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Thank God It's Friday Again

April 23, 1999 - US
January 17, 2000 - UK

Writer - David Wilks
Director - Rowan Woods

Guest Cast
Angie Milliken . . . Volmae
Ken Blackburn . . . Hybin
Tina Thomsen . . . .Tanga

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Episode Summary
It all starts when D'Argo goes into a Luxan hyper-rage. That is pretty much what its name says it is - possibly hormonally-related, whatever the case he storms off Moya to an agricultural planet nearby to work out his aggression. After a few prudent days, the rest of the crew go to fetch him home.

But he doesn't WANT to come home. There's something funny about the planet - Sykar - and it turns out to be the crop they grow for "The Others" and eat. Tannot root. It reduces anyone who eats it to a grinning, simple-minded zombie. Except for Rygel, who it turns into a Molotov cocktail peeing wreck. It develops that tannot root, when processed with certain chemicals similar to those in a Hynerians' stomach, becomes chakan oil. The fuel used to power Peacekeeper weapons. Some of the locals are immune to effects of the tannot and try to forcibly enlist Johns' help in starting a revolution to free their world from PK enslavement. While he contends with that problem, Aeryn is left with Pilot to try and fix Rygel before he blows himself up.

She manages to do so, under Pilots' supervision. But Poor Rygel is compelled to eat of the root again so John can use its' effects on him as a wake-up call to the Sykarans as to what it is they are allowing themselves to be controlled by.

The Sykarans are left to start their own revolution and Moya's crew continues on their journey, a little older and a little wiser.

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The episode opens with D'Argo walking the corridors of Moya screaming in fury. John is seen hiding hear the Farscape 1.

D'Argo: (enraged) CRICHTON! CRICHTON! CRICHTON! WHERE IS THE HUMAN? BRING HIM TO ME! (he destroys a DRD that is watching him)

(later - cut to the Command. Aeryn, John, Rygel and Zhaan are watching a recording of D'Argo bellowing the last line. The recording continues to play in the background as they talk)

Rygel: (pointing at John) You're dead.

John: It's been three days. He still can't be freaking like that.

Aeryn: It's Luxan hyper-rage. It doesn't just go away.

Zhaan: You were wise to hide as you did John.

Aeryn: (with snide amusement) D'Argo's been off the ship for three whole days but we couldn't find you to tell you. You hide very well. You must have had a lot of practice.

Rygel yells with laughter.

John: (to Rygel) Shut up. (to everyone) It comes natural. Especially when you got THAT chasing you. Why the hell is he raging after me anyway?

Zhaan: (coolly) You are another male.

John: (referring to Rygel) Well, SPANKY here is male. I think. Sort of. I mean, how come he's not after you?

Rygel: (tough) He knows better!

John: So where is he now?

Aeryn: He's taken my Prowler down to the planet.

Zhaan: Hopefully the rage has had time to dissipate.

John: Or he's killed something.

(later - cut to a shot of one of Moya’s' transport pods leaving her and arcing towards a dark planet)

Aeryn: (on comm) Pilot, we'll contact you once we've located D'Argo.

(cut to the planet. The pod lands and Aeryn, John, Rygel and Zhaan exit. The local people, who are human in appearance have bleached out hair and too dark suntans. They look a lot like Australians in fact. They're all clad in loose-fitting clothing colored various shades of faded red-orange, as if their wash got all mixed up together. The women favor bare midriffs and they look curiously at the crew of Moya, but take their arrival in stride. The city they live in is dilapidated and dark)

John: Oh, yeah... I think I've seen this one before. Mel Gibson, Tina Turner... (theatrically ominous, to Rygel-) Cage match!

Rygel: (eyeing to locals) What?

John: Aw don't worry. Nobody saw the third one anyway.

Zhaan: (to Aeryn) Will you be all right in this heat my dear?

Aeryn: I'll be all right as long as it's night.

Rygel: This is night?

John: Yeah, back home we call it white night.

Rygel: I call it 'let's find the Luxan and save ourselves from heat seizure!'

John: (as they see locals heading for a noisy bar) Well, I think we've found the place.

Zhaan: Shall we?

(cut to the interior of the bar as they enter. There's loud, disco-like music playing and the locals are dancing, drinking and generally whooping it up)

John: Sebaceans, right? They're Sebaceans? Always good to see family.

Aeryn: Family? No. These are common laborers. They are a distant cousin species at best.

John: Kissing cousins. Just like humans and Sebaceans.

Aeryn: (with a sarcastic laugh as she watches the locals carry on) Yes. Well. The day that they prove that is the day I let palmolian meat hounds tear all the flesh from my bones.

(suddenly D'Argo and John spot each other across the dance floor. John makes to flee but D'Argo pushes through the crowd after him and catching him, throws him onto the bar. John fights back desperately)

John: Get off of me or I'll hurt you! (but D'Argo immobilizes him in a crushing embrace and starts to laugh. John is wary) This the end of hyper-rage? I get hugged to death?

D'Argo: (laughing giddily) It's so good to see you Crichton! It's so very good to see you!

