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Farscape: Unrealized (season one)

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FARSCAPE: UNREALIZED

Season 1, Episode 1 (#101)


PREVIOUSLY ON "FARSCAPE":

Astronaut John Crichton and Ex-Peacekeeper Aeryn Sun have gotten married and had their baby, D'Argo Sun-Crichton.

John finally gave in to Scorpius and fulfilled the half-breed mad scientist's longtime goal—he built a wormhole weapon and used it to threaten the Scarrans and end the war. But the weapon proved more devastating than anyone imagined—capable of destroying the Scarrans, the Peacekeepers, and the rest of the galaxy along with them.

This forced the Scarrans and the Peacekeepers to the negotiating table, and a truce was signed between two of the galaxy's great powers.

In the war's final battle, the Battle of Qujaga, Ka D'Argo was slain by the Scarrans. Chiana and Jothee have been left to mourn, each in their own way.

Sikozu and Grunchlk were both wounded during the battle and separately left for dead. They found their way to each other and to a Leviathan transport pod before the wormhole weapon destroyed the planet.

John Crichton's wormhole knowledge was removed by Einstein the Ancient after the weapon was activated. This caused Harvey, the neural clone of Scorpius in Crichton's mind, to self-delete.

After officiating at John and Aeryn's wedding, Stark survived the battle and the war, only to reveal at the end of it all that his experiences with Crichton and the rest of Moya's crew have left him completely changed—still Banik, but no longer Stykera.

Dominar Bishaan of the Hynerian Empire, pressed by the war and deeply unpopular with his subjects, offered to abdicate his usurped throne if Rygel would but return, reclaim is birthright, and unite the Hynerian people…

 

 


COLD OPEN

FADE IN:

EXT. SPACE—HYNERIA

SUPERIMPOSE: One Year Later

A lush green planet swarms with traffic—small personal spacecraft, freighters, yachts, a few naval cruisers. The thousands of ships follow tight lanes in space; lines of space-traffic connect Hyneria with its several small moons. A few lone ships follow odd vectors as they leave or enter the system.

EXT. CITY OF NAI-RYGEL—HYNERIA—DAY

We see a city that seems to float on a turquoise ocean: beautiful, breathtaking, advanced. The architecture is all clear domes and bubbles, worked metal spangled with gem-like crystals, baroque metallic sculptures of Hynerians.

The city teems with hovercraft and THOUSANDS of Hynerians. A few Hynerians ride hover-sleds; most swim in the city's great canals or waddle along the boardwalks.

INT. RYGEL'S PALACE—DAY

A bright, colorful room in the Royal Palace at Hyneria's capital, with sparse furnishings and an open balcony.

D'ARGO SUN-CRICHTON (age 1–2) plays with oddly-shaped blocks bearing Sebacean letters, and a small four-sided pyramid with the Eye of Ra on one face (the "child's tile" from Arnessk, "FARSCAPE" #402-3).

JOHN CRICHTON grabs D'Argo from behind, heaves him up, mock-groans with effort. The tile CLATTERS to the floor.

CRICHTON
Damn, son. You're gettin' too big for your old man to pick up!

Crichton carries D'Argo across the room. The huge balcony opens to an alien pink-and-green sky, the busy city, the sparkling ocean.

CRICHTON
Look at that, Deke. It's not Earth, but at least I can still
take you fishing.
(beat)
Once you're big enough to hold a rod, that is.

AERYN SUN and RYGEL enter: discreet, on eggshells. (Rygel has a new throne-sled, big and shiny, fit for a Dominar.)

Rygel coughs to announce their presence, turns to Aeryn:

RYGEL
You'd better tell him.

CRICHTON
Tell me what?

Aeryn creeps up to Crichton, embraces him and D'Argo.

AERYN
It's another… "peace envoy".

CRICHTON
Aw, you've gotta be kidding me!

Crichton passes D'Argo to Aeryn, storms over to the balcony railing.

CRICHTON
Why can't they just leave us the frell alone?

AERYN
You stopped a war, John.

Crichton sighs, leans his elbows on the railing.

CRICHTON
Yeah, with a doomsday weapon. You'd think people would get the
message!

Aeryn bounces D'Argo in her arms, smiles wide.

AERYN
You do have a way of getting everyone's attention.

CRICHTON
But they never listen!

Rygel hovers over:

RYGEL
Oh, they were paying attention all right; the whole galaxy was!
(beat)
Crichton, we've been over this a million times. It's—

Crichton turns around, leans back, sighs:

CRICHTON
Politics. Yeah, I know.

RYGEL
Like it or not, the threat of your wormhole weapon is the only thing
totally horrifying enough to maintain the peace—

CRICHTON
(quietly)
And we can't let anyone know that I can't make it anymore, because—

RYGEL
Because you ARE the peace treaty. So don't frell it up!

Crichton stands, rubs his face, frustrated. Then, resigned:

CRICHTON
All right, who is it this time? What two-bit civilization out in
the U.T.s can't get along with its neighbors this week?

AERYN
It's different this time.
(pause)
It's the Luxans.

RYGEL
And seeing as how the Luxan-Illanic Confederation is ALMOST as rich and
powerful as my own empire—
(greedy chuckle)
—as a diplomatic courtesy, I have to allow them an audience.

Crichton starts back across the room, the others follow.

CRICHTON
(sigh)
Here we go again. The Wonderful Wizard of Wormholes, disappointing
diplomats since two-thousand four.
(at Aeryn)
It's days like this I wish I had your job.

AERYN
What, chief of palace security? No you don't.
(conspiratorial whisper)
I also have to oversee Rygel's food-tasters.

CRICHTON
(at Rygel)
I thought you gave that job to Noranti?

RYGEL
Are you joking? The old woman can't tell poison from seasoning!
(narrows eyes)
Now remember, Crichton: diplomatic courtesy!

Rygel hovers ahead of the Sun-Crichtons, leads them out.

RECEPTION HALL

A grandiose, splendid hall, draped with ceiling-high banners of green and purple with the imperial seal (and stylized profile) of Rygel XVI. Some dozens of Hynerian COURTIERS, SYCOPHANTS, WIVES/CONCUBINES, and armed PALACE GUARDS.

Two male Luxans, KOR TOSKO and BU G'RANTO, wait here: impatient, on-edge. We've met Tosko before ("FARSCAPE" #320); G'Ranto is older, portly, overdressed in fancy robes.

Rygel and the Crichtons enter. A stuffy old Hynerian HERALD straightens up, looks important.

HERALD
Presenting his Supreme Eminence, Dominar Rygel the Sixteenth!

The Luxans break away from the crowd, step forward.

KOR TOSKO
Dominar Rygel. We bring you greetings from the Luxan High
Council. I am Special Ambassador Kor Tosko, and this is the
Confederation's Minister of Trade, Bu G'Ranto.

BU G'RANTO
(bows)
Your Eminence.

Rygel hovers a bit higher, turns on the regal charm.

RYGEL
The Hynerian Empire welcomes you both.

Tosko starts to speak, Rygel raises a hand, stops him:

RYGEL (CONT'D)
Before you say anything, I know why you've come: the Scorvians.

KOR TOSKO
Their ships are massing on our borders by the thousands.

BU G'RANTO
War with the Scorvians is upon us once more. Millions of lives are
at stake, unless we can show strength—and force peace.

RYGEL
Then know this, Ambassador; Minister: if you seek a military
alliance with the Hynerian Empire, you will find me—receptive.

The Luxans relax, relieved, until:

RYGEL (CONT'D)
But if you come here seeking to exploit John Crichton's wormhole
weapons—

KOR TOSKO
But we must! The situation grows more desperate by the solar day!

Crichton and Aeryn watch from the sidelines, impassive, poker-faced. G'Ranto faces Crichton, pleads:

BU G'RANTO
We had hoped that as one whose friendship with a Luxan warrior was
so legendary that you named your own offspring—

That does it; Crichton cracks. Furious, he stomps forward, puts a finger in G'Ranto's face.

CRICHTON
Don't! Don't you dare try to use that to MANIPULATE me!

Crichton sweeps his arm back, points off into space, rants:

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
You want to know what happened the last time someone tried to use my
family to get a wromhole weapon? Just look at the big empty spot
where Qujaga used to be!

Enraged, he turns his back on the Luxans, marches off.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
Get these people out of my sight.

Rygel shakes his head, sighs, embarrassed.

FADE OUT.

END OF COLD OPEN


BEGIN TITLES

Like "FARSCAPE", the opening credits for "FARSCAPE: UNREALIZED" accompany a disjointed monologue by John Crichton that sounds like a desperate radio-transmission, along with brief flashes of superimposed words and phrases.

SUPERIMPOSE with Titles: "Scientist"; "Lost"; "Help me"; "No more weapons"; "Are you out there?"; "Have to warn them"; "Untold wonders".

CRICHTON
My name is John Crichton, astronaut. Five years ago,
I got shot through a wormhole. I'm on the far side
of our galaxy. I closed the door. Earth is safe.
I ended the war, to protect my family. Listen to me,
anybody out there who can hear this: if you get this
message, be prepared. Can you face the reality of the
nightmares I've seen?

END TITLES.


ACT ONE

FADE IN:

INT. RYGEL'S PALACE—DAY

BALCONY ROOM

Still fuming, Crichton slams a fist against the wall.

Aeryn, carrying D'Argo, enters, along with Kor Tosko.

CRICHTON
What?

AERYN
I think you should hear him out, John.

KOR TOSKO
I wish to apologize for the Trade Minister's thoughtless words.

Crichton glares, sizes up the Luxan ambassador.

CRICHTON
Kor—Tosko, was it? We've met before, right? On Scorpius's
Command Carrier.

KOR TOSKO
I'm honored that you remember me.

CRICHTON
You made a defense pact with the Peacekeepers back then. What
happened to that?

KOR TOSKO
(embarassed)
The treaty remains in place, but—the Peacekeepers have not yet
regained even a fraction of their full strength since the war.

Aeryn snorts, sets D'Argo down by the blocks and toys.

AERYN
The Peacekeepers have refused to help you, haven't they?

Tosko looks surprised, then admits:

KOR TOSKO
Grand Chancellor Grayza decided that a border-war with the
Scorvians was a local matter—

AERYN
In which case, the Peacekeepers would charge their standard rates
for a planetary defense contract.

Tosko, ashamed, nods. Crichton glares, disgusted.

CRICHTON
They sent you and your chief bean-counter all the way out here—to
save MONEY?

Tosko casts about for a means of retreat; lucky for him, just then, Rygel and G'Ranto enter, negotiating.

RYGEL
—And, of course, a military pact would look even more favorable for
you if we were to, shall we say, renegotiate some of our standing
trade-agreements?

BU G'RANTO
(nodding)
I do have that authority.

KOR TOSKO
Excuse me.

Tosko bows to the Crichtons, scurries off to join Rygel and G'Ranto.

Crichton and Aeryn go out to the balcony for privacy. Rygel and the Luxans' conversation continues in the background.

ON THE BALCONY

Crichton rubs his face, tired, frustrated.

CRICHTON
I can't do this anymore, Aeryn.

AERYN
What about the Luxans?

CRICHTON
It sounds like Emperor Fluffy's already got that handled.

They embrace.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
Anyway, it's not our problem. I made a promise: we're retired. No
more wars, no more weapons, no take-backsies. We're done.

AERYN
So what ARE we going to do then?

CRICHTON
I don't know. You really want to stay here, keep playing hotel-
detective?

AERYN
Not really. This past cycle has been quiet—so far. But I keep
thinking—

Aeryn breaks the hug, looks over at D'Argo, playing and happy back inside the room.

AERYN (CONT'D)
As long as we stay here, the whole galaxy knows exactly where we are.
We're protected, but we're exposed.

CRICHTON
Trapped in the limelight. It's Earth, all over again.

AERYN
Feels that way sometimes, doesn't it?

CRICHTON
So what do we do?

Aeryn grins, pulls a Moya COMMS from her jacket.

AERYN
Well, when it was Earth, we took our big, beautiful ship, and we ran
away.

CRICHTON
Is that a comms?

AERYN
Mm-hm.

CRICHTON
Does that mean what I think it means?

AERYN
I've been in touch with Pilot. Moya's due to arrive in-system
within a solar day or so.

CRICHTON
We're going home?

AERYN
It was supposed to be a surprise, but—yes. Happy anniversary.

Overjoyed, Crichton "whoops", picks Aeryn up, twirls her.

BACK TO SCENE

D'Argo, Rygel, and the two Luxans all look up at the Sun-Crichtons' display. Crichton and Aeryn kiss; the Luxans look uncomfortable.

RYGEL
Ah—never mind them. They're ALWAYS like that.

KOR TOSKO
Perhaps we should give them some privacy.

RYGEL
Agreed. This way, gentlemen. I look forward to finalizing this—
"mutually beneficial" alliance.

Rygel leads the Luxans back to the reception hall.

DINING ROOM—DAY

A dining room just as ostentatious and oversized as everywhere else in Rygel's palace. A long table piled high with an eye-popping variety of foods. Alien fruits, disgusting molluscs, heaps of fried breads and roasted meats, and everything else under the Hynerian sun.

Slovenly Hynerians pig out on everything their stubby arms can reach, burping, sometimes farting. Rygel sits at the head of the table, gorging himself.

The Sun-Crichtons sit at Rygel's right hand; to his left, his three favorite wives—MMYNA, SPYCA, and THALZI—and then the Luxans.

CRICHTON
So you knew about this, Sparky?

Rygel growls, annoyed.

RYGEL
I make allowances, Crichton, in deference to our shared history—
but they do NOT extend to calling me names at a state banquet!

MMYNA
(sultry)
I think it's cute, Rygie.
(leans in, whispers)
Can "Sparky" ignite my engines later tonight?

Rygel almost chokes on his food, chuckles, anticipating. Spyca and Thalzi titter and whisper between themselves.

Aeryn feeds D'Argo from a bowl of mushy baby-food, glances up.

AERYN
Oh, we are definitely overdue for a vacation.

CRICHTON
Amen to that.

RYGEL
The two of you should talk! Body-breeders…
(clears throat)
Anyway, to answer your question, Crichton, yes, I knew that Moya was
on her way back here. In fact, I requested it.

AERYN
Rygel needs a survey team to map the regions of the Uncharted
Territories between the Empire and Acquara. I volunteered us.

CRICHTON
A little trip down memory lane, huh?

RYGEL
One that should keep you busy for at least a cycle and a half.

Rygel pauses while a couple of Hynerian SERVANTS bring more food and drink.

RYGEL (CONT'D)
Aeryn seemed to think you'd take the job, no questions asked.

CRICHTON
She was right. As usual.
(beat)
You comin' with us?

RYGEL
What, and leave all of this? After a hundred and thirty-five cycles
spent trying to get it back? I know you're more intelligent than
THAT, Crichton.

Rygel looks at the Crichton family with genuine affection, then chokes up—violently. His breath stops, he gasps, knocks a goblet over onto a plate. The CLATTER gets everyone's attention.

MMYNA / / SPYCA, THALZI
Rygel! / / Dominar!

RYGEL
It's all right—
(gasp)
—it's nothing, just a touch of the intons.

Crichton and Aeryn share an amused look. Crichton leans over to Rygel:

CRICHTON
We're gonna miss you, too… Dominar.

Rygel laughs, embarrassed.

EXT. SPACE—HYNERIA

We see open space, glimmering stars. Then (with a bit of musical FANFARE), MOYA flies into view. We follow Moya until Hyneria and its moons appear. Graceful, Moya makes for the planet, settles into orbit.

INT. SUN-CRICHTONS' BEDROOM—RYGEL'S PALACE—NIGHT

One comfortable room out of an apartment suite in the palace, furnished to accommodate a couple of Sebacean-shaped beings and their offspring. Crichton and Aeryn lie tangled in some shiny silver sheets. D'Argo sleeps noiselessly in a funky Art-Deco-meets-Flash-Gordon-looking crib.

The COMMS rests on a table near Crichton's side of the bed. It CHIRPS once, twice—on the third time, Crichton is awake. He jumps up (in only white boxers), answers it.

CRICHTON
Hey, Pilot! Is that you?

Aeryn groans, sleepy; rolls over, draws the covers tighter. Then her eyes snap open, and she's up too. Clad in black sports-bra and shorts, she crawls across the bed.

AERYN
Is it Pilot? Are they here?

Both John and Aeryn wait, baited, anxious.

INT. PILOT'S DEN—MOYA—CONTINUOUS

PILOT works his console—eyes up, anticipating.

PILOT
Yes, Commander Crichton, Officer Sun. Moya and I have arrived!

INTERCUT:

CRICHTON
(into the comms)
Yo, Pilot! It's great to hear your voice, man!

PILOT
Yours as well, Commander.

CRICHTON
What's it been, three-quarters of a cycle?

AERYN
At least.

PILOT
We have missed you a great deal, Aeryn.

AERYN
We've all missed you too, Pilot. Even Rygel.

D'Argo wakes up, fusses. Crichton passes the comms to Aeryn

CRICHTON
I'll get him.

Chrichton picks D'Argo up from the crib, catches a whiff.

CRICHTON
Whew! Changing time.

Cricthon carries D'Argo over to a changing table, starts pulling off the daiper. D'Argo kicks, giggles.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
Your poo-poo could outdo the Dominar, little man.

PILOT
Your offspring is well?

AERYN
Happy and healthy.

A pregnant pause.

AERYN (CONT'D)
Is something wrong, Pilot?

PILOT
(hesitating)
No… and yes.

The door to Pilot's den opens. Pilot looks up, surprised, annoyed. We don't see who comes in, but we see Pilot from their POV.

PILOT (CONT'D)
I—have to go now, Aeryn. I'll see you when you come aboard.

Pilot touches a panel on his console, cuts the comms.

Aeryn and John share a troubled look. Aeryn dashes off the bed, grabs her clothes; John double-times the daiper-change.

AERYN
I'll call down to the hangar and get my Prowler and your module
prepped.

CRICHTON
I'll finish this, and—pack, I guess.

Aeryn dons her black longcoat, kisses John, runs off.

EXT. SPACE—LOW HYNERIA ORBIT

Aeryn's Prowler and the "Farscape One" module blast through the sky, rocket towards Moya.

INT. MOYA—NIGHT

TRANSPORT HANGAR / MAINTENANCE BAY

We see John's module and Aeryn's Prowler, already landed in the hangar. Crichton appears, carrying D'Argo; Aeryn steps in front of them, pulse pistol ready.

CRICHTON
Pilot's still not answering comms.

AERYN
Best stay behind me until we know what's going on.

With military precision, Aeryn leads Crichton through the hangar-doors and into the maintenance bay. They deadpan:

CRICHTON
Home sweet home.

AERYN
Great to be back.

The door out to the corridor opens; John starts; Aeryn aims.

A mysterious figure in a shimmering midnight-blue robe and hood stands in the doorway. A gray hand pulls off the hood, reavealing CHIANA—with long hair (tied back), sad eyes.

CRICHTON / / AERYN
Holy crap! Chiana!? / / Chiana!

CHIANA
Crichton. Aeryn.
(brightening)
Little narl!

Aeryn puts her pistol up. Chiana approaches, holds her arms out to D'Argo.

CHIANA
Can I?

CRICHTON
Yeah, sure.

John glances at Aeryn, who nods. He gives D'Argo to Chiana. D'Argo squeals, plays with Chiana's hair.

CHIANA
(cooing)
There's my little nixa—oh, he's gotten so big!

CRICHTON
It's good to see you, Pip.
(beat)
Nice 'do.

Chiana grins, bounces D'Argo in her arms.

AERYN
Have you been on Moya this whole time?

CHIANA
Since Moya left Hyneria all those monens ago? Mostly. On and off.
(beat)
But hey, what about you guys? What's it like living on a planet
full of Rygels?

Crichton takes a nostalgic look around the bay; his hand absently drifts down to his holstered pistol.

CRICHTON
Gassy.

AERYN
Pilot sounded nervous when we spoke on the comms earlier. What's been
happening here?

Chiana hesitates, shrinks. Aeryn stares her down.

CHIANA
Uh, well—that's probably because of the Peacekeepers.

CRICHTON
What Peacekeepers?

AERYN
What did they do to Moya!?

CHIANA
They—they didn't DO anything. They're just—
(beat)
Now, don't freak out.

John takes a threatening step foward.

CHIANA (CONT'D)
They're just—here. Like, as crew.

CRICHTON
WHAT!?

AERYN
How many are on board?

D'Argo fusses; Chiana shushes him before continuing:

CHIANA
About forty.

CRICHTON
Ships?

CHIANA
A few Prowlers. Couple Marauders. All docked in the treblin-side bay.

CRICHTON
(grumbling)
And Pilot guided us in hamman side; convenient.

Aeryn presses close to Chiana, demanding, dangerous:

AERYN
Why are the Peacekeepers here?

CHIANA
You'll have to ask them. Or Pilot. They made some kind of—of deal.

AERYN
Like what?

CHIANA
I don't really know.

Suddenly, Chiana grabs Aeryn in a one-armed sisterly hug. Aeryn looks confused while Chi moves to hug John too.

CHIANA
Whatever it is, though, I'm glad you guys are back. Things haven't
been the same without you.

Crichton and Aeryn share another concerned look.

AERYN
Would you like to look after Deke while we go see Pilot?

CHIANA
Yeah, I would! …"Deke", huh?

Chiana sets herself and D'Argo down on the floor.

AERYN
It's John's nickname for D'Argo.

CHIANA
I like it. What's it mean?

John squats down, touches his son's head.

CRICHTON
It's kind of an inside reference.

CHIANA
Always is with you.

CRICHTON
Well, you know: we named him D'Argo to honor one dead best friend. I
call him "Deke" to remember the other one.

CHIANA
D.K.?

CRICHTON
Yeah.

CHIANA
Good.

Crichton gazes at Chiana.

CRICHTON
You gonna tell us what's happened to you since you left?

Chiana shrugs, smiles, doesn't speak; focuses her attention on playing with D'Argo.

Crichton rises, follows Aeryn out into the corridor.

PILOT'S DEN

The door swings open. Crichton and Aeryn swagger in, guns drawn.

Four Peacekeepers stand near Pilot's console: two helmeted GRUNTS, at ease; Lieutenant CLOW ZOBREK (female 40s); and Senior Officer HAMM NYBAR (male 30s).

Zobrek is confident, competent, attractive; long salt-and-pepper hair, mocha skin. Nybar is the strict military type, by-the-book, a born follower; plain-faced and uncharismatic.

Aeryn trains her pistol on the officers, Crichton on the grunts. The Peacekeepers don't react.

AERYN
Pilot! Are you all right?

PILOT
I'm fine, Aeryn. As is Moya.

ZOBREK
You and your mate can put those weapons away, Officer Sun. You
have no enemies here.

CRICHTON
I reckon we'll be the judge of that.

Crichton and Aeryn cross the bridge to the console, keep their guns pointed. Zobrek sighs, tilts her head at Nybar.

Nybar produces a colorful plastic rectangle (a set of official PEACEKEEPER ORDERS), hands them to Aeryn.

NYBAR
This should explain everything.

Cautious, Aeryn takes the orders, reads them quickly—her gun-arm never wavers. After a moment:

AERYN
Identify yourselves.

Nybar stands at attention. Zobrek actually relaxes.

NYBAR
Senior Officer Hamm Nybar. Xarrand Company, Dalthak Regiment.

ZOBREK
Lieutenant Clow Zobrek, Peacekeeper Diplomatic Corps.

AERYN
The Peacekeepers don't have a Diplomatic Corps.

ZOBREK
They do now. And this Leviathan is their flagship—under my command,
until those orders go into effect.

CRICHTON
What orders?

Aeryn holsters her gun. Crichton, reluctant, lowers his weapon, but keeps it out. Aeryn holds up the plastic pad.

AERYN
(stunned)
It's a commission. It says that I'm to be reinstated into the
Peacekeepers, with full honors—and assigned to the Diplomatic
Corps, with a promotion to Captain.

Crichton stares, dumbfounded.

FADE OUT.

END OF ACT ONE


ACT TWO

FADE IN:

INT. MOYA—NIGHT—CONTINUOUS FROM ACT ONE

PILOT'S DEN

Crichton and Aeryn stand stunned. The Peacekeeper officers Zobrek and Nybar, and the two PK Grunts, wait and watch.

Aeryn stares at the orders in her hand; Crichton glares.

CRICHTON
You're not seriously considering this, are you?

AERYN
We should talk about it first.

Awkward pause. Then Crichton waves his pistol in a circular motion over his head.

CRICHTON
All right, then. Everybody out! Family meeting.

ZOBREK
Fine; it's the middle of the sleep-cycle anyway.
(at the grunts)
Dismissed.

The two soldiers and Nybar march for the door.

ZOBREK (CONT'D)
(at Aeryn)
I'll be waiting for you on command, to officially turn the ship over.

AERYN
She isn't yours to "turn over".

Zobrek pauses; nods.

ZOBREK
Yes, Captain.

Zobrek leaves. Crichton starts to speak, Aeryn interrupts:

AERYN
First thing's first.

She vaults over Pilot's console, touches his cheek.

AERYN (CONT'D)
Are you really all right? Have the Peacekeepers hurt you or Moya in
any way?

PILOT
As I said before, we're both well.

Aeryn searches behind the console for signs of tampering. Crichton approaches, rests his elbows on the console.

CRICHTON
Why don't you tell us what you know?

PILOT
Very well. Approximately one-hundred solar days ago, I received
a message—from Scorpius.

Crichton pushes away from the console, stomps, storms:

CRICHTON
I frelling knew it! That sneaky son of a bitch just won't leave us
alone!

AERYN
What did he say?

PILOT
He offered Moya and I a "deal". Our service, in exchange for
freedom for other Leviathans wearing control collars.
(beat)
All of them.

Crichton double-takes; Aeryn looks down, thinking.

CRICHTON
And you bought that?

AERYN
Peacekeepers have been enslaving Leviathans for hundreds of cycles.
They wouldn't just—stop.

PILOT
Moya and I personally witnessed the removal of control collars from
several dozen former prison-transports and cargo freighters.

CRICHTON
But what does Scorpius get out of the deal?

AERYN
Isn't it obvious?
(pause)
He gets to station a full platoon of bodyguards in our HOME.

Crichton turns to leave. Aeryn stays with Pilot.

COMMAND—MINUTES LATER

Lt. Zobrek waits on command, idly operates a console.

Crichton strides in. Zobrek glances, keeps working.

ZOBREK
Commander.

CRICHTON
I have questions.

ZOBREK
I thought you might.

CRICHTON
What exactly is your mission here?

ZOBREK
You mean my assignment? Twofold. Establish closer diplomatic ties
with planets out in the Uncharted Territories. And keep YOU safe.

CRICHTON
I see. And what about my family? My friends?

ZOBREK
Since you're vulnerable through them, obviously my assignment
includes protecting them as well.

CRICHTON
(bitter)
Oh, goody gumdrops.

Aeryn enters, still holding the PK orders.

AERYN
Lieutenant.

Zobrek finally turns, stands at parade rest.

ZOBREK
Captain.

AERYN
I have some questions.

ZOBREK
(amused)
I'm at your service, Captain.

AERYN
I haven't decided to take the comission yet.

CRICHTON
I don't like it.

AERYN
I know.

Crichton and Aeryn share some meaningful glances, so in-tune that it might as well be a quick telepathic conversation.

CRICHTON
(realizing)
You kind of like the idea.

AERYN
It's what I know.

CRICHTON
Even after five cycles spent "irreversibly contaminated"?

Aeryn shrugs, turns to Zobrek.

AERYN
Just answer me this: what if I take command, and then order every last
Peacekeeper off of Moya?

CRICHTON
Now there's an idea.

ZOBREK
Then we'd leave. My—your—men and women follow orders, Captain.

AERYN
One microt.

Aeryn takes John aside, they whisper:

AERYN
Pilot said that he and Moya want to give this a try, for the sake of
the other Leviathans.

