Continued from part 1
* * * * *
had fallen asleep waiting for his son to regain consciousness. He
sat in a chair next to the bed in the base hospital room. A groan
and the sound of rustling sheets woke him with a start. He shook
himself alert and looked over at the bed. John had begun tossing
and turning. A look of pain and fear crossed his face and he cried
Jack jumped up and touched his son's arm. "John?"
John cried out again and wrenched his arm from his
father's grip, ripping the IV out and leaving the fluid dripping
onto the floor. He rolled away and tucked himself into a fetal position,
his hands covering his face and head. His body shook with fear and
he whimpered softly, "No. Please. No more. No more" He
didn't wake up.
Jack walked around
the bed and sat down near John's head. He gently laid his hand on
the back of his son's head, caressing it tenderly. He spoke softly,
"It's going to be alright, son. Everything's going to be all
right. You're safe now."
stopped whimpering and rolled onto his back again. Jack stood up
and went to get a nurse to hook the IV back up. He thanked her as
she left the room and he walked slowly back toward the chair, watching
his son sleep.
He was still shocked by how
much John had changed. The years in space had not been kind. His
eyes were bloodshot and puffy; the dark circles under them appeared
permanently etched. His cheeks were drawn and had lost their fullness,
making his face look a little more angular and his mouth formed
a seemingly perpetual frown. A few solitary strands of gray hair
had started to appear. He looked much older than the five years
he'd been missing would have implied.
He stopped as he passed the
small bureau against the wall and stared into the mirror above it.
For the first time in a long time he noticed the lines that had
been etched into his own face in the intervening years.
He sank heavily into the chair,
propped his head on his arm and continued watching his son.
Sometime later, John groaned
slightly as he slowly opened his eyes. His head still hurt, only
worse now. And for some reason, his arm and left leg hurt, too.
He brought his right arm up to check his head and saw the cast on
the wrist. Then he remembered his less than graceful dive over the
security fence. He looked to his left and saw the IV connected to
his arm and his father in the chair next to the bed. No, he
corrected himself. That's an alien posing as my dad.
He turned toward the door as
he heard it open. DK took a step inside and stood there holding
the door open. Behind him was a woman; John couldn't make out who
it was until she stepped slightly to her left.
"Jen?" he said softly.
His little sister looked the same as he remembered, yet somehow
different. Her face looked a bit fuller than he recalled. As she
stepped around DK and walked to the side of the bed, he saw why.
"You're pregnant," he said, surprised.
Jenna laughed. "That's
what I love about you, John," she smiled at him. "You're
sharp!" She reached out and took his left hand in hers. His
gaze fell on the ring on her finger.
he asked. Okay, he thought, what the hell is going on?
She was not married when I left Earth. But, then, she
wasn't pregnant, either.
DK stepped beside Jenna and put his arm around her.
"Wait a minute!"
John said. "You married him?! DK?!" He looked at
his sister, then at his friend and shook his head. He vaguely recalled
Jen having a crush on DK when she was a teenager, but he thought
that was so over years ago.
Before he had a chance to question
them further, two men strode into the room. The first was in uniform
and John recognized him as the NORAD commander. The second man,
whom he didn't recognize, wore a suit and carried a briefcase.
"Colonel Crichton, Dr.
Kroger, Mrs. Kroger, if you'll excuse us, we have urgent business
to discuss with the commander." The suit started to usher DK
and Jen out of the room and gestured for Jack to follow them.
"Hold on," John said,
raising the bed so he could sit up and looking at the man. "Just
who the hell are you? And what makes you think I'm going to discuss
anything with you or anybody else?"
The suit returned his glare
indignantly. "Commander Crichton, I am Dr. James Adamson, Executive
Director of the International Aero Space Administration. And you
will tell us what we want to know. Now, Dr. Kroger, ma'am, if you'll
just step outside. Colonel..."
shook his head, never taking his eyes off Adamson. "I don't
think so," he said. "You want to ask me something, go
ahead. Doesn't mean I'm gonna answer." He paused, "But
the NORAD officer, Colonel Nedved, stepped forward. "What we
need to discuss is classified as a matter of national security.
I'm afraid we need to clear the room."
"Fine," John replied,
staring him down. "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on
the way out."
Adamson looked at the officer.
"We don't have time for this." He balanced his briefcase
on the end of the bed and opened it, taking out two file folders.
Handing the folders to Colonel Nedved, he then closed the briefcase
and set it on the floor.
