Air Date: March 12, 2002
Written by Richard Manning
Directed by Ian Watson
Transcript by Xenajules2
Edited and put on-line by Bluey
Episode 3.20 - Into the Lion's Den: Part 1: Lambs to the Slaughter
Previously on Farscape (the voice of Aeryn Sun):
Scene One: from "Losing Time", Lt Braca enters Scorpius' quarters and gives him a data strip. Scorpius: "Scarran warriors outnumber Peacekeeper soldiers... ten to one. But if and when they attack, we will lose, Braca." Lt. Braca: "Unless we harness a superior weapon." Scorpius: "Yes. Wormhole technology. Without it, the Sebecean race will be overrun, thousands of cycles of history gone."
Scene Two: from "I-Yensch, You-Yensch", Jool is looking out Moya's forward viewscreen as Talyn brings his main cannon to bear on his mother. Jool: "What's Talyn doing?" Chiana, coming to look: "He's aiming at us." John: "Crap." Crais: "Shut down, Talyn. Shut down!" Aeryn: "Evasive procedures, now!" Talyn shoots his mother at point-blank range. Jool screams.
Scene Three: from "I-Yensch, You-Yensch, Crais, Aeryn and John enter Talyn's bridge. Crais: "Talyn. You know what must happen next." Aeryn: "Let us take away your pain." Crais turns off both sets of main switches. Talyn's running noises wind down. Talyn floats, dead in space.
Scene Four: from "I-Yensch, You-Yensch, Lt. Braca sets two large bracelets on a table. Scorpius: "Synchronized nerve impulses." Braca holds out one of the bracelets to D'Argo. Rygel: "We have almost closed the deal. Put it on." Braca puts the bracelet on D'Argo. Scorpius: "Those wearing the bracelets will feel each other's pain." While Lt. Braca has his head bent towards him, Rygel head butts him. Braca and D'Argo both cry out and stagger backwards, running into the wall and falling down.
Scene Five: from "Fractures", In Pilot's den, John addresses the crew: "I don't see another option. Scorpius has the knowledge from my brain, and I'm not gonna let him shaft the Universe with it. I'm going to the Command Carrier. I'm going to stop Scorpius." Chiana: "You're all gonna die."
AND NOW, ON FARSCAPE......
John's "Theatre of the Mind" is playing an old, black-and-white war movie. It is night. A covered personnel carrier drives out of a spot light, to the sound of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again" and snare-drums. There is gunfire all around them. John and Harvey are seated inside. They are both holding odd looking guns. Harvey is wearing a khaki trenchcoat, over his usual black leather outfit. He is also wearing a "bowl" style helmet on top of his head. The chin straps are unbuckled, hanging loose beside his ears.
Harvey, breathing heavily: "Uh! Uh! Turn back, John."
John, casually chewing gum: "Shut up, Private. We're goin in."
Harvey whines: "Eew. If Scorpius discovers you intend to sabotage his wormhole research... uhh! He'll kill you John. And, if you perish... so do I."
John: "Thought you wanted to die."
Harvey: "Not any more. I want to survive."
John: "Then, follow orders."
Harvey sits up straighter and clears his throat: "I'll do my best. Trust me on that." He gets his gun ready.
Aeryn's voice echoes: "Crichton..."
And John is back in the real world...
Aeryn: "D'Argo and Rygel just reported in from the Command Carrier. Scorpius is sending marauders to escort us in."
John and Aeryn are seated at the controls of a transport pod. Chiana and Crais are behind them. Jool joins them, her hair a bright, flaming red.
Jool: "Or blast us into particles."
Crais: "Why is your hair red?"
Jool: "Because I'm anxious, okay? I don't know why we're doing this. I don't know why I came along, and I don't know why we didn't jump ship when you said we would."
Chiana: "Cause we'd be no where near a populated planet."
Jool: "You know what? We could've stayed on Moya."
John: "Aeryn. Turn the pod around. Let's take these two back."
Aeryn: "Moya is over four arns away."
Crais: "And hiding with Talyn by now."
Moya and Talyn are alone, somewhere in space.
John comms: "Pilot? Are you parked?"
Pilot answers: "Yes. Moya has towed Talyn to the agreed upon rendevous point."
In his den, Pilot makes some distressed sounds and there is an unusal sound from Moya as well.
Aeryn comms: "Pilot? What was that?"
Pilot answers: "Moya is under great stress."
Chiana is sitting in front of the pods' control consoles now: "She ought to see us."
Pilot: "But she assures me, she will... endure."
Jool: "I hope we can say the same."
There are several marauders surrounding the pod as it approaches the Command Carrier. The faces of the crew look anxious, and John quickly glances at Aeryn, as he maneuvers the pod inside for a landing. Inside the Command Carrier's hangar bay, there are Peacekeeper troops lined up on both sides of a long, red carpet. It leads to where Scorpius is standing, awaiting their arrival.
As soon as the pod has landed, the crew exits. John, wearing the I-Yensch bracelet on his left wrist, comes down the stairs first, followed closely by Aeryn. Next to disembark is Crais, followed by Chiana. Jool brings up the rear. They gather at the foot of the steps, waiting.
Scorpius smiles and spreads his arms out to his sides: "Welcome."
As soon as he says this, John begins the long walk down the carpet. His face is grim as he passes between the long lines of silent Peacekeepers. The rest of the crew looks equally unsettled although Crais does make eye contact with one female Peacekeeper as he walks past her.
John whispers to Aeryn: "Let's test the jewelry."
Aeryn: "All right."
She reaches over and grabs his left thumb. She twists it backwards, pulling up on his arm, until John grimaces and cries out with pain.
John: "Ah, hah."
At the head of the line, Scorpius also cries out and grabs his left hand. The soldiers flanking him immediately bring up and cock their weapons. One of the officers holds his hands out, in a gesture of calm.
John holds up his right hand: "Just checking."
John has come to the end of the carpet and slows to a stop. Aeryn walks past him to go to where Rygel and D'Argo are standing.
Aeryn whispers: "Treating you all right?"
D'Argo: "So far."
Rygel: "Food could be better."
John glances at them, then looks back at Scorpius.
Scorpius: "John Crichton." Then, loud enough for everyone to hear: "I grant you John, and your companions, full diplomatic rights, immunities and courtesies whilst aboard this vessel."
Several of the Peacekeepers look unhappy when they hear this.
Scorpius steps down from the riser he had been standing on and walks over to John.
Scorpius: "At last. The rift between us is finally bridged."
Scorpius holds out his hand to John. John continues to stare directly into Scorpius' eyes, but finally, he takes Scorpius' hand.
END OF PROLOGUE
Aboard Scorpius' Command Carrier...
