The episode opens with Rygel humming to himself, eating, and painting a self-portrait...
Rygel: (Appraising his handiwork.) Ah, perfection!
(Cut to another room aboard Moya, Crichton is trying to get away from D'Argo)
Crichton: No! NO! Not ever! Absolutely not! Just get outta my face!
D'Argo: (Chasing him down.) Don't be a coward. You say you want to clean your teeth.
Crichton: (Facing off with D'Argo.) BRUSH them! I want to BRUSH my teeth!
D'Argo: (He holds up something between his thumb and forefinger.) But to manually clean your teeth as you describe is highly inefficient. (Closeup of what D'Argo's holding: a squirming white thing.)
Crichton: That's too damn bad. You're not sticking that freakin' maggot in my...
D'Argo grabs John and squeezing his mouth open stuffs the slug in. Crichton looks grossed out. D'Argo peers in to analyze Crichton's mouth the be sure Crrichton doesn't spit it out.
Crichton: (Talking around the slug and looking very unhappy.) What's it doing?
D'Argo: Cleaning all the excess bacteria and food particles. (Crichton, grosses out, gags, D'Argo grabs him and looks him in the eyes.) Never swallow the Dentic. (Suddenly a jolt rocks Moya. It knocks down poor Rygel who had just put brush to canvas and now has smeared a large red streak across the painting. Cut back to D'Argo.) Pilot! Report!
Aeryn: (Via comms.) This is Aeryn. I'm in the Command. You'd better get up here quickly. (D'Argo grimmaces and goes.)
Crichton: (Spits the Dentic to the floor and wipes his lip with his tongue and pauses.) It's kinda minty...
Cut to the D'Argo following a DRD into Command. Outside the viewport we see what appears to be a cloud of small debris swirling in space. Aeryn moves from one console to another.
D'Argo: What is that?
Aeryn: Best I can tell, it's asteroid debris. Stay with it, Pilot.
Pilot: (His image materializes on the clamshell.) Doing my very best.
Cut to long shot of Aeryn and D'Argo. Two DRDs move forward ominously to look at the viewport.
D'Argo: Asteroid debris does not move like that.
Cut to external view of Moya appraching the "debris cloud." The particles on the right side of the "debris cloud" suddenly retract inward from Moya like a school of fish. Moya is rocked again as she moves toward the center of the cloud of particles. Crichton and Zhaan enter.
Crichton: Don't tell me Moya's got hiccups.
D'Argo: You're too close. Maneuver away from it!
Aeryn: The debris cloud isn't our problem.
She moves over to the table in Command and punches a button to bring up a holographic image of area. First Moya appears, then the "debris cloud," followed by the image of another ship on the side of the cloud opposite Moya.
Crichton: Hey, that's another ship.
Aeryn: It doesn't know we're here. The debris is blocking their scan.
D'Argo: Pilot, stay behind the debris. (Aeryn gives him a sideways glance of irritation--she and Pilot are already doing that.)
Crichton: (We see the hologram showing scanning beams coming from the other ship.) It's scanning? That ship is scanning? Wait... does that mean it's...?
Zhaan: (With resignation.) Peacekeeper... It's a scout ship. Crais's eyes and ears.
Aeryn: And claws. It's a Marauder. Five man crew. (She moves back to the console and punches buttons.) Highest level of training. Success measured by body count.
D'Argo: Marauder changing course.
Crichton: How fast can they...? How fast can they go?
Aeryn: Hetch 7.
Crichton: Hetch 7? Thing's a Hyundai. Why don't we stop playing hide and seek and just smoke 'em?
D'Argo: If they discover us, Crais will know exactly where to concentrate his search. We can NOT outrun a Command Carrier.
Aeryn: D'Argo's right.
Crichton: (sulkily) Of course he is, Ms. Sun. He's been here longer.
Aeryn: Stay with it Pilot. Steady.
Pilot: We're no longer being scanned.
D'Argo: They're passing us by.
Cut to external view of the Marauder flying away from the cloud. Cut to shot of Aeryn and Crichton. Aeryn releases her tension and slumps over the console. Crichton stands there out of his element.
Pilot: Thank you ... for your help, Officer Sun.
Aeryn: We work together well, Pilot. (Cut briefly to Pilot on the clamshell nodding.)
Cut to an exterior shot of Moya. Particles in the debris cloud begin to stream toward Moya and entering her docking bays. Cut back to the Command. Crichton stands there lost. Zhaan and D'Argo are speaking at a console. Two DRDs bustle about. Crichton watches the movements of the cloud through the main port, the particles moving toward Moya.
Crichton: Huh... You don't see that every day.
Cut to view of particles now flying through Moya's docking bay. We see several land and feet pop out to reveal that they are insect-like. But before we get a good look the opening credits roll.
We return to the maintenance bay near the docking bay in which Crichton and Aeryn are working to clean up items that were tossed about by Moya's earlier jarring movements.
Crichton: (Uprighting an overturned DRD.) Go on,. Get out of here. Shoo. Go. Go home. (To Aeryn:) So, those Marauders really shook you up.
Aeryn: The ship is called a Marauder. The team on board are commandos.
Crichton: Like you? (Long pause. Aeryn does not respond or acknowledge the question. Crichton tries a different tack.) What, you're worried they'll come back?
Crichton: But not impossible?
Aeryn: (She smiles broadly, possible at Crichton's naïveté, which she seems to find cute.) Marauders follow a very strict search pattern. It's a crosshatch star pattern. Clean. Efficient. No prey escapes. Moya got lucky. Simple as that.
Crichton: You ever serve on one?
Aeryn: My application for transfer was awaiting Crais's approval when I got caught in this... (Gesturing mockingly.) this little mutiny. I'm sure your world has no force so... ruthless, so disciplined.
Crichton: Oh, we call them linebackers. Or serial killers. Depends on whether they're professional or amateur. (Switch to a view of Crichton and Aeryn from under a table. We hear an odd animal noise and the view is fuzzy.) Look, you're not in this alone. Everybody on board has had their lives derailed from what they thought they were going to be. Should be... We're stuck together. As long as we are, we might as well be-
Aeryn: What? ... Family? Friends? (She laughs dismissively.) I want neither.
Crichton: Somebody's got to be there when you need it.
Aeryn: No offense, human, but what could I possibly need from you?
Crichton: (Mostly to himself.) Oh, I don't know. Manners... personality... stock tips...
