The episode opens with Moya high in orbit over a blue and gold planet. A grey moon hangs in the near distance and behind that, great rings arc around the verdant world. Cut to the planet surface where Aeryn, D'Argo, John, Jool and Stark are trying to take their mind off Zhaan’s death by doing a little sightseeing. They're visiting ruins that are perched high in a vertical landscape of golden rock spires. The site is an ancient monastery fortress where great deeds once were done. The scene shifts to a courtyard within the walls of the old fortress where blue pennants hang along the ancient stone walls and low green vegetation sprouts in odd places. The scene is lit by ruddy light from the distant sun and in the middle of this open area, sits a modern memorial structure. John is coaxing a reluctant D'Argo towards it.
John: (he seems to be enjoying himself) Check this out! This memorial rocks. They've designed these goggles so that you can look back into the past at the old monastery. Come on! Check it out!
D'Argo: (he sounds bored) John - what are you talking about? There is nothing here.
John: You have to put the goggles on. Come on, take a look. (he takes a visor that covers the wearers eyes and face from the memorial and puts it on as he hands D'Argo another one)
D'Argo: (in a tone that suggests he'll do anything if it'll get him out of this morgue any sooner) Put the goggles on. Do you want me to look?
John: Yes - through the goggles. (with a big sigh, D'Argo brings the visor, which is too small to fit on his big head, up to his face and looks through its eyepieces. Immediately a picture as clear as if it were from a movie resolves through an oily halo in front of his eyes. He sees a group of completely human-looking women and girls wearing black and white habits, moving about in the monastery precincts. Also present are heavily armored men of a clearly different species)
D'Argo: (a soft exclamation of amazement) Oh, my!
John: Pretty cool, huh?
John: This sucker is a tear in time. It links to the past. It looks back to the actual moment when the event occurred. Now, check it out. This is the nurses surrendering to the Venek Horde. (the scene shows one of the habited women reaching her hands out to one of the armored men. He is tall and human in shape, with long, wavy white hair and a short white beard. His face is feline in appearance and he takes the woman’s hands in his)
D'Argo: Can they see us?
John: (he seems a bit unnerved by the idea) I hope not. Keep watching. You'll see the final attack on the monastery. This thing flicks back and forth between the attack and the truce. (he takes his visor off as D'Argo continues to watch the history pageant playing out before his eyes. Aeryn and Jool approach from a battlement walkway that runs along the top of the crenellated courtyard wall. They're in a tiff over the historical validity of the memorial)
Aeryn: (she's carrying a little handheld electronic tour guide) This recording device is accurate. I learned about this Jocacean Memorial.
Jool: (dismissive) Well need I say more? If you learned about it in military school it's certain to be farko.
Aeryn: (annoyed and insulted) 500 cycles ago 30 Peacekeepers lost their lives defending this monastery and Sub-Officer Dacon is one of our greatest heroes! (they pass Stark as they enter the courtyard down a flight of steps. He's sitting on the last step looking bored and morose)
Jool: (scornful of any suggestion that a PK could have had any positive role in anything) Propaganda for morons.
Aeryn: (infuriated) I don't believe-!
D'Argo: (cutting Aeryn off as he removes his visor to chastise them gently) Enough ladies! Some decorum please! This is a peace memorial. Let's not kill one another.
Aeryn: (she ignores him and continues to address Jool, who's standing on the other side of D'Argo now) You're wrong you know.
Aeryn: You're wrong!
Aeryn: (outraged and more passionately animated than we've ever seen her) You're wrong! If you'd only-! (she points furiously up at the battlement) Sub-Officer Dacon stood right up there! The device says RIGHT UP THERE! Guts pouring out everywhere! Bleeding! And yet he still managed to initiate the peace process to save the nurses!
Jool: (girlishly squealing her own outrage as she crosses to stand in front of Aeryn) Bullfrell! Peacekeepers have always been a manifest military contagion that has raped and pillaged! They haven't DIED for any nurses! That's just a silly little story to help - (in a saccharine tone right into Aeryn’s face) - naive children sleep at night.
Aeryn: (in a dangerous tone) Do you know what would help me sleep better at night?
D'Argo: Stop this. (Aeryn ignores him. John wisely keeps his mouth shut and watches)
Aeryn: Do you want to hear? (but Jool is feisty and doesn't back down from Aeryn. A real catfight threatens to break out and D'Argo marches over to impose his bulk between the pair of them as they scream at each other)
D'Argo: Girls stop this!
Aeryn: (ignoring him as she brandishes the electronic tour guide at Jool) I'm going to get this thing as far down your-
D'Argo: Stopstopstopstopstopstop! STOP IT! OKAY? STOP! Good. (that's enough touristing for D'Argo. He comms home) Rygel - can we get out of here yet?
(cut to Moya where Chiana is in a corridor and in charge of comms while Pilot's busy and Rygel's who knows where)
Chiana: D'Argo - it's Chi. Nonono. We-we can't leave yet. Pilot still needs another arn to fix the condensers. I'll let you know when he's done. (at that moment she comes to Zhaan’s cell and catches Rygel poking around the ruin. He looks up at her with a startled exclamation as she demands-) What are you doing in Zhaan’s quarters?
Rygel: You know why I'm here. Same reason as you.
Chiana: And why am I here?
Rygel: To steal whatever's left.
Chiana: (with a deep breath) Yeah. That's right.
Rygel: Well we're sensible you and me. Leaving this to rot won't bring Zhaan back.
Chiana: (she takes another deep breath and says shakily as she fights tears) No. You can have whatever you find. I don't want it.
Rygel: (he takes a deep sigh too and gives up the tough guy act as he tosses aside some bit of junk he was holding) No. Neither do I.
(cut back to the memorial where John approaches Stark. The Banik seems lost as he sits there alone on the steps, wearing a brand new suit of clothes. John's sense of compassion is touched by his sorrow)
John: Stark - let me show you something.
Stark: (he looks up at John and pats the brown leather jacket he has on) Zhaan bought these. Bought them for me.
John: I know. And you look great. You look like - Astroboy. Come on, let me show you.
Stark: (with gentle sorrow) But her voice is gone. It's gone now.
John: (he extends a hand to Stark and the Banik takes it) Come with me. (with a companionable hand on Stark's back, John guides him over to the memorial) Come on. (as he speaks, he shows Stark a visor and helps him to adjust it over his face) With these, you can see 500 cycles into the past, as it's happening - back to the moment when the nurses here were saved.
Stark: (nervously) Aaah... I don't want to. No. No.
John: No it's okay. It's a moment of peace. It's the very thing Zhaan treasured most. (he flips the eyepieces of the visor down over Stark's face and the Banik waves his hands nervously as he staggers like a blind man for a moment) Can you see it?
Stark: (he starts off as if in wondrous awe of the vision) I can see... I can see so much - (but then he begins to scream) - so much DEATH! (and indeed the history being played out for him is not the moment of gentle peace - but a horrific battle scene of screaming Jocacean nurses being slaughtered. Aeryn and D'Argo rush to help - well OK - Aeryn rushes to suspect John of doing something stupid...)
D'Argo: Get that mask off of him!
Aeryn: What are you doing to him?
John: STARK? (he makes to snatch the visor off Stark's face but before he can touch it, the brilliant light of the Banik Stykera's incorporeal self begins to glare out from behind his mask and the visor - it is as if his whole body begins to glow. The light in the courtyard becomes blinding. Jool begins to scream along with Stark as our heroes stumble about painfully and try to shield their eyes) I CAN'T SEE!
Aeryn: (to the shrieking Jool) SHUT UP WOULD YOU?
D'Argo: I CAN'T SEE!
John: STARK ARE YOU ALL RIGHT?
