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Jeremiah Crichton
July 30, 1999 - US
March 20, 2000 - UK

Writer - Doug Heyes Jr.
Director - Ian Watson

Guest Cast
Natalie Mendoza . . . Lishala
Kevin Copeland . . . Rokon
John O'Brien . . . . Kato-Re
Deni Gordon . . . Neera

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Episode Summary
In "Jeremiah Crichton" Moya gets bound up and John gets uptight. He storms off his Leviathan home in a fit of pique and Moya starbursts away in an involuntary attempt to relieve her pregnancy-induced constipation.

Then - in the first of an amazing string of coincidences - John finds a utopian Earth-like planet nearby that is called Acquara. It's peopled by friendly, attractive human-like folks who allow him to take refuge among them. And here he cools his heels for the 3 months it takes Moya to laboriously retrace the course of her impromptu starburst and find him. During that time he grows a beard and starts to go native. Not that he has much choice since the funny thing about Acquara is that anything powered by artificially produced energy, like engines or pulse weapons, will not work - presumably due to some natural dampening field. Aside from that and the fact that his boyish good-looks are creating a potentially homicidal Romantic Triangle in the local social hierarchy - John hasn't got a care in the universe. Until D'Argo and Rygel show up.

For against all odds - the crew of Moya actually finds him! Unfortunately D'Argo and Rygel immediately become marooned on the energy-damped planet too. That's when things begin to get weird. For it turns out that the people of Acquara were marooned there themselves - by Hynerians - and that in the generations since, the native priests have built up an elaborate mythology involving a Hynerian God who will return to them one day and take them back to the stars. Or something. Rygel is of course quickly identified as this "Masata" - or savior. To his credit - our Short Green Guy turns out to be a pretty darn good leader. He's genuinely distressed by the actions of his forebears and is determined to free the Aquarians from their ignorance and inability to progress because of the energy-damping field - which was put there by the Hynerians to keep the castaway culture there till such time as they wanted them.

Aeryn and Zhaan are unable to communicate with the boys due to the energy damper. They're also not too thrilled with idea of being stuck with only each other to talk to - so they get to work and with Pilots help are able to pinpoint the source of Aquarians negative power drain and fire off a clue to them. Rygel is able to deactivate the energy damper, John decides his destiny lies where Moya takes him and the Aquarians are left free to despoil their now godless world with industrial revolution in their own sweet time.

Everybody parts friends.

And that's it.

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The episode opens in a haze of green vapor and the sound of men grunting. As the vapor clears we see D'Argo and John, in some nether region of Moya, attempting to shift a gigantic boulder of - something - with long metal tools. Evidently the boulder of something is unpleasant to be near...

John: (whining as he works) Why is it always my fault?

D'Argo: It's not always your fault - just almost always your fault. Now give that amniox a bit of a twist will you? (straining, John manages to move the boulder a bit) Not that far only about half as much!

They both yell with disgust as the shifting boulder releases geysers of fetid orange and green steam.

John: (panting as the steam clears) You know, Pilot said that this blockage was a byproduct of Moya's pregnancy.

D'Argo: (growly) It was probably caused by you firing that chemical-burning Earth pod in the transport hangar. (he kicks the boulder)

John: Well you don't have to worry about that. That was the last of my fuel. I'm totally dependent on your technology, now.

D'Argo: It's not my technology, it's Leviathan technology.

John: (irritable) D'Argo, I don't give a ratís ass what you wanna call it, it's your end of the universe. It's your technology. (he throws down his tool and climbs out of the area they are in) It sure as hell ain't mine. (D'Argo groans as another colorful plume of vapor is released from the blockage)

(cut to John storming down one of Moya's corridors. Zhaan intercepts him)

Zhaan: John. Is something wrong?

John: Yep. I'm fed up.

Zhaan: "Fed up"? Do -

John: (stopping) Oh, I'm sorry. Is this gonna be another translator microbe hiccup? (mimicking the others) "Oh, John - you're fed up - does that mean you've had too many food cubes today?' It was cute. It was vaguely - vaguely amusing the first six billion times.

Zhaan: Something clearly is troubling you John. Perhaps I can-

John: So what? You're gonna help? Is that it? Maybe, before, when you were a priest. But guess what? You resigned. (he leaves her)

(later - cut to John as he enters the hangar bay. He's wearing his flight suit and Aeryn is following behind him, concerned)

Aeryn: Crichton, I don't understand what you're talking about.

John: I'm going for a drive. Hitting the strip. I'm going cruising.

Aeryn: What's going on?

John: (sulky) I'm getting some space Aeryn, and I'm not talking about the space outside of the ship.

Aeryn: Look, this is hardly the time for human nonsense Crichton.

John: Oh, God! That is it! You are so - damn smart. There's no time for any stupid human anything. And I'm sick of it Aeryn. I'm sick of Napoleon XVI. I'm sick of blue. I'm sick of tentacle boy. And guess what? I'm sick of you. (Moya shudders) I'm sick of this whole turd-burp end of the universe.