Cut to Zhaan and Rygel who are cleaning up the fallen objects in the canteen.
Rygel: Ugh.. darn it. Some fapooter is going to pay for this!
Zhaan: Here, let me help you. (She sets Rygel's portrait back up and looks.) Is that how you see yourself?
Rygel: (We see he has red pain on his upper lip.) Mmm. Mother always said I was the best looking. That's why she had my older brothers banished. She said my face belonged on the Imperial Seal. (Sadly but with a stiff upper lip.) But now, of course, it's ruined.
Zhaan: (Amused.) It's more accurate than you think. (She takes a rag to wipe thepaint off Rygel’s face. There is a long shot like we saw in the maintenance bay as if something is watching. Cut briefly to Rygel being cleaned before the camera pans to a hatchway, where the something watching them must be. Zhaan walks to the painting and taking up a brush begins to paint very quickly.)
Rygel: Hey. What do you think you're doing? Hey, do you mind? (He watches as she rapidly paints at superhuman speed. She puts down the brush and he looks.) Is that how you see me?
Zhaan: (Chirping.) Mmm. It's called a spirit painting. We Delvians do it for recreation. (Cut to a realistically regal portrait of Rygel, markedly different than the folk-art painting he had made. Rygel giggles with pleased embarrassment) It's rather rushed.
Rygel: (Pleased as punch.) It looks like Rygel the Great. Rygel the First. My most honored ancestor.
Zhaan: Obviously a part of his spirit resides within you.
Rygel: (Purrs with satisfaction and says to the painting.) You had it so very easy.
Cut to Crichton and Aeryn in a maintenance bay as viewd by the something hiding.
Crichton: Hey, I'm missing one of those little... uh, pointy things with the laser probes?
Aeryn: (Gasping.) Aren't you hot?
D'Argo: (on comm) Aeryn, Crichton. I'm showing abnormal thermal fluctuations throughout the ship. Can you confirm maintenance bay reading?
Aeryn: I told you it was hot! (Directing him to the thermostat in the room) By the door.
As Aeryn reaches for something on the floor a large insectile creature hiding under a table shoots a sliver at Aeryn. She doesn't notice it.
Crichton: D'Argo, the giant Ouija board says... uh, optimum plus 3.
Aeryn: Feels like plus 30. How long to fix it D'Argo?
D'Argo: Not long, once we isolate the cause.
Aeryn: Well then, stop talking and start isolating.
Aeryn reaches for another fallen object. The thing under the table shoots another sliver, this time it hits Aeryn in the wrist.
Aeryn: Ow! Ow.
Crichton: You okay?
Aeryn: (Pulls the sliver out of her skin.) Yeah. Metal splinter. We're done here.
They leave, though the floor is not all cleared. The bug picks up the sliver with Aeryn's blood on it..
Cut to the Command. D'Argo is examining a sliver he evidently just pulled from himself. He tosses it away as Crichton and Aeryn enter.
Aeryn: Why is it still so hot?
Pilot: Moya’s' propulsion system is generating more heat than usual at this speed.
D'Argo: Diagnostics is showing some sort of blockage in the vents preventing its discharge into space.
Aeryn: What about the congelation coils?
Pilot: All attempts to chill the ship have been overridden by the heat buildup.
Crichton: "Chill" being the operative word here Aeryn. It's a little warmer, what's the big deal?
Pilot: Even shutting down every non-vital system, it's going to be optimum plus 15 in six hours.
Rygel: Worse than morons. Find the blockage. Clear it.
Aeryn: (Impatient as usual.) Look, I'll fix the damn problem myself. (She starts to leave.)
Zhaan: Stop. We'll search together tier by tier. Pilot, please assist in the narrowing process. (Cut to Pilot on the clamshell who nods and turns to the task.)
D'Argo: (Dismissively to Aeryn as he leaves with Zhaan.) On Luxan, this is a mild winter morning.
Aeryn: Humph. Another reason Sebaceans hate his world.
Cut to later with Crichton and Zhaan in a corridor.
Zhaan: This main valve controls the heat for all of Tier 7.
Crichton: Great. We'll just turn this sucker off. (He attempts to shut it off by pushing the lever to no avail. Zhaan chuckles and reaches over to push the lever the other direction.) Oh, yeah. No, I knew that.
Zhaan: (Smiling generously.) It's all right. There's so much new information for you to assimilate. Sometimes the smaller things will elude you.
Crichton: Well at least you get that. The others treat me like I'm some kind of Earth idiot.
Zhaan: Well granted they're not the most patient beings, but... what did you expect?
Crichton: Oh, I don't know. A little slack, maybe? At least they know where they are, how things work. It takes me 10 minutes to figure out how to open the door.
Zhaan: You'll need to develop some patience yourself if you expect to survive here.
Crichton: I'm trying. Ooo, I am trying. But y'know, with Aeryn and D'Argo, it's like everything is a test. It's like I'm in some never-ending frat hazing at Alien U.
Zhaan: Frat? Hazing?
Crichton: (sheepish) Next planet I'll, rent ya a copy of "Animal House"...
Zhaan: (Placing her hand kindly on his shoulder.) John, they are soldiers. Win their respect.
Crichton: (Sincerely.) Exactly how do you do that? I mean, short of cutting someone’s throat.
Zhaan: Actions. Actions speak to them. Actions like tactical maneuvers, defending the ship... Fixing the heat. (She gestures to get going.)
Crichton: Right. Hey... Thanks.
Zhaan: (As they set off in opposite directions.) There's a lot more of these to check - are you sure you've got the hang of it now?
Crichton: Oh, yeah, Just watch me... spring into action. Look I'll uh... check the vents in the living quarters. I'll meet ya back on the Command.
Cut to later Crichton enters his quarters. He doesn't notice a bug stealthily pulling hair from his comb.
Crichton: (Over comms.) Tier 5 passageway clear, Pilot. Ditto on Zhaan and Rygel’s quarters. Checking mine now.
He throws his coat down, feeling the heat, and looks down at a hatchway we are learning are ubiquitous on Moya. He notices the hatch door is off. He looks around, puzzled, then spots the cat-sized bug on the floor. It squeals and skitters away. Crichton skitters in the opposite direction, he jumps up onto some wall protrudances two feet off the floor. He watched the bug go behind a table.
