The episode opens in the maintenance bay with Aeryn. She is removing a piece of equipment from the Farscape 1 which she marches over to her Prowler with and proceeds to install. John enters just in time to see her whisk the component out of his module.
John: What are you doing?
Aeryn: (as she installs the cannibalized bit of equipment into her Prowler) Prowler needs one of those Moya propulsor control units.
John: (approaching her with some incredulousness at her nerve) From my module? I don't think so.
Aeryn: (flatly) It's a matter of priorities Crichton. You know which ship is more important.
John: Yes, I know which one is more important to you but -
Aeryn: (cutting him off) Yes, the one that can actually get us out of trouble if we come under attack.
John: (he steps up close, forcing her to look at him) I know someone - who will soon BE under attack if they don't -
Pilot: (via comm) Crichton? Aeryn?
John: Yes Mr. Bad News?
Pilot: (the scene shifts between him in his Den and the others as they speak via comm) Moya's sensors have just picked something up. It appears to be actively tracking us.
John: (he reaches over to help Aeryn with the component) You were right. Put it in.
Aeryn: (to Pilot) Can you tell what it is?
Pilot: No. It doesn't even seem to be a physical object. Just - energy. (he calls Zhaan who is on the Command-) Zhaan? Can you see it?
Zhaan: (as she moves anxiously between control consoles) Pilot, I can't get a visual. But I estimate it will be upon us - within 15 microts!
Pilot: Starting evasive maneuvers - now!
And with that Moya wheels sharply in space and begins to roll away as a small bright ball of light is seen speeding towards her. It changes its' course to intercept and enters her, seeming to pass right through her hill, where it speeds silently through her corridors, casting flickering light as it goes. It passes D'Argo who leaps aside as he yells -
D'Argo: What do you mean it's inside Moya?
Zhaan: It's moving too fast to track Pilot!
Cut to Zhaan on the Command where she hears a low-pitched thrum as the ball of light appears in front of her and comes close. It seems to have a point of view and to be looking at her as she warily eyes it back. Chiana enters the Command at a run and skids to a stop as she takes in the scene. The ball of energy swoops towards her then and seems to inspect her as well, before zooming out the door and down the corridor where it passes D'Argo again, this time pausing briefly to scan him - before continuing on its' way to the maintenance bay.
John: (whispering into his comm) Pilot? You there?
Aeryn: (quietly as she turns to see the ball of light behind John) Crichton-
John: What? (he turns and looks up at the ball of energy, Its' light casts a pale yellow glow on both of them and it remains hovering close over John's head. Aeryn draws her weapon and he whispers as it thrums over him-) Aeryn, aim high - but shoot it. (she fires a shot at the ball of light. But instead of disappearing it suddenly expands and increases in brilliance. Aeryn makes a dash for her Prowler as John calls out to her - he seems unable to move away from the orb and is forced him to his knees as it expands and begins to envelop him, head first) Aeryn! (she now squeezes off a shot from the big guns of the Prowler. The ball of light explodes and becomes a huge opaque green-veined bubble that completely engulfs John)
Aeryn: Crichton! (she gets out of her Prowler and warily approaches the enormous glowing green sac which continues to thrum and flash with light. There is no sign or sound from John within) CRICHTON!
D'Argo: (he charges into the bay and slides to a halt as he takes in the sight of Aeryn standing in front of the giant glowing green blob with her gun drawn on it) Whoooah! What the, hezmana is that and where's Crichton?
Aeryn: (as she speaks, the point of view shifts briefly to what seems to be an indistinct view of herself as seen from the inside of the green sac) Inside. It sucked him in! Don't ask me to explain it!
Rygel: (breaking in via comm) Can someone please tell me - (cut to him in the corridor below the maintenance bay. He is gaping at the lower third of the glowing sphere which is protruding through the ceiling and leaking streams of fluid fire onto the floor below) - what the yotz I'm looking at?
D'Argo: Where are you?
Rygel: I'm in the passageway beneath maintenance bay 2. There's some-THING sticking through the ceiling!
Aeryn: Don't go near it Rygel.
Rygel: (sarcastic) You really think I need you to tell me that?
Aeryn: Pilot - what the frell is this thing?
Pilot: Unknown! I can't make sense of these readings!
D'Argo: (growling) Well keep trying. (now there's an idea...)
Pilot: I'm getting contradictory data - here are energy fluctuations. (the green sphere thrums and flashes ominously) It's putting Moya under a great deal of stress!
Aeryn: Pilot? (strobe-like light flashes from the bubble and its' vibrations seem to be shaking Moya and the crew) PILOT!
Pilot: Massive energy fluctuations - vacate the area immediately!
D'Argo grabs Aeryn and they start to retreat as all hell breaks loose. The thrumming green sac begins to burn with white light that's too bright to look at and suddenly, Aeryn and D'Argo are thrown off their feet as the sphere violently ejects John who lands on the floor, seemingly in shock or unconscious. But then something else is spat explosively out of the bubble - a hairy, human-shaped thing that lands on D'Argo and then takes off at a dead run out of the maintenance bay with the Luxan in hot pursuit while Aeryn tends to John.
(cut to D'Argo charging down a corridor after the mysterious creature from the sphere. He and Chiana literally run into each other as she trots around a corner from the opposite direction)
Chiana: Whoah! D'Argo! W-what the frell's ha-
D'Argo: (he pushes past her and barks-) Keep your comms open and do not move until I say so!
D'Argo: JUST DO WHAT I SAY! (he starts off away from her)
Chiana: (fearfully) D'Argo -!
D'Argo: (Moya is shuddering violently as he pauses for a moment to roar back at her-) JUST DO IT!
(cut back to the maintenance bay where John is sitting up and talking now, Aeryn supports him from behind. Zhaan has arrived and is investigating the huge glowing green orb that now sits calmly glowing and straddling two of Moya’s decks)
John: (staring at the thing, his speech is a little slurred) I got sucked into that? (Zhaan turns back towards them, stopping to touch some liquid on the floor)
Aeryn: You were inside it - you don't remember anything?
