The episode opens on the Royal Planet of the Breakaway Colonies soon after the wedding of John and Katralla and their transformation into statues. They stand, flanked by guards, in the senate chamber where they were wed. By some weird alien technology they are still able to see and hear and will witness the workings of the Colonies government for 80 cycles before taking over the rule themselves. Chiana, D'Argo, Rygel and Tyno, all still clad in the red finery they wore for the wedding, enter the chamber and approach them.
D'Argo: They look sooo...
Rygel: (critiquing John) I think he should have taken his pose more seriously.
Tyno: I believe he did the best he could.
D'Argo: So what happens now?
Tyno: For them? 80 cycles of government. Boring, but ultimately advantageous.
Chiana: And what do we do?
Tyno: Scorpius has been asked to leave our system within the solar day. Once his Command Carrier vacates -
D'Argo: We hope that Moya returns and picks us up.
Chiana: You really gonna stay, Ryg?
Rygel: (with a chuckle) Why not? Crichton will need advising and the food's good.
D'Argo: So he can hear us?
Tyno: Every word. The acoustics of this chamber funnel all sounds to them.
D'Argo: Let me say good-bye.
Tyno: I'll wait outside. (he exits. D'Argo has a speaker which he holds to his ear and through which he can hear John's responses)
John: Hey D'Argo.
D'Argo: (to Chiana and Rygel) He can hear us - (back to John) Do you feel any pain?
John: (sounding sulky and wistful) No. But I'd really love to pick my nose.
D'Argo: (chuckling as he reports John's response back to the others) He remains without a sense of humor. (back to John) It's good to hear your voice John.
John: Yours too. Hey can I say hi to Chiana?
D'Argo: (he passes the speaker earpiece to her) Chiana.
Chiana: You look great in bronze.
John: You look great in pink. Brings out your eyes. (well all right - the red of the clothing IS moderated by pink bits- Chiana giggles delightedly)
(the scene fades and night falls over the senate chamber. There are no guards present to watch over John and Katralla as Prince Clavor storms in, shouting and swinging his arms about in effetely ineffectual rage)
Prince Clavor: (shouting at Cargn who isn't far behind him) FRELL! FRELL! FRELL! I'm gonna topple his statue! (he grabs hold of John the Statue and pulls, grunting feebly) I SHOULD BE REGENT! (but John the Statue remains solidly immobile, so he punches it, which makes a metallic clang and the Prince squeaks in pitiful misery as he nurses his bruised knuckles)
Cargn: While enormously symbolic, Your Highness, may I propose a more permanent tactic?
Prince Clavor: (smarting and furious) WHAT?
And without a word, Cargn aims a laser at John the Statues head and neatly severs it. It falls into the hands of the Prince, who, after a moment of revulsion, looks at he head of John and smiles with pleasure.
(cut to a foundry room which is dominated by a huge vat of bubbling green acid. Chains dangle from the rafters and flames from furnaces are the main illumination. Cargn and Clavor have brought the head of John the Statue here)
Cargn: Are you sure he's still alive?
Prince Clavor: Of course. Each cell is self-encapsulated. As long as the parts stay in their metallized state, he can be reconstituted.
Cargn: Very impressive.
Prince Clavor: My great-grandfather was broken in half when the senate collapsed after a groundshaker. All he suffered was a severe limp. (he giggles)
Cargn: Foundry acid should ensure this ruler fares worse. (he makes to toss the head of John the Statue into the acid vat)
Prince Clavor: (excited) Nonononono! Give it to me! Give it to me! (Cargn hands the head over and Clavor, chortling with sadistic glee, addresses John) I know you can hear me - Crichton - and I know you're scared. Our laws state that a couple must rule together. Mm? That's why the crown must soon pass to me, because you can't rule with one little head! (and with that he hurls John's head into the acid where it floats and then begins to smoke as the acid does its work)
(cut to the Barren Lands outside the royal city. Here is where Aeryn has chosen to come "exploring" rather than face John's shotgun wedding. And Just for spite she's dragged along the handsome cousin to the crown, Dregon. They're setting out on a little rock-climbing excursion on the cliffs of a seashore)
Aeryn: (the wind whips her and Dregon's hair as they don their rock-climbing gear) I propose that we start here and traverse around.
Aeryn: (a little put off by his interminable niceness perhaps) Are you always this agreeable?
Dregon: Am I being agreeable?
Aeryn: Well, everything I've suggested - since the moment we met - you've consented to.
Dregon: (agreeably) They've all been good ideas.
Aeryn: (as she helps Dregon buckle into his safety harness) And your proficiency at this is-?
Dregon: (flirting) I've been rated expert.
Aeryn: Really. (Dregon suddenly takes her in his arms and deftly dips her for a passionate kiss before just as deftly returning her to an upright position - her reaction is typically stony) Mm. That's clearly a local custom. What's this one called, "kiss your climbing partner"?
Dregon: Different local custom. "Kiss woman you're attracted to."
Aeryn: (flattered, but quickly changing the subject) All right. You ready?