Crichton: (Clinging to the bulkhead, thoroughly freaked out.) Um... anybody, uh... anybody hear me? (No response. The bug makes noise and its rear portrudes from behind the table.) Anybody?
D'Argo: (Over comms.) D'Argo here.
Crichton: Yeah, I uh... think I've found our problem.
D'Argo: What is it, Crichton? (As Crichton tries to walk acoss the portudances, another bug appears on the wall above him. He jumps down and rockets to the other side of the room and jumps onto a table.) What is it? Crichton?!
Aeryn: (Over comms.) Stop wasting time; ship's beetles don't clog exhaust vents.
Crichton: Yeah, well, they might if they're two feet long! Somebody tell me what these things are?
D'Argo: You need to capture one.
Crichton: (Under his breath.) Yeah, capture one. Right.
Aeryn: We're on our way. Whatever you do, don't let them back in the vents.
Crichton: (To the bugs.) Between you and me - you guys can go anywhere you want. (The bug on the wall falls to the floor and races for the open hatch. Crichton yells and runs for the hatch, realizes there's no way he can follow, then trurns to face the other bug. It has emerged from behond the table and tires to make for the hatchway but Crichton sticks out his leg and blocks the path. It rises up on six legs in an intimdating gesture. and blocks him)
Crichton:Oh, hell, what'd I just do. (Crichton moves right, the bug moves laterally to match. Crichton moves left, the bug moves with him. Crichton grabs a bed sheet and charges it. He gets it in the sheet and yelling beats it furiously against furniture and the wall. He staggers away with the sheet. It briefly comes alive again and he flails it wildly against the floor and walls four more times. It's finally dead and Crichton is down on hands and knees gasping for breath. He gets up with his bundle, fluids now dripping through tears in the sheet. His expression is appropriately nausous.
Cut to later in Zhaan’s lab. She is dissecting the bug. Rygel is there. She's chanting softly "Guylen, guylen..."
Rygel: You're praying for this parasite?
Zhaan: We don't know it's a parasite.
Rygel: It's on board this ship uninvited!
Zhaan: My concern, too Rygel. But if I can analyze its DNA, perhaps we can understand why it's here.
Rygel: (Dipping a finger into the bug’s blue gooey guts and sniffing it.) Well, the others think there may be dozens of these things - even hundreds throughout our living quarters.
Zhaan: I believe Crichton’s' supposition is correct. He said they must have come aboard when the flock or swarm... thing passed over us. (Rygel wipes the goo off his finger on the back of Zhaan’s robe. She looks up from her equipment. Rygel, thinking she caught him, looks apprehensive.) Crichton? It's Crichton’s DNA?
Cut to a corridor in Moya where D'Argo is trying to cut through a door sealed by blue stuff with a loud cutting torch. Crichton and Aeryn stand nearby.
Crichton: (To Zhaan via comm) My DNA? How can that bug be carrying my DNA?
Zhaan: Well, that's what the analyzer's saying.
Crichton: Well, analyze it again.
Zhaan: I intend to. But another specimen would be helpful, John. Alive this time if possible.
Crichton: Oh, yeah, no problem. Hell, the damn things are related to me.
Aeryn: (To Crichton, gesturing toward D'Argo.) What's behind there?
Crichton: (To D'Argo, yelling over the torch.) Hey, what's back there?
D'Argo: (Shutting off the torch, irritated as always.) Ion backwash chamber. Should be a giant, empty room. The beetles have completely isolated it. All four entries are sealed. (On comms.) Pilot! We need that alternate entry!
Pilot: (Over comms.) I am still attempting access.
D'Argo: (Flummoxed by the failure of his tool to penetrate the blue sealant.) Nothing can resist a prism laser saw.
Crichton: Well, you'd better check the warranty,cuz, 'cause that stuff ain't budging. Zhaan says we gotta capture another bug. Alive this time. Says she wants to check some unreliable data.
Aeryn: (Clearly uncomfortable.) Huh. Data's not the only unreliable thing around here.
She walks off. They watch her walk away a few steps.
Crichton: What's her problem?
D'Argo: Sebacean heat delirium.
Cut to Aeryn who has not walked far. She stops, needing to lean against the wall for support.
D'Argo: Sebaceans lack the gland necessary to regulate extreme thermal increases.
Crichton: Wait... Crais and those other bastards chasing us are cold-blooded? Literally?
D'Argo: It's a weakness not enough of them die from. PILOT! I will wait no longer. (He takes his laser and begins cutting through Moya’s' wall to get into the backwash chamber.
Pilot: (Cut to a furious Pilot.) How dare you cut into Moya without warning! (A DRD rushes up and zaps D'Argo with its own laser.)
D'Argo: (Yelps and kicks the DRD away.) You had your chance!
Pilot snarls in his Den and D'Argo continues cutting. Moya groans. John approaches Aeryn who is now sitting against the wall.
Aeryn: We have to get in there.
Crichton: Maybe you should lie down.
Aeryn: (Looking away from him.) No, I need to be left alone
D'Argo's cutting and Moya’s' groans continue. Crichton pauses to think about how to deal with Aeryn.
Crichton: Heat delirium?
Aeryn: (She turns and glares at him, suprised and upset that he knows.) As our cells overheat, the nervous system shuts down. First short-term memory, then motor functions. The last thing to go is long-term memory.
Crichton: Sounds like an ugly way to die.
Aeryn: We don't die. Our body lives on in that state. It's called the "living death." It's the only time we kill our own from mercy.
The clank of falling metal indicates D'Argo is through the wall. He pokes his head through to look.
Crichton: You see anything?
D'Argo: (Angry.) Another bulkhead! (He punches the wall in anger. Bugs scuttle and squeal behind it. The camera pans back as the bugs scurry overhead between the bulkheads.)
Cut to later, a corridor, Crichton, talking to himself, rounds a curve and sees Zhaan at a heat regulator valve.
Crichton:My DNA... my DNA. Great. (Lights flicker.) The giant space cockroaches are eating out the lights. (Coming up to Zhaan) Please tell me you made a mistake on those tests. (He helps her open a valve.) There's no way my DNA is inside those things. ... Zhaan, it's making it hotter, not cooler. (He reaches to shut the valve and Zhaan elbows him in the gut, then punches him in the jaw knocking him across the corridor.) OH! (He holds his heaf, looks up, and watches as Zhaan vomits blue stuff onto the valve - it hardens, freezing it in its open position) What the hell? (Zhaan walks away calmly.)
