"These stories are dedicated to memory of Benjamin Thomas W. and to anyone who has had to deal with the loss of a child."
I Have a Plan
Jack's Turn in the AutoDoc
Ulric felt the pain from his shoulder down to
his elbow. It was a strangely cool pain; it was bad - very bad. For a moment he
thought he was back on the Mordin.
Ulric slowly opened his eyes. He looked down at his arm, and felt the urge to vomit.
What remained of his left hand had been crushed into his wrist joint. The pain was unbearable. He looked around the shattered command tier. Blue-brown froth poured through the large ruptures in the walls. He could hear the pulsing of Lursa's body trying to fight off the vacuum of space. He stood slowly, removed his belt and started to tie off his crushed arm but the pain overwhelmed him and he fell back to the floor.
No Ulric! I can't do this alone - you must wake up! Listen to me! Please Ulric! Jack is injured, you need to go to him. Ulric opened his eyes again.
"Who are you? Where are you?" He looked around in the dim light searching for the source of the voice.
Jack is on tier seven, please hurry.
It started to dawn on him that the voice was in his mind.
He got to his feet again, and slowly made his way through the ship. He found Jack pinned under a rib support from the wall.
"Jack!" Ulric called out to him, but there was no response.
Ulric tried to lift the rib, but it was locked down tightly. His efforts made him light headed, and he bent over, concentrating and trying to regain his strength. Knowing that he could not move the rib alone, an idea came to him and he ran back to his quarters.
Everything in his room had shifted to a far wall. Pausing, he heard sounds coming from Lursa he had never heard before.
He found his pulse rifle and ran back to Jack. Powering it up, he fired at the bone; it took several shots to sever the rib, but finally it rolled off Jack's crumpled body. Ulric leaned over and looked at him carefully - he had severe head trauma. From the look of the injuries, he knew he had to get Jack to the AutoDoc on the Marauder quickly. With his good arm he somehow managed to pull Jack along, dragging him unceremoniously on the floor behind him. He fell a number of times on his way to the bay.
He finally reached the huge doors to the hangar bay and he slid Jack near the doors and stumbled over to the control node. "Nothing, no power." He found the air was getting thin and he was starting to get dizzy again. "Pilot, I…I need the inner doors open to the hangar. "
A barely visible image of Pilot appeared in the projector. She was quite calm, and her arms were moving quickly across the control panel in front of her. "Yes Commander Selton, I am aware of the problem. Please move back from the doors, I am preparing to blow them. You will find the atmosphere is stable in the hangar." Ulric pulled Jack's limp body back to the passageway. There was a low rumble and the door exploded inward. He could see the Marauder sitting unscathed in the hangar. To get past the shattered remains of the inner doors, Ulric lifted Jack and carried him. He barely made it to the ramp of the marauder before his strength gave out. He collapsed heavily onto the ramp.
No! Ulric! Please, you must save Jack. Please Ulric, wake up!
He heard her song, bitter and sad, as he slowly regained consciousness. He realized that Lursa was dying. "No Lursa, you can't!" He grabbed Jack by the back of his collar and with every ounce of his remaining strength, pulled him up the ramp. He lifted him onto the AutoDoc table and pressed the start tile. The arms of the machine descended on Jack's bloody body. The scanners were unfamiliar with the biology and it estimated repair rates at seven to twelve arns. He was relieved that it didn't determine zero repairs: terminal condition. Ulric walked over to the dispensary at the rear of the AutoDoc and found a supply of stims. He shot one into his neck - that would keep him going for a while. He wrapped the remains of his left hand into a MediSeal. That would stop the bleeding for now.
He called to Pilot. "What's our condition?" There was no response. He closed his eyes and listened. The haunting low tones of Lursa's death songs were disturbing. They were blocked by the voice again.
John rounded the corner to Command. The force of the attack threw him halfway across the chamber and knocked the wind out of him. "Now what!?!" Was all he was able to get out as he saw the Peacekeeper Destroyer in the main viewer. He got to his feet in time to see the Frag Cannons fire at them and he winced as the energy bolts tore past them. He shouted. "Pilot, get us out of here!" No response. He watched as the Frag Cannons charged. At this range John could see the formation of the anti-particles in the firing chamber. "Pilot move! God damn it!" His voice carried more than a hint of desperation.
Pilot's image appeared in the viewer. "Commander, what happened?"
