?

D'Argo: She says that she is busy.

Aeryn: (snidely) Well she's helping by applying some Delvian mysticism to the situation.

Rygel: (slick with sweat and looking more amphibious than usual) Well, it doesn't help my situation, does it? Or have you forgotten how sick I am?

D'Argo: (unceremoniously scooping up a handful of what looks like Vicks VapoRub and slathering it across Rygel’s nose and face. Rygel yelps) This should help. It is ointment of yuvok. It'll help clear your breathing passages.

Aeryn: D'Argo, let's get those weapons.

Rygel: YECH! It smells like trat! (sneezes violently)

(cut back to Liko's shop)


Liko: (very negative) There is nothing to be done. As soon as Maldis is finished with your companion, he will come after the rest of you.

Zhaan: We must fight him.

Liko: I've already told you, I'm no match for him!

Zhaan: (desperate) But what if you and I combine our powers?

Liko: You cultivated your power to help others. Can you use it as a weapon?

Zhaan: (anxious at the thought) I can try, if you guide me.

Liko: Can you be guided? It's not just a matter of skill, it's intent. You must want to do harm, cause pain, even kill. You are a ninth level Pa'u. You simply aren't capable of that.

Zhaan: (turns and grabs him, angry) I once was!

(cut back to Madis' hall)

Maldis: There are no exits. Save your energy for fighting Crais.

John: I'm not playing your sick game.

Maldis: Maybe you're not, but he is.

Crais: (enters and charges John with his spear) MURDERER! (John seizes the spear and they struggle, but Crais puts John on the floor)

John: (between clenched teeth) Listen to me! I didn't murder your brother!

Crais: (hoarsely) You destroyed his Prowler!

Maldis: Excellent Crais! Now finish him off!

(Crais makes to deal John a death blow, but John rolls away and they struggle some more. John manages to get the spear away from Crais and he gets Crais on the floor, the tip of the spear to his throat)

John: (panting) It was an accident. (he backs away)

Maldis: (to Crais) Too slow - you missed your chance.

(cut back to the bazaar - the trelkez are mewing innocently on their perch. Zhaan and Liko approach)

Liko: Your first lesson - inflicting pain. (Zhaan approaches the trelkez and pets it, a bare hint of a smile on her face) Go on. Hurt the beast. (it trills at her touch and she hesitates) If you can't inflict pain, you'll have no chance against Maldis.

Zhaan: How can you be so sure that Maldis will come after the rest of us?

Liko: Because you're new. Alive and vital. Not beaten and depleted like this planets' population. Feeding upon all of you will increase his power - unless you and I stop him.

(Zhaan extends her hand and concentrates, the trelkez' mewing becomes slightly distressed)

Liko: More. (Zhaan bends her will stronger and the animals' cries become more urgent) More! (the trelkez begins to shudder with pain)

Zhaan: (sobs and breaks off, she turns away) I can't!

Liko: You must.

Zhaan: You're right, I was once capable of cruelty. But now I have evolved past that.

Liko: (angry) Evolved? Try repressed! You've choked off all your real emotions.

Zhaan: (hurt) That's not true.

Liko: (confrontational) You think you've smothered your inner fire and found enlightenment. But all you've done is make yourself cold. Look at you. Struggling to contain what you're feeling, fighting to keep control. What is it you're so afraid of?

Zhaan: (close to tears) I - I'm not afraid.

Liko: Come on! You're terrified!

Zhaan: I am a Delvian Pa'u. Nothing can frighten me if I do not wish it.

Liko: You can't wish your fear away. Face it. Admit what it is you're scared of. Are you afraid of Maldis? You can destroy him!

Zhaan: (whispers) That's what terrifies me. (she jogs away)

(cut back to another room in Maldis' complex. Torches burn in sconces. There is a pit in the center of the room. John enters. He puts the pit between him and Crais who's right behind him and grabs a torch to use as a weapon. But when he brings the torch near the pit, fire erupts out of it)

John: Oh, mama! (he calls to Crais across the flaming pit) Sebaceans don't care much for heat, do you? Crais! Lay off for a minute and listen to me.

