The Heir Apparent
Spoilers for The Peacekeeper Wars.
Note: I started this at midnight on a caffeine high, so please forgive any typos...
Bishan's head shot up as the doors to his palace where thrown open and two Sebeceans walked into the room. His eyes narrowed and he snapped his fingers, five armed Hynerians immediately appearing from nowhere, ready to guard their Dominar.
The male, very obviously armed, stopped along his way to grab a piece of fruit from his private feast, popping it into his mouth before spinning and catching up with the female, who had not deterred in the slightest from her course.
"How dare you--" Bishan started.
The male threw up a hand in irritation. "I know, we don't have reservations," he said. "But then I thought, hell, I'm John Crichton. I don't need reservations." He pulled out his pulse pistol, and aimed it at the Dominar.
Bishan's guards all turned to train their weapons on him, but Aeryn pulled out her own weapon and stepped in their way, neither of them looked impressed by Bishan's display of force.
Bishan's eyes shifted nervously. "You're John Crichton?" he demanded suspiciously.
"That's right," he said. "And this is my grunt. We're here to take the throne. Any questions?"
Aeryn's eyes rolled irritated in his direction at the mention of grunt, but her aim never wavered. John knew he would pay for it later, but decided her expression was worth it.
"This is outrageous! Kill them!" Bishan demanded.
The guards hesitated, their gazes shifting nervously from the Dominar to John Crichton.
"Oh I wouldn't do that if I were you," John said slyly, a grin pulling on his lips. "Cause see, I kinda thought you might say that. What? You thought I wouldn't have a back up plan?"
"He obviously doesn't know you," Aeryn said, adjusting her grip on the weapon. "He always has many back up plans," she explained. "The first one never works."
John grinned. "That's right. And if both of us don't leave here unharmed in, oh, what do you think, babe?"
"You said an arn when we left the transport," Aeryn said helpfully.
John snapped his fingers in recollection. "Yep. That's right. You're exactly right. An arn. See, we don't leave here in an arn? I kind of have a wormhole forming in your backyard, and if I don't stop it, it's gonna swallow this planet whole." John was pleased with the immediate reactions; playing strategy games with Rygel had done wonders for his bluff.
"The back up plans are usually insane," Aeryn said with a grin. "Its best you go along with him, you never know what he's going to do."
John grinned over at Bishan. "That's right. I'm very unpredictable. So what do you say we make a deal?"
Bishan stared at them haughtily. "You're both mad! To think that I would negotiate with criminals!"
The doors opened again, and Rygel flew in on his thronesled. Aeryn and John didn't need to turn, they kept their weapons trained on Bishan.
"Rygel!" Bishan said in surprise, then he scrunched his face up in disgust. "I had heard you had dealings with John Crichton, but I would have liked to think it was nothing but rumor."
"I'm sure you would have," Rygel said angrily. "But unfortunately for you, it is not. John Crichton works for me. He does whatever I ask, and I'm sure you have heard of the power he possesses. He single-handedly stopped the war between the Scarrens and the Peacekeepers. Do not be so arrogant, Bishan, as to think you can stop him now."
John leaned towards Aeryn. "When did I start working for him?" he whispered.
"Shh," she hissed.
Bishan looked at the trio nervously. "What do you want?" he demanded.
"To start," John snapped. "You can have your goons lower their weapons."
Bishan motioned for the weapons to be lowered and then glared at him. "You could do the same," he growled.
Rygel smiled, the same way he had smiled when he had been carrying around Durka's head on a stick. "We'll do nothing of the sort."
Bishan tapped his fingers anxiously, and met Rygel's eyes. "Even you," he said. "Would not allow John Crichton to destroy all of Hyneria with his wormhole weapons! You would not possibly--"
"I will have back the throne," Rygel said dangerously. "Or no one will have it."
"Enough," Aeryn snapped. "Let's just shoot him."
John leaned against her. "Honey, we can still talk things through. I've got a good feeling that Bishan is going to come around."