John: Uh uh - I, uh - remember - cold...
Aeryn: (businesslike) Well you're going to have to focus a little bit more for me John. I need to know, did you see anything, anyone inside there? (Zhaan leans close to John to look at him and then touches the liquid on the floor again, smearing a little of it between her fingers)
John: (he's struggling to comply with Aeryn's demands for information) No - there was, uh - light. I remember light. And I was, uh -
Zhaan: John where have you cut yourself?
John: I'm cut? (panicky, he looks down at himself) I'm cut?
Aeryn: You're not cut.
John: (seizing on Aeryn's assertion with relief) No, no, I'm not cut. (Zhaan shows the blood from the floor that she took up on her fingers )
Aeryn: It was the creature.
John: The creature?
Aeryn: You weren't the only thing to come out of that sphere. D'Argo's tracking it down now.
John: Oh God - another critter. Right - I better go help him.
Zhaan: John you're in no condition!
John: (he's struggling to stand up with Aeryn's help) No, no - I'm okay! I just need a gun.
Chiana: (she enters the bay and gapes at the huge greenly glowing sac) Frell me! (she leans over and looks up into Johns face as he stands there on all fours) What happened to you?
John: Well that's the $64,000 question. Aeryn, you got a gun?
Zhaan: John, please...
John: No - I'm okay, I just need to go help find the creature. (he manages to get his hands off the floor but promptly collapses, pulling Aeryn down with him) Oo-whoa-OOPMH!
Aeryn: You alright? (John croaks affirmatively)
Chiana: (she's circling them and staring, spooked as a scared cat) Did he really say creature?
(cut to D'Argo in Moya’s corridors hunting the hairy creature and speaking to Pilot via comm)
D'Argo: Well I don't care how busy they are, I need MORE DRDs!
Pilot: Understood. They're on their way.
Rygel: (entering) Ah - I take it you're not having any luck.
D'Argo: (positively spitting with frustration) And I take it you aren't going to life a digit to help!
Rygel: Well, if I see the creature, you'll be the first to know.
D'Argo: I'll be sure to follow your screams.
Rygel: (with a laugh at D’Argo’s ineffectuality) What about that all-powerful Luxan nose? You're always complaining you can smell me. Can't you - (he makes a couple quick sniffs) - sniff this thing out?
D'Argo: I would, except all I can smell - is Crichton. (he turns away and continues his search)
(cut to Zhaan’s apothecary where she's running some tests while John sits nearby looking weak and chilled. Aeryn throws a blanket around his shoulders as Chiana sits directly in front of him fussing over him and chattering)
Chiana: I don't get it. Okay? How could that, that little tiny light turn into this - thing - and then, then suck you up and then spit out not only you but -
John: Chiana - please - my head... I could probably use some extra clothes.
Chiana: Oh. I'll be 20 microts.
John: Thanks. (Chiana trots off as Zhaan finishes her test and approaches John with a lab culture)
Zhaan: This can't be right.
John: What can't be right?
Zhaan: As far as I can tell, you received no injuries while you were in that sphere.
John: Is that a bad thing?
Zhaan: (perplexed) Well, it means this blood has to have come from the creature, but...
John: But what?
Zhaan: John, this blood is yours.
John: This is where it gets good, right?
(cut to Chiana as she enters Johns quarters to get him some extra clothing. As she busies herself with this task, the hairy creature is seen lurking in the shadows. It moves towards her - she spots it and screams. The creature lunges forward and grabs her, pushing her to the floor. It then backs away and stares at her. It is a male humanoid and resembles nothing quite so much as a caveman. He is naked but covered with thick brown hair. He has a heavy beetle brow and a mouth that seems to have too many and too big of teeth. He also bears a striking resemblance to John around the eyes and nose and lips)
Chiana: (terrified as she stares at the snuffling creature) Please, wh-whatever, whatever you want. (the creature makes chuffing sounds as if it's trying to communicate. Chiana tries to back away from him) Whatever you cam for, you, you take it, okay?
CaveCrichton: (grunting and struggling to speak around his mouthful of big teeth) Chia- Chiana.
Chiana: You know my name?
CaveCrichton: (bobbing his head and indicating himself) Muh - Jah.... Muh -Jaaaaaggnn.
Chiana: I don't understand. (frustrated - the creature jumps up and lopes to Johns belongings where he grabs Johns IASA ID tags and clumsily taps at them. Chiana is only frightened by the creatures intensity though) What are you? (the creature catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror and bellows. Chiana screams and tries to make a run for it but the creature grabs her again and pushes her down onto a table in the room) NO! D'ARGO! (but he does not want to hurt her and only folds her in place till she quiets down and then says, in a choked snarl-)
CaveCrichton: Chiana. Meh- (he shakes the flight suit against his chest) John! Cri-tohn.
Chiana: (panting with terror and confusion) You are Cr- are Crichton? (the creature grunts affirmatively) It can't be - It can't be.
CaveCrichton: (nodding) Me -John. (Chiana takes a shaky breath)
(cut to shortly after, Chiana, having made peace with the hairy creature, is walking him down the corridor towards the apothecary. He walks slightly stooped and does a lot of wary looking about and snuffling)
Chiana: We're gonna go see Zhaan, okay?
CaveCrichton: (heartily) Zhaan!
Chiana: She's gonna figure out what's goin' on.
CaveCrichton: Zhaan blue!
Chiana: You know Zhaan?
CaveCrichton: (pleasantly) Mm! Zhaan goot!
Chiana: (unsure what to make of this guy) Oh. Good. (they reach the apothecary - John is still swaddled in his blanket and Aeryn sees Chiana first)
Chiana: Uh - not quite. (CaveCrichton lopes in behind her and the room immediately comes to like at the sight of him. John throws off the blanket and jumps up and Aeryn whips out her pulse gun)
Chiana: Nonono! - it's okay! I - I don't think he wants to hurt anyone.
