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Letters, part 2: The Other Side
by unohoo, E-mail: unohoo@cox.net

About Letters, part 2: The Other Side

Rating - PG
Category - Drama
Spoilers - Season 2, "The Way We Weren't"
Timeline - Start of Season 3 to present
This series is a follow-up to Letters from Jack
This series is concluded in Reunion
Summary - A collection of 15 ficlets that continues Jack Crichton's quest to find his son.

Disclaimer: They’re not mine, I don’t own ‘em, just please let me use your characters for a little while and I promise to return them as well as they began this ficlet. Thanks in advance.


As Farscape II exited the wormhole, Jack and Andrea could only gasp in amazement. They both spoke, "We’re through! We’ve exited at a planetary system. One of the planets has artificial satellites. What wonders will we find?"

The console notified them the fifth capsule was sent. About fifteen seconds later they were notified the wormhole closed. They shut the capsules down.

"Do you think we’ve been detected, Sir?" Andrea asked as she got the equipment ready to intercept transmissions.

"Jack, just call me Jack, please. We did not exit near their satellite system, but it’s hard to tell at present. Let me help you scan the frequencies. We’re not in Kansas any more, eh, Andrea?" In spite of the risks, Jack couldn’t help feeling elated.

Jack’s obvious enthusiasm was infectious, and Andrea was feeling happier than she had in years. "Besides the stars being completely different from what we know, and this planet has two moons about fifteen degrees apart, what makes you think….. Hold on, I’m picking up a transmission."

"I’ve got the recorder turned on. I’ll be taking other measurements while you are studying the language."
________________________________

"Well sir, uh, Jack, I think I have some of the rudiments of this language. It’s a lot harder when I can’t see what they are talking about, but I think they call themselves Logari, and I may be able to identify some syntax. It would be better if I could get a visual of them."

"It is very risky for us to get any closer. We don’t know if we’ve been detected. It’s been about two days since we’ve arrived, and I don’t see any indication as yet even though we’ve seen them leave the planet. It surprised me when they moved away from us. We also don’t know if any of the transmissions were directed at us.

I need to determine if we can reactivate the wormhole to return. The solar activity here is quite low. If we can’t reactivate the wormhole, then we should attempt to contact them."

"One fortunate thing for us is we can breath their atmosphere. But we don’t know anything about their biology. And it’s true we wouldn’t know if they have been trying to contact us." Andrea frowned at the last. She had prided herself in her ability to learn languages fast, at least the rudiments. This was very different.

Just then, Jack made a low whistle, "We have company."




The Other Side – First Contact

"They’re sending us a message, sir. " Andrea reverted to her training. "This language is different from the first."

"They want us to do something, but what?" Jack watched as smaller ships surrounded Farscape II. "It looks like they are steering us to the furthest moon from the planet. We have no choice but to follow."

Jack maneuvered between the smaller ships. A much larger ship appeared on the far side of the moon as they came around. The lead ship slipped into a portal, Farscape II followed. Once the three escort ships and Farscape II were secured in the docking bay, a wall closed and sealed everything in. Jack and Andrea watched as bipedal beings got out of the escort ships. Andrea tested the atmosphere. "Colonel, we can breath this air."

"Yes, and do you notice something else? Gravity.
I think we have to deplane."

"One other thing sir, they look human from here."
________________________________

Jack and Andrea stood on the deck, their hands in the air. Two human looking beings had weapons trained on them; a third faced them unarmed. The unarmed man spoke, but they could not understand him. The man spoke again, his expression going from calm to icy. Jack thought better of his own silence and spoke. "I’m here to find my son. We are working together. We mean no harm. We do not understand you. I know what I’m saying means nothing, but I hope you can see we do not intend any harm."

To both Jack’s and Andrea’s surprise, the man smiled and signaled the others to put away their weapons. The man spoke again, and then just shook his head and pointed to himself and said, "Velorek."

The Other Side – The Alternative

"Well I’ll be a son of a gun! I can understand you. I couldn’t understand this much French after four years of it in High School! What are these again? Translator microbes?" Jack was incredulous.

"The microbes aren’t perfect. Certain colloquialisms and idioms are not easily translated, and the microbes will develop more vocabulary over time. But they adapt to your system, and language so you can understand what others say, even if you can’t say it yourself." The lab technician explained.