(cut back to the senate chamber where the decapitated John the Statue has been discovered. The Empress is in a rage. Chiana, D'Argo and Rygel are present and looking grim. Tyno wisely remains silent in the face of his infuriated monarch)
Empress Novia: Whoever perpetrated this atrocity shall pay in kind - beheaded!
D'Argo: Surely you don't think-
Empress Novia: SILENCE! This planet is under stringent law until my daughters husband is made whole. No one is to leave, or even contact their vessels, whether they purport to be a friend of the crown or NOT! (she storms from the chamber followed closely by her anxious entourage)
Tyno: (he steps forward now) Where is the one called Aeryn Sun? The former Peacekeeper.
Rygel: (in despair) We don't know!
Tyno: She was upset that Crichton was to marry the Princess. I saw it with my own eyes.
D'Argo: You can't possibly -
Tyno: I can't possibly not! (intensely) Find her. Bring her to us for questioning.
Rygel: (vehemently) If you want someone with a motive for stealing Crichtons head, try that vigelar - Scorpius!
Tyno: Everyone is suspect, especially offworlders. If Prince Clavor assumes the throne, I cannot guarantee your safety. (Rygel whimpers) Find your friend's head!
(cut back to the foundry and the vat of bubbling green acid. The head of John the Statue is still floating in it, intact. We have some pure acetone nail polish remover that's deadlier than THIS stuff! But editorial comment aside, John's head is being fished out of the vat with a tool that looks like a really big deep-fat fryer spoon by a rescuer he probably finds something less than comforting. Scorpius)
Scorpius: (addressing John as he picks up his head and examines it) Very fortunate I sampled your DNA when you were in the Aurora Chair. There would have been no other way to track you Crichton. Note the crystallization of your cells was designed to withstand 80 cycles of airborne corrosives. It seems - 3 arns - Well, your full-on acid attack is all it takes. You're beginning to pit. And while I won't be able to retrieve your body, I promise yo- the wormhole calculations you have in your mind - (but at that moment he's interrupted by a clank of chains and a scraping sound in the dark foundry) Who's there? (a harsh, guttural voice responds, echoing his query)
Harsh voice: Who's there? (and with that shots are fired and Scorpius is thrown to the floor by the blasts)
(cut to Moya, essentially dead somewhere out in the void. At least one DRD is still active though, and it is helping Zhaan do some sort of work at Aeryn’s Prowler. Kahaynu swirls into view behind her)
Kahaynu: You should use one of Moya’s transport pods instead of that, Little One.
Zhaan: What do you care what I do?
Kahaynu: All life is precious. Yours should continue.
Zhaan: (with deep resentment) And Moya’s shouldn't?
Kahaynu: We have been through this. Moya can produce gunship offspring. We did not intend the universe to be subjected to that affliction. I'm sorry. I must leave now. (he turns to go and the smoke of his being starts to swirl up around him)
Zhaan: No! Kahaynu! If Moya’s life is to end capriciously - and Pilots also - you and I are going to remain with them!
Zhaan: ((with grim determination) DRD - NOW! In reverse! (the DRD activates the engine of the Prowler and Kahaynu’s insubstantial mist is trapped by the intake)
Kahaynu: (struggling against the force of the pull) What? Stop this!
Zhaan: Recommission Moya.
Kahaynu: I cannot. I will not! Turn the engine off!
Zhaan: (vehemently) I will spare you if you spare Moya.
Kahaynu: Stop! I beg you!
Zhaan: (deadly) How does it feel for your prayers to go unanswered Kahaynu? (and with a long. sigh, Kahaynu is drawn into the engine and disappears. The engine powers down and in the silence, Zhaan murmurs to herself-) Dear Goddess. In my rage, what have I done?
(cut back to the Royal Planet where the search for John's head goes on. In Chiana and D’Argo’s quarters. Chiana is laying in bed wearing what looks a very high-class chenille robe when D'Argo enters and sits heavily the bed, exhausted)
D'Argo: I cannot find Crichtons head anywhere. I feel miserable.
Chiana: (placing her hands around his beck and shoulders comfortingly) Hey - aren't you tired?
D'Argo: (quietly distraught) Just responsible. I'm the one who talked him into it.
Chiana: We had no other options - you said that yourself. We take what we get.
(cut to the senate chamber. Jena removes a metal mesh covering from the he head of John the Statue and dons a headset so she can hear his voice. Needless to say his state of mind has been better...)
John: (he's screaming wildly) MY BODY! MY BODY!
Jena: (coolly) I'm working on it.
John: Working on it? It's impossible.
Jena: (she strides over to the statue-making machine controls and begins making setting to it) Strangely not. If I do this right, your current state is not terminal.
John: And if not done right?
John: Get experts.
Jena: We're beyond that, don't you think? You're way too vulnerable in this state - see exhibits A and B. (she gestures to the inert form of a guard and John's own headless statue of a body)
John: Have you got a plan?
