Price of Peace
A couple of days later the old man woke up, he was tired and couldn't stand but he was awake. Both John's son and the old man's granddaughter fussed about him but with a suborn show of grumpiness he refused everything but water. Eventually Barbara was able to convince the two of them to leave him alone.
It was then John swooped in. He didn't like the idea of almost attacking the guy while he was down but he had to know. 'You're looking better.' he said to the pinched and lined man.
'You're not a very good liar John Chighton' The old man mispronounced John's last name. 'You're not going to offer me some food are you?'
'I think you've got enough.' John looked at the food cubes piled on two tables. 'So what are you going to do now?'
'I think the TARDIS has had enough time to recharge. As soon as we can I think we'd better go.'
'You came, you saw, you left.'
'I'm not Caesar my boy. I have no empire nor do I want one. No I just want to keep travelling.'
'And if you come across something you don't like you stop it.'
'Precisely' he chuckled.
'So what do we do now? Or don't you have an answer for that?'
The old man's creased face turned to him, 'Is it my job to tell you how to live now, hum? Are you so feeble you need a bed ridden old man's help?' Feeble, the Doctor's eyes were almost burning and the tone of his voice was anything but.
'That's not what I meant. I know what I have to do. I just don't like it.' The Doctor just looked at him. 'We're going to have to stop the Eidelons. That means going out there and stopping them before they spread to far.'
'And how do you propose to do that?'
'You know.' John admitted
The Doctor sighed, 'Of course. I had hoped, but you humans only ever seem to have one answer.' lying back down he closed his eyes. 'Maybe I was too optimistic. Yes I think so.'
John had enough of this man. Never coming out with an answer swooping in and ripping John's life apart and then tutting at the only thing he could do to find some reason 'Just what the frell does that mean?'
The Doctor sighed again. 'If you force your views on others what makes you any better. I can't tell you how to live because that is the problem.' Finally opening his eyes he took a deep breath. 'John, you can chose to live how you want but you can not chose for others. That is the fine line you must walk. Chose my boy but let others have the same.' With that the Doctor closed his eyes again and was asleep.
He spent another day like that, drifting in and out. John avoided the room, He was right. The basted old man was right. John had immediately gone from one extreme to the other with out looking at the middle ground. He got the distinct impression that the old man wanted to leave for just that reason. He couldn't force his views on people but wouldn't let others.
John's views on freedom was coloured from his history, his family and his world. In space a moral compass that points north was useless. There was no north or south and that left everything he knew directionless.
Or was it.
It was time for the Doctor to leave. Saying goodbye Chi actually hugged the Doctor and he looked even more uncomfortable than he would if she drew a gun on him. He pulled another coin out from Little D's nose and ruffled his hair. Shaking Stark's and Aeryn's hands he finally stood before John.
Tugging on his lapels the old man looked solum and thoughtful. 'My good boy, it's been quite a little adventure hasn't it?'
'Yes, it has. Where will you go now.'
'A very good question, I'm sure I'll find out soon enough.' he chuckled before asking. 'And what of you and your family. Where do you go from here?'
'Out there.' John gestured out the front portal. 'Then who knows. Do the right thing, what ever that is.'
'I really have sent you out without a map haven't I my boy. Ohh one last little sermon can't hurt can it? Of course not. The Eidelons are right about one thing John. Peace is always better than war. But the ends. The ends, my boy, never justify the means.'
The Doctor shook a fist between them. 'You don't need telepathic powers or big guns to create a lasting peace. Only the oldest weapon, the one everyone has. Words, John Chrigton, words.' The Doctor's smile was broad as he offered his hand. 'Now I think you know what to do.'
John shuck the offered hand. 'I guess I do.'
'...And that was how it was. Father knew what he was doing.' D'Argo laughed. 'If he ever did.' It had been many years since that fateful meeting with the Doctor. 'He left soon after that. Where, who knows.
'We flew back to Hyneria and then out among the stars. The few scattered Eidelons were unable to stop us. Word spread for all those twilling to listen. The Scarran Empire fell when those races it subjugated banded together. The Peacekeepers, unable to recover from the PK war, retreated and a new galaxy grew in their place.' He told the story. Yes their journeys were long over. They took his Farther and his Mother but the were over.
Chiana died fighting her homeworld.Stark was still out there somewhere and Moya. Moya had sacrificed herself to save her whole race from destruction.
It was a lie to say that the Galaxy was a safe place. That wars were a thing of the past. That people didn't die, cold and alone in the middle of the night. That the young man didn't cry himself to sleep over a broken heart. That evil didn't stalk the stars. That there weren't creatures that would sooner eat you than look at you.
It was a lie that freedom was absolute. You couldn't kill someone and get away with it. Or do what you want and damn the consequences. But you could live safe, free to believe what you want and accept what you chose.
People lived in harmony, not peace. They talked with each other. Stood shoulder to shoulder for protection and grew in friendship, not slavery to an ideal.
D'Argo was left. He had taken it upon himself to do one last thing. Remind everyone. 'This galaxy is full of wonder, horror and joy. We fight to keep that my friends. The price of freedom is vigilance. The price of peace is often letting evil flourish. If we do nothing to stop them people will take our lives and then our life. We must always be ready and we must temper it with wisdom. If we falter those that die will have been sacrificed for nothing and your children would not know why.'
The crowd applauded. Some complained and a few at the back jeered. That was okay, they had the freedom to do that. Sort of the whole point. D'Argo accepted them and their views. Even if he didn't agree with them he'd fight so that they could have their own opinion. With a sad little smile he looked further back.
There he stood, youngish, in a pinstripe suit and long brown coat, his hair wildly spiked. He looked human but years of experience told D'Argo he wasn't. The stranger smiled like he was all teeth and pulled his hands out of his pockets. Tugging on the coat lapels.
D'Argo had to blink. He had seen something impossible.
Fighting his way through the crowd he struggled to move fast enough but couldn't. He made it out of the mass of people in time to hear the grinding engines of the TARDIS as it took off.
I do not own Farscape /Dr Who or any of the characters from either. They belong to the Jim Henson company and the BBC respectively. Where they crossover that's just my imagination. No profit is made or intended.
And that's it folks. There is nothing more to say here, now what's next to write, let's see...
AKA Thomas Fishwick