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Rhapsody In Blue
July 23, 1999 - US
March 13, 2000 - UK

Writer - David Kemper
Director - Andrew Prowse

Guest Cast
Darlene Vogel . . . Alexandra/Lorana
Kate Raison . . . Tahleen
Max Phipps . . . Tuzak
Michael Beckley . . . Hasko
Aaron Cash . . . Bitaal

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Episode Summary
In RIB, a small sect of Delvian priests has exiled themselves to a barren planet. Their goal is to use the solitude to develop their spiritual powers so they may use the negative aspects of their inner beings to fight the Peacekeepers and the Delvian collaborators who occupy and oppress their homeworld. The obstacle they must overcome to do so - is that a Delvian priest who uses his or her powers in that way are usually driven insane by it.

Except for Zhaan! Building on Zhaanís actions during the events of TOBM, we learn that the crime she was imprisoned for was the murder of her lover who was the man that brought the Peacekeepers to their world. Although she did go insane from that act - in the 17 years she spent imprisoned, she was able to control the anger and negativity she had tapped into to commit the crime and become a priest. But the Delvian sect of RIB is impatient and doesn't want to put years of work into achieving control. So they lure Moya to their place of exile in order to get at Zhaan and persuade her to give them the secret of how she did it - how she regained her sanity and overcame her dark impulses.

But power - and the ambition for power - corrupts. And soon the leader of the sect - Tahleen - has her followers implanting false memories and fearful delusions in the minds of the rest of the crew to distract them and to isolate Zhaan. Zhaanís attempt to teach Tahleen is met with betrayal when Tahleen - instead of taking instruction - forcibly tears most of Zhaanís knowledge and work from her. This leaves our blue lady insane again. As for Tahleen - that which she took from Zhaan drives her mad and she kills her father and threatens everyone else.

Finally, the Delvian priest assigned to divert John, sees his compassion for Zhaan and returns it by pointing him in a direction that may enable him to save her. He is successful and Zhaan advances from the 9th to the 10th level of the Delvian priesthood - but chooses to resigns it out of disgust and humility.

John hasn't got a lot of truck with what he sees as religious hypocrisy and destroys the Sacred Root of the sect. And as for the sect - they are perhaps left wiser as well, having learned the hard way that having knowledge is often self-destructive if one has not developed the wisdom to use it.

And that's it.

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The episode opens with John in bed with a pretty blonde woman. Red roses sit on a vase in the foreground

John: (kissing her) You are the tastiest woman that I've had since last night. (the woman makes no reply) Hey baby - Alex? What's wrong?

Alexandra: I'm taking the Stanford job.

John: Stanford. (he rolls away from her. and lays on his back, staring at the ceiling) You know, there are other - medical research programs.

Alexandra: Not with full grant scholarships.

John: Well, I've got a shot at the space program here.

Alexandra: (turning towards him) I know. We've talked about this John. Taking a break.

John: (sulky) It's not a break, Alex, if you're all the way across the continent. (he rolls over to face away from her)

Alexandra: I know it may not seem like it now, but - I'll always be there for you. (John reaches down to the floor beside the bed and snaps a ring box out of sight beneath it)

John: Well if we're meant to be together, we'll be together.

Alexandra: (pulling him over to face her) I love you.

John: I love you. (they embrace passionately)

(cut to Moya. John is awakened by a violent lurch that throws him out of bed. He stands up, disoriented for a moment by the sound of Moya accelerating before being knocked off his feet again by another lurch. He grabs his clothes and heads for the Command)

(cut to the Command. D'Argo and Rygel are there having been shaken out of bed too. Out the main view port they see Moya is in starburst)

D'Argo: Pi-LOT!

Pilot: (on clamshell viewer) I have no answer as yet.

John: A little long for a starburst don't you think?

Rygel: Hail, Prince of the Obvious. (and with another lurch Moya drops out of starburst and back into normal transit)

D'Argo: About time. Now explain yourself!

Pilot: I told you, I did not initiate starburst. Nor did I terminate it.

Aeryn: (yawning as she enters. Zhaan is close behind) Then who did?

Pilot: Moya. She thought she heard the distress cry of another pregnant Leviathan and was attempting to locate the source.

Rygel: I like my wives pregnant and my ships cold to the touch. That way my feet stay warm and my slumber is uninterrupted.

John: Wives, plural? (Rygel grunts affirmatively. John looks impressed and high-fives him) Big fella!

Rygel: I was just dreaming about my final mating session when our gestating goliath decided she needed some exercise.

John: (noticing the white shorts Aeryn is wearing) That's my underwear.

Aeryn: (stretching the waistband of the boxers out to reveal the tag) What does this say?

John: Calvin.

Aeryn: (letting the waistband snap back) Then they're not yours.

D'Argo: This is strange. I dreamt of my wife last night. Of the last night we spent together before she was murdered.

John: That was my dream. Nonono. Not your wife. Someone I cared about. What about you girls? Sex dreams?

Aeryn: I sleep soundly.

