Disclaimer: Farscape...is no longer on the air. Do we really still have to do this stuff? You know the drill anyway.
Timing: AU from ITLD:WISC
'Tomorrow' is the second prequel to 'Captain's Prerogative' and takes place after 'His Heaven'. It picks up with Crichton and Aeryn after ITLD2 and then Crais after 'His Heaven' and deals with how the world in 'Captain's Prerogative' came to exist.
Braca's first name is given as 'Alasis', the name I picked for him before the PTBs gave him one.
Part 1: Hangover
"It's a weird feeling Dad," Crichton said quietly, looking at the IASA logo on his micro-recorder. "Kinda like...high school graduation. You think of everything as building up to that moment, you fixate on it. That will be the start of a great new life. And then it's over and you realise that...your friends are all leaving. The people you shared those years with are going after their dreams. It's the end of an era...and things will never be the same again."
He released the record button and laid the device beside him on the table. There was no point in hiding it now, nobody was going to snurch it. Not with Rygel and Chiana leaving. He slowly slid off the table. It was time to go. Time waits for no man, especially if his name is John Crichton.
At the first junction he was joined by Ka D'Argo and they fell into step and conversation, like they'd done a million times before.
"All done?" Crichton inquired.
"Chiana and Jool have spent the last arn arguing about who owns a tube of fellip oil cream."
"Must be Chiana's. Jool refuses fellip anything ever since they made her drink piss."
"I suspect Jool may be resisting on principle."
It could have been any day on Moya. Until...
"So, what's the plan?" Crichton asked, his voice deliberately light.
"Jool used the database on Scorpius' command carrier to find the co-ordinates of a planet with a population of Interions. I will take her there first, the others will find transport when we reach the Onari system."
"And after that?"
"He is posted on board the carrier Vh'trane. It patrols a region of space in the Bhat-tek sector. It may take me as long as half a cycle to reach my destination."
"And if he's not there?"
"Then I will search until I find where he has run to. I may have failed to protect her, but I will not fail to avenge her."
Crichton nodded. "Chi's gonna find her brother. Buckwheat'll try to get his throne back. Jool'll go home. Aeryn 'n' me'll just stay here and wait for the next madman to start chasing us."
"I wish I could make you a better offer, my friend."
"Yeah. Still, I got Aeryn, Crais is dead, the wormhole project is destroyed. Could be worse."
"It probably will be."
"Thanks for the vote of confidence."
It was, Crichton thought later, nothing more than the morning after the night before.
"John, there is something you should know," Aeryn stated matter-of-factly, as they stood looking out of the viewscreen.
Crichton had seen that look on Aeryn's face before. It was the look she got when she was about to give him some very bad news.
"What?" he asked, electing to get it out in the open before it had a chance to get worse.
"Before he and Talyn starburst, Crais and I agreed co-ordinates for a meeting point, in case they survived."
That son of a bitch! Crichton thought.
"That son of a bitch!" Crichton said. "I knew he'd never sacrifice himself! What was he gonna do? Have a secret meeting, then whisk you away on his flying carpet and show you a whole new world?"
Aeryn's nostrils flared. She looked pissed. "Crais made it very clear that his chances of survival were remote. But, because Talyn is a hybrid leviathan, we agreed that we could not be certain. We therefore thought it prudent to find some way for Talyn to be reunited with his mother if he was able."
"Where are we having this secret rendez-vous then?" Crichton asked, cursing himself for not guessing that Crais would do something like this and trying not to fight with his one remaining mobile companion. The last thing he wanted was her going off on her own.
"Sector four, La-na-nis nebula. I've been directing Pilot to follow a course there ever since we starburst away from the command carrier. We should arrive in a few solar days."
Even better. She and Pilot had been conspiring against him for almost a monen.
"And what about Crais? Even if, by some miracle, he's still alive, Talyn could've starburst to the other side of the galaxy. Are we gonna spend our lives just waiting there to see if he ever shows up?"
"Obviously not. This is why Crais chose that nebula. There are people there who will be able to contact him and Talyn, wherever in the galaxy they are."
"How do you know that?" Crichton asked suspiciously.
"Crais has been there before," Aeryn answered.
"Yeah, and he could be leading us into a trap!" Crichton exclaimed.
"What will it take for you to realise that he's on our side?!" Aeryn demanded, folding her arms.
They'd had this argument countless times before and they would keep having it until Aeryn admitted he was right.
