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<<Part 1


Summary: This one will make your head spin, if the last one didn't! Basically, the crew encounters someone new, Zhaan gets cranky, and there's one hezmana of a big surprise.

Archiving: anywhere-please ask first- lleick@yahoo.com

Rating: PG-13

Category: Action/Adventure

Warnings: Spoilers include every episode up to date (ACN) and you probably will want to read the first part of this series to keep up with the plot. {I highly recommend that you do read Mind Games first! Check it out at Dallascaper's site, Farscape Fantasy}

Disclaimer: I do not own Farscape or anything associated with Farscape. All credit of the originality of the characters and settings (save the ones I made up!) is given to the creators of Farscape.

Author's Note: This was a difficult one to orchestrate! Yes, a lot happens in just one solar day and it is a long story, but bare with me...it's a setup for the next two stories. All four finished stories will be molded together to form the "I'm Frelling With Your Minds" Series. I really hope you enjoy this one and that the story helps quench your thirst during this drought!

*Feedback greatly appreciated!!!*

*****

D'Argo headed the group as they walked through the rest of Antarus, checking out each and every room for any sign of life. All they had found were a few rations of food left from long ago. The food had staled and was hardly worth scavenging for. Aeryn trailed the group, watching intensely for any sign of a threat. John followed in the middle, remaining silent and holding steady to his gun.

"I thought Zhaan told me you had given that thing up." Aeryn stated finally breaking the silence between the three. They continued walking down the hall as she spoke.

"Winona and I had a date we couldn't break. I didn't realize that life in the vast space of this universe required a weapon in hand at all times. I'd rather be on the safe side, don't you agree?" John stated in a strange voice, continuing on behind D'Argo.

"Winona?" D'Argo asked, slightly confused. He stopped to look at John for a moment before continuing on down the hall. John nodded matter-of-factly. Aeryn shook her head.

"There's the Command. I'm sure we'll find some kind of record of what may have happened to the crew in there." John stated, nodding his head towards the slightly opened doorway at the end of the hall.

"How do you know that's the Command?" D'Argo argued. He stopped abruptly, nearly being run into by John and Aeryn. Aeryn and John bumped into each other and embarrassingly allowed adequate space between them.

"D'Argo, this ship is built exactly like Moya...it's the Command." John stated with a sure expression. He walked backwards as he talked, heading towards the door. John turned and entered into the doorway, stopping suddenly and arching his head forward in surprise.

"Holy Moses!" John stated and pushed the door open for D'Argo and Aeryn to see what the room was like. As the door opened, a cool breeze brushed past their faces, almost lighting up the surprised expressions they formed as they took in the view. The room was larger than even the terrace on Moya, displaying a completely opened deck topped by the same invisible ceiling protecting them from the outer space. The entire room spanned several hundred metras in diameter and was lit on all walls by small accent lights. The floor was made of the same biomechanoid material as the rest of the ship, yet displayed an unique softer quality to it that puzzled even the aliens familiar to this technology. John stepped forward onto the floor. His feet sank into the floor slightly, the material almost pooling in around his boots. The floor was firm enough to be able to walk on with ease, yet soft enough to give a slight bounce to each step. John smiled and turned to the others.

"This is great! What kinda room is this, anyway?" John asked, twirling around, enjoying the unique material under his feet. D'Argo and Aeryn stepped into the room as well and observed how their own feet melded with the material.

"Strange. I've never seen anything like this before on a Leviathan." Aeryn stated, more to herself than to the others.

'"This room is clearly a waste of our time. Perhaps we should move on. We have been here for much longer than we anticipated. Let's get back to Moya." D'Argo ordered anxiously. The longer he was away from Moya and being able to find his son, the more edgy he got.

"Hold it, D'Argo. Can't you enjoy yourself for even one moment? Come on. I bet this room is some kind of game room or something. Look, it has no tables, consoles, nothing that can be damaged. It's completely empty. Kinda reminds me of a football field." John stated and smiled to himself, memories of his days on earth flooding into his mind.

"I agree this is a waste of our time. We should try to find the Command." Aeryn agreed with D'Argo.

"Fine. You two go and explore. I'm going to stay here." John stated, looking up at the stars shining down through the clear ceiling. D'Argo and Aeryn shook their heads.

"And what are you going to do?" D'Argo asked with a growl.

