Julon Crion: Nebari
By: Lopaka Tanu
Archive: Yes, just tell me where.
Disclaimer: I own Nata Beaver Dam Thing.
Warnings: Mpreg, Violence, Character Death, Trans species, m/m sex, Angst.
Beta: None so be warned.
Category: After 4:06 AU Slash and Het.
Coupling: John/OMN John/Chiana John/Nerri
9. Eavesdropping - whether accidentally or otherwise, your character
overhears part of a conversation... Whatever it is that your character
overhears... how will he react?
Author's Note: Spoilers for like a whole lot of the series, set directly after Promises, episode 4:05 and episode 4:06 only some biology facts about Nebari, John being able to predict wormholes, and D'Argo as captain, the rest of that frelling episode does not exist.
Summary: After a three night stand with a Nebari Man, John's body was forever changed. An accident that resulted in spilt blood now provides the basis for a new life. How will John deal with the memory of what happened, and with this new complication in an already pain filled existence. After the betrayal of Aeryn Sun, his remaining friends are reluctant to trust the newest addition to their group. Careful as they may be, there is still danger lurking behind every corner. When Chiana meets someone from her past, will she be able to say good bye to her friends, and her daughter?
Key Words: Nebari, MPREG, Slash, Hybrid, Royal Planet
Lyrics: "I Will Always Love You" - Whitney Houston.
If I should stay,
I would only be in your way.
So I'll go but I know,
I'll think of you every step of the way.
And I will always love you.
"I Will Always Love You" - Whitney Houston.
Voices around him were speaking, but it all sounded like white noise to him. He lay curled upon the floating bed staring off into space as one hand gently rubbed over the bulge of his stomach. Barely four days pregnant, the baby already started to show. Pregnant, he couldn't believe it. Of all the things to happen to him while in the Uncharted Territories, this was not one of the expected.
His ears peeked when he heard them mention the baby. The doc was explaining that the baby was full Nebari. Not an ounce of human in her. Chiana was looking a little pale white over that. He gave her a hint of a smile before going back to being dazed. At least she wasn't the one carrying the child, her health was bad enough before.
What was going to happen to him now? He needed his mother, she would know what to do. She was always coming up with good advice. His rock to stand on when he felt like he was going to float away from all the pain of life. Like now. God he wished she wasn't dead.
Why did this crap happen to him? Was it some sort of cosmic joke? Everybody lets go frell over Crichton day? If this had been a book he would be laughing his ass off. With a snort he continued on wishing the table would swallow him.
He wanted to be held, where was M'lan. Oh yeah, he had been shot by D'Argo. What was up with that sword toting maniac and killing the people he... You know, there is a lesson in all of this. Yep, time to move on Johnny boy. Chi doesn't want a child, so what is there to stick around for? Wait until the next time the Luxan goes in to Hyperrage and kills the baby? Un uh, not letting that happen.
They were on a medical planet, so that means transport away. Now all he had to do was leave. Easier said then done, he had to wait until the others were not watching his every move. This could take a while.
For now however, it was good to just sleep. Later he would get away, later he would deal with this, always later. Sighing, he drew his knees closer to his chest. Rest was good!
In a dark room with cool wet air circulating over the warm pools, blue eyes shot open as the mouth mimicked screams. Suddenly, she sat up from the bath, water running down her body forced her to shiver at the lack of heat. Her hand snagged a towel from the edge of the bathing chamber.
A man in a red robe walked in to the room. His white and black face barely recognizable in the dark, showed he knew of her actions.
"It's true, isn't it?" Her accusing tone made him look down.
"You do not see all that there is to."
"Then show me, that is why I am here."
"You must discover it on your own."
This was nothing new to her, she had been hearing it for almost a quarter cycle now. "Can you at least point me in the right direction."
"There is no right or wrong, merely different points of view."
"That doesn't help."
"It is not supposed to, I am not allowed to help, you know this."
"Then what use are you?"
He looked around the chamber and smiled. "I clean the pools, that is what I do."
Her angered screech made him cringe as the towel hit his face.
Chiana watched as John closed his eyes again, only this time they did not open. She watched his chest to make sure he was breathing. Worried barely began to describe the way she felt about him. His was a male, they didn't do the pregnancy thing, then again, neither did she. The mere thought of taking care of a child made her feel ill.
She didn't want a child, they were more trouble than they were worth. All they did was whine, and demand attention. What if you were having to hide from a Scarran or Peace Keeper and they started to scream? They were nothing but a liability. No, children were nothing but dangerous in the Uncharted Territories.
Absentmindedly she stroked John's hair. They were riding back to the transport pod on the hover bed. The nurse was pushing the lift as D'Argo, Sikozu, and Noranti walked along side. Noranti was looking like the proud grandmother. She was making a fuss over John as if he were her own offspring.
She smiled at that, picture of Noranti mother Henning little John. Crichton probably was more trouble than she and her brother had been. Chiana stopped smiling at the memories of the other Runners. They were gone now, only she and Nerri were left. May be even only her.
In the first days there were large groups. It was safer to travel that way. Everyone was looked after on the ships even the weak and dying were cared for. That was the time of freedom, before they knew any better.
It was one of these same groups that she wondered if John had encountered. It would not surprise her. She had yet to get the whole story from D'Argo. For some strange reason, at the mention of the Nebari, his lips sealed tighter than a dick's hat band. Chiana smirked, she really need to stop listening to the mindless prattle that flowed from John's lips at all arns of the solar day.
Chiana checked on him one more time as they neared the shuttle. His pulse was strong and his breathing was regular. Once at the shuttle, she slipped off the lift and watched as D'Argo lifted Crichton over his shoulder. As Crichton lifted his head, opening his eyes, a shout rang out behind them.
Chiana jumped in to a ready posture as D'Argo tossed Crichton in to the transport pod. He was followed by Sikozu and Noranti. D'Argo handed a bag of currency to the Nurse as he and Chiana climbed in to the transport pod.
As the hatch rose, a familiar voice called out. "Chiana?"
She froze at the use of her name. Turning slowly, she pushed the buttons to stop, then reopen the pod door. The sight that greeted her had tears running down her face as she fell to her knees. So shocked was she, D'Argo's angry footsteps did not penetrate her mind.
"What is going on? Chiana are you well?" He looked to where she was staring when there was no response. A familiar Nebari was walking up the steps to greet them. "Chiana, who is this?"
"D'Argo this..." She grinned as he stepped in to the pod. Running to his arms, she threw herself in to them. Pulling back she let the tears come. "D'Argo meet my brother, Nerri"
Captain Braca was there personally to see the resurrection of a man he truly despised. The Prowler hatch opened to reveal the hated enemy and the traitor Aeryn Sun. He smirked as the guards moved in, weapons at the ready. This was going to be glorious.
"Men, place these two in a holding cell." Braca grinned as Commandant Mele-on Grayza walked in to the hangar bay with her personal contingent of guards. "Ah good, ma'am, you are just in time to see Scorpius' return to his cell."
Scorpius growled at the guards as they moved in to detain him. Quickly they backed off, while he jumped down from the side of the prowler. Ignoring them, he held a hand aloft for Aeryn. He gently helped her lower to the deck.
"What do you think you are doing? I gave you a direct order." Braca's face started to turn red as Scorpius and Aeryn Sun moved past him to Grayza.
"What is going on here?"
Grayza's arrogantly bemused face revealed nothing as he came nearer. "I take it your mission has failed?"
"There were some... unexpected developments."
"Do you know what a Nebari is?"
She smirked. "Short gray and white. A thief."
"That would be Chiana." Aeryn spat in disgust. "No, what he means is do you know of their species?"
"Of course, they are of little consequence. Over half of their people are fleeing the other half across the Uncharted Territories." She raised an eyebrow. "What do these simple people mean to you?"
Now was turn for Scorpius to smile. "Perhaps it would be better if I explained in private. Officer Sun and I will require our own quarters, as well as few other minor things."
"Name them." Grayza seemed amused at the pair, while on the inside she was dreading to know what threat this relatively new species could purpose.
Before he could respond, Braca burst out in fits. "I demand to know what is going on. You will tell me now before I have you all thrown off my ship."
Scorpius eyed the armed guards then Braca. "Shoot him."
As they did, Braca's face was one of complete shock.
Aeryn kicked his body walking by. "And clean up this mess."
D'Argo stood looking at Chiana stunned as Nerri held her close. This was the famous brother of his Chiana? Formerly his Chiana, he corrected. He was little more than Crichton in stature. From the description, Nerri should have at least been taller and less emotional.
He cleared his throat after he felt was sufficient time. "Chiana, I hate to interrupt but John needs to get back to the ship. The Healer said that he needed lots of rest if he was going to carry the child to term. Don't you want your daughter to remain healthy?" That was low, but D'Argo was not in a caring mood at the moment. He didn't trust any Nebari other than Chiana, and, well, now John.
Chiana broke apart from Nerri with tears still in her eyes. Irritation at D'Argo made her growl. "What the frell D'Argo? Can't you see I am..."
"You have a daughter," Nerri asked.
"No, I mean yes, but it's a little hard to explain." She cocked her head to the side as she looked at him.
"Then explain it."
"No, I don't have to." She backed out of his embrace as he stared down on her with dark eyes.
"Chiana. I am your big bother, I have the right to know my niece."
"Really, because until a few microts ago I didn't know I still had one." Turning her back to him, she spoke in a whisper. "Do you know what it's like not knowing? The hoping that there is the off chance that you might still be alive. The terror of what if it is true, that you are really dead? Do you know the constant pain, worry that it was my fault, that I should have tried something, I mean I had plenty of chances. All this eats one up inside. I only had one release through it all, one person who stood by me, trusted me!" Her hands were clenching as she screamed the last two words.
"He was the only one that was there for me no matter what. He forgave me for all I did, no matter how much I hurt him. When he learned I thought I lost you forever, he was the only one that was there for me. He tried to make me see reason, even when I wouldn't listen, he waited for me. In the end, every end, he gave me a reason to keep going. No matter how selfish I was, or the stunts I pulled, he still loved me for me. Do you know what that does to a person?"