"Pilot get us moving or we're…" His voice trailed off as he stared at his own death. The Frag Cannons fired the blast of anti-energy but was blocked by the silhouette of a Leviathan. "Lursa! No!" John screamed as her underbelly opened to space from the blast. He knew they were alive but seeing her cut open slammed that fact home. It was an image burned forever in his memory.
"Pilot get us out of here! Now!" The ship moved quickly. John was losing his grip on the console. Moya swung around to the rear of the Peacekeeper ship, away from her main cannons. In a fast arc she headed back toward the carrier. "Pilot! What are you doing? Pilot!" They closed on the Destroyer quickly. Moya charged it like a cornered animal. John could just make out the hulk of Lursa spinning away from the Destroyer.
Pilot came on the viewer again. "Moya is planning to…" That was all John remembered as he was thrown to the rear of the command deck. Moya Starburst as she made contact with the outer hull of the Destroyer and the space-time displacement ripped though the fabric of the Peacekeeper ship.
Rygel was looking out the large view plates of the galley when he saw the distortion of the stars as the Destroyer jumped to normal space. The ripples of energy that were given off by the jump tore Lursa from the terrace and smashed her against the upper hull of Moya. Two of the large view plates burst under the strain. Rygel and everything else in the galley headed for the vacuum of space. He struggled against the pull of the vacuum in his throne chair, but it was no use. As he looked through the jagged opening at his own death he felt the hot hand of D'Argo on his arm. D'Argo dragged Rygel from the opening and pulled him to the wall. He felt his ears pop as the pressure dropped. Suddenly from the open hatch of the galley four biomech patches flew to the opening. The blue-brown froth oozed from them as they approached the breached windows. D'Argo looked back at the doorway where Chiana stood with a pipe laid across the opening of the hatch and two more patches still in her hands
She looked at them smugly. "You boys shouldn't be playing in the vacuum of space. It can be hazardous to your health!" She helped them from the ruins of the galley and they all fell to their knees as the ship shuddered violently. Then the lightheaded disorientation of starburst. They had escaped.
D'Argo called to Crichton. No response. He and Chiana headed for Command.
Moya dropped from starburst quickly but was captured in the gravity of a small planet. She had no strength left to fight it and started to fall from orbit.
D'Argo found John sprawled out on the floor. "Crichton!" He yelled.
John opened one eye. Chiana knelt next to him. "You look like dren John." She helped him to his feet."
"Where are we?" John staggered to the center console.
D'Argo looked up. "We are in free fall. I can't get any power."
John followed the readings - they were falling fast. He looked up at D'Argo." Can you fly this thing manually?"
"No. Aeryn was going to train me but…" D'Argo seemed to cringe at what he said next. "Can you?"
"Well, how different can it be from Farscape 1?"
D'Argo gave him a sick look of despair. John activated the manual controls.
"Pilot!" D'Argo yelled.
His image appeared in the viewer. "Yes what...is it?" Pilot seemed stunned.
"Pilot, can you transfer control to manual?"
"I don't know. Where's Lursa? I am having some trouble with…Where are we?"
D'Argo spoke softly and slowly. "Pilot, this is important. We must have manual control. Please concentrate!"
"Yes I…I will try." He seemed to be swaying.
John moved over to Chiana. "Chiana, please go down to Pilot's den. I think he could use some help."
She was going to protest, but then looked back at Pilot. "Pilot, I'll be right there." She left the command tier.
"I think it is…aha. It's done. Manual transfer complete."
"OK pilot, it's going to get hot." He looked at D'Argo. "I think!"
"John! Moya's baby. The baby will not survive a landing. The gravity would crush it. John do you…"
"Pilot, I have no intentions of landing her!" He was fighting the manual control. "If this doesn't work, none of us will have to worry."
"John you're trying gravity boost?" He looked at John with a we are already dead look.
"We did it before." He struggled with the flight controls.
"Aeryn was flying then, not you."
"Relax big guy, we're probably toast." He shot D'Argo a haggard smile.
The Leviathan flew deep into the atmosphere. John detected the gravity shear ahead. "Hang on, here we go!" he shouted.
Moya shot from the atmosphere and John screamed at the top of his lungs. D'Argo saw that it was working and added his own voice to John's triumphant scream. They came to a stop far from the planet in an unknown system.
D'Argo looked at John. He stood there for a long time. "What?" John yelled.
"Congratulations!" He said with a sly look of approval.
John ignored his compliment. "Chiana, how's Pilot?"
