Dream a Little Dream
June 23, 2000 -US
August 14, 2000 - UK
Writer - Steven Rae
Director - Ian Watson
Steve Jacobs . . . Ja Rhumann
andy Gore . . . Judge
Simone Kessell . . . . Finzzi
Marin Mimica . . . Dersch
Peter Kowitz . . . Tarr
Jeremy Callaghan . . . Bartender
back to the top
Aeryn: I'm still here but I can't get to you.
John: May not matter - D'Argo's unconscious. (and at this point the memory diverges into the dreamers' fears and becomes fantasy. Aeryn’s Prowler is suddenly beset by Scorpius' fighters in overwhelming numbers)
Aeryn: (shouting with alarm) Crichton! I've been discovered! I'm under attack! I'm reading 8 Prowlers, 4 Marauders and there's more on the way! And they're all firing at once! (to her attackers-) Get off me! Get off!
John: Aeryn get the hell out of there!
Aeryn: (in a panic) I CAN'T! I CAN'T! NO! (and with that the dreamer dreams that Aeryn and her Prowler are destroyed)
John: AERYN! (the glass of his space helmet begins to crack) NOOOOO-
(cut to one of Moya’s transport plods as Zhaan startles awake with a terrified cry. John is nearby, working on some piece of the pods' equipment, he starts too at her shout in the silent transport)
John: Damn! Zhaan, that is where heart attacks come from!
Zhaan: (defensively, as she hurries to get up and recover her composure) My circulatory organ does NOT seize up!
John: Mine does!
Zhaan: (apologetic and tired) Oh I'm sorry John. I just can't seem to shake these visions no matter how much I meditate.
John: I'll offer it again - talking about it could help.
Zhaan: (ruefully) I doubt it.
John: Suit yourself.
(cut to later - John and Zhaan are still aboard the stalled pod. John is trying to fix it and is under a control console poking around now. Zhaan waits)
Zhaan: How long until Moya returns?
John: (from under the console) Aaaaa-bout an arn. Aw CRAP! (he suddenly pops upright and slams the access door to the console shut while dusting off his hands quickly) Okay, I found the problem. Some joker decided to store his Keedva barbecue in the nav linkage.
Zhaan: (wearily) Rygel.
John: You betcha.
Zhaan: Can it be repaired?
John: It's pretty messed up. DRDs are gonna have to rip the whole thing apart.
Zhaan: Then we wait.
John: Yup. We wait. (he takes a seat near Zhaan who is moodily quiet, resting her head on her folded arms. He takes up some small busy work as he looks at her and begins to nonchalantly sing-) Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you- Sweet dreams that leave your worries behind you- But in your dreams whatever they be- Dream a little dream of me.
Zhaan: (lifting her head) I was! I keep seeing you die. (she moves closer to him) John, have Chiana or Rygel spoken to you about what occurred on Litigara?
John: No, not a lot. Chiana said it was best to talk to you about it.
Zhaan: After you destroyed the Gammak Base, I was terrified we'd lost you.
John: (quietly as he continues with his busy work) Well, we would have called, but Scorpy was still in the neighborhood.
Zhaan: (she sits down and leans against John's chair) For 20 solar days, we searched every planet we thought you might have reached. The last world we discovered was Litigara.
John: What happened there? (she makes no response) Something you don't wanna talk about. Got it.
Zhaan: Something I don't want to remember.
Zhaan: You have to understand John, we were all under incredible stress, And Moya was anxious to leave and search for her offspring. I was growing desperate...
(as Zhaan begins to tell her story the scene shifts to Litigara. She is in a bar. Electronic alien jazz is playing as she tries to talk to the bartender. He's a young man, humanoid, who, like all Litigarans has pasty white skin and dark reddish-purple circles around his eyes. The women have less of this eye area coloration than the men Unlike most Litigarans though, he is bare-headed and wearing clothing that wouldn't seem out of place on Earth. He has no interest in Zhaan or her search)
Zhaan: (urgently) You'd remember them if you'd seen them.
Bartender: I wish I could help you. (he walks away to wipe the bar a few feet from her. Zhaan is not so easily ditched though and pushes past other bar patrons to follow him)
Zhaan: (desperate) Listen to me! A Sebacean, a Luxan and a hu - another Sebacean.
Bartender: (terse) We haven't had any Sebaceans in here ever. And a Luxan - I don't know what you're talking about. (he tries to move away again)
Zhaan: (she pushes past another bar patron, a pasty-faced woman named Finzzi whose expression is insufferably smug. She is dressed in the manner of most Litigarans. A black coverall thing that may be one-piece, reddish highlights and loose-fitting. She also wears a hood, like a tight fitting bonnet that completely covers her hair and extends down onto her forehead. She watches Zhaan move about) Are you sure? This is very important.
Bartender: (gentler) I'm sure. ( Zhaan, dejectedly walks away. Finzzi continues to watches her surreptitiously as she returns to where Rygel waits)
Rygel: (so drunk he has to hold onto the table to stay upright) Buy ya a drink, beautiful?
Zhaan: (annoyed) Getting dren-faced is not helping Rygel.
Rygel: Well, it's helping ME! (at that moment a yell of outrage is heard a short distance away. It is Chiana - in the process of starting a bar-brawl with some of the pasty-faced, black-clad locals. Without a word Zhaan gets up and grabbing China by the scruff of the neck, yanks her out of the melee and drags her away)
Chiana: What? Leave me alone! (but Zhaan merely whips Rygel up over her shoulder with the other hand and marches the pair of them out)
Zhaan: Get outside! Both of you! (at that moment a voice comes over a comm belonging to Finzzi)
Voice: Have you found someone yet?