D'Argo: STARK! (suddenly Stark's light abruptly goes out and he collapses to the ground. Jool’s screams subside to squeaky moans and D'Argo quickly crouches down by the Banik and takes the visor off him) He's breathing!
Aeryn: What happened?
Jool: (noticing something odd about their surroundings) Oh - Where the frell are we? (there's a moment of silence as they all look around. It is night and torches burn along the walls where the blue pennants had hung only a moment ago. The memorial itself is gone too and in its place sits a stone statue of a seated figure)
John: The old monastery.
Aeryn: (apprehensively) How can that be? We're not wearing the goggles.
Jool: (babbling with awe) This is outstanding! This is the finest simulation I've ever seen! It's -so real! It's-it's so- (but at that moment she's cut off by a mans voice bellowing from the battlements above)
Man: INCOMIIIIING! GET DOWN! (our heroes look up just in time to see a wave of flaming arrows arcing towards them like a shower of meteorites from the other side of the fortress wall. Aeryn, D'Argo and John dive for cover. But Jool has no sense of mortality and as a chaos of explosions from the arrows and people crying for everyone to take cover breaks out - she is hit. She screams in agony and goes down in the middle of the courtyard, one arm impaled by an arrow)
John: D'ARGO! JOOL'S HIT!
D'Argo: JOOL! (he dashes back into the open and grabs her) JOOL! (just as he pulls her away, a larger missile, like a spear, strikes the spot where she'd fallen and explodes in a blinding flash of fire and smoke. As the battle continues, Aeryn and John have their weapons drawn, but the enemy is outside the walls, so, having no one to shoot at, they do what they can to protect themselves by getting to better cover to collect their wits)
Aeryn: Right! Move now! (she and John break from the niche they crouched in, John drags Stark towards an archway leading off the courtyard while Aeryn goes to help D'Argo with Jool) Come on! In!
Jool: (shrieking) DON'T TOUCH ME!
Aeryn: MOVE IT! Move it!
D'Argo: (pushing the redhead as Aeryn pulls) If you don't move you die!
Jool: I THOUGHT WE WERE AT A PEACE MEMORIAL! (they make it through the archway into an inner chamber. Jocacean nurses in their white and black habits pass them as they carry water to douse fires touched off by the flaming arrows. But it's all about Jool as she howls miserably) I GOT SHOT AT A PEACE MEMORIAL!
Aeryn: Shut up. (she plops Jool down on the ground and with brisk efficiency, snaps off the barb off the arrow that pierces her arm)
Jool: WHAT ARE YOU DOING? (giving you something to really scream about - Aeryn places her left hand against Jool’s arm and with effort, accompanied by a long, wet, sucking sound and the redheads shrieks - slowly pulls the arrow out)
Aeryn: Stop screaming. (and dropping that shaft of the arrow she slaps Jool who shuts up abruptly from the shock of this manhandling)
John: Nice hit. (Aeryn makes no comment as she shakes her hand out and stands) All right - no weapons. Let's figure out what's going on here.
Aeryn: (all soldier) I know exactly what's going on. Someone is trying to kill us.
John: Aeryn, I think Stark's mask might have pulled us sometime into the past.
Aeryn: I kind of figured that one out.
D'Argo: John's right - if we change anything here, change the past - the future might not happen as it's meant to.
John: And we won't get back!
Aeryn: So we don't get back. But I'm not dying just so that things don't change! (at that moment, they're interrupted by a small group of Peacekeepers headed by Officer Tarn)
Tarn: DON'T MOVE! (Aeryn, John and D'Argo reflexively pull their weapons, 2 pulse guns and a Qualta - but John lowers his at once)
John: WHOA! WHOA! NO WEAPONS! NO DON'T SHOOT! DON'T SHOOT! DON'T SHOOT! (Aeryn quickly follows suit and then - thinking fast - she offers Tarn an explanation for their presence)
Tarn: (he's a heavyset man n PK black who looks glad to see her) You received our distress call?
Aeryn: Yes we did. (her tone takes on a note of hopeful admiration) Are you Sub-Officer Dacon?
Tarn: No, Commanding Officer Tarn.
Aeryn: Officer Sun, Sub-Officer Crichton. Luxan is a mercenary.
Tarn: How did you get inside?
Aeryn: We rappelled down the cliff face. Only 5 of us made it. But the Banik- (she is cut off by a young soldier standing behind Tarn who looks to be hardly more than a boy. This is Sub-Officer Dacon and he steps forward, crying with disbelief-)
Dacon: FIVE? But we asked for hundreds of soldiers! The Veneks - there are thousands in the valley!
Tarn: Dacon - shut up and get back up on the wall.
Dacon: Yes sir. (he leaves obediently)
D'Argo: (under his breath to Aeryn, who flashes him a look of equal incredulousness) That is Sub-Officer Dacon?
Tarn: (barking for help for Jool - without commenting upon her decidedly unready-for-battle outfit) NURSE! (then back to Aeryn) Are there more reinforcements on the cliff?
Aeryn: (as John answers) No.
John: (as Aeryn answers) Yes. (a quick glance at Aeryn) Maybe.
Tarn: (with a shake of his head as nurses come to take Jool and Stark away) All right - now they're jamming all pulse weapons, so grab a spear and keep the bastards from getting in!
A horn echoes in the distance signaling the Venek Horde to attack and the defenders of the fortress monastery fly into action. Aeryn and John grab primitive weapons from a stockpile. D’Argo’s Qualta blade is all he needs and they sally forth to act their roles as defenders.
The battle is chaotic as Veneks breach the fortress and engage in hand-to-hand combat with the PKs. Our heroes, fearful of disrupting the time line, mostly try to avoid being killed themselves. John spots D'Argo using the flat of his Qualta as a club to swat invaders down. The Luxan seems to be enjoying himself a little much.
John: Hey! Try not to kill anybody!
D'Argo: I'm not gonna kill anyone. (he spots a Venek eyeing him and getting ready to pounce) Oh well I might kill this guy... (as he and the Venek clash - the scene shifts to Aeryn who's up on the wall looking after the jejune Sub-Officer Dacon who's having trouble against the much bigger adult Veneks)
Aeryn: Dacon! (her martial-arts style assault on Dacon's attackers doesn't seem especially geared for minimal damage. Meanwhile John defends himself on the courtyard floor)
John: (his hits a Venek with a blow that looks a little too rough and the alien falls, choking) Oop! Sorry! Don't die! Don't die! (and up on the battlements, Tarn takes a mortal blow to his stomach)
Dacon: Officer Tarn! (but Tarn is beyond help and with a bellow of agony, he falls down the stairs to the courtyard below - dead)
(cut to back to Moya as Chiana rolls unsuspectingly into the Command. The scene shifts between her and Pilot in his Den as they speak)
Chiana: What's the matter Pilot? Why'd you comm?
Pilot: Have you heard from Crichton at the memorial?
Chiana: Yeah D'Argo commed about an arn ago. He said Jool and Aeryn were tralk-fighting. That seemed normal. Why? What's the matter?
Pilot: (he seems a bit creeped out) Nothing. Just - when we arrived, the automated orbit instructions were broadcast in Jocacean.
Chiana: Yeah well it's their memorial.
Pilot: But now Moya received a request to lift orbit. This time the broadcast was in basic Venek vernacular.
Chiana: Yeah but didn't the Veneks abandon the planet like, 400 cycles ago?
Pilot: That's what *I* thought.
Chiana: Well comm Crichton and D'Argo. I'll poke around in some frequencies and see what I can find.
(cut back to the monastery of the past where there is a lull in the battle and the Jocacean nurses tend to the wounded and bury the dead inside the mountain fortress. D'Argo helps them as John and Aeryn huddle nearby, studying the history lesson that Aeryn’s little electronic tour guide has to offer)
John: So what does that recording device say. Did we miss anything?