Facing the silent Nebari with tear filled eyes and a smile, she continued. "For the first time in my life, I actually feel like I have a home, a family. And that is eating me up inside because you weren't apart of it. I had a home and you weren't there. You weren't there!"
Nerri pulled her in his arms as she struggled to hit him. "I'm so sorry, Chiana. I thought that I was doing what was best for both of us. Now I see that it was the biggest mistake I have ever made."
"No, it wasn't." D'Argo growled. "Sending her away to meet us was probably the best thing you ever did. We must go now, are you coming with us or staying on the planet?" He stood with an impassible look on his face as the two Nebari stared at him in shock. "Well?"
"I believe I would like to see this home of yours Chiana." Nerri looked down on her smiling face while she stood in his arms. "That is if you are okay with it."
"Sure. I want you to see Moya, and meet Pilot. Even get to see his royal impatience."
"Fine then, strap yourselves in. I don't want to have to come back down here because one of you is hurt." With another glare at them, he stalked off to the control room.
Nerri looked at Chiana as she giggled. "What is so funny, little sister?"
"D'Argo likes you."
This made Nerri freeze a moment before they settled down against the cargo containers. "That is liking me?"
"You aren't in tiny pieces are you?"
"Point taken." His next words got cut off as the transport pod shot off through the atmosphere like a bat out of hell.
John sat up on the edge of his bed. His heart was racing as air raced in to his lungs. 'Just a bad dream,' he told himself. Looking around the converted cell, he sighed. Just another bad dream in a long line of bad dreams. He wiped the sweat off his chest with a hand wondering what felt off. It wasn't until he reached the swell of his stomach that he looked down.
His scream shook the cell and reverberated through out the entire ship.
"This can not be happening. I was with a guy for Christ's sake. What in hell did they do to me? Why am I a fucking Nebari?" He snorted in derision. "Because you fucked a Nebari. What, are these guys like vampires or something? Pale skin, dark hair, sexy as hell, gotta be.
"Where's a damned crucifix when ya need one? Bet Anne Rice never dreamed up one of these creatures when she wrote those books. Ah hell, guess it's better she didn't, she would have been severely disappointed to learn they could fuck you in to next century. Then again, may be not."
Sliding his now heavier bulk out of bed, he stood and walked out of the cell. So far so good, no one was around to protest his moving out of bed for some exercise. Walking down the corridor to a room where he kept his personal grooming and other oddities, he was careful to hold on to the walls to support his weight change.
The room was untouched by the others, Rygel knew not to try and snurch from him. For the first time, he got a good look at himself in the mirror. Life was definitely not looking up for him. The gray skin with silver highlights, and black hair were typical Nebari. His usually short hair was now almost as long as Chiana's and spiked. "Nah, more like frizzed."
John ran a hand through the fluffy, soft hair sighing. He looked at his body, most of the shape was his original form, aside from the bulge, it was his body. The coloring was not his though, and the lack of body hair was very disconcerting.
This was not what he wanted. Change was to be expected in order to survive, Darwin. But this was no longer his body. The DNA over ran his and like the Borg, made it their own. So much for human superiority.
"Doc said there were three DNA patterns in the baby, all Nebari. Since mine isn't one of them, there is only one person's it could be." He shook his head as he laughed hysterically. "Almost two cycles is a long time to carry the sperm of an alien. What the hell am I, some sort of Nebari queen bee? When I see Meelak again, I'm gonna demand rent as well as child support."
"What of Meelak?"
Crichton looked at mirror's reflection of Chiana as she stood in the door way. "Nothing, Chiana. What can I do for you?"
Shifting her stance, she gave him a look that said she wasn't comfortable around him. "No, I want to know what Meelak has to do with you?"
"Nothing, Chiana. Well not with me anyways."
"Tell me, John. As your friend, I wanna know."
He turned to face her as his hands went instinctively to the swell. "It's nothing Chiana. I am just remembering something that happened when he was here. I think it might be partly why this happened to me."
She froze. "What happened?"
"M'lan wasn't my first." He finally admitted with reluctance.
"I know that, I mean there was Aeryn." She snickered at him. "You and her..." Chiana stopped as he shook his head no. "You mean, you and her never..."
"Not me, she and the other John, sure. They did it plenty while on Talyn, but she and I never got the chance."
"But she is not who you are talking about."
"Whom, and no. Before I came to Moya, sex was a part of every day life for me."
Enlightenment slowly dawned on her face. "You mean Meelak was your first Nebari?"
"Yeah, kinda embarrassing to talk about."
"When, I mean he wasn't here that long."
He smirked. "He was here long enough. Definitely long enough."
Crichton felt the pit of his stomach clench in fear as the smug Nebari smirked at him. This was the end, they were going to kill him. Getting pissed at Sparky was finally going to kill him. He watched as Rygel floated out of the room with Meelak watching.
"Now Crichton, this is not something my people like to hear. You must be punished for your violent outburst. Turn around."
Slowly he complied with the orders from the shorter man. He swallowed as he heard the door to the galley close. This was not going to be pleasant. His back straitened as he felt a hand run up over his shoulders. The hand gripped his shoulder painfully and bent him foreword with almost no effort. In that moment, he realized just how strong Chiana might actually be.
His breathing caught as Meelak started to smack his butt followed by rubbing large circles. "You are a very naughty boy, John Crichton. Your friends have told us so much about you." His hand ran to the underside of John's bottom.
John closed his eyes as he was gripped through his pants. Much to his anger, he was instantly hard. The hand tightened around his arousal making him hiss with pleasure.
"My you are responsive." The gloved hand let him go and started to open his buckle. John tried to stop it, but the second hand came around him and removed his hand gently from that of the Nebari. With the distraction removed, Meelak continued on with his work.
His belt was quickly undone, followed by his button and zipper. The cool air stung his hard on as his pants were lowered to his knees. "Please don't." He whispered as the hand returned to stroking his bottom.
Meelak blew a warm breeze against John's ear as he leaned in closer over the taller man. "I am sorry, but this must be done. Relax and it will all be over soon." Then the warm hand was back with a hot liquid spread inside his body by the fingers. At first he fought against the violation, his body simply refused to take them. After a few moments, the muscles adjusted and Meelak began again.
He moaned loudly as the expert fingers made their way to all the right spots. "Please, don't." John tried again, but he lost it when the fingers left him. His whimpers were shushed as Meelak replaced them with a large hot mass. As it pushed in to him, John cried out in pain. Much to his surprise, when it pulled out and started to enter again, he pressed back on to it.
The rhythm was slow and painful as he was pushed through his limits of tolerance. John was screaming for release when the Nebari climaxed inside of him. He pulled out after a few minutes of pumping his seed in to John. Gingerly, he pulled up John's pants and helped him buckle them over his erection.
"Now you have been given your lesson, learn it well. Next time I will not be so pleasant." He smirked as John rubbed the tent in his pants. "Enough of that, you will have to wait until after we visit Chiana, that will be your punishment. Let us go." Meelak then turned towards the door and gestured for Crichton to lead the way.
He did with an unusual gate to his walk. Each step he took, made him wince and try to sooth the ache. Meelak would stop him with a tut. When they reached the tier Chiana was imprisoned on, he stopped and begged with puppy Crichton eyes. Meelak sighed and pointed to another cell. It took all of ten strokes before he was jerking and twitching against the wall. He walked out with a relieved look that was wiped off by the serious one from the Nebari.
"Shall we continue?"
"Right then, Chiana. Okay let's get this over with, shoot this puppy, poke the pig, kill the cat."
"What are you going on about?"
"I have no idea."
"That is what they all say."
Meelak snorted. "Why don't you?"
"Because it annoys you."
"Ah. We are here. Play nice, and zip yourself up." The smirk returned as John cursed. A few moments later they were in the cell and John had the Nebari energy weapon given to him by Meelak.
Chiana stared at him with wide eyes. "You and he did that? I was wrong, you are not an old man, you are a cheap Tralk."
"Jealous?" He looked up at her from the wash basin, a slight teasing tint to his eyes.
"Not in the least. I am just surprised that's all." She settled up close to him at the mirror and wash basin. "So what was it like, you know, with M'lan?"
Crichton's eyes darkened at the mention of the Nebari. "How did you know his name?"
"You called his name in your sleep while I watched over you. From what I heard you say, he was a very good lover." A smile crept over her features when Crichton flushed.
"Yes, he was. He was a good man too. You would have liked him. I know this is stereotypical, but he reminded me of my dad. Not in that way you little trollop." He swatted her shoulder as she grinned at him. "There was just something about him, I wanted to spend all my time with him. It was like I knew him my entire life."
"Sounds like you were drugged." She felt a pain in her chest at the awe in which he spoke of him. "I wish somebody felt that way about me."
"I care for you pip, you know that. Give it a little time, and I do mean a little, and a little somebody will." He gave a weak smile at her shocked expression. Taking her hand and placing it over his abdomen. "Yeah she is yours. It won't be much longer at this rate, and then you will be a mommy."
Chiana looked up at him with wide, shocked eyes. "Do you know how long?"
"From what I know of human pregnancies, which is not a lot because I never planned on getting pregnant, and given the rate of development, it may be a weeken, may be three. I don't know for sure. What I do know is this baby is taking a lot of energy."
"Are you okay?" She was suddenly very aware of how pale he looked, even for a Nebari.
"Yeah sure, no sweat pip. Let's go eat something, I am a little hungry." He ignored her questioning gaze as he turned to face the door way.
"What is going on John, what aren't you telling me?" Chiana watched his hand stroke the small mound of his smooth belly. A constriction formed in her throat as she realized how different his body really was now. "Is it about the baby, the transformation, tell me, please?"
"She is yours, not mine, yours!"
Having seen this behavior before, she backed away from him. "She's not mine, I am not having the kid, you are."
"Doesn't matter Chiana, she is still yours."
"No! I don't want her, I never wanted a baby!"
"Too bad! She is your daughter and you will take care of her. After this baby is born, you will be the only parent she has."
Chiana gave him a look of pure murder. "I will not take care of her, you are her mother."