"He has been hit by something, I think he is suffering from a concussion. The DRD's seem to be tending to him."
His Last Duty
"Lursa - how is this possible?" He wanted to open his eyes but he feared it would break their link.
I will answer all your questions, my friend, once you complete this final task. You must go to Jack's quarters and retrieve the two metal cylinders. Load one onto the marauder and bring the second one to Pilot's den. I know you are injured but you must hurry. We have little time.
Ulric stumbled through the shattered remains of her corridors and soon found himself wading up to his knees in Biomech fluids. He entered Jack's quarters and quickly located the small cylinders. He placed them under his arm and headed for Pilot's chamber.
He had to enter through the secondary passage because the bridge to the main entrance had buckled severely. Pilot was working feverishly at her controls; she did not look up at his approach. She was obviously in a lot of pain.
"How are you doing, Pilot?" She stopped working and looked at him.
Her eyes said everything. "We will be fine shortly, Commander Selton." She winced in pain.
"Pilot, is there nothing I can do?" He knew the answer to the question even before he voiced it.
"I need one of those cylinders." Ulric passed one to the Pilot. "Thank you Commander." She looked down." I wish to thank you for everything that you have done." She stopped.
"Pilot, I said I would never leave you. I will stay with you." Fire erupted in his mind and he fell backwards to the floor.
"NO!" Blood tricked from his nose. When Ulric looked to the walkway an image appeared. Slowly the wisp of smoke started to take form.
No you must go with Jack, Ulric. You have proven yourself to us. Your fate is elsewhere. He will need your help. You must protect Jack Crichton.
"Lursa, how is it that you can…" He watched, amazed, as a beautiful little girl approach him.
Shhh Ulric. Jack unlocked the Progenitors Key which gave me the ability to communicate with anyone. She moved next to him and touched his dirty cheek. Relax Ulric, I will show you everything. He watched as her story unfolded in his mind - the Progenitors' evolution from the small blue world he had visited.
"Jack's race were the Progenitors?" Incredible.
"Yes, and you Ulric, saved them. We owe you everything." She smiled at him.
As Lursa continued, he was able to witness their exploration of the galaxy, their enslavement, death and the loss of their hopes for the future. "Ulric, I need you to watch over Jack. He is the key to our survival."
Ulric looked up at the little girl. "I will do whatever you request." He began to cry unashamedly.
It's time, Ulric. Please don't… Her face seemed to melt away. She was gone.
Pilot spoke up. "Commander Selton, you must go now!" She looked at him with a painful face. "I need you to be six parsecs from this position as soon as possible."
"Good-bye my friend." He turned from her and left, brushing hot tears from his cheeks.
"Good-bye Commander Selton. Good luck!"
He moved as quickly as possible through the corridors and entered the hangar bay. He made his way up the ramp of the marauder. Jack was undergoing surgery and Ulric could see through the AutoDoc arms, that it had already retracted the skin from the left side of his head. He fired up the Hetch drive and turned the craft toward the huge outer door.
Pilot contacted him. "I have no control of the outer doors so I will have to blow them as well. This is going to be difficult with the Hangar bay fully pressurized."
"Ok Pilot. Give me a count."
"Door ejection in five…four…three…" Ulric accelerated toward the door "…two…one." The door flew off into space.
Pilot called for the last time. "Remember Ulric, you need to be six parsecs away in two hundred microts."
"That's not much time, Pilot. Can you hold off?"
"No, there is another Destroyer that will be here shortly."
Ulric pushed the Hetch drive to full. They were not going to make it.
"Good bye Ulric. Please thank Jack for me and tell him he was…" The communications link was jammed.
D'Argo looked at John somberly. "Could it be they were all over in Lursa?"
"Pilot, I need DRDs for search parties, there might be injured on board."
"Yes John. Moya is stable. I will release all that you need."
"Pilot, how is her baby?" John swallowed hard.
"John, Moya thanks you for saving them, ah ... us."
The com chimed. "John! D'Argo! Hello anyone!"
John heard the lovely voice of Zhaan. "Zhaan, where are you?"
"We are trapped on Tier One near what remains of the terrace."
"Who else is with you?"
"Aeryn and Enra we were headed for Lursa to meet Ulric. They have an AutoDoc John! We were taking Aeryn there to use it."
"Damn it!" John looked at D'Argo with the pain D'Argo knew all to well." Pilot, how long until we can starburst?"
