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Season Of Death
March 16, 2001 - US
August 22, 2001 - UK
3.01


Writer - Richard Manning
Director - Ian Watson

Guest Cast
Hugh Keays-Byrne . . . Grunchlk
Matt Newton . . . Jothee
David Franklin . . . Braca
Thomas Holesgrove . . . Diagnosan Tocot & Plonek
Fiona Gentle . . . Voice of Tocot
Aaron Catalan . . . Officer Kobrin


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Episode Summary
SOD is of course the resolving episode to the S2 cliffhanger, DMD, in which Aeryn was killed and Scorpius reappeared to leave John and Diagnosan Tocot for dead as well. In SOD the first thing that happens is that Scorpius' escape is blocked by a delay in the arrival of his Command Carrier - not a good thing in view of the fact that given enough time, the crew of Moya will eventually blunder to victory in spite of themselves and Scorpius knows it. Luckily for him, Grunchlk, whose treachery is boundless and who in fact turns out to have been the one who alerted Scorpius that John was there in the first place, hides him from the crew of Moya while he awaits his ship. For his trouble, Scorpius makes Grunchlk a mind controlled slave just as he did John.

Meanwhile the crew of Moya manage to revive Tocot who, after some bio-ethical dithering on the part of our heroes over the use of sort-of-dead tissue donors, is able to restore John's speech . Unfortunately, John doesn't want to live. For despite the removal of Scorpius' neural chip - the neural clone of him lives on in John's Head, having become inextricably linked with him. But with a little help from Stark, John manages to tame the poltergeist and emerge ready to carry on.

But things are never easy. It seems Grunchlk had an earlier deal with a Scarran who came hunting for Scorpius - so Grunchlk hid him too - in suspended animation in a cryopod which he set to open when Scorpius came in like gangbusters. The Scarran awakens and immediately kills Tocot, who didn't know what his "assistant" had done. Scorpius, using Grunchlk, sets the Scarran on John, but not before the Scarran ices Grunchlk.

While all this is going on, Zhaan - the spiritual one - is unable to cope with Aerynís death and takes it upon herself to bring her back to life. Aeryn is more pragmatic about these things and resists, but Zhaan forces the issue and Aeryn is resurrected. She immediately has to rescue Stark, Zhaan, John and D'Argo from the Scarran and a couple of PK commandos, all of whom she kills, thus staring out her second life with some kinda dubious karma.

Finally Scorpius has to fake his own death to draw off Talyn and Crais, whose firepower he is prudently wary of and whose presence prevented him form leaving sooner. Our heroes return to Moya where Chiana and Jothee have been doing the horizontal tango behind DíArgoís back - which you just know is going to be a problem sooner or later. Aeryn and John avow their love for one another - but Aeryn, traumatized from having been dead and all - also vows she will, in essence, repress her feelings in order to avoid the emotional pain of people doing crazy things like sacrificing their lives for her. John is confused until Zhaan confirms that that is in fact just what she has done, for the strain of bringing Aeryn back will kill her.

And that's it.

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TRANSCRIPT
The episode opens with Moya and Talyn still afloat in orbit around the ice planet of Diagnosan Tocot. The crew of Moya, who last saw John heading off to his surgery to have Scorpius' neural chip removed, anxiously await the postoperative report, unaware that Scorpius has interrupted the surgery, left Tocot for dead and John strapped the operating table with his brain hanging out. Cut to Moya where D'Argo is with Pilot, pacing to and fro in front of the Great Navigators Console

D'Argo: Is there still no communication from the planet?

Pilot: (testy, as if he's been telling people this for quite awhile now) Nothing. The Diagnosan said we would be notified as soon as there was something to report.

Zhaan: (cut briefly to her and Stark) Pilot, any news?

Pilot: I would have told you if there were. (she eyes the comm with surprise as his curt response)

Stark: (gloomy) We should be down there at Crichtonís side.

Zhaan: (with a soothing caress of his cheek) John did not want us there. We must respect that.(then, urgently back to Pilot) The microt you hear anything Pilot-

Pilot: (deeply weary and nearing the end of his tether) Yes - Zhaan...

Crais: (breaking in via comm) Pilot! I remind you that we shouldn't stay any longer than necessary. If the neural clones messages got through to Scorpius - his Command Carrier must be on it's way.

Pilot: (who sounds very tired of being Told...) We know that Crais.

Chiana: (cutting in instantly) Pilot? Have you heard anything?

Pilot: (shouting) NO! When I know something, YOU'LL know it! Until then - leave - me - ALONE!

(cut to Chiana and Jothee in the center chamber)

Jothee: Is he always like that?

Chiana: (quietly upset) Aerynís death hit him pretty hard.

Jothee: (he strokes her arm soothingly) It hit everybody hard.

(cut back to Tocotís clinic, in the ice tunnel where the bodies of donor specimens are stored in their cryopods. Braca has hauled Grunchlk out of the one he was hiding in. Grunchlk is a lot bigger than Braca and strong. But the PK has him by the arm and a gun to the his throat)

Braca: Now why were you hiding Grunchlk?

Grunchlk: Well why do you and your goons come storming in here with your guns drawn?

Braca: Oh, just a precaution.

Grunchlk: (defiant) Precau-? Well so was that. (he jerks his head towards the cryopod he just vacated) So go on son, put your 'precautions' away and pay me what we agreed. (Braca makes no move to release him) Listen - I informed you the microt that Crichton got here. So you keep up your end of the deal, all right? (he makes to pull away form Braca, who merely yanks him back. Grunchlk's tone becomes low and threatening as he tries to intimidate Braca with his bulk and his junkyard dog temperament) Listen son, you don't want to frell with me on this one! (but at that moment a smaller, but infinitely meaner, mutt enters)

Scorpius: Grunchlk - (Grunchlk changes his tune fast. He rolls his hand in front of his face in a hurried gesture of obeisance and smiles ingratiatingly) - if I was in your situation - I'd be attempting to present evidence that I still served a purpose.

Braca: (to Scorpius, hoping for a negative response) Does he?

Scorpius: (as he speaks, he casually unscrews the lid of the jar with the snarl of neural chip, black tendril and chunk of John's brain in it) Now that my neurochip has absorbed the information I need from John's mind - we're finished here. (he picks the mess out of the jar and gazes appreciatively at it. It's about the size of a piece of sushi) Poor Crichton. He's going to be so lonely... Never mind. (and with that, he eats the wet glob of brain and tissue in one bite. Maybe he'll get Mad John Disease)

Speaking of Mad John - he's still in Tocotís operating room, immobilized, and halfway through his surgery, His speech center destroyed by the removal of the chip, he howls incoherently, for help. Diagnosan Tocot twitches in response to his screams. Although Scorpius' germ attack via bad breath has nearly killed the delicate physician, he has fallen with his head on the sterile surgical platform and struggles to recover, squeaking feebly in his tiny voice. Suddenly John hears another voice - coming, to his horror, from inside his own head. "JOHN!" the voice calls sharply. It's Scorpius/Harvey, the neural clone.
The scene abruptly shifts to the Sawyers Mill of John's memory, where the clone awaits him and John can still speak...

Scorpius/Harvey: It's me John. I'm still here.

John: (staring wildly at the apparition approaching him) What? NO! Nononononono! You're gone! The chip's gone! Get out of my head!

Scorpius/Harvey: (sounding mildly annoyed) I'd like to. I don't wish to remain here, therefore you must die.

(cut back to the ice tunnel where Braca, Grunchlk and Scorpius continue their conversation)

Grunchlk: (bowing and scraping for his life in front of the smiling Scorpius and the smug Braca) Serve a purpose? 'Course I serve a purpose. An-y pur-pose you like sir! Got a purpose? (Braca's thinking 'target practice' and whips his gun up to bear on Grunchlkís head and he greasy man hastily babbles on while Scorpius watches them with amusement) No? Well-ah- I'll come up with one! Look! (grinning brightly) There-there's a purpose in itself! (but at that moment they are interrupted by the entrance of another PK)

Kobrin: Sir!