Zhaan: I am unimpressed by your masculine memories. Pilot, has Moya found the ship she's looking for?

Pilot: Yes... And no. There does not appear to be another Leviathan, let alone a pregnant one in distress.

D'Argo: (disgusted) Then why are we here?

Pilot: (casually) Hm... We're receiving a transmission. (he superimposes the image of a Delvian woman, Tahleen, over the view out the main port, which is of a misty pale blue planet)

Tahleen: (Zhaan stares hard at the image as Tahleen speaks) Salutations. I apologize for the deceit, but there was no other way our signal could reach across the void. And we so want to meet you, Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan.

(Later - cut to Moya orbiting the pale blue planet. Then cut planet side. Aeryn, John, Tahleen and Zhaan stand on a cliff overlooking an arid plain and a Delvian spaceship that lies embedded in the planets' surface. All that can be seen of it are two tower-like structures jutting skyward. Although Tahleen is the same race as Zhaan, she is resplendently dressed in blue robes decorated with gold, she is wearing facial makeup and she has a full head of hair - blue and standing up like a big puff of blue cotton candy)

Tahleen: Upon landing, our vessel heats the rock till molten, then settles below ground.

John: That's your ship? Must have been one hell of an impact. (no - it heated the rock till molten and settled in John)

Zhaan: It's a missionary habitat.

Aeryn: (appreciative) It's clever. Decreases the likelihood of an enemy being able to spot you from space.

Tahleen: (barely glancing at Aeryn) It's always instructive how different cultures view the same reality. Where a Peacekeeper sees defense from attack, we see solitude for piety. (she walks away from Aeryn, who eyes her and moves next to John. who's surveying the rough, barren landscape. Zhaan follows Tahleen aside)

Zhaan: Pa'u Tahleen. Your use of deception continues to trouble me.

Tahleen: Perhaps our many cycles of reclusion contributed to an error in judgment. But we could think of no other way of leading you here. Let us replenish at the Altar of Essence. In the sweet air, you'll soon forget this worlds' toxic surface. (she leads Zhaan towards the ship)

John: Toxic. That figures. (he and Aeryn follow. An old Delvian man wearing an exuberant blue and gold turban shaped like a pair of upside-down pantaloons watches them)

(cut to the interior of the Delvian temple-ship as they enter)

Tahleen: Welcome to the New Moon of Delvia. Our modest temple to the Goddess of Spiritual Renewal. (she opens the doors to reveal a great hall. Its' design is like a fusion of Japanese teahouse, Art Deco movie palace and cathedral. White flames flicker in braziers and up from pools of water. Aeryn and John are several paces behind Tahleen and Zhaan. Aeryn pauses to adjust something at her waist, John spots her doing it and gives her a swat)

John: (whispering in a scandalized tone like a kid in church) You weren't supposed to bring a weapon! That's why D'Argo stayed on the ship!

Aeryn: (whispering back) D'Argo's hot - I am cautious.

Tahleen: (to Aeryn and John) I understand your vessel is low on supplies. Lorana will show you to our food source. Please be greedy. The more you pick, the more that grows to replace it. (another Delvian woman directs them to a pool in the center of the hall as Tahleen and Zhaan stay back)

John: (still in a low, church voice) It's so perfect, my teeth ache.

Aeryn: (equally cynical, in a church whisper of her own) No, that's from all the sincerity.

Zhaan: (alone with Tahleen) Why did you lure us here?

Tahleen: Search yourself, Zhaan. You know why.

Zhaan: (displeased) I do not. What I do know is you invaded my soul last night and you left me bitter.

Tahleen: Your friends were happy with their remembrances, were they not?

Zhaan: So you cause me to remember.

Tahleen: We always remember Zhaan. We simply choose to ignore.

(cut back to the pool. The water is cloudy and the surface is strewn with red flower petals. John plunges his hand in and fishes out a three-foot long white rubbery tentacled thing that resembles some kind of deep sea creature)

John: HO! There you go! An untended renewable. It's part plant, part animal... Total nutrition. (dubiously) What's not to like? (Aeryn isn't even looking. She's eyeing passing Delvians)

Aeryn: This place. These people. Their serenity.

John: Eh at least you've thought out your position Aeryn

Aeryn: (with contempt) It amazes me how people mistake theosophy for superiority.

John: Eh y'know I don't think anything amazes you. (he fishes another white thing out of the pool and holds it up) I mean look at this. You ever seen one of these before? What would you call this? I dub thee - trigapod! (he chuckles. Aeryn rolls her eyes) But - what? N-n-no reaction from you!

Aeryn: (sarcastic) Incredible! How special! (flatly) They're a food source John.

John: No Aeryn. It's unique. It's a squidcalamaricucumber and it IS incredible! Look up. Look at this. This is a ship, Aeryn, and it's incredible. (he points out the high, arched ceiling of the hall, glowing with orange light) It's also a little creepy.

(cut to Tahleen and Zhaan, who are watching Aeryn and John from a ways off, out of sight)

Tahleen: Look around, Zhaan.