(later - Aeryn, D'Argo, John, Rygel and Zhaan are sitting at the bar, all are drinking. Rygel's eating something as well)

Aeryn: D'Argo - have you been laboring?

D'Argo: I have.

Aeryn: What is wrong with you?

D'Argo: Nothing. Everything is right. (gazing intently at a pretty local smiling at him) Everything is very right.

Rygel: What about your hyper-rage? (he chuckles and tosses back a crisp) Kill anyone?

D'Argo: No that is all gone. Now there is just... (he and the local woman continue to make eyes at each other) Contentment

Aeryn: (she gives him a slap) You are a warrior. Act like one!

D'Argo: I'm no warrior. I've been a prisoner now and a fugitive longer than I was ever a warrior. Don't you think it's about time I stopped lying to myself about who I really am? Here my efforts have purpose.

John: Purpose? What purpose? (a curly-maned local woman comes up to D'Argo who smiles at John and then leaves with her) My boy D'Argo! Into the promised land!

Aeryn: Yes, and he's left his brain behind.

(another local woman enters the bar. She is very different from the others. She is albino, dressed in tailored white clothing. Her hair is braided into a riot of long white plaits. Her body movements are also strange, slow and somewhat random as if she has a neurological problem, or is following some stylized custom of presentation. She speaks very slowly and haltingly, in a sort of sing-song cadence yet she is clearly in charge)

Zhaan: (watching the albino approach) We may soon have some answers.

Volmae: I, am, Volmae.

Zhaan: (she makes a formalized greeting to Volmae. They touch palms and Zhaan makes stroking movements over her head as Volmae beams) Greetings. I am Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan. This is John. (he makes the peace sign) Aeryn Sun. And His Eminence, Dominar Rygel the XVI. (Rygel belches)

Volmae: It is, a pleasure, to welcome you, to Sykar. I am our leader, as much as anyone is our leader. Your friend D'Argo, has been telling us, about you.

Zhaan: Telling you that we are just passing through. We do not want to harm you.

Volmae: Of course, you don't. Please stay. Stay as long, as you desire. (she leaves)

Aeryn: She gives me a woody. (John freezes and looks at Aeryn with momentary alarm) A woody. A human saying. I've heard you say it often. When you don't trust someone or they make you nervous, they give you -

John : (amused) - Willies. She gives you - The willies. (at that moment an announcement comes over a public address system, a bland, male voice - "Thank you for silent work kind citizens. As the celebration ends, enjoy the rest you have so richly earned" The locals begin to leave Definitely a simple people. They never heard of the last call.

(our heroes leave too as the PA system continues outside, urging the citizens to be strong and other such exhortations. Rygel is drunk. He's belching, singing snatches of a tune and can barely steer his hoverchair)

Aeryn: Rygel -

Rygel: I am very, very full. I need to - (belches) - Excuse me. (he flies off)

Aeryn: (catching sight of D'Argo in the crowd) D'Argo!

D'Argo: You're staying the night. Excellent. Tomorrow is a rest day. I'll be able to show you all the wonders of this planet. (he disappears into the crowd with the curly-haired woman. Nearby, John moves in the crowd, it is dark. Suddenly a woman pushes him from behind against a wall and says to him-)

Tanga: Listen to me. No matter what happens. No matter what you hear. You must stay. (she releases him and disappears into the crowd)

Aeryn: (approaching him) There you are.

John: I just had the weirdest thing happen to me.

Aeryn: I just spoke to D'Argo. He says he's content. He wants to stay. So I say we leave him and we go.

John: What? No! Nonono. Look, look - Woodstock has done something to his head.

(suddenly there are sounds of explosions and Rygel screaming. Aeryn, John and Zhaan run towards the din. They find him in what looks like a derelict building site, there is a puff of gassy fire and a crater next to him)

Rygel: The assassins! The bastards are trying to kill me!

John: (looking around) Rygel! What the hell happened here?

Rygel: A bomb! Mere hentas from where I was - I was - hovering.

John: A bomb? Nonononono. What were you doing out here?

Rygel: I was relieving myself.

Zhaan: Rygel, did you see anyone?

Rygel: No. No one. One moment, I was - I was -

John: Yeah, relieving yourself. And the next?

Rygel: And the next - BOOM! I suffered many assassination attempts on Hyneria, but -

Aeryn: Nobody knows you here. It's only the people who know you who want to kill you.

Zhaan: (quietly to John) The sun will be up in a few hours. The heat is going to get very intense.

John: Aeryn! It's gonna get hot soon.

Aeryn: All right. I'll take him back up to Moya. Come on Your Eminence.

Rygel: Hmm. I'm still scorched!

Aeryn: And Crichton! Remember, we agreed. No lingering. I'm coming back and we're getting out of here with or without D'Argo.

John: Fine. Just get Spanky back to the ship.

(later - cut to D’Argo’s apartment. He hears a knock and opening the door finds John and Zhaan on his doorstep)

D'Argo: (a bit taken aback) How did you find me?

John: Oh, we asked around. You know, you stand out amongst your neighbors.

