Timeline placement: toward the end of the Peacekeeper Wars
Disclaimer: The Farscape universe, and all that is in it, is not mine, but rather belongs to the Jim Henson Company. This is a work of fiction based in that universe. No copyright infringement is intended and no money has been or will be collected.
Thanks to genericscreenname for the story ideas.
He felt as though he was in a cocoon; everything was muffled, from the sounds that barely broke through the barrier of white noise to the smells he could almost identify, wheedling their way through that same filter. He could see absolutely nothing. He couldn't feel his legs and had a sinking feeling that it was probably best that way.
The muffling sensation was so complete that he couldn't even remember his own name, although he was sure he had one. All that he could remember was a girl. A girl with soft, elegant gray skin. Silky hair of black and white intermingled to make a sweet, soft gray, equally elegant, when she allowed it to be. And liquid, space black eyes that he sank into effortlessly whenever he was with her. No, that wasn't right. Her eyes were no longer the lovely black. Why was that? Again, he couldn't remember.
He could feel his own eyes closing again, even though he couldn't see anything, didn't remember having opened them. Seems to be a theme… He slipped back into the comforting nothing.
"Be careful, you razkreeta!"
The voice uttering the words was familiar, but he couldn't place it. A woman's voice, filled with contempt. He didn't think it was directed at him, because he wasn't doing anything – wasn't capable of doing anything. Then again, the contempt was just as familiar as the voice itself, so he couldn't say for certain that it wasn't directed at him.
"The bastard's heavy." The whining reply was also in a familiar voice, one that caused a frisson of instinctive distaste and distrust. This voice was male and much closer. The proximity of the whiny voice to his ear told him that the man must be carrying him, confirming that his legs were at the least injured, if not completely useless.
"Of course he is. He is a Luxan. They're all heavy." She spoke deliberately, as though to a none-too-bright child. "Here." The voice sounded next to his ear and he felt himself being shifted as the woman took some of his weight – significant weight, if the two could be believed – onto her own narrow shoulders.
He tried to open his eyes, but it was still too much effort. He felt himself being dragged, since he could no more move his legs than he could lift his eyelids. He must have moved something, though, because the woman stopped in her tracks, which in turn stopped the other who was supporting the rest of his weight. The sudden stop pulled faintly at his shoulders, but it didn't hurt too badly, since he was still wrapped in the cocoon.
"Ka D'Argo?" the woman asked. "D'Argo, can you hear me?" Where before her voice had been all contempt and superiority, now it was tentative concern.
He tried to answer her – he wanted to answer her – but instead he slipped the rest of the way into the cocoon, hearing and feeling nothing more.
When they reached a reasonable hiding place, Sikozu Shanu left D'Argo with that disgusting creature, who, disgusting though he was, had the ability to keep the Luxan alive and relatively intact while she searched for a way off this ball of mud. She was certain that if they stayed here, one side or the other would find them and destroy them as spies. The thought brought a twinge of pain to her shoulders.
Sikozu scrambled over the rocks – all that remained of the once not unattractive city in which the Eidolons had lived, hidden away from the prying eyes of those who would use them and discard them once their purpose had been served. Much as she herself had been used and discarded.
Perhaps a quarter arn later, she stumbled across several Scarran ships – two- and four-man fighters, mostly, surrounding a transport ship of a kind that was usually reserved for the Scarran elite. Several Charrids had been left guarding the ships, but she had no way of knowing for how long the majority of the party would be away or who the upper-echelon Scarran might be.
She watched the grouping of ships and guards for several hundred microts, observing the guards' movements, trying to determine if there was a pattern in them that she could exploit. Unfortunately, that gave her plenty of time to think.
How could she have been so stupid? Hadn't she seen enough of Scorpius' manipulations and machinations by now to understand that he just did not lose? Sikozu had thought him defeated and, in turn, had felt defeated herself. Foolishly, seeing no other options to help her people since she had been so sure that Scorpius was no longer of any use to her in that regard, she had contacted War Minister Akhna, offering anything the Scarran wanted if she would promise to release the Kalish from Scarran rule. From Scarran slavery.
Surprisingly, the War Minister had agreed. Sikozu couldn't read the woman, unlike most other Scarrans she had encountered. She should never have trusted her, but she had agreed to spy for Akhna anyway. She had been away from Scorpius for less than a solar day, long enough to betray him. Long enough for Akhna to implant a communication and tracking device under Sikozu's skin. She unconsciously lifted a hand, reaching back to touch the still-open wound where Scorpius had torn the transmitter from her flesh.
