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Chapter 2 page 2

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Madon was a tech who was assigned to watching the prisoner through

the surveillance camera. He hated this job, but it was his because no one

else wanted to do this, and he was very low in the ranks.


He sighed and looked at the girl, she still hadn't moved in arns.

She was completely comatose, a combination of the sleeper drugs and the Aurora

chair definitely had a tendency to do that. Just the chair alone could

completely incapacitate someone.


That was definitely the main problem with the otherwise perfect

interrogation machine. If a person was strong enough to withstand it, he'd

probably lose his mind. Madon had heard stories about the Banneck,

Stark, who'd spent two years in the chair, and was now thoroughly crazy.


He shifted in his seat, desperately bored and half-hoping she would try to

escape, just to break the monotony. It was then that he saw it, a shadow,

just on the edge of his field of vision. It was there for only a fraction of a

second and then was gone. He thought he'd imagined it, but then it

reappeared again.


Madon sat up and ran a diagnostic, maybe if he was lucky,  it was

someone trying to fool the cameras and break the girl out....



Several arns later, Lt. Braca had just received quite possibly the best news of

his life. The human had given in and was on his way down to the planet with

Stark. After all the times that Crichton had beaten them with wit and

imagination, it was gratifying to know that he had a weakness, emotion. That

had been bred out of the peacekeepers because it was a burden.


He was sent to retrieve the girl, and had been given permission to slap

her around a little. "Nothing permanent," Scorpius had said, "otherwise

Crichton might reconsider and try to kill us." Braca had sneered and said

that the human would probably try anyways.


Inside the cell, the girl was standing, facing the doors , with her hands still

bound behind her. Braca has surprised to see her up, but didn't think

much of it and went over to slap her. She didn't move. He tried again and

still, she made no reaction, she simply stared forward with a blank

expression on her face. When he waved a hand in front of her face, not even her

eyes moved, and he concluded that her mind must be gone.


He grabbed her by the arm and shoved her roughly forward. She stumbled

slightly, and then moved forward steadily where she was led by the other

guards. All the way down to Scorpius she simply stared forward and moved slowly.

Braca had to admit, her behavior gave him what Crichton would call "the creeps".



Tech Madon would have normally given up on the shadow when he got off duty,

especially where he had heard that the girl had been taken to Scorpius for an

exchange. However, his curiosity had been piqued by it, and now, sitting in his

quarters, he was still tinkering with the recording, trying to find what it was

and why it interested him so much.


From what he could tell so far, someone had programmed the recording to loop for

a few hundred microts and then go back to normal. The girl was comatose and

barely moved due to the drugs and so he would not have noticed if it had not

been for the shadow. Whoever did it must have gone in a microt or two early.


Seemed pretty cut and dry, except questions kept nagging him. If it had been

one of her friends, why didn't they free her? Then he thought it must have been

another tech, but why loop it and then do nothing?


After more investigation, he concluded that only an experienced tech could have

done this. But the question remained, why?


He sat back and thought very hard. He was sure another tech did this, but did

that mean they were the one in the cell? An inspiration struck him, what if

someone else wanted that recording looped and got a tech to do it for him?


He had at least narrowed down the candidates from hundreds of techs to a few

superiors. Who would be powerful enough, and inspire enough fear/loyalty to do

that and why?


He was just wondering whether or not he should go deeper into this when his

door opened. He looked up to see who it was and was taken completely by

surprise. Instantly he was on his feet, in attention, for Scorpius' assistant.


She shut the door, came up to him, and looked him up and down before saying in

her low whisper, "What have you been doing, Madon?" She stared at him with her

green eyes boring into him. He shivered under her intense scrutiny.




"What are you doing with this recording?"


"I have reason to believe it was tampered with and I wanted to find if it was

any threat. I've found it, um, isn't."


She stared at him for several microts, then moved closer, and then took hold of

his head. She looked him right in the eye and said, "Very good, Madon." He



Then she tightened her grip on him, "But I don't believe you." Her tone was

harsher, and he was horrified to see her hair become like liquid and her eyes

starting to glow. He tried to break free, but she was far too strong for him.