(cut back to John & Aeryn)

John: (as Aeryn looks up) Okay - Almost everything we see, almost every day, is brand new to both of us. It's worthy of response. On the other hand it is a little creepy...

(cut back to Tahleen and Zhaan)

Tahleen: You know our cause is just.

Zhaan: I sympathize but I cannot help you.

Tahleen: Then give us the powers to help ourselves.

Zhaan: When did the madness begin?

Tahleen: Only recently. But already Pa'u Tuzak is beyond redemption

Zhaan: You went too fast didn't you?

Tahleen: That is why we must have your secret, before we are all consumed.

Zhaan: I have no secret Tahleen. I am just me.

Tahleen: All that hatred and anger... You should be insane.

Zhaan: I was insane. I don't know how I survived those early cycles.

Tahleen: But you did. So how does the pious Zhaan coexist with all that rage? (Zhaan makes no answer. Her face is grimly contemplative) Share with me. Save me. And in return, I will show you paths to abilities beyond your comprehension.

(Tahleen turns her face towards the sound of splashing in the pool as John fishes white things out of it and the scene suddenly shifts to Earth. Young John Crichton stands among the rocks at the edge of a tidal pool)

Young John: Mom! Mom! Look at the water snakes! They're huge!

Johns' mother: (calling) John! Come away from there before you fall in!

(cut back to John, his head bent over the pool, staring into the water. Tahleen takes Zhaanís hand and the intensity of Johns' vision increases. Cut back to Young John who falls into the water amid a swirl of bubbles and sky)

Young John: (screaming) Mom! Help me! Mom! Mom! Help!

(cut back to John at the Delvian pool. John leaps back in terror, as if startling awake from a bad dream)

John: (sharp intake of breath) GEEZ!

Aeryn: What? What is it?

John: (discombobulated) There's, um - STUFF - in the water. I mean oh...

(cut back to Tahleen and Zhaan)

Tahleen: Miracles of the mind.

Zhaan: You altered his memory.

Tahleen: Help me to understand your powers, and I'll help you to understand mine.

Zhaan: (angered) Put him back and make him as he was. (she looks back at John, worried. He gazes at himself in a darkly reflective surface of the wall, panting, visibly shaken)

Aeryn: (staring at John) You are the most bizarre creature I have ever met.

(cut back to Moya. The Command)

Rygel: (entering) Any word?

D'Argo: Aeryn and Crichton have close to a 40 day supply of fresh food on the transport already.

Rygel: Excellent! (D'Argo is gazing pensively into space) What's the matter? Is there food I won't like?

D'Argo: Something Crichton said is disturbing me.

Rygel: Finally! I've been saying that since he arrived.

D'Argo: It's what he said about us all having the same dream.

Rygel: It wasn't the same. Mine was better than yours.

D'Argo: I sense Delvian trickery here Rygel. We must leave this place.

Rygel: Get the food first. (he exits)

(cut back to the Delvian temple-ship. John is examining a huge, twisted plant structure rising from the floor to disappear into the shadowy heights of its' chapel. The older Delvian man in the exuberant turban approaches. His manner is intense)

Tuzak: Do not touch. The Sanctity Root. Poison to your hand. Death.

John: R-right. Well, thanks. And you're - ?

Tuzak: Tuzak. (rattling off his words with increasing speed) Teacher, leader, holy reaper, seeker of the flame. (slow again) I am here because of you, Peacekeeper.

John: I'm not a Peacekeeper.

Tuzak: Yes you are! (haltingly) I am insane.

John: Yeah, that would have been my next guess.

Tuzak: Insane because of you. Because I touched inside what I needed to touch you outside

John: Right. (looks away and rolls his eyes)

Tuzak: The one you travel with is in peril.

John: Aeryn? No, Aerynís not a Peacekee -

Tuzak: (hissing forcefully) Not yours! Mine!

John: Zhaan.

Tuzak: (nodding, his hands pressed prayerfully together) Vigilance, Peacekeeper. Confusing times... Do not touch the Root.

(cut to Aeryn, walking through the halls of the ship. She enters a peaceful room with a graceful brazier in front of a round portal which opens onto a lush garden. A young, muscular Delvian man approaches her angrily. Like Zhaan he is bald. Like Tahleen he is dressed in rich gold and blue clothing)

Hasko: You are forbidden in this sanctuary.

Aeryn: I was just looking for the meditation room-

Hasko: (cutting her off) You also carry a prohibited weapon.

Aeryn: I appreciate your rules, but I was allowed to go anywhere-

Hasko: (cutting her off again) A Peacekeeper lie. I have been driven from my homeland by your kind. I will not be driven from here also. It is you who must go. (Aeryn leaves. He follows her but stops to speak with another wild-haired Delvian woman just coming in)

Hasko: This is wrong Lorana. We're far outside of ourselves.

Lorana: What choice do we have Hasko?

Hasko: That is Tahleen talking. Not you. Don't be blinded by her madness.

