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<<Part 1

<<Part 2


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!!!*

*****

*****

Zhaan was chanting at an alarming rate, her voice growing stronger and louder by the microt. All her concentration and energy was being poured into the moment. She would not allow any more distractions to disturb her quest. The next level felt so close, she thought she could almost reach out and touch it. Her bare blue body was situated in the center of her quarters, her clothes strung about on the floor in heaps. Every item that wasn't bolted down in the quarters had been shoved over to the wall, to make more space for the center of the room. With Pilot busy monitoring the conversation between Moya and Antarus, she was nearly alone. But there was still the matter of the DRDs Pilot had assigned to spy on her. Zhaan could sense the two DRDs straining their slender eyes into her quarters. She didn't even have to turn around to enforce the powerful wave of energy that shocked the DRDs into decommission. Sparks flew out of the creatures along with small licks of flames. Steam sizzled off of the two DRDs as they spun madly in circles, trying to put themselves out. Nearly blinded, the DRDs then rushed down the hall away from Zhaan's quarters, signaling to Pilot the distress they had undergone.

Zhaan knew she was now completely alone. She relished the moment. The rising evil sensation in her gut was becoming more noticeable as she thought of what she had just done. The Seek was so important to her, she was almost becoming her savage self once more just to gain the extra powers of the eleventh level of priesthood. Whether Zhaan realized it or not, she was doing more damage than good.

Pilot watched on his monitor the events that had transpired through the two DRDs' eyes. He wasn't sure what he could do. Usually, Crichton came up with all the ideas...even if they did sometimes seem completely fahrbot. Zhaan's strange behavior had been short-lived. She had been fine for the most part up until a few solar days ago. Pilot knew of the unity she and Crichton shared mere weekens ago. He knew she had forced the unity on Crichton, and the outcome had not been positive for either individual. He was beginning to wonder just how unfortunate the side affects of the forced unity were to become.

A striking feeling from Moya passed through Pilot. He turned his attention back to the busy chattering between Moya and Antarus as they caught up on the adventures they had seen. Pilot listened for a moment longer and widened his eyes in surprise and interest. He relayed his thoughts to Moya on the idea she had proposed to him.

"Is this a wish you share with Antarus? He is not forcing this on you?" Pilot stated out loud, watching the controls light up in unison with the heightened mood of Moya. Pilot nodded in understanding and prepared to open the comms to Antarus. "I shall tell the others, then."

Moya once more struck up the conversation with Antarus. Pilot noticed her interior lighting had brightened, as well as the colors of her biomechanoid make-up. Pilot recognized the emotions she was displaying and smiled to himself. He pressed the controls to contact the others.


*****



John fell to the floor and bounced slightly as his body settled into the softened material. Aeryn slid into him and fell head over heels onto her back next to him. He shifted his body with concern on his face but grew relieved at the huge smile plastered over Aeryn's face. They were having fun! Enthused, John smiled. Even though the game was something he was completely making up as they went along, they seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Chiana held the ball in her hand, crouched close to the ground, watching D'Argo as he nervously swayed his weight back and forth on his feet. He was studying her, trying to predict her next move. Chiana smiled slyly at D'Argo. D'Argo smiled back and prepared to pounce. Chiana smoothly dipped low to the ground and scurried underneath D'Argo as he advanced. D'Argo, thrown off by her surprise move, landed flat on his face. Chiana paused behind him for a moment, wondering if he was okay. She stepped over him to get a closer look when she lost her footing and the ball flew into the air. D'Argo had tricked her. He had waited until she was close enough to grab her ankle and pull her down. As she tumbled onto the floor, D'Argo rushed to get up, trying to beat John and Aeryn's advance towards the now bouncing ball. John sailed across the room towards the ball with D'Argo headed in his direction at top speed. Aeryn was close behind, a look of determination on her face.

The ball suddenly stopped bouncing and came to a rest on the floor. D'Argo stopped short of the ball and looked up at John in disappointment. John skidded to a stop with Aeryn nearly running into him. Chiana finally joined the three after picking herself up off the floor on the other side of the room. John rested his hands on his knees as he bent over to catch his breath. He looked up at D'Argo with a smile.

"Guess we all lose." John stated. Aeryn let out a frustrated sigh. She was almost treating the game like she would a battle. Strategy and tactics led her determination to win. Losing had never been an option in her entire life. D'Argo blinked several times, as if disappointed. He then let out a frustrated roar. Chiana stood with a frown, almost pouting.