Braca: (turning around quickly as if embarrassed to be caught indulging his sadistic tendencies for the amusement of Scorpius) Officer Kobrin, I ordered you to remain with the Marauder.

Kobrin: Yes sir. However, we've received an encoded message pulse from the Command Carrier.

Scorpius: (genial) Report.

Kobrin: Battle ended successfully. (Scorpius is in a good mood and makes a sound of approval. Grunchlk grins and chuckles happily too) However, the unexpected duration of the engagement will delay our rendezvous 5.3 arns. (Scorpius' smile fades to a look of apprehension and so does Grunchlkís)

Scorpius: (disbelieving) 5 arns - Crichtonís shipmates won't stay away that long.

Braca: We can eliminate them.

Scorpius: (softly) They don't worry me - a Leviathan gunship commanded by a vengeful traitor does.

Kobrin: (protesting) Sir. I flew us here undetected!

Scorpius: (angrily chastising the man for his arrogance) Because Crais and Talyn were preoccupied with Officer Suns last flight! (he pauses and then asks in a calmer tone) If we were to leave now - how long could you keep us undetected?

Kobrin: (brash) We'd be 1000 metras away before the gunship detected us.

Scorpius: (turning away, deep in thought) Not good enough! The Carrier is still so far off - Talyn would easily overtake us. (he sighs and announces his decision) We'll wait.

Grunchlk: (falling all over himself to serve a purpose) Ah! Oh! If you're thinking of staying sir. I've got a splendid room, all the comforts. Very - private.
(Scorpius nods grimly at Braca who addresses the greasy business manager of the clinic)

Braca: Show us. (Grunchlk puffs and quivers with relief at being spared and trepidation at having to host this nasty bunch for 5 more hours as he edges past Braca to lead the way)

Grunchlk: (quietly, to himself more than anyone else) Splendid...

(meanwhile, back in the operating room, John continues to yell slurred nonsense that might be Tocotís name. But in his mind at the moonlit lake of Sawyers Mill where he and his Dad went fishing when he was a kid, he continues to talk to the neural clone)

Scorpius/Harvey: (urgently trying to convince John to die with his own warped references to Earth culture, echoing John's tendency to do the same) Death is the only sensible course John! For everything there is a season - A time to be born, (John joins in with him to complete the couplet) and a time to die!

John: (pensive and angry) Yes, yes, yes - the devil quotes scripture. I thought you were put in here to protect me!

Scorpius/Harvey: Until my task here was completed! Now that Scorpius has recovered the neurochip-

John: (cutting him off) You should be gone! How come you're not?

Scorpius/Harvey: (frustrated and angry) I don't know - but this - THIS is intolerable! For both of us! End it John! Free us from one another! (John storms away from him as Scorpius/Harvey calls frantically to his retreating back) Scorpius has beaten you! Aeryn Sun is dead! Your power of speech is gone - the only one you'll ever talk to again is me! (cut back to John laying on Tocotís table as the neural clones final words ring in his ears) IS THAT HOW YOU WANT TO LIVE? End it John - do it.

(cut to elsewhere in Tocotís clinic. Rygel is the only living member of Moyaís crew besides John who is on the planet. But he's not seen the arrival of the PKs and Scorpius as he travels the cold blue corridors in his hoverchair, hunting for Grunchlk, who he cut a deal with - he thinks - to hire a ship to take him whither he wants to go...)

Rygel: Grunchlk! Where are you? You told me that ship would be here by now! GRUNCHLLLLLK! (as it happens, he's near Tocotís surgery, John hears him and starts jabbering frantically "NF GLEHYAH FUNDIGGAH!" Rygel peeks into the operating room and says with exasperation) Oh - Crichton! (John spews more gibberish) You're even more inarticulate than u- (but he stops himself abruptly as Tocot attracts his attention with his sickly peeping from the floor, Rygel is aghast) Oh - Tocot?

(cut to Moya and Talyn in silent orbit over the snowy planet as Rygelís distress call is responded to)

Zhaan: (her voice is heard on comm) We'll come down at once Rygel.

(cut to Chiana and Jothee in Moyaís center chamber as D'Argo enters)

Chiana: (cheerful, trying to please) D'Argo! Hey, we got a meal ready.

D'Argo: (grimly) There's a problem. Zhaan, Stark and I are going down to the planet.

Jothee: We'll go with you.

D'Argo: No, I need you to stay here with Moya. Scorpius' Command Carrier could arrive any microt. If it does, I want you to starburst away immediately. (Chiana and Jothee burst out in protest)

Jothee: But-

Chiana: But-but- but Pilot can-

D'Argo: (with paternalistic finality) DO - what I tell you! (he exits, giving them a meaningful look and a decisive grunt as he leaves. Jothee, nearly adult son and Chiana, object of DíArgoís matrimonial desire, yell with the frustration of being treated like children)

Chiana: (throwing a pan she was holding) FRELL!

Jothee: (sweeping another pan off a counter) FRELL! I'M SICK OF THIS!

(cut back to the icy planet where Grunchlk has ensconced Braca and Scorpius in the private room. It looks rather like a storage room with sheepskin rugs tossed over metal chairs to sit on. Grunchlk is giving report on all the Crichton-related events thus far. Scorpius is idly examining some of the odds and ends in the room while Braca deals with Grunchlk)

Grunchlk: And when the service is finished, everyone except Crichton went back up to their ship, and the Doc, he started the surgery.

Braca: And your last communication with any of them was when?

Grunchlk: Uh - 9 or 10 arns- (he is interrupted by Kobrin, who enters with the luggage from the Marauder, a couple of bulky tackle box sized items)

Kobrin: Sir, the Marauders sensors have detected a transport pod leaving Moya on a vector towards us.

Scorpius: (he turns towards Grunchlk as Kobrin opens one of the cases to reveal a sharp, black metal apparatus within) They didn't speak to you first? They must be getting apprehensive.

Grunchlk: (fawningly to Braca as Scorpius steps behind him and removes the sharp apparatus from the case) When they get here - let me speak to them! I'll ah - I'll stall them - send them away. Whatever you want. I'll say any-thing you like!

Scorpius: How prescient of you. (and with that, he plunges the sharp tool from the case into the base of Grunchlkís neck, The fat man screams as he staggers forward, and falls to his knees. Scorpius then dons the metal halo with the red and blue lights that he used to enter John's mind back at the shadow depository and sits down in the chair Grunchlk just vacated. Grunchlk kneels on the floor, his back to Scorpius, gasping and spamming while the half-Scarran uses his device to get into Grunchlkís head this time. He speaks slowly as he has a look around inside) Yours is an interesting species Grunchlk. Simple mind. Simple brain. (Grunchlk begins to calm down, his breathing slows and he stops shaking as Scorpius takes over) Easily dominated. (Grunchlk sighs and relaxes) And easily controlled. (he chuckles a little with amusement as he raises his hand, and causes Grunchlk to raise his too, in perfect imitation. Grunchlkís look is something more like horror though as he helplessly acts out the will of Scorpius)

Meanwhile, back in the operating room, Rygel is on the floor curled around Tocotís head administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Luckily the biofilter light is on and perhaps the Hynerians mouth is cleaner than his vocabulary, for Tocot seems to be responding. D'Argo, Stark and Zhaan burst into the room and fan out, D'Argo goes to John and Stark slowly approaches a cryopod with the body of one of the Interon 'donors' inside. Zhaan rushes to Tocot and Rygel, who looks up with relief as they enter and shouts-

Rygel: EYECH! About time!

Zhaan: (urging him on heroically) Keep trying Rygel!