Finzzi: I'm onto it now. (she quickly gets up and follows Zhaan and the others out)
Outside the bar it is night in the Litigaran city. Dark, Earth-like skyscrapers dominate it and it bustles with vehicular traffic both in the air and on the ground. There isn't much foot traffic though and a robotic female voice is heard over a public address system saying “Please observe the signals. For your own safety, all traffic is monitored.” Chiana and Rygel sit while Zhaan paces the wet sidewalk in what resembles a bus stop shelter. The headlights from passing vehicles cast transient light over them. Zhaan is speaking to Pilot via comm.
Zhaan: (pleading in a near whisper) Pilot, tell Moya she must continue to be patient. This is the last inhabitable planet within range of Aeryn’s Prowler. If Crichton, D'Argo and Aeryn managed to get away, this is the last planet they could've-
Pilot: (cut to him in his Den as he cuts her off) Moya understands. But she feels she's been patient. She now demands that you return to the ship. At once.
Zhaan: (dismayed) Demands?
Pilot: She believes that she has been more than accommodating in your search. Perhaps it is time to accept that their fate - whatever it may be - does not include us.
Zhaan: Tell Moya we'll begin the search for young Talyn as soon as we return. (and she flicks her comm off)
Rygel: You can't be serious! I want-
Zhaan: (upset and displacing her own feelings onto them) Silence! Both of you! I've seen the way that you two have handled your anxiety over the fate of Aeryn, Crichton and D'Argo. I hate to think of how you're now going to handle your grief, and your loss! (she sobs and walks to the curb of the roadway where a blue light flashes and the robotic voice warns - “Attention pedestrian! Do not cross. Do not cross.” Zhaan stops but Finzzi is standing nearby in the shadows. She has a small device which she points at the flashing blue signal. It stops flashing and white lights come on between the blue ones. The robotic voice advises - “You may proceed.” Zhaan begins to cross but is nearly mowed down by a fast-moving ground vehicle. She is knocked backwards, Chiana rushes to her in horror)
Chiana: Zhaan! (but at that moment two cops appear out of nowhere)
Cop: YOU! HALT! DON'T MOVE! REMAIN WHERE YOU ARE!
Chiana: (confused, as another cop hustles her back to the curb) Is something the matter?
Cop: (brusquely - to Zhaan) On your feet! (he grabs her and starts hauling her up)
Chiana: (trying to fight the cops) Get your hands off her!
Second Cop: (pushing Chiana back) Back off!
Rygel: (to the cops) What the yotz do you think you're doing?
Cop: Shut up!
Chiana: What did she do?
Cop: (as they cuff Zhaan) Your friend's ours now.
Second Cop: And she's gonna pay for her crime.
Rygel: (as he and Chiana gape, completely confused) Crime? What crime? (but they get no answer and Finzzi is seen slipping away with a look of satisfaction on her pasty face)
(soon after - cut to a cellblock at the police station. It a cool, modernistic facility lit by rather nice large globe lamps. The dominant color of the place is a cold slate blue. There are many neat holding cells composed of bars and mesh and the place is full of tight-hooded, pasty-faced Litigarans. The mood is decorous and there is little sound but the electronic plink of data recording devices - and Chiana, speaking impatiently to Pilot via comm)
Chiana: Pilot! Tell Moya she's just going to have to blezz out!
Pilot: (cut to him in his Den, he sounds impatient and put-upon) I will try to keep Moya calm. But you must relate to Zhaan that Moya is ready to bolt to look for young Talyn - at any moment!
Chiana: (she signs off and spots Zhaan's cell) Zhaan!
Zhaan: You shouldn't have come. You and Rygel shouldn't still be here.
Chiana: Hey, his Royal Frogness may be back in the transport pod sleeping it off. But take a look - I'm here okay? I wanna help! Do you even know what you're charged with? (at that moment they are approached by a young Litigaran man, Maton Dersch.. He looks like the rest of his people and has a busy, glib manner. He primly answers Chiana’s question)
Dersch: Failing to heed a pedestrian signal light.
Chiana: Who are you?
Dersch: The name's Dersch. Maton Dersch. And you are-? (Zhaan just stares a him) No need to tell me, no - (he consults the police report which he has with him) - Zotoh Zhaan. The offworlder.
Chiana: (dubiously) What are you?
Dersch: I am a Public Counselor. Specifically her Public Counselor. What are you? Relative?
Dersch: Whatever. Let me run this down for you. This the first time on our planet? (Zhaan's lips move but he briskly keeps talking) Doesn't matter. (his cell phone rings and he quickly turns away to answer it busily-) Dersch. Yeah. Hold on, hold on- (he puts the caller on hold and continues to Zhaan-) “Failing to heed” - it's garbage. Plus that you're an offworlder, didn't know the laws. Good judge in a good mood, I'd say a minimum sentence. 10 solar days and you're on your way home! (he chuckles easily and returns to his phone call)
Chiana: No - no we can't stay here 10 solar days! (but Dersch has his back to them already and is saying into his phone - - “OK talk to me...” Chiana turns back to Zhaan) Ah - Zhaan, look - maybe we should get a different lawyer.
Dersch: (he finishes his call and turns cheerily back to them) Well, you're welcome to try, there's plenty of them around. (he sounds proud as he indicates the tight-capped men milling about the police station) 90% of our population are lawyers.
Zhaan: (in a whisper) You must get me out, now!
Dersch: Your case comes up tomorrow.
Dersch: I'll see you then! (he makes to leave)
Zhaan: (softly) I need you to listen.
Zhaan: I need you to listen to me.