D'Argo: (to John via comm, yelling) Crichton! I need you down here! This backwash is building up too fast! (John hesitates for only an instant before climbing into his module and roaring off into the wild black yonder)

(cut to the Command, Moya is trembling violently. Rygel and Zhaan are there)

D'Argo: (entering) Moya is experiencing an extreme increase in her amnexus systems.

Pilot: She senses that her fetus is at risk. She's decompensating.

Rygel: Decompensating? Oh, no. That means she's going to -

Pilot: Prepare for immediate starburst.

Zhaan: (as she sees the module rocket past the main viewport) John...

D'Argo: What's he doing?

Zhaan: We must warn him! Pilot, get him back on board!

Pilot: No time.

(cut to John in his module as he watches Moya initiate starburst)

John: (incredulous & alarmed) You guys are bugging out on me?

(cut to the Command)

Rygel I hate starburst.

(cut back to the module as Moya starbursts away and her energy wake violently buffets the tiny Earth vehicle)

John: (in the sudden silent darkness after Moya is gone) Oh God. I am a dead man.

(cut to much later. An alien planet. The sky is blue and the faint arc of a huge moon dominates it. John is lounging atop his module, shirtless and sporting an impressive - or alarming depending on your preference - full beard. The module sits on a lakeshore and John is fishing. He watches as his bob dips and hits the trigger on a harpoon gun, then wades into the water to collect his catch)

John: (as he pulls up an enormous pincered creature impaled on the harpoon) Yeah! WOO-HOO! Ha-ha! Yes!

Lishala: (a pretty local girl, standing on the beach. She is idealistically Polynesian in appearance and is dressed in revealing clothing of bright red and purple. Her long straight black hair is decorated with a headdress of purple cloth and sticks) I wasn't sure who to bet on - you or the shakloom.

John: I wasn't sure myself. (she giggles) You share with me?

Lishala: In Acquara, the offering of food by a man to a woman signals his fondness for her.

John: How do you take it - boiled or barbecued? (they smile at each other. John notices she's holding a rolled up piece of paper) What's that?

Lishala: It is a map of the sky.

John: Did you make that?

Lishala: Yes. By the ancient charts of the Timbala. It is a gift for you.

John: Oh, Lishala, I... uh... (he seems to hesitate, but then accepts the map) It's beautiful. Thank you.

Lishala: I... thought you might show me where your homeworld is.

John: My homeworld? Well, let's see... (he spreads the map out and picks up a small rock which he circles enticingly over her crudely drawn chart) On this map, right... about... (he suddenly turns and throws the rock far out into the lake) There. (he looks bitterly at her)

Rokon: (entering - he is a copper-skinned, bare-chested local man in a red and purple sarong-like affair with knee-length leggings - pretty much the same type of thing Lishala wears) Lishala. Your father demands you return to the village.

Lishala: Is it my father that demands it or you Rokon?

Rokon: When would you ever do as I demand?

Lishala: When you learn to ask nicely. (she turns to John) You can teach him that. (she leaves)

Rokon: (eying Johnís catch) I see you took a shakloom. Keep at it. A baby. Don't take them smaller than this.

John: Right. (as he turns away and picks up the map)

Rokon: This is Lishala's map of the sky. Why did she give it to you?

John: Aw I guess she thought it might help me - find my way home.

Rokon: (looking out over the lake) She's never given me such a gift.

John: Rokon, you don't need a map to get home.

Rokon: You know you'll never go home. Not from Acquara.

John: You're probably right. But this is the first place I've been that makes me feel like I can live with that.

Rokon: But the question is - can Acquara live with you? (John looks uneasy) The Grondeer wants to see you. Be there at high sun. (he leaves)

(cut to Moya as she approaches a planet. Aeryn, D'Argo and Zhaan are in the Command)

Aeryn: So. Another green planet. In yet another unnamed system.

D'Argo: Crichton must have landed somewhere. Moya's starburst data says that this planet is on an exact reverse trajectory.

Zhaan: Along with every other system we've been through in the last quarter of a cycle. D'Argo, we have to admit to ourselves, whatever happened to John is his own doing. He shouldn't have left Moya in a time of crisis.

D'Argo: We drove him to it. All of us. You've become so cold.

Zhaan: Cold, perhaps. But also practical. We all grow weary of this search and it places us in greater danger of being discovered by the Peacekeepers. I still care about Crichton. The only reason this search still drags on is because of the guilt in your own hearts.

D'Argo: My hearts are private places. Stay out of them.

Zhaan: Aeryn, you have a voice in this, too.

Aeryn: Fine I say we keep looking. For now. (Zhaan exits and Aeryn approaches D'Argo) You know, D'Argo, there will come a time where we may have to acknowledge that Crichton has met his destiny and we're just not part of it.

D'Argo: Then I will wait for you to tell me when to abandon the search. When we abandon Crichton.