The door to Scorpius' quarters opens and Crais enters, followed by John Crichton, Scorpius and Lt. Braca.
Scorpius: "So tell me, John. What finally brought you here? Dominar Rygel claimed you preferred the Peacekeepers to the Scarrans. Any other reasons?"
John: "Moya. Pilot. Aeryn. D'Argo. They've been through hell.
.. in large part due to me. It's time I did something for them. Do not...
screw with them, Scorpius. Give them what they want. It's a good deal for you."
Scorpius smiles and gives a little laugh while he touches his I-Yensch bracelet: "Oh. Uncontested."
Crais: "There is one thing more we want. Talyn is presently inoperative. He needs to be brought aboard... for a full cognative system replacement."
Scorpius: "That was not part of the agreement."
John: "So? You called off the retrieval squad. Fixin' up Talyn is 'chump change'."
Lt. Braca: "Bringing a gunship aboard is too much to ask."
Crais: "His weapons have been deactivated. Techs will remove them. He will be reprogramed and set free."
John: "No guns... no Peacekeeper memories... no emotional problems."
Braca looks at Scorpius, then back at John and laughs: "What incentive is there for us to work on Crais'..."
John interrupts him: "Braca, you wantta go another round with me? We can take this outside. Talyn can go to hell. Crais can go to hell. This is for me, not him."
Scorpius nods slightly: "Granted."
Crais moves towards the door: "Then show me to my quarters and get me the project schematics so I can isolate Talyn's design flaws. I'll need a Leviathan specialist. I request Lt. Loral."
On hearing this, Lt. Braca does a 'double-take'.
Scorpius: "For, ah... any particular reason?" Scorpius leans forward over a circular table, resting on his hands.
Crais: "Only that she's the best qualified."
John looks at Crais out of the corner of his eye. Lt. Braca smirks.
Scorpius smiles slightly: "Hmm." He nods at Braca and Braca leaves with Crais.
Once the door closes behind them, Scorpius comes around the table to stand closer to John.
Scorpius: "Your shipmates have been invited to refreshment in the ah... Officers lounge." He claps his hands together. "Shall we join them?"
John: "No. Thank you. I came to work."
Scorpius: "For, or against me?"
In the Officers Lounge....
There are lots Peacekeepers in the lounge, many of them sitting in groups at tables. One group can be heard talking....
Male Officer, speaking loudly: "Full immunity to escaped prisoners. It's frelling madness. We shouldn't be welcoming these criminals. We should be executing them!"
A door opens. Jool, D'Argo, Chiana, Rygel and Aeryn are standing in it. It is appears obvious that they heard the Officer's remarks. Everyone stops talking to look at the new arrivals. Aeryn looks around the room, smiling slightly.
Officer Plint: "Make yourselves comfortable."
Aeryn slowly makes her way over to a buffet table filled with food. As she passes him, a male Peacekeeper whispers: "Traitor" and walks quickly away. Aeryn picks up a bottle and a mug from the table and walks off.
Crais is following Lt. Braca down a corridor, past murmering crewmembers. Several voices are heard saying: "Traitor." "A deserter."
Lt. Braca: "There's a lot of hostility among the crew. They feel you betrayed them by misusing your command. So do I."
Ko-Kura Strappa backs into a laborary, talking all the while. He is followed by John and Scorpius.
Co-Kura Strappa: "I'm delighted to have you assisting us. We've prepared you a... a workstation. Tell me what you... require. I'll have someone obtain it for you."
John walks down some steps towards a computer terminal. He picks up the stool that is sitting in front of it and carries it with him back up the steps and stands beside Co-Kura.
John: "Workstation. Seems limited." John looks at the stool in his hand, pulls it back behind his head and heaves it as hard as he can down into the terminal. It explodes with several crashs, some flashes and lots of sparks and smoke. Co-Kura Strappa shakes in alarm. John turns and walks away.
John: "I don't assist."
Scorpius comes after him: "John! It is my intention..."
John turns back towards Scorpius and punches a finger at him: "Screw you and your intentions, Scorp. I do not
eat at the kiddie table. Now, you either give me the big toys, or you send me home."
The door opens to some quarters. Crais enters them.
Lt. Braca: "Not as salubrious as your previous accomodations. Still, considering the fact you should be in our brig, I suppose you can't complain."
Crais heads straight for the bed and begins feeling under the pillow and bedcovers, searching for 'bugs'.
Lt. Braca: "Don't bother searching for surveillance. You're not that important."
Crais comes back towards the doorway, and stands right in front of Braca: "Lieutenant Braca. I predicted your rise in this organization. I stand by that prediction. You are a... consumate... Peacekeeper."
Braca has been smiling until this last remark. His face falls and he looks angry as he turns and stalks away.
In the Officer's lounge....
Jool brings over a plate of food and sits down at a table with D'Argo and Aeryn. Peacekeepers all around them are talking and laughing, eating and drinking.
Jool: "This is too weird, being here. How long were you a prisoner?"
D'Argo: "Eight cycles."
Jool turns to Aeryn: "And you were born here? Grew up within these walls? It must have been awful."
The officer who earlier talked about executing them begins to laugh loudly. Aeryn glances at his table. He is sitting with two other Peacekeepers. They appear to be playing some kind of game. Aeryn sees them and then...
The Peacekeepers at the table are now Aeryn with a man and another woman. The woman laughs loudly, "Yah!" and throws something on the table. Aeryn is smiling. She throws her hand up in the air: "Ohh!" Female Peacekeeper: "It's just chance." Aeryn: "Well, I'll get it back" She and the other woman both laugh and touch glasses. "Cheers."
Aeryn sighs: "No. It wasn't awful."
Chiana hasn't joined the others. She is still "working the room". She walks over to the loud-mouthed Officer and runs a hand along his shoulder blades.
Chiana: "Room for another?"
The officer clears his throat. As she reaches for the fourth chair at the table, he kicks it away. It falls over with a loud "clang!" D'Argo and Aeryn both leap to their feet.
Chiana: "But I have currency...." She bends over, suggestively, and retrieves the chair. "...other things."
The Officer looks at her: "I don't see anything."
D'Argo starts to walk towards them.
Chiana: "No?" She bends down and gets right in his face. "Look closer."
The Officer stands up and stares back at her. D'Argo comes up behind her and takes her elbow.
D'Argo: "Chiana. I think we should be moving along."
She pulls her arm free, still staring at the Officer: "We were just getting to know each other."
Officer: "I know exactly what you are."
Officer: "A Nebari tralk. (louder) And, the Luxan who took a Sebecean wife and then murdered her."
D'Argo snarls at him as Aeryn rushes over.