Bringing her hand back to where she could see it, she dispassionately observed the white blood as she rubbed her fingers together, feeling the liquid, slippery and viscous on her skin. Scorpius – Scorpius! - had very clearly pointed out to her just how foolish she had been. After flaying her with his words, he had left her. Simply left her. Not to die, not to live – he clearly didn't care whether she lived or died and that hurt her more than knowing that she had betrayed him and, in doing so, had betrayed her people.
She had lost Scorpius. She knew of no way that she could regain his trust and she could not bear to be near him without it, even if he would allow it. But, though she knew she had lost Scorpius, she could not allow herself to lose everything for the Kalish, and that meant that she had to survive, whether she wanted to or not.
Right now, survival meant getting off this sodden lump of a planet. Her best chance of that lay with stealing a ship and getting D'Argo to safety. D'Argo was the best bargaining chip she had. She could not return to Scorpius or the Peacekeepers. She would not return to the Scarrans. That left John Crichton and his friends. She didn't like them, nor they her, but she had come to respect them.
In the event Scorpius had told them that she was the Scarran spy, if she brought them D'Argo, alive because of her, then she could perhaps parlay that into help for the Kalish. These people were somehow able to land on their feet in spite of everything the universe threw at them. They had even brought an empire to its knees. She didn't know how they could help free the Kalish from Scarran bondage, but…
Her train of thought was broken by the sight of a second sun, suddenly appearing above the horizon. There was no second star in this system, as far as she knew, and, even so, no star would appear with a vapor trail, as this one had. As it grew, she saw a burgeoning darkness at its heart.
Sudden movement drew her eyes back downward, toward the grouping of ships below her observation point. Sikozu watched as the Charrids left their posts, either having received some sort of orders or, more likely, simply displaying their innate cowardice with the appearance of the malignant sun. She could hear nothing else above the sound of distant explosions.
With a quick look around to make certain there were no other obvious guards, Sikozu carefully picked her way through fallen bits of architecture until she reached the nearest Scarran ship. Again, she stopped to listen. Again, there was no sound to indicate the presence of any other living being. Pulse rifle at the ready, she walked cautiously up the ramp.
He had no idea how much time had passed when he woke again. Microts, arns, days… This time, the cocoon in which he was wrapped seemed to have been torn in places. He could feel pain, although he knew that he couldn't feel all of it. It bothered him that he still couldn't feel his legs.
The woman had called him Ka D'Argo. It felt right. It felt like a part of him. Not the Ka, but rather the D'Argo. His name was D'Argo. It wasn't much, but it was a start.
D'Argo lay flat on his back. He forced his eyes open, blinking until he could see some of his surroundings and almost instantly regretting it. Through the smoke, acrid and almost overwhelming – it seemed that his sense of smell was no longer contained in the cocoon – he could see the ruins of buildings, shattered, destroyed. Past the glow of distant fires was a greater glow, the glow of a sun, but one that was too close and carried a black void at its center. He could hear explosions in the distance, off where the sky was glowing from flickering flames.
"All right, missy," came a voice from behind his head, the same voice that had been whining before about how much D'Argo weighed. "Get your pretty little eema back here, frell you. I don't like the looks of this."
D'Argo tried to say something to him, but all that came out was a low groan.
"Awake, are you?" The man came into view, pasty complexion, dirty clothing, wild hair. There was a smudge of soot on one cheek. "Too bad the doc didn't make it. Without 'im, I doubt you will either, but that fool woman wouldn't let me leave you."
He didn't think there was enough force behind the word to be heard, but the man – Green-something? – answered. "Stuck on the water planet. Scorpius' tralk ran off to find us some kind of ship so we could beat the frell outta here."
"How…" am I not dead? he tried to ask, but he couldn't get most of it wrapped around his tongue.
"How what?" Green Slug asked. He tossed something to the ground that he had been using to pick his teeth.
"…not…dead…?" It took all of D'Argo's remaining strength to get the two words out, so he closed his eyes again. Surely a short nap wouldn't hurt anything…
"You're not dead because you're a frelling indestructible Luxan." Surprisingly gentle fingers probed at his midsection, lifting what must be a bandage of some sort. "I got the bleeding stopped."