D'Argo: (recovering a jovial tone) Oh. Uh, come in. Please come in.

John: So. You have your own apartment. It's nice.

D'Argo: It is provided.

Zhaan: D'Argo, something isn't quite right about this place and it is affecting you.

John: You don't see how you're acting? D'Argo, why don't you come back with us to Moya.

D'Argo: (ignoring their comments) You are both welcome to stay as long as you want. (he pulls down a sort of Murphy bed from the wall that pretty much amounts to a futon on the floor) But I'm afraid all that I can offer you is, uh, the floor.

John: D'Argo -

D'Argo: Tomorrow. (he opens the doors to his bedroom and we see the local woman he was with earlier, scantily clad and waiting. He shuts the doors and John and Zhaan are alone)

Zhaan: I suppose we will have to wait.

John: Ooh, yeah.

(later - John is sprawled on the futon, Zhaan is behind a low screen undressing)

John: Not exactly 5-star is it?

Zhaan: D'Argo seems happy with it.

John: Everyone seems happy. And very friendly.

Zhaan: I wish I could believe that the woman in there is the only reason he wants to stay.

John: Zhaan, this city. It looks like it used to be a working city.

Zhaan: Now apparently nothing works.

John: Yeah but it used to. This city is falling apart around them and they - they just don't seem to care.

Zhaan: Material comfort is not the only measure of a society John.

John: Look progress is going backwards on this planet and nobody on this planet gives a damn. Tell me why.

Zhaan: You won't get any answers tonight John. Let's rest. We can ask D'Argo in the morning. (she starts to come out from behind the screen)

John: Whoa! Ah - you take the mattress, I'm good on the floor.

Zhaan: Don't be silly John. (as she walks out - naked, and slips under the cover) You'll be cold and uncomfortable. There's plenty of room for two. (John looks disconcerted)

(cut to Moya. The sound of small explosions echo in her corridors. Aeryn, her rifle at the ready and accompanied by a few DRDs is proceeding with caution towards the sounds. Rygel is heard crying for help)

Aeryn: Pilot!

Pilot: Already on it. The explosion was not ship related. It definitely originated inside Rygel’s quarters.

(Aeryn slowly enters Rygel’s quarters. He is seen from behind, shaking, puffs of flame rise in front of him every few seconds)

Rygel: (sick and terrified) Oh - Oh, Aeryn. What's doing this to me?

Aeryn: Don't move. (she approaches him cautiously and extends the muzzle of her rifle towards him) Don't - move. (she touches it to his cheek, catching a drop of sweat on it and with a quick motion flips it away. A DRD yelps and dodges. The droplet explodes into a little gassy fireball upon impact)

Rygel continues to sob and moan miserably.

(cut back to Sykar. John on top of the cover laying next to Zhaan who is asleep . She rolls over and lays her hand on his crotch. He is obviously not sleeping and gently removes her hand with a rather nervous glance at her from the corner of his eye. One gets the feeling he's been doing this all night)

Aeryn: (on comm) Crichton. (he gets up, seeming kind of relieved, and gets his comm)

John: Yeah?

Aeryn: We have a situation up here.

John: I'm sure it's not any more interesting that the situation down here.

(cut to Moya)

Aeryn: Well, remember Rygel’s assassination attempt? He caused it himself. His body fluids have turned explosive.

John: I stand corrected.

Rygel: (standing next to Aeryn wrapped in a silky bed sheet) What are we going to do now?

Aeryn: (she points at Rygel and snaps unsympathetically) Do you want to live? Then you'd better stop sweating! So calm down NOW.

John: Aeryn, listen. You gotta run some tests okay? Use the, uh, the scanner thing in the, uh, the maintenance bay.

Aeryn: (a bit panicky) No! I am not the scientist.

John: I know that. But just have Pilot help you.

Aeryn: What am I supposed to do in the meantime?

John: Isolate him. No fluids, no food.

Rygel: (gasps in horror) What? (Aeryn glares at him and he ducks)

John: Yeah, and when you get some results, call me and I'll . . . see what I can figure out.

(later - on Sykar. It's morning. There is a view of a huge hopper-like building rising up from fields of plants. The public address system is on again - the bland voice says: "Good morning citizens. A new day begins. . . Remember, rejoice in your work. . . etc.")

(cut to D’Argo’s place. John has finally fallen asleep and is spooned against Zhaan with his hand on her hip. She awakens)

Zhaan: Good morning, John. (he snatches his hand away, shaking it and quickly rolls over. He spots D'Argo coming out of the bedroom)

John: D'Argo!

D'Argo: No time now, John. I'll speak to you tonight.

John: No time?

D'Argo: Yeah, I'll be late for work.

John: I thought today was a, uh, rest day.