Dersch: Come on, speak up! (he steps closer to Zhaan's cell and with an unhinged shriek she lashes her hands out through the bats and seizes him, trying to pull him close, whether to try and hurt him or communicate with him by Unity is unclear. But she is out of control. Police guards rush in and use a stun gun sort of device to put her off Dersch. She falls back into the cell and Dersch staggers back as well, clearly unaccustomed to such an outburst)
Dersch: (as he's taken away) I'm okay!
Zhaan: (she and Chiana are left alone, Zhaan looks pained and says softly as Chiana helplessly tries to offer some comfort through the bars-) I don't know what's wrong with me... Chiana...
(cut to a well-appointed office elsewhere on Litigara. It is the office of a Very Important Person. A man named Ja Rhumann. His appearance is not significantly different from that of anyone else on his world except that his suit has a lot of bright power-red about the arms and torso. He is lounging at his desk and talking by speakerphone to another man)
Rhumann: Everything is ready to go. We proceed as planned.
Man on the phone: But Rhumann, you know it's dangerous for me to be on the streets tonight.
Rhumann: Your personal problems mean nothing to me. You'll be there tonight. We've found the perfect subject. (this ends the call and he touches a device on his desk. A holographic image of Zhaan in her cell back at the police station rises from it. Finzzi is sitting on the other side of Rhumann's desk and he says to her-) You've done well. (she smiles smugly and leaves)
(cut back to the police station. The cellblock is dim and deserted. Zhaan moves restlessly in her confinement. She hears the door open and looks out to see 3 familiar forms walking towards her - Aeryn D'Argo and John. Zhaan gasps and smiles with joy and relief at the sight of them as they stop outside her cell)
John: Well, look who's here! You need a lift, lady?
Zhaan: (half sobbing and half laughing with joy) Ohohoh! You're alive! (she tries to reach to them)
D'Argo: It wasn't easy.
Aeryn: We've got quite a story to tell. Later. Now we're gonna get you out of here and get off this rock.
Zhaan: I've been looking for you everywhere! Hoping. Praying. The last 15 solar days have been unbearable!
John: It hasn't exactly been a trip to Disneyland for us either.
Zhaan: At least you're finally here. (D'Argo opens his Qualta to it's gun function and aims it at the cell lock - but at that moment he, Aeryn and John seem to freeze) What are you waiting for? Fire - You're here to rescue me! (they remain motionless, Zhaan's smile fades-) I need you here to rescue me! (but they shimmer away like the mirages they of course are and Zhaan is alone. She sinks to the bench in her cell and begins to sob. But John appears again and walks through the mesh of the cell wall. Zhaan straightens up and says to the apparition-) Get away from me. Get away. (but he sits down beside her instead. Zhaan gives in to the delusion and sighs-) Oh - I wish you were really here. (she lays her head on his shoulder) I need you so badly.
John: The chances that we'd survive, that you'd find us, were ten million to one. You knew that the moment you starburst away. You're just refusing to accept it. And now you must.
Zhaan: All this time since we escaped from the Peacekeepers, I drew my strength from you and the others. Now I will be incarcerated again - without you to help me. Oh John - I am so deeply alone. And afraid.
John: You're not alone. You have Rygel. And Chiana.
Zhaan: They're like children. How can I be responsible for them, and for Pilot, and for Moya and for myself? Not without you.
John: But it must be without us now. (he touches his forehead to hers for a moment and then gats up and leaves. Zhaan whimpers and reaches after him a little, but he is gone. The doors to the cellblock are heard opening and closing. Finzzi appears at her cell door)
Finzzi: Rough night, hm? You want to escape? This is your chance. (she aims a device at the door of the cell and it emits a beam that disintegrates the whole locking mechanism. she then offers Zhaan a paper map) This will show you how to get out of the building. How to get back to where your pod is docked.
Zhaan: (suspicious) Why are you doing this?
Finzzi: You want out or you want answers? The guards will be back at their posts any microt. A second chance to escape it isn't going to happen. (Zhaan silently takes the map and slips past the smug-faced Litigaran, who turns to watch her go)
(cut to soon after - Zhaan is trotting down a dark alley in the city, referring occasionally to her map. She spots Chiana and Rygel, apparently making their way back to the pod as well)
Zhaan: Chiana! Rygel! (they turn towards her in amazement)
Chiana: Zhaan! (Zhaan runs down the alleyway towards them, but stumbles against something laying on the ground, she stops to catch her balance and sees it is a dead body. At that moment a searchlight illuminates the scene and Zhaan looks around in confusion. As she does so, the map burs into flames and she drops it as police shout)
Cop: STAND WHERE YOU ARE! (two cops rush up to her, one grabs her from behind) HALT! (but Zhaan starts swinging back at them)
Chiana: Stop it! (and with a wild yell she flings herself into the melee too. A brief fight ensues but the cops have stun gun type weapons that they use to ward Chiana off and subdue Zhaan. Another cop, named Tarr, with the unmistakable look of a corrupt detective approaches them as things quiet down)
Tarr: You're under arrest, alien. For murder.
(soon after - cut back to the police station. Zhaan is back in a cell and Chiana and Maton Dersch are talking to her)
Dersch: Well, the good news is you're no longer facing trial on the traffic violation. Do you have any idea who it was you murdered last night?
Zhaan: I didn't murder anyone. I was set up.
Dersch: His name was Wesley Kenn, if you care. He was a rising young equal rights advocate for the Utilities.
Chiana: Utilities? What - the 10% who aren't lawyers? (Dersch pauses but makes no response before going on-)
Dersch: The case against you is that you busted out of here, and as you were fleeing, you came across Kenn, panicked and crushed his neck with your bare hands. Now I can't say people are too broken up about it. He had some radical ideas about The Law. Sweeping reforms for the Utilities - bit of a trouble maker really.
