The episode opens with one of Moya’s transport pods moving through black space. It's clearly in trouble and yawing so badly to the right that it seems to be flying on its side. Cut to its interior where John is at the flight controls. His expression is of intense concentration as he Pilot’s the damaged vehicle while Chiana opens an access panel and tries to effect repairs. D'Argo and Jool wait tensely. Well D'Argo does, Jool waits impatiently...
John: This pod is falling apart. It's all I can do to keep her afloat. Chiana?
Chiana: (with barely contained fury) It's not my fault Crichton. I looked away for a microt and Jool grabbed the controls!
John: I didn't say it was your fault. Give me status.
Chiana: (fluid pours like blood from broken ends of the pods innards, as she quickly pulls lines in an urgent attempt to reroute damaged connections) It's not holding!
Jool: (with disgust, as Chiana slings the bleeding cables aside) Oh you're getting mank everywhere!
Chiana: Shut the frell! This is your fault! (but at that moment - salvation! As the distressed pod comes up on a dark asteroid - the 3 tails of a Leviathan are seen sweeping out from behind it. Jool points triumphantly)
Jool: Look! There's Moya! Let's just- (but John cuts her off abruptly by hailing what appears to be home...)
John: Pilot! Aeryn! Come in! Pilot? (but as they come around the side of the asteroid and get a better look at the Leviathan - D'Argo sees it first)
D'Argo: (in a low tone) That's not Moya. (and indeed it is not. As the light from a distant, misty star hits this Leviathan, its skin is seen to be diseased and yellowed. It is mostly dark and looks dead - but most ominously - its great anterior section is encircled by a massive black structure) That's a Leviathan with a control collar - that means Peacekeepers! (but the pod is failing fast - they need help and now)
John: (calling readouts) O2 level's falling!
Chiana: (her voice quivers anxiously) Telemetry, comms, neuro status - we got nothing! (the pod lurches and begins to shudder heavily)
John: All right we're headin' for that ship. That's it.
D'Argo: John that is NOT an option!
John: (calm but grim) We don't have any options unless you want to die out here in the middle of nowhere.
D'Argo: It's better than being captured, tortured and killed by the Peacekeepers! (as he speaks the sounds of power cells failing and escaping atmosphere are heard)
Jool: (panicky) Do you hear that noise? That's our air!
D'Argo: (agitated, he ignores Jool and continues arguing with John as Chiana her attempts to compensate for the systems failures) We have no comms! We have no idea who - or WHAT - is on that ship! You are leading us to our death!
John makes no response other than to cast D'Argo a look of grim resignation as he aims the pod towards the enslaved Leviathan which hangs in space, bathed in the sickly light from the white star. The Leviathan’s docking bay doors are wide open but entry is anything but smooth as John guides the damaged pod down the long dark launch tunnel to the hangar bay. Sparks fly and the pods engines strain as they make an emergency landing, clipping the walls on the way in and accompanied by Jool’s girly yelps of terror. Upon finally making its rough touch-down, the damaged pod begins to fill with smoke and fire breaks out in some of its shorted wiring.
John: ALL RIGHT THAT'S IT! EVERYBODY OUT! (D'Argo just stares stonily at him. John meets his stare and repeats -) Out! (with a low growl of resentment, the Luxan moves)
Moments later D'Argo descends the pods steps with Chiana and Jool in tow. He and Chiana are armed and have flashlights attached to their weapons - for the hangar bay is dark and the air is misty with smoke. Not smoke from their broken-down transport pod though. Open fires in containers - like what a bum might set in a trash can to keep warm in cold weather - flicker here and there and supplement a few dim emergency lights high on the Leviathan’s ceiling. Great twists of shredded cable dangle like dark jungle vines and the floor is littered with debris. Odd lights wink here and there on bits of exposed circuitry and discordant random sounds echo in the dark, signaling that there is life aboard the diseased ship - but in the same way that strange sounds in an abandoned mansion hint at the presence of the dead...
Chiana: (she and D'Argo stop at the foot of the pod steps and take in the desolate scene) What happened here? (a distant sound like an animal coughing is heard) That smell! (they slowly advance as they await the expected arrival of some sort of greeting committee. But there's no movement except the little flames dancing in their containers) If there were Peacekeepers they'd be here by now.
D'Argo: Well this section's air locked, so someone wants us here. (he inhales deeply of the ships rank odor and there's a long moment of silence as they take in not only the ruin - but the increasingly evident filth of the place. Suddenly the silence is broken by a yell as something launches itself out of the shadows at D'Argo. It lands on his back with its arms around his neck, biting and clawing at him. Jool of course screams as Chiana yells)
Chiana: D'ARGO! (in an amazing display of faith in the Nebari’s gunmanship, D'Argo turns to face her with the yowling thing on his back - and lets her shoot it off him. It takes a few blasts of Chiana’s pulse gun within inches of D’Argo’s head - but the grip of the thing on his back is finally broken and D'Argo is able to throw it off, dead. John, who stayed back in the pod to survey damage and put out fires, comes flying down the pod steps at the commotion with his gun in one hand and a snarl of wire in the other)
John: WHAT THE HELL'S GOIN' ON OUT HERE? (panting, D'Argo pushes the thing that attacked him onto its back. It is a Sebacean-looking man it is but like the Leviathan, he appears diseased and unkempt. In addition to his caveman hair, his skin is full of lesions and his dead, gaping mouth reveals gums studded with rotting or missing teeth. As John catches sight of the dead creature, D'Argo glares at him)
D'Argo: (accusatory) I TOLD you we shouldn't have come here!
(cut to soon after. Our crew is still by their non-functional transport pod but they've given up waiting for any kind of welcoming party. Chiana stands sentry in the gloom as D'Argo and Jool watch John examining bits of circuitry and wire he's removed from the pod)
D'Argo: (dully offering his assessment of the pods condition) It's gone.
John: (confirming the Luxans insight as he lets drop the tangle of cable he was inspecting) Burnt. Battered. Busted. Ding-dong, the pod is dead.
Jool: (tense) It can't be dead Crichton! You have to fix it - and you have to get us out of here!
John: Ain't gonna happen - not unless we can replace that stuff.
D'Argo: We need threekay wire and narium coils.
John: Right. We find it - we might stand a chance. And that means a scavenger hunt - (he stands and looks towards the interior of the strange Leviathan as a distant moan from some unknown source echoes in the crypt-like silence) - in that direction.
Jool: But can't we just borrow one of their transport pods?
Chiana: (creeped out by the place) There aren't any. I already looked. No transport pods. Not a single piece of escape craft. It's like anybody who could leave - has left.
D'Argo: (softly as the distant noises continue) This place is bad voojoo.
John: (resolutely refusing to give in to the eeriness of the place, as he picks up his gun and starts off) It's a Leviathan. Like Moya. So spare parts - this way.
Jool: (with a little gasp of dread as Chiana and D'Argo make to follow John) I'm getting back in the transport pod. And I'm staying there!
Chiana: Thank frek.
John: Nah - you stay with her Chiana.
Chiana: No way.
John: Pip - transport's all we got.
Chiana: (in a furious whisper) I'm warning you - I'm gonna end up killin' that red-headed tralk!
John: (sympathetically) Whatever. Go on. (he turns back towards the interior of the Leviathan) Spare parts - that way. Let's find 'em.
Chiana: (as D'Argo and John set off, she stalks back to Jool who's waiting at the foot of the pod steps and mutters-) Frell!
(cut to D'Argo and John as they move through the maintenance bay towards the inner doors to the rest of the ship. As they go, they make a visual inspection of what's left on the Leviathan. There is the sound of fluid dripping in the reeking darkness)
D'Argo: (grunting his agreement) And there's no threekay wire. And definitely no narium coils.
John: (calling) Anybody home? (as if in response, poisonous green and orange light begins to flicker in a clamshell viewer - but no image of a Pilot’s face resolves and there is no sound but fuzzy static) Anybody - out there? (D'Argo throws his shoulder against the great oval door leading out of the maintenance bay and into the rest of the Leviathan - but it won't budge. He looks back at John who's looking around with a an expression on his face making it clear the haunted house atmosphere is getting to him)
D'Argo: Do you want to give me a hand here? It's jammed.