(cut back to Acquara as John enters the village, he is sporting a vest in the local colors. The locals all wear the attractive red and purple clothing. The feel of the place is as that of an idyllic traditional Polynesian paradise. The cheery, multi-ethnic locals weave, use stone grinding implements, cook over campfires, paddle dugout canoes at the waterside, sit on mats on the ground in from of huts. Here and there are what appear to be machinery, but it is decorated with woven grasses and clearly unused. John approaches an pavilion where a beaded curtain covers the entrance. Kato-Re, the village Chief, or Grondeer, sits within. His headdress is styled like a samurai helmet, but made of grass, its dominant decoration is a jaunty little whisk-broom. A local man makes an offering to him saying: "Aloo-i-Masata")

Kato-Re: Aloo-i-Masata (he sees John through the beaded curtain) Ah, my honored guest has arrived! (waving away others) Shai! Shai! Shai! Enough.

John: (making a bow as he enters) Aloo-i-Masata

Kato-Re: (smiling) Aloo-i-Masata. You learn our ways John Crichton.

John: Oh, they're not so different from my own.

Kato-Re: (to his guards) Go. (they do) I want to talk in private. Come. Sit.

John: Beside you?

Kato-Re: I know. It's a privilege awarded only to my best hunters.

John: I wouldn't wish to dishonor them.

Kato-Re: But by refusing you dishonor me. Come. Sit. (John obeys) We have much to discuss. You see? Not a bad place to sit.

John: So, you said we have - much to discuss?

Kato-Re: Yes. For instance... (Lishala is seen passing by outside the pavilion) The impulsive flights of my daughterís heart. You see the way she comes alive when she looks at you?

John: When I look at her, I see a friend.

Kato-Re: It is you become more than that. You must understand -

John: Kato-Re, I deeply appreciate that way your people have welcomed me but I chose to build my home away from the village because I do not want to interfere in your ways.

Kato-Re: Amongst our people, it is the female who chooses which male she will mate with - for life. It may be out of your hands my dear Crichton.

John: Huh.

(cut outside to the village. Rokon watches John and Kato-Re. Neera approaches him. Like Kato-Re and Lishala, she wears an elaborate headdress)

Neera: It appears the Grondeer has invited the stranger to sit beside him. When was the last time he invited you?

Rokon: Only once. When I asked his permission to attract Lishala.

Neera: It is obvious Lishala feels cooleh for the stranger. And now he sits in your rightful place.

Rokon: (snapping) I am not blind, mother.

Neera: (challenging) Oh, not blind - but perhaps weak.

Rokon: I am first among the hunters.

Neera: As my son, you are more than any hunter. You are part of the priestan lineage. And someday you could be Grondeer of Acquara. I'm seeing to it. But only if you marry Lishala.

Rokon: I want to marry her. But not for your reasons. How can I control the way she feels?

Neera: I'm talking about rule of all of this! And you can't even master the heart of one foolish girl? You will do whatever is necessary to insure that no one stands between you and our familyís destiny. Do you understand? (he turns and walks away from her)

(cut to D'Argo and Rygel as they exit one of Moya's pods which they've just set down on the lakeshore. The pod is huge when seen in the context of trees and the beach, it's as big as an airliner, but shorter in length and bigger in circumference)

Rygel: (in his hoverchair) That is the worst pod landing I ever experienced! Where did you learn to fly?

D'Argo: (several paces ahead of him) We lost all power and dropped the last 20 units.

Rygel: You're telling me.

D'Argo: (via comm) Pilot. We're heads-up on the planet. We caught a glimpse of Crichtonís module during our last pass.

Pilot: I acknowledge, D'Argo. Excellent news. I will inform the others. In the meantime, Moya's having trouble pinpointing your signal. (his voice begins to break up as the comm signal is lost) Can you activate your homing ident so she can-

D'Argo: Pilot. Pilot! Communication's been terminated. (he draws his Qualta blade) Another power loss.

Rygelís hoverchair begins wobbling wildly, as he yells in alarm D'Argo converts the Qualta to its pulse gun function and tries firing it but finds it dead. At that moment the hoverchair goes dead too and plows into the beach. Rygel is thrown face first into the sand.

Rygel: AAHHH! OOF!

D'Argo: (tersely) Something's draining all power. (he stalks off down the beach)

Rygel: D'Argo? Where are you going? I insist you wait for me! (his legs are too short and widely set to be much good for walking but he is forced to toddle off after D'Argo as fast as he can)

(cut to Moya)

Zhaan: It's a simple matter, Aeryn - either you or I jet down there to try and pick up a visual where we lost contact.

Aeryn: We didn't lost contact, Zhaan - contact was severed. D'Argo confirmed he found Crichtonís module, then he was gone.

Zhaan: Which is why we must act quickly.

Aeryn: Not without more data. We're already down one transport pod. Let's not make it two.

Zhaan: They could be hurt or need medical attention... or even reinforcements Aeryn.

Aeryn: (as she works at something) You were a lot more agreeable as a peace-loving priest.