Nedved stepped over next to Jack Crichton. Addressing John, he said, "Approximately
20 hours after you arrived here, another ship was detected exiting
the 'wormhole', for lack of a better word. A third ship was detected
approximately 15 hours after that. The International Space Station
as well as several military and government satellites captured images
of both those ships." He handed the folders to John. "Do
you recognize either of them?"
opened the top folder. The first image was taken from a distance
and he couldn't make out the ship. He flipped to the next one and
his heart skipped. He closed his eyes and shuddered almost imperceptibly.
His reaction wasn't lost on his father, however.
you recognize it?" Nedved asked.
Crichton looked through the rest of the photos without answering. Whoever's pulling the strings here either already
knows the answer and is looking for a reaction, or they don't have
a clue, he thought.
"Friends of yours?" Nedved again.
John chuckled mirthlessly, but said nothing.
Well, he thought to himself, if they're really here, and they're not just
part of the game, they're looking for me. He looked around the
room. If this is some kind of game, they're
playing it well, he thought. It still didn't feel right to him,
but there was enough to keep him guessing. All the changes he'd
noticed in his family and DK were plausible enough. Jen and DK being
married. Okay, I'm not too sure about that one, but I guess it's possible, he
thought. Everyone looked a little older. Except
dad, he thought. He looked at his father. He looks more than a little older, he thought. All the changes were
perfectly believable. Of course, they could easily be extrapolated
from his memories, too.
a newspaper on the bureau. "Hand me that paper, will you,"
him the paper and he looked it over. It was the sports section of
the Miami Herald. He read the headline; Panthers clip Wings 3-2
in overtime, force game 7. Stanley Cup hockey. He'd never
really been a hockey fan. He tried to think of a time when he would
have paid any attention to it. It wasn't something he was consciously
aware of. This could be real,
John thought. But then, he hadn't known the wormhole equations
were there, either. He looked at the date on the paper. June 15,
2004. Five years. He thought
about it for a moment. It was conceivable. The wormhole was, after
all, a distortion of space-time. Three years in the UT could translate
to five years on Earth. At least, he thought it could. His head
began to throb again. Ah Hell, he thought despairingly, I don't know. I just don't know.
* * * *
DK had stepped outside. Jen maneuvered herself into the chair next
to the bed. Her brow wrinkled as she considered her older brother.
She had caught Jack's look of concern when John had first saw the
photos of the ships. She knew he suspected John was lying.
John," she said, "who are these aliens, anyway? Are they
your friends? Or are they the first wave of the apocalypse?"
at her, feigning ignorance. "What do you mean?" he asked,
though he was pretty sure he knew.
at him. "Come on, John. You know you never could lie to dad."
She shifted uncomfortably in the chair. "He knows it, too.
He's going to come back in here and demand that you start talking."
She frowned. "He'll badger you until the two of you end up
shouting at each other and one or both of you will say something
you'll regret." She paused.
know I'm right," she said after a moment.
at her for a moment, then down at the bed. He struggled with his
feelings of confusion and depression. He really needed to talk;
he knew that. He didn't know what to do, what to believe. Didn't
know who, if anyone, he could trust. Back on Moya, he'd at least
had D'Argo or Chiana or even Pilot to talk to. He missed his friends
and briefly wondered how they were faring. They hadn't approved
of the plan to go after Scorpius, but they'd stood by him. He knew
he could count on them. But they were on the other side of the universe.
turned to Aeryn. God, I wish you were here, baby, he thought,
as if she could hear it. Even when they weren't getting along, they
could always talk. He trusted her to give him the straight deal,
no dren. No matter what. Thinking of her brought yet another wave
of despair. He didn't know if she was alive or dead. He
might never know.
back into the room shaking his head. DK followed him in. "Jack,
you haven't eaten or slept in two days. You need to rest, too, you
know. Why don't you and Jen go get something to eat? I can stay
with John," he said.
Jack replied. "I'm fine. I'm just going to stay here for a
It was DK's
turn to shake his head. "You're as bad as he is," he said,
gesturing toward John. "Both of you are stubborn as mules."
"Well, what did you expect? Where did you think John got it
place you did, I guess" DK said. "Speaking of which, how're
you doing? When's the last time you had something to eat?"
been a while, but I'm okay," she told him.
he replied. He walked over to where she was sitting. "Come
on, you've got a baby to feed," he said, leaning down to help
her out of the chair. He looked over at John who was still staring
down at the bed. "We'll be back, bro." John didn't answer.