Cut to later in Command. Aeryn is there. Crichton enters holding his head.
Crichton: D'Argo, Rygel! (He sees Aeryn and come up to her.) How do you say, "we're screwed," in your native tongue? Zhaan just beat the crap out of me and then spit up that blue snot the bugs use. She must have been infected or something when she... (Aeryn is ignoring him as she works at a console.) Aeryn? (He walks around to look at both sides of her.) Aeryn... you're, you're not sweating. That, that's heatstroke.
Pilot: (In clamshell viewer.) Commander Crichton, she is initiating a thermal increase.
Crichton: Aeryn, you gotta stop. Aeryn you're only going to... (As he tries to spin her around she headbutts him and he is thrown back. Cut briefly to a surprised Pilot on the clamshell.) Aeryn, no! (He tries to pull her away from the console. She responds by knocking him across the room,) Okay! Hardball. (He lunges at her. She beats him back.)
Pilot: (Watching Aeryn beat the crap out of Crichton, again.) Do not let her execute the command!
Crichton: (Grabbing Aeryn's leg trying to hold her back.) Thanks a lot, Pilot. That's a big help. Aeryn!
She slips her leg out but he lunges and grabs her arm. Amid buggy squealing the arm is torn off, the insides are blue glop. "Aeryn" collapses. Pilot gapes. Crichton gapes. The real Aeryn enters.
Aeryn: (Sounding weak and woozy.) Crichton... (Slowly taking in the scene of a duplicate of herself dead on the floor and John still holding the arm.) What ... are you...doing? (Crichton gets to his feet and moves to her side as they stare at the dead thing on the floor and at each other.)
(Cut to later in Zhaan’s lab. Aeryn’s double is on the examining table.)
Crichton: It was exactly like you - the way it moved, the way it felt. (She shoots him a glance.) I mean, it felt real. Alive. It looked and acted totally alive. It was impossible to tell the difference.
D'Argo: (With disdainful haughtiness.) The fact that it was trying to sabotage the ship wasn't a clue to you?
Zhaan: He had no reason to suspect. This is a perfect duplicate of Aeryn’s exterior, right down to the micron.
Aeryn: (Staring in consternation at her double on the table.) Did it communicate?
Crichton: Not a word. ... (To Zhaan.) Neither did you when you attacked me in the passageway.
Zhaan: I was never in the passageway John.
Crichton: No, the other you. (He moves over to the disected bug on another examining table.) This bug was in my room. It must have sampled something, hair, whatever. It was going to use my DNA to make a copy of me.
Zhaan: The perfect camouflage.
Crichton: The perfect army.
Aeryn: If there are hundreds of these creatures on board...
Zhaan: Then we could be meeting our replicants at every turn.
D'Argo: Then we will kill them all. On sight.
Zhaan: And how will you tell us from them?
D'Argo: (He considers the question, then pulls out a knife.) We will cut off the tip of our small finger for identification. (Everyone scoffs.)
Crichton: How about something a little less permanent? (He produces a can of spray paint and sprays an orange mark on his hand and shows it to the others. He proceeds to spray an orange mark on everyone else's hand.)
Aeryn: Look I don't care about replicants. What we've got to do is ... wait... what was I going to say? (Rising panic.) I had something to say, I know I did!
Zhaan: (Softly to Crichton.) We really need to lower the ships' temperature.
D'Argo: (Quietly.) All the climate regulators have been sealed by the blue sludge.
Crichton: Can we find something, make something, that will dissolve this blue gunk?
Zhaan: I've certainly got enough to analyze.
Aeryn: I'm going to go work with Pilot. (As she walks away, she says to their collective stare.) I'm fine.
Crichton: Right. And all we have to do is find where they're hiding.
(Cut to later. Crichton, Rygel, and D'Argo are by the hole in the wall that D'Argo opened. Rygel is in front holding a flashlight looking worried.)
Rygel: If you say the heat's affected you, I won't assume you've lost your mind. Those things are in there!
(Crichton pounds on the wall three times, which produces uch squealing and scuttling of bugs.)
Crichton: There you go. That should scatter them long enough for you to get through.
Rygel: Should! I'll go when it's more definite, thank you. (He turns to leave.)
D'Argo: You'll go now. (He grabs Rygel’s hoverchair and chucks the Hynerian out of it and through the hole,)
Rygel: What are you- ? YAAAAHHH! Luxan manners never fail to amaze me!
D'Argo laughs with satisfaction at Crichton who fails to resist laughing in kind.
Cut to Pilots' den. Aeryn is next to his Console.
Aeryn: If we can't turn the temperature down, isn't there at least some way to ... (She is panting.) To stop it... from ... ?
Pilot: (Gazing down at her with concern.) Officer Sun?
Aeryn: (She pulls herself up to address him, leaning on his console with one arm.) I am a Peacekeeper. A Sebacean. Look. (She extends her hand. It is shaking.) I can't hold a weapon. I can't hold a thought.
She starts to faint. Pilot catches her and supports her, one arm around her back. He contemplates the person in front of him.
Pilot: It is strange to be so close to a Peacekeeper I do not fear. (She recovers enough to glare at him. He eyes her with a mixture of compassion and puzzlement.) That... is a compliment. (He removes his arm.) The only thing I haven't performed is a full propulsion shutdown. It would allow me to open the cargo doors to space.
Aeryn: No! It's too dangerous. (Cut to extreme close up as we see her concern.) We leave ourselves open for attack.
Pilot: (Sharply.) We are already under attack. (He initiates the shutdown. Cut to exterior view. Moya’s propulsion shuts down and her cargo bay doors slide open to space.)
(Cut to Rygel, moving tentatively between Moya’s' bulkheads with a flashlight, his surroundings very similar to the previous episode.. )
Rygel: Guh! I can hear something. (Cut to Crichton and D'Argo in the corridor following Rygel's movements, listening for bugs. Crichton hears one, stops and silently points to the spot for D'Argo who bangs on the wall to move the bugs away.) Goh! What the yotz was that?
D'Argo: Trying to scare whatever's in there.
Rygel: (Plenty scared.) Well, it worked!
Crichton: We need to get the heat down.
D'Argo: (Mocking.) Really? What a good idea.
Crichton: Did you see the look on Aeryn’s face? It's like she was staring at her own death.
D'Argo: Or hoping for it. With Sebacean heat delirium, death is preferable.