Zhaan: As I assume were you as a Peacekeeper pilot.

Aeryn: I didn't give up my calling. You did.

Zhaan: My personal decision to put aside the spiritual Seek is none of your business. I warn you fairly Aeryn - do not go there.

Aeryn: Is that a threat?

Zhaan: I'll only tell you once, there are lines that we should never cross. Now I strongly suggest we concentrate on the problem at hand.

Aeryn: First rule of engagement - Before you go into battle, know your enemy.

Zhaan: It is not a battle Aeryn. It is a rescue.

Aeryn: From what? There should be some sort of thermal register from the podís propulsion systems, but there's nothing.

Zhaan: Well then I suggest we find out why.

Aeryn: Fine. Because if we don't, we're all we have left. (neither looks pleased at THAT prospect)

(cut to Acquara. John waling through a woods alone, he comes to a clearing and finds a spear-wielding local man blocking his path)

John: Aloo-i-Masata. Just passing through. (the man makes no response and does not move. Two more armed men step out of the bush) Is there a problem here? (Rokon enters) Rokon. What's the deal? (Rokon nods and one of the men hits John in the stomach with the butt of his spear. John goes down and is pinned, on his knees, by another man behind him) OOF! Damn it! Rokon!

Rokon: I know you do not mean to be an enemy, but you interfere with our ways.

John: I'm not trying to interfere. I'm just trying to live my life - alone.

Rokon: Then why do you poison Lishala's heart?

John: Rokon, you and Lishala - you've got nothing to worry about from me.

Rokon: But I have to be sure I have nothing to worry about from Lishala.

(one of Rokonís men hits John in the back of the neck and he pitches forward. But at that moment D'Argo enters with a hiss and his Qualta in its sword mode. He easily fights off the Aquarans, slightly wounding Rokon. John sits on a rock and waits, looking sullen)

D'Argo: (approaching John with concern - Guy Concern and says-) You smell like dren. You look like dren.

John: Get the hell away from me. (he gets up and walks off)

D'Argo: (following) We came back for you.

John: That's supposed to be a good thing?

D'Argo: You'd rather those guys have danced all over your face?

John: (stopping) Yeah, I would. And wherever you came from. Go back. (he walks off again as D'Argo stares after him)

(cut to the pavilion of Kato-Re. Neera is there talking with him as Lishala treats the D'Argo-inflicted gash on Rokonís chest)

Rokon: ...That's when he came flying in - swinging his powerful blade - this - man creature. A full samat bigger than Talio or Ku-mah. With tentacles and tattoos all over his head.

Neera: (to Kato-Re) You see? This stranger - this Crichton - infects us like a parasite. Already he brings more evil into our midst.

Kato-Re: Remember, our ancestors were space travelers too. We are but colonists here ourselves.

Neera: Then you will embrace this man-creature as you have embraced the stranger? Perhaps you will invite him also to bed with your daughter?

Rokon: Mother!

Kato-Re: You will not dishonor my daughter.

Lishala: It's all right. She knows nothing of my heart, and less of my sleeping habits. She should only get some of her own.

Kato-Re: You try the limits of your rank Neera. Remember you address the Grondeer.

Neera: Remember, your office depends upon the sanction of mine. Do not show weakness here Kato-Re, our people will not stand for it. (she exits)

(cut to Rygel, lying on his back and snoring in Johnís hut as John and D'Argo enter. John wads up his native vest and pelts it at Rygel)

Rygel: (awakening with a start) UH! Wha-? Crichton! You're alive!

John: (taking off his shoes and tossing them provocatively close to Rygel) No thanks to you. Get up. You're outta here.

Rygel: (taken aback) This isn't the happy reunion I'd planned on.

John: (picking up his fishin' pole and heading for the water) I didn't plan on one at all - not after you abandoned me.

D'Argo: Is that what you really think happened?

Rygel: (snapping) You're the one! Practically sabotaged poor Moya! Then blasted out of there like a barken out of hezmana!

John: (angry) I get a little stressed out, and the second I'm off the ship - BOOM! You guys starburst the hell out of there!

D'Argo: (angry) Moya starburst on her own! (then softer) You forced her to decompensate when you failed to release the pressure on her amnexus systems. Do you really think we abandoned you when we spent the last quarter of a cycle searching for you?

John: This whole time, this last 3 months... you came back. To look for me.

Rygel: A lapse of sound judgment I'll regret for the rest of my life.

John: (referring to the power damping field on the Acquara) Yup. You just might... The rest of your life.

D'Argo: We'll all regret it if we don't deal with this negative power vortex.

Rygel: Which means what, exactly?

John: If it uses power, it doesn't work.

Rygel: (whimpers) We're stuck here? OOOHh! No power, no comforts, no defenses... (cynically) Sounds like paradise. (John casts Rygel A Look)

(cut back to Moya, the Command. Zhaan is chanting softly as she works)

Aeryn: (entering) Zhaan! (no response) Wake up, Zhaan!