Lorana: I pity you your jealousy. Tahleen and I share unity now. Not you and I. Accept that and move on. (she walks on by. Hasko sighs)

(cut to Tahleen and Zhaan, who is now wearing a deep blue and gold robe too. They are following a path on the floor laid out in red, scattering flower petals clearly preparing for some rite. There is chanting in the background. John bounds in)

John: Zhaan! I just heard that Aeryn got booted out of the temple!

Zhaan: (taking John aside) Yes, she's already taken the transport pod. She's gone.

John: What? What do you mean? She left without us?

Zhaan: I wanted her to. I need you to help me make a decision.

John: Look, if it's about staying - you wanna stay here that's fine. But we can take these people back on board Moya.

Tahleen: We have no star charts or reference points home to Delvia. We prefer not to wander.

John: (as he turns to leave) Oh, that makes sense. I mean hell - everybody's lost in this corner of the universe anyway.

Zhaan: (stopping him) John! John - you asked if I dreamt the other night. I did. I too was reminded of the last person I ever loved. Open your mind, John. You must keep an open mind.

Tahleen: Are you sure Zhaan? His capacity is well below even a Level One.

Zhaan: (to Tahleen) He will understand. (to John) You must. (back to Tahleen) Show him. (Tahleen hesitates) Show him!

(Tahleen gazes intently at John and he sees a vision of Zhaan. She is sharing Unity with a Delvian man. Unity is expressed as two people, facing each other, sometimes blurring into one another in an act both spiritual and physical. Zhaan and her lover cradle each others' heads in their hands. A Gregorian-sounding chant fills the air)

Zhaan: In the fires of Tadesh I search for unity with you my companion.

Bitaal: (murmuring) Oh magnificent Zhaan. Ease the burdens of my flesh with your soul. Envelop me.

Zhaan: (whispering) Release your mind Bitaal. Surrender your demons. For I have others replace them. (and she begins to inflict pain on him)

Bitaal: (arching his head back as his hands fall away from her) What are you doing?

Zhaan: (sobbing) Avenging the lives you have ruined. The world you put at risk.

Bitaal: (screaming in agony as he dies in her hands) No! Zhaan! ZHAAAAAAAN! (Zhaan cries out in grief)

(cut back to the Delvian temple-ship and present reality)

John: What the hell was that?

Zhaan: The crime I was imprisoned for.

John: (he staggers away from her, horrified) You - You killed the guy you were having sex with?

Zhaan: I admit I have not revealed all parts of myself to you.

John: (shouting) No, no you haven't! You killed the guy you were having sex with Zhaan!

Zhaan: (whispering) I need you, John. (louder) I need you!

John: (still shouting) For what? Target practice?

Zhaan: (pleading) I am adrift. As the past is sweeping over me, I must rely on the judgment of someone I trust. Please understand. Please!

John: You want me to understand? Then tell me why the hell did you show me that?

Zhaan: Because they want me to do it again.

(Later - cut to John and Zhaan, talking alone in the temple-ship)

Zhaan: Bitaal was our spiritual counselor John. He was a very powerful man. I was studying with him at the time and things just took their course.

John: (quietly now) Why did you kill him Zhaan?

Zhaan: His tenure was up and instead of yielding control, he and the other conservative Pa'us hired Peacekeepers for "external security." Our world changed forever.

John: Delvian coup d'etat. Didn't think you people had it in you.

Zhaan: Peacekeepers rounded up all liberal thinkers and voices of protest. My own father was sent to an asteroid camp. He may still be there for all I know.

John: Is that before or after you killed Bitaal?

Zhaan: I loved Bitaal John.

John: And these people, Tahleen and the others, they want you to kill again?

Zhaan: Not by my own hand. They want me to help them regain power.

John: So what are you supposed to do? Serve as the poster child for the revolution?

Zhaan: As we train for purity, Delvians often become vulnerable to their own dark impulses. Should it surface, they succumb as if to an infection.

John: (as Tuzak walks past) Is that what happened to our man Pa'u Loony Tunes?

Zhaan: And now madness is threatening his followers too.

John: And not you? (she shakes her head, John tries to make sense of all this) Y'know, you're as twisted as they come. But you're still sane.

Zhaan: Exactly. I can help these people John.

John: How?

Zhaan: Through Unity. The sacred surrender of two minds together. Two spirits. Two souls.

John: Wait - no - just back up. You're telling me you're gonna give a piece of your mind, a piece of your soul to one of these people? (she nods) Am I just being stupid here, or does that sound a little crazy in its own right Zhaan?

Zhaan: It is crazy, John. But where there is risk, there is also hope.

(cut to Moya, Aeryn striding fast through the corridors. Rygel sails alongside her in his hoverchair)

Rygel: Look, couldn't it wait until we load more supplies? This triggerpod is mythic! (Aeryn swats him aside without even looking as she heads for D'Argo) OOF! (calling after her) You say it's not vegetable? (there's a crunch as he hits the wall)

Aeryn: Any more from Crichton?

D'Argo: He says they want Zhaan to participate in some ceremonial mating.