Aeryn: Get away from him Chiana.
Chiana: (hissing at Aeryn) I don't - think -you need - the gun!
John: Where did you find him, and what the hell is he doin' in my flight suit? (CaveCrichton has indeed pulled on the pants part of the orange flight suit to cover his nekkidness. The top won't fit over his heavily muscled torso and arms though)
Chiana: He was in your quarters. (in a low voice) Look at him. He thinks he's you.
John: What? Right. Alright, who are you, and what do you want?
CaveCrichton: Me John Cri-tohn.
John: (with a snort) Yeah, that's a superb disguise, it's foolin' everybody. Who are you?
CaveCrichton: (he gestures at John) You! (then thumps his own chest) You!
John: God. (with a bitter laugh) Oh-ho, GOD! I love this. Okay, y-y-you wanna, you wanna stick with that routine? (he advances on CaveCrichton who cringes warily) You wanna be the next to mess with me? Well get in line!
Chiana: (stepping between John and CaveCrichton) No! Crichton!
John: CHIANA! I'm sick of it! It's bad enough bein' spat out of some green blob, now I've got Quasimodo here sayin' he's me!
CaveCrichton: Me you!
John: (frustrated) No - you're not. What do you want? Huh? Wha- wh- wh- wh- what do you want? Y-y-you tell me what you want and maybe I can get it for you.
CaveCrichton: (advancing towards John) Want
John: Ah, no, don't touch me.
CaveCrichton: Wanna know... (John makes a gesture forbidding CaveCrichton to touch him or come closer. This seems to agitate the creature who snorts and claps his hands onto John in frustration)
John: Hands off!
Chiana: Crichton! (CaveCrichton and John tussle violently for a moment and in the melee Zhaan stabs CaveCrichton from behind with a hypodermic. He looks up at John - shocked for a second, before dropping like a brontosaurus pie. In the silence that follows, Chiana says shakily-)
Chiana: Please tell me that was just a sleep shot.
Zhaan: It was.
(later - CaveCrichton has been moved to a holding cell and Chiana, D'Argo, John and Rygel are gathered there, looking at him as he sleeps off Zhaan’s drug)
Rygel: Eeeeyech! Truly hideous. But - take away the hair, the brow - I can see a resemblance to you, Crichton.
Chiana: Well, it's enough to make him think he's you.
John: Oh please. (he gets down on all fours to inspect CaveCrichton, who's curled up on the floor, more closely) This is not me. This is some kind of clone or something gone wrong.
Chiana: Yeah but how does he, how does he know everyone? It's like he's got your memories.
John: Chiana, half of this galaxy has my memories.
Zhaan: (on comm) John?
John: Yeah Zhaan?
Zhaan: (cut briefly to her and Aeryn who are still back in the apothecary) I've run a full analysis on the blood. There are some minute chromosomal differences, but apart from that, it's exactly the same as yours. John I've done every test that I can. There can be no doubt.
John: Great. It's got my blood. My DNA.
D'Argo: (thoughtfully) If Chiana's right, it's got a lot more than that.
John: That's nuts. I mean who would want a copy of me, much less this - caveman version?
John: Yeah, it's a primitive ancestor. They were supposed to have looked like that.
Rygel: (seeming mildly amused by this whole thing) You had ancestors that looked like that?
John: (defensive) Yeah. What did yours look like? (but before Rygel can tell us how attractive his ancestors were Moya lurches violently and the crew staggers to keep their footing)
Pilot: (cut to him in his Den as he replies anxiously-) It's the sphere! Energy fluctuations have recommenced!
John: All right now! Let's go!
D'Argo: Chiana! Stay here! (D'Argo and John take off for the maintenance bay while Moya continues her turbulent shuddering)
(cut to a view of Moya, trembling in space and then back to her interior. D'Argo and John are in the corridor beneath the maintenance bay where the green sphere protrudes through the ceiling, It is thrumming and flashing as before. Aeryn is in the maintenance bay with her gun drawn on the top half of the thing, The crew communicates via comm and the scene shifts between them in their various locations as they talk)
John: Aeryn! What's it doin' up there?
Aeryn: Same as before. Pilot, what are you reading?
Pilot: Same energy fluctuations, only more powerful - and increasing! (back by D'Argo and John the green light of the sphere intensifies to white and there is an ominous sound as if an engine is building up power)
John: Let's get the hell out of here! (he and D'Argo turn to clear out of the area but before they are even out of sight of the sphere there is a brilliant flash and concussion that throws them to the floor. They pick themselves up and look around, noting that the giant orb seems quiet again) Aeryn? Pilot? You guys okay?
Pilot: Energy fluctuations are still present, but diminished.
Aeryn: Crichton - you better get up here.
(cut to the maintenance bay where another visitor has been expelled from the green sac. It is also baked, but hairless and clearly a male humanoid. Although his teeth seem as large as CaveCrichton's, his are very white. This fellow also has a greatly enlarged cranium that is textured like a human brain. The effect is as if he has no protective skull and his brain is so massive and solid that it pushes against the skin to reveal its shape like well-ripped muscle. he also looks very much like John. He rises slowly from the floor and looks at Aeryn who keeps her weapon trained on him)
Aeryn: Don't move.
CranioCrichton: (maybe it's the teeth - but he also speaks with a distinct Southern drawl) Look, I'm freezin' here and why the hell are you pointin' a gun at me?
Aeryn: Who are you?
CranioCrichton: I'm John. John Crichton.
Aeryn: (smiling) I don't think so. For a start, John has more hair. (she lowers her eyes pointedly down his body) Amongst other things. You gonna blame that on feeling cold?
CranioCrichton: (he follows her gaze down and then looks back up at her and says quietly-) What the hell happened to me?
(cut to soon after - CrainioCrichton has been given an old PK uniform to wear and Aeryn and D'Argo are escorting him to a holding cell. John is waiting by it, not looking at them as they approach)
CranioCrichton: Listen, I understand why you're doing this but - (at that moment John turns to face him and their eyes meet) Ah. (CranioCrichton meekly enters a holding cell without further comment)
John: At least you can talk - so start. Who are you, and what do you know about the sphere?