Aeryn: I don't know. It says here that the Veneks attacked, and all but one of the Peacekeepers were killed. And that happened. (D'Argo joins them)
D'Argo: The one you saved- was he supposed to die?
Aeryn: Dacon? No, he dies when he gets up there near dawn and sends back the cease-fire initiative to the Veneks.
D'Argo: So Dacon's supposed to be some kind of hero?
Aeryn: (very dubious of the hero potential of this frightened boy) So I was taught. (she turns back to the electronic guide - it shows a picture of a leonine Venek leader) Anyway - according to this, the leader of the Venek Horde, General Grynes, has just witnessed how this battle went - ascertained there are only women and children remaining and is out there now - convincing the other generals to offer a cease-fire.
John: So it's possible the time tear is still around here. We find it, and let's get out.
D'Argo: I'll get Jool and Stark and find the tear. Don't frell things up when I'm gone. (he exits)
Aeryn: You know if we did change things, it is possible that we could improve the future.
John: With our record? You think that's gonna happen?
Aeryn: (after a moments thought) I guess not. I discovered something, by the way. I don't know about yours - (she pulls out her pulse gun and flicks it on - it emits a soft beeping sound that indicates it is primed and ready) - but my pulse pistol is operational.
John: (he checks his and gets the same ready alert) Yeah, mine too.
Aeryn: Their plasma frequencies must only work against primitive rechargers.
John: What about D’Argo’s Qualta rifle?
Aeryn: It's as old as most of the weapons around here, I doubt it'll fire. (at that moment, Dacon approaches. He seems tired as he nods in the direction of a fallen Venek and says to John-)
Dacon: This one's still alive. Can you help me get him to the lock room?
John: Yeah no problem Opie. (as he follows Dacon he mutters to Aeryn-) I just hope this was supposed to happen. (as he and Dacon prepare to lift the wounded Venek, he makes small talk with the young soldier) So you guys got any beer around here? (Dacon more or less ignores John's petty banter and reaches down to remove the armored mask from the Veneks face) Beer - it's, ah - like fellip nectar. Fellip's a creature on Tarsus Six- (but John cuts himself off as Dacon tosses the mask aside to reveal - General Grynes - the Venek leader who's supposed to be out there right now convincing the rest of his kind to call a cease-fire)
(cut to inside the fortress where Jool is being attended by a Jocacean nurse named Kelsa. Stark sits nearby, conscious but slumped. Jool is of course not a good patient)
Jool: (gasping squeamishly) That hurts! (she eyes the bandage being placed on her wound) Is that sterile? (the nurse makes no response and Jool mutters to herself) Oh god! I'll probably get epicus. (a young girl, Cyntrina, also wearing the habit of the Jocacean nurses, comes with a glass of clear green liquid which Kelsa takes from her and proffers to Jool)
Kelsa: Here - drink this.
Jool: (pouty) Why?
Kelsa: It will dull the pain.
Jool: Oh thank Blesma. (the Jocacean woman and girl eye Jool and then each other as the redhead lifts the glass to her lips and drinks. Evidently Interions don't just drink like most other people do. Jool emits a sound into the liquid that causes it to vibrate in the glass and bubble around her lips like a tiny Jacuzzi. The sound produced is like a pool vacuum) Ah. At least maybe now I won't die of shock. The bitch just shoved the arrow right through! She- (and at that moment the analgesic effect of the drink kicks in. Jool’s bead lolls and her eyes roll) Oh hello... Heska!
Kelsa: (pressing gently at Jool’s wound) Do you feel this?
Jool: Nothing - (she gasps in amazement and slaps her own wounded arm) Look! (she babbles with excitement) This is great! I've got to get some of this to bring home! What is it? (she grabs the glass and begins bubbling in it with gusto)
Kelsa: One part water, 9 parts fellip urine. (Jool may have a funny little way of drinking - but she gets plenty of liquid up that way. For with a guttural yell of revulsion, she sprays the nurses with a soaking mouthful of what she's just taken in. D'Argo looks up sharply from where he's crouched by Stark)
Jool: (in a tone that hints at imminent hysteria) You made me drink piss? (the Luxan quickly comes to the rescue of the nurses and drags Jool away as the redhead grins drunkenly and begins to hyperventilate)
D'Argo: (looking embarrassed) Okay! Okay Jool! Let's get out of here - away from the children. (to Stark) You can come with me too. (he herds his weird little flock away from the staring nurses like a good Daddy. Jool, stoned and mad, looks back at the nurses and emits a shockingly rude sound at them as she totters away. D'Argo avoids eye contact with everyone)
(cut to the quiet courtyard where Dacon stands lone watch on the battlement above the main gate. Aeryn climbs the steps up to him. He's hammering at something with the butt of his pulse gun. Outside the sounds of the Veneks can be heard in the distance)
Dacon: (offering Aeryn an explanation for his non-regulation use of a firearm) In here, it's about all this thing's good for. (and with that, he whacks himself on the thumb with it) Oh! Bashama! Frelling-! (the boy quickly catches himself) Sorry for cursing.
Aeryn: No- you okay? (once ascertaining he is, she continues) Dacon have you been a soldier long?
Dacon: Were you talking to Officer Tarn?
Aeryn: (hesitant) No - It's just that I - once heard you - killed a dozen Veneks when they breached the sack wall.
Aeryn: (nodding) Did you not also save the nurses convoy?
Dacon: No. Officer Tarn did all that. He was a very noble man. He always gave credit away. He, ahh- (unwary, he steps in front of one of the battlement crenellations, exposing his head and chest to the enemy)
Aeryn: (hissing) Get down! (they crouch) This - (she reaches over and rips the unit emblem, a blue PK symbol on a white field, off the front of his uniform) - snipers might see it.
Dacon: Who am I kidding? I'm not a soldier. I was attached to this unit as Comm Supervisor - and Sustenance Preparer.
Aeryn: (she can hardly believer her ears) You were the cook?
Dacon: Yeah. And with everyone getting killed, I was terrified I was going to be ranking officer. I'm so glad you turned up.
Aeryn: (pulling back in alarm) Um, No - uuhhh - Dacon - you know the engagement better than I do. You have to be the one-
Dacon: (protesting earnestly) I'm a cook! You gotta take over.
(cut to elsewhere in the monastery. General Grynes is sitting on the floor of a sort of stall. John sidles in, keeping one eye on the nurses who are busy just outside it. He crouches down, out of their sight and speaks to the Venek)
John: You're General Grynes right? Believe it or not, you don't all look alike to us. You're a man of compassion - aren't you? The Battle of Madizak- you offered a truce when you could have forced victory.
Grynes: How do you know that?
John: Read about you. Studied you - at ah - school.
(cut to the courtyard where Jool is standing there while D'Argo and Stark hunt for the tear in time through which they were so rudely sucked. Stark has put on the visor he was wearing at the time of the incident. He's humming and has his hands out in front of him, wriggling his fingers as he nervously looks around)
D'Argo: Can you see the tear?
Stark: Mmmmoving... moving... nnnggghhh... Above us! Above us! (through the visor Stark sees an arc of oily light hanging in the air. Jool, still flying from her fellip urine cocktail, sees amazing things too)
Jool: (pointing dreamily past Stark's face) I can see it too - look! It's yellow and- (D'Argo impatiently swats her away)
D'Argo: Shut up Jool! (to Stark) Where is it?
Stark: (breathless and anxious and excited all at once) It's coming - it's coming! Coming down!...It's coming dow-! It's here - now! (he indicates the tear is right in front of him)
D'Argo: Okay! (to Jool as he makes to go) You go through it! I'll go get the others!