Rygel: (yelling with outrage and frustration) YOU TRY! I've done everything you've told me! Turned on the bio-neutralizer, - (D'Argo touches John's face and calls to him softly) - turned off the see-through skull machine - ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! - (again D'Argo calls John's name softy, John seems to be in shock, he makes no response nor does he acknowledge DíArgoís presence) - it's just not working! (but of course at that moment, Tocot jerks to life with a fit of delicate coughing)

Zhaan: He's breathing!

Tocot: (there is the unmistakable edge of terror and urgency in his tiny voice as he chokes out the word) Scor- Scor-pius!

(cut to Crais aboard Talyn as Zhaan relays the news of Scorpius' presence to him)

Crais: (thoughtfully) The Command Carrier couldn't have arrived without our knowing. Scorpius - must have come in a Prowler or a Marauder on a stealth trajectory.

Zhaan: (cut briefly back to her as she replaces Tocotís mask over his face) Could he still be here?

Crais: Possibly. If so, reinforcements may follow. Talyn and I will adjust our orbit for maximum scan.

(cut back to the private room where Scorpius continues to refine his remote control of Grunchlk who is standing in the center of the room now, swaying and bobbing drunkenly - like a puppet whose strings are being relaxed and then jerked taut. Braca stands next to Scorpius and watches this with distaste but Kobrin seems to find the trick amusing as he watches Scorpius' lips move - but the words come out of Grunchlkís mouth)

Grunchlk: (his voice has a hint of Scorpius' refined accent) Splendid room! All the comforts! Very private. Splendid room! All the comf- very priv- (he gags and chokes before continuing on - as if his channel has been changed. This time his voice bears no trace of Scorpius' accent) I'll say- I'll say anything - I'll say anything you like! I'll say anything you like! Well, with a little diversion... Braca - Let me see your pulse pistol. (with a quick glance at Scorpius, who is clearly in control, Braca steps forward and hands his gun to Grunchlk before stepping back. The look on his face is a mixture of fear and dread, unlike Kobrin, he knows this is no game. Grunchlk takes the gun and fires it point blank into his own upper arm. Scorpius flinches, able to feel the pain, but Grunchlk, completely possessed, is not allowed to show his. He hands the gun back to Braca and exhales explosively. Kobrin's expression has suddenly become sober) Splendid. Hoo!

(soon after, cut to one of the cold blue corridors of the clinic as D'Argo and Rygel round a corner and find Grunchlk sitting on the floor, shot in the arm. They rush to his side)

Grunchlk: (his voice is weak and hoarse) Help! Scorpius - shot me- took the chip.

D'Argo: When?

Grunchlk: A couple of arns ago. Gone now.

D'Argo: Are you sure he's gone?

Grunchlk: Long gone. (cut briefly to the face of Scorpius, lips moving)

(cut to soon after, back in the operating room. Tocot is sitting up now on the edge of the surgical platform, John is still on the table. D'Argo and Rygel have brought Grunchlk and they are standing in front of the cryopod that had drawn Stark)

Stark: (appalled and accusatory) Grunchlk! You - you use these poor beings as donors!

Grunchlk: (annoyed, he's got bigger problems than the occupants of the cryopods do just now) Doc couldn't operate else!

Stark: (wild-eyed) Crichton didn't want the operation if it would harm a donor!

Grunchlk: But nobody was harmed! The Doc was only borrowing some cerebral fluid to top off Crichtonís! They can spare it.

D'Argo: (challenging Stark) How can they be harmed if they are already dead?

Grunchlk: Yeah.

Zhaan: They aren't dead.

Grunchlk: (sounding weary) Well - I mean - they're effectively dead, because they can't be restored and live.

Stark: (his nostrils are staring to flare like they do just before he goes into one of his crazy spells) They're trapped between two realms! Lost!

D'Argo: STARK! - (he positions himself directly in front of the Banik Stykera, forcing him to look at him) - John needs our help now. (he turns and walks over to Tocot) Tocot - what can we do now? (Tocot rises and trills energetically. That Hynerian air has done him wonders. He's exchanged his red mask for a more complex-looking rebreather and the pink skin of his head is blackened and diseased looking, but he seems well on the mend)

Grunchlk: Well - Doc says he could try and restore his speech with a neural tissue transplant. But -uh - would use up a donor.

Zhaan: (deadly) You mean kill.

Grunchlk: (sick of this topic) However you want.

Stark: (with passionate conviction) Crichton definitely would not want that!

Grunchlk: (exasperated) Look! It might not even work anyway! The Doc says this is so scrambled, he might not be able to fix no matter what!

D'Argo: If that's the case - (he looks at Zhaan) - we need to know.

Zhaan: (her eyes widen, gone now is the righteous confidence of a moment ago) You want me to share Unity with him? No - I can't. The last time I wasn't strong enough to overcome Scorpius' evil!

D'Argo: The evil is gone now.

Zhaan: The chip may have been removed, but - the evil may still remain.

D'Argo: (in a tone of quiet strength) If that is true, we - still - need - to know. You're not alone now Zhaan. (and although her breath is uneven with fear, she silently steps up onto the lit surgical platform next to the catatonic John. She pushes the shawl back form her head and standing at the head of the operating table, she bends down and lays her forehead against John's. The first voice she hears in Unity is that of Scorpius/Harvey whispering "Delvian... Delvian... Listen to Crichton... hear his pain." Stark watches intently as she cries out a little and sobs, his head cocked to one side, his single eye wide and staring)

D'Argo: (sharply, to Stark) What should be do? Should we help her break out of it?

Stark: (anxiously, without taking his eye off Zhaan and John) Uh - I don't know.

D'Argo: Zhaan! (but Zhaan does not respond except to continue to gasp and sob as John's voice now comes through to her loud and clear, but filled with despair and surrender. He says, "Go away. Go away Zhaan. There's no point.")

Stark: (making up his mind it's time to quit) Come out of it! Break Unity! (with a cry, Zhaan pulls away, Scorpius/Harvey isn't trying to hold her this time but she is nonetheless shaken by the experience and staggers back)

Zhaan: (wailing) Goddess be with him! The Scorpius clone - it's still in his head!

D'Argo: (in a furious hiss) What?

Stark: (ferocious, nostrils flared, speaking through clenched teeth, he confronts Tocot) How is that possible? It didn't work! Why didn't it work?! What did you do wrong? (as Tocot chitters and trills Grunchlk says quietly to Zhaan, who's moved aside to recover her composure)

Grunchlk: They are never gonna what's necessary. You know what has to be done.

D'Argo: (he's gone to talk quietly to John) We're going to help you John.

Zhaan: (to Grunchlk, with grim determination) Give me some mornak injectant. (he scuttles off to do her bidding)

D'Argo: (softly, to John) We're going to get that frelling madman out of your mind.

Grunchlk: (whispering as he comes back to Zhaan and slips an injector into her hand) I can't see any. But, how about some narbo serum? It's just as fast - and painless. (and with a sob, Zhaan, unaware that she is doing the bidding of Scorpius, paces determinedly towards the helpless human with the deadly injection, intent on putting him out of his misery. Stark, who's still arguing with Tocot, whose trills have taken on an irritated note, spots her just as she makes to administer the drug. He lunges for her and pulls her away from John)

Stark: Zhaan! What are you doing?

D'Argo: (alerted by Starks cry he turns and lunges at her too) Zhaan!

Stark: (as he and D'Argo wrestle her away) Zhaan no!

Zhaan: (a wail of despair) LET ME GO!

D'Argo: Hold her Stark!

Zhaan: CRICHTON WANTS TO DIE!

D'Argo: Hold her! (for the first time since they all got there, John's eyes take on the look of being in the present and he spews some aphasic babble as D'Argo and Stark struggle writhe wailing, sobbing Zhaan)

Stark: Zhaan! Stop it!

Zhaan: HE WANTS TO DIE!