"If it’s alright with you, I’d like to talk about how all this works later. I am very interested in the details." In spite of her language skills, Andrea had never experienced anything like this.
________________________________

"Why do you think your son is somewhere near here?" Velorek was taken aback by the audacity of these humans, to risk it all, without any real evidence to support their wishes. "Why did you think you’d be able to survive? You can’t even create a gravity well which you need if you are going to remain in space."

"It was more hope on my part. But when John disappeared we had certain readings that indicated he went somewhere. We could find no trace of him. We started a project and first sent probes into the phenomenon to get data. DK, one of the scientists back home, devised an ingenious scheme to capture data through the wormhole, which is what we determined the phenomenon to be. The wormhole showed stability, and we thought it came out to approximately the same place each time. Both Dr. Walker and I were willing to risk coming here. I need to find my son. Her motivations are different."

"We don’t have the ability to create wormholes. Scientifically, we know they are possible. If I could take advantage of that technology, I will help you find your son." Velorek said.

"I would welcome all the help you can give me, but I don’t know if I can share the technology with you. Aside from my loyalties, I am not a scientist, and I don’t fully understand it. Dr. Walker’s specialty is in the biological sciences. Perhaps you can tell me about yourself and your organization." Jack said.

"I will try to be brief. There is another organization called ‘Peace Keepers’ which I used to be part of. Many planetary systems rely on the Peace Keepers for protection, and to gain advantage over their perceived enemies. However, the Peace Keepers exact a heavy price for their services. Because of a personal betrayal, I was ejected from the Peace Keeper organization. At first I thought I was going to be executed, but things worked out differently. I found many other ex-Peace Keepers in a similar situation to mine, and we formed this alternative group. We provide the same type of service as do the Peace Keepers, but only require monetary payment. We have had moderate success. If we could get a technology the Peace Keepers don’t have, we will have another advantage over them. Also, I hear rumors that they are trying to develop this technology." Velorek said.

"Please understand, I need to be cautious, but can I speak with anyone you’ve helped?" Jack asked, and then thought, *It hardly matters; they have the upper hand, and can take what they want. Maybe we should just go along with this scheme.*

"That’s easy. You can speak to the Logaries, this system. They contacted us for support as soon as they detected you. That’s why we’re here."




The Other Side – In for a Penny

"Thank you for letting us talk to the Logaries. I realize you could have captured the technology and eliminated us, and for these considerations, we are extremely grateful." Jack nodded to Velorek as they deplaned.

"It’s better for us to have your cooperation and, besides, that’s not what we are about. I make it a very strict rule to get cooperation wherever possible. It’s easier, and less expensive that way. Dr. Walker, what did you think of them?" Velorek turned toward Andrea as he asked the last bit.

"It is quite beyond my experience. We have intelligent aquatic mammals on Earth, but they do not have any technology. They had a great deal more to overcome than either of us to get into space. Really quite amazing." Andrea was still stunned by the images of the Logaries, who reminded her of a cross between a large octopus and a small dolphin. Communicating with them was not difficult as they, like dolphins and whales, breathed air.

Jack stopped and offered his hand to Velorek, "In for a penny, in for a pound, to quote an Earth saying. On Earth we shake hands to indicate agreement. It’s also done in friendship."

Velorek smiled and then shook hands with both. "I like that custom."
________________________________

"Your music is very interesting. What are we listening to now? It’s quite beautiful."

"It’s called ‘Requiem’ by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He was brilliant composer who lived about two hundred and fifty years ago. This is one of my favorite pieces. He died before he could finish the piece. There are several variations, but I think this is the best version." Jack said.

"The other music. I like it, but it’s different. Is that for your son?" Velorek asked.

"Yes, it’s a unique style called Jazz. I brought some of his recordings with me." As Jack finished the last, both he and Velorek looked at each other as if they had the same idea. "Are you thinking what I’m thinking?" Jack felt somewhat stupid asking that.

"I don’t know. I just hit me that we might try to copy and distribute the music as much as we can, and leave instructions if the right person asks about it." Velorek said.

Jack was grinning, "John, call home."