CranioCrichton: (with resignation) Oh I know as much as you do.
John: Is that 'cos you're supposed to be me?
CranioCrichton: Look - I understand the bizarreness of this situation. But I'm telling you the truth - I am John Crichton.
John: No, I'm John Crichton.
CranioCrichton: I don't doubt that you're telling the truth.
John: Good. Excellent. We're making progress: I get to be me! Ergo - you're not me.
CranioCrichton: Well no, not as I normally perceive myself. There are some - (he gestures towards his head) - physical differences.
D'Argo: Just some? (Aeryn sniggers - our heroes are SO mature sometimes... John gives her A Look)
CranioCrichton: (he smoothly takes their sneers like a guy with more important things on his mind) Yes. But perhaps it would help if you thought of me as an alternative version of yourself.
John: I don't wanna think of you at all.
CranioCrichton: (softly) Well you have that luxury. I don't. In my memories, I look like you.
John: Your memories?
CranioCrichton: Yes. I perceive myself as having led your life.
John: I don't believe you.
CranioCrichton: No. I didn't think that you would. (he turns and walks away as John watches him thoughtfully and then calls-)
John: Okay - when the Farscape project received funding - what did I do?
CranioCrichton: Celebrated with Dad, DK and Alex. Drank a little too much champagne that cost way too much. Argued with DK-
John: Wait - what argument?
CranioCrichton: He thought that things were going too smoothly, that something had to go wrong. (he approaches John at the cell door) You - do remember
John: Yeah. I uh - I told him he was full of crap. (CranioCrichton nods and John says to Aeryn) I'd completely forgotten that. (at that moment they are staggered as Moya convulses again)
Pilot: (cut to him in his Den as he speaks) New activity from the sphere - I'm analyzing!
John: D'Argo! Maintenance bay. (Indicating CranioCrichton) Aeryn, stay with him - see what you can find out about the sphere!
(cut to D'Argo and John making their way back to the maintenance bay and talking to Pilot as they go. The scene shifts between then and Pilot in his Den. Moya continues to be rocked by the energy fluctuations from the sphere)
John: Pilot! Status! Are we about to get another me?
Pilot: I don't think so - they're different readings than before!
D'Argo: In what way? (no response) PILOT!
Pilot: This - can't - be! It - it appears that the sphere is generating some sort of - interdimensional portal!
(are there different sorts we wonder?)
John: Whoa! Whoa! This blob is creating a dimensional hole?
Pilot: (upset) Yes! And it's actively trying to pull us through! I estimate we have less than a quarter arn before it pulls us through!
(cut back to Aeryn and CranioCrichton)
Aeryn: Right. Know anything about this?
CranioCrichton: How many times Aeryn? I don't know anything.
(cut to the maintenance bay where D'Argo and John are with the sphere)
John: Alright Pilot, you got any ideas?
Pilot: (frantic) I'm trying everything I can!
D'Argo: What about starburst, perhaps we can blast clear of it.
Pilot: (frustrated) The portal is being generated by the sphere, and the sphere is inside Moya! We cannot escape it!
John: Right. Well what the hell can we use?
(cut back to Aeryn and CranioCrichton)
CranioCrichton: Give me your comms.
CranioCrichton: I have an idea. Give me your comms. (Aeryn makes no move to comply) Listen - Aeryn, do you want to be pulled through to another dimension?
Aeryn: No, but perhaps you do.
CranioCrichton: I'm not some interdimensional alien. If this ship gets pulled through, I get pulled through as well. So give me your comms. (Aeryn just stares at him) Aeryn, trust me. (nope - she makes no move and CranioCrichton says with frustration-) Fine then! At least get them a message- Tell them to use the defense screen - it's all we've got!
(cut back to D'Argo and John in the maintenance bay where the green sphere continues to throw sparks and cause turbulence aboard Moya)
John: The defense screen!
John: The defense screen - we use it to counteract the pull of the dimensional hole!
D'Argo: (slowly) Aaaahh... I don't see that, uh -
John: Look - I'm not entirely sure here, I'm just kinda riffin' it as I go - but the defense screen deflects energy, right?
John: So we use it to counteract the pull. I'm in Bill and Ted land here, so I'm open to suggestion!
(cut back to Aeryn and CranioCrichton)
Aeryn: (via comm) Crichton.
Aeryn: Your mutation has a suggestion.
John: Oh good.
CranioCrichton: Listen - you have to use the defense screen to counteract-
The two Johns together: -the pull of the dimensional hole!
John: Man! I hope we're both right! Command! (and off he goes since that's where the DS controls are)
(cut back to Aeryn and CranioCrichton)
Aeryn: Sounds like he knew what you were thinking.
CranioCrichton: You trust me now?
Aeryn: No. We still don't know if it's going to work. (Moya lurches violently)
CranioCrichton: It won't work if they don't set it up right. Aeryn get me to the maintenance bay. (Aeryn stubbornly makes no move) At gunpoint if you have to, but get me to the maintenance bay. (she relents and opens the cell door but as CranioCrichton steps forward she brandishes her gun in his face)
Aeryn: At gunpoint.
(cut to the Command to where D'Argo and John have decamped - Rygel is there with them)
John: (wearily) I don't know that it IS going to work Mr Rygel. I'm just going on a gut instinct. Something I'm sure you can appreciate.
Rygel: (argumentative) We should be heading for a transport! Not frelling about with a defense screen hoping it'll do something!
D'Argo: (annoyed) THEN GO TO A TRANSPORT! At least then if we die, we'll die in PEACE!
John: Pilot, are you ready to transfer power to the defense screen?
John: Good, 'cos we're about finished here.
(cut to the maintenance bay where Aeryn and CranioCrichton have arrived. CranioCrichton is scanning the green sphere with a hand-held device. The scene shifts between the various crew members as they speak by comms)
CranioCrichton: John - what power settings are you using?