Jena: Revitalize you. Your speech abilities are so limited right now you couldn't convince the Empress you're a headless statue. (she picks up John's head)
John: Whoa - nice dress. (it's a 2-piecer consisting of a white midriff-baring halter top and a long white hip-slung skirt with 2 front slits that go to her upper thigh)
Jena: (she briskly marches John's head back to where the rest of his body still sits on the pedestal next to Katralla) Save it. When the Empress sees you my true fiancé and his Scarran will be in deep dren. Then you can be remade into a statue.
John: That's not much of a plan.
Jena: (she unceremoniously thunks John's head back down onto his neck with a metallic clang) Well, if the parts are aligned right - (she adjusts the position his head and there's the sound of screeching metal. John yelps and grunts) - the machine should do the rest.
John: (panicky) Whoawhoawhoawhoa! Hey-ey-ey-ey! Waitwaitwaitwait! Just a second! HEY! COME BACK! (but she ignores him and activates the machine. Golden light burns through John's body, removing the metal from his cells and suddenly he is John the Man again, still locked in his flailing pose. He groans and seems afraid to dare move his stiff muscles)
Jena: (cautiously, as though fearful his head might fall off) Can you turn your neck? (with a barely audible moan, that suggests he might be worried about that too - he turns his head ever so slightly and gingerly) Can you speak?
John: Thank you.
Jena: Can you walk? (with much inarticulate grunting and groaning John makes to step off the pedestal and falls flat on his face at her feet, Jena rolls her eyes)
(later - cut to a garden on the palace grounds, Cargn and Prince Clavor are speaking. Clavor is agitated and Cargn is annoyed, as usual)
Cargn: I told you! It's best if we're not seen together until after you're married and assume the line of succession!
Prince Clavor: You mean IF I do! Crichtons body is gone! Someone used the processor to revitalize him!
Cargn: Without his head, is that really a concern?
Prince Clavor: They're still reconstructing the data but it seems - THROUGH A GREAT FRELL UP - That his head was attached at the time!
Cargn: Someone retrieved his head?
Prince Clavor: Do something O Magnificent Representative of a supposedly master race, or you will surely die at my mothers hand! And I - I will cheer her on! (he storms away as Cargn stares at his retreating back, growling and exhaling his hellishly hot breath)
(cut back to Aeryn and Dregon out in the Barren Lands. Aeryn has attained the top of the sea cliffs and calls back to Dregon who is still on the cliff face, struggling to find footing)
Aeryn: Dregon, what's wrong?
Dregon: (lying, as the rock beneath his feet crumbles away into the surf below) Nothing.
Aeryn: I've secured it. You can come up now. Are your lines stuck? (no response, Dregon's busy hanging on for dear life) I'm coming down.
Dregon: It's okay. I'm... (there's a long pause as he looks down and pebbles skitter down the face of the cliff) ...just...
Aeryn: Dregon? Are you injured?
Dregon: We're too high!
Aeryn: Wot? (Dregon is frozen on the cliff, too overcome by the rocks and surging tide far below to move) You've done this before, haven't you? Is that right? You were rated "expert," correct?
Dregon: (sheepish) At the training facility.
Aeryn: This is your first wall?
Dregon: Yeah. - outside.
Aeryn: For the love of Chilnack... All right - hang on. (she rappels down to him) All right, grab my hand. (he remains frozen) Dregon, just grab my hand. (he reaches for her and is able to catch hold of her outstretched hand) Good. Good. All right - (Dregon pulls at her desperately) NO!
Dregon: (he stops pulling but is panting with fear) Help me - please - don't let me fall.
Aeryn: I won't. It's fine. All you have to do is hold on with that hand there - that left hand. Can you do that? You got it? Take a deep - (Dregon loses his foothold and hoots with terror as he struggles to regain it) - TAKE A DEEP BREATH! (he stabilizes himself again on the cliff face) Tale a deep breath - that's it. All right, now hold on. I've got you. (but he moves his foot and panics again as more pebbles roll away beneath it. He grabs at Aeryn’s ankle frantically) NONONONO! NOT MY LEG! THE WALL! HOLD ON TO THE WAAAALLLLL! (and with that, Dregon falls from the cliff face, pulling Aeryn with him, and into the surf crashing among the rocks at its base)
(cut to Jena and John. She has removed him from the royal city to a shelter consisting of an open tent pitched over a shallow trench in a remote wooded area near a small river)
John: (groggy) Where the hell are we?
Jena: Don't worry about it. Somewhere no one will find you.
John: That was not my question. (Jena hops down into the trench. John is laying on its floor, and she delivers a kick to his ribs, hard enough to hurt but light enough not to cause real damage. John yelps and grunts)
Jena: Is that your real name? John Crichton?
Jena: (she urgently grabs him and flips him over onto his back) And which Sebacean house is that from?
John: (flat on his back) Hey you know if I tell you - I'll have to kill you.
Jena: (she reaches down and slaps him as she yanks him into a semi-sitting position) Why is Scorpius here?
John: You don't know?
Jena: He's not part of my brief. However, he seems to be a part of yours.