The game was somewhat simple. Two teams would have to do whatever it takes to keep the ball bouncing. But the ball could not stay in oneıs hands for longer than a few microts, nor could it bounce for longer than a few microts. If the ball was in no oneıs hands and bounced no more, the game was dead, over. There were twists, however, as they played on. John decided to throw in the rule that even the team members could play against each other. John and Aeryn had paired together against D'Argo and Chiana. With the new rule, they each were their own player, fighting for the ball. John realized there was no goal to obtain in this game...he had been having too much fun watching the others go crazy over controlling the fate of the ball without question. So, he had invented another rule. Whoever had the ball in hand by the time Pilot contacted them once again, would win the game and be allowed to a free extra helping of raslac or fellip nectar down on the next commerce planet they encountered. (The prize being thought up by a thirsty Chiana.)

The humor in the situation caught up with John and he began to laugh, almost uncontrollably. D'Argo straightened and looked at his comrade strangely. Aeryn cocked her head at him, barely able to keep a smile from creeping onto her face. After a few moments, John managed to control his laughter. He couldn't believe how willingly his shipmates had been to spend the last four arns playing a game.

"I don't know about you guys, but I'm exhausted! I could use a snack. This ship got anything for food?" Chiana stated with a smile.

"This ship is a ghost ship, Chiana. There's nothing on board save a few dust bunnies." John said, scooping up the ball once more to observe its peculiar features. Chiana tilted her head at his words.

"Dust bunnies? Are those some sort of creature? Wouldn't happen to be the kind that likes to hunt down its prey and kill it?" Chiana asked in alarm, glancing around the room nervously.

John looked up, distracted but then realized what she was talking about. He chuckled and nodded his head.

"Commander Crichton, Officer Sun, Ka D'Argo, is anyone there?" Pilot's voice crackled over the comms.

"Yeah, Pilot, we're here. What's up?" John asked with concern on his face.

"I've been trying to reach you for arns. I think you better return to Moya. She and Antarus wish to engage in Leviathan Bond." Pilot informed them. John looked to the others with a raised eyebrow.

"Leviathan Bond is a ritual where the two ships join together and share energy waves. The bond can last for several solar days or as short as an arn...it all depends on how compatible the two ships are." Aeryn explained.

"And we would be much safer on Moya during the entire process. The energy waves that Antarus will produce could be deadly to any inhabitants within, not accustomed to him in the first place." D'Argo relayed.

"Hmm. Just sounds like another way to have sex. So we have to bail, jump ship? Great. And I was just beginning to feel at home. Let's go." John stated, allowing the ball to drop onto the floor, dribbling. He walked out of the room, leaving behind his shipmates in a state of confusion.

"Humans." Aeryn muttered and exited the room as well. D'Argo looked to Chiana and found she was looking back at him. He noticed a hint of sadness and longing in her eyes. He knew he was pushing her away, but it was for the best. He turned and left her alone. Silence followed for a few microts. Chiana glanced down at the now still ball and picked it up. She was still attracted to the metallic appearance. Smiling, Chiana felt better snurching something from the ship.



*****



Rygel slammed another crate onto the floor. Muddling through what seemed like thousands of useless, empty crates in the storage bay, Rygel had found absolutely nothing. This ship was becoming a waste of his precious snurching time. He had come up with a few extra rations of food cubes earlier in the galley, but by the time he arrived in the storage bay, the food cubes had "mysteriously" vanished into his mouth. As if to secure the fact, Rygel's third stomach grumbled as it digested the last of the food. Rygel huffed in frustration.

"Such a huge ship should be flourishing with riches. Maybe someone else got here first." Rygel decided out loud. He turned his throne sled around and was about to head out the door when he spotted something glinting out of the corner of his eye. Rygel turned his attention to a small black biomechanoid object situated in the shadow of a wall support near the corner of the storage bay. Rygel narrowed his eyes in suspicion. He drove his throne sled closer to study the object. The biomechanoid material almost glowed in the dark corner of the room. The rounded object wore a glassy appearance that attracted Rygel. This thing was even a better find than any jewel he could think of. Although he questioned its use and mysteriousness, Rygel pried the object from the wall. After several monens of struggling, Rygel had the object off the wall and gleaming in his greedy little hands. Rygel smiled brightly as if winning a prize. He tucked the object away in his pouch underneath his cloak and then headed out of the storage bay.

As Rygel traveled down the hall, he spotted yet another one of the objects secured around a corner, partially hidden from view. Whatever these things were, Rygel assumed they were meant to stay hidden. He almost missed the third one, stationed several metras away from the previous one he had encountered. Rygel's smile grew brighter. He couldn't believe his luck. These mysterious "jewels" were surely worth far more than anything else he had ever happened across. The biomechanoid material alone was something of a rare find. Perhaps the ship had created these jewels like it so easily created transport pods and DRDs. Rygel continued on towards the docking bay. He knew the others would be leaving soon, after hearing Pilot's message earlier.