The Other Side – Science

While Jack was working with Verolek, Andrea decided to find out more about Sebaceans, and their biology. She was friendly with the Lab technician, whose name, she learned, is Quonn Lasner. "Hi Quonn, are you busy? I’d like to ask some questions."

"Come in Andrea, I’m just finishing up. Ask away." Quonn completed her notes and put the instruments away.

‘You told us you don’t regulate body temperature the way we do. Can you tell me more about it?"

"After examining you and Crichton, I saw you regulate heat differently. In fact, it is superior to our system. Because our ability to cool down is limited, any lasting heat buildup results in our brains ceasing to function, but we remain alive. We call that the living death. You do not have that problem. Your skin is different from ours, your sweat glands are much more pervasive and better developed." As Quonn said the last she could see Andrea draw a sharp breath and frown slightly. "What’s wrong? Are you feeling alright?"

"Yes, just some unfortunate baggage I brought with me. When you mentioned skin I immediately reacted because where I come from, a dark skin can be a disadvantage. I’ve had to deal with some prejudice because of it, I am not faulting you." Andrea hoped she hadn’t stepped on any toes; both she and Jack had been treated with the utmost hospitality considering they were the intruders.

"I think you should know Peace Keepers are extremely xenophobic. Most of us were Peace Keepers at one time. Velorek won’t tolerate this behavior from us, so we are learning to accept other peoples as they are."

"There is more that I want to learn about your physiology, but before we get into that, I have some questions of a personal nature. Do you have reproductive cycles? I’m asking because…….."
________________________________

Jack showed the data and equations DK had stored to Velorek. "I’m not a scientist. I’m just a seat-of-the-pants flyboy. So these equations don’t mean much to me. DK also developed a procedure for me to use these equations in order to reverse the process for us to return. In order to create the wormhole, we needed our sun to be in a high solar activity period. This sun isn’t."

"We can find a sun with enough activity to make these equations work. We need to go back to our base for our scientists to work on this data. We’d like you to keep working with us, both of you." Velorek said.

"Thanks; of course we’ll go with you. Where else would we go anyway?" Jack said.




The Other Side – Home Base

"Velorek, this is a very nice setup you have here, how….?"

Velorek interrupted Jack, sensing what he was about to ask. "A group of us wandered about for about a half a cycle, getting the odd job so we could eat, and get provisions when the people here contacted us for some help. They had heard about some other things we had done, and wanted protection from the Peace Keepers. It’s because they are Sebacean, the Peace Keepers would occasionally conscript children and young adults for their army. They wanted to prevent that from happening again. It took some doing, and of course we needed help from them, but you see the result. It’s also better for us to be on a planet rather than space all the time. It gives us more of an identity.
I was also thinking you might like to learn how to fly our vessels so you could search for your son independently. We have all the information we need to work on a wormhole. I would like Dr. Walker to stay here to work on our problem with heat with our scientists."

"I would like to start immediately. Will you be able to contact me as soon as you think you can send a probe back to Earth?" Jack was hoping for this opportunity.

"Yes. You will be working with Lilli Norryl. She is the best instructor we have, and she is eager to do some flying herself." Velorek said.
________________________________

"Quonn, would it be possible for me to see your DNA and compare it to mine?" Andrea was fascinated by what she had seen. While there were some differences, Sebacean physiology had much remarkable commonality to Human. The reproductive systems are very close, food metabolism is identical for all practical purposes, and the brain seemed similarly organized if one could judge from scans. Visually you couldn’t tell Sebaceans from Humans. But the DNA would say volumes.

"That’s easy, we have a complete Genome map. We’ve had it for over five hundred cycles."

"We’ve just figured ours out. I brought the data base with me."

The Other Side – The Search Begins

Lilli saw how happy Jack looked now that he finally got to search for his son. "You have done very well for someone not familiar with our technology."

"And for an old man, huh?" Jack was enjoying himself and didn’t mind making a joke at his own expense. Hell, he was elated. He got here in one piece. He just hoped John had as much good fortune once he arrived on this side of the universe.

"Oh, I don’t think you are old. What’s old for a human?"

"Me, haha. Humans live to about seventy some odd years on average. It’s getting less rare for us to live into our nineties, and a few do make it past one hundred. I’m sixty-three."

