2 - Intrepid
One, do you see anything?" Aeryn yelled through her comms.
Sector Three is clear," Kendrell said, not 800 motras
behind Aeryn's prowler, speeding his heavy delta-winged fighter
to fly alongside hers.
see something!" Kendrell checked the tiny dots moving
closer at a considerable speed, more noticeable than the dusting
of stars. "Three, star board! Watch your back, Intrepid,
they've returned for more."
we'll toast them!" Aeryn took her handle controls, banked
her prowler, then shot into chase. She was shocked at what
spewed from her lips...Crichton's euphemism. Can't
she ever forget him, even during battle?
came screaming from nowhere, but Aeryn was primed and ready.
One fighter was above her, the other reeling around to confuse
and cause her to stall. The circling ship planted itself starboard,
facing her with a relentless aim. At forty degrees, she angled
away from the trap as they blasted their plasma fire. Then,
as far as space allowed, she shot upward. They followed to
their demise. Her cocky turn and thrust forward surprised
them. Like sitting asteroids in a row, she incinerated both
enemy fighters while her comm relayed Kendrell's cry for help.
hit! I'm hit!" Kendrell voice was barely distinguishable
above the static.
cover you, while you escape. You cannot stay, Scout One. Do
you read me? Return to the base. Do you read me?"
saw yellow flashes race by her prowler. She had no time to
recover Kendrell. She would do that after she completed the
mission. She banked her fighter to miss another round of plasma
fire. It was adrenalin that kept her in tune with precision,
as well as her hair-pin responsive ship. It was fear that
she embraced during battle situations, and to taste it on
her tongue propelled her to kill or resist being killed.
one mercenary ship that hit Kendrell's, which they presumed
was a Charrad fighter hired by the Scarrans, had to be left
alive. As mandated by Aeryn's mission leader of this elite
assassin ex-Peacekeeper group, they were to shoot and destroy
them and leave one survivor to bring news of a Peacekeeper
assault on their crafts. Though Kendrell was not an ex-Peacekeeper
but a valuable rogue, his ship was painted to appear as the
same markings as Aeryn's to be identified as Peackekeepers.
not being a politician, knew this was to deter the treaty
between the Scarrans and Peacekeepers and was the only version
told to her and her comrades of two days old.
followed the ship, shooting intermittently, purposely missing
after hitting it without being disabled. She followed the
fighter as it shot out of scanner range into the ink blackness.
Suddenly, she became aware of something.
One, if you can hear me, I have pursued the enemy craft out
of Sector Three. I believe we are near the Leviathan burial
grounds. I've just passed a Leviathan. It appears to be alive.
You may be able to dock there. Do you read me, Scout One?"
heart raced, her brow tightened. She was becoming concerned
for Kendrell and started to turn her prowler to backtrack
when she noticed her comm met an intermittent voice code,
a distress call breaking through. Aeryn slowed her prowler
and tried to link into the code when she saw a familiar sight.
At starboard, she saw the white pod, floating aimlessly where
Moya should have been.
frantically held onto the tip of her radio comm, "Scout
One, I've found something!"
One module...John's ship!
do you copy?" Kendrell finally answered.
relieved and tense all at once, still groped the tip of her
comm and blurting out something undistinguishable to Kendrell.
his pod, Moya, where are they? They are supposed to
I don't copy?"
instantly changed her frequency to match Moya's once
again. "John Crichton, do you read me? Can you respond?"
Frell! No answer, only that distress call repeating.