By the time Rygel reached the docking bay, his throne sled was hovering slightly lower to the floor and creating a louder, droning hum as it slaved under the weight of the numerous jewels Rygel had procured. He was nervous. There was no way the others would not notice. But Rygel was Rygel. His instinct once again shone through as he spotted another jewel beside the doors of the docking bay. Rygel pried the jewel off the wall and stuffed it in with the rest under his pouch.

Rygel spotted Aeryn and D'Argo preparing the transport pod and Chiana standing nearby, her weapon slightly raised. She displayed no care for guarding them at the moment. Chiana looked more impatient and bored than alert. John Crichton was nowhere to be seen. Rygel felt a bubble of helium rising within. [Ew, I know!] He didn't even have to turn around to confirm the presence he felt standing behind him. Rygel gulped and paused for a moment before looking up into Johnıs face. John wore an expression of interest.

"Hey Sparky, where've you been?" John inquired. He patted Rygel's back and several of the jewels came cluttering to the floor beneath Rygel. John tilted his head at the strange objects and walked around Rygel to crouch down at his level. He scooped up one of the jewels and turned it around in his hand, inspecting it with interest. The smooth surface almost carried a peculiar coldness to it. The entire size of the jewel was no larger than the size of John's palm. John wore a grin on his face that made Rygel squirm. "I see you've been busy, Ryg. What's up with the black marbles?"

"There are plenty more on this ship- I only took a few! I thought I could buy some real food with this...instead of those stale, rotten food cubes we keep scavenging for." Rygel stated in a hurried voice, afraid of what John might to do him.

"Always thinking with your stomach, huh Buckwheat?" John smiled and stood. He ruffled his hand on Rygel's head, patting him like a dog, and walked off towards the transport pod. Only taking a monen to wonder over the strange response, Rygel quickly scooped up his dropped prizes and stashed them back in his pouch. He looked back to the transport pod to see the others already boarding. He sped up to them and entered the pod just as the doors began to close behind him.

Once the transport pod was back into space, heading for Moya, the silence that had remained was broken by John.

"What are the chances of us running into another Leviathan? I mean, we're probably closer to unknown space at the edge of the uncharted territories now with the war going on and we run into Antarus. He's even free from PK control as far as we can tell." John stated, in bewilderment.

"It does seem a little unusual." Aeryn nodded her head in agreement, keeping her eyes on the direction they were headed.

"Unusual? Hell, the man in black comes from nowhere and wants to have sex with Moya. Suspicious, not unusual." John argued.

"It's not exactly sex...is that all you think about?" Aeryn pushed into the conversation. John turned his head sideways at Aeryn, catching her quick smirk quickly recovered by a stern, concentrated look.

"Well what then, foreplay?" John questioned with curiosity.

"Would you please think of something else for once?!" Her voice rose with frustration. Aeryn threw an angered glance in John's direction. Chiana giggled quietly in the back of the pod, watching the play of words exchanged between the two.

"John is right. That ship is suspicious. What about the dead pilot? Have you forgotten that that thing has been dead and the ship is still quite alive?" D'Argo entered into the heated conversation.

"I haven't forgotten about it, D'Argo, thanks for bringing it up." Aeryn barked. She didn't want to think of the dead pilot, for the image of the dead creature still burned in her mind.

"Whatever happened to trust and giving things a chance? Of all of us, I was sure you would be the one to want to give Antarus a chance and learn all you can about him, Crichton." Chiana pointed out, stepping into the discussion.

"Chiana. I've been in the uncharted territories long enough to know that trust can't be bought that easily. We need to protect Moya even if she can't see that this could be some kind of trick or illusion." John answered, keeping his gaze to Moya as she appeared onto the view screen.

Silence followed John's remark. Each shipmate was thinking different thoughts, but they all involved the newly encountered ship. Could they trust him?

The transport pod entered into Moya's docking web and was drawn into the bay. As soon as the pod landed and exit door opened, Rygel sped out in a hurried fashion towards his quarters, careful not to spill any of his precious cargo. Chiana walked out with DıArgo close behind. They exited out of the docking bay quickly as well, with looks that displayed they were ready to have a big talk. John and Aeryn were last out of the pod and remained silent to each other. Aeryn prepared to close up the transport pod but John stepped in her way. Puzzled, she tried to read his expression.

"I can take it from here." John implied. Aeryn did not argue but stayed in place.

"John? Is something bothering you?" Aeryn pushed the subject onto him. John stared into her eyes and almost lost himself in her gaze. He felt uneasy.

"No. Aeryn. I'm fine." He stated.

"You're not getting much sleep, are you?" Aeryn prodded.

"Aeryn, I sleep fine."

"Do you still think we don't trust you? We do, John. We always have. Why can't you believe that?" Aeryn asked. She tried to gain eye contact from John but he looked to the floor. He shuffled and grazed his hand through his hair. He then abruptly looked up to her, throwing her off for a moment by the surprise eye contact.