Lilli frowned. "Sebaceans live on average to about two hundred and fifty cycles. But I don’t know how to equate cycles to years. I’m one hundred and fifteen."
________________________________

"Jack, we’re at Sykar. We’ll orbit until we get clearance to land. You will be free to go about your business while I negotiate with Volmae. They had problems with Peace Keepers in the past, and need protection from them. Velorek doesn’t know if they have the currency to pay for our services. He needs to know if they have any commodity they can trade in lieu of currency."
________________________________

"Andrea, this is incredible, we share most of our DNA!" Quonn was as excited as Andrea had ever seen.

"I’m overwhelmed. I would have been surprised to find fifty percent compatibility. To be over ninety, nine percent identical is beyond imagination. We need to confirm it with our own DNA, not anonymous samples. What is really puzzling to me is on Earth we share at least some DNA with all living things there. Does this mean Sebaceans originated from Earth or that all living things in the Universe share DNA?"

"The tiny amount of commonality with the local Flora and Fauna here can be attributed to random chance. That is even true on our home planet. Scientists have never had a satisfactory explanation for this. All other species we’ve encountered are connected to the life on their planets; we are not." Quonn was still digesting this information.

"If Sebaceans did originate from Earth, then it had to have happened thousands of years ago. It most likely occurred before we evolved to our present form to explain the small differences. How could that have happened?" Andrea was thinking of all the UFO sightings and abduction stories as she spoke, which she dismissed.




The Other Side – Report on Sykar

Jack sat by as Lilli summarized her report to Velorek. "The Sykarians are very poor and they were subjugated by the Peace Keepers to grow tannot root. The root was a drug to keep them placid, and it decimated their local flora, and then the animals. They were able to break from the effects of the root, and a few insects and other small mammals survived. They have some modest gardens and are growing food. They will grow tannot for protection, and we need that for our weapons."

Velorek noticed Jack could barely contain himself as Lilli spoke. "It might work if they could process the root and supply their own protection with the weapons we can deliver to them. We have enough in reserve for that, but ammunition is always a problem.
Jack, what did you learn about your son?"

"I spoke to the local law enforcers, what I’d call police, and showed them his photo. The first few people I spoke to didn’t recognize him, but I eventually got to meet with Tanga who knew John. She told me that not only was he okay, that it was through his efforts, and the people he was with, that they were able to free themselves from the Peace Keepers. Volmae later confirmed that. The only thing is, it happened nearly two cycles ago and he’s gone and they don’t know where."

"It’s a start. We’ll keep getting the music out to as many places as we can, and keep the inquiries going. Sooner or later, we’ll find him, or he’ll find us.
I have some good news to tell you as well. Our scientists are sure we are able to tap the energy needed from a sun to start a wormhole and send a probe to Earth. We will leave in ten arns for the first test."
________________________________

"Your scientist were very clever by supplying absolute coordinates for Earth. Without them we would not be able to aim the probe." Marnie Bainor, Velorek’s lead scientist said.

"How can the coordinates be absolute?" Andrea asked.

"There are two pieces to it. First, they provided a way for us to equate how you measure time to ours, and then they referenced how far and in what vector Earth is from the theorized origin of the universe. Very clever indeed."

The Other Side – Message Home

"Jack, we need you and Andrea to come with us while we test sending a probe to Earth. You can translate the information we’re sending as we get there." Velorek said.

"Why can’t you do it from here?" Jack was willing to help, but he didn’t understand why it was necessary to go to another system.

"We don’t know exactly what will happen once we start the reactions in a quiet star. We need to first test it in a system that has no habitable planets. If it’s safe, we can do the rest from here."
________________________________

"Velorek, it looks like the fourth probe went to Earth. I recognize the images from the returning capsule. Up to now we’ve only recorded scientific data into the probe. Andrea and I would like a few minutes to record some personal messages. I’d also like you to say something so they can hear your language."
________________________________