Crichton: Have you seen someone in this death state?
D'Argo: Yes... I've seen Peacekeepers suffer as she does. (Crichton points and D'Argo bangs on the wall again.) They often beg for their own death. I cannot say I did not find the sight most enjoyable.
Crichton: You want her to die?
D'Argo: (He turns and after a long pause says softly.) That's not true. She was one of them. Now she's a comrade. Like you.
Crichton: (Snorts.) Now there's a load of bull. (Pause.) You hate her right? You hate Peacekeepers and you hate her. You want her to die.
D'Argo: (Hissing, pushes Crichton to the wall.) Listen human. Everyone is frustrated. We're all hot. And we're all going to be a lot better off if we stop just wasting time and just fix this blasted ship.
Crichton backs away and gives the wall a pound. Bugs scurry.
Rygel: (Cut to him screaming.) Aaarghh! Will you STOP that?
Crichton: Just find the problem Rygel. And fast.
D'Argo: The little wretch is doing the best he can.
Crichton: Yeah and in the meanwhile Aeryn is melting away.
D'Argo: Look human, for what it is worth. the part of me that wants Aeryn to live is greater than the part of me that wants all Peacekeepers to die.
Crichton: (Incredulous, he walks away) It's not worth much.
D'Argo: (After a long pause he shakes his head and says mostly to himself.) It's all I've got.
Cut to Pilots' den. Aeryn is still there, slumped on the floor against his console now, finally taking off her jacket.
Pilot: Ah... a few degrees cooler. That's all. I'm sorry.
Aeryn: Not your fault.
Pilot: I cannot reactivate the consumables refrigeration unit. I... have no place to bring your core temperature down. (Aeryn snorts and grins ironically: "of course.") Perhaps ... the others can think of a way to help you.
Aeryn: (Chuckling bitterly.) Why would the others care? My kind imprisoned them. I'm sure they haven't forgotten. (Pilot nods silently)
Cut to Rygel in Moya’s' ducts. He finds an opening between bulkheads and crawls through. He enters a chamber and walks over to what he sees and gasps. A huge coccon with an enourmous insect inside is moving about. Eggs are hatching out of it. Rygel gapes aghast. Other eggs are hatching and bugs emerge and scurry off.
Rygel: (Pressing his comms and speaking quietly.) Bad news, people. Very bad news.
Crichton: What is it, Rygel?
Rygel: GLAH! (Rygel is shocked at how loud Crichton's voice is through the comms.) You trying to get me killed?! Of course you are. You sent me in here! Ohhh! It's hotter than squag! Gah! And they're building some kind of... nest!
Rygel: Too many letters for you, Luxan? Try "hive"!
Crichton: They're making us their home.
Rygel: Then I'm moving! (He exits the chamber.)
Cut to Zhaan’s lab where she is testing ways to dissolve the blue sludge.
Zhaan: (On comms.) John! D'Argo! I've found a substance that dissolves the sealant. Now we can take back control of the... (A large stinger is shot into her throat, she collapses, gasping and choking.)
Cut back to the corridor.
D'Argo: Zhaan! (He runs for her lab.)
Rygel: (Lost in Moya’s' bulkheads as he tries to get out.) Where the hell is the hole, you bastard! (He comes face-to-face with a bug.) WAAAOOHH! They're after me! (He runs in the opposite direction.)
Cut to the lab, without Zhaan. D'Argo runs in.
D'Argo: Pilot! Report! Where is Zhaan?
Pilot: Unknown. But Aeryn Sun is down here. Almost unconscious, I'm afraid. (A DRD nudges the inert Aeryn.)
(Cut back to Crichton seen form inside the hole D'Argo had made. Crichton is leaning in and yelling.)
Crichton: Rygel?! (He listens, hears nothing.) Are you all right?! Rygel! Rygel!
Behind him a replicant of him drops from the ceiling and comes up from behind. It touches his shoulder. He turns.
Crichton:D'Argo, wha... (He stares at the replicant, which stares back. The thing looks down and sees the orange mark on Cricton's hand. It aises its hand and an identical orange mar materializes. Crichton, as always, attempts to talk his way though it.) Can, um ... are you-are you able to speak? Communicate? ... Man, this is freakin' weird. ... Can you understand me? (The replicant punches him. They exchange blows.) You know my moves. Yeah, and I know yours. (We cannot tell how is who as they fight, until one gets knocked down and Crichton taunts it.) That's why Eddie Marx kicked your ass in the seventh grade! You fought fair! (The replicant gets up and tackles Crichton.)
Cut to the Command, D'Argo enters carrying Aeryn.
D'Argo: Pilot! Report! Where is Zhaan?
Pilot: Still no sign. My scans do reveal a growing number of bipedal entities moving about the ship.
D'Argo: Who knows how many more there are...
Crichton: (Entering.) Infinite.Minus one. (He brings D'Argo the head of his replicant.)
D'Argo: How do I know that you are Crichton?
Crichton: Because I'm talking and the replicants don't do that. If they could, they would tell you that these markings... they're useless. They instantly adapt to whatever they see.
D'Argo: Where's Rygel?
Crichton: Where's Zhaan?
D'Argo: There were signs of a struggle in the lab. We cannot find her.
Aeryn: (Cut to hallucinating Aeryn.) Did we pass the obstacle test? (Clutches at Crichton.) I don't want to fail commando training.
D'Argo: We can do nothing else. Those invaders are isolating us.
Crichton: We gotta find Zhaan. We gotta stick together.
Rygel: (Over comms.) The yotz with Zhaan. What about me?
Crichton: Rygel! Where are you?
Rygel: (From the nesting chamber. He is surrounded by bugs.) Back where I started from if you must know. If I sit perfectly still, they don't advance. Yet when I move ... they get disagreeable!
D'Argo: Right. (Pauses then commands.) Don't move!
Rygel: If we ever survive this, Luxan, you must become my advisor. Fa-pu-ta!
Crichton: What's going on in there?
Rygel:Nothing of concern, unless you count the fact that this thing's spitting out replicants like a Bellian yard rat!
Cut to a view of relicants of D'Argo, Zhaan, and Crichton emerging from the coccoon.
Crichton: They've already won. Why.. why do they need more of us?
Zhaan: (Entering.) Help me. I... I can't... I can't get this stinger out. It's pumping some kind of venom into me.