I'm fine, DK. I'm not hungry," Jen lied. She was hungry, but
she was more worried about leaving John alone with their dad. Looking
over at him, her concern grew. He hadn't moved since Jack and DK
had come back into the room. Something was obviously wrong; he looked
so lost and alone. Jack had noticed, too.
not taking no for an answer, honey," DK said firmly. "You
may not be hungry, but I'll bet our baby is. If your dad's not going
to take you to get something to eat, then I will. Come on. Let's
"Oh, all right," she said. She didn't want to fight about
it. DK helped her out of the chair and she leaned over to give her
brother a hug. "Do me a favor, John; talk to dad," she
whispered to him, then kissed him on the cheek.
want us to bring something back for you?" DK asked.
answer, just continued staring down at the bed.
DK shot Jack
a worried glance. "How about you, Jack?" he asked.
Oh, no that's all right. I'm fine," he answered. He was concerned
about John as well.
Jen and DK
walked out of the room, leaving father and son alone in their respective
After a moment,
Jack sat down next to the bed. "So," he said quietly.
"Who are these aliens?" He watched John, trying to read
his reaction to the question. John just tilted his head to one side.
He didn't answer.
you recognized those ships," Jack continued. "And I got
the feeling you've had a run in with at least the first one. What's
going on, son?" He spoke quietly and carefully, trying to gauge
his son's mood.
know," John said softly. "I wish I did." He didn't
look at his father, just stared straight ahead. He was tired of
playing games, tired of trying to figure out what was real and what
wasn't. Truth be told, he had no idea. He just wanted it to be over.
relieved that John was talking at last. "When I first came
to see you," he said slowly, "you said I wasn't 'real'.
What makes you think that?" he asked carefully.
his head sadly. "That is a very long story," he said.
"One I really don't want to go into. Let's just say if there's
one thing I've learned in three cycles in the Uncharted Territories,"
he paused, drawing a shaky breath. "It's that I can't trust
my own mind. At least," he continued sadly, "not where
Earth is concerned."
slightly toward his dad, though still not looking at him. "I
don't know what's real anymore," he despaired. He laughed dejectedly,
"For all I know, I could be in some alien laboratory getting
my brain sucked out.
around the room. "Maybe all of this is real," he said.
"Then again, maybe none of it is." He turned to look at
his father, tears forming in his eyes. "I just don't know anymore,"
know how to respond; didn't know what to say. He thought for a moment,
trying to imagine what his son was going through, trying to think
of something he could say or do that would convince John that all
of this was real. His son was finally home, but how could he convince
him of that?
* * * *
He sat on
the beach listening to the sound of the surf, watching the waves
rolling in. He'd always loved the ocean, the sound of waves pounding
the shore, of gulls screeching and squawking, searching for morsels
of food. It had always had a calming effect on him. Even now, he
could feel some of the tension start to melt away.
footsteps in the sand behind him. Looking around, he tried to guess
which of the people he saw were agents keeping an eye on him. There
were certainly enough people around; any number of them could be
watching his every move. Just like with the Ancients. The only difference
this time was that no one else had been captured coming through
the wormhole. He thought about the ships Colonel Nedved had shown
him. He knew it was only a matter of time before the Peacekeepers
think all this is an illusion?" Jack was standing behind him.
He stepped around and sat down next to John, gazing out at the ocean,
but keeping his son in the corner of his eye.
"It doesn't really matter now, does it?" he asked. "If
it is, I'm going to have to figure a way out of it. If not, if this
really is Earth and I really am home," he paused, "well,
then I can't stay anyway."
to look at him. "Why not?"
back at his father, trying to determine whether or not he should
tell him. He was pretty sure the Scarrens weren't behind all this.
It didn't seem weird enough. After a moment he decided it couldn't
hurt. He explained about the Ancients and how they'd placed the
wormhole equations deep inside his brain. He considered telling
him about Scorpius, too, but thought better of it. If this man really
was his father, he might sleep a little better if he didn't know.
elements in the universe would stop at nothing to get at what's
in here," he said, tapping his head. "If I stayed, I'd
just be putting the entire planet in jeopardy."
quiet for a moment. "Can these aliens really destroy a planet?"
smiled humorlessly. "Some have turned it into an art form."
ships that came through the wormhole after you," Jack said,
"they could destroy the Earth?"
up. "Then Colonel Nedved was right," he said. "NORAD
needs to know."
up at him. "Why?" he asked. "It's not like Earth
has any kind of defenses. If a command carrier comes through, it's
basically over. Besides," he continued, "this could all
be a figment of my imagination."
need to tell them everything you know about those ships," Jack
was insistent. "Come on. I'll take you back." He held
out a hand to help John up.
back at the water. So much for rest and relaxation, he thought,
taking his father's hand and standing up stiffly. He winced slightly
as the bandages on his knee lightly rubbed the wounds and limped
back to the truck.
during the ride to the base. The sentry at the gate informed them
that Colonel Nedved was looking for them and that they were to go
to the brig. They followed a couple of MPs to the base jail and
were escorted inside.
of activity met them in the main area. Behind a counter, officers
barked orders to soldiers who were running in all directions. Others
sat at desks and fielded the many phone calls that were coming in.