D'Argo: Be calm, be calm!

(the scene fades and cuts to a few minutes later when they have managed to calm Zhaan a little and get the injector away from her. The discussion about what happened and what to do now continues)

Zhaan: (shaky, but adamant) John is in agony! He begged me to kill him!

D'Argo: (equally adamant) We have already lost Aeryn. We will NOT lose another.

Stark: (still trying to get an explanations from Tocot) Why is Scorpius still in Crichtonís mind? (the physician shrugs and trills his response)

Grunchlk: Well the Doc figures it's like a neural bleed. The ah - clones personality has been in there so long, that it's consciousness has, like - merged - with Crichtonís. (he gasps a little and a thought of Scorpius' escapes him softly) H-how interesting.

D'Argo: Just remove it! (Tocot responds to this with some outraged warbles)

Grunchlk: (echoing Tocotís exasperation) Well - it- it's not that easy! You just can't cut it out with a scalpel sir! (D'Argo shakes his head and exhales through his nose with exasperation of his own at the obvious ineptitude of these medical types)

Zhaan: (she makes a grab for the lethal injection that Stark is guarding, he holds it out of her reach) There's only one merciful thing to do.

Grunchlk: Yeah I would have to agree.

D'Argo: (firmly) All right. You two - out!

Grunchlk: (incredulous) Eh?

D'Argo: GET OUT! And do NOT come back into this chamber!

Grunchlk: (miffed) Right. Come on girl! (he and Zhaan tromp out of the room. Zhaan casts a reproachful backwards glance as she goes)

Stark: What should we do?

D'Argo: Whatever we can. (he marches over to Tocot, who has taken his position at the head of the surgery table, and barks-) You! Restore his speech!

Tocot: But - Crich-ton insisted - no harm - to donor.

Stark: (shouting rather irrationally) You're the one harming the donors! Their souls are crying out! Screaming out in pain!

Tocot: (his tiny feminine voice is insistent and annoyed) No - pain!

Stark: I CAN HEAR THEM! (he's headed for a crazy tantrum now as he mutters under his breath) "Effectively dead!" (he storms over to a cryopod) That isn't death at all! THIS- is death! (and with that, he yanks open the door of the capsule and delivers the injection intended for John to the occupant, who screams horribly. The scream seems to rouse John who screams with alarm, his garbled words sound a lot like 'TURN IT OFF! SHUT IT OFF!' As the Interon dies, Stark hurries over to John-) And that - that was mercy. His agony was far greater than yours. (John slowly relaxes. He has a look of sorrow and dull incredulity at the craziness he's surrounded by, on his face)

D'Argo: (to Tocot, without comment on the whole scene - but at least hey have a donor dead enough for Stark now) Now my friend. Can you help John?

Tocot: (shrugging) Can -try.

D'Argo: Well, go ahead. (John mumbles sullenly and D'Argo glares at him) And as for you - Do NOT - make me tongue you.

(cut to Grunchlk and Zhaan walking through the corridors of the clinic, Zhaan looks tired and grim)

Grunchlk: (speaking very loudly and pointing at his eyes) You look pretty rowged.

Zhaan: (as she pulls her shawl over her head again) I need air. I will go outside and meditate.

Grunchlk: Yeah now, the weather's cold - gettin' worse.

Zhaan: Cold does not bother me.

Crais: (on Zhaanís comm) Pa'u Zhaan, anything to report?

Zhaan: Not yet Crais. (she's wearing her comm on her wrist and Grunchlk takes her hand and blares into it)

Grunchlk: Still in orbit? Go chase that bastard Scorpius!

Crais: The trail is cold. (cut briefly to him aboard Talyn) Talyn and I have found nothing to suggest a vector.

Grunchlk: So - what are you doing here then?

Crais: We await the delivery of the remains of Officer Sun. For the burial in space she would have wanted.

Grunchlk: Fine. I'll load her coffin onto your transport pod and, uh - Zhaan can bring her up to ya!

Zhaan: (fighting tears) I cannot face such a task right now.

Grunchlk: (he covers the comm and say to Zhaan in a loud whisper-) Help me out eh? I'm tryin' to get rid of that yobbo and his gunship from my planet! I don't trust him!

Zhaan: (she flicks the comm off and snaps-) When we all leave - we will take Aeryn Sun with us. (and with that, she turns and exits to the freezing air outside the clinic walls)

(cut to Scorpius in the hidden room with the halo connecting his mind to Grunchlkís as he mutters-)

Scorpius: Hmph! If you all leave.

(cut back to Moya where Jothee is still hanging out in the center chamber. He and Chiana had prepared quite the feast. Chiana re-enters the room to find Jothee picking at the uneaten banquet)

Chiana: I thought you weren't hungry?

Jothee: I wasn't 'til I started eating. You want some?

Chiana: No.

Jothee: Come on - it'll put color in your cheek.

Chiana: No.

Jothee: Come on - we'll die of boredom. But we'll be well fed. (he makes to feed her a tidbit, but snatches his hand away as she snaps at his fingers with her teeth and laughs. Jothee is not amused) What'd you do that for?

Chiana: I don't know.

Jothee: (annoyed) Think!

Chiana: (provocatively) Well maybe I don't like being taken care of.

Jothee: Maybe I don't like being bitten!

Chiana: (as she reaches for a morsel of food) Yeah? Well then keep your hands outta my face!

Jothee: (swatting her hand away) Keep your hands outta my food!

Chiana: (she pushes him) Hey! I helped make that!

Jothee: (he grabs her arms) Too bad! (they tussle a little as she tries to slap him and he pushes her arms back until suddenly their bodies are pressed tightly together. They stop abruptly and look at each other)

Chiana: (giggling and rubbing her pelvis against him) Still bored?

Jothee: Stop it! (he pushes her away and she makes to run but he grabs her from behind and with one arm around her neck and the other bending her left arm back, pins her against his body)

Chiana: (panting and giggling) You better - you better let go! Otherwise I'm going to have to try something else.

Jothee: (as they rock and sway against each other) You'll lose an arm.

Chiana: Well - you'll lose worse than an arm.

Jothee: (provocatively) You wouldn't do that.

Chiana: Don't tell me what I- what I would or wouldn't do. I do as I please.

Jothee: Okay. Do whatever you want. (and apparently what she wants to do is twist her neck around and kiss this guy over her shoulder. The guy with the stringy hair, sawed-off tankas and split nose who's wearing a shirt as crappy as Grunchlkís and who has her in a chokehold with one arm pinned behind her back...)

(cut back to Tocotís operating room where D'Argo and Stark stand watch as the Tocot is just closing up his procedure. John stares blankly into space as the Diagnosan turns off the biofilter light and turns away)

Tocot: Done. Dam-age - repaired. Speech - should return.

Stark: (jumping up, outrage at the ready "Should"?

Tocot: (as he steps off the surgical platform) Will know - soon. (John makes a tentative sound as Tocot heads for the door)

D'Argo: Hey! Where are you going?

Tocot: (there is a note of real distress in his tiny, birdlike voice) Must - excrete. (and with that he exits. It is a little known Fact that you'll never see on any hospital drama show that doctors actually do this after finishing a Big Surgery. D'Argo doesn't dare stop him, and anyway at that moment his attention is drawn back to John, who haltingly stutters a word)

John: D - D'Argo. (the Luxan quickly moves to his side and lays one hand on John's chest) Aeryn's gone. Want to die.

D'Argo: (gently affirming John's life) Aeryn died so that you could live John. She would want you to keep fighting.

John: (with sorrow and despair) Lost. Still hear Scorpy...

Stark: (he stands on the other side of the operating table and continues John's life affirmation by giving him the weapon he needs most) Listen to me! The chip's out! It's tendrils are dead! The Scorpy in your head is merely a remnant, a-a impotent wraith buzzing in your ear. You are stronger than he is! Show him!