"Relax." John said in a soothing voice, keeping his gaze up to the stars.

Aeryn paused before following D'Argo out of the room. She was puzzled with John's strange moods lately. She knew how she felt about him and had finally come to terms with what she should do but now he was completely fahrbot. Maybe he had been worse before, but he was always unpredictable. Approaching him on the situation proved to be difficult. There seemed to never be a right moment. Aeryn thought back to the things on handŠan image of the dead pilot flashed through her mind, sending another wave of emotions through her. She blinked, as if to clear the image away. Realizing D'Argo had already left and John had not noticed her pause, Aeryn turned and walked out of the room.


*****


Several of the DRDs on Antarus seemed to have taken a liking to Chiana as she traveled throughout the ship. Every time she turned a corner, she would catch site of the DRDs quickly trying to scurry out of sight behind her. Chiana smiled wickedly to herself and jumped behind a wall structure in the hall. A few microts passed before she heard the oncoming zoom of the DRDs approaching. She peeked around the edge of the wall to see one DRD dancing around in circles, confused. Chiana giggled to herself and ducked out of view once more. The DRDs came closer and closer to her hiding spot. Soon, Chiana could see three DRDs roll past her, not wasting a moment to look in her direction. Chiana smiled and waited until the four other DRDs sped past. Just as the DRDs were about to turn another corner to go down another corridor, she jumped out from her hiding place and let out a shout to surprise the DRDs. Surprised, the DRDs began to scurry wildly in every direction, confused as to whether they should find a place to hide, or find a place to shield themselves for an attack. Chiana laughed with glee at the entertainment before her.

"Come on, little ones, I'm not gonna hurt ya." Chiana stated and lowered the weapon she had been holding to the floor. The DRDs slowly retreated from their hiding spaces and came to face Chiana, their slinky eyes analyzing the being before them.

"What are you following me around for? Ah, curious minds think alike. Don't worry. I'm no threat. Tell you what. You can join me. Maybe you can show me what there is to do around here for fun." Chiana said to the DRDs. A few DRDs shifted back and forth and suddenly zoomed off in the opposite direction Chiana had been heading. She spun around and craned her neck to see where they were headed.

"Hey! Where are you going?" She demanded to know. The DRDs did not stop. The two DRDs left at her feet slowly nudged at her, meaning for her to follow the others. Chiana looked down at them and scooped up her weapon before allowing them to lead her down the hall. Chiana always liked to be adventurous, but something told her not to get too close to these DRDs. Deep down, she sensed something wasn't right.

*****

"Zhaan did what?" Aeryn barked into her comms as she and D'Argo stood in the abandoned Command on Antarus. They had found nothing aboard the ship that could reveal the recent events that led to the death of the pilot and perhaps the abandonment by the crew. There were no recordings left in the data banks, no star charts, nothing. D'Argo sat down near the strategy table and became lost in deep thought.

"She has requested that I not allow you and the others back on board. She sent Rygel in another transport pod headed towards Antarus. She won't respond to me and sheıs confined herself in her quarters. I tried to get a DRD into her quarters but she spotted it and decommissioned it." Pilot informed Aeryn with worry in his voice.

"Keep trying to reach her, Pilot. We'll be right there." Aeryn decided.

"I'm afraid that won't work. Somehow, Zhaan managed to disable the docking bay doors. I've got several DRDs already down there trying to fix the problem. It may be some time before they get the doors working again. You will have to stay aboard Antarus for now." Pilot stated. Aeryn looked over to DıArgo. He had finally started paying attention to the conversation and was looking on with a look of anger forming on his face.

"What do you suggest we do?" Aeryn asked DıArgo. D'Argo looked to her with surprise. The former PeaceKeeper usually did not ask for his opinion.

"I suggest we get back on Moya and have a little talk with Zhaan." D'Argo stated, smiling in a suspicious manner. Aeryn knew what he meant by his statement and leaned her head to the side.

"Really, D'Argo, I just don't understand your behavior lately. You're almost as bad as Crichton." Aeryn stated. She was growing impatient with the actions of the males she had to be in the company of lately. For a moment, it seemed that Aeryn was the only clear-headed one of the entire crew.