Aeryn: This is such a bad combination. I never should have left them. Zhaan distracted. Crichton confused...

D'Argo: Crichton is always confused. (they exchange a Look)

Aeryn: Pilot, prepare the transport pod. We're heading back to the planet.

Pilot: (cheerfully) Very well.

Rygel: Wait for me! (they head out)

(cut back to the Delvian temple-ship. Tahleen sweeps into a room, Hasko and Lorana at her heels)

Tahleen: If we spent another thousand cycles here we couldn't find the strength that that woman could give us in an instant!

Hasko: The Peacekeeper has signaled her intention to return - with the Luxan.

Tahleen: (whirling to face them) Stop them! Let nothing distract Zhaan from what I want her focused on.

Lorana: The one Crichton is challenging her with questions. I can send him back -

Tahleen: No! She wants him here. Their minds are weak. Preoccupy them all as you would children. Attack them with their own hopes and fears.

Hasko: (eyeing Tahleen as she sweeps off) Is that how you would treat your children Lorana?

(cut to another room on the Delvian temple-ship, John is sitting there alone, his head in his hands. Alexandra enters jauntily)

Alexandra: So, what's the story? When do we go?

John: (looks up and rises slowly to face her - apprehensive, confused) Who the hell are you?

Alexandra: You don't recognize me?

John: Oh I recognize who you're supposed to be - Alex.

Alexandra: What's wrong with you?

John: What's wrong with this picture? Why aren't you in your lab at Stanford?

Alexandra: I never went to Stanford John. I joined the space program with you. (John has a memory flash of Alex, wearing an orange IASA flight suit and blowing him a playful kiss)

John: Yeah, I... But Alex, how did you get - here?

Alexandra: Same way as you. Or doesn't being your co-pilot count? (John has another flash of memory as she takes his head in her hands. In this one he and Alex are in their orange flight suits grinning for a camera and he's saying "Smile baby, this one's for my Mom.") Remember now? (John stares at her, doubting himself)

(cut to the surface of the planet outside the temple-ship. Tuzak is there, tending and "orchard" of leafless saplings. They look dead as he hoes at the powdery soil around them. Zhaan approaches)

Tuzak: Took you long enough.

Zhaan: I had to get up the nerve.

Tuzak: I know who you are.

Zhaan: I know who you are. (she places her fingertips prayerfully together and bows her head) I do respect your teachings, Pa'u Tuzak.

Tuzak: I respect your choice of murder victims.

Zhaan: What are you doing here?

Tuzak: The young refuse to tend the orchard. Sanctity Roots don't grow on trees my dear.

Zhaan: I need your advice.

Tuzak; (shaking his head) No. I have tasted of my darker impulse. I am insane.

Zhaan: What I am contemplating is also a little insane.

Tuzak: Pa'u, 9th level? (she nods) When the darkness rises up from inside - that is normal. (screaming torturously) IT'S WHEN YOU REACH DOWN TO PULL IT UP - (normal voice again) - That the noxious warnings sound.

Zhaan: Should I give Tahleen what she wants?

Tuzak: Ohhoho. She would like that.

Zhaan: Will she use the ability I give her to hurt people?

Tuzak: Most certainly. But she may also free a planet from tyranny. (he returns to his work)

(cut to back inside the Delvian temple-ship. Hasko is chanting. His eyes are solid white. Cut to Moya as Aeryn and D'Argo arm themselves in preparation return to the planet)

D'Argo: (to Rygel) If you hear nothing from us, come down immediately.

Rygel: Yes. Of course. My thoughts exactly.

D'Argo: Aeryn, are you ready?

Aeryn: Ready. (she drops her pulse rifle and watches it fall apart as it impacts the floor. She stares at it)

D'Argo: You're ready?

Aeryn: My pulse rifle just fell apart.

D'Argo: (looks down at the rifle - which is of course completely intact) What are you talking about? Just pick it up.

Aeryn: It's in pieces D'Argo. I don't know what happened.

D'Argo: What happened is that you are wasting my time. (he impatiently picks it up and hands it to her but all she sees is a useless piece of it)

Aeryn: (frustrated) I don't have any training to use this bit! (she throws it down in disgust)

D'Argo: (suspicious) Pilot, are there any Delvian transmissions coming to Moya? (but before Pilot can answer, D'Argo hears the voice of his son calling him)

Jothee: (distressed) Daddy! Daddy!

D'Argo: Jothee? Jothee! (he looks around and sees his young son in a doorway, a Peacekeeper seizes him from behind and pulls the child away)

Jothee: Daddy! Help me!

D'Argo: (charging off after the phantom Jothee) Peacekeepers. Pilot! Seal all exits! There are Peacekeepers on board!

Aeryn: (puzzling over her rifle) Rygel, can you help me with this? (but before he can answer he suddenly squeals and shrinks to about the size of a Barbie doll as he sits in his hoverchair)

(cut to the Delvian temple-ship, near the entrance to the sanctuary)

Tahleen: What made you decide to share unity with me?

Zhaan: The potential.

Tahleen: If you have even the slightest doubt - we must refrain.

