Jool sat in Moya's command, watching Talyn through the viewscreen. Drifting.

"Hey Jool."

"What?" Jool asked, turning from the viewscreen to look at Crichton behind her.

"Sleep cycle. Remember command carrier, big danger, need your beauty sleep first."

"I'm not tired." Jool said, edgily. "I'll go to bed when I'm ready. I'm not a child, I don't need you setting me a curfew."

"Think of it as friendly advice." Crichton replied.

"I hadn't noticed us being friends." Jool said. "Except when you want me to stop someone bleeding - usually you."

"Fine. If we're still alive, I'll debate this with you after we stop Scorpius. Right now I need sleep."

"Fine." Jool said. "I'm staying here."

Crichton turned to leave then stopped, one hand on the door frame.

"Crais still hasn't come back from Talyn. If you're still up when he does, go meet him."

"Why?" Jool asked, her forehead wrinkling. "I doubt he's going to want company - least of all mine."

"Yeah," Crichton said, "that's what I'm afraid of."


"In case you've forgotten, the last time he went into mourning he spent the next cycle hunting me. If that's going to happen again, I'd like a little warning so I can lock him up first."

"Are you clamped?" Jool said in disbelief. "You're telling me that you think he's going to go fahrbot over this and you want *me* to go talk to him? No frelling way! If he's going to start killing people I'm going to stay as far away from him as possible."

"All I'm saying is, meet him and if he looks dangerous to you, call me. Tomorrow we're going on board Scorpius' command carrier. I can use Crais on this mission, but I don't trust him and I never will. If there's a possibility that he could put our lives in jeopardy, I need to know now."

"I'm not going." Jool said. "I don't care what you say. If you're that concerned, stay up and go meet him yourself."

"You can take my gun."

"No!" Jool said, looking at Crichton as if he was mad. "In case you've forgotten Crais has a gun too - and *he* actually knows how to use it."

"Look." Crichton said, pulling out his pulse pistol and demonstrating the grip. "You put your fingers here and here and pull the trigger. It's easy."

"Forget it." Jool said. "Now just go to bed and leave me alone."

"You know Jool, if you want to stay here, you're going to have to start learning this stuff."

"I *don't* want to stay here." Jool said.

Crichton looked at her for a moment.

"Goodnight." He said, and walked out.

"Pilot?" Jool said when he had left.

"Yes Jool? Is there something you need?"

"You can turn the lighting off in here, just leave the nightlights on."

"As you wish." Pilot said, then hesitated. "Are you...alright Joolushku?"

"I'm fine Pilot." Jool said, giving him a small smile as proof. "Goodnight."

"Goodnight." Pilot said. His image disappeared from the clamshell.

Jool rested her elbows on the panel in front of her and let her head fall forward. She really did need sleep but she knew she'd never be able to relax that much. Six hundred lives - and one of them her only friend. She wasn't sure what was keeping her awake. Perhaps her sense of mourning for the lives lost. Naj-Gil and the others on the med-ship had been innocent victims. Maybe it was her sense of identification at having your life suddenly destroyed. Or maybe it was the unrelenting feelings of guilt because, for one microt, she'd found herself overwhelmed with gratitude that she hadn't gone. Six hundred innocent souls lost and she felt glad because hers hadn't been one of them. Had she always been that selfish? Was that why she had flown at Crais like that? Someone to target, someone to blame.

Someone to hurt.

What was she becoming? What had she already become? Abhorring violence in words and embracing it in actions. Once it wouldn't even have entered her head. That time was over.

She heard a noise behind her and spun round. She could just make out the figure by the door. Crais had just come in. Jool tensed involuntarily.

"I was not aware that anyone was in here." Crais said, turning. "I will leave."

"Crais?" Jool said, nervously.

"What is it?" Crais asked, pausing and turning back.

"You're not thinking of...killing anyone are you?"

Crais blinked, half disbelieving what he had just heard.

"Why would you think that I would be?" He asked.

"Crichton said you went fahrbot when your brother died. He thought...."

"That I might do that again." Crais finished quietly.

He left the door and came towards Jool. Close up, even in the dim light, she could see that he looked drained. Even though there was no outward sign, she suspected that he had already cried out his grief over Talyn.

"That was a long time ago." Crais said. "And a different situation. Talyn is not dead. He will be reborn. It is the best thing that we can do for him."

His eyes closed for a microt.

"I'm sorry." Jool said quietly.

"As am I." Crais replied. " must be done. I have...accepted that. You are not in any danger from me."

"Even after what I said to you when...."

"It is of no importance." Crais replied.

"I know that it wasn't your fault." Jool said, forcing herself to speak. "I know that there was nothing you could have done. I...was taking my feelings out on you and...I apologise."

"Your apology is accepted." Crais said. "But unnecessary."

"No I don't think that it is." Jool said. "I wanted to...lash out at someone. I didn't care who."


"Six hundred lives lost - and one of them was my friend." Jool said.

Crais bowed his head.

"And I found myself glad I was that I wasn't on board."

She put her head in her hands. Crais looked as though he might have been going to put a comforting hand on her shoulder but thought better of it.

"The drive towards self-preservation is always strong." He said. "It is something that unites every species. When we witness death, the first response is often to be glad that we are still alive. It does not detract from our sorrow at the lives lost. Having a will to live