Crais: (shouting) Why? So you can beg for your life?

John: So I can tell you why your brother died.

Crais: Tell me then. Tell me why he died.

John: First, you tell me something. My module, the one I was piloting. How does it compare with your Prowlers?

Crais: Primitive. No weapons. No defense shield.

John: A wind-up toy, right? Yeah, my species is so primitive we all live on one planet. I was orbiting when a wormhole sucked me onto your turf. I didn't intend it and I'd go home in a second if I could.

Crais: I believe you'd say anything to save your life.

John: It's the truth. You think I attacked your brother? Oh, yeah. I popped into the middle of a giant space battle and decided to go one-on-on with a total stranger in a far superior ship. Does that make any sense?

Crais: You rammed his Prowler!

John: He ran into me!

Crais: You killed him!

John: It was an accident! Why do you keep blaming me? I did everything I could to avoid him.

Maldis: (appearing) Most eloquent Crichton. Almost sounded sincere.

John: It was sincere, you son of a-

Maldis: But futile. Let me spread some light on Crais' hostility. (he brings Crais' father into the firelight)

Crais: (hoarsely) Father! (to Maldis) How dare you bring this man here!

Maldis: Don't worry Crais. I wouldn't touch your father. This is simply an image from your past. (Tauvo Crais Sr. turns and walks back into the shadows)

TauvoSr: (as a new vignette appears, he calls two young boys to him) Bialar! Tauvo! Come here please!

Maldis: That's right Bialar, the acorn - and the mighty oak!

Crais: (extremely agitated) MALDIS! REMOVE THESE IMAFES! (but the scene continues-)

TauvoSr: (upset) It's time my sons. The recruiter is here to pick you up. Stay close to Tauvo. Give him guidance. I'm counting on you to protect him. Do you understand? (the child Bialar - our Crais, nods silently as a black gloved hand claps onto his shoulder and he is taken away by the recruiter) Bialar! (the father bows his head, Crais watches numbly)

John: (to Crais, gently) Is that real? You didn't choose to be a Peacekeeper? You and your brother were shanghaied from your home!

Crais: Enough! We were selected for Peacekeeper training. It is a great honor.

Maldis: Yes, wasn't it? Just imagine how proud your father would be if he knew that his sons both rose from the ranks. (now he brings Crais' brother, Tauvo, as a young officer forth)

TauvoJr: Officer Tauvo Crais reporting. It's an honor to be on board, sir. Captains' bars suit you, my brother.

Crais: (tormented) NO!

John: Maldis, why are you doing this to him?

Maldis: Just to jog his memory a bit. Of course, his brothers' current appearance is more like this! (Maldis causes Tauvo to burst into flames, leaving a charred and smoking skeleton. Crais screams) And Crichton did that to him!

Crais: (screaming, he leaps over the flaming pit) Stop this!

Maldis: (howling with glee) YOU KNOW WHAT I THINK, JOHN? YOU CAN TALK UNTIL YOUR TONGUE FALLS OUT. HE'S GOING TO KILL YOU REGARDLESS!

(cut to Aeryn and D'Argo. They've returned to the planet, armed. They approach the entry to Maldis' complex)

Aeryn: Right. Let's do it. (they fire at the door but the blast is absorbed and dissipates in Maldis' signature swirl of red flame. The door suffers not so much as a scratch. Aeryn looks surprised)

D'Argo: (spooked and more in touch with the unknown than the practical former Peacekeeper) This door is protected by an evil spell.

Aeryn: There's no such thing.

D'Argo: Then why can we not get through? (Zhaan enters) Zhaan! The door will not open. We cannot get inside.

Zhaan: (quietly) Even if you could, Maldis in his incorporeal form cannot be hurt by weapons like those.

Aeryn: Then what can hurt him?

Zhaan: (matter-of-factly) I can.

Aeryn: Eh. Well then. After you. (Zhaan makes no move) What are you waiting for?

