Continuation by Karl
pain arrived first, strengthening as consciousness danced closer. He
arched his back at the pain. He called out her name the in the darkness,
his moans squelched by a cold tight hand clamped impossibly hard on his
stranger whispered his in his ear, her voice raspy and harsh, "Quiet!
They will hear!"
words triggered fragmented memories. Their arrival here, his capture by
the retrieval squad, the leveling of the city by an unknown assailant. The
holding cell. The PK commando that was still just a girl. John’s mind
slowly focused and he stopped moving, allowing the pain in his shoulder
and his face to strengthen. The agony pulsed with every beat of his heart.
His eyes seethed in a burning agony. John tried desperately to relax; as
he did, the gritty cold hand that was clamped to his mouth released.
you move?" The young woman hissed.
slowly rocked to one side and as he did, he became aware of where he was.
He had not moved from where the explosion had thrown him. He was resting
on top of the injured Peacekeeper. With
the realization he moved onto his side as he tried to roll off her small
happen...? How long..." his voice wracked in agony as he moved from
her crumpled body. John came to stop in the corner of the room. Feeling
his way in the darkness he slowly propped himself up against the shattered
wall of the keep. John had once gotten chakan oil residue in his eye and
it stung like a son of a bitch, but this, this was worse. He wiped one
hand on the remnants of his duster then raised it to his burning eyes.
Don't touch them; it will only make it worse," the weak voice
demanded, her annoyance with him obvious.
eyes burned from the pulse blast and he instinctually kept them closed. As
the burning intensified he slowly forced himself to open his eyes. With a
rough raking, his eyelids traveled their normally unconscious course, now
a painful movement. His heart skipped as he made fists trying to fight the
urge to rub his eyes. His chest heaved as he fought the panic that gained
hold, and for the first time he wished he had Harvey to help him gain
control. John shifted trying to keep his hands from their constant
movement towards his eyes. He kept trying to rationalize his situation.
The first thought was of the dermal regenerator that he had used on the
Royal Planet. Then he chuckled nervously. Its just dark out that's all. He
spoke slowly, trying to hide his panic. "Its not dark out is
the small voice answered coolly. There was a hesitation to her speech as
if she was going to say more.
let his head slip back against the wall as a wave of nausea joined the
burning pain. He cut off a slight whimper that came when the thought of
being blind overwhelmed him. "I can't be freakin’ blind!" He
shouted slamming his head back into the wall with the outburst. His
statement lingered unanswered.
heard was the sound of his companion sliding across the wreckage of the
floor. "Here, this will help." The girl's voice was no longer
harsh, making her sound even younger than John had thought.
are you going to do?" John could hear her fishing through a
collection of items, probably from her field pack. There was the clicking
sound of glass on metal. John knew the sound. “No wait!" John's
heart sank as he tried to shift away from the injector. It was too late.
He felt the burning sensation of the medication enter his neck and he
batted at the air trying to stop the injection.
the frell is wrong with you? Its Neurtox!" the woman spat.
John shifted to one side trying to get some space between him and the voice. He didn't get farther than a large portion of the wall that had come down in the explosion. His arm slid across its large surface feeling for a passage. The burning sensation sped through his body as his heart raced. He felt warmth on his upper lip. He raised his filthy hand to his lip and felt the warm sticky liquid between his fingers. His nose was bleeding like a sieve. His heart pounded in his chest as if it were going to burst. He raised his bloody hand out in front of him like a cornered animal. "Look, I ain't Seba..." He struggled to speak as his muscles cramped and his body became rigid as the medication spread John lost consciousness again as the pain of the burns he had suffered from the pulse blast were replaced by the agony of his body reacting to the foreign medication.
to the sound of his heart beating in his ears. He had slumped over against
the large concrete shard that he had stopped next to. He had the taste of
blood in his mouth, a metallic stale taste. He opened his eyes wide. The
burns on his face protested the movement but John laid back and sighed as
he saw a streak of light across the room from where he guessed was a hole
in the ceiling. He raised his hand and placed it between the light source
and his face he could make out the silhouette of his hand. No detail but
still…it was some level of relief. He realized as he first tried to move
that his body was numb; he could move his arms sluggishly but for the time
being the pain was gone.
the stranger awakes." John was surprised by the young girl's voice.