Jool: (all the stubborn prima donna now) I'm not going! (D'Argo's in no mood for this nonsense though and he unceremoniously turns around, grabs her, and shoves her bodily at where he thinks the tear is. He's wrong through and the redhead hits the wall of the monastery with a fleshy splat and slides down it to the ground)
D'Argo: (with an embarrassed little snort - but not sounding sorry) Well that was obviously wrong. (he marches over, grabs her again and marches back to Stark for another go)
Jool: WHAT ARE YOU DOING? THERE IS NOTHING THERE!
D'Argo: Now tell me - where is it exactly?
Stark: IT'S HERE! HERE!
D'Argo: Okay! (he hurls Jool at the spot Stark indicates and this time she disappears in a brief flash of light - and belly-flops into a muddy puddle 500 cycles in the future. Needless to say she is not pleased)
Jool: (her shriek of outrage can be heard on D'Argo and Stark's through the visor) MUD! YOU THREW ME IN MUD!
D'Argo: (urgently) I'll go get Crichton and Aeryn. I'll be 30 microts! Can you hold?
Stark: Yes! Yes! (the Luxan races away while Stark stands there with the visor on, his hands framing the tear in front of him)
Jool: (cut briefly back to her in the present-day monastery where she sits in the puddle, grinding out her litany of suffering to herself) Bastards! They shot me! They punch me! They make me drink PISS! (but she trails off as she slowly realizes that the present isn't what it used to be. Gone is the memorial, in it's place lays the tumbled statue. The courtyard isn't clean and well-swept - it's a muddy tumble of old stone. And where the blue banners hung before, now flutter red flags with a black and white stylized animal skull emblem on them. She gasps in horror) Oh, my Blesma - Stark? It's not the same here! It's not the same here! STAAAAARK!
(cut back to the past as Stark watches her through the visor. He has his own problems. As Jool screams with panic, the golden light of Stark's incorporeal self begins to shine out from under the visor again)
Stark: (rising panic) It's the light. It's the light - that's what's wrong. Millions! BILLIONS! DEAD! (he staggers, overwhelmed by the number of souls passing by him until, screaming with revulsion and horror, he pulls the visor away form his face and throws it to the ground - and the tear in time fades and shrinks away)
(cut to soon after, D'Argo has returned with Aeryn and John, who stand and watch. D'Argo has gotten the visor back onto Stark and is coaxing him along)
D'Argo: Now focus, Stykeran - where is the tear? (Stark shakes his head and flaps his hands in confoundment and tries to turn away but the Luxan insistently pulls him back) Ah-ah-ah- specifically. (but Stark has had enough of billions of dead people diving into his plasma pool and irritably throws the visor off-)
Stark: Find it yourself! You find it yourself! (but D'Argo isn't giving up that easily - he takes off the nicey-nice gloves and grabs Stark by the convenient collar of his mask and bellows-)
D'Argo: You will LISTEN TO ME! TELL ME WHERE THE TEAR IS OR I WILL USE YOUR FACE TO CREATE A NEW ONE!
John: (in a gently cajoling tone) Stark what's the problem? Jool went through, then we go through and everything's made right again.
Stark: (he leans towards John, madly nattering) That's the lie! That's the lie! That's what's wrong! That's the lie!
D'Argo: Oh great! Yeah we have to put up with this dren again.
Stark: When the foul woman pierced the membrane back to our time - death!
John: (trying to understand) Jool's dead?
Stark: Others... Thousands. Millions. Billions. Trillions...
D'Argo: (loud and impatient) Yes yes. All right. Very many. We get the idea.
Stark: Not when we came through.
Aeryn: The people you're sensing weren't dead before? (Stark nods with big child-like nods)
John: (softly) Ooooohhhh yeah... We did it being here. We changed the future.
Aeryn: We don't know that John.
John: (indicating Stark who continues to nod silently) Well look at him. He knows it.
D'Argo: Can't we just go through and sort this all out later? (or better yet, get on Moya and run before anyone can connect you to this fiasco)
Stark: (for a moment, he sounds quite rational) We must do it here! Now! (but only for a moment - he now draws a little circle around his face with both hands as he says a little sing-song rhyme) As Zhaan always says - "Do right by the wrong. Goddess helps us all along." (D'Argo gazes at him like a man completely at a loss as to how anyone can be so weird and live)
Aeryn: (commiserating snidely with the Luxan) Feeling left out D'Argo? We're the only ones who don't have voices in our heads.
John: (ignoring Aeryn and not caring to point fingers at Stark) W-what are we gonna do if someone wants to know where Jool is?
D'Argo: (in the tone of a man who finds himself surrounded by stupidity) Aw look - do you think anyone here cares about Jool? Just tell them that she's dead! (works for us all the time)
John: (in a very quiet, faintly miffed tone) Fine... Stick with Stark. I got an idea. It'll set the timeline right, and get us a cease-fire. (he turns to leave but Aeryn trails him)
Aeryn: Won't work.
John: Yes it will.
Aeryn: No it won't.
John: You don't even know what it is.
Aeryn: Yes I do.
John: No you don't.
Aeryn: Oh yes I do.
John: (annoyed) Oh and what is you're plan? You-you-You're gonna-you're gonna use pulse pistols? Kill all the Veneks you can?
Aeryn: Actually - yes. When they attack again - I'll show you my way to get a cease-fire. (she marches off and John looks after her, disgusted, before continuing on his way)
John: (under his breath) Gawd!
(cut to Moya. Jool has made her way back and she and Chiana are on the Command. Chiana is sweeping a disgusting pile of long red hairs off one of the control consoles)
Chiana: You - are gonna have to stay out of this room if you can't - stop - shedding.
Jool: (with a shrug) Without renewal, there's stagnation.
Chiana: Yeah? Well I feel the same way about men but I don't leave them lying around. (no, you just lay them around)
Jool: Can't you ever play nice? I got shot with an epicus infected arrow you monochromatic little bitch!
Pilot: (breaking in via comm before the tralk-fight gets any more personal. His tone is reluctant) Chiana - I - believe Jool may not have overstated the situation. Much to - my surprise.
Chiana: (examining the readouts on the console she just swept off) These broadcast frequencies are static - what happened to them?
Jool: Well I kept trying to tell you!
Pilot: (cut to him in his Den as he speaks) Apparently devastated by conflict, the planet is still inhabited - but by a bare fraction of the population from just a few arns ago.
Jool: (snapping at Chiana) You don't like me - fine! But don't treat me like I'm non-existent! Somehow we went back in time and the others are still there and if you knew anything about linear continuity, you'd realize what they're doing back there now is affecting things on that planet!
Pilot: (with rather detached calm) What minimal data stores I can access - indicate a vicious war claimed millions of lives around 500 cycles ago.
Chiana: (slowly trying to grasp the mind-bending implications) But that's not what happened when we got here. They made peace.
(cut back to the planet, 500 cycles ago. It is night and the planets rings backlight patchy clouds. A few torches light the monastery fortress and the sounds of the Venek Horde preparing for a dawn attack can be heard. Aeryn approaches the last PK soldier left to defend - Dacon. He's sitting in the courtyard. Both are armed with gatling-gun style weapons that throws bolts, arrow-like projectiles. Dacon doesn't seem to know how to use his very well)
Aeryn: Dacon! Slowly take your finger off the trigger and point the weapon away from both of us.
Dacon: Those recruitment holochips never said anything about this.
Aeryn: About what? Fighting with primitive weapons?
Dacon: Dying. Knowing you're going to die. Having time to think about it.
Aeryn: Well as a soldier you don't think about it.
Dacon: I'm a cook. I like to think about food. (they sit in silence for a moment) Why did you join up?
Aeryn: I didn't.
Dacon: You were born into service?
Aeryn: Aboard a Command Carrier.
Dacon: No wonder you're fearless.