D'Argo: Nonono. Today is the last day of the work cycle. Tonight, there is going to be a great, big celebration. (the local woman exits, giving D'Argo a kiss and a big grin as she goes) I'll, uh, see you there John. (he leaves)

(cut to the street where crowds of Sykarans wearing coolie hats are walking to work in the fields. There are tables with small packets laying on them which the Sykarans pick up as they walk by, one each, and take with them. The public address voice drones on: "Good morning citizens. A new day begins. Remember, rejoice in your work and you will be rewarded. Be content. Be strong and healthful. Keep production lines flowing. Efficiency in your task will be observed and noted. Your reward status can therefore be improved. Keep your mind on your task. Free yourself from all concerns. Focus only on the task... etc.")

(John and Zhaan join the crowd to follow D'Argo. As he and the Sykarans fan out into the fields, John sees Tanga looking at him and follows her. She steps up onto an old trolley car used to transport the harvest as he approaches. A couple of Sykaran men are with her)

John: Hey! I want to talk to you. (he climbs up onto the trolley next to her) You seem interested in me. What do you say we talk?

Tanga: All right. (and with that one of the Sykaran men grabs John from behind and drags him onto the car, out of sight of the field workers)

Sykaran #1: (holding John down) Get his shirt off - quickly!

John: What the hell?

Sykaran #2: Hybin, do it now. There is no time!

(a weathered old man, Hybin, is standing there holding an enormous white worm that is thrashing wildly in his fingers. He holds it to Johns' navel and it wriggles its way in as John screams are muffled by the men)

Hybin: Listen, you must tell no one of this. If they know you carry the worm, they will kill you for it. Eat and the pain will go away. Do you understand? You must eat.

Sykaran #1: Hybin, the carriage is moving. (they exit it and leave John on its' floor, groaning)

(cut to later. The car has come to a stop in a tumbledown depot. John staggers to his feet and exits, he's doubled over, falling down. Clearly very sick. The bland public address voice drones overhead, but it's phrases are garbled to Johns' ears - "Be strong. Free yourself of all concerns. Be strong. Eat the tannot root. Be strong. Our way of life... Rejoice in your work. The guards are your protectors... etc." There are sacks of the tannot root the Sykarans harvest laying about and John takes some and begins to eat it as the public address voice repeats its' message)

(cut back to the tannot field. D'Argo is working, Zhaan sits nearby)

Zhaan: You're still so young D'Argo. Is this the way you honestly want to spend the rest of your days?

D'Argo: Do you want to spend the rest of your days on the run?

Zhaan: (eating bits of tannot as she talks) I know such decisions can come upon one quickly. My choice to join the Delvian Seek. To become a priest - occurred in the matter of a - blink of an eye. One moment, I was lying in my cell. A savage capable of anything. The next, the truth was revealed to me and I knew my true path.

D'Argo: Such revelations are possible.

Zhaan: (she starts helping D'Argo dig in the dirt) This feels very...

D'Argo: Satisfying?

Zhaan: Yes, it does. (she laughs a little) Here, let me help you. (she takes a soccer ball-sized tannot root from him as he lifts it from the soil)

(cut back to Moya. Rygel is frozen and suspended in midair between two disks. He's naked except for a pair of underpants that look like they're made of nubby wool. Or lint. His eyebrows and moustaches are delicately fanned out and stiff as icicles)

Aeryn: (approaches Rygel curiously as she speaks to Pilot who is visible on the clamshell viewer) Are you sure he's still alive?

Pilot: He's in cryo-stasis. He should be fine.

Aeryn: (poking at Rygel) Just as long as he isn't sweating.

Pilot: Definitely not. We've taken him 105 below the glarion frost point- (Aeryn accidentally snaps off half of one of Rygel’s frozen mustaches) -Ahem- I strongly suggest you don't touch any of his other - protuberances.

Aeryn: Oh well. You can do it yourself, then.

Pilot: The scanner is ancillary to Moya’s' systems. I'm afraid I can't access it.

Aeryn: Well, I'll just push the vid screen so that you can see it.

Pilot: Please, Officer Sun. (he looks away) I will instruct you through the process. (he lifts his eyes back to her)

(cut back to Sykar. John has found his way back to D’Argo’s apartment and is curled up on the futon, still very sick. D'Argo and Zhaan enter)

D'Argo: John! we've been wondering what happened to you all day. I'll get some clothing for you.

John: (slurring) That's good of you.

Zhaan: You spent the entire day here?

John: Yeah. Eating and throwing up. Ugh... So I gotta talk to you about this -

Zhaan: (interrupting) I'm so sorry you weren't out there with us today John. D'Argo was right. It's an absolutely wonderful place.

John: What? Oh... God! No! Not you too!

Zhaan: Of course me too. How could I deny myself such - Supreme contentment?

John: Nono - No damn way! You're not going to do this to me. You got to snap out of it!

Zhaan: Snap out of what? You talk as though I don't know what I'm doing.

John: Zhaan look - we just - we got gotta get back to the ship. Doesn't matter If D'Argo doesn't want to come, we'll come back for him. You and me, we've got-

Zhaan: Why should I want to leave?

John: Listen to you. LOOK at you!

Zhaan: The dirt and grime of an honest day's labor John. It feels so good.

D'Argo: (reenters with some of the reddish local clothing for Zhaan) Here you are Zhaan.

Zhaan: Thank you. This is going to be so much more comfortable.