"Hi Grandma. Now that you can hear my voice you know I’m okay, and that we’ll be able to talk to each other. It’s been quite a ride. I’m learning about some pretty interesting things, but one I find most amazing is we’ve met people here, and they look like us! I’m even making some friends. One friend in particular is a scientist named Quonn. We have really hit it off, but it surprises me because I have very little in common with anyone here except, of course, Jack. I’ll tell you more about my life here next time, but for now, send my love to my cousins and aunts and uncles. Love you, I’m really fine."
________________________________

"Allison, Emma, this is going to be really short. I have the best and most exciting news. I have learned that John did get here alive. I’ve been on a planet where he’s been. Unfortunately, that was about two years ago, but I have very high hopes of finding your brother. The people we’ve met have been incredible, and they are helping me look for John. You know all that music I brought with me. They’ve made a bunch of copies and they are getting distributed to many different planetary systems. My hope is John will find me. Send me a message; I want to hear your voices. I love you.
This next is for DK and everyone else at IASA. I have asked the top guy here to say a few words so you can hear what their language sounds like. They have these amazing things called translator microbes, which enables the host to understand the speaker’s language. I don’t really understand how it works, but it does. Andrea and I now have these microbes and the only effect we can determine is we understand everything that is said to us. I’ve talked enough, Velorek, please say something and then I’ll translate it."

Velorek speaks.

"It’s me again. Velorek said he is looking forward to the day when he can meet you face to face. Me too."




The Other Side – Ooops

Foreword: Dear readers, up to now, things have gone too well for Jack and Andrea. I’m about to change all that. I just have to bring Scorpius into the picture once again. But relax for now, this is meant to set things up.
________________________________

Gammak Base

"Scorpius, every thing is under control and on schedule. Why don’t you take the opportunity to relax a bit? It will help you recharge, and you’ll be fresh when we are ready to launch." Braca had all he could stomach of Scorpius. It had been over a cycle since he had any time to call his own.

"You may be right. I’m just fussing over everything now and my judgment may be a little clouded. Contact Natira and have her meet me at Ryoner."
________________________________

Ryoner

"Why Scorpius, what brings this on? I thought you wouldn’t leave the base until the project completed successfully. Don’t tell me you’ve finished." Natira had completely healed from the destruction of the shadow depository, and had a new one thanks to Scorpius. She would never be out of his debt.

"Ah, good, I see you’ve signed in. Let’s unpack later. I’m hungry now, and I want to do some gambling." Scorpius said.
________________________________

"Natira, when did you become an expert on wine? That was excellent." As Scorpius and Natira walked to the casino, they could here music playing in the background. At first, Scorpius ignored the sound, but then he became aware of both the music and the words. "….. in all the old familiar places, I’ll be seeing you …" Scorpius stopped directly in front of Natira, throwing her off balance.

"What is it?" Natira asked.

"I think Johnny got fixed up correctly, after all. Well, now he’ll have to suffer in a whole body. You never know when information is going to be useful. I had to weed through much on the neural chip before finding the wormhole information. I thought it was a waste then, but now I’m not sure," Scorpius said.

The Other Side – Message from Earth

"A probe arrived from Earth. There are personal messages for you. I’m sure you want your privacy. I’ll set you up so you can hear them in a few microts." Velorek said.
________________________________

Mrs. Greely:

Dearest Andrea, you don’t know how much the sound of your voice meant to me. I despaired ever hearing it again. Now that I know you are alright, I can hope to see you again. Your cousin, Kevin, is getting his Engineering degree this June. He is graduating with the highest honors. He is in awe of you and wants to be an astronaut. Actually, all your cousins are so proud. I think they all secretly want to follow you. Can’t you just imagine little Dana doing that! I think she thinks she’ll be able to act her way into going. I’ll have to end now, we love you and you make us very proud.
________________________________

Allison:

Hi Dad. I guess I’ll hold off selling your house for now. I can’t tell you how thrilled we were to hear you. You sound happy. I miss you terribly, but now I can hope we will see John again, so I guess I’m glad you took the chance. Only, please come back. I’m still satisfied with my job, even if it’s not as glamorous as yours. I like being a Librarian. Not everyone can be a scientist. Emma is anxious to talk, and she has a lot more to tell you than I. I love you. Give my love to John when you find him.
________________________________

Emma:

It was fantastic to hear you voice. DK even let us listen to Vel-or-ek, am I saying his name correctly? It blew me away. I can’t believe how much fun I’m having at the Media Lab. I’ll get a degree just to have fun! Oh, I also joined the tennis team. So you know I’m taking good care of myself. I have John to thank for my serve. I think that’s what got me on the team. I play in my first tournament this weekend. Wish me luck. Jamie is getting his MBA this June. Can you believe it? Did you ever imagine him as the man in the gray flannel suit? It’s been cool living here in Cambridge, but I wouldn’t recommend driving here. These Boston drivers are crazy! You’d think a stop sign was an invitation to play chicken at the intersection. Gotta go, DK’s giving me the high sign. Love you Dad, come back with John soon, or else I’m coming after you.
________________________________

DK:

Hi Colonel, you sent the probe literally in the nick of time. We were about to close down the project while keeping a minimum surveillance for any communication back. Getting this probe means we can get the funds to do much more. Please thank Velorek and the others for the information they’ve provided. It is a lifeline for all of us. We are very interested in the translator microbes you told us about. If at all possible, we would like a sample to study and perhaps replicate. There is more data stored in the probe, which their scientists can work on. I miss my best bud. Say hi to John when you finally catch up with him.




The Other Side – Orman

Foreword: Velorek’s home base is on Ormaan.

"We can send the next probes from here safely. The next one is scheduled for the next solar day. We are including a sample of the translator microbes. Andrea, I will need you to translate the directions on how to use them and how to replicate them. Then we will be able to communicate freely.
I think we need to set up some diplomatic relationships with Earth. I’m sure it’s obvious to your people as well as us that we can send more than probes back and forth. I’ve arranged for us to speak to Ormaan’s Governor." Velorek said.

"Earth is very isolated from the rest of the Universe. There are many separate governments on Earth, and if one gets favoritism over another, our tenuous hold on relative peace will be broken. I am not a politician or diplomat, and my allegiance is with the United States of America, as is Andrea’s. We are a world power, but there are several others who would need to be included. Fortunately, the organization that is behind the Farscape II project is international. Let me include something regarding this after I meet with the Governor."
________________________________

"Allison, Emma, I can’t believe how busy I’ve been since I came to this side of the universe. Meeting up with Velorek has a lot to do with it. But then, he saved our lives. We would not have been able to create a wormhole to come home without his help, and would have been stranded. I’m still looking for John, but this is a big universe. I only hope he happens into one of the places where Velorek’s people have planted the Earth music and the link to me. I’m still amazed at how far we’ve come. A month ago we couldn’t go to the nearest star, just four light years away, and now we can go halfway across the universe because of wormholes. We still can’t go to that star (haha). We are working with the planetary government to set up some diplomatic relationship. I can’t go into it more at this time, mainly because I don’t know more, but I find it very exciting. That’s something else I can’t believe, me a space jockey getting into politics. Take care of yourselves. I’m still very hopeful we will see each other soon, and John too. I love you both."
________________________________

"Hi Grandma, there’s too much for me to tell you in the time I have, so I’ll keep it brief for now. I got your message and I’m thrilled Kevin wants to follow in my footsteps. He’d make a brilliant astronaut and I know he’d love to be here. As for Dana, don’t you think five is a little young to be going into space? It was so good to hear your voice. Keep those messages coming. Send my love. I love you."

The Other Side – Missing Information

Gammak Base:

"Let me understand something. You convinced me my presence was not needed here to create a usable wormhole. I have been gone five solar days, only to find you cannot create a usable wormhole. What changed in that time?" Scorpius kept his voice in control as he asked Braca about the project.

"That was the information I was given. At the time, I did not know they would not be able to complete the project before you got back. Now the lead technician is telling us he can’t finish. You need to speak to Korin Be’ell to get the details. I do not know them." Braca readily deflected Scorpius’s wrath onto someone else.
________________________________

"Sir, when we tried to test the system, the wormholes collapsed on themselves as quickly as they formed. There is something missing from the equations, something we aren’t seeing. Please look at them again." Korin said.
________________________________

"The work is good. Everything checks out. A stable wormhole should have formed. Braca, we are going to Ryoner." Scorpius said.

Braca was relieved Scorpius wasn’t angry with him. He was instrumental in convincing Scorpius to spend time away from the project. "I thought that was where you and Natira just recreated. What did you find on Ryoner?"