John: Look, I appreciate that you have questions. I'm sure you'll appreciate that I'm not going to answer them. (he starts to lie back down but Jena yanks him upright again)
Jena: I heard some of what Scorpius said. He wasn't protecting you as an ally. He was capturing you as prey.
John: You wouldn't like the truth.
Jena: (she shoves him back down) The data scan listed John Crichton as non-Sebacean. So - if you're not Sebacean, you're not Peacekeeper. If you're not Peacekeeper, you're not Special Directorate. If you're not Special Directorate, you can't be a Disrupter. And if you're not a Disrupter, then you know too much about me. (and with a metallic clang, she unsheathes from her sleeve a long thin knife which she puts to John's throat)
(cut to soon after, Jena has John in a headlock with her blade to his throat and he's been telling her his story)
John: Well, there's more, but that pretty much sums it up. Yeah.
Jena: That is either the most pathetic fabrication I've ever heard, or the most pathetic life I could ever imagine. Either way-
John: Oh like there aren't some whacked out antecedents to a chick with the stiletto in her wrist. (Jena, satisfied John is pathetic and no threat, sheathes her blade. John moves away from her) Better. So, did you kill Scorpy?
Jena: Leave bodies lying around? They'd look for a killer. It's not like he's going to report the assault.
John: Then why choose me over him?
Jena: Because I couldn't give a crags ass about anything but my job. Prevent the Scarrans from getting a claw on this empire. You're my best chance of making that happen.
John: Assuming I'm willing to play garden gnome for the next 80 cycles.
Jena: (after a long pause) John - if I fail, so many innocent lives will be lost. Help me do my job, and I'll help you get what you want. Whatever it is.
John: You know things never work out like you plan.
Jena: (smiling) That's what makes it fun.
(cut back to the Barren Lands. Aeryn has managed to fish herself and Dregon out of the surf. But he is badly hurt and laying on the beach, seemingly unable to move. Aeryn has broken her right lower leg as well, but she's splinted it and is walking on it, as she collects rope to make a litter for Dregon. Both are battered ad bloody)
Dregon: Isn't there any other way to contact help?
Aeryn: Not unless a ship passes - and sees us.
Dregon: I told you before, these are the Devastator Reefs. Boats never come here.
Aeryn: (as she pulls a knife and begins to cut rope) Well then, inland is our only hope. Unless of course you want to stay.
Dregon: Please, don't leave me.
Aeryn: (she angrily shakes her knife at him ) Don't tempt me!
(cut back to Moya. She is dark and silent. Zhaan is with Pilot in his Den. She is anointing his still form with oil in last rites)
Zhaan: May the Goddess recognize the gentleness of your spirit - and guide you to your ancestors. (and as she bows her head in sorrow, she is suddenly illuminated by light as Kahaynu appears)
Kahaynu: (expansively) Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan.
Zhaan: (disgusted) You live.
Kahaynu: As does Moya. (and with that, lights come on and the sounds of Moya’s biosystems powering up fill the Chamber. Pilot too, blinks and comes slowly to life)
Zhaan: What kind of repellent game is this?
Kahaynu: Upon my first exploration of Moya, I knew the circumstances that produced her gunship offspring. And I knew she was a worthy soul.
Zhaan: Then why did you put her through this?
Kahaynu: To see if you were worthy. These are gentle beasts, who will ultimately follow the directions of those in control. Should you desire it, Priestess, you could produce an army of killing machines.
Pilot: (weakly) But Zhaan would never -
Kahaynu: Of course she wouldn't. We know that now. We are confident that you will protect Moya vigorously against those who seek to exploit her. You are worthy of that responsibility.
Zhaan: If that is so, then I demand you leave this ship immediately!
Kahaynu: As you wish. But first, Moya wishes to speak with you. (he raises a hand and the deep, slow feminine voice of Moya once again fills the air)
Moya: Zhaan. One request -
Zhaan: Anything Moya!
Moya: Sing! (Zhaan chuckles for joy and relief)
(cut back to the Royal Planet, the reception area/lounge where the kissing ball our heroes attended on the first day they arrived had been held. D'Argo enters - he's meeting with Scorpius who is waiting at a bar)
Scorpius: It's good that you came.
D'Argo: Do you know where Crichton is?
Scorpius: Honestly? No. But I'm as anxious to find him as you are.
D'Argo: For his wormhole knowledge.
Scorpius: Hm. That's secondary at this point. I'm without accompaniment. Totally unarmed. Should the Empress wish to execute us, I have no doubt she would succeed.
D'Argo: (with irony) So now we are allies.
Scorpius: Hm. Effectively - yes. I assume you know Saskaretski Cargn, the Scarran emissary.
D'Argo: And his alliance with Prince Clavor.
Scorpius: Who's next in line for the throne. So - they are our natural suspects.
D'Argo: What do you want Scorpius?
Scorpius: I will help you get Crichton off this planet alive. Collect the information I need from his mind, and release him to you. Unharmed.
D'Argo: You're half Scarran aren't you?