"Tell you what. Why don't we find Crichton and Chiana and get ourselves off this ship and back to Moya. We'll blast our way in if we have to. There's nothing on this ship that we should be wasting our time with. I'd prefer that we continue our trek further into the uncharted territories. For all we know, the war could be headed in our direction. And we have no resources to protect ourselves from being caught between the PeaceKeepers and the Scarrens. D'Argo, are you even listening to me?" Aeryn rambled on. She dropped her shoulders as she saw the blank reaction from D'Argo. Letting out a loud sigh, Aeryn nodded towards the exit of Command. "Let's go."

D'Argo followed Aeryn out of the room, still distracted enough to almost forget his qualta blade he had laid out on the strategy table. He shuffled back and picked it up, giving an impatient Aeryn a sheepish look. They then headed out of Command to find the others.

Silence remained in Command for another few microts. A glowing red thread of light pierced into the dim lit room from one of the consoles situated near the center of Command. The light bleeped softly for a few monens. Then the light and the sound diminished as quickly as they had appeared.

*****


Crichton was now completely lying flat on his back near the center of this odd room. His arms were raised behind his head, cradling his head over the welcoming softness of the floor beneath him. The stars shone brightly down on him, reminding him of days on Earth. Crichton was quite young when he had first learned all of the constellations in the sky. His mother, father, and two sisters would gather in their country backyard every Sunday evening and gaze up at the stars with a telescope. One of those Sunday evenings, it was only the boys who met in the backyard. John always loved to spend time alone with his dad. Sometimes his sisters could just drive him up the wall.

Jack lay down on the grass, with John following suit, gazing at his father with respect and awe. His dad being in the astronaut program was the coolest thing he had ever known. That night, Jack and his son stayed out way past John's bedtime. In fact, they stayed out there, gazing up at the stars and discussing their thoughts on the universe well into the early morning, just into the rise of the sun. The eight-year old boy learned every constellation visible in the night sky, including every little star and galaxy that made up the formations.

John remembered that night like he had just woken up from it. He could almost smell the fresh scent of the morning dew settling down on the grass they had laid on. John closed his eyes shut to reminisce for a moment longer. He then opened his eyes. The glazed look in his eyes carried over the feelings of his disappointment that he was still in the uncharted territories, living a life he never would have dreamed.

The stars above him resembled the night sky of Earth, yet looked so different...almost unsettling to John. With a heavy sigh John breathed out the many stresses and pains he had been dealing with for far too long now. He rolled onto his side and sat up, bringing his knees up to his chest and wrapping his arms around them. He brought his thumb up to his lips, rubbing them softly. Perhaps if Moya were to stay in one place in this frelling universe for just once, John could make up his own constellations.

"Hey old man, what are you up to?" Chiana's soft and caring voice carried into the large room from the opened doorway. Several DRDs were crowded around her feet.

Startled, John whipped his head over to see Chiana's small frame at the doorway. His heart racing, John tried to calm down and stood up to walk over to greet Chiana. Chiana stepped forward onto the floor and shrieked with delight at the unusual substance at her feet. The DRDs darted out of view and disappeared down the corridor. Chiana did not seem to notice as she pranced around childishly in a circle and faced Crichton as he approached her. His expression was mixed with the exhaustion he was unable to hide any longer and amusement from the reaction Chiana was displaying.

"Yo, Pip. I thought you were guarding the transport pod." John stated with a small smile on his face. He placed his hands on his hips.

"Yeah, I got bored. Besides, looks like we're going to be trapped here for awhile anyway." Chiana stated, tilting her head around at John. John frowned slightly. He had turned his comms off after Aeryn and D'Argo had left.

"What? What do you mean we're trapped here?" John asked, growing concerned.

"Zhaan kicked Rygel off Moya and sent him here after disabling the docking bay doors on Moya." Chiana stated matter-of-factly and let out a giggle after she explained to John the situation.

"Great." John said and slowly turned away from Chiana to head back to his spot in the middle of the room. Chiana followed with curiosity. John sat down with a thud and resumed his position before Chiana had nearly scared him half to death. Chiana too sat down next to him, mimicking his actions. John looked to her with an annoyed look. She returned his look with a smile.

"Chiana, please, I was enjoying the solitude." John stated, looking back to the stars.

To John's surprise, Chiana remained silent for quite a long time, allowing him to sink back into his thoughts. But he just couldn't ignore his friend. He looked to her and recognized the troubled expression on her face.