Zhaan: I'm not sleeping. I'm increasing my work efficiency with a Delvian Wanda chant.

Aeryn: Oh. Well this might help. Come have a look. Pilot just produced it.

Zhaan: (as Aeryn shows her a film) Ah, good! It's a topographic bio-print. Still too generalized though.

Aeryn: Too generalized for what?

Zhaan: Well since Moya can't pick up any power signals from the planet, she's concentrating instead on biological markers. What we need to do is isolate the most highly developed organisms.

Aeryn: Well that rules out the three we're looking for.

Zhaan: Yes. Well, even if we can locate them, the problem is, how do we help them?

Aeryn: I've been thinking about that. We need some kind of shielded power source - something that's hot enough to run their transport pod - that can be built into a projectile.

Zhaan: How do we send it in where we can do the most good?

Aeryn: Well, you locate the target, and I'll hit it.

(cut back to Johnís camp on Acquara)

John: ...Anyway, thank God I found this planet. This system.

D'Argo: You thought you would stay here the rest of your life.

John: I haven't stopped thinking that. Look around D'Argo. There's a lot worse places. Since I left my home, I've been hunted... Beaten, locked up, shanghaied, shot at... I've had alien creatures in my face, up my nose, inside my brain, down my pants. This is the first time, the first place, where I've felt peace. (Rygel snores in the hut as Lishala enters, John quickly stands to greet her, nervous) Lishala!

D'Argo: (to Lishala as she stops in her tracks at the sight of him) Don't be afraid.

Lishala: Who are you?

John: Lishala, this is D'Argo. D'Argo, Lishala.

Lishala: Why did you bring him here?

John: I didn't bring him. He came on his own. As a friend.

Lishala: Rokon accused your friend of attacking his brothers.

D'Argo: That is a lie! They ambushed Crichton. It's lucky I showed up when I did.

Lishala: You've done nothing to harm us since you came. Why do they wish to hurt you? (D'Argo leaves them to talk privately)

John: Lishala... Rokon believes that your heart strays my direction.

Lishala: Perhaps he is right.

John: No... you and I? That's um.. no that's not a good idea. (she kisses him lightly on the lips)

Lishala: You must go to my father at once - and convince him that your friend D'Argo is not a threat. Come. I'll take you.

John: (a bit flustered) D'Argo! (they track off with her)

(cut to the three of them walking through the forest, a large group of men led by Rokon is seen hiding and watching their progress)

Lishala: This way. (the men attack, throwing nets first over D'Argo, who brings up the rear, and then John, They restrain Lishala as well)

John: D'Argo!

Lishala: No! You must stop! What are you going? Let me go! Rokon! Tell them to let me go! LET ME GO! Rokon! Stop it!

D'Argo: She set us up.

John: No she didn't. So shut up.

(cut to Rygel still napping. He is awakened by Lishalaís outraged yells as the war party comes back to the camp for a moment. Rygel conceals himself in a sack as two warriors search the area. They grab the bag and some other of Johnís meager possessions and the party sets off back to the village)

(later - cut to the village. D'Argo and John are kneeling in the shade of a tree. They are tightly bound and armed warriors stand guard around them. Kato-Re and Neera are present. The whole village is assembled)

Kato-Re: You are charged with the crime of assault against the personal guards of the Grondeer.

John: Gracious Grondeer you know that I've always told you the truth. This whole thing started when you asked me to sit beside you. It made Rokon think that I was trying to steal Lishalaís heart.

Rokon: That's a lie!

Kato-Re: ENOUGH! My daughterís heart is not an object to be possessed or stolen. She is free to give it as she chooses.

John: Try telling him that.

Neera: (loudly, to the people) It's the stranger that disrupts our peace! And now his ally, this man-creature, threatens our very safety!

Kato-Re: The crime of assault against my personal guards carries the sentence of death.

Lishala: (rushing forward in distress) No. Please! I know they're not dangerous! Please. They're no threat!

Kato-Re: BE QUIET OR BE REMOVED! (she is hustled back to stand with the rest of the crowd) But since I believe you are not entirely at fault, you shall be banished to work the compound at Lomata-Kai for a period of ten cycles.

John: Kato-Re, you are wrong.

Neera: (again, very loudly) Grondeer, I remind you - the law is very explicit!

Kato-Re: The law is my domain. (suddenly the sound of Rygel either whimpering or trying to suppress a sneeze or fart is heard from the sack) SEIZE THAT!
(to John, wearily) What do you have in there?

The sack containing Rygel is brought up to Kato-Re, he starts and the crowd gasps and murmurs as a warrior pulls it open to reveal Rygelís fabulous green face. There are cries of - "It's him! Aloo-i-Masata!", " Look! It's him!", "Aloo-i-Masata!"

John: (sarcastic and unsuspecting) So glad you could join us, Your Eminence.

Rygel: Hmm? (people in the crowd begin to get down on their knees and chant... except for Neera) Crichton, what the frell is going on?