"I do. I just don't trust myself." John stated and turned fully away from Aeryn, waiting for her to leave. Aeryn placed an affection hand on his shoulder, giving him a squeeze. She motioned to come closer but felt John's shoulders tense. What was going on? He was usually the one who moved first. And now he was taking on her roll of stubbornness. Aeryn was perplexed by the human's swing in moods that had been escalating over the past cycle. Just monens earlier he had been teasing her playfully. Now he was completely shutting her out. Aeryn lowered her shoulders. Taking the hint, she turned and exited the docking bay, glancing back at John with confusion. Aeryn then headed for Pilot's den. A conversation with Pilot would make her feel better.



*****



Aeryn felt embarrassed. She had walked in on D'Argo and Chiana as they had been closely engaged in each other on the strategy table in Command. She had only stopped by before heading on to Pilot to see if Zhaan may have emerged from her quarters.

Rolling her eyes in frustration, Aeryn walked out, unnoticed.

"Officer Sun?" Pilot stated over her comms.

"Yes Pilot?" Aeryn asked, pausing in the hall.

"I think Moya is ready to bond with Antarus." Pilot informed her. Aeryn continued on down the hallway.

"Right. Do the others know?" Aeryn asked.

"Well, I tried to..." Pilot stated but his voice trailed off. He did not need to finish for Aeryn knew exactly what he meant. She neared his den. Finally, Aeryn came into the den and approached Pilot.

"I need to talk to you about the pilot on Antarus." Aeryn said, leaning forward on the controls in front of Pilot. Pilot looked to her with question but was interrupted by an urgent flashing light on the controls.

Without any further warning, the two ships advanced towards each other. They softly touched head to head. A low hum murmured through out Moya as well as on Antarus. Both ships began to glow gloriously from the outside in. D'Argo and Chiana had noticed the sudden change and had stopped to observe for only a moment. They resumed their interest in each other. Rygel glanced up nervously at his quarters as he had been stashing his jewels away in a hiding place. Zhaan was still chanting madly in her quarters, forgotten by the rest of the crew at the moment. She never even noticed the ship move. John stood by his module, after being lost in thought, and looked around to observe the transformation in Moya. In his hand, he held his comms. He never really seemed to snap out of his thought process and resumed his thinking. Aeryn and Pilot observed in silence. Aeryn looked to Pilot.

"Pilot, what do you think happened to the pilot on Antarus?" Aeryn inquired. Pilot almost didn't hear her, as he was trying to decipher the emotions he was sensing from Moya. The ship began to brighten even more and hum more vigorously. Aeryn glanced around but turned her attention quickly back to Pilot, waiting for an answer.

"I donıt know. I do know the death saddens Antarus. He is still too frightened to tell Moya what happened. She suspects he was caught in the war between the PeaceKeepers and the Scarrens. How he managed to escape unharmed, I cannot say." Pilot answered.

"But he couldn't have possibly survived. Do you think he may be just a scared Leviathan on the run from the PeaceKeepers? Just like Moya? Perhaps thatıs why they...bond together so well." Aeryn suggested. Moya shifted abruptly, sending Aeryn to the floor. She picked herself up with a grunt and held onto the controls in case of another sudden jolt.

"What was that, Pilot?" Aeryn asked with concern.

"Moya is not communicating with me anymore. She is completely in Leviathan Bond. I cannot say whether this is normal. I have never experienced this before. It's almost like...like Moya's in love." Pilot said and looked to Aeryn with shock. He had finally pieced together all the feelings he had experienced from her and related them to the ones Crichton had once confided to him about the subject.

"Great! Just what we need, another happy couple!" Aeryn grunted, throwing her arms up in disgust. She stormed out of Pilot's den. She meandered around on the tier for a while, wondering what to do with herself. She wanted to be with John, she realized. Of course, it would have been nice to talk to Zhaan but even approaching Zhaan at the moment seemed impossible. Rygel had earlier found that out when he had been passing by her quarters on the way to his own. She had somehow forced him against the wall without even lifting a finger and from within her quarters. Rygel almost had spilled all of his jewels, too. But Zhaan must have realized her actions because the strange force ceased quickly and Rygel was allowed to scurry away.

Aeryn ended up back in the docking bay. She thought of the short-lived happiness John had displayed earlier as they played the game on Antarus. That game seemed like such a foolish idea but somehow, she had enjoyed herself for the first time in a long time, as well as her fellow shipmates. The mood John portrayed now told Aeryn that the human still had many issues brewing within. Aeryn frowned. She did not realize John would still be in the docking bay.

