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Infinite Possibilities Part I
Daedalus Demands
July 27, 2001 - US
November 26, 2001 - UK
3.14

Writer - Carleton Eastlake
Director - Peter Andrikidis

Guest Cast
Kent McCord . . . Jack Crichton/Ancient
Magda Szubanski . . . Furlow
Patrick Ward . . . Zylar


Go To The Episode Transcript

Episode Summary
IP1 - "Daedalus Demands," takes place with Talyn, Crais and the half of Moyaís crew they're playing host to. Aeryn and John's relationship is percolating nicely, just as John had feared it would, when their quest to rejoin Moya is interrupted by a sort of psychic call put out to John by the Ancients - the alien race who seeded his brain with the wormhole technology that's been causing him so much trouble. He and the same Ancient he met during the events of AHR - the one who appears in the guise of his father, Jack - finally re-connect and he learns that they've sought him out because they've seen his module flying through wormholes - piloted by a member of a nasty race known as the Charrids. The Ancients suspect John of having blabbed to the universe about wormholes and they are upset. Seems they did not intend for their "gift" to be shared.

Well now of course John knows nothing about Charrids flying his module. But a little brainstorming uncovers a likely explanation. Furlow - the conniving lady spaceship mechanic who took John for his wormhole data back during the events of TTBRC.

So off to Furlow's spaceship garage on the desert world of Dan-Ba-Da they go. When they arrive they find the place a Charrid-overrun ruin. But Luckily Charrids, for all their fearsome reputation, are easier to kill than cockroaches - although they have formed an alliance with the Scarrans - who are harder to kill than toenail fungus. But the Scarrans aren't there and the crew of Talyn mow Charrids down like grass. Unfortunately Crais and Talyn are both blinded by the wicked solar flares of the Dam-Ba-Da-ish sun - so they're pretty much out of commission and helpless. Rygel is set up in a gun turret to keep more Charrids from getting into Furlow's compound while the others go hunting for her. When they find her, they discover that not only has she built a replica of the module, but she's improved upon it with the successful addition of a phase stabilizer. That enables the craft to actually navigate wormholes safely. She plans to sell it to the highest bidder ASAP.

Of course the Ancient isn't down with that. But before he can do anything about it - a Scarran Dreadnought is found to be on its way. Then the nasty buggers reach out of dead space and upload almost all of Furlow's data. So now the Ancient is going to have to get rid of the Dreadnought since it is deeply unlikely that the Scarrans will give the data back. And getting rid of a Dreadnought is like - unheard of unless you have a fleet of massive gunships. But - the Ancient has something better - wormhole technology - a force of nature that can be put to stupendously destructive use. But he needs John's help to do the conversions. John is forced to confess that another guy by the name of Scorpius has also helped himself to the contents of his brain AND left a neural clone of himself in there. So now they have to get rid of Scorpius/Harvey before the Ancient can let John in on any more secrets. The clone of course, has a nice life in John's Head and doesn't want to leave. So while Crais and Talyn tumble blind in space and the Scarran Dreadnought draws closer, Rygel is finally taken down by a lucky shot from some Charrid and the Ancient and John set out to exorcise Scorpius/Harvey. But alas - the Ancient is knocked comatose and it is John who is evicted from his own head. Aeryn knows what she must do as she places the muzzle of her gun against the forehead of what is now - Scorpius/John.

Is Rygel really dead? Is John really gone for good and about to have his body blown away by the woman he loves? Will the Scarrans slaughter Furlow and all the survivors so they alone possess wormhole technology and thus upset the balance of power in the galaxy? Or will the Ancient somehow succeed in doing his mathematical magic and save the universe from the Scarrans?

Tune in next week for the thrilling conclusion of Infinite Possibilities - "Icarus Abides."

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TRANSCRIPT
The episode opens with Talyn, barely visible as he moves in the sunless deeps of space. The scene shifts to within his body, where Aeryn and John are lounging in their underwear, head to foot,, on their narrow bunk. John is trying to pass the time and distract himself by teaching Aeryn English the only way someone with translator microbes could learn a new language - by reading it. She's playing along - studying a word list he's prepared for her in a notebook.

John: (slowly sounding each letter) G-u-n.

Aeryn: (she tries the sounds on her tongue and then exclaims triumphantly) Gun!

John: Gun! (they both laugh a little with pleasure at her success) Do the next one.

Aeryn: S-u-n - Sun.

John: Sun.

Aeryn: Sun. (there's a pause while John absently pets her body. She sighs and snaps the notebook shut) You know that everyone thinks your crazy as a banta bug.

John: (preoccupied) Yeah what else is new?

Aeryn: Mm. You still hearing it?

John: Mm-hm - feeling it. It's like a homing signal.

Aeryn: Or a trap - Scorpius trap.

John: (pensive) No, no, no. I know Scorpius. This is different.

Aeryn: (logically) All right, so let's say it is - this alien who takes the form of your father. Why would they come looking for you now?

John: (he rests his head on her hip as he stares into space and says, with a note of dread in his voice) I have no idea. I thought the Ancients were done with me.

Aeryn: (she sits up to face him and caresses his face as she murmurs coaxingly) Well why - don't you - just ignore it? Why do you want to look for them?

John: (with the quiet conviction of one who feels it in his gut) 'Cos I'm not done with them. (Aeryn sighs and turns away from him again) Do you think I'm crazy?

Aeryn: (nodding) Mm - always thought you were crazy. You know that.

John: Do you know why - I'm crazy?

Aeryn: (with a little smile) Why are you crazy?

John: (he sits up and leans over her shoulder to say near her ear) You. (he kisses her shoulder)

Aeryn: (feigning surprise with a little laugh and gasp) Aah! Me? (she then inhales sharply and says "OO!" as he continues to kiss her tummy and side)

John: (affectionate teasing) You. (Aeryn hums a little with pleasure. But suddenly, John stops. Something seen through the portal of their room has caught the corner of his eye) Aeryn. (she grunts questioningly) Out there.

Aeryn: What?

John: Look. (she sits up to follow his gaze. They find themselves looking down the length a wormhole that shifts in space like a flexible tube. At its far end the planet Earth can be sporadically seen as the wormhole twists)

(but Aeryn and John aren't the only ones being treated to this vision of Earth. The scene shifts to Talynís Command - where the Event is greeted with something rather less than enthusiasm)

Rygel: Oh no! Not again!

Crais: Have you seen this before?

Rygel: Unfortunately yes! And so has Crichton!

Crais: (he looks up as his ship quietly calls for his attention) Yes Talyn. (as his ship talks to him, he moves to a data display panel) Appearances to the contrary - this planet seems to have no mass - it must be a illusion. (at that moment John strides onto t he Command, followed by Aeryn)

John: (confirming Crais' and Talyn observation) It's a billboard. It means we've found what we're lookin' for. (well what HE'S looking for anyway - he moves quickly to the comms console and begins broadcasting. His tone is more grimly nervous than excited) Hello - anybody out there? Ancients - Jack - whatever you want to call yourself. This is John Crichton. (no response) Hellooo... (silence - then with dread) Come out, come out, wherever you are.

The ancient Earth chant of calling does the trick. Talyn lurches violently and in the wink of an eye and a flash of brilliant light, the little gunship and his crew find themselves buffeted and tossed by the quantum forces of the wormhole which seems to have engulfed them. The light at the far end of the singularity intensifies and the "billboard" self-destructs around them.

And in the blinding light of the explosion - the crew of Talyn is joined by something that stands there and looks like a robust older man - Jack Crichton, John's father.

Jack/Ancient: I'm here. (the little group on the Command gape at the being who stands before them and Crais instinctively whips up his gun)

Crais: Talyn-! (but before he can issue any orders to his ship, John grabs his wrist to stay any attack upon their visitor)

John: Crais! No - I know this guy.

Jack/Ancient: (staring at John with furrowed brow) And I thought I knew you. (his breathing shakes a bit as he continues, with resolve, but also with a trace of regret) I may have been wrong. If I was - I may have to kill you. (and with that, he raises one hand, palm outward, towards John's face. The humans whole head is instantly bathed in the glow of intense pale blue light. He seems paralyzed as his head is thrown back by the force of the Ancients scan)

Aeryn: (she immediately brings her gun to bear on the Ancient, but she doesn't sound very convincing as she says-) Let him go or I will shoot.

And indeed, the Ancient in Jack Crichtonís skin ignores her completely as he continues to focus on his probe of the humans intentions and intellect)

The scene shifts to a featureless, boundless, blue stage in John's Head. Jack/Ancient is there with him, circling him as their minds overlap and pass through each other. John remains immobilized by the Ancients scan

John: (his voice is strained) What the heck is this?

Jack/Ancient: Our last encounter left a residual link between our minds. I summonsed you with it.

