|We're So Screwed, Part 1:|
The crew attempts to rescue Aeryn, as another threat rises from the coffin...
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Moya docks at a Scarran Border Station, where three other vehicles are present. One is their own transport; Sikozu had gone on ahead, blending in with the other Kalish aboard. John is masquerading as a Peacekeeper. Scorpius comes in and tells them that all vessels on route to Katratzi must stop for inspection and quarantine, which takes five solar days. Any vessel lacking the proper security code beacon will be instantly destroyed on site. Chiana reassures John that they'll get Aeryn back. An inspection party arrives, and Scorpius tells Pilot to let them dock. He is masquerading as "Captain Wentrask," a Scarran spy.
Dr. Trayso Talnell introduces himself as Chief Medical Officer on the station. Scorpius refers to him as another Kalish functionary. They are checking for contraband and contaminants, when he spots John. "A Peacekeeper?" he asks. "How remarkably perceptive," Scorpius replies. Trayso asks how he came to have a Peacekeeper on board, and tells Scorpius that he will answer, or be refused entry into Scarran space. Scorpius informs him that the Peacekeeper is a spy for the Scarrans, and they have a Nebari and Hynerian on board, who are also spies. He ensures Trayso that the Hierarchy would not look kindly on a Kalish who obstructs their delivery. John asks about food on the station, and is told of the station commons. As he is about to leave, Trayso tells him that weapons are not permitted on the station, and the sentinels are programmed to shoot and kill any armed visitors, so John locks away his gun and asks 1812 to keep an eye on it.
On the station, Sikozu is with a young Kalish male, and Chiana and Rygel watch on. Rygel mentions how they were smart to send Sikozu ahead, since the Kalish run things around here, but Scorpius interjects, saying that they are a conquered species and serve the Scarrans to survive. Sikozu tells Karohm that she envies his stable position running the station, compared to her life roaming Tormented Space. He says it's boring, and goes back to work, agreeing to meet later. Sikozu meets John at the refreshment machine, where he asks if she has any information. She tells him Aeryn is here, on a Scarran freighter, but the freighter has finished its quarantine and is leaving in half an arn.
The nurse (see Prayer) is giving Aeryn drugs to keep her docile, and says that she could make things so much easier for Aeryn, if only she'd trust her.
John informs Scorpius, Rygel and Chiana that they have half an arn, and suggests storming the station. Scorpius sees the flaw, since they'd be killed by the station's sentinels if they carried weapons. John says that D'Argo and Noranti are hanging back in Lo'La, but Scorpius says that should D'Argo's ship attack the station, a fleet of warships would be dispatched after them. Scorpius says that they have a far greater chance here than at any Scarran military base. Rygel agrees, adding that they need to keep the freighter here, and he has a plan. He asks for all the food, and tells them to get him more.
Jenek and his Charrid escort enter, and Scorpius greets him. Jenek sends his Charrid away, and Scorpius introduces himself. He says his mission is secret, and gives a Scarran proof code. Jenek recognises it as from the Ministry of Dissimulation, and says Scorpius has little to fear from him. He says he is Jenek in command of a freighter, "You have your mission, and I have mine." "As it should be," Scorpius says, before walking away. The Charrid returns, commenting on Scorpius being a half-breed. Jenek is not concerned, and tells the Charrid to ready their ship to leave.
Aeryn hallucinates John telling her she's doing great, and the nurse asks her why she is making it difficult for herself. "There's no point fighting. You know that," she assures Aeryn.
The nurse enters the commons, and John recognises her, telling Chiana that Sikozu thinks she's a nurse from the freighter. Rygel says he'll be able to fool her, and throws up everywhere, as a small crowd looks on. Trayso arrives on the scene quickly, asking Rygel if he's had an emesis of this severity before. Rygel says once, a touch of dermaphollica being the cause. "That's a highly contagious disease," Trayso exclaims. Rygel assures Trayso that he was told it was dormant, but nevertheless, Trayso orders a lockdown of the station until further notice, ordering all vessels to be anchored to their docking ports.
