The episode opens with Moya and Talyn hovering side by side in an area of space filled with shining blue dust clouds. They have a visitor - a spaceship much smaller than Moya is parked just off her bow. It's a blocky craft - shaped vaguely like a fat angler fish. But then it's not built for speed or aggression or aesthetic effect - it's a hospital ship summoned for the sole survivor of their last visitors - the pale Scarran Naj Gil. The scene shifts to Mayas corridors where he and Jool are strolling.
Jool: (ruefully) I'm a squillion metras from anywhere I want to be.
Naj Gil: (earnestly) Then come with me. (Jool looks up at the massive creature towering over her - she seems gratified by his attentions and takes his hand)
Jool: (with a sigh) I can't.
Naj Gil: Jool - your friends are negotiating with Peacekeepers. You stay here - you'll end up dead. I'm sure - on the medical facility - there'll be someone who can help you find your home. (the guy is a mensch among Scarrans - Jool looks thoughtful)
(cut to Mayas Command where Chiana and John are busying themselves at her command consoles)
John: (comming Pilot) Aeryn aboard?
Pilot: Just finished her reconnaissance. (as he speaks the scene shifts to the hangar bay as Aeryn briskly exits a transport pod) The ship on approach is definitely a medical facility.
Aeryn: It is unarmed. 5 or 6 hundred onboard, and they'll take our Scarran. (the scene moves back to Chiana and John on the Command)
John: Well let's get Naj Gil outta here before they change their minds. (he turns to leave but makes a quick detour to Chiana, who seems unusually subdued) You all right?
Chiana: Any word from D'Argo and Rygel?
John: No - they're out of range.
Chiana: (she's breathless with anxiety) So after we leave here we're really gonna do this - there's no turning back. We're-we're gonna go on a Command Carrier - with Scorpius.
John: Well that's the plan if they can hammer out a deal.
Chiana: (protesting) Scorpius doesn't deal!
John: Rygel thinks he will. (he abruptly walks away - but Chiana isn't about to drop it and follows him. He stares stonily into space as she makes sure he knows what price she sees the lot of them paying for his cockamamie ideals)
Chiana: Nononono - right now - Scorpius is probably frying D'Argo in the Aurora Chair a-a-aand then he's gonna find us and he's gonna kick us to death! But ya know what? It doesn't matter because-because I won't be here. (her true vehemence forces him at last to face her numbly) I'm splittin' Crichton - the next planet we pass. (she about-faces and marches for the exit - but she doesn't get far before something stops her in her tracks - it's another of the premonitions that have begin to plague her recently. She turns back to John and gasps) Peacekeepers. I - I see Peacekeepers.
The scene shifts to some desolate rock of a planet. It has an atmosphere as testified to by the ragged clouds in its ugly butterscotch-colored sky. Its flat, featureless surface bristles with junk that might be the skeletal remains of buildings or some sort of industrial arrays that are silhouetted by the low watery light. DíArgoís little ship - bullet-shaped in flight but flea-shaped at rest - is parked on the ground next to a large, junky building that has a sign whose running lights outline words in some alien alphabet and an arrow pointing to its doorway. It's unmistakably - a spaceship truck stop. The sign probably reads something along the lines of GAS EATS AND CLEAN TOILETS. And we know they're lying about the toilets.
The buildings ground floor is fronted with big plate glass windows that give onto a diner. The decor perfectly echoes that of a run-down 1950s malt shop done in drab colors. Stools line curved counters and smaller free-standing family style tables. The clean straight lines of the walls are set off by round
accent lighting. On one wall is a pick-up window that looks into the kitchen and the door to the kitchen which has a curtain of plastic strips covering it instead of a door. There are only two customers in the place - D'Argo and Rygel - sitting at one of the tables that rises on a thick pedestal from the floor. The Luxan, who's sitting with his back to the door, is nervous.
D'Argo: You know I don't think Scorpius is going to show.
Rygel: (calmly - through a mouthful of food) He'll show. Eat. Calm down.
DíArgo: (he inhales deeply and fidgets on his stool) No I can't - I smell a double-cross.
Rygel: (rapturously) How can you smell anything but these ganoks on the table? (a waitress named Essk approaches - she's human in appearance except for her eyes which match the color of the sky of this place. She's a pretty blond in a metallic gold halter dress with detached cuffs and a little white apron. She drops a plate of the local grub in front of D'Argo - who would wrinkle his nose if he could) Try one.
DíArgo: No - how can you eat that? It smells like - prout.
Essk: (nodding proudly she has the hint of a Scandinavian accent) They're our specialty. People come from planets you've never heard of - just - to eat our marjools.
DíArgo: (annoyed and perhaps a little nauseous) Look - can you please just - get out of my way? (Essk eyes him as she sidles very slowly past) Gogo - GO!
Rygel: Ah - they're here. (D'Argo turns around quickly as Scorpius' right-hand man - Brace - enters the cafe. He glances around the empty room and swaggers toward D'Argo and Rygel with a sly little smile on his face) Lieutenant.
Braca: Just the two of you. No others?
Rygel: Correct. Where's Scorpius? (right behind Braca - for he now pushes open the door of the cafe and enters as well. He seems to share Braces ominous pleased at seeing them)
Scorpius: Ah - the Luxan - (D'Argo inhales deeply and draws himself up a little taller with pride, defiance and a little apprehension) - and the Dominar. (Rygel inhales deeply as well, smiles, bows momentarily - and moves to establish himself as a Hynerian whose time is valuable and is already being wasted by Scorpius. He drops the polite smile)
Rygel: (flatly) You're late.
Scorpius: (as he strolls unhurriedly over to them) I presume you're both unarmed.
DíArgo: That was the deal. (Scorpius stops and faces him with an intensely appraising stare)
Scorpius: (very softly) Yes it was.
Rygel: Shall we - get down to business?
Scorpius: Not yet. (he looks at Braca and some imperceptible signal is passed. Instantly the room is swarmed by several black-helmeted PK soldiers)
DíArgo: RYGEL MOVE! IT'S A TRAP! (the ensuing struggle is brief and frenzied - the soldiers goal is to capture - not kill immediately and D'Argo is able to put down a couple of them with his great arms and his whip-like tongue. But he's quickly surrounded by troopers whose menace is heightened by the dead blankness of the black visors that conceal their faces as they stare at him down the muzzles of their rifles. There's a moment of silence while D'Argo pants, Rygel gapes and Scorpius - smiles)
Scorpius: Lieutenant. Prepare to execute them. (never let it be said that Braca isn't a man to miss a chance to gloat - and he doesn't disappoint as he swaggers over to the Luxan)
Braca: (sneering) Where's your rescue squad? MmHm? Where's Aeryn Sun?
DíArgo: Get frelled. (and never let it be said that Scorpius isn't a guy who doesn't like to watch Braca have his fun. He smiles with mild amusement and glances at Rygel - who's still eating and seems oblivious to the pulse rifle muzzle hovering a few inches from his head)
Scorpius: Not afraid of death?
Rygel: (casually) Oh just let me finish these - and please don't miss. Aim for the head. Hm? (he chuckles and Scorpius fixes him with a piercing gaze - he recognizes another scoundrel when he sees one and is comfortably annoyed by it as Rygel breezes on) Look - we're ready to deal - when you've finished your little game.
Scorpius: I had to make sure you were both - alone. (and indeed - no cavalry is riding in to save this pair - which annoys Scorpius even more in a way since now he really does have to deal)
Rygel: (like a guy who's been here and done this) Mm. Of course.