John: Right. Got it. Make your point.

Jack/Ancient: My race was looking for a world to inhabit.

John: Yeah I know, but Earth didn't work for ya. So I can't help you there.

Jack/Ancient: We found a world, perfectly suited to us. The Ancients are there now.

John: Well congratulations. What can I do for you then?

Jack/Ancient: On our travel to the new world, we saw this - (he causes an image to appear in the air. It is of the Farscape1 arcing towards the mouth of a wormhole) - your module - being flown though an unstable wormhole. Piloted by this creature. (the image of the Farscape 1 segues to a view of its cockpit. It shows the pilots seat occupied by a creature with a high forehead and a tangle of rough hair. Its skull-like visage is dominated by a mouth full of sharp, clenched teeth)

John: What-? Who the hell is that?

Jack/Ancient: You tell me.

John: No idea. Never seen one before. When was this?

Jack/Ancient: A third of a cycle ago.

John: Well - my module was safe aboard Moya a third of a cycle ago.

Jack/Ancient: Are you saying this is a duplication?

John: (his voice is hoarse with strain as he watches the image) I'm saying I don't know anything at all about it. (the image of the module now reveals an unfamiliar piece of equipment mounted on its exterior just above and behind the cockpit canopy) What's that device?

Jack/Ancient: Phase stabilizer. Allows travel through any wormhole. Technology only a few could duplicate. Did you teach this creature to build it?

John: How would I do that when *I* don't know how to build it?

Jack/Ancient: (severely) Are you speaking the truth?

John: Jack - you're a mind-reading alien - like my dad. Don't you know when I'm speaking the truth?

Jack/Ancient: I can only penetrate your mind this deep.

John: Bummer.

Jack/Ancient: We gave you a gift. You misused it.

John: (his flat voice takes on a note of bitterness) What gift?

Jack/Ancient: (and his voice betrays a note of anger for the first time) If you didn't build that stabilizer, who did?

John: (tired and confused) I dunno. (and with that - a flash of white light obliterates the sublime blue emptiness of the place where he and Jack/Ancient had been standing and transports him to the ridiculous venue in his own mind of a bumper-car ride. He suddenly finds himself at the wheel of one of the cars and clad in his old orange flight suit. The gay lights and tinny music of the carnival complete the scene as he looks around wildly) What the hell-? (the culprit behind the sudden scene-switch quickly reveals himself - in another bumper-car, wearing an absurd NASCAR style racing jumper over his black leather coolant suit)

Scorpius/Harvey: (calling over to John) Sorry - but I need your attention! And we only have a few moments! (he adds conversationally) This is a fascinating place in your memory - and hard to find!

John: (outraged) What do you want?

Scorpius/Harvey: Discretion! That false father image will terminate us both if he learns of my existence! (he sideswipes John's car in the spirit of the game) There's no reason he should - (scoffingly) -Scorpius didn't copy your module!

John: (annoyed) How do you know?

Scorpius/Harvey: Tell me this John - could you rebuild a module from memory? Huh?

John: Probably not. (the neural clone gleefully rams his car into John's again)

Scorpius/Harvey: Neither could Scorpius! All he knows - is what my neural chip absorbed from you!

John: So who did it?

Scorpius/Harvey: (coaxing thought from his host) Who else knows of your wormhole search? Who has both - access to your module - and the expertise to replicate it? Hm?

John: Furlow.

Scorpius/Harvey: El-e-mentary! (and as if in reward for the right answer - he bounces his car off John's again)

John: (perhaps annoyed by the constant points the clone is scoring off his as much as by its damnable smugness) Either that or you're coverin' your ass!

Scorpius/Harvey: (persist ant) Why give Jack - irrelevant information which may only provoke him into killing us ALL! Aeryn included!

John: Why would he kill Aeryn? (but the clone doesn't need to answer that. He's raised John's anxiety and that's all he needs to do)

Scorpius/Harvey: (carelessly) Gamble with her life if you want. Tell him everything! But don't say you weren't warned! (and with one last emphatic thump upside John's car, another flash of white light releases the human back to the blue nothingness of his mental encounter with the Ancient)

John: (he bobbles a bit on his feet as he continues his conversation with the Ancient from where they left off) Maybe - (he thinks of the owner of the spaceship garage back at Dam-Ba-Da depot and an image of her fleshy, pop-eyed face appears in the air between him and the Ancient) - Furlow.

Jack/Ancient: The mechanic?

John: Yah.

Jack/Ancient: (sharply) From Dam-Ba-Da?

John: That's the one. (there's a moment of silence as the Ancient considers this) So why don't you go bug her? And can we please - get out of my head? (Jack/Ancient stops his pacing around John and raises his palm to the humans again. With another flash of white light, the scene shifts instantly back to Talynís Command. John staggers as he is released. Aeryn quickly steadies him and peers with concern into his face)

Jack/Ancient: (there is a note of both relief and urgency in his voice) He's unhurt Aeryn Sun. (to John) We may have misjudged you. I hope we did.

Crais: (he still has his gun trained on the Ancient and is waiting for enlightenment as to what's going on) Who are you?

Jack/Ancient: My given name is- (his voice changes to the deeply resonant tones of his natural voice as he speaks a long series of syllables unreproducable by the puny vocal chords of humans, Hynerians or Sebaceans. John sucks his lips in. perhaps amused by the useless answer to Crais' question) - You can call me Jack.

Crais: (suitably unimpressed) How did you get on board?

John: (he reaches over and pushes Crais' gun down without taking his eyes of the Ancient) Save it Crais. We got bigger fish to fry. Jack - shown 'em the - postcard. Maybe they can identify the pilot. (the Ancient causes a free-floating holo of the toothy alien flying the Farscape1. Unnoticed, Rygel gasps quietly as his jaw drops and his eyes widen with horror) You guys know what that critter is?

Aeryn: I don't recognize the species. Crais?

Crais: I'll just check Talynís databanks. (his body turns away but his eyes stay on the image of the creature)

Rygel: (swearing under his breath) Fa-pu-tah!

(cut to shortly after. Rygel has made his way off the Command and to elsewhere on Talyn. He anxiously sails his hoverchair back and forth in front of a red and white underlit strategy table and confers with Stark, who follows his nervous 'pacing')

Rygel: It was a Charrid, Stark! A frelling Charrid!

Stark: You're familiar with that species?

Rygel: (with the deep dread instilled by a nightmarish history) Oh a 1000 cycles ago the Charrids invaded Hynerian space. They killed a billion of my people! (he looks away with a mournful shudder) Ate a million of our young.

Stark: (murmuring) I'm sorry - I didn't know.

Rygel: We finally repelled them with suicide attacks. Wave after wave after wave - (he turns to face the Banik) - more death than even you could fathom - until we drove them off!

Stark: (guessing Rygelís concern) But if they had wormholes they could come back and-

Rygel: (desperately fearful) And attack us without warning and disappear before we could retaliate? We have no defense against that! (he shudders verbally) OH-H-H-H-H...

Stark: (he raises a gentle hand to Rygelís mouth) Quiet - I know a Delvian chant that is very calming in times of stress. (he closes his eyes and begins to say his sutra) Vas blu imishkith lume'trell-ahhh... (one would think he'd learn that his profane fellow travelers just won't have any of it - but he never does - or maybe he just never gives up hope. He takes Rygelís face in his hands) Say it with me! Vas blu imishkith lume'trell- Vas blu imishkith lume'trell...

Rygel: (his voice is muffled by Starks firm hands pressing against his cheeks) Stop it you lunatic! (Stark stops and unhands the Hynerians face, as usual he looks ever so slightly hurt by the rejection) Get it through what's left of that head of yours that THIS - IS - SERIOUS! (at that moment, Crais enters the room and catches Rygelís last admonition)

Crais: More serious than you can imagine. Unconfirmed intelligence reports suggest an alliance - between the Charrids - and the Scarrans.

(cut to John and Jack/Ancient walking in Talynís corridors)

John: Lay it on me Jack. Why are you so afraid of a Halloween mask in a tiny module?

Jack/Ancient: Because they were on a course similar to ours which may have led them right to the new home of the Ancients.

John: All right I understand you're concerned about your privacy. But you guys are god-like aliens with the power of wormholes.

Jack/Ancient: We're a dyin' race John. The voyage made us weaker. We may not be able to defend against a hostile species. That's why I stayed behind. To make sure no one could find them.

John: You missed the boat?

Jack/Ancient: I volunteered.

John: But you can catch up?

Jack/Ancient: (they stop to face each other) Unlikely.

John: Well Jack, this may all be for nothing. Funnyface could be Furlow's test pilot - but Furlow's not a hostile species. She's an entrepreneur. We can buy her out and everybody's gonna be happy.