CRICHTON
And?

AERYN
And if I'm captain, we can stay here and protect them.

CRICHTON
So that's it? Just like that, you're gonna let the Peacekeepers
get their hooks into us again?

AERYN
For now. Just—play along.

They break the huddle, stand before Zobrek again.

ZOBREK
Well?

AERYN
I accept.

ZOBREK
A genetic imprint is required to make it official.

Aeryn takes the plastic pad with the orders, signs by pressing her thumb to a spot on the bottom (it lights up), hands them over to Zobrek. The two women salute each other.

ZOBREK
Congratulations, Captain. The ship is yours. And, welcome back.

AERYN
I'll take over here, Lieutnent.

ZOBREK
Very good. I'll make sure to have status reports and full details on
our assignment ready for you in the morning.

Aeryn nods. Zobrek leaves. Crichton stares after her. Aeryn checks the command consoles.

CRICHTON
Guess that makes her the ship's X.O.?

AERYN
You can have the job if you want.

CRICHTON
Nah. Paperwork cramps my style.
(pause)
What if those orders come with bigger strings attached?

Aeryn looks up from the console, serious.

AERYN
Then I'll take a page from Crais's "playbook", and go renegade.

Crichton smirks, gazes out the front viewport.

INT. MOYA—DAY

TRANSPORT HANGAR

A transport pod lands. Moments later, the ramp descends and Noranti emerges. She exits the pod, freezes.

Three Peacekeeper soldiers, uniformed but not helmeted, loiter near Aeryn's Prowler. Nybar waits, expectant.

NORANTI
Do I—have the right Leviathan?

NYBAR
You must be Utu-Noranti Pralatong. Welcome aboard Moya. Captain Sun
is waiting for you in the center chamber.

NORANTI
Oh, good. You had me worried for a microt there.

Noranti waves a hand at the pod.

NORANTI (CONT'D)
Dominar Rygel sent up quite a lot of provisions for our survey
mission. Since you have men aboard, they can do the unloading.

Nonchalant, Noranti heads for the center chamber.

NYBAR
(to himself, confused)
What survey mission?

The other three PKs approach, questioning looks. Nybar tilts his head at the pod. The PKs go to work unloading.

CENTER CHAMBER—SOME TIME LATER

Plain food (PK-issue MREs and food-cubes) adorns the center chamber table. Lt. Zobrek pops a food-cube into her mouth, straightens a stack of transparent PLASTIC SHEETS covered in alien squiggles and colorful shapes.

Aeryn enters, followed by Crichton, who holds D'Argo.

Zobrek half-stands, salutes; Aeryn motions for her to sit back down.

ZOBREK
Good morning, Captain.
(beat)
No uniform?

AERYN
We're going to be in the Uncharted Territories for a while; I think we
can be a bit lax with regulations.

Aeryn looks down at her black leathers. Realizes:

AERYN (CONT'D)
Also, I don't have one.

ZOBREK
We have plenty in the store-room on tier three.

John goes to the refrigeration-unit, looks to scrounge up some food for himself and Deke. Aeryn sits across from Zobrek, nods at the transparent flimsies.

AERYN
Status report, or mission briefing?

ZOBREK
I have both. Which would you like first?

AERYN
Let's start with why you're out here. You do know that Rygel wants
us to spend the next cycle mapping the Uncharted Territories, right?

ZOBREK
That shouldn't conflict with the Corps assignment. High Command
wants us get out there and—make friends.

Crichton balances a tray in one hand, Deke in the other arm; sets the boy down on the table, starts cutting food-cubes into small bites.

CRICHTON
That doesn't sound much like the Peacekeepers we know.

ZOBREK
Things have changed. High Command has—factionalized, somewhat,
since the end of the war. This diplomatic tour was something of a
compromise between the factions.

CRICHTON
More politics. Do we even want to know?

Crichton feeds D'Argo bits of food-cube. D'Argo doesn't like them, starts throwing them off the table.

AERYN
Maybe later. What about the ship's status? What kind of assets do we
have on board?

ZOBREK
Myself, Officer Nybar, one platoon consisting of one squad each light
and heavy infantry, one detail of Prowler pilots, and two techs.

AERYN
Ships?

ZOBREK
Two Marauders; four Prowlers, not counting yours.

Aeryn nods. Crichton slides the tray of food-cubes her way. Aeryn takes a couple food-cubes, starts to eat. Noranti enters at the same moment, gasps.

NORANTI
Oh! That will never do!

Aeryn looks over her shoulder.

AERYN
What, you mean the food?

Crichton chokes down a food-cube of his own, just as Deke spits one out.

CRICHTON
Granny's got a point. Even Hynerian food is better than this.

NORANTI
Rygel sent up a transport pod full of supplies—for a crew of five.

ZOBREK
We have supplies of our own.

AERYN
Even still, it'd be best to stock up while we can.

ZOBREK
Chiana mentioned wanting to visit a commerce planet after we left
Hyneria.

AERYN
"Chaiana mentioned"?

Zobrek looks embarassed for a moment, then shrugs, cool again.

NORANTI
(at Crichton)
Rygel sent currency as well, in case you wanted food from somewhere
besides Hyneria.

CRICHTON
He's a good man, that Dominar.

Aeryn fixes Zobrek with a death-stare. Awkward silence.

AERYN
There's something else you're not mentioning.

Crichton and Noranti join the stare-down until Zobrek caves.

ZOBREK
We also have a prisoner on board.

Crichton and Aeryn share a nervous glance.

CRICHTON
(saccharine)
Who?

ZOBREK
A former shipmate of yours: Sikozu Shanu.

CRICHTON / /AERYN
WHAT!? / / But—she's dead!

Crichton jumps up, knocks the food-cube tray off the table, dashes for the corridor.

TIER SEVEN CELL-BAY

Gold ribbed walls, twisty barred doors—this part of the ship looks like anywhere else on Moya.

Crichton skids to a halt outside a cell. Inside, SIKOZU SHANU sits on the bed, rumpled, bedraggled, but alive. She wears tattered brown rags reminiscent of Stark's slave-garb. Her hair is long again and hangs down over half her face.

QUICK FLASHBACK

We see a glimpse of "Starkozu", the Sikozu-Stark mashup character from "FARSCAPE" #411 and #417.

BACK TO SCENE

Crichton glares. Sikozu stands.

SIKOZU
John Crichton.

CRICHTON
Sputnik. You look like something the Scarrans dragged in.

SIKOZU
That's not far from the truth.

CRICHTON
(holding back anger)
How'd you survive?

SIKOZU
Grunchlk.

CRICHTON
Care to elaborate on that?

SIKOZU
I'd really rather not.

Aeryn (holding Deke), Noranti, and Zobrek arrive. The instant Aeryn sees Sikozu, she hugs Deke closer.

Crichton and Sikozu don't take their eyes off each other.

AERYN
How long has she been here?

ZOBREK
About twenty solar days. She showed up in a life-pod, looking
for you and your mate.

AERYN
You locked her up?

ZOBREK
Chiana's suggestion. She thought it would make a nice "peace
offering" to the two of you.

CRICHTON
She was right.

Sikozu approaches the bars.

SIKOZU
Are you going to kill me, human?

Crichton's face flashes with anger, hate, grief.

CRICHTON
(choking up)
I should. Jool and D'Argo died beacuse of you.

Sikozu lifts her chin, defiant.

SIKOZU
They died because of the Scarrans.

CRICHTON
You helped.

Crichton turns away. Aeryn hovers close to him, unsure.

SIKOZU
May I speak with Crichton? Alone?

ZOBREK
That's up to the captain.

AERYN
(quiet, to Crichton)
Are you okay?

Crichton nods. They both face Sikozu again.

AERYN
I'll decide what to do with you later.

A tense moment; then Aeryn takes Deke, leaves. Noranti pauses, stares at Sikozu for a second, goes after Aeryn.

ZOBREK
Just comm if you need anything, Commander.

Zobrek leaves. Crichton sniffs, waits.

SIKOZU
Everything I have done, I've done for my people.

CRICHTON
You can stop; I've heard this one.

SIKOZU
No, I think you need to hear this.

Sikozu grips the bars; intense:

SIKOZU (CONT'D)
Your precious Treaty of Qujaga did an admirable job of preserving the
status quo. Yes, it ended the war, but it also left two ruthlessly
oppressive empires secure in their power.

CRICHTON
And that's my problem, how? I'm not Luke frelling Skywalker!

Sikozu stands back, sighs.

SIKOZU
If we must use your planet's simplistic fiction as a reference
point—no, you most certainly are not.

CRICHTON
Don't you get it!? I was the guy with the Death Star in that
scenario! Intentions aside, the only right thing to do was NOT to
use it.
(beat)
I couldn't even manage that.

Awkward pause.

SIKOZU
Did—you just compare yourself—to Darth Vader?

CRICHTON
Actually, Tarkin was the guy who—you know what? Never mind.
Point is, it's moot now. The Ancients took the tech back. I couldn't
help the Kalish now even if I wanted to.

Sikozu's eyes widen; desperate denial:

SIKOZU
No! No, you're lying!

Crichton turns to leave.

SIKOZU (CONT'D)
You must be, or else you couldn't—Crichton, come back here!

Satisfied schadenfreude on John's face as he departs.

CORRIDOR—LATER

Lt. Zobrek marches alone through the corridors of Moya.

She soon overtakes Chiana, who walks slowly, eyes to the floor, hands hidden in her robe's sleeves.

ZOBREK
Chi.

CHIANA
Clow.

Suddenly, with a deft move, Chiana grabs Zobrek from behind, spins her around, pins her to the wall. Chiana giggles. Zobrek looks surprised, then pleased.

CHIANA
Hey.

Chiana plants a quick peck on Zobrek's lips.

CHIANA (CONT'D)
Crichton and Aeryn settling in okay?

ZOBREK
They weren't happy about that Kalish being here.

CHIANA
Who would be?
(laugh)
Hey, do think Aeryn will let us hit up that commerce planet?

Zobrek breaks Chiana's hold—her move is more precise, military—pushes Chiana back a bit.

ZOBREK
I brought it up. But what do you need a commerce planet for? You
could buy anything you want right here in the Hynernian system—
Hezmana, you could have the Dominar buy it for you!

CHIANA
Nope. What I need is just on this one planet. I'll—show you when
we get there.

Zobrek pulls Chiana close again. Close enough that their breath mingles, but they don't quite kiss.

ZOBREK
Oh? Will it be worth all my trouble?

Chiana freezes—the moment goes from sexy to uneasy.

CHIANA
Yeah, actually. Worth more than you know.

Chiana breaks away, hurries down the corridor. Zobrek stands, pondering.

COMMAND—DAY

At last, time for Moya to get underway. Crichton (with D'Argo), Aeryn, Chiana, Zobrek, and Nybar stand on command.

An image of Rygel (on a throne, surrounded by colorful pillows and trappings of luxury) fills the front viewport.

RYGEL
A diplomatic tour? For the Peacekeepers!? Are you fahrbot?

CRICHTON
It's for the enslaved Leviathans. Aeryn thinks this is the best way.

RYGEL
(groan)
Fine.
(pause)
Are you quite certain you don't want to stay a bit longer?

CHIANA
You miss us, Ryge?

RYGEL
I've missed Moya—and Pilot.

Pilot's face appears on the clamshell.

PILOT
We share that sentiment, Dominar.

RYGEL
Don't think it means I'm having second thoughts about coming with
you, because I'm not!
(softer)
But, at least I can see to it that you won't want for funds while
you're away.

Aeryn glances at Chiana and Zobrek.

AERYN
Speaking of that, we've decided to stock up on extra provisions on our
way out of Hynerian space.

RYGEL
Crichton complaining about the food again, eh?

CRICHTON
Hey, I like crawdads as much as the next good ol' boy, but even I can't
take a clam-bake EVERY night.

RYGEL
I suppose that means you'll be off immediately, then?

AERYN
As soon as we're done here.

Rygel "harumphs", sits up straight, raises his hands.

RYGEL
Well then, Captain Aeryn Sun and Commander John Crichton of the
Leviathan Moya, go—with all the blessings of the Hynerian Empire—
and its sovereign!

AERYN
Goodbye, Rygel.

CRICHTON
So long, Sparky.
(to Deke)
Wave bye-bye to Uncle Rygel.

Crichton waves, D'Argo imitates, baby-talks:

DEKE
Bye-bye.

Rygel "hmphs" again, cuts the transmission. Crichton and Aeryn grin, proud parents.

Zobrek moves to the nav console.

ZOBREK
Course, Captain?

AERYN
We might as well start with Chiana's commerce planet.

Chiana operates the tactical console, brings up a holo-map.

CHIANA
There it is. Right on the edge of the Uncharted Territories.

AERYN
As good a place as any. Pilot?

PILOT
Yes, Captain. Ship-wide: all hands—prepare for immediate StarBurst!

Crichton takes a knee, braces D'Argo for the jolt.

EXT. SPACE—HYNERIA

Moya breaks orbit away from Hyneria, goes into StarBurst.

FADE OUT.

END OF ACT TWO


ACT THREE

FADE IN:

EXT. SPACE—MOYA

Moya emerges from hyperspace back into real space—in the middle of nowhere.

INT. MOYA—DAY

PILOT'S DEN

PILOT
StarBurst complete. Based on our current position, Moya estimates
two solar days to reach the system with the commerce planet.

COMMAND

Crichton stands, makes sure D'Argo is okay. Aeryn and Nybar steady themselves; Zobrek and Chiana let go of the consoles.

CHIANA
Always entertaining.

She goes for the door.

ZOBREK
(casual)
I'll see you later.

CHIANA
Sure.

Chiana leaves. Aeryn eyes Zobrek, suspecting.

AERYN
It looks like we have some time to relax. I'd like to get to know the
people under my command.

NYBAR
We converted one of the cargo-bays on teir two into a mess. That's
where the troops socialize, mainly.

ZOBREK
The med-tech and the Leviathan specialist tend to keep to themselves,
though.

CRICHTON
Leviathan specialist? That sounds interesting.

Aeryn nods.

AERYN
I'll meet with them first. Have both techs report to the center
chamber in a quarter arn.

NYBAR
I'll see to it. Captain; Lieuteant.

Nybar leaves. Crichton flashes him the peace-sign.

ZOBREK
Anything else, Captain?

AERYN
As a matter of fact, yes. Walk with me, Lieutenant. John?

Crichton shows D'Argo the stars outside the front viewport.

CRICHTON
(absently)
I'll catch up with you in a macrot.

Zobrek follows Aeryn to the door, pauses; delayed reaction.

ZOBREK
Did he just say "macrot"?

Aeryn grimaces, embarassed.

AERYN
Yes.

ZOBREK
What's a—?

AERYN
Don't ask. That's an order.

Zobrek is confused, but drops it.

ZOBREK
Aye, Captain.

Aeryn marches out of command, Zobrek on her heels.

CORRIDOR

Aeryn stops Zobrek when they reach an intersection.

AERYN
So; you and Chiana are recreating?

Zobrek looks shocked, then recovers, defensive:

ZOBREK
I thought you said we could be lax with regulations out here.

AERYN
I just meant the dress codes.

ZOBREK
But—I thought—since you're mated to an alien, with offspring
and everything—that you of all people—

AERYN
That I what?
(commanding)
Well, speak up, Lieutenant!

ZOBREK
(cowed)
—That you wouldn't be THAT sort of captain.

Aeryn calms, pauses.

AERYN
Cholak knows, I don't care about the purity regulations; and I don't
care who you bunk with.
(earnest)
I care about a very dear friend of mine who has been through a lot.

ZOBREK
I know all about Ka D'Argo.
(pause)
Are you—what, worried that I'll break Chiana's heart?

AERYN
I know Chiana, and I know Peacekeepers, and honestly I think it's
just a matter of which one of you will hurt the other first.

ZOBREK
It isn't like that. It's just recreation.

Aeryn starts walking again; Zobrek follows.

AERYN
Knowing Chi, that might be worse.

ZOBREK
We're big girls. We can handle a little fun.

AERYN
For both your sakes, I hope so.

They follow the corridor out of sight.

CENTER CHAMBER—SOME TIME LATER

Crichton strides into the center chamber, finds Aeryn and Zobrek seated at the table drinking something stiff.

CRICHTON
Is that raslak?

Aeryn nods.

AERYN
Where's Deke?

CRICHTON
Our quarters—sleeping, finally. That StarBurst must've tuckered the
little guy out.

Zobrek offers a cup of clear liquor.

ZOBREK
Drink, Commander?

CRICHTON
Nah. I'd rather keep a clear head for now.

ZOBREK
Suit yourself.

AERYN
Now, where were we?

ZOBREK
High Command, and the factions on the council.
(beat)
Of course, I know how much politics bores the Commander—

CRICHTON
On second thought, I think I'll take that drink after all.

Zobrek grins, slides the raslak to Crichton, who raises the cup for a toast.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
The chair officially recognizes Lieutenant Exposition, with
Peacekeeper Intelligence; madam, you have the floor.

ZOBREK
Expo—?

AERYN
Just go with it. If he gives you a nickname, it means he likes you.

Crichton drinks; snorts mid-sip. Zobrek rolls her eyes, drinks, leans back in her chair.

ZOBREK
Well, it all goes back to the treaty-signing that ended the war.
All our forces were pulled back to the homeworlds, and Grayza moved
quickly to seize power.

CRICHTON
Qué sorpresa, Señorita.

ZOBREK
She wants to keep things as they were: strong central authority,
tough diplomacy, and a strong gunarm—whatever works to hold her
dominion together.

AERYN
Her plan before the war was to unite the Uncharted Territories
against the Scarrans. I'll bet this whole mission was her idea.

Zobrek nods.

ZOBREK
Then there's Scorpius.

CRICHTON
What's he up to these days? Aside from buying my favorite Leviathan
into indentured servitude, I mean.

ZOBREK
His followers mostly want to focus on military buildup and weapons
research.

CRICHTON
So, same old, same old, then.

ZOBREK
He's convinced that the Scarrans will eventually break the treaty.
(beat)
Hezmana, he might be right, for all I know.

AERYN
And we know what he gets out of the deal. He wants to keep closer tabs
on John.

CRICHTON
Bastard never changes.

ZOBREK
You know him better than I do.

CRICHTON
Now you're just bragging.

AERYN
And the third faction?

ZOBREK
The third group is led by my former superior—Admiral Josbek.

Aeryn sits up, surprised, pleased.

AERYN
First Admiral Tav Josbek?

CRICHTON
Who's he?

AERYN
A legend!
(awkward beat)
Um, in a good way, not like Durka.

CRICHTON
'Kay.

ZOBREK
Josbek has most of the flag officers on his side. He wants to
honor the original Peacekeeper Charter, and put control of the
whole organization back in the hands of the Eidelons.

CRICHTON
Hell, I might almost like the guy for that. What was his door-prize?

ZOBREK
He got to staff the mission with his own people—and pick Aeryn Sun
for our captain.

Just then, NOLA MYKI (female early 20s) and REHS GRIBWEL (male late 20s) arrive. Both wear black and red Peacekeeper uniforms, more "PK Officer" than "frumpy tech".

Myki is a Leviathan expert—shy, awkward, cute, brilliant; shoulder-length red hair. Gribwel, the doctor, is stern, soft-spoken, handsome, always has two days' blond stubble.

The techs enter and stand at attention. Myki keeps her gaze high, avoids eye-contact.

MYKI
Tech Specialist First Class Nola Myki—Leviathan Control Division.
Reporting as ordered, Captain.

GRIBWEL
Doctor Rehs Gribwel, Medical. Also reporting.

AERYN
As you were. Sit; have a drink, if you like.

Easy-going, Gribwel sits, accepts a drink. Myki hesistates, awed in Aeryn's presence.

AERYN (CONT'D)
The drink's not an order, but the sitting down is.

MYKI
Yes ma'am.

Myki sits.

AERYN
Now, tell me about yourselves. Did either of you volunteer for this
assignment, or—?

Aeryn's voice fades to silence. We see, but don't hear, the conversation as Aeryn loosens up (and sizes up) the techs. They talk, laugh, get acquainted.

TIER TWO MESS HALL—DAY [SILENT]

The makeshift mess hall is nothing more than one of Moya's cargo-bays, outfitted with two very large tables. We see (but don't hear) two dozen rowdy Peacekeeper infantry—tough men and women pushing, jostling, joking, chatting.

Aeryn enters; the roughhousing dies down. A few soldiers stand and salute, most just stare.

Aeryn, confident, smiles, strides across the room, sits.

She starts to talk; we don't hear what she says, but it puts the soldiers at ease. Conversations resume throughout the mess, more subdued than before, but still animated.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. SPACE—ORBITING COMMERCE PLANET

Moya orbits a small brown and green planet, like a terraformed Mars covered in cities. Even from space, this commerce planet looks dirty, sickly, crowded.

INT. COMMAND—MOYA—DAY

Aeryn operates the comms console. S.O. Nybar marches up, hands her a stack of reports on flimsies.

NYBAR
The inventory reports, Captain.

AERYN
Thank you.

Nybar salutes, leaves. On his way out, he passes Crichton, carrying D'Argo, and Noranti, glued to Crichton's heels.

CRICHTON
…I don't think so, Old Woman!

NORANTI
Well you can't take him down to the planet, you said yourself it isn't
safe!

CRICHTON
Chiana! Chi can watch him while we do the grocery-shopping.

NORANTI
Chiana is the reason we're here. You can't expect her to stay on the
ship.
(purring)
Let me babysit, Crichton. We'll have a wonderful time!

Noranti reaches out to take Deke. Crichton swings him out of reach (Deke giggles from the rush).

CRICHTON
Oh yeah? Just asnwer me this: have you bathed yet this cycle?

NORANTI
I think you know the answer to that.

CRICHTON
Yeah, didn't think so. Hey, Aeryn?

Crichton dodges Noranti again; she huffs, gives up, stands back with arms crossed. Aeryn looks up from the console, amused.

AERYN
Yes, John?

CRICHTON
Have we talked to the locals yet? Validated our parking in the
white-zone?

AERYN
Actually, we're having some trouble raising them on the comms.

CRICHTON
That's weird.

Crichton moves next to Aeryn; Pilot's hologram appears.

PILOT
Captain Sun—I've managed to make contact with a local customs agent,
but—

AERYN
What's wrong?

PILOT
Nothing involving the comms. It's—well, you'll see. Patching through
to command.

The curve of the planet on the front viewport disappears, replaced by an image of a vaguely mushroom-shaped alien—a rough violet bark-textured "trunk" with no visible mouth and solid glowing eyes that shift in rainbow colors; and a "cap" of noxious purple dappled with white spots.

CRICHTON
Whoa. Fantasia meets Wonderland.

The creature doesn't speak, but its eyes flash colors in time with a twitchy, low-pitched, droning hum.

AERYN
Did you understand any of that?

CRICHTON
Nope. Been a while since we had a good old-fashioned microbe misfire,
though.

A pleased, wordless exclamation from Noranti; she steps forward, her third eye open and glowing rose.

NORANTI
It's a Mycoid! They're a very intelligent people, I assure you.
They communicate with color and sub-sonic vibrations that—

CRICHTON
That's great, but how do we understand it?

The droning hum suddenly turns into a static screech, garbled interference, horrible cacophony. Aeryn covers her ears, Crichton winces, Deke looks ready to cry. Noranti doesn't react.

Finally, the discordant screeches turn into words: deepvoiced, electronic monotone. It's the alien, RYNOKK.

RYNOKK
Apologies. My species. Requires. A special device. To communicate.
With outsiders.

Crichton clears an ear out with a finger.

CRICHTON
Damn—

While Crichton tries to keep D'Argo calm, Noranti darts up to the viewport, enthused.

NORANTI
Greetings! I am Utu-Noranti Pralatong, and—

RYNOKK
Greetings. I am Rynokk. Trade. Official.

Aeryn gently shoves Noranti out of the way; Noranti huffs again.

AERYN
I'm Captain Aeryn Sun of the Leviathan Moya.

RYNOKK
You. Desire. Trade.

AERYN
Yes—we only wish to buy provisions. Can you transmit
landing coordinates?

RYNOKK
You are. Peacekeeper.

AERYN
(beat)
Yes…

RYNOKK
Acknowledged. Transmitting. Coordinates. Welcome. Captain.

Rynokk abruptly cuts the feed.

AERYN
He seemed—friendly.

CRICHTON
(suspicious)
Did he?

Noranti pops in between Aeryn and Crichton, smiling, arms out. Crichton rolls his eyes.

CRICHTON
All right. Fine.

Crichton passes D'Argo to Noranti. Aeryn hesitates, leaves command. Crichton follows. On the way out:

CRICHTON
If we both get shot while we're down there—

NORANTI
I'll take good care of him.

CRICHTON
No! Find a wormhole! Take him to Earth. Livvy or my dad can be next
of kin, not you.

Noranti tuts, fawns over D'Argo. Crichton leaves.

INT. TRANSPORT POD—DAY—FLYING

BRIDGE

Aeryn flies the pod, Crichton sits in the copilot's chair.

Chiana paces behind them, arms folded, nervous energy.

Crichton looks over his shoulder.

CRICHTON
You okay, Pip?

CHIANA
(grumpy)
Fine.

Chiana retreats through a door into the rear of the pod.

CRICHTON
Has she talked to you at all?

AERYN
Nope.

CRICHTON
(to himself)
Wonder what's buggin' her.

Companionable pause: Crichton, lost in thought; Aeryn looks at him, concerned.

AERYN
Are you all right?

CRICHTON
(snapping out of it)
Yeah. Fine. Why?

AERYN
I—uh—
(embarassed)
Never mind.

CRICHTON
No, what is it?

AERYN
I only—I wanted to ask you—

CRICHTON
Yeah?

AERYN
Are you okay? With everything that's happened lately?

CRICHTON
(hollow chuckle)
Not even a little. I think I've got a complaint list a metra long.
(beat)
But—if we do play along with the happy Peacekeepers for a while,
maybe we'll find out what High Command is really up to.

AERYN
That's not exactly what I meant.

Crichton raises an eyebrow.

AERYN (CONT'D)
I remember, from being on Earth, that females in your culture do
most of the child-rearing. And males are expected to provide—and
protect—

Crichton laughs out loud.

CRICHTON
What, you think I mind that you have a career!?

AERYN
It could turn out to be exactly that. What if this isn't a trick,
John? They made me a captain. Someday it could be commandant, or
even admiral.

CRICHTON
If the Peacekeepers are smart enough to make YOU one of their
leaders, I'm totally okay with that. And I don't mind being
Mister Mom in the meanwhile.

The pod's comms console suddenly CHIRPS, followed by a few seconds of RANDOM NOISE.

CRICHTON
What was that?

AERYN
Hm? Oh, nothing. Just some local interference coming in over the
comms.

Crichton sits back, relaxes, enjoys the flight.

REAR COMPARTMENT

In the back of the transport pod, Chiana pulls out a hand-held COMM DEVICE, smooth and silver.

CHIANA
(into the device)
I'm here. I can't believe it, but after all this time I'm finally
here!

Chiana laughs. The device lights up, projects a small hologram above itself. For just a second, we see a flickering image of a dark-haired male nebari. Nerri? Meelak? It's too fuzzy to tell.

Nebari text scrolls across the hologram, bright enough to project backwards across Chiana's face. She reads intently.

CHIANA
All right. I'll see you soon.

She turns off the comm device, smiles wide.

FADE OUT.

END OF ACT THREE


ACT FOUR

FADE IN:

EXT. MARKETPLACE—COMMERCE PLANET—DAY

An alien city-square, full of hawking peddlers. The vendors are as weird and colorful as their wares.

Crichton and Aeryn stroll together, examine foodstuffs and knicknacks.

CRICHTON
—Look, all I'm sayin' is, it's stupid not to have a unit of time
between microts and arns.

AERYN
Nobody in the whole entire galaxy has ever had a problem with it!