Aeryn: No - it's easy to be fearless around here. This is what Peacekeepers are meant to do - help the defenseless. You'll be fine. (she gives him a tiny Aeryn smile and leaves)
(cut to John in the lock room, talking quietly to General Grymes)
John: Why is this cloister so important?
Grynes: Your superiors sent you into battle without an understanding of the antecedents? You really are barbarians.
John: No, we're Peacekeepers. Barbarians butcher children.
Grynes: Yes, the Horde is bloodthirsty, and almost impossible to control. I am trying not to be a barbarian - and I've never harmed a child in my life.
John: Why is your army here?
Grynes: (with weary sorrow) My soldiers used to share the waters of the Kritland River with the cities on the plateau. Now our supply - has dried. And we're dying.
John: So this is about water?
Grynes: Inside this mountain is the source of the river. If we don't gain access to it, the - Horde will attack the cities. And millions will die.
John: But you - you want to offer a cease-fire.
Grynes: How do you know this?
John: Doesn't matter. We accept your offer.
Grynes: But the Horde will not offer it while opposing soldiers are still here.
John: We won't be here. By the time you and your soldiers arrive, we'll be gone.
Grynes: And why would you do this?
John: Same reason you'll offer amnesty. We're not barbarians. You give me your word you won't harm the women and children - and I'll get you out of here.
(cut to elsewhere in the monastery where D'Argo is having Kelsa fix up some minor wound he must have sustained during the battle)
D'Argo: There seems to be too many nurses here and not enough fighters.
Kelsa: We were on a healing caravan when the Horde began the conflict. This detachment of Peacekeepers found us. Brought us here for our protection.
D'Argo: Are the Peacekeepers contracted to defend your world?
Kelsa: (nodding) They uphold all that's good. It's ironic - we might have been safer if they'd never found us. (she pauses before continuing fearfully) Do you know - what the Horde does to children? If they overrun us... and I'm too weak or unable... I'd rather my girl were at peace than in their hands. Please - I depend on you.
(cut to Stark elsewhere in the monastery. He's sitting before a brazier with a basin of water. Wetting a cloth, he raises it to wash his face and eye. As he does so, Cyntrina, Kelsa daughter of perhaps 10 years, comes and sits next to him)
Cyntrina: Why were you crying?
Stark: Because of all the pain. (she looks up at him with wonder) What's your name?
Cyntrina: Cyntrina. My father's dead... and I never cried. (Stark sighs with some wonder of his own and lays his hand on her forehead. He then puts his arms around her and hugs her, his head resting on her shoulder as another tear rolls down his cheek)
(cut to John as he leads General Grynes, disguised in the habit of a Jocacean nurse, up the steps to the battlements)
Grynes: This is humiliating.
John: Yeah, bonnets are always a risk, but it's the little touches that put you over the wall. I'm not gonna get screwed here am I?
Grynes: Just don't be here when we arrive. All of your soldiers must be gone.
John: That's the plan. Ground looks soft on the other side. All you gotta do is drop down, hit the embankment and roll.
Grynes: Thank you.
John: Yeah. (Grynes climbs up onto the crenellated wall in his nurses gear as John looks on) Hey General - (Grynes pauses and looks back at him) Got a good feelin' 'bout this. I think history is gonna remember you as a maker of great peace- (but John's speech is interrupted by the sickening sound of a flaming bolt impacting Grynes' chest. The good General screams with agony and topples off the wall, dead) NO - NO! Nonono! (but yes, he spins about to locate the source of the shot, and sees none other than our gentle angel of mercy - Nurse Kelsa, who has one of the gatling-gun bolt throwers trained on him now)
Kelsa: STAND FAST TRAITOR!
John: NonononoNO! You did NOT just do that! YOU DID NOT! Please! Tell me you did not just DO THAT!
(cut to soon after. John is sitting in the lap of the ancient statue in the monastery courtyard, shackled to it. Dacon and the nurses who look meaner than he does, surround him. Aeryn, D'Argo and Stark stand to one side where Kelsa and a few other nurses have bolt throwers trained on them)
Kelsa: (angry and frightened) I ask again - are you part of this deception?
D'Argo: No. Crichton’s actions are his alone.
Aeryn: He told us nothing.
John: Hey folks. I'm not the enemy here. (one of the nurses, her face twisted with hatred, screams "WE SHOULD KILL HIM!" Other nurses howl their approval of this idea and threaten to surge forward - but Stark puts a damper on the blood lust by suddenly putting himself between John and Kelsa as he natters insanely-)
Stark: No! Too much killing! No more killing! Stop the killing! Stop-! (Aeryn and D'Argo dutifully step up, each taking one of Stark's arms and pulling him back. The Banik Stykera is hyperventilating, in a panic) It's worse! Not better! It's MORE DEAD!
Kelsa: What's he talking about?
Aeryn: Ah - nothing - just what will happen to us if we don't pull ourselves together.
John: (to Kelsa) That guy you shot? He was their General. He wanted to offer you a cease-fire.
Kelsa: I don't believe you.
Aeryn: (to John, conveniently forgetting that she "knew" what he was going to do and wouldn't listen to him) Why didn't you tell us anything?
John: There wasn't time.
Aeryn: Oh like frell there wasn't! And since when do you make decisions for me?
John: (fed up) Aeryn - we get him back to his lines and this war's over - you know that!
Kelsa: (she lunges forward with her weapon) Liar! He's a liar! (but as the other nurses shout their agreement, this time her own daughter comes around to stand in front of her and cry-)
Cyntrina: NO! Don't kill anyone else Mother! (in the abrupt silence that follows - John continues his story)
John: The Venek leaders want to offer you peace. They're desperate for an excuse to offer you peace. Give them a sign, and I promise, they won't hurt you. (but the Veneks choose that moment to up the ante with a sign of their own. A flaming spear comes flying over the wall and embeds itself in the dirt as the nurses huddle away from it. It puts off a great puff of pale green smoke followed by a sheet of white fire. It's a Venek-style hologram - and the leonine image of Colonel Lennok appears in the flame and speaks his message to the occupants of the monastery fortress)
Lennok: Jocacean civilians and Peacekeeper Militia - Hear me! You will never know how close to salvation you came. How near lasting peace you brushed. The death of our General in battle we understand and accept. But to disgrace him in your females cloth? You have the nights stars to make peace with your deities. On the dawn, your severed heads will be nailed to the walls you defend. (well now there's one for John's Oops Files. The nurses twitter fearfully and our heroes look grim...)
The long slow hours to dawn drag on and the mood in the monastery fortress is pensive and quiet as our heroes, the Jocacean nurses and Dacon wait....
D'Argo paces about in silence. Kelsa sits with Cyntrina, caressing her daughters hair. Stark fumbles with the visor, having decided perhaps looking for the time tear is worth the risk of [more] insanity. Aeryn and Dacon sit on the ground sharing a soldiers last meal with the camaraderie of them who face certain death.
A harmonica is being played as these cowboys prepare for their last stand. The tune is that old Earth hit - "Home On The Range." Unfortunately no-one can hear it except for John - for it is a melody that is playing only in John's Head. Our Fellow Earther is still shackled to the alien statue - but Scorpius/Harvey has joined him. The neural clones feet, which are propped in John's lap, are decked out in a pair of fancy red cowboy boots that would be the pride of any line dancer. And what would Scorpius/Harvey be without the perverse touch? On the bottom of one boot is writ the legend "ANDY" - a la "Toy Story" - to signify John's affectionate ownership of this dude. John is staring blankly into space as Scorpius/Harvey finishes his tune.
Scorpius/Harvey: (with a satisfied sigh) Aaaahhh John! If this situation hadn't reminded you of all those old westerns you watched as a youth - I never would have heard that!
John: (sullen) Are you through?