Kendrell's voice interrupted her, crackling, full of static,
"I'm running out of fuel, I need to land somewhere."
the Leviathan on my trajectory. You'll find it. I need to
investigate this. Will you land there and wait for my return?"
see it! I hope they'll net me in. The pilot hasn't responded."
wait, I'll be returning soon."
her prowler to Farscape One, ensuring its security,
and like a towing barge she flew it into the derelict Leviathan
with Kendrell waiting in the docking bay. Stench met Aeryn's
nostrils when she exited her craft. Unlike Moya, this
ship had little to no illumination. The walls were peeling
with cables twisted, torn overhead, like exposed veins of
a dying Budong. Truly, it appeared the vessel was preparing
to die. But the dock was durable enough to hold the three
crafts as the shadows seemed to swallow them.
that contraption?" Kendrall said, arms akimbo, nodding
toward the Farscape module. The male stood, dark skinned,
like the underbelly shell of Moya, with brick-sprayed
thick hair. A coy smile appeared as Aeryn climbed the ladder
up the module and hurriedly lifted its canopy.
turned sharply to face Kendrell without losing balance. "Don't
ever go mute on me when I comm you!"
raised his arms, standing on the docking floor. "I was
hit! My comms blacked out!" Then he pointed to the module,
"And who's here to greet us?"
stop blabbing and help me! We have to revive him if he's to
Aeryn rolled her eyes as she thought how helpful Kendrell
had been since she joined the squad. She didn't understand
why he had taken a liking to her so quickly. But then, she
didn't understand John's unrequited love of her either.
moved over, leaning against the module and allowed Kendrell
to reach in to unbuckle and prop the unconscious human over
his shoulder. She would have lifted him herself, but her body
had not been sustaining strenuous labor and bulk weight as
before. She must spar and exercise more often.
climbed down the module. Kendrell plopped the limp form on
the bay floor before her feet. Aeryn flashed her lantern light
on John. The dark surrendered to the light, revealing his
chiseled features. So near death--why did he appear worse?
Beforehand, Areyn knew there was life left in John when she
had entered his module prior tethering it. But now his breathing
was too shallow and his complexion became extremely pallor
in contrast to the once robust, virile man from Earth.
on the old Leviathan's docking floor, Aeryn quickly began
the resuscitation maneuver. She opened John's mouth, closed
his nose and as taught by him, breathed into his lungs every
fifteen seconds, pumped his chest, hoping to revive him. Then
a frantic resolve overtook her, a panic...he must wake. She
tried again, that familiar fear reacting again within her.
It permeated her until her hands trembled and her chest squeezed
tight. He may not survive. Try again.
stood watching this remarkable female, ebony hair uncontainable,
flowing over the unconscious one, trying to revive an already
drug administered being. He stood a while, chuckling, seeing
her struggle with the creature.
useless, Officer," Kendrell said.
counting, like an automated computer..."one...two...three...fifteen"...then
she breathed into him, pumped his heart, listened, and started
the routine again. Fruitless.
continued, "I have experience in these things if you
want to know. As much as I'd like you to be successful, this
maneuver won't work, only some of the drugs I have in my scout
stopped abruptly, She appeared not wanting to leave her task.
"What do you mean?"
what mesmerized him. Her orbs, huge, pleading, a steel gray,
like the sky of his world. They sparkled with welled tears.
If she were different, the species of his kind, he would make
her his mate. But, alas, it was good to befriend this one.
She needed a comrade. And he needed someone strong and smart
on his side.
been a Peacekeeper, I would have thought you'd have recognized
that he's drug induced, inoculated with oxygen. That's the
only way he could've survived this long in his condition.
crouched beside the body, showed Aeryn the reddened, purple,
mark in John's arm and exposed vein made by a crude instrument,
unlike modernized Peacekeeper tools that left one scar less.
pushed her hair back, locked eyes with Kendrell, "Then
we must do something, now!"
Kendrell fetched the aids, Aeryn bent over John's chest to
hear his heartbeat. Still faint. She fidgeted, had to do something.
"Pilot?" She called for the old vessel's navigator
that Kendrell had already contacted before she arrived.