"I am no one's mother. I am just fucking incubator for your god damned kid! If you hadn't..."
"Don't lay this on me, Crichton. I am not the only one to blame. You were just as lonely as I was."
"Well if you hadn't run off and left me at the first chance you got, I wouldn't have been so fucking lonely. Then I wouldn't have gotten knocked up with your kid. So this is all your fault!" He emphasized his point with a finger to her chest.
Slapping away his finger, Chiana pointed at his protruding belly. "My fault, hardly. If you hadn't frelled the first Nebari tralk you saw, then you wouldn't be in this in the first place. So if you want to blame someone, blame your baby's father. Oh, that's right, you can't, because he's dead!" She immediately regretted her words as she saw his face fall. "John, I'm sorry..."
He backed away from her reach quickly. Tears ran down his face as he turned and ran from the room. John couldn't think, Chiana's blaming words, M'lan's pleading voice, followed by his cooling body slumping against him were racing each other in his head along with all the doubts that had plagued him for years. Why couldn't he have been a better astronaut? Why hadn't he listened to DK and given it some more time before testing, none of this would have happened if he hadn't been so impatient. Before he knew it, he was on the terrace, and sealing the door shut.
The stars usually helped against this black pit that welled up in his soul every time he thought of Earth. It always made the void in to space, the stars his memories. A reflection inside of what he saw outside. So many stars. Now they all looked ugly and taunting. Why should they care? He was just a single being out of countless billions.
He was just so damned tired, all of it was just too much. There was no coming back this time, no special person out here that was waiting for him. All he cared about was gone, every one was dead, leaving or had betrayed him. With a short look around, he decided it was time.
John sighed, it was now or never. "Is there another ship in orbit, one that is accepting passengers?"
"I will check." A few moments later Pilot's voice rang out over the comm. "Yes, there is a Leviathan Transport Ship in orbit, her last crew were refugees on their way to meet with one of their ships here. They departed two solar days ago. Since then she has been awaiting a new crew."
"Thank you Pilot, please prep my Module for launch."
"As you wish, is there a reason for this?"
"Yeah, I'm leaving."
"I see," his voice was sad as he spoke, "your module will be ready for launch in five hundred microts."
"Thank you, Pilot, thank you for all that you have done." John gave a genuine smile as he looked at the planet just above the horizon line.
"Moya and I are happy to be of service."
"I know and I am glad. One more thing please?"
"Can you please send his eminence to see me in my cell?"
"Of course, I will tell Rygel immediately."
"Bon voyagie, Pilot."
"What was that?"
Crichton laughed as he took one more look around. "Just a cartoon farewell, Bugs Bunny said it to Elmer Fudd."
"Ah yes, I know of these two, you have mentioned them before. Though I do not completely understand, I believe I know what you mean. And a bon voyagie to you too, Commander."
John gripped the wall as a wave of nausea over ran his stability. He felt strained and weak. Closing his eyes helped a little as the nausea started to abate. When he opened them again he was looking at the stars. Absentmindedly he wiped his nose with his hand then wiped it on his pants. The dark blue drops dripped from his unbuttoned pants' leg.
"So you had a small problem with the Nebari?" Mele-on smirked as the former Peace Keeper glared at her.
"No, we are going to have a problem with the Nebari."
"How so?" She raised an eyebrow at the cool, cultured tone of the Scarran hybrid.
"Our sources informed us of an armada of unknown vessels amassing on the border of our space. We out number this fleet ten to one, but that is not the main problem." With a flick of his wrist, Scorpius activated a control on his suit's cuff. "This is a Nebari Standard Host Vessel. The footage is from my former Command Carrier. We retrieved these vid images from the remains of the Zelbenion."
Grayza looked at him with wide eyes.
She nodded as the image filled the room over shadowing all other lights. A large ship twice the size of the Command Carrier loomed over them. The ship was dark gray, and squid shaped. Three identical towers protruded from the body at positions five, eight, and noon. They curved out, then arced back towards the center meeting at a ring, then extending further strait out.
Small twitches appeared around her eyes as the large towers lit up, making her realize they were in fact beam cannons. Energy crackled between them as the light poured out to meet in a central point between the cannons, followed by a large pulse from the central ring. The pulse acted like a guiding hand and hit the Zelbenion. The image rocked as the Standard Host Vessel left the horizon line of the viewer, then all went black.
"One hit, it took one blast from the main guns of the Standard Host Vessel and the Nebari had crippled our ship. Imagine thirty of these ships heading towards Peace Keeper Command. How long do you think we would last against these odds?"
Grayza took a moment to collect herself before she faced Scorpius once more. "How many ships are there?"
"So far they estimated fifty, but that was two monnens ago. We believe there may be less, but there are enough to pose a great threat none the same. What we do not know is their motives. I have reported to High Command about the plague the Nebari Runners are spreading, but they have no samples to make an accurate analysis of. However that does not explain why such a large fleet is just sitting there." Aeryn assumed her perfect soldier stance as she continued on. "It is taking great resources on their part to maintain that fleet, they must be getting them from somewhere, it is our guess that they have aligned themselves with one of our enemies and are waiting for their allies to be ready before they strike."
"No, it does not makes sense for the Nebari to ally with a species that wishes to dominate or destroy all other races that are considered weak." A look of revulsion crossed her features. "Besides the only explanation for what the Scarrans could be waiting for would be the Human, John Crichton. They want him as much as we do, but the Nebari would not put off an invasion they knew they could win because of one being. They do all things for the greater good, the whole is more than the individual."
"Then who?" Mele-on's patience was at an end. There was a greater threat than the Scarrans at the moment and she needed information they didn't have.
"That is what we are trying to find out. Before we sent out the distress signal, you so kindly answered, we observed a Nebari Transport take off from the surface and disappear in an explosion of energy similar to that of a Leviathan's starburst." Scorpius' trademark grin appeared. "I believe they are able to locate a Leviathan's trail, and follow. Thankfully a few modifications made by Officer Sun's friends allowed me to attach a tracking device before they left. Their location is two solar days travel from here, a medical Planet known as Kervilosha."
"Very good, Commander Scorpius, we shall leave for this place immediately. Before we get there, I will allow you to rest, and have your breeding partner looked after. I take it she is still expecting?"
Aeryn nodded as she rubbed her hand over her still flat abdomen. "Unfortunately I was unable to complete my mission."
"Do not worry over this, we have samples. Follow me." Mele-on smiled as she lead Aeryn and Scorpius from the chamber towards a section of the ship neither knew existed on a Command Carrier. "As you are well aware, I represent a faction of Special Directoret dedicated to peaceful cohabitation with the Scarrans. What you have been attempting to do, I have already done." She threw open the doors to the central chamber. "Welcome to the Future!"
A figure in a dark cloak stood in the middle of the healer's clinic staring at the destruction around him. He had completed his job as commanded and was ready to report both his success and failure. With a heavy sigh, he pulled out the communicator from under his cloak.
"Seeker one, come in, over."
"This is seeker one, report."
"Target acquired and lost, containment of healer's is confirmed."
"Reacquire target, time is of the essence. Code Sherlon Mervox."
His eyes widened. "Confirm Code Sherlon Mervox."
"Code Sherlon Mervox confirmed."
"Blast it all to Hezmana." He clicked his communicator again. "ETA on Code SM?"
"Forty-six arns and counting."
"Confirmed. Over." After staring at the room for a moment, he pulled a jell from his cloak and threw it at the wall. He walked from the room as the jell coalesced in to a solid material. Moments after he disappeared from the room the entire room was engulfed in light. When the light dissipated, no biological material remained.
Chiana stood stunned watching the cell door with confusion. How had she frelled up so badly in such a short time? John was never going to forgive her this time. She was just so afraid of having a child that she let her fear over ride her judgment. As it dawned on her, she realized it was all her fault; the pain in his eyes, the look of sadness, hurt, and betrayal all in just a few microts.
Panic gripped her through the pain. She had to tell the others! There was D'Argo and Rygel and, and, and that was it. All the others were gone, dead or left on their own. For the first time in her life, she felt truly alone. Sliding down the wall she brought her legs up to her chest and sat there trying to think.
They were all gone.
That one statement alone refused to register. Her family was gone, the last one that had loved her unconditionally had been driven off by her hurtful remarks and fears. Her protector, friend, comforter, shield, and lover, all in one, was gone.
Nerri found her by the sounds of her cries. As he entered the cell, he was expecting her to be beaten and battered by the noise she was making. The sight of her pain was almost as bad. Whomever had done this to his little sister was going to pay dearly.
Gently he gathered her in his arms. With one hand he stroked her hair as the other held her close. "Shhhhh Chiana, tell me what happened, who did this to you?"
"No one, s'my fault." She rubbed tears from her eyes. "Should have kept my wacket hole shut."
"Don't beat yourself up over this, Chiana, tell me who hurt you. Let your big brother handle this."
"No, Nerri, leave Crichton alone. He did nothing to me, it was all my fault."
He stood abruptly. "Crichton was it? What did he say, you aint good enough for him? That he preferred the Peace Keeper tralk to you?"
"No! I just..."
"Save it, Chiana. I will take care of him, no body hurts my kid sister!" He stormed out of the room as Chiana tried to stand and follow.
"No, Nerri! Nerri! I've gotta warn, Crichton!" Finally standing, she taped her comm. "Pilot! Pilot!"
"What is it< Chiana?"
"Where is John?"
"John is on the terrace, why?"
Chiana sighed with relief, it wasn't far from where she was at and Nerri had taken off in the wrong direction. "Tell him to be on the look out for my brother. Nerri jumped in the deep end without a sonic net."
"I will relay your message."
She prayed she reached him before Nerri.
Rygel floated into command as he and D'Argo argued over what there next move was. "I say we find my people and deal with that traitor I call a cousin once and for all."
Ka D'Argo snorted at the Hynerian. "Think again, your eminence. I am the captain and I will decide what we do."
"Fine! Decide already so we can get leave; there is a Command Carrier of crazed Sebaceans after Crichton, and we are sitting here like frelling Trelkez." Silence filled the command deck as they looked at each other. "So where in the yotz are we going?"
