Setting: Long ago the Builders saw the need for a peaceful, sentient transport ship, and Leviathans were created. Unfortunately, these peaceful giants could not communicate with their passengers. Thus the Builders went in search of a species to join the Leviathans as pilots.
Disclaimer: As much as I may want to own Farscape, I don't. No profit is being made from this work.
Dedication: This fic is dedicated to Lady Pilot, whose love of Pilots and Leviathans inspired this fic when we began discussing events that might have led to the Pilot/Leviathan symbiosis.
As always, all feedback and concrit is greatly appreciated.
The Builders admired their creation. After much time and research, they had finally done it; they had created a sentient living ship. In the past, they had developed other living ships, but those had been mere animals. It had taken all of them to create a ship with a soul, a perfect, gentle soul.
"They will serve those who ask."
"They will be peaceful and compassionate."
"She will need a mate."
The Builders spent decades raising the first generations of Leviathans. When they felt their children were ready to explore the universe, to serve others, they realized there was a problem.
"How will the others communicate with our children?"
None of them had considered this, but it was a massive obstacle. They were unique in that they could exist outside the physical plane. This allowed them to be able to communicate with the Leviathans most efficiently, but most other species did not have this ability.
"And different species have different needs. There needs to be someway to convey these needs to the Leviathans."
Realizing this complication needed to be overcome, the Builders set forth across the galaxy, searching for a species that could bond with the Leviathans. Species after species was rejected. None of the bipedal species had the proper mental capabilities. They needed a species that could keep track of dozens of systems in thousands of compartments, understand the complexities of starburst, and have the patience to deal with others.
The builders congregated around a small, swampy moon.
Astora said, "I believe this may be the species. They are smart, long-lived, and capable of multi-tasking. They are a very advanced race."
"But they have not left their planet," observed Elaan.
"That is true, but it is not for lack of desire or ability. Their species cannot withstand the cosmic radiation for long without going mad. I have studied them, and I believe the Leviathans can be modified to protect them."
"I will speak with them," replied Kahaynu.
Kahaynu took form in the Council of Elders. "Greetings, friends. I am Kahaynu of the Builders."
"Welcome, Kahaynu of the Builders. For what purpose have you disturbed our closed council?" asked the Eldest.
He was pleased by the complexity of their language. It indicated their neural networks should be able to adapt to a Leviathan. "My kind has created a species of living ships, Leviathans, which require pilots. These pilots would be the interface between passenger and Leviathan."
The Eldest interrupted, "Our species cannot survive in space."
"We have studied your species and believe the Leviathans can protect you. With our help, you can see the stars." He would use their dreams, their species greatest desire to secure their assistance.
The Elders talked animatedly amongst themselves. When the buzz subsided, the Eldest said, "Tell us more about these Leviathans."
"Leviathans are peaceful creatures, born to serve others, to transport species around the galaxy, and to do so quickly, with a unique form of transport that allows them to jump across space."
"They will not be used for war?"
"Our children are designed with no weapons. They will be owned by no species."
The Eldest replied cautiously, "We will consider your offer. Will we be able to see one of the Leviathans before we decide?"
Kahaynu felt that he was making progress. "I will bring one of them here and have her land in one of your lakes. You will be free to visit her for as long as you wish. Builders will remain with her to ensure that you can communicate with her. Good day to you, Elders." He bowed and vanished.
"They will not agree," groused Elaan.
Kahaynu replied, "I believe they will. They are very excited about the prospect of space travel."
"But will they risk madness? We do not know if the Leviathans can protect them."
"That is why I have summoned one of our children. Once they see her, talk to her, they will not be able to resist."
In a few days time, Kahaynu returned to the Elders and introduced Harna. As the Leviathan floated in the lake, a large crowd surrounded her and touched her, but only the Elders entered her.
As the Eldest scuttled around Harna, he looked skeptically at her bulkheads. "And you believe her skin will protect us from the radiation?"
"As a living ship, she can modify herself to suit her passengers. Harna has been changing her skin to block radiation that conventional ships do not. Unfortunately, we would need a volunteer to test her modifications."
The Elder considered Kahaynu's words. "I will travel on Harna. I will not ask one of my brethren to do something I would not." He looked around the command deck. "You have said that Leviathans can modify themselves to adapt to their passengers. The controls here are more suited to bipedal species. How would she adapt for us?"
Kahaynu had hoped to avoid this part of the discussion until after he had proven they could travel in space. He knew that the magnitude of what was required might be more than they were willing to allow. "In order to effectively work with a Leviathan, one of your species would be bonded to the ship."
"Bonded? What does that entail?"
He knew this was a critical juncture. The Eldest was understandably nervous, and he needed to allay any fears. "A Leviathan would make a permanent neural connection…"
"Permanent! And how long do Leviathans live?" This new information startled the Eldest.
"A few hundred cycles."
"Our species can live for more than one thousand."