John: (suddenly he notices that two large stone monoliths standing in the village behind Rygel. They form the shape of - a Hynerian. He says incredulously-) They think... they think... you're God.

Rygel: (rising to the occasion) No. Not a god, but a Sovereign! (he offers the crowd a little Royal Wave)

(later - cut to D'Argo, John and Rygel in the Grondeerís pavilion. Rygel is wearing a native necklace and a pointy little headdress atop his pointy little head)

Rygel: (expansively) It's perfectly understandable. My - um - my empire included tens of thousands of planets and species. This simply must be one of them. You know, this Grondeerís hut is really quite comfortable.

D'Argo: (outraged) We are nowhere near Hyneria. We are in the uncharted territories.

John: What are your subjects doing all the way out here?

Rygel: There's no telling how far my influence extends.

Maid: (at the beaded curtain, with another pretty girl in tow) May we, Your Eminence?

Rygel: Hm? May you what?

Maid: We're here to bathe you.

Rygel: (chortling with pleasure as the women enter and begin to stroke and tickle him - to D'Argo and John) You may go. I'll see to it that no more harm comes to you. (D'Argo and John roll their eyes and depart)

(cut to Moya, the maintenance bay. Aeryn is welding as Zhaan enters)

Zhaan: How's it going?

Aeryn: Well, I've almost finished with the projectile. The shielded power source is another matter entirely. I don't know enough of the necessary science to build it. I can't believe this, but I need Crichton.

Zhaan: (showing her another film) Well, Moya has isolated bio-prints of the most complex life-forms. See these orange marks here, they indicate habitat - a settlement. Possibly a village.

Aeryn: And the dark area?

Zhaan: Well, according to Pilot, it's the focal point of negative power drain. But look, these three marks here - three distinct life forms. Clearly different from all the others.

Aeryn: Is it possible?

Zhaan: Crichton, D'Argo, Rygel.

Aeryn: Well, we know where to send this but I have no shielded power source to pack on board.

Zhaan: However, we could use it to point them in the right direction.

(cut back to Acquara, Rygel in the Grondeerís pavilion being petted by the serving girls)

Rygel: Oh! This is too, too much. Keep it coming! Fruit! Shakloom jerky! Ohwohoho! (he belches with satisfaction)

D'Argo: (at the beaded curtain) Excuse me, Your Eminence.

Rygel: (to the girls) Oh. Shoo-shoo. Shoo. (they exit, giggling and Rygel intones regally-) Enter.

D'Argo: Your loyal subjects are preparing a little celebration for you.

Rygel: Excellent.

D'Argo: Where they officially accept you as their Masata and you fulfill your part in the prophecy.

Rygel: Hm? Which part of what prophecy?

D'Argo: That's what we're trying to find out. They don't like talking to strangers about their religion.

Rygel: Religion? Dah! I told you, I'm their Dominar not their god.

D'Argo: Well they don't think so. They think you're some kind of savior.

Rygel: Hm?

Neera: (entering) Your Eminence...

Rygel: Doesn't anybody knock?

Neera: Aloo-i-Masata, most humble Masata, forgive me. Your grand celebration is being prepared.

Rygel: (thinking fast on his butt as usual) Ah, yes, of course. Where I'm expected to fulfill my part in the prophecy. Now, for my part in the prophecy I shall require the sacred text.

Neera: The Timbala?

Rygel: Yes, yes. The Timbala.

Neera: (as she takes the text out of a wooden box and gives it to Rygel) It is written in the ancient language. There are very few who can read it, only priestans like myself - and of course, you.

Rygel: (examining the book) Hm.

Neera: I look forward to the honor of officiating at the celebration. (she exits)

D'Argo: How did you know about the sacred text?

Rygel: Where were you brought up? Every religion's got one. Look, relax - the answer to the whole Masata thing must be in here somewhere.

D'Argo: Can you read it?

Rygel: It's in the ancient Hynerian. I had a coterie of tutors all through my youth who did nothing but instruct me in the ancient language.

D'Argo: Can you read it?

Rygel: (inhaling deeply) I will try.

(cut back to Johnís camp. He's coming back from fishing and sees Lishala sitting on his module)

John: Hi.

Lishala: (resentful) Are you immortal, too? Like the Masata? When were you going to tell me? I thought we had a future together.

John: Lishala... Our futures were never meant to be one.

Lishala: Doesn't matter anyway. Now that he's come, all our futures are different now. It is written in the prophecy.

John: Lishala, what is the prophecy?

Lishala: He is the Masata. Through the priestans, he's protected us, guided us, ruled us throughout our exile on this planet. Later, after the celebration, he'll rise up and lead us to the light.

John: Wait - you think that Rygel is going to take you off this planet?

Lishala: Whether we want to go or not!

John: Lishala, Rygel is not a spiritual being. He doesn't have any special powers.

Lishala: That's not true! We've worshipped his idol for generations and now he has returned! Just as it is written in the Timbala.