A sergeant saw them and motioned them around the counter. As the
two men walked around, a squad of MPs entered from a side hallway;
they were escorting two prisoners. The shorter prisoner appeared
human and wore what looked like a military uniform. The taller one
was clad entirely in skin-tight black leather. Large shoulder shields
resembled an insect's carapace. The figure wore a black skullcap
over the head with leather straps that crisscrossed the face, a
face that resembled a corpse. The skin was blanched and pulled tightly
over the cheeks, eyes sunken and dark. Thin black lips stretched
over razor sharp teeth. The prisoners entered the large room and
all activity slowly ceased as the soldiers got a good look at the
his son stiffen and turned to look at him. The color had drained
from John's face and he stared at the prisoners as though he'd seen
a ghost. He swallowed hard and took a step toward the prisoners,
who were now standing against the far wall flanked by MPs.
his father asked, wondering what he was up to.
ignored him and continued toward the two prisoners. They still hadn't
noticed him. Passing an MP, Crichton reached down and, never taking
his eyes off the corpse-like alien, deftly removed the MP's weapon
from its holster. In seconds, he'd stepped past the soldiers guarding
the prisoners. He shoved the alien back with one arm and held the
gun under the alien's chin with the other.
smiled coldly at him. "John! So good to see you again."
He took a sharp breath. "I was hoping we'd run into you here."
did not return the greeting. "Where's Aeryn?" he asked
pointedly. Behind him the MPs had drawn their weapons and leveled
them at him.
lower the weapon and step back slowly," one of them ordered.
never took his eyes off the alien. He released the safety, then
reached up with his thumb and cocked the gun. "I'm only gonna
ask once more, Scorpy," he said angrily. "Where's Aeryn?"
he asked again, louder this time.
The MP tried
again. "Sir! Lower the weapon and step back!"
smiled again and laughed. "John, you've already tried to kill
me and failed. Twice. Even if you succeed this time," his voice
turned cold, "you will never see Officer Sun again."
he heard Scorpius' voice behind him, "are you sure you want
to take this course of action?"
glanced over his shoulder. "Not now, Harvey!" he spoke
sharply to the Scorpius clone that only he could see. The humans
watching this tableau looked around at each other, puzzled.
John," the clone continued, "while my survival is no longer
linked in any way to Scorpius', I must point out the futility of
this endeavor. If you kill Scorpius, you likely will never see Aeryn
again. The Peacekeepers will kill her in retaliation," he said.
rising, Crichton again addressed the clone, "Harvey! Shut up!"
what we have is a stalemate, John," Scorpius said arrogantly
and tried to step around Crichton, who shoved him back against the
think so, you cadaverous son of a bitch!" he said. "Now,
where is she?!" he shouted.
Jack Crichton stepped forward. "Don't do this!"
seethed. "Back off, 'dad'!" he warned, pure hatred in
The MP took
another step toward him. "Sir!" he said. "Put the
weapon down, now!"
By now, Crichton
was breathing heavily, his face twisted with rage. Without warning,
he squeezed the trigger. Scorpius' head snapped back and his body
sank to the floor leaving a trail of blood and brain matter on the
wall. "So much for your stalemate, Scorpy," he said, looking
down at what was left of his nemesis.
along with everyone else, stood in stunned silence.
to face the other prisoner. "So, Braca," he said softly,
raising the gun, "you wanna tell me where Aeryn is, or do I
have to blow your head off, too?"
The voice came from behind and stopped him in his tracks. He slowly
turned around to face its owner. Without a word, he lowered the
gun in his hand and walked past the MPs who still had their weapons
trained on him. He stopped in front of the woman who was flanked
by MPs herself.
he said softly. He took her face in one hand and held out the gun
in front of one of the MPs. As soon as the soldier took it from
him, he put his arms around her and held her tight. "I wasn't
sure I'd ever see you again," he told her. But, he thought,
is it live or is it Memorex? At the moment, he didn't care.
she said. "You killed Scorpius?"
back at the wall. "Looks like it," he said.