John: Or maybe there's a Pilot keeping it shut. (and with that, the great door clunks and silently begins to swivel open of its own accord. Our heroes bring their weapons up and edge warily through) Or a host of Peacekeepers. Or thousands of feral hippie boys, friends and relatives. (but there's nothing beyond the door except an empty, decaying corridor)
D'Argo: Too late to worry about that. Let's just get what we need for the transport pod and get the frell outta here. (as they clear the great door, it begins to swivel shut behind them)
John: D'ARGO! (they rush back to the door and try to wedge it open - to no avail)
D'Argo: Chiana! CHIANA! (but the door is unyielding and they find themselves cut off from Chiana and Jool. D'Argo hits his comm) Chiana! (no response) The comms are down! (he turns back to the door and bellows) CHIANA!
John: Could be the control collar. (with a sigh of resignation D'Argo turns back to him and hefts his Qualta and flashlight into position again) All right. We know the layout, right? Okay - narium coils, threekay wire. Gotta be on tiers 3 and 4. Either that or we head straight for Pilot. (D'Argo spots something ahead of them in the corridor and moves towards it)
D'Argo: (panting as if trying to keep himself from being sick) Crichton -
John: Whatchya got Big 'Un? (D'Argo shines his light on the gleaming white skeletal remains of a hand and forearm protruding from a heap of debris)
D'Argo: Bones. Sebacean bones maybe.
John: (quietly as he pulls D'Argo away) All right.
They move on through the Leviathan. As they go the terminal degree of the ships physical deterioration becomes increasingly obvious. Fluid oozes from its sweating walls and the graceful bronze ribs that should form the arches of its corridors are virtually gone, replaced by putrescent grey swellings that are splotched with ugly red lesions. The corridors seem ready to collapse and sound is muffled by the exposed, swollen flesh of the once beautiful ship. D'Argo and John are more in a hurry now and wary as they stride along the rotting tunnels.
D'Argo: This way.
John: Abbott and Costello and the House of Horror. You know we should talk to the Pilot - (they round a dripping corner) - he could tell us where to find all the stuff we need.
D'Argo: (spotting what he's looking for) Ah! Crichton! (he moves to the access hatch of a service tunnel and unceremoniously kicks it in, which releases a hiss of green vapor) in here. (John obediently goes to duck inside but quickly backs out with one hand over his mouth and nose)
John: WHOA! Oh man that smells worse than Rygel!
D'Argo: Well - almost. Get in. (he pushes John into the service tunnel and then follows. Inside, the narrow, diamond-shaped passage is about as high as they are. It's in even worse shape than the main corridor. Ragged cables erupt from the walls like veins and tendons from rotting flesh. They quickly find one item on their scavenger list)
John: Yup - threekay wire. Good call! How'd you know?
D'Argo: (talking like a guy trying not to use his nose) It's a wild guess. This duct leads to the klestron filters. We'll have to scrape out what we can. (and while he begins pulling at wires in the narrow tunnel of sweating Leviathan meat, John touches the fluid oozing from the walls and - sniffs it)
John: HO! Oh man hat's pus! (he steps away from the wall and tries to wipe his finger off on a bit of metal wall rib) The ship is oozing pus man!
D'Argo: Yeah the whole ship is diseased.
John: Aw geez - no DRDs - what's that about? It's like she got hit by some kind of biochemical weapon. (and as he stands in the middle of the service tunnel gawping about with revulsion as if he just noticed all this - D'Argo finishes collecting the threekay wire. The Luxan has a healthy lack of interest in what happened here)
D'Argo: Narium coils - tier 7.
John: Huh-uh. We gotta find the Pilot.
D'Argo: Crichton we get what we need and we get out.
John: What we need - is the guy who controls the maintenance bay doors. The hangars - the whole damn ship in fact!
D'Argo: (annoyed and sensing another unwelcome adventure coming on) This is meant to be a hit-and-run mission so we get the parts that we need!
John: (annoyed back and bringing up a good point to rationalize his curiosity) And what if we're dying? What if we've been exposed to some radiation, or some virus that's gonna mutate us into the Night of the Living Dead?
D'Argo: THEN THE SOONER WE GET OUT OF HERE THE BETTER! IF YOU WANT TO GO ALL THE WAY TO PILOT’S DEN, THEN YOU ARE TINKED!
John: HEY YOU KNOW WHAT? WE DON'T KNOW WHAT WE'RE DEALING WITH HERE!
D'Argo: (in deadly earnest) This - is a Peacekeeper prison ship. That's all you need to know. (John looks away from him and makes a little exhalation of disgust and frustration with the Luxans clear lack of imagination and intellectual curiosity)
John: (as he walks away) I'm gonna go find the Pilot. You get the junk. (nice John. Maybe when the others fly off with the junk you can fly off in your curiosity)
(cut back to the transport pod. Jool is standing several feet away from it when something lands on the floor near her foot with a little metallic tinkle. Chiana is lurking nearby just waiting for an excuse to have a go at the redhead)
Chiana: What was that?
Jool: Uh... (she looks down at the thing laying next to her foot as Chiana marches over and scoops it up)
Chiana: External gyro-sensor. You broke it.
Jool: I did not! It just fell!
Chiana: I don't believe this. (she turns and marches off towards the maintenance bay. Jool quickly flounces after her)
Jool: (frightened) What!? Where are you going?
Chiana: (pleased) To join the treasure hunt.
Jool: Well - Crichton said to stay here!
Chiana: Yeah well he didn't know about this.
Jool: Well you can't leave me! The comms are down!
Chiana: (without even looking at her) There's a- there's a pulse rifle in the transport pod. (they come to the closed swivel door leading into the rest of the Leviathan and Chiana mutters to herself as Jool babbles on, terrified) How do I open this door?
Jool: You know - we don't have weapons on our planet. We don't have violence, we don't have war- (Chiana turns to face her, and without a word - punches her in the jaw - hard. The Interion squeals and staggers before fixing Chiana with a furious stare) What the frell? (Chiana’s only response is to deliver another right hook to the redheads jaw. But this time Jool comes back with a strong right of her own to the Nebari’s jaw. Chiana takes it like a man, shaking her head and readjusting her mandible hinge while Jool, surprised by herself, holds her wrist and squeals with girlish pain) OOOOOHH- Frelling hezmana!
Chiana: See? Violence - you'll get the hang of it. (she turns back to pondering the swivel door. As she stands there, somewhere deep inside the Leviathan, someone manipulates a device. The device looks like a surge protector but instead of plug-ins it is lined with a series of round blue lights and a red bar. There are several thick white hoses attached to it and a sharp metal cannula, or needle, as thick as a pencil. The owner of the device pushes the cannula into what appears to be part of the Leviathan. Electrical discharges drain the scene of its dim light with a couple brilliant white flashes and then a human-looking hand touches the buttons on the device. Back in the maintenance bay - the great door swivels open before the two women. Chiana looks spooked as she mutters to Jool) Good luck with the pulse rifle. I hope you're a fast learner. (she moves slowly through the door, which swings shut behind her, leaving Jool alone in the dark maintenance bay and pretty much non-verbal with terror)
Meanwhile, somewhere on the Leviathan, the owner of the device is seen. It is a man, human-looking and standing in some dark place amid lit candles and hanging brown Leviathan flesh. He's middle-aged perhaps, bald and one of his eyes is pale and staring as if it is blind. His leprous skin glistens and there are holes in his naked scalp that expose patches of what appears to be metal. He's dressed in filthy rags that are tied and draped around his body like the remains of a monks cloak - a kings robe. The device he used to open the maintenance bay door is attached to his right forearm. He gazes serenely into space with an imperiously satisfied expression on his face. His name is Kaarvok.
Elsewhere - D’Argo’s scavenger hunt continues with a blast from his Qualta which breaks open the door of a storeroom. He enters, breathing heavily, but a quick look around reveals no narium coils - only a useless gyro-sensor. Suddenly the unidentifiable distant moans of this ghost ship are joined by a very familiar sound - the voices of men shouting - although what they are saying seems muffled and cannot be made out. D'Argo quickly leaves.
John now reaches his destination - the Pilot’s Den. As he steps into the huge chamber, the scene that greets him is at once familiar and surreal. A Pilot, identical to his friend back on Moya, sits at its station. But beyond that all semblance of normalcy vanishes. The Pilot’s station, instead of being an upswept bank of ribs lined with light, is a blunted stump of degraded Leviathan flesh. Upon it, several human-like figures squat and leap about like monkeys, making ape-like hooting sounds as they torment the great amber-eyed Pilot. The Pilot itself seems catatonic as it silently rocks back and forth, slack-jawed, eyes unfocused. The hellish scene is lit by flashing red light from the ships remaining life systems. As John steps further inside, the ape-like creatures scurry away at he sight of him.