"I'm afraid," she whispered, moving in closer, "you have left me no choice,"

she stopped mere centimetres from his face and then said, "of course, I am very

hungry, it's been so long since I tasted a Sebacean's soul."


She kissed him, and he instantly felt intense pain racking through him, as if

he was slowly imploding. He tried to scream, but was muffled by her mouth over

his. He caught a brief glimpse of his hand, thrashing about, and was horrified

to see the shin stretching over his bones and veins.


Charon released him, and he fell to the floor, twitching and spluttering as a

darkness descended upon him.....


Acharon stood over the tech until his twitching stopped and he died. She wiped

her mouth with a finger and sneered, remembering just why it had been so long

since she had consumed a Sebacean, particularly a Peacekeeper tech. Their souls

had no flavor, individualism, imagination, free will, all that had been bred



Not like human souls, she thought with a pleasurable grin. They were her

favorite. Delvian souls tasted better, but any one could grab probably wasn't

worth it. Humans were good and were easy to catch. Soon, she thought, licking

her lips, soon she would have all the human souls she'd ever need.


She sighed, took one last look at the shrunken tech, and then departed.

Everything was in place and Scorpius needed his rod changed.....



Scorpius watched on the monitors as Farscape I approached. He didn't see the

transport pod behind it because he wasn't meant to, as its pilot, Aeryn Sun,

had intended. His eyes wavered to the girl, who was uncharacteristically silent

and submissive. He wondered, briefly, if it was the drugs affecting her, but

then told himself it really didn't matter. She would still do as a bargaining



He grinned and turned back to the monitors as the module entered the planets

atmosphere and prepared to land at the agreed spot. He turned to Braca and

Charon, "Come, it's time for our trade.......


The planet on which the base was located was once teeming with life.

Huge forests stretched all over the landscape, separated by stormy oceans.

Thousands of species, including a few intelligent ones, made it their home. It was

beautiful once.


No one really knows what happened. Some say that there was a huge

war between the dominant races. Still others believe it orbited too close to its star or a

comet came too close. Whatever the reason, the planet was now a



Huge deserts lay in place of the oceans, and a huge petrified forest

dominated the landscape surrounding the hidden Gammack base.


John Crichton took it all in as he piloted his module to land. Stark sat

behind him, telling him about this world and how beautiful it once was. He

listened to the former slave go on about forests and huge oceans mainly because it

took his mind off their current situation.


"...of course," Stark was saying, "there's another theory."


"Do tell," John said distractedly. He wondered why Stark wasn't more

nervous. If this got frelled, they would both be in Scorpy's hands again, and Stark

would spend the rest of his life strapped to the chair. At least, when John wasn't

in it. The thought made him shudder.


The plan was simple, they would go down, grab Ellie and then shoot their

way out. They had decided that rather than argue about a plan for arns on end,

and then go and do something completely different, they would just skip to the

part where they had a shoot-out with some peacekeepers. It wasn't much but it

was what they felt comfortable with.


"There are legends," Stark said, "of beings of great age and power-"


"The Ancients," John said with slight distaste. They had started this mess

by giving him the wormhole technology to begin with. He knew that it was

with the best intentions, but the road to hell is lined with good intentions.


"No," Stark answered, "these beings aren't a race as such. They're not

gods either, no one really knows where they came from. But some believe they

came to this world, and loved it so much, that they began to fight over it. In fits of

jealous rage, they destroyed everything, dried up the oceans and turned

the trees to stone."


"Cute.." he said quietly. They were now approaching the rendezvous point.

He lowered his module slightly to cover Aeryn's landing, and then flew the last

few hundred metres to where Scorpius and his entourage were waiting.....



Ellie's eyes snapped open, but everything was black. She was standing

up with her back against hard rock. "John.." she whispered. He was nearby, she

could feel it. Her hands were unbound, and she reached forward into the

darkness, touching what felt like stone.


Fighting panic, she felt all around and realized she was completely

surrounded by some kind of rock. Her breathing became faster as her heart rate

jumped. She tried to remember what had happened.