John: Everything's set at 100%. Why?
CranioCrichton: I'm afraid you're gonna have to recalibrate.
John: No. Nonononono. We are not recalibrating anything. We give this thing everything we've got.
CranioCrichton: The settings have to be synchronized with readings from the sphere or they'll never counteract the pull.
John: (deep in thought - to himself) They have to be synchronous.
CranioCrichton: Recalibrate to 85%.
Rygel: You're not gonna seriously do what he says, are you?
John: (he answers Rygel by bursting out of his reverie into a flurry of motion as he leaps for the DS) SHIFT 'EM DOWN! SHIFT 'EM DOWN!
Rygel: You're mad!
John: Pilot are you good to go up there?
Pilot: On your command!
John: Do it now!
Pilot: Doing it! (and with that he hits the DS master control and it buzzes to life. Moya jumps as the two conflicting energy sources commence their pull on her and Zhaan is knocked off her feet in her lab - but tranquility is quickly restored as the sphere and the DS cancel each other out) It worked! The screen's deflecting the spheres energy back on itself! It's stopped dragging us in!
John: Son of a bitch.
D'Argo: He was right.
(cut to Aeryn and CranioCrichton down in the maintenance bay)
Aeryn: (lowering her gun) Impressive.
CranioCrichton: I'm pleased that it worked. But we're not out of the woods yet. Pilot - how long can we hold out?
Pilot: Our energy levels won't last forever. I estimate the defense screen will be able to counteract the pull of the sphere for only - 4 arns. Perhaps less.
CranioCrichton: That's assuming the defense screen itself holds out. We should work under the basis that we have less than 3 arns.
(cut to CaveCrichton’s cell where he's still sleeping off Zhaan’s sedative. Chiana enters and begins to crouch down next to him. He startles awake with a snarl)
Chiana: Hey! Heyheyhey - It's okay - It's me, Pip.
CaveCrichton: What happened?
Chiana: You lost it for a microt. You remember?
CaveCrichton: (he grunts an acknowledgment) Sphere. (he sniffs the air) Must know what happened, Chiana.
Chiana: I can't tell you anything - I've, I've had my comms off. I didn't want to wake you.
CaveCrichton: Must know! (and with that he lopes to the door of the cell - and not being able to open it throws himself against it and howls)
Chiana: Hey, easy - calm down! Crichton! John! (he allows himself to be soothed by her and sits wearily on the floor) That is your name, right? Who you are?
CaveCrichton: (sadly) Was me.
Chiana: What do you mean, "was"?
CaveCrichton: (indicating his body) Look. John no more. Gone. (at that moment Aeryn and CranioCrichton appear in the corridor outside the cell)
CranioCrichton: (eying CaveCrichton with mild distaste) Well, doesn't look as though we'll learn anything here. (CaveCrichton snarls and Chiana walks to the door of the cell and looks CranioCrichton up and down)
Chiana: Who the frell are you?
Aeryn: (dryly) Apparently another Crichton.
CranioCrichton: Hello Pip. I don't suppose he's told you anything useful about the sphere?
Chiana: Well, you don't have to go through me - ask him yourself.
CaveCrichton: (gesturing at CranioCrichton) You me too?
CranioCrichton: Would there really be any point? Looking at him, however, does raise some interesting possibilities - there seems to be a pattern to my replication.
Aeryn: Don't you mean Crichtons replications?
CranioCrichton: Indeed. He is the template, the original. And on the one hand we have this version, who seems barely able to think, and on the other hand-
CranioCrichton: (grunts affirmatively) Pilot - have you attempted to communicate with the sphere?
Pilot: It hasn't responded to any of my signals. But it is sending out a number of its own. Commander Crichton has already started looking at them.
CranioCrichton: (muttering) Of course he has.
(cut to soon after - D'Argo and John are back on the Command with Rygel while Aeryn and CrainioCrichton have returned to the maintenance bay. Again, the crew communicates by comm and the scene shifts between the speakers )
Pilot: Stand by for the first signals.
John: I told you, I've already analyzed this signal.
CranioCrichton: I understand that, but we're going to analyze it again. When you're ready Pilot. (Pilot pipes in a signal) Can you try a lower pitch, please? (the signal lowers in pitch) Now try filtering out the third and fifth harmonics. (is that the Star Trek theme song Pilot is playing there?)
Rygel: (laughing derisively) Listen to this! Double the Crichton and you double the waste of time!
John: That's very funny, Rygel.
D'Argo: We really should be paying more attention to this defense shield, it's already showing signs of strain.
John: Yeah. (but at that moment the signals Pilot is sending to the sphere increase painfully in volume and intensity for a few cacophonous seconds. Everyone winces with pain and breathes sigh of relief as the noise quickly fades - for most of them...)
D'Argo: Finally stopped. (but not for John. There are a few electronic beeps that signal the end of the sound for everyone else and for John, causes it to coalesce in an organic burble and then into a throaty voice that only he and his doppelgangers can hear)
John: What stopped? You can't hear this?
(cut briefly to the maintenance bay)
Aeryn: (thinking the signals were unsuccessful at making any sort of inroad with the sphere) So much for that.
CranioCrichton: You can't hear that?
(cut back to the Command)
Rygel: Crichton, would you mind explaining -
John: (raising his hand to silence Rygel as a voice begins to emerge from the garbled electronic and organic sounds in his head) Shut up.
Voice: Translating to alien brain wave pattern. (the scene shifts between all 3 Crichtons, including CaveCrichton in his cell, as the voice that only they can hear speaks) Translating to alien brain wave pattern. You incapacitated our sample collection vessel resulting in a loss of the targeted sample and genetic derivatives. Internal repairs have been completed but our vessel cannot return unless it carries at least one of the target samples. If a sample is not placed within the vessel it will automatically retrieve all biological matter within one metra of its radius. We do not wish to harm you. To avoid inadvertent damage, place one of the targeted sample into our vessel. One of the targeted sample. (well. You can't get much clearer than THAT)
CaveCrichton: (mournfully) One must go back.