* * * *
It was Jack
Crichton's turn to pace. He'd been in Colonel Nedved's office for
more than an hour bargaining for his son's release. He'd called
in just about every marker he had and no one was willing to help.
With the heightened state of alert, no one wanted to take the chance.
Nedved began, "understand, your son murdered someone. He shot
a ma... an alien... in cold blood! On a federal installation. We can't
just cut him loose."
that, Colonel," Jack said. "All I'm asking is that he
get some help. He's obviously unstable. If you could transfer him
to a hospital where he can get the help he needs, that's all I'm
who had been sitting across the desk from Nedved, leaned forward,
"Colonel Nedved, there have been several documented cases of
what has been termed 'space dementia' in astronauts who have experienced
extended time in orbit. All such cases exhibited extreme violence
and paranoia, just as Commander Crichton has exhibited. And those
astronauts were not in space anywhere near as long as Commander
Crichton. His behavior would seem to indicate that he is suffering
from this type of dementia. I would suggest a full psychological
and neurological workup is in order here."
He felt for Crichton. He really did. He looked at Adamson, then
Crichton. "Look, I'm not guaranteeing anything, but I'll see
what I can do," he said.
in front of the desk. "Thank you, Colonel," he said.
* * * *
sat in a cell trying to come up with a plan. Aeryn was in the cell
next to his. Braca, in the cell across from John, stood staring
at the human. He still couldn't believe Scorpius was dead.
and walked over to the bars separating her from John. "Well,"
she said, "how do you propose we get out of this?"
working on it," he replied.
to the main building opened and DK stepped through. An MP escorted
him to John's cell, opened the cell door, then closed it after DK
stepped inside. The soldier walked back to the outer door, turned
around and stood at attention.
over at Aeryn. After he'd been taken into custody John had explained
to his dad and sister who she was and how the Peacekeepers had captured
her on the other side of the wormhole. DK nodded to her and said,
John," DK stared down at his friend. "Your dad told me
what happened." He paused for a moment. "He also told
me that you're still planning on leaving... Earth. You're going back
into space?" he asked.
John replied. "That's the general plan, although I'm not sure
how I'm gonna pull it off at this point."
well," DK stepped over to the cot and sat down. He lowered
his voice; "Your dad's working on getting you out of here.
He said he got Nedved to consider moving you to a hospital. I don't
know if it's gonna happen or not, but if it does, maybe you can
figure out a way to get out of it." He looked over at Braca,
then at Aeryn before turning back to John. "A few of us have
managed to stall the work on Farscape 1. We told the Air Force we
can't do any more without you. We're working on re-installing the
modifications we took apart." He paused again to make sure
the MP wasn't listening. "If you do manage to escape, Farscape
1 will be ready for you, bro"
at his buddy. "I thought you were pissed that I was leaving
again," he said.
well, I am," DK told him. "But your dad told me why."
He looked around the cell. "Jen's pretty upset about it, too.
Oh yeah, Kathy finally made it, but they're giving her a hard time
about visiting you in here. She's about to go postal on someone."
He paused. "I don't think anyone's told her you're planning
on taking off again." He looked back at John. "Your dad
said you know how to make wormholes?" he asked incredulously.
"I've made a couple, but I don't have it down yet."
his head in amazement. "Damn!"
for a while longer; DK detailed all the big events in the Crichton
and Kroger families from the previous five years. John told him
a little about the Uncharted Territories and what it was like out
there. For a few brief moments, John felt almost at ease, like old
times. After they'd exhausted all the big news, they sat silently
for a few more moments.
two men stood up and the MP walked back to the cell.
luck, man," DK slapped John on the shoulder.
John replied. "For everything."
left, John and Aeryn started planning their escape. Crichton figured
their best bet would be for him to jump the MP who came to get him.
He could then let Aeryn out and they'd try to make their way back
to the hangars. That is, if only one came to get him. He was pretty
sure they were screwed if more than one came for him.
your plan?" Aeryn asked dubiously.
admitted it wasn't much of a plan, but then, a lot of his plans
were similarly anemic. "We'll just have to play it by ear,
I guess," he said.
confused. "Why would we play with our ears?" she asked.
John asked. "No," he said, shaking his head. "It's
just an expression. It means 'take it as it comes', improvise."
not just say that, then?"
can we not do this right now?" he asked.
she answered. "We'll 'play with our ears' then."
it by ear," John corrected.