D'Argo: (Impetuously whips out a knife.) I'll cut it out.
With a sharp swing of her arm, Zhaan pushes them away. She straightens, staring ahead, possessed. D'Argo and Crichton stare.
Zhaan: (In a strange androgynous voice.) I am Monarch of the Drak.
Zhaan/Monarch: These are my aggregate. (Three replicants, one of Aeryn, one of D'Argo, one of Crichton. enter at the Monarchs' gesture.) You attacked me during my genesis and you must die.
Crichton: What the hell is "genesis"?
D'Argo:You ask the wrong warrior! (He draws his Qualta blade.)
Crichton: Wait! (Crichton blocks D'Argo.)
D'Argo: This is one of them!
Crichton:No! It's the real Zhaan! She's talking. The Xeroxes can't do that. (D'Argo pauses, realizing. Crichton turns to the Monarch.)
Cut to commercial. When we return:
Crichton: What have you done to our friend?
Zhaan/Monarch: I use her for my voice. She will die when you die to save genesis.
Crichton: Genesis? (He slowly puts it together.) The nest. The nest! ... This is some sort of spawning? And you're the ... you're the Queen?
Zhaan/Monarch: Life must continue.
Crichton:You live in space ,.. freezing space. But you need warmth to lay your eggs or - or to give birth. (Cut to Zhaan/Monarch, emotionless apart from cold suspicion.) Only to give birth. So, when you're finished, you'll go back to space.
Zhaan/Monarch: That is our cycle. Why do you threaten us?
Crichton: Threaten? (He trurns to speak to D'Argo.) They didn't attack until I killed that first bug in my room. We started this damn war.
D'Argo: It is still a war. Either we die fighting them or we die from the heat!
Crichton: We didn't know! (To Monarch.) We didn't mean to harm you. ... How much, time, do you need to complete your cycle?
Crichton: Time, yes.... (He chuckles ironically.) You don't know time. (Long pause.) Is your cycle nearer the beginning or is it nearer the end?
Zhaan/Monarch: I have birthed half my young.
Crichton: Half. That's good. Half is... (In looking around he spots Aeryn who is now convulsing.) But does it need to be this hot?
Zhaan/Monarch: Warmth propels the emergence. Your habitat is capable of even greater warmth, but it resists. Tell me why it does this.
Crichton: Because it's a living being... A host. (Zhaan/Monarch finally breaks its cold stare, looking down considering this unexpected information.) And this heat is very bad for our habitat.
D'Argo: (Slowly but firmly.) We must strike before she decides to strike!
Zhaan/Monarch: You are enemy! (She points at D'Argo and the replicants step forward.)
Crichton: If you keep it this warm, our habitat will die and there will be no heat. And all of your young will die. (The Monarch pauses and her replicants step back.)
Cut to some time later in Aeryn's room. She is lying on her bed in her under garments. Crichton is seated next to her and D'Argo is tending to Zhaan, taking out the stinger.
Rygel: (On comms, still trapped in the nesting chamber.) Ahhrr! What the yotz kind of deal it that?
Crichton: Best we could do.
Rygel: Yet another reason I should handle all negotiations.
Crichton: Just don't worry. It's only a couple more hours.
Rygel: I can't stay here for a few more hours! I think this thing is salivating. And my body has functions!
Crichton: Stay put. As long as we don't move until genesis is over, she'll keep the heat down and we shouldn't see any more replicants - only baby Draks.
Rygel: (Dubious.) What do they eat?
Zhaan: (Herself again after D'Argo has removed the stinger.) I think we caught it in time. Any longer at that level and she would have suffered permanent damage. Let her rest John. She needs to recover some strength before she's aggravated again.
Crichton: How about you?
Zhaan: (She now has a bandage over her wound. She stands up as D'Argoe moves away.) I can still sense her deep inside.
Crichton: What was that like?
Zhaan: Like we're imprisoned in this room with the ship just out of reach. I was within my own mind but I couldn't reach past to think or feel what I wanted.
Crichton: I'm glad you're safe Zhaan.
Zhaan: Now you've struck this truce we're all safe.
Crichton: (He nods and walks back to Aeryn, who looks t him with recogniition.) Feeling better?
Aeryn: (Gulping and shaking her head.) No. How much longer?
Crichton: (Kindly and touching her brow gently.) I don't know. We didn't cover the life cycle of deep space insects at JFK High.
Cut to Moya’s' wide open landing bays. A Marauder flies and lands on the deck. Cut to later as several PK commandos are moving forward, guns drawn. One finds the dead Aeryn replicant on Zhaan's examining table.
Kyona: Lieutenant Melkor.
Melkor: (He comes over to look.) Officer Sun. How fortunate for you to be spared the punishment of a Captain Crais court-martial.
Kyona: Something is wrong here, sir. This ship is floating dead in space with its cargo doors wide open. Our scans show her propulsion systems are fully operational. Why?
Melkor : When we secure the rest of the ship, you will have your answers.
PK Commando: Lieutenant! (He points at a D'Argo replicant behind Melkor. They all whirl and aim.)
Melkor: Stand fast Luxan! (The replicant advances and the Peacekeepers shoot it. With the squeal made by the bugs it falls.) Our objective is Command. Advance pattern Decca. Shoot to kill is your order. (They march off, but we see one of the commandos taking off his balaclava and wiping his brow before he joins them.)
Cut back to Aeryn's room. A thermal blanket covering an air vent blows off in a gust of wind. Cut to Aeryn who suddenly spasms and gasps in pain. Crichton stands up.
Crichton: She's cranked up the heat again.
Aeryn: Why? (D'Argo rushes to recover the vent.)
Cut to Pilot.
Pilot: Weapons fire on board!
D'Argo: Weapons fire?
Pilot: Moya’s' neural links have been badly affected by the heat, but I believe it came from the maintenance bay. I'm picking up five unidentified life forms and a ship in the transport hangar. (His instruments now confirm.) The Marauder! (To which, D'Argo gives his angry hiss and bolts over to kick the locked door.)
Crichton: It must be the Monarch. She thinks that we've broken the deal.
Cut to the commandos in a corridor, advancing in pattern Decca. Another D'Argo replicant appears.
Kyona: Lieutenant, there's another Luxan!
Melkor: Steady, Sergeant. This transport was only carrying one Luxan. (He shoots the replicant, which squeals and dies.)