Are you there?"
voice sounded through the walls, a female voice, sleepy, disjointed.
you all right?"
am so sorry. It is so hard to stay awake."
did not mean to intrude, but someone needed aid, and we discovered
Crichton." Then she said more to herself, "hopefully
in time." Aeryn looked away from the light, "Pilot,
I wanted to thank you for helping us."
voice came forth, "Crichton is his name? Elack
and I are always glad to serve you and...and...oh my...what
were you saying?" The voice trailed away while Aeryn
thought no need to press any further.
came trotting back with the life saving supplies. He held
up an ochre catheter tube and a chrome probe that tapered
to a sharp point.
Kendrell said, "will sustain him by absorbing bladder
fluids within his system. Then when he wakes and finds a need
to pee--" Aeryn appeared incredulous "--or urine,
it will discharge naturally." He grinned, placed the
tube within the probe, pulled away John's black coat, vest,
and loosened the T-shirt from his belted black leather pants
to expose the bladder area. Kendrell looked at Aeryn squinting,
"He's well dressed for a Peacekeeper in black."
gave Kendrell a scorned look. "He is not a Peacekeeper
or Sebacian, he is a human from Earth. Will this work?"
find out." Before Aeryn could contest Kendrell, he exposed
John's tender flesh and stabbed the spike instrument in.
though she witnessed victims being tortured and stood unfeeling,
unseeing in her Peacekeeper days, she flinched at John's body
writhing, twisting in a mangled form. She had too much sympathy,
compassion for this human, so fragile to her violent world.
Then the shaking quickly abated and John's body relaxed. Aeryn
released a moan.
we revive him?" she asked.
He has to wake on his own. Not only that, he may die from
shock if he's artificially awakened. It must be natural. But
I have this, too!" Kendrell held up another tube, red
this time. "This will digest in his bloodstream and nourish
him for days to come." He slammed the thing into the
probe and positioned it to stab. Aeryn put her hand up to
may not be able to stand it this time." Aeryn still blocked
Kendrell's arm from the horrified act.
Officer, take courage. Without this, he wouldn't survive anyway,
so grit your teeth and watch."
go and Kendrell stuck the thing back into John's side, leaving
no visible marks. But John's body contorted alive with violence,
stronger this time. The lights and shadows ripped John's countenance,
his face reflecting pure agony. Aeryn's strained. She couldn't
hide her heart drumming in her ears. He gyrated for nearly
a quarter of an arn.
hope dissipated. In a fury she turned on Kendrell, grabbed
him by his collar and slammed him on the floor.
I didn't know how he would react. Wait! Look behind you!"
and once again, John's tremors ceased.
sat up and sighed, "See, he has to eat."
food." Aeryn said, wearily, looking at John's resting
body. "He'd be hungry when he wakes."
took her hand, "Why the interest?"
didn't welcome his intrusion. Though at first, she wanted
to ignore it, but decided not.
is..." She inhaled for control. "He is unique in
the universe. Perhaps one day he will save your life."
Aeryn's voice lowered, locked eyes with Kendrell's, "Or
on. But I've known you for two days, and your people have
a tendency to be forthright--thrills and laces, secret tunnels
and places, spies, directorates. Officer Sun, at this moment,
I find there is more about this creature you aren't telling
for you to know."
were both sitting on the dock floor with legs crossed beside
John Crichton's sleeping figure. Aeryn noticed blush returning
to his cheeks. Strangely, that comforted her, his complexion
returning. John coming back. Aeryn closed her eyes.
smiled, wryly. "Why risk our returning to the squad because
of this being. You do know we report what we find, don't you?
Do you want him discovered?"
will need to tell me if you desire this confidential."
Aeryn knew Kendrell wanted her to take the bait. This time,
she would fulfill this stranger's curiosity for Crichton's
sake. She couldn't let anyone know of John's existence, as
there were wanted beacons everywhere. And John was far more
valuable than her. She would never turn him in. Then warm
moments flooded her thoughts, closeness, John caressing her
ivory skin, being comforted, held with strong arms, John's
strong arms. Even if this John may be the copy, she owed him
propped herself out of her slumped position and straightened
her back in the dark. "I know how to handle pain. I can
control it by mere concentration. Focus. Determination. I
have the skills to survive, to patch wounds, set broken bones,
and even accept disfigurement of scars. In short, I was trained
to endure pain.