"Chi, what's up?" John asked caringly, placing a hand on her arm. Chiana looked down from the sky. John saw glistening tears in her eyes and felt saddened himself. "Hey, don't cry." He placed an affectionate hand on Chiana's blue cheek and smiled at her. Chiana smiled back and looked down. John pulled his hand away and wiggled a little closer to Chiana.

"I miss Nerri. Now that I know he's alive, it's so difficult to keep running. I want to be with him so badly. I know I can help him." Chiana confessed. A blue tear ran down her cheek and Chiana sniffled. John gave her a comforting smile and looked down before answering. When he looked up, Chiana was surprised with the deep seriousness in his eyes.

"You are helping him by staying here with us. Chiana, the longer you stay away from the resistance, the better your chances of living and being reunited with Nerri under more peaceful terms. Just be glad that your brother is alive. It's a lot more than a some of us have to live on." John stated. His last statement rang especially true with his own situation and that of their shipmates. Chiana smiled weakly at Crichton. What he said had some truth in it. But she knew he was just trying to protect her. Sooner or later, her own stubbornness and free spirit would win over her reasoning and she would most likely leave Moya and her shipmates.

Again, silence returned. John was beginning to appreciate Chiana's unusually quiet nature and relished it. He knew it wouldn't last for long.

"Crichton, why haven't you been answering your comms? I've been trying to reach you for over half an arn. We're returning to Moya." Aeryn charged into the room with D'Argo close behind. John and Chiana turned their heads to look at Aeryn and D'Argo. They remained where they were.

"Come on, let's go." Aeryn urged, with anger creeping into her voice. Silence remained from the two.

"Chiana, Crichton. I have lost all my patience. If you do not get off that floor now, I will..." Before D'Argo could finish his threat, John and Chiana were standing up, ready to go.

"Where do you think you're going? We're stuck on this ship, or haven't you been informed yet?" Ryge's scruff voice carried into the room. Everyone turned to see Rygel seated smugly in his throne sled hovering in the doorway. Rygel allowed a passing glance at the unusual room and then settled his gaze onto the four before him.

"Not if I can help it." Aeryn replied as she looked around at the ship with a slight hint of disgust displayed on her face.

"Aeryn, please, why not just relax for once and wait out Zhaan's little temper tantrum?" John suggested. Aeryn looked at him with raised eyebrows.

"Let's stay here." D'Argo agreed, looking to Aeryn with a steady gaze. Aeryn was surprised at D'Argo. She shrugged and placed her pulse rifle in its holster on her thigh. She then folded her arms over her chest and looked around at everyone.

"Well? Are we 'relaxing' or leaving?" She asked sternly. Chiana smiled and sat back down in her spot. John nodded his head as if to agree with Chiana and joined her. D'Argo smiled briefly and stood at the doorway.

"I have some business to attend to." Rygel stated and zoomed away before anyone could inquire about his business.

"Now what?" Aeryn asked impatiently. She hardly ever stood around doing nothing. In fact, the feeling of having nothing to do for a few arns was disconcerting. Her question hung in the silence for several microns.

D'Argo began to pace back and forth, his mind carrying more thoughts of his son. Aeryn fidgeted in her stance, growing weary of just doing nothing. Chiana stared up into the stars thinking about her brother. Crichton, well, he just stared up into the stars. The silence was almost becoming deafening. The crew usually could be so talkative, whether they were fighting or just engaged in general conversation. But with everything that each individual was going through lately, silence was almost a blessing.

Aeryn concentrated on the image of the dead pilot, trying to think of reasons for his death. What could have possibly happened on this ship? If there had been a crew, what happened to them and why was there no sign of them ever being on the ship in the first place? How did this one Leviathan find its way to Moya? The last question hung in Aeryn's mind like a lone light in the darkness. She dug deeper into the scenarios passing through her mind about Antarus' situation. She had been suspicious of the ship since they had first met...then again, so had the rest of the crew-even Moya. She tried to clear her thoughts onto more positive notes but when she thought of Crichton, her stomach tied into knots. How was she going to tell him how she felt? Would there ever be a right time?