John: What the hell? (as he approaches the Pilot, it fixes it's beautiful eyes on him - and grunts and screams incoherently with terror, becoming increasingly agitated the closer John gets. He climbs up onto the remains of the Console and peers at the great creature, who stares wildly back at him. Most of its arms have been hacked off at the torso) Holy Mother of God. (the Pilot cringes away from him waving its remaining rear arm at him in a frantic effort to keep him away) Easy- (John backs off a bit but as soon as he makes any move towards the Leviathan Pilot it begins thrashing madly and tries to fend him off. The sounds it makes are as animalistic as the those of the others aboard the ship, as if it has lost the power of speech) I'm not gonna hurt you. (John puts his gun away and sits back on his heels in front of the Pilot, who sits, head lowered, mouth wide and panting and staring at him insanely from the tops of its eyes) My name is Crichton. I live on a Leviathan. We have a Pilot, he's - kinda like you. (John’s stillness and gentle voice seem to calm the traumatized creature and he slowly settles down) What happened to you? (the Pilot, whose dying Leviathan is named Rovhu, looks up at him with eyes wet from tears and replies in a masculine voice that is low and hoarse and weary beyond all knowing-)
RovhuPilot: Please... Kill me.
(cut to Chiana sidling down a corridor festooned with strips of decaying Leviathan flesh and lit mainly by her flashlight. All around her, she can hear animalistic yells and shrieks, fighter that she is, she prefers threats to be out in the open where she can deal with them)
Chiana: (softly, her gun at he ready) Come on - come out and play. (a movement seen from the corner of her eye causes her to spin and fire at a shadow behind her - some of the howling stops and she warily moves on. More nearby gibbering attracts her attentions and she turns to find herself in the doorway of a dark room. Several human-like figures are there, squatting around a small fire, grunting and nattering unintelligibly. They startle as she gapes at them a moment before trying to back out slowly) Don't mind me - just - just talk amongst yourselves. (but the skittish inhabitants of Rovhu don't cower for long and one makes a lunge for her. She easily knocks him back with the muzzle of her gun. Having got what she asked for - a clear look at the locals - she loses some of her bravado) Especially you! (but a few more of them rise and stare at her with hostile, feral eyes, one has a big hank of white Leviathan - or Pilot - meat that he's gnawing on and she notices that he seems to have an identical twin on the other side of the room. One attacks her and again, she easily throws him back but she's thoroughly disturbed by these strange, insane-looking people and screams as she tries to make an exit) Stay back! STAY BACK!
(cut back to John in RovhuPilot’s Den)
John: What about your comms, atmosphere, the doors - can you control any of that?
RovhuPilot: (rocking gently and shaking his head as John speaks, He raises his single claw as he replies - he has trouble speaking, as if it's been a long time since he's had anyone to talk to) My neural pods slash. Please - kill me.
John: (rather impatiently) Look your arms are gonna regenerate.
RovhuPilot: (as he speaks, his groans are guttural with pain and the effort of articulating anything coherent) Growgan cut... aaahhh...
John: (sharply) Grogan? Who the hell is Grogan?
RovhuPilot: (acting out the motion as he groans and struggles to make himself understood) Growgan! Growgan cut! GROWGAN CUT!
John: (getting it - he's shocked as RovhuPilot moans miserably) They - cut - your arms - and when they grow back - they hack 'em off again. Why the hell would they do that?
RovhuPilot: (he thrashes and writhes as he slips into incoherent panic again) Because - because - because they're EATING ME!
(cut back to Chiana in the corridor with the ghouls, who are following her as she tries to get away. She's screaming in earnest now as they shuffle out of their dining area after her. The scene is a slow dark, chaos of grunting zombie-like people gnawing on stuff and looking mean as Chiana yells energetically)
Chiana: WWwwWWAAaAaAaAHhHHHH! Stay back! STAY BACK! (she spots another group of the ghoulish creatures slowly approaching from down the corridor to merge with the group from the dark room) Frell (like a good horror show victim - she hits at them with her gun instead of shooting them) I don't wanna hurt you! (why not - we have no idea - for they are clearly both dangerous and brainless automatons. One reaches out to touch a bleeding wound she sustained during the landing of the pod so he can taste her blood. Horrified, she plunges through the encroaching crowd of zombies and trips over one who's crawling around on the floor at the back of the crowd. She scrambles away on her hands and knees, but finds herself trapped in a dead end. As the ghouls fix on her again and start to come - she sees, or thinks she sees - someone with a flashlight holding something that looks like a Qualta blade at the back of the crowd) D'ARGO! CRICHTON! (the apparition seems to encourage her. She staggers to her feet and finally uses her pulse gun for the purpose it was intended) You want lunch? How about her? (she fires into the mob of retarded predators and sends one flying backwards into the rest - which seems to divert at least some of them)
Meanwhile, D'Argo hears the sound of distant pulse fire and Chiana screaming his name amid the rest of the wailing and groaning of the ship. He begins to move quickly towards it.
Elsewhere - the sound of the battle and Chiana screaming his name reach John, who has left RovhuPilot. He's not certain of where she is though in the dark. muffled maze of the dying Leviathan and bellows her name back as he turns in a circle, trying to get a fix on what direction to go in.
For all her yelling, Chiana is doing all right now that she found the trigger of that pulse gun and has created enough dead meat to last the other denizens of Rovhu a little while at least. She throws her head back and lets fly one of her Nebari war whoops - “BBBBBBRRRRRR-AYE-YIYIYIYYIYI!!!!” - before taking off down the mostly cleared corridor.
(cut to D'Argo , struggling through the corrupt and dark corridors of the Leviathan, fighting for breathable air in the putrid, claustrophobic atmosphere. The sound of Chiana’s yells and pulse-fire have stopped)
D'Argo: CHIANA! (he turns, uncertain now of which way to go - and finds Kaarvok standing there in the beam of his flashlight, watching him. D'Argo hisses explosively with alarm and brings up his Qualta to its firing position) Who are you? Where's Chiana, the Nebari? (Kaarvok makes no response but to take a step towards him. But D'Argo's having none of anything in this hellish place and snarls-) Stay back! Stay back or I swear, I will kill you.
Kaarvok: I don't think that's very polite. (the mans voice is unexpectedly prim and rational. D'Argo is stuck for a response - and in that split second, Kaarvok whips up his right arm with the device he used to open the maintenance bay door and pointing the long cannula at D'Argo - fires. A ball of white energy travels down the needlelike cannula and hits D'Argo square in the chest. But instead of killing him like a conventional ball of energy - it instantly forms a placenta-like bubble around him which renders him unable to move)
Soon after, John is still jogging through the corridors trying to locate his shipmates. Suddenly he hears something and drawing his gun, he sidles along in the shadows and sees - Kaarvok. The man seems pleased with himself and hums softly as he strides among the ruined machinery of the Leviathan. But it's what's behind him that rivets John’s attention. A pair of the ships zombie-like inhabitants are dragging D’Argo’s body between them. John breaks cover - bellowing-
John: NNNNOOOO! (but before he can squeeze off a shot, another of Kaarvok’s slaves jumps him from behind and he loses his gun while fighting the creature off. Some ways away, Chiana hears his yell and heads in his direction)
Chiana: Crichton! (as she makes for the direction of John’s yell, another ghoul attacks her. By now she isn't concerned about hurting them anymore and takes this one out with a blast from her pulse gun and an acrobatic roll without missing a beat)
Meanwhile John continues battling ghouls in a scene not unlike Chiana’s recent experience. He jinxed himself when he said “Night of the Living Dead” earlier They come at him in waves, with deceptive slowness, snatching and grabbing at him - then lunging from the sides and rear. They are inexorable and brainless. Just as their numbers threaten to overwhelm him though, Chiana arrives on the scene with her pulse gun and starts laying down fire.
Kaarvok watches the arrival of the Nebari cavalry with a little smile on his scabrous face. Then, he again points the cannula of his device at D'Argo. This time, it acts as a more conventional needle - and he drives it deep into the Luxans forehead. The ghouls attacking Chiana and John abruptly turn away as they anxiously refocus their attention to Kaarvok and D'Argo. Chiana and John, who were in the middle of a charge, suddenly find their adversaries gone and hit a pile of junk instead. They fall to the floor, but quickly turn to see where the geeks went and are just in time to witness - with slack-jawed horror - what Kaarvok does next. With the device, Kaarvok extracts whitish fluid from D’Argo’s head - and then, raising the cannula to his own head - injects it into himself through a catheter which is where his right ear should be. The look on his face as he does so is of intense ecstasy.