Chiana: What are you going to do for her?
Dersch: There's not much I can do. As far as The Law is concerned, it's a done deal. 3 solar days from now - she's executed.
Chiana: Well - you've gotta defend her, she-she didn't do it!
Dersch: What's her defense? It's just her word.
Chiana: You're a lawyer - Y'know - make something up!
Dersch: Do you know what would happen to me if I put on a bad face defense?
Chiana: You might win?
Dersch: I put on a defense I even suspect of being false, and I suffer the same punishment as my client. I'll see you in court. (he exits)
(some time later - cut to Zhaan being led into court. The chamber is grandly austere with high ceilings and monolithic minimalist furnishings. As in a British court Zhaan, as the defendant, stands facing the Judge in a dock flanked by podiums and seats for the defense and prosecution on either side.
There's also room for spectators and Rygel, dismissed earlier by Zhaan as a child, has clearly done his research as he explains the strange Litigaran system to Chiana)
Rygel: (in a loud whisper) This is a very arse-backwards world. They don't have monarchs, political parties - they have ruling law firms. The law firm currently in power is Rhumann, Gwillian - something. Anyway, Ja Rhumann, the senior partner, the man in charge, is him up there! (he indicates Rhumann, sitting in the upper row of the spectator gallery)
Chiana: Well, can you get to him?
Rygel: He's these people's supreme leader! He's never alone! You want to tell me how? (at that moment the Judge enters. and calls the court to order with a rap of a Litigaran-style gavel. She is an older woman wearing red robes with an attached shoulder cape and a broad gold neckpiece reminiscent of priestly vestment. She also wears a broad hat that looks like a 1960s lampshade)
Judge: (intoning) We convene in the name of that which is most Holy - The Supreme Law Of The Land. (everyone bows their heads except Rygel who mutters “Quite.” The Judge makes a benedictory motion) Ahmet.
Judge: (her voice echoes in the cavernous chamber) The offworlder is aware of the charges for which she has been brought before this court?
Dersch: She is, Your Honor.
Judge: Having examined the evidence and eye witness accounts of the events of evening last, and after weighing all such admissions, this court-
Zhaan: (her pleading tone seems out of place in the austere court) Does it not matter that I am innocent? (a murmur ripples through the chamber)
Judge: (to Dersch) Are you entering a plea of not guilty? (Dersch seems unsure of what to say but Zhaan answers for herself)
Zhaan: (timid) I am guilty of so many evils, Your-Your Honor - (more certain-) But of this infraction I must protest my innocence.
Judge: Have you discussed this with your attorney?
Dersch: No! She has not!
Judge: Mr Dersch, do you wish to represent your client in a plea of not guilty?
Dersch: Absolutely no, Your Honor.
Judge: I'm afraid, Mr Zhaan, without concurrence of your counsel, I cannot enter such a plea. Unless there is someone else who would be willing to advocate the defendants' cause? (silence) Without a volunteer, I see no other course than to proceed. (she raps her gavel and continues-) I hereby find the defendant guilty as charged-
Chiana: (at the same moment as Rygel shouts-) Wait!
Rygel: (at the same moment as Chiana shouts-) I will! uh- (they gape at each other a moment)
Chiana: (she vaults out of the spectator box she is sitting in and storms to Zhaan's side where she shouts at the Judge) This is pure dren! You're about to condemn an innocent woman to death!
Zhaan: (leaning down and whispering to Chiana with annoyance) I will not permit this! What are you trying Chiana? I won't have you dragged in with me. Return to Moya immediately! (Chiana looks up at Zhaan, unsure for a moment, then back to Rygel before continuing defiantly-)
Chiana: Our offer stands Your Honor.
Judge: (with a rap of her gavel) You are now counsel for the defense. (glaring, Zhaan is led away by her guards)
(later - cut back to the holding area at the police station. Rygel and Zhaan wait, not speaking to each other. Rygel sits with his head leaning wearily against the wall as Chiana trots in with an armload of books)
Rygel: (groaning) All those are law books?
Chiana: This is only the peak of the mountain.
Rygel: Ugh. I doubt we really need them.
Chiana: (to Zhaan) You could at least say thank you.
Zhaan: (bitterly) For what? Assuring your own executions in 2 solar days along with mine?
Rygel: What's this?
Chiana: If we put on a defense that includes falsehoods or, uh, or can in any way be construed as bad faith, then we share the same punishment as our client.
Rygel: (alarmed) You never told me that! How could you never tell me that? I thought we might even pull this off - but you and me, not lying? Are you mad?! GUARD! I DEMAND TO SEE THE JUDGE!
Chiana: (grabbing Rygel to shut him up) Rygel! It's done. The way it lays out now that either we're all leaving this planet together - Or none of us are.
(later - cut to back to the bar where it all began. Chiana and Rygel are sitting and pouring over the law texts)
Rygel: This is ridiculous! We aren't lawyers.
Chiana: We are now. Shut up and read. (at that moment there's a crash as a black-hooded lawyer enters the bar and knocks the door into a server whose tray crashes to the floor. He snarls - “Watch it! Clumsy fool! Damned Utilities. Don't deserve any frelling rights at all!” He continues on and Chiana remarks to the Bartender-)
Chiana: You guys get a lot of that?
Bartender: He's a lawyer. It's his right. They have rights. That's why Wesley Kenn, and the reforms he was advocating, meant so much to my comrades. And me.
Chiana: My friend didn't do it.
Bartender: But can you prove it? Under our law?
Chiana: Damn it! Why does your system gotta be so frelling complicated?
Bartender: It wasn't. It's only grown more complicated over the centuries.