Zhaan: I will give you what you wish. What you need.

Tahleen: The smallest seed. Point me to the knowledge. And I will spend my life mastering it.

They move closer and stand facing one another. Each holds the head of the other in her hands and they touch foreheads. There is a shimmer of light and we see them standing in spirit together, naked. Their bodies pass through each other so that they appear to be a single body with two faces, facing away from each other.

Tahleen & Zhaan: I am yours.

Zhaan: Your spirit is raging. You strive for so much.

Tahleen: And yours is so calm.

Zhaan: I will show you what you want so you might ease your soul. (but at that moment she grimaces slightly and begins to feel pain) What are you doing? Tahleen!

Tahleen: I'm sorry Zhaan. But what you have achieved will take me too long to master on my own.

Zhaan: (gasping) No!

Tahleen: Forgive me Pa'u. But I must have all of what I need. (Zhaan gasps spasmodically with pain while Tahleen takes what she wants from her mind before abruptly breaking Unity. Zhaan staggers back, her hands over her face)

Zhaan: (she removes her hands from her face, her eyes have gone blood red. She is angry) How dare you betray me?

(Later - Zhaan is sitting alone in an alcove. Delvian chanting is heard in the background. John approaches her warily)

John: What's up? What happened?

Zhaan: (her tone throughout the scene is sharp, resentful) I made a mistake.

John: W-why are your eyes red?

Zhaan: It's tissue burn migrating to my brain.

John: Madness?

Zhaan: Maybe. My dark impulses are released. She ripped from me my ability to control them.

John: Then go take them back.

Zhaan: It doesn't work like that. I'd have to start over.

John: Zhaan, you're in a temple. Surrounded by the Goddess. If you can do it in a Peacekeeper cell, you can - (in a movement as fast as the strike of a snake Zhaan claps a hand on either side of Johns' head and he is rendered silent)

Zhaan: (viciously) I spent nearly 17 cycles tortured by my own dark impulses. Feeling insanity's grip ebb and flow. I don't have the strength to fight again! (she shoves him roughly away. They gaze at each other a moment)

John: Just... just stay put. Stay put. We're not done yet. (he gets up and leaves)

(cut to John looking for Tahleen. He comes upon Alexandra)

John: Tahleen! Tahleen! Alex, where's Tahleen?

Alexandra: Lotus position somewhere. John, listen -

John: She screwed over Zhaan.

Alexandra: (as she pulls him towards a lounge) That was Zhaanís choice. Let it go.

John: Baby, you should see her.

Alexandra: And you should see me. John, we made a promise to always be there for each other.

John: W-w-wait a minute. When have I not been there for you?

Alexandra: Whenever anybody else needs you.

John: Alex, Zhaan is our friend.

Alexandra: (as she kisses and cuddles John on the lounge) Who made a choice to stay with her own kind. Accept it. Do you remember the night that we made love in the reflecting pool at Canaveral?

Pilot: (bursting in via comm) Crichton! Are you there?

John: (quickly getting up from the lounge) Yo, Pilot, what's up?

Pilot: I'm afraid everyone up here is behaving rather strangely. (John looks apprehensive as Alex comes to snuggle him and he hears D'Argo yelling for Jothee over Pilots' combine)

(cut back to Moya)

D'Argo: Jothee! Jothee, where are you, boy? (Aeryn glances at him in amusement) Jothee where agree you? Pilot! I demand you help me find my son NOW! (he delivers a huge blow to the clamshell viewer Pilot is watching them on, it wobbles crazily)

Pilot: AAHH! (to John) I'm sure you heard that!

John: (trying to break away from Alex) How's Aeryn?

Pilot: Just as bad!

Aeryn: (laughs and points at D'Argo) I am not as bad as that! (she turns back to the console she's standing at) I just, um, I can't figure out how these controls work...

Pilot: (as we hear kith-pitched whimpering) And Rygel is faring no better. He somehow thinks he has shrunk to even smaller dimensions.

(cut back to the Delvian temple-ship)

John: I'm on it Pilot. (he leaves Alex)

(cut to Tahleen who is stroking the Sanctity Root. John enters)

John: This is a pretty sacred place isn't it? Think you still belong here? (Hasko and Lorana enter but stay back, listening)

Tahleen: There are over a billion Delvian living in fear on our homeworld.

John: And you're gonna save 'em, right?

Tahleen: Not alone. It will take many dedicated to freedom. But it serves no end if I go insane before -

John: This isn't about freedom. It's about power.

Tahleen: (turning to face him, angry) You know your friend really is a remarkable woman.

John: Whatever you've done to my friend. You put it right. (he leaves)

Tahleen: Incapacitate him Lorana. Even if you have to destroy his mind.

Lorana: Why not just let him go? You already have what you want.

Tahleen: Because I have not. Zhaan held too tightly to her secret. I didn't get enough to quell the madness. (she sweeps away)

Hasko: She will forge another Unity with Zhaan and most likely kill her in the process. (he stomps off. Lorana seems uncertain)

(cut to John walking through the temple-ship. Alexandra appears)

Alexandra: Hey! Where have you been?