(cut back to John's Head as he returns to the Sawyers Mill of his memory where Scorpius/Harvey idles sullenly on the dock. John has removed the IASA jacket he wore in his previous visits to reveal the t-shirt underneath. No-nonsense attire for a serious confrontation as he makes to act on Starks admonition. He rolls aggressively up to the neural clone)

John: Hey Harvey. Let's have a little chat.

Scorpius/Harvey: (peevish and appallingly self-involved) I don't wish to 'chat', John. I wish to leave. That is why you must die.

John: (tossing out a macho challenge) Why don't you kill me? You did it before - stopped my brain function cold. What's the matter? You lost your touch?

Scorpius/Harvey: (sullen) Circumstances are different now.

John: (he sticks a piece of gum in his mouth, the better to look carelessly cool as he mocks the clone) Yes, they are. You got no connections, no backup, no power supply. No place to hide. I'm going to make some rules now. (he throws an arm around Scorpius/Harveyís shoulders and takes him for a short walk down the dock. John's chewing his gum and talking like a character from a 50s teen gang flick. And, like the inevitable dork in such a film, Scorpius/Harvey is completely at a loss as to how to deal with the tough/cool kid) C'mon - lemme show you what I mean. (and with that he stops and shoves Scorpius/Harvey, who goes flying and lands on his back - in a different place in John's Head, This place looks like a dark, empty warehouse, moonlight streaming in through high windows - the setting for a movie rumble. Scorpius/Harvey isn't too flexible, he wildly flails his arms and legs, like a beetle on its back, until he flips himself over and scrambles awkwardly to his feet. John has followed him into this place and also changed into all black as he swaggers up to the clone)

Scorpius/Harvey: (gasping for breath as he tries to regain the upper hand) Now John - you listen to me-

John: (slurping around his gum) Not this time Scorpy - this brain ain't big enough for the two of us. (and with that, he delivers a deluxe knuckle sandwich to his unwelcome Headmate, who staggers backwards, stunned)

Scorpius/Harvey: Now Crichton - I'm warning you!

John: (he is well in control of this movie script. He shakes his hands out and does a little boxers dance as he mocks Scorpius/Harvey) I'm sorry sweetheart! (and he lets the clone have another vicious jab) Come on Scorpy! Come on man - show me that ugly grin! (and he lands another heavy punch on the clones jaw. Scorpius/Harvey just staggers back with every blow and seems helpless to resist John except to hurl very lame threats)

Scorpius/Harvey: (mad and completely impotent, he waves his balled up fists like the dork John has him playing, and growls) I'm warning you Crichton! Now you stop!

John: (he's dancing and bobbing like a movie boxer now, all swagger and machismo) Ooh - no, no, no, no! I don't think so! Remember? Out with the old - in with the new! (and he knocks Scorpius/Harvey to the floor with a powerful right hook, then roars to an imaginary crowd of fans) CAN I GET A "HELL, YEAH!"? (and sure enough, the imaginary crowd roars back with an enthusiastic "HELL YEAH!") It's your time to pray Scorpy. (Scorpius/Harvey looks alarmed as he struggles to stay upright and watches John coming for him. He takes another heavy blow that sends him reeling)

Scorpius/Harvey: (grunting hoarsely) Ugh! Crichton! (but John just keeps coming, grim now)

John: Pray for your soul Scorpy- if you have one. And pray for the soul of Aeryn Sun! (Scorpius/Harvey is doubled over from the beating he's taking and John borrows a move from a martial arts movie now to deliver a kung-fu style kick to his head. That sends the clone sprawling back onto the dirt covered floor of John's imaginary arena)

Scorpius/Harvey: (gasping and spitting blood he yells) Cri- Crichton!

John: Shut up! (and with a final nod to movie fights - this time cartoon ones - John picks Scorpius/Harvey up and flings him across the room into an open trash dumpster) YEAH! (the imaginary crowd cheers wildly as John throws his arms up in a victory salute and prances up on top of the dumpster where he kicks its lids shut before flopping down on top of it in triumph) HOO-WUH!

Meanwhile Tocot has finished his business, and, troubled perhaps, by Starks exposure of a donor as being alive enough to scream like a banshee, has wandered into a room that houses monitoring equipment for the cryopods. He sees a light throbbing red on a small panel accompanied by a low alarm sound. Immediately he hails Grunchlk via comm to report urgently in his usual repertoire of trills and bubbles.

(cut to the comfy private room where Scorpius has removed the halo he used to control Grunchlk, who is standing in front of him. Braca and Kobrin hover close by as they hear Tocotís call)

Scorpius: One of the cryogenic pods is starting an auto-release sequence eh?

Grunchlk: Aw nah - can't be. Let me talk to him. (Scorpius nods and Grunchlk hurries to the intercom over which Tocot can still be heard calling repeatedly for him) Sorry Doc. Say again? (cut briefly to Tocot walking in the ice tunnel as he natters in his gentle language) What? Full restoration? You sure? (Tocot strides towards a cryopod and babbles affirmatively) Nah. Nah it- it must be a screwed up sensor. (Tocot chatters on insistently and Grunchlk chuckles nervously, trying to put everyone at ease and get the doctor to shut up) You go back and tend to your patient Doc. I'll deal with it. (cut to Tocot as he reaches the capsule, his trilling has taken on the sulky tone of someone who knows he's being brushed off. Grunchlkís tone becomes urgent and insistent) DOC - leave it - to me! (Tocot seems to be talking more to himself by now as he reaches for the capsule and Grunchlk cries urgently) Doc get out of there! (but Tocot just trills softly and touches the opening mechanism for this Pandoraís Box which begins to swing ominously open, its interior aglow with white lit vapor) I'll handle it! Doc? DOC! (but it's too late. For the creature within the cryopod stretches one of its hands out of the glowing mist towards Tocot, a hand graced by 3-inch long talons, and then the Diagnosan is caught in a blast of heat so intense that is distortion waves completely obscure his head as he cries out and utters his last word-)

Tocot: Scarran! (and as he cries piteously and falls dead, cooked, to the icy floor, the Scarran, Plonek, steps out of the capsule)

(cut back to the secluded room where Scorpius stares at Grunchlk and demands)

Scorpius: A Scarran? Here? Why? (Braca thoughtfully acts out Scorpius' desires by giving Grunchlk a brutal elbow jab to the wound on his arm that he'd been forced to self-inflict earlier)

Grunchlk: (in a deadly defiant tone) Get frelled. (he groans but makes no move to give in as Braca squeezes the wounded arm again and digs his fingers in)

Scorpius: Grunchlk. You can do one of two things with your mouth. The first is talk to me. (he dons the mind control halo and possesses the fat man again. Slowly, excruciatingly, he forces Grunchlk to put his right index finger into his own mouth - and bite it off. It crunches like a piece of woody celery. Bracaís eyes widen in horror. Grunchlk doesn't look so good either as he stares at his mutilated hand and roars, his bloody, bitten-off digit clenched between his teeth. Scorpius releases him and he spits it out and roars louder with pain and revulsion as the half-Scarran says calmly) That is the second.

Grunchlk: (a gross and vile man recovers quickly from gross and vile acts and Grunchlk is no exception. He gazes at Scorpius with profound hatred and speaks in a deadly whisper) All right - You know the Scarrans are after you. They found out this is where you had your - cooling system - installed, and they sent a spy who offered me currency to keep him hidden until you came back for a check-up.

Braca: And you took his money.

Grunchlk: Just his advance. I was going to keep the dumb frell frozen and hand him over to you.

Scorpius: But you didn't.

Grunchlk: When your goons came in locked and loaded, I kind of doubted your good intentions. As insurance - I switched on the Scarrans auto-release - 3 arns delay. If you'd behaved, and paid what we'd agreed, I'd have switched it off. (he raises his mutilated hand to his face) I hope he kills you - very - slowly.