She stopped, paused for microts.
How could she explain what happened between her and John?
The purity of their devotion--she never had seen anything
close to his passion, his adoration of her. His crystal blue
eyes filled her, his sweet smile beckoned her, so rapturous,
so, so complete.
to say the words it seemed for a long while. The tears were
coming. She pushed them back while she remembered cuddling
with her John and learning to read English and preparing to
go to Earth with him--to love him always. But that dream dissipated
when he died in her arms. The memory cut her like a fresh
wound. Breathe. Control. She squared her shoulders
and lifted her chin, never looking away from John's still
figure, the mirror of her love.
as Peacekeepers were never taught how to control the emotions
this human has displayed. And...and yet, alien to me...I have
them, too." Her face tightened. Kendrell caressed her
hand. She had to release these words into the air so they
wouldn't haunt her--but they ricocheted in her ears to cut
my life I learned to reject softness, through my childhood,
until now. Now somehow, I find his softness to be strength."
voice lulled to a purr. "This contradiction has ruined
me." She turned toward Kendrell, "Does your race
know of compassion?"
stiffened. "Then don't try the same thing John has."
She pulled away her hand.
laughed, "Poor victim John, not me. I don't care what
squinted at Kendrell with angry eyes. "Do you want me
night had become one of confiding, an abnormal trait for Aeryn.
But this moment proved important to her, the saving of John's
life and disposal of secret memories.
once thought he was a lesser species--intolerable, useless,
weak. Not anymore--another contradiction."
touched Aeryn's hand. "You've learned much for an ex-Peacekeeper,"
faced him, "I've learned to accept this human, John Crichton."
Peacekeepers that is a tremendous milestone. You've had a
change of heart."
smiled, wickedly , "Shut the frell up and let's work.
And if I hear a word of this, I'll kill you myself."
They got up to repair the Scout. Aeryn in black with
pulse pistol in holster, strapped on her thigh, and Kendrell
in dark teal with blaster in holster, strapped to his chest.
had planned with Pilot and Elack to leave John in his
module. Pilot was not to tell John that Aeryn and Kendrell
had actually saved his life. Pilot promised they would never
tell in order to save everyone's life.
they put John back into his module, Aeryn asked Kendrell to
wait and give her a few microts before leaving. She needed
to say goodbye. With John comatose, Aeryn had no pressure
of confronting him or explaining why she left Moya
or why she was doing this unresisting act of saying goodbye.
He couldn't feel her, hear, or touch her.
stealthily, quietly, as if not to wake him, bent over John,
hearing his steady breathing. Then she touched his shoulder,
ran her fingers through his hair. An overwhelming urge washed
over her to stroke his powerful neck that appeared like the
marble statues of great heroes past. She kissed upward from
his neck to his ear, tasted his soft supple skin, then ascended
to stroke his rough chin, kneading his bearded growth of two
days old. Her face contacted his and she caressed with her
nose, her cheek to feel him once more, grazing his lips with
her fingertips, then her mouth, good firm lips, and tasted
them. When she felt warmth come from his mouth, a sweet rush
passed through her, exactly the same wonder as her true love.
Her tears meshed with his skin. Her John she loved. This John
she would never allow to die.
passed quickly. Kendrell was returning in a few monens with
cables and patching metals to finish repairing the Scout.
She lingered too long. She came back up for air and wiped
more microt. Just one.
leaned again. A single tear etched a pathway down her cheek
to rain on John's lips. She whispered in his ear what she
had told him on Moya before leaving him. "You
said fate is what brought us together. If that is so, then
we'll be together again. Goodbye, John Crichton."
Crichton, darkness always claimed space. But days came with
the sun. Aeryn Sun.
3: Countdown >>