CRICHTON
Well I do! Look: you people have twenty-five arns in a solar day,
and twenty-five hundred microts in an arn. It's a square number, and
it works: fifty microts in a "macrot", fifty "macrots" in an arn.
(beat)
Get it? Microt, little, macrot, big. Like seconds and minutes.

AERYN
(sarcastic)
Yes, the "minute", or "macrot", or whatever you want to call it, can
be Earth's one meaningful contribution to galactic civilization.

CRICHTON
I'm telling you, it's gonna catch on. In a big way. Huge!

Aeryn stops near a Trelkez vendor. A downy, magenta-hued, seven-headed bird sqwaks and peeps in harmony.

AERYN
That doesn't make it a real thing!

CRICHTON
It does in the Hynerian Empire!
(forceful)
Hey! Rygel issued a decree—!

Aeryn ignores him, looks at the bird.

AERYN
Trelkez. Seven heads.

CRICHTON
Nice! How much?

AERYN
Hm. It wouldn't be fair to the soldiers…

CRICHTON
Captain's privileges?

Aeryn shakes her head, passes on the prospect of raw Trelkez brains. Moves off; Crichton follows, wipes his brow.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
Kinda hot on this planet isn't it?

Aeryn stops, shades her eyes—she's sweating too.

AERYN
Now that you mention it—

CRICHTON
(pointing)
Hey, there's a refreshment house. Let's take a breather.

They turn, disappear into the pub.

INT. REFRESHMENT HOUSE

A dim, foggy den; shifting spotlights in cool colors: green, blue, purple. The whole place drones with rhythmic, low-pitched music like a cross between tribal throat-singing and didgeridoo.

The colored lights come from faceted CRYSTAL FORMATIONS embedded in the ceiling.

Crichton and Aeryn come inside, find several Mycoids (they all look pretty much like Rynokk) sprawled supine on the floor, blissed out, staring up at the lights. Most don't move; some sway with the music.

AERYN
Okay, maybe not just a refreshment house.

CRICHTON
Looks more like an opium den.

One of the Mycoids—the BARKEEP—has a dark visor over his eyes; spots Aeryn and Crichton from behind the bar, waves them over. Same deep monotone as Rynokk:

BARKEEP
You. Peacekeepers. Lost. Your way.

CRICHTON
Was that a question, or—?

AERYN
We're just looking for something to drink and a place to rest for a
bit.

The Barkeep retrieves a couple bowls, fills them, sets them on the bar. Aeryn drops a coin on the bar, takes the bowls, walks with Crichton to a table.

Crichton and Aeryn sit with their backs to the wall. Crichton sips, sputters.

CRICHTON
Damn! Tastes like—

He sips again.

CRICHTON
Actually, it's not bad. Kind of like—fizzy pineapple bourbon.

AERYN
It's fermented ikkak juice.

CRICHTON
Hm.

They drink, rest.

INT. DINGY APARTMENT BUILDING—DAY

HALLWAY

Chiana creeps through a narrow hallway, graffiti on the walls, debris on the floors. She dodges ragged, huddled SQUATTERS and BEGGARS, alien and sebaceanoid.

One of the beggars, Sebacean-like but with dust-white skin and bright green eyes, moans and reaches for Chi.

CHIANA
Back off, fek-face!

She kicks the beggar away, stumbles clear.

APARTMENT

We see a door from inside the apartment—spray-painted over with alien squiggles. The knob jiggles, the CLICK of lock-picks. The door opens, revealing Chiana in the hallway.

CHIANA
Too easy.

She strides in, looks around. The apartment is full of broken rubbish, otherwise empty.

CHIANA
Hello?

Frantic, she searches the trash-piles, looks for side-rooms; there aren't any.

CHIANA
Damn it, this was the place!

She folds her arms, frustrated.

CHIANA
Frell.

She plops down on the floor, sits and waits.

INT. REFRESHMENT HOUSE—DAY

A Mycoid enters the pub, flanked by four ALIEN SOLDIERS in plastic white armor and big-eyed insectoid helmets. The soldiers carry twisty spike-shaped pulse rifles.

The Barkeep cries out, ducks behind the bar. Aeryn sits up straight, hand flies to her gun.

AERYN
He looks familiar.

Crichton carefully unclips his pulse pistol.

CRICHTON
The customs agent. Rylock, or Knock-Knock, something?

AERYN
Rynokk.

At the sound of his name, Rynokk faces Aeryn and Crichton, marches to their table. The bug-men follow in lockstep.

RYNOKK
You. Are Aeryn Sun. And John Crichton.

CRICHTON
Oh, here we go.

AERYN
We're just passing through. We don't want any trouble.

The soldiers level their guns.

RYNOKK
Disarm. Yourselves. No trouble.

Crichton and Aeryn share a bored look, put their pistols on the table.

RYNOKK
Now up. Back door. Move.

The aliens frog-march Aeryn and Crichton through a door behind the bar.

BACK ROOM

The chamber behind the refreshment den is a heavy vault, like a meat-locker minus the cold. The white-armored soldiers stuff Crichton and Aeryn into the room. Rynokk follows them in.

RYNOKK
Now. You will. Help me.

AERYN
What!?

Crichton laughs.

CRICHTON
You must be as drugged out as those guys out there!

RYNOKK
(insistent)
You will. Help.

AERYN
What makes you think we'll help you?

RYNOKK
Your ship. Leviathan. No weapons.
(pause)
Help. Or I will order. Attack.

AERYN
Our ship is not exactly defenseless.

Rynokk pauses, uncertain.

RYNOKK
I will. Explain.

CRICHTON
(deadpan)
Wait, please. Don't. We'll do it, whatever it is.

Rynokk points back towards the refreshment den.

RYNOKK
Out there. The combination. Of light. And sound. For my species.
Much pleasure. But. Addictive.

AERYN
The lights and music—are a drug?

RYNOKK
Value. Beyond measure. Who controls—much wealth.

AERYN
And who controls the music?

RYNOKK
Many dens. One central. Operator in. Middle of city. Called Amigg.

CRICHTON
You want us to rip off a drug-lord for you!?

RYNOKK
Your. Reputation. Precedes.
(beat)
Most. Efficacious.

CRICHTON
(under his breath)
"Efficacious"?

AERYN
We are not going to help you with this.

RYNOKK
I have. Friend in. Planetary. Defense.
(beat)
You help. Or they. Attack.

Aeryn stares, calculating.

AERYN
No. Our attack-craft are perfectly capable of defending our Leviathan.
Your attack would fail, and then we would be free to exact retribution.

Rynokk pauses again, thrown. He gestures at his guards.

RYNOKK
Then you. Will stay. Until you. Change. Your mind.

The guards cover Aeryn and Crichton while Rynokk searches them, takes Aeryn's extra weapons, their comms. Then he leaves, locks the door.

Frustrated, Crichton kicks the ground and Aeryn tries the locker-door; it doesn't budge.

AERYN
Frell!

Crichton folds his arms, leans on the wall.

CRICHTON
I can't believe we just got bagged by a purple goomba and the Sentai
stormtroopers…

Aeryn goes to Crichton, leans next to him.

AERYN
It's all right. I managed to hit my comms on the way here. I sent a
coded pulse to Lieutenant Zobrek. It's only a matter of time before
she sends down a Marauder with an extraction team.

CRICHTON
Guess those guys come in handy after all.
(beat)
Thank goodness for amateur-hour aliens, huh?

Aeryn nods.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
So, now what?

AERYN
Now we wait.

CRICHTON
(beat)
Wanna make out?

AERYN
(decides)
Yeah, actually.

They kiss.

INT. DINGY APARTMENT—DAY

Chiana hasn't moved from the floor of the apartment. She looks around, impatient. Spots a half-burned scrap of paper in an ash-heap.

She picks up the paper, recognizes Nebari writing.

CHIANA
Oh, frell…

Frenzied search. She paws through the ash and debris, comes up with a small glass VIAL, labeled in Nebari. Eyes wide: she recognizes what this is.

CHIANA
(terrified)
Oh CRAP!

She pockets the vial, dashes out of the apartment.

INT. BACK ROOM—REFRESHMENT HOUSE—DAY

The door opens. Crichton and Aeryn sit on the floor, backs to the wall.

Rynokk enters with some guards. The guards point guns.

RYNOKK
Get up.

Aeryn and Crichton rise.

RYNOKK (CONT'D)
You will. Help.

Aeryn and Crichton look at each other, then Rynokk

AERYN & CRICHTON
No.

Rynokk shivers and twitches—anger? Frustration? Impossible to tell.

RYNOKK
(at guards)
Bring them.

The guards swarm into the locker, prod Aeryn and Crichton with their funny-looking rifles, march them out.

EXT. MARKETPLACE—DAY

Rynokk and his four bug-men march Aeryn and Crichton out of the refreshment house at gun-point.

A Peacekeeper Marauder appears in the sky, at just the right angle to block out the sun. Sellers and shoppers panic, scatter.

Rynokk and the guards look around, wild, unsure. Aeryn and Crichton don't move, hands on their heads.

The Marauder hovers to a stop above the refreshment house. The drop-chute opens; Lt. Zobrek and ten black-armored heavy infantry alight on the roof. Distictive TONE as they power up pulse rifles, train them on the aliens.

Rynokk and the bug-men slowly disarm, put their hands up. Crichton and Aeryn finally relax.

CRICHTON
Kinda handy.

In the background, the Marauder lands in the middle of the marketplace.

MOMENTS LATER

Rynokk and his bug-soldiers kneel on the ground, hands up. Six P.K.s cover them with rifles; the rest loiter near the Marauder.

Zobrek hands Winona back to Crichton, Aeryn's gun to her.

ZOBREK
Are you okay, Captain?

AERYN
We're fine. Good work.

CRICHTON
Yeah. Good timing there, Expo.

Zobrek takes the nickname in stride.

ZOBREK
Do you want us to see about procuring the supplies?

AERYN
No, I'll handle it. I'd like you and the commandos stay planet-side
while we're here, though.

ZOBREK
Understood.

Crichton retrieves his and Aeryn's comms from Rynokk, passes Aeryn's to her, speaks into his.

CRICHTON
Chiana?
(pause)
Hey, Chiana—please come in.

Static.

AERYN
Now Chi's not answering her comms?

CRICHTON
Just great.

Crichton sweeps an arm at the Peacekeepers.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
You guys finish up with the food. I'll go find Chi.

AERYN
(calling after)
Keep your comms on!

Crichton waves again; marches off, tired, annoyed.

EXT. ALLEYWAY—DAY

Chiana hurries down a crummy alleyway, cluttered with refuse. She holds the silver comm device in both hands, activated; follows it like a scanner.

The sginal leads her to a pile of paper and plastic. Chiana clears away the garbage, uncovers a young male Nebari (we don't know him; apparently Chiana does)—a RESISTANCE AGENT, shot, but still alive.

The Nebari tries to talk; it comes out as a bloody gurgle.

CHIANA
Who did this?

RESISTANCE AGENT
P-P-Peace—keepers—

CHIANA
Peacekeepers?

Chiana twitches, confused.

CHIANA (CONT'D)
But—why—why would they? You're Resistance, and they're—

The Resistance agent coughs up indigo blood, dies.

Chiana stands, staggers back. One final look at the dead Nebari; then she runs off.

FADE OUT.

END OF ACT FOUR


TAG

FADE IN:

EXT. ALLEYWAY—DAY

Crichton wanders through a maze of back-alleys.

He walks past the alleyway where Chiana found the dead Resistance agent. A second after he passes by, a gust of wind clears the rest of the crumpled paper off the dead Nebari; we see it, Crichton doesn't.

He turns down another alley, less cluttered, view of the streets from here.

CRICHTON
(loud)
Chiana!

A soft THUMP behind Crichton. Crichton turns.

A sharp SMACK—shiny, black-armored hands drive the butt of a pulse rifle into Crichton's face. Crichton staggers, falls unconscious.

INT./EXT. LANDING PLATFORM

A battered old PEACEKEEPER VIGILANTE, dirty, burned, covered in carbon-scoring and evidence of pulse-blast damage, sits docked at a landing-bay on the edge of the city.

Chiana sneaks behind stacks of shipping-crates and fuel-barrels; peers around them, spies on the Vigilante.

Two black-armored PEACEKEEPER INFANTRY come into view—dragging a limp John Crichton between them. Chiana gasps.

CHIANA
Crichton!?

She draws her pstiol. The Peacekeepers drag Crichton up the ramp and onto the Vigilante. The ramp closes.

Chiana screams—not her trilled battle-cry, just a wordless yell—and runs out into the open, shoots at the Vigilante.

Her pistol doesn't damage the ship at all. It lifts off the ground, blasts off into the sky. With no one left to fight, Chiana stares after the ship, shocked.

Then she realizes what just happened, spikes her pistol into the ground.

CHIANA
Frell!

Chiana fumbles for her Moya comms badge.

EXT. CITY DOCKING FACILITY

Peacekeeper soldiers haul crates onto a Leviathan transport pod.

Aeryn counts kretmas, puts the coins one at a time into the cupped hands of a sniveling, obsequious alien merchant.

AERYN
That's all of it.

The merchant bows, scurries off.

Zobrek comes up behind Aeryn.

ZOBREK
Captain Sun—

AERYN
What is it?

ZOBREK
(close whsiper)
I've just received a comm from Officer Nybar. Moya has detected a
Vigilante, badly damaged, leaving the system in a hurry.

Aeryn's comm CHIRPS.

CHIANA (V.O.)
Aeryn? Someone—is anyone there?

AERYN
(into her comms)
Chiana! Where the frell have you been?

EXT. CITY STREETS—CONTINUOUS

Chiana sprints across the city, dodges through alien crowds. Shouts into her comms:

CHIANA
Never mind that! Listen! They have him!

INTERCUT:

AERYN
Who has what?

CHIANA
Peacekeepers! Peacekeepers have Crichton!

Zobrek starts. Aeryn glares at her, accusing. Zobrek shakes her head, innocent.

ZOBREK
It's no one of ours.

AERYN
Another faction? Scorpius, or Grayza?

ZOBREK
Or renegades, or deserters—

AERYN
(into the comms)
Chiana, you need to tell me exactly what you saw.

Aeryn runs for the transport pod. Zobrek rounds up her troops, herds them aboard the pod and the Marauder.

EXT. SPACE—ORBITING COMMERCE PLANET

Aeryn's transport pod and the PK Marauder exit the planet's atmosphere, fly towards Moya.

INT. TRANSPORT POD—DAY—FLYING

Aeryn pilots the pod, alone. She stares ahead, shell-shocked.

AERYN
John…

SUPERIMPOSE: To Be Continued…

FADE OUT.

END OF SHOW

Chapter Text

FARSCAPE: UNREALIZED

Season 1, Episode 2 (#102)


COLD OPEN

FADE IN:

EXT. SPACE

An orange star shines peacefully.

Then a PEACEKEEPER VIGILANTE zooms into view, battered and scarred, lots of hull damage. It ROARS past at high speed.

INT. P.K. VIGILANTE—DAY

HOLDING CELL

A holding cell, small and cramped, dark. Faint ENGINE NOISES. JOHN CRICHTON lies unconscious on the floor.

Crichton groans, starts, wakes up.

CRICHTON
(raspy, parched)
Gha—what the hell?

With difficulty, Crichton sits up. He's hurt, tired, half blind. Blinks to adjust his eyes, then heaves himself up onto his feet.

White FLASH. Crichton winces, swoons, leans to the wall, stands again.

CRICHTON
Aeryn… Deke…

Crichton looks around, finds the door. Pushes; it doesn't budge. He feels the wall around the door, finds a latch.

CRICHTON
Aha!

The handle won't move either. Crichton pulls until he stubs something.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
Grk—son of a frelling—

He backs off from the door, clutching his hand. Then he drops to the floor, gropes, searches the cell.

At last, Crichton finds a loose metal SHARD with a sharp edge, like a small knife. His grin says, "Jackpot!"

Marching boots, metallic, STOMP outside the cell.

Crichton looks up, on-edge; carefully slides the shard up his sleeve.

The footfalls stop, Crichton tenses.

CORRIDOR

Black-gloved fingers on a keypad make a short series of BEEPS. The door HISSES open. Light floods the cell.

Crichton, blinded for a second, blocks his eyes with a hand.

Ouside the doorway stand two black-armored PEACEKEEPER HEAVY INFANTRY with faceless helmets, standard PULSE RIFLES.

Crichton stands, hands up.

CRICHTON
(deadpan)
Peacekeepers. Well there's a surprise.

One Peacekeeper points his gun at Crichton.

PEACEKEEPER #1
Move. And keep your hands where we can see them.

Peacekeeper #2 gestures at the corridor with his gun-barrel. Crichton sizes up the grunts, exits the cell.

The hallway is narrow, grimy, dim. Gunmetal gray bulkheads with red accents, typical Peacekeeper.

CRICHTON
All right, fellas. Take me to your leader.

PEACEKEEPER #1
March.

Peacekeeper #1 prods Crichton's back with his gun-muzzle. Crichton walks, the two grunts follow.

Crichton looks around at the dirt and disrepair.

CRICHTON
Been out here long? Looks like you guys haven't seen a pit-stop in a
while.

PEACEKEEPER #1
No talking.

P.K. #1 shoves Crichton, who stumbles down to his hands and knees. Grim, resigned, Crichton slides the metal shard from his sleeve to his palm.

PEACEKEEPER #1 (CONT'D)
Get up!

The P.K. reaches down, Crichton explodes into motion—pushes up, body-tackles P.K. #1 and slams him into a wall. P.K. #2 aims his rifle at Crichton, hesitates.

Crichton pivots, grasps the shard like a knife, lunges at P.K. #2, jams the blade into the weak spot in the armor, under the helmet, at the neck.

A spurt of dark blue blood (definitely not Sebacean) covers Crichton. Crichton stares, stunned.

CRICHTON
Not Peacekeepers—?

"Peacekeeper" #2 gurgles, dies. "Peacekeeper" #1 comes to, shakes his head, rises; sneaks up on Crichton, SMACKS the back of his head with his rifle-butt. Crichton crumples to the floor.

CRICHTON'S POV

Crichton, senseless, fazes in an out of consciousness, looks up at the ceiling. The ceiling starts to move—dim lights go by overhead as Crichton is dragged away.

BACK TO SCENE

"Peacekeeper" #1 drags a helpless Crichton down the hall.

CRICHTON
(mumbling)
Let me go… bastards…
(choking gasp)
Who the frell are you people…?

The P.K. impostor disappears around a corner with Crichton.

FADE OUT.

END OF COLD OPEN


ACT ONE

FADE IN:

EXT. SPACE—ORBITING COMMERCE PLANET—ESTAB.

Moya still orbits the commerce planet from "UNREALIZED" #101.

INT. MOYA—DAY

COMMAND

Peacekeeper Senior Officer HAMM NYBAR stands on command, working the comms console. Some DRDs trundle up the wall.

AERYN SUN bursts in, carrying her toddler son, D'ARGO ("DEKE") SUN-CRICHTON. UTU-NORANTI PRALATONG and P.K. Lieutenant CLOW ZOBREK follow close behind.

AERYN
(seething)
Anything on the comms?

Nybar says nothing, shakes his head.

AERYN (CONT'D)
I don't frelling believe it! Three solar days out from Hyneria, and
John's already gotten himself kidnapped—twice!

ZOBREK
Can you track the Vigilante?

NYBAR
I'm sorry, ma'am, but no. It raced out of the system at hetch eight
and likely diverted to a stealth trajectory on the way.

AERYN
So you lost them!

Deke starts to fuss, wriggle in Aeryn's arms. Aeryn shushes him while Nybar explains, exasperated.

NYBAR
A Command Carrier would be able to; but this is a Leviathan. Her
sensors are limited.

He taps some buttons on the console, brings up a display of the commerce planet's system.

NYBAR (CONT'D)
Best I can do is plot some probable vectors.

AERYN
Do that, then. Pilot?

PILOT appears in hologram on the clamshell.

PILOT
Yes, Captain?

AERYN
Assist him.

PILOT
Of course—Aeryn. Moya and I will do our best to narrow down the list
of possible destinations.

AERYN
Thank you, Pilot.

The hologram winks out. Aeryn turns to Noranti.

AERYN (CONT'D)
Could you please—?

NORANTI
Of course.

Aeryn passes Deke to Noranti. Noranti holds the agitated toddler, comforts him like an old pro.

Aeryn puts her hands behind her back, full-on Patton, military lecture:

AERYN
Here's what we're going to do. Lieutenant Zobrek, I want you to
get the Prowler detail and both Marauders prepped.

ZOBREK
Marauders and Prowlers can't overtake a Vigilante—

AERYN
No, but Moya can, so we won't launch quite yet. Just go! Get
them ready!

ZOBREK
Aye, Captain.

Zobrek waits for more orders, but Aeryn is done, gives Zobrek an impatient look.

AERYN
Dismissed!

Zobrek scurries off.

Aeryn jogs to the nav console, checks some readings.

AERYN
(all business)
Officer Nybar, how long until you and Pilot can give me a course?

NYBAR
Half an arn at the most.

AERYN
In the meanwhile, please have Tech Specialist Myki report to the den.

NYBAR
(mild surprise)
Yes, Captain.

Aeryn hurries off command.

Noranti points at a DRD on the ceiling, directing Deke's attention.

NORANTI
—And what's that?

DEKE
Deer dee!

Noranti and Deke make adorable, goofy faces at each other.

PILOT'S DEN

Aeryn marches into the den, finds NOLA MYKI and Pilot trying their damnedest to ignore each other—Myki shy, Pilot passive-agressive.

AERYN
Specialist.

MYKI
Captain?

Aeryn sees Myki's insecurity, pep-talks her:

AERYN
I had a friend once, who was a tech. Her name was Gilina. She
helped Crichton and I a great deal.

Questioning look from Myki.

AERYN (CONT'D)
I'd like you to do something for me, but first I'm going to ask.

MYKI
Whatever you need, Captain.

AERYN
Gilina mentioned once that techs are sworn never to compromise
Peacekeeper technology. Would you have a problem installing something
on Moya?

Pilot looks up, shocked.

PILOT
What?

Aeryn silences Pilot with a look; gestures for Myki to answer.

MYKI
No, ma'am.
(nervous humor)
At the moment, Moya technically IS a Peacekeeper vessel, so…

AERYN
Good.
(at both)
Now, between the two of you, can you do something to boost Moya's
sensors—make it possible to track the ship that took Crichton?

Pilot growls. Myki thinks; realizes:

MYKI
Oh! So you need to be able to follow a hetch-trail through sub-space?

AERYN
(uncomfortable with the technobabble)
Okay—?

MYKI
I could—patch a grav interferometer into the neural cluster.
That might—

PILOT
Absolutely not! Moya and I agreed to serve as a Peacekeeper vessel,
for a time—but NOT to having more Peacekeeper technology incorporated
into her systems!

AERYN
It's for John, Pilot.

Pilot sighs—a low, frustrated rumble.

MYKI
I could always, um, take it out again. After. If you don't want
it anymore.

PILOT
There's no guarantee that it would even work!

AERYN
Figure it out, the two of you. Use whatever you need.

Aeryn starts to leave, Myki stops her.

MYKI
That—could be a problem. I'll need to cannibalize parts from a
Prowler or a Marauder.

AERYN
Most of the ships are prepping for takeoff, so use my Powler—bay
three, hamman side.

MYKI
Y-yes, Captain.

Aeryn leaves. Myki looks at Pilot, blanches. Pilot sneers.

CORRIDOR

Aeryn hurries back toward command. Her comm-badge CHIRPS.

ZOBREK (V.O.)
Captain Sun.

AERYN
What is it, Lieutenant?

TRANSPORT HANGAR ONE, TREBLIN SIDE

Black-armored P.K. HEAVY COMMANDOS and red-jacketed LIGHT INFANTRY, ten each in both squads, stand armed and ready near two Marauders. Four flight-suited PROWLER PILOTS linger in the background by the docked Prowlers.

Zobrek walks past, inspecting the troops.

ZOBREK
All ships are ready and standing by, ma'am.
(beat)
Would you like one of us to go down to the planet and pick up Chiana?

CORRIDOR

AERYN
(sudden realization)
Frell! Chiana!

Aeryn taps her comms.

EXT. MARKETPLACE—COMMERCE PLANET—DAY

CHIANA (still wearing a dark blue robe) lingers near a shady back-alley, talking with a SMALL ALIEN—four feet tall, green and furry, big claws. She puts a stack of brandar tiles in the alien's outstretched hand; it WARBLES angrily.

CHIANA
Ugh, fine.

She gives the alien more tiles. It gives Chiana a folded scrap of paper.

Chiana's comms CHIRP. The alien starts, scurries away.

AERYN (V.O.)
Chiana? You answer me, right now!

CHIANA
Aeryn? You're still here!?

INTERCUT:

AERYN
Get to the docks. I'll come get you in my Pr—in John's module.

Aeryn turns away from command, quick-marches toward the hamman side docking-bay.

CHIANA
No, wait!
(pained)
I—I can't leave yet.

AERYN
Chiana, we have to go!

Chiana looks around, wary. Shrinks toward they alley, tries to look inconspicuous.

CHIANA
I want to help find you Crichton, I really do! But I'm not finished
here.

Aeryn stops in her tracks.

AERYN
(softly)
You realize that if we leave you behind, there's no telling how long
it will be before we can come back.

CHIANA
It's okay. I—can look out for myself. You know that.
(beat)
Just—go. Find Crichton; and then shoot the fekkiks who took him!

AERYN
(tense pause)
We'll come back for you when we can.

CHIANA
No, I probably won't be here. I'll have to find you.

AERYN
Goodbye, Chiana.

Aeryn cuts the comms.

Down on the planet, Chiana puts her comms away, pulls her hood up, disappears into the alley.

INT. COMMAND—MOYA—DAY

Officer Nybar works the nav console. A holographic map shows a cluster of local star-systems. Lines connect the commerce planet to five other systems in a narrow cone.

Aeryn walks onto command, agitated, distracted.

NYBAR
Captain. These five systems lie along the most probable destination
vectors.
(points at map)
It would take a Vigilante three solar days to reach the nearest one
at top speed, so if we StarBurst—

AERYN
(half paying attention)
Where's the old woman?

NYBAR
Uh—Miss Pralatong took your son back to quarters.
(beat)
She said that it was "nap time".

Aeryn nods, examines the map.

AERYN
Pilot?

Pilot's face appears in hologram on the clamshell: also agitated, distracted.

PILOT
What is it?

AERYN
Can Moya aim her StarBurst at a point in between all of these
systems? As close to the center as you can get.

Pilot's head moves, so that his face isn't always showing in the hologram. He's looking around, his attention drawn by something else behind his console.

PILOT
(annoyed grunt)
We shall—try.

The hologram blinks out.

AERYN
(at Nybar)
Good work with the map.
(awkward beat)
Carry on.

NYBAR
Yes, Captain.

Aeryn leaves.

EXT. SPACE—ORBITING COMMERCE PLANET

Moya breaks orbit, StarBursts.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. OUTER SPACE—LATER

Moya drifts through empty space, lazy, serene.

Tiny blue-white flashes appear, just off her treblin-side bay—it's the launching Peacekeeper ships.

The two Maraduers and four Prowlers exit the bay, one after another, and separate. The Marauders fly off in opposite directions. Then the Prowlers pair off and fly two-by-two in yet two more directions, orthogonal to the paths taken by the Marauders.

The P.K. ships vector away at hetch-speed, aimed at four different nearby star-systems. Moya flies on, heading for a fifth system.

INT. MARAUDER COCKPIT—DAY

This is the first time we've seen the inside of a Marauder. The rear compartment is spartan, gray. Bench seats line the walls on either side of the drop-hatch in the floor, packed tight with a mixed squad of infantry and commandos. The soldiers are bored, annoyed, settling in for a LONG flight.

Up in the cockpit, Lt. Zobrek flies the ship with a young male CO-PILOT in typical black-and-red leather P.K. attire.