Scorpius: Weapons down. (Braca wisely retreats as a little chorus of clicks signal the his hapless grunts flicking on their safety switches. D'Argo rolls the tension out of his neck - and hurls the nearest soldier over the lunch counter)
DíArgo: So... (he turns and begins to pace slowly towards Rygel and Scorpius and working off his aggression as he comes. He puts another soldier on the floor with a sudden, powerful punch in the face as he passes the poor guy. Scorpius makes no effort to stop the Luxan - nor do the soldiers shrink away or move against him. Well-trained cannon fodder they are - or Luxan chow today - as D'Argo says with quiet fury to Scorpius) You weren't - really gonna kill us?
Scorpius: (matter-of-factly) Of course not. (DíArgoís elbow slams into the visor of another soldier and the man goes down with a heartfelt OOF!)
DíArgo: Are you - certain - about that?
Scorpius: Quite. Ah - Ka D'Argo - (he rises to face the Luxan) - If you knock out another - there'll be no soldiers to carry these 3 back to the ship.
Rygel: He's right. We're here to talk.
DíArgo: Okay - but I want no comms and no more surprises. (he grabs Braces wrist and removes his comm. Scorpius volunteers his, then watches as D'Argo crushes them beneath his boot) Now get these tralks out of here before you start to waste - any more of my time. (with a little amused "Hmph!" Scorpius nods to Braca)
Braca: Withdraw to the ship. Await our return. (the soldiers - gratefully no doubt - pick up their comrades and exit as Scorpius turns back to Rygel)
(the scene shifts to the truck stops grubby kitchen whose threshold no health inspector has ever crossed. Essk and the cook - Voodi - have witnessed all this and are in a panic. Voodi is a human-looking man with long black hair unrestrained by a hairnet. He's handsome is a raffishly greasy sort of way. His jaw is dark with 5-o'clock shadow and his cheeks and arms sport black tattoos - as does his chest which is visible on account of the open front of his raggedy shirt. His kitchen counters are covered with food being stored at room temperature and he rushes form one bubbling cook pot to another on his stoves. He and Essk speak in loud, alarmed whispers)
Essk: Well what're we gonna do?
Voodi: (as he rushes about - apparently packing up some victuals to tide them over until the coast is clear) Get the frellhezmana out of here!
Essk: (her voice is squeaky with anxiety) I'm not going out there! No way! (one of the pots starts to boil over) Voodiiii!
Voodi: Awww - zangblats!
Voodi: (as he grabs a thermos of something) We've gotta run Essk! We've gotta run! (Essk grabs the thermos from him and takes a long drink from it)
Essk: What? Run where? Where? Like we've got somewhere to run! (Voodi has no answer for her and throws down his filthy kitchen rag in frustration)
(cut back to Moya and Talyn parked in the glowing blue dust cloud. A tiny bean-shaped pod exits Moya and makes the short transit to the waiting medical vessel. Inside Moya - Jool jogs breathlessly into the hangar bay with a little bag slung over her bare shoulder and Durkaís old eye patch over her Boolite-infected eye again. Chiana is just on her way out)
Jool: Naj Gil! (she stops and looks around anxiously) Has he gone yet?
Chiana: Yeah - the transport pod just left for the med ship. What're ya doing?
Jool: Listen Chi - I've got nothing against the Peacekeepers - I was never a prisoner. (she resumes walking hurriedly into the hangar area and Chiana follows) So you guys want to fight 'em or stop 'em - or whatever it is you're planning - fine. Good luck! But I'm leaving.
Chiana: Ah - you're goin' on the med ship!
Jool: (smiling happily) Yep. Naj Gil said they'd check out my eye - and then they're gonna take me home.
Chiana: (firmly) You can't go.
Jool: (surprised) Why not?
Chiana: Because I saw myself mourning for you.
Jool: Okay - ONE - I don't think you can see dren - and - TWO - it's really none of- (but Chiana finalizes her decision that Jool shall stay with a roundhouse right to the redheads jaw and down she goes)
(cut back to the truck stop cafe where Braca and D'Argo hulk like bodyguards by Scorpius and Rygel respectively while the half-Scarran and the Hynerian negotiate. the Hopperesque vignette as seen through the big plate glass windows is at once ominous and bizarre)
Scorpius: Let me understand - (he rises and paces thoughtfully as he reviews Rygelís proposal with some incredulity) - you wish to board my Command Carrier. You want full amnesty and relocation to your own planets as free citizens. And in return - Crichton will help me - in my wormhole research.
Rygel: That's about the short of it. Yes. (Scorpius tilts his head to one side and regards the Hynerians with deep suspicion)
Scorpius: (softly) And why would Crichton do this?
Rygel: Do you know who the Charrids are?
Scorpius: (archly - as he returns to his seat) Yes - not very friendly towards Hynerians if I recall.
DíArgo: The Charrids have formed an alliance with the Scarrans.
Scorpius: I am aware of the political situation.
DíArgo: The Scarrans goal - is to build wormhole technology. We stopped them - but it won't be long until they start again. So Crichton - has a choice. And he would rather you had it - than them.
(cut to the kitchen where Essk and Voodi watch the goings on through the pick-up window)
Voodi: (he shakes a spoon in the direction of their customers as he whispers) We gotta get them outta here! (he wipes his nose with his kitchen rag - the secret ingredient in those ganoks perhaps?)
Essk: So what're you gonna do?
Voodi: Essk I gotta tell you something- (but before he does he has to take a long pull at the thermos)
Essk: (she's over her initial fright somewhat - she tries to reassure her nervous partner by finding some silver lining in this cloud) Oh - don't worry - this could turn out good! If you cook 'em the greatest leervink ever - maybe - we could get a Peacekeeper supply contract- (but he impatiently cuts off her wistful fantasies and plunges past her to one of his cook pots - unable to tell her whatever it was he was going to say)
Voodi: Owh - we can't! We're gonna get killed!
Essk: (she hurries after him in full Prop-Up-Your-Pantywaist-Of-A-Man Mode now) Nonononono! Why would they kill us?
Voodi: I don't know how to make leervink! I haven't got the skills!
Essk: You do! You do! You were a great chef once Voodi. You - can do it!
(cut back to Moya as Pilot comms the others with a general alert)
Pilot: (in a low tone - as if fearing that he might be heard by someone other than his crew) Crichton! Aeryn! There are Peacekeepers approaching! (the scene shifts to Chiana where she's still standing over Jool near the hangar bay area)
Chiana: I knew it - I knew Peacekeepers would come. Come on. Come on. (she pulls Jool to her feet)
Jool: (as she holds her jaw and eyes the Nebari with bitter resentment) What? Didja see that too? Is there anything you don't see?
Chiana: (muttering as she drags Jool away) Nice.
(cut to Mayas Command where Aeryn, Crais and John are monitoring the situation from her forward control consoles)
Crais: Talyn has also spotted the Peacekeeper craft - a Prowler and a Marauder.
John: Pilot give us immediate starburst!
Pilot: (cut briefly to him in his Den as he speaks) We cannot starburst until we are clear of the medical facility.
Crais: Talyn - Prime the main cannon. (cut briefly to Talyn as he responds to Crais' command and brings his primary weaponry into firing position) Identify targets and stay calm. (emphatically) Stay calm Talyn.
Aeryn: (under her breath - without looking up from her readouts) Are the Peacekeepers here to find us?
John: (murmuring as he pushes himself away from the console) I don't know. (at that moment Chiana breaks in and the scene begins shifting between her and Jool in Mayas corridors, the others on the Command and Pilot in his Den as they speak via comms)
Chiana: Crichton - it's Scorpius - he sent them! (she grates furiously) I told you! I told you they would screw us! That means that D'Argo and Rygel are dead!