Rygel: You mean to say your laws weren't always such a mess?
Bartender: (he reaches under the counter and brings out a small book, about the size of short paperback novel, but this book is ornately bound. He lays it on the bar in front of Chiana and Rygel) This book, the Axiom, is the basis for all of our law. All of these other books exist merely to expand on what's in here.
Rygel: (gesturing to the heaps of books he and Chiana have been perusing) How did that - become this?
Bartender: As more and more people devoted themselves to The Law, The Law had to grow more complex to justify them all. This is the only book you really need.
(cut back to Zhaan in her cell. She's hallucinating Aeryn now, who is standing in there with her)
Zhaan: (refusing to look at the phantom Aeryn) Please don't do this to me. I don't wish you - You're not really here. You're just a figment of my imagination.
Aeryn: Why'd you leave us, Zhaan?
Zhaan: (determined) I didn't - leave you.
Aeryn: A few more microts and we all could have been aboard Moya, we all could have starburst to safety together.
Zhaan: You told me to go! If Moya had been captured, we would have all perished! I came back for you! I've been searching! (Aeryn shimmers away silently and Zhaan whispers to herself-) Where are you? Wh - where are you?
(later - cut back to the court chamber. The Judge has reconvened the hearing but before anyone can speak Zhaan says-)
Zhaan: This must not go on!
Chiana: Zhaan?! What are you doing?
Zhaan: This trial must not be allowed to continue! I confess!
Rygel: Are you insane?!
Zhaan: I am guilty! I committed that murder. (the Judge strikes her gavel) I crushed that mans' throat.
Judge: You admit that you are guilty?
Chiana: (striding to Zhaan angrily, and fearfully) Zhaan - Zhaan? Don't do this! What's the matter with you? Do you want to die?
Zhaan: (whispering angrily) I do not want you and Rygel to die with me! I refuse to carry the guilt of any more deaths into the afterlife!
Rygel: (also approaching Zhaan in his hoverchair) We haven't lied yet. Of course, the trial's only been on for a few microts.
Chiana: (in a whispered hiss) Rygel!
Zhaan: (eying him and murmuring-) You will.
Judge: (she strikes her gavel again) In light of a full confession on the part of the defendant, I-
Rygel: (with assurance and command) Wait! Yesterday, you refused my clients' not guilty plea until her attorney had concurred with it. Well, we do not concur with our clients' confession of guilt.
Zhaan: (standing with rigid righteousness in her defendants' dock) Do not listen to them Your Honor! I do not want their counsel. I crushed that mans' throat. I am guilty!
Chiana: (demanding) Gag her! Your Honor, I insist that you gag my client for her own good!
Zhaan: (to Chiana) YOU CAN'T DO THIS! (but they can! And a couple of guards seize her as she shouts to the Judge-) EXECUTE ME AND LET THOSE LIVE! (she points at Chiana and Rygel) THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING!
Judge: (striking her gavel) This trial will proceed! (Zhaan is released and turns back to face the Judge with a look of shock on her face and a metal mesh gag neatly adhered over her mouth)
(cut to later - Zhaan's trial is in progress and the Medical Examiner is giving his testimony)
Medical Examiner: (with officious confidence) And I would put the time of death at between the 10th and 11th arns of 2 evenings past. The cause of death: strangulation.
Rygel: You're supposed to be some sort of expert in your field?
Medical Examiner: Well I am considered to be Litigara's preeminent expert in forensic science, yes.
Rygel: (gesturing sagely with a small cylindrical object) I don't understand how you can call yourself an expert, when we know for a fact that the time of death couldn't be when you said because- (he is stopped by Chiana snatching the cylinder out of his hand murmuring-)
Chiana: You cannot - liiieee.
Rygel: -actually, my question goes to the cause of death. Would it shock you to know that we have experts of our own? Who are prepared to testify that- (Chiana swats him upside his head, he yelps and his earbrows droop) No questions, Your Honor.
(cut to later - the trial is still in progress and a guard is testifying)
Guard: I was on duty 2 nights ago. The accused definitely looked desperate to get out and join her up with her friends.
Rygel: Object- (Chiana shushes him and tales this one on herself)
Chiana: Okay. So - uh, so you were the guard on duty that night.
Guard: One of them, yes.
Chiana: How'd my client manage to slip past you? Any idea?
Guard: It was while we were changing shift. (as she speaks, a terrible series of sputters and putt-putts disturbs the decorum of the great chamber. It is Rygel, passing helium to beat all) There's a short period of time where that particular cellblock isn't fully attended.
Chiana: (as she speaks her voice steadily rises to Munchkin levels - making her sound of course - completely ridiculous) But even with that, don't you think somebody would - like - (she stops, humiliated as the spectators murmur and Rygel squirms in his chair to create a clear escape route for his gas, Chiana squeaks furiously at him) You little toad! You had to go fart helium now?
Rygel: (squeaking back in a Munchkin whisper) I'm nervous! It happens. We're in court, so sue me!
(cut to still later in the trial. Tarr who presided at Zhaan's original arrest in on the stand. He seems to have a sunburn on the right side of his pasty face which he daubs at with a tissue)
Tarr: I was on duty at the station when numerous telemissions came in from citizens about a suspicious looking offworlder running down back alleys. I mobilized some men and proceeded to a spot where we hoped to intercept the offender for questioning. When we got there, we found the accused kneeling over the body of her victim. (Chiana and Rygel look worried)
(cut to later. The hearing is in a period of adjournment and Chiana is back at the bar with Rygel, talking to Pilot via comm. The scene shifts between the bar and Pilot in his Den as they speak)
Chiana: Pilot, we need more time.
