He'd expected to die.
Frell, he'd wanted to die. He remembers begging D to kill him. But if this is the afterlife, it sure ain't anything like the preachers talked about. Heaven, he's sure, would have better dcor. And Hell would be a lot warmer.
That Diagnosian must've given him some weird drugs, he concludes. Smoke rises white and thick from the--ground? deckplates? beneath his feet. There's nothing else but a faint ruddy glow from far off, no walls he can see, only mist swirling cold around his legs. And his name, a familiar voice, echoing . . .
. . . maybe he is in Hell.
No, no, no. The Diagnosian was successful. The chip was removed. And John Crichton . . . is alive and well.
More memories return, fragments sliding into place, jagged edges slipping against each other like shards of ice. He remembers the sky, palest blue blurring into barren white at the horizon. A dark speck, lit from beneath by the orange flare of braking thrusters. Ice shattering, melting. Aeryn . . .
Alive or not, it doesn't really make a difference. Aeryn is dead. And he's trapped somewhere, alone with Scorpius. He can't think how Hell could be any worse.
Well, strictly speaking . . . you are not John Crichton. But for my purposes . . . you'll do.
He's starting to see a certain sick humor in it, as Scorpius dissolves into a puff of mist at the touch of his hands. After all this time, hearing Scorpy's voice in his head, in his dreams, now the tables are turned. Though Scorpy doesn't seem too disturbed at the idea. Hell, for all he knows, maybe Scorpy talks to voices in his head all the time.
. . . then what am I? A ghost? Holodeck Crichton? A wandering soul that ain't got no body?
A duplicate of John's psyche, existing only within the neuro-chip. And now, within my own mind.
With everything that's happened to him so far, this ain't even close to being too weird to believe. Scorpius' next words, though, add just that last final touch of the surreal to the whole situation.
I need your help.
He watches the images unfold, hanging bright and glowing in the air before them, and feels nothing beyond a faint surprise. Surprise, that Scorpy would show him this. Even greater surprise that Scorpy would believe he'd help him willingly.
The creature--the child--struggles to lift its head, wispy limp strands of hair clinging to pallid, translucent skin. It doesn't look much like the man standing beside him, the face that's haunted his dreams for so long. Its voice is rasping, agonized, nothing like the cold silk tones of the adult Scorpius.
The home movies are fascinating, Scorpy, but why show them to me?
He wonders when he learned to watch things like this and not care.
Was it when they'd recovered Aeryn's body, wet hair wrapping her like a shroud, ice crystals forming amid dark strands in the freezing wind? Or was it before that, somewhere in those long, sleepless nights, as he lay awake with Scorpius' voice murmuring in his mind? Neural spill-over, something of Scorpius lingering like a dark stain within his mind, living in him as he is now in Scorpius?
It's hard to think of the delicate blonde woman as Scorpius' mother. Watching her, he's reminded of Gilina. Also dead because of him. Because of Scorpius. She, too, was no soldier, should never have been put in such a position.
Rylani, that was her name?
He doesn't know why it matters, why the woman's name should be so important, as the image fades into misty darkness.
Then help us. Scarrans outnumber Peacekeepers. Without superior weaponry we will be crushed.
But if Scorpius believes he'll help him, if he really thinks he's that dumb . . .
You want to kill them. They want to kill you. I do not see a whole hell of a lot of difference.
Rylani Jeema Dellos did not deserve such a fate. Once he would have felt . . . what? Pity. Outrage. Something, at least. Once he might have felt Scorpius did not deserve the life he'd had, either. He remembers Crais, remembers two young faces staring wide-eyed at him through flickering flames. You didn't choose to be a Peacekeeper? You and your brother were shanghaied from your homes? He'd felt for Crais then, hated the system that would tear children from their homes, from their parents. He'd felt sorry for him, and he'd nearly gotten killed for it.
He won't be so stupid again.
Scorpius' hand lands on his shoulder, and the touch is cold through layers of leather as he pulls him around to face him.
You think I want wormholes to betray Peacekeepers, and to conquer the universe myself? I don't want power. I want revenge.
Of course you do. That's what we all want, all we've got left, in the end.
I've already lost people I care about because of you. Their faces are close together, ice-blue eyes wide in the red-lit darkness. Where is my revenge, Scorpy?
Scorpy's speaking again, but the words he hears aren't the ones he's saying now.
He remembers bright lights, a white room, lying strapped to a bed with his brain naked and exposed, Scorpy looking down at him. Desperate, choked sounds coming from his mouth, but no words. The connection that bound his mind to his lips was severed, and he could make no answer as those blue eyes bored into him. I condemn you, John Crichton, to live. So that your thirst for unfulfilled revenge will consume you.
Those are the words he hears, as equations blossom in empty air, spiralling in a dizzy, miraculous array, promises flickering in blue and white, numbers that can unlock . . . what? Salvation or destruction. Revenge.
Go on, unlock it. Give us the weapon we need to defeat the Scarrans.
He feels nothing as he reaches into the blue web, sees numbers reflecting on his skin. And that's when he knows he could, he has what is needed. To unlock . . .or to destroy. Now he can speak, and he does, cold and casual.
It's not mine to give away.
Fingers close, curling into a fist, and the complex web of wormhole data is nothing, meaningless blue fragments that disappear like snow blown away by the wind.
This, then, is his revenge. Scorpius is shouting at him, one hand grabbing his throat, heat burning against his skin. Behind him, red lights flicker brighter. But there's nothing Scorpius can do to him now. Nothing he hasn't already done.
Wherever I wind up . . . when I see your Mama . . . I'll be sure to give her your regards.
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Title: Films About Ghosts
Author: Flora [email] [website]
Details: Standalone | PG | gen | 6k | 09/18/04
Characters: John, Scorpius
Summary: He wonders when he learned to watch things like this and not care.
Notes: Spoilers through season three, "Incubator".
Disclaimer/Other: Written for Suenix, for Voleuse's Farscape Ficathon. Thank you so much to Kernezelda for betaing this!!
I don't own any of these characters, I'm not making any money off of this, please don't sue.
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