Jack/Ancient: Then we should contact this Furlow and investigate.

John: Yeah you're probably right. If Furlow's on to something, I want to know about it.

(cut to some time later as Talyn roars above a dun-colored planet. The scene shifts to his Command where only Stark keeps Crais company as they settle into a fateful orbit around the desert world)

Stark: That's Dam-Ba-Da? I thought it was populated?

Crais: It appears to be sterilized. Spaceport's been leveled.

Stark: By what?

Crais: Unknown. Talyn detects no weapon installations.

Stark: Any life signs?

Crais: Talyn can't detect anything at this distance. It could be camouflaged or underground. Talyn- (the ship responds with the electronic equivalent of 'Aye-aye Cap'n!') Flare activity from this star could damage your systems. When we're gone - get into the planets shadow and shut down all the exterior systems you can. (Talyn acknowledges as Crais and Stark turn to leave)

(cut to Aeryn and John as they stride through Talynís corridors to his docking bay. They're dressed in their protective leathers and armed to the teeth with pulse rifles, pistols, sundry hand bombs and Big Guns that look like small rocket launchers. Aerynís tone is flat as John fishes for gratification)

John: So you think we really need all this stuff?

Aeryn: I hope not, but we don't know what we're going to find.

John: Yeah. Sorry to screw up your life again.

Aeryn: Yeah as long as you know it's all your fault.

John: Me and my damn wormholes.

Aeryn: Not all wormholes are bad.

John: Nooo... But ah - if I hadn't'a been huntin' wormholes we never would have run into Furlow or the Ancients.

Aeryn: (finally rising to his bait) If you hadn't fallen into a wormhole, you never would have met- (she takes a deep breath)
John: (finishing her thought with a grin) Rygel!

Aeryn: (she can't help but return his grin and his tease) Furlow, I would think, is a better match for you. You could pool your knowledge and chase wormholes all you want.

John: (facetiously) Furlow! Yeah - she's sexy! She's the girl I wanna take home and meet the folks. (Aerynís smile fades and she takes a deep breath through her nose as she casts him A Look) What? You didn't think I planned on goin' home alone didja?

Aeryn: I haven't been thinking about it.

John: I wouldn't - (he stops, and she pulls up as well, as he says in all seriousness) - want to do that. To go back alone.

Aeryn: (after a long pause) I wouldn't want you to.

John: We should talk about this.

Aeryn: Some other time?

John: Yeah. (he smiles, pleased by her answer and its implication of her willingness to discuss it seriously) We could do lunch. (they kiss, which he finishes with a catlike rub of his of forehead and nose against hers before moving on. Aeryn sucks her lips in as she watches him go and then follows, her blank face suggests nerves at the prospect of spoken commitment)

(cut to Moyaís transport pod as it arcs away from Talyn with his crew and the Ancient aboard. The scene shifts to inside the pod where Crais is helping Rygel don a pair of the goggle necessary to protect the eyes of most races from the flares of the cold desert sun of Dam-Ba-Da. John is in the pods pilot seat and Stark frets at the sensor readouts from the co-pilots chair)

Stark: Still can't detect any activity on the planet surface.

Aeryn: (she proffers pair of the goggles to him) Here - Stark.

Stark: (he takes the goggles - and her hand as well, clutching it as he whispers) Thank you - thank you, thank you... (Aeryn pulls away from him, perplexed as ever by his behavior. But he quickly turns his attention away from her as the Ancient makes an announcement)

Jack/Ancient: Put 'em on. Flare's coming.

Aeryn: How do you know?

Jack/Ancient: I can sense them. It'll occur in 10 microts.

John: Be a good time to land - it'll cover our approach. (he pulls his goggles over his eyes)

Rygel: (to Jack/Ancient) Where's your goggles?

John: He doesn't need 'em Fluffy - those aren't his real eyes. (as Rygel ponders that - John prepares to take them in for a landing) Everybody hang on. (and as the pale golden solar flare fills the cabin of the pod with blinding light, they make their final approach to the Dam-Ba-Da depot. It was a scruffy dump before, but now it looks like an industrial dump yard. Wrecked machinery and anonymous pieces of large debris litter a landscape interspersed with puddles of water. The only intact building is the tunnel-like entrance to Furlow's compound of underground machine shops. An automatic artillery gun sits atop the entrance and another gun turret sits out in front. The rest of the planetscape is a hard, grey desert of low ridges with a little scrubby vegetation here and there, all under a pale blue sky. John announces their touchdown a safe distance from the remains of Furlow's spaceship garage) All right - seat belt sign is off. Aeryn, Crais - we're up.

(cut to moments later as the 3 warriors of the crew make for the underground compound. They stay linked via comm to the Ancient, Rygel and Stark in the pod. Crais is the forward man as he jogs to the top of a low rise where he has a view of the yawning entrance to Furlow's spaceship garage)

Crais: THE ENTRANCE IS OPEN! (and no sooner are the words out of his mouth - than the gun atop the garage fires off a shot in the general direction of our heroes) GET DOWN!

John: TAKE COVER! (the 3 of them make a rush for cover near each other amid the bits of junk out in front of the compound door. The artillery installation continues to pepper the area with rather random fire, which sends up showers of dust and debris with each impact. As John joins Crais, they become aware of small weapons fire coming at them from another direction) WHERE THE HELL'S THAT CROSS FIRE COMING FROM?!

Crais: (the light begins to intensify as another solar flare builds) AERYN! CAN YOU SEE ANYTHING?

Aeryn: NO - IT'S THE FLARES!

John: MAYBE IT'S JUST A COUPLE O' GUYS! (he hunkers down and readies his Big Gun in the direction of the crossfire while the flare reaches its zenith. As it abates - the source of the rear fire appears on the top of another low ridge. At least a dozen masked, yelling Charrids) Oo-kay - maybe not.

Meanwhile, Aeryn is concentrating on the cavernous entrance of the spaceship garage/bunker. Things are no better from that direction as more Charrids begin to pour out of it. The crew of Talyn has only just got there and they're already cut off from their ship and surrounded by dozens of Unfriendly People who hadn't had the grace to show up on scans before.

Aeryn: Here they come!

Or at least here they try to come. The Charrids, whose helmet/masks make them appear as if they have muzzles and many of whose hair is matted in long, filthy, rope-like dreads that fall to below their waists, proceed to suffer significant casualties at the hands of our heroes. The automatic artillery installation is mostly a noise-maker and the Charrids fighting style seems to be to attempt to overwhelm their enemy with sheer numbers. In the midst of all this chaos, Crais starts having trouble with his ship...

Crais: (yelling into a commlink) TALYN! STAY IN SHADOW! DON'T EXPOSE YOUR SENSES TO THE INTENSITY OF THE SOLAR FLARE! (then, in response to the questioning looks of Aeryn and John) HE KNOWS WE'RE IN TROUBLE AND HE'S COMING BACK TO HELP US!

Aeryn: WELL TELL HIM TO STOP!

Crais: HE REFUSES! (that ship needs a spanking)

(cut back to the transport pod where Stark is arming himself to go the aid of the others - but before he can leave he finds Rygel priming the pod for take-off)

Stark: What are you doing?

Rygel: (his voice thick with fear) They're cut off! There's nothing we can do here!

Stark: (bringing his gun to bear on the Hynerian) You try to leave and you'll be cut off!

Jack/Ancient: (tense) Another flare is coming - 20 microts.

(cut back to the others pinned down by heavy fire and dozens of enthusiastic, if not too bright, enemies)

Crais: TALYN A FLARE IS IMMINENT! SHUT DOWN YOUR SENSES! BREAK OFF! (but his ship won't listen) NO TALYN! GO BACK!

Aeryn: DO IT TALYN! (it isn't clear if Aeryn is supporting Crais' order or whether she's just decided their situation is dire enough that they might as well use the recalcitrant gunship if he insists upon coming. Whichever - it's all the encouragement Talyn needs. And as the atmosphere of Dam-Ba-Da becomes a haze of yellow-white light, he makes a low strafing run over the surface. Charrids scatter or are flattened by the powerful concussions of his fire - but as the flare recedes and Talyn arcs back up towards space they still come. And the cost of the young Leviathans disobedience quickly becomes evident. The neural transponder that links him to his captain is short-circuiting and Crais clutches at the back of his neck as he screams Talynís agony)

Crais: AAAAAARRRGGGGHHHHH! Talyn reverse direction! Head for the dark side of the planet!

Aeryn: (giving Crais some advice regarding the transponder) Take it out! (while the agonized Crais struggles with the neural link, Aeryn and John continue to mow down their attackers. But Talynís attack did enough damage so that the cry "FALL BACK!" goes up and the Charrid horde withdraws to the wasteland to regroup. Aeryn uses the brief lull to lunge for Crais and wrench the fused transponder from his neck - which brings him immediate relief. John throws himself down near them)

John: We gotta get to that bunker - how's Crais?

