Thrown back in time, the crew try not to change the timeline, with tragic results...
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Moya is orbiting a planet whilst being repaired. Crichton, Aeryn, D'Argo, Stark and Jool are down on the surface, which is the location of a peace memorial from a great battle in Peacekeeper history. Crichton makes D'Argo put some goggles on, which allow them to see through a time tear events in the past as they unfold. Aeryn tells Jool that 30 Peacekeepers lost their lives defending a group of nurses and children from a group called the Venek Horde. Jool doesn't buy it though, and fobs it off as Peacekeeper propaganda for morons, but Aeryn tells her the man who made peace, Sub-Officer Dacon, is a hero among her people.
On Moya, Chiana finds Rygel in Zhaan's quarters, and both say they're there to steal whatever's left, but neither can bring themselves to want it. Meanwhile Stark tells Crichton that Zhaan bought his new clothes for him, and says he no longer hears her voice. Crichton makes him put on the goggles, but he sees so much death, and removing the goggles seems to react with what's behind his mask. Moments later, after a huge flash of light, they see the old monastery, and Jool comments on how real it looks. Suddenly flaming arrows are shot over the wall, one of which pierces Jool's leg.
They run for cover, and Aeryn pushes the arrow through Jool's leg and out the other side. Crichton says that he thinks Stark's mask may have pulled them into the past, and D'Argo says that anything they change here may change the future. They're soon confronted by a group of Peacekeepers, prompting Aeryn to say that they're here as reinforcements. The commander, Officer Tarn, says that the Horde is jamming pulse weapons, so to grab a spear, when the Horde jumps the wall and a battle ensues. Officer Tarn is amongst the many casualties on both sides.
On Moya, Pilot calls Chiana to command, saying that Moya just received a request from the planet to break orbit – written in basic Venek vernacular. Chiana says she thought the Venek's abandoned the planet 500 cycles ago, and Pilot says that's what he thought too.
Crichton asks Aeryn what her data device says, which is that all but one Peacekeeper were wiped out, and that's what happened. She adds that Sub-Officer Dacon dies when he's on the wall sending the ceasefire message. She says that the Venek's General Grynes saw how the battle went with only women and children left and is outside now convincing the other generals to offer a ceasefire. D'Argo goes to get Jool and Stark to find the time tear, and Aeryn tells Crichton that she's found her pulse pistol works. Dacon finds one of the Horde members alive, but when Crichton pulls back his hood he sees it is General Grynes.
Jool is treated by a nurse for her arrow wound, saying the medicine is so good and taking a sip of it, only to find out that it's one part water and part Fellip urine! Aeryn goes to speak with Dacon, and asks if he's been an officer long, relaying some of his accomplishments. He reveals that Tarn was a noble man and always gave credit away; he is not a soldier, just a cook. He says he was scared he would be left as ranking officer, so he's glad she turned up, so she can take command.
Stark finds the tear, and D'Argo pushes a reluctant Jool into the wall, but she doesn't go through. He tries again, and she lands in mud. She sees some Venek symbols draped over the walls, and screams to Stark that it's not the same here, but Stark already feels the billions dead. He doesn't want to find the tear anymore, and tells them that he felt thousands, millions, billions dead, but not the same ones he felt when they came through, causing Crichton to realise that they're changing the future. He says he has a plan, and Aeryn argues with him that it won't work, and that when the Horde attacks she'll show her way to get a ceasefire.
Jool is back on Moya annoying Chiana, when Pilot says that, apparently devastated by conflict, the planet is still inhabited, but by only a fraction of the population that was there before. He says Moya's data stores say that a vicious war claimed millions of lives, and Chiana comments that when they arrived here, the Horde had made peace in the past.
Aeryn talks with Dacon again, who says that the recruitment holochips never mentioned anything about dying. He asks Aeryn why she joined up, and she says she was born on a Command Carrier. He says it's no wonder she's fearless, but she says this is what Peacekeepers are meant to do – help the defenceless; so it's easy to be fearless. She says he'll be fine.
Crichton asks Grynes why this place is so important, and Grynes says that the Horde is bloodthirsty, almost uncontrollable, but he tries not to be. Their water supply has died out, and the mountain they're on is the source of the river, and the Horde will kill to get it. Grynes says that whilst there are soldiers here, the Horde will not offer a ceasefire. Crichton says that there will not be any soldiers here when the Horde return. He says that he'll let Grynes go so long as the Horde do not harm the women and children.