CO-PILOT
(nervous)
Hetch seven-point-three and holding steady, Lieutenant.

One of the commandos—male, burly, bald, his helmet off for the ride—leans forward.

COMMANDO
Frelling kretaada! We must be in a hurry if we're risking engine burnout
like that.

A light-infantrywoman in red leather elbows him.

SOLDIER
'Course we're in a hurry. It's John frelling Crichton!

COMMANDO
(hands up)
I'm just saying—

Zobrek turns in her seat, glares.

ZOBREK
Go ahead. You were just saying what, soldier?

COMMANDO
—That the sooner we get the captain's mate back, the sooner we
can go back for that little Nebari piece you left on the planet.
(beat)
Not that I blame you or anything, L.T.
(appreciative whistle)

ZOBREK
(eye roll)
Oh, frell you.

Raucous laughs from the soldiers; Zobrek goes back to piloting. The co-pilot glances at Zobrek, thinks better of saying anything, focuses on the controls.

INT. SIKOZU'S CELL—MOYA—DAY

Aeryn stops outside of Sikozu's cell, collects herself. Deep breath, waves her hand, opens the door, goes in.

Sikozu stands, surprised.

SIKOZU
Aeryn.

AERYN
I need your help.

SIKOZU
What's happened?

AERYN
Crichton's been taken. By another group of Peacekeepers, we think.
(beat)
Is it possible that Scorpius is behind this?

Sikozu's eyes glaze over. She looks away, sits again.

SIKOZU
I'm the wrong person to ask.

Aeryn verges on losing her cool: angry, afraid. She swallows it, sits by Sikozu, listens.

SIKOZU (CONT'D)
When I first came back to Moya, looking for Crichton, the Peacekeepers
didn't know what to do with me. So they asked High Command for
instructions.
(bitter sigh)
Scorpius answered. Apparently, I'm "irrelevant". "Of no consequence."
(looking up)
I cannot help you.

Aeryn grips Sikozu's arm, stands, pulls Sikozu up.

AERYN
Oh, yes you can. As John would say, this is an emergency, so—
"all hands on Dick".

Aeryn marches Sikozu out of the cell.

EXT. SPACE—ALKAVAAR

Moya orbits a massive, dull, brown planet. A transport pod emerges from the landing-bay, descends toward the planet.

INT. TRANSPORT POD—DAY—FLYING

Skizou (restored to her classic orange garb and "Sputnik" hair) flies the pod. In the co-pilot's seat, Aeryn, dressed to the nines in a full P.K. captain's uniform (high-necked collar, red stripes), holds Deke in her lap.

Noranti sits cross-legged on the cockpit floor behind them, eyes closed, meditating and humming.

AERYN
What was this dust-ball's name again?

SIKOZU
Alkavaar. A Sebacean farming colony, assuming Moya's data stores
are even vaguely up-to-date.

Sikozu glances sideways at Aeryn and Deke. Deke's eyes are fixed forward, fascinated by pod's front viewport.

SIKOZU (CONT'D)
Why even risk going down to the planet?

AERYN
Chiana said that the Vigilante the kidnappers were flying looked old
and damaged.

Noranti's humming rises to a sudden crescendo of chanted nonsense-syllables, then dies back down. Aeryn and Sikozu both look back at the old woman, then brush it off.

AERYN (CONT'D)
When we got here, I had Officer Nybar scan for anything similar.
Moya detected a sort of—junkyard, or graveyard of Peacekeeper ships.

SIKOZU
There could have been an engagement with the Scarrans over this world.

AERYN
Possibly. But there were also signs of habitation. So we're
going to check it out.

Aeryn points forward, directing Deke's attenion—just as the transport pod reaches Alkavaar's atmosphere, flies into a cloud-bank.

AERYN
What's that, Deke?

DEKE
C'oud!

AERYN
(wide toothy grin)
Very good!

SIKOZU
You won't make a very imposing Peacekeeper captain like that.

AERYN
He doesn't leave my side, Sikozu. Not until we have Crichton back.

Sikozu faces forward again, irate disapproval.

EXT. ALKAVAAR—DAY

BARREN FLATS

The transport pod lands in a brown, pebbly field, kicks up dust. Sikozu, Aeryn (with Deke), Noranti debark.

Aeryn scans the sky: all around, brown stone-flats; a purple mountain-range in the distance; nearer, a shoddy town made from space-dropped prefab buildings and a few crashed P.K. ships (Vigilantes, Marauders, bulk transports).

Outside the "town", angular patches of greenery from irrigation farming, tall antenna-poles with blinking green and orange lights on the tops.

Aeryn takes the lead, heads for the town; Sikozu and Noranti follow.

EDGE OF TOWN

Aeryn and Deke, Sikozu, and Noranti come to a spot where two rows of "buildings" (really orbit-dropped prefabs or crashed and repurposed ships) flank a sort of "main drag" through the middle of the town, like the set of an old Western.

A few Sebacean VILLAGERS amble in the streets: men and women both, middle-aged or older, care-worn and weather-beaten. The Alkavaarans wear black robes with white trim, some with wide-brimmed black hats, all vaguely Puritanical.

Everything about this place is dull, drab, gray, old and dirty. The locals are wary, suspicious.

The three women (and toddler) enter the town, stop short at the sound of a pulse-rifle CHARGING UP.

MAN'S VOICE (MOKOR, O.S.)
That's far enough.

Out from a building comes Brother PEX MOKOR (male Sebacean, 40), a local priest. Very tall, slender, bald head, scraggly graying circle-beard. He wears a long black frock-coat, geometric amulet around his neck, carries an antique pulse-rifle held together with cloth bandages.

Mokor moves into the middle of the street, covering Aeryn the whole time. Aeryn and company don't move. The villagers watch the standoff for a long, tense moment.

MOKOR
(venomous)
Peacekeeper. Haven't you taken enough from us?

Mokor takes careful aim at Aeryn's head. Aeryn remains stoic.

AERYN
Listen, I don't know who you think I am, but—

MOKOR
Shut up!
(sneering)
How fitting that you BRING a child instead of taking one this time.
Now I could almost call it even.

Aeryn's hand hangs over her holstered pulse-pistol: she tenses, ready to dodge or draw. Mokor's finger tightens on the rifle trigger.

FADE OUT.

END OF ACT ONE


ACT TWO

FADE IN:

EXT. ALKAVAAR—DAY—CONTINUOUS FROM ACT ONE

EDGE OF TOWN / MAIN STREET

It's a Wild West standoff: Brother Pex Mokor points a pulse-rifle at Captain Aeryn Sun, who holds Deke in one arm, the other hand inches from her gun-holster; while Sikozu and Noranti stand frozen, and the local villagers watch.

Town Elder SZYRLO VOTH (male Sebacean, 50s) emerges from the largest building along the main street. Voth is short, corpulent, red—and round-faced, a born politician. Like Mokor, Voth wears a long black coat, a priestly amulet; and also a wide-brimmed black Puritan-style hat.

VOTH
(booming voice)
Brother Mokor!

Voth walks into the street, a slow hobble—he struggles, sweats, gasps for breath. His face gets even redder.

VOTH (CONT'D)
This—is not—our way!
(heaving gasp)

Mokor heistates; Voth stands, facing him, chastising.

VOTH (CONT'D)
Look at them.
(gasp)
Do they look—like Peacekeepers?

Mokor keeps his gun aimed, but loosens his grip.

MOKOR
That one is a captain!

VOTH
And her companions—are not even—Sebacean!
(deep breath)
You are pointing—a weapon—at a child!

Voth suddenly doubles over, wracked by a coughing fit—horrid wheezing and hiccoughing. Mokor finally lowers his gun, helps the older priest to rise. A few of the villagers step forward from the sidelines, but Voth waves them back, tries to salvage some dignity.

VOTH
I'm all right; I'm all right.

Voth takes Mokor by the arm, pulls the rifle from his grip.

VOTH (CONT'D)
Go home, Pex. Think upon your actions today—
(gasp)
—and whether our goddess—would approve.

Mokor hangs his head.

MOKOR
Yes, Elder.

Mokor turns to leave. Aeryn, surprised, whispers to Noranti:

AERYN
Goddess worshipers?

NORANTI
How very interesting!

Voth approaches the off-worlders, arms out, apologetic; still breathing hard.

VOTH
My sincere—apologies—Captain. The people of Alkavaar have always
complied—
(gasp)
—with the recruiters. But we have not—always liked it.

AERYN
I'm not a recruiter. I'm not here to take anything—or anyone—from
you.

VOTH
You are—this child's—mother?

Aeryn holds Deke tightly to herself in both arms.

AERYN
I am.

VOTH
Then you know something—of what we have suffered—at the hands of
your ilk.

AERYN
We're just passing through this system. We don't want any trouble.

VOTH
In that case, you are welcome—to stay. We only ask—

Voth suffers another quick round of uncontrolled coughing.

VOTH (CONT'D)
—that you tell some—stories—while you're here. We're an
isolated people, captain. You may find—
(gasp)
—that news is worth more—than currency in this town.

AERYN
You'll be disappointed with us then. We're not very interesting.

Voth nods, too breathless to speak; waves them on their way. Aeryn and Sikozu look about, wary, move off.

Noranti lingers behind for a moment, ready to strike up a conversation with the old priest, before Aeryn calls out:

AERYN
Noranti!

Noranti hesitates, then follows after Aeryn.

INT. TAVERN—LATER

Like much of the town, the tavern is a prefab building dropped onto the planet from orbit long ago. Everything is gunmetal gray, austere, dull.

Inside, the only light comes from the windows as dust-choked sunbeams.

Aeryn and Noranti sit at a round metal table. Aeryn drinks from a clay cup, while Deke makes a mess, splashes his hands in a bowl of bright yellow milk.

Sikozu brings a cup of her own from the bar, sits.

SIKOZU
I don't think the kidnappers came from here. These people are using
the crashed ships for dwellings.

Aeryn stops Deke, cleans him off.

AERYN
Maybe most of them couldn't be salvaged.

Five rough-looking male LABORERS, aged, black robes, enter together, sit at the bar. The BARKEEP, a Sebacean woman, just as ragged and run-down, whispers to the men. Some of them cast furtive glances at Aeryn.

NORANTI
We're being watched.

AERYN
I see them.

NORANTI
I don't mean the men at the bar.

From a shady corner of the tavern, PAVYA (female Sebacean, 20s) stands up. By the far the youngest person seen so far on this world: straw-colored hair, wind-cracked lips. She's a meek, naïve farmer's wife—but determined.

Aeryn helps Deke drink the funny yellow milk from his bowl. Pavya marches up to them.

PAVYA
Excuse me—are you a Peacekeeper?

AERYN
Do we look like Peacekeepers?

PAVYA
Well, yes, you do. Sort of.
(beat)
What I mean is—are you soldiers? Can you fight?

SIKOZU
(under her breath)
Oh, no…

NORANTI
Out of curiosity, why do you ask?

Pavya tenses, frightened.

PAVYA
It's—it's because of—the, uh—

They're interrupted by GARN (male Sebacean, 30s), Pavya's husband. A farmer, still in his prime, not so beaten-down as most on Alkavaar. Rugged, proud, serious.

He appears in the tavern-door, blocks the sunlight for a moment, marches up to the off-worlders' table.

GARN
Pavya! Don't go bothering the strangers with your nonsense!

PAVYA
It isn't nonsense, Garn! The demon is real! I've seen it myself!
(stamps her foot)
And so did Laro and Jeera, when they were driving the drannit herds
back from grazing!

AERYN
Did she just say—"demon"?

GARN
(at Aeryn)
Please, excuse my wife. Some local troublemakers have been spreading
superstitious stories, that's all.
(glares at Pavya)
I'm sorry to say that Elder Voth and the other priests haven't put a
stop to it yet.

PAVYA
It isn't a story! What about the missing livestock?

AERYN
That could be a predator, a thief—

PAVYA
We have neither on this planet!

A sudden THUD—Sikozu's forehead hits the table, stays there.

AERYN
Sikozu? Are you all right?

Sikozu doesn't look up, whines:

SIKOZU
No. I can already tell, you're thinking about getting involved.

AERYN
No, I'm not. We only have a few solar days before—

NORANTI
Oh, that's plenty of time!

All eyes on Noranti. Sikozu looks up, scornful. Aeryn grimaces, expecting nonsense.

SIKOZU
For what?

NORANTI
Why, for an exorcism, of course! Pulse-rifles are useless against
evil spirits, but—

AERYN
Yes, that's perfect!

Aeryn stands, takes Noranti by the hands, drags her up to stand before Pavya.

AERYN (CONT'D)
(insincere)
This is Noranti. She's an expert with magic and demons and all sorts
of supernatural dren. Talk to her about it.

Aeryn quickly picks up Deke, takes Sikozu by the arm.

AERYN (CONT'D)
Come on, Sikozu. Let's get out of their way.

They hastily clear out of the tavern.

EXT. TOWN STREETS

Aeryn, Deke, and Sikozu exit the tavern. Aeryn looks up at the sun, squints, shields her eyes with her free hand.

SIKOZU
What was that all about?

AERYN
It gives us a chance to look around.

A shrill feminine SCREAM from the edge of town. The townsfolk go into a furor, a large crowd forms.

Aeryn and Sikozu share a curious look, go check it out.

EDGE OF TOWN

Men, women, and a scant few children gather back at the end of the main drag. The men shade their eyes with hands or hats, the women with bonnets. The children peer between their elders' legs.

A band of four weary HUNTERS (male Sebaceans, 40s) carrying ancient pulse-rifles pull a fifth man behind them on a makeshift travois. The injured man is badly burned, scars and boils, catatonic.

Women cover their mouths, stifle shrieks; the men gather in small groups, mutter. The children gape, fascinated.

Elder Voth emerges from his building, across the street. The crowd parts for him.

VOTH
What has happened here?
(coughing)
Explain this—sacrilege!

The four standing hunters hold their hats in their hands, until one gets pushed forward.

HUNTER #1
Uh, well, we was in the hills, huntin' for the predator that was
pickin' off the drannits.

HUNTER #2
Thought a trader's ship might've left a stray Brindiz hound or some-
such behind!

HUNTER #1
Right! But it weren't no hound we met, that's for sure!
(haunted)
Weren't no hound at all…

VOTH
You saw it! What was it?

HUNTER #2
It was just like Jeera and Pavya been saying. It was a demon! A
demon from Hezmana!

Hunter #1 holds up his pulse-rifle

HUNTER #1
This didn't even scratch it! It just jumped us from the shadows, it
did—all red eyes and claws and teeth!
(shudder)
And it burned poor Durl here with its Hez-fire, and he ain't waked up
since!

HUNTER #2
It's a devil's black magic, it is!

Voth instantly turns, faces the crowd. Eyes to the sky, he throws up his hands, thunders out fire-and-brimstone:

VOTH
O good people, fall to your knees! To your knees, I say! Pray! Beg
for your deliverance!

He paces, works the crowd.

VOTH (CONT'D)
Pray to the Goddess, mother of all fate, for your very lives! Beg her
for the salvation of your souls!

The villagers kneel, pray. Voth looks on, pleased.

Aeryn and Sikozu push through the crowd, see the burned man.

VOTH (CONT'D)
Oh, great Djancaz-Bru, mistress of all that transpires, we humble
mortals beseech thee—lift this profane curse! Free this man—

AERYN
(shouting)
It's not a curse!

Voth falls silent, glares. The villagers stare, mortified.

Aeryn turns, faces the crowd.

AERYN
It's not a curse. You're all Sebaceans. Don't you know common
heat-delirium when you see it?

SIKOZU
Aeryn, they may not be purebloods—

AERYN
Whatever!
(at Voth)
This man suffers from the Living Death! He will never awaken, no
matter how hard you pray!

VOTH
(confused)
Do you mean for us to believe that this is a—a natural phenomenon?

AERYN
Natural? No—this is clearly the work of a Scarran.
(rousing)
A flesh-and-blood, mortal Scarran! They CAN be killed. You just need
a gun big enough to do the job!

SIKOZU
Aeryn—please tell me you're not offering to help these people kill
a Scarran.

AERYN
Of course not.
(beat)
I'm going to kill it for them.

Sikozu stares, stunned. Aeryn holds Deke close, marches out of town.

AERYN (CONT'D)
(sweetly, at Deke)
Who wants to come with mommy and get the pulse-cannon from the pod?

Aeryn grins, makes a face; Deke smiles.

AERYN (CONT'D)
(slowly)
Can you say, "pulse-cannon"?

Deke babbles, can't quite pronounce it.

They head for the pod. Sikozu dashes after them.

INT. PILOT'S DEN—MOYA—DAY

Myki skips into the den, elated, proud. Carries a transparent SHEET OF BLUEPRINTS rolled under one arm.

MYKI
I've got it!

Pilot looks up, glowers. Myki crosses to the console, spreads out the blueprints.

MYKI (CONT'D)
Three tachyon-detectors, spaced evenly across Moya's hull, should
give us the resolution we need.
(nervous)
But they would have to be spliced directly into the toubray tissue at
three secondary sensory nodes—

PILOT
(shocked)
A mistake during the splicing could—blind Moya!

Intimidated, Myki backs off the console, eyes to the floor.

MYKI
I've been doing this sort of work since I was fourteen cycles old. I
wouldn't make a mistake like that.

PILOT
Regardless, Moya would not be able to tolerate the pain—

MYKI
But—there are no nerve-endings in toubray tissue! Surely you—

Pilot growls.

PILOT
It doesn't matter! The decision rests with Moya and myself, and we
are of like mind on this! We flatly forbid this—butchery!

Pilot gives Myki the mother of all death-glares. Rattled, Myki retreats from the den.

EXT. ALKAVAAR—DAY

TOWN STREETS

Aeryn returns to the village, Deke in one arm, pulse-cannon strapped over the other. Villagers stare; Aeryn ignores them, goes into the tavern.

INT. TAVERN

Noranti sits at a table with Pavya and Sikozu. Pavya hangs on the old woman's every word; Sikozu just looks bored. Nearby, Garn leans against the wall, drinking, annoyed.

NORANTI
—but since we don't have any Delvian crystal-phloem, we'll need
to substitute an indigenous herb.

PAVYA
I see.

Sikozu spots Aeryn, jumps up, desperate, confronts her.

SIKOZU
Do you really mean to go through with this mad plan of yours?

AERYN
Yes. And you're helping. Noranti?

NORANTI
Hm?

AERYN
Can you look after D'Argo while you—do whatever it is you're doing?

NORANTI
(pleased gasp)
Certainly! Have no fear, Aeryn; I'll be the perfect guardian!

Aeryn lets Noranti take Deke. Noranti sets him on the table, Pavya fawns.

PAVYA
Oh, he's so cute!

NORANTI
Of course he is! He's like a great-great-grandson to me.

SIKOZU
What happened to, "he doesn't leave your side"?

AERYN
That was before we knew there was a Scarran operative on this world.
(beat)
I mean, come on; it can't really be a coincidence, can it?

SIKOZU
(thoughtful beat)
All right. I'll help.

AERYN
That's the spirit.

Garn crosses over to where Aeryn and Sikozu stand.

GARN
I'll come too.

AERYN
Like frell, you will. We seem to be the only people on this rock
with weapons made this century—

GARN
That's not true. Elder Voth keeps a small arsenal in his office. I
can get a rifle from him.
(looking at Pavya)
And—I want to see for myself that my wife was telling the truth.

Pavya smiles up at Garn.

PAVYA
Thank you.
(at Aeryn)
And don't worry a whit about your boy, Captain Sun. I'll watch him
like he was my own.

Aeryn weighs her options, sizes up Pavya, decides.

AERYN
All right.
(at Garn)
Find yourself a decent weapon and meet me outside the village in a
quarter-arn.

Garn nods. Aeryn and Sikozu leave. After a beat, Garn watches Pavya, who starts playing peek-a-boo with Deke while Noranti looks on. Satisfied, Garn leaves too.

EXT. EDGE OF TOWN / MAIN STREET—MINUTES LATER

Back outside, Aeryn and Sikozu wait in the middle of the street. Sikozu carries a pulse-rifle now. Villagers watch from windows and doorways, keep a respectful distance.

Sikozu touches Aeryn's arm, points up the street, where Garn and Mokor come out of the Elder's building sporting some modern, standard-issue P.K. pulse-rifles.

Garn and Mokor come up to Aeryn. Aeryn points her cannon at Mokor.

AERYN
What's he doing here?

Mokor looks down, contrite.

MOKOR
I—can only beg your forgiveness, Captain. I have reflected upon my
actions, and found them wanting.

AERYN
You pointed a weapon at my son!

Mokor looks Aeryn in the eye, puts his hands up.

MOKOR
I overreacted. Please, you must understand—in the past, the
Peacekeepers—they—

AERYN
They conscripted someone close to you.

MOKOR
My daughter, Rell. Ten cycles ago.
(sad sigh)
She'd be about seventeen now.

AERYN
I'm sorry.
(beat)
You still haven't told me what you're doing here.

GARN
Uh—the Elder's not strong enough to go himself, but he wants us to
have a priest along, just in case.

AERYN
Oh, for the—
(rolls eyes)
You know it's not really a demon, right?

MOKOR
(smug grin)
"Faith is merely the perception of truth transcendent."

AERYN
Whatever. Just keep your heads down and do what I say. Am I
understood?

MOKOR
Perfectly.

Garn nods, determined. Aeryn hefts up her pulse-cannon, leads the small party away from the village, out into the wilderness.

FADE OUT.

END OF ACT TWO


ACT THREE

FADE IN:

EXT. ALKAVAAR—DAY

BARREN FLATS

Single file, Aeryn leads Sikozu, Garn, and Mokor across the brown rocky plains that surround the village. The mountains loom ahead.

FOOTHILLS

Aeryn leads the band up a winding path; gravel and scrub. The flats stretch out behind them, still drab, but now sweeping, almost majestic.

The hard hike has Mokor more fatigued than the others. He calls out from the rear of the file:

MOKOR
I take it, Captain Sun, you are not a woman of faith?

AERYN
(not looking back)
Your people worship the goddess Djancaz-Bru?

MOKOR
(mild surprise)
That's right.

Aeryn stops in her tracks, causes Sikozu and Garn to stop short too.

AERYN
Tried it once. It didn't work out.

MOKOR
Pity. Well shall need faith, for the trial to come.

AERYN
It's not a real demon!

MOKOR
Oh? Seen everything there is to see, eh? Think you know more than
a few hick farmers?

GARN
I'd rather believe Captain Sun. If there is something out there, I'd
like to think we can kill it.

Aeryn says nothing, resumes the march. The others follow.

LATER

High noon. Alkavaar's blue-white sun beats down from a purple sky.

Sikozu shifts her gravity center, flits from rock to rock. Garn and Mokor linger far behind.

Sikozu stops, turns, waits for Aeryn to catch up.

SIKOZU
Why are you doing this, Aeryn?

Aeryn grimaces, trudges past.

AERYN
What, a kill a Scarran? It's what we do with our lives, isn't it?

Sikozu falls into an easy stride next to Aeryn.

SIKOZU
My ambition is to overthrow the Scarrans. That doesn't mean I leap
at the chance to take one's life.

AERYN
Maybe I do. Maybe it will make me feel better.

SIKOZU
Beacuse the Scarrans killed your friends? Threatened your mate and
offspring?
(beat)
For one who so often criticized Scorpius, your motives align well.

Aeryn stops, glares.

SIKOZU (CONT'D)
But that's not what this is about, is it?
(realizing)
It's Crichton.

AERYN
(voice breaking)
I'm—so mad at him, Sikozu. Even a few cycles ago, I wouldn't have
known or cared enough to feel this—dependent. This helpless.

They start walking again.

SIKOZU
Perhaps this is simply the price you pay for what you have with him.

AERYN
Why does there have to be a price?

SIKOZU
(quietly)
Everything has a price, Aeryn.

AERYN
What will yours be, I wonder?

Sikozu stops in her tracks, stricken.

QUICK FLASHBACK

Sikozu—long curly hair, colorful dress—writhes on an operating table in a dark room. She looks up, horrified to see someone emerge from the shadows.

It's a second Sikozu, this one looking as she did during "The Peacekeeper Wars"—short hair, black P.K. leather. Sikozu #2 stares coldly down at Sikozu #1, who screams.

BACK TO SCENE

Sikozu stares into space, shell-shocked.

AERYN
Sikozu?

Sikozu snaps out of it, just as Garn comes into view behind them.

GARN
Halloa! Captain Sun! I think we need to slow down a bit. Let
Brother Mokor catch up.

Aeryn nods, leans her pulse-cannon against a boulder, reclines.

AERYN
All right. Three-hundred microts' rest, then we get moving again.

Mokor arrives, sweating heavily. Takes out a homespun handkerchief, mops his brow, scowls at the others.

MOKOR
What are you all sitting around for? We're almost there! Come on!

Mokor gesticulates, hurries past all of them. Aeryn shrugs, shoulders her cannon again, follows after.

MOUNTAIN VALE

The foursome round a bend in the path, come out from behind a large boulder, move onto a rocky precipice that juts out above a valley.

Below, a field of grass and wildflowers in bloom.

AERYN
This is where your "demon" was spotted?

MOKOR
That's what the herders say.

Aeryn takes a moment to gaze at the valley.

AERYN
I didn't think I'd see a beautiful place anywhere on this planet.

Aeryn and Sikozu lead the way down the slope into the vale.

LATER

Aeryn sneaks up to a rocky outcrop, motions for the others to stay low. She kneels, rests her cannon on the rock, takes out a set of OCCULARS, puts them on.

AERYN'S POV—OCCULARS

We see purple and yellow wildflowers; then a cave-mouth in a rock-wall. From the cave, LASHKONESHKI KORDETH appears (adult Scarran male). Kordeth is a low-caste Scarran, like Naj Gil ("FARSCPAE" #318-9), right down to the beady glowing red eyes. He wears a white robe tied off with a belt, like a karate gi.

Kordeth carries a dead, furry animal, like an oversized mink or weasel, over his shoulder. He holds it out, uses his claws to deftly skin the corpse, then flay the flesh off the bones. Just as he gulps down a gobbet of raw flesh—

BACK TO SCENE

Aeryn peers through the occulars.

AERYN
I've got him. Low-caste Scarran.

SIKOZU
Let me see.

Aeryn hands the occulars off to Sikozu, who dons them, gazes at the Scarran.

SIKOZU (CONT'D)
I don't recognize the robes he's wearing.

SIKOZU'S POV—OCCULARS

Kordeth finishes picking the bones clean, tosses them onto a heap of similar bones just outside the cave-mouth. He turns back toward the cave.

BACK TO SCENE

Aeryn takes the occulars back, puts them away.

AERYN
So; can you—you know—"zap" him from here?

Sikozu looks down, guilty.

SIKOZU
Actually, I—no longer possess the ability to produce Scarran-killing
radiation.

AERYN
What!? How?

SIKOZU
At Qujaga—Grunchlk found me—but the Diagnosan was dead, and … I'd
really rather not talk about it.

AERYN
Frell!
(at Garn, Mokor)
Stay here.

Aeryn hefts her pulse-cannon, vaults over the rock, fires two quick shots at the Scarran.

One of the blasts strikes the rock above the cave, showers Kordeth with debris. He whips around, takes the second shot in the chest. The force knocks him onto his back.

AERYN
(commanding shout)
Stay where you are!

Aeryn marches across the field, keeps her cannon trained on Kordeth. Sikozu flits after her.

Garn and Mokor peek around the boulder, grip thier rifles. Cool and collected, Aeryn approaches Kordeth. The Scarran's chest sports a smoking hole in the robes, a bad burn, and a tiny wound seeping white blood. Kordeth puts his hands up.

KORDETH
(ragged breath)
Please—do not shoot—
(gasp)
I mean you—no harm—

Kordeth's eyes close; his head falls back to the ground.

BEHIND THE OUTCROP

Garn and Mokor clutch their guns, terrified.