"No, Aeryn is right," Rygel snapped. "I would rather Bishan made a formal address announcing me as rightful Dominar to the people, but if he will not see reason--"
"Wait," Bishan yelled, sounding panicked. "You cannot simply shoot me, I am Dominar, there will be repercussions!"
"Sure there will," John said. "Like maybe the people getting a competent leader for once."
"Agree to do as I ask, Bishan," Rygel said darkly. "If you do not, I will have them shoot you. And then, depending on how things go, I will either take the throne or this entire planet will be destroyed by Crichton's weapon in the event of our deaths. I'm sure you want neither outcome."
Bishan lowered his head. "I will do as you ask, Rygel," he said. "For Hyneria, I will do it!"
John rolled his eyes at the implied and most likely false display of patriotism, and Rygel raised his head. "Dominar Rygel," he snapped. "To you." He turned his attention to the guards. "Do you accept me as your Dominar?" he demanded.
They each nodded quickly, staring in turn at Rygel and Crichton in awe. They had heard the stories, and they knew that Bishan had been leading them to destruction. Hynerians had an odd sense of loyalty, anyway, and they felt no remorse in switching to the better side.
"Then leave us at once," Rygel demanded, and they all disappeared.
Bishan glared hatefully at his cousin, the one who had always had everything he wanted, and he decided he didn't care if it did cost him the world--he wasn't going to lose it all to him now. He reached slowly into his robes for his hidden pulse weapon, but a silky voice behind him caused him to freeze.
"I wouldn't, if I were you--I haven't killed anything today, and I'm getting restless."
Bishan could feel the cold of a weapon at his neck, and there was soft laughter behind him, echoing through the hall.
"Just grab his weapon, Pip," John said, and there was a smile in his voice. "Before you scare him to death."
Chiana glanced at him, the anger in her eyes burning out slightly when they met his blue, and she reached into the robes to pull the weapon out of his reach. "But I wanted to kill him," she said.
Rygel smiled, his own eyes sparkling. "All in good time, Chiana."
Chiana moved over to John and Aeryn, and when she got close enough, John placed his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close. She let him, though her fingers twitched anxiously around her weapon. She was supposed to be here with D'Argo to start a new life, and though it wasn't Bishan's fault he wasn't, he made a nice target anyway.
"You will make the announcement from here," Rygel said, putting a communications device in front of him. "This will project throughout all of Hyneria, and careful of your words, cousin, lest one of their hands should slip."
Chiana grinned at the thought, and Bishan backed away nervously.
As Rygel started to prepare the device, John tugged Chiana back a bit. "Where's the baby?" he whispered anxiously. "Don't tell me you left him with Stark, you said you--"
"I said I would be a better help to you here," she whispered back. "And lucky for you I was right, or one of you might be dead."
"I saw him going for the weapon," John said, unconvincingly.
Chiana grinned. "You did not, and I left the baby with Noranti and the Eidelons we picked up, he's safe. Don't worry so much."
"Chiana, with our lives, there's no such thing as worrying too much."
When they stepped back up to Aeryn she turned to John anxiously. "Noranti?" she demanded.
"And the Eidelons," he reassured her quickly. "I'm sure they'll keep her from giving him anything...helpful."
"They had better," Aeryn snapped.
"Now, Bishan," Rygel said. "Give your speech. And make it good."
Bishan arranged his robes, and affected a very royal expression. "Loyal subjects," he said into the recorder. "It is my honor to inform you that Rygel the Sixteenth, our true and royal heir, has returned to take his place on the throne." Bishan gritted his teeth and his eyes slid to Rygel, Rygel pointed back to Chiana, and Bishan quickly resumed his speech. "It is my honor to step down so he might take my place, as I know he will be an honorable leader to you all, and I ask that you accept him as well. It is time we end this dissension on Hyneria, and become united once more!"
Pleased with the finish, Rygel shut down the transmitter. And as cheers were heard springing up all over the world, Chiana's hand slipped, and Rygel sat down on his throne with a smile.