For a moment longer, D'Argo looked at the tiny dominar, then looked away. "I have no idea. It has been so long since we were truly free to do as we wanted."
Rygel lowered his head in agreement. "I know the feeling. The only one of us still who still has to run is the retched Human."
"Nebari," D'Argo corrected.
"Yes, mustn't forget his recent change." He looked up with a smirk. "If I live to be a thousand more cycles older, I shall never see a more frelled creature. He has been through so much already, only to end up carrying the bastard child of a Nebari Runner. I some times wonder what he did to anger the gods so."
"Nothing, he is quite a remarkable being, and uniqueness is its own punishment." With a hard sigh he glanced back at the dominar. "Tell me more about your cousin."
"I am sorry to interrupt, but your eminence's presence has been requested in Commander Crichton's quarters." Pilot's face appeared on the clam shell as he spoke.
"What is wrong?"
"Nothing, Ka D'Argo. Commander Crichton has simply requested that Dominar Rygel join him in his quarters before he leaves."
Both aliens were silent as they looked at each other with shock.
"What should I tell him, Rygel?" Pilot's face shifted from Rygel to D'Argo awaiting an answer.
D'Argo's mouth tried to form words, but he couldn't speak. His wide eyes implored Rygel to say something.
Rygel lowered his head, took a calming breath, then nodded. "Tell him I will be right there, Pilot."
"Very well, I will make sure he knows." With a nod of his head, Pilot's image winked out.
More empty space as they collected their scattered thoughts. D'Argo couldn't think of anything to say. His mind simply repeated Pilot's words over again and again. Finally he said the only thing that he could. "Tell him, I wish him well. Tell him, I will be there for him. Tell him... Tell him..." He lowered his head in self disgust. "Tell him I am sorry." A final whisper that barely made it past his lips before he turned to leave the command deck.
Rygel numbly acknowledged the Luxan before he too followed suit and left command. As he floated down the tiers towards the former cells, he remembered all the things they had been through. He wondered if they would ever go through any more. At last he reached the door to the cell and froze his throne sled in mid air. The sight inside the cell sent him in to a case of intons. One word squeezed out as he gasped for air. "Crichton!"
Lowering the top half of her body towards the floor, the red haired Kalish narrowed her eyes at the Traskin. "I know what you are after, and I won't let you get it."
"As if you are any different."
"My intentions are completely honorable."
Noranti stopped mixing the broth and turned to face Sikozu. "Do not spout your lies of honor to me, demon. You will not succeed, it has already gone too far to stop."
"I care nothing of that. Besides, that is not why I am here."
Narrowed eyes and pinched lips were all the old woman showed of her disbelief. She continued to stir the broth once more, adding spices here and there as she tasted it. "Needs more Raskin Root."
"What are you making, poison?"
"Raskin Root, for your uninformed mind, is used by Nebari to aid in the later trimesters of the pregnancy. John is in need of this or he might suffer a miscarriage."
"And that would be bad, how? Last time I checked he was a male and they were not supposed to bare the offspring."
The Traskin grabbed the spoon and smacked the Kalish upside the head. "Life is precious, no matter how it comes in to being. John knows this and would not dare harm the child."
"She has yet to be born."
"And won't be if you do not leave me to my broth."
"Very well, old woman. Just remember that I am watching you. Don't get in my way when the time comes." She started to turn and fold back up to the ceiling.
"You do not have to worry about the little one when the time comes, she is not even of his line."
Sikozu turned back wide eyed. "What?"
"The child, she is not his. If you had paid any attention to what the healer had said, you would know this."
A smirk graced her red tinged features. "Good, that means I won't have to do anything about her then."
"As I stated before."
"Perhaps. Until next time..."
"I know, you will be watching me." She started to hum as she went back to her broth and Sikozu slinked away over the ceiling like a spider.
She waited until the priests were all asleep before she started to search once more for the answer among their archives. Many of the things that were written in them were ancient maps of DNA, star charts, and lines of lineage.
So far nothing of great importance in modern times. All this she could find on her own home world. What she lacked is why this was so important.
She knew there were things that linked all these species, their DNA was similar. Had the priests been mapping this and marking the correlations? Were they looking for something greater than themselves? Was there really a deity that created all their races?
So many questions with so few answers. All the mounting frustration almost made her want to cry. What the frell was the point to it all? Three Monens in this place and she had only been answering their questions, not hers. Sure it was a prize position and one of great honor, but she wanted to know.
How had they done it? How did they maintain the peace that so few have ever dreamed? It all seemed to pointless in the face of what she knew. These priests did not know how to create peace, let alone maintain it. They simply existed, living like simple people with no cares but their own.
Jool lifted up another scroll and stared at the star chart with the symbols. The star chart showed the location of her home world, that of several other species, and one world in particular. It was marked by the symbol of an eye with exaggerated features. She sighed with disgust as she tossed the map aside. That same symbol had appeared on several other scrolls and star charts like a stain. With a shrug, she started to look at another chart.
From the walls, they watched. An amused smile adorned their features. Two of them shared a knowing glance. What she was searching for was in front of her all this time, she simply had to open her eyes. But they would not tell her this, she had to discover it on her own. If one is smart enough to discover the knowledge, then one is smart enough to use it properly. Jool had the brains, but was she smart enough to use them to open her eyes? All they could do was wait and see.
"Commander Crichton, Chiana tells me that you are to be careful, Nerri is coming after you. For some reason he believes you are responsible for her pain."
"All right, Pilot, I will be on the look out for crazed Nebari. Thanks for the heads up."
"You are most welcome."
John quickened his pace as he rounded the last corner to his cell. A short look around and he darted inside. He grabbed a sack off the wall and started to throw his belongings in. A few maps, his journal, some herbs Zhaan had given him, a few knickknacks, and the last pieces of his clothes that fit his growing form. Trying on his clothes, only his old tee shirt and PK vest fit his form.
He was debating on wearing his old flight suit when the cell doors opened once more. "Oh Rygel, glad you could make it so quickly man..." A growl erupted from the being behind him, making him turn to face it. "And you aren't Guido. Nerri, I presume?"
Nerri glared at the male Nebari in front of him. He had caught glances of him in the transport pod and when they took him to this very cell after they landed on the Leviathan. His breath caught in his throat at the sight of the pale blue eyes under dark Nebari brows.
"Can I help you?"
The question caught him off guard. A shake of his head and he was focused once more on the task of showing the man in front of him why messing with his sister was a bad idea. His menacing stance caused the strange eyed Crichton to smirk at him. "What is so funny?"
"You. You think that after all the shit I have seen and been through that an ordinary thug is going to scare me?"
"What are you talking about?"
John laughed at the confused and pissed Nebari in front of him. "I have faced Scarrans who want to rip my brain open for the knowledge stored in there. Peace Keepers who want the samething and more are a lot more scary than you. Hell, D'Argo in his Luxan hyper rage during that delightful time of the month is more menacing than you." He pointed towards the death glaring man. "You and your puffy bed hair look more like a petulant child than dangerous."
"I have had just about enough of your weird words and confusing sayings. It's time I taught you a lesson about other people's feelings. No one hurts my sister and gets away with it."
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, you say this is about Chi's feelings? What about mine? I mean she is the one who said, never mind you wouldn't care. So why don't you just take your macho big brother routine and leave me alone?" Crichton started to turn back to his clothes again when he felt a heavy hand grab his shoulder. Before he knew what he was doing, he had grabbed the offending appendage, twisted it around, and forced Nerri to his knees. "What part of leave me alone don't you understand?"
Nerri glared up at him with hatred and tried to use his free hand to grab his knife. John too twisted that hand until he cried out and dropped the weapon. "What are you?"
"Hybrid Crichton, version 2.0, better than the original."
Nerri was about to head butt his belly when both his wrists were twisted harder. He screamed out his pain.
"Now that wasn't nice. You almost ended up hurting your niece."
At that, the kneeling Nebari froze. This was John? Wide fearful eyes stared at the bulge in front of him at eye level. He didn't even realize Crichton had released his hands when one of them reached out to caress the bulge. Before he touched it, though, he looked up questioningly at Crichton. When John nodded he lightly touched the mound.
John frowned at Nerri as he rubbed his lower abdomen. "Here, let me show you." He grabbed the Nebari's hand and removed the glove. Lifting up his shirt with his free hand, he placed Nerri's under and against his exposed skin. The warm touch was soothing against his frazzled nerves.
A laugh escaped Nerri's throat as he felt the baby kick his hand. Gone were all the thoughts of hurting John. He was going to be an uncle, that is all that mattered. He moved his hand around to get a better position to feel the baby.
This went on for a few more minutes as John finally learned sympathy for pregnant women about feelers. He cleared his throat to get the attention of Nerri as he wanted to get back to leaving.
Nerri looked up at him with joy on his face. "I had no idea. How is this even possible? I mean you are male aren't you?" He didn't wait for John to respond as he pulled open the loose fitting pants. "Guess that proves that. So who else beside my dear sis knocked you up?"
Crichton yanked down his shirt and abruptly turned away from him. "That is none of your business."
The Nebari took this as a challenge as he came up behind John. "Who was it, another runner? I hear from Meelak you are a good frell, is that true?"
"That is something you will never learn." He tried to bump Nerri away from him with his bottom, only succeeding in getting his hips brought up flush with that of the Nebari. "Let go." He tried to sound cold, only coming out like he was teasing.
"May be I ought to find out myself."
John pushed the Nebari on to his bed and turned away taking his flight suit with him. He stripped out of the vest, leaving the shirt. Pulling off his pants, he gasped when the ungloved hand copped a feel. "Hands off the merchandise, pal."
"Nice smooth bottom, I can see why they liked you. Bet you gave a great..."
"I am no one's whore! M'lan wasn't like that. He wouldn't treat me like that, nor would he tolerate you. Now get your hands off me!" He turned around to hit the offending Nebari, but was pulled in to Nerri's arms. In anger and rage he started to hit him.
All the while Nerri soothed John by rubbing his back and holding him tight. "Let it out."