It was stronger and seemed to have an odd inflection to it.
ya doin?" John stretched his neck slowly side to side.
am better than you." She moved slowly across the floor towards him.
"I have never seen a reaction like that... Nerotox is supposed
Ma’am, if you had given me a chance I would have told you. I ain't
Sebacean!” John's tone was quiet yet biting.
“Look I am sorry... It's not your fault.”
it is not!" Their was a cool hush to her voice as she continued.
"Don't think I did it out of the weakness of charity. I did it
because you are more useful to me alive than dead."
great. Thanks!” John quipped trying once again to straighten up. His
limbs still felt numb, yet now at least he felt the strange sensation of
his closed first rubbing against the dirt and rocks on the floor. "So
now what, little miss?”
could only imagine the disapproving stare she gave him for his impossible
to translate slang. "I have assessed our situation while you were
sleeping. We need to find an escape route.”
I have field dressed it and infused one bag of Synth.”
ignored his comment and continued, “I cannot walk on it without med tech
make it sound like you’re trying to get an old pickup repaired, not a
have no time for this. The Scarrans are still in the area and we have to
find a way to escape.”
the blind leading the cripple! That's a plan!” He responded bitterly.
Where was it? His normal wisp of hope was now gone. He had been through
just as bad before. But he had either his specter Harvey or the others to
support him. No, this time he truly was alone.
He voice shifted deeper suddenly. Quickly it was replaced with a warm
me take a look at your eyes. The Neurtox should have started repair of the
lacerations on your cornea.”
felt her impossibly cold hands on his chin as she moved his head back and
fourth. “I had a platoon leader with only one eye she was still an
Are you sure you're ok? You are frelling freezing!"
hands pulled from him quickly. Her response was too fast and she seemed to
stumble over her words. "Yes... haven't you had infusions of synth
before?" Her voice did not hide her building frustration.
John was not paying attention to the disembodied voice. Her cold touch
triggered a nearly as dark memory. Aeryn
sat on the floor of the training area on Moya. She was dying of the
paraphoral nerve damage Larraq had inflicted.
me to my prowler...” Suddenly a trickle of sweat slid into his eye and
the sting brought him back from memory lane. He was sweating big time.
"It's hot in here!"
she had read his mind she moved closer. "We have to move!” There
was a certain urgency to her voice.
and its going to get hotter." Her tone became softer. "They took
out the fusion core. When it went, the pile shielding was compromised so
iIts going to get much hotter. We have to move,” she commanded again,
this time it elicited a reaction in John as he tried slowly to stand.
startled by the change in the girl. It was as if she wasn't injured at
all. "How's your leg?" he asked suspiciously.
she said calmly. That’s why you’re alive. You will help me out of
I got that part.” John stood slowly, fighting off the waves of nausea
that accompanied his movement. He shifted over to her. "Can you
She moved and only the slightest grunt accompanied her movement. She
pulled herself up his side and brought one arm up over his shoulder. Her
cool dry skin raised the hairs on the back of Johns neck. Somthin’
ain’t right. She was a light thing, although injured her body was tense.
forward a bit. There is a large opening on the side next to the entry
port,” she commanded.
moved slowly through the chambers. He was hopelessly lost and his burns
were starting to pound again. His baggage continued to ask strange
questions. If he didn't know better he’d have thought this to be some
kind of PK trick. As the arns moved on the thought took root. Could this
be an elaborate means of torture?
chuckled silently as he thought of the vengeful Captain Cleavage. He knew
it couldn't be. He had seen the first Scarran patrol. You are getting
paranoid Johnny boy.