GARN
Are you seeing this? It's real!

Garn starts out after Aeryn and Sikozu. Mokor grabs his arm, holds him back behind cover.

MOKOR
Wait! On Elder Voth's orders—we are to watch and see what they do
next.

Garn looks confused, but stays put.

FLOWERY FIELD / CAVE MOUTH

Aeryn stands over the Scarran, still pointing her cannon. Sikozu catches up to her.

AERYN
Are you conscious?

Kordeth's eyes open. He sucks in a loud, ragged gasp.

KORDETH
…Yes.

AERYN
Identify yourself.

SIKOZU
Be careful. Even wounded, a Scarran can still project enough
heat to kill you in microts.

Kordeth struggles to sit up. He holds up one hand—Aeryn and Sikozu jump, but see that it's a gesture of surrender, not a heat-beam.

KORDETH
I—will not.
(beat)
I am—Lashkoneshki Kordeth. A monk—of the Order of Rakkah.

SIKOZU
Impossible! Your order was outlawed by the Hierarchy, hundreds of
cycles ago—and exterminated!

AERYN
Who is he, Sikozu?

Sikozu, filled with wonderment, drops to her knees near Kordeth.

SIKOZU
A priest—from a Scarran sect that preaches pacifism.

AERYN
You killed that hunter.

KORDETH
An unfortunate—mistake. The—Sebaceans—attacked me.
(beat)
I only meant to scare them off.
(choking cough)
I didn't see—when one got too close—to my heat.

Aeryn puts up her weapon, offers a hand to the Scarran.

AERYN
Well now you have a problem. These people think you're a monster. A
literal demon.

Sikozu and Aeryn help Kordeth to rise.

KORDETH
That explains much. These people—

A salvo of pulse-fire cuts off the conversation. Kordeth hits the ground again. Sikozu cries out, surprised, aims her rifle back at the outcrop where Garn and Mokor were hiding. Aeryn drops into a commando roll, aims her cannon.

AERYN
What the frell!?

Aeryn scans the area, looks for their attackers.

BEHIND THE OUTCROP

The muzzle of Mokor's pulse-rifle smokes from the discharge.

Garn just looks on, dazed.

GARN
I don't understand. Why are they helping it?

MOKOR
It's just as the Elder predicted! Them and the alien witch—they're
in league with it!

GARN
What? That's ridiculous, Pex—

A blast from Aeryn's cannon strikes the outcrop. Mokor yelps, Garn ducks for cover.

Mokor peeks out, sprays another wild salvo of pulse-fire, ducks back.

MOKOR
That's "Brother" to you, Garn! Or do you question Elder Voth's
authority? His teachings?

Mokor grips Garn by the cloth of his shirt, threatening.

MOKOR (CONT'D)
Are you questioning your goddess, Garn? Have the off-worlders so
weakened your faith in Djancaz-Bru?

GARN
No! No, Brother, I would never—

MOKOR
Good.

Mokor fires another shot around the boulder; instantly, shots from Aeryn and Sikozu answer back.

MOKOR (CONT'D)
Then obey the will of your Elder. We must get back, to warn the
village!

Mokor takes off at a dead run, head down, rifle in hand. Garn hesistates, then follows.

INT. MEDICAL BAY—MOYA—DAY

Dr. REHS GRIBWEL holds the medical scanner steady while Myki makes some adjustments to its electronic innards. She finishes up, closes the access panel, starts to clean off her tools.

GRIBWEL
Thanks, Nola.

MYKI
(sad)
No problem.

Gribwel idly plucks a bottle off a nearby shelf—Zhaan's apothecary, once upon a time, still there after all these cycles. He opens it, sniffs, puts it away again.

GRIBWEL
I wonder where all this junk came from.

Myki shrugs, puts her tools away one-by-one into a large black leather tool-bag: plodding, forlorn.

GRIBWEL (CONT'D)
You seem a little down.

MYKI
I'm just having some trouble—getting along with the Pilot.

GRIBWEL
(understanding nod)
Ah. For that assignment the captain gave you. Fixing the
sensors, or something?

MYKI
Mm-hm. The Pilot is—oh, I don't know—

Frustrated, she slams the last of her tools into the bag.

MYKI (CONT'D)
—But whatever it is, he won't let me DO anything!

GRIBWEL
Well, do you really need his permission?
(beat)
I mean, you have Captain Sun's orders. Why not just do the work
yourself?

MYKI
I'm not sure that's—

GRIBWEL
Oh, come on, Nola. Take some initiative, for once in your life!
Who knows? Maybe you'll get a commendation for it.

Myki perks up, suddenly filled with resolve.

MYKI
…All right. Maybe I will!

She collects her tool-bag, starts for the door, stops, turns.

MYKI (CONT'D)
Thanks, Rehs.

GRIBWEL
(rakish)
My pleasure.

Myki leaves. Gribwel sniffs another potion, gags.

EXT. ALKAVAAR—DAY

FLOWERY FIELD / CAVE MOUTH

Aeryn, still prone on the ground, looks up. Around her, scrub and flowers still smolder from the pulse-fire. Several seconds of stillness. Then Aeryn stands.

AERYN
Cholak—those frellwits just SHOT at us and ran away!

Sikozu stands up from behind a rock near the cave-entrance.

SIKOZU
Why would they do that?

AERYN
(pointing at Kordeth)
Must be because of our friend here.
(realizes)
Frell; we have to get back to Deke!

Aeryn and Sikozu go to leave; Kordeth struggles to rise.

KORDETH
Wait! Stop!

Kordeth bites back pain, sits up. Still clutches the wound in his chest.

KORDETH (CONT'D)
I will—help you.

Aeryn marches up to Kordeth, points her gun-muzzle at his face.

AERYN
Why? What are you even doing here, terrorizing primitive farmers on a
backwater colony?

KORDETH
I am here—because I was asked to be. A holy man, revered by my
order, bade me come to Alkavaar.

Kordeth finally manages to stand.

KORDETH (CONT'D)
I have been here for almost sixty solar days. I am supposed to wait
—for a sign.

SIKOZU
If you wait here any longer, the only sign you'll get is a mob of
angry, armed Sebaceans.

AERYN
You'd better come with us, then. Maybe if we—talk to these people,
we can convince them that it's all been a big misunderstanding.

KORDETH
(sucking breath)
…Perhaps.

Aeryn and Sikozu lead the way. Kordeth stumbles, finds his feet again, spits out some white blood, plods after them.

INT. ELDER VOTH'S OFFICE

Voth sits alone in a lavish (for Alkavaar) office. Furry and scaly hides hang on the drab walls. The Elder's desk is the same gray metal as everything else, covered with stacks of papers and hand-carved trinkets.

Voth listens to a hand-held comm unit.

MOKOR (V.O.)
—It's just as we feared, Holy Elder.

VOTH
(into the comms)
Disturbing news indeed. You've done well, Brother.

MOKOR (V.O.)
My life for the faith.

VOTH
As it should be.

Voth switches off the comms, rises from the desk, retrieves his wide hat and amulet from a stand. He puts on the two badges of his office, straightens them in front of a mirror: vain, meticulous. Once finished, he marches outside.

EXT. TOWN STREETS

Voth wanders out into the streets, raises his hands. A rapt crowd gathers immediately.

VOTH
Brothers and sisters—there is a foul corruption among us!
(beat)
Arm yourselves, one and all! As I have foretold, the time has come—
in the name of the goddess, Jancaz-Bru—to purge our world of EVIL!

As Voth speaks, the villagers shout in agreement. Some scurry off or go inside the Elder's office to find weapons; most form a turbulent mob around Voth.

INT. GARN AND PAVYA'S HOME

MAIN ROOM

The inside of a space-dropped prefab module, turned into a proper home. Hand-woven cloths and painted clay plates on the walls, sunbeams from the windows, a small heating-unit glowing soft red.

In the middle of the room, Noranti sits at a large weathered wooden table, working with a vareity of powders, herbs, and berries in clay bowls. She works one of the bowls with a mortar and pestle, sniffs the mixture—contented sigh.

KITCHEN

A gray-walled kitchen with a big window to let in sunlight.

Pavya stands at a counter, kneading dough. Deke sits on the countertop nearby, playing with a bowl of orange flour. Deke throws the flour everywhere, makes a mess; Pavya watches him, smiling, maternal.

Noranti appears in the doorway between the kitchen and the main room.

PAVYA
He's so beautiful. Garn and I haven't been able to have one of
our own yet.

NORANTI
It's not for lack of trying, I trust? Because I can make you
something for that, if you like.

PAVYA
(blushing)
No, of course not! It's, um—

NORANTI
Trouble conceiving? I can help with that too. I know a mixture,
guaranteed to work on Sebaceans!

PAVYA
Really?
(beat)
Oh, but Garn would never—

Sudden CRASHES—out in the main room, a window SHATTERS, the front door BURSTS open.

MAIN ROOM

Elder Voth and two armed HENCHMEN swagger into the house. Noranti rushes into the main room, stands protectively in front of her herbs and powders. Pavya comes to the doorway from the kitchen, holding Deke.

VOTH
Seize the witch-woman. Pavya, hand over the boy!

PAVYA
Why? What's the meaning of this?

Noranti picks up a fist-full of pink powder from a bowl. Grim, protective, she puts herself between Voth and Deke.

The two henchmen advance on Noranti. Spry, she dodges past them, blows the powder in Voth's face.

NORANTI
See truth! Discard the lies you know to be false!—See!

Voth's reaction is instantaneous, violent, allergic. He turns bright crimson, his eyes bulge, he grabs his throat. In seconds, he's on the floor, sputtering, choking, spasming. He starts to foam at the mouth.

Noranti stares, dumbfounded, horrified.

HENCHMAN #1
By the goddess, she's bewitched the Elder!

PAVYA
What have you done!?

NORANTI
I—I don't know; this shouldn't be happening! I only wanted him to
see truth!

PAVYA
Elder Voth suffers from a lung condition! Please, do something!

Noranti realizes her terrible miscalculation, rushes back to the table, reaches for more ingredients.

NORANTI
Yes—I must act quickly—

The henchmen come up behind Noranti, grab her by both arms. Noranti lets out a surprised "whoop!", struggles to get free.

HENCHMAN #2
You'll not magick anyone else, witch! You're coming with us!

HENCHMAN #1
Brother Mokor will know what to do!

NORANTI
What? No! There's still a chance to save him! Let me go, I can save
him!

The two henchmen drag Noranti from the house. Bewildered, Pavya carries Deke out after them.

Elder Voth, forgotten, lies still on the floor, draws his last ragged breath. His face is purple and his eyes are bugged open when he dies.

FADE OUT.

END OF ACT THREE


ACT FOUR

FADE IN:

EXT. ALKAVAAR—DAY

TOWN STREETS

Garn and Mokor trudge back into town, where the villagers have formed an angry mob—bona fide torches-and-pitchforks rioting, the works. The ringleaders (Elder Voth's henchmen) have old pulse-rifles.

Garn stares at the hullabaloo, shocked; Mokor, unfazed, almost happy, wades into the crowd.

Pavya, still holding Deke, spots Garn, rushes up to him.

PAVYA
Garn! Thank the goddess, you're back!
(breathless)
Listen—the Elder—he's—and the old woman—

MOKOR
Where's the old woman, Pavya?

Pavya hesitates. Garn gently takes her by the arms, Deke sandwiched between them.

GARN
It's all right. Just tell us.

PAVYA
She—I think—I think she attacked Elder Voth!

MOKOR
(grim)
Show me.

Pavya leads Garn and Mokor back to the house.

LATER

Garn and Pavya (still holding Deke) stand outside their home.

Brother Mokor comes out, eyes on Pavya, shakes his head.

Pavya, stricken, closes her eyes, bows her head, hugs Deke tightly. Deke, annoyed, struggles in her grip.

Mokor faces the crowd, lifts his arms—his sermonizing is less polished, less authoritative than the late Elder. The crowd listens anyway.

MOKOR
Szyrlo Voth—our Elder, a good man—is dead! The alien witch called
Noranti is responsible! Bring her!

Pavya turns to Garn, pleading.

PAVYA
But it must've been an accident! She wouldn't have any reason—

GARN
(sharp rebuke)
Pavya!

Pavya falls silent, meek. A moment later, another HENCHMAN (different from the two who siezed Noranti) pushes through the crowd up to Mokor.

HENCHMAN #3
Brother Mokor, sir! You need to see this!

The henchman leads Mokor into an alleyway.

ALLEY

A shadowy, narrow alley between two of the town's ubiquitous drop-ship buildings.

Henchmen #1 and #2 lie supine on the ground, dazed, drooling. One of them twitches, hallucinating.

Henchman #3 kneels down, feels the dazed men's pulses. Mokor scans the crowd behind them, spies Noranti sneaking away.

TOWN STREETS

Noranti, now wearing a black cloak and hood, slinks away from the alley and the crowd.

Mokor and Henchman #3 come out from the alley; Mokor points.

MOKOR
There she is! Take her!

The crowd turns, mobs Noranti.

Noranti backs up against a wall, reaches into a cloak-pocket, draws out a handful of powder. She takes a breath—then hesitates, doubting.

Some of the villagers fall upon her, hold her fast.

NORANTI
I—no! Let me go! This is wrong!

The noise of the mob drowns out Noranti's pleas.

Mokor strides up to the fore of the crowd, climbs onto a crate, signals for silence. Shouts for order several times; finally, they let him speak.

Once he has everyone's attention, he points at Noranti.

MOKOR
Noranti Pralatong! You stand accused of murder and witchcraft!
(at the crowd)
Our beloved Elder is dead! A DEMON stalks our lands! And now you have
all seen proof of her witchery!

The mob ROARS with approval. Scattered shouts of "SHE'S A WITCH!" and "BURN HER!" (so Monty Python that it hurts).

Deke, overwhelmed, bawls loudly in Pavya's arms. Pavya, finally fed up with everyone's hysterics, moves to stand between Mokor and Noranti, defiant.

PAVYA
No! This is wrong! The demon has plagued us for weekens, but the
off-worlders only arrived today!

MOKOR
Unholy trickery! They are all allies of the Hezmana-spawn!

Garn tries to pull Pavya away.

GARN
I know it doesn't make sense, Pavya, but it's true. I saw it
with my own eyes!

Mokor stalks up to Pavya, stares at Deke.

MOKOR
The Peacekeeper's child. Give him to me.

NORANTI
No! Pavya, you mustn't listen to them!

Mokor whips around, points at Noranti.

MOKOR
Gag her!

Some villagers emerge from the crowd, tie a cloth around Noranti's mouth. Mokor smiles, smug, turns back to Pavya.

MOKOR
That should put an end to her spell-craft. Now, give me the
child.

PAVYA
No! I—I won't—

Garm gently holds Pavya from behind.

GARN
You must.

Pavya tears up, but gives in—passes Deke (still crying) to Mokor.

MOKOR
There now. No need for tears, my dear. You should rejoice for him!
Once I'm Elder, he'll be raised as a Brother in the service of our
goddess!

Deek wails, struggles, a fruitless effort. Mokor gestures at Henchman #3, who grabs Noranti, frog-marches her out into the middle of the street.

INT. TIER TWELVE NEURAL NEXUS—MOYA—DAY

Deep in the bowels of Moya, Myki rests on her back, squeezed into a claustrophic shaft, with squelching bundles of bio-mechanoid fibers and tubules all around her.

Her arms are up in the mess of tubes that fill the ceiling of the shaft—she's hard at work, manipulating a laser-cutter, splicing a device into the sensitive neural tissue.

At last, she finishes, draws her arms out of the fibers, wipes her brow. Off-screen, the angry CHIRP of a DRD. Myki gasps, looks "up" (which positions her head upside-down).

MYKI'S POV [UPSIDE-DOWN]

A DRD rolls along the floor of the shaft (the top of our view). The eye-stalks twitch, the lever-arm aims its little pulse-blaster. Bright FLASH.

FADE TO:

EXT. ALKAVAAR—DAY

BARREN FLATS

Aeryn, Sikozu, and Kordeth march across the open, rocky plains. Kordeth lags behind, labored, fatigued.

The Scarran now has white bandages wound around his torso (made from the upper half of his robe).

They hike past the transport pod, come within sight of the town. Aeryn sees the mob filling the main street.

AERYN
What the frell!?

She takes off at a sprint.

SIKOZU
Aeryn!

Sikozu dashes after Aeryn. Kordeth continues to plod toward the village, slow but sure.

EDGE OF TOWN

Aeryn reaches the town line, Sikozu a short distance behind.

Henchman #3 is waiting for them, pulse-rifle ready, along with a small crowd of farmers (pitchforks, mattocks).

Aeryn aims her pulse-cannon; the henchman points his rifle. It's a standoff.

AERYN
Let me through.

HENCHMAN #3
Can't do it, Cap'n. You're under arrest.

AERYN
What for!?

HENCHMAN #3
For witchcraft—and consorting with demons!

AERYN
For frell's sake! There are no such things as demons!

Sikozu clears her throat, taps Aeryn on the shoulder, points behind them. Wicked mischief plays on Sikozu's face.

Aeryn looks over her shoulder, sees Kordeth finally reach the edge of town. The Scarran bares his claws and teeth, ROARS—the heat from his mouth makes the air ripple.

Aeryn faces the villagers again with a look that says, "your move".

The villagers, terrified, scream and flee. Henchman #3 drops his pulse-rifle, runs away, praying to Djancaz-Bru.

Kordeth lets his heat-projection die down, goes up to Aeryn.

KORDETH
You were right. That was a fear beyond the rational.

AERYN
Scarrans are good for that.

She bends down, picks up the discarded pulse-rifle, offers it to Kordeth.

AERYN (CONT'D)
Would you like a weapon?

KORDETH
I do not carry weapons.

SIKOZU
It is forbidden for his order.

AERYN
You don't have to use it. Just take it. In a strange way, it
might make you less frightening.

Kordeth pauses, then reaches out, accepts the rifle. He pops out the chakkan oil cartridge, lets it fall to the ground, steps on it.

KORDETH
There. Now it is no longer a weapon.

Aeryn looks askance at Kordeth, then turns and leads them into the village.

TOWN STREETS

Noranti (no longer gagged) stands tied to a wooden stake in the middle of the street, kindling piled at her feet.

Brother Mokor stands before her, Deke wriggling in one arm, a pulse-rifle steady in the other. Next to him, two henchmen stand ready with lit torches.

The villagers, hysterical, hoot and shout. Only Pavya, Garn, and a (very) few others have sense enough to watch the madness without being caught up in it.

MOKOR
Confess, witch! Admit that you conjure demons to harrow us!

NORANTI
I will not! And I demand that you release that child!

Mokor gestures to the henchmen with his rifle; they set the torches to the wood at Noranti's feet.

Flames spring up around Noranti. She closes her eyes, chanting, praying.

Mokor faces the crowd while the fire grows behind him.

MOKOR
Let the ill fires of Hezmana be quenched by the all-consuming holy
flames of Djancaz-Bru—destroyer of worlds!

Two heavy PULSE-BLASTS go off into the sky, drawing everyone's attention. Aeryn stands, cannon in hand—fierce, "mama-bear" angry.

Sikozu and Kordeth come up beind Aeryn. Terrified, the crowd parts, giving Aeryn a clear line of sight on Mokor and Deke.

AERYN
(vehement)
Give—me—my—son.

Aeryn advances on Mokor, but freezes when the priest trains his rifle on Deke. Deke reaches out to Aeryn.

MOKOR
It is written in the sacred scrolls: "And the just shall have
the power to do as they please!"
(beat)
Not another step!

AERYN
(pleading)
I don't know why you're doing this, but look at it! You're pointing a
weapon at an innocent—
(voice catches)
At MY child! My son! Please—

Aeryn inches forward. Mokor presses the gun-muzzle tight against Deke's body. Aeryn stops again.

MOKOR
It's justice, Captain! For all those taken from us!
(angry tears)
My Rell—Elder Voth—but most of all—

He points the gun at Aeryn.

MOKOR (CONT'D)
—because we CAN!

A terrible ROAR breaks the standoff. It's Kordeth, cloaked in a heat-auara, half-mindless in a frenzy of claws and teeth. He tears into the crowd of barely-armed farmers, rending and burning everything he can reach.

KORDETH
Sanctimonious—abomination!
(roar)
You know—nothing—of justice!

Kordeth shouts, the villagers scream; those that can't flee mostly burn and die where they stand, covered in blisters and char-marks, or get torn asunder by wild Scarran claws.

A few of the armed henchmen open fire on Kordeth; the low-yield pulse-fire does nothing.

Kordeth slaughters and fricassees his way through the crowd, pushes his way toward Mokor—an unstoppable, berserk juggernaut.

Mokor, frozen by fear, barely registers when Pavya rushes past Kordeth and charges him. Garn chases right behind her, horrified. Pavya grabs Deke, wrenches him away from the priest. Mokor, started, levels his rifle and FIRES—Garn takes the hit, a fatal wound to the gut.

Aeryn instantly drops her gun, bears down on Pavya, takes Deke into her arms. At the same time, Sikozu shifts her gravity-center, runs up the side of a tall crate, reaches over the flames to untie Noranti.

SIKOZU
Are you all right?

Noranti casually steps away from the burning stake, weirdly unscathed. Casual, matter-of-fact:

NORANTI
Oh, don't worry about me. Younger Traskans sometimes practice self-
immolation for fun!

Aeryn cradles Deke close, dives away from Kordeth. Pavya tries to drag Garn away, but still gets a bit singed by Kordeth's heat-aura.

Mokor, hands shaking, points his rifle at Kordeth. Kordeth points a claw, blasts heat. At the same time, Noranti pulls a leather pouch from her bosom, blows the powder into the heat-cone. The powder ignites; the flames engulf Mokor, who dies a very quick, very unpleasant, screaming death.

Aeryn hugs Deke tightly, holds his face close to hers, eyes closed, foreheads touching.

Kordeth stands over the crispy corpse that used to be Brother Mokor, comes out of the trance. The heat ripples vanish. He looks down at his bloody claws, mortified.

KORDETH
I have transgressed—unforgivably.

Noranti rests a consoling hand on the Scarran's back.

NORANTI
We all have.

Pavya kneels over Garn's body, weeps openly. She's a bit singed; he's badly burned, definitely dead.

PAVYA
Garn? Garn…

Aeryn kneels behind her.

AERYN
Pavya—he's gone.
(beat)
I'm so sorry.

Pavya turns a spiteful gaze on Aeryn.

PAVYA
Go away! Just—leave. Leave this world, and do not return!

Aeryn meets Pavya's gaze with a steely one of her own; nods subtly. Then she rises, turns her back on the newly-minted grieving widow, walks away.

MOMENTS LATER

Burned and mangled Sebaceans (and small spot-fires) everywhere. Sikozu surveys the carnage, walks over to Aeryn, points at Kordeth (also scanning his grisly handiwork).

SIKOZU
What about him?

AERYN
We certainly can't leave him here.

Kordeth faces Aeryn, drops to his knees before her.

KORDETH
Fate brought me here for a reason. I have been tested—and found
unworthy.

He looks up, contrite.

KORDETH (CONT'D)
I must atone for my sins.

AERYN
Atone later—once we've gotten off this miserable rock.

Aeryn snuggles Deke, everything else forgotten; makes her way out of the village. Deke is soot-smudged and exhausted, but otherwise unhurt.

Sikozu stops, picks up Aeryn's discarded pulse-cannon, follows after.

Noranti stops by Kordeth, helps him up. The Scarran pauses, then follows Noranti away from the carnage.

FADE OUT.

END OF ACT FOUR


TAG

FADE IN:

INT. MOYA—DAY

CENTER CHAMBER

Aeryn stands before the cooling unit—her collar loosened, captain's jacket hanging open. She removes a tray of food cubes and a jar of baby food from the unit.

Deke sits on the floor nearby. He stands, takes a few toddling steps, drops to the floor again, utters some baby-talk.

Across the chamber, Kordeth sits at the table, deep in thought, idly picking his way through a heaping triple-portion of food cubes.

Aeryn slides to the floor, sits next to Deke. Sets down the tray, opens the jar, takes Deke into her arms and hugs him close.

AERYN
We had a close call today, little one. I'm never letting you out of
my sight again.

Deke is calm, almost solemn. He reaches up, plays with Aeryn's face. Aeryn grins, relieved.

Kordeth rises, crosses the room. (At once, two DRDs appear, as if from nowhere, tailing the Scarran.)

Pilot's hologram appears on the clamshell.

PILOT
Captain—Moya and I are both wondering—how long will our new
"guest" be staying with us?

AERYN
I'm—not sure. …Kordeth?

Kordeth looks down at the mother and child, thinking. Then:

KORDETH
Providence has shown me my purpose. You—the child—this Leviathan—
they are the sign that I was bidden to seek.

AERYN
Us!? What makes you think that we're your "sign"?

Kordeth heaves a breath, scratches at the bandaged spot on his chest where Aeryn wounded him earlier that day.

KORDETH
My priesthood, the Monks of Rakkah, were defamed and outlawed by the
Scarran Emperor, long ago—because we spread a message of peace.

Kordeth turns, paces while he explains.

KORDETH (CONT'D)
But now the War Ministry is discredited within the Empire; and at
the right hand of Staleek, there sits a delegation of Eidelons.
(beat)
And their disciple, the Banik priest called Stark.

PILOT
(incredulous)
Stark?

AERYN
(at Pilot)
He used to serve the Scarrans by crossing over their dying.

Kordeth kneels before Aeryn and Deke.

KORDETH
Stark commands great respect among my brother monks. He spoke often,
and highly, of his friends on Moya.
(beat)
It was he who sent me to Alkavaar.

Kordeth raises his hands, holds them hovering a few inches away from Deke. Deke gazes up at Kordeth, unfazed.

KORDETH (CONT'D)
I will atone for my misdeeds by watching over the child of Sun and
Crichton. I swear to you, on my life and soul, I will protect him.

AERYN
Protect him from what?

KORDETH
From evil—whatever evil may come.

Kordeth rises, stalks out of the center chamber without another word.

Pilot's mouth hangs open in surprise. Aeryn stares, uncertain.

PILOT
I'll… have the DRDs show him to quarters.

AERYN
Somewhere on an empty tier, please.

PILOT
Hm. Agreed.

An awkward silence falls. Aeryn looks up at Pilot's hologram.

PILOT (CONT'D)
There's—something else I need to tell you.

AERYN
(curious)
What is it?

Pilot looks down, embarrassed.

TIER SEVEN CELL-BAY

Aeryn stands outside a cell, Deke half asleep in her arms. She looks through the bars, amused.

Inside the cell, Myki rests on the bed, oblivious to Aeryn's presence.

AERYN
All right, Specialist; on your feet.

Myki jumps up, startled.

MYKI
Captain!

Aeryn waves the cell-door open; Myki rises from the bed, stands at attention—but still can't look Aeryn in the eye. Aeryn walks into the cell, circles around behind Myki.

AERYN
Pilot tells me it took quite a few DRDs to drag you out of that
access-shaft on tier twelve.
(beat)
Care to explain yourself?

MYKI
(stiffly)
I was installing the sensor upgrades you requested, Ma'am.

AERYN
I understand that Pilot told you not to do that. That the risk to
Moya was too great.

Myki bristles, breaks her rigid stance, faces Aeryn.

MYKI
With respect, Captain, the Pilot was wrong!

Myki falters, looks down again.

MYKI (CONT'D)
I thought I might—take the initiative. Prove myself.

Aeryn stares through Myki, guaging her. After a tense beat:

AERYN
All right. Come on. Let's go see what Pilot has to say about it.

Aeryn carries Deke back out into the corridor. Myki stares after her, doesn't move. Aeryn peeks her head back in.

AERYN (CONT'D)
Well? Don't make me yell. He's only just gone to sleep.

Myki nods, follows Aeryn.

PILOT'S DEN

Aeryn sits on Pilot's console, Deke resting on her lap. Myki stands nearby, as small as she can make herself.