John: Pip - we do not know that! (back in the corridor Jool has had enough of Chiana and is trying to pull away from her)
Jool: (her voice is high and staccato with fury) What are you doing? Aw you bitch! I could be gone! I could be on that med ship! But no! You had to see things and then you had to punch me! (but there's no escaping Chiana who determinedly leaves off pulling Jool only to push her instead. Back on the Command Crais continues to pace and coach his ship through defensive measures)
Crais: (firmly) Prime - main - cannons only! Do not fire until my signal.
Pilot: Peacekeeper ships in visual range - Moya senses they've targeted us!
Aeryn: We don't have any choice. Do it now Crais.
Crais: Talyn - fire at will! (and fire he does - his massive cannon destroys the Prowler in one shot and fatally damages the Marauder, which spins out of control. A second shot is only to put the disabled ship out of its misery. Not enough remains of either vessel to even become a shooting star)
Aeryn: Pilot - status of the Peacekeeper vessels?
Pilot: They are- no longer on Mayas scans.
Crais: (quietly pleased) Good work Talyn.
Pilot: Starburst in 50 microts. The hospital craft is moving away and - its commander sends us his gratitude for destroying the Peacekeeper ships. (ah but even as Pilot speaks - Talyn, who's been parked quietly next to Moya all this time - slowly rises and peeks over her sleek bronze body at the departing medical vessel. His cannon is still in firing position and juts from his back like the dorsal fin of a shark)
Crais: (softly at first but with increasing alarm as he senses what his little mutant Leviathan is up to) Wait - wait - Talyn! The med ship is not a threat!
Aeryn: What is he doing Crais?
Crais: NO TALYN! THE MED SHIP IS NOT A THREAT!
John: Crais - what is going on out there!? (what's going on is that Mayas gunship baby has decided shooting is fun. And so with just one shot fired over her bow - he hits the defenseless medical vessel squarely amidships and blows it straight to hezmana. What a mess - and poor Naj Gil - he came so close to surviving his encounter with Moya and her friends...)
Crais: (screaming with fury and frustration even as Mayas stunned crew squints against the brilliant light of the medical ships destruction) NO TALYN! POWER DOWN NOW! POWER DOWN NOW! (but it's far too late - the whole thing is over in the twinkling of an eye and as Moya is buffeted by the shock wave of the explosion - Talyn retracts his cannon. Aerynís affect throughout the scene has been robotically flat and evidently she sees no reason to change it now. John quietly bows his head and Crais seems staggered by Talynís hideously willful act as Chiana and Jool rush onto the Command - the redhead is hyperventilating hysterically and lunges at Talynís captain, pushing and slapping at him as she screams)
Jool: YOOUU! THERE WERE INNOCENT PEOPLE ABOARD THAT SHIP!
Crais: I KNOW!
Jool: NAJ GIL! (Chiana tries to pull her off Crais but she finds strength in her anger and compassion for the hundreds of lives that were just snuffed out before her and shoves the Nebari away)
Crais: (defensively) There was nothing I could do! Talyn attacked on his own accord!
Jool: You could've stopped him!
Jool: (to Crais with profound disgust and contempt) Somehow you could've stopped him. Now they're dead. 600 souls. (turning furiously on Chiana) And you - you knew.
Chiana: (stammering) No. I-I only saw myself in mourning. I-I thought it was for you. (Jool curls her lip and stalks away from the lot of them. To a member of a race who's advanced beyond war and violence they must seem an extraordinarily hypocritical bunch who speak of great ideals and yet who so often seem to be involved in mass murder)
John: (with great weariness) Pilot - why haven't we starburst? The Peacekeepers are sure to send out another patrol.
Pilot: (regretfully) I'm - afraid Moya is now refusing to move.
Crais: (also regretfully) Since Talyn powered down - I can't contact him. He's not responding to my comms. And Moya - is refusing to abandon him. (here we go again)
(cut back to the space truck stop cafe where Rygelís negotiations are still in progress)
Scorpius: We are agreed. You will all board my Command Carrier.
DíArgo: We're not quite finished yet. We will need a guarantee for our safety when we're on board your ship.
Rygel: And I'm afraid we'll need something more tangible than reassuring words.(Scorpius pauses for a moment before placing an order with Braca)
Scorpius: I-yensch bracelets.
Braca: (smartly) Sir! (they must've been thinking of guarantees for themselves as well - for Braca immediately produces from somewhere - a pair of bulky silver and black bracelet devices with he lays on the table)
Scorpius: Put one on Braca. (Braca seems a little less smart as he looks at Scorpius and moves his lips as if about to protest - but he thinks better of it and snaps one of the bulky cuffs onto his wrist) Ka D'Argo - (Scorpius slides the other bracelet across the table to the Luxan) - If you will.
DíArgo: What does it do?
Scorpius: This gets you onboard my ship.
Rygel: We have almost closed the deal. Put it on.
DíArgo: It's easy for you to say. (he rumbles with distaste at Braca, who comes to help him put on the cuff)
Rygel: Do you feel anything? (D'Argo flexes his fingers and looks at the I-yensch bracelet locked onto his right wrist)
Scorpius: Braca - pay homage to the Dominar.
Rygel: (dubiously) What? (it's killing Braca - but he obediently crosses over to Rygel, clicks his heels together - and bows from the waist - which puts his buzz-cut pate mere inches away from Rygelís face. Rygel recoils just a bit)
Scorpius: I invite you Dominar - to attack the Lieutenant.
Rygel: (very dubious - as Braca holds his position and waits) I - have no quarrel with him.
Scorpius: (soft and deadly) Humor me. (Rygel eyes Braces inviting skull and can't resist. He draws back - and delivers a powerful head-butt to it. Braca yelps and staggers backwards to hit the wall - which produces another yelp - before sitting down hard on the floor. The remarkable thing about this is that his every move and yelp is echoed by D'Argo who staggers, impacts and plotzes with the Sebacean in perfect unison. Rygel looks at Scorpius and laughs appreciatively at this clever amusement. The half-Scarran seems rather pleased with it himself) Synchronized nerve impulses. (Braca and D'Argo slowly rise to their feet) Those wearing the bracelets will feel each others pain. If one is injured - then both will be. (D'Argo casts Braca an annoyed glance and tries to yank his bracelet off. Braca grunts painfully as his arm is sharply yanked as well and shoots the Luxan an irritated look back)
Rygel: Very good - and if one is killed?
Scorpius: Both will be dead.
Rygel: Eh-heh. The bracelets seem acceptable. But - who wears them?
Scorpius: Why Crichton of course - and my second in command - Braca.
Rygel: (with a bark of laughter) Brah-haca?
DíArgo: You would not hesitate to kill him!
Scorpius: (his voice is low and vehement) I will not wear an I-yensch bracelet.
Rygel: (firmly) Crichton wears one - you wear one. Each of us gets to configure the arming sequence so we can be assured there's no tampering. The only way we'll trust you Scorpius - is if we know we can control you.
Rygel: Then we have no deal.
Scorpius: So be it.
The half-Scarran rises to leave - but at that moment the door of the cafe bursts open and a pair of heavily armed aliens storm in with guns a-blazing. Their names are Sko and Wa. Both are blue-skinned but otherwise built like regular humans except for their big, low-set ears which give them a sort of a chimpanzee air. Sko, the leader - is older and his longish, unkempt hair is white. Wa has shorter, black woolly hair. Their movements are apish with a lot of rocking and fidgeting. Both of them - Wa especially are constantly glancing at each other as if taking cues from the other on how to behave. Their talk is peppered with nervous Tourette's Syndrome-like vocalizations - hoots, squeals, squawks, screams, yips - this is their normal language though. Their voices are harsh - epically Sko whose voice is rough and gravelly. They make straight for Rygel and Scorpius with a great show of desperado bravado as they cover the otherwise empty dining establishment with indiscriminate fire. Sko puts the barrel of his golf bag-sized gun in Scorpius' chest and Braca leaps forward to defend his master. But Wa is quicker and delivers a vicious kick to the mans groin. Both Braca and D'Argo double over in agony - their mouths forming little twin O's . Wa looks at Sko and makes a few anxious, monkey-like yips while the older blue monkey-man informs Scorpius -
Sko: This - is a robbery. (Scorpius opens his mouth and snarls Scarranishly at the would-be robber. Leaving Wa to cover the 4 in the dining room - She plunges into the kitchen and hustles poor Voodi and Essk out) How many more are there? Huh?