John: Your Timbala... your beliefs… they're wrong. (Lishala begins to protest) A flesh and blood Dominar has been presented to you as some kind of a god.

Lishala: No! It's not true! If he is the real Masata, he will rise up and lead us to the light. If he does not prove himself as the true Masata tonight, he will suffer a torturous death beyond any other. And so will you. (she leaves)

(later - back at the village, the ceremony to declare Rygel as the Masata begins. Dancers circle around a fire in a stylized routine reminiscent of Thai or Balinese traditional dance accompanied by drums. They are dressed in elaborate beaded costumes and headdresses. Lines decked with white prayer flags are strung around. Mass quantities of food are being laid out. D'Argo watches the proceedings from behind the beaded curtain of the Grondeerís pavilion before turning to Rygel who's reading the Timbala)

D'Argo: The party's getting started, looks like you're the guest of honor. Rygel, you'd better find something we can use.

Rygel: (thoughtfully) The ancestors of these people - these Acquarans - they were colonists. Sent out from my empire during the reign of Rygel X. They were meant to expand the influence of my peoples' monarchy and they were... they were abandoned. Rygel X sent them here then he... (his voice trails off)

D'Argo: Rygel, what?

Rygel: Whatever's causing the power drain across the planet is intentional. There's some sort of device sent by my empire that purposely keeps these people on this planet. So that they can't travel, can't learn of other cultures, can't be anything other than the blind followers of the family of Rygel.

D'Argo: What's this about you being some kind of a Masata?

Rygel: A lot of this is new. The priestans have made it up. Elevated my ancestors and me to gods - to elevate themselves. But I must tell them. Explain. I'm Rygel XVI! They must listen!

D'Argo: Rygel, look at them out there. They aren't preparing for the return of a worldly king. They're preparing for the return their savior.

Rygel: Then we're frelled.

(later - the celebration is heating up. John enters the village and after watching the burning fires for a moment, makes his way apprehensively to the pavilion)

John: Well hakuna matata, Masata. We got a big problem. They're all expecting slug-man here is going to rise up and lead them into the light.

D'Argo: We know. It is written in the Timbala.

Rygel: (also apprehensive) It's a metaphor, that's all. A colorful bit of descriptive language to infer the guiding of people to a better way of life.

John: Listen - Rygel! To these people, it's not any damn metaphor! (Neera approaches the beaded curtain behind them and hears) They are burning their possessions!

D'Argo: They are expecting you to rise up and part the heavens.

Rygel: But I - I can't do that! I - ohohoh-hoho! (he spots Neera listening, she smiles, bows and backs away) No! No wait! I command you. (Rygel gasps in horror as Neera walks away)

John: Great.

(cut back to Moya, the Command)

Zhaan: (entering) This current bio-print reading shows all three targeted life-forms are very close to the vortex site.

Aeryn: All right. Let's drop it right in their laps.

Zhaan: Programming targeting coordinates. Clear to launch. Now! (they launch their projectile, we see it arcing away towards a large island archipelago on Acquara) She's on optimal trajectory. If everything goes smoothly we should have contact in... (an alarm sounds) We've lost her.

Aeryn: It's the power vortex. No signal. No data. No contact. She is gone. So. Now all we can do is wait.

Zhaan: I pray for a miracle.

(cut back to Gilliganís Island - WE MEAN ACQUARA - Neera is seen whispering something to Kato-Re. The drums have stopped. There is silence as the people wait for Rygel. He emerges to address them, D'Argo and John flank him like guards)

Rygel: People of Acquara. Loyal subjects. In this time of - of hope, of, uh... of greater understanding, it is my wish that you will understand that we have much to accomplish. Together. As a united people before, um... and, uh... by my hand, uh, I shall rise up and lead you to the light. (the Aquarans stare back silently) So. As we embark together on this great journey forward, uh, could, uh, take a very long time-

Neera: (stepping forward confrontationally) No! It is written that the Masata will rise up and lead us to the light.

Rygel: But that's just a metaphor! Uh, uh - and as your leader, your Dominar, I command that you should wait-

Neera: The sacred Timbala does not command us to wait! It states without question: "By the hand of the Masata, shall he rise and lead us to the light." Rise and lead us to the light! (she turns her back on Rygel and faces the crowd, exhorting them on) Rise up and lead us to the light! (the villagers take up her call, "Rise up and lead us to the light!")

Rygel: Listen! Listen to me! I -I - 0Despairing) I can't!

Neera: False God! He's not the Masata! False God! (the crowd now takes up her new call - "False God!")

Rygel: But I never was a god!

Kato-Re: Seize him!

D'Argo: Crichton! (he yanks John away as warriors rush forward to take Rygel)

John: D'Argo! Let me go!

Rygel: Crichton! Crichton, help meeee! (but D'Argo pulls John away to the bush away from the melee)

John: For Godís sake! D'Argo they're going to fry Rygel!

D'Argo: We'll be no help to anyone if they fry us, too.