Aeryn, quietly: "D'Argo. We didn't come here to fight."
D'Argo straightens up: "No. No, I wouldn't dream of it." He continues to stare into the Officer's eyes.
Lt. Braca hurries up to them: "Lieutenant Reljik."
Officer (Lt. Reljik): "We were just getting to know each other." He sits back down at his table.
Braca goes over to Rygel.
Rygel: "Ahh... Braca. Crichton's now arrived, so keep your
promises. You owe me a full intelligence report on the Hynerian political situation."
Braca smiles and hands Rygel a chip: "Here it is."
Braca walks over to D'Argo: "And you can undergo your surgery anytime you choose."
D'Argo: "That wasn't the only thing I requested."
Braca: "We're working on the other thing." He starts to leave.
D'Argo grabs his arm and stops him: "Works faster." Lt. Braca leaves.
Aeryn is standing at the buffet table. The female Peacekeeper from Aeryn's vision comes into the room and spots her. She hurries over.
Female Peacekeeper: "For the love of Cholak. I heard you were here, but I didn't believe it." She is smiling and Aeryn smiles back at her. Aeryn picks a tumbler up off the table and holds it out to her.
Aeryn: "Will you have a drink with me?"
The female Peacekeeper appears, suddenly, to be aware that all the eyes in the room are on her. She stops smiling. She takes the tumbler and says, quietly: "Thank you..." She looks up at Aeryn: "...but I only drink with Peacekeepers." She throws the drink in Aeryn's face. She sets the tumbler back on the table and hurries off. The other Peacekeepers laugh and point. Aeryn tries to wipe the liquid off her face with her hand and turns her back to the room.
In the laboratory...
Co-Kura Strappa is explaining the equipment to John.
Co-Kura: "And this colivates the organic residue analyzer which, ah..."
John: "Is trying to figure out why your wormhole pilots are turnin to goo."
Co-Kura: "You know of the tissue liquification effect?"
John: "Yah. It happened to Linfer when she tried to defect to Moya."
Scorpius: "What did Linfer tell you?"
John: "Not a lot. She died. Tell you what. Why don't you pull up her phase progression equations. Let's see how they compare to the stuff your... chip pulled out of my brain."
Scorpius doesn't reply. Co-Kura Strappa looks at his computer terminal.
John: "Fellas?" Scorpius turns to look at him. "Open the bag or call me a cab. I cannot work blind."
Scorpius nods at Co-Kura Strappa. He nods back and starts hitting keys on his computer terminal. A complicated series of equations begins to appear, floating on a translucent screen that is between John and Co-Kura Strappa. Scorpius stands behind John, looking over his shoulder.
D'Argo is leaning back in a chair while someone with a huge pair of boltcutters works on removing his collarbone rings.
Medic: "How's the pain? I can increase the anaesthetic mist."
Jool, her hair once again bright red, Aeryn and John are all standing, watching D'Argo's surgery. They are all wearing a sort of shiny lounging outfit, almost like pajamas.
John: "You doing alright, big guy?"
D'Argo breathes: "Well enough. Only it's taking slightly longer than I expected."
Medic: "My apologies." He removes the bolt cutter. "These rings weren't designed to be removed."
D'Argo takes several deep breaths and the medic turns back to him with a couple of smaller implements in his hands.
Medic: "The bone will knit shortly, however..." He pulls out a ring. "... and the blood is
running clear. You're safe from infection in here. "
John reaches over and touches D'Argo then he and Aeryn turn and walk down some steps, to another part of the room.
Medic: " Relax there for a few arns. The greltan mist will help you heal." He hands D'Argo both the rings. D'Argo holds them up and looks at them.
Down below, Aeryn turns to John: "Apparently it's safe to talk in here. Crais says that the mist interfers with their surveillance equipment."
John: "Well, he should know. It was his pub. How you holdin up?"
Aeryn: "Well, I wish I was elsewhere."
Aeryn: "Have you decided on a plan?"
John: "Plan A was to wipe all their data, send them back to square one. That would work if I could find the erase button."
Aeryn: "Uh huh."
John: "Plan B... steer 'em in the wrong direction, 'cept I don't know which way that is."
John: "I'm startin to look at Plan C."
Aeryn: "Which is?"
John: "Forget the whole thing and run like hell before they kill us."
Aeryn: "Are you serious about that one?"
John: "No... just tell the others not to get comfortable."
Aeryn: "Trust me... they won't."
John gets up and leaves.
In the Officer's lounge....
Lt. Reljik and some others are still there, drinking.
One of the officers stands up: "Well, that's it for me." He leaves.
Lt. Reljik pours himself another drink: "How the frell can Scorpius allow that Luxan on board? Can't stand Luxans. Never could."
There is still one other Peacekeeper officer with Reljik: "Me neither."
Lt. Reljik: "Lookin' down his ugly nose at us. Like to wipe that sneer off his face."
Other Peacekeeper: "So would I."
Lt. Reljik smiles: "You know what might
give him a good scare? Have you still got that thing
they... built for you for the battle of Stilarro?"
The other Peacekeeper laughs and drains his glass.
In the healing room...
D'Argo and Jool are sitting together with their backs against a tile ledge. There is steam or mist rising from a chimney behind them.
Jool: "I don't like it. I don't trust Scorpius. Are we gonna die here?"
D'Argo: "What do you mean? In this room? Or in a Command Carrier?"
A voice calls out: "Luxan!"
The second Peacekeeper Officer comes down the steps towards D'Argo and Jool. He is dressed in black leather, looking like a medieval executioner. He has a prosthesis strapped to his right arm. It ends in a blade like device similar to a cutting wheel or a miniature table saw.
D'Argo responds: "Peacekeeper."
Peacekeeper: "Get up."
D'Argo: "Oh, frell." He stands up when the Peacekeeper reaches for the front of his robe. He pushes the man away. D'Argo leans back his head and tongues the Peacekeeper, but it appears to have no effect. The Peacekeeper turns on the blade of his prothesis. He pulls his arm back and takes a mighty swing. D'Argo and Jool have both moved, however, so all he hits is the tile step. He pulls his arm back and takes another swing, this time missing over the top of D'Argo's head. He hits D'Argo with his other hand and D'Argo stumbles against the other set of steps and lands on his back. The Peacekeeper takes yet another swipe with the buzzsaw, hits steps again and sparks fly. Behind him, Jool has gotten up to come help. He misses over the top of D'Argo's head again as D'Argo retreats up the steps. D'Argo finally graps hold of the prosthesis with both hands and Jool runs up and begins hitting the Peacekeeper in the midsection with her fists. The Peacekeeper knocks D'Argo away, freeing his arm. He kicks D'Argo down the steps and knocks Jool back against a wall.