Essk: There's no one!
Sko: No one?
Essk: No one!
Sko: Get over there! (he shoves the pair of them off to one side and advances on Scorpius and Rygel again. Wa keeps looking at him urgently and makes a little sharp hooting sound - but Sko doesn't seem to notice as he kicks a stool aside and demands money) Manam, grivvas - whatever you got! Give it to me in a pile - nice and slow!
Rygel: I have nothing.
Wa: Sko! I'm tryin' to tell you something! (they get right in each others faces and exchange a few loud monkey hoots before Sko breaks off)
Sko: I know - they're Peacekeeper officers. Who gives a frell?
Wa: He never told us about the Peacekeepers! (there's another brief - and this time furious - exchange of hoots and shrieks between them before Sko makes for Scorpius again)
Sko: You! You! Up! UP! UP! UP! up! UP! up! UP! UP! UP! (Scorpius rises slowly - calculating his primitive captors carefully) We go out there now - your troops - they shoot us in the head - how many? How many are there?
Scorpius: (coolly) There are none. (Sko squawks in Scorpius' face - in profile the blue ape-man is also revealed to have a prodigious overbite which does nothing to make him look any smarter fer sher)
Sko: A liar! Peacekeeper officer can't even stiv without his troops!
Scorpius: I can stiv on my own thank you very much. (he sits back down - but Sko isn't finished with him)
Sko: Up! Up! Up! Up! UP! (Scorpius rises again - very slowly) You! Comm them! Tell them - show themselves! Hands up! In the air!
Scorpius: I have no comms. The Luxan destroyed them. (Sko looks at D'Argo who smiles a little and Wa squeals and quivers like a neurotic squirrel. Sko's stuck for an answer and some instinctive measure of prudence tells him to not try taking out his frustration on Scorpius - and certainly not a Luxan. So he whips around and backhands the unlucky Voodi)
Voodi: (howling hysterically as Wa squawks excitedly) AAAHHH! Why'd ya hit me? Wha-wha-what did I do?
Sko: YOU! JUST - GO! COOK!
Voodi: What? W-w-what?
Sko: (to Essk, as Voodis starts to sound a lot like Wa with his wild yipping. Braca seems to be having some trouble keeping a straight face) NOW! YOU! GO HELP HIM COOK! NOW!
Voodi: (blathering incoherently as Essk drags him back to the kitchen) W-w-what? What? What?
Sko: I DON'T CARE WHAT! GO! GO! (Wa continues to hoot and so great is Sko's haste to clear the room and his mind a little that he turns to shoo them along. Braca immediately seizes his chance and lunges for Sko - there's a lightning fast flurry of action - and a shot is fired. Braca goes down with a leg wound - and so of course does D'Argo. Wa shrieks with alarm as Braca drags himself to a seat while he and D'Argo wail with pain. The pair of blue monkey-men are even more agitated by Braca and DíArgoís behavior. It's up to Sko to test it out - so he darts forward and stomps on Braces foot. D'Argo bellows on cue along with the Sebacean as Sko and Wa gape fearfully at this magic) What's going on? What's going on? WHAT'S GOING ON!? WHAT'S GOING- (D'Argo interrupts him before he and Wa lose their cool completely and shoot everyone)
DíArgo: That's a very - long story - frelljek.
(cut back to Mayas Command where the whole crew and Crais remain gathered. John sits apart at a command console, looking dejected. The scene shifts between those on the Command and Pilot in his Den as they speak)
Crais: Talyn is in shock. He has expressed absolute remorse for his mistake.
Jool: 600 dead. That's a little more than a mistake Crais.
Crais: Yes. And I believe that unless we act - it may happen again.
Pilot: What will happen again? (Pilot wins the days Stupid Question Award)
Crais: Extreme paranoia. Reactions unwarranted to the situation. Talyn is a danger to himself - as well as us.
John: (wearily - without turning around or looking up) Crais - what do you want to do?
Crais: (reluctantly) I believe - we should shut down all his mechanoid systems. (hold onto your hats - Aeryn reacts! She bows her head and raises her hand to touch her hair. Moya - who's a veritable drama queen by comparison - shudders)
Pilot: (soothingly) Stay calm Moya. We're just discussing a plan. No one's doing anything yet.
Chiana: (shaky) You're talking about killing Talyn?
Crais: Of course not. His biologics will remain on artificial support. But we must get him to a place where the anomalies in his character can be repaired.
John: Then you bring him back?
Crais: With full system replacement.
Aeryn: (monotone) When he comes back - will he still be Talyn?
Crais: (hesitantly as he tries to convince those people who are so inexplicably supportive of this young ship whose life has been defined by the misery he's inflicted on others) No. He will be ah - different. Brand new. But something has to be done. Moya must know that. 600 innocents have just lost their lives.
Pilot: (pained - but in concurrence with Crais) Moya is aware that Talyn has acted irrationally. I will speak to her alone.
(cut back to the spaceship truck stop cafe where Braca is tending to the raw meat of his own leg wound while DíArgoís whimpers sympathetically. The would-be robbers are at an impasse - believing that they cannot leave now without being cut down by PK troops lurking outside. Sko and Scorpius have disappeared - leaving Wa to guard the rest)
Rygel: (to Wa) Ahem - can I offer a suggestion?
Wa: Shut up! (he hoots and squawks skittishly in the glare of the Hynerians attention. Rygel makes his suggestion anyway)
Rygel: Why don't you forget the robbery and think bigger? If I were you - I'd hold the Peacekeepers for ransom. Let us go - you don't need us. But they'll pay anything to get those two back.
Braca: (hissing furiously) Rygel! Shut-up! (Wa looks frantically from Rygel to Braca as he struggles to sort things out for himself)
Rygel: This robbery doesn't seem to be turning out like you planned. If you had a plan which - (Wa is becoming increasingly agitated) - don't get upset - doesn't seem to be the case.
Wa: We're doing fine!
Rygel: This is fine? I'd hate to see when you do badly. (that's it - Wa springs forward bringing the muzzle of his gun very close to Rygelís face)
Wa: When we burn this place down - (he interjects a few simian squawks) - we'll make sure - you're in it!
Rygel: (shrewdly) Burn it down? I thought you were robbing it. This isn't a robbery is it? It's for insurance! Garanzai currency yes? Before - you said "He didn't tell us there'd be Peacekeepers here." It's the cook. (he laughs at the petty banality - poor Wa can barely hold his gun so dumbstruck is he by Rygelís sussing their clever plan as easy as that) You're burning it down for the cook!
Wa: Voodi! Get out here now! (both Voodi and Essk hurry out of the kitchen - Essk thrusts a platter of food at the blue monkey-man who is NOT in the food mood now)
Essk: We've got your food. We've got your... leervink.
Wa: Get it out of my face! (he twitches and screeches after her as she hurries past him)
Essk: I'll just put it over there okay? Maybe your friend will- (poor Essk - she had such high hopes for that leervink and they're all dashed. She just cuts herself off and heaves a disappointed sigh as she sets the platter down and stares ruefully at it. Meanwhile Voodi and Wa conduct a not-too-quietly whispered conversation)
Wa: He knows!
