1 - Abandoned
am going to die," John said, muttering to himself. Commander
John Crichton, IASA astronaut with a PhD in theoretical science,
sat in his familiar position, squeezed in a small space--all
the room his module allotted for--seats for two by a view
lit with stars for candlelight and blackness for backdrop.
one thing, his pod hung in space by a spindle of oxygen and
fuel. He leaned forward to check his oxygen and fuel gauge,
hoping for more time. He had only about a half an arn, no...twenty-five
minutes, left of oxygen--the fuel, two solar days worth only
if his craft floated, any propulsion‹zip, all gone in microts
(seconds, earth time).
it's zero hour...doomsday for your friendly commander on hiatus,"
he said, voice deepened with a southern slur. Moya,
a biomechanoid, a living ship, him and his friends had occupied
was sucked through a wormhole just arns (hours) ago, leaving
John slammed his hand against the console. Proactive measures...should've
taken proactive measures. Of all the times he ensured
his module was fueled with cesium and equipped with extra
oxygen tanks, he had to run out. He remembered what caused
this breach of carelessness. Just hours ago the only one he
loved beyond hope, Aeryn, had said before he flipped that
stupid coin, flashing it before her, "What? Like that
side up, you stay?"
had confronted her that he was either going with her, or she
stay with him. She pushed him away. He flipped that coin because
one time she had told him that they were in the hands of fate,
they had to trust in that. "If it's fate for us to be
together," she had told him, "then we'll be together."
Yeah, it wasn't fate...she was running away.
safe," Aeryn told him on her departure with tears. "Goodbye,
many menons (moments) had passed when he rehearsed the thought
of her leaving without trusting him? John felt a grip squeeze
his heart. He rubbed his hands over his face. It felt hot,
no...cold. It was stale inside and his mouth was parched like
sandpaper. He slammed his hand against the console again and
cursed, ignoring the pain. She left without telling him her
wouldn't have known Aeryn's situation without Harvey, the
neural clone stuck in his subconscious, always emerging with
tell-tale bits of news for "inquiring minds." As
if he wanted to know about tampered secrets. He had visions
of marrying Aeryn on Earth with all his friends and found
them incompatible. The old woman board Moya helped
him to see the truth: That he couldn't return to Earth without
destructive harm coming to all whom he loved; that it wasn't
too late for him to have the only one thing he desired and
And Harvey helped
unlock what the old woman had said and whispered in John's
subconscious. Like a knife the words lanced his heart:
forgiving, be kind.
life, her world, on her time,
is with child.
wrestled in his position, "I was coming for you, baby.
I was going to get you back. But everything's changed."
Why didn't he stay on Moya and bring his emotions under
control? He missed that dance to be with her.
smashed his fist on the console again, seeing small yellow
and red indicator lights blink in protest. He frelled up one
last time. John relaxed in the seat. His breathing labored.
He laughed, with lungs burning, tears mingling with sweat.
were right, Aeryn," John said to himself. "I'm an
idiot, a test monkey that screwed up his own experiment."
He hated to say that, but Aeryn scored one more point. "My
dad was the hero."
Dear Zhaan." John thought of his beloved blue Delvian
friend that had sacrificed her life for her friends. She was
the only one that a befriended him with patience and tolerance
after that fateful day, three cycles ago, when he was sucked
through a wormhole to end up on Moya. He wondered where
her soul went and where his would go once it left his body.
Well, since Zhaan prayed to her goddess, he would try the
same with his--at least, the one he learned about on Earth.
closed his eyes. Despite the agony of his labored breathing,
he called on that long-ago feeling, somewhere tucked deep
inside, that wonderous feeling of being on Earth. "God!
Jesus! God?" He didn't know what the frell to say. He
cursed beneath his breath, then stopped. "I've messed
up, big time with everything, everyone. IŒm sorry I wrecked
Aeryn's life. She was once the happy peacekeeper dominating
the lesser species before she got irreversibly contaminated.
I had to bring her with us. She would've been executed. Forgive
me for everything." He let out a ragged chuckle conscious
of being fallible. "If you're real, somewhere out here,
then my friends need your help. I won't be there to lend them
a helping hand."
as the sky's blue, they needed all the help they could get.
It all started with the Ancients, an alien race John had encountered,
who needed a home, and they used his memory of Earth to see
if humans would accept co-habitation. But the human reaction
proved destructive to their race. Finding John had suffered
by them stealing his memories for their use, they had compassion
on John's desperation to return to Earth and inserted wormhole
technology in his subconscious, only to emerge as a guide
everything had turned rancid when John infiltrated the Peacekeeper
Gammak Base to retrieve a tissue sample that would heal Aeryn's
fatal wound. This was where wormhole research was taking place
for weaponry defense against the Scarrans, and where Scorpius
discovered John was an imposter--tortured him in the Aurora
Chair and extracted memories with painful and a near fatal
result. Because Scorpius found the wormhole knowledge lodged,
unbeknownst to John, in his memory‹that's when John became
"unique in the universe." And that's when the evil
Scarrans and Charads, pitted to annihilate Sebacian kind or
any other kind, feverishly vied for the wormhole technology
against the Peacekeepers, a Sebacian race. To John it sounded
like Earth's nuclear race on a larger scale: a million to
eyes blurred as his heart broke. It's all gone bad. God,
don't know if you hear me, but I heard you created this melting
pot of the cosmos and holy terror.