"Crichton, or that is, a trail to him." Scorpius said.

"Yes sir, I’ll have the marauder ready in an arn." Braca said.

"No, we’ll take the scout ship this time. Keep this to yourself. We’ll meet at the docking bay in one arn. Here is a list of things I want you have ready on the ship." The wormhole project was close to being shut down if Scorpius didn’t get results soon. It already cost command a Gammak Base, numbers of marauders, prowlers, and scout ships. They would not tolerate Scorpius falling much father behind in the project. They also were skeptical as to its practical use, which Scorpius had yet to prove. It was his good fortune that he found a lead to Crichton.

The Other Side – The Trail

Ryoner:

Scorpius and Braca walked into the casino where Scorpius heard the Earth music. Another Earth song was playing, ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’. "Do you hear that Braca?"

"Yes sir, what is that dren?"

"That is my lead to Crichton. The neural chip collected more information than I needed, or so I thought. This is from Earth, and Crichton is the only one I know from Earth. This will lead me to him."
________________________________

The manager looked from Scorpius to Braca and asked, "Are you John Crichton?"

Scorpius didn’t let Braca answer, "Yes, he is."

"Follow me, I have some information for you."
________________________________

Scorpius sat with Lt. Braca in the bar while he thought about the information he just received. The trail led to Crichton’s father instead. And he was on Ormaan, which was protected by some ex-Peace Keepers who were gaining in strength of late. He needed to formulate a plan to get the older Crichton without raising the suspicions of those on Ormaan. He was not in a position to muscle his way in. Furthermore, this was not good news. Up to now, he assumed John Crichton was the only human in this part of the universe. The fact that his father was here could only mean humans had found the secrets to wormholes. Neither the Aurora chair nor the chip had given him any indication that this was the case. "Lt. Braca, we are going to Ormaan. I will explain what I want you to do while we are on our way there."




The Other Side – Trap

Ormaan:

"Lt. Braca, what brings you to our base?" Velorek was not pleased. If Braca learned of the people who helped him escape execution, or worse, the living death, then they were in trouble. And he could not warn them in time.

"We understand you have a Jack Crichton with you. We wish to meet with him." Braca said.

Velorek sensed there was more behind what Braca was saying. He needed more information before he would permit a meeting. "Please explain yourself."

"We found you because of the music you left at Ryoner. The music is familiar to us because John Crichton is with us, doing research. He asked us to get his father." Braca said.

"Maintain your position. We will get back to you in a quarter of an arn." Velorek cut off communication and turned to the controller. "Do you see any Peace Keeper war ships? I can’t believe they only came in a scout ship. Were you able to see who was with him?"

"No, he managed to stay out of range. We could only detect a small edge or shadow. We have some prowlers out now. So far they are reporting nothing besides the scout ship. I’m very surprised."
________________________________

"Jack, I don’t trust Braca. He has no loyalty but himself, and I saw him turn on more than his share of Peace Keepers. He rose through the ranks by pushing others down. And it’s been over three cycles since your son has seen you. Don’t you think he would come himself and not send Braca and whoever is with him?" Velorek was concerned, and he needed Jack around for when the Earth convoy would arrive the next solar day. He also did not want Braca around for that.

"I agree. But it can only mean one thing. They have John and he is in trouble. I must go to him. Andrea will stay here for the Earth representatives." Jack was worried for his son for the first time since he met Velorek.
________________________________

Andrea stood back with Lilli while Jack and Velorek met with Braca and Scorpius. She and Jack had a long talk, he needing to convince her that she should stay behind and work with Velorek and convince himself he had to go with them to seek John. Andrea strained to hear the conversation occurring just ten feet from where she stood.

"Jack, I am sorry none of us can come with you. I would have liked to be there when you finally see your son." Velorek said.

Before Jack left, he gave Andrea and Lilli a hug and said, "Don’t worry about me, I will be fine."

Once the scout ship left with Jack, Velorek said, "Andrea you need to prepare for the Earth delegation. We will meet with Ormaan’s governor in two arns."

"I hope Jack can find some of your contacts. It feels like he’s walking into a trap." Andrea said.


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