Voodi: What did you tell him? ( louder) What did you tell him? What did you tell him!? (at that moment Sko and Scorpius emerge from the kitchen. As Sko goes to Wa and Voodi Scorpius continues back to the others - bumping into Essk and then sliding his hands along her waist as he goes. Essk shoots him A Look over her shoulder)
Sko: Tell what?
Wa: The worm knows - Voodi hired us to burn this place down!
Essk: (shocked - to Voodi) You did - what?
Voodi: I woulda told you - I should've Essk- but-but-
Essk: (on come the waterworks) You wanna burn this?
Voodi: (frantically) But - I-I wanted to tell ya-
Essk: (wailing) But I love this place Voodi!
Voodi: I shoulda told ya! (their spat deteriorates into tearful wails of betrayal on one side and desperate pleas for forgiveness on the other. Sko can't think with all the noise and shuts them up with a screamed command)
Sko: SHUTUUUUUP! SHUTUP! UP! (then - quietly to Wa) What have you been doing - have you been telling them my life story?
Wa: I didn't! He guessed - he came up with a better plan. (Sko listens carefully as they both fidget and hoot excitedly while Wa tells his story. It's clear both Rygel and Scorpius can hear them) Stiv doing the Insurance job - we take these two for ransom instead!
Scorpius: I wouldn't do that.
Sko: We don't care what you'd do. Look! We've got the guns! We're in control and we're gonna be rich! Rich! (they squirm and squawk gleefully)
Scorpius: (calm and deadly) No you won't.
(cut back to Moya as the stand-off between her and the crew continues. John is alone on the Command as Aeryn enters)
Aeryn: (stridently informative as she marches busily to a console) Talyn has activated a full lockdown. He's not letting Crais onboard.
John: (dully) Moya is still refusing to move. She won't even talk to Pilot.
Aeryn: What do you think we should do?
John: (archly) You asking me?
Aeryn: Yes. We can still work together John. We always did that well.
John: The only voice - that Talyn is going to listen to is Moya. Someone needs to talk to her and convince her that we're not hurting Talyn because we want to. I think - maybe you - should talk to Moya. She knows that you love Talyn. (Pilot of course has always hated the kid and never given Moya a second of support regarding him right?)
(cut to soon after in Pilot's Den where Aeryn has come to play his role since she's just hamming it up all over the place with her own part and simply must work off some of that blinding emotional energy before we're all bowled over by its stupefying intensity)
Pilot: There's nothing I can do. Moya knows Talyn is acting irrationally - but she believes he will heal himself.
Aeryn: May I speak with her?
Pilot: I'll ask. (he turns away for a moment and then looks back at Aeryn) Moya will listen to you. Proceed.
Aeryn: Hello Moya. (wow - when John spoke to Moya he needed to use a DRD - all she needs to do is talk into the air. Oh wait - Pilot is there - she can use his ears since he and Moya are only bonded body and soul to each other) Talyn has been our home. And, on more than one occasion he has saved our lives. (not of his own volition he hasn't) I - personally - have shared with him some of the best - and also some of the worst times. You must know that I would never harm him. Crais is right. We have to shut Talyn down - and it is for his own good and I swear - that we will all work to bring him back just as he was. (Moya makes a sound like the distant crackle of thunder) It is the only way.
(cut back to the space truck stop cafe where the pair of bumbling robbers are warming to their new plan)
Sko: I can handle Peacekeepers. I know what they'll do. They'll send out a Prowler, maybe two. (he strides over to Scorpius. He has a smaller weapon than the needlessly large gun he used for intimidations sake when they first came in) I will keep this gun at your head to make sure there's no funny guhnak.
Scorpius: Then you'll organize a ransom and get them to give you a very fast ship.
Sko: That's right!
Scorpius: The moment you comm them - you're dead. And you won't even see them coming. Why risk it - (now Scorpius is his own intimidation weapon - and oblivious to the gun at his head - he now walks right up to Sko and does unto Rygel what Rygel did unto him) - when you have a far greater prize here and you don't even know it. (he directs Skoís attention to Rygel - who is aghast) Behold Rygel XVI. Sovereign of Hyneria. Heir to all its wealth and fabled star planets. He - you should ransom. (Rygel stares back at them - looking and feeling like the heir to squat. Which in fact he is...)
(cut back to Mayas Command as Aeryn re-enters having made quick work of Fixed Everything with her brilliantly persuasive speech to Moya. Chiana, Crais and Jool are there as well. The scene shifts between the Command and Pilot in his Den)
Pilot: (sounding sad and sidelined) Talyn's agreed to let Crais re-board and start his work.
Crais: I sense Talyn waking up from lockdown and powering up. Thank Moya for us Pilot.
Pilot: (slowly, feeling Mayas pain) I - think it best to leave Moya alone. She knows what we do is necessary but - still - she is heartbroken.
Aeryn: She's not the only one. (at that moment Jool, who's watching Talyn out the main viewport sees something happening)
Jool: (apprehensively) Crais? What's Talyn doing? (he's bring up his main cannon and bringing it into firing position - that's what)
Chiana: (with disbelief) He's aiming at us.
Aeryn: Start evasive procedures-
Crais: SHUT DOWN TALYN! SHUT DOWN!
Aeryn: Evasive procedures now!
But never has anyone yet escaped Talynís wrath with evasive procedures and the young ship proceeds to fire 3 massive salvos at Moya from virtual point-blank range. Great explosions rock her and throw her crew and Crais to the deck as shrapnel and debris flies through the air. Her hull is breached and perhaps it's only the fact that she's partly organic and not loaded up with artificial fuels that prevents her from a catastrophic explosion under Talynís sneak attack.
(cut back to the space truck stop cafe. Braces' condition is deteriorating. He's laid out on a counter now. D'Argo is sitting next to him with his own injured leg also propped up. Rygel and Scorpius are still sitting side by side at their table)
DíArgo: Listen - stay awake. (he jostles Braca a bit and they both groan sharply with pain but Braca continues to slip into unconsciousness) No - no sleep. No sleep. No sleep! (he slaps the man to keep him awake and they both yell miserably)
Rygel: (to Sko, who's lounging nearby) He needs water.
Sko: (slurring a bit) Awww - shut up. He's not important. (he takes a drink of water from a metal cup)
Rygel: Let the hostages die. Brilliant negotiating position.
Sko: Oohhh - you're the only one we care about little slime toad. Now shut up - while we figure out what to do next.
Rygel: (in a low, furious tone) He needs water now! (Sko responds by upending his cup and pouring its contents out onto the floor. Wa hoots with simian laughter at the cleverness of this rebuttal)
Rygel: (muttering) Imbecile.
Sko: (he slaps his hand on the counter and yells) BRING ME WATER! AND BRING ME FOOD! (Essk hurries in from the kitchen)
Essk: (pointing) I left your - leervink on the table.
Sko: Well - that leervink's cold. You should bring me some more. (Essk flounces back to the kitchen and with a sound like air escaping a balloon - Rygel lets fly one of his Helium Specials. Scorpius eyes him and growls a little)
Scorpius: (quietly - in a gravelly Munchkin voice) Your bravery is convincing.
Rygel: (also in his Munchkin voice) Yes - I think he bought it.
(cut to the kitchen where relations are strained. The conversation is conducted in loud whispers)
Essk: They want more - leervink.
Voodi: (irritably) All right all right...
Essk: (reaching to help him prepare the food) Come on!
Voodi: (bitterly) Why don't they stick their leervink up their fekik? Nonono - why don't we put a frelling sign out the front? Huh? Huh? Yeah? "Leervink not done here!"
Essk: (spluttering a little with annoyance) What - sign? You were going to burn the place down Voodi!