Pilot: (uncharacteristically obstinate) Moya will give you one more revolution of this planet. Then she is leaving. And I cannot promise we will ever come back.
Chiana: (in despair) This time tomorrow night, either we - we've got Zhaan or, or Rygel and I will be back on the transport pod without her. (she signs off and looks resentfully at Tarr who is having a drink alone nearby) Look at him. That's the frelling cop who arrested Zhaan. He'll probably get a promotion out of this.
Rygel: What the yotz is wrong with his face?
Bartender: He's got blue eyes.
Rygel: So? My second wife had blue eyes. 15th and 23rd wives too.
Bartender: It was a dual full moon the other night.
Chiana: (thoughtfully) Really?
Bartender: Litigarans with blue eyes usually stay inside.
Chiana: That's what burned his face.
Bartender: They have an aversion to it.
Rygel: (dismissive) So-o-o he's not only a bastard - he's stupid.
Chiana: Oh, I don't think he's stupid. I think he knows a lot.
Rygel: What are you going to do?
Chiana: Nothing to worry about, partner. Just doing what I do best - making a new friend. (she gets up and goes over to the guy, leaving Rygel and the Bartender)
Rygel: I'm going to end up defending them both.
(cut over to Chiana and Tarr)
Tarr: (as Chiana stops a few paces from him and strikes a pose) Want something?
Chiana: I just hate to see you sitting there. All by yourself. (and with that she sits down next to him so he has a nice view of her whole body)
Tarr: Oh - listen, honey, if you think I'm going to help you with your case-
Chiana: (dismissive) The case is over. Isn't that obvious after today? We're pleading guilty tomorrow anyway. Besides, you've already test-ified.
(cut back to the Bartender and Rygel - who's having a brainstorm of his own...)
Rygel: I've been reading about a strange concept in this Axiom of yours - The Light Of Truth.
Bartender: Pretty interesting, isn't it?
Rygel: Is it? Some sort of stick that you people used to think told if somebody was telling the truth or not?
Bartender: It goes back to the very origin of The Law. It was believed that if you held a burning torch up to someone who was giving testimony and it burnt brighter, it meant that they were lying.
Rygel: I don't need to prove somebody's lying. I need something that'll let me lie - just a little.
(cut back to Chiana and Tarr. She's in his lap now...)
Chiana: (giggling and rocking) So - so tell me all about-tell me all about being a police officer...
(cut back to Rygel, muttering to himself, fitting the pieces together into one giant Scheme...)
Rygel: Blue eyes, red face, the second - OH! (he gasps suddenly and shuffles through his papers to produce a photo which he shows to the Bartender) There! This is him - the guy that was murdered, right? There!
Bartender: (nodding as he looks at the photo of the blue-eyed Utilities Advocate) Wesley Kenn.
(cut to later - the next morning In the court chamber, Chiana’s hungover head rests on the defense table and Rygel tries to get her looking alive as the Judge strikes her gavel)
Rygel: Let's go Chiana. Up-up-up! Court's just about to reconvene. Zhaan's off visiting some Happy Place, and I need you awake.
Chiana: I told you everything that cop told me. My head's just fine here. Nobody'll notice.
Rygel: (as he plunks 3 bright yellow gelcaps on the table in front of Chiana’s face) Nashton cleansing pills. Take one now, one at the midmeal and one if you need it, tonight.
(cut to a moment later)
Judge: (solemnly) We convene in the name of that which is most Holy - The Supreme Law Of The Land.
Chiana: (bright-eyed and exceedingly squirrelly) YesYourHonor! YesIhavequestionsforthewitnessIdo! OhohIdefinitelydo! OhIdefinitelydefinitelydo! DidIsayIdid? BecauseIdo! (Rhumann and Finzii exchange smirks in the gallery)
(soon after - cut to Chiana questioning the Guard who had testified the day before)
Chiana: (only slightly less hyper, she can't stand still) You testified yesterday that Mr Zhaan the defendant, Mr Zhaan - Mr Zotoh Zhaan the woman standing right there - Right there! Do you see her because I see her - do you see her? Hm? She escaped during your shift - is that correct? Is it?
Guard: Yes Ma'am that's-
Chiana: (Rygel watches her jittery performance with increasing dismay) Correct! And that you also stated that she escaped during a very short, very small, very minimal interval in which you and your guards, or you and your guard buddies were, were switching shifts, or changing shifts! Taking a leak, some going on, some going off... Okay! So if I were to- (but Rygel interrupts her with a loud clearing of his throat)
Rygel: (with great decorum) Your Honor, may I have a word with my co-counsel?
Judge: Please do. (with a giddy giggle Chiana flies over to Rygel and reclines on the defense table in front of him)
Rygel: You took all 3 of the pills didn't you?
Chiana: Oh, you have - you have no idea how frelled up I felt! No idea.
(cut to Rygel questioning the Medical Examiner)
Rygel: Was there anything unusual about that night? The night of the murder?
Medical Examiner: Unusual?
Rygel: Having to do with your 2 moons?
medical Examiner: Oh! Yes. Yes, now I see what you mean. There was a dual full moon that night as I recall.
Rygel: And as I understand it, certain Litigarans, specifically those with blue eyes, are very careful not to go out on such nights. The burn they get is very painful.
(cut to Chiana questioning Tarr. She seems to have come down a little...)
Chiana: Mm? Your complexion - it looks like you've got yourself quite a burn there.
Tarr: I got it the night of the arrest.