thought of each of them: D'Argo his friend, the Luxen warrior,
the big guy John had come to depend on. Chiana his Nebari
friend, Pip, young, mercurial, slick like quicksilver. Jool,
the Interon, screaming newcomer‹her screaming not only split
his ears, but, jeez, it sure melted metal. Pilot, their comrade
navigator, without him where would all of his rag-tag crew
and Moya be? Stranded. Rygel, that Hynerian, Domineer,
ruler of six-hundred billion subjects, well, his throne had
been abducted by his cousin. In their journey as escaped prisoners
and chased by prominent enemies, they had grown close, loyal,
and protective‹well, for the most part.
thought of his dad, Jack Crichton, renowned, having walked
on the moon. D.K. his best friend‹yeah, he and D.K. actually
built this module soon to become his tomb, exclusively engineered
and designed by yours truly.
still don't have a clue how things could change so drastically
when tragedy hits. John rubbed his bottom lip, wiped his tears, lowered
his head. He felt woozy. Just when Aeryn was opening up to
him‹after being about a few cycles, years compared to earth
time, in the Uncharted Territories‹she was whisked away by
an unnatural incident. John remembered being twinned by that
Hannibal Cannibal so-called mad scientist‹that sick-o
wasn't fit to be tied, just dead‹twinning people to have a
larger supply of brains to suck through a straw. John grunted.
He and his friends had all made it off that dying ship of
horrors, a Leviathan much like Moya, to find another
him, two John Crichtons, each thinking himself to be the original.
As the mad doctor had put it, they weren't cloned; they were
twinned, DNA, memory, and all‹only difference, new experiences
to be lived by their separate selves.
the crew was separated. He had stayed on Moya while
the other John, Aeryn, Crais, Rygel, and Stark left on Talyn,
Moya's son. It could make a grown man cry. Aeryn loved
the other John and then he died‹in her arms. How could a man
compete with that? He missed that dance with his love. The
old woman's words haunted him again:
is with child.
welled more in John's eyes, he shook his head. "I won't
be able to see my kid. Well, the other guy's kid, but he's
mine. Protect him. And...and," the air was almost depleted,
he felt delirious, "Aeryn...protect her. She's a soldier,
strong, needs a little guidance in the heart area. You know
what I mean, headstrong but gold through and through. She's
got...no home anymore, like me. Let her...find a place to...belong."
John's voice trailed away. Hard to breathe, talk. "God,
I'm signing off." This is...John Crichton...somewhere
in the Uncharted Territories.
dear John," Harvey said, diffidently. The neural clone
of Scorpius emerged from John's subconscious once again. "Please
keep with the theatrics, we have no time. I have for you a
viable way to proceed with survival."
no, get out of my head and let me die in peace," John
said, shaking his head, seeing the black reptilian masked
image and skeletal features. Zero Hour, Twilight Zone,
Outer Limits, you got nothing on this.
endured with this pest, the now harmless clone. Once lethal
as Scorpius's neural chip planted in John's brain solely to
retrieve wormhole knowledge from his mind, it had driven John
insane and killed Aeryn. It was a miracle Zhaan had brought
Aeryn back, but that literally drained Zhaan's life source.
Another sacrifice for another life. And though the deadly
chip was removed, the Scorpius personality was too imbedded
in John's mind. Thus leaving the harmless residue, now Harvey,
to serve for John's safety.
Harvey interrupted again, "but I believe your God wishes
you to live. Why look in that compartment you were incessantly
wouldn't budge. "Stick to your own bad advice."
tisk. You must remember stashing emergency supplies and drugs
for times such as this. Come now, I saw how you stored them.
You had decided upon the given fact of the incident in the
did remember, but he took those precautions long after Aeryn
and he were trapped in an invisible net that drained their
pod's energy. He reminisced the kiss they passionately shared,
desperate for their lives because the oxygen was almost gone.
But he couldn't have stashed the supplies directly after that
incident...it was long afterwards...but John didn't remember
saving you, John...move your fingers to the compartment and
open it." John arduously reached, trembling, and opened
the lid. "That's it." Harvey clapped his hands and
John took the syringe.
continued, "Before you apply, this will give you two
days of low oxygen in your bloodstream. However, for the most
part, you will be unconscious. And if you are revived in time,
you will be in a simulated coma. I believe, lasting a few
more solar days. I must say I look forward to the long nap
for warning me, roomie.
John couldn't speak anymore and gave Harvey the fleeting thought,
then rolled his eyes. Before John poked the syringe in his
forearm, Harvey continued.
John, turn on your emergency beacon, so someone can rescue
you in time. I do want to wake. " John hurt when he leaned
forward to click on the beacon flasher and comm system voice
message. "Now, select the coded frequency. You know I
don't want you to fall into the enemies' hands." John
wheezed while flicking the range that transmitted the distress
calls in code. "Now, you can apply the shot."
took the syringe, every movement painful, and plunged it into
his flesh. The fiery liquid forced itself through his veins,
sensational eruptions occurred within him. Suddenly, he convulsed
and fell back into the seat while the ebony walls of unconsciousness
blanketed him. It didn't matter if friend or foe found him
in this violent universe. He was good as dead.
in acute silence, John wondered, Am I in heaven? Ivory,
like Rome's coliseums, enveloped him, rain cleansed his fears,
and bright clouds of mercy grazed his lips. An angel?
drifted, echoed through his emptiness...softly...
said fate is what brought us together. If that is so, then
we'll be together again. Goodbye, John Crichton.
2: Intrepid >>