Pilot looks down, brushes a gentle claw across Deke's head.

PILOT
I'm gratified to see that your offspring is unhurt.

AERYN
So am I.
(beat)
Moya seems okay too.

PILOT
She is.
(guilty sigh)
And—in point of fact, Specialist Myki's sensor upgrades are working
perfectly.

AERYN
Could Moya track another ship now, if we need her to?

PILOT
Yes. Moya can now perceive the distortions in spacetime left
behind by hetch-drive travel.

Pilot takes a moment, closes his eyes, "sees" through Moya's new sensors.

PILOT (CONT'D)
It will take some time before Moya grows accustomed to the new
sensations, but—it's almost like she has a ninth sense now.

AERYN
Why did you give Myki so much trouble?

Pilot sighs, looks at Myki—she meets his gaze, curious.

PILOT
The truth is—I was unwilling to engage with someone who had
previously helped to place control-collars on Leviathans.
(earnest)
Moya wanted to give you a chance, but I would not relent. Can you—
forgive me, Nola Myki?

MYKI
(overwhelmed)
Yes—Pilot. And—I'm sorry too. I promise never to do anything to
Moya without your permission.

PILOT
We thank you.

Pilot stretches a claw out to Myki. She walks up to the console, reaches out, shyly takes his claw into her hand; smiles brightly.

CORRIDOR

Kordeth follows two DRDs through the hallways of Moya, past cell-doors, twists and turns, intersections. The DRDs lead Kordeth to his new quarters.

Noranti sits on the floor, across the hall from the cell-door into Kordeth's quarters, back to the wall—waiting, pensive, glum.

Kordeth nods, respectful.

KORDETH
Old woman.

NORANTI
Young Scarran.
(beat)
Your hands are not the bloodiest on this ship. By far.

KORDETH
(crestfallen)
We Scarrans are savage by nature. My order exists to tame the beast
within. Today, I have failed to uphold our most sacred vow.

NORANTI
You've also saved an innocent life—one I happen to hold very dear.
(beat)
I cannot say that I condone your methods, but neither do I mourn the
outcome.

Noranti's gaze wanders off into space, past Kordeth.

NORANTI (CONT'D)
For that reason alone, I may be in more dire need of atonement than
you, young monk.

Kordeth says nothing; turns, opens the door, disappears into his converted cell. The door closes behind him.

COMMAND—NIGHT

It's the dead of ship's-night. Dim lights illuminate only the middle of command, between the nav and comms consoles.

Aeryn, sleepless, paces between the consoles. Sikozu leans on the navigation console, ready to drop from fatigue.

Suddenly, the comms console lights up. A hologram appears on the clamshell—we see the inside of a Prowler cockpit, and the pilot—Officer MAG KIRLIX (female Sebacean, late 20s). Kirlix is a real hotshot—reckless, bold, agressive; and gorgeous—brown skin, pouty lips, wavy black hair.

KIRLIX
Officer Kirlix to Moya.

AERYN
We read you, Kirlix. This is Sun.

KIRLIX
Captain! Our target just passed within a quarter light-cycle of my
position, less than a five-hundred microts ago.
(annoyed restraint)
As ordered, we did not engage the Vigilante. We are tracking only.

SIKOZU
What's the heading?

Kirlix looks down at a console, reads:

KIRLIX
Vector zero-mark-two-zero… four-ennka.

SIKOZU
No—!

AERYN
What? Where are they going?

Sikozu faces Aeryn, wide-eyed, worried.

SIKOZU
It's on a course for the Nebari Sector!

Aeryn, stunned, turns to face the forward viewport. She walks toward the front of command, a distant stare in her eyes.

Outside, the viewport only shows a shimmering rose-and-purple nebula.

EXT. OUTER SPACE—MOYA

Moya flies past the purple nebula. A few large, blue-white stars shine in the distance.

SUPERIMPOSE: To Be Continued…

FADE OUT.

END OF SHOW

Chapter Text

FARSCAPE: UNREALIZED

Season 1, Episode 3 (#103)


COLD OPEN

FADE IN:

INT. MOYA—NIGHT

JOHN AND AERYN'S QUARTERS

Ship's-night on Moya. AERYN SUN sleeps in her bed, snuggled up with her year-old son, D'ARGO ("DEKE") SUN-CRICHTON.

A dim light slowly comes on in the room.

PILOT (V.O.)
Captain.

Aeryn groans. Deke kicks. Both remain sleeping.

The lights come all the way on.

PILOT (V.O.)
Captain Sun.

Aeryn opens her eyes. Looks down at Deke, still sleeping, thumb in mouth.

AERYN
(half-asleep)
What time is it, Pilot?

PILOT'S DEN

PILOT works his console, business-as-usual.

PILOT
Second arn. I apologize for interrupting your rest-period, but
we're receiving a priority comms—from Peacekeeper First Command.

Worried look on Pilot's face.

JOHN AND AERYN'S QUARTERS

Careful, tender, Aeryn disentangles herself from the sheets. Rests a hand on Deke's head, then gets out of bed.

AERYN
I'll take it on command.

COMMAND—MOMENTS LATER

Now uniformed, Aeryn walks onto command. It's lit, but empty. The front viewport shows outer space for a moment, shimmers, then displays the face of First Admiral TAV JOSBEK (male Sebacean, 60s; seen once before, in "FARSCAPE" #108). Josbek is a white-haired, grizzled old war-dog, patch over his left eye. Blunt, imperious, but honorable.

Aeryn stands at attention, in awe.

AERYN
First Admiral!

JOSBEK
(long-suffering)
Captain Sun. You've been making my life miserable, one way or another,
for most of the past five cycles.
(sardonic)
How nice to finally look you in the eye.

Aeryn's awe instantly turns to impatience, defiance.

AERYN
Yes, I imagine it is. Thanks for the promotion, by the way.

JOSBEK
Should I regret it? First weeken on the job, and you've let John
Crichton fall right into the hands of the frelling Nebari!

Aeryn fidgets: rattled, guilty. Josbek sighs.

JOSBEK (CONT'D)
We have to tread carefully. If Grayza were to learn of this—

Aeryn stands at parade rest, chin up, hands behind her back.

AERYN
Yes, sir. Awaiting your orders.

JOSBEK
For now—nothing.

AERYN
What!?

JOSBEK
We're in no position to provoke the Nebari! This has to go through
diplomatic channels first.

AERYN
But—you practically drafted me into the Diplomatic Corps—!

JOSBEK
And once we have clearance to send a consular ship into Nebari Space,
I'll see to it that Moya is that ship.

Josbek leans in—his face fills the display.

JOSBEK (CONT'D)
But until then—STAND DOWN!

Josbek leans back again, reaches for the comm controls.

JOSBEK (CONT'D)
Irony aside, it would reflect poorly to have another captain
under my command go renegade, chasing after John Crichton!

Josbek cuts the transmission. Aeryn gapes, then storms:

AERYN
FRELL!

Royally pissed, arms folded, Aeryn stalks off command.

FADE TO:

EXT. OUTER SPACE—NEBARI HOSTSHIP—ESTAB.

An enormous starship, sleek and silver, curvy shape, zooms past a backdrop of blue stars and purple nebulae. It's a NEBARI HOSTSHIP—well-armed, advanced, powerful.

INT. CRICHTON'S RESEARCH LAB—NEBARI HOSTSHIP—DAY

CLOSE ON a hologram of WORMHOLE EQUATIONS—lines of bluish-white alien symbols, all wrapped up in a swirly geodesic pattern—we've seen it before.

JOHN CRICHTON stares at the hologram, blank, transfixed.

He stands alone in a small laboratory—bright, clean, shiny. The walls, the equipment—everything is either silver or gray, sleek, plasticine, retro-futuristic.

Crichton wears a plain gray jumpsuit. He stands stock-still; but his eyes move rapidly, scan the equations. His face goes from zen to confused to frustrated to angry.

Enraged, Crichton suddenly explodes—he roars, slams two fists down onto the hologram-emitter. A shattering CRASH, electric ZAP—the hologram vanishes.

Crichton winces, looks at his fists: shards of broken glass and crystal embedded in his skin; fresh cuts bleed freely.

At the same time, a door SWISHES open. Two burly male Nebari ORDERLIES rush in, grab Crichton by the arms. Crichton doesn't react; just stares down at his hands.

Behind the orderlies, Doctor ZAQQAS (male Nebari, late 20s), neruoscientist, strides into the lab. Black hair and eyes; easy confidence, military poise, soft-spoken formality.

ZAQQAS
Was that really necessary?

CRICHTON
Doctor Zaqqas.
(contrite)
I'm—sorry. I don't know what came over me.

The orderlies hold Crichton fast; Zaqqas paces.

ZAQQAS
Why did you break the display?

CRICHTON
I was—looking at the equations, but I couldn't understand them.
(beat)
I got frustrated.

ZAQQAS
Clearly, the mind-cleansing is not yet entirely stable.

Now Crichton fights. He struggles, the orderlies hold on tight. Zaqqas gives them a subtle gesture; they release Crichton. Crichton darts forward, takes Zaqqas gently by the arm. Zaqqas eyes the bloody mess with distaste.

CRICHTON
No! I want this to work! Even more than you do—

ZAQQAS
Then, what's the problem?
(scrutinizing)
You're—conflicted. What's the matter, Commander?

Crichton steps away from Zaqqas, paces over to the broken holo-emitter. Zaqqas's gaze follows Crichton.

CRICHTON
Maybe I'm—

Crichton winces, stops, holds up his bloodied hands.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
This project is supposed to be for the good of the galaxy, right?

Zaqqas takes a few tentative steps toward Crichton.

ZAQQAS
That's right.

CRICHTON
My reasons for helping you—are completely selfish.

ZAQQAS
You're feeling—guilty?

Crichton—blank, confused, innocent—faces Zaqqas.

CRICHTON
I fought for so long to keep wormholes out of the wrong hands.
(beat)
It was the right thing to do.

ZAQQAS
But, isn't giving this power to the Nebari also the right thing to do?

Crichton stares. His face contorts—we see the conflict. Then, finally, his expression settles into a smile—forced, uncanny, all kinds of wrong.

CRICHTON
Of course. Of course it is. It's for the greater good.

Zaqqas turns to leave. At the door, over his shoulder:

ZAQQAS
I'll have a medic come by and see to those wounds, Commander.

CRICHTON
How many times I gotta tell you, Doc? My friends call me "John".

ZAQQAS
Of course. "John".

Zaqqas leaves. The two orderlies stay in the room, watch Crichton like statues. Crichton starts picking shards of crystal out of his hands, pained gasp with each one.

FADE OUT.

END OF COLD OPEN


ACT ONE

FADE IN:

INT. NEBARI HOSTSHIP—NIGHT

CRICHTON'S QUARTERS

A small room: gray-white, smooth and futuristic, dystopian. Dreary cot, small writing desk. Cone of light from above.

Crichton hunches over the desk, scribbles equations on a silver TABLET with a stylus. Manic, creepy smile.

After a moment, he sighs, rubs his eyes (red and ringed). Flash of frustration, then the dopey smile comes back.

He puts down the tablet and stylus, opens a compartment in the desk, pulls out a sleek, silvery gizmo—a fancy Nebari VOICE RECORDER.

CRICHTON
(into the recorder)
Hey, Dad. It's been a while since we—since I left you a message
like this.
(beat)
We've got a lot a lot to catch up on. Deke, of course. First steps,
first words.
(longer pause)
I miss you, Dad. And Livvy, and Suzie.
(beat)
And I just can't accept that I'll never see any of you again.

Crichton fidgets with the device, sits up straight.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
I made peace a long time ago with the fact that my kids would call a
starship home. Like their mom.
(emotional)
But my son should be able to meet his family.

The eerie, forced smile comes back.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
That's why I'm hoping that my new friends can help me get—

Pneumatic HISS. The cell-door slides open, Zaqqas enters.

Crichton jumps, turns off the recorder.

ZAQQAS
Taking a break, John?

CRICHTON
(guilty)
I was only—

ZAQQAS
It's nothing to be ashamed of.

Arms behind his back, Zaqqas walks over to Crichton's bed, turns—looks as if he might sit, but doesn't.

ZAQQAS (CONT'D)
You miss your family. Perfectly understandable. Our two species
are very alike in that regard.
(beat)
How are your hands?

Crichton puts down the recorder, holds up his hands—completely healed.

CRICHTON
All better now.

ZAQQAS
Glad to hear it.
(pause)
How are the equations coming along?

Crichton sniffs, clears his throat; twitches like a junkie.

CRICHTON
Good—um—good, I'm—making some progress now. I think I can see the
third level phase variations again.

Zaqqas stares at Crichton, unblinking, piercing.

ZAQQAS
So—the knowledge is starting to return?

CRICHTON
I—don't know. It's—it's like—

ZAQQAS
Like what, John?

Now Zaqqas sits on Crichton's bed.

ZAQQAS (CONT'D)
You know you can tell me anything. I'm only here to help you.

CRICHTON
Yes, you've been very kind, all your people have.

Crichton rubs his face with both hands.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
It's like—driving in fog. Like I'm on route four-forty-one, back
in North Carolina.
(distant)
Driving through the Smokies on a summer morning…

ZAQQAS
Are you saying that you feel lost?

CRICHTON
No, not lost. I know the way. I just can't see it anymore.

Zaqqas stares for a moment, then produces a HYPO-SPRAY. Crichton flinches, looks away.

ZAQQAS
Perhaps it's time for another treatment.

CRICHTON
(scared, child-like)
That's—not really necessary—

ZAQQAS
Now, John. You know better.
(prompting)
It's…

Crichton hangs his head, submissive, defeated.

CRICHTON
—for the greater good.

ZAQQAS
That's right.

Crichton tilts his head. Zaqqas touches the hypo to his neck—quick HISS. Crichton jerks; slumps unconscious.

The door opens again; the two orderlies enter.

ZAQQAS
Sleep softly, human.

The orderlies pick up Crichton, carry him out of the room.

NEURAL ENGINEERING LAB

We follow Zaqqas into a clean, bright white lab. Lots of flashy widgets, equipment.

Crichton is already here, still unconscious, strapped to an operating table. Robotic arms hang down from the ceiling, fine-tipped beam-emitters pointed at Crichton's head.

VEELEEG (male Nebari, 70s) operates a computer. Wild white hair, bushy mustache; long black and gray robe. A miserable geezer, grating, arrogant; but also a peerless geneticist.

ZAQQAS
Doctor Veeleeg. How fares our test-subject?

Veeleeg doesn't look up from his work.

VEELEEG
The drugs have done their job; his mental defenses effectively gone.

ZAQQAS
And, how soon can we begin neural realignment?

Veeleeg stops, faces Zaqqas; calculating.

VEELEEG
Eh—hard to say. The brain is simple enough that we shouldn't
need to put him in stasis, but he IS a most unusual species—

ZAQQAS
Pah. By all indications, this "human" is nothing more than an
isolated Sebacean offshoot—

VEELEEG
Oh, you think so? Take a look at this, then.

Veeleeg swivels in his chair, touches his console. A hologram of a DNA molecule appears above it.

ZAQQAS
Crichton's DNA?

Veeleeg nods. Zaqqas runs his gaze over the hologram, unimpressed. Veeleeg gapes at Zaqqas, scoffs:

VEELEEG
I know you're not a geneticist, Zaqqas, but you have eyes—LOOK!

ZAQQAS
It's—a perfectly unremarkable anthropoid genome.

VEELEEG
Unremarkable? Try primitive—aboriginal, even. This is no offshoot.
It's a Sebacean ancestor!

Zaqqas looks surprised, then masks it again, cool.

ZAQQAS
Impossible.

VEELEEG
And yet, here he is! A walking genetic relic. A living fossil!

ZAQQAS
Takes one to know one, does it?

Veeleeg stands, clenches his fists. Angry growl.

VEELEEG
Oooh, you—incurious, dren-for-brains, thoughtless young—!

Zaqqas grips Veeleeg by the arms, close, conspiratorial.

ZAQQAS
Enough! Need I remind you, our orders come from very high up in
the Establishment?

Zaqqas breaks the grip, stands back; stiff, proper.

ZAQQAS (CONT'D)
Academic curiosity is useless to us now. So I ask again: how soon?

VEELEEG
(sulky)
I still need to run some more tests. A few solar days.

WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S., ERNOULLA)
Better make it a few arns.

Zaqqas and Veeleeg both jump when Commander ERNOULLA (female Nebari, 40s) enters the lab. Stiff, cold, authoritative; gray military uniform, fancy insignia; obviously in charge.

ZAQQAS
Commander Ernoulla. I—didn't hear you come in.

Veeleeg mockingly imitates Zaqqas behind his back.

ERNOULLA
Doctor Zaqqas. I felt that you should be informed—your timetable
has just been accelerated.

ZAQQAS
How so?

ERNOULLA
I've received word that a Standard will be arriving in four solar days
to evaluate our progress.

ZAQQAS
(terrified)
A Standard! Coming here!?

ERNOULLA
Yes, Doctor.

ZAQQAS
We'll begin the permanent mind-cleansing as soon as possible.

ERNOULLA
Good.

Veeleeg pushes his way in front of Zaqqas.

VEELEEG
Commander, I have to protest! We only have one chance at this—

ERNOULLA
I trust that a man of your matchless intellect can figure it out.
(beat)
And don't frell up; the last thing I need is a blemish on my record.

VEELEEG
(growling)
If it doesn't work, we'll all be lined up and shot!

Ernoulla marches for the exit. Over her shoulder:

ERNOULLA
Good. You're already properly motivated.

Ernoulla leaves. Macabre silence falls. Zaqqas coughs.

ZAQQAS
Shall we begin mapping the subject's neural pathways?

VEELEEG
I'll administer the algesic compound.
(sadistic smile)
With no baseline for this species, I'll be guessing at the dosage.

ZAQQAS
So long as he survives the pain.

Veeleeg retrieves a hypo-spray from a table cluttered with lab-equipment; advances on Crichton, menacing, gleeful.

CORRIDOR—CONTINUOUS

A shadowy hallway just outside the neuroscience lab.

Crichton's tortured SCREAM.

EXT. OUTER SPACE—MOYA

Moya hangs in empty space, listless, drifting.

Two Prowlers appear, fly towards the treblin-side bay.

INT. MOYA—DAY

TIER TWO MESS HALL

Officer MAG KIRLIX and her WINGMAN (another female Prowler pilot), walk into the converted cargo-hold that the P.K. soldiers use for a mess and lounge.

Three infantry COMMANDOS, including LONIK (the bald, male soldier from "UNREALIZED" #102 who teased Lt. Zobrek about Chiana) are already there, drinking, socializing.

Kirlix and her wingman sit; Kirlix is showy, sultry.

KIRLIX
Boys.

Lonik leers at Kirlix.

LONIK
Good hunt?

KIRLIX
(scoffs)
Hardly. There's nothing out there.

KIRLIX'S WINGMAN
'Course not. We're still in the middle of frelling nowhere.

COMMANDO #1
Captain hasn't taken us across the border yet?

KIRLIX
The captain hasn't taken us anywhere yet.

Everyone freezes when a low GROWL rumbles outside the mess. KORDETH the Scarran stands just outside the door, peering in. He stares at the Peacekeepers for an uncomfortable moment, then stalks away.

Kirlix's wingman shudders, scared.

LONIK
(under his breath)
Kretaada…

KIRLIX
Captain hasn't done anything about THAT yet either.

COMMANDO #2
Think maybe we should?

Kirlix shrugs, shares a suggestive look with her wingman. Lonik looks troubled.

CENTER CHAMBER

Aeryn sits on the chamber floor, arms outstretched. Deke, two meters away, toddles across the distance, falls into Aeryn's open arms.

At the table, Lieutenant CLOW ZOBREK and Senior Officer HAMM NYBAR discuss something (too low to hear) over food-cubes.

Aeryn smiles at Deke, cuddles him close. After a moment, Nybar rises, glares at Aeryn, leaves.

Zobrek stands, walks over to Aeryn and Deke, squats down.

ZOBREK
We have a problem.

AERYN
What else is new?

ZOBREK
It's about the Scarran.

AERYN
Kordeth?
(beat)
What happened?

ZOBREK
Nothing yet, but—there's talk among the troops. They don't like
having him on board.

AERYN
Believe me, I get it.

Aeryn stands, picks up Deke, crosses over to the table, sets Deke down. Zobrek follows while Aeryn sits.

ZOBREK
Have you considered that he might be a—

AERYN
A spy? Yes, that was our first guess. But I don't think so.

Zobrek sits across from Aeryn.

ZOBREK
Then why is he here?

AERYN
(pause)
Look, I'll worry about Kordeth. In the meanwhile, just order the
soldiers to stay away from him.

ZOBREK
(unconvinced)
All right.

Aeryn breaks a food-cube in half, persuades Deke to try it. Deke starts to eat it, spits it up again. Aeryn sighs.

ZOBREK (CONT'D)
Is it worth it?

AERYN
Is what worth it?

Zobrek waves a hand in Deke's direction.

ZOBREK
All of—this. A mate, a child. The emotional attachment.

AERYN
(wistful)
Yes, it is. It's different from what we're used to, but it—
(voice cracks)

Affected, Aeryn falls silent, looks away.

ZOBREK
I'm sorry. I didn't think—

AERYN
No; this is part of it.
(serious)
Having a reason to fight makes me a better soldier.

All business, Aeryn suddenly starts clearing the table; pushes the food-cube trays out of her way.

AERYN (CONT'D)
I know what we have to do now.

Aeryn picks up Deke. Zobrek watches, confused.

AERYN (CONT'D)
We have to go after Crichton.

Zobrek jumps to her feet, hands on the table.

ZOBREK
But—Admiral Josbek's orders—!

AERYN
He's taking too long! And the crew of this Leviathan has accomplished
more with less.

Aeryn marches herself and Deke to the door, turns:

AERYN (CONT'D)
"Buckle up", Lieutenant. We're heading into Nebari Space.

Aeryn exits the chamber. Zobrek swears under her breath.

INT. NEBARI HOSTSHIP—DAY

CORRIDOR

Crichton wobbles, stumbles down a drab gray hallway. The walls swim and sway around him.

He comes to a set of double-doors, which HISS open.

MESS HALL

Crichton steps into the light—red-eyed, quivering.

We're in an enormous mess hall: big, bright, silver-gray. Rows and rows of long tables, hundreds of jumpsuited Nebari crew. The Nebari eat: perfunctory, joyless; silver utensils, trays of plain gray mush. No conversation.

We follow Crichton into the mess. He scans for an empty seat, but every bench is packed tight.

Briefly, Crichton spies an open spot between a male and a female Nebari. Crichton approaches; both Nebari scoot together, close the opening, give Crichton the stink-eye.

Zombie-like, Crichton shambles past; spots a table, separate from all the others, occupied only by two aliens. One is PU-RO-RA, who looks rather like a humanoid turtle—green and brown scales, thick shell on his back, beaked face.

The other creature is OOLOOL, a bizarre two-foot diameter orb covered in purple cilia and blinking eye-stalks, propped up on a thick skirt of coral-colored jellyfish tentacles.

Crichton sits down across from the aliens.

CRICHTON
Hey, guys. This seat taken?

Pu-Ro-Ra and Oolool both have a tray of gray slop in front of them. Oolool playfully slaps a tentacle in the slop, but doesn't eat; has no visible means of ingesting food.

Pu-Ro-Ra grabs his tray, pulls it close, defensive.

PU-RO-RA
If Sebacean want food, it must get its own! This one will not share!

OOLOOL
Ooooh… oooloool!

Crichton blinks, stares; shakes his head.

CRICHTON
Relax, Donatello. I don't think I have the stomach for it.

PU-RO-RA
(puffing up)
My name—Pu-Ro-Ra! Favored by our benefactors! My race—Tsa-La-Pi—
have much to add to greater good!

Oolool warbles a happy-sounding noise, slides its tray to Crichton with a tentacle.

OOLOOL
Oolooolooool!
(chirpy warble)

PU-RO-RA
Ah. There. You may ingest Oolool's nutrients. They—
(creepy chuckle)
—do not agree with him.

Pu-Ro-Ra bursts into laughter. Awkward beat.

Crichton stares at the gray paste, dips two fingers in, sniffs it, tastes it. It's bland, but palatable.

CRICHTON
Thanks, I think.

PU-RO-RA
Hm. This one thinks—you are—scientist? Like this one, our
benefactors want your help.

Crichton snorts, wipes his fingers on the tray.

CRICHTON
Uh, yeah, I used to be a scientist. Long time ago. Cosmic theory.

PU-RO-RA
Ah. Deep space phenomena. Yes, this one had heard the Nebari were
interested in such things.

Crichton looks around, can't find a utensil; gives up, pushes the tray aside.

CRICHTON
I s'pose so. What about you; what are the Ninja Turtles doing to help
out our new best pals?

PU-RO-RA
Ah? This one is—

A wandering tentacle from Oolool finds its way onto Pu-Ro-Ra's tray. Pu-Ro-Ra swats the appendage away, faces Oolool, snaps his beak angrily. Turns back to Crichton:

PU-RO-RA (CONT'D)
This one is leading expert in information systems. Theoretical
networking of neural—

Interrupted again—this time by Zaqqas, who appears suddenly: exuberant, relieved, he rushes up to Crichton.

ZAQQAS
Crichton! John, you must return to the lab at once!

CRICHTON
Wha—huh? Hey, man, I just went through the wringer! What's next,
one-hour Martinizing?

Zaqqas stiffens, annoyed; then kneels by Crichton.

ZAQQAS
(soft, seductive)
Are you quite well, John? Don't you want us to help you recover
what you've forgotten?

Crichton struggles—fights without knowing why.

CRICHTON
What I've forgotten—

White FLASH. Crichton blinks, shakes his head.

QUICK FLASHBACK

From "The Peacekeeper Wars"—Einstein, bathed in blue light, arm outstretched, reaches into Crichton's brain.

Crichton, inside the wormhole machine, screams in pain.

BACK TO SCENE

Crichton flinches, pained.

CRICHTON
—wormholes. I forgot them for a reason.

ZAQQAS
Yes. The knowledge is dangerous. But it's powerful—and it's the
only way, John.

Zaqqas takes Crichton's hands in his. Crichton nods.

CRICHTON
You're right. It's my only way home.

ZAQQAS
Don't you want to see your planet, your family again?

CRICHTON
Yeah… yeah.

Crichton wipes his eyes, sniffs, recovers from the episode.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
You, uh—you found something.

ZAQQAS
(triumphant)
Yes, John! It's still in there! The neural patterns are degraded,
but they're definitely still there!

CRICHTON
So—we can do this thing?

ZAQQAS
We can if we act quickly! Come!

Zaqqas pulls Crichton to his feet, rushes him away.

NEURAL ENGINEERING LAB

Crichton, back on the slab, unconscious again. Now the gadgets are lit up: they shine rainbow lights on Crichton's forehead, scanning, probing.

Zaqqas and Veeleeg work at consoles. A holographic image above them displays a diagram of Crichton's brain, with some of the neurons highlighted blue.

Veeleeg works the controls—cautious, intense, delicate.

ZAQQAS
Careful—

VEELEEG
Quit hovering!

On the display, a cursor lights up an axon. Veeleeg slowly detaches the fiber, moves it toward another neuron.

ZAQQAS
Watch the neurotransmitter levels!

VEELEEG
I've got it!

On the display, the axon attaches to its new synapse. At the same instant, Crichton spasms on the table, bucks against the straps, spits up a generous volume of drool.

Zaqqas and Veeleeg both freeze. Crichton slumps back down, lies still.

Veeleeg heaves a sigh of relief.

ZAQQAS
You nearly didn't.

VEELEEG
Must've brushed too close to the wrong synapse.

ZAQQAS
See that it doesn't happen again! Don't forget what's at stake here!

Veeleeg turns to confront Zaqqas, gets in his face.