"Okay, so we go to la-la land or wherever it was. We meet the natives, who get us on the phone to Crais. Then what?"
Aeryn had another bad look on her face. This one meant that she didn't know either.
"Aeryn!" Crichton was hissing. "Aeryn, it's an Ompalumpa!"
Aeryn Sun had no idea what an Umperloop was. All she could see were the inhabitants of the planet Ush'taane, in the heart of the La-na-nis nebula. They were small and fat, they had orange faces and green hair. They wore an odd garment - overalls fastened with straps over the shoulders. She was quite certain that she'd never met any of their race before.
The entire population of the planet lived in huge domes on the surface. The planet had no breathable atmosphere, almost no gravity and a day-time high of more than six times optimum. The only reason the planet had been colonised was the accidental discovery of its being able to support these extreme-long-range communications. How exactly it was done was a closely guarded secret.
"If Crais and Talyn have survived, we will be able to find out where they are and speak to them. That is, assuming they have not left this galaxy."
"And if they have?"
"Then it will make little difference whether or not they have survived. They would not be able to return to this part of the galaxy during Talyn's lifetime, let alone Crais'," Aeryn said.
"Assuming they don't encounter a friendly neighbourhood wormhole."
Aeryn looked around her, irritated. The little Umperloops had welcomed them readily enough, but they had now been sitting here for over an arn. Hundreds of them milled around, occasionally walking into the bright pink walls. The floor unnerved her. It was transparent, what looked to her like rkysatz crystal, and all she could see underneath was liquid - slightly paler pink than the walls. Tiny waves lapped at the barrier, but the complex did not appear to be floating, although Aeryn could see no supports across the entire massive floor. She wondered suspiciously if the liquid was involved in the long-range transmissions. It didn't seem as if it could be a natural occurance, given the planet's natural inhospitality.
Beside her, Crichton shifted his sitting position for the hundreth time. The thoughts of leaving him behind on Moya and seeking her fortune on her own which had crossed her mind now began darting back and forth like lartsa birds. An ex-Peacekeeper and a human. It had been a ridiculous idea from the start.
"There's no way that Crais could really have survived," Crichton was muttering. "No way. He blew himself up. We buried Talyn. It's not possible."
Aeryn ignored him. She'd sworn to Crais that she would do this - on her own honour rather than that of the Peacekeeper she no longer was. Besides, both he and Talyn had great value in the right situation. Aeryn knew that. She'd imagined that Crichton would also know. Stubborn human.
She was about to grab one of the irritating little lemmings by an oversized ear and gain their attention that way, when a pair of them suddenly presented themselves.
"We are ready..."
"...for you. Please come..."
Aeryn rose, pulling Crichton to his feet as well. The Umperloops chattered at her side, their habit of finishing each other's sentences exceptionally grating to her nerves. They were led right across the crystal dome to a door in the far wall - too well concealed to be noticed from their previous distance.
Aeryn felt a whoosh of cold air as the door opened and she shivered. They were in a much smaller room now. It too seemed to be fabricated from crystal, but this was jet black and gleaming where the dim light hit it. This room, somehow shielded from the hustle and bustle in the main dome, was silent, except for the now audible lapping of water against the floor.
"Looks like Madame Zelda's psychic tent," Crichton said. "She did my fortune when I was sixteen at the autumn carnival. Come to think of it, I think she said that I'd meet a dark stranger and that the letters A and S would be important to me." He looked thoughtful. "Maybe she wasn't a fraud after all. Hey look, they've even got a crystal ball!"
Aeryn nodded, letting the rest of Crichton's speech go by unnoticed. It was indeed a crystal ball, it must be used to focus energy somehow. This amount of crystal could not be an accident. It was hardly ideal as a building material.
"...here, if you..."
"...please. We are..."
Aeryn settled herself onto the low bench indicated, next to the table. It too was made of black crystal.
"Do you have..."
Aeryn removed the info-pad with Talyn's bio-signature stored on it from the pouch she had attached to her gun belt and pushed it slowly towards the Umperloops. One of them snatched it up and began jabbering instructions to the other in a language the translator microbes couldn't cope with. The creatures must know Sebacean, or another language that translated well into it.
The other began prodding the table. It was unmarked, at least to Sebacean eyes, but the Umperloop had obviously input the bio-signature, because the crystal ball began to glow orange.