Zhaan: A third choice. Although I know there are only two. Let that evil flourish, or unleash another evil against it. (to D'Argo) How would you choose?

D'Argo: I suppose I would choose the lesser of evils.

Zhaan; (nods slightly) Well then. There's no reason to delay. Is there? (she turns and walks away. Aeryn watches impassively and calls after her-)

Aeryn: Maldis is THAT way! (Zhaan continues to walk away and D'Argo steps up to Aeryn)

D'Argo: Well we cannot get through that door!

Aeryn: Well we'll keep trying.

(cut back to inside Maldis' complex. John is walking along a row of narrowly placed columns and sees Crais on the other side of them)

John: Crais!

Crais: (thrusting one arm between the columns toward John) You can't run forever! I can wait.

John: (safe on his side of the row) Enjoying yourself Crais? Maldis sure is. He wants us to fight. You ever wonder why?

Crais: I don't care why!

John: He's feeding off us. He's drawing energy. You notice how jazzed up he gets every time we go at it and how tired he looks when we don't? That's why he showed you your brother. Crais - he's pushing your buttons.

Crais: (struggling with his rage) MALDIS - doesn't command me.

John: Don't fool yourself, buddy. Maldis is your enemy here, not me.

Crais: It won't work. Nothing can stop me from killing you.

John: Look. Just listen. Please, listen. You're beating yourself up because you were supposed to protect your brother. I understand that now. And you can believe this or you can shine it, but honest to god, I tried to get clear. I didn't mean for him to crash, and I'm sorry he's dead. Do you understand that?

Crais: (tired) It doesn't matter.

John: "Doesn't matter."?

Crais: It changes nothing. Tauvo is dead. Struck down by a weak, pathetic, inferior being. It must be avenged! I swear in Tauvo's name, Crichton. You will die in my hands. (he runs away from the row of columns)

John: Wait! (Maldis appears)

Maldis: You're not nearly as thick as I thought, John. You begin to understand what I'm all about.

John: Yeah. You're a vampire. (he turns away from the columns too but Maldis re-materializes in front of him)

Maldis: I admit, I feed on death. But don't we all? Some eat plants. Some meat. I consume the life essence itself. Preferably medium rare.

John: Why don't you just kill us? Why all the foreplay?

Maldis: Death is the main course. All this is the appetizer. Crais is coming. Will you run or fight? I'm getting hungry again.

John: Breaks my heart. (he lopes off into the gloom)

(cut back to Zhaan as she approaches Liko and the trelkez)

Zhaan: I apologize for my behavior.

Liko: (coolly as he looks at the trelkez without glancing at her) Continue.

Rygel: (on comm as Zhaan extends her hand towards the little animal) Zhaan? Where are you? This goo you sent up is worthless. What are you going do about it?

Liko: Wait. This is a better lesson.

Rygel: Zhaan? Zhaan?

Zhaan: Give pain to Rygel?

Rygel: Zhaan! Did you hear me? I demand you bring me something that works!

Zhaan: He is aboard Moya. I cannot reach that far.

Liko: You can. With my help.

(as Rygel talks the scene shifts back and forth between him and Zhaan. She and Liko place the palm of one hand on each others shoulder and Zhaan raises her free hand and concentrates)

Rygel: Why don't you answer me? What are you doing down there? Can you find me a remedy or not? If not, why are we still here? We should leave this useless planet immediately and find a place where I can get some relief from this - Arghh! (he begins to experience intense pain, he groans and shudders, his little fists raised and clenched on either side of his head)

Zhaan: (breaks away, panting, Rygel is abruptly released from the pain and slumps down with a sharp exhale of breath) Part of me enjoyed that.

Liko: We're nearly ready. (Zhaan looks distressed)

(cut to the Peacekeeper Command Carrier. Crais is laying on a bed in sick bay)

Orn: The Captain is incapacitated. You must remove him and assume command.

Teeg: Not while there's a chance of reviving him.