John let himself be pulled in to the comforting embrace, wrapping himself around Nerri, and straddled his thighs. Sobs wracked his body until he thought the spasms would rip him apart. After a bit, John let his head lay on Nerri's shoulder as tears ran down his face and the Nebari rocked him.
The whirring of a the throne sled made him turn to face Rygel. The diminutive Hynerian was in a state of shock as he tried to breathe. "Crichton."
John's head shot up. In the next moment he felt the erection that had grown between them in Nerri's pants. "Pervert!" He slugged the offending man, jumped up, and ran to Rygel. A squeeze and a deep breath later he was listening to the Dominar's rant.
"Crichton, what in Hezmana do you think you were doing? Must you frell every Nebari that comes on board? Is this what you brought me here to see, this *body* breeding technique?"
"No, sparky, I didn't. I wanted to tell you that you can have all my things I leave behind. Sell them, burn them, do whatever you want with them, I don't care." He put his hands on his hips as Rygel stared at him. "What?"
"Where are your pants?"
"They don't fit!" Anger welled up in him in a flash and he was storming out of the cell after grabbing his flight suit and bags.
Rygel took one last look around the disheveled cell and the unconscious Nebari with a sad expression before following John. "Why are you leaving? You can't support a child by yourself. You have no other place to go."
"I can to, and I do. There is another Leviathan in orbit, and I will be riding her the hezmana out of here."
"And where exactly are you planning on going?"
"Home! I know how to get there, I just got to catch a worm hole. See ya sparky. It's been real!" He was out of sight before Rygel could speed up his throne sled.
D'Argo walked on to the terrace as he heard the sounds of Chiana crying. Both his hearts hurt at the sight of her in pain. Though it had been over a cycle, he still cared for her. He knelt by her huddled form, when she did not respond to his presence, he looked out the terrace to see what had her attention. Nothing but stars and the planet as a back drop.
"Chiana, what's wrong?"
She refused to look at him.
"Please, I can't help unless you tell me what is wrong."
"I've lost him, D'Argo."
Confusion flitted across his face. "Who did you loose?"
"What did you do?"
Her back went rigid. "What makes you think I did anything?"
"You're right, I wasn't thinking. Will you tell me what happened?"
"We had a fight." Chiana paused as she lowered her head to her drawn up knees. "He said it was all my fault, that the baby was mine. I don't want a kid, D'Argo. I would make a bad aunt, and even worse mother. I can't take care of a kid."
"What did you say in return?"
She let out a sob as her back arched. Through her crying and tears, she told him. After she told him she waited a moment then looked up at his stunned face. "Well, aren't you going to call me a tralk and tell me to get off your ship?"
No, he shook his head no. He knew he couldn't speak with-out causing more harm, so he shook his head no. D'Argo took a deep breath to clear his mind and a faint metallic scent filled his nose. Looking around he saw the blue droplets near the view port. "Are you hurt?"
"That's Nebari blood! Where is John, Chiana?"
"I don't know, he was here. That is why I came here, to warn him about... Nerri!"
D'Argo stood dragging Chiana with him to her feet. "His cell! Before I came here, Pilot told Rygel that John wanted to see him in his cell."
"D'Argo, Nerri was after Crichton, he found me crying after John fled from the room. We've got to help him." She didn't wait for the Luxan, instead she ran full tilt out of the terrace and towards the lower tiers.
D'Argo let out a hissing growl of rage as he drew his qualta blade. Following as fast as he could, his mind circled of all the possibilities that Nerri could be doing to Crichton. When he reached the cell, he found Chiana bouncing on the bed and her brother demanding to know where Crichton was.
"I don't know, the tinked greebhol hit me, when I woke up you were bouncing on me like a howling Merant! Now get off."
Chiana stopped hitting her brother and looked down at his angry face. "You mean to tell me that you did nothing to him? That he just hit you and left?"
"The Hynerian came in, started to choke, John turned to me, called me a pervert, then punched me in the face. I just woke up with you bouncing on me." He was pushed down again as Chiana jumped off his chest and walked over to D'Argo.
"Where would he go? Come on think, D'Argo, where would Crichton go?"
"The reason he wanted to talk to Rygel was because he was leaving. I believe if he is anywhere it is the transport hanger." He turned to go, but Chiana's hand on his arm stopped him.
"Look Chiana, we don't have time for this. If we want to find him, we had better go now."
She stood there for a moment more, then turned to follow as he left. She ignored her brother as he followed behind them asking what was going on. Chiana only hoped they would get there in time.
Noranti watched as the Human turned Nebari put on his flight suit before climbing in his Module. He was a strange creature, in all her cycles she had never come across one such as he. She believed in their cause, and that is why she allowed them to use her. Just before she was about to make her move, the Luxan and other two Nebari came rushing in.
So she sat back and waited. There would be more time, and she would be better prepared with more knowledge. All she had to do was wait a little more, she had lived for over two hundred cycles, what was a few more hundred microts?
As it stood, things were starting to get interesting. The girl, Chiana, was going in to hysterics and trying to get John out of the module. Her brother was pulling her back from the ship, while the Luxan and the Hynerian argued.
"Quite amusing aren't they?"
Noranti looked up at the Kalish as she watched from her hiding space on the ceiling. "What do you seek, Scarran Tralk?"
"I am no one's Tralk, least of all the Scarrans! Take care that you do not push me too far, old woman, lest you incur my wrath."
She smirked at the red headed alien. "You are the one who should be careful."
"And what exactly can you do about it?" A moment later she fell from the ceiling clutching her head until she passed out on deck, curled up into a little ball.
"Along came a spider, and sat down beside her." When Noranti looked again at the fighting crew, the Module was sealed and leaving as Nerri held his grieving sister. "Frell!" She kicked the balled Sikozu, and walked out of the landing bay.
Crichton took one last fly by over Moya as he flew off towards the Leviathan that would one day take him home. Memories of when he first saw Moya in the fire fight with the Peace Keeper commandos. The prowlers doing fly bys. Aeryn had been one of them. He felt a twinge in his chest, no matter what she does now, the woman she pretended to be, will always hold a special place in his heart.
He felt weak as the Module sped her way through space towards the much larger Leviathan. She was not as big as Moya, but Eliss was going to be his new home. That is until he went home. An alert let him know that the docking web had ensnared his ship and was bringing him to land. A few moments more, he was landing in what was supposed to be a docking bay.
Large hunks of the hull were laid on the deck being repaired by a fleet of DRDs. As he climbed up out of the cockpit, the DRDs stopped their work and turned to look at him. Choruses of screeches and clicks filled the air.
"Yeah, nice to meet you too, guys."
A few waves of their light stalks and they went back to working on the parts and reattaching them to the hull.
"Weird." Shaking his head slightly, he reached in the Module and pulled out his bags. Along with them came three DRDs, one with a Blue tape, another red colored, and the last red, white, and blue. "Hey guys, nice to see you are here. Go play nice with the locals. Oh, and R2," the red DRD chirped at him. "No zapping them with your weapons because you don't like what they have to say." R2 chirped again then wandered away with Blue and 1812. "Children," he cursed with an exasperated sigh.
Making his way through the mine field that was the Leviathan's insides, he headed towards where the rooms should be. Cells if she was once a prison transport. Luckily for him, they were rooms with actual doors similar to the hatch doors used for the central chamber and command. He looked around the large room with wistful smile. Once something like this would have been paradise, now it was a luxury he did not want.
He headed towards another room with cell like bars over it but solid cell doors unlike those of Moya's see through ones. He activated the room, and entered. It was a little larger than his old cell, but would serve his needs. This one even had a mirror unlike his old cell.
Slowly he set about putting his things in their proper places, the dentic habitat next to the wash basin, the herbs in a honest to god pantry, and his clothes in a drawer set. His blankets were put in a chest that came from the wall with his pillows. On the wall, a DRD rolled down to him with a comm attached to it.
He picked up the tiny piece of Leviathan tech and looked at it. A familiarly toned voice came over the comm, this pilot was a little younger than his previous, but he could handle that. He was also eager to please him.
"Is there any thing we Eliss or I can do for you, Commander?"
"Not at this time. I will be down to meet with you in person in a few moments. Right now I have to take care of a few more things first, is that all right, Pilot?"
"That is fine, Commander Crichton."
"Thanks. See you after a bit."
"Until then." The comm went dead as John sighed. He pulled down the zipper slowly and put his hands on his hips exposing the bulge inside the suit. A slow stroking hand ran over the underside of his sore flesh. "Hey there little girl. Just you and me now. I tried, I really did. Guess she didn't want you after all. That makes two of us." He felt her kick in response and smiled. "Yeah, I get that too. Just don't you be doin that too often, you here?"
John sighed as he slipped out of his suit and the shirt. He grabbed a pair of overly large shorts and slipped the expansive material over his body. "Time to get down to business." He waddled a little as he walked out of his cell trying to compensate for the increased mass of the baby.
Chiana pushed Nerri away from her in anger. This had been the third time he asked how it was possible for Crichton to be carrying her child. "I told you I don't know!" She turned and walked away towards the food cooler.
"Well then tell me what you do know. I have to make sure nothing else happens to my niece, even if you don't care, I do." Nerri stood next to the table glaring at his sister, daring her to deny him this.
"The Healer said there were three strands of Nebari DNA in the baby."
"Right, yours, M'lan's, and Johns."
"Wrong, John is not a Nebari by birth. He is, was a Human. They are Sebacean like, but much more pleasant to be around, oh they can also tolerate extreme heat and cold unlike the Peace Keepers."
"So who is the third, Chiana?"
"Your operative, that trat, Meelak."
Nerri seemed to think on this a moment before he nodded. "I understand the who, but not the how."
"Oh, care to enlighten the rest of us?" Chiana grabbed her tray of food cubes from the cooler, and started back for the table. "I'm waiting."
"When I sent out my operatives to contact you, I had no idea who would come in contact with you. I only knew that if the Establishment had to, they would infect your friends with the contagion. My people have been given an antibody that is passed the same way as the contagion. If your friend had carnal contact with Meelak it was for one of two reasons; it would serve the greater good, or to immunize him against possible contamination."