Scorpius/Harvey: Quite. The interlude however, allowed me to ponder the question you ah - summoned me here to answer.
Scorpius/Harvey: All modern research points to the elasticity of time - rather than a brittle framework.
John: Can it be corrected?
Scorpius/Harvey: Hm - if nudged closely enough to course - events have a way of restructuring themselves. If the participants are the same, the venue's the same, the motivation's the same, then well - the outcome is likely to be the same.
John: So we have to find a way to kick-start this thing.
Scorpius/Harvey: And soon! When the Horde attacks at dawn - events will vector further away from the reality you and I both know.
Scorpius/Harvey: (casually) No. Not this time John. There's been so much change what with you here, Grynes dead - I don't want the consequences of catastrophic failure resting on my head.
John: (dully) I'm in a hell of a slump here. Everything I do just makes things worse.
Scorpius/Harvey: (cheerily) Well then! Do better. (the clone settles back and lifts the harmonica to his lips again. As the last note of "Home On The Range" fades, Aeryn comes and sits next to John on the ancient statue)
Aeryn: We can record a message over the one sent by Colonel Lennok. And I have convinced Dacon into offering a complete and total surrender - it's the only way to save the nurses.
John: Maybe - you want to better the odds?
John: Scroll through that digipamphlet you got at the peace memorial - (Aeryn looks away and begins to shake her head even as he speaks) - look for anything that may be out of synch, that we can fix - What?
Aeryn: Oh what? You think I'm stupid? That I don't know what you're saying? (John grunts dubiously and Aeryn says firmly-) Sub-Officer Dacon does not have to die.
John: (insistent) He's Davey Crockett at the Alamo. He stands on the wall and he takes one for the home team - I've thought about this! It's the only thing I could come up with to fix the timeline!
Aeryn: (frustrated) Oh you and your stupid timeline!
John: (angry) What? You think I want to do it? Think it's my first option? Read the history! It's in your pocket! If Grynes lives - he's a hero who averts a war. Dead - he's just another guy in the Laura Ashley Spring Collection! (there's a pause and then he says, gentler-) It's you and me now - we've gotta do something.
Aeryn: (sorrowing for the young man) He's not a soldier.
John: I know that. But the way history unfolds, that doesn't stop him from taking an arrow. (Aeryn sadly watches Dacon, chewing his last supper in blissful ignorance of his role in history)
Aeryn: So - Dacon dies. What about us? We're soldiers.
John: We go back through the time tear.
Aeryn: The tear? Stark says it's completely disappeared! What happens if it doesn't re-show?
John: Then we die half an arn after Dacon. Aeryn, either way - he dies. (Dacon looks like a sad cherub as he finishes his meal) And the nurses - that's what we have to play for now. (Aeryn rises and looks at Dacon, who catches her eye and smiles a fleeting, nervous, trusting, little smile at her before looking down)
(cut to sometime later. Stark is kneeling at he freshly mounded graves of those who died in the first assault on the monastery fortress. Kelsa enters and squats next to him)
Kelsa: You deal with the dead?
Stark: (his tone is strong and firm) Someone must.
Kelsa: Death is when my expertise ends.
Stark: When you shot the General - how did you feel?
Kelsa: I felt hatred - fear.
Stark: Fear is good. Keep that. But travel light. Forget hate.
Kelsa: If we die - will I be with my daughter - after? (Stark's lips move but no words come for a moment. This is clearly a question that has no simple answer and Stark is unwilling to lie)
Stark: Different beliefs... Different destinations. I cannot tell before the end. Should the worst befall - you will not be alone. (Kelsa looks at him fearfully)
(cut to D'Argo as he enters an interior, torchlit area to get a drink from a bucket of water. As he does so, he notices Cyntrina sitting nearby, hugging her knees and watching him. She brings out his gentle, paternal side and he speaks quietly to her)
Cyntrina: You're scary looking.
D'Argo: You should have seen my father.
Cyntrina: My father wasn't scary. My Mother says when loved ones die - we must remember them forever.
D'Argo: Well your Mother is right.
Cyntrina: Do you think when I'm dead - someone will remember me? (touched by the child’s realistic preoccupation with death, D'Argo approaches her - and offers a child’s solution to her fear)
D'Argo: You know what? I know a secret - that will guarantee it. Make your mark. (he unsheathes a small knife and gives it to her) Carve it into the stone. That way, in the future, anyone that reads it will think of Cyntrina. (the little girl smiles at him and later can be seen, sitting with the knife, scratching at the wall of the fortress with childlike determination)
(John watches Cyntrinas work from his prison on the lap of the ancient statue. But the sound of Aeryn and Dacon approaching draws his attention. He listens to their conversations as they walk past him. Dacon is carrying the hologram spear that Lennok had sent them earlier)
Dacon: I've offered unconditional surrender, just like you said to. And I've also sworn that killing their General was a tragic mistake. But - as ranking officer - are you sure you shouldn't be the one on the message?
Aeryn: (wisely) As part of Special Commando force, I'm not officially here.
Dacon: So if they knew your unit was present, it would escalate the conflict. (Aeryn confirms his assessment non-verbally. She then makes to take the spear with his recorded message on it and head for the battlement. Dacon doesn't let go though) What are you doing?
Aeryn: I'm - delivering the message.
Dacon: There? You should shoot from down here!
Aeryn: Ah - no. We only get one chance, I can't have it go wrong - and it needs to land right near their camps.
Dacon: You can't expose yourself to their fire. Let me do it.
Aeryn: I appreciate the gesture - but a soldier should do it.
Dacon: Better if a cook does it.
Aeryn: I don't want you to get hurt.
Dacon: Well, better me than you. (she releases the spear to the young man whose fate it is - and he briskly mounts the steps to the battlement wall. Aeryn and John watch the gentle young man with knowing sorrow - and wonder - as he approaches his destiny. Dacon pauses under cover atop the wall to make some last adjustments to the spear - and Aeryn, aching in a way she never dreamt of for this Peacekeeper hero, calls-)
Aeryn: Sub-Officer Dacon! You are a soldier. A brave hero.
Dacon: (smiling a bit back at her) No - heroes always get killed. I'll be fine. (and with that - he steps to one of the crenellations in the top of the battlement and hurls his message spear - but before he can even draw his arm back, an arrow from a sniper outside buries itself in his chest. A fountain of blood spews from his mouth and he staggers back, without a sound, and falls to the courtyard floor. A nurse screams and Aeryn rushes to his side - but he is dead. Hers and John's eyes meet. The bitter history of this place has been fulfilled. But it remains to be seen if the gentle cooks sacrifice will be enough to satisfy the needs of time - or if his death has been in vain)
(cut to Moya in the present day as Chiana and Jool gallop onto the Command)
Chiana: How is that possible? How is that possible?
Pilot: I - don't know Chiana. But the planet is now lifeless. Moya’s senses detect no microbial chemistry. (and sure enough - through Moya’s main viewport, the once blue and gold planet is now a hideous brown cinder punctuated by glowing cracks and craters)
Rygel: What? Nothing?
Jool: (whispering as she and Chiana gape in horror at the terrible sight before them ) Curse me! It looks radiated!
Pilot: The crater pattern indicates, in all probability, the destruction by military conflict.
Rygel: But that can't be! (Chiana and Jool look apprehensively at each other)
(cut back to the monastery fortress of 500 cycles ago. Dawn approaches and the crew of Moya who remain trapped in the past have no way of knowing the outcome of their efforts. Stark has the visor on again and is blundering blindly about the torchlit courtyard trying to locate the time tear. D'Argo is right on his tail)
Stark: (gasping with anxiety) I can't see it! I can't see it!
D'Argo: (angry and frustrated) What do you mean you can't see it? LOOK HARDER!
Stark: (panicky) It's not there!
D'Argo: It was ABOVE us!