"I don't know." He looked down. "I am sorry."
They recovered Zhaan, Aeryn and Enra and after a quick trip to the MedBay went to Pilot's den. Pilot projected the images of the attack from Moya's memory. It had not occurred to John that he was the only witness to Lursa's destruction. Enra sobbed quietly and Chiana stood next to her trying to comfort her.
Rygel spoke "Lursa sacrificed herself to save us? Amazing!"
Zhaan moved closer. "Pilot, what is the chance that Lursa survived the attack."
Pilot projected a close up of her injury. John winced just looking at it.
Pilot stared uncomfortably at the console in front of him, unwilling or unable to look at them. "She could not survive this injury."
Enra moved next to John. "Pilot, what about Ulric and Jack?"
"I am not sure they could have survived the initial explosion." Pilot looked up at her. "I am sorry."
Enra turned cold. John looked at her and grabbed her hand. "We are going back for them!" He looked up at Zhaan and D'Argo. Their look of protest faded into nothing in the face his stare.
"Pilot, when Moya has enough energy for two starbursts we will head back."
Pilot looked at John, his head slightly tilted. "Why two?"
"I have a plan." He turned and walked past his friends. He did not look up at them, nothing they could say would stop him.
Zhaan was about to speak but D'Argo silenced her. "He must do this, Zhaan." He said quietly.
She looked up at D'Argo. The pain in his eyes said everything. "I understand Ka D'Argo. It is difficult to abandon one's father - or son." She looked into the mighty Luxan's eyes. "I think John could use some help." D'Argo headed after his friend.
Zhaan approached Enra. "Can you help me in the MedBay, Enra?" She nodded her reply and they walked together. "Regardless of what happens Enra, you are welcome here." She stopped and looked into Enra's eyes. "How are you feeling?"
"My head's a little sore, but other than that I am fine. Why?" She looked at the regal Delvian suspiciously. Zhaan said nothing. She just looked at her. "Zhaan, you know?"
She beamed at Enra. "My child I could tell from the minute I met you." Zhaan looked at Enra slyly. "Does Ulric know?"
"No, it is too soon. I wanted to wait until…" She voice failed her. The thought of having his child without him overwhelmed her.
Zhaan held her for a long time. "Thank you, Zhaan." They walked down to the MedBay to check on Aeryn.
Faster Than Light
The Marauder was five point one parsecs away. Ulric closed his eyes and listened. "Good-bye Ulric, and thank you for all you have done. Tell Jack that we…" she was gone. Blood trickled from his nose. He looked at the monitor. Lursa erupted in a blue sphere - the Leviathan was gone - the Carrier was gone. The blue sphere expanded quickly - the gas giant that they had been orbiting was gone, enveloped in the expanding energy. It was closing on them. Huge arcs of blue-black energy shot past them, then fell back into the sphere. The entire system was no more...
How could the energy sphere travel faster than light? He increased the output of the Hetch drive and it screamed in protest. He pushed it further. The displays all showed what he could hear - he was destroying the drive. The Marauder began to shudder under the stress and was now displacing space-time at hetch eight point three - the speed of light. The sphere of energy stopped expanding and he throttled back the engine to watch, as the sphere collapsed in on itself and was gone. He stared at the monitor. How was it possible that ten light cycles of space had been dissolved? It was as if that portion of space was scooped out and space and time had flowed back into the void. Ulric sat back in his seat, closed his eyes and listened. He heard them near and far; they all seemed to be singing the same song. The dying song from Lursa. Ulric wept as he listened to them all mourn her passing.
"Good-bye my friends."
Arns later Ulric heard the sound of the AutoDoc retract from Jack. He got up tiredly and examined him then looked at the display. The AutoDoc was unable to repair his left eye. It was not designed for performing surgery on alien biology. Ulric knew this could happen; he was grateful that the AutoDoc was able to do as well as it had. He pulled a blanket from under the AutoDoc and wrapped Jack in it.
He looked at his unconscious friend. "Jack, you don't look like a Biomechanoid." He lifted him with his good arm and placed him into one of the acceleration chairs. Pain shot up from his missing fingers. Ulric tried to remove his jacket but found it impossible with the MediSeal holding his hand together. He sat on the AutoDoc, moved himself into position, and with his foot hit the start tile. The arms of the AutoDoc descended around him he felt the retractors dig into his shoulders. He screamed once before the drugs had time to work. The AutoDoc started rebuilding Ulric's shattered hand.