She screams as he comes at her and takes a swing with the saw. He hits the edge of the wall as she throws herself onto the floor to get away. D'Argo traps the saw against the wall and begins punching the Peacekeeper repeatedly, in the face. D'Argo takes hold of the prothesis with both hands and tries to push the Peacekeeper backwards. D'Argo lets go and kicks him in the belly, then hits him in the face again. The Peacekeeper takes a couple of steps backwards, to get room to swing his arm. He misjudges his step and teeters on the edge of the ledge. Jool screams: "D'Argo!" D'Argo yells: "No!" and grabs the Peacekeeper's arm, to pull him back onto firm footing, but the Peacekeeper swings at him with the buzzsaw, so D'Argo lets go and jumps back. The Peacekeeper looses his balance and falls off the ledge, screaming. He lands with a dull thud, chest down on the prosthesis. He shakes a little and there is a puff of smoke. The sound of the buzzsaw stops and D'Argo winces.
From behind him, D'Argo hears Lt. Reljik's voice: "Don't move." He has come into the healing room along with some armed Peacekeepers. Lt. Reljik walks over to stand next to D'Argo and looks down on the other Peacekeeper who is lying, facedown, his right arm underneath him, in a pool of blood.
Lt. Reljik: "Oh dear." He looks up at D'Argo.
END OF ACT ONE
D'Argo looks on as...
Scorpius: "Reljik, if anyone... and I mean anyone
, touches our guests, there will be two executions. The offenders and yours. Dismissed!" Scorpius has his mouth right next to Lt. Reljik's ear and venom drips from his voice.
Lt. Reljik turns and leaves, walking past Lt. Braca, John and Aeryn. They have joined D'Argo, Jool and Scorpius in the healing room.
John: "Can anybody think of a reason why we shouldn't head straight back for Moya?"
Jool: "No." She comes down the stairs to join John and Aeryn.
Aeryn: "We were assured safe passage."
Scorpius: "Well John, Ka D'Argo, I do apologize, but this will not happen again."
D'Argo: "That's right. Because I'm taking Jool, Chiana and Rygel back
John: "The fewer of us onboard, the less likely one of your people is to get hurt."
Lt. Braca: "Yes, and the less incentive for you to keep your promises."
Scorpius: "Those who wish to return, may. But..."
D'Argo: "Speaking of promises..."
Scorpius: "Braca. Give him the file on Macton."
Lt. Braca makes a face, but he goes and gets a chip which he hands to D'Argo: "Latest activities, current location."
D'Argo looks the chip over: "Thank you." He leaves.
Crais is sitting in his quarters, papers spread around him on the bed. He hears someone at his door and stands up, straightening his tunic. He walks out of the bedroom as Lt. Loral enters. The door closes behind her.
Lt. Loral: "Captain."
Crais: "No longer. What were you told?"
Lt. Loral: "Only to assist you as required."
Crais: "And, are you displeased with this assignment?" He walks around her, inspecting her.
Lt. Loral: "Why would I be?"
Crais: "Working with someone who has... lost his command."
Lt. Loral: "Scorpius stole your command! I knew he squeezed you out of power."
Crais moves in closer: "What else do you know?"
Lt. Loral: "That even though you left without a word... I never changed my feelings for you."
Lt. Loral suddenly puts her hand on the back of Crais' head and pulls him to her. They kiss, passionately. Crais finally pushes her away, breaking off the kiss, and stands back slightly.
Lt. Loral: "Scorpius. He knows about our past. He put me in the Aurora chair... found out everything. He said if I didn't spy on you, he'd destroy me."
Crais: "Why are you telling me this?"
Lt. Loral: "For the last two cycles, I hated you. It was the only way I could get through it."
Crais: "It's as I expected. Everyone who know me would be coerced into spying."
Lt. Loral: "I don't hate you."
Crais: "I don't hate you either." They reach for each other and resume their passionate embrace.
John and Co-Kura Strappa are looking at some equations on the translucent computer screen in the lab.
John: "These are design specs, right?"
Co-Kura: "It's our latest approach... to create an external field that stabilizes a wormhole
John: "You're using this entire ship's hull as a wave repeater."
Co-Kura: "Yes, the... the ship's mass itself acts as a multiplier."
John lowers himself into a chair and starts working the computer.
Co-Kura: "If we knew the sub-harmonic formulas, we could find the right resonance pattern." He looks up in alarm as Scorpius enters.
Scorpius: "No progress?"
Co-Kura: "Uh, not as yet, Sir. Ahh... we haven't been able to... to postulate any further equations, no."
John has his hand over his eyes.
Scorpius: "Why not?"
John pushes his chair back, away from the computer: "Because... we keep being interrupted." Strappa nods his assent.
Scorpius: "I'm sorry, John. But we must move faster. The equations we need are
in here." He walks over to John and grabs the top of his head.
John pushes him away and stands up: "Don't touch me! Locked away. I can't get at them."
Scorpius: "Or perhaps you're holding back."
John: "Grasshopper, you tried to snatch the feather from my head!"
Scorpius interrupts him: "You should let... Let me finish
! You may well be making every conscious effort, but sub-consciously... you may still believe that I will misuse the wormhole technology."
John: "You say you're only after Scarrans. I'm cool with that. Long as it's true."
Scorpius: "It is." He holds up something. "Maybe I can prove it to you."
John: "What's that?"
Scorpius: "Excerpts from my file. Documenting my life before I joined the Peacekeepers."
John: "Uh huh. What's that gonna tell me?"
Scorpius: "Why I despise Scarrans."
Harvey and John are outside the covered truck. It is still night and there is the sound of distant mortar fire. Harvey is down on one knee beside the truck, doing something. There are several wooden crates stacked around them and John is standing near one. He is drinking something hot from a cup (steam rises from it). John's breath hangs in the air in front of him. "Johnny Comes Marching Home Again" begins to sound quietly in the background.
Harvey: "Scorpius' diary chip made for interesting viewing, don't you think, John?"
John: "The Scarrans. Are they really the threat he claims? Or is he just out for revenge? What do you think?"
Harvey finishes what he was doing and stands up. He removes his helmet and wipes his head with his hand: "Whew! I share his intellect, but not his passions nor his fears. Yes. My assessment would be more objective than his. And I concur with him."
John snorts and turns his head away.
Harvey: "The Scarrans pose a threat to all our species."
A shell hits close by and there is a bright flash. Harvey looks up, startled. John sits on a crate to drink his coffee.
Harvey leans over and pats John on his shoulders: "Cheer up, John. Scorpius has shown his biography to very few. He must be trusting you now."