And then it's over. Kaarvok, having taken what he wanted, leaves D’Argo’s body to he ravening ghouls who set upon it with gusto. Chiana’s reaction is immediate. She fumbles for her pulse gun and charges the cannibals, screaming wildly. They scatter, knowing they'll have their meat later - and Chiana continues to shoot and scream. John seems stunned for a moment before suddenly coming to Chiana and grabbing her around the waist, they both fall to their knees by D’Argo’s corpse, John behind Chiana, in a paroxysm of grief and loathing.
(cut to Moya, somewhere in space, as blueish-white light spreads from the tips of her tails forward to create a glowing tracery of energy streams over her body. The streams come together at her nose to form a brilliant donut that is the gateway from normal space to starburst. Cut to her Command as Aeryn gallops in, Rygel and Stark are already there)
Aeryn: Pilot! What's going on?
Rygel: (offering his own answer) Starburst without any warning! For yotz sake!
Aeryn: But we've left Crichton and the others stranded.
Rygel: (sounding ill as he coughs a little) Votched up all my second lunch! (it's obvious no-one cares what Rygel votches up as long as they don't have to look at it, and the scene shifts to shortly after as the great ship exits starburst)
Aeryn: It better be something good Pilot.
PILOT: (cut briefly to him in his Den as he replies in a tone that asks the question “Yeah and what if it's not?”) Moya was responding to a distress call. Perhaps you can see for yourself. (and back on the Command, Aeryn, Rygel and Stark take a look out the main view port to see-)
Aeryn: Talyn! (sure enough - the son of Moya drifts by, he seems dark and lifeless. Aeryn quickly hails his captain) Crais, come in - this is Aeryn. Crais! (no response) Pilot there's no answer from Crais.
PILOT: (sounding somewhere between concern and dubious apprehension at the silent reappearance of Moya’s portentous progeny) Nor is Moya getting any answer from Talyn. (Aeryn and Stark exchange a worried look)
(cut to soon after as a transport pod leaves Moya and arcs towards Talyn. Then cut to Aeryn after she has boarded the young ship, her weapon drawn. The only sound is static from unattended control consoles as she pauses just outside the partially open door of his Command Loose cables hang limply from the ceiling and there seems to be scorch marks on his interior walls
Aeryn: (murmuring softly to the unresponsive ship) What happened to you?
Stark: (breaking in via comm) Aeryn, what can you see?
Aeryn: He's been hit hard.
Rygel: (cut to him and Stark on Moya’s Command as he asks warily) Pilot - any other ships in the area?
PILOT: (cut briefly to him in his Den as he speaks) Not that I can tell. (and back on Talyn, Aeryn cautiously peers into the Command)
Aeryn: Crais? (she pushes the Command doors open - the room is a shambles and amid the debris, she spots a body laying on the floor) Crais! (she hurries to his side but he is unresponsive and battered)
(cut back to the good ship Rovhu where Chiana and John are trying to get D’Argo’s body back to the pod before it becomes lunch for the local cretins. John is in a quiet rage as he struggles to drag the Luxans heavy corpse along on a sling rigged from a blanket. Chiana is in shock as she walks alongside, holding D’Argo’s dead hand and babbling)
Chiana: We have-we have to give him the death rites.
John: (straining with his friends weight) Yeah...
Chiana: We have to give him - a proper-
John: (furiously talking over her as he wrestles D'Argo along) I'm sure there's a BUNCH of Oricans around here! Dammit! We shoulda stuck together! I wanted us to stick together! But he- we-
Chiana: (protesting weakly as he rants) No, no, no...
John: -both of us!
Chiana: It's not your fault.
John: We were too DAMN stubborn! (he lets loose of D'Argo and stomps back to face Chiana who can't seem to focus, and confront her with their situation which includes the fact that they are lost) Chiana! D'Argo is DEAD! Jool's god knows where - and we have been here befo- (but at that moment he sees movement in the dark corridor ahead of them)
Chiana: (mumbling) No we haven't- Whoa! (John grabs her and pushes her out of sight against the wall. She follows his gaze, and sees what he sees. A couple of the ships dwellers, silently tearing at the walls with their teeth and nails. She says dully-) They're eating the ship.
John: (his jaw is tight with fury) This is a Leviathan. It's like Moya. It's alive. (and with that, he grabs Chiana’s pulse gun and steps out into the corridor where he grimly mows down the Leviathan-eaters. They make monkey-like shrieks as they die. Chiana meanwhile, without John to hold her up, slides limply to the floor, unable to cope with the twisted horror of this place. John finishes and yanks Chiana to her feet)
Chiana: (babbling with panic) We have to get outta here! We have to-we have to get out of here!
John: Yes - we do. (indeed - for several more of the ships degenerated crew appear at that moment in the corridor behind them, at a distance, but relentless in their pursuit of fresh - or fairly fresh - meat. Chiana and John grab D’Argo’s body and drag it off with renewed haste)
(cut to Jool back in the dark hangar bay. She's standing outside the broken-down pod with a pulse gun and trying to steel herself to go looking for help. The sounds of deep, distant moaning echoes in the blue gloom and she is rightfully creeped out as she tries to encourage herself)
Jool: (taking a deep breathe) Okay. Okay. I can do this. I can. I can do anything. That's what my father told me. That's what my mother told me... and I've never doubted them before. (she startles and screams preemptively at a moan that seems too close by - but there's nothing there - just the tricky acoustics of the great dark ship and her own skittishness. She continues her monologue with much less confidence, her eyes straining to see everything at once in the murk as she totters onward) Maybe once or twice - but I shouldn't doubt them. I should believe in them. And I should - believe in myself! (the last word is another little shriek as the moaning, unintelligible voices again seem to waft from nearby. Her voice descends to a tearful whimper) Oh, I don't think this is right - I shouldn't be here. I'm a civilized being. There's got to be someone here who recognizes that. I just need to find them. (she moves slowly towards the door the others disappeared through. Her feet are placed wide apart. Each leg requires a moments coaxing to take a stiff step onwards. Coming to the door she peeps faintly) Hello? Hello? (there is no answer but the spooky groaning from afar as the great door leading to rest of the Leviathan silently swivels open, inviting her into the reeking corruption beyond. That's all the redhead needs, and moments later she's trotting back up the step and into the dead - but at least familiar and well-preserved, transport pod)
(cut back to Chiana and John. He's found the way back to RovhuPilot’s Den. John tries to wedge the great door to the chamber shut as Chiana stares at RovhuPilot, who sits rocking at his ruined station, moaning softly, madly to himself)
Chiana: (whispering with horror and pity) Pilot? He's disarmed.
John: Yah. (and with that, he strides down the catwalk towards RovhuPilot. The great helpless creature sees him coming and begins instinctively to panic. John is unsympathetic and terse with his demand) All right Pilot - narium coils - where are they? (he stops impassively before the shaking Navigator who can only gape and make choking sounds. John is angry and out of patience though and snaps harshly-) Yeahyeahyeah - I get it! I-I - you know - I get it! I come forward, you scream. I move back etc. etc. etc. PILOT I'm OVER it. You're gonna HELP me. You're gonna GIVE me something, and you're gonna give it to me NOW!
RovhuPilot: (he begins speaking in the Pilot language) Teré khaté go-eth hévah-
John: (cutting him off) TALK TO ME - slowly.
RovhuPilot: (panting and struggling to stay focused) Th-this shiiip - Rovhu - was.. Was- (but he sinks back into panic and his mother tongue takes over again) aahHH - Ket-ha ho pahto-
RovhuPilot: Detention ship. Prison ship - ship for- for the- kr-krishoooolll... (the wretched Pilot’s great head nods as his voice trails off)
John: What the hell is that? (RovhuPilot just rocks in his psychic agony - but Chiana knows)
Chiana: The criminally insane. (John looks at her and she repeats, louder, with fear and loathing as she sobs) The criminally insane. We fix the transport pod - we get out of here. We got threekay wire. That's a start at least.
John: (shouting with frustration at Chiana too now as he stands at RovhuPilot’s destroyed Console) HE CONTROLS THE WHOLE SHIP CHIANA! HE'S GOT THE MAINTENANCE BAY! HE'S GOT THE DOORS! HE'S GOT THE WINDOWS! HE'S GOT THE SMOKE ON THE WATER!