D'Argo tumbled the words through his mind that haunted him. "Even if I had a father, I would not want to meet him. He is a disgrace to my family's honor." His very own son had spoken these words. He did not want to listen to them, but they never went away. Mainly because D'Argo knew these words had truth to them. When on the commerce planet, D'Argo came across one of his son's former owners. After some rough handling by D'Argo, the slave owner confessed to having bought Jothee only to sell him off to another slave colony. The slave owner lost a few parts of his anatomy after he told D'Argo what his son had said of his father after hearing he was looking for him. John and Aeryn had to contain D'Argo from the slave owner and drag him back to the transport pod. D'Argo snarled at the memory and looked over to Chiana, reliving another memory even more unpleasant. The thought of that tralk doing whatever it took and then some to get information on his son was upsetting. He was losing respect for Chiana.

Chiana noticed D'Argo's quick look at her but ignored him. She had plenty more problems to worry about than to have to deal with D'Argo. She felt hurt and abandoned by him. But these feelings were not new, for Chiana had always been left with only that after her experiences with males. With the exception of her brother...and Crichton. Chiana glanced over to him, trying to decipher the lost expression on John's face. She felt needed, even wanted around him. Crichton was as much like a big brother to her as Nerri. With everything that had happened to Crichton, Chiana was beginning to feel that she was losing him as well.

John had not noticed how silent his shipmates had grown. He had lost all sense of time as he thought hard of where his life was leading him. Hope was all he had left to drive him forward. Hope and Aeryn. It did not help matters any that Aeryn was still not confessing her feelings for him. He saw it in her eyes. He knew. More than anything, he just wanted to hear her say the words. He pictured Aeryn in his mind and let the beautiful image float in existence. John let out a deep breathe and lead his eyes down from the stars. He stopped short, spying a small shiny object off to the side of the room. Puzzled, John searched his memory. He had not noticed the object there before. Where had it come from? John stood, rousing the others from their daydreaming. They all watched as he walked with ease on the strangely soft floor. He continued over to the edge of the room and picked up the shiny object slowly. He turned it around in his hands, a puzzled and concerned expression forming on his face.

"Crichton, what is it?" Aeryn asked in puzzlement, stepping towards him.

John turned the ball around and then held it up closer to his face. He couldn't believe what he was seeing. This was the same metallic spiked ball he had been playing with on Moya. How had it gotten here? This was no coincidence. That ball was always with him whenever...sure enough, John heard a familiar low, disturbing laugh echo through out the room. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end and goose bumps formed on his skin. John glanced around with his eyes, seeing nothing and realizing everyone else was still looking at him. Maybe it was his imagination.

"I have one just like this on Moya." John stated finally. Chiana stood up and walked over to look at the shiny object. She took it from John's hands and twirled it in her own, naturally attracted to the metallic object. Aeryn and D'Argo approached the two to get their own look at the ball. John stood, dumbfounded. He shook his head and backed away slightly, looking at the environment around him with newfound fear and uneasiness.

"John, I'm sure there are plenty of those in the universe." Aeryn stated, blowing off the whole thing. John looked at her in disbelief.

"It appeared out of no where. If I've see anything out here in the past two cycles, I'd be sure as hell that things don't just appear, Aeryn!" John said in exasperation.

The ball fascinated Chiana. D'Argo wanted to have a look as well. He reached for the ball and, offending Chiana by his rude actions, nudged the ball out of her hands. The heavy ball fell to the floor and to everyone's surprise, bounced back off the soft surface almost as high as it had fallen. The ball continued to bounce, each time the bounce lessening. Chiana formed a huge smile on her face, as she was entertained. Aeryn looked at the ball with her usual 'what's this nonsense' look. D'Argo just watched the ball bounce, captivated by the simple act. John looked at the reactions of the others and crumpled his brow. He knew they were unaccustomed to even the simple fact of a ball used for sport...or even the concept of a sport for that matter. But just to see how the simple bouncing of the ball could calm even D'Argo down, John formed an idea in his head.

"I have a suggestion." John stated and the other three turned their attention away from the ball, which stopped bouncing and sat snug on the floor.

"Yes?" Aeryn asked, waiting for him to go on.

"Let's play a game." John said.

"A game? What's that?" Aeryn asked, wrinkling her nose as if it were something disgusting. John half expected that kind of reaction from her.

"Something to pass the time and allow us all to relax and have a little fun." John answered. "Sound like a pl...are we all in agreement?" John stopped his Crichtonism in time to say the right words without being interrupted once more.

The others reluctantly nodded their consent to do so as John explained what they should do. Once he was sure they somewhat understood the rules, a huge grin began to play on his lips.

*****


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