John: "Well. Yah, that's interesting, considering I've been lying to his face."
Harvey, putting his helmet back on, answers: "Hurh. I've managed to, uh... normalize your energy signature. Scorpius can't detect you're lying. We may yet survive this, John. Whoargh!"
Talyn is in a hangar on the Command Carrier. Lt. Loral and Crais stand, looking at him. Lt. Braca has some Peacekeepers with weapons trained on him.
Lt. Loral: "It's magnificent."
Crais: "Braca, stand down. He's harmless. His weapons have been deactivated."
Lt. Braca: "And I'm to take your word for it?"
Lt. Loral: "Take my word, Lieutenant." She turns to a tech and takes an instrument from him which she hands to Braca. "That ship's biologics are on minimal auto-support. All its other systems are dead."
Crais: "Care to board Talyn and see for yourself?" He starts towards the ship, followed by Lt. Loral.
Braca takes a step and grabs Lt. Loral's arm. She stops and backs up next to him.
Braca: "And he believed your confession?"
Lt. Loral: "Yes." She glances back at Braca. "He trusts me completely." She hurries off after Crais.
The Command Carrier, surrounded by its many support vessels, continues on its way.
John and Aeryn go through a doorway into a grassy, parklike area. There are many Peacekeepers there, mostly in groups. There is a statue that is visible from the doorway. A public address system is making announcements: "Group leader Desmond. Trials will commence in ten microds. Reform and execute..."
John, looking around: "This is nice."
Aeryn: "It's planetary terrain reconstruction for combat training. There's about forty on the ship."
They begin to walk through the park, side-by-side, but checking around and behind themselves continuously, to make sure no one else is closeby.
John: "Look. Scorpy thinks that... Scarrans are... public enemy number one. They want to wipe out all the lesser species. Is that true?"
Aeryn: "It's what we were taught."
John: "Great. And what if the Peacekeepers never develop wormhole tech? What if that's the only way to keep the... Scarrans at bay?"
Aeryn: "Well, they'll have to find another way to repel the Scarrans. But that's not your problem. You should be focusing on what you came here to do."
John: "Yah, yah. I know, I know. It's just... it's just goin so damn slow. The stuff in my head." They have stopped beside a stream or river. "You know what? I could be here for a while. Maybe it's best if you don't stay."
Moya is flying above a planet...
Chiana, Jool and Rygel are listening to a recording... "And calls for Dominar Bi'Shan's abdication have spread to four of the primary home worlds."
Rygel: "By the Hynerian gods! Orrhn wasn't lying. Bi'Shan's in disfavor!"
D'Argo enters and stands in the doorway, watching and listening.
Jool turns off the recording while Chiana and Rygel laugh.
Rygel: "If I returned, I could muster up an army, incite an uprising and restore myself to power!" He laughs again.
There is a whoosing noise and Chiana begins to quiver and shake as "something" comes over her. She appears to be shimmering and she writhes around.
Rygel: "I can see it now. The searing wraps of my supporters... 'Rygel! Rygel!"
Chiana takes a step forward and stops quivering.
Chiana: "Pi.. Pi, what's wrong?"
Pilot: "With what? All systems report normal function."
Chiana: "N... no, no." Chiana takes a few steps, gazing as if looking into whatever she saw. "You were screaming. I... I had a vision. You were screaming!"
Pilot: "But there's nothing wrong."
Suddenly, Pilot's console makes several noises.
Pilot: "Ships approaching! Peacekeeper ships."
D'Argo runs into Command, up to a control console.
D'Argo: "A marauder and two prowlers. Approaching fast."
Jool: "Another retrieval squad?"
Chiana: "Frelling Scorpius."
D'Argo: "Starburst now, Pilot."
Pilot: "Yes. Prepare for immediate starburst."
Starburst begins at once, at Moya's tail, moving quickly up the center chamber and down the length of her body. As it almost reaches its end, a shot hits her, right in the middle. The crew is knocked, shrieking and hollering to the floor and Pilot begins to scream in pain as sparks fly out of his console, all around him.
END OF ACT TWO
Talyn is in the hangar of the Command Carrier....
Lt. Loral and Crais are onboard Talyn, looking around his bridge, by flashlight.
Lt. Loral: "Oh. This ship is amazing."
Lt. Loral: "I understand why you took control of him."
Lt. Loral walks over to him and touches the back of his neck: "The... the neural interface. What was it like?"
Crais: "A thousand different sensations all at once."
Lt. Loral: "Yet you're willing to give him up?"
Crais: "No choice. Ultimately, Talyn would not be commanded."
Lt. Loral: "Ultimately, neither would you." She smiles.
Crais smiles back: "My inability to take orders is why I am no longer a captain." He begins looking at some damaged cables.
Lt. Loral: "Do you regret leaving the Peacekeepers?"
Crais: "Sometimes. What I regret most of is that I didn't... try to take you with me."
Lt. Loral: "I wouldn't have gone. Not then."
Crais smiles in acknowledgement and turns back to his work.
Aeryn's old Peacekeeper pal, Henta, is working on the underside of a prowler. She looks back and sees Aeryn coming into the hangar.
Henta: "What do you want?"
Aeryn comes into the hangar: "I want to talk to you."
Henta gets up from under the prowler: "Do you have something to say?"
Aeryn walks over to her: "Where should I start?"
Henta moves away from her, quickly, and gets the prowler wing between them. "What happened?"
Aeryn: "Am I a traitor? Well, that depends upon your definition."
Henta: "Define it how you like. You're the one who left." She starts to walk away.
Aeryn, following her: "Well, no I didn't have a choice in that. Crais decided I was irreversibly contaminated and he threw me out."
Henta: "And then he
turned renegade and he
got thrown out. You could have come back."
Aeryn: "It was too late then."
Henta: "You think you didn't have a choice?"
Aeryn: "I didn't want to come back."
Henta's voice breaks: "Then you are a traitor."
Aeryn nods slightly: "A deserter, perhaps."
Henta: "Can you tell me why?"
Aeryn: "If you really want to know..."
Just then there is an announcement over the hangar loudspeaker: "Alert! All cannon crew and prowler pilots report to stations. A captured leviathan is being escorted to docking area."
Henta grabs a headset and puts it on and goes back to her prowler.
Outside the Command Carrier, a leviathan comes into view, surrounded by smaller ships. Beneath them all is a wormhole.
In the lab...
Co-Kura Strappa is leaning back in a chair while John peers intently at the tranlucent computer screen.
Co-Kura: "Linfer suggested this formula. I disagreed."
John: "You two argue alot?"
Co-Kura stands up: "She was a great mind and a... a tragic loss."