Scorpius: By which measure I should not be judged. (and at that moment their meeting is interrupted by the harsh voice of Cargn who joins them with a caustic answer to Scorpius' statement. D'Argo hisses and puts some distance between him and the Scarran)
Cargn: Because it would find him lacking! (he pushes past Scorpius and quickly moves to ingratiate himself with D'Argo, who stops) Ka D'Argo is it? Luxan. A great race of warriors. I am honored. (turning back to Scorpius) And to you - biological mistake - I commend your plan. Having an agent marry the Princess. How did you defeat my DNA alterations of her?
D'Argo: Scorpius is not in league with Crichton. We despise him.
Cargn: Truly, have I misjudged the situation that badly?
Scorpius: Even if you established diplomatic ties with this dynasty, that would mean that we - Peacekeepers - would have to respond. Preventing it. And that would mean a total conflagration.
Cargn: (aggressive) But who would be seen as aggressor, all but sealing their access to the uncharted territories? (and with that he whirls suddenly back to D'Argo and slams him with a blast of heat and a Scarran mind probe. D'Argo yelps with alarm but is held in the Scarrans sway) Luxan brute! Where is Crichton?
D'Argo: I don't know!
Cargn: Has he been reconstituted into flesh and blood form?
D'Argo: (even the heat-loving Luxan is in pain from Cargn's assault) Aahh! I don't know!
Cargn: Is there anyone who does?
D'Argo: Chiana - thinks she does, but -
Cargn: Enough! (he releases D'Argo, who collapses to the floor gasping)
Scorpius: (calmly, to Cargn) I will offer you a deal.
Cargn: I would rather race you to the Nebari girl, Chiana.
Scorpius: The means to our different goals may be the same, emissary.
Cargn: What about the coming conflagration between our species?
Scorpius: If you wish to provoke Peacekeeper might - well - we shall oblige. By defeating you.
Cargn: I would still rather race you to the girl. (he exits)
(cut back to the Barren Lands where Aeryn is dragging Dregon on a crude travois made of rope and driftwood across a landscape of dunes and rough grass)
Dregon: (wailing) Please!
Aeryn: (stopping and looking back at him impatiently) Please? Stop dragging you?
Dregon: No - but it -
Aeryn: I know. It hurts. (Dregon whimpers affirmatively) Do you want it to not hurt? (Dregon whimpers affirmatively again) Well, next time...hold on to the FRELLING WALL! (and with a most unladylike grunt of exertion she digs her own makeshift crutch into the dirt and heaves his litter along behind her)
(cut to later - back at the lounge where D'Argo had his earlier disastrous encounter with Cargn and Scorpius. He rushes back in now and spots Rygel)
Rygel: (startled and looking unwell) Huh?
D'Argo: Have you seen Chiana?
Rygel: No. Have you tried - (he hiccups) - looking under your sheets?
D'Argo: (in a low, urgent tone) I think that Scorpius and the Scarran may have her. They think she knows where John and Aeryn are.
Rygel: Well we were looking together when she (he hiccups again) - split off.
Rygel: (shaky) I'm so nervous I had to stop for a bite - (hiccup) - Which I'm too nervous to eat!
D'Argo: All right, what's the matter?
Rygel: I asked around. The last time the Empress threatened to execute offworlders (he hiccups again and finishes in a squeak) - she did!
D'Argo: Rygel I need your help. They're going to torture her, and she doesn't know anything! (this would be a tribute to both the power and the shortcomings of Scarran mind-probes wouldn't it? People will say anything to escape it and thus the info gotten is not necessarily accurate. Torturers take note...)
Rygel: I'll float above the streets for a better view.
D'Argo: Yes! Yes. (he bounds out)
Rygel: (gallantly) We'll find her!
(cut to a pleasant garden on the palace grounds. Prince Clavor rounds a bend leading to a gazebo and stops short. Cargn is standing there with the inert form of Chiana slung over his shoulders)
Prince Clavor: What the frell is that?
Cargn: She does not know Crichtons whereabouts - as I suspected.
Prince Clavor: (shrugging) So get rid of her.
Cargn: I believe she may have another use.
Prince Clavor: I don't even want to know. Cargn - we're through. Everything you said would pass, has not. (he makes to turn away but Cargn shrugs Chiana off his shoulders like an unwanted coat and stops him)
Cargn: I'm simply trying to ensure your ascension. If Crichton is not found by tomorrow, you will be crowned.
Prince Clavor: Through no efforts of yours sadly. Which means - I no longer need your allegiance.
Cargn: The dissolution of our relationship is not yours to effect.
Prince Clavor: Look - my mother knows about us. I can't be married till I renounce you.
Cargn: (dangerous) I will not allow it.
Prince Clavor: I'm doing you a favor. Mm? She's going to start the ceremony by executing offworlders. Get out of here. Hide. Run.
Cargn: There's no way for me to escape and you know it.
Prince Clavor: (insolent) And I thought - you were good. (he turns to leave)
Cargn: I am. (he raises his hand to the position used for mind-control) I have one final question for you, duplicitous Prince Clavor.