CranioCrichton: Fascinating. We have an answer.
D'Argo: Crichton - what is going on?
John: One of us has gotta die.
(cut to soon after - John has finished explaining it all to D'Argo)
D'Argo: A sample.
John: Yes. Apparently that's what I am.
D'Argo: And what if the sphere has not got what it came for?
John: Well, it's gonna take all of us.
Rygel: Tch - To another dimension? (he laughs dismissively) I don't think so. Sorry Crichton, perhaps we can spare each of you a small last meal. (and he finishes up with an evil chuckle)
John: One, Rygel. It wants one of me.
Rygel: (sharply) Only one? You mean we're going to be left with two of you?
(cut to Chiana and CaveCrichton in his cell)
Chiana: Look, just 'cos the sphere wants a Crichton it doesn't mean it has to be you, okay?
CaveCrichton: Will be me. Who else?
Chiana: What about the guy with the big head? (they both chuckle a bit) Hey you've got just as much right to be here as he does.
(cut to the maintenance bay. where Aeryn is still hanging out with CranioCrichton. D'Argo and John are still on the Command and as before they speak via comm and the scene shifts between them)
CranioCrichton: A remarkable device. You understand what this is? This is a pure research vessel devoted to the study of life.
John: Yes it's a remarkable device, I just wish it'd chosen some other life to study. Why me? Why not all of us?
CranioCrichton: Because it's never-
John and CranioCrichton: -seen thing like me before.
CranioCrichton: Correct. It's already had a chance to collect a Luxan, a Delvian -
John: -and one of everyone else on board.
CranioCrichton: I'd wager that your replication, or should I say my creation, is a by-product of its research. A mapping of our genetic pathways.
D'Argo: (impatient) ENOUGH! I don't care what this thing does. All I know is that I want to get rid of it.
CranioCrichton: Understandable. And unfortunately, we have an answer. We return the most expendable one of us.
John: What? Nah - I don't think so.
Rygel: (brutal in his practicality as he sings a new tune) Oh come on! Are you gonna say he's wrong? Let's just give the sphere the hairy bastard and get it the FRELL out of here!
CranioCrichton: Well, not quite as I would have phrased it Rygel, but-
John: (interrupting CranioCrichton pontificating) We're getting way ahead of ourselves here guys. Way ahead! What if we're wrong, huh? What are we, we're gonna chuck him to the sphere like he's nothing? We can't do that!
Rygel: I can.
John: And what if there's another solution? One that we haven't found yet?
CranioCrichton: John. You heard the message.
John: (passionate) Yes - I HEARD the message! But we just bought ourselves a couple of arns and we're going to use it to find another solution!
CranioCrichton: Nono - you're losing perspective.
John: No - I am WIDENING my perspective! That is what I do! That's what makes me - ME!
Aeryn: Crichton, what's the alternative? I try and shoot at this thing again? (CranioCrichton snickers)
John: Aeryn, that is a bad plan -you really don't want another me.
D'Argo: John, what is-
John: (cutting him off) WHAT D'ARGO? YOU GONNA TELL ME I'M WRONG? (quietly) Since when do we take the easy way out? (D'Argo sighs and nods) Is anyone with me on this?
Rygel: Not me.
CranioCrichton: Very well. Let's try and see what we can find. But John, when the time comes-
John: Yess. Pilot, I want every reading you have on that sphere. All of them.
Pilot: Very well Crichton.
(cut to a view of Moya moving through space and then to CaveCrichton’s cell where Chiana is still with him)
Chiana: I know Crichton, okay? You know Crichton. You ARE him, for frell's sake! Look - I promise you he's not gonna quit 'til he fixes this.
CaveCrichton: Hm. Know Cri-tohn.
CaveCrichton: Save Moya. Save Pip. (he grunts) Only one answer.
(cut to Pilot's Den as John enters)
Pilot: I've transferred all collected information on the sphere to a data console in the maintenance bay. The other Crichton has started an analysis.
John: You don't think he's gonna have much luck do you?
Pilot: Very perceptive.
John: We have to try Pilot.
Pilot: With all respect, I've analyzed that data four times. I doubt any new insights will be gained.
John: Pilot, I am not gonna let Moya get sucked into the sphere.
Pilot: Neither am I. Crichton, I should tell you: Moya would never expect an innocent being to die for her sake. She will understand if you choose to leave.
John: We're not gonna do that.
Pilot: I know. But - while I would never want my fate to be different to Moya’s - I do not share her acceptance of this situation. (good for you Pilot - get those sedative-wielding DRDs ready) If we have the solution then I sug-
John: (cutting him off) Is what I'm trying to find, Pilot (Pilot sighs) and I am not gonna stop until I have to. (pedantically) Do you understand that?
Pilot: (grudgingly) I - understand.
John: Good. Now let's see if we can get a message to these body-snatchers. (there is an explosion and Moya is jolted, Pilot yelps-)
Pilot: AH! It's the defense screen!
(cut to the Command)
D'Argo: (via comm) Crichton! We have a power drain!
John: Can we reroute through the neural cluster?
D'Argo: I'm already on to it! We need you in Command.
John: On my way.
(cut to the Command - CranioCrichton is there trying to analyze data, Zhaan is with him as Moya continues to be rattled and shaken by the forces at work within her)
CranioCrichton: It feels as though our options on how to resolve this are becoming limited.
Zhaan: We are not giving up!
CranioCrichton: Look at the data Zhaan. I'm thinkin' with more speed and clarity than I ever have before and I'm still only able to absorb a fraction of this.
Zhaan: Something may reveal itself.
CranioCrichton: Yes, things are revealing themselves. They're just not pertinent to this situation. (he abandons the data console and muses-) It's amazing, Zhaan, what's happened to me. Virtually without even trying, I'm beginning to understand concepts that I've been thinking about for months. Years.