John looks up: "Yah, I really didn't get a chance to know her, but I liked her. You... obviously liked her."
Co-Kura smiles shyly.
John: "That's good." He points up to the screen: "This is wrong."
Co-Kura: "Well, do you see a flaw in her extrapolation?"
John: "Just a hunch." John gets up: "Excuse me." He grabs a pen from behind Strappa and starts writing on the side of his hand. "That's not right. But. There it is... another way to go."
Aeryn appears in the lab's doorway: "Crichton. They've captured Moya."
John quickly lays down the pen and leaves: "Scorpius!"
Moya's crew is being led in by some Peacekeepers, in handcuffs. Lt. Reljik hurries out to them.
Lt. Reljik: "What is this? Scorpius gave orders that these..."
He is interrupted by a female Peacekeeper: "I gave orders." She walks past the prisoners to come face-to-face with the lieutenant. "Lieutenant Reljik, is it?"
Lt. Reljik: "I am honored you remember, Ma'am."
Female Officer: "Thrice decorated by HIgh Command if I recall correctly."
Lt. Reljik: "You do, Ma'am."
Female Officer: "Would you be so good as to watch over these prisoners for me?"
Lt. Reljik: "Ma'am." He stands aside so that she can pass.
Two peacekeepers walk towards D'Argo. One of them says: "Luxan." The crew turns and they start to walk off.
John and Aeryn come to a pair of Peacekeepers blocking the corridor. One of them is Plint.
Plint: "A security lockdown is in effect, priority Velkar Nine."
John and Aeryn glance at each other.
Plint: "No one is permitted..."
His speech is interrupted by a swift kick followed by an elbow to the face from John. Simultaneously, Aeryn takes out the other Peacekeeper in the same fashion.
In Scorpius' quarters....
The female Peacekeeper Officer and her entourage are with Scorpius.
Scorpius: "What have you done? This gammak project... is under my authority."
Officer: "Your authority is not absolute, Scorpius. Let me introduce K'or Tosko, Special Luxan Ambassador."
K'or Tosko: "The Luxans have signed a defense agreement... with the Peacekeepers. I have been sent to promote other such alliances. But half the planets I visit, fear Peacekeepers."
Female Officer: "The other half laugh at us, for our simple inability to capture a handful of escaped prisoners whose exploits are becoming legendary."
Scorpius: "Why should we care what insignificant systems think?"
Female Officer: "We're uniting... as much of the Uncharted Territories as possible. To improve our bargaining position with the Scarrans."
Scorpius looks incredulous: "The Council intends to negotiate?"
Female Officer: "A truce is being explored."
Scorpius: "A truce won't prevent an invasion. As a show of weakness, it may even hasten one."
K'or Tosko: "Hence the alliances. To show strength."
Scorpius screams: "Showing strength is useless! My project will give us strength!"
John and Aeryn are now running down the corridor. As they pass a junction, Lt. Braca sees them. He pulls his pistol and points it at them.
Lt. Braca: "Crichton? Stop!"
John and Aeryn stop and turn around. They are both armed with rifles, which they point at Braca. John holds out his hand and Braca gives him his pistol.
Aeryn: "Where is Scorpius?"
Braca smiles and holds both his palms up in a gesture of surrender: "He didn't capture Moya."
John: "Like hell he didn't. Moya turned herself in?"
Lt. Braca: "It wasn't Scorpius. Let him explain. Let me take you to him."
John: "What a good idea." He grabs Braca by the collar and pulls him along.
In Scorpius' quarters...
Female Officer: "Even if these chimerical wormholes of yours had some military value, now is not the time to provoke the Scarrans. The very existence of this project imperils a truce."
Scorpius shakes his head: "The very idea of a truce... imperils every Sebacean. I know Scarrans. I understand them more than you ever will. Appeasement? Suicide."
The door to Scorpius' quarters opens and Lt. Braca stumbles in, pushed forward by John.
John: "In you go."
John and Aeryn follow him in, guns drawn. John points his rifle at Scorpius.
John: "Hey Hopper! Let'm go... or I will... kill you, bracelet or no bracelet."
Scorpius: "Calm down, John. Calm down. Moya and your friends are unharmed."
Aeryn: "Well, we'd like to see them."
Female Officer: "You can't. I've taken them into custody."
John cocks his pistol and points it at her: "Have we met?"
Female Officer: "Commandant Mele-on Grayza. And you must be... the infamous John Crichton."
John: "Infamous? Two points, Commandant. One... your boy here has made a lot of promises which you should keep because, two... when my friends are threatened, I am infamous... for making really stupid moves." He glances towards Aeryn: "Yes?"
Aeryn: "Um hmm."
Commandant Grayza: "Point two is clearly correct, but I cannot accept point one." She looks up at Scorpius: "You've completely lost control."
Scorpius: "Not yet." He walks over to a control panel and presses a button. His voice is broadcast throughout the ship: "This is Scorpius. Moya and her crew are to be released at once."
Standing beside the holding cage where D'Argo, Jool, Chiana and Rygel are being detained, Lt. Reljik shakes his head.
Scorpius: "Braca. Have a security team report to my quarters. They will accomodate Commandore Grayza and her retinue to their vessel. A prowler detail... will escort them out of this sector."
Lt. Braca: "Sir."
Commandant Grayza: "All right, Scorpius. we'll do this the hard way. I'll return with a full Council sanction. You shouldn't have made me into an enemy." She looks straight at John: "And you shouldn't have pointed a weapon at me." She turns and walks out, followed by Braca and the Ambassador.
John: "Damn. I gotta stop pointin guns at people." He climbs the steps up to Scorpius: "Scorpius." John hands Scorpius the rifle. "I need a comms channel."
Commandant Grayza, followed by the Ambassador and Lt. Braca, enters the hangar area. She walks quickly past the cage and up to Lt. Reljik.
Commandant Grayza: "You heard Scorpius. Release the prisoners."
Lt. Reljik: "Ma'am, are you sure?"
Commandant Grayza rushes up to him and grabs the front of his uniform: "Do... as you are ordered... Lieutenant." As she talks, she places something inside the back of his collar, against his neck. He watches her leave. Other Peacekeepers open the cage and let Moya's crew out.
Jool: "Don't... touch me." She pushes past the Peacekeepers.
Lt. Reljik reaches into his collar and removes a small device which he looks at.
Pilot is talking over the comms channel to John.
Pilot: "Crichton. We were attacked. Immobilizer... pulse. Ahhh!"
John: "I know, Pilot. It's... it's all right."
Pilot: "Moya won't accept a control collar. Rather be dead."
John: "There's not going to be a control collar." He turns to Scorpius: "Tell him."