A crackle and the comms flared into life.
'Talyn! Talyn the comms are frelled up again!'
That's not Crais, Crichton mouthed to Aeryn. Aeryn nodded in agreement. Even if the words hadn't told them that, the fact that the voice was female did.
'No, Talyn, the comms have gone fahrbot. There's nothing on the sensors, not even on long range. Communications require ship or planet, they can't come out of nowhere.'
"Actually, they can," Crichton said, for some reason talking to the ceiling.
'Talyn, this is not funny.'
"It's not Talyn, it's John Crichton."
"And Aeryn Sun," Aeryn put in.
'Ah, what appalling timing you have, the voice said. Officer Sun, we've been expecting your communication. Although, where are you transmitting from exactly?'
"A planet in the La-na-nis nebula that is able to support extreme-long-range communications."
'I can see you now. We can be there in one solar day. Stay there and we'll come to you. Don't drink the water.'
"Wait a minute!" Crichton said. "Who are you? What are you doing on Talyn? Where's Crais?"
'All good questions, which I'll answer when we get there. End communication.'
The comms clicked off.
"What the hell just happened?" Crichton demanded. "Someone has just casually taken over Talyn? Who we were supposed to have buried? And what does she mean she can see us?"
"All good questions, which she will answer when they get here," Aeryn said.
"You're in on this, aren't you?"
"You and Crais had some big master plan that I've screwed up by coming along and you know exactly what's going on, but you're not going to tell me."
"You're being ridiculous."
Aeryn knew there was little point in continuing this conversation, since they had covered this subject in detail on numerous occasions. Therefore she stopped contributing and allowed Crichton to ramble on by himself.
"We require clearance to remain in orbit until our other ship arrives," she stated, confirming what the Umperloops already knew.
"That can be..."
"Good," Aeryn said. Crichton was still muttering mutinously beside her.
Around thirty-five arns later, when even Crichton's fascination with the Umperloops had waned, Talyn quietly approached Moya and slid into position beside her. Moya's occupants were still asleep, so Moya, Talyn and Pilot chatted happily together. Moya was happy that Talyn seemed so much calmer than the last time she had seen him. He was in good health and she was pleased.
"Okay, I'm up. I'm up, I'm up, I'm up."
John Crichton stumbled slightly as he entered command, yawning as he started to hop, trying to pull his boot on properly.
"What is it, Pilot? Did Talyn get here yet?"
"He has indeed arrived. Moya and I have been speaking with him while you and Officer Sun were sleeping. We both feel that he is much better."
"No more paranoia?"
"Talyn reports that his therapy is not yet complete, but his caraposa is confident that it will not be long before he is fully cured."
"His healer. She is one of a race of beings who aid leviathans in distress. She has had care of Talyn for several monens now."
Crichton stopped, double-checked and then said, "Pilot, it's only been a bit over a monen since we destroyed the command carrier. Crais was still in command then."
"She has been resident on Talyn for almost a quarter of a cycle. Talyn says that he and Crais travelled through time."
"Time?" Crichton repeated. "Oh wait, no. You mean a wormhole. Their damn starburst interfered with all Scorpy's modifications and opened another wormhole!"
"I gotta get over there," Crichton muttered to himself. "I gotta meet this caramel girl and find out where Crais is and what on Earth happened after they..."
His voice trailed off as Moya slowly turned and Talyn drifted into view. Crichton stared, his mouth open.
"What the hell happened to him?"
"John!" Aeryn said, striding into command looking perfectly together as always. "Has Pilot heard anything from T..."
She broke off as she too caught sight of the viewscreen.
"Pilot," Crichton said, still staring at Talyn. "What happened to Talyn?"
"I do not understand what you mean."
And so he was. A deep forest green, with patches of emerald where he used to be red.
"Cymma has informed us that it is a normal part of the healing process."
"Cymma? Oh wait, let me guess, the healer?"
"I think we should meet her," Aeryn said. She hadn't taken her eyes off Talyn.
"Right there with you babe," Crichton replied.
Crichton and Aeryn climbed down from their transport pod and gazed at Talyn's docking bay. His interior displayed the same shades of green as his hull. A DRD rolled up to their feet. It too had changed colour.
"She's transformed the whole ship," Crichton said, bending down to inspect the DRD for other changes.
"Talyn still has weapons," Aeryn replied.
"He's quieter," Crichton said, as if he hadn't heard her. "Kind of soothing really."