Voodi: No! This place is killing us - don't you understand that? Essk I want to start over! I want to start over together. (Essk looks as if she's about to cry)
(cut back out to the dining room. Wa is nervous and approaches Sko to express his concern)
Wa: I've been thinking about it. We shouldn't kill anyone. We should just burn the place down. If we do this ransom - thing you know someone's gonna - (he emits a couple anxious monkey barks) -end up dead. (Sko bolts upright with a couple hoots that sound somewhere between anxious and irritable. He grabs his companions head and brings it to rest against his forehead)
Sko: Have you looked in the mirror lately? Are you getting any younger?
Sko: We take the score that's fallen in our lap. We mortgage the runt! (while he continues his pep talk - Scorpius murmurs to Rygel)
Scorpius: We only have a limited window before they discover no one will pay a krepna for you.
Rygel : That's your fault - you told them to ransom me.
Scorpius: If they'd commed in a Peacekeeper squad like you suggested it's quite likely one of us would have died at the hands of these idiots! No uh - we do this ourselves - if you're up to it. (Rygel harrumphs to indicate he's up for anything Scorpius is up for. The half-Scarran directs Rygelís attention to Braces outflung wrist where two red lights glow steadily on the I-yensch cuff) I know the combination to Braces bracelet. While holding two lights continuously, depress 3-1-4. Then release all. (Rygel looks thoughtfully at the bracelet)
(cut back to Moya - Talynís attack is over but she is in a shambles. Her Command is barely recognizable as such. The room is filled with debris, smoke and lit only with the intermittent flashing of exposed and shorting power circuits. Emergency repairs have begun Chiana is dragging a thick cable. Jool just stands there - at a loss)
Chiana: Give us a hand here Princess. (Jool obediently follows her)
Jool: I can't believe Talyn blew up Moya.
Chiana: I'm sure it was an accident. I bet he was really aimin' for you. (Jool growls as Chiana thrusts the cable at her to hold while she runs it along into place)
(cut to a one of Mayas transport pods as it leaves her and makes the short crossing to Talyn. The scene shifts to inside the pod where Aeryn is doing the flying and John is doing the watching as Crais addresses his angry/crazy young ship)
Crais: We are the only ones who can help you. Talyn - please. (no response) Talyn please! (still no response and Crais turns away in frustration and sorrow - but before Aeryn can butt in - Talyn speaks at last to his captain and Crais turns back to the others) Bay 3 hangar is opening. Talyn is letting us dock.
(cut back to the space truck stop cafe. D'Argo has joined Brace and is flat out on the counter himself now. Sko and Wa finish their strategy conference/social bonding behavior session and approach Rygel and Scorpius. Sko's toting his absurdly large gun again)
Sko: Okay. Here's what we do. We call your people. Weeeee... ask for 10,000.000 krepnas ransom. We leave. We wait. They come. When they come - we arrange the exchange.
Rygel: (indicating Scorpius) His - ship will decode the transmission.
Sko: Hah! So? We'll be metras away!
Rygel: In something that can outrun an attack Marauder?
Scorpius: Uh - he's right you know. (Sko yells with frustration and beats his Big Gun against the table like a club)
Sko: AWWWWW! WHY SO DIFFICULT?
Rygel: (mildly) Uh - you could take my ship. It's fast. They won't ever catch us. (Sko and Wa are greatly heartened by this news and hoot happily) But - (he points towards the ailing Luxan) - he's the only one that can fly it.
Sko: I don't believe you.
DíArgo: (weakly) It's true. Responds to DNA particles and voice ident. (Sko and Wa scream and hoot wildly)
Sko: WHY SO DIFFICULT? (poor Essk chooses that unfortunate moment to re-enter the room with a fresh platter of Voodis signature slop)
Essk: (cheerily) Here! Voodi's made you leervink.
Sko: AARR! SMELLS LIKE KRANK! (he swats the platter out of her hands and grabs her) YOU GET ME SOMETHING I CAN EAT!
Essk: LET GO! YOU'RE HURTING ME!
Sko: DON'T FIGHT ME BITCH! (as Essk continues to cream and struggle - Voodi finds his ire and heaves a metal container at Sko through the pick-up window. It hits the blue monkey-man in the back and he and Wa spin around to face the infuriated cook as he storms out of his kitchen waving a pointy spatula. Wa is horrified as he stands there with his hand clapped over his mouth while Voodi screams at them)
Voodi: GET THE FRELL OUTTA HERE! I WANT YOU GONE NOW! NOW!
Sko: (unlike Wa - he's cool. In a chest-thumping contest between him and Voodi- he knows he's the bigger ape) Get back to the kitchen.
Voodi: NO! THIS IS MY PLACE! YOU WORK FOR ME! NOW - BURN IT SOME OTHER TIME I DON'T CARE! JUST GET OUT OF HERE. NOW!
Sko: (dangerously) I'm warning you. (Voodi charges him - but Sko whips up his smaller gun and shoots poor Voodi down with a single blast to the chest. Wa squawks with alarm. Essk pulls away from Sko and runs to her partners side)
Essk: Voodi! (she kneels down by him, tearful) Why?
Voodi: (gasping as he dies) I... I wanted to give you something...
Essk: (softly) Voodi...
Voodi: B-burn this place down in my honor. (he breathes his last and Essk begins to sob as she leans down and pulls his lifeless body close to hers)
Sko: (to Wa - in a low tone) Dead. (but Rygel has also used the distraction of Voodis demise to move over to Braca and D'Argo)
Rygel: (murmuring to D'Argo) Braces I-yensch... hold 2 continuously as you press- (but before he can finish - Sko spots him)
Sko: Ah-ah-ah-ah! (Rygel looks up quickly to find himself in the crosshairs of Skoís gun now) Slime finger - what are you doing?
Rygel: (quite truthfully) Helping keep this man alive.
Sko: Oh - no - you're - not! Back! Back! Back away!
Rygel: Yes. Yes. (he starts to back away from D'Argo - but pauses to feign a coughing fit. As he doubles over hacking - he whispers to D'Argo) Press 3-1-4. (D'Argo softly rumbles his understanding)
(cut to Talynís Command as Aeryn, Crais and John enter)
Crais: Talyn - you know what must happen next.
John: He's right Talyn. (unsurprisingly Talyn's a bit spooked by that voice and this isn't a good time to be with the ghost stories. The young ship instantly lowers all his internal defense weaponry and trains it on John who wisely shuts up. But Aeryn steps up next to Crais and - talks to his ship. Well at least this ship had at one point been interested in having her as a co-captain)
Aeryn: Talyn - you listen to me. You destroyed a ship with many innocent people onboard. You shot your own mother - you would never do that (actually he already had once before) unless you were sick and frightened. When Moya told you what we had to do you panicked and struck out. I don't think you really meant to hurt Moya. You could have destroyed her if you wanted to - (that he just wanted to maim her is better though huh?) - but you didn't - just as I'm hoping that you don't really want to hurt us, because we don't want to hurt you. (no response or movement from Talyn) Talyn - you know you're sick. You let us board. Now I don't want you to be frightened - you're not going to die. You'll be reborn. It's a fresh start. Please Talyn - let us take away your pain. (we wouldn't buy a used car from this woman but evidently Talyn will - there's a long tense silence - and then the little ship retracts his guns)
(cut back to the space truck stop cafe where the hostages wait for their chance. Essk is sitting next to poor Voodis body and drowning her sorrows and Wa is finding himself in way over his blue monkey-man head)
DíArgo: (muttering to Braca) Stay awake. Stay awake! (he reaches over and swats Braca, who groans a little, D'Argo groans a lot) Stay awake! (meanwhile Sko and Wa are standing where Sko can keep an eye on everyone. Wa's had enough)
Wa: Please Sko - no more killing. We should just get outta here-
Sko: No! No! We're too far in! (he moves away from his twitching partner and goes to crouch down between Rygel and Scorpius - he wants to talk to the Hynerian) So! You!