Prince Clavor: What? (he turns back and is instantly immobilized by the intense heat and control of Cargn)
Cargn: Do you know, that as promised, I am about to kill you?
Prince Clavor: (screaming) NOOOOO! (and he sinks to the ground, his cooked body steaming)
(cut back to the wooded area where Jena and John are hiding out while John recovers from his brief ordeal as a statue. John has shed the fancy red silky jacket and is walking around in a black muscle tee. Jena is in a black spaghetti strap tank top now)
John: Just a little tingling in the hands and feet. I'm good to go.
Jena: Too late. Local animals are carnivorous after dark.
John: Animals. Okay. Fine. First light. I have people to protect.
Jena: As I must mine. Can I trust you?
John: Oh yeah, I'm a regular boy scout. I do what I have to do.
Jena: And I assume you do it well.
(and after that cryptic little conversation we cut back to the palace where Scorpius comes to the door of Chiana and D’Argo’s room. D'Argo looks up)
Scorpius: I uh - I have found Cargn. It will take both of us to kill him. Scarrans have exceptional strength.
D'Argo: And why do you think I'll help you?
Scorpius: He has Chiana. And you want her.
D'Argo: And you don't?
Scorpius: I want John Crichton.
D'Argo: You'll never get Crichton. He'll die first.
Scorpius: You underestimate the strength of a relationship. Even your friend - does not yet understand.
(cut back to Jena and John. Evidently those carnivorous animals aren't aquatic because they are skinny-dipping in the dark and seem to be enjoying themselves rather muchly. Upon exiting the water they wrap themselves in black towels and sit near a little campfire)
Jena: I want you to have this. (she holds up the stone form the necklace she was wearing and aims it - it emits a bolt of energy that causes a small explosion a few yards away) A little stuns, and a lot kills. Tomorrow will be dangerous. Scorpius, Cargn, the Empress' anger. Be careful. I might not be able to protect you.
John: On step at a time, Jena. One step at a time. (they kiss)
(meanwhile Aeryn and Dregon are camped for the night as well. It's a lot less romantic)
Dregon: I'm sorry I - brought this on you.
Aeryn: Do you always pursue women you don't know?
Dregon: If I'm drawn to them. Would you be lying here, helpless - giving up, if Crichton were back there waiting for you?
Aeryn: You wouldn't understand.
Dregon: Does your leg hurt? It's broken.
Aeryn: I'm trained to deal with that.
Dregon: That's the answer. You're not trained to deal with emotions, so you're afraid of them. Emotional pain. You wear it like a badge. It means you've been there. And it can't get callused, because each fresh hurt stings like the first.
Aeryn: But why would you want that?
Dregon: Because of all the days before it hurts. The good days. When you're in love. It's too bad you can't get back to at least tell Crichton how you feel.
Aeryn: (bitterly) What difference would it make? He's a frelling statue.
Dregon: But he can hear. He can see. He'll know Aeryn. At least he'll know.
(cut to the next day. Jena and John have crept back into the palace. Jena is back in her white palace clothes and is walking through a dim public space. John's voice stops her and he moves out of the shadows, he's dressed in his habitual Moya clothes)
John: You're late.
Jena: (with a slight smile) I'm moving a little slow.
John: Are you ready to do this?
Jena: I've grieved with the best of them.
John: All right. Showtime.
Jena: I hope it all works out.
John: One way or the other. (Jena proffers a vial of the compatibility serum) We're not compatible.
Jena: (without taking her eyes off John she flicks the vial away with a whoosh) You always know just what to say.
John: Not always. But sometimes I know who to say it to.
Jena: (she strides off with a little smile) Give me some time before you enter.
(cut back to Aeryn and Dregon on the dunes. She's holding onto her makeshift crutch with both hands and pulling the dead weight of Dregon’s litter which she has harnessed to herself. She grunts with the exertion of every step)
Dregon: Look! (Aeryn looks up to see a man standing on the crest of a dune ahead - it's the fuzzy-haired guy she blew off at the kissing ball by pretending to be compatible with Rygel)
Fuzzy-haired Guy: (calling) HELLOOOO! HELLO! DO YOU NEED HELP? (he recognizes Aeryn) Oh - STAY THERE, I'LL COME AND GET YOU.
Aeryn: (her humiliation with men is now complete. She throws down her stick and blurts-) Yotz!
Dregon: Aeryn, this...I know this didn't turn out like we wanted. I know I was a hindrance. But I was hoping - we could go out again? (no - NOW her humiliation is complete. She grimaces)
(cut back to the royal palace where Prince Clavor’s blistered body is laid out on a slab in a small black-walled room. Rygel and Tyno are present as Jena emotes)
Jena: (sobbing disconsolately) No! No this can't be!
Tyno: (stonily) I'm sorry Jenavian. There was nothing we could do.
Rygel: (sounding sincerely distraught - for his own skin if not Clavor’s) Surely the Empress knows that this is the Scarrans work. How could she not?