D'Argo opened his eyes at that. If he was going to die of blood poisoning, he wanted Green Slug – no that wasn't right, but he couldn't remember what his name was. Frell it. It was good enough. He would demand Green Slug just end it for him now. "Blood…poi…"
Green Slug seemed to know what he was asking, given the reply. "Your blood was running clear by the time I wrapped up that wound. Frelling hole right through you, mate. Big as my fist." He opened his mouth to say something more, but stopped at the sound of someone scrambling toward them over the rocks.
Sikozu slipped as she rounded the remnants of a wall, nearly dropping her rifle as Grunschlk and D'Argo came into view.
"We must hurry!" she shouted, no longer caring if there was anyone else to hear.
"I take it you found us a ship," the former Diagnosan's assistant said, making no move leave.
She ran to where D'Argo lay and began to lift him to her shoulder. She'd move him by herself if she had to, but… "Crichton has used the wormhole weapon." She gestured with her chin to the black sun growing over the horizon, glowing with malignant fire. "That is a singularity and it will consume this planet and all else in the vicinity if we don't get out of here now." She glared at Grunschlk.
"All right, all right." He stood, then leaned down to lever the rest of the Luxan's weight from the ground. "Lead on, little girl."
Sikozu's lip curled in contempt for the odious man. She moved as fast as she was able with D'Argo's dead weight hanging from her own shoulder as Grunschlk finally got off his eema and slid under the Luxan's other shoulder, now moving in tandem with her.
"Can we…make it?" D'Argo asked, startling her. She had thought him unconscious. She shot a look at him and saw that, though his blue eyes were clouded with pain, they were open and aware.
"We seem to have our choice of several Scarran ships. The Charrids that were guarding them have left them unattended. We can take one of the fighters. They're fast and they're built to withstand a lot of punishment." She bit her lower lip before continuing. "I believe we can make it, yes."
D'Argo's eyes focused on her. "You…can fly…it."
They hurried on in silence. Sikozu felt the tension in D'Argo's muscles as he gripped her shoulder under his arm. She also felt that his legs were dragging lifelessly beneath him.
When she and Grunschlk had found him, there had been a thick length of metal that seemed to be pinning him to the ground. When she had moved to pull it free, Grunschlk had stopped her, saying that it was the only thing stopping him from bleeding to death. He wouldn't let her go to D'Argo until they were sure that all of the Charrids and Scarrans that lay on the ground around him were dead – thus the two of them had made sure with pulse rifle and knife.
Sikozu had stood guard while Grunschlk had removed the offending object and first gotten D'Argo's blood flowing clearly and then stopped its flow entirely. D'Argo's current state of paralysis seemed to indicate that the object may have severed his spine.
"Well, missy, do we just take the closest one, then?" Grunschlk's voice intruded on her thoughts, bringing her back to the here and now. They had arrived and all six fighters as well as the transport appeared to be just as she had left them. The singularity had grown, its size now outstripping the planet's own sun in the sky.
"Yes, the closest one." They dragged D'Argo up the ramp and Sikozu left Grunschlk to deal with the again-unconscious Luxan while she ran to strap herself into the pilot's seat. It was a four-man attack craft, two seats behind the pilot's and co-pilot's chairs, gun turrets above and below.
She powered up the engines and closed the ramp, sealing off the continuing sounds of explosions and the stench of burning plastic from outside. "This is going to be rough," she advised, keeping her eyes on the instrument panel before her. "The singularity is already beginning to exert its gravity on us."
"Just get this thing flying," Grunschlk responded, strapping D'Argo into the chair directly behind Sikozu.
The small ship vibrated as she tried to lift off against not only the normal pull of the planet's gravity, but also that of the singularity, which was growing stronger by the microt. Sikozu punched the power up to its maximum, causing the vibration to increase to an almost unbearable level. She worried that it would be too much, even for this ship's design, which allowed for heavy gravity maneuvers, but its structure held, finally allowing them to break free of the planet's surface and shoot up through the atmosphere.
Through the forward view screen, she could see two fleets, Scarran and Peacekeeper, poised on the edge of extinction as the black star continued to grow. Between the enemy fleets, the faint outline of a Leviathan was visible.
"Moya," she murmured, surprised at the pain she felt at the sight of the beautiful living ship, whose life was very near to being extinguished by Crichton's weapon. She turned the Scarran around so that it was no longer facing the tableau. "Goodbye," she said, as the fighter shot off in the opposite direction, breaking free of the massive gravity well that was beginning to suck the leading edges of both fleets in.