"That is why I have approached the Council of Elders. Once you know what being a pilot to a Leviathan entails, you can choose those of your species who you feel are most capable of handling the responsibility, and are mature enough to accept a shortened life; for once joined, there is no way to break the connection and have one of your species survive. You would join into a symbiotic relationship with the Leviathan."
"This will require further discussion amongst the Elders. We did not know what you were asking of us."
"I hope that you will first experience the wonder of traveling in a Leviathan before making your decision." Kahaynu knew that this species had longed to be able to travel in space, and if he could prove they could travel safely in a Leviathan, he was sure they would accept the symbiosis.
"The Council will discuss before we decide which of us will be the first to travel in one of your ships."
"Call us when you are ready."
When Kahaynu returned to where the other Builders were waiting, Elaan asked, "Do you still believe they will agree?"
"I do. They deeply desire to travel the stars. Harna will convince them." He had faith in the young Leviathan. Her natural curiosity would serve his cause well.
After several days, the Elders called Kahaynu.
"Have you made your decision?" Kahaynu asked expectantly.
The Eldest replied, "We have. I will travel on Harna. Once I have determined the safety and feasibility of our kind working with the Leviathans, we will make our final determination."
While the words were reserved, Kahaynu could tell that the Elders were very excited about the prospect of finally being able to travel the stars. "Harna is waiting for you and will leave when you are ready. I will meet you there to answer any of your questions."
Before going to Harna, Kahaynu let the others know that it looked like they would succeed in recruiting pilots for the Leviathans.
"Before we leave, there is something I wish to show you," Kahaynu said when the Eldest arrived.
"What might that be?" asked the Eldest.
"While you and the other Elders were onboard earlier, Harna scanned you and tried to determine how best to adapt to having one of your kind as a pilot. She has created a den. It is still growing, but you can see it and give her input on how to improve it."
"A den?" the Eldest asked cautiously as he followed the Builder.
"It will have an interface area where your kind would be bonded. If she can gain access to physiological records for your kind, she can refine it further." He opened the door to a chamber that ran through the core of the Leviathan. "This den is situated at the apex of her neural cluster. The pilot that bonds to her will become a part of her nervous system, able to control her systems, guide her journey, serve her passengers. But do not worry, the pilot will still remain an individual. She will provide her pilot with the nutrients necessary to survive."
The Eldest walked to the console and began examining it. He noticed that there was a support structure behind the console that seemed to be designed to support those of his species. Noticing the console was not marked, he asked, "How would we know what the controls operate?"
"That would come with the bonding. We can remain here or watch from command."
"I would like to see the stars, so I would like to go to command."
"As you wish." Kahaynu led the Eldest to command and then told Harna it was time to take flight. She would monitor the Eldest and adapt her shielding as necessary. She was one of the younger Leviathans, but that made her ideal for this first flight as it was easier for her to adapt than the older Leviathans.
The Eldest stared out the viewport in silent amazement, never having dreamed that he would on day be among the stars.
After two days in space, Kahaynu noticed that the Eldest was acting a bit odd. Harna was trying to adapt her shielding, but it didn't seem to be helping. "Eldest, I think that we should return to your planet, now."
"Y-y-yes," he replied nervously. "Home. Must go home."
Kahaynu frowned. He knew that this failure would not bode well for their plan. "It may be bold of me to suggest this, but if you bonded with Harna, she would be able to monitor you more closely and more efficiently determine which changes to make."
"B-b-but you said it's p-per-permanent."
"It is, but you have seen the wonder of the stars. Surely you want your people to experience that wonder. This is the best way to make that a reality. When we return, Harna can once again land on your planet and the Council can meet here."
"Y-yes. Th-that sounds l-l-like a g-good idea." He followed Kahaynu to the den.
"Be at peace my friend. I will help you to the command console. Then, you will need to relax as Harna begins the bonding process. There may be some brief pain when she makes the initial connections, but that should soon pass."
Kahaynu watched as the bonding process began. Once joined, he knew that the Eldest would realize the full potential of the symbiosis and would pledge his people as pilots.
As the first tendrils of the connection were made and opened, the Eldest's eyes widened. "This-this is amazing," he said with reverence.
"As the connection deepens, it will become more so. It will take nearly a cycle for the bonding to complete. For now, Harna can guide you to manually control the systems, to speak with her. In time, you will gain greater control over her systems without the use of the controls. For now, she will concentrate on suiting your needs. First on nourishment, and then on improving her shielding."
"I feel better already."
"We are deeper inside, where you are better protected; though, she has begun modifying the shielding here to provide you protection," Kahaynu explained.
"Yes, she…told me that. And she will teach the others on how to accommodate my kind." He looked around at his console, as though memorizing what the controls operated. "You have given us a marvelous gift."
"It is our pleasure to grant you this opportunity." He realized that they would have to make arrangements to transport pilots to the Leviathans. Many of the older ones would not be able to land on the planet. In their search for suitable pilots, they had discovered a peaceful and willing bipedal species that was not suited for being a pilot, but perhaps the Relgarians would still be willing to help the Leviathans. He would have to speak with them next.