She stopped in the doorway, watching him with interest. He was crouched on the floor, writing madly with some sort of small object. The object was releasing a substance onto the floor in the shape of symbols unknown to the former PeaceKeeper. Aeryn stepped over to John quietly, unnoticed, and peered at the strange symbols he was writing. John was also muttering something under his breath as he wrote. His comms lay forgotten on the floor beside him. Aeryn grew increasingly worried about him. She knelt down and placed a hand on his back. John suddenly jolted up, pointing his pulse rifle straight into Aeryn's face, his eyes wearing a disoriented look of confusion. His face cleared into a look of surprise. Alert, Aeryn nearly knocked the gun out of his hands. She then realized he had been startled and was only defending himself.

"Aeryn, I'm sorry. I didn't hear you come in." John said, lowering his pulse rifle.

"Sorry." Aeryn apologized. Her gaze fell to the symbols, as did John's. She waited for him to say something but instead, John looked over the symbols, as if piecing ideas together in his mind. "What are you doing?"

"What? Oh, I just needed to get an idea out of my head." John answered absent-mindedly. He bent back down to write another line of symbols.

"What does it mean?" Aeryn asked, trying to make sense of the symbols. One of the symbols looked familiar and Aeryn glanced up at Johnıs module to confirm her thought. The symbol was the same written on the side of his module.

"Nothing important, Aeryn." John said, still not acknowledging her completely.

"John..." Aeryn allowed her voice to trail off into silence. The ship suddenly jolted much worse this time. John fell over on his side with Aeryn tumbling on top of him. John looked to Aeryn as if for the first time realizing she was really there.

"You okay?" He asked in concern. Aeryn nodded and helped herself off of him. She took her time of course. John sat up and looked around at Moya, noticing her brightened interior.

"How much longer is this going to go on?" John asked.

"Only Moya and Antarus know." Aeryn said. She stood up with the help of John. They faced each other and grew silent. Aeryn looked to Johnıs lips, feeling the moment was right. She leaned in...and John pushed her away in frustration. He turned away and then turned back to her with a transformed darkened mood about his face. Something was on his mind. Aeryn could sense it.

"I need to speak with Zhaan." John said after a moment of considering what to say. He nodded as if to agree with his self and grabbed his comms off the floor. He marched on out of the room, leaving Aeryn confused and alone. Zhaan wasn't in the friendliest of moods and Aeryn figured he wouldn't be gone for long. She peered down once more at the symbols, shaking her head. This human was always full of surprises.



*****



John neared Zhaan's quarters and thought of what Rygel had mentioned earlier. She had nearly squashed him against the wall. John approached carefully. He felt strange all of a sudden and then realized Zhaan had felt his presence. He could almost feel her presence as well. Zhaan turned to him and opened her doors, smiling tightly. At least she was clothed.

"I knew you would come sooner or later. Rygel told you of my actions?" Zhaan asked calmly. John stepped up to her with a stern look on his face.

"Zhaan, we need to talk."

"What's on your mind?" Zhaan tilted her head with interest.

"Ha! Thought you'd know that one." John retorted.

Zhaan responded with a blank stare. John shifted uncomfortably.

"Well, I've been thinking a lot lately and...I was wondering...when I was with Scorpy how did I hear your voice? Howıd you do that?" John asked with curiosity.

Zhaan released a small chuckle and smiled.

"The eleventh level of priesthood I have been pursuing comes with the ability to channel another mind. But to channel a being's mind, I must have had shared unity at one time or another with that being. So I am able to contact you, John, no one else, because of our special bond." Zhaan explained with a smile.

"Oh." John said shortly.

Stepping forward, Zhaan peered at John sideways. She knew there was more he wanted to ask. "Is there anything else you wish to discuss?"

John flickered his eyes for a moment. Zhaan gazed at him intently, almost willing him to speak.

"You're not sleeping." Zhaan stated.

"That was out of the blue." John said and then almost smiled at the saying from Earth. Zhaan was thrown off by his statement but recovered quickly.

"Why?" She asked, referring to his lack of sleep. John blinked, growing uncomfortable under the sudden confrontation.

"Zhaan, I gotta go." He stated at last. He turned to leave.

"Where? This ship is only so big and there are only so many places you can run to." Zhaan pushed on. She wanted to be alone and knew she was hitting just the spot to make John angry.

Sure enough, John's shoulders stiffened and his face formed into an angered expression.

"Aeryn's worried. You're acting strange...even for a being a human."

Silence came from John. He spun around to face Zhaan one final time. Startled, Zhaan stepped back. The look in John's eyes told her she shouldn't push any further.

"My business is my business. If I don't want to sleep, I don't. Got a problem with that? Take it up with your goddesses. Just leave me the frell alone." With that stated, John turned on his heels and stalked off angrily, disappearing out the doorway. Zhaan's eyes followed him with a startled gaze. That gaze soon melted into a sly smile. She turned back to face the wall and resumed her stance of praying.