Scorpius: (he leans towards Grunchlk and says quietly-) Not likely.

(cut back to Moya. Chiana and Jothee are clearing up in the center chamber after their feeding frenzy)

Jothee: (as Chiana helps him adjust his pants) If my father finds out, we're dead.

Chiana: He won't find out. (and at that moment, Rygel enters, apparently having come back to Moya when it became evident his boat wasn't coming in down at the clinic)

Rygel: What the hezmana happened in here?

Chiana: Oh uh - we were, ah - we were making some soccorins and - and the pot exploded.

Rygel: (with a gasp of horror) You blew up a cook pot?

Jothee: We used too much lutra oil. The grolak's fine though. (lutra oil? That's what they blew up Scorpius' Gammak Base with! So much for advanced alien technology - these people haven't even developed Pam yet)

Chiana: (she hurriedly grabs the tray of grolak - which looks like stiff curled up spaghetti, and hands it to him) Yeah, nice and crispy. Here - sit down and eat. Ah - I'll give the ah- Uh - I'll give the soccorins another try.

Rygel: (archly) I'll ah - consume this in a room without detonating crockery. Thank you very much.
(he sniffs and casts them a knowing look as he exits. They stare after him with dread for a long moment)

Jothee: We'd better clean this up.

Chiana: I guess so.

(cut back to the private room where Scorpius and his men remain holed up. They have a hologram up now that gives an outline view of the many levels of the clinic. Key rooms are indicated as are the locations of people in the facility)

Braca: Crichton, D'Argo and Stark are in the surgery room -and the Scarran in the cryo-chamber. Level 4.

Kobrin: (he's sitting there with his trusty pulse pistol) Shall I take care of it sir?

Grunchlk: (with a derisive laugh) With that?! He'll sauté you son. He's never taken on a Scarran, has he?

Scorpius: No. (he slips on his mind-control halo and Grunchlk, who's the kind of guy that will never learn not to draw attention to himself - gaps and chokes as Scorpius possesses him) Have you?

(cut back to the operating room where John has returned to the material world from his victorious foray into His Own Head. Stark helps him sit up)

John: (he's stiff and achy from his long ordeal on the table and grunts) I beat him. He was all mouth Stark. How did you know?

Stark: (pleased) I didn't! I just thought it sounded good! (the man could have a bright future as a psychotherapist, unlike Zhaan who'd kill every suicidally depressed patient who crossed her path. D'Argo rolls his eyes a little)

John: Well it worked. (he heaves a sigh) Harvey's caged. Come on, lets pay the bill and get the hell out of here.

Stark: I'll find Zhaan. (he hurries off)

(cut to the ice tunnel where the awakened Scarran is roaming. The heavy metal door that seals the chamber clanks open and Grunchlk enters)

Grunchlk: (he's eating something, maybe to get the taste of finger out of his mouth, so his mouth is full as he calls for the prowling Scarran)) Plonek! Erathran Plonek! I'm alo-one! I've got a present for ya! (Plonek steps out of concealment behind Grunchlk with a deep growl)

Plonek: Grunchlk - where is Scorpius?

Grunchlk: (turning around to face the monstrous creature nervously) He's not here.

Plonek: Then why did you release me?

Grunchlk: Well, I-I've got someone almost as good - John Crichton. (Plonek growls softly) You know who that is?

Plonek: Yes - Scorpius seems obsessed with him. We want to know why.

Grunchlk: Why don't you ask him? He's in the surgery room, recovering. (Plonek turns his hear ray on Grunchlk - but in its capacity as a mind probe, not a killing tool. Grunchlk groans) No! Not- oowwhh!

Plonek: Are you lying? Is this a trap?

Scorpius: (cut briefly to him back in the secluded room, concentrating deeply to avoid detection, he quickly puts the words into Grunchlkís mouth) No-no-no. No trap.

Plonek: (cut briefly to him with Grunchlk trapped in his mind control beam) Where is Scorpius?

Scorpius: (cut briefly to him as he shoots back fast) Scorpius isn't here.

Grunchlk: (cut to him and Plonek as he echoes the words of Scorpius) Scorpius isn't here, I told you. But I'm sure he's on his way back to the planet - (cut to Scorpius and he and Grunchlk say the words together) - to capture Crichton.

Plonek: Who is with Crichton?

Grunchlk: Just a Luxan - and a Banik slave. (Plonek releases Grunchlk, who falls to his knees, panting from the dual penetration. Into his mind)

Plonek: I might have use for you later. (and with that he picks Grunchlk up by the throat with one hand and carries him, screaming, over to the cryopod he just vacated. He unceremoniously shoves the fat man in and shuts the door. The capsule activates and Grunchlk is neatly frozen. His last couple screams sound almost relieved to be out of play in this hellish little drama)

(cut back to the private room as Scorpius discards his mind-control halo)

Scorpius: That should divert the Scarran away from us. Officer Kobrin. We have received vital information, which I must deliver to my Command Carrier. (he might be talking about the wormhole information but he might also be pumping the PK rocket jockey up)

Kobrin: (gung-ho) Sir! The Carrier is now much closer. I am certain we can outrun the gunship long enough to reach it safely.

Scorpius: You have that much faith in your piloting skills?

Kobrin: (proudly) My last rating was 991 sir. No active pilot rates higher.

Scorpius: (ominously) Your skills will be tested - very soon.

(cut back to the ice tunnel where Zhaan has come to mourn for Aeryn some more. Stark has joined her and they stand there in front of the cryopod through whose little window her dead face can be seen)

Zhaan: (referring to readouts on the capsule) Stark, look at these indicators.

Stark: The cryo-system is activated to preserve the body until burial.

Zhaan: But that's not all - cerillan maintenance functions are still operating - keeping her body alive.

Stark: Why? Unless Grunchlk was intending to keep her here as a donor. I wouldn't put it past him. (he turns to Zhaan, guessing her thoughts) No - the Diagnosan pronounced her dead. He could not save her.

Zhaan: (quietly confirming Starks suspicions) His gifts could not.

Stark: (he sighs and steps away from her. He stares intently into space, listening, before shaking his head. He turns back to Zhaan and says firmly) I can hear the distant voices of the Interons - but I cannot hear Aeryn Suns. If her soul has not fled entirely, it's much too far away to be reached. Even the attempt would be dangerous.

Zhaan: Yes. You're probably right. (she turns to leave, but suddenly whips around, catching Stark off-guard with a powerful blow to his head that knocks him unconscious. You can tell these people are aliens because any human who took blows to the head like they do would have some pretty serious neurological problems by now)

(cut to Plonek who is in the inhabited areas of the clinic now and moving through the ice blue corridors towards the operating room. Then cut to the operating room where D'Argo and John are hot to leave and waiting impatiently for their friends)

John: (practicing with his newly installed speech center) Peter Piper picked a...

D'Argo: (he hands John his coat as he calls to the others via comm) Zhaan - Stark! Why don't they answer? (cut to Zhaan back in the ice tunnel dragging Starks inert body off to one side and arranging it comfortable against a cryopod as DíArgoís voice is heard over her comm) Zhaan - Stark! (meanwhile back in the surgery, D'Argo and John decide to go hunt for them. They head for the door just as Plonek arrives at the outer of the operating rooms 2 sets of doors) What's the delay? (he opens the inner set of doors and comes face to face with Plonek who snarls Scarranishly at them. D'Argo and Plonek, both startled, stare stupidly at each other for a moment)

John: D'ARGO! (the Luxan jumps and hurriedly slams the door in Ploneks face before retreating to John's side) Where the hell did that come from?

D'Argo: A Scarran! We have no weapons so I suggest a tactical retreat!

John: (he spots a likely-looking portal on the other side of the room and makes for it) That looks like an exit - door controls. (D'Argo heads for it while John pokes at a control panel and Plonek can be heard pounding at the other door) You didn't bring any weapons?