She remembered jumping off the bridge, Zhaan pulling her spirit along,

the shadow, Stark, Scorpius, the Aurora chair, seeing John on the viewer

thingy, suddenly being aware of Scorpius' plan, being drugged, waking



What had happened then? She couldn't say, it was all blurred. Most

important though, why didn't Acheran kill her?


She picked through her memories of the shadowy woman, and it

suddenly hit her that Acheran never tried to kill her. She would invade

Ellie's dreams, had nearly driven her insane and generally made life a

living hell, but she had only physically hurt Ellie's family.


Realization dawned and her eyes widened. Of course! She wasn't the

target this time, John was. Acheran was going to kill her brother!


She renewed her efforts to break free, but the stone wouldn't budge. She

pounded and screamed, and then broke down into defeated tears. She

had done so much, come so far to be reunited with her brother, and now

she was helpless to save him.


"John.." she sobbed hopelessly. It was then that a blurry light appeared

before her eyes. Jumbled images slowly took shape, and it seemed that

she was standing in a clearing, surrounded by stone trees. She looked

around and saw what she recognized as Farscape I.


She suddenly realized that she was seeing through John's eyes. He

looked around him and they saw two figures moving under cover behind

where he and Stark stood. He swung his gaze towards Scorpius, now

entering the clearing, with his assistant, Braca and, to her absolute horror,



Scorpius stood facing Crichton in the agreed meeting place for the

exchange. Several commandos moved around under cover. They eyed

each other for what seemed an eternity before John said to his sister, "you

ok, Bright eyes?"


She didn't answer but simply stared forward. John looked back at

Scorpius, his voice full of anger, "What did you do to her you son of a



Scorpius opened his mouth to answer, but before he could, she spoke.

"No John I'm fine, really." Her expression changed just so slightly, as if to

indicate that she was really ok. John gazed at her with narrowed eyes for

several microts before looking again at Scorpius.


"Ok, Leatherface, let her come over and take off, then you can have us."


Scorpius grinned, "Of course.."


He signaled to Braca, who gave her a shove forward. She walked slowly

towards John and Stark. Aeryn and D'argo, crouched behind the trees,

both took aim and were ready to fire. John braced himself to grab her and



Then, one of the commandos caught sight of D'argo, and yelled a warning

to his comrades, before opening fire.....



As soon as the firing started the vision ended, and Ellie was once again in

complete darkness. For a moment, she feared that he had been killed,

but told herself that she'd have felt it. She also knew that whatever that

was in the clearing it wasn't her. Perhaps Acheran had made a copy to

fool John. Why she didn't know.


She had to get the hell out of here, now! She pounded against the walls

again, but they still wouldnąt move. Her anger and frustration grew and

grew until finally she gave the walls a huge pound with both fists and

yelled, "BRAKE DAMMIT!"


There was a tremendous *CRACK*, and then the whole wall exploded

outward. She was thrown a few feet forward and landed on her hands and



Ellie coughed the dust and bits of debris from her lungs. She stood up,

turned around, and stood there gaping at what she had just done.


The front part of the stone tree where she had been placed was

completely blown away. Large chunks of stone lay all around her. She

stood there breathless, wondering how she had done that.


She was quickly snapped out of her musings by the sound of gun fire, and

she remembered. John's out there. She turned and dashed towards the

fight, hoping she wasn't to late....


John ducked behind a tree and returned fire at the half a dozen commandos that

came out of nowhere. He cursed himself for not noticing them and then losing

Ellie. Aeryn ran to the tree next to him and crouched down to get a clear shot

at the commandos.


She shouted over to him, "Where's Eleanor?!"


"Peacekeeper Barbie grabbed her before I could!" He shot again, hitting one of

them squarely in the chest. He looked at his surroundings, he was glad to see

Stark covered behind him, beyond Aeryn he could see D'argo. Then he peered out

from behind his cover. He could see Scorpy and Braca moving away on one side of

the clearing, but he couldn't see Ellie or Barbie with him. He turned his head

and saw them under cover at the other end of the clearing.