Jenek protests that they can't be kept here, but Trayso assures him that they must, according to the quarantine policy of his Hierarchy. Jenek asks if he has evidence that the Hynerian poses a risk; he doesn't, but he must err on the side of caution. He is unfamiliar with Hynerian dermaphollica but they're having details transmitted from Simstef. Karohm has also sent out a request for all doctors or healers in the area with any knowledge of the disease. Trayso says it's not procedure, but under the circumstances, a very good idea. He turns to Sikozu and thanks her for suggesting it.
Chiana is chatting to a male, when the healer arrives. Trayso introduces himself, as does the healer – Noranti Pralatong, alleviator and healer. She also introduces D'Argo, her personal assistant. As they go forward, Trayso questions her having a Luxan assistant, but she says they make fine bodyguards, good pilots and superlative lovers.
Trayso is handed data from Simstef, and after looking over it, he tells Noranti they brought her here for nothing – it isn't dermaphollica at all, he is not exhibiting signs of skin sloughing. She says that it's too soon to tell, as the virus causing the disease is very hard to detect. Trayso says that none of the other symptoms are there either, so unless they show within an arn, he can safely lift lockdown. Noranti goes to examine Rygel, and checks that what he once had really was dermaphollica, then feeds him some herbs.
Noranti returns to D'Argo in the commons, who is watching Chiana with the male. She tells him that there is no news yet, and D'Argo goes over to Chiana. "Hey, Nebari girl, how about I buy you a drink?" he asks. The male says he was here first, but D'Argo asks bluntly, "Your point?" The male gets up and leaves, and Chiana and D'Argo touch heads. D'Argo tells him that Rygel's scam seems to be working. They knew because one of the voices on the distress transmission was Sikozu's, so they played along.
Trayso tells Noranti that it seems her caution was justified; Rygel's skin is now sloughing, so the lockdown will remain in effect.
Scorpius and his crew, Jenek, Noranti and Trayso discuss the disease. Scorpius asks how contagious it is. Noranti tells him that it can affect non-Hynerians, and those it does, it kills without warning. John says that he's going to lock himself in an airlock, but Noranti says it's too late for that – this virus is so pervasive that this station, and any attached vessels, have already been exposed. She can attempt to concoct a cure, but her ship is under stocked. She asks if any of them have any supplies, but Jenek is quick to say that no one may board his vessel. Scorpius offers his Leviathan for her use, and tells Chiana and John to escort her.
As they board Moya, John tells Noranti that she did a good job in scamming them. "I couldn't scam Trayso," Noranti replies. "But you did," Chiana says, "He believes Rygel's sick." Noranti says that's because she made Rygel sick – she reactivated the dormant dermaphollica in his system. She hopes she can deactivate it, or he dies.
Noranti tells John that Rygel has plenty of time if she's not disturbed, and she's sure she can make a cure. John asks if this variety is contagious, but Noranti says she'll fix it. "You've already fixed it. You infected us with the frelling Hynerian plague!" Chiana says. Noranti says they've been exposed, not infected, but Nebari and Scarrans are immune. Sebaceans are not, though. Chiana takes her to task because she could kill Aeryn before they saved her, but Noranti bites back telling her that she will fix it. She turns to John and tells him that she gave him a plague, and without real symptoms the lockdown would be lifted, and he would be frelled. She says that she did what she had to, and suggests he does the same.
Jenek tells Trayso that he has a patient he must protect, but Trayso says the passenger has already been exposed; they all have. Jenek tells him that the facility on Katratzi is more likely to have a cure. Trayso asks if he would expose them too, but Jenek points out that Scarrans are immune to this disease. Trayso says that Kalish are not, and he won't be responsible for loosing a virus that could prove catastrophic to his people. Karohm tells them that the healer has requested they allow her to move the patient to the Leviathan, since it's easier to take tissue samples that way. Jenek questions removing him from isolation, but Trayso says that given the virus' pervasiveness, isolation is pointless, and signals Karohm to allow it.