D'Argo: I only brought down my Qualta Blade. (he pushes at the door) It's still sealed!

John: Well, how am I supposed to know about that?

D'Argo: Wait! There's a hatch! (he manually opens the door. Bright outdoor light streams into the surgery along with a swirl of snow. He quickly retreats) Whoa! I hate the cold!

John: (he looks back at the inner doors. The brilliant light of Plonek burning the lock out glows around its edges) Freeze or fry. (and he sprints for the outside door)

D'Argo: (he dithers a moment, but a look at the inner doors which shudder as the lock is burned through prompts a decision) Freeze. (and he lopes after John as Plonek bursts into the surgery)

(cut back to the private room where Braca, Kobrin and Scorpius watch the movement of the others on the hologram of the clinic facility)

Braca: Sir, the diversion's working. The Scarran is moving outside in pursuit of Crichton and D'Argo.

Scorpius: (frustrated) However, two of the others are now blocking our path to the surface! If they see us - notify Crais...

Braca: Two commandos from the Marauder coming from this approach, could take them out and still maintain a zero presence profile.

Scorpius: Summon them. (he inhales abruptly and turns to Kobrin...)

(cut back to D'Argo and John, making their way away from the emergency exit. As Grunchlk had warned Zhaan earlier, the weather has deteriorated and they find themselves in a howling snowstorm)

John: No sign of the Scarran - you think he's following?

D'Argo: Better hope he is!

John: Sounds like you got a plan.

D'Argo: (shivering and sounding quite uncomfortable as he shouts back over the wind) We're going to bring him out here and see how HE likes being in the cold!

John: And what if he likes it?

D'Argo: LOOK! ONE - PLAN - AT A TIME!

John: All right. (they grunt and try to make themselves small against the blizzard)

(cut back to the ice tunnel where Zhaan crouches near Aerynís makeshift coffin and cradles Starks unconscious head)

Zhaan: Forgive me Stark, but I need your strength. I know you would never allow me to risk this. (and with that, she lifts his mask away from his face a little so that the golden light of his incorporeal self shines out upon the cryopod containing Aerynís body. Zhaan then rises and goes to it, and lays her hands upon it in a sort of Unity)

The ice tunnel fades away as Zhaanís consciousness flies far into another plane of existence. The place she comes to is a sort of grey limbo, without visible boundary. Ahead of her is a bright light whose brilliance is blocked by a bulky silhouette. As Zhaan approaches, the dark silhouette resolves into the pilots chair from Aerynís Prowler. Aeryn is still sitting in it, her hair still aflutter from the wind of her death fall. She is staring vacantly ahead, nut seems to sense the approach of someone, and slowly focuses on Zhaan.

Zhaan: Do you know who I am? (no response) Do you know who you are?

Aeryn: (her voice echoes in the spectral plane she inhabits) Officer Aeryn Sun, Special Peacekeeper Commando, Icarion Company, Pleisar Regiment. Have you come to reassign me?

Zhaan: I've come to take you back. (she comes close and taking Aerynís hands, lays them on either side of her head. Then she takes Aerynís head in her own hands and pulls her forward until their foreheads touch. An intense light signifies their spiritual joining and they stand, passing through each others bodies, in Unity)

Aeryn: Zhaan? What is this?

Zhaan: Unity, Aeryn. The sharing of minds and souls. As our thoughts merge, you will understand.

Aeryn: I understand that you shouldn't be here.

Zhaan: Nor should you. (whoa - from 10th level Pa'u straight to God that step's a doozy)

Aeryn: (sounding a little upset) Why are you doing this?

Zhaan: Because I love you. More importantly - Crichton loves you. You must take this gift, not for my sake, but for his.

Aeryn: I can't. I know your thoughts, and I know what this will cost you.

Zhaan: (clenching her teeth) Stop resisting Aeryn. Accept this!

Aeryn: No! (and she pulls away, breaking Unity and pushing Zhaan all the way back into the ice tunnel where she is thrown backwards onto the ground. But she bounces up quickly and staggers back towards the cryopod, crying-)

Zhaan: NO! AERYN! (but at that moment something steps between her and the capsule - a PK commando, who stops her cold by driving the butt of his rifle into her face)

(cut back to the private room as Braca, Kobrin and Scorpius prepare to evacuate)

Scorpius: We'll take Stark with us.

Commando: (via comm as he pulls Zhaan to a sitting position) Capture or terminate?

Braca: Keep the Banik alive - terminate the Delvian.

(cut back to the ice tunnel as the commando swings his gun up to Zhaanís face - and is promptly shot in the back. A second shot takes down the other commando who was standing over Stark. Stark and Zhaan look up to see - Aeryn exiting her cryocoffin with DíArgoís Qualta blade open to its function as a pulse weapon. Good thing poor old Tocot put doorknobs on the inside of those donor pods. Aeryn looks like warmed over death but Stark and Zhaan seem glad to see her anyway)

Stark: (huddling with Zhaan and gasping as they stare at their briefly dead friend) You're back -you're back - oh Zhaan!

Zhaan: (patting his cheek) Success.

Stark: Success. (he looks a just little spooked along with the happy, but he remains silent of the subject of the natural order now)

Aeryn: Where are the others?

Stark: Surgery. (Aeryn looks around and heaves a sigh. Yup - you're back woman - before heading off)

(cut back to the private room where Braca and Scorpius hesitate as they note the disappearance of the commandos signs on the hologram of the clinic facility)

Braca: (calling to his troops) Report!

Scorpius: (sourly) The commandos are dead Lieutenant. (he snaps off the hologram projector) Even if Crais is now aware of our presence, the Scarran won't stay diverted forever. Officer Kobrin - we can wait no longer.

Kobrin: (barely able to contain his pleasure at finally getting a chance to show off) Yes sir.

(now all this has happened in the time it's taken Plonek to walk across the operating room and decide to exit in pursuit of D'Argo and John. Cut to him as he steps out into the snowstorm. Our heroes haven't gone far and observe his exit)

John: Here he comes! (Plonek turns his head from the icy blast of the wind) Hell, I don't think he likes the cold either! (well he hasn't got much on besides some complicated-looking leather straps has he?)

D'Argo: HAH! (Plonek spots them and extends his clawed hand with its heat ray towards them. But they're sort of ready - they lunge towards another door going back into the clinic)

John: Warm up the hot cocoa baby! Here we come!
(unfortunately they neglected to make sure the door worked) IT'S JAMMED! I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! (he rails outside the door while D'Argo pulls his coat around him and tries to get out of the wind and Plonek advances with his deadly heat ray - whose effectiveness seems luckily to be predictably lessened by the subzero temperatures)

D'Argo: Un-jam it.

John: What? What are you gonna do? (but without responding, D'Argo pulls his dagger and with a wild Luxan war yell, attacks the Scarran. The knife blade crumples like tinfoil against the stony belly of Plonek)

D'Argo: Frell. (and with that, Plonel lets fly a wild Scarran war bellow and knocks D'Argo flat into the snow - where he does not make snow angels)

(cut to space over the ice planet as a PK Marauder rises and streaks away. Cut to Crais, on Talynís Command)

Crais: Yes Talyn, I see it. There is a vessel leaving the planet. (Talyn ponks questioningly) No, a transport pod would not be attempting a stealth trajectory - pursue.

(cut back to the fight outside the operating room. Plonek is wiping the glacier with D'Argo while John continues to try unsuccessfully to open the second door. Suddenly a shot is fired from the door leading back into the surgery, hitting Plonek in the back. He stiffens, turns back to the door and takes two more shots to the torso, but Scarrans are tough and don't go down easily. The snowstorm prevents D'Argo and John from immediately identifying the shooter, but D'Argo recognizes the sound and fire of the weapon being used against Plonek)

D'Argo: That's my Qualta blade!