D'Argo: (to John) Uh, one moment. (goes back to the bedroom)

John: Zhaan... Please... You gotta help me here. I need your help. (D'Argo re-enters) They did something to me.

D'Argo: What did they do to you John?

Zhaan: What is it? You can tell us.

John: (not wanting to talk in front of D'Argo) It's nothing... It's nothing...

D'Argo: Great! (he drops another pile of folded red clothing into Johns' lap) Put these on. You'll feel much more comfortable around the others.

John: What others?

Zhaan: (happy) We're going to celebrate. It's a rest day tomorrow.

(later - cut to the bar they visited before. John is dressed in the local clothing. The native disco is pounding. Tanga approaches him and presses a knife to his side)

Tanga: Well, hello! How nice to see you again. Come, join us for a drink. (she guides him to a table where Hybin and another Sykaran are sitting)

Tanga: (hissing to Hybin) Father! Sit up straighter. You must sit up.

Hybin: This is my daughter, Tanga. My name is Hybin.

John: YOU! You stuck some kind of worm thing in me!

Hybin: The worm is the only thing that is protecting you. Without it, you would already be like them.

John: Yeah. How can a worm-

Hybin: It thrives on the toxin that is within the tannot.

John: Wait a minute. Waitwaitwait - Are you telling me everybody acts like this because of the food?

Tanga: You must act like one of us. Like one of them. They will expect it. If they discover you are immune, they will execute you.

John: Right. So have you guys got the worm thing inside of you, too?

Hybin: Our immunity is natural. We don't know why we are immune and the others are not, but it is very rare. Our numbers are few.

John: Why me?

Hybin: Because we need you. (he an the other Sykaran move away)

John: Wait. Don't -

Tanga: If they know you are immune, they will kill you. (she leaves too. Volmae enters and approaches John)

Volmae: Aah! Handsome! Very handsome indeed!

John: (acting stoned) Thank you. These clothes are wonderful. They're just... wonderful.

Volmae: And the food? It is to your liking?

John: Aaahh... it's just great. Everything's just great.

Volmae: And the other, two who were here, with you last night?

John: They went back to the ship.

Volmae: (suddenly direct) But they will come back?

John: Oh yeah. Yeah. I want them to... feel what contentment I feel here.

Volmae: (going back into her slow, sing-song voice) About, your, ship... D'Argo, tells us it is a - cargo, vessel.

John: Yes. Yes she is.

Volmae: (smiling) Eat. And enjoy. After all, tomorrow Is -

John: (smiling moronically) -a rest day. (Volmae nods and turns away)

(cut to Moya. Aeryn stands in front of the deep frozen Rygel)

Aeryn: I don't want to do this.

Pilot: Officer Sun. Please. You were making progress.

Aeryn: Look it's just really tedious.

Pilot: Sometimes science is. But Dominar Rygel’s life depends on our finding the cause of this phenomenon and rectifying it if we can.

Aeryn: Look, all this analysis dren comes really naturally to you. It just doesn't to me.

Pilot: On the contrary. I too have difficulty with complex sciences.

Aeryn: Yeah. Right.

Pilot: When a Pilot is bonded to a Leviathan - as I am bonded to Moya - it is as a navigator. A monitor of all the living ships' functions. The analysis of scientific data is not something I know or easily understand.

Aeryn: Yeah, but you're good at it. (she paces fretfully away from the clamshell viewer and Rygel)

Pilot: (earnestly) I study every chance I can. Moya was born with a very complete bank of scientific data. (big sigh, Aeryn slowly turns back to him) I only comprehend a fraction I'm afraid.

Aeryn: Do the others know about this?

Pilot: I have told no one. I prefer they didn't know.

Aeryn: But you've told me.

Pilot: I feel I can trust you.

Aeryn: (she seems uncomfortable with his openness and trust) Look, can we just uh, can we just get on with this if we're going to do it?

(cut to Sykar - it is morning and John is walking with the others to the fields. He passes Zhaan and D'Argo already digging and putting on a coolie hat bends down to work too. The public address system natters its' repetitive exhortations overhead)

(cut back to Moya. There are tubes and lines attached to Rygel’s repulsive little body. A computer image of his internal functions is on a monitor. He must be thawing as there is the sound of liquid gurgling in the lines as the toxins are leached out of him)

Aeryn: Well, I think that's it.

Pilot: Good! (adds quickly) If you say it is.

Aeryn: No. Well, I can prep another slide of Rygel’s blood and check his liver and altex functions again.

Pilot: No need.

Aeryn: So - what are you saying? That it's done? That I did it?

Pilot: You did.

Aeryn: No. You helped me a lot.

Pilot: No, Aeryn Sun. It was YOU.

Aeryn: Huh. It was me.

(cut back to Sykar, the tannot fields. John wrests a big root from the dirt and lugs it to the trolley. As he gets there Aeryn speaks to him via comm, the scene shifts back and forth between him on Sykar and her on Moya as they talk-)

Aeryn: Crichton - it's me.