VEELEEG
"What's at stake"!? You forget yourself, Zaqqas!
(condescending)
You may be senior on this project, but I'll always be your elder!

ZAQQAS
(sneering)
What's your point, old man?

Veeleeg gesticulates at the holo-display, all pent-up piss and vinegar suddenly let loose.

VEELEEG
Look at this! I'll bet you didn't even notice, Mister "Chief Neural
Engineer"!

Veeleeg points; Zaqqas peers at the display.

VEELEEG (CONT'D)
Look at the neural engrams. The background kelvo-readings.

ZAQQAS
That? That's nothing but a region of neural bleed. And long dead,
from the looks of—

Zaqqas pauses, sees something new.

ZAQQAS (CONT'D)
By the ancestors! That isn't forgotten memory; it's another
personality!

VEELEEG
So you do have a brain in that head of yours, after all!

ZAQQAS
This could be it. The key to everything we've been looking for.

Zaqqas turns back to Veeleeg, hopeful.

ZAQQAS (CONT'D)
Do you think you could awaken the other, dormant mind?

VEELEEG
Hmph. Child's play!

ZAQQAS
More importantly—can it be cleansed first?

Veeleeg pauses, unsure. After a moment, confidence returns. He cracks his knuckles, returns to the console.

VEELEEG
Ask me again in three solar days.
(beat)
I always did enjoy a challenge.

Veeleeg goes to work.

FADE OUT.

END OF ACT ONE


ACT TWO

FADE IN:

EXT. OUTER SPACE—MOYA—EXITING STARBURST

Empty space—a panoramic backdrop of stars, red dwarfs and white dwarfs, some of the latter ringed by planetary nebulae in cool colors, green and blue and purple gas.

A bright blue-white tachyon-burst, and Moya emerges from StarBurst, sails on.

INT. MOYA—NIGHT

CENTER CHAMBER

Pitch black. The door cracks open; light from the corridor outlines SIKOZU. She plods in, unsteady.

SIKOZU
(speaking pilot)

The lights come on. Sikozu wears her typical orange dress, hair down and disheveled, eyes dark and bleary. She's cross, ravenous. Grips her midriff; stomach GROWLS.

Hungry moan. She lunges at the food storage unit, stops in her tracks, surprised squeak.

KORDETH is already in the room, eyes closed, upside-down: balanced on one hand, Jedi-like poise. The center chamber table has been pushed over to the wall to make room.

Kordeth chants as he balances: low, rumbling, repetitive. He wears a burgundy-colored gi that looks like it could've been pilfered from Ka D'Argo's wardrobe.

SIKOZU
Were you—meditating in the dark?

Kordeth opens his eyes, stops chanting. Slowly rights himself, but then flows into a pattern of graceful forms and poses, like t'ai-chi. He keeps up the motions as he speaks.

KORDETH
Scarran eyes are well adapted to low light.

SIKOZU
Well—go elsewhere now, please. This room is about to become—
(loud stomach GROWL)
—less than tranquil.

Kordeth stops posing, tilts his head.

KORDETH
Your time to feed?

SIKOZU
I'm afraid so. So—
(shooing motion)
Can't you do that in your quarters?

Kordeth goes back to posing.

KORDETH
I cannot. The ritual of absolution requires many positions. My cell
has insufficient room.

Sikozu grunts, pushes her way to the storage-unit, tears it open. Grabs an armful of food—meats, fruits, food cubes.

SIKOZU
—Maintenance bay?

KORDETH
The Peacekeepers have declared the bays restricted.

Sikozu brings the food to the table, drops it in a heap.

SKIOZU
Cargo holds?

KORDETH
Also restricted.

Sikozu grabs a hunk of meat, stuffs her face. Eyes shut, orgasmic moan. After a beat, she looks at Kordeth, pity.

SIKOZU
You realize of course that the Peacekeepers are merely attempting
to provoke you.

KORDETH
I would prefer to avoid conflict.

Sikozu bites into a piece of fruit, then wolfs down a stringy vegetable and strip of bread at the same time.

SIKOZU
(mouth full)
I have it!
(swallows)
The terrace! Plenty of space, and nobody EVER goes there.

Kordeth stops his motions, bows to Sikozu.

KORDETH
Very well. I will leave you to your feeding, Kalish.

He stalks to the door. As he exits:

KORDETH (CONT'D)
May you find much health and pleasure in it.

Sikozu gags, pulls a half-chewed strand of gristle out of her mouth, grimaces, disgusted.

COMMAND—DAY

Aeryn watches the forward viewport, hands behind her back. (The viewport shows three small, distant orange suns.)

Officer Nybar walks onto command, comes up behind Aeryn.

NYBAR
Ma'am. Pilot has confirmed—Moya's last StarBurst places us
deep within Nebari territory.

AERYN
Sensors?

NYBAR
We're still working on that.

Pilot's hologram appears.

PILOT
There are no ships within Moya's immediate sense-horizon, but…

AERYN
What is it, Pilot?

PILOT
Moya's new sensors are detecting a hetch-trail consistent with the
Vigilante we've been tracking.
(beat)
It vanishes near the star-system just ahead—but another, larger
trail indicates that something else passed by recently. Something big.

AERYN
A Nebari Host Vessel. Like the one that destroyed the "Zelbinion".

NYBAR
The "Zelbinion"… it was destroyed by the Nebari!?

Aeryn glances at Nybar.

AERYN
Over a hundred cycles ago. Long story.

Aeryn walks closer to the viewport, observing, thinking.

AERYN (CONT'D)
Follow it, Pilot.

NYBAR
Are you sure that's wise?

Aeryn glares at Nybar, silences him.

Pilot looks worried, then brave, resolved.

PILOT
—Yes, Captain.

Pilot's hologram disappears. Aeryn stares ahead. Nybar stands by, waits for orders.

EXT. OUTER SPACE—NEBARI HOSTSHIP—ESTAB.

The Nebari Hostship blasts through a region of empty space, blue and red stars in the distance.

INT. NEBARI HOSTSHIP—NIGHT

CRICHTON'S QUARTERS

Crichton sleeps on the bunk in his cell, restless, sweating. He tosses, turns, lands on his back; his eyes snap open.

The tiny room is dark, eerie, off-putting. The walls are angled funny; the ceiling seems to stretch too high.

Crichton swings his legs over the side of the bunk. Bare feet hit cold metal floor. He shivers.

Dead silence; not even engine noise. Of its own accord, the door slides open. Outside, the corridor is empty, dim.

Reluctant, compelled, Crichton rises, exits the cell.

CORRIDOR

The hallways are shadowy, quiet, weirdly misshapen. Dreamlike, Crichton walks with purpose, following—something.

He comes to an intersection, pauses. Looks each way.

When Crichton looks left, we see a dark human-like shape, all in black, flit down the right-hand passage.

Crichton senses the movement, looks right, sees nothing.

The world tilts around Crichton. He takes the right-hand corridor, follows after the shadow.

LATER

Crichton sways, plods down the hall. Ahead, inky blackness.

Then, a tiny spark of blue light. The light grows until blue ripples shine on Crichton's face. WORMHOLE NOISES.

CRICHTON
(surfer accent)
No way. No effin' way, man!

A fully-formed WORMHOLE floats in the middle of the hall. The other end of the wormhole swirls, undulates—on the other end, we can see an iceberg on a dark sea.

The wormhole widens. Now we see the crumpled wreckage of Crichton's module half-buried in the ice. A burned corpse in an IASA flight-suit hangs over the edge of the cockpit.

The wormhole FLARES bright, winks out. In its place, EINSTEIN the Ancient stands in the hall, silent, staring.

CRICHTON
Einstein. You trying to tell me something?

Long, disturbing pause.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
The stuff is still in my head!

Crichton advances on Einstein, menacing.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
You didn't take it back—so I can use it if I want to!

Crichton balls a fist, ready to throw a punch; Einstein vanishes. Crichton whirls around, searching, angry.

We hear Einstein's disembodied VOICEOVER, a line from "FARSCAPE" #411: "What do you desire with wormholes?"

Crichton shakes his fists, rages.

CRICHTON
Nothing!
(beat)
—Or whatever I damn well please.

White FLASH to a rapid

SERIES OF SHOTS—FROM "FARSCAPE" #116, "A HUMAN REACTION"

A) The wormhole to the False Earth.

B) JACK CRICHTON leaning on a railing by water with John.

C) Jack sitting on a chair in the military bunker.

D) "Jack's" chest coming off, revealing the "alien goo".

E) "Jack's" true Ancient form under a beam of white light.

BACK TO SCENE

Overwhelmed, Crichton stumbles to the corridor wall. Closes his eyes, covers his ears. Wordless yell.

At the same time, another VOICEOVER: ANCIENT JACK from "FARSCAPE" #119: "If you're not smart enough to discover it on your own, you're not smart enough to handle it wisely."

Crichton slumps to his knees, out of breath. Loud SNAP as the lights in the hallway come on.

Instantly, the world is back to normal, all right angles and military perfection.

Crichton looks around: wary, crazed, uncertain—and alone.

CRICHTON'S RESEARCH LAB—DAY

The display that Crichton smashed earlier has been replaced. The new holo-emitter projects a one-line equation above it.

TERLA (female Nebari, teens or 20s) stands in the lab, stares at the equation. White hair (bowl-cut), gray jumpsuit. Petite, cute, stiff, robotic.

Zaqqas enters, leading Crichton (dazed).

ZAQQAS
I'm afraid we're out of time. If we don't see results in a solar
day's time, the project may fail.

CRICHTON
One solar day?

ZAQQAS
(forced smile)
Even a nearly-perfected society can't escape the demands of
politics.

Zaqqas comes to a stop behind Terla.

ZAQQAS (CONT'D)
Meet your new assistant. John Crichton, this is Terla.

Terla faces Crichton. Her eyes are dead inside. She's permanently mind-cleansed, a soulless zombie.

TERLA
(toneless)
Greetings, John Crichton. It is my pleasure to assist you. Do you
require anything before we begin?

Crichton glances at Zaqqas, unsure. Zaqqas keeps a detached, observant stare fixed on Crichton.

CRICHTON
Um—I could use some paper, if you have any. It's old-fashioned, but
it helps me think.

TERLA
I will requisition some.

Terla marches to the door, leaves the lab. Crichton's eyes follow Terla as she goes.

CRICHTON
Is she all right?

ZAQQAS
Hers was a brilliant mind once. A very promising, very creative up-
and-coming astrophysicist.
(sadly)
Some of her ideas were a bit too radical, and had to be eliminated.
For her own good, of course.

CRICHTON
She's cleansed. Just like me.

ZAQQAS
Not quite. The drug-induced cleansing doesn't work on Nebari,
remember? Her treatment was begun over a hundred cycles ago.

CRICHTON
Oh; yeah. Forgot. Silly me.

ZAQQAS
No worries, my friend. All we do is in the service of the greater
good. But for now—

Zaqqas grips Crichton's upper arms, looks him in the eye.

ZAQQAS (CONT'D)
—I need to you focus on your research. Can you do that?

CRICHTON
Of course.
(friendly smile)
I'll do everything I can.

ZAQQAS
Good.

Terla comes back into the lab, carries a heavy roll of grayish-white paper and several pens.

TERLA
Will this be sufficient?

CRICHTON
Yeah, perfect.

ZAQQAS
One thing more before I leave you to your work.
(scrutinizes Crichton)
Have you noticed any—odd feelings recently? Any thoughts or images,
that might not be—your own?

Crichton grins, bursts out laughing.

CRICHTON
You think I might be going nuts?

ZAQQAS
(puzzled)
I'm—only asking. Have you felt anything out of the ordinary?

CRICHTON
Honestly—no. For me, nothing strange at all.

ZAQQAS
(disappointed)
Very well. I'll leave you to it, then. Make me proud, both of you.

Zaqqas leaves. Crichton takes the paper from Terla, unrolls it across the floor. Uncaps two pens, hands one to Terla. She grins, like a small child getting ready to play with crayons—maybe the first time she's smiled in a century.

Crichton kneels down, writes a large "t" on the paper, circles it.

CRICHTON
Eventually, we're gonna need thirteen dimensions here—but
everything starts with time.

Terla sits on the floor, scribbles something in Nebari. Crichton writes some math next to her alien squiggles; she writes more Nebari. They take turns filling up the paper, haphazard, playful. Terla giggles; Crichton grins.

NEURAL ENGINEERING LAB

The doors to Zaqqas and Veeleeg's lab HISS open. Zaqqas enters, looks about, furtive, wary.

He marches up to the main computer, brings up a display—holograms of Crichton's DNA, Crichton's brain, a wormhole.

As each image comes up, it shatters into bits and bytes and little smithereens of light—deleted forever.

Zaqqas glances over his shoulder. Pulls a green, octagonal DATA DISC from the computer, hides it up his sleeve.

VEELEEG (O.S.)
Well, well. What have we here?

Zaqqas spins around. Veeleeg stands in the lab, accusing.

VEELEEG (CONT'D)
Well, Zaqqas? Are you going to explain yourself? Or do I need to
go fill out a requisition form for a pain-collar?

ZAQQAS
I don't know what you're talking about. I was just correcting a few
anomalies in our data.

VEELEEG
Manipulating our data, you mean! I saw you delete those files!

Zaqqas advances on Veeleeg, threatening.

ZAQQAS
Listen, old man! We have a Standard arriving here in less than
twenty arns! An Establishment Standard! With the power to shut
down this project and render both of us irrelevant!

VEELEEG
Or execute us at the slightest hint of impropriety!

Zaqqas comes close enough to lay hands on Veeleeg, grips his shoulders, leans close.

ZAQQAS
This project—must succeed!

VEELEEG
And you think things will go better if you simply discard the data that
doesn't agree with your prejudices?

ZAQQAS
(soft, saccharine)
What I'd like to know, my friend—

Zaqqas suddenly pushes Veeleeg all the way across the room, slams him against the wall, holds him there. Veeleeg gasps, knocked breathless, shocked.

ZAQQAS (CONT'D)
—is, why aren't we seeing any results from your "treatment" yet?
We had four solar days, and you've wasted three of them on your
fahrbot sidetrack!

Zaqqas pushes away from Veeleeg and the wall. Veeleeg slumps to the floor, gasping, choking.

ZAQQAS (CONT'D)
You've failed us, old man! So now it falls to me to clean up your
mess—my way.

Soft TONE from the ship's intercom. Veeleeg wheezes. Zaqqas shoots a look of contempt at Veeleeg, then walks to the intercom near the lab door, hits a button.

ZAQQAS
Zaqqas here. Go ahead.

ORDERLY #1 (V.O.)
Doctor, we're having a problem with one of the experimentals.
(beat)
It's the human, sir.

ZAQQAS
I'll be right there.

Veeleeg starts laughing, coughing. Triumphant, sneering.

Zaqqas glares at Veeleeg, hurries off.

CRICHTON'S RESEARCH LAB—NIGHT

Crichton lies unconscious, supine on the paper rolled out across the lab floor. The paper is completely filled with equations now. Terla is gone; the lights are off.

Crichton cries out in surprise, comes to, sits up. Pale skin, bloodshot eyes. He looks around, confused.

CRICHTON
What the—?

Crichton stands, goes to the door, waves his hand in front of the sensor. The door SWISHES open, reveals golden, ribbed walls on the other side. A Leviathan passageway.

CRICHTON
Holy mother o' God.

Crichton peeks out. It's quiet, empty. He goes out.

INT. MOYA—NIGHT

CORRIDOR

Moya is totally dark—not even night-lighting. Deep shadow, eerie and off-putting, like a horror movie.

Crichton creeps down the hall, slow, cautious. Peeks into cells when he passes them; they're all empty.

JOHN AND AERYN'S QUARTERS

The door to Crichton's bedroom swings open. Crichton's old IASA flight-suit lies rumpled on the bed.

Crichton comes in, walks up to the bed, picks up his flight-suit, examines it.

Deke's baby-crib from Hyneria ("UNREALIZED" #101) sits in the room too. Baby CRYING. Eerie minor-key LULLABY.

Crichton drops the flight-suit, runs over to the crib—it's empty. The lullaby stops with a vinyl record-SCREECH.

CRICHTON
Deke!?
(shouting)
Aeryn!

Crichton turns around, listens. Dead silence.

Out in the corridor, a flash of wavy blue light, like water, shining from somewhere out of view. WORMHOLE SOUNDS.

CRICHTON
This is getting old.

Crichton rips the sheets off his bed, rifles through everything, searches—at last, he comes up with WINONA, holstered. He unclips the gun, holds it in front of himself, follows the light back out into the hallway.

CORRIDOR

Pistol out, Crichton sneaks down the corridor. The watery light is up ahead, out of reach, leading Crichton along.

CRICHTON
Yoo-hoo! Ancients!

Crichton comes to an intersection, points his gun each way.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
(yelling)
Hey, Einstein!

JACK CRICHTON (O.S.)
Not Einstein.

Crichton whirls about, points Winona; JACK CRICHTON stands in the corridor, bounces Deke in his arms.

CRICHTON
Jack.

JACK CRICHTON
Hello, John.

CRICHTON
I thought Furlow killed you.

JACK CRICHTON
Well, rumors of my demise—

CRICHTON
Don't. It's a cliché.
(beat)
What's with the Cabbage-Patch Kid?

Jack holds up Deke.

JACK CRICHTON
You mean my grandson? He's—

CRICHTON
(gritted teeth)
NOT—your grandson.

Crichton aims Winona at Jack.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
Deke's not really here. My father's not really here.
(searching pause)
So who the frell are you?

Deke doesn't react. Jack smiles—smug, uncanny.

JACK CRICHTON
I'm proud of you, son. This is a fine boy you and Aeryn have here.

Crichton hesitates; his gun-arm wavers. Then his face hardens; he scowls, pulls the trigger. Pulse BLAST.

FADE OUT.

END OF ACT TWO


ACT THREE

FADE IN:

INT. CORRIDOR—MOYA—NIGHT—CONTINUOUS FROM ACT TWO

John Crichton stands alone, smoking gun in hand. He whirls about—the corridor is empty, no sign of "Jack" or "Deke".

Crazed, Crichton laughs into the darkness.

CRICHTON
HAH! Knew you weren't REAL!

Crichton fires a few more wild shots down the corridor.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
Hear me, Einstein?
(nervous pause)
You can't stop us!

Crichton crouches low, looks around—feral, cornered.

A high-pitched WARBLE comes from one of the hallways. Nonplussed, Crichton stares in that direction. The jellyfish-alien from the mess-hall, Oolool, emerges from the shadows. (It moves by levitation, hovering.)

Oolool floats into the intersection, raises a tentacle—friendly wave.

OOLOOL
OooOOOoooh…

Baffled, Crichton tilts his head, stares.

Oolool floats on by Crichton, goes down one of the hallways.

CRICHTON
(under his breath)
What the frell—?

He moves to follow Oolool, when suddenly—stricken, as if punched—he cries out, drops to his knees. White FLASH.

Crichton slumps to the floor, writhes. Long, pained scream.

INT. CRICHTON'S RESEARCH LAB—NEBARI HOSTSHIP—DAY

Zaqqas bursts into the wormhole research lab.

ZAQQAS
What's happened?

Crichton lies on his back, spread out on the paper. (Most of it is still blank, unused.) Terla stands over Crichton, dead stare, unmoving.

Nebari Orderly #1 kneels on the floor by Crichton.

ORDERLY #1
He collapsed. I haven't been able to wake him.

ZAQQAS
Out of the way.

The orderly stands aside. Zaqqas kneels, feels Crichton's pulse at the neck, pries open an eyelid.

ZAQQAS (CONT'D)
He's alive, but—hm…

Zaqqas looks up at Terla.

ZAQQAS
Terla. Did you notice anything odd before he collapsed?

TERLA
Yes.
(awkward pause)
Without second-order negative energy corrections, the wormholes
these equations describe would—

ZAQQAS
No! I mean odd about Crichton!

TERLA
Oh.
(beat)
He smiles a lot.

Zaqqas lets out an exasperated grunt, takes Crichton's arms.

ZAQQAS
(at Orderly #1)
Help me with him.

The orderly takes Crichton's legs; they heft him up, struggle to the exit.

INT. JACK CRICHTON'S HOUSE—FLORIDA—NIGHT

Crichton screams, comes to, jumps up. He's lying on the sofa in the living room in his father's home in Florida, exactly as it appeared in "FARSCAPE" #413—minus the Christmas decorations and the Skreeth-wrought vandalism. It's quiet, ordinary, domestic.

CRICHTON
What the—?

OLIVIA CRICHTON comes into the living room from the kitchen, two open beer-bottles in hand.

OLIVIA
Hey, big brother. Fall asleep again?

Olivia sets one of the beers on the coffee-table in front of Crichton, plops down into an easy-chair.

OLIVIA (CONT'D)
I don't blame you. That little nephew of mine sure has a set of
lungs on him.
(giggle)
Bet he drove you and Aeryn crazy before he started sleeping through
the night.

Olivia takes a pull from her beer. Crichton boggles, sits up on the couch. Still red-eyed, haggard, pale.

CRICHTON
Wha—Livvy?—Um, where—?

OLIVIA
Where's Aeryn? She took D'Argo to the park with Dad.
(winces)
Sorry, I meant "Deke". I keep forgetting.

She leans forward, puts a hand on Crichton's knee.

OLIVIA (CONT'D)
We were all really sorry to hear about D'Argo. But I'm sure it
wasn't your fault.

CRICHTON
What?

OLIVIA
I'm sure you did everything you could.

Crichton glares at Olivia. She sits back, drinks her beer, stares back at John—unruffled, eerie. Crichton staggers to his feet, backs away from Olivia.

CRICHTON
This is—wrong.

OLIVIA
What's wrong, John?

CRICHTON
(swallow)
Everything. This is—

Crichton scans the room.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
—a mind-frell. But why would they need to—?

Olivia smiles, curls her knees up to her chest in the chair.

OLIVIA
What are you talking about?

Crichton stops, walks over to the chair, grips the armrests, gets in Olivia's face.

CRICHTON
I'm talking about the Nebari!

OLIVIA
Like Chiana?

CRICHTON
Like—the nice gray people, who have been giving me drugs and
probing my brain!

Crichton stands again, looks up, shouts at the ceiling.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
Keeping me all squeaky-clean and mind-cleansed, so I'll give them
what I used to know about—
(deep breath, loud yell)
—WORMHOLES!

Olivia doesn't react. Crichton looks her in the eye, manic.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
But if I'm cleansed—they wouldn't need the mind-frell!

OLIVIA
And are you?

CRICHTON
What?

OLIVIA
Still cleansed. You're not acting like it.

Crichton freezes, realizing. Gives Olivia an offbeat look.

CRICHTON
You're—right. I've been asking the wrong question.
(beat)
I've been asking, "cui bono?" and suspecting the Ancients.

Crichton paces to the front door, opens it. On the other side, no outdoors, no front lawn; just empty white expanse.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
When I should've been asking, "how can I even ask?"

Crichton glances over his shoulder at Olivia.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
Thanks, Liv.

OLIVIA
Anytime, John.

He faces the door, walks through. Bright white LIGHT.

FADE TO:

INT. NEBARI HOSTSHIP—DAY

CORRIDOR

The Nebari orderlies push Crichton on a hovering gurney. Zaqqas ambles behind, thinking.

They stop at the door to Crichton's quarters. Veeleeg is already there, waiting for them, MED-KIT in hand.

VEELEEG
Say it.

Zaqqas stares at Veeleeg, wide-eyed. Is he serious?

Veeleeg waits, blocks the door. Zaqqas sighs.

ZAQQAS
You were right. Something is definitely happening to Crichton.
I was—premature in my criticism.
(beat)
And my behavior towards you has been—flawed. I shall endeavor to
—conform better in the future.

Veeleeg snorts, stands aside.

The door to Crichton's quarters opens with a HISS, the orderlies carry him in. Veeleeg follows them.

Down the corridor, some distance behind Zaqqas's back, we see Ooolool float through an intersection and out of sight again—followed shortly by a second, identical Ooolool.

Zaqqas pauses, looks over his shoulder. Both aliens are gone. Seeing nothing odd, Zaqqas goes into Crichton's cell.

CRICHTON'S QUARTERS

The orderlies deposit Crichton on the bed, then go back out to the corridor.

Veeleeg sits at the desk, opens the med-kit, revealing several hypo-sprays and small clear vials of drugs.

Zaqqas starts across the room, stumbles—the whole ship shudders, small earthquake. Loud, dwindling ENGINE NOISE.

VEELEEG
We're slowing down.

ZAQQAS
We must have reached the rendezvous point already.

Veeleeg selects a vial, places it into a hypo.

VEELEEG
(absently)
I thought we had another eighteen arns at least.

ZAQQAS
Just because we've reached the rendez-vous, doesn't mean the
Standard has—

VEELEEG
Hah! Nebari Prime will have dispatched a Paradigm-class
cruiser. Do you know frelling fast those things are?

Zaqqas fidgets, worried.

ZAQQAS
I'd better have a word with Commander Ernoulla and find out
what our schedule looks like now.

VEELEEG
You do that.

Zaqqas quirks an eyebrow at Veeleeg. Veeleeg activates the hypo-spray, holds it up, waves it between them.

VEELEEG (CONT'D)
Well, go on! I can handle a simple procedure!

Wordless, Zaqqas leaves.

Veeleeg explodes into motion, pops the drug-vial from the med-kit out of the hypo; reaches into a pocket, withdraws a different vial, slots it in. He touches it to Crichton's neck—quick HISS!—Crichton groans, spasms on the bed.

VEELEEG
There now. Time for you to snap out of it, Crichton!

Crichton lies on the bed, remains unconscious. Veeleeg looks over his shoulder, nervous.

VEELEEG (CONT'D)
Come on—don't make me dose you again!

Crichton doesn't move, lets out a weak gurgling breath—like a death-rattle.

Veeleeg prods Crichton. Crichton doesn't stir at all.

VEELEEG (CONT'D)
Crichton? Crichton!

No response. Veeleeg looks mortified.

EXT. OUTER SPACE—MOYA—ESTAB.

Moya races through open space at her maximum speed.

INT. TERRACE—MOYA—DAY

Kordeth sits on a pile of pillows in middle of the terrace, cross-legged, eyes closed, hands out with the palms up and the claws curled inward. Low repetitive chant.

Two brass brazier-bowls on low tripods flank Kordeth, burn incense, cast wisps of purple smoke in stringy curls.

Officer Kirlix, armed with two PULSE-RILFES, swaggers onto the terrace, turns the rifles on, points them at Kordeth.

KIRLIX
Hey, you! Time to clear out!

Kordeth opens his eyes, tilts his head.

KORDETH
I am—busy. Go away, please.

Kirlix walks up to Kordeth, waves a pulse-rifle to waft some of the smoke out of her face, smirks.

KIRLIX
Oh, no-no-no, I don't think so! See, this section of the ship has
just been declared security-restricted, level velka seven.

Kirlix leans forward, so that her head is level with Kordeth's.

KIRLIX (CONT'D)
Off. Limits. To unauthorized alien frellniks.

KORDETH
On whose authority?

Kirlix blinks, surprised; stands tall.

KIRLIX
(beat)
My frelling authority, that's who!

KORDETH
You are not the captain of this Leviathan—

KIRLIX
The frell does that matter? I'm an Officer and a Special Peacekeeper
Commando, and if I tell you to do something, you frelling do it!

Kordeth stands, slowly draws himself up to his full height, towers over Kirlix.

KORDETH
And if I refuse?

Kirlix smiles, snaps her two pulse-rifles into holsters strapped against either thigh.

KIRLIX
Then I get to have some fun. See, I'm not afraid of you.

She cracks her knuckles, puts up her dukes.

KORDETH
Clearly you are, or you would not have come here armed, threatening
violence.

KIRLIX
(scoffs)
Right, 'cuz you wouldn't do that. You're a peaceful preacher. The
Scarran who doesn't fight back.

KORDETH
Even if you attack me, I will not.