Zhaan: You may find a solution here if you try.
CranioCrichton: No. This is over. We know what the outcome will be. I'm talkin' about the future - about what's possible.
Zhaan: (shocked) You're just going to give up?
CranioCrichton: I'm going to face reality.
Zhaan: (angry) This IS reality!
CranioCrichton: (calm) No - this is futile.
Zhaan: You are not the John Crichton I know!
CranioCrichton: Zhaan. Look at what's happened to me. How could I be?
Zhaan: I wonder if you can also see what you have lost. Your logic may be firm - but it is cold.
CranioCrichton: But correct. When all the options have been exhausted, the John Crichton you know will reach the same conclusion. I get there quicker, that's the only difference. And I know that you'll get there too. (he touches Zhaan’s' face gently and walks away, leaving her looking pensive)
(soon after - Aeryn, D'Argo and John have returned to the Command and are frantically working on the DS)
John: The reserve power unit's completely burned out!
D'Argo: (growling) The defense screen was not made for this.
John: Just give me whatever power you got.
Aeryn: We're feeding you as much as we can.
John: I don't wanna hear that Aeryn.
Aeryn: (frustrated) Well we're running out of options Crichton. We can't keep redoing this!
D'Argo: (as Aeryn is talking) John-
D'Argo: -I want you to know that if you have to get rid of one of the Crichtons, I'm there for you.
John: I appreciate the offer D'Argo, but I'm not giving up yet.
D'Argo: I understand. But I also want you to know that if you don't start facing reality soon I'M GONNA FACE IT FOR YOU!
John: Just give me some more time.
John: D'Argo! Just give me more time! Now I want all the power you got!
D'Argo: Transferring power! (and with that the DS powers up - and explodes in several small but spectacular eruptions of sparks. John yells with alarm as he is thrown by the force of the blasts)
Pilot: (cut to him in his Den yelling over the comms with frustration and annoyance) The defense screen's down to its last power cell! It cannot be recharged while the screen is active! You must do something NOW!
(cut to CranioCrichton somewhere on Moya as he says to John via comm-)
CranioCrichton: It's time.
John: I know.
CranioCrichton: Would you like me to take care of it? (John makes no response) Is that a yes?
John: How can you sound so calm?
CranioCrichton: You think I don't feel for him? Of course I do. But I'm prepared to do what has to be done. Now would you like me to take care of it?
John: No. I'll take care of it - John.
CranioCrichton: Don't feel bad. You knew this moment was coming.
(shortly after - cut to D'Argo and John approaching CaveCrichton’s cell)
John: I appreciate you comin' with me, D'Argo.
D'Argo: I would not have you do it alone. Besides I do not think he will go voluntarily. (they arrive at the cell and open the door. CaveCrichton is not there but Johns flight suit is puddled on the floor, empty and Chiana steps forward from the shadows)
Chiana: Looking for someone?
John: Where is he?
Chiana: What? You think I'd just let you kill him? I set him free.
D'Argo: (infuriated, he grabs at Chiana) How could you have done this?
Chiana: (shaking him off) FRELL YOU D'ARGO!
D'Argo: Where is he?
Chiana: Somewhere you'll never find. (she makes to touch his face condescendingly but he slaps her hand away)
D'Argo: Do you know what you've done? We had a simple choice - SIMPLE! He dies - we live. Now we ALL die. MOYA dies!
Chiana: We have two choices left.
John: TWO? I'm the one who's SUPPOSED to be here! You think I should go in there? (he turns and strides out of the cell, followed by D'Argo. Chiana trails them)
Chiana: Yeah? Well what about your bald-headed friend? He meant to be here too?
John: I tried to find another way!
Chiana: Oh yeah, I bet you did!
John: (stopping to face her) Damnit Chiana, that is not fair!
Chiana: Fair! You think this guy's nothing! He's you! (she pauses to catch her breath before continuing-) He's warm, he's sensitive - he's everything I ever liked about you. (a series of terrible jolts ripple through Moya, sparks drip from the ceiling of her corridors and there are sounds of explosions and tearing)
D'Argo: (to John) You take tiers 1 to 3 - I'll take 4 to 7! (they split up to hunt CaveCrichton as fissures begin to open in Moya’s floors and Chiana takes off in a third direction of her own)
(shortly after- everyone has joined in the hunt now - cut to Aeryn moving through the chaos of another corridor)
Aeryn: Update, Pilot!
Pilot: (cut to him in his Den shouting over the din of Moya’s breakup-) REMAINING POWER CELLS DOWN TO 15%! THE DRDS STILL REPORT NO SIGN OF THE OTHER CRICHTON!
CranioCrichton: (coming up on Aeryn) I've checked the rest of this tier.
Aeryn: Then we'll have to move on to the next one.
CranioCrichton: Aeryn, I think it's time we reassess.
Aeryn: I'm guessing you're not going to volunteer to go in the sphere.
CranioCrichton: Correct. You've seen what I can do. I can help this crew.
Aeryn: What do you suggest I do now? Turn around and start hunting Crichton?
CranioCrichton: It would make sense.
Aeryn: To you, yes. But you don't belong here. You're a mistake. So you'd better pray we find the other one.
CranioCrichton: (gently) Aeryn- (and with that he delivers a vicious left hook to her jaw and she goes down like a sack of food cubes) -sorry.
(cut to Zhaan’s apothecary. Rygel is there as Chiana jogs in)
Rygel: (turning to her with a decidedly cold reception) You stupid bony assed little bitch! What were you thinking?
Chiana: (taken aback and angry) What was I thinking?
Rygel: It was self preservation! I thought you of all people would've understood that! Even Crichton understood it.
Chiana: (noticing that he has a syringe in his hand) What are you doing?
Rygel: What do you think? The first Crichton I see gets this in the back of his head.
Chiana: (with disbelief) No way!
Rygel: Yeah - we're all gonna die if one of them doesn't!
Chiana: No way! (she makes a grab for the syringe but Rygel backs out of her reach)
Rygel: Yes way! And I don't care which one it is!