Chiana: Oh yeah - you've got blue eyes. You were out that night and so was the victim. Only you got burned, and he didn't. You became a city police officer how long ago? Oh - no no no! That's right, you told me last night - you've been in the force - what- 8, almost 9 cycles? And before that you said you worked in the private sector. Is that right? As a security officer. Am I right? For the law firm of Rhumann, Gwillian and Mandell. Is that right? The law firm of JA Rhumann? (Rhumann shifts uncomfortably and a murmur ripples through the court chamber)
(cut to Chiana outside the court building in an alley talking to Pilot via comm. The scene shifts between the two of them as they talk)
Chiana: C'mon Pilot! You gotta tell Moya to wait!
Pilot: It'll do no good! She is charging her calorics right now, preparing to break orbit.
Chiana: I'm heading back to the transport pod. I wanna talk to her so she can see my face!
Pilot: She won't listen to you Chiana! She isn't even listening to me!
Chiana: You've gotta do this for me! For Zhaan.
Pilot: (frustrated) There's nothing I can do! Moya is leaving!
Chiana bangs a metal container in front of her and yells with frustration. Then she begins to stalk back into the court - but Finzzi has followed her outside and concealed herself - she now activates a force field that is invisible to Chiana until she walks into it. It then becomes visible as a halo of electric blue light around the part of her face and arms that are touching it. She is immobilized and cries out -
Chiana: Pilot? PILOT!
(soon after - cut to Rhumann's darkly elegant office. Chiana is seated in front of his desk as he enters from behind her. Finzzi stands off to one side)
Rhumann: Welcome Counselor! I am Ja Rhumann, senior partner in the currently governing firm.
Chiana: A law firm? Is it part of your law to electronet somebody, and drag them to your office in the middle of the night?
Rhumann: I was impressed with your showing today. With little understanding of our very complex legal system, you managed to kindle doubt about your shipmates' guilt. It's not a lawyers' way to be long winded, so let's get right to the point.
Finzzi: (as she rises and swaggers over to stand in front of Chiana) You'll not win this case. You will lose. And your client will be executed.
Chiana: Frell you.
Rhumann: This no longer about Zotoh Zhaan. It's about you and the Hynerian. You will not call any more witnesses. You will not pursue the line of questioning you began today.
Finzzi: If you do, you and the little slug will find yourselves up on charges. False - charges. That will nevertheless keep you locked up here on Litigara for the rest of your lives.
Rhumann: You see, this is all about Utilities' rights, my dear. Utilities don't need any more rights.
Finzzi: They need - to work harder.
Rhumann: That's my concern. Your concern is your own life. And where you're going to spend the rest of it.
Finzzi: (with a snake-like movement she snatches Chiana’s comm from her and drops it into a pitcher of water) You won't be needing your communications device.
Rhumann: You won't be returning to your ship unless I allow it. You have my offer. You do your part tomorrow, and I'll do mine. Trust me. I'm a lawyer.
(cut to Zhaan. Her state of mind doesn't seem to be improving. She now has to be wheeled on a dolly to and from court in a full-body strait jacket - unless this is part of her delusion now. Either way - it isn't good. As her guards get her ready to roll a hallucinatory D'Argo chats with her)
D'Argo: You seem to have gotten yourself into quite a fix without me.
Zhaan: (whispering) Sweet D'Argo.
D'Argo: It's not the first time you've had to endure a cell like this. It's not the first time you've had to experience the sense of hopelessness. You survived it then. In fact, you flourished.
Zhaan: I had the Delvian Seek. My spiritual quest was the only thing that stopped my soul from shattering while imprisoned by the Peacekeepers. But I have set aside the Seek. Set aside my place as a Delvian Pa'u.
D'Argo: You've set them aside, yes, but you haven't abandoned them. Zhaan - Crichton, Aeryn and I - we-we can't help you anymore. Whether you survive this ordeal or face your execution tomorrow, from now on you must confront your demons alone.
Zhaan: I don't know if I have the strength to start again D'Argo.
D'Argo: (he starts to walk towards her) I have known thousands of warriors on countless worlds. But you, Zotoh Zhaan, you are the strongest individual I have ever known. (and with that he kisses her lips - and disappears)
(later 0 cut to Zhaan sitting in her cell in a meditative posture and chanting softly to herself. Rygel is sitting next to her with his head bowed and holding her hand as if saying his own prayers. He startles as Zhaan bursts in)
Rygel: Where the yotz have you been?
Chiana: How is she?
Rygel: Worse, if you can believe it. She won't respond at all now. And she's begun this incessant mumbling.
Chiana: Let me have your comms. I need to call Pilot.
Rygel: You were supposed to have talked to Moya already!
Chiana: I got grabbed and taken by Ja Rhumann.
Rygel: Rhumann? THE Rhumann?
Chiana: (she flicks on Rygel's comm) Pilot? (there is only static) Pilot? Are you still there?
Pilot: (gently - after a long pause) I am here, Chiana. Moya has chosen to give you a little more time.
Chiana: (breathing a sigh of grateful relief) Thank you Pilot.
Pilot: Do not thank me. It's entirely her doing. Your comms were open all the while you were speaking with that man. That - Ja Rhumann. She could not leave you like that. Moya wants to know - I want to know - if you stay, will you be able to save Zhaan?
Rygel: I think I may have a way. It's chancy and will require lashings of deception and trickery.
Chiana: Finally. You and I get to play to our strengths.
(cut back to the court chamber. The hearing is back in session)
Judge: (to Chiana and Rygel) Have you any further witnesses to call?
Chiana: Only one, Your Honor. I call -Ja Rhumann.
(cut to moments later as the Judge swears in Rhumann. He does not look pleased)
Judge: Do you vow to speak what is true, all that is true, and only what is true, by the Sacred Axiom?
Rhumann: (with one hand resting on the Axiom) I so vow.
Chiana: (approaching the stand) Mr Rhumann.