Chiana: I don't know what you're talkin' about!
John: THE GUY! WHATEVER! WHOEVER! THE ONE THAT KILLED D'ARGO! DR. SPIKE!
RovhuPilot: Kaarvok. (John whirls back to face the poor Leviathan Pilot who regains his voice with he mention of his tormentor) Kaarvok! Spike!
John: Kaarvok - that's his name?
RovhuPilot: Bring Kaarvok... Bring him baaack... (his weary. voice trails off again)
John: What's a PK prison convoy doin' way out here in the uncharted territories?
RovhuPilot: (struggling to tell his and Rovhu’s sad story) Peacekeeper convoy. Ambush convoy. (as he speaks, Chiana seems to detach from the scene and she kneels down by D’Argo’s body and adjusts the blanket they used to pull him with, as a shroud for him) Scarrans ambush. We - drifting. But not to starburst! Not to go! Nowhere to go... (as he trails off sadly, Chiana clasps her hands together, and holding a small vial in them, raises it over her head while murmuring a prayer for the dead. RovhuPilot softly, sadly, finishes) No one helps. We staaarve ... (his hoarse voice fades to a whisper)
John: (coldly demanding) What's the big fuss? Why the red carpet treatment?
RovhuPilot: (with a shiver in his voice as he looks up at John with his great amber eyes) His - power.
John: (as he speaks, Chiana finishes her prayer and sprinkles the contents of her vial over D’Argo’s covered body) And the others, the other prisoners? What's their deal?
RovhuPilot: (shaking his head, he says softly) There were no - other prisoners.
John: (he turns away from poor RovhuPilot) Chiana? (she doesn't respond. He steps down from the raw remains of the Pilot’s Console and walks towards her) Chiana.
Chiana: They'll never get to him now. (John comes and kneels down next to her and D’Argo’s body) Never ever. (and with that, the liquid she sprinkled on the Luxans shroud combusts. They watch as the flames take hold, and then the two of them silently roll their friends body off the catwalk and into the abyss beneath RovhuPilot’s station. As they watch it disappear into the vast depth, John takes Chiana in a mutually comforting embrace and they rock softly, echoing the movement of the inconsolable Pilot of Rovhu)
Somewhere aboard this ship of the damned, Kaarvok stands with his device, manipulating its controls - and everything else. He seems to be able to observe RovhuPilot and his visitors. Back in the Den, Chiana and John finish their brief memorial and now they both approach RovhuPilot again.
Chiana: They had a whole prison ship for one prisoner?
John: (he clambers up onto the Console again to face RovhuPilot) What about all this other vermin we're seein'? The hungry-hungry hippies?
John: (sounding surprised) Peacekeepers?
RovhuPilot: They were Peacekeepers. All of them. (at that moment, a door in the Den swivels partway open and a sudden roar of escaping air is heard. Chiana and John yell as they are sucked away from RovhuPilot’s Console and towards it. John slides to a halt against the door and manages to grab Chiana too before she can be pulled out as RovhuPilot cries) He's venting the Chamber! (Chiana and John manage to get out of the Den into the corridor - right into the hands of Kaarvok - they are cornered)
Kaarvok: I wish you wouldn't talk about me behind my back.
John wastes no time in making a lunge for the madman - but Kaarvok’s strength belies his pasty appearance and he knocks the human flat with a casual blow. Chiana makes to run, but Kaarvok has her and pulls her towards him. Before he can do whatever he plans to do though - John back up and comes for him again. Kaarvok loses his grip on Chiana, but again takes John out with a single blow. This time he isn't only down, but out and Kaarvok returns his attention to Chiana, who skitters frantically over the debris-covered floor of the corridor, from one door to another, crying for help, seeking escape - and finally begging Kaarvok for mercy.
But there's no escape and certainly no mercy. The exits are sealed and she's trapped. She turns to face the advancing nightmare man - but he stops several feet away from her and aims his device. He fires an energy bolt like the one he hit D'Argo with - and like D'Argo, Chiana is immediately engulfed in a great, placenta-like bubble.
And now, the sac rise off the floor as Kaarvok watches, its surface becomes briefly veiny and even more reminiscent of a placenta. It shrinks suddenly and Chiana’s vague outline within becomes amorphous and suddenly seems to split. The placenta abruptly disappears - and not one, but two Chiana’s, identical down to their clothing and wounds are deposited onto the floor. They both seem dazed and disoriented for a moment - until they spot each other - and scream. “FRELL!” they both bellow as they try to scuttle crab-style on their hands and heels away from each other.
As panicked as they are by this weird development - so is Kaarvok just as pleased. He appraises the pair of them and then, evidently making a choice, grabs the Chiana on the right and hauls her to her feet. The other Chiana scrambles away. But her twin, in the clutches of Kaarvok, reaches out piteously with one arm, crying to her for help. The free Chiana takes a few hesitant steps back - but it's too late. Kaarvok takes the vicious cannula of his v=device and buries it in the body of the captive Chiana. She quickly succumbs as he drains her of the fluid he craves and the free Chiana gallops away.
(cut back to Talyn’s Command where Rygel has joined Aeryn and Crais. Aeryn has Crais in a seated position on the floor but he is unresponsive)
Rygel: (with a grim snort) No-ho-ho-ho. You are not taking him back to Moya.
Aeryn: He is still alive Rygel.
Rygel: We can fix that! (he glides forward in his hoverchair and yanks the neural transponder from its socket on the back of Crais' neck. Talyn immediately begins to shudder)
Aeryn: What are you-? Give me the transponder! The ship is shutting down! Give it back! (the Hynerian hangs onto it as Talyn continues to shake ominously) Rygel! Now! (with a sigh - he hands it over)
Rygel: That's what we're hoping for. (Aeryn replaces the transponder in its socket and Talyn quickly stabilizes)
Aeryn: (annoyed at Rygel’s presumption) Look - if you want to have it out with Moya you can go right ahead!
Rygel: Listen you bartantic bitch. Talyn's supposedly the meanest, deadliest, all time yave-of-the-yoovo fighter ship. But somebody - something - beat the yotz out of him! And when they come back to finish him off - we'll be here with him! Unarmed! (the little guy bases that on some pretty solid precedent actually)
Aeryn: And if we can keep him alive, we might find out what happened.
Rygel: In another arn or two it won't matter! Let's go! While we still can!
(meanwhile back on Rovhu, John regains consciousness on the floor outside RovhuPilot’s Den - with no Chiana or Kaarvok in sight. He picks himself up and begins calling for her as he makes his way through the maze of claustrophobic passageways)
John: CHIANA! CHIANAAAAAAA! CHIANA! (there is no response to his cries, which don't carry far in the swollen decay of the place, but a flashing light and the sound of gibbering crew catches his attention. Jogging towards it - he arrives just in time to catch sight of several of the ghoulish former PKs dragging her body across the floor of a room) CHIANA? LET HER GOOOOOOOO! (he charges in after them but they disappear through a door which seals behind them. He throws himself uselessly, repeatedly, against it, pounding at it wildly until his shouts for her descend into helpless screams) CHIANAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!
(meanwhile - cut to Chiana - the one who survived. She's in a complete frenzy as she races down Rovhu’s dead corridors. Even the degenerate PK crew flees before this wild-eyed vision. But she can't outrun reality - or unreality - and finally comes to rest behind a container where she huddles and quietly tries to get her head around what just happened to her)
Chiana: (shivering and confused, she talks to herself, the words come slowly from her traumatized brain) Okay. Okay... Come on - come
Okay. Okay. Two Chiana’s. (she swallows hard and fights down panic) Two... She- she and me. Yeah. I'm me. She - she was just a clone. A clone. So... I'm the real me? I'm the real me.
(while Chiana finds herself - the scene shifts to John. He's found his way back into RovhuPilot’s Den and is standing on the catwalk looking out over the abyss. RovhuPilot watches him silently as he talks)
John: D'Argo's dead. Chiana's dead. (RovhuPilot blinks and puffs a little - wary of this new 2-legged lunatic come to torment him in god knows what perverse way) Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah - I can feel it! (so can RovhuPilot who stares at him, mouth hanging open - without a clue as to what his counterpart on Moya has to put up with ALL the time, as John works into one of his corn-pone homeboy states of riled-uppedness) THAT SICK HAMMER HORROR SON OF A BITCH! HE'S GONNA BE SUCKIN' MY BRAINS THROUGH A SIPPY-STRAW AND IT AIN'T MAKIN' ME FEEL COMFORTABLE! (RovhuPilot is panting and plucking fitfully at his Console with his remaining arm as he stares apprehensively at John) NOW SEE - I HEAD FOR THE TRANSPORT POD, AND HE RUNS ME DOWN LIKE A SICK LIZARD OR - (John heads for the Console) - WE TAKE BACK CONTROL!