Chiana: (lunging after him) Rygel!
Rygel: (as he sails off on his hoverchair) It's your doing Chiana!
(cut to John moving alone through some part of Moya with his gun drawn. He walks slowly, then suddenly turns and peers into a service shaft where he comes face to face with CaveCrichton who startles at being discovered - but makes no move to fight or run)
John: How did I know where to find you? I knew where I'd go if I wanted to hide. You know why I'm here?
John: Yeah. (he steps away from the shaft entrance) I'm letting you go. Get out of here. (CaveCrichton exits the shaft and stops to look at John) GO! MOVE IT! (he moves it and John comms CranioCrichton) Crichton - I found him. Meet me in the maintenance bay. (cut to CranioCrichton who's already in the bay)
CranioCrichton: On my way. (he assumes a waiting stance with the gun he took from Aeryn at the ready)
Moya is starting to come apart at the seams as John makes his way to the maintenance bay, zig-zagging and vaulting over the cracks that continue to open in his path. Arriving at the bay CranioCrichton steps forward with his gun aimed at John and says-
CranioCrichton: Where is he?
John: I let him go.
CranioCrichton: I thought you would. John, you had your chance - and you blew it. You let your emotions get the better of ya'. You couldn't face reality.
John: You wanna face - reality? Face reality! We were saving ourselves at someone else's expense!
CranioCrichton: He wasn't worth saving. Come on John-ee, don't tell me you didn't think that? I can see a part of you still thinks it. Remember the way you first saw the ape-man? How you could legitimize sacrificing him? Well guess what? That's the way I see you. (and in a lightning-fast movement CranioCrichton fires and John drops, using the cover of Moya’s tremors and vapors to take cover out of the line of fire where he calls -)
John: Tell me something - if I wasn't here, you wouldn't volunteer to go in the sphere - would ya'?
CranioCrichton: Moya might emerge through the dimensional portal unscathed - I'll take that risk.
John: Oh yeah. Aren't you special? (he and CranioCrichton move stealthily in the dim chaos of the maintenance bay trying to gain tactical advantage on each other as they speak ) With an attitude like that, do you really think you're the best of the 3 of us?
CranioCrichton: You know I am.
John: (he's moving upwards into the ceiling struts of the bay) Yeah - you're fantastic. You're gonna fit in great around here. The rest of the crew's just gonna love ya'.
CranioCrichton: (still trying to get a fix on Johns position) They will when they see what I can do for 'em.
John: You just told me you'd sell 'em down the river - let 'em go through the portal! I tell you what - you ever wanna know what it was like to have 'em as friends? Just think back to when you were me.
CranioCrichton: You're very judgmental for someone who's still hiding. (and with that John drops down from the rafters in front of CranioCrichton - with his gun drawn)
John: No I'm not! We're out of time. (he grimaces at CranioCrichton - and tosses his gun aside) Bet you didn't guess that move.
CranioCrichton: (bored) You're very predictable.
John: I prefer to think of it as reliable.
CranioCrichton: Oh. (and with that he sucker-punches John who goes down like a sack of monkey-chow, but doesn't lose consciousness) You understand it has to be this way. I could never really be me with you still around. I'd always be the outsider. Smarter. More capable. Yet not quite John. Can you understand how frustrating that would be?
John: You think you're ever going to be anything but an outsider?
CranioCrichton: Better'n dyin'. (John bounces defiantly to his feet to face CranioCrichton)
John: So you're the future. I'm glad I won't be here to see it. (and he silently turns towards the green sphere. CranioCrichton watches dispassionately as John approaches it - but just as he's about to make contact with it - CaveCrichton leaps out of the shadows and brains CranioCrichton with a metal rod. CranioCrichton goes down like a sack of wheat germ, CaveCrichton grunts with satisfaction and leers companionably at John who comes back and examines the inert form of CranioCrichton)
John: (clearly surprised by CaveCrichton’s action) Yeah.
CaveCrichton: (with satisfaction) Good. (and he hoists the body of CranioCrichton over his shoulders and heads for the sphere)
John: Hey! Hey - you don't have to do that!
CaveCrichton: (looking back at John) Want to. Not my place. Don't belong.
John: Look, I don't - I don't really belong here either.
CaveCrichton: Your time. Your place. My fate - I accept.
John: (softly, to himself) I understand. (then louder as CaveCrichton turns away, so he can hear-) I understand! (and with that, CaveCrichton steps through the membrane of the sphere and is gone. The sphere immediately glows brilliantly, becoming a sharply defined ball of light again and rising from the floor, exits Moya, whose shuddering and deterioration stops abruptly as it leaves) Good luck.
(later - cut to the Command. D'Argo is there fiddling with the DS as John enters)
John: How's Aeryn?
D'Argo: (a gentle attempt at humor) She's doing better than this defense screen. In fact, she's doin' better than you - you look terrible.
John: I've had better days.
D'Argo: You did what you thought was right John.
John: And I did what I knew was wrong. The future Crichton- (he gives a sarcastic little smile and we suspect Ben of playing around with those false teeth) -kinda makes you wonder if that's where we're headed.
D'Argo: It's only one possible genetic path.
John: Yeah, but it's possible. That's the problem. (he exits as D'Argo watches, with no words of comfort to offer)
(cut to John in his quarters, contemplating the flight suit that CaveCrichton so proudly tried to fit into. Chiana enters)
Chiana: I heard about what you did. You really offered to take the dive?
John: It took me a while. And I needed some help.
Chiana: Well, for what it's worth- (she crouches down next to him) -I'm glad it worked out the way it did.
John: I wish I could be. (sadly-) I always thought I was a good guy Chiana. But it was the least developed one of me, the one I thought least likely - who did the right thing. (he glances at her) Somehow you knew.
Chiana: (with gentle faith) I know you. (she lays her head against his shoulder for a moment before getting up and leaving him alone with the flight suit, into which he quietly presses his face)