Crais: I CAN'T SEE! Talyn is blinded and so am I!

Aeryn: (urgently, via comm) Stark come down here now and take Crais back to the pod! Crichton and I will have to go on alone- (to Crais) - You stay here. You stay under cover.

John: Cover me. (taking advantage of the Charrids momentary withdrawal, he breaks cover and makes for the entrance to Furlow's compound. Aeryn lays down fire against a few Charrids that immediately emerge and the auto-defense gun starts up again with its wild shots. She then follows as John nears their goal and pulls a grenade and lobs it into the mouth of the bunker before veering off) FIRE IN THE HOLE! (fire indeed - Aeryn takes cover near the entrance as a massive wall of orange flame erupts from the cave-like entrance, which would annihilate anything within for quite a ways. They then plunge in - and still the Charrids come from keeper inside. The carnage-making begins, and goes on for a long time, as Aeryn leads the way down into Furlow's dark domain)

(cut to the transport pod which Rygel is piloting as Jack/Ancient helps Stark guide Crais back into the main cabin. The Banik is chanting madly - and finding yet another unreceptive recipient of his spiritual ministrations)

Stark: Si fi-eshrava heerma ekun-ziek! Si fi-eshrava heerma ekun-ziek! Si fi-eshrava heerma ekun-ziek!

Crais: He said help me you idiot! Not chant me over to the other side!

Meanwhile Aeryn and John continue to lay waste to what looks like an entire generation of Charrids back at the bunker. Either the reputation of these ropey-haired mercenaries is exaggerated or the ones who attacked Hyneria had a helluva lot better body armor 'cos these ones are dropping like flies - sometimes 2 in one shot - and can't even manage to inflict a smudge of dirt on Our Guys.

Finally, Aeryn and John kick open a door, shoot a few more Charrids - and behold none other than Furlow. The Charrids managed to keep HER under control at least! The fat blonde with the cartoon Canadian accent is attired in a grubby coverall like the mechanic she is and actually has a large gash on one plump cheek. She's sitting with both hands restrained by chains attached to the ceiling. She looks calmly at Aeryn and John with her pale, bulbous eyes, which fluoresce a little blue in the gloom, and says-

Furlow: Well, well, well. If it isn't my favorite flyboy. Just couldn't stay away from me. Huh?

John: What the hell happened to you? (is it just us or is that a really stupid question?)

Furlow: You know, I'd be happy to tell ya all about it if you'd just CUT ME THE FRELL DOWN!

He obliges by blasting the bolt holding the chain, Furlow picks up a gigantic Space Wrench, and the 3 of them set off together. Furlow's compound is a maze of dim, open catwalks and rooms on different levels and as they go, they of course wipe out more Charrids at every step. Coming to Furlow's main shop floor, the tough little broad (Furlow, not Aeryn) takes a swing at a lurking Charrid with her Space Wrench. He goes down, but as she moves in for the kill - John decides that this ones life should be spared and he lays a restraining hand on her arm.

John: Furlow!

Furlow: (annoyed) What?

John: Save someone for questioning. (Furlow rolls her eyes as Aeryn leans over the Charrid, whose name, we have intuited, is Zylar. He is unmasked and lacks the wild dreads of some of his fellows)

Aeryn: How many troops on the planet?

Zylar: (sneering) Bring any sisters? You won't be enough to pleasure all of us.

Aeryn: (she deals him a blow with the butt of her gun for his mealy mouth) HOW MANY? (John decides she needs help, so he steps up and puts the muzzle of his gun in the creatures skull-like face)

John: Why grandma - what big teeth you have.

Zylar: We'll feast on you tonight and tomorrow - all your families!

John: Yeah and you can have our pets for breakfast. (Aeryn lifts a small device from Zylar and activates it) Communicator?

Aeryn: I think so. Might be able to listen in. How many ways into this place Furlow?

Furlow: Except for the front door? None. All of the approaches are booby-trapped and some of the automatic guns are still working.

Aeryn: Some?

Furlow: (with a shrug) Prob'ly. (well if they're anything like the one at the front door - who cares?)

Aeryn: I'll check the perimeter.

John: That's a good idea. Do me a favor? Take Smiley here and stash him somewhere on your way out.

Zylar: You fear me!

John: No - you just smell. (Zylar has no snappy comeback for that so he just snarls and gets up)

Furlow: Toodle-oo!

Aeryn: (prodding the captive along as Furlow gives him a mocking "ROWR!") Move! (as she herds Zylar out, John turns to stare at the proud centerpiece of Furlow's main shop)

John: What the hell is this?

Furlow: What d'ya think? A truly fine copy of your module. (he leans close to peer into the replicas cockpit) Got a nice detailed scan last time you were here.

John: Yeah, when you ripped off all my data.

Furlow: Y'know you're - gonna have to let that go Johnny. (proudly) Point is - I flew it through a wormhole. 4 times. And not just a wormhole - a proto-wormhole. Unstable as all flitz - didn't even muss m' hair.

John: (he's not in the mood for congratulations as he paces the room edgily) How long have the Charrids been here?

Furlow: I hired 'em. For security. They even did the first test flights. Then - a couple o' solar days ago, the blotchers double-crossed me. Killed all my techs. Tried torture the secret outta me. Get the passwords to my computers. But ah - I'm tougher than they thought.

John: (a rather dubious murmur) Right.

Furlow: Oh - one more thing.

John: What? (she whips one pudgy hand up and slaps it onto the back of his neck and yanks his face down to her level so she can plant a big smooch on his lips. She lets go and he twangs back to an upright position, staring at her as if he isn't sure what just happened)

Furlow: Thanks for the rescue. (she rolls her head and eyes coquettishly at him and walks off with a little giggle and sway of her substantial hips. John watches the dirty-faced, often cigar-chomping woman go and his tongue emerges from between his lips in a sort of silent 'Yuck' gesture)

(cut to the pod. Aeryn comms them from inside Furlow's bunker/garage. The scene shifts between the two locales as they speak)

Aeryn: Transport pod - all clear outside.

Crais: (urgently) Aeryn - my link with Talyn is gone! He's blinded and panicked! I must find him and board him quickly!

Aeryn: All right. Stark, send in Rygel and Jack - you try and take Crais back to Talyn.

Rygel: Ah! Ah - w-wait a microt - I'll fly Crais back. We get Talyn working - we can kill more Charrids quicker.

Crais: (is it that he really likes Stark so much or that he doesn't want to be reliant on Rygelís kind mercies that makes him jump in so quickly and vehemently?) Nononono! Stark knows Talyn! He can help calm him down!

Stark: (he leans close to Crais, who looks a little worried despite his stated preference) Let me be your eye.

Rygel: (disappointed, he mutters) Perfect! The half-blind leading the blind.

Aeryn: No, he's right Rygel. Get in here.

Stark: (leaning in close to Rygel to breath) She likes me more than she likes you. (Rygel grunts and refuses to look at him)

(cut to soon after as the transport pod lifts off from just outside the bunker and heads up to orbit after dropping off Jack/Ancient and Rygel. The scene then shifts back to John and Furlow in her main shop)

John: (he tosses his coat aside and climbs up on the replica of his module to look at the phase stabilizer Furlow added to its design) What happened to this planet? Looks like it's been carpet bombed.

Furlow: Solar flares got bigger than ever. Most everybody cleared out.

John: Solar flares - the last time I was here you said there weren't gonna be any solar flares for 4.8 cycles.

Furlow: (with a shrug) I lied. (well at least she's honest)

John: (not surprised) You lied.

Furlow: Yeah, I figgered it'd keep you away for a while so I could - work in peace. (at that moment, Aeryn and Jack/Ancient enter)

Aeryn: Charrids are keeping their distance but it won't last forever. They are regrouping.

Furlow: (eyeing Aeryn) I'm tellin' ya, they're not gonna get in. (then, eyeing Jack/Ancient, who's examining the phase stabilizer, she asks in a too-sweet tone) Who's he-e?

John: (without looking up from the part of the module copy he's examining now, he disinterestedly makes introductions) We call him Jack. Jack, Furlow. Furlow, Jack.

Furlow: Hands off the merchandise there - Jack.

Jack/Ancient: (unimpressed with her baleful stare) Give me the tool so I can open this up.

Furlow: Give me one reason why I oughta let ya.

Aeryn: Can I give you two? We just saved your life -and this gun. (which she snaps the safety off of as she points it at Furlow)

Furlow: Fair enough.

Jack/Ancient: Another flare - 10 microts.