On Moya, Rygel screams at Noranti, calling her a madwoman and pestilence. She tells him he can shout at her later, and continues to work on the cure.
Scorpius tells John that Noranti's is the best possible course, as it's bought them time. John says that someone needs to get on the freighter, and Sikozu's schematics won't get Aeryn's location, her condition or tell them how many guards there are, so he's going in. He adds that Jenek is not the only one with access.
John enters the commons and spots the nurse. He tells her that he can't remember the last time he saw a Sebacean woman, "It's got to be at least half a cycle." "So?" she asks. He tells her it's a long time without companionship; he doesn't do aliens. "Well, I don't do Peacekeepers," she retorts. He puts something up to his mouth, and she asks what it is. He says it's the Sebacean cure for dermaphollica. He says she's a medical worker, and he could let her analyse it. He gets up to leave, but she asks where he got it. "Sorry, I don't kiss and tell," John says, but assures her that she won't get it anywhere else. She says that Hynerian dermaphollica rarely infects Sebaceans, but he says that when it does, they die instantly. He doesn't like those odds. All he wants is to share.
The nurse takes John aboard the freighter, and she sets up her equipment. John notices the spare bunks. She tells him cure now, then fun later, and takes the cure for analysis. She says that there's only enough for the two of them, asking if there's more. "No, why?" John asks. She tells him that another Sebacean needs treatment – Aeryn, who is in the same room. John hits the nurse and tries to wake Aeryn. She pushes him away as her tries to unbind her, thinking it's a hallucination. A Charrid comes up behind him, telling him to leave her alone. John says the Scarran Hierarchy wouldn't want the package delivered damaged, but the Charrid knocks him out anyway.
The nurse and the Charrid are present in a room where Jenek is heat-probing John. John tells Jenek that the cure was a fake, and he was looking for a Sebacean woman. The nurse says that John attacked her and attempted to release one of the patients. "No offence, but she's sexier than you are," John says. Jenek asks what he'd have done had he been successful. "Taken her back to my ship, frelled her, and made babies." Scorpius walks in, asking what Jenek is doing with his Peacekeeper. Jenek tells him that the Peacekeeper was aboard his ship, attempting to recreate. "Is this true?" Scorpius asks. John says it is, more or less. Scorpius tells Jenek authoritatively that he will deal with John, and Jenek and his people leave. Scorpius asks how he lied to Jenek's heat probe, asking if it was Katoya's training (see Mental as Anything). "Ha! Nah, I told him the truth. Just not the whole truth," John says, as he uses Scorpius to climb to his feet. John tells him that Aeryn is there, and Scorpius says that Sikozu is gathering information that will help them put together a rescue plan. "We will free Officer Sun," he says.
Sikozu hands Karohm data from the Rosrob Centre on dermaphollica, but it isn't much. He still can't get a response from some Diagnosans on Coldjen. Sikozu suggests that he get some rest, as she can monitor communications for him.
Noranti feeds Rygel an antidote that will boost his Hynerian antibodies and clear him of the disease. Unfortunately, it won't cure anyone else. No one else has contracted the sickness yet, and they may not, but there's always a chance. Rygel appears to pass out, and Noranti checks on him.
Chiana spots her male friend head down on the table in the commons. She asks if he's OK, as Trayso realises that they may have another victim, and takes Karohm with him. Chiana calls for somebody to get the Healer.
On Moya, Trayso tells Noranti that a Kalish fell victim to the dermaphollica, and Captain Jenek has requested her presence aboard his vessel. She tells him she must find the remedy, and he may come to Moya, but Trayso insists she go to him.
Scorpius tells Jenek that the Healer needs more resources than are available to her, asking if there's anything aboard his vessel that can assist. He tells Jenek to realise they have a common problem, but when Trayso signals Jenek, he tells Scorpius he will solve his own problems.