Tyno: (snapping) Of course she does! And he will be the first one put to death!
Rygel: But why the rest of us?
Tyno: Because fool that he was - (to Jena) - no offense - Prince Clavor was her son! You will all be arrested and - executed.
John: (as he enters the room) I feel compelled to disagree with the Empress on that decision.
Rygel: (overjoyed) Crichton? Crichton!
John: Hey Sparky.
Tyno: (also glad to see John) Thank the Spirits!
John: Jena - sorry about your Prince - but I hear he deserved it. (she delivers a resounding slap to his face and runs from the room, sobbing)
Tyno: (excited) Your Excellency! Who defiled your position? Who rescued you?
John: Later. Rygel - what about the others?
Rygel: Nothing on Aeryn - I'm sorry. D'Argo's with Scorpius. They think the Scarran has Chiana. So they're gonna kill him. (John marches out of the room)
Tyno: Crichton! Wait! Where are you going?
John: I don't know. I'll let you know when I get there.
Rygel: (to Tyno) I'm assuming my execution is off.
(cut to the foundry where the earlier attempt to dissolve John's head had been made. Cargn has Chiana there, bound, gagged and suspended over the vat of boiling green acid by two chains. D'Argo and Scorpius enter)
D'Argo: Chiana! (her screams are muffled by the gag)
Cargn: (emerging from the shadows to warn them away) Stay back!
Scorpius: (calmly, to D'Argo) He cannot damage your brain from this distance. But any closer...
D'Argo: There are two of us and one of him. How badly do you want him dead? (he advances a few wary steps in Cargn’s direction)
Cargn: No closer or the girl dies! (Chiana thrashes and cries on the end of her chains)
D'Argo: That will not help Prince Clavor become king. (news doesn't travel fast in the ol' Breakaway Colonies does it?)
Cargn: Agreed. This is about killing yooouuu.
Scorpius: (he is advancing casually upon Cargn) The girl, has she told you where Crichton is?
Cargn: (keeping the vat of acid between him and Scorpius) Of course not, she doesn't know. But she did say you aren't allies, and that in all probability you did not come here to impede my plan.
Scorpius: It must be painful to realize you have been defeated - Yes defeated! - (Scorpius seems to falter a bit as he stands by the edge of the vat of boiling acid) - by nothing more than your own suspicions.
Cargn: (mocking) Is it too hot in here Scorpius?
D'Argo: (calling to Scorpius) What's the matter?
Cargn: When he becomes incapacitated, I shall turn my full attention to you.
Scorpius: (vehemently, angrily, painfully, as he struggles for control) Nothing! It's nothing! Don't listen to him!
Cargn: Because if you do, you'll know his mutants weakness, that his Scarran half loves the heat, thrives in heat - craves heat. But his Peacekeeper half is destroyed by the same warmth.
D'Argo: Is this true? (Scorpius makes no response, he is agitated and seems verging on disoriented, breathing in short, quick snorts)
Cargn: (continuing to mock Scorpius and spill his secrets) Thermal regulator suit. Cooling rods inserted directly into his brain. Tell me the rumors are true. Please tell me your search for thermic constancy is tormentful!
(Scorpius attacks Cargn with a roar and the two struggle. D'Argo comes at the Scarran from behind and in the resulting melee one of the chains suspending Chiana over the vat is broken. Cargn is a tough customer though and manages to throw down not only the vicious Scorpius, but D'Argo as well)
Cargn: Luxan coward! Now you will die! (but before he can finish off D'Argo, he is distracted by a yell - the cavalry has arrived in the form of John)
John: HEY! (and with the stone that Jena gave him he begins to lay down fire against Cargn)
Cargn: Crichton! (John begins to advance, firing as he comes. The Scarran is hit repeatedly by the energy blasts, but manages to stay on his feet, severely wounded as he is) YOU - HAVEN'T - DEFEATED - MEEE!
John: Obviously not - but you dumped me in the acid - so let's see how you like it. (and with that - using one of the chains dangling from the rafters, John takes a Tarzan swing and kicks the wounded Scarran into the vat of acid where he thrashes and bubbles horribly for a few moments before sinking below the boiling green surface. But now the other chain holding Chiana up begins to separate-) CHIANAAAA!
D'Argo: NNNOOO! (and he makes a run for the vat as Chiana begins to fall, takes a flying leap over it, catching her in midair and lands on the other side)
Chiana: (to D'Argo) You're the best.
John: (running to them) HOW BATMAN WAS THAT! You guys okay?
D'Argo: (panting) We're fine John - it's good to see you.
John: You too. What about Scorpy. Is he dead?