Orn: If you want an official authorization, I will contact High Command -

Teeg: (angry) There will be no communication outside this ship unless I expressly order it! Dismissed.

(cut back to Aeryn and D'Argo at the door to Maldis' complex)

Aeryn: We're not giving up.

D'Argo: How can we fight a battle against an enemy whose defenses cannot even be breached?

Aeryn: We will breach them even if I have to blast this door down. Actually, that might work. If I overload this pulse rifle, then the resulting explosion should be enough to take out this entire wall.

D'Argo: It won't work.

(cut briefly to Maldis in his hall)

Maldis: (to himself) It might work. Can't have that.

(cut back outside to Aeryn and D'Argo. The pulse rifle flies out of her hands and glows red)

D'Argo: (as they eye the rifle) What happened?

Aeryn: I don't know.

(cut back to inside Maldis' complex. John is in a room with a huge, slowly rotating column of spikes arranged in a spiral pattern on it)

John: (calling into the silence, knowing Crais is nearby) Captain Bialar Crais! Let's say you do kill me. What happens then? You think Maldis hands you a trophy and zaps you off to your ship? What's to stop you from bringing your Command Carrier back to this planet and toasting the whole place? Think he's gonna risk that? Come on, Crais. He may not even let you kill me. He may drag this thing out for years and then kill us himself. Is your vengeance satisfied if Maldis kills me?

Crais: (entering) No.

John: (whirling to face him) Come on, Crais. Who's your bigger enemy, me or Maldis? Can you put your revenge on hold and start thinking like a Peacekeeper?

Crais: What do you propose Crichton?

John: A truce. We join forces and nail Maldis.

Crais: We can't even lay hands on him.

John: His power can't be infinite. He's got to have some weakness. If we both stay calm and unemotional, he can't recharge. We could starve him out. Come on Crais. This may be our best chance.

Crais: I agree. A truce. My oath as a Peacekeeper.

John: (thinking he's talked reason into Crais) Good. A truce it is. Now, first question is, how do we-

(but Crais shows us what a Peacekeeper oath is worth by attacking John with a chain as soon as his guard is down. They fight around the rotating column, Johns' shoulder is dislocated. He manages to kick Crais away and taking the chain with his good arm, wields it against him. But Crais runs and John lets him go)

Maldis: What's the matter with you, Crichton? Are all the species on your planet this dim? It's kill or be killed. (John doesn't respond, but drops the chain and lopes off)

(cut to Moya. Rygel watching Johns' inert body)

Rygel: (to Johns' inert form) I don't know why I'm bothering. I don't care what Aeryn thinks. You certainly look dead to me. I don't know your customs for these situations. Not that I care. So I'll give you the Hynerian Ceremony Of Passage and be done with it. (he clears his throat pompously and intones-) "John Crichton, valued friend - " No, wait a minute. "Valued friend" is a bit of a stretch - "John Crichton, unwelcome shipmate - " Hmm - "May you have safe transport to the Hallowed Realm." (he pauses and looks at John for a long moment) Hmm - actually, not our Hallowed Realm. That's for Hynerians. Go find your own hallowed realm. With the ceremony complete, I declare you officially dead and claim all your possessions for myself. Now! (he patters eagerly to the foot of the bed and begins pulling at Johns' boots)

(cut back to Maldis. complex. John walking down a hall shaped like a keyhole. He throws himself against the wall a couple times to push his should back into its' socket. Maldis appears next to him and walks along as John works on the shoulder)

Maldis: I'd say you dislocated that. Happened to you once before, didn't it? When you trashed your motorcycle. And the only way for you to get home- (the shoulder pops into place with a nasty crunch) -was to pop it in yourself. Pretty gutsy. So why do you keep playing hide-and-seek with Crais?! Take him on!

John: (gritting his teeth) What's the matter Maldis? Blood sugar level getting low? Need another hit of violence to kick up the old energy level?

Maldis: Yes. I'm getting tired of appetizers. It's time to dine.

John: (laughs at the nerve of this guy) What is that supposed to motivate me?