Scorpius: "Crichton is correct. Your capture was an error. This situation will not occur again."
John: "He means it, Pilot, and tell Moya I'm gonna hold him to it."
Pilot: "Thank you, Commander."
Scorpius: "John. Now you know what stupidity I have to deal with. You must not fail."
A ship leaves the Command Carrier, escorted by a squadron of prowlers.
In his quarters, Lt. Reljik picks the small device that Commandant Grayza had given him, up off a table. It is making a faint beeping noise.
Lt. Reljik presses a lever on the device and talks into it: "Reljik here. I'm alone. Comm's encryption is engaged."
Seated at a desk aboard her vessel, Commandant Grayza comms back: "Lieutenant, I intend to remove Scorpius from command."
Lt. Reljik comms back: "I'm sure most of us here would fully approve of that action."
Commandant Grayza: "But going through channels takes time, and given the crew's low opinion of Scorpius... I'm concerned for his safety."
Lt. Reljik: "He is well protected... but because of the I-Yensch bracelet, he is vulnerable to... John Crichton."
Commandant Grayza: "Then I am equally concerned for Crichton's safety."
Lt. Reljik: "I will do my best to address your concerns, Ma'am."
Commandant Grayza: "Thank you, Lieutenant."
Lt. Reljik turns off his device.
Commandant Grayza smiles as she turns off her device. She leans her head back in her chair, still smiling.
END OF ACT THREE
In the officer's lounge...
Jool and Peacekeeper Plint are sitting at a table, playing a game with tiles, while Rygel watches.
Rygel: "Ahh. A simple game. Not very diverting, unless it's played for currency." He laughs.
Jool: "Oh, I don't wanta be diverted. I just want Crichton to finish his work so we can go."
Rygel: "Oh, we'll go, whether he's finished or not. But we may as well take some Peacekeeper winnings with us." He laughs again.
Jool wins. She looks up at Plint and laughs.
Aeryn and Henta are sitting together at another table, talking.
Henta: "Then you've rejected our ideals?"
Aeryn: "No. Not all of them. I've actually kept loyalty, sacrifice, honor. Not all Peacekeepers believe in those ideals you know."
Henta whispers: "I still do."
Aeryn smiles: "Yes, I'm sure you do."
Rygel watches closely as Jool and Plint's game progresses.
Aeryn: "Aren't you ever worried that you might be fighting for the wrong cause?"
Henta: "No. Never."
Aeryn nods: "What about the wrong leaders?"
Aeryn points with her eyes and Henta looks to where D'Argo and Scorpius have just entered the room.
Scorpius: "...appease under the Peacekeeper-Luxan pact."
D'Argo: "I cannot believe that the Luxans made a pact with the Peacekeepers."
Scorpius: "They're merely pledged to fight any Scarrans attack. They remain autonomous."
D'Argo: "Yes but, for how long?"
In the healing room...
John and Aeryn, in the shiny lounging suits, are leaning against a tile chimney. John is looking at some drawings on his hand.
John: "The knowledge the Ancients put in my head is startin to do its job. I can see which paths will work and which ones dead end."
Aeryn: "So you will be able to steer Scorpius onto the wrong path?"
John: "Yah, I can screw up his research for years to come."
Aeryn: "Why aren't you happy about that?"
John: "Cause I'm not a hundred percent sure it's the right thing to do."
Aeryn looks incredulous: "The other John gave up his life to keep the Scarrans from getting this information."
John: "I know! But it's my shift now. He didn't know what we know. He didn't get Scorpys' backstory. He didn't see Scorpy put his ass on the line for us."
Aeryn: "So, what? And now you're actually considering helping Scorpius?"
John: "No. It's just not clear what my next move its."
Aeryn: "Well then you get clear. I said I'd back you up, and I will. But you have to make a decision."
Crais and Lt. Loral are on Talyn's bridge.
Lt. Loral: "Bialar. I know you may not believe me, but you could come back."
Crais: "To the Peacekeepers? Scorpius despises me as much as I despise him."
Lt. Loral takes Crais' arm: "This wormhole project... it means everything to him. As does loyalty. Give him what he wants from Crichton. Show Scorpius you're not his enemy."
Once again dressed in their own clothes, John and Aeryn are walking through the Command Carrier. Aeryn seems preoccupied and slows down. John circles around in front, facing her.
Aeryn: "I think we're being followed." They both look back down the corridor. "Through there."
They duck into a doorway. It takes them to a room full of compartments full of smoking lights. The camera angle suddenly shifts so that we can see that the compartments extend upwards for stories. There are a lot of strange noises all around them.
Aeryn: "Don't touch anything."
John: "What is this place?" They are walking down an aisleway among the compartments.
Aeryn: "It's a generator. It's unlikely we'll get followed through here."
John: "Yah. It's a good place for an ambush."
Just then a male voice says: "Got 'em, Sir. Junction three, lurg eight." A Peacekeeper steps out, beside of them.
Looking behind John, Aeryn sees a female Peacekeeper standing there.
Aeryn: "Well, our odds aren't going to get any better." She rushes forwards, towards the female Peacekeeper. John turns to take on the male.
Aeryn begins to fight, hand-to-hand with the female Peacekeeper. John takes down the male and rolls past him. When he comes back to his feet, he finds the Peacekeeper squared off to him, his hands up in a fighting position.
John: "Oh, hell. Karate man!" John turns sideways and runs down a different aisle. The Peacekeeper is right behind him. The Peacekeeper catches him and kicks him.
Sitting in his quarters, Scorpius is hurt by the kick. The Peacekeeper punches John in the side of the head. Scorpius' head is slammed sideways. He gets up and starts to walk to his comms control board. He has a hard time reaching it but manages to press the button when he does.
Scorpius comms: "Braca! Crichton is being assaulted! Find him!" Scorpius is breathing heavily.
The male Peacekeeper continues to beat up on John. He stumbles away and stands next to a compartment.
Aeryn can see him now: "Crichton, get clear!"
John: "What?" He is hit the instant he replies. Scorpius is staggered. He manages to make it back to his chair. John is kicked again and Scorpius falls backwards in the chair. The Peacekeeper swings at John again but this time hits his fist square onto the I-Yensch bracelet. He pulls his hand back and grabs it with his other one. John seizes the advantage and knocks him to the floor. The female Peacekeeper has aimed her pistol at Aeryn. The male sees her: "No pulse weapons. Not in here." John ducks behind a pillar and so does Aeryn. The female Peacekeeper fires her pistol. The shot goes towards Aeryn but slows as it nears the compartment she is hidding behind. The shot finally stops and reverses direction, going faster and faster until it hits and kills the female Peacekeeper in a great explosion.