On Moya, Sikozu tells Chiana, D'Argo and Rygel, on Command, that the freighter is tied to the station's power grid as well. She can force a power surge from station command, that will knock out the lights and the Scarran DRDs (the sentinels). Sikozu adds that they will only have about 30 microts until emergency overrides activate. She says that she thinks she's worked out how to bypass the docking locks, so Moya can get away. Chiana asks what she's been doing with Karohm all this time, but John asks, "What about the window stickers this joint's supposed to give out?" D'Argo says they'll need the security beacons. "If we rescue Aeryn--" Sikozu begins. "Don't say 'if'," Chiana says. "I'm sorry. Yes. When we rescue Aeryn, we simply starburst away from Scarran space," Sikozu concludes. "What if we starburst deeper into Scarran space?" D'Argo asks. John mentions that the freighter could take off with Aeryn. "If the freighter escapes, then we abandon all hope," Sikozu says. "We abandon all hope of leading long and prosperous lives and we follow the freighter," John surmises, adding, "She's still learning."
Noranti is brought to the freighter, where Trayso tells her she will find a cure. Jenek tells the nurse to assist them, but on checking her, she is dead from dermaphollica. Noranti checks Aeryn, saying she doesn't appear to be infected. She thinks she can cure her if she is, given time. Jenek tells Noranti that the female is pregnant, and her foetus must be saved. "Is there a suitable recipient for transplant?" he asks. Noranti objects, saying that even if there were, it wouldn't do any good – all the females here are equally at risk. "What about the Nebari girl?" Trayso asks. Jenek orders his Charrids to take a transport pod and board Moya from the outside, to get Chiana.
Chiana finds some Charrids in a corridor, and despite her best attempts to fight back, she is eventually overpowered.
In Pilot's Den, Sikozu asks him why he just let them take Chiana by force. He says he was unaware until it was too late to prevent it. Scorpius tells her that recriminations can wait.
Aeryn is struggling, saying they can't do this. Noranti says that they won't find Chiana, but she is immediately brought in, struggling. Noranti tells Jenek that the patient is weak because she was drugged, and she may die, but all he cares about is the survival of the foetus. He orders them to proceed, and four sharp pipes are inserted into Aeryn's body, as she screams. Noranti goes to give her something to ease the pain, but Trayso sends her to Chiana instead. Trayso injects Chiana, commenting that she is strong and will make an excellent host. Jenek Trayso that if she doesn't, they will die. Karohm comms Jenek, telling him that Captain Wentrask demands an urgent word.
Jenek meets with Scorpius, who tells him that he requires his cooperation. "I know that your prisoner is the Peacekeeper Aeryn Sun, and that you are taking her to Katratzi, for Minister Ahkna. I also know that if my mission fails, your mission becomes irrelevant, as do you." "Continue," Jenek tells him.
Sikozu enters station command, and Karohm is not there. As she touches the controls, Karohm appears, aiming his gun at her. He tells her that someone has been downloading the station codes and schematics, and it had to be her.
Noranti tells Trayso that this procedure will not succeed – it'll kill them both and the foetus as well. Trayso is adamant that they have to try. Meanwhile, John and D'Argo are preparing on Moya, wondering why the lights aren't out yet. Trayso tells Noranti that the procedure's success relies of the swift transfer of the foetus. Therefore, they should open both the subjects simultaneously. D'Argo goes to check out what is happening.
Sikozu tells Karohm of two, maybe three females being held against their will on the Scarran freighter. They pose the Scarrans no threat, and their imprisonment is unjust. Karohm believes her, but won't help her. "I'll lock you up," he says, when D'Argo comes in and tongues him, asking, "How wrong was he?" He tells Sikozu to do what she said she was going to do. Noranti tells Trayso that the patient's body is overstressed, and so the foetus will be debilitated. She thinks they should let her regain her equilibrium, but Trayso tells her they don't have time.
Scorpius tells Jenek that he doesn't realise that Ahkna's only interest in her prisoner is as a means to the possible information that John Crichton possesses, and his Peacekeeper defector can give them John Crichton himself. "Now, which mission do you think is more vital?" Scorpius asks.