John: Can't be! You left it in the coffin! (Plonek takes 3 more blasts in the belly from the Qualta, which is of course being wielded by none other than Aeryn. But just as her assault starts to break through the Scarrans ultra tough hide, the Qualta fizzles out, and he begins to advance again. John grabs a great, jagged icicle and roars-)

John: HEY! HEY HORSEFACE! (Plonek turns and John rams the wound in his belly with the icicle. Plonek bellows and swats John and his weapon away, but the mortal damage is done. He howls and chokes as his wound sizzles - and he topples over into the snow, dead. Aeryn steps out into the storm to be sure, her hair whipping around her head)

(cut to moments later as D'Argo and John stagger back inside the hatch leading to the surgery. John stumbles and falls as he enters)

Aeryn: D'Argo! Here! (she presses the spent Qualta into his hands as she kneels to help John, but he's spooked and frantically tries to push her away from himself as he cries)

John: Oh! No! You're gone!

Aeryn: (refusing to let go of him, she tries to calm him) It's me John!

John: (panicky) BUT IT CAN'T BE! You-you- (he hisses to D'Argo) This is some kind of a trick! SHE DIED!

Aeryn: Zhaan brought me back. She did a Unity thing.

John: Zhaan - (in a barely audible whisper) Oh - my God - Zhaan... (he touches her hair, gasping as he struggles to process what has happened, then he throws his arms around her in a desperate embrace and rasps deeply) You're alive! (he hangs onto her for dear life, moaning and overcome with emotion)

(meanwhile, far above the planet, speeding into the black of space, Talyn and Crais pursue the fleeing Marauder. Crais is on Talynís Command as Scorpius speaks to him via comm)

Scorpius: Crais! Cease this pursuit at once!

Crais: This pursuit will end in your death Scorpius.

Scorpius: Aboard this Marauder is information that will help us defeat the Scarrans. You may have foresworn the Peacekeepers, but before you act, consider your fellow Sebaceans.

Crais: You consider one Sebacean who died at your hands - Officer Aeryn Sun. (and as they clear a small moon high above the arc of the ice planet, a great, black spaceship looms into view) Yes Talyn, I see it. Command Carrier.

Scorpius: Crais. You destroy this ship - my Command Carrier will destroy you.

Crais: Possibly. Talyn! (the half-grown Leviathan ponks a response that sounds for all the world like he's saying "Aye-aye!") Are we in agreement? (in response, Talyn locks cannon on the Marauder) FIRE! (he does, and the Marauder is blown to smithereens just as it reaches the great curved rings that form part of the Carriers structure. With a look of satisfaction on his face, Crais hails Pilot) Pilot. Scorpius is dead. His Command Carrier is now in pursuit of Talyn, we'll draw it away from your position before we starburst.

Pilot: (cut briefly to him in his Den as he repeats incredulously) Scorpius is - dead?

Crais: Yes. Officer Sun is avenged.

(cut back to the planet as Aeryn, D'Argo and John re-enter the operating room, all warmed up and calmer now. Pilot has hailed them with the news of Scorpius' demise)

D'Argo: Are you certain Pilot?

Pilot: (cut briefly to him is his Den. His tone is flat) Yes - Moya confirms it. Before starbursting, Talyn told her that he destroyed Scorpius' Marauder.

John: Damn shame on two counts. Too quick, and I wasn't there to see it. (Stark breaks in via comm. His tone is grim)

Stark: D'Argo, I'm with Zhaan.

D'Argo: Did you find Tocot?

Stark: (cut to him, he's sitting on the ground in the ice tunnel cradling Zhaan, who doesn't look so good) Yes. He's dead.

D'Argo: And what about Grunchlk?

Stark: (as he rises and trudges past Grunchlkís cryopod) He's dead too. Effectively...

John: (turning towards the pair of cryopods that remain in the operating room) Then we're going to take these two with us.

D'Argo: The Interons?

Aeryn: Why?

John: One of them died because of me.

Aeryn: What? You think they can be saved?

John: You were. (Aeryn makes no response other than to take a deep shaky breath)

(cut to later as the transport pod bearing the balance of Moyaís crew and the 2 Interons in their cryopods, comes home. Then cut back to the presumably deserted medical facility of Diagnosan Tocot.
Scorpius sits alone, eying the contents of a jar. Apparently he just sucked John's brains off the extracted neural chip before putting it and the tendrils back into the little container. Braca enters)


Braca: A signal from the Command Carrier sir. Moya and Talyn have both fled. A Prowler detail is on its way to pick us up.

Scorpius: The Marauder?

Braca: (smug) Destroyed.

Scorpius: Plainly, Officer Kobrin overestimated his piloting skills.

Braca: (magnanimously arch) Well perhaps Talyn is more formidable than we thought. Sir, Crais must be-

Scorpius: (but he has no interest in Crais anymore and cuts Braca off) First Command has already taken care of that situation. Our task is much more important. We have a new Gammak Research Base ready to go into operation. Hundreds of techs are waiting to apply this - (he holds the jar reverently to his forehead) - priceless information. Let's not keep them waiting Lieutenant.

(cut to later, back on Moya. Chiana and Jothee approach D'Argo, who's sitting in the center chamber trying to eat a meal with Rygel)

Chiana: (she lays her hands on DíArgoís shoulders and touches his cheek with one finger) Taste alright?

D'Argo: That frelling planet got me so chilled I still can't smell anything. But, ah - it is warming me up.

Rygel: (loudly, as Chiana rests her head on DíArgoís shoulder and glares across the table at him) Mine is more than adequate. All the time you two spent in here was - ultimately productive.

D'Argo: (so pleased with his loving little family) Two excellent cooks. I couldn't be luckier.

Rygel: Well I could! That frelling Grunchlk! I paid for services and they were not rendered! I'm delighted he's dead!

(cut to the maintenance bay where John stands, staring at one of the cryopods they brought back with them. Aeryn enters and walks over to the other one. She and John stand there, their backs to each other, each contemplating a cryopod)

John: (flatly) Finished making your rounds?

Aeryn: Mm-hm. (there's a long pause, she says in a husky voice) I shouldn't be here.

John: (his voice is husky too) This is exactly where you should be. I love you.

Aeryn: I love you too. (he turns and walks over to her, laying his hand on her neck. He turns her face towards him and they kiss. The kiss becomes a passionate embrace and they sink to their knees, caught up in the intensity of the moment - but Aeryn breaks it off and pushes him back from her) We will not act on it.

John: (he exhales shakily, confused, disbelieving, he cradles her face in his hands and stares at her) Aeryn...

Aeryn: My Peacekeeper training was right about one thing - soldiers and emotional attachments. In battle they distort your thinking.

John: (they rock back and forth there on their knees as Aeryn struggles to distance herself and John tries to hang on) We're not in battle Aeryn - Scorpius-

Aeryn: (but she cuts him off as her fears tumble out) What happens- what happens when Moya comes into contact with more Scarrans, or Nebari, or Sheyangs, or something worse? I will not be the cause of any more deaths because my judgment was faulty. I will not permit anyone else to sacrifice their life for mine.

John: What do you mean "anyone else"?

(soon after - cut to Zhaanís quarters. She and Stark rest upon her couch, her head in his lap as he holds her hand and strokes her face in silence. She has one arm up, cradling the back of his head as they look into each others eyes. A silhouette appears in the doorway to the room)

Zhaan: Hello John.

John: Aeryn just told me that, aahh- whatever you did to bring her back-

Zhaan: A gift of spiritual energy.

John: Yes... that it took everything that you had. (she makes no response other than to sigh and close her eyes for a moment) Is there anything we can do to help?

Zhaan: Nothing.

John: I will not accept that.

Zhaan: (she reaches out the hand she was caressing Stark with to John) I have John. I'm dying.

THE END

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