Commando: Enemy rear! (They shoot a Zhaan replicant, which sprays blue sludge against the wall as it falls. The five commandos continue on, looking sweaty and uncomfortable, and a bit confused.)
Cut back to Aeryn's room.
Crichton: Monarch! Speak with me! We aren't the ones attacking you! Speak with me, dammit!
Aeryn: It's up to you.
Crichton: Aeryn, no. I'm trying to...
Aeryn: Before the Living Death takes hold, you have to be prepared to kill me. Promise.
Crichton: No, not a chance.
Aeryn: You said I'm not alone. A friend would do this for me, family would do it swiftly. (She whimpers in distress. Cut to D'Argo silently in distress looking on.)
Back to the commandos, still advancing. They are having difficulty breathing. Two DRDs scoot by.
Kyona: The heat, sir.
Melkor: (He tries to shut a heat valve which is frozen open with blue sludge.) The prisoners have done this. It's their only defense.
Kyona: But what's this sealant?
Melkor: We must resist.
Commando: We must retreat!
Melkor: (He pushes the commando against the wall, arm to his throat.) I'll attribute that to heat delirium, Officer! (He throws the commando forward.) The Command is this way. Move! (They stagger forward.)
Back to a long shott of Rygel standing still in front of the nest. We see his face then the large queen bug,the Monarch, inside the cocoon.
Rygel: I can't do this. I can't! (Throwing his arms out to make the point.Cutting back and forth between Rygel and Crichton.)
Crichton: We don't have a choice.
Rygel: Do you know what you are asking me? Do you realize how... how hideous this thing is?
Crichton: You wanted to negotiate, now's your chance.
Zhaan: Ask him what Rygel the First would do.
Cut to Rygel. He has heard Zhaan and has taken it to heart. He adopts a regal bearing.
Crichton: Rygel, Zhaan wants to know... (He is surpised by Rygel's silence.) Rygel?
A Dominar need not respond. Rygel steps forward to address the Monarch. A bug blocks his path.
Crichton: What's happening?
Rygel: (To the Monarch.) I am Rygel, 16th of my lineage, Dominar of the Hynerian Empire, at once your equal and your humble (He bows graciously.) petitioner requesting an audience.
After a pause, the nug backs away and Rygel waddles into a tube. and enters the nest.
Crichton: What's happening? Rygel!
Cut to commercial. We return to an anxious Crichton.
Crichton: Rygel, come in. Come in, Rygel. He has to be there.
D'Argo: That is enough. He is gone.
Crichton: Look, it was my idea to send him in there.
D'Argo: And it failed! But WE are still alive.
Aeryn: He's right. (Trembling in a delirium.)
Crichton: Zhaan, what do you think?
The Monarch has taken over Zhaan again.
Crichton: You have to listen to me. Those people out there, they only look like us...
Crichton: I will not be silent. You're killing us for no reason!
Zhaan/Monarch: I have communed with your sovereign. He is most agreeable. I trust him.
D'Argo: (Furious.) Rygel is NOT my sovereign!
Crichton: (Chuckling.) He is today. (To Monarch.) Then you know we wouldn't hurt you.
Zhaan/Monarch: I know all.
Cut to the commandos who are still advancing but now less steady on their feet.
Melkor: These creatures, whatever they are, they're no real threat to us. We continue forward.
Kyona: Sir! (Cut to what she sees: It appears to be Crichton.)
Melkor: (With satisfaction.) Crichton. (He shoots it and it squeals and falls. A bug scuttles over to it.) What the...? (He shoots the bug. Back in the cell Zhaan/Monarch screams in pain and outrage.)
Crichton: Locked in this room, we can't help you. Let us out ... and ... we can stop them.
Monarch pauses. We cut between her and Aeryn in great distress.Then the doors to the room open. A replicant of Aeryn is standing outside. It takes a step back to indicate they are free to go.
Zhaan/Monarch: I will allow the thermal to lower.
Crichton: No ...Wait.
He pauses and looks at Aeryn. She lies there trembling, looking back at him. understanding what he is thinking.
Aeryn: Do it.
Crichton: Don't lower the heat. Crank it up.
There is several seconds of silence as Aeryn whimpers, knowing her sufering will increase. Monarch nods and the vents increase. Aeryn growns feeling the hot wind on her. The Monarch leaves.
Zhaan: I'll look after her. Go.
D'Argo steps over to Aeryn and puts his hand on her shoulder in solidarity for a few seconds, looks her in the eye, then turns to go.
Crichton: (To D'Argo.) It's just you and me.
D'Argo: Actually, it is just me. .... And you. (He leaves. Crichton goes to kneel next to Aeryn.)
Aeryn: I feel the Living Death.
Crichton: No. No, you hold on. ... I won't let it happen.
Aeryn: It's not your choice. Remember your promise. (He says nothing, then leaves. She groans in pain, gasping for breath.)
Cut to the commandoes, now in extreme distress. One is learning against teh wall, gasping for breath. Melkor grabs her and shoves her forward.
They carefully step around D'Argo, who ia playing dead on he floor in puddles of blue sludge. He lies there until the last one passes, then he trips up the commando, who, weakened, falls easily and is swiftly overcome by D'Argo, who knocks him unconscious and takes his rifle.D'Argo moves off in the opposite direction.
Cut to Zhaan pouring water over Aeryn.
Zhaan: Pilot? (Pilot affirms) More pressure. Colder water.
Aeryn: (Delirious.) Living Death. ... Crichton. ... Promise...
Cutt back to the commandos. They have finally reached command. Two have to lean on each other to stay upright and they other two are not doign much better. Three fall to the floor while Melkor leans against one of the consoles, gasping for air. Cut to Kyona, who is breathing heavily and occaisionally convulsing. She is looking forward and sees a Crichton relicant walk onto Command. Melkor turns and also sees the relicant and wobbly pulls his gun on it. Anoher relicant of Crichton walks in from the other entrance to Command, Kyona sees it.
Melkor whils around and staggers, confused. Another Crichton replicant arrives. Then another. Then another. Melchor cannot process multiple Crichtons. The other three commandos are too weak and delirious to even care.
Melkor: (Frantic.) Shoot them! Shoot them all!
Cut to Aeryn, water pouring over her head.
Aeryn: Promise... promise... Crichton!
Cut back to the panicked and confused Melkor, barely able to stand. The real Crichton enters. Holds up his hands to show he is unarmed.