D'Argo is talking to Kelsa, who says that they were attacked by the Horde whilst on a healing caravan, and the Peacekeepers found them and brought them to the monastery for safety, but they may have been safer had the Peacekeepers not found them. She asks if D'Argo knows what the Horde does to children, and says that she would rather her daughter be at peace than with the Horde, and asks if she can depend on him.
Cyntrina asks Stark why he was crying, and he says it's because of all the pain. She says that her father is dead, but she never cried, prompting Stark to hug her, and shed a tear.
Crichton dresses Grynes up in woman's wear, to get him safely over the wall. He thanks Crichton, but as he's climbing out, he's shot dead by Kelsa, who calls Crichton a traitor. The nurses tie him up, and D'Argo and Aeryn are angry with him saying that they didn't know. Kelsa wants to kill Crichton, but Stark tries to stop her. She doesn't believe that Grynes was to make peace, but Cyntrina asks her mother not to kill anyone else. Crichton says that the Venek leaders are desperate to offer peace if the nurses give them a sign, and he promises they won't be hurt.
A communication from the Veneks is shot over the wall, and the general says that they could accept the death of their general in battle, but to disgrace him in female's clothes is not acceptable, and at dawn their severed heads will be nailed to the walls.
Harvey is next to Crichton, playing a sombre melody on a harmonica. He talks of the elasticity of time – if they get events close enough to what happened, the outcome is likely to be the same. He won't make any suggestions about what they should do, he just tells Crichton to do better. Aeryn has convinced Dacon to record a message offering surrender, in hope that it'll work. Crichton tells her that a better way would be to let Dacon die, and when she says she doesn't want that, he says it's up to them to do something.
Kelsa visits Stark, and he asks how she felt when she shot Grynes, and she says she felt fear and hate. Stark says fear is good, but forget the hate. She asks Stark if she dies will she be with her daughter, and he tells her "different beliefs, different destinations", he can't tell until the end.
Cyntrina tells D'Argo that her father wasn't scary like D'Argo looks, and her mother says that when loved ones die, they must be remembered forever. She asks him if someone will remember her when she's dead and he tells her to make a mark in the stone to guarantee it, and hands her his knife to do so.
Dacon has recorded the message, and Aeryn goes up to fire it. Dacon says that he'll do it, as it'd be better for him to get hurt than her. As Aeryn and Crichton watch on knowing what is to come, Dacon goes up the wall to send the message. Aeryn tells him he's a soldier, a brave hero, but he denies it, and says heroes always get killed. As he throws the spear, he is shot by an arrow, and falls off the wall, dead.
Stark can't find the time tear, when the Veneks begin to attack again. Aeryn is upset about Dacon, but Crichton convinces her to untie him. When Kelsa objects, Aeryn tells him that he also has a pulse pistol. Another battle ensues, as back on Moya Pilot tells the others that the planet is gone, so Chiana goes out to look for them. The battle continues, with nurses and Veneks being killed all over the place. With so many dead, the Veneks end up retreating, which causes the time tear to reappear, with no deaths – they've restored the timeline. Before they leave, D'Argo says goodbye to Cyntrina, saying he may see her again when she grows up, Crichton tells Kelsa that the Horde won't attack if the soldiers are gone, and promises they'll be safe, and Aeryn goes and places Dacon's medal back on his body, then they all leave.
Chiana tells Aeryn about all the changes they witnessed on Moya, but now nothing's changed except one thing, and Aeryn says the tear is unstable – Stark tried but they can't go back and change things. Chiana asks if Crichton knows that, and Aeryn says yes, and she will get him back on Moya. She looks at the memorial, which shows all the nurses, most prominently Kelsa and her daughter Cyntrina, and then goes to Crichton, who says he screwed up. She says that they did the best they could, but he asks why they'd do that, what's the point? Her only answer is that there probably was no point, as we see through the goggles the Veneks asking Kelsa and the nurses where the pulse weapons are, but when she says Crichton had them but they escaped, he says he needs to give the Horde something – they're bloodthirsty. As she calls for Crichton, the general cannot control the Horde, and all the nurses are slaughtered. Crichton and Aeryn are left head-on-shoulder, as D'Argo takes one last look at the wall, and sees Cyntrina's mark.
Synopsis by Dani Moure
Alternate Perspective: To see a different perspective on this episode, read Mary Wood's summary.
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