Stark: (he can't take it anymore and yanks the visor off his face) It's not there! it's gone! it's gone! (he is immediately confronted by Aeryn who demands angrily-)
Aeryn: HOW? We did everything right! We set the time line back on track! How can it be gone?
Stark: (stammering incredulously) Well it's not MY fault! (but Aeryn's in no mood for reasoning and impatiently pushes past him to leave. He turns after her as she goes) It's no one's fault! I didn't mean- (but he's cut off by the screams of nurses as a new volley of explosive arrows arc over the battlement and rain down upon the fortress. Aeryn’s fury is undeterred and she marches through it to John, who's still restrained on the statue)
Aeryn: (confrontational) Didn't work. Dacon's dead and the tear didn't reappear.
John: (choosing to not address her anger since he has no answers for her) Aeryn - untie me.
Aeryn: (her voice quavering with rage) You know - the device said that he died when he sent the cease-fire and then the Veneks offered peace. (Indicating the attack) Does that sound like peace to you?
John: Untie me!
Aeryn: I listened to you! I let a man DIE! And we changed NOTHING! NOTHING!
John: HE WAS SUPPOSED TO DIE! THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED IN HISTORY!
Aeryn: THEN WHY ISN'T THE TEAR BACK?
John: I DON'T KNOW! (more arrows strike in the courtyard) Untie me!
Aeryn: Can we use our weapons now or are you still afraid to change things?
John: YES we can use the weapons! Untie me! (Aeryn makes to release him but she is stopped by Kelsa with her bolt thrower)
Kelsa: DON'T TOUCH HIM!
Aeryn: Crichton is a soldier. He can help us fight.
Kelsa: He's a traitor! He tried to free that dog - Grynes!
John: Grynes would have brokered a peace.
Kelsa: You think they're coming to offer peace?
Aeryn: We need him to defend the monastery.
Kelsa: I won't warn you again! If you try to release him and I'll kill you!
Aeryn: And if the Horde gets in here they're going to SLAUGHTER every single one of us! He can HELP us!
Kelsa: (bitterly) How can he help? (Aeryn responds by whipping out her pulse gun and firing a shot past Kelsa's head which hits the wall with satisfying force on the other side of the courtyard. Good thing Kelsa has a steady trigger finger is all we can say)
Aeryn: He has a weapon like mine. Now if you're going to shoot - do it now.
Kelsa: (as she slowly lowers her bolt thrower) Your pulse weapons are functional - why haven't you used them?
Aeryn: (eyeing John bitterly as she undoes his chains) Well there's a good question. (to John) Are you ready to get a cease-fire my way?
John: Killing Dacon should have fixed the timeline. (Kelsa’s eyes flick from on of them to the other as they talk)
Aeryn: Well it didn't. Are you ready?
John: Yes. (and more or less in the nick of time too. For at that moment, an explosion shudders the old fortress and its main gate blows inwards. Venek soldiers immediately begin pouring through. Aeryn and John open fire with their pulse guns as they and Kelsa take cover behind the statue. The courtyard quickly becomes a chaos of smoke, sparks, flying projectiles and yelling combatants)
Aeryn: Move! Get to the walkway!
John: 2 GUNS AERYN! WE ONLY HAVE 2 GUNS!
Aeryn: WELL MAKE IT LOOK LIKE MORE!
Aeryn: WELL KEEP FIRING - RUNNING BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS - AND PRETEND YOU'RE AN ARMY!
John: OH YEAH! THAT'S GONNA WORK!
Aeryn: JUST DO IT! (she clears a path for him with her fire) NOW! (and with a warlike yell of misgiving - John breaks cover and charges for the steps to the battlements, pushing through a gaggle of Nurses on their way down)
John: Excuse me! Ladies! Guy with a gun, comin' through!
(and while Aeryn’s plan for a cease-fire rages on - back in the present aboard Moya, Chiana has decided to cope with reality by laying down on a console in the Command and not looking. Pilot gently interrupts her denial)
Pilot: (in a tone sure to make you want to do the opposite of what he's suggesting) Chiana look out the forward portal.
Chiana: Not now Pilot.
Pilot: (insistent - if he has to see it everyone else does too) Look - out - the portal. (reluctantly, she does, and sees what Jool and Rygel are already staring at. The rings of the planet still arch majestically past Moya - but the planet itself is gone. Where it once hung in space, verdant and alive, is now a cloud of faintly shining blueish dust and debris)
Rygel: (sounding sick with horror) Gone! The planet - it's gone!
Jool: It can't be gone. I was just there 2 arns ago. I got shot. I drank piss.
Chiana: Keep the comms open. I'm going out to look for them. (she makes for the door but Jool stops her with a reality check)
Jool: There's nothing there! It's all gone! Where are you going to look?
Chiana: (in no mood for rationality) Hey how's that arm going? Has the piss worn off?
Jool: (immediately distracted, she holds her injured arm out) Yes. Actually it's quite sore. Thanks for asking. (Chiana silently brings her closed fist down on the redheads wound and snaps as she screams with pain and Rygel tries to cover his ears)
Chiana: And stop screaming! It is very, VERY irritating, and I don't want you melting anything! (she continues on her away leaving Jool shrieking and Rygel cringing)
(cut back to the monastery fortress of 500 cycles ago as the Battle of Aeryn rages on and on...)
Aeryn covers the gateway where the bodies of Venek soldiers are staring to pile up, making it harder, but not impossible for those behind them to get in. John is up on the battlements pretending to be 10 soldiers against other Veneks who are coming over the wall via ladders. D'Argo and the nurses are mopping up everything that makes it into the courtyard - the scene is screaming, exploding chaos. Suddenly Cyntrina, makes a dash through the battle for Kelsa, who, having used up all her bolts, is flailing wildly at Veneks with a club.
Kelsa: STAY PUT CYNTRINA! (but the frightened child is already in harms way and a Venek soldier scoops her up as she screams)
D'Argo: LEAVE HER ALONE! (he cuts the Venek down and Kelsa runs to take her daughter up into her arms, letting D'Argo fell the Venek she was beating at. Yet another soldier of the Horde makes to attack the Mother and child, but before D'Argo can do anything - the attacker is taken out in a flash of pulse fire. D'Argo tracks to the source of the shot and he incredulously eyes John, who's running back and forth between crenellations on the battlement like a maniac, firing a shot or two from each before flitting off to another one) What are you doing?
John: (he's panting and covered with ...Venek dust) I'M MAKIN' LIKE AN ARMY! (back on the ground, D'Argo sighs and takes out a couple more Veneks with his Qualta - but doesn't see 2 more coming up on him from behind) D'Argo! (the Luxan looks up - to see John pointing his pulse gun at him. He wisely ducks and John fires, using the tip of D’Argo’s Qualta to split the shot and take out both of his attackers)
John: TONY MONTANAAAA! (lucky shot. At any rate, the battle rumbles on, our heroes against an onslaught of hundreds. The heaps of dead Veneks get higher but still the they come. The surviving nurses are exhausted and out of fight)
D'Argo: (clearing a retreat back into the sheltered parts of the monastery for Cyntrina and Kelsa who huddle nearby) Get to the back chamber! (they comply and D'Argo fights on, using a combination of his Qualta and leftover bolts from abandoned throwers on the courtyard ground)
John: (pausing for a second and panting to himself) I'm gonna have a heart attack. (at that moment, the drift of the battle changes slightly with the loss of one of the 2 functional pulse guns. Aeryn is hit from behind and her gun goes flying. A Venek soldier picks it up - but it's primed to fire and he may not know how to handle such a weapon - for it discharges in his face)
The battle continues. Aeryn is now reduced to using a club to fight off Veneks. John, looking down from the battlement, sees her in trouble and takes out a couple of Horde soldiers who are closing in on her. She spots her pulse gun laying on the ground and makes a grab for it as John descends the battlement steps to stand next to his friends as they steel their weary bodies for the final onslaught. But just when they must surely think it's all over - it is. But not in the way they expected. The distant war horn of the Veneks sounds, calling the Horde back to base. And suddenly Aeryn, D'Argo, John and few nurses are alone. Alone with piles of dead Veneks whose families are dying of drought.