He was surprised to see that, despite not being restrained in any way, she

wasn't trying to get away. She was just standing there, watching the fight with

detached interest. He was deeply disturbed and was afraid that they had done

something to her. He shook his head telling himself not to think anymore of it.


He then signaled to Aeryn and D'argo and shouted, "I'm going to get Ellie!"

They both nodded and he began to edge his way towards Ellie and Peacekeeper




Acheran was furious as she watched the battle. She had been so close to getting

his soul, a rich one too, and of all the stupid things, one of those commandos

had to open fire. She was also too weak to take him herself, and she wished

she'd consumed more techs before leaving the base. After all the planning she

had done, to be thwarted like this, how embarrassing.


She looked over to the clone she'd made. It had been easy, just a matter of

pricking the girląs finger and growing a clone, no problem for her. Certainly,

there was a lack of personality, and she had to make it speak, but it was

sufficient to fool Crichton.


Scowling, she turned and instantly brightened, for she saw Crichton sneaking

towards them now. Excellent, she grabbed the clone's arm and waited for him to




Eleanor crashed through the trees, towards where the fight was just dying down.

She couldn't see it yet, but could hear the last few shots being fired. Jumping

over fragments of stone, she topped a rise and saw down into the clearing where

the fight was.


The peacekeepers were retreating, she could see Stark with a dark-haired woman

and a huge bestial guy. They were running, not after the peacekeepers but

around the clearing. She looked to see where they we're going, and her mouth

dropped open. John was there, talking to Acheran who was holding her clone.

She plunged down the slope toward them.....



"Let her go you bitch!" John had his pistol pointed at her head. Barbie was

holding his little sister, who still made no struggle. He heard Aeryn and the

others come behind him, their weapons poised.


Acheran eyed them all carefully, especially the Banneck, he would certainly be

a problem. She did her best to look frightened and said, "I want to get out of

here, take me with you and you can have the girl."


The Luxan growled, "Or we could blow your head off and take her!"


She grinned viscously, "Luxan brute! Can't you see the girl is ill?" She made

the clone wobble as if ill, "I can help her, I know how to treat her."


She caused the clone to moan and shake, "John? I feel awful," it sank to the

ground, while Acheran kept a firm grip on it's hair.


"Take me with you, and I will tell you how to treat her, shoot me now and watch

her die slowly."


Crichton was torn, and Acheran was delighted to see it in his face. He looked

briefly at Aeryn, as if asking for help. Then he turned back towards Acheran

and said quietly, "ok, come on, but," he said with force, "if you try anything,

you'll be dead before you hit the ground."


She nodded in mock submission and moved towards them, the clone in front of

her. He continued to hold the gun pointed at her, as did the others. They moved

aside, covering her. The Luxon and the Sebacceon moved to one side, Crichton to

the other.


Perfect. Without another second's delay, she shoved the clone at D'argo and

Aeryn. They both fell back and she jumped at Crichton, who was taken by



He tried to fire, but she knocked from his hand before he could. With speed

that defied his imagination, she swept his feet out from under him. He fell

back against a stone tree and hit his head. While he was stunned she grabbed

the front of his shirt, hoisted him to his feet, and pushed him against the



Behind her, Aeryn and D'argo had gotten up and poised there weapons. She turned

her now glowing green eyes at them, and they stood there in momentary surprise.

She took full advantage of their delay and focused her will on the clone.


"Change!" She commanded, "Change and Attack!


Aeryn looked and saw the what was once John's sister, and was horrified to see

her changing before them. The skin dropped off, in its back wings and a tail

sprouted, and its eyes started glowing a sick shade of green. When the

metamorphosis was complete, it let out a hideous scream and then shot up into

the air. It flew up twenty metres and then, with another scream, came crashing

down onto Aeryn and D'argo.


The pair opened fire, but it did little or no damage against the creature. It

swooped down and knocked Aeryn down. She felt a sharp pain in her shoulder and

looked down to see it bleeding heavily. Another shriek and she glanced up to

see D'argo fending the creature off with his Qualta blade. She started



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