John: Ugh. Dealing with Zhaan and the blue people.

Alexandra: How are we gonna get back on Moya?

John: I don't know. Look, Alex, let me ask you a question. Have you noticed anything unusual that might indicate they've been messing with our minds?

Alexandra: The only person messing with my mind, John, is you.

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

Alexandra: (she holds up her left hand, wedding ring on her finger) And you don't think I am? When am I gonna become more important to you than Zhaan?

John: I never gave that to you. (he has a memory flash, the scene is of the dream he had at the start of the episode but it has been altered. This time she has passed on Stanford and he picks up the ring box by the side of the bed and proposes)

Alexandra: You never gave me this?

John: (confused) No, I - I mean I remember giving you the ring, I just don't remember - (he is fed another false memory, of Alex is a wedding gown, saying her vows to him)

Alexandra: You don't remember what, John? Marrying me?

John: Yeah. Yeah, of course.

Alexandra: (she holds up the ring) Do you want it back?

John: NO - No, no... never.

Alexandra: Then honor your vow. Or choose Zhaan over me and take the ring. (he silently places the ring back on her finger and they embrace)

(cut to Tahleen and Tuzak outside in the orchard)

Tahleen: If you return to Delvia, many may be tempted to seek your word, barely coherent, over mine.

Tuzak: Oooh, they wouldn't listen to me my daughter. You didn't.

Tahleen: On the contrary, all those cycles growing up, I listened.

Tuzak: When I brought you all here to accelerate your teaching, it was to create a new class of Pa'u. A better class.

Tahleen: And in your legacy we will shine on.

Tuzak: But YOU go too fast! Pillaging knowledge without the wisdom to control it! I mean, learn from my error Tahleen!

Tahleen: I have. Even now insanity creeps upon me. But rather than sit idly by, tending trees that will not grow, I take action. For myself, and for my homeland.

Tuzak: (he angrily flings aside his hoe) What you do is worse than the insanity you seek to stave off!

Tahleen: You're quite lucid today father. (she lays her hands on either side of his head)

Tuzak: NNOO!! (he falls to the dusty ground, dead. Tahleen looks up, her eyes are blood red)

(Later - cut to back inside the temple-ship. Tuzak is laid out in an alcove, Zhaan lays with her head resting on his stomach. John enters)

John: Zhaan. Come back to Moya with us.

Zhaan: (rolling over onto her stomach and looking up at him) No, Tahleen needs me. I will become a Pa'u dedicated to helping others.

John: After all she's done?

Zhaan: Yes. I will join in Unity with her one more time.

John: Y'know you're full of it. (she giggles) You're gonna kill her aren't you? Just like you did your lover.

Zhaan: You were always the most clever one on Moya. But I will not miss you. (she smiles at him)

John: Zhaan, just stop, stop thinking about Tahleen. Now I want you to think about yourself for a little while.

Zhaan: The urge to give retribution is intoxicating. I have missed it.

John: You know, Alex said that you were gonna do this. That you'd quit.

Zhaan: Alex? Who is Alex?

John: Alex. My wife.

Zhaan: (she shakes her head and rolls back over, using Tuzak's corpse as a pillow) I should not have brought you here. Let's face it. We are both lost.

(cut to John standing by the Sanctity Root as if in contemplation of it. Alexandra enters)

Alexandra: Why do you care for Zhaan so much?

John: Huh? What kind of question is -

Alexandra: Why is Zhaan so important to you?

John: Honey, think of all the times she's put herself on the line for us.

Alexandra: Not for me John.

John: You know what? This is stupid. She likes you.

Alexandra: She can't like me. Because she doesn't even know me.

John: What the hell are you talking about?

Alexandra: I'm not here, John. I've never been.

John: (he approaches her and takes her face in his hands) Baby. They are messing with your mind. You flew with me. We share quarters. On Moya.

Alexandra: Forced memories. To distract you.

John: You're real.

Alexandra: No.

John: I love you. (she gazes at him a moment and then steps back and morphs into Lorana)

Lorana: I release you from what is not true.

John: (stepping back and staring at her incredulously) How - in God's name, do you call yourself a priest?

Lorana: I have no excuse.

John: So what now? Kill me? Cage me? Teach me tricks?

Lorana: Your feelings for Zhaan, I share them too. And for you, and the others. We have fallen off the path. The Sanctity Root around which our temple revolves represents purity of thought and intent.

John: Your tree... It's twisted on itself.

Lorana: Whilst in your mind, you have showed me the ember of my own virtue.

John: Next time - ask!

Lorana: If you are willing to take the risk, you may be able to accomplish the same result with Zhaan.

(cut to Moya. Hasko is on the main viewer in the Command)

Hasko: I am sorry, but you must focus on this moment. Your friends' lives hang in the balance.

Rygel: I get a vote! I say we go down there and shoot them all! Oof! (Aeryn swats him upside the head one) Look, D'Argo almost stepped on me!