"We should go to command, locate Crais and this healer."
"No need," the voice from the transmission said.
Both their heads snapped up and they drew their pulse pistols on reflex. She waved them down.
"Put them down. They wouldn't be any use to you anyway and I've had quite enough of this from Talyn's stubborn captain. How I'm expected to heal him with these constant interruptions, I don't know."
"Where's Crais?" Crichton asked.
"He's also healing."
"Here?" Aeryn asked.
"Can we see him?" Crichton asked.
"You can," Cymma replied. "It won't do you much good though."
They followed behind her. Crichton still had one hand resting lightly on Wynona. He silently observed Talyn's new occupant as she led them, turning round every so often to check they were both following her. Her skin was pale and creamy, as if she were Sebacean, but her other features were very definitely alien. Crichton heard himself and laughed inwardly. When had Sebacean ceased to be alien?
She had green eyes like emeralds, but it was her hair that interested him the most. It was green too, but it seemed to be half feathers, with braids twisting around them. It barely reached her shoulders and moved only slightly whenever she turned her head. It was only when Talyn's overhead lights reflected off it that Crichton realised there were cystals threaded on it too.
She led them through Talyn's maze of corridors. For someone who should have been dead, he was in remarkably good shape. Crichton assumed repairs had been completed over the monens that Talyn had been in two places at once; descending into madness with them on board and wherever else he'd been. Time travel, man it made things complicated.
Crichton was just trying to work out whether it was just his imagination or whether Talyn really was wearing spicy aftershave, when the emerald alien came to a sudden halt outside an unmarked door.
"Do not, under any circumstances, touch anything," Cymma said, her tone brooking no argument. Crichton found himself automatically putting his hands in his pockets.
She swiped her palm over the door panel and the door slid open. Crichton followed her in and did a double-take when he saw exactly why Crais couldn't come to the phone.
He was encased in what looked like an egg-shaped cryo-pod. Only his head and shoulders were visible, but he was apparently naked, his thick black locks floating out into a halo in the greenish liquid that filled the pod, his eyes closed. The egg was hooked up to a monitor, which had streams of data running across it in a language that Crichton couldn't even read, let alone comprehend. It emitted a steady beeping sound that Crichton assumed must be Crais' heartbeat.
"What the hell is that?" he said, as Aeryn walked across and began to study the monitor intently.
"A restoration pod," Cymma answered, as if locking people into tanks was something she did every day.
"What does it do?" Aeryn enquired, running a hand down the side of it.
"Don't touch anything!" Cymma snapped. "The slightest malfunction would take arns to fix. I don't have that much time. Nothing must go wrong."
"You don't have that much time for what?" Crichton asked.
"To complete my assignment," Cymma answered tersely. "To resolve Talyn's problems."
Cymma grunted. "It would take cycles to resolve that man's problems. This is merely a way to eliminate the more obvious ones and prevent him from interfering in my work."
"You locked him up in there?!"
"Unconscious was the only state in which I could tolerate him."
"Man," Crichton said, shaking his head, half in admiration and half in disbelief. "Is Crais going to be pissed when he wakes up."
"I am quite capable of dealing with him, once my work here is complete."
"What exactly is your work?" Aeryn asked, abandoning the monitor and joining them.
"Talyn. There are things that must be done to ensure that he is no longer a danger to himself or to the universe."
"You intend to remove his weapons?" Aeryn said.
"No," Cymma replied. "I intend to remove what prevents him using them wisely. I intend to remove his instability. And I intend to remove his captain."
"You're taking over?" Crichton said, fingering Wynona and wondering if they should have brought more fire power.
"I have no interest in any ship, let alone this one. Talyn will be joined with a pilot who can guide him into something other than disaster. Allowing him to remain linked to Crais would have undermined all the work I have done here."
"Would have? You already pulled Crais' transponder?"
"The trellaks have already repaired the damage to his person and removed all the components lodged in his neck. There will be no lasting effects."
"Other than that Crais is going to kill you when he finds out."
Cymma regarded him like he was a pesky six-year-old. "You are quite as irritating as Talyn described you. Please cease all activity in your vocal cords."
"Did she just tell me to shut up?" Crichton asked Aeryn.
"One more word and I will order you off the ship. Kindly depart and leave me to my work."
Crichton drew Wynona and pointed her straight at Cymma.
"What if I don't want to?" he said.