"So why did his DNA over ride Crichtons in such an extreme?"
"That I am not sure. The antibody wouldn't activate unless he was exposed to the virus. Then it would return to dormancy the moment it was removed from his system." Nerri looked away from his questioning sister. "Thing is, it was designed based on what we know of other species. The virus and the antigen were never tested on Hew-man DNA. There is no telling what effect it could have."
"Are you telling me, that what has happened so far is a side effect of what our people have done?"
"Yes, and there may be more than what we know of so far."
Chiana stood tossing her chair behind her. "We have to warn John!"
"Warn him of what? We are not sure of what else might be happening to him."
"There is one way to find out, the healer we visited yesterday. He would know what else to expect."
Nerri sighed as he nodded to his sister. This was turning out to be one lovely family reunion.
"What's up Pilot?"
"I believe the answer to that question would have to be relative to the person giving said answer. For me, there is no up or down outside of Eliss."
"Relax Pilot, it is just an expression of greeting. It means how are things with you. So what's up?" Crichton smiled as enlightenment dawned on the Pilot's face.
"Eliss and I are working on repairs to her main hull and inner tiers."
"Trillium Dust Mites. They came on board with the refugees and infected most of Eliss' systems." The Pilot pushed a few buttons down on his control panel as he spoke. "The problem has been mostly taken care of. A local healer gave us a supply of Berrium to kill them off. Unfortunately it also caused Eliss' Amnexus conduits to over load. Since then we have been repairing."
"How long will repairs take?"
"Another four days, we simply do not have enough DRDs to help maintain the ship and repair damaged sections."
"Well I brought over three of my own, they are pretty handy. Is there anything I can do that can speed up the process?"
The pilot checked over his systems then nodded. "Yes, there is a leak in the primary chamber's Amnexus conduit. The DRDs in that area are already taxed to their limits. Anything you can do to help, would be appreciated."
"All right, I'm on it." He started to leave, then had a second thought. "Uh, Pilot?"
"Is this stuff toxic to Pregnant Nebari or their unborn children?"
"No, amnexus fluids are used to help maintain Eliss' systems. A part of that is to aid in the care of her unborn child."
"Wait a minute, are you telling me Eliss is pregnant?"
"Yes, Commander, is this a problem?"
John smiled as he stroked his belly. "No, just familiar is all. I think Eliss and I have a lot more in common that I originally thought. Tell the DRDs in the primary chamber I am on my way."
Chiana looked around in shock at the destruction wrought in the Healer's practice. There were no signs of life, of any kind. Even the plants that had been growing in the waiting room were gone. There was evidence of several weapon's blasts though. "What the frell happened here? Where is every one?"
Nerri watched his sister with alarm. "What are you talking about? What is this place?"
"This was a Healer's practice yesterday." She felt a little dizzy as the world around her started to spin. "We have to get out of here, now!"
"Why, what's going on?"
"Don't ask, just move!" She dragged him out of the practice and down the block away just in time to miss the entire building collapsing.
"What the frell? How did you know?"
"I'll explain later. Right now we have to warn John."
"Warn him of what?"
"They are here!"
"Crichton, would just listen to me?"
"I said no, D'Argo."
"I don't deal with Murderers." John glared as D'Argo's image started to growl on the forward view port.
"I am not a murderer."
"Oh yeah, tell that to M'lan." He cut the transmission before D'Argo could respond. After a few moments of calm, the Pilot's face appeared on the clam shell. "Yeah, Pilot?"
"There is a transmission coming from the planet, it is coming from one of Moya's transport pods."
"Yeah, well tell them I aint here."
"It is Chiana, Commander, she says it is urgent."
"With her, everything is urgent."
"She says it is about Scorpius and Aeryn."
John pressed a few buttons on the command console and Chiana's face appeared on the forward view port. "Make it quick, Chi."
"They're coming, John. Don't ask me how I know, I just do. They are coming."
"Well there is nothing I can do about that, pip. I still have at least six more arns of repairs before Eliss can star burst out of here."
"Well Moya can star burst at any time."
"I don't care. Thanks for the warning, any thing else?" He sighed as he tried to speed up their conversation.
"Yeah, I'm coming on board."
"Over my dead body."
"If that's what it takes."
"Look, Chiana, I don't have time to chit chat with you. Eliss needs these repairs done immediately. I am not leaving her to the likes of Scorpius and Aeryn. We both know what will happen to her and Pilot if they find out I was here."
Chiana's eyes started to tear up. "There is something else."
"The healer's practice, the one we visited yesterday, it was just taken out. Nerri says that whomever it was, was using weapons not even he has seen before. And trust me, John, he has seen a lot of weapons." Her sad face made him feel like dren. "Just be careful, both of you."
"Thanks, Chi, I'll let Eliss know not to let anyone on board that I haven't approved of first."
"Anytime old man."
"May be next time, pip." Then he cut the communications and set about repairing the damaged bridge.
"Our long range marauders report back that there are two Leviathans in orbit of the planet. One is incapable of starburst, but will soon be. We will be with in range of the planet in two more arns, a quarter arn before the second Leviathan could starburst."
"Very good, Lieutenant. Can we tell which one is Moya?"
"Yes, Ma'am. Moya is the Leviathan capable of Star burst."
"And how do you know this?" Grayza watched him fidget from the corner of her eye.
"The second Leviathan is smaller than the records state Moya as being." He watched her start to turn and quickly added his other piece of evidence reluctantly. She was not the captain after all. "She is also pregnant, Ma'am, about six monens along, four before the birthing cycle. For this to be true, Moya would have to become pregnant just before Scorpius lost his command carrier. There were no male Leviathans in that area other than Moya's own offspring."
Mele-on nodded curtly at him then left the bridge. She had other things to worry about besides a slightly insubordinate private, yes he would be one soon. Now there was the most important subject to deal with. Her mind traced over scenarios of what to expect when she arrived at the planet. They all knew how protective his friends were over him.
There was no simple way to get things done now of days. Once you could intimidate them in to handing over your prey, or kill them. Now everything was a negotiation. How she longed for the days early in her career and her centuries old life. A time when the Scarrans were an equal player and not the superior enemy. The days of the Zelbenion.
It was still a shock to learn the truth behind one of their brightest shining examples of Peace Keeper dominance. A single blast from a single ship had crippled her and killed most of the crew. Whatever this technology, she must have it or destroy it so no one else could claim it.
She cursed the originators of the breeding programs. Their mindless pursuit of the unattainable had focused most of their technology on that which was of little use in the comming war. Of what use was a genetic splicer against a Dreadnaught's beam cannons? No, Scorpius' pet human was the only key to stopping the invasion. That is why she suffered the abomination's presence. Scarrans, she shuddered at the thought.
Another turn of the corridor and she came upon the doors to the inner sanctuary. The place where all her work had come in to play. Once the war was over, her people could begin their plans on a much grander scale. Yes, they would be the future of the Peace Keepers and then no one would oppose them. But it all hinged on one being, one man, and he wasn't even a Sebacean, much less a hybrid of their species.
A dark smile perked her white to black lips litening her pale features. Soon there would be no need for the word among the Peace Keepers. That is if all went according to plan.
The doors opened and she walked in like a queen to her subjects. Techs acknowledged her arrival but continued their work. All was needed in order to insure their work. There was no second chance if this failed. Unlike Scorpius' work, hers was not sanctioned by High Command, but by a side group of Special Directorate. That is why the need for secrecy and the strict rules even for a Peace Keeper Command Carrier.
Her violet eyes lighted over the room surveying all that was hers. Finally they settled on one individual. Slowly and with purpose she walked towards Officer Aeryn Sun who was settled on the edge of a fixed gurney. "How goes your mission now?"
"We will know soon if it is a success."
"For all our sakes, I hope it is."
Scorpius' hand snaked out around Aeryn's stomach as he came up behind her. "I assure you, it will be."
"Care to stake your life on it?" Mele-on tilted her head as she narrowed her eyes in amusement. The amusement left her face as he retorted.
"Care to stake your lineage?"
"I know who my parents were, I was a sanctioned production, can you say the same?"
Scorpius gave a Scarran growl. "It matters not! We are both who we are, nothing else on that matters. What matters is the success of our current projects. What is the status on these?"
"Since we are now partners in this, I will tell you, but do not expect me to do more than that." She waited his nod before continuing. "We are just under two arns away from the planet where he is located. Moya is in orbit of another Leviathan. We have almost no more information, but the other Leviathan is unable to starburst at this time, and is four months away from delivery of its offspring."
"Moya will not leave a pregnant Leviathan to fend for itself against our people."
Grayza nodded at Aeryn. "So we have been told. What remains to be seen is if this theory stands true. We all know that misconceptions on our part have led to many failures. I have learned from experience on Arnesk, to expect the unexpected."
Aeryn went rigid at the saying. "What did you say?"
"It is nothing, just something I learned a few monens back." She smirked at Aeryn's jealous look. 'Yes you tralk, I got him, and you did not.' "Very well, carry on with your experiment. And let nothing bring harm to her." She turned after a nod from Scorpius, and left the lab. She did not see the fearful looks from her people as Scorpius looked at her retreating form with an odd expression on his face, licking his lips. However Aeryn did and glared at the leaving figure.
John bounced around to the beat of the music as the DRDs played Prince without the words. He laughed as the last of the Amnexus fluid stopped flowing from the now sealed conduit. "Raspberry Beret, kind ya find in a second hand store!"
"Sorry, Pilot, it's just the words to the song. Been a while since I heard it."
"Is that the music of your home world?"
"Yeah, only it sounds a whole lot better when it comes out of the mouths of the people who know how to sing."
"I would hope so."
John stopped looking at the conduit and turned to the Pilot's image. "Is that sarcasm from a Pilot?"
"Damn, you people are full of hidden talents."
"Multi tasking is not the only thing my people are known for." The Pilot said with more than a little impatience.
"Whoa, hold on, Pilot, I didn't mean any thing by it. It's just unusual for a Pilot to be snarky with people."