Rhumann: Yes, Counselor?
Chiana: Let's just start with that oath that you just took. It's pretty important isn't it? So important that you take it with your hand on this - most sacred book. (she holds up a copy of the Axiom)
Rhumann: It's the most sacred oath a Litigaran can take.
Chiana: So lying in court is really bad?
Rhumann: To lie before The Law is unthinkable.
Rygel: So, Mr Rhumann, remembering you are under this most sacred oath, if I were to ask you what you know about the death of the slain Utilities' rights advocate, your response would be -?
Rhumann: (in a bored tone) That I know no more about the unfortunate and untimely death than any other ordinary citizen. Namely that your client did it. (at that moment there is a crash as Chiana smashes a wooden chair. The Judge raps her gavel and calls in reprimand-)
Chiana: (but she picks up a broken chair leg and approaches the witness stand with it as she asks Rhumann-) You know what this is?
Rhumann: A stick of wood?
Chiana: Oh, anywhere else, yeah. But in this courtroom it can be used as an instrument, for dividing fact from fiction. The defense designates this The Light Of Truth.
Rhumann: (protesting) The Light Of Truth is a parable!
Rygel: A parable? But it says it's so in your own ancient text!
Rhumann: Your Honor, it is ordinary wood!
Chiana: Well The Light Of Truth IS only ordinary wood. Only when it is near a witness under oath-
Rygel: -does it react with special properties.
Judge: Proceed. But I warn you - do not - mock -our - law. (Chiana uses something that sparks and flares with white light like welders torch to light the chair leg. There is no flame but the end of the stick glows like a white ember as Chiana holds it before Rhumann)
Chiana: We just got a couple more questions for ya.
Rhumann: I have nothing to hide.
Rygel: The death of the Utilities' rights advocate - that benefited your own firm greatly, did it not?
Rhumann: It weakened our chief opponents, yes. But it doesn't necessarily follow that my firm had anything to do with it.
Chiana: So if you wanted this guy out of the way, waiting for an offworlder to blame it on would make a lot of sense to you wouldn't it?
Rhumann: Speaking hypothetically, yes.
Rygel: The night of the murder - the officer who arrested our client and who used to work for your law firm got a bad moonburn. But the victim didn't!
Chiana: Well, could that be because the victim was murdered somewhere else and his body brought to the alley by the people who killed him? Knowing that our client would be there?
Rhumann: Again, speaking hypothetically, I'd have to say - yes.
Chiana: Are you speaking hypothetically?
Rygel: (whispering into his comm) Now, Pilot.
Rhumann: (annoyed) Yes, of course I'm speaking hypothetically!
And on Rygel's cue, back on Moya, Pilot hits a switch that sends a beam of pale yellow light streaming down towards the planet and the Court chamber. The glowing tip of the chair leg flares brilliantly, filling the chamber with white light as the Judge and spectators startle and gape.
Chiana: The night of the murder, did you send somebody to our clients' cell to help her escape?
Rhumann: No! (the “Light Of Truth” flares again, brighter)
Chiana: Did you arrange for the police to discover our client with the victim - the already dead victim - in the alley?
Rhumann: (desperate) No! (the chair leg flares again filling the dark chamber with harsh white light)
Chiana: Did you plan and order the murder that our client now sits accused of in this court?
Rhumann: No NO NO!
Pilot: (cut to him in his Den as he says-) Maximizing. (and back in the Litigaran court chamber the light flares to sunlike brilliance as the court cries out with shock and awe)
Rygel: (shouting) YOUR HONOR! ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE THE PROTESTATIONS OF AN OBVIOUSLY GUILTY MAN, ON THE VERY SYMBOL OF YOUR LAW? YOUR WORLD? YOUR TRUTH?
Judge: (nodding) Arrest Ja Rhumann. All charges against Zotoh Zhaan are dropped. The prisoner is free to go.
(cut back to John and Zhaan in the broken down transport pod as Zhaan finishes her story)
John: So they nailed Rhumann for murder?
Zhaan: I'm not certain. I know I was exonerated and we left immediately. Soon to find you.
John: But you still have nightmares?
Zhaan: Yes - I keep seeing you and D'Argo and Aeryn dying horrible deaths. I can't seem to perish the fear.
John: I live Zhaan. (he touches the tip of her nose with his index finger) Touch as proof.
Zhaan: I know. The experience proves to me that my spirituality was lacking.
John: Is that why you re-committed yourself to the Delvian Seek?
John: Then maybe it was worth it.
Zhaan: Even though my studies fail to benefit the rest of them?
John: Well, who says that?
Zhaan: Well, at various times, Rygel, D'Argo and Aeryn.
John: Screw `em Zhaany! You're a 10th level Pa'u. You get to 11, we get a TV ministry.
Zhaan: (smiles) If I may be honest John, most of the time I have no idea what you're saying.
John: Neither do I. (and at that moment Rygel's voice burst in via comm)
Rygel: Crichton? Zhaan? Are you there?
John: Sparky! We're drifting dead.
Rygel: How could you possibly frell up with a frell-proof transport pod?
John: I don't know - thought maybe you could tell me. Something to do with a stash of Keedva barbecue in the nav link-age?
Aeryn: (also on comm) Oh come on Crichton. What would you really expect from Rygel?
John: Nothing. Aeryn, it's good to hear your voice.
Aeryn: Likewise. We have you on Moya’s sensors. Estimate your retrieval in a quarter-arn.
John: Can't wait to see you. (they sign off comm and John looks at Zhaan) You okay?
Zhaan: I think so. (she leans her head on Johns shoulder) Thank you for your compassion.
John: (as he tilts his head to rest it against hers) No. Thank you for yours.
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