Aeryn hears a familiar voice say: "Oh, yes" and laugh. She turns to see Lt. Reljik and another male Peacekeeper coming towards her. They are both carrying what appear to be heavy metal rods. Reljik is twirling his as they walk. The second Peacekeeper continues to come straight at Aeryn while Reljik slips down a side aisleway to go after John.
Reljik spots him: "John Crichton." John turns and runs. The other male Peacekeeper whom John had been fighting, gets up and follows him.
Aeryn hits her Peacekeeper. He hits at her with his bar. She grabs hold of it and hits him in the face with the heel of her hand. John is still running. He dodges around another corner. Aeryn headbutts her opponent and knees him. He falls to the floor. John keeps going until he rounds a corner and finds some kind of gas cylinder in a pack. He is looking it over when the first Peacekeeper spots him. "He's here!" He takes a swing at John with his metal bar. John picks up the pack and a blue flame shoots out of the bottom, knocking him over. He lands on his back, the cylinder clutched to his chest. The plume from the bottom of it hits the Peacekeeper, causing him to fly screaming, backwards into one of the generator compartments, where he is incinerated. John looks at the cylinder he is holding, then up at the heights. He quickly gets up.
Lt. Braca runs into Scorpius' quarters: "Sir!"
Scorpius: "I'm all right. Crichton?"
Braca: "We're checking every level, Sir."
Lt. Reljik picks a metal bar up off the floor. He comes up behind John who has put the pack with the cylinder on his back. As Reljik takes a swing at him, John presses a button and the cylinder ignites, sending him rocketing straight up in the air. Aeryn hears the sound of the gas and looks upwards. Meanwhile, Reljik has found a pack of his own. He too looks up: "Frell." He puts the pack on and turns it on so that he rises also. Aeryn finally spots John, up near the top of the towers of generator compartments. She tosses the bar she was holding onto the floor where it lands with a clang and she runs off to get help.
Meanwhile, John has slowed his assent and is looking around him. Another cylinder can be heard burning, behind him. Reljik appears, bar raised to strike John. Reljik hits John on the back and John plummets towards an open generator compartment below. Reljik watches him and laughs. John screams. Reljik suddenly finds himself plummeting downwards. As he falls, John manages to reach out and grab the edge of one of the compartments. He pulls himself to it and he stops falling. John unhooks his backpack. Reljik has managed to slow his own descent and stops on the compartment edge where John is. He swipes at John with the bar, but John moves away. John stands up but sways as he begins to lose his balance. He reaches out and grabs hold of Reljiks bar. Reljik pulls on the bar and John is forced to leap across the compartment and join Reljik on his ledge. Reljik headbutts John.
In his quarters, Scorpius' head flys back and he screams.
John falls onto his back on the ledge. Reljik leans over him and presses the metal bar to John's throat, strangling him.
Scorpius gasps and struggles to breathe. Lt. Braca stands near him, unsure what to do. Scorpius reaches out and grabs Braca by the tunic front, panting desperately.
Reljik continues to press on John's throat.
Scorpius' tongue is out and his eyes begin to roll backwards....
John makes a final effort and hits Reljik in the face with his fist, knocking him loose. Reljik falls backwards off the ledge, screaming. He lands in the open generator and explodes with a flash. The generator below begins to hum louder and makes staticky, crackling sounds. John jumps upwards on the ledge, trying to get clear of that compartment. He misses and grabs hold of the very top edge of a compartment where he hangs, watching the reaction build.
John: "This is just not fair."
END OF ACT FOUR
John is hanging from the top ledge of a compartment in the generator room...
Aeryn runs into the room, looking up: "Crichton, where are you?"
John screams: "Up top! About to blow up!"
There are several other Peacekeepers with her that are bustling about.
John: "Aer... yn?"
One of the Peacekeepers is near her. He has an instrument in his hand which he points at the different compartments. As he does, the reaction in those compartments shuts down. There are several more techs who are doing the same thing and the noise winds down and the bright lights begin to extinquish. There is no longer a bright red glow lighting John's face. He sighs.
Scorpius is sitting in his chair, at the top of some steps, in his quarters. John enters, wearing his pulse pistol in its holster. Scorpius stands up when he sees him.
John pats his gun: "Just in case there's anymore assassination attempts. Hey, how'd it feel from this end?" He climbs to the top of the steps and sits down.
Scorpius: "That time is running out. Commandant Grayza will return very soon." He walks towards John.
John is holding onto his ribs: "Work it out, Scorp. Get your ship under control. They were after me to get at you."
Scorpius: "Realize that the situation has now changed! Our fates are now well and truly linked."
John: "We have been over this. I am still trying to assimilate all the data your people collected."
Scorpius: "Grayza's arrival drastically changes our timetable." He walks down the steps, past John.
John: "It is Einsteins' timetable. God, it's God's timetable, Scorp. Fix your end. I'm doin my bit."
Scorpius: "Are you?"
John: "Why are you bitchin at me like we're married, Scorpy-Sue? Just tell me what's on your mind."
Scorpius: "I suspect you're stalling... either through ignorance, or by design. I hoped you'd see reason."
John: "What do you think... I see? Huh? I'm here. On a big, stinkin Command Carrier, Dick Tracy's freakin neural bracelet linkin me to Bram Stoker's nightmare. What more... do you want... from me?"
Scorpius steps up to the round table that is in the center of his quarters. He touches a control and a spherical projection appears above it. Clearly visible on it are the continents of North and South America. Scorpius turns to John and spreads his arms wide: "Cooperation." He walks towards him.
As he does, John draws his pulse pistol and points it at Scorpius' head. John stands up and takes a step closer to Scorpius: "You stole that... from my memory."
Scorpius: "You can kill both of us."
John: "I reckon so."
Scorpius snarls. He pulls a knife out of his belt and uses it to stab himself in the wrist, right behind the I-Yensch bracelet. He grimaces. John cries out in pain and grabs his own wrist.
Scorpius grunts, pulling the knife back out of his wrist. He flings it away and grabs John by the collar. He slams John's face down onto the circular table, holding him there, staring into the projection of earth.
Scorpius: "It took quite some effort to triangulate the stars from your planet. More... to gain a visual confirmation!"
John: "Get the hell offa me, you freak!"
Scorpius growls and hauls John upright and whispers in his ear: "Even without wormholes, earth is reachable. At top speed... just over sixty cycles."
John reaches back and punches Scorpius in the face with his fist. Scorpius slams his face back onto the glass table top.
Scorpius: "You give me what I want, or I swear... I will keep you alive so that you can witness your home world's destruction!"
TO BE CONTINUED.......
END OF EPILOGUE