Sko: (indicating Scorpius) You were meeting with him weren't you? Whyyyyyy?
Rygel: To negotiate our freedom. We're escaped prisoners.
Sko: Oh - really? Really? (he turns to look with Rygel at Scorpius and murmur) So -you don't like Peacekeepers either.
Rygel: Not in the slightest.
Sko: This one's the most valuable?
Rygel: Higher even than a captain. (whispering as Scorpius gazes stonily at them) Look - no insignia.
Sko: (slowly thinking it out) So we take him in your ship. We have better chance of escaping - yeah? (Rygel affirms this and Sko stands up with a bark of finality. He walks around to Rygelís other side and then grabs him by the nose - which is quite a feat since Rygel hasn't got much more than a couple slits - but monkey-man Sko is agile enough to use them to drag the Hynerian away from Scorpius) COME! Come! Come! Slimy! Wa! WA! Aim at the Hynerian! (Rygel gasps in alarm as Wa screeches and brings his gun to hear - but then Sko places his own small gun in Rygelís hands)
Rygel: What-? (Sko points to Braca and D'Argo on the counter)
Sko: You pull the trigger. Kill the Peacekeeper. I'll trust you - and we'll both be happy. (Rygelís earbrows droop - under any other circumstances this wouldn't be a problem. Sko waits) Pull the trigger. (Braca and D'Argo lay there helplessly staring at Rygel - the muzzle of the gun shakes violently in his hand) Kill him now or Wa kills you. (Rygel makes no move) Pull the trigger! (Sko lets go with an animal howl which causes Wa to stiffen before yelling) I'm waiting! (now truth doesn't always come naturally to the conniving little Hynerians lips - but this is one case where it's really about all he needs to mess up these foes and he finally just speaks it)
Rygel: I told you before - if I kill him - D'Argo dies. If D'Argo dies - no one can fly the ship. If no one can fly the ship - you don't go anywhere. (Sko hesitates for a second but just can't get his head around it. All he knows is that he's got a simple test of loyalty going here and by Bonzo! He wants to see it through!)
Sko: Pull the trigger!
Rygel: You want me to kill someone so you'll trust me. How - about - (he turns the gun towards Scorpius - who stiffens and slowly rises. This Goliath knows very well this David can and will bring him down on the spot)
Scorpius: (murmuring warily) Dominar...
Rygel: (returning a title thinks hitting) Butcher.
Sko: You said this one is more valuable.
Rygel: That was a microt ago. (the concept of how things change from microt to microt is one Sko grasps very well. He smiles and pats Rygelís head)
Sko: All right. (Scorpius takes a step towards Rygel while letting go with one of his evil Scarranish growls - and Rygel pulls the trigger. The half-Scarran is hit in the chest and the force of the blast lifts him off him feet and throws him back against the wall - where he slides to the floor and slumps - motionless. Wa shrieks as Essk sets aside her thermos and scrambles to her feet. Sko is pleased) Good. We're outta here. (he walks away from Rygel)
Essk: (stalking across the room shouting) Well why not just kill everyone? Everyone! (as she passes Rygel she whispers) There's a knife under the leervink. (Rygel eyes a nearby platter of spilled leervink - which looks like very dry boneless rib meat with a carpet of little leaves growing on top of it - and sure enough - the handle of a respectable-sized butcher knife is visible beneath it)
(cut back to Talynís Command where Aeryn and John are working at a control console. Their conversation is quiet and carefully toneless. They don't look at each other. Crais stands apart from them, waiting)
John: You okay?
John: Listen Crais and I can wrap it up from here.
Aeryn: I can finish the job.
John: I know. But if you wanna go back to Moya...
Aeryn: I don't. (long pause) But thank you. Are you ready?
Aeryn: Crais? We're ready now. (Talyn speaks to Crais in his little electronic ponk of a voice)
Crais: Yes Talyn. (he sighs, his voice and demeanor is soft, filled with deep regret and sorrow as he speaks softly to his little Leviathan who has given his post-PK life meaning and direction) I promise you that I will do everything I can and - Crichton and Aeryn will as well. We are all here with you. (with loving reassurance) You have not disappointed me. I don't hold you responsible. Neither does Moya. (Talyn speaks again - but his voice is no longer a smart beat - it's muddy and slow - a sleepy murmur. Crais whispers his response) Oh no no - on the contrary Talyn - you are very brave. (Talynís voice, like of muffled slurry of thick liquid now - makes one last request) As you wish.
Crais briefly makes eye contact with Aeryn and then - as Pilot watches - senses - the act from his place deep within Moya - Crais moves to a bank of narrow panels. Each panel has 4 levers arranged two by two. With both hands, he pulls the lever sets back and the panels go dark. A few sparks fly as circuits are cut - and the lights and sounds of Talyn go dark as well. In his Den - Pilot's great orange eyes close for a moment as Moya shakes with the Leviathan equivalent of sobs and when he opens them he remains staring unfocused into space, mesmerized and stunned by the necessary sacrilege of what he and Moya have just witnessed.
On Mayas ruined Command Chiana chants a prayer softly as she and Jool watch Talynís - dark as space now and visible only by a few dull glints of light from some distant star off his drifting body.
(cut back to Talynís Command - plunged now into near total darkness and as silent as the tomb. Crais stands there - more desolate than perhaps he's ever been in his life. His voice cracks as the tears gather for their agonized storm)
Crais: (he drops the hands he just used to shut Talyn off with to his sides and breathes) He's gone. (he lifts his eyes and looks up at his silenced ship as he backs towards the door - and then he turns and leaves to walk the darkened corridors alone. Aeryn and John watch him go - their faces as smooth and blank as funerary statues. No words, no sighs - not a breath breaks the heavy silence of Talyn)
(meanwhile back at the truck stop cafe - the blue monkey-men hustle to make their departure from this fiasco. Wa in particular is eager to put a lot of space between him and this place as he screeches and issues an order to D'Argo)
Wa: Get him up! (D'Argo is sitting up on the counter now and is pulling his neurological buddy, Braca, up as well)
DíArgo: (grimly) I'm trying to keep him awake. If you want me to pilot that ship for you he must remain conscious. (Wa hoots and squawks agitatedly)
Sko: Waitress! Waitress! (Essk enters form the kitchen, still carrying the silver thermos. Her pretty golden face is set in hard lines) Time to join your cook boyfriend
Rygel: (firmly) No! I'll - get you all the currency you could ever want. Leave her alone. (there's a long silence as Essk waits for the shot and Rygel and Wa hold their breath before Sko snorts and lowers his gun. Wa squawks with relief as Rygel says paternally to Essk) Go - back - in the kitchen. Don't come out again. (she nods and takes a couple backwards steps before shooting Sko a daggers look and departing. Rygel moves away from the older monkey-mans side)
Sko: Where are you going?
Rygel: (with a little laugh) Need a kill souvenir - want to help?
Sko: Aaaahhh - sick toad. (he clicks his tongue disapprovingly) We have to go!
Rygel: Just give me a microt. (he guides his hoverchair over to where the slumped body of Scorpius is propped against the wall behind the table where they'd been sitting earlier and murmurs) Sorry I had to shoot you but - you know how it goes. (he is of course completely unsurprised when the half-Scarrans eyes snap open. They speak in low tones as Scorpius takes care not to move a muscle other than his eyes and his lips)
Scorpius: (furious with Rygel) How did you know I was wearing body armor?
Rygel: I wasn't sure, but - 131 cycles in Peacekeeper captivity teaches you a few things.
Scorpius: What if you were wrong?