Pilot: (wearily) Your Eminence! You were never any smaller than your current stature!

Hasko: You must not invade our temple! The balance is very - delicate. Please, I have restored your memories. Now, allow us to do it our way.

D'Argo: You have two arns. That's all.

(cut back to the Delvian temple-ship. Tahleen is meditating before a flame. Lorana enters)

Tahleen: Why do you disturb me as I prepare for Unity with Zhaan?

Lorana: Because what you are doing is wrong.

Tahleen: Such simple analysis from a vessel I poured much effort into. How disappointing.

Lorana: If you thought so little, why choose unity with me in the past?

Tahleen: (snappish) Because you were too foolish to look deeper and question me. You were easy and pleasurable.

Lorana: (after a short, deadly pause) Pardon the intrusion Pa'u, but I think you should know - Zhaan and Crichton have fled to the surface in an attempt to reach their ship.

Tahleen: Then I must stop them. (she gets up and leaves)

(cut to the sanctuary. Zhaan enters, expecting to find Tahleen for the Unity. She finds John instead)

Zhaan: Where is she?

John: The part of "Tahleen" in tonight's Unity will be played by John Crichton.

Zhaan: (dismissive) You wish to share unity with me?

John: You guys are always going on about how hot it is, I thought I'd give it a go.

Zhaan: This is not sex. The fusion of our two minds will surely kill you.

John: Not if you're careful. I hear you can protect me... If you want to.

Zhaan: I see no purpose to this union. (she turns to go)

John: BUUURR-buk-buk-buk... Your translator microbes handle that one?

Zhaan: (evidently so, she turns back to him) Although... I must admit - I have always wondered what could possibly go on in there...

John: Not a lot. I'm a guy. C'mon, Zhaan. What are you afraid of?

Zhaan: (seizing his head in her hands in another of those sudden, sharp movements) Take my head. Our two spirits will pass into each other until we inhabit a single consciousness. Too late to be afraid. Move into me. (they touch foreheads and pass into spiritual union as Tahleen and Zhaan did earlier)

John: Oh, my. What is that?

Zhaan: Unity.

John: (laughing with delight) It's like... Disney on acid! Like ten years of really great sex all at the same moment. (there is a pause as he senses something new, frightening) Oh- . What is that? What is -

Zhaan: The core of my soul. The part of me that is capable of murder.

John: Wha-what's happening? What -what's happening to me?

Zhaan: There is something else, John. Do - not - absorb - any - of my rage.

John: Alright. Alright. Alright. I'm alright...

Zhaan: We must separate now John. I don't know how long I can protect you.

John: No. There's something in me that you need to see. Look at yourself as I see you. Gentle. Giving. That's you Zhaan. Tahleen can't take that, and she didn't. You're still that Pa'u. Follow me Zhaan. See what I see. Build on that peace. Be her again. (Zhaan grunts, struggling, they separate and hall away from each other, both spent) Zhaan! Zhaan! (she looks up at him, her eyes still red and she falls back, seeming to lose consciousness) Fight it. Fight all the things that betray you. Zhaan! (he takes her head in his lap and she looks up at him again, her eyes have gone back to their normal blue)

Zhaan: Thank you John...

(Later - cut to John, chopping at the Sanctity Root as Zhaan looks on)

John: (frustrated) How come I can't remember?

Zhaan: The details of thought and mind fade after unity. But the essence of bonding remains.

Tahleen: (entering) STOP! How dare you! (other Delvians cry out in horror at Johns' desecration of their temple)

John: (his speech punctuated by chops to the Root) The tree is the center of your existence right? The source of your goodness. Your spiritual flame. Well burn down your temple sister because you're a bastard sect in any religion.

Tahleen: I will destroy your useless mind. (she attempts to do so but finds he is shielded from her. She turns to Zhaan, incredulous) How did you block him from me?

Zhaan: Unity also gifted me with a part of you Tahleen. I am now a Pa'u of the 10th level, able to protect. (with a final chop John hacks into the sap of the Root. As fluid pours out, the temple ship shudders and there is the sound of stressed metal)

Tahleen: (as the Root dies and the trembling stops) We want the same thing, Zhaan.

Zhaan: No we don't. You reach for the dark impulses I leave behind. We all visit the precipice. Each one of us must find our own way down. With your father gone, he will need you to tend his orchard. John?

(they turn away and leave. Tahleen drops to her knees in defeat before the dead Root. On his way out John pauses by Lorana and lays his hand on her cheek)

John: It's okay.

(cut to Zhaan, She has removed the blue and gold robe she wore and lays it on a small table, or alter)

John: What are you doing?

Zhaan: The vestments of a Pa'u feels like a shroud. I am no longer worthy.

John: You do that and she wins.

Zhaan: It's not about winning John. Each day infuses us with the knowledge we carry into tomorrow. I will be a Pa'u again. But I am not today.

John: It seems a shame. Waste all those years of training.

Zhaan: Hardly wasted. They were the best cycles of my life.

And with that - they exit the temple together.


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