Crichton: Did you ever have one of those days ... when life just ain't what you thought it was going to be?
Melkor: I killed you!
Crichton: I'm still here.
Melkor: (He can no longer hold up his gun. He collapses. Cut briefly to the other three commandos passed out on the floor, twitching.) What kind of creature are you?
Crichton: That's a good question. (He kicks away Melkor's gun.) It's too bad Crais didn't ask that before he declared war on me.
D'Argo: (Entering, finally, in full warrior mode, gun drawn.) Crichton! Out of the way!
Crichton: No, D'Argo, (Pointedly.) This one's mine. (He turns slowly back to Melkor, who is about to lose consciousness.) We got two choices here, Peacekeeper. You can stick around and find out how hot it's gonna get. Or you can return to your Captain Crais.
Melkor: You would let us leave?
Crichton: Tell him he picked the wrong species to screw around with. He wants a fight... fine. Look around. Take a good look around. Multiply that by thousands. Let's get you back to your ship.
(Melkor, with his last reserves, lunges and pushes Crichton to the fllor and puts a knife to him. D'Argo steps in and puts his newly stolen PK gun to Melkor’s' head.)
D'Argo: I believe the human Crichton gave you a choice.
Crichton: (Defiantly.) Go ahead. Use your blade. The next time Crais sees my face, his crew'll be dead and he'll be staring up from a pool of his own blood. (Melkor, half out of confusion and half out of incapacity, does not move except for involuntary spasms. After hour or five seconds, he gives up and collapses.)
Cut to later; an external shot of the Marauder flying out of Moya's docking bay and flying away into space.
Cut to a corridor. DRDs are busy scrubbing leftover blue glop from the walls and floors with tiny attachments. D'Argo and Crichton walk into view.
D'Argo: Brave gamble, Crichton.
Crichton: Nah, you wouldn't have let him skewer me. Right?
D'Argo: You risked Aeryn Sun's life. I would still have preferred killing them on the spot.
Crichton: Well, this way there's a chance Crais'll catch the hint and leave us alone. (D'Argo shakes his head and walks off.) A small chance.
Cut to the Command. Rygel is asleep and snoring. Crichton enters and wakes him.
Crichton: Big fella! You look refreshed.
Rygel: Yes, well a three hour trinkas bath will do that for you. I had blue crud way up in places you don't want to know about.
Crichton: (Chuckling.) You did a hell of a job today.
Rygel: (Magnanimously.) Yes. Well... there's a lot of Rygel the First in here. You know, if I had new clothes of cray-spun shimmer weave the resemblance would startle you!
Pilot: (On clamshell viewer.) I'm pleased to report that the temperature is now at optimum.
Crichton: That's good news for Aeryn. Where is she?
Pilot: I... believe on the Terrace?
Zhaan: The Draks are leaving. Monarch wishes a final word with us.
Crichton and D'Argo exchange glances and steel themselves for the worst. Once more the Monarch speaks through Zhaan. Behind her, on the viewscreen, the debris cloud is building again.
Zhaan/Monarch: We are pleased. Genesis is completed.
Crichton: That pleases us, too, Monarch.
Zhaan/Monarch: We are also pleased by the encounter between us.
Crichton: Well, I think I can speak for all of us when I... (Monarch turns and goes to Rygel.)
Zhaan/Monarch: We shall not meet again, Great Ruler.
Rygel: Don't worry. This one will last me a lifetime.
The Monarch leaves Zhaan. She swoons and Crichton and D'Argo catch her.
Zhaan: Oh.... They'll be gone soon. So remarkable.
We watch the debris cloud of Draks on the viewscreen.
Cut to the corridor outside Zhaan’s quarters. Crichton is walking her there.
Crichton: Easy now. Just lean on me.
Zhaan: Yes I know I can.
Crichton: (Opening the door.) Home sweet home.
Zhaan: I'll be fine from here. (Crichton lets her go and turns to leave) Oh, I must say, you handled yourself like quite a man of action today!
Crichton: (Turns back.) Mmmm.... Yeah - I'm getting the hang of a few things. Of course, when I do...
Zhaan: ...things change and you find you're more confused than you were before.
Crichton: Yeah. Pretty much. (They exchange knowing nods.)
Zhaan: Time and patience.
Crichton: "Time and patience." Is that your answer for everything?
Zhaan: Yes. Because it's always the right answer.
Crichton: Okay. How does time and patience answer this. We see the Draks, or, we saw them, as ... pests. Something to be stepped on and crushed.
Zhaan: We were ignorant.
Crichton: Well I definitely pulverized one on sight and I would have done the same thing to the Dentic and those germ bugs you injected me with when I first came on board.
Zhaan: (Smiling at him endeared.) The translator microbes.
Crichton: Yeah, those guys. But, see, you see them as good.
Zhaan: Well we've learned to work with them. Isn't it the same where you come from?
Crichton: I guess. I mean, some people keep pets that others would just as soon eat.
Zhaan: If you're asking for a distinction I think it's often unclear. Moya is alive and she's our protector. But she's also our servant and she relies on us and we rely on her. It's a mutual symbiotic relationship.
Crichton: So who lives and dies in your world? Is it as arbitrary as it is in mine?
Zhaan: The answer is reverence for all living beings. Which may come with...
Crichton: ... time and patience. (he turns to leave)
Zhaan: (Calling after him.) I get the feeling you're going to get the hang of things soon!
Cut to later on Moya’s' terrace--an area atop Moya that is protected from the vacuum of space by an invisible barrier. Aeryn is there alone squatting and looking at blank space. Crichton enters.
Crichton: Hey, remember me? Didn't we meet at a party a few years back?
Aeryn: Some of what happened, I can't recall, but almost everything else has come back.
Crichton: How are the shakes?
Aeryn: (Lifts up her steady hand.) I'll be fine. (She straigthens up and begins to walk out.) You know... I always thought that lesser life forms were useless. Just something to be squashed.
Crichton: Yeah, it's... it's humbling when you realize that. ... You're not talking about the Draks, are you?
She smiles wickedly.
Crichton: Fine... Well, on behalf of lesser life forms everywhere, I accept the - compliment.
Aeryn: (Seriously.) Could you have kept your promise?
Crichton doesn't answer. The look at each other for a second, then he turns to look out at the Drak swarm. She walks back to join him.
Crichton: You know, all things considered. there are worse ways to end a day.