lowered her to the ground as he slid down next to her. "I gotta take
protested briefly but stopped once she was on the ground. As he tried to
relax John noticed the smell. He had caught whiffs of it in the air as
they traveled through the complex but now, resting against the warm wall,
the smell was much stronger. He knew the smell it was an acrid sweet odor,
the odor of rot and death.
like...Death," he whispered as if they were not alone.
the destruction of the base, I would imagine plenty are dead underneath
the collapsed structure.”
this is close by. You see anything?”
was a fast suspicious tone to her voice, “No. Nothing!”
again there was a shift in her tone. "Why?"
scanned the room. They must be close to an exit because he could make out
the streaks of light passing through a large opening.
must get moving. There is still no sign of an exit from the complex.”
John scanned the shafts of light passing through the ceiling. “Well I
might be blind but I can see that light
coming though the ceiling.”
are you doing, John!”
Since when were we on first name basis?”
What are you doing?”
continued his careful steps to the light shafts.
scurried quickly on the floor after him. She quickly caught up to him and
grabbed at his hands. “Careful, John, don't go near the light. They
might see you.”
off, zombie girl. I don't know what this is, but Johnny ain't playing any
more." He pushed off the cold clinging girl and stumbled
to what he thought was the center of the shattered chamber.
"The game is over, you Jurassic park freaks!"
what are you doing? They will hear you!”
hobbled after him. She wrapped her hands around his arm trying to pull him
back down to the shadows.
pulled from her raising his first. "Back off! Or I swear..." The
false threat had a strange reaction. It was almost as if a switch had been
pulled and Mirna was merely turned off. She fell away from him like a rag
doll and hit hard against the shattered floor.
started to bend down to her, but with his returning vision he could still
only see her as a silhouette. There was something on her head that grabbed
his attention. He crouched down closer and started to run his hand across
her face. His hand came to a smooth cold metal-like object. He was not
sure, but it appeared to disappear under the skin and and scalp line of
her forehead. "What the fu…?"
the far wall of the chamber parted, revealing the bright white light of a
larger space beyond. a wave of hot moist air accompanied the new opening.
John stumbled back over Mirna squinting, trying to make sense of the
clouded images. Two silhouettes appeared and walked slowly towards him.
The wave of heat that accompanied their arrival was all John needed. He
not try to run; he was not able to see more then clouded shapes. He had no
wise decision, John Crichton. Running would be useless..."
what’s the deal,” John spat bitterly, biting the inside of his lip as
he waited for their response.
lead Scarran moved forward. "We could not chance trying to create an
environment you would know. But with your self-inflicted injuries we were
able to create a situation that allowed us unprecedented access." The
Scarran spoke as if this was some great prize. The smaller female spoke
with the neural link still attached to her forehead, the metallic object
with the painful blue light illuminated from it stung to look at.
"You really have been a prime subject."
stepped forward towards the larger of the two. "Well, lizard boy, now
We can't gain more information freely so we will electro-chemically
extract the information from your synapses."
see, John Crichton, we cannot extract what we want from your mind in its
present state. We will simply strip the information one cell at a
why did you bother using Frankenchick if you could have sucked my brains
out all the time.”
female stepped forward, "There is distortion of the data in
extraction. We had wanted more of an identity template to follow. By
learning more about you and how you think and react allowed us to design a
better matrix to extract accurate data."
removed the neural link, slinging it carelessly on the floor in front of
him. Mirna’s corpse jerked in front of him.
do I the feeling this ain’t gonna to be fun?”
huge Scarran moved closer. “By the time extraction begins, your life functions will
have been extinguished. It is easier to extract the information from the
felt the clamps compress his shoulders. He grit his teeth from the pain
but he would not call out. He would not give them the pleasure. His vision
became clouded in white. The Scarran continued to talk to him but it was
lost on him as John slipped away.
Back to Reality
smelled something familiar yet he could not place it. The sound that that
had started as tiny sounds off in the distance slowly came closer. The
sounds were familiar ones he had grown accustom to. He slowly became aware
of his surroundings.
its about time." D’Argo slapped him on his burnt shoulder and the
pain brought a sharpness to his murky awareness.
pulled back to the far corner of the cot. "What... where..." He
looked through the dark cabin of D'Argo’s’ ship.