Cymma could not have looked any less intimidated if she'd tried. She held out her hand to provide a target. "Try it," she said.
Crichton, after hesitating a moment, did. Her hand absorbed the energy, briefly glowing green. Cymma folded her arms.
"I told you they'd be of little use to you," she said matter-of-factly.
"I have got a bad feeling about this," Crichton said, striding up the corridor towards Pilot's den.
"I think we all have that feeling, John," Aeryn replied from beside him.
"Talyn smelt funky to me, did he smell funky to you?"
"Weird, odd, unusual, strange. Kind of like...I don't know. Spicy, musky. Just...different."
"I noticed nothing."
Crichton groaned inwardly as they made a sharp left turn and entered the den. "Why is it always just me?" he muttered. "Pilot! A little help here. What exactly is she doing to Talyn?"
"As I informed you, Crichton, she has almost repaired Talyn's instability. In addition, Talyn has now told us that she is helping him to develop a dampening net."
"Helping him to develop it?" Crichton repeated. "Talyn cannot have one of those programmed into his DNA or Crais would never have wanted to buy one from the Plokavoids. She must be screwing with his DNA. We have to stop her!"
"If that is all she is doing, it may be in Talyn's best interests to let her continue," Aeryn said.
"Yeah, but if she has that kind of power over him, are we sure that she'll stop there?"
"Commander, her people are well known to Moya and I, as they are to all leviathans. We trust her to do what is right for Talyn," Pilot said.
"Pilot," Crichton said, no trace of a smile. "Moya's Gods tried to kill her. I have trust issues now. I say there's something going on that we don't know about - like why does she have a deadline? What exactly is she fixing? And what the frell is she really doing to Crais in the fish tank?" He thought for a moment. "You know what? I am not going to sit here asking these questions. I am going back to Talyn and I'm going to find some way to make her spill the beans. Aeryn, are you coming with me?"
"This will not do any good, John."
"Fine. I'll go by myself."
Crichton sniffed the air. It still smelt, in fact it was stronger now. One more good reason to find out what was going on.
"You've returned," Cymma's dry voice said from behind him. "What an unexpected irritation. I thought I made it quite clear that you were to take up no more of my time."
"I have a few questions I want answered."
"I will give you sixty microts, after which I will return you to your ship whether you wish it or not."
"What's this about a dampening net?"
"It was decided that having additional non-violent defences would aid Talyn in avoiding unnecessary destruction."
"Are you screwing with his DNA?"
"I am making some minor alterations to it. You must realise that his genetic make-up is badly flawed, although what else is to be expected when amateurs meddle in things that are quite beyond them?"
"What's that smell?"
There was a flicker of uncertainty in Cymma's eyes. "What smell?" she said. "Can you describe it?"
"Musky, spicy, kind of familiar, but I can't place it."
"Nothing like...Trellan oil, by any chance?"
Crichton snapped his fingers. "That's it."
"Frell," Cymma said, her brow furrowing while her brain appeared to be working furiously. "Well, you have at least proved that you are not entirely useless. You must remain on Talyn." She paused. "Is Officer Sun your mate?"
"Yes. Sort of. Maybe."
"I would strongly suggest that she join you on Talyn. You are likely to be in need of her services shortly."
"Services?" Crichton asked, with the feeling that he knew where this was going.
"You are aware that Talyn is, in leviathan terms, an adolescent?"
"And that one of the chief characteristics of that stage is the beginning of mating urges?"
"Talyn is shortly to enter his first mating cycle. The scent he is producing is an indicator of that."
"Why can't you smell it?"
"Only male leviathans produce these hormones. As you are male, you can detect them and are susceptible to them Hence my recommendation that your chosen partner join us. The urges are liable to be somewhat overpowering and I do not have time to spare to help you with them."
"What the frell is Talyn going to do?!" Crichton said, reeling.
"Locate the nearest female leviathan. Other than Moya, naturally."
"Recap. Horny leviathan teenager, hormones being released into the air stream - and you want me to stay?!"
"The urges will overpower you before Talyn. By monitoring your condition I will have a guide as to how much time I have left."
"You want to watch?!"
"I assure you, I have no interest in your mating practices. You will, however, be useful to me in the meantime. Any objections?"
Several hundred occurred to Crichton. He opened his mouth.
"Your sixty microts are up. I have returned your pod to Moya for Officer Sun. I assume you can find your way to guest quarters."