RovhuPilot: (he knew this was coming as he rasps softly) No.
John: WE PATCH YOUR ASS BACK IN -
RovhuPilot: (shaking his head, no ass-patching for this one) No!
John: (relentless) WE VENT THE CHAMBERS -
RovhuPilot: (the poor fellow does not realize he has no choice in the matter) No!
John: -AND SUCK HIS ASS OUT INTO SPACE!
RovhuPilot: (shaking his head so violently you can almost hear what's left of his brain sloshing around in his skull) No! No! No!
John: PILOT! PILOT! PILOT! YOU LISTEN TO ME!
John: WE CAN DO THIS! WE FIND JOOL, WE TAKE BACK CONTROL! (RovhuPilot gapes, slack-jawed at this creature and quiets down. he seems mesmerized or at least completely befuddled, by John’s campaign speech) You an' me buddy! Good things are gonna happen! Good things!
(cut to Kaarvok, striding down a corridor of his rotten fiefdom like the master of his domain that he is. As he approaches a cell - a familiar snarling and hissing is heard. Kaarvok stops and solicitously addresses the cells occupant)
Kaarvok: Are you comfortable in there? (the only response is more snarls. Kaarvok steps inside and the doors close behind him as he says in a mildly reproachful tone) Oh do settle. You're being very angry. (the cell is of course occupied by D'Argo, who is standing with chains passing through the rings in his collarbones and attached to the ceiling. The viciousness of his snarls notwithstanding - there's as much fear as anger in his eyes as he watches Kaarvok)
D'Argo: What have you done to me?
Kaarvok: D'Argo, I saved you from the Xarai. (politely conversational) You know, they're completely uncivilized.
D'Argo: What have you done with Chiana?
D'Argo: The Nebari!
Kaarvok: They gray girl! Yes - very, very, very, very nice. (D'Argo growls) Really. Very nice. Were you close?
D'Argo: WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH HER?
Kaarvok: I haven't done anything. Last I heard she was having her best bits eaten by the Xarai. (now D'Argo's more angry than scared and he lunges at Kaarvok but of course can't get more than an inch or two. Kaarvok doesn't even flinch) As I said, they're uncivilized. It's you I'm more concerned about.
D'Argo: (back to fear again) What have you done with me? I saw...
Kaarvok: Yes? You saw -? What did you see? (he opens his eyes wide) Another D'Argo?
D'Argo: (in a very low tone of pure disgust) You cloned me.
Kaarvok: (proud of his skills and wanting them to be properly understood) Not the word “clone” please. I doubled you. I - twinned - you. Two D’Argo’s. Equal and original. And - tasty. I've never twinned a Luxan before.
D'Argo: Why me?
Kaarvok: (pleased) We're going to make babies. (he turns and leaves as D'Argo apprehensively watches him go)
(cut to Chiana, operating in a manic panic. She's in the storeroom earlier blasted open by D’Argo, rooting through containers of bits and pieces of spare Leviathan parts, talking to herself madly all the while)
Chiana: Chiana in two. (in her haste, she backs away from a box in which she found nothing and stumbles, sitting down so abruptly that she rolls onto her back. She checks out a wound on herself as if making sure it's still there and she's still herself) Two... two of me. Two - Forked! (she scrambles to her feet and starts rummaging through another crate) He copies you. That's what he does. (she finds what she's looking for in the box - and then spots another one - another gyro-sensor, the one D'Argo has discarded earlier - laying nearby. She pounces on it and giggles maniacally as she compared the two identical gadgets) Two Chiana’s. (she taps her head with one as she struggles to add “cognize” to her list of personal resources - kiss, kick and cry) Think! Think!
(cut back to the Den of RovhuPilot where John is on the platform beneath the Pilot’s station, patching poor RovhuPilot’s ass in. The human at least is happy now that he has A Plan)
John: (shouting almost gaily up to his new best friend as he rips hose-like Pilot-thing innards from one place and plugs them in to other places) Kaarvok must've found a way to patch himself into Rovhu.
RovhuPilot: (squirming like someone having electrolysis done on his private parts) Forced control system. Install security of the Peacekeepers.
John: Yeah but she's still alive!
RovhuPilot: Not conscious life. Tertiary life support. (John makes a connection that causes the sorrowful, disabled Pilot to roar with pain)
John: (stupid question - asked loudly) You feel that?
PILOT: (swinging his great head back and forth over his Console as if seeing it for the first time in awhile) It's uh... Crichton - can't work the Console.
John: I'm comin' up! (and with that, him and his two extra arms mount the ladder to return to RovhuPilot’s side)
(cut back to D'Argo who hisses as Kaarvok suddenly reappears at he door of his cell)
Kaarvok: (brightly) I can double you again! And again. And again. Look at the Peacekeepers!
D'Argo: What Peacekeepers?
Kaarvok: (as he speaks the sound of something whimpering and moaning and shaking at it's leash can be heard from just out of sight by the side of the door) All over the ship. The Xarai, I call them. (he chuckles a little) Private joke - I once had a tame vangern called Xarai. As you can see, once you've been twinned 30 or 40 times you're not much good for conversation. Not that you're especially witty right now. (he snaps impatiently at the unseen whiner) Hold still!
D'Argo: (as Kaarvok opens the cell door) I can help you get off this ship.
Kaarvok: (he pauses, staring at D'Argo. genuinely mystified, before coming into the cell) Why should I want to do that?
D'Argo: Because this ship is dying. It's rotting to pieces all around you.
Kaarvok: This is my home. All I need is more - what? food? Family? Is there a difference? (he smiles for a moment as he reflects on that question before continuing on, earnest as any madman, reminding the Luxan of the twinning experience) D'Argo - you know how painful it is. I'm willing to spare you the pain of a whole half-cycle! As long as you breed for me.
D'Argo: (breathing in deeply with understanding and revulsion) Breed? With what? (Kaarvok goes back to the door and detaches the end of the leash from where he'd hooked it on the door)
Kaarvok: D'Argo - meet Belima. (and with that, he leads a Sebacean woman on all fours into the cell. She has a mop of blond hair, a dirty face, (actually a dirty everything but we need not flog a dead horse here) black circles around her eyes and is completely devolved to an animal state. She shakes her head furiously at her collar and makes noises like an irritable Chihuahua or a juvenile monkey) I-I'm sorry... I... I think I twinned her... a little too often. (D'Argo eyes the revolting little piece of breed stock with disgust as she looks up at him with willing heat. But at that moment, before anything else can be said - the sound of Rovhu’s long-dormant systems powering up rumble through the room and lights begin to flicker on. Kaarvok looks around with real concern and quickly clips Belima’s chain to D’Argo’s before hastily leaving them to it. Belima yips with excitement as he goes)
(cut back to the one-armed Pilot of Rovhu and John, behind the Console with him)
RovhuPilot: Rovhu has no power enough. Takes time to charge.
John: Still nothin'.
RovhuPilot: (as the sound of power scaling back down is heard) No - can't even - lights - no use.
John: (encouragingly to the great, sad Pilot) Pilot! Don't give up here! You're all I've got! You understand that? I need you big boy - and you need me. Come on! (and with that, he goes back down the ladder to lower platform of the Pilot’s station and looks around for another connection that might help) Central plexus cable. Central plexus cable... (but as he hunts for what he wants - up above, RovhuPilot watches the great door to his Chamber swivel open before his eyes as he peers over the top of his rotting station)
RovhuPilot: (screaming with terror) CRICHTOOOOOOONNNN! (John looks up sharply and drops what he's doing to get back up to the doomed Pilot) NNNOOOOOOOOOO- (and the scream of RovhuPilot is abruptly cut off by a sickening, wet crunch. When John emerges to his side, he finds the Leviathan Pilot quiet and at peace at last. His great head is bowed and from his carapace protrudes a metal harpoon. John just stares in silence at the Pilot whose first words to him were a plea for death and whose last was the name of John Crichton)
(cut to Moya as Aeryn prepares to leave)
Aeryn: It's quite simple Rygel. I'm taking the pod and I'm collecting the others.