John: (hailing Crais and Stark) Pod? Another flare - 8 microts.

(cut to the pod)

Stark: (as he slides his goggles over his eyes) We're ready. (he eyes poor Crais, sitting there with no goggles. His lids are swollen and the whites of his eyes show only as unseeing slits. Stark murmurs under his breath) Well - some more than others. (the light of the flare fills the pods cabin with its searing light) Crichton can you hear me?

Crais: (annoyed) Of course not! Not while the flare is happening.

Stark: (muttering) Oh right - (louder) - I don't like this planet much.

Crais: (snapping) Neither do I. Just stay on the vector I gave you!

Stark: (stressed) We're on vector! (he takes a couple breathes through his flared nostrils and then says very sweetly to the poor blind guy) Don't worry - we'll find Talyn.

Crais: (sharply grim - he isn't a blind guy who's going to be pacified with sweetness) Finding Talyn is just the beginning of our task!

(cut back to Furlow's main shop where she and John are watching Jack/Ancient dissect the phase stabilizer)

Furlow: Talk to me Johnny. Who is that thoddo?

John: He's one of the last remaining members of an ancient alien race who knows all about wormholes.

Furlow: (politely. As she rolls her eyes to look at John) Mm-hm. So what's he doin' here?

John: Making sure they don't fall into the wrong hands.

Furlow: Right. Well. He can have the technology - if - he can afford it. (as she moves off, Aeryn enters and takes her place next to John)

Aeryn: I think we should tie her back up.

John: Don't tempt me.

Aeryn: No I said tie her - back up. (she smiles at her rather fractured joke)

(cut to Rygel elsewhere in Furlow's bunker. It's not clear whether he's been pressed into service as a guard for the sassy Zylar or if he's just sought the guy out for a chat)

Zylar: A Hynerian. Good timing. I'm hungry. Pity you're so aged. You won't be so tasty. (Rygel growls and fixes the cadaverous fellow with a loathing glare) Don't glare at me! I'm not impressed. You think a Hynerian could ever frighten me?

Rygel: (sweetly - the Charrid's in trouble) Oh! I'm not here to frighten you. Nonononono.

Zylar: Then what? To question me? Plainly you are unaware of our superior resistance to pain!

Rygel: (continuing in a dangerously mild tone) Actually I do know something about Charrid physiology. Just as I know something about your weaponry. (as he speaks, he reaches into a heap of Zylarís belongings and pulls out a sliver weapon. It consists of a handle with one long prong and one short, barbed prong curved slightly towards each other. Rygel chuckles a little as he flicks a switch on it and it begins to emit a low buzz) This ractor, for instance, contains neural circuits that inflict 10 times the normal pain. Designed to be effective even against your own kind. (he draws a deep breath and whispers) A very unpleasant death.

Zylar: (a little less brash and a lot more nervous all of a sudden) You don't dare kill me!

Rygel: Don't I?

Zylar: The others want me alive!

Rygel: Yes. Well plainly you're unaware of one more fact - I don't give a garantas brax what the others want! (Zylar looks like he might be considering screaming like a girl as PsychoHynerian approaches him with the ractor)

(cut back to Furlow's main shop floor where Jack/Ancient has the phase stabilizer on a workbench and is ready to render his verdict on it)

Jack/Ancient: Primitive. Underpowered.

Furlow: (miffed) It's only a prototype! Ya welnitz.

Jack/Ancient: The underlying technology's sound.

Furlow: (proud) You bet yer frangle it is!

Jack/Ancient: (appalled) What have you done? (demanding) Who else has this knowledge?

Furlow: (coolly) Nobody got it from me. And they won't. Unless of course - they can meet my price.

Jack/Ancient: (outraged) You'd sell this to anyone?

Furlow: Excuse me? Is that any of your business?

Jack/Ancient: (angrily) Yes! You have no idea what this can do!

Furlow: (calmly) Sure I do. That's how I know it'll make me rich. (at that moment, the shop is shaken by a distant explosion and dust sifts down from the ceiling)

Aeryn: Mortar fire!

Furlow: Well the Charrids are gettin' bold again.

Aeryn: Can this structure withstand a mortar attack?

Furlow: (unconcernedly) Prob'ly.

Aeryn: (muttering as she takes up her Big Gun and heads for the door) Frell.

Furlow: (as the building shakes and Aeryn exits) Eh. Let 'em come if they dare. That's my motto.

(cut to Aeryn as she moves through the maze of level risers towards the surface, Her progress is halted by an agonized scream from the vicinity of where she'd left Zylar)

Aeryn: RYGEL? (she moves quickly to where she'd left them - and of course finds the Charrid dead, covered with greenish grey blood and Rygel hovering over him with the gore covered ractor in hand) What have you done?

Rygel: (calmly) Interrogated. I thought he'd last much longer than that. (sounding almost pleased by the horror of the next thing he has to say) He did tell me that there is a Scarran Dreadnought heading for this planet. It'll arrive within 6 arns.

And as Aeryn looks appropriately horrified, the scene shifts briefly to the massive, thrumming hulk of a Scarran Dreadnought and it's cloud of smaller craft as it slides through space, seeming to dwarf the very stars.

(cut to the surface of Dam-Ba-Da depot where Charrids have taken to loading an old-fashioned artillery cannon and lobbing mortar shells at Furlow's compound. Cut back to inside the compound where Aeryn, John, Furlow and Jack/Ancient are on the move with the phase stabilizer)

Aeryn: I'm hearing more and more calls on their comm net.

John: They're gettin' ready to storm the castle.

Aeryn: (on comm) Crais? Can you hear me? Stark?

Furlow: Keep tryin'. Those flares play hezmana with comm signals. (they enter another, deeper, workshop with a big computer in it. Rygel is already there) Can this ship of yours stand up to a Scarran Dreadnought?

Aeryn: Not a chance. Even if he could see, it's about twice the size of a Command Carrier. (debris shakes down from the ceiling as another mortar hits)

Rygel: We have to do something!

Aeryn: We will. Come on. (she takes hold of Rygelís hoverchair and begins to stride out of the room with him in tow)

Rygel: Bu-uh-uh-uh - Where are we going?

Aeryn: You like killing Charrids? Now's your chance.

Rygel: But, I aaahhh... OOH! (with that, they're gone and John turns to Furlow)

John: (as much an observation as question) This doesn't worry you?

Furlow: Nah. Even if they do get in a lucky hit and breach a wall the booby-traps'll get 'em before they get in.

John: You hope.

Furlow: I know - if the Charrids hadn't jumped me in orbit they'd'a never gotten in.

Jack/Ancient: They breach the defenses, we're gonna have to act fast.

Furlow: "Act fast"? You have - some kind of plan?

John: We don't let the bad guys get the technology. (he produces 2 black, palm sized devices which he lays down on the stabilizer)

Furlow: Tarbik grenades. Surely you're not suggesting-

Jack/Ancient: (finishing her sentence affirmatively) We destroy it. (another powerful mortar blast rumbles ominously through the bunker)

(cut to Talyn, drifting in space on the dark side of Dam-Ba-Da. The scene shifts to his interior where Stark is leading Crais through the ships corridors - which are in ruins for the third time in his short life. Smoke fogs the air, crisped cable hangs in tatters from the ceiling and litters the floors. The lights snap and flicker as circuits short and Talyn shudders and rumbles)

Crais: (sick with concern for his ship) What can you see?

Stark: Damage! Damage! Damage!

Crais: (angry and frustrated) Whatever would I do without your verbal gifts?

Stark: (prickly) Oh you want more words? Well the conduits are damaged. Bulkheads damaged. External sensors damaged too! There is nothing that is not damaged!

Crais: Least of all YOU!

Stark: (pettily triumphant) *I* can see!

Crais: If only you could think! (he pulls Stark to a halt so he can focus on communicating with his ship sans transponder) Talyn! I know you are scared - but you must be able to hear me! Turn to your treblin side and accelerate. Get deeper into the planets shadow! (Talyn seems to quiet a bit as they feel his turn as per Crais' instruction)

Stark: (glad of Talynís compliance) Better, better - (he then tries to pull Crais on to the Command, but the former PK irritably yanks his arm away)

Crais: I can find my way on my own ship! (he turns around and promptly blunders into the wall of the corridor. He grabs onto a structural rib to keep from plotzing completely while Stark waits. The Banik then leans towards Crais and asks in an 'I-told-you-so' sort of tone-)

Stark: Are you ready now? (and before Crais can answer, he grabs his arm and pulls the blinded captain of Talyn on down the hall)

(cut back to the planet where Aeryn and Rygel are out on the surface just outside the bunker. They climb into a rusty, mushroom-shaped gun turret that sits there on the edge of a big puddle. The interior of the turret is cramped)

Rygel: (dubiously looking around) What's this?