She disappeared. Into thin air. Crichton stared at the place where she had been.
Another God-like alien. Man, he hated God-like aliens!
Aeryn was slightly bemused when Moya's transport pod flew itself back, and more so when Pilot informed her that she was needed on Talyn. It frankly worried her that inanimate objects had begun to take care of themselves. It did not, however, appear to worry Pilot in the least. Her conclusion, therefore, was that the human had gotten himself into yet more trouble and needed saving. She therefore climbed into the pod, which now seemed content to leave navigation to her, and returned to Talyn.
"What is going on?" she said to Crichton, as soon as she managed to locate him.
"Talyn's hormones have gone nuts, they're leaking into the ship and really heating things up, Captain Emerald won't let me leave because she wants to use me as a thermometer and, in not very long, I'm probably going to pounce on you like I've just taken half a million viagra pills all at once," Crichton said, very fast.
Aeryn blinked. "What?" she said.
"Okay, try again," Crichton said. "There's this smell, okay?"
"I smell nothing," Aeryn said, crossing her arms.
"Yeah, I know," Crichton said. "You can't smell it. Only I can smell it."
"Because you're human?"
"No, because I'm a guy and you're a girl and only guys can smell it."
"Just because! I don't know! I didn't take leviathan 101! All I know is that there is a smell, it's a mating hormone that Talyn's releasing into the ship, Cymma wants to use me to see how long she's got before Talyn humps the first female leviathan he can find and I need you here because...well..."
"Because you assume that I will recreate with you," Aeryn said.
"Cymma doesn't have time," Crichton said. "I mean, not that you're not my first choice, because you are, but she said it could get pretty, uh...well, sort of like any port in a storm."
"I am more concerned with how this will affect Talyn," Aeryn said, honestly believing she meant it.
"Talyn," Aeryn repeated.
"Fine, Talyn. Well...it's normal. Cymma doesn't sound worried about the actual mating, just when it occurs. Maybe she's trying to fix him up with some really massive condoms, I don't know. He's a teenager now, he's looking to lose his cherry."
Aeryn really understood only about half of that. In earlier days, she would've spent time puzzling about what a cheri was and why Talyn would want to lose it, but now she just ignored it. It made little difference in most cases and he would generally persist when it was important.
"I wish to speak with Cymma," she said.
"I tried that. She turned me into a lab rat and then she disappeared."
"No, I mean she actually disappeared! She was there and then she was gone. And she made the pod fly itself."
"We need to find out what she is doing to Talyn," Aeryn said. "I suggest we find a way to revive Crais."
"Because he knows the most about Talyn."
"No, it's definitely a bad idea."
"I am not having a hormonally-charged Crais with a hard-on trapped on this ship with you. And damn, I did not need to put that image in my head."
"Fine, John," Aeryn said, exasperated. "How else do you suggest we find out what she's doing?"
Crichton looked thoughtful. "Wait a microt, I think I have an idea..."
"Surveillance logs," Crichton said triumphantly. "At the very least, they'll tell us where to look to find out what she's doing, without us having to wake up Captain Cranky any sooner than absolutely necessary."
"You sound as if you're in favour of having Crais locked up against his will."
"Was there ever any doubt?"
Aeryn started to pull up the logs. She shook her head. "I can't access the recent ones, there's a block and I can't override it."
"So wind back to the command carrier and play from there. There's got to be something after that that will tell us what's been going on."
Aeryn input the command as Crichton came to stand beside her, looking at the screen on the console. They watched for a moment in silence and then...
"Shit, what was that! Hit pause and rewind."
It was what Crichton had thought it was. His father. On board Talyn.
"Talyn, I want to see everything that happened after the command carrier blew up. I want to know exactly who was on board, where they were and what they did. Understand?"
Talyn showed him. He showed him Earth and Jack. He showed him DK. He showed him Crais recreating with Jessica. He showed him Jo receiving the transponder. He showed him Jo dead.
Crichton's face was a picture. It began with awe, moved to joy, mutated into utter fury, then into sorrow, then into deep sadness.
"Oh, God," he said, unable to fully comprehend what he had just seen. "Talyn...tell me this is one of your editing tricks."
Talyn made a sorrowful sound and Crichton sank to his knees, his hands still on the console, his head between them. After a few microts, he spoke.
"I've changed my mind," he said. "We need to wake up Crais."