Rygel: Hm! (whispering - with a little laugh) Not so bad for me either way. (Scorpius has to appreciate Rygelís unabashed survival instinct and being thus informed of the position he occupies in the Hynerians universe - he drops further grousing on the matter and moves on)
Rygel: We can't leave with them or we're all dead. There's a knife under the plate. It's on the floor in front of the counter.
Sko: Hynerian! (he and Wa won't even come close to where Rygel is supposedly carrying out his barbaric customs and are waiting across the room)
Rygel: (calling) Almost done! (he chortles gaily) His ears are tougher than I thought! (Sko and Wa hoot and gibber with alarm and revulsion. Braca's eyes widen and he looks apprehensively at D'Argo as Rygel continues quietly to Scorpius) You got... anything to contribute? (in response, Scorpius reaches up and touches the outer port of the coolant device implanted in his head. Rygel gapes in amazement as it spins out to reveal the usual globules of meat clinging to it and a blue coolant rod - but there's more secreted there than just Scorpius' personal medical equipment)
Scorpius: The silver one. Hurry. (Rygel unflinchingly removes a shiny silver cylinder from the device) Single pulse charge - you've only got one. Good luck.
Rygel: Be there! (Scorpius closes his eyes and lets his head loll as Sko howls)
Sko: HYYYYYYNERIAAAAAAAN! UP! (Rygel rises into view) GET UP!
Wa: Get over there! (he and Sko continue to scream and hoot semi-coherent directions as they round up their hostages into a little group. Braca and D'Argo are forced to use each other as crutches to get upright and walk - but suddenly the best-laid plans of the blue monkey-men are screwed up by the Hynerian again)
Rygel: (he clears his throat loudly to get everyoneís attention - the yammering stops and he announces) I've changed my mind. (Sko is confounded - he has no clue what The Rules say about a hostage who suddenly changes his mind about being one just like that)
Sko: WHAT? WHAT?
Rygel: I'm not going with you. You can kill those two if you like. (now evolutionally speaking -D'Argo might be closer to blue monkey-men than he'd like to think since he immediately takes Rygel at complete face value after everything he's just witnessed - either that or he's developed a level of deceptive cunning that's new)
DíArgo: Why you dirty little-! (he lunges at the Hynerian and of course both he and Braca immediately collapse to the floor, writhing and clutching at their mutually useless right legs)
Sko: What's this about?
Rygel: Regrets. I'd rather be dead than deal with the likes of you. (that's it - Sko just snaps - he throws his head back and howls like miserable canine - Wa looks a little put-off by this but in true monkey-see-monkey-do fashion he tries to howl like a dog too)
Sko: WHY SO DIFFICULT!? (meanwhile Braca's on the ball to use the momentary chaos to at last punch in the release code to his I-yensch bracelet)
Rygel: Because you didn't think it through fekik! You didn't have a plan! (he reaches under his robe and begins to withdraw the little silver pulse charge - Sko immediately brings up his gun)
Sko: WHAT'S THIS? WHAT'S IN THERE? WHAT'S THAT YOU GOT (and while he focuses on Rygel - Braca whips off his I-yensch bracelet, rolls - and claps it onto the leg of the hapless Wa who sinks to the floor shrieking from DíArgoís pain)
Wa: MY LEG! AAaaAaAAAaHhHHhHH! GET IT OFF MY LEG! (Sko doesn't know where to look now and from the ground - D'Argo ups the discomfort level to Wa by starting to beat his own head against the floor. Wa holds his head and screams)
Sko: KILL THEM AAAALLLLL! (but he's so discombobulated and spooked by the howling Wa that he scarcely knows who to shoot and Scorpius chooses that moment to come powering out from behind the table, grab the knife and throw it. It sinks deeply into Skoís shoulder and the frenzied Sko begins to spin like a top. He screams wildly as he fires his huge gun in all directions which trashes the diner with a blazing hell of gunfire. But since Scorpius takes a flying vault to cover behind a counter and everyone else is on the floor - or in Rygelís case just low - he doesn't hit any of his tormentors. Finally exhausted - he stops - face to face with Rygel. The Hynerian shoots first with the single-shot pulse gun and Sko is hit in the chest. His arms fly wide and the force of the blast throws him backwards through the cafes plate glass window.
The sudden silence is broken only by the sound of D'Argo beating his head repeatedly against the floor and Wa yipping in perfect unison. Brace grabs the surviving monkey-mans gun and holds it on him while Rygel looks at the Luxan with some concern.
Rygel: D'Argo? (the Luxan doggedly keeps on whacking his head) D'Argo! (the Big Guy stops his self-flagellation and panting heavily, looks woozily up at Rygel)
DíArgo: (faintly) Wha?
Rygel: Are you... all right?
DíArgo: (breathing heavily as he tries to look nonchalant) Yah! I'm fine. I've got a - I've got a hard - skull. I just think that I'll uh... (yeah Rygel knows about his hard skull - he chuckles a bit and Wa whimpers softly. The Hynerian - having this proven that his ideas are just as good as John's - turns back to Scorpius who rises slowly up from behind the counter and curls his lip in a low growl as he faces Rygel across the debris-strewn surface)
Rygel: Now - about our deal. (he tosses the spent single-shot pulse gun back to the half-Scarran)
Scorpius: Yes. I believe perhaps - there is a basis for us to trust one another. (and he demonstrates his good faith by picking a morsel of Voodis cooking off the ruined counter and pitching it into Rygelís mouth. The Dominar smiles and chews it down contentedly)
Essk appears in the kitchen doorway and surveys the scene - including Voodis dead body with its smear of blood on his mouth. Soon after the truck stop is ablaze in his honor as DíArgoís ship lifts off into the dreary, dull yellow and black sky.
Soon after - D'Argo and Rygel find Moya still parked near the expanse of glowing blue dust with Talyn, dark and still at her side. And soon they're home - being greeted enthusiastically by Chiana as they exit the little Luxan ship.
Chiana: So you're all right?
DíArgo: As well as can be expected. (Chiana throws herself energetically at him. He smiles and grimaces at the same time as she joyfully impacts him with a full-body hug)
Rygel: (expansively) D'Argo's hurt his leg, his head, and burnt his hand - but he'll survive.
Chiana: What happened to you guys? Wh-why didn't you call in? Come here- (she pulls Rygel close and kisses him too)
DíArgo: Well - the restaurant it ah - (he mumbles quickly) - sortaburntdown. I don't wanna talk about it - it's a long story. Anything happen here on Moya?
Chiana: (sounding a but ill) Oh you know -just the usual. (the scene begins to shift from Rygel in the maintenance bay to John on Mayas destroyed Command where he and Aeryn are doing more repair work. John breaks in via comm first with a grimly impatient question)
John: (very tense) Rygel - do we have a deal?
Rygel: Oh very much. (John turns back to work as he listens - his jaw set and his face a determined blank) I'm proud to say I've secured everything we wanted. - (he eyes an I-yensch bracelet in his hand) - including acceptable security precautions.
(cut to the Command, Aeryn pauses her work and sits)
Aeryn: I have a bad feeling - about the Command Carrier.
John: Do you think we shouldn't go?
Aeryn: I don't think we have a choice. If - Scorpius masters wormholes then...
John: Yeah. Some things - (he pauses too and sits a ways from her) - you die for. (there's a long pause and Aeryn comes out with it)
Aeryn: I just can't watch that happen - again. It was perfect. We were so - perfect and you're just like him I mean - you are him.
John: (gently) No. I'm me. I was here. (long silence) I missed that dance. (long silence) Aeryn - (long pause) - don't come with us.
Aeryn: No we started this together Crichton. (she rises) That's how we'll end it.
And with those words - she exits, leaving John sitting alone in the blackened ruin of Mayas Command.