Rygel: Take plenty of food with you. They'll be nothing here when you return.
Aeryn: I'll be back within the arn.
Rygel: You're leaving us chained to Talyn! Crawling along at hetch 3!
Aeryn: Towing him is the only way.
Rygel: (furious - obviously Aeryn has gotten her way) Boll-yotz! We should be starbursting!
Aeryn: We can't starburst. You know we can't.
Rygel: WE can!
Aeryn: (she takes a few steps towards him and says in a low, threatening tone) If you try anything when I am gone - whatever you have in the place of mivonks and wherever they are - they will be gone. When I get back. (she turns and paces calmly from the Command as Rygel and Stark watch her go)
Rygel: We give her 300 microts. Then we cut ourselves free from Talyn - and we starburst.
Stark: Talyn will recover. Crais may not. (Rygel eyes him with concern) I suspect that now is not the right moment to abscond.
(meanwhile, back on Rovhu, Jool still sits on the transport pod steps in the dark hangar bay, terrified, but alive and unmolested as she shivers and listens to the weird shrieks and cries filtering in from elsewhere on the Leviathan. Cut to the Den of RovhuPilot where John stands in front of the dead Navigator and tries to work the Console himself. Having murdered RovhuPilot, Kaarvok would have had no reason to imagine that anyone else would be close enough to a Leviathan Pilot to actually know some control sequences)
John: (muttering to himself) Come on - dammit John! You remember the sequence. You know the sequence. Remember the damn sequence. You know what you're doin' here. Come on.
As he works, he begins to have some success and some of Rovhu’s lights and systems begin to flicker back on. Somewhere aboard - Kaarvok is startled by this development. With a grim smile he readies the thick, needle-like cannula of his handy-dandy twinning, brain-sucking and Leviathan controlling device. Nearby, Chiana hears the power build-up room and starts to sprint down a corridor - but quickly ducks to one side and conceals herself as Kaarvok and some of the old crew of Rovhu stride past with deadly purpose.
(cut back to RovhuPilot’s Den where John has set in place what he can. He gently touches the end of the harpoon jutting from the gentle Pilot’s head as he throws down the gauntlet)
John: (calling into the air) HEY KAARVOK! IT'S JUST YOU AND ME NOW! (he touches one last control on the Pilot’s Console before climbing up onto it as he prepares for the inevitable visit by the master of the ship. The sounds of Rovhu powering up continue to build) WHAT DO YOU SAY WE MEET FOR SOME COFFEE OR SOMETHIN'? I'M SURE WE GOT LOTS OF STUFF WE COULD TALK ABOUT! (he stands up on the slagged remains of the Pilot’s station and continues to taunt the unseen tormentor with enough macho swagger to fuel a NASCAR rally) WE'LL COOK YOU UP SOMETHIN' SPECIAL K-MAN. IT'S GONNA TAKE A LITTLE WHILE - WE'RE GONNA HIT YOU WITH SOME STARBURST SUUUPREEEME!
(cut to Chiana, carefully sidling along Rovhu’s corridors. Some lights are back on now but they shine from odd angles on the rotting walls and other lights throb and flare as she tries to avoid detection by Rovhu’s ghoulish crew. Suddenly she hears the tinkle of chains and a familiar gasping sound. She quickly trots towards it and stops, gaping, in front of the cell containing D'Argo and Belima)
Chiana: D'Argo! (she takes in the scene for a moment. D'Argo and the dogmonkey Sebacean Belima, chained together. Belima has attached herself to him and is making whoopee with his tankas)
D'Argo: (moaning despite himself as the brainless PK tart nibbles on his erogenous zones) Aaahhh - (he catches sight of Chiana staring at him and the would-be mother of his children) Um - Help me. (as Chiana watches, the indiscreet Belima slides down his front to work on a fleshy tentacle of quite another sort while D'Argo stands there gasping and quivering uncomfortably. But Chiana saw something else as she came and now turns to it. It's a metal storage cabinet and she yanks its door open a bit snappishly as she look over her shoulder at D'Argo and his friend)
Chiana: (innocently in a tone somewhere between amused and upset) Are you sure you...? I'm not interrupting something?
D'Argo: Chiana just hurry up! (he yelps loudly as Belima hits an especially happy spot that he would rather not have happy right now)
Chiana: Okay. (she pulls a pulse gun out of the cabinet) 'Cos you know I-I could just leave you there if-if you want. It's no trouble.
D'Argo: (his words tumble out over each other as he tries to maintain some semblance of dignity while hastening to assure her that help is desired right now) Nonono - Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! OoOOoOooHHhhh! (but Chiana takes her time and turning back to the cabinet - she takes from it what she was really after. What she finally recalled having seen in such a cabinet on Moya)
Chiana: (turning back to him) Narium coils. (D'Argo has no comment though - he's quivering and it's hard to tell if it's him or Belima, busy below the belt, that's yipping now) I'm coming. (she reaches back into the cabinet once more and removes D’Argo’s Qualta) Okay. (she hoists the heavy weapon up and fires above D'Argo, blasting one set of his chains to smithereens. His hands drop to his sides and Belima jumps aside)
D'Argo: Thank you. (she now drops the tips of the Qualta towards Belima, who suddenly looks pitifully young as she gazes blankly back at Chiana) Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah! Chains.
Chiana: That's where I was aimin'. (she swings the Qualta up one more time and blasts the remaining chains - including the one tethering Belima. The devolved PK looks briefly delighted before scampering off on all fours)
(cut to moments later as Chiana and D'Argo make their way quickly through a dark corridor)
D'Argo: Where's Crichton?
Chiana: I don't know. We got separated. Maintenance bay's this way. (she starts off down a left-hand fork in the hall)
D'Argo: (stopping and asking insistently) Where - did you get separated?
Chiana: (desperate to get out) D'Argo - we got the stuff we need okay? We got the threekay, w-w-we got nar- (but the look on D’Argo’s face tells her it's no use) - Pilot’s Den. Come on, this way. (she makes to head off down the right-hand fork, but D'Argo stops her)
D'Argo: No, I'll go search for him, you go back.
Chiana: (vehemently) No way. I am not gonna split up.
D'Argo: Chianaaa! Go get the transport pod ready. (she looks up into his face and whispers “pleasepleaseplease” as he talks) Give me quarter of an arn and I'll meet you there! (he lopes off, leaving her to make her way back to the pod alone)
(cut to RovhuPilot’s Den where the sound of the vegetating Leviathan’s starburst energy building fills the great chamber with a steady hum. John is sitting next the dead RovhuPilot and looking quite at home amid the noise and flashing red light as Kaarvok slips into the room)
John: (loudly showing off his own peculiarly human variety of insanity) KAARVEY! WHAT'S THAT I HEAR? IS THAT - (he cups a hand to his ear) - STARBURST?
Kaarvok: (like a good nutcase - unable to comprehend anything beyond his own insanity as he says dismissively) We can't starburst. We're in a control collar.
John: Oh yes we can starburst. Just means this whole ship is toast. (Kaarvok responds by whipping up his arm and firing a ball of energy at John - who ducks behind the decaying Console only to pop up in a different spot) Schmick light show baby. You wanna try that again? (he beckons Kaarvok mockingly) Bring it on!
(cut back to the transport pod. Jool is inside and has decompensated to a degree that her parents would find shocking indeed. Having decided the others are gone for good and guessing they've become some things lunch - she's standing with the pulse gun pressed against her big forehead just between her eyes as she screws up her courage)
Jool: (sobbing with despair) Okay... This is the best way. This is going to be quick - and it's gonna hurt a whole lot less than being eaten! (she pulls the trigger just as Chiana enters - and somehow misses her own large head. Chiana hits the deck as the pulse shot ricochets like a bean in a can in the confines of the pod while Jool screams. As both Jool and the shot fizzle out Chiana looks up wearily at he redhead and observes)
Chiana: Still haven't learned how to use it.
Jool: (stomping her foot, she screws up her face and begins to bawl, traumatized anew) I nearly shot myself with a pulse rifle! (but at that moment, Rovhu’s energy build-up, corked by her control collar, reaches the hangar bay in the form of tremors that cause the pod to shudder and rattle ominously)
Chiana: What the frell-? (she quickly rises and makes to prepare the pod for the hopefully very imminent arrival of D'Argo and John)
(cut back the Den of RovhuPilot as John, believing his friends are dead, continues his ride to death with Kaarvok)
Kaarvok: (sounding more properly alarmed now) This ship won't starburst. It's not strong enough!