*****



Rygel gazed at his newfound treasure in wonder. Nearly a quarter of an arn ago, he had noticed the jewels began to give off a high pitch frequency. The noise wasn't too strong but enough to annoy Rygel. Grumbling, Rygel hovered closer and picked up one of his jewels. The smooth stone burned his fingers, causing him to drop it immediately. Rygel yelped out in pain and rubbed his hand sorely. He peered down at the jewel with suspicion. He wasn't about to give up his prize that easily. Rygel stooped down to pick up the jewel again. The jewel suddenly let out a bleep and a small holographic image splashed for a moment above the stone. Rygel blinked his eyes in surprise, his jaw dropping open. The image disintegrated as quickly as it had appeared. Rygel couldnıt believe what he had seen.

Moya suddenly shifted violently back and forth, causing Rygel and his precious jewel collection to fly across the room into the opposite wall. Rygel struggled to control his throne sled but was too late. He received quite a bump on his head. Woozy, Rygel looked down at the mess of jewels on the floor. The high pitch frequency they had been emitting had stopped. So had the movement on Moya.

"Pilot! What's going on?" Rygel demanded to know.

"Moya and Antarus have broken the bond. Moya picked up a live transmission straying into space that has upset her greatly. The others are meeting in Command." Pilot told Rygel. Rygel glanced back at his jewels one last time, eyeing them carefully. He then sped out of his quarters, hoping he wouldnıt run into Zhaan on the way to Command.

Entering into Command, Rygel found he was the last to arrive. He was surprised with the presence of Zhaan, who seemed concerned for once about the well being of Moya. John, Aeryn, D'Argo, and Chiana all stood in front of the view screen with Zhaan, waiting for Moya to display the transmission. Rygel joined his shipmates. Through the view screen, the crew could see Antarus edging away from Moya wearily. Moya continued to shift around nervously, requiring the crew to hold onto any nearby stationary object. Pilot appeared on the shell in the wall.

'"Pilot, what's wrong with Moya?" Aeryn asked with an alert tone.

"She's extremely upset." Pilot stated and then paused. "There's an incoming live transmission."

The transmission suddenly appeared onto the view screen. Images of PeaceKeeper ships and Scarren ships battling each other in space flashed across the screen. The battle was raging madly. Ships were exploding under the constant enemy fire. The expressions on the faces of Moya's crew grew grim. The fact that the war was still going on was enough to set everyone off in a bad mood. More forces would be coming meaning Moya would have to delve further into the uncharted territories in search of refuge.

Moya stopped shifting when the surprising image of her son, Talyn appeared on the screen hovering near the heart of the battle. Talyn was firing upon any ship that threatened to end him, whether it was PeaceKeeper or Scarren.

"Talyn! What is he doing? He has to get out of there. Pilot, patch us in to Talyn. Crais has to be out of his mind to lead Talyn into a battle at his young age!" Aeryn charged. She was upset as her stomach churned anxiously.

"Aeryn! If we contact him, we'll be discovered for sure." D'Argo argued sternly, looking to Aeryn before returning his gaze back to the view screen. The ships continued to battle each other. Talyn already had destroyed three Prowlers since he had first appeared on the transmission.

"How are we receiving this transmission, Pilot? Who's recording this and why are they sending it out to space?" John asked in suspicion.

"I don't know. Moya can't trace it back to its origin. She's worried for Talyn and wishes to starburst to him." Pilot said worriedly.

"No! Don't let her do it, Pilot. Remember last time? We nearly were blasted into hezmana!" Chiana shouted, speaking of their time at the beginning of the battle, facing the threat of a control collar.

"She wants to protect him." Pilot relayed to the crew.

As Moya was about to prepare for starburst, a marauder approached Talyn. Five Prowlers began to advance on him, overpowering his position. Talyn struggled as he fired madly upon the Prowlers to no avail. The marauder immediately fired at Talyn with its frag cannons. To everyone's dismay, Talyn exploded into a flaming mass of biomechanoid material, with debris shooting out in every direction. The transmission was suddenly cut and the view screen went blank. Moya immediately started into starburst in reaction and shock. But before she could take off, Antarus darted in front of her path, preventing her from leaving. Pilot listened as Antarus begged Moya not to drive into a suicide situation. Her son was gone, and she had to accept it.

Aeryn screamed at the sight of Talyn's death. Tears sprung to her eyes and she buried her face into John's chest. He wrapped his comforting arms around her, with tears threatening his own eyes as he looked on in disbelief. Chiana began to cry as well, grasping D'Argo for comfort. D'Argo stood in shock, his mouth open. Zhaan stood expressionless, almost numb in response. She broke free of her trance and performed a silent blessing. Rygel bowed his head in sorrow. A single tear traveled down Pilot's face as he listened to Moya and Antarus struggle with each other.