KIRLIX
What are you, some kind of coward?

Kirlix laughs, feints at Kordeth with a half-thrown punch. Kordeth doesn't flinch.

KORDETH
Even if you beat me to within a dench of my life, I will have only
proven my point.

KIRLIX
(sneering)
Oh, that's it. You moralizing fekik—

Kirlix darts forward to attack Kordeth in earnest.

AERYN (O.S.)
WHAT in the FRELLING HEZMANA is going on here!?

Aeryn and Lt. Zobrek walk onto the terrace behind Kirlix.

Kirlix freezes, faces Aeryn, stands at attention. Stone-faced, emotionless mask.

Aeryn marches past Kirlix, up to Kordeth.

AERYN
Are you all right?

KORDETH
I am unharmed.

Aeryn pauses, looks around at Kordeth's setup: incense-burners, meditation pillows.

AERYN
The terrace is a good place for this. Nobody uses it, and Moya can
filter the smoke out through the mass-membrane.

KORDETH
It was the Kalish's suggestion.

AERYN
(smiling)
She's too smart.

Aeryn turns, looks down her nose at Kirlix.

AERYN (CONT'D)
And as for you—do I have to explain that I expect officers
under my command to comport themselves as professionals?

Zobrek comes up behind Aeryn, helpful, suggestive:

ZOBREK
Standard punishment for poor discipline is a busting down to
grot-work.

AERYN
(approving)
I like the sound of that.

Aeryn paces around Kirlix's back.

AERYN (CONT'D)
I'll bet it would take fifty solar days to clean the Hodian trill-bat
dren out of Moya's bottom tier.

Slight twitch from Kirlix.

AERYN (CONT'D)
But, since we're short on qualified pilots at the moment, we can't
afford a change in the duty-roster.

Kirlix relaxes. Aeryn sees it—predatory grin.

AERYN (CONT'D)
So—Kordeth. What would YOU do with a subordinate who went around
acting like an immature Relgarian burden-lizard?

Aeryn, Kordeth, and Zobrek all look at Kirlix. Kirlix finally cracks, starts to sweat, looks worried.

EXT. SPACE—ORBITING GAS-GIANT—ESTAB.

The Nebari Host Vessel sits in an uninhabited system, orbiting a huge, ringed, green-and-orange-banded gas-giant.

INT. NEBARI HOSTSHIP—DAY

PU-RO-RA'S RESEARCH LAB

Another small laboratory, identical Crichton's wormhole lab. Very different equipment here, though—futuristic computer parts, crystals and wires and unearthly circuit-boards.

One table holds a pile of glass jars filled with bubbling, neon-colored liquids, a piece of organic tissue suspended in each, hooked up to wires, twitching like live muscle.

Pu-Ro-Ra labors over a pile of electronic junk and moist, gooey flesh laid out on a slab—it's Frankenstein meets the Terminator. The bio-mechanoid collection of parts forms a half-finished robot-arm with a claw-like hand; Pu-Ro-Ra lowers an opaque mask over his face, solders some wires with a hand-welder—sparks fly, the claw closes and opens.

Commander Ernoulla and Dr. Zaqqas stand just inside the lab, near the door, watching, disappointed, dismayed.

ERNOULLA
I hope that your project is going better than—whatever this is.

ZAQQAS
(snarky)
Ask Doctor Cheleyga; she's in charge of information technologies.

Ernoulla shoots a withering look at Zaqqas, who folds instantly.

ZAQQAS (CONT'D)
Er, I mean—inconclusive, just yet. But Veeleeg's "breakthrough"
is starting to show some promise.

ERNOULLA
Promise!? That's not good enough!

Pu-Ro-Ra looks up from his work, lifts the welding-mask, snaps his beak angrily at the distraction.

Ernoulla grips Zaqqas by the arm, drags him outside.

CORRIDOR—CONTINUOUS

Ernoulla releases Zaqqas with a forceful little push.

ERNOULLA (CONT'D)
We need results, or we're frelled! At last report, Standard Alora's
cruiser was due in-system in barely four arns' time!

ZAQQAS
Of course. I'll—

ERNOULLA
I don't want to hear it! Just do your job.

Ernoulla starts to leave, pauses, turns back.

ERNOULLA (CONT'D)
Do you know where Morkeel is?

ZAQQAS
The—xenobiologist? Handling the cellular-regen project, right?
(thoughtful pause)
No idea. Why?

ERNOULLA
Not your concern. Just another frell-up scientist I'm left to deal
with before the evaluation.

Ernoulla marches off, grumbling. Zaqqas stares after her, perplexed, then takes the opposite way down the corridor.

CRICHTON'S QUARTERS

Crichton lies on the cot in his cell—ill, fitful, sweating bullets. He groans, opens his eyes, looks up.

CRICHTON'S POV

Blurry, unfocused—vague shape and color of an elderly male Nebari hovering over Crichton.

JACK CRICHTON
John! Wake up!

The image focuses—we see a Nebari version of Jack Crichton, peering down at John, paternal, concerned.

BACK TO SCENE

Crichton starts, jumps up. No sign of Jack.

Veeleeg kneels by Crichton's bedside, hypo-spray in hand.

VEELEEG
Easy now, Crichton. I've given you something to metabolize the drug.

Crichton starts to speak, can't, coughs.

VEELEEG (CONT'D)
Hold on.

Veeleeg retrieves a rectangular water-bottle, unscrews the cap, hands it to Crichton. Crichton takes it, drinks.

Veeleeg sits down in the desk-chair.

VEELEEG (CONT'D)
Go slowly.

Crichton coughs again, sips the water, wipes his mouth. Swings his legs over the side of the bed, sits up.

CRICHTON
Thanks.
(beat)
This isn't the first time.

VEELEEG
No. I've been slipping you small doses of a counter-agent whenever I
thought I could get away with it.

CRICHTON
You're Resistance?

Veeleeg nods.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
Why?

VEELEEG
Why help you? Reciprocation, of course.

CRICHTON
(angry)
Like what!? You scratch my brain, I scratch yours?

VEELEEG
(snort)
Maybe I was just hoping for a little gratitude.

CRICHTON
Wormhole tech is OFF the table.

VEELEEG
You won't use it to help the Resistance?

CRICHTON
Too dangerous. The P.K.s and the Scarrans already learned that
lesson; why can't you?

VEELEEG
In that case—

Veeleeg rises, helps Crichton to stand.

VEELEEG (CONT'D)
We'd better get you out of here, so the Establishment doesn't get it
either.

CRICHTON
Now for that, I'm on board.

Crichton leans on Veeleeg, stumbles toward the door.

VEELEEG
(absently)
And if you're not willing to help, perhaps the neural clone in your
head will be grateful that I've revived him.

Crichton stops in his tracks, shell-shocked disbelief. Eyes wide, stares at Veeleeg, hatred, despair.

VEELEEG (CONT'D)
That's right. Any microt now, the clone's consciousness should—

CRICHTON
You—

Crichton closes his eyes, violently shakes his head.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
—No. Harvey's dead. Deleted, eradicated, the recycle bin is
empty!

Veeleeg answers with a sadistic smile.

Crichton leans on the cell-door, shuts his eyes tight. Suddenly, we WOOSH down a wormhole into

CRICHTON'S MIND

INT. SUN-CRICHTONS' BEDROOM—RYGEL'S PALACE—NIGHT

The creepy, minor-key LULLABY plays again. Crichton stands in front of Deke's crib. Low Scarran GROWLS come from the crib.

A baby's hand in black leather reaches over the edge of the crib, pulls. Up comes an infant version of SCORPIUS—pale wrinkly skin, coolant-suit, the works. The cooling rod carriage WHIRLS open, extends.

Crichton reels back, disgusted. White FLASH—an sharp blow, as if from an invisible punch, snaps Crichton's head back.

The music stops, the baby Scorpy disappears—and now HARVEY (v3.0, but still a perfect doppelgänger for Scorpius) stands behind Crichton.

HARVEY
Hello, John.

Crichton spins around—sputters, enraged.

CRICHTON
Harvey! You're—dead.

HARVEY
(suave grin)
Now, now, John. Is that any way to say, "Welcome home"?

Harvey steps forward, embraces Crichton. Crichton, defeated and dumbfounded, can only stare into space.

FADE OUT.

END OF ACT THREE


ACT FOUR

FADE IN:

INT. SUN-CRICHTONS' BEDROOM—RYGEL'S PALACE—NIGHT—CONTINUOUS FROM ACT THREE

Harvey embraces a stupefied Crichton. Crichton comes to his senses, pushes Harvey away.

CRICHTON
Get offa me!
(beat)
It was you, this whole time?

Harvey stands back, looks honestly confused.

HARVEY
I—believe so. Fragments of your memory, re-coalescing into—me.
(beat)
Well, why not? I've protected you, like a father—

Crichton pushes past Harvey, wags a finger in his face; goes for the door. Harvey follows.

CRICHTON / / HARVEY (CONT'D)
Don't you dare—! / / —looked out for you, like a brother!

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
You're supposed to be GONE! The wormhole tech—

HARVEY
Remains intact, within your mind.

Harvey leans in close.

HARVEY (CONT'D)
Einstein attempted to deceive us—by blocking your conscious access
to the knowledge. But I can—

Violent CRASH—the world shakes around Crichton and Harvey, knocks them off their feet. WORMHOLE effect again, and we woosh back out to the real world.

INT. CORRIDOR—NEBARI HOSTSHIP—DAY

The Hostship is shaking too. Veeleeg supports Crichton as they both stumble down the hallway. A few jumpsuited Nebari crew run past, grim, purposeful. After a couple seconds, the shaking stops.

Crichton and Veeleeg lean on the wall, wary, confused.

CRICHTON
What the hell was that? Weapons fire?

VEELEEG
I don't know. Felt more like engine trouble.
(beat)
Whatever it was, it's our chance. We can make for the escape-pods.

Veeleeg helps Crichton to rise, tries to pull him down the hallway. Crichton grips Veeleeg's arm, stops him.

CRICHTON
Wait. The equations in the lab.

VEELEEG
Are you mad? What if Zaqqas—

CRICHTON
We can't leave them anything to work with!

Veeleeg growls, relents.

VEELEEG
Fine. Come on.

Veeleeg and Crichton head for the lab.

EXT. SPACE—ORBITING GAS-GIANT

The Hostship remains in orbit near the gas-giant. A Nebari PARADIGM-CLASS CRUISER, looking for all the world like a sleek, silver, missile-shaped, 1950s-style B-movie sci-fi rocket, flies toward the Hostship.

INT. HANGAR/FLIGHT-DECK—NEBARI HOSTSHIP—DAY

An immense hangar—high ceiling, bright white and gray, gentle curves. Rows and rows of identical silver fighter-craft. The Paradigm Cruiser sits on a landing-pad, gives off steam. Jumpsuited deck-workers run about like ants.

The side of the ship opens, gangplank extends, out marches STANDARD ALORA (female Nebari, 30), followed by an escort of four silver-armored Nebari troops. Alora is beautiful, graceful, measured. Every word and movement is calculated to demonstrate perfect breeding, regal manners. Long flowing gray-and-white hair, shimmering silver-gray gown, cape. The only emotion in her eyes: self-possession.

Ernoulla, Zaqqas, and a detail of crewmen wait on the deck, stand at attention. Alora glides past the waiting troops, glancing, inspecting as she goes. Stops before Ernoulla.

ALORA
Commander Ernoulla.

ERNOULLA
(slight head-bow)
Standard Alora.

ALORA
During our approach, scans detected severe fluctuations in your
vessel's power systems.

ERNOULLA
(terrified)
Yes, ma'am. We're still working to isolate the problem. It's been
barely an arn since—

Alora raises a gentle hand. Ernoulla falls silent.

ALORA
Our Hostship Commanders are supposed to be exemplars of Nebari
behavior, that they may serve as an example to all beneath them.
(coldly)
This final demerit on your part is most regrettable.

ERNOULLA
But—!

Alora gestures to one of her troops, who levels a pulse-rifle, shoots Ernoulla dead on the spot, mid-protest. Ernoulla crumples to the floor, smoking hole in her chest.

Most of the deck-crew don't react. Zaqqas twitches, frightened for his life.

ALORA
It seems that I will have to take over here, until you receive a new
commander from Nebari Prime.

Two of the armored troopers move to haul Ernoulla's corpse off the flight-deck. Alora turns her attention to Zaqqas, who stiffens, chin up.

ALORA (CONT'D)
You are Doctor Zaqqas, in charge of the—special project. Correct?

ZAQQAS
Yes, ma'am. Quite correct.

ALORA
I look forward to seeing what you've accomplished.

ZAQQAS
Thank you. It will be my honor to be measured by you, Standard.

Alora removes her cape (revealing a bare-shouldered gown), hands it off to one of her escort troops.

ALORA
But first, why don't we take a pass through the engine-room and see
about setting this ship aright?

Alora leads the way, Zaqqas and her escort follow.

INT. MOYA—DAY

TIER TWO MESS HALL

Moya's entire complement of Peacekeeper crew—techs, light infantry, commandos, and pilots; some forty men and women in all—are assembled in the converted cargo-bay mess. They sit at the tables where there's room, otherwise stand.

Nybar, MYKI, GRIBWEL, and Lonik sit with the troops. Aeryn and Zobrek stand near the door, watch the proceedings.

Kirlix and Kordeth stand up in front of all the assembled soldiers. Kirlix, embarrassed, reads a statement from a clear, plasticky-looking TABLET.

KIRLIX
—I have been undisciplined and unprofessional in my behavior, and
for that—
(hint of annoyance)
—I—apologize to Captain Sun, to the crew of Moya, to Moya herself,
and to—
(looks up, surprised)
—seriously?

Kordeth growls. Kirlix rolls her eyes, continues.

KIRLIX (CONT'D)
—to Brother Kordeth and the monks of the Order of Rakkah.

KORDETH
Apology accepted.

Unhappy, Kirlix says nothing, stands at attention, faces Aeryn, salutes; then marches over to stand with the rest of the assembled Peacekeepers.

A few of the P.K.s start to hoot, jeer at Kirlix; they fall silent when Aeryn strides up to the head of the room.

AERYN
Now, I know that Officer Kirlix is not the only one of you who has
been harassing our new Scarran passenger. That ends now.

Aeryn runs her gaze over the assembled troops.

AERYN (CONT'D)
We have a Scarran on board. Get over it. MOYA is the one who
decides who she'll take on as passenger or crew, and until she
raises an objection, Kordeth will be staying with us.

A few of the P.K.s fidget, uncomfortable. Aeryn glances at Kordeth, nods. He turns to leave—stomps past Zobrek, goes out the door.

AERYN (CONT'D)
Which brings me to the main reason I've called you here. I haven't
been clear about this yet, so let me be clear now:
(beat)
Moya's original crew—myself, Sikozu, Noranti; Crichton and
Chiana, when we find them again; and Pilot; all they have knowledge
and experience that you do not.
(beat)
If one of them gives you an order, obey it, as if it came from me.
(beat)
That's all. As you were.

Aeryn marches to the door, leaves; Zobrek follows her out. The Peacekeepers stare after them, nonplussed.

CORRIDOR

Aeryn quick-marches down the hall; Zobrek follows.

AERYN
What do you think, Lieutenant; will that set them straight?

ZOBREK
Couldn't say, ma'am. It was the right move to use Kirlix, though.
She's the biggest hotshot in the bunch.
(smile)
Worse than you, if your personnel files mean anything.

Aeryn stops in her tracks, eyeballs Zobrek, who also stops.

AERYN
You've read my file?

ZOBREK
(nervous)
To be fair, ma'am, you WERE still technically a deserter at the time.

AERYN
I don't mind. It's just, you have me at a disadvantage, is all.

ZOBREK
Well, you're Captain now. You have access to all our files. They're
in Moya's databanks.

Aeryn nods; small, private smile.

AERYN
I'll be sure to keep that in mind.

Aeryn resumes her march down the hallway. Zobrek watches her go, unreadable look on her face.

INT. NEBARI HOSTSHIP—DAY

CORRIDOR

Crichton and Veeleeg rush down the corridor. (The ship briefly shudders again; the lights go out, come back.) They come to an intersection, where three Oolools float by, happy warbling sounds, repeated syllables of "Oooh" and "Lool".

Two more of the critters are stuck to the walls, tentacles buried in the ship's power-lines. Electricity sparks at the spots where the tentacles penetrate the conduits' casings.

CRICHTON
It's the attack of the killer Pokémon.
(beat)
How many of these things have we seen now—fourteen, fifteen?

VEELEEG
I've lost count.
(beat)
They're feeding directly off the Hostship's power-systems.

Crichton and Veeleeg stop at the intersection, watch the feeding Oolools.

CRICHTON
What the Hezmana are they?

VEELEEG
Our xenobiologists were studying a rare species that was rumored to
have incredible cellular regeneration capabilities.

Before their very eyes, one of Oolools attached to the wall starts crackling and sparking—overflowing with electric power. Tiny lightning-bolts arc between the eye-stalks, it starts to spasm and scream (sounds a bit like R2-D2).

The creature floats in the middle of the corridor, spinning in place; then it divides, like a cell undergoing mitosis. A second later, there are two Oolools where there had been one before. They both latch back onto the power-conduits and start feeding again.

Crichton jumps back, surprised. Veeleeg stares, thoughtful.

CRICHTON
Oh, that can't be good…

VEELEEG
Doctor Morkeel mentioned that he was having trouble figuring out
what to feed the specimen—

CRICHTON
Well, that's the trouble with tribbles. They're cute right up
until they're everywhere.

Crichton presses on down the hallway, Veeleeg follows.

ENGINE ROOM

The Hostship's engine room is the largest open space yet seen within the immense ship—even bigger than the hangar. Tall columns of rotating metal drums, huge lightning-bolts arcing between them. Dozens of Nebari engineers working, running helter-skelter, panicking, operating consoles.

There are also dozens and dozens of Oolools in here, feeding off the engines. Engineers try (without success) to pry them loose. One of the Nebari grabs onto a feeding Oolool, suffers a lethal electric shock.

A masked Nebari SECURITY GUARD levels a pulse-rifle at the nearest alien, fires several shots directly into it. Doctor MORKEEL (male Nebari, 50), a chubby, balding, middle-aged nebbish of a scientist, tries to stop him.

MORKEEL
No, don't—!

The Oolool absorbs the pulse-fire, immediately divides into six perfect copies of itself. They chirp and warble.

MORKEEL (CONT'D)
(defeated)
—You'll only feed it!

The guard stares, at a loss for what to do.

The doors to the engine room slide open. Standard Alora and Doctor Zaqqas stride in, see the chaos. Stunned confusion.

ZAQQAS
What the frell—?

Morkeel runs up to Zaqqas and Alora.

MORKEEL
Zaqqas! Thank the ancestors you're here. We can't kill them! They
EAT power—including pulse-fire!

ZAQQAS
They're feeding off the ship!?

Morkeel nods, panicked.

ALORA
(serenely)
Fetch cutting-tools.

MORKEEL
(brightening)
Yes, Standard! Right away!

Morkeel runs off. Alora watches him go with disdain.

A large electric surge sends a shower of sparks flying in Zaqqas's direction. Zaqqas jumps back, rattled.

CRICHTON'S RESEARCH LAB

A couple of Oolools have infested the research lab; they draw power from the conduits, equipment, computers.

Terla sits on the floor, scrawls equations on the paper. Crichton and Veeleeg dash into the lab, see the destruction.

CRICHTON
Huh—guess that takes care o' that.

VEELEEG
I suppose it does.

Crichton kneels down by Terla, tries to pull the paper out from under her.

CRICHTON
Hey—I need this back, darlin'.

Terla looks up, visibly upset, verging on tears.

CRICHTON (CONT'D)
Come on. You know as well as I do, it's a weapon. It's dangerous.

He tries to take the paper again; Terla grabs his wrist.

TERLA
Please.
(beat)
This math. It's so—perfect.
(confused pause)
It makes me—happy.

CRICHTON
On paper. But the truth of it would only break your heart.

Crichton tugs on the paper again. Terla rolls out of the way, lets him take it.

Crichton crumples up the paper, walks over to a feeding Oolool, waits for the right moment—an arc of electricity between two of the eye-stalks. He holds the ball of paper to the arc, sets it on fire. Drops the flaming wad to the floor, lets it burn.

CRICHTON
Is there anything else?

VEELEEG
(guilty)
Um…

Crichton runs up to Veeleeg, worried, intense.

CRICHTON
What?

VEELEEG
Zaqqas. He had a backup disc—

Crichton grunts—disgusted, annoyed. He runs for the door.

VEELEEG
Wait!

Veeleeg chases after Crichton.

Once they're gone, Terla rises, calm, emotionless. Marches to the door, deliberate, robotic. Exits the lab.

CORRIDOR

We follow Terla as she makes her way slowly through the length and breadth of the Hostship, all the way through a

SERIES OF SHOTS

A) Terla walking down a hall choked with feeding Oolools, electrical damage.

B) Terla walking past a panicked Nebari fire-crew, who spray retardant foam on an electrical fire.

C) Terla walking through a huge flight-deck, semi-oblivious to an ongoing firefight: Nebari security guards fire pulse-rifles, retreat from a growing swarm of dividing Oolools.

D) Terla walking down another corridor, this one relatively calm and quiet, until she comes to the

ENGINE ROOM

Terla enters. In the background, Alora directs Morkeel and a cadre of engineers with silver machete-like blades.

The engineers hack at Oolool tentacles, cut them off the engines and power-lines, chop into the aliens' bodies like a swarm of crazy axe-murderers. Green blood and entrails fly everywhere—a gory mess that splatter-houses everyone (except, for some reason, Alora).

Zaqqas is off to one side, away from the main action, with a machete of his own. He chops at an Oolool—spurt of green blood all over his clothes—winces, squicked out.

Terla marches up to Zaqqas.

TERLA
We must speak.

ZAQQAS
Terla!? Where's Crichton?

TERLA
With Veeleeg. He is a traitor.

ZAQQAS
(wide-eyed)
Frell!

Zaqqas runs for the door.

Terla remains rooted there, watches him go, no emotion.

CORRIDOR

Crichton and Veeleeg run through the hallway. The ship shudders; the lights go out. A moment later, the lights come back on, but now they're dim and tinted blue.

VEELEEG
We've just gone from main power to auxiliary!

Veeleeg grabs Crichton, pulls him down the hall.

VEELEEG (CONT'D)
There's no more time—we have to get off this ship!

Crichton fights, but not with Veeleeg. We waves his arms at empty air, twitches, blinks.

CRICHTON
Dammit, Harvey—not now!

VEELEEG
The neural clone?

CRICHTON
(shaky)
He wants to go after Zaqqas.

VEELEEG
(smug)
Of course he does—I cleansed him!

CRICHTON
You what!?

VEELEEG
Don't worry; I made him loyal to the Resistance, not the
Establishment.

The Hostship rocks again. Crichton and Veeleeg stumble.

CRICHTON
We're just gonna have to hope that Zaqqas goes down with the ship!

On cue, Zaqqas turns a corner, appears in the corridor, blocks their way. Brandishes a green-bloodied blade.

ZAQQAS
This ship is NOT going down!
(at Veeleeg)
And YOU, old man, are a traitor to our entire civilization!

Veeleeg's comeback is cut off by Zaqqas, who yells, rushes them with the machete—the slasher-movie chase is on.

HANGAR/FLIGHT-DECK

Crichton and Veeleeg sprint onto the flight-deck. A few Oolools float around on the deck, aimless. There are also some dead, burned Nebari guards scattered about.

Zaqqas chases close behind, swings the blade, screams.

Crichton spies the Standard's Cruiser, points.

CRICHTON
That looks good; can we take that one?

The gangplank on the Paradigm Cruiser suddenly sparks, falls open, hits the deck with a metallic CLANG. About fifty Oolools roll out in a heap—chirpy warbles, burps, electric sparks. The critters on the top of the heap wave their tentacles at Crichton, friendly, as if to say "hi".

OOLOOLS #285–#337
Oooooollooooool!

CRICHTON
Or maybe not…

ZAQQAS
(shouting)
Crichton! Come back here!
(beat)
In the name of the greater good, I order you to come back!

Veeleeg pushes Crichton in the direction of the rows of docked fighter-craft.

VEELEEG
Take one of the Exemplars! With main power down, the security locks
should be shot!

Crichton turns to face Zaqqas, but Veeleeg urges him on.

VEELEEG (CONT'D)
Go! I'll hold him here and catch up with you!

Zaqqas falls upon Veeleeg. They grip each other at the wrists, wrestle for the machete.

Crichton hesitates; then jogs off.

ZAQQAS
I'm going to enjoy this, you pathetic old fart!

VEELEEG
Not as much as I will, you witless young snot!
(beat)
At least I'VE lived!

Veeleeg roars with exertion, drives both himself and Zaqqas into the pile of engorged, electrified Oolools still tangled up at the foot of the cruiser's gangplank.

A loud, sickening, wet, electric POP—both Zaqqas and Veeleeg are gone.

EXEMPLAR COCKPIT

The rear of the fighter slides open with a WHIR. Crichton dashes inside, slides into the pilot's seat. The craft is very advanced—simple, smooth, silvery controls; but lots of complicated holographic heads-up displays spring into being the instant Crichton sits down.

Crichton fumbles with the controls for a bit. After a moment, the craft starts to move.

HANGAR/FLIGHT-DECK

One of the Exemplar-class fighter-planes (Crichton's) lifts out of its berth, rockets across the hangar, flies away.

FADE OUT.

END OF ACT FOUR


TAG

FADE IN:

EXT. SPACE—NEBARI HOSTSHIP—ORBITING GAS-GIANT

Crichton's stolen plane rockets away from the Nebari Hostship.

The Hostship lists badly in its orbit around the gas-giant: a few small explosions, lots of spot-fires.

INT. EXEMPLAR COCKPIT—FLYING

Crichton flies the fighter—weary, ready to collapse.

Quick WOOSH—Harvey appears in the cockpit behind Crichton, peeks out from behind the pilot's seat.

CRICHTON
For the hundredth time—go away, Harv.
(mumbles)
Preferably forever.

HARVEY
You are exhausted, John. And still suffering from the after-effects of
the mind-cleansing drug.

Harvey reaches around the seat-back, points at an instrument on the dashboard.

HARVEY (CONT'D)
Therefore, I offer you this small token of assistance. This planet's
eleventh moon—supports a breathable atmosphere.
(beat)
It is our only viable hiding-place.

Crichton glances over his shoulder.

CRICHTON
What do you want, Harvey?

HARVEY
Why, my motives have scarcely changed. Keeping you alive keeps
me alive.
(beat)
And—now that I've been given a new lease on life, I serve a higher
purpose as well!

Harvey beats a drumroll on the top of the pilot's seat with his hands. Crichton rolls his eyes.

HARVEY (CONT'D)
(with a flourish)
The Resistance!

Crichton snorts; works the controls, adjusts their course.

CRICHTON
(deadpan; Cajun accent)
Laissez les bons temps rouler.

Harvey grins, slides back behind the pilot's seat—WOOSH, he's gone.

Crichton stares ahead, blank, bloodshot eyes.

INT. HANGAR/FLIGHT-DECK—NEBARI HOSTSHIP—DAY

Standard Alora leads Dr. Morkeel and a weary cohort of blood-spattered Nebari engineers and guards onto the flight-deck. Surveys the carnage.

A huge pile of charred flesh sits on the deck-floor, not far from her cruiser. She walks over to it, peers down at the smoking mess.

The burned corpses of Zaqqas and Veeleeg lie among the Oolool remains, barely recognizable.

ALORA
I want their cerebral tissues mapped, down to the last neuron.
Find out how this happened.

MORKEEL
Yes ma'am—at once.

Obsequious, timid, Morkeel gestures to the guards, directs them to retrieve the two burned corpses.

Alora spins on her heel, marches off the flight-deck.

FADE OUT.

END OF SHOW