Aeryn: It's an automated gun turret.

Rygel: Well it doesn't look like it's working.

Aeryn: Well - the targeting system's gone, but everything else is still intact. You can operate it manually.

Rygel: (he gasps and looks up at her, rather excited) I can?

Aeryn: (she activates each control as she shows them to the Hynerian) Yeah. That's where you reload. This is aim. And this is fire. (when she hits 'fire' the muzzle of the big gun belches a huge ball of white energy that blast a nice little crater in the desert some ways away) Now if you can't actually hit anything - just make sure you force the Charrids to keep well away from us. (she begins to back out)

Rygel: Uh- where will you be?

Aeryn: I'll be somewhere else.

Rygel: (a bit alarmed now) Uh - we work better as a team!

Aeryn: Well you didn't need any help when you were knifing the Charrid.

Rygel: This is different! I'm unprotected here! What happens if they fire in a mortar shell?

Aeryn: Well that's simple - you'll die. So keep them back.

Rygel: You keep them back! You're the artillery expert!

Aeryn: Tell me something Rygel. How many Hynerians perished in the suicide attacks when they repelled the Charrids?

Rygel: (looking away) Millions upon millions.

Aeryn: Any of them volunteer or were they all forced?

Rygel: (annoyed) Why?

Aeryn: I'm just curious to know whether sacrifice and bravery are Hynerian concepts.

Rygel: (he inhales deeply and turns back to the guns controls) Show me how this works again.

Aeryn: (she reaches over him to point out the sequence again) That's your reload - that's your aim - and this is your fire. (she sends another ball of energy flying and thumping out into the desert before quickly backing out) Good-bye. (and with that - she's gone. Leaving the big gun to its small gunner - who whines a little to himself as he looks up at it)

(cut back to Furlow's computer shop where John is taking some notes while Jack/Ancient tries to lecture some ethics into the rotund lady mechanic)

Jack/Ancient: You still don't understand how dangerous this technology can be. A wormhole isn't just a shortcut through space. It can be turned into a weapon of incredible destruction.

John: And we can't let the Scarrans have that kind of power.

Furlow: Okay. So we ah - turn around and sell it to the Peacekeepers. Maybe the Nebari too. Balance of power and we - clean up!

Jack/Ancient: The potential for disaster is too great. The danger is clear.

Furlow: It isn't clear to me. (she hoists a heavy gun up from somewhere and trains it on the Ancient. John drops his notepad and shoulders his own Big Gun at her as she continues contemptuously) You know, I think - all this high-minded talk is a pile of dren. And you're just tryin' t'take out a competitor.

Jack/Ancient: I speak the truth.

Furlow: Oh yeah? And why should I believe you? Where do you get all this cosmic knowledge? Who are you to tell me what I should do? (in response - Jack/Ancient shakes his head and undergoes a rather alarming transformation before her very eyes. His neck elongates and his human face stretches into the completely alien visage of his real self. His cranium is high and bulbous, tapering down to mouthparts somewhere between a duck and a catfish. Rubbery appendages dangle from the sides and back of his skull and frame his mouth. His eyes are two hard, grey balls in his smooth brown skin. Furlow's seen a lot - but evidently never anything like this. She gapes, stunned) What the frell-? Who are you?

Jack/Ancient: Someone who understands the risks of power. Do you, Furlow? (having established his exotic credentials, he reverses his chameleon act and resumes the stern appearance of John's father) Do you understand the future you're about to create? Are you willing to see entire planets, entire civilizations wiped out? (Aeryn enters and stops as she takes in the confrontation underway. Furlow's eyes are wide as she stares at the Ancient, but her gun doesn't waver) Put your weapon down. (Jack/Ancient steps closer to the morally challenged mechanic) Put it down - now. (he reaches out and lays a hand on Furlow's clanky gun, pushing it down. She just stares at him in shock as he calls over his shoulder) Aeryn - you got explosives in your pack?

Aeryn: Yes.

Jack/Ancient: Set them. (Aeryn turns on her heel without a word to go about her assigned task while Jack/Ancient moves aside and keeps to himself. Furlow eyes John)

Furlow: (pointing discreetly at Jack/Ancient) He ah - that alien? Why didn't ya tell me?

John: I think I did.

Furlow: Fair enough.

The scene shifts briefly to Aeryn, back in the main workshop. She's planting explosives all over the room and the replica of the Farscape 1 itself. Back in the computer workshop, Furlow's breezy cool in the face of hundreds of Charrids, mortar attacks and a Scarran Dreadnought is finally giving way to nerves as she contemplates her dwindling prospects for profit.

Furlow: (coaxingly, to John) You know this - this really isn't necessary. We could uh - (she makes a quick whooshing sound) - just beat it before the Dreadnought gets here. You, me - (he gives her A Look and tries to move away. She follows him) - in the module. Down the wormhole. Sell the technology. (hastily) Uh - only to uh - peaceful races of course.

John: (he stops and looks at her, perhaps interested in seeing where her great mind is going with its small thinking) And what about the others?

Furlow: Well same thing happens whether we're here or not. (conspiratorially) Listen - the Scarrans aren't gonna leave anybody breathing. No reason for all of us to die. (at that moment - they're both distracted by Furlow's computer, a tall construct of vertical metal strips and rows of small lights that all of a sudden come blinking and chattering to life)

John: What's with your computer?

Furlow: Somebody's tapped in. (John follows her as she goes to see what's happening. After a moments examination, she announces with a roll of her eyes and oddly subdued resignation) They're stealing all my data.

Jack/Ancient: Shut it down!

Furlow: I can't. They've got full control.

Aeryn: Stand clear. Now! (she had re-entered the room while Furlow was checking her hard drive and she knows just what to do with a computer that won't shut down. Furlow and Jack/Ancient dive for cover as Aeryn and John raise their Big Guns and blast the hell out of Furlow's fancy computer)

Jack/Ancient: Who tapped in?

Furlow: A remote download. Overrode all my pass codes. Charrids are too stupid for that. (almost coyly) Had to be Scarrans.

John: How much data did they get?

Furlow: Oh enough t'make their own phase stabilizer. But I guarantee - the Dreadnought'll still get here. They'll wanna make sure that nobody else gets the prototype. (Aeryn and John exchange a grim look and Jack/Ancient just stares coldly at Furlow as he wraps up their situation calmly) And - what's in here. (she taps her head) And ah - (she leans close to John) - you know that thing we were talkin' about earlier? It's lookin' even better now.

Jack/Ancient: We need to destroy that data.

Furlow: Are you payin' attention? 'Cos it's too late. The data is on the Dreadnought now.

Jack/Ancient: Exactly. Therefore we need to destroy the Dreadnought. (he picks up the phase stabilizer and walks out of the room)

Aeryn: (calling after him, her voice raising so the Ancient is sure to hear her unimaginative assessment of what might get a Scarrans attention on Dam-Ba-Da) There isn't anything on this planet that would even get it's attention! (John motions for her to stay put while he follows Jack/Ancient out. Left alone with her good girlfriend, Aeryn turns to Furlow and demands dryly) What thing you were talking about earlier?

Furlow: Oh nothing. (she moves off too, leaving Aeryn to use her imagination)

(cut to John and Jack/Ancient as they make their way down the dim halls of Furlow's compound with the phase stabilizer)

John: You got a plan?

Jack/Ancient: Yes. Something the Ancients wouldn't permit. Their sanctuary's under threat. I believe we can convert this phase stabilizer to another function.

John: We?

Jack/Ancient: (ruminatively, as they re-enter the workshop where the module copy sits) Yes. Your knowledge of this level of technology is greater than mine. Alone, I'd never be able to complete the modifications in time.

John: Except I don't know how this thing works much less how to modify it - I won't be much help.

Jack/Ancient: (having set the phase stabilizer down, he turns to look at John) Yes you will. During our last encounter, the Ancients embedded something else deep within your memory. The equations to create wormholes. It wasn't meant to be accessed consciously, but merely to guide you.

John: (he breaks eye contact and takes a couple steps away from the alien) Guide me? (he looks back at the Ancient and asks dubiously) Why not just give it to me?

Jack/Ancient: (softly) Because it was important that you develop it on your own. Or else not at all.

John: (bitter at the trouble the Ancients and their secrets have cost him) Is that some sorta rule? Only hints otherwise it's cheating?

Jack/Ancient: (primly) There were Ancients who didn't want to give you anything. This knowledge is very dangerous.

John: Yeah I know - so give me the useless consolation prize.

Jack/Ancient: No not useless. It was meant to keep you on the right path. Possibly subtracting years from your research.

John: Possibly. Well thanks for the help.

Jack/Ancient: John, this knowledge may save all of our lives here. I can unlock it!