Once the initial shock had settled in, a deafening silence came over the crew. Moya mourned painfully, nudging with Antarus as he comforted her. Pilot mourned with her, feeling her every emotion stronger with each passing monen. Questions began to nag at each witness' minds. Why had Talyn been in the midst of the battle? What had driven Crais to allow Talyn to fight? Why had the transmission been broadcast for anyone to pick up?

"What do we do?" Chiana asked softly, her voice wavering. She released from D'Argo's hold and faced the others.

"What can we do? Talyn's dead." John asked in return. He held his gaze on the view screen and continued to hold Aeryn, who was sobbing silently now. John ran his hand through her hair, comforting her the best he could.

"It's a lie. He's not dead." Chiana stated in disbelief. She backed away from D'Argo. D'Argo looked at her with soft eyes.

"Chiana..." He started to say.

"No, D'Argo. Just leave me alone! I don't need you. Like you were ever there to comfort me in the first place. You were too busy trying to find your son who probably hates you anyway!" Chiana argued, crossing the line. D'Argo began to fill with rage. His face grew dark. He stared at Chiana, nostrils flaring.

"You have no right to talk about my son that way. Our little fling was fine but it's over now!" D'Argo confirmed the end of their relationship. With that, he stormed out of the room and headed for his quarters. Chiana, tears in her eyes and anger on her tongue, spat in D'Argo's wake. She then madly charged out of the room herself. Zhaan, saddened by the entire situation playing before her, looked to the remaining crew.

"He was a good little ship." Was all Zhaan could say. John turned his head to look at her in dismay.

"That's all you can say? That's all you can come up with? He was a good little ship? How about, what the frell happened here? What was he doing there in the first place? He should not have gone into battle but no, his PeaceKeeper half was too stupid to realize what would happen to him!" John stated. Aeryn pulled away from him abruptly at his last comment and stared deep into his eyes with hurt and anger. She pushed him away from her and rushed out of the room. John stumbled back a few steps but did not pursue her. He wasnıt sorry for what he said.

"I'll be in the Apothecary." Zhaan said with distraction, not wanting to get into any more of the madness unfolding that day. She turned and whisked out of the room as fast as possible. John turned to Rygel to say something but discovered he, too, was fast to exit the room. John noticed Pilot had disappeared from the clamshell. Angered, John decided it was time he and Zhaan resolved some issues. He stormed out of Command and headed for the Apocrathy.



*****



Saddened by the recent loss of Talyn, Rygel entered his quarters with his head bowed low. He looked over to his once praised collection of jewels with disgust. He vowed to return them immediately to Antarus...that is after the two ships settled down. He was beginning to gain respect for the large ship. Antarus seemed to care deeply for Moya and was trying to comfort her in any way possible. He had even reverted her from jumping into immediate starburst, which would have indefinitely lead her into a deadly battle confrontation. Rygel drove his throne sled over to the collection of jewels and peered at them with interest.

The holographic image incident crossed his mind. Rygel grew curious once again. These jewels weren't any ordinary find. There was something more to them. Though Rygel could not even begin to figure out why, he was somehow compelled to discover their secret. Jewels didn't hum and they definitely didn't display holographic images. Perhaps they weren't even jewels to begin with.

Rygel turned his throne sled to exit the room. His stomachs had just revealed to him that he was hungry once again. Bleep. Rygel stopped his throne sled. Bleep. Uneasiness began to form deep within him. Bleep. Bleep. Rygel was afraid to turn around. He didn't want to see what the jewels were to surprise him with next. Bleep. Bleep. BLEEP. That was it. Rygel turned his throne sled...his curiosity had overthrown his sense of fear at the moment. He almost fell from his throne sled. The bleeping noise had ceased. One image hovered over the jewels. The image...the truth was right before him.



*****



John charged into the Apothecary, his temper flaring. He locked his glare onto Zhaan as she pretended not to notice him and continued to mix some herbs. John walked right up to her and briskly knocked the vile she was holding out of her hands. The vile splashed to the floor, breaking into tiny pieces. Zhaan looked up into Johnıs eyes with a bewildered stare. John held his glare and breathed deep.

"What the frell is wrong with you?" He asked, trying to keep his voice under control. The anger within him was beginning to spin wildly out of control. He knew not of its origin--only that he couldn't prevent it.

"I...I...John, what's the matter with you?" Zhaan stuttered in shock. She took a step back from him, fearing what he may do next.

"Oh no, don't turn this around on me. We already did that. I want to know why you childishly abandoned us on Antarus and then shoved Rygel off Moya. I want to know why the frell you have been isolating yourself and hurting others in the process. Pilot said you destroyed two of his DRDs. Rygel said you slammed him against the wall...without lifting a finger is even a bit wild for Rygel to come up with but I'm not surprised by anything in this universe anymore. Zhaan, you are really beginning to act like a bitch and I want to know why." John charged, his face growing red.