Sikozu unlocks the docking ports on Moya, D'Argo's ship and the transport pod, and D'Argo fins the security beacons. Noranti argues with Trayso, but the lights go out, and John runs off Moya. "Show time."
John kills some Charrids, and reaches the freighter. Trayso threatens to kill Aeryn, but Noranti tells him that if she dies, Jenek will burn him anyway, so shoot. John tells him that Kalish are supposed to be smart, and asks who he thinks he'll believe. John shoots Trayso, not killing him, because his body count is already too high. John goes to Aeryn, and after a lingering look, they release her.
Jenek tells his Charrid to check their ship, and Scorpius says he must check his. Jenek tells him to stay here. Sikozu tells D'Argo that she's almost done, but wants to jam the docking ports so the freighter won't be able to break free and follow them. With D'Argo's back turned, she burns a panel with what looks like a heat probe. D'Argo asks how she did it, and she says she cross-coupled the emergency bypass conduits.
The Charrid blocks John's and the crew's escape. John tells him that security is tight for visitors, so they shouldn't be carrying weapons. The lights come on, and a sentinel shoots the Charrid. D'Argo and Sikozu come up behind them, and Noranti gets D'Argo to carry Chiana.
Jenek calls for Ralnaht, but receives no answer. He reaches for Scorpius, and they struggle with each other. The crew return to Moya, while Scorpius is eventually overpowered by Jenek, who gives him a heat probe.
Moya, Lo'La and the transport pod are released, as Pilot tells Sikozu that Scorpius has not responded to the comms. Sikozu says he might have been captured. "Or killed," Chiana adds. "We can only hope," D'Argo muses, and then tells Pilot to starburst as soon as they can. Sikozu objects, so Chiana knocks her out.
John takes Aeryn to her quarters, telling her it's all right, she's here. "Is this real?" she asks. He says it's real, she's on Moya and she's safe. "What about the baby?" John tells her the baby is fine, and everything will be OK. She asks him to stay, and touches his face.
Noranti is with Rygel, who says she nearly killed him. "No I didn't," she replies, "But I did kill others. By my actions, I have taken innocent lives." "Welcome to Moya," Rygel says, "In my time as Dominar, some of my actions resulted in the deaths of the undeserving. Even when the cause is just, it's a hard thing to accept." "I must seek forgiveness, from the Divine Eternal," she says. Rygel says he can't help her there, but he can extend his forgiveness.
John is sleeping next to Aeryn, who is stoking his hair. He suddenly jumps up, screaming "No!" With organ music in the background, we see a black and white scene, candles burning around a coffin. The coffin opens – it's Harvey. "You're not dead," John says. Harvey says that he is the un-dead, in a Dracula voice. "It's not funny. That son of a bitch said he took you out of my head," John says (see Promises). "Scorpius, he upgraded me to Harvey 2.0. One of my many improvements - utter loyalty to Scorpius." "That's not an improvement," John replies. "Oh, but it is. His course is the correct way – eliminate Scarran threat." John says he doesn't give a damn about Scorpius' agenda. "You must go back for him," Harvey says. John tells him to go back to sleep before he drives a stake through his heart. As John is walking away, muffled from the coffin, Harvey tells him, "He knows everything you know, John." John asks him to repeat it, twice, and Harvey says the same thing. "Meaning what?" John asks. "Another new feature. Scorpius can hear me. Well, I've been sharing the contents of your head with him; memories, thoughts, dreams... wormhole technology." "No, you're lying," John says. "And eventually, they will torture the information out of him," Harvey continues, "And everything they ever wanted to know about wormholes will be theirs, courtesy of John Crichton." John slams the coffin shut, and wakes up.
Aeryn tells John it's all right, as Harvey tells him that he has to tell Aeryn that he has to go back for Scorpius. "You must rescue Scorpius. Tell her!"
TO BE CONTINUED – IN PART 2: HOT TO KATRATZI
Synopsis by Dani Moure
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