Aeryn gave him no more then a sideways glance from the navigation
interface. He scanned back the smiling Luxan. He questioned if this was
real, but it was. The smells of this confined space allowed him peace,
"This is real!" They had been cooped up in this vessel for over
a weeken not that long ago, and here they were again.
again, your luck is amazing!" D’Argo gurgled with a sarcastic
his injured arm he pulled D’Argo closer, wincing with the pain.
"What... The frell happened?"
spoke first; she had been silently huddled with her back to them at the
rear of the ship nearest to the hatchway. "Luck, John. Neurotox is a
neural toxin to your odd anatomy. If we hadn't found you when we did, the
pulmonary reaction induced by the medications could have caused permanent
Doc! Now will you please tell me what happened!”
relax! The Scarrans sent mass drivers down onto the city. We think they
knew you were in the Peacekeeper Complex.”
devastated a city!”
that's the way they work,” said D'Argo, acting as if this was common
place. “Look, do you want me to finish or not?”
John shifted forward, his anger getting the best of him.
we tracked the landing party, we followed them. If you were still alive
they would find you.” D’Argo slapped him on his burnt shoulder.
squinted with the pain. He slipped back onto the small cot waiting for
D’Argo to continue. "...and!"
they pulled you and the girl out we flew down cloaked and at the right
time, I unleashed Lo’laan on their dren-filled eemas.”
girl! John shifted up again questioning himself. It was a dream.
moved next to him and John saw movement beyond her. In the very back of
the Luxan craft there was a packet of Synth Blood and a small stirring
form under one of the rough hand-woven blankets. "Time to sleep. You
was Aeryn’s idea to bring her.” D’Argo looked back over his shoulder
to the forward section of Lo’laan.
John could reply, Granny blew a substance in his face and he lost his
battle to stay awake.
stood from the young Peacekeeper. She remembered the fun that she had been
having at that age. She tightened the PK restraint on her wrist to the
support rib of Lo’laan. Until she was awake, she was deemed a threat.
Aeryn moved back where John was sleeping. She slowly slid down the
wall across from him, watching him toss and turn. The sounds of the cabin
were those of the rest of them sleeping. She would sit watch on him.
Although it pained her to do so, there was some sense of duty to him.
Regardless of the pain it brought.
woke slowly. He pulled the mask of the dermal regenerator from his face
and his blood-red eyes slowly scanned the quiet interior. His gaze stopped
at her. "Hey!"
she responded, "How are you feeling?" She turned from his stare,
looking back at the sleeping PK at the rear of the ship.
slowly rolled onto his side, propping himself up on one arm. "Tired,
but at least my head doesn't feel like its going to explode any
the memory of her own experience with Neurtox in her battle with the Kael
filled her thoughts. "Yes, well Neurotox is extremely
dangerous." Her words were flat and tired.
looked back in the direction that Aeryn was staring. "She gonna be
don't know. She has used up most of our medical supplies." There was
a frustration in her voice that seemed alien. If he was not mistaken, she
worried that the girl would die.
ya do it?" John shifted back onto the cot not looking at Aeryn. A
small smile accompanied the question.
you mean why did we take her with us although she was on the edge of
death? Or why we dumped all our medical supplies into her to keep this
Peacekeeper alive?" The
continued bitterness had taken its toll on Aeryn. She felt old, as if a
growing weight was ready to crush her if she was not careful.
stood quickly. The confines of Lo’laan were getting to her. She had at
one time reveled in the closeness of small fighters. Now all she wanted
was the long endless corridors of Moya. She did not look back at John as
she stepped back to check on their new guest. "I suppose I wanted to
give her a chance." It was only then that he truly understood. Aeryn
wanted to offer the girl the opportunity to be more...
shifted slightly on the small cot; the smile remained on his face. "I