* * * * *
As bad as
the escape plan was, somehow it worked. Crichton was able to overpower
the guard when he came for him several hours later by hitting him
in the head with the cast on his arm. After that, it was a simple
matter of removing the keys and his weapon, then releasing Aeryn.
They locked the guard in John's cell and started toward the door
to the rest of the building.
You're not just going leave me here?" Braca called after them.
Aeryn looked at each other. Sighing and shaking his head, Crichton
turned around and opened the cell door. Brandishing the guard's
pistol, he warned, "You better keep your trap shut 'til we're
nodded and the three fugitives carefully made their way out the
back of the building. They met only one other MP on their way out
and Aeryn quickly dispatched him with a pantak jab. Night had already
fallen as they stepped outside. Crichton looked around to get his
bearings and quickly figured out where they were in relation to
the hangars. The three figures moved stealthily through the shadows
toward the flight line. When they made it to the hangar where Crichton
had found the Farscape module, he turned to Braca.
Braca," Crichton said, "my module only seats two. You're
on your own. Good luck getting outta here." He and Aeryn parted
company with the Peacekeeper.
the hangar through the side door and walked down the now darkened
hallway, then went through the door to the maintenance area. Crichton
was surprised to see the area empty and the Farscape 1 module back
in one piece. He noticed someone leaning into the cockpit from the
other side. It was DK.
walked out toward the module. "Hey," he said.
DK replied. "She's almost ready for you," he said. "Just
a minor adjustment here." he turned the wrench in his hand
a couple of times, then stood up, jumped down off the ladder he'd
been standing on and walked around the module. "She's all gassed
up and ready to go," he said.
to Aeryn who had started toward the module. "Hey."
around. The hangar was empty except for the three of them. He started
as he heard a door open at the front of the building, but relaxed
when he recognized his father and sisters walking toward him. He
took a few steps in that direction. Kathy had tears in her eyes.
believe it," she cried. "We thought you were dead."
forward and gave her brother a big hug. She sobbed faintly as they
held each other close for a few moments, then John stepped back
and gave Jenna a hug as well.
this crap about you not sticking around?" Kathy asked, wiping
at her for a long moment, tears welling up in his eyes as he was
struck by another wave of homesickness. "I can't stay,"
he said sadly. "I wish I could." Damn, he thought,
how many times am I going to have to do this?
fought to keep his emotions in check as he faced his son. "I
can't even begin to understand all of this," he said. "I
sure wish you'd stay, but if what you told me is true," his
voice trailed off. He stepped forward and embraced his son tightly.
"You take care of yourself out there," he said, his voice
cracking a little.
the embrace. "I will," he promised. After a moment they
up. "Take care of yourself, bro," he held out his hand.
John took it and drew his friend into a hug.
take care of my little sister, DK," he said softly, "and
take care of that baby or I'm gonna have to come back kick your
ass!" The two men laughed awkwardly.
better get going before the MPs start swarming this place,"
Jack told him.
Aeryn started prepping the module for flight and climbed into the
cockpit as Jack and DK opened the hangar doors. Jen and Kathy walked
to the front of the hangar and the four of them watched as John
taxied the module out toward the tarmac.
A few moments
later a number of jeeps sped past the hangars as they watched the
lights of the Farscape 1 module start down the runway. They saw
the boosters fire and an earsplitting boom shook the hangar around
them a few seconds later.
must be the hetch drive," DK mused.
and his daughters just stood silently as the lights of the module
disappeared into the darkness.
* * * *
on the floor of Talyn's small terrace, his back against the bulkhead,
staring out at the stars. They'd met up with Talyn and slipped through
the wormhole shortly after leaving the planet. He scratched his
arm absentmindedly. Talyn's surgical DRDs had made short work of
repairing his broken arm and the lacerations on his knee, but his
arm still itched where the cast had been.
in slowly. She stood a few paces in front of him. "Hey,"
she said softly, gazing out at the same stars.
After a moment
of silence she said, "Hey," again.
When he still
didn't say anything more, she glanced over her shoulder at him.
"So, was that your home?" she asked.
shrugged, "I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not." He went silent
you want it to be?" Aeryn asked, turning back to the stars.
again. "I don't know. Part of me hopes it was," he said.
he said, "if it was, at least this time I got to say goodbye."
"But," she said, "part of you hopes it wasn't?"
He paused, then continued, "If it wasn't, well then maybe there's
still a chance the Peacekeepers won't ever go there."
The two of
them remained on the terrace for several hundred microts, each lost
in their own thoughts.