"I too must apologize. You have been very gracious to Eliss and me. It has been a long time since either of us have met with kindness. The last people to come on board demanded much of us, more than we could provide."
John nodded solemnly. "I know the feeling. There are times I too felt that way about my former crew. They sought me out only when they needed something, other times I was too stupid, too primitive."
"It has been our experience the past two days that you are more knowledgeful of Leviathan systems than anyone we have met before. Your knowledge of other things has also proven of great interest to us as well. We feel privileged to have known you."
"Thanks, that is probably the nicest thing anyone has said to me in a while."
He looked down at his now sore hands, for two days he had been doing almost non stop repairs on Eliss. Now thanks to his efforts and that of the DRDs, Eliss was powering up her core, and building the energy necessary for a starburst. A chirping sound from one of the bridge consoles took away his attention from the conduit. "Guys, cut the prince." Silence filled the room as he walked towards the console. "What's going on, Pilot?"
"There is a Peace Keeper Command Carrier heading this way. She will be in range of firing her frag cannons in two hundred fifty microts."
"How long until we are ready for starburst?"
"At least another fifty microts after that."
"Damn. Please get me a channel to Moya."
The faces of Rygel and Chiana came on the screen. "What can we do for you?"
"Grayza's Carrier is here."
"We know." Rygel nodded as he spoke.
"Well then what the hell are you still doing here?"
Chiana moved closer to the screen. "We aren't leaving you here."
"You have no choice, Chiana."
"Get the frell out of here."
Eliss' Pilot spoke. "Fifty microts until firing range."
"Go, please." John's desperate voice rang out across Moya's command alerting the others to his presence as they came in.
"Get them the hezmana out of there, D'Argo."
"What about you?"
"Eliss is powering up her Starburst."
Rygel glared at him. "Pilot says it will be fifty microts too late."
John listened to something off the edge of their view screen. "Pilot says it is already too late. We are sending you encoded coordinates to meet us in five solar days. Good luck my friends." His image winked out as the others started to argue.
Chiana looked around at the others as silence reined on the bridge. "Hey where is wrinkles?"
Sikozu looked around and cursed.
In Eliss' command, John worked over the controls as he maneuvered the ship in position to star burst in a certain direction. "Pilot, how long until you can take care of this yourself, again?"
"That has yet to be determined. As it stands I am lucky to have what little control of Eliss' guidance systems I have. The DRDs are trying to find the problem."
"Yeah well hold on to your britches, this is going to be a bumpy ride."
John glanced away from the forward viewing portal to the Pilot. "Yes, Pilot?"
"Time is up, and we are receiving a signal from the Command Carrier."
"That's great, it might buy us the needed time. Put me through."
On the forward view portal came the image of Mele-on Grayza. "Who are you?"
"I am Seeker Julon Crion, of the Nebari Regime. Who are you?"
"I am Commandant Mele-on Grayza of Peace Keeper Command."
"What do you want so far from your territory, Peace Keeper?"
She smiled at him. "We have no quarrel with the Nebari, or the Establishment. We simply want what is ours."
"And that would be?" Silently he thanked Meelek and Varla for the lessons on being Nebari.
"The Leviathan Moya, and her crew."
"I was not under the impression they were yours. In fact they have clearly stated their intense dislike of your kind."
Mele-on narrowed her eyes as she moved closer to the recording device. "I have an entire Command Carrier under my control. I order you to leave us be, or suffer the consequences."
"The Peace Keepers have no..."
"I am not ordering you as a Peace Keeper, but as a Guide. The last time I checked, Guide out ranked mere Seekers." Her grin grew as his eyes widened. "Now leave me to my ship."
"Cool, go ahead and take her if you can. Check ya later dudes and dudettes." He gave her the one finger salute as Eliss went in to star burst.
Mele-on watched as the smaller Leviathan disappeared in the energy burst. From behind her came a loud roar of rage causing her to turn and glare. "Was that necessary? We have Moya in our grasp."
"Yes, but not John."
"There is only one being that I know of that speaks like that." Aeryn joined in the glaring match.
"Crichton." It was a whisper, but fell like an anvil. "What has happened to him?"
"Obviously he has costumed himself in order to appear like a Nebari." The lieutenant said helpfully.
The three looked at each other with mirroring reactions. "The Nebari!"
"He did!" Scorpius glared at her as Mele-on confirmed their thoughts.
"We have a bigger problem then we thought." Aeryn said solemnly as the other two nodded their agreement. "What do we do with Moya?"
"Kill her and the crew," Scorpius spat.
"That will be kind of hard," The ignorant Lieutenant said.
"Why is that?"
"Because why you three were arguing she launched in to Star burst. This would not have happened if Captain Bracka was here."
"Scorpius." Mele-on spoke with out looking at him.
"I here-by appoint you as Captain of this vessel. As captain, the Lieutenant here becomes your personal assistant." She turned with an evil smile. "He and Bracka were very... close." She passed by the paling man as she left the command deck. "Enjoy," she whispered in his ear.
Scorpius gave his death's head smile as he signaled the man to follow him off the bridge. "Officer Sun, as my second in command, you now have the bridge. Find out why they were here, and find out where they were going."
"Very good. Come with me, Lieutenant."
John entered the central chamber hoping to just get a nice piece of fresh fruit and some food cubes when the smell of dirty gym socks hit him. 'Oh no, it can't be.' "Grand Ma, you in here, old woman?"
"Where else would I be? You need me, remember?" She came out from behind the counter and set down a bowl and spoon in front of him. The smell from the bowl was something he never expected this side of an out house in July heat. "Come, sit, eat." She forced his weary bones to sit down in the chair in front of the vile concoction.
"It's not gonna bite me is it?"
"No, it is a broth I made. It contains proteins and vitamins essential for expecting Nebari females."
"But I'm not female."
"A minor technicality. Now eat, it is good for you."
Crichton looked at her, and knew that it would do no good to deny her. She would only find another way. Holding his nose, he took a tentive taste of it. It wasn't half as bad as it smelled, which did not say much. Slowly he finished the entire bowl. Already he could feel part of his pain easing and the color returning to his pale cheeks. Well what little color can be found in silver and gray.
"I am a little afraid to ask, where did you get the Protien needed for this broth?"
"It's a Nebari semen extract. I harvested it from Chiana's brother while he lay unconscious in his cell on Moya. Is there something wrong, are you ill?"
Crichton couldn't stop the convulsions as he some how kept the broth down. After a few moments he was able to speak again. "You molested Nerri while he was asleep, then fed me his sperm?"
"If that is what you call what I did, yes."
"I am going to kill you!"
"No need to thank me, and when you are ready for more, there is plenty left in the food cooler." She walked away humming to herself as she ignored Crichton's slightly blue parlor.
"Yes," he burped,"Pilot?"
"There is some body who wishes to see you."
"Now you ask me to let somebody on board, after you let the wacko in."
"I am sorry, but Noranti was already on board when you ordered me not to."
"That's okay Pilot, who is it?"
He turned around at his name to see a face he thought never to see again. "Blue?"
"What, Pilot?" John faced the clam shell with annoyance.
"I need an answer, her transport pod is running out of air. It was damaged when we starburst."
"Yeah, let her on." He looked back towards the woman, but she was gone. "Damn blue," he whispered. John walked to the transport hangar, arriving in time to see Chiana take the last step off the transport.
"Permission to come aboard, Captain?"
"Granted, and it is Commander. What are you doing here, pip?"
"Good to see you to old man. I couldn't wait five days to see you again so I decided to come over and see how you were doing." She slinked over to him looking him up and down. "So how are you doing?"
"I am great, Chiana. I would be better if you were safely aboard Moya with the rest of them."
"And with you I'm not safe? What, are you planning on taking advantage of little me?"
He tilted his head to the side narrowing his eyes as one hand unzipped the flight suit and the other opened it up to expose his round belly. "Do I look like I could take advantage of anything smaller than a Leviathan?"
"You're not that big, John."
"I am twice as big as my sister when she had her first son. I don't know how big she got the second time because I left while she was pregnant with him."
She moved closer to him in concern. "You weren't kidding with the weeken stuff were you?"
"No, I wasn't" He smiled to put her at ease. "Come on, pip, you can take the room next to mine, that is if granny hasn't taken them herself."
"Wrinkles is here?"
"Yeah, boarded before you gave me the heads up on the Peace Keepers."
Chiana started to laugh. "So what did she make you eat?"
"You don't wanna know, but stay away from the broth, it's not for you."
"Oh, and what's in it?"
As John told her, she started to choke from laughter.
Five days later, Moya was not at the rendezvous point, and Chiana was panicking. "Calm down, Chiana, this is not good for you, and you are about to give me a heart attack."
"I can't, John. What if they got captured, you know like the relnics they are, probably stayed behind to make sure you got away safely."
"I am sure they are safe, now settle down." His frustration grew as she sped up her walk towards command. She had been non stop chattering about how much she thought something bad was happening to them. At first he had been inclined to agree, her sixth sense was not usually wrong. Now after fifteen arns, it was getting on his last nerve.
To add to it he had been having aches for the past day. His abdomen had begun to expand faster, and the baby was not settling down. So he was working on two and three hours of sleep.
Chiana paused and turned when she noticed he was not next to her. She finally caught sight of him leaning against the wall struggling to breathe, his skin a pale wood ash. "Hey, old man, you okay?"
"No, I think something is wrong. Go get Noranti."
"Come on, let's get you in the central chamber it is only a tier away." She settled up under his arm and helped him walk slowly down the hall. They stopped when he bent forward letting out a scream as the front of his pants flight suit was soaked. "Pain that bad?"
"Chiana?" His voice was a harsh whisper.
"I think my water just broke."
"I think the baby is coming."
"Yeah, we had better hurry." The ship rocked as they entered the central chamber. "Oh what now?" His temper short as another contraction split his insides.
"Commander Crichton, there is an unidentified vessel approaching fast. I have tried to communicate with them, but they have only opened fire on us." The ship rocked again as the clam shell image flashed. "What do you wish me to do?"