John: And what will your friends think about that?

Jack/Ancient: They'd stop me if they could. If they knew what you and I were creating here, they'd kill us both.

John: (scarcely able to believe what he's hearing) That's - terrific - Jack, I already got half the universe after me - I really want the Ancients on my ass as well.

Jack/Ancient: (angered by John's whining) We don't have a choice. That Dreadnought is less than 5 hours from here. I need your expert help! If you're unwilling to give it then-

John: (cutting him off sullenly) I didn't say - I wouldn't help.

Jack/Ancient: (curt) Good. (he marches past John, who has the resigned look of a guy who's been manipulated into being part of other peoples battles again. He stares bleakly into space for a moment before following the Ancient)

(cut briefly to the Dreadnought whose glowing engines propel it inexorably closer to Dam-Ba-Da. The scene shifts to Jack/Ancient as he re-enters the computer lab where Aeryn and Furlow are cooling their heels. He takes Furlow's arm as he passes and tows her to a workbench)

Jack/Ancient: Furlow - get me all the tools and components that you have. I need wave-guides, circuitry, anything.

Furlow: (ever so eager to be of help) It would help if I knew what you were making.

Jack/Ancient: I also need some nuclear fuel. 10th of a mallot of partanium isotope would do it.

Furlow: (she eyes him for only a second before obediently heading for the pantry) Comin' right up. (John then drags himself into the room and sets down his Big Gun before dropping his bombshell)

John: Jack... I have a - confession to make. (he blurts it out fast) I knew about the stuff you guys put in my head.

Jack/Ancient: How?

John: Guy named Scorpius. He discovered the info was there and he put a neural chip in my head to extract the information.

Jack/Ancient: And he succeeded?

John: Well the chip's gone so I'd say yes - more or less.

Jack/Ancient: Why didn't you tell me?

John: (his leather pants creak a little as he shifts uncomfortably. Aeryn comes to stand near him in support as he continues) All right - there's more. When the chip was pulled, a - chunk - of Scorpius' personality was left behind.

Jack/Ancient: (in a tone that says he knows all about these things) A neural clone?

John: You could call it that. I call it ah - (embarrassed, as if admitting he has lice) - Harvey.

Jack/Ancient: Then we can't unlock the information in front of this clone.

John: So what do you wanna do?

Jack/Ancient: (with compassion) My mental energy is limited. But I believe between the two of us - we can drive this clone from your mind.

John: (hopeful) Could you say that with a little more confidence?

Jack/Ancient: I don't know how strong this clone is going-

But before he can finish his sentence, an explosion and a flare of light as hard and white as a wielders arc fills the room. John is knocked cold by the concussion as Charrids begin pouring into the shop through a breach in the wall. Aeryn remains on her feet and is able to heft her Big Gun and begin firing on the charging Charrids, who are obliged to enter the room only one or two at a time.

(and while Aeryn drops Charrids, the scene shifts to inside John's Head. He finds himself still at the carnival - but it's daylight now and he's wearing his space leathers. Scorpius/Harvey is next to him - still in the red NASCAR jumpsuit. They're standing in front of an ornate edifice that bears the legend "CONEY ISLAND - FUNNY LAND" Scorpius/Harvey just cannot believe John doesn't like him and he isn't taking the prospect of being evicted well at all)

Scorpius/Harvey: (intensely, his voice echoing like a funhouse ghost) Before you rejoin them John - we must speak! You cannot be seriously considering my removal!

John: Yes I can.

Scorpius/Harvey: (rather vindictively) I've had time to acclimate myself to your brain. To permeate every facet of your mind! I will not go easily!

John: (coolly) Are you - (he picks a bit of fluff off the clones jumpsuit) - threatening me?

Scorpius/Harvey: (deadly earnest) I warn you John - if you attempt this - I will fight you. And I will win! If your brain really isn't big enough for the both of us, either I'll survive - or neither of us will!

John: Harvey - kiss my medulla oblongata.

Scorpius/Harvey: You think I'm bluffing? (he seizes John's shoulders and thrusts his face up at the human as he says in his gravelly Scarran voice-) Do you want to die? (he opens his mouth in a hideously animalistic snarl)

(cut back to the battle raging in Furlow's shop. Aeryn continues to blow away Charrids as they enter. Furlow suddenly appears at her side)

Furlow: What the frell is-? (she takes in the encroaching Charrids, and plucking a small device from the workbench - she uses her huge Space Wrench to lob it across the room. The resultant explosion seals the hole in the wall with rubble. In the silence that follows she bellows-) WE'RE CLOSED, YA THODDOES! (Aeryn immediately crouches down by John, who's still out of it on the floor)

Aeryn: John? (she rolls him over and pushes back one of his eyelids) You all right? John?

John: (his voice is slurred and groggy as Aeryn strokes his face fretfully and he mutters) Yeah.. I'm awright... Fine...

(cut to later. John has recovered enough to help Aeryn push a heavy container against the rubble-filled breach in the wall)

John: I don't see a lot of choice. Harvey's gotta go. (he trails Aeryn who walks over to talk to the Ancient)

Aeryn: And you can do this Jack?

Jack/Ancient: I can infuse him with all the mental capacity that I possess.

Aeryn: Which you admit is limited.

John: We take what we can get.

Aeryn: Is there some way to transfer energy? Can you - link his mind with mine?

Jack/Ancient: No. Aeryn Sun, John already has your strength.

John: And someone's gotta stay on the outside in case everything goes pear-shaped.

Aeryn: I know what to do. (but before anyone can do anything - they're interrupted by Rygel on comm. The Hynerian is still up in his turret hammering away at the Charrids. The scene begins to shift between him in the turret and the others in Furlow's shop)

Rygel: (yelling as he blasts) HEY! ANYBODY THERE? I'VE SCORED 9 DIRECT HITS! BUT THE CHARRIDS AREN'T GETTING THE MESSAGE! THEY'RE GETTING CLOSER AND I'M RUNNING OUT OF AMMO!

Aeryn: (turning to leave) All right. I'll get you some.

Rygel: (grunting irritably as he wipes the desert with another one) Frelling Charrid!

Aeryn: (to John and the Ancient as she collects her gear to go help Rygel) Just don't start anything until I get back. (as she leaves, Furlow reappears toting a heavy silver container)

Furlow: (grunting as she sets her load down on a workbench, which shudders under its weight) Here's your partanium. Trouble is - I don't know if I can scrape up a protection suit.

Jack/Ancient: I don't need one.

Furlow: No kiddin'? (to John, out of the side of her mouth) Imagine if he was on our side.

John: He is on our side.

Furlow: (doubtfully) Uh-huh.

Jack/Ancient: What I will need is a focused trans-emitter coil so that I can maximize the power output.

Furlow: Boy. You don't want much do ya? Hope you're not in a hurry. (she rolls off, tool belt clanking, to root around in her junk for trans-emitter coil)

John: We're in a hurry.

Furlow: (without increasing her speed or a backwards glance) I'll do my best.

(cut to Talyn, a mere shadow in the dark on the sunless side of Dam-Ba-Da. His engines whir unsteadily. Cut to Crais and Stark on the Command. Stark is acting as guide dog to the very limited extent that Crais will permit as they stagger on Talynís pitching deck)

Stark: You sure you don't want help?

Crais: (a very Bad Patient) I DON'T NEED YOUR HELP! TALYN! CAN YOU HEAR ME?

Stark: Nothing's happening! (flapping his hands around fretfully, he adds, as a point of accuracy) Well - apart from the tossing and turning!

Crais: He's overcompensating for his maneuvers because he can't tell what's going on! I-I'll have to take over!

Stark: (ach! Just all agog at the awful awfulness of it all!) Oh! (Crais begins to blunder about the Command) What are you looking for?

Crais: (he sounds close to tears of frustration) Manual override! (oh yeah! Stark remembers he's the seeing-eye dog - he grabs Crais and practically rubs his nose on the manual override panel)

Stark: Here!

Crais: Talyn! I am taking control! I will keep you stable so you can calm down and heal your senses!

Stark: It's working I think- (excited) It's working, working!

Crais: (hopeful) Is the navigation console responding?

Stark: No - but I'm feeling better. (Crais stumbles and flies past Stark, nearly knocking him over. The Banik quickly dives after him and steadies him)

Crais: (panting) Something doesn't feel right. Must be the - must be the docking control...

Stark: It looks all right.

Crais: Try the comms again! Boost Talynís signal to maximum! (Stark hurries to obey, and hails their shipmates. The scene shifts between Aeryn in Furlow's bunker and Stark on Talyn as they speak)

Stark: Aeryn? Crichton? Can you hear me?

Aeryn: Stark? Is that you?

Stark: We're trying to take control of Talyn! He's still blind but - at least he's calm.