John: Maybe she just needs to recharge. (Kaarvok lunges at John who dances away from him atop the Console, protecting it from any attempt to interfere with the starburst sequencing he has set into motion. He aims a kick at Kaarvok’s face, but the Lord of the Xarai catches his foot and pushes. John is thrown off balance and falls backwards onto the Console under the nose of RovhuPilot who sits peacefully in his eternal sleep)
Outside, in space, the brilliant blueish-white light of starburst appears at the fission plates of Rovhu’s tails. But instead of it fanning over her body in a web of brilliant light, great yellow fireballs begin to erupt along her sides.
Back in RovhuPilot’s Den, the Xarai begin to gather like vultures to watch and wait as John and Kaarvok fight. Kaarvok has John pinned down on the Console and has now climbed up onto it himself. He stands over John and unsheathes the long, sharp cannula of his device, which he drives towards John’s face. But John is on his back and grabs the device with both hands, pushing back as the thick needle quivers only inches form his nose.
John: (grunting through clenched teeth) I don't think so brain-sucker. I can arrange my own death.
(cut back to the transport pod where Chiana urgently tries to replace the burnt-out parts with the scavenged ones as Jool keeps a tense and terror-filled watch and the pod is rocked by Rovhu’s developing self-destruction)
Jool: Hurry up Chiana!
Chiana: I'm goin' as fast as I can.
D'Argo continues his track to RovhuPilot’s Den through the shuddering corridors, he's obviously aware something catastrophic is cooking as he bellows John’s name.
Meanwhile, back in RovhuPilot’s Den, with the degenerated crew circling, Kaarvok’s cannula inches form his face and death for all and sundry imminent - John distracts himself by indulging his curiosity again.
John: What the hell are you still doin' here Kaarvey?
Kaarvok: (flaunting the insanity part of his criminality) Others will come. More and more of you will come! To me! My - family! My farmland! My - my perfect - perfect dish!
While John briefly ponders the fact that there's no talking to this guy - D'Argo appears to be lost. He's standing in a putrifying corridor near the Den and roaring-
Back on the Console - John hears D’Argo’s bellow and rasps as he strains to hold back Kaarvok’s deadly device.
John: D'Argo! (the sound of the voice of the friend he knows to be dead, seems to inspire him - or at least pique his powerful curiosity. He drives Kaarvok’s arm back and rolls off the Console leaving the insane man to fall forward, driving the business end of his device up to its hilt in the Console. As Kaarvok struggles to pull it out, John shouts to the waiting crew of Rovhu) HEY KIDS! IT'S DINNER TIME!
(Kaarvok’s Xarai have advanced to the base of the Console where they crouch and hoot with excitement as they build up their courage to charge him. Kaarvok’s device, tied to his arm, is however, not only firmly stuck in RovhuPilot’s Console, but it appears to be absorbing the Leviathan’s energy build-up as well - which is more than it was ever intended to uptake. It begins to swell and glow grotesquely on Kaarvok’s arm as he frantically tries to extricate it. John mimes his words as he speaks to the retarded former PKs) AND IT'S FINGER-LICKIN' GOOD!
The animalistic crew begin to close in on Kaarvok, who fights them off with his free arm as John turns to flee. But Kaarvok’s device begins to discharge its backed up energy now. First Kaarvok himself is engulfed by one of the hideous placenta-like twinning sacs. And still the device continues to backfire, a long, organic-looking umbilical erupts from it, swollen with spheres of twinning sacs. Driven perhaps by the malice of Kaarvok, it seems to reach out after John, like some kind of hellish snake. And before he can get through the door of the Den - John is engulfed.
Outside, Rovhu’s starburst energy continues its disastrous path along her body and finally reaches the control collar where it collects in a massive donut of red and orange energy that explodes around her head and sends a massive shock wave into space.
(cut to moments later, back inside the self-destructing Leviathan. D'Argo continues to roar for John over the sounds of the breaking up ship)
D'Argo: JOHN! JOHN, CAN YOU HEAR ME?! JOHN! (and suddenly - out of the smoke-filled darkness ahead of him - John appears, running)
John: D'ARGO! (they pause for a moment there as the world that was Rovhu explodes around them and they look at each other)
D'Argo: Are you okay?
John: Yeah - we'll talk about it later - come on! (they take off at a run)
(cut to the hangar bay. Jool is standing on the floor several yards away from the pod, watching for them till the last possible second - and then they're there! coming like ghosts out of the blue gloom)
John: Jool! You're alive!
Jool: (the reunion will have to wait - Jool is fairly jumping out of her skin in her eagerness to leave) Come on! Hurry up! Chiana let's go!
John: Chiana! (he sounds surprised and relieved as he heads for the pod steps with D'Argo and Jool close behind - but at that moment, another voice calls out as its owner squeezes through the closing hangar bay doors)
John#2: Hold the door! (the newcomer gallops in and D'Argo and Jool turn back to look at him. Jool looks shocked. D'Argo looks pained. John #2 looks glad to be home) Jool! You're alive! (and at that moment - he and the other John, who's at the top of the pod steps - make eye contact - they gaze at each other for a moment with dismay, wonder and apprehension)
But there's no time to think, and moments later the transport pod, with its emergency fixes, arcs away from the doomed ship Rovhu. The explosion of starburst energy at her control collar has effectively destroyed the collar - and decapitated her. As the pod streaks for safety, the great Leviathan bends horribly as her head and tail separate raggedly and drift free of each other.
(cut to the pod. Chiana is at the flight controls and D'Argo sits in the co-Pilot’s seat. The ride is very rough)
Chiana: (muttering to the pod as they all try to ignore the two John’s) Come on... Come on, you piece of junk!
But it's a situation the John’s are having a hard time ignoring. One sits off to the side. He has the other John fixed with an unblinking stare that is pensive, baleful and disbelieving of this new hell. The other stands near D’Argo’s shoulder. He looks at the other John, worried, uncertain and stunned. Then he looks at D'Argo, who glances at him before studiously returning his eyes front and center to avoid further eye contact . So the John standing next to him returns his worried gaze to his twin, who looks away after a moment. Two John’s, acting out between the pair of them, all of one mans emotions at finding himself squared.
Time passes and the way home to good Moya is found. She and Talyn move slowly through space side by side. They are linked by an umbilicus which delivers sustaining power and nutrients to the young ship while he recuperates from whatever fight he got into this time.
(cut to later, in Moya’s medlab. Stark and D'Argo stand on either side of the exam table upon which Chiana is laying, having her wounds attended to)
D'Argo: (speaking to Stark in a tone that is hushed - yet eager to tell what happened) It was over in a flash no more than a - tenth of a microt! But I saw it! I saw - myself. Another me.
Stark: Do you remember the actual moment?
D'Argo: No, I don't remember anything except... It was a corpse.
Chiana: (in a tone that says this is what she's trying to convince herself of) It was just a copy. A fake.
D'Argo: (morbidly fascinated) I keep telling myself that, but then - this Crichton - and Kaarvok - he said that he'd created two “equal and original.”
Chiana: Boll-yotz. Kaarvok was full of it.
D'Argo: But how do you know that I am not the copy? Maybe the real D'Argo is dead.
Chiana: (just frightened by the whole idea and clearly wishing he'd shut up) Because you just know! Y-you know. (she turns her head away and whispers to herself) Frell.
Meanwhile the two John’s sit on either side of a table in silence, not facing each other as they ponder for real, the question of identity that for Chiana and D'Argo is rhetorical by comparison. They're playing Rock/Paper/Scissors. A game that statistically should give each of them an equal chance of winning, losing and tying. But again and again and again, they make identical throws, never missing. Tie after tie after tie after tie.
No words are spoken, no eye contact made as they both stop the game at the same moment and each wearily runs his thumb across an abrasion over his right eye. Like a mirrored reflection, each slides his thumb down his right cheek and taps at his lower lip. Then the game is silently resumed. Tie. Tie. Tie. Tie...
Rygel sits watching them from the doorway to the room they sit in. As the weary, unwinnable game grinds on, Aeryn appears and stands next to Rygel.
Aeryn: (uncertainly) How is... he?
Rygel: (with a sigh) Still tied.
And the two John’s play on, throwing tie after tie after tie. Sometimes they steal a simultaneous sidelong glance at each other as they try to find something that might distinguish one of them from the other. And the voice of Kaarvok repeating what he said to D'Argo echoes in their minds - “I doubled you. I - twinned you. Equal and original.”