"Our first priority is to protect you, Eliss, and her unborn child. Is there any other ships out there?"
"Yes, Moya is on the outer edge of this system and is getting closer."
"Okay good, prep my module for launch. It might be me they are after and I won't have them hurting you."
"As you wish." His image blinked out.
"John, you can't."
"I'm not leaving Eliss, pip. It is only a last resort. Just in case Eliss has to starburst out of here, I don't want you and the little monster getting separated."
"You knew this was happening?"
"I knew the time would be close, I just expected it to be at least another day." He screamed as the ship rocked again. "Get this thing out of me!" Nearly tearing it, he yanked down the zipper on his flight suit exposing his nude body. His belly convulsed as another contraction hit making him cry out.
Chiana knelt between his legs as he assumed the position. "How could you know some one would attack while you gave birth?"
"It's called Murphy's Law, anything that can go wrong, will." He screamed again as pink fluid shot out of his penis followed by blue. John gripped the nearest thing, a table chair and bent it when the next contraction hit. "It's time," was all he said before his penis started to expand. In the next moments a large blue leathery sack was forced from his contracting body. His screams echoed through out the ship as the last of it left his urethra tore nearly in half.
As the sack started to move, Chiana looked at it. It was like nothing she had ever seen before. Nerri had told her about how Nebari children were born, but she never saw it. The sack started to harden, then crack. Finally forced in to action, she stuck her fingers in the cracks and pried it open. In side she found a tiny white haired Nebari baby.
John started to cough when he heard the first screams of the baby. He felt so weak. The ship rocked again as the lights went out. The pink fluid started to flow out of his body again as well as the blue blood of the Nebari. He coughed again, this time bringing up more of the blue stuff. He hurt, his insides hurt.
"Commander, we are receiving a signal from Moya. They are inquiring about your health and if we are in need of assistance."
"Tell them, yeah we need help. Tell them... Tell them..." He just felt so weak. "Tell them to cover my module, she will be carrying very special cargo."
"As you wish."
"Time to go, pip." His pain filled voice whispered to her.
"How, you can barely walk?"
"I know, take M'lila, and go. D'Argo and Moya will make sure you get there safe. When you get safely on board, tell Moya to starburst the hezmana out of here. Eliss will do the same. Go, we don't have much time." As if to emphasize his point, the ship rocked again.
"I'm not leaving you, John. You are hurt. Where the hell is Wrinkles?" She started to panic as he stopped moving.
"Better be careful, Chi, you are picking up some of my sayings."
"No! I won't leave you."
"You don't have a choice." He summoned the last of his strength. "Look at her, Chiana, tell me she isn't precious."
"Look at her damn it!"
Chiana looked down at the tiny baby in her arms, for the first time she noted the baby had blue eyes. When born baby Nebari have solid black eyes, unless... "She's a hybrid John."
"She is a hybrid. Baby Nebari born with blue eyes are blind like all Nebari at birth, but are hybrids and will retain the blue eyes. She is a hybrid."
He nodded as another ache started in his body. "She is a combination of three Nebari, but she is still a hundred percent Nebari."
"Yesh, she is."
"M'lila, I like it."
He smiled as his vision started to loose focus. "Is pretty. M'lan liced it."
"Liced?" She refocused on him, and noted his shallow breathing. "John."
"S'okay pip, take her and get out of here."
"I'm sorry, old man." She cried out as she ran from the chamber with the screaming child, "Noranti!"
She found the Traskin in the docking bay next to the Module. "There, the modifications for the baby are finished. Climb in and I will hand her to you."
"What, no! We have to help John."
"There is no time. Get in."
"I said no." Chiana tried to fight her, but Noranti blew a powder in her face knocking her out as the old woman caught her and the baby.
Quickly Noranti set Chiana in to the Module. "May the divine forgive me." She then sealed it and sent it off. With another look around she wrapped M'lila in her robes and climbed aboard a Transport pod.
Noranti ignored him as she sealed the pod and took off.
John could only helplessly watch as his daughter was taken by the Traskin. As quickly as he could, he ran for command, ignoring the screams of pain that seemed to come out of him. All he knew was his need to get his daughter back from the crazy alien. When he arrived at command, he activated the controls. It took three tries as his senses were quickly failing him.
On the forward viewing portal the images of the Module being escorted by D'Argo's ship and the Transport pod heading for the unknown alien vessel could be seen. He tried comming the transport pod, but there was no response. Instead he got an image of D'Argo, and the audio of both him and Chiana.
"She took her!"
"Noranti, she took M'lila."
"Stop! Listen to me, the old woman took Chiana's daughter, she is on the transport pod..." As he spoke the pod exploded. "Oh god, no." He felt weak, so weak. John slumped against the controls and fell on the floor. His world started to spin. All he could hear were screams as Chiana and D'Argo tried to get his attention. Vaguely he heard as the Pilot announced that Eliss was so distressed she was going in to immediate star burst. Then all went black.
Chiana watched through the hatch window as the transport pod exploded. She screamed in anguish as John confirmed it was the baby on board. D'Argo tried to get her attention, he was saying something about John.
She started to speak again in a pained small voice. "John? D'Argo, what happened with John?"
"He's not moving. John collapsed on command and he is not moving. Wake up, John! You must wake up, that frelling Leviathan is going in to starburst, you must wake up or you will be taken with her."
Another flash of light and the Leviathan disappeared.
Chiana felt like she had been stabbed in the gut. He was gone, they were both gone. She had only known her daughter for a short time and yet she already thought of her as hers. Those bastards killed her daughter. Focusing her anger on a target, she looked for the alien ship, only to find it wasn't there any more. The alien ship was gone, the baby was gone, Crichton was gone.
As the Module cruised on to Moya on auto pilot, she let her tears fall. In space, no on heard her screams of loss.
It had come out of a blast of energy, one of three that had come this day. The previous two had been seriously damaged and drifted close enough to be brought in by the shuttle. Their crews incapacitated in a matter of moments and removed in less than that.
It had been pure luck they were testing the new transports today. The international space station had been online completely for ten years now. A crew of fifty now manned the orbital relay complex and the gardens that grew here. New chemicals and elements had come of this, and along with them, new technologies. A larger shuttle had been built and was now being used.
The arrival of the two identical alien ships was a miracle in itself. There appeared to be two factions on them. One was chasing the other, both had been subdued with the orbital defense network. Now both crews were on the space station awaiting transport to the blue planet below.
That was when the third ship had appeared. It was unlike even the wildest dreams, for it was living. The old transport shuttle had been used to land on it, and now they stood on command.
"Well look what we have here."
"Who do you think it is, looks like one of our old guys."
Slowly the two armed figures turned the body over and noted that he was still alive, barely. "May look like one of us, but it sure in hell aint. Looks exactly like one of the others we found earlier today. You know, from the first ship."
"But why is he wearing one of our old uniforms?"
"I don't know... Hey, he's waken up. Do you know who you are?" The red head knelt down in front of the male alien with blue eyes. "Answer me, who are you?"
"Edun-it ta?" He coughed out.
"Rel, noss sopa we-hen edun-it ta?"
"Looks like we got ourselves another one. Tell the boys to brace themselves, this one is injured, even worse than the ones from the first ship." Red stood up and looked around the ship. The command was dark aside from the three little lighted creatures that hovered around the fallen alien. "What about these three? They look pretty protective of him."
"How do you know it's a male?"
"He's got the plumbing."
"Don't mean nothin. He's an alien."
"Right, forgot. Okay, do we bring them along with?"
"Why not?" Just as the second guy was about to pick up the alien, one of them stung him with something. "What the hell?" He felt a mild disorientation before he righted himself. "Be careful, these are nasty little boogers."
"What did it do?"
"It stung me."
"Better have the doc check you out when we get back."
"Look pal, I can't understand you."
"He is asking for water."
Red looked at the second guy. "How do you know?"
"I dunno, I just do. He sounds like he is speaking plain English. Give him your water."
Red did as told, but pulled back when the alien started to choke. "There, is that better."
"What did he say?"
"You are welcome pal. Hang on, we will get you out of here." Slowly they lifted the alien and carried him on their shoulders to help him walk. The little robotic aliens followed as they walked. "Hey Jim, looks like they really are his friends. Hey doesn't that look like an American flag, and doesn't that say 1812?"
"What in hell?"
"1812, it does say 1812." Every time the mentioned the number, the machine baring the markings chirped at them. "I think he knows his name, hey do you know the 1812 overture?"
Jim laughed as red teased the robot. He stopped when the machine started to sing it happily and was joined by the other two. "Well I'll be damned."
Red stopped laughing and shuddered. "This dark ship feels like a tomb, wonder what the hell happened here."
"E su no vommie aht."
"An unknown enemy attacked, the Leviathan tried to starburst but he thinks she didn't survive the attempt." Jim translated for the confused red. "So this ship is a Leviathan and a starburst is what?"
"A sudden jump in space from one point to another."
"Wan ta-wei aht."
"It is the only defensive maneuver of the Leviathan."
Red looked around the massive ship one more time as they came out in to the dimly lit landing bay. Their shuttle was the only craft, but not the only machine. Inside were a half dozen other robots like the three that followed them. They clung to the side of the shuttle and signaled for them to follow them inside.
"What the hell are they doing here?"
"Ke-vesh," the alien grunted before he passed out in their arms.
Red looked up at Jim for explanation.
"He says they are his friends."
"This is just too weird, let's get the hell out of here."
They climbed on board the shuttle and started to fly away when the ship lit up again. For the first time they caught a glimpse of the alien ship, as if she wanted them to see her. Her massive tendrils drew apart as energy sparked between them. Suddenly it disappeared in a blast of energy.
"So that is what a star burst looks like. Hey pal, you were wrong, she was only playing opossum." Jim turned back to see the alien laying in the middle of the small circle of robots beings as they watched over him like silent warriors over a fallen king. He could almost believe they actually cared, but that would be impossible, they were only robots, right? Another sigh escaped him as they headed on towards the station to join the others before they headed home, for Earth.
The End of Chapter 2.
Coming soon, Chapter 3, Julon Crion: Memory.