John: (checks to make sure no-one is listening and leans against the trolley fanning himself with his coolie hat to conceal his comm) Yah?

Aeryn: Listen, I've worked out what's wrong with Rygel.

John: What is it?

Aeryn: A reaction to food.

John: What? Oh, right. He ate some of the tannot root. So, what, it turned his fluids -

Aeryn: Explosive. His Hynerian body chemistry acted like a, um - catalyst.

John: Well, can you flush it out of him?

Aeryn: Already doing that. I've set up a leaching sieve. We're collecting all the volatile elements. We're just going to flush them straight out the airlock.

John: (impressed, he smiles) That's good, Aeryn. That's good.

Aeryn: Yes and what's happening with D'Argo? Is he coming back or not?

John: Right now, not.

Aeryn: All right. We'll leave without him. I'll just come -

John: No. Nonono. Don't do that. It's gotten complicated.

Aeryn: "Complicated"? What do you mean, "complicated"?

John: Look, just don't come back down, all right? If I haven't come up with any solutions- (he spots Tanga approaching the trolley) -if I haven't come up with a solution by then, then you and I may have to leave on our own.

Aeryn: What about Zhaan? Listen, what's going on down there?

John: Just fix Rygel. I'll be in touch. (he signs off comm)

Aeryn: Cri- (the comm goes dead. She says to herself-) "Complicated."

(cut back to Sykar)

(John tips his hat forward to hide his face. Tanga puts her sack of tannot on the trolley step and John reaches down)

John: Here you go. Let me give you a hand up. (once she is standing next to him he pushes the hat back) Hi. You remember me? (and with that he grabs her, putting his hand over her mouth and pushes her into the trolley. She struggles) You going to scream? Call attention to us? Yeah? Well go ahead.

Tanga: I've got to get back out there.

John: Not before you tell me something. I want to know something right now. How do I get this worm out of me? (she does not respond) What? You're not going to tell me? Or there is no way? (he sits back away from her in disgust and frustration and then demands-) Damn! What's the point of all of this? Why do your people - why did they grow this stuff to begin with?

Tanga: It was brought here. Planted here by the Others.

John: Others?

Tanga: They forced us to plant it. Then, once they started eating it, it changed them. Most of them. It made them do anything and believe anything that was told to them.

John: Wait, let me get this straight. The entire population of this planet. They grow this for another race?

Tanga: Every half-cycle they return in their ships. Collect all that we have harvested.

John: And the leader, Volmae?

Tanga: The Others simply chose her from the crowd. It could have been any one of us.

John: Yeah, but she's immune, like you.

Tanga: She has the worm. The worm is very rare. We only spared you one because we need you.

John: What - what is it that I could possibly do for you?

Tanga: (upset and desperate) You have a ship. You can find someone out there who can help us. Bring us weapons. Fight beside us. The tannot is killing my planet. Destroying my people. We can't survive like this any longer.

John: It's okay. It's okay. (a Sykaran man approaches the trolley)

Sykaran: Tanga, where are you? Tanga, it's your father. He's ill. Come with me. (she returns to the fields with him. Hybin is sitting amongst the tannot plants, sick, she crouches down next to him)

Tanga: Here, let me help you with that one. (pretends to be helping him with a root)

Hybin: I can't anymore Tanga. Please, just let them discover me. I would rather be dead.

Tanga: (softly) Father, please.

(the public address speaker comes on and calls the field workers in saying: "Share in the celebration which you so richly deserve. The work day is complete." Later - cut to John and Tanga hoisting the last sacks of tannot root onto the trolley)

John: (sarcastically) Ah! This must be the happiest day of my life!

Tanga: (putting on) You'll find the rest day tomorrow will pass slowly without the joy of our work.

John: How's your father?

Tanga: Surviving. But everyday I'm scared he'll die out here.

John: Volmae is your leader. How could she let this happen?

Tanga: It's her orders. Every cycle more ground turns into wasteland where nothing grows.

John: That's what you meant when you said this planet's being destroyed yeah?

Tanga: Sykar was once a garden. The fields were lush with kaldavynerian grain. But now we plant nothing but tannot.

John: And Volmae doesn't care?

Tanga: Ach! No she doesn't care. No one cares as long as they have the tannot.

John: Yeah - but there must be people who remember what it was like before.

Tanga: Did you see my fathers' hands?

John: No.

Tanga: Once he was the finest maldic player on Sykar. People would line the streets outside the great hall when they heard Hybin was performing. Now... you'll have to help us.

(later - cut to the bar. The native disco is thumping. The Sykarans are partying. John is fake dancing Volmae approaches him)

Volmae: Was it, a fine day of work for you?

John: It was a fine day.

Volmae: Would you mind, coming with me, for a short walk?

John: Sure. Whatever you say. (they exit the bar and walk down a long narrow hallway)

Volmae: (stopping after letting John pass through a door before her) What's it like, out there? I hear space - is very cold. Black. And cold. (he makes no answer, she walks towards him, there's a soft jingling sound as she moves in the silence outside the bar) My people, never aspired, to travel the heavens. This planet is our, home. Was, our home. I suppose, a starship, can be, a home. It has been for you. Hasn't it?