(at that moment Aeryn and Zhaanís projectile screams overhead and slams into the water nearby - John wades in and fishes it out)
John: Okay, I give up. What is it?

D'Argo: It's from Moya. Thermal storage casing. (John unscrews the plug on the projectile and removes a tube containing one of the films Pilot had made of Acquara in the vicinity of the village)

John: It looks like the girls are trying to send us a message. (holding up the film) That's coordinates.

(cut back to the village. The celebration seems livelier and unduly cheerful now that Rygel is tied up on a stick)


Rokon: (quietly) It is how it must be.

Lishala: No, it is not. Why can't we decide our own fate, make our own rules?

John: (entering with D'Argo as the Aquarans are about to commence with the Rygel-roast, the drums stop) Stop! Let him go. You've been betrayed. All of you. You've been forced to live on this planet against your will, as were your ancestors before you.

Neera: Don't listen to him!

John: There is a device... A device which drains all power sources that keeps your machinery from working.

Rokon: There is no device.

John: This device sends out an invisible pulse which blankets the entire planetís surface -

Lishala: (as Rokon attacks John, D'Argo intervenes and drives him back) No!

John: (continuing) When your ancestors first arrived at this planet, their starships functioned as did all the machines that they left behind. But you've been lied to. First by those who left you here - and then by the priestans. (the crowd murmurs)

Neera: You dare attack the priestans? That's the highest sacrilege!

Rygel: (reproachfully) No! The highest sacrilege is purposely keeping your own people ignorant and subjugated for your own glorification!

Neera: (angry) Lies! You have no proof of anything!

Rygel: (shouts) Yes I have! In the Timbala.

Kato-Re: (eyeing Neera) But only the priestans have read it.

Lishala: If it is true, that would mean the priestans have lied to us for generations.

Rokon: That cannot be.

Neera: (referring to John) Kill him, Rokon. He's mad. Just kill him.

Lishala: Don't Rokon.

Neera: Kill him, Rokon!

Lishala: Don't!

Neera: (shoving Rokon towards John) Kill him Rokon!

Rokon: If what you are saying is true, then where is this device? Where is it?

John: I'm not entirely sure Rokon, but the people from my ship just sent the coordinates. Just give me a chance to find it- (Rokon attacks, D'Argo and John scuffle with him and a couple other warriors, john is knocked to the ground. From his low vantage point he sees that at the base one of the monoliths are two tiny, four-fingered hand indentations) "By the hand of the Masata, shall he rise up and lead us to the light!" (luckily John saw all the old Tarzan and Indiana Jones movies - he gets an idea and lunges for Rygel) Sparky! You're up! D'Argo! (D'Argo covers him while he sprints with Rygel to the base of the monolith) Rygel, the impression! Your hands! Right there!

John presses Rygelís hands into the impressions and a blue glow emanates from beneath them. The fighting ceases as cracks filled with brilliant light appear in the stone and the monolith breaks apart, releasing a column of lightning blue energy into the sky. The villagers gasp and Rygelís hoverchair comes back to life and sails towards his bum like a homing pigeon to its roost. He settles into it - and rises up.

The villagers: (falling to their knees) Aloo-i-Masata, Aloo-i-Masata...

Rygel: (greatly magnanimous) No. Cease. I command it. I have not risen. I am not a deity. I am but a Worthy Being like yourselves. But I am your Sovereign.

John: (sotto voce) The Slug Who Would Be King.

(later - in the village. The old machinery, like a water pump, is working. People are going about their business)

Kato-Re: I wish you could stay here with us Dominar.

Rygel: Oh, as do I my friend. As do I. But I must continue on my journey. And if those Peacekeepers I mentioned should arrive here -

Kato-Re: We shall tell them nothing of your visit. Provisions for your journey? (he presents a great stack of baskets full of food)

Rygel: Hm? Oh - oh! (genuinely grateful) This is so generous. I, I wish I had more of a gift for you.

Kato-Re: You've given us the greatest gift of all, Dominar Rygel - you've given us our freedom. Now we can stay on our beloved Acquara. And so you do not forget us - we've prepared you a special gift.

Rygel: (as Kato-Re waves a basket of the delicacy under Rygelís nose) Shakloom jerky? (he moans blissfully as Kato-Re chuckles)

(cut to the waterside, John stands with Lishala and Rokon)

John: You take care of her Rokon.

Rokon: I will.

John: Your mother, will she -?

Rokon: She will survive her displacement.

Lishala: You've often said you love this place. Why don't you stay and help us rebuild?

John: I wish I could. But my future is with my own kind. I'll continue my journey.

Lishala: We'll miss you.

D'Argo: Crichton! It's time to go.

John: Gotta go. (D'Argo tosses him a sack and they set off for the pod together) Guess I got some apologies to make up on the ship… Zhaan, Aeryn... you.

D'Argo: Forget about that. (he stops and looks at John) Was it worth the trouble human?

John: Huh... What trouble? Let's hit the road.


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