Aeryn: Can he fight? Stark? (aboard Talyn, her comms signal is breaking up) Can you hear me? (she loses their signal) Frell!

While Talyn yaws sickeningly, out of control in the pitch dark shadow of Dam-Ba-Da, Aeryn exits Furlow's compound and shoots down a pair of Charrids on her way to Rygel.

Rygel: (as Aeryn enters his turret) About time!

Aeryn: (accusingly) You let two through!

Rygel: (dismissive) Two? But I turned at least 12 of them to sand stains! (at that moment, another Charrid roars into view - this one is driving a vehicle that looks like a post-apocalyptic chopper) Ah-ha! Here comes number 13! (with a maniacal cackle of glee, he lobs one at the chopper driver - and misses by a hair. The Charrid veers off back into the desert) Aw - miscalculated the windage. Next time I'll get him! I ever tell you about Rygel IX?

Aeryn: (she's unpacking additional energy charges for Rygel from a bag) No.

Rygel: (relishing his family history) Single-handedly led the climactic charge at the Battle of Katreen.

Aeryn: He was a hero?

Rygel: He was a moron! Dominarís are far too valuable for combat, much less front lines! But you know, strangely enough - I think I understand why he did it! (and with a particularly bloodthirsty snort, he spots the chopper-driving Charrid coming back for more) Ah! Ha ha! Second try! (his shot is good and the Charrid and his chopper go flying in different directions as Rygel crows triumphantly) Taste this! Bloodsucker!

Aeryn: We'll make a soldier out of you yet Rygel.

Rygel: (over his shoulder) Well don't think I'm gonna make a habit of it! (he turns back to his gun and lets another shot fly with a guttural whoop of pleasure)

(cut back to Furlow's shop where the fatal showdown with Scorpius/Harvey is about to begin. Aeryn jogs fearfully back in and up to John. But he's waited for her as he promised)

John: (quietly) It's time. (he hands her his favorite gun, "Wynona" - and without another word, they kiss each other good-bye, unable to predict the outcome of what the Ancient is about to try and help John do. Jack/Ancient waits patiently as John breaks the kiss with a gentle rub of his nose against hers. She then falls apprehensively back and he turns as the Ancient steps up to face him. Once again, Jack/Ancient raises his palm to the humans face which becomes bathed in blueish white light as his head is thrown back under the intensity of their joining)

(the shifts to John's Head. John finds himself still at the carnival - but in control with the help of Jack/Ancient. This time he and Scorpius/Harvey are strapped into the first car of a rollercoaster as it clanks up to its first big drop)

John: Buckle up Scorp! We're goin' for a little riiiide!

Scorpius/Harvey: (he looks forlorn in his NASCAR jumpsuit and is sounding a lot less sure of himself as the car clicks ominously on its track) You don't have to do this John! I-I pose you no threat.

John: Right.

Scorpius/Harvey: I happen to know - that the wormhole knowledge is still inside your brain! (he wails with protest) But I don't want it!

John: Your better half does.

Scorpius/Harvey: Well he has a copy. But whether he knows how to make use of it - is not my concern! (he tries reasoning) Therefore - there's no reason to get rid of me.

John: Yeah there is.

Scorpius/Harvey: No, it's the truth John - I don't want to overtake you! I'm happy to - COEXIST!

John: I'm not!

Scorpius/Harvey: (increasingly nervous as they reach the top of the drop) Oh stop this John! I've helped you countless times! I'VE EVEN SAVED YOUR LIFE!

John: (as they top the rise and begin to drop they must shout over the roar and wind of the ride) TO SAVE YOURSELF - YOU DON'T GET BROWNIE POINTS FOR THAT SCORP!

Scorpius/Harvey: (wailing as they rocket through a series of sharp turns and smaller humps) OOoOOoOOO! BUT I CAN HELP YOU NOW! THAT ALIEN - HE'S USING YOU! AND AFTER YOU'VE DONE HIS DIRTY WORK FOR HIM, HE WILL TERMINATE YOU! FURLOW, RYGEL, STARK, AERYN-

John: (furious) DO NOT PLAY THE AERYN CARD SCORP! YOU KILLED HER!

Scorpius/Harvey: (almost sobbing as he whines) AERYN IS ALI-IVE!

John: NOW ZHAAN'S GONE! WHO DO I THANK FOR THAT?

Scorpius/Harvey: (wailing in terror as they approach a 360° loop) OOoOOOOoOoO! STOP THIS JOHN OR WE'LL BOTH DIE!

John: HOW CAN YOU DIE SCORP, WHEN YOU'RE NOT EVEN REAL?

Scorpius/Harvey: (babbling in a complete panic as he hurtles helplessly through the world he has felt so secure and superior in) OHICANFEELIT! ICANFEELIT! WE'REBOTHGOINGTODIE! WE'REBOTHGOINGTODIE!

John: CAN YOU FEEL IT? WHY SHOULD I CARE?

Scorpius/Harvey: (really wretched) BECAUSE I AM PART OF YOU JOHN!

John: YEAH I KNOW! AND I'M SICK OF IT! (and as the rollercoaster of John's Head loops-the-loop and Scorpius/Harvey screams - the ride ends in a sudden flash of eternally bright light and a crash)

(cut back to Furlow's shop where Jack/Ancients hand quivers in front of John's twitching face)

Aeryn: (fearfully) John! What's happening? (neither John or Jack/Ancient respond as they seek to drive the clone into its own mortality) John?

(cut back to John's Head and the aftermath of the rollercoaster crash. Both John and Scorpius/Harvey have survived - but in a scene that Marvin the Martian would find familiar - John is hanging on for dear life to the rollercoaster track from which he is dangling far above the ground. Marvin - WE MEAN SCORPIUS/HARVEY - is hanging onto the humans leg for dear life)

Scorpius/Harvey: (rasping desperately) Help me John!

John: (also rasping as he tries to shake the clone off his leg) Go to hell Scorpy! (and for the second time in a Farscape episode, Ecclesiastes is quoted) For everything there is a season. A time to keep, and a time to cast away. (well now he can find out how Stark feels when HE spouts religion. Scorpius/Harvey responds to the sermon by crawling up John's body, hand over hand - until they're at point-blank face-to-face range. The wailing and sobbing is done and he's mad now as he prepares to crawl past John's face to the safety of the rollercoaster track)

Scorpius/Harvey: (viciously) I warned you! (grunting and straining with the effort to hang on - John looks down at the drop below - and lets loose of the track. They both plummet, screaming towards the ground - which suddenly disappears and becomes the long, twisting tunnel of a wormhole in whose quantum void their screams echo as they fall)

(cut back to Furlow's shop as John and Jack/Ancient suddenly collapse to he floor as one. Aeryn jumps to the Ancient first, him being the closer one)

Aeryn: (she pulls back his eyelid and peers at his unresponsive pupil) Jack? (she then moves to John and repeats her check of eye reaction) John? (finding him unresponsive as well - she begins mouth to mouth resuscitation)

(cut to Rygel in his gun turret where he continues to cream Charrids with gusto rather unbecoming to a Dominar of his social stature)

Rygel: (howling insults at his attackers as he blows them to kingdom come) That's it! Keep running! Ohh - I'll give you indigestion! Charrid cowards couldn't hit a pregnant lobboth at that- (but at that moment, some Charrid actually manages to land a hit on the Turret and Rygel finds himself laughing out the hole in his belly that a large piece of shrapnel has just created. He moans and slowly topples over backwards, his little arms flung wide. And outside - Charrids begin to make for the unprotected entrance to Furlow's compound)

(cut back to Furlow's shop where John finally comes gasping to life thanks to Aerynís emergency first-aid. He blinks and focuses on her as she sits back, relieved. But her relief vanishes when his mouth opens - and instead of the familiar Earth accent of John Crichton - the cultured tones of Scorpius hops like a toad from his tongue)

Scorpius/John: Officer Sun! (Aerynís expression is of dull dismay) What luscious lips. Amongst - (one of his hands lashes out like a snake and seizes her by the throat) - other things. Crichton was a very - lucky man.

Aeryn: (struggling to speak around his stranglehold) Where is he? (as she speaks to this demon, who she's met before, he becomes represented as a coolant suit clad hybrid of John and Scorpius)

Scorpius/John: Gone. Gambled and lost. How unfortunate you must lose as well.(Jack/Ancient lies next to them, dead or unconscious, his left hand still slightly raised. Aerynís eyes fill with tears as she reaches for the handgun she keeps at her side and brings it around to place its muzzle against Scorpius/John's forehead. She sobs a little and a tear glistens just below her eye - and Scorpius/John notes her tear and her gun and comments mockingly-) Oh...

TO BE CONTINUED

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