John: (blandly) It's nothing compared to your paradise here. (Volmae looks silently at him and turns to open another door. She leads John in. It is a warehouse, cargo bins, stacked to a high ceiling, recede into the darkness. A banner with the Peacekeeper symbol hangs from the shadowy rafters)

Volmae: Would, the cargo hold, of your ship, accommodate a, significant, portion of what, you, see here?

John: Not all.

Volmae: I, don't need it all. (she picks up a tannot root laying there and dangles it in front of her) So. What do they do, with all of this? If, it has value to them, it must, have value elsewhere. You will bring, the other two, from your ship, back, down, here immediately.

John: Of course.

Volmae: (handing him the root) Then, we can start loading. (she walks back to the door. John gazes at the banners)

John: (to himself) Peacekeeper.

Volmae: Come. It's time we get back.

(later - cut back to Moya. Rygel has been thawed and is wrapped in a sheet shivering and coughing a bit as Aeryn examines him)

Rygel: Oh, leave me alone. I don't feel well. At all!

Aeryn: Quit complaining. You're lucky to be alive.

Rygel: Well I'm barely THAT!

Aeryn: I did the best that I could, and it wasn't in my training, you know.

Rygel: (curses) Peacekeepers are trained only to kill.

Aeryn: (smiling slightly, pleased with her accomplishment) Mmm. So don't forget that this Peacekeeper just saved your life.

Rygel: Uuuh... What the yotz does Crichton want anyway? And with both of us?

Aeryn: Well, can you understand Crichton?

Rygel: (slight shrug) Mph...

(later - we see a pod leaving Moya for Sykar. Cut to the planet. It's night. Aeryn finds John waiting by a trolley and approaches him from behind)

Aeryn: Crichton?

John: (starling - he was watching for her in the other direction) Damn. Why can't you come in the front like regular people?

Aeryn: You look terrible actually. What's happened to you?

John: However I look, I feel a hell of a lot worse. Where's Rygel?

Aeryn: He's hiding in the pod. He doesn't like it down here.

John: (as a few locals walk by) Smile. That's what they do around here. (he smiles at them. Aeryn stares at him. stone-faced. The locals pass) Great. We got to grab him. Find a secluded spot.

Aeryn: What for?

John: I don't have time for this right now, okay?

Aeryn: Look, not until you tell me what is going on.

John: Enough, all right?

Aeryn: Where's Zhaan?

John: Look, she's with D'Argo, okay? Dancing with the Grateful Dead.

Aeryn: Fine. Can we just grab them and get out of here?

John: No. We can't do that. Okay? Not unless Volmae orders it and Volmae's got plans of her own all right? She's planning on stealing the last load of tannot and then blasting on out of here using our ship.

Aeryn: I don't think so.

John: Exactly. So, come on.

Aeryn: Actually, I don't want to go anywhere until you tell me what, EXACTLY, is going on.

John: Aeryn, it's complicated.

Aeryn: (querulous) "Complicated"? Too complicated for a Peacekeeper to understand?

John: (annoyed) No. You know what? I did not say that.

Aeryn: So, tell me.

John: Aeryn, not today, okay? I have been out in the sun all day long picking up magic turnips. I got - I got a worm in my gut crawling around down in places where the sun don't shine and I'm sick of it, okay? So, for the moment would you just shut up and help?

Aeryn: Help? What do you think I've been doing up there in the ship -- playing games with Rygel?

John: Look, I know it's SOOO difficult up there in the ship-

Aeryn: Difficult? I had to stop him from blowing himself up into bits. (more locals pass, John signals to smile, she does and they continue to argue through their insincere grins) I had to figure out what was causing the problem and I had to FIX it!

John: Yes. I know, and we're all grateful that you did the Madame Curie thing -

Aeryn: What? Who?

John: Madame Curie. She's a - she's a scientist.

Aeryn: Scientist.

John: Yes.

Aeryn: (furiously but her false grin starts to become real as the words tumble out of her) What I had to do up there was like a field strategy exercise. Only the enemy wasn't trying to kill me. The enemy was a puzzle and there were lots of different pieces and independently, separately, they didn't - they didn't make any sense. And I had to think it through really hard. And I had to work out. Try different combinations of putting things together. And then finally I worked out what had happened and I worked out what I had to do. (John chuckles, sensing her excitement) What?

John: This is great. You're trading in your pulse rifle for the junior chemistry kit.

Aeryn: Well, my pulse rifle wasn't any use to me this time.

John: I know, but you may need it again soon. So come on.

(later - cut to the bar. John is sitting watching the carryings-on. Volmae approaches him)

Volmae: The, other, two from, your ship - Are they coming?

John: They're already down.

Volmae: Bring them to me.

John: Nah, I don't think so. I think I'd rather have you step outside princess.

Volmae: (angry) I - ORDER - you, to bring, them, here.

John: (to Aeryn via comm) Now Aeryn. (the music in the bar abruptly stops and John walks away)

Volmae: (shouts as she follows him out) Keep the music playing!