Maldis: No. But maybe this will - only one of you has to die.

John: Oh. Yeah. And what's the other one get? A free trip to Bermuda?

Maldis: Well - back to your ship, anyway. Believe me. I give you my word.

John: (laughing wearily as he slumps down to the floor) F'what's that worth - ain't it?

Maldis: (leaning in towards John, speaking softly in his ear) It's better than Crais' I assure you.

John: (stops laughing, in disgust) ...Crais... He IS - an animal. I thought I could reason with him.

Maldis: You can't. It's him or you.

John: I've had enough of both of you. (he rises) You want gladiators - fine! You got 'em! (shouts) Tell Crais that I'm waiting for him!

Maldis: (roaring with pleasure) THEN YOU'RE DONE TALKING TO HIM?

John: (loudly) Yeah. All done!

(cut back to Zhaan and Liko in the bazaar)

Liko: When we reach Maldis, you must not hold back. Strike with all our combined strength. No hesitation. No weakness.

Zhaan: No mercy.

(cut back to Maldis' hall - the one John first met him in with the statues and banquet table. Maldis appears to John, who is waiting)

Maldis: The good Captain is here. I'll leave you to it. (he disappears into the shadows and Crais enters. He and John stand and face each other. Both look weary)

(cut back to Zhaan and Liko. They take up their positions, each with one palm resting on the others shoulder. Zhaan raises her free hand and begins to focus. Cut back to inside the hall of Maldis. Crais and John in a protracted bout of hand -to-hand combat. Cut back to Zhaan and Liko, Zhaan’s raised hand trembles violently as her concentration increases. Cut back to Crais and John - just as John seems to finally have the upper hand and drags Crais, head locked, into the center of the hall - Crais disappears)

John: (arms outstretched, turning around as Maldis appears) Where's Crais? I had him!

Maldis: I returned him to his ship.

John: Bring him back! I HAD HIM!

Maldis: Yes, you did. Took you long enough. But you finally did what I wanted.

John: What you wanted? I thought you were hungry. You wanted death.

Maldis: I do. But I'm planning for the long term. Bigger stakes, remember? It's not you or Crais that I'm interested in - it's that glorious death machine of his. Just think what I could do with a Peacekeeper Command Carrier. Carnage on a truly massive scale!

(cut back to Zhaan and Liko. Her hand continues to spasm violently and her eyes have gone the solid blue of intense meditative focus. Liko grunts and struggles and stares in fearful awe at her. Cut back to John and Maldis)

John: You - you want him to keep pursuing me. So if he brings his ship within reach-

Maldis: Absolutely. He was seriously thinking of taking it home. Can you believe that? Now he'll never turn back. Deeper and deeper into uncharted territory he'll go. And sooner or later, that ship - will be mine. And THEN-

John: (seizing a knife from the table, he charges Maldis who of course just dematerializes and the re-appears a few yards away) Damn you!

Maldis: (laughing his evil sorcerer laugh) Temper, temper! By the way John, I was telling the truth. One of you has returned to his ship. And now, the other - has to die. (he strides purposefully towards John who stares in horror, the knife falls from his hand. Outside Zhaan falls away from Liko and collapses. Inside, Maldis extends his hand to Johns' face and his red flame pours into Johns' body, taking his life force) Die.

But at that moment Zhaan appears behind Maldis, one hand on either side of his head which becomes surrounded by shimmering blue light as he screams in agony and lets loose of John.

Zhaan: John! I've broken through! I've made him tangible. (cut outside to Aeryn and D'Argo who watch as her pulse rifle ceases to glow. Back inside, Zhaan removes her hands from Maldis' head) He's all yours now. (she steps back and gives Maldis a powerful shove towards John who grabs him and hauls off with a mighty slug to the sorcerers' face that propels him backwards. Maldis disappears in a burst of red flame. John and Zhaan collapse to the floor)

(cut to Moya - John sits up suddenly and grabs Rygel, one hand on his throat, the other on top of his head)

John: Rygel! (looks around) What the hell am I?