John gazes at the heaps of the dead with sorrow. Aeryn looks shaken as she watches the last of the retreating Veneks and looks anxiously at John.
(cut to the present time as Chiana pilots one of Moya’s transport pods past the arc of the rings that now circle nothing. The moon of the former planet still shines in the distance as she heads for the dust cloud. She's experiencing an unusual amount of turbulence as she proceeds)
Chiana: (on comm) What's going on Pilot? I'm getting the dren kicked out of me!
Pilot: (cut to him in his Den as he speaks) Moya's registering some kind of massive gamma disturbance where the planet used to be.
Chiana: Can you see anything?
Chiana: I can't control this!
(meanwhile, back at the monastery of 500 cycles ago, Stark sits in an inner chamber of the monastery with the visor on, halfheartedly looking for the time tear - which suddenly re-appears. He gapes)
Stark: (whispering) It's back. (louder) It's back! No death! No death! (he quickly trots off to find the others. As he goes, he whispers, as if speaking louder might make it disappear again) It's back! It's back! (reaching the others, he continues on in his urgent whisper) It's back! No death! Come on! Now! Quick!
Aeryn: Let's go. (but John looks back at Kelsa, hesitating) It'll be safer if we just go now. Don't tell her anything.
John: I'll just be 30 microts.
Aeryn: Crichton -
John: I won't tell her anything! (he jogs off towards the Jocacean nurse and Aeryn takes off after Stark. As D'Argo turns, Cyntrina walks past and he quickly couches down in front of her)
Cyntrina: Are you leaving?
D'Argo: We'll be leaving soon. Yes.
Cyntrina: Will I ever see you again?
D'Argo: How long do your people live?
Cyntrina: My Mother says I'll live for 700 cycles. (Holy slow growth cycle Batman! Maybe she's 50 instead of 10...)
D'Argo: Well maybe I'll see you again when you grow up. (they both smile and D'Argo rises to leave. Meanwhile John offers Kelsa reassurance)
John: We have to go.
Kelsa: If you're not here the Veneks will murder us.
John: (confident) No, no. If there's no soldiers here, they'll offer a cease-fire.
Kelsa: How do you know that?
John: I just... do.
Kelsa: (she is quiet, but very frightened) Veneks are predators. They kill. That's what they do. They don't have cease-fires. Please... at least - leave your weapons then-
John: No! I-I can't. I'm sorry. You're gonna be safe. I promise. (she looks sad and doubtful as he gets up and leaves)
(cut to Stark, he's standing and groaning loudly as the light of his incorporeal self shines through the visor while he keeps an eye on the time tear. D'Argo is with him as John jogs in)
D'Argo: Where's Aeryn?
John: She should be here, she left ahead of me. (he jogs back the way he came calling-) Aeryn?
She isn't far. She's sitting with the body of young Dacon, an ordinary hero whose heroism has been stolen by their - her - interference. She looks up as she hears John's call "AERYN!" She looks back at the dead boy, her hand laid upon his chest. "AERYN!" John calls again. And with a sigh, she stands and leaves him laying there, alone and helpless. Far from home.
Moments later she and John present themselves at the time tear. Aeryn mutters a "Sorry" to John as she skids into him during their hasty line up next to the Banik.
D'Argo: Okay let's get the frell out of here! (Stark's groans build into a scream as he connects his energy with the time tear and blinding light fills the room. Our heroes squeeze their eyes shut against the brilliant light and then-)
(cut to the present day. The planet of the Jocacean's is indeed back in place and the old monastery fortress sits as before amid its aerie of rocky spires. Chiana has joined the others and eagerly tells Aeryn what transpired from this end of time. As they enter the courtyard, blue Jocacean banners hang on the old walls and the modern monument sits at the center. All seems as it was before. As Scorpius/Harvey predicted - things seem to have corrected themselves in the long run)
Chiana: On Moya, we registered every change as it happened. First - there were-there were millions dead. And then the planet disappeared. And then it came back. I almost crashed the pod trying to get it in here.
Aeryn: (quietly) And - nothing changed on Moya?
Chiana: No. Only the planet was affected by what you did. Everything's the same. E-except uh - (she glances at John, who's sitting morosely on the dirt floor of the courtyard with the visor next to him. He has a handful of dirt that he's letting trickle slowly from his clenched fist) So is there any chance you can go back?
Aeryn: No. The ah - tear is no longer stable. Stark tried, but he can't get us back through.
Chiana: Does Crichton know that?
Aeryn: Yes he does.
Chiana: So who's gonna get him back on Moya?
Aeryn: I will.
Aeryn: Thank you. (Chiana leaves, passing Stark as she goes. He's slumped at the base of the memorial, looking as if he's asleep. Aeryn steps close to the monument and it activates. No more is it a window to the past. It is now a conventional memorial to the dead, whose images flick on with a little chime, arranged in a ring around the structure. One of the images is of Kelsa, holding Cyntrina in her arms. Aeryn looks for a moment and then steps away and approaches John) Hi.
John: I screwed up.
Aeryn: You- We - did what we could.
John: Why would they do that? What's the point?
Aeryn: There probably was no point. (John looks sorrowfully down at the visor and the scene segues, through its electronic eye, to the changed history of the planet)
Lennok:(roaring at Kelsa, who backs up before him, she hugs Cyntrine close to her) TELL ME! WHERE ARE THE SOLDIERS WHO WERE HERE?
Kelsa: I-I know nothing! They-they just left. I don't know where they are!
Lennok: NO-ONE COULD HAVE GOTTEN PAST MY FORCES! TELL ME WHERE THEY ARE! I CAN'T CONTROL THE HORDE UNLESS-
Kelsa: (sobbing with terror) Crichton said that-that they planned to escape from the cliffs but-
Lennok: (cutting her off as his soldiers yell their fury behind him) Too many Veneks have died here! THE BLOOD LUST IS ON THEM! I need to give the Horde something. WHERE ARE THE PULSE WEAPONS THEY FIRED ON US?
Kelsa: Crichton took them! Please! Please! I don't know where they've gone! I don't know! (Lennok's armored soldiers are restless and jostle closer as he tries to hold them back)
Lennok: I CAN'T STOP THE HORDE UNLESS YOU TELL ME WHERE THIS CRICHTON IS!
Kelsa: I don't know! I don't know! (she screams) CRICHTON! (her screams seem to inflame the Venek soldiers and they push forward. Cyntrina and the other nurses begin to scream with terror as well)
Lennok: (vainly, to his angry army) NO! NOT YET!
Kelsa: CRICHTON! (but the Horde is out of control and the slaughter of the Jocacean nurses begins. The women go down by chub and spear and flaming arrow and Kelsa can be heard crying for John one last tome. Poor John. That has to hurt)
Back in the present day monastery John can no longer bear the creams of the dying nurses that echo in his ears and he hurls the visor against the memorial. In the abrupt and dead silence that follows, he puts an arm around Aeryn’s shoulders and pulls her head onto his shoulder. And they sits like that. John staring blankly into space, Aeryn leaning stiffly against him, her brow furrowed as she stares at nothing too.
Elsewhere in the courtyard, D'Argo is hunting for something. He pushes away vegetation that has grown up against the ancient walls until he sees it, near a plump flower - the mark of a little girl who wondered if anyone would remember her after she was dead.
With a great sigh - D'Argo does.