(the music does not keep playing and D'Argo, Zhaan and the rest of the locals follow Volmae out of the bar. John and Aeryn lead them to a place where Rygel is waiting, concealed overhead)

John: We want our friends back.

Volmae: (shouting) How, dare, you make demands!

John: Oh give it a rest, Snow White. The tannot doesn't affect me. Never did.

Zhaan: John, what are you doing?

Aeryn: (raises her pulse rifle and trains it on Volmae) Release them.

John: Look, they're far more trouble than they're worth. Why don't you just give 'em to us?

D'Argo: This is my home now John. I am happy here. I will not let you destroy that. If necessary, I will destroy you first.

John: (to Rygel via comm) Rygel, now.

Rygel grunts

Aeryn: (as D'Argo advances) Crichton -

John: Now Rygel -

Rygel strains, making a high pitched squeal.

Aeryn: Crichton -

John: Rygel NOW! (D'Argo snatches the rifle from Aeryn) NOW RYGEL!

Volmae: Take them! (and at that instant Rygel produces a fluorescent green stream of explosive urine which he aims at the crowd and D'Argo, forcing them back in chaotic retreat)

John: Well, that little demonstration - thank you very much, Rygel - was fueled by the tannot root. The Others - the ones who collect the tannot - they use it to fuel that pulse rifle there.

D'Argo: (whispering) Peacekeepers...

John: Yes.

Volmae: No. They say they only use it for food.

John: And the Peacekeepers never lie, right D'Argo? Peacekeepers never lie? When the tannot is processed and mixed with the right chemicals like it is in Rygel’s stomach-

Aeryn: - It makes chakan oil. Do you understand what that means? It fuels all Peacekeeper weapons.

John: So this happy plant that you love so much? It's used to kill. They use it to imprison and to enslave.

Volmae: Food. Weapons. It doesn't matter. Our planet is already dying. My people are-

John: Are enslaved by YOU. You think when this planet is dead that somehow you're going to escape? That you're going to outrun the Peacekeepers? Ask them. Go ahead, ask them what you chances are.

D'Argo: (to Volmae) He's right. You are not equipped to fight the Peacekeepers.

Aeryn: I can show you how to make the chakan oil.

Volmae: (as Hybin and Tanga come forward) Look around you. We have no weapons.

John: Make them.

Hybin: We once did.

Volmae: Guards!

Hybin: They have deserted you Volmae. If we are to die as a people, let us at least die fighting.

Volmae: There is nothing we can do. The Peacekeepers - they are in control of me. They are in control of you.

John: No. They're not. You are. You have the means. What are you going to do about it?

Volmae: How? How can we?

Hybin: We will do it. One day at a time.

John: It's your decision. It can all start tomorrow.

Volmae: (pause) No. Tomorrow is... a rest day. A real rest day. (she raises her hands to Hybin, he returns the gesture, they touch, and he bows to her. D'Argo and John look at each other - D'Argo looks away)

(later - cut to Moya. John is laying on a table with his head in Rygel’s lap. Aeryn is extracting the worm - via his mouth - Rygel makes a 'yech' sound)

Aeryn: Got it. Hybin was right. This worm was quite easy to coax out of you.

John: Yeah, and that it would hurt like hell.

Rygel: Like you've got anything to complain about. You weren't frozen. TWICE!

Aeryn: Silence. You're both fine. Anyway, get ready. Pilot wants to starburst us out of here.

John: Hey, Rygel?

Rygel: Mm-hm?

John: What's up with her?

Rygel: Oh, she thinks she's a scientist now. False superiority!

Aeryn: I am not a scientist. I am, however, what I have always been and that is superior.

Rygel: If I were warmer, I would have an appropriately venomous reply. Be warned. I owe you one. (he drops off the table and pitter-patters away)

John: So, how you doing?

Aeryn: Very well. It was nice for once to triumph using my mind.

John: Doesn't just have to be this once Aeryn.

Aeryn: Thank you for your assistance.

John: Thank you for yours. (he starts to leave)

Aeryn: I'd wait - and let D'Argo come to you when he's ready.

(cut to Zhaan’s quarters)

D'Argo: Perhaps I'm never destined to be happy.

Zhaan: But you were. For five glorious days.

D'Argo: But it wasn't real.

Zhaan: There are no guarantees D'Argo. We take each breath as if it is our last. And hope that the air is sweet.

D'Argo: I was going to - approach you. At the next celebration.

Zhaan: And I would have accepted. (she puts her hand out to him and he sits down next to her)

D'Argo: When I was a boy, I dreamed of two very different lives.

Zhaan: Only two? I wanted hundreds.

D'Argo: Two were enough. I would be a magnificent warrior. Merciless in battle - fearless. The kind they write shintok sonnets about.

Zhaan: That is a healthy dream.

D'Argo: I also wanted a simple life. Family. Children. A frotash garden that I planted with my own hands. I thought I'd found that.

Zhaan: Those kinds of dreams cannot be found brave Luxan. You have to build them. And I promise you, your hands are still strong and there is plenty of time.


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