D'Argo: If he isn't, he should be by the time we come out. (he and Chiana exit and John picks Scorpius up and makes to throw him into the vat of acid as well. But he only gets as far as holding the half-Scarrans face over the edge, inches form the noxious fluid, before he stops, as if unable to proceed, he flashes briefly back to the Aurora Chair, and then, instead of pushing Scorpius in, hisses to him at close range-)
John: I'm not your enemy. I'm not your friend. You leave me the hell alone, or the next time we part, one of us'll be dead. (he unhands Scorpius and hurriedly exits. As soon as he's gone, Scorpius straightens up as if all his earlier frailty had been merely an act. He growls deeply and sweeping his gloved fingers through the acid, flicks it off as if it were water and exits)
(cut back to the senate chamber where Katralla the Statue still stands, not on its pedestal but just out there in the middle of the room. John is talking to the Empress as they pace around it)
John: I am sorry if it upsets your line of succession, but I am not going to be a statue again!
Empress Novia: I understand your concerns as I'm sure you must understand ours. (slyly) However, you're the kind of man that would walk away from his own child, we would not want you to rule.
John: Child? What the hell you talking about?
Empress Novia: My daughter is pregnant with your seed.
John: How-? Whoa- How-? Nono- We never-
Empress Novia: Samples from the DNA comparison. Did you really think a system this stable would leave so important a detail to chance?
John: Make me a statue.
Empress Novia: You change your mind so quickly?
John: (firmly) A child deserves two parents. My child deserves a father. Make me a statue.
Empress Novia: Counselor Tyno, arrange for this -honorable man - to re-undergo the transmutation process.
Tyno: I'm afraid that's impossible Empress. Recall that Crichton is not Sebacean. Based on our findings, human physiology would not tolerate the process a second time.
John: What the hell are you talking about?
Tyno: If you stood beneath that machine again you would die!
John: She won't be defrosted for another 80 cycles - I'm not gonna live that long - I won't be there for them!
Tyno: I know! I'm sorry.
John: (he pauses and looks at Katralla for a long moment before saying quietly to Tyno-) You take my place.
Tyno: I can't.
John: Nobody knows me, right? The public? They don't know who I am.
Tyno: Your unveiling was to be your introduction.
John: Right. Counselor Tyno can be your new king.
Empress Novia: (insistent) Their chromosomes are not compatible!
John: It doesn't matter! She's already pregnant. And it satisfies everything that you need. And it gives my child a good father. And they love each other. (he lifts the earpiece to his ear so he can hear Katralla and asks-) What do you say? Does this work for you?
Princess Katralla: (sounding sleepy) Yes. Thank you.
John: I'm sorry that I won't be around.
Princess Katralla: I'll - never forget.
John: (to the Empress) It's your call.
Empress Novia: As long as the secrets we forge in this room do not escape - it can be done.
John: Well there you go. Good guys win for once. And I have a child that I'll never know.
Tyno: (he has the earpiece and reports to John) Princess Katralla wants to know if you'd like to see your offspring.
John: Yes. (and now a little girl appears in the machine that was first used in the medical lab when John and Katralla’s compatibility was being confirmed) Hi there.
Little Girl: Hi - are you my Dad?
John: Yeah, that's right.
Little Girl: I love you Daddy. (John takes the little girl in his arms and hugs her for a long moment before she fades away. He rises and walks to Katralla the Statue where he rests his hand on her shoulder for a moment before quickly striding out, saying to Tyno as he leaves-)
John: You take care of my little girl.
(cut to some time later. Moya has returned to the Royal Planet, picked up the crew and they're already well on their way to putting distance between themselves and the Breakaway Colonies. Cut to Chiana and D'Argo in their quarters, he's sitting at a table, staring pensively into space)
Chiana: So how come Crichton didn't kill Scorpius?
D'Argo: It was a mistake. One that I fear will come back to haunt us.
Chiana: Yeah but - he can't follow us, right?
D'Argo: Pilot says that we're safe for now.
Chiana: Did he tell you what happened to Moya?
D'Argo: (he shakes his head) Zhaan either. Rygel thinks they were scared. I just think they were lost. Either way they're keeping it to themselves.
Chiana: Hey - (she gives him a kiss) - I'm very proud of you.
D'Argo: I'm proud of you. You handled yourself well.
Chiana: Well, you handled meself well too. What's the matter?
D'Argo: Ah - I just can't stop thinking how Crichton'll never see his daughter again.
Chiana: Hits pretty close to home huh?
D'Argo: The fact that I may never see my son again is a grief I would wish upon no one. It pains me to think of what he's going through right now.
Chiana: Pains me too. (there is a long pause as she touches his shoulder) And you thought we weren't compatible.
(cut to the maintenance bay. Aeryn is there working on her Prowler. John enters and leans on his module as he speaks to her)
John: Zhaan says the surgical reconstructors did an excellent job on your leg. There's no sign that it was ever broken. (no response) Yeah I was uh - worried about you when you didn't show up for the wedding. Anyway, I'm - I'm just, um, glad you're okay. And I have noticed that you're not talking to me.
Without a word Aeryn straightens up and produces one of the vials of compatibility serum which she brings over to him. After a moment, he takes it from her and puts a drop first on his tongue, then a drop onto hers. After another pause, they touch tongues briefly, then take a long slow kiss. When they part, they stare expressionlessly at each other before Aeryn turns silently away. And smiles.