"John, the Seek is very important to me. Any distractions..." Zhaan started but John interrupted her.

"The Seek? So the safety of your fellow shipmates is of no concern to you? We distract you? Do you want us to leave? Is that it? Oh, here comes another Leviathan. Maybe I should shove the fellow comrades onto the other boat and head off on a course to the Bahamas. Come on, Zhaan!" John stated, throwing his hands in the air.

"I have always put you and the others first. You're a selfish human, Crichton. I would never have thought you would be one to point blame on others so readily. You have changed for the worse. Maybe Scorpius did more damage to you than we thought" Zhaan argued bitterly. She drove into him trying to make him even angrier than he already was. John stared at Zhaan with disbelief at her harsh words. He almost was at a loss for words. But he knew where to strike back.

"Is it Stark? Did you care for him that much? That's frelling insane, Zhaan. The guy's dead, vanished, vaporized. He was a good friend, yeah. But he's gone. You don't have to drag us all down the drain with you and your despair. Get over it." John said. He began to walk around as he spoke. Zhaan glared at John with newfound hate.

By now, Pilot had noticed the argument brewing and had alerted the others, fearing the two would harm each other. To Pilot's surprise, no one else had cared and barely wanted to talk to him, himself. Pilot decided to stop the argument.

"Zhaan, Crichton..." Pilot started to interrupt.

"Save it, Pilot!" John sneered and kept a gaze on Zhaan, waiting for her to respond. Pilot obeyed fearfully and shut off the comms to the room so he could not monitor them any further.

"So have you decided to violate my brain once again? To see what Johnny boy is thinking of this time? What's made him bark up the wrong tree? What's it gonna be Zhaan?" John poked further into Zhaan's increasing anger. Zhaan thrust her hand out at John. An unseen force hit John square in the chest, sending him into a cluster crates. The crates swayed and then toppled into a heap around John. John grunted in pain and grabbed his chest, staring up at Zhaan in disbelief. His rage grew stronger. He stood up immediately but kept a distance from the priestess.

"A savage once more?" John asked, a devilish look prancing in his eyes. Zhaan wore a similar expression. She began to circle John. He counteracted, circling in the opposite fashion. There was no fear left inside of either of the two, only hate and anger. The situation was growing dangerous.

"What's wrong John? I know you must crave the anger as much as I do." Zhaan stated with a smile. She eyed him carefully, trying to anticipate his next move. John did the same.

"I must read like an open book. Hey why not, everyone else is doing it."

"Honestly, by now you should have stopped with your silly little earth sayings. Intelligence isn't an applied trait in humans, I've observed." Zhaan fired back.

"Cheap shots, Zhaan. Can't you do any better? Guess you can't expect much from a plant." John said. Zhaan laughed at his weak statement.

"Humans can be quite foolish." Zhaan replied. John shook his head, as if trying to rid a thought from his mind.

"Zhaan, look at us. We're arguing over nothing. We've got to stop this." John said as he realized finally that the argument was ridiculous. But Zhaan wasn't finished.

"Are you trustworthy? The entire crew questions your every move now. You do realize Pilot has DRDs watching you, observing your every move, making sure you won't try to turn us in once more?" Zhaan said. John's eyes glazed over. Zhaan smiled with satisfaction. She had struck a nerve. John stepped forward to confront her.

"I can assure you we will never share unity ever again. And if you try to invade my mind once more, I will make sure you are off this ship for good." John said, pointing a finger at Zhaan.

"Cut down the plant and she grows back." Zhaan stated playfully, biting at each word as she leaned towards John. John gritted his teeth. She had read his mind. No, invaded his mind once more. That was the last straw. John withdrew his pulse rifle in a flash. But Zhaan was too quick and powerful. She managed to mentally force the gun from Johnıs hand. The gun clunked to the floor and slid away from John's reach. Enraged, John raised his arm, forming his hand into a fist. Zhaan smiled at him, knowing he didn't have the minongs to do what he was thinking.

"No." John strongly barked and shook his head. He dropped his fist and whisked angrily past Zhaan. He kicked a fallen crate out of his way with a strong force. John exited the Apothecary as quickly as the fight had started. Zhaan stood amongst the messed room as the smile on her face slowly melted away. In place, a look of distress appeared on her face.

The atmosphere on Moya was tense. None of the crew was speaking to one another and all were grieving over the loss of Talyn. The only thing that had revealed itself to be true on this day was the fact that the crew no longer held a sense of trust and respect for one another. The war of the Uncharted Territories had spread unto Moya.



THE END



Stay tuned for Story III: Deceptions, of the "I'm Frelling With Your Minds" Series!

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