Rygel: (gasping, bagged in the act of looting Johns' 'remains') You - you died down on the planet. D-D'Argo and - and Aeryn brought your corpse up here and I - I revived you. (his survival instinct asserts itself - bolder-) Oh - Yes. The others, yeah, wanted to set your body adrift, but - but I insisted I could save your life. And I did!

John: (feeling Rygel’s face as if to be sure he's real) Yeah, of course you did. (hugs Rygel close) It's not Kansas, and you're way too homely to be Auntie Em. Come here, Toto. (he gives Rygel a big kiss and giggles hysterically before collapsing back onto the bed)

(cut back to Zhaan and Liko. Both are laying on the ground. Zhaan rouses herself and goes to him)

Zhaan: (weary) Liko.

Liko: (completely spent) I gave you all I had.

Zhaan: You're dying. Let me help you.

Liko: You already have. Maldis is gone. The price is worth the pain. I only regret... that you and I... (he lays his hand on her cheek and dies. She sobs and closes his eyes, gazing at him with regret)

(cut to the Command Carrier. Crais in the sick bay, waking up. Teeg is with him as usual. A doctor is there too)

Crais: I do not need further examination. I'm fully recovered. Doctor, you will omit this entire incident from your medical log. Your utter failure to diagnose and treat my affliction will go unreported and unpunished. You're dismissed. (the doctor leaves) Has there been any communication with High Command?

Teeg: (helping Crais walk) No, sir. Lieutenant Orn wanted to get authorization to terminate you sir. But I overruled him.

Crais: And no one outside of this chamber knows of the Admirals' orders?

Teeg: I saw to that sir. (Crais makes as if to caress her cheek, but instead, abruptly snaps her neck. He lets her body drop and goes to a console)

Crais: Lieutenant Orn - status report.

Orn: (on comm) All Marauders report negative, sir.

Crais: Widen the search to dekka three. Take us deeper into the uncharted territories.

Orn: Yes, sir. (Crais signs off)

Crais: (muttering to himself) Crichton... I will find you. Again.

(later - cut to Zhaan, walking in a corridor aboard Moya. D'Argo and Aeryn approach her)

D'Argo: Zhaan. Crichton told us that you two killed Maldis.

Zhaan: Even in his semi-corporeal form, Maldis could not be killed. But he could be dispersed. He will coalesce someday.

Aeryn: Zhaan. (they stop walking) I feel I must apologize to you for mocking your courage. (Zhaan lays a hand on Aeryn's arm) I see now that you are more of a warrior that I ever thought. (Zhaan says nothing and moves silently away) What is the matter with her?

D'Argo: You called her a warrior. You could not have cut her more deeply.

(cut to John, in another room aboard Moya, making a log entry on his recorder)

John: I just don't know D.K. Maybe it was always a stupid thought, but I just figured if I could sit Crais down and talk to him I could convince him that I’m not the murderer he thinks I am... Well, I had my chance. And I'm never going to get another one. And he's going to keep at in until one of us dies. (Zhaan enters, he flicks off the recorder) Zhaan! Well, you look about as cheerful as I do. C'mon. Talk to me. What's up?

Zhaan: John... Before I became a priest, I... I was a savage.

John: Yeah, I think I remember you saying that. I don't know that I ever believed it.

Zhaan: You've never seen that part of me. I thought I'd eradicated it. Forever.

John: Well, you resurrected it once. To deal with Maldis, so it's over.

Zhaan: No, it's not. I feel it inside me still. Now I have to rid myself of it again and I don't know if I can do it John.

John: (earnestly) Well is there anything I can do to help? I dunno - there must be something. I mean, even if it just means being a good listener. (he rises and moves towards her but Zhaan puts out her hand and John staggers back in pain, clutching his wounded hand)

Zhaan: (angry) No one can help me. (she looks down and goes on, gently - ) I - I'm sorry.

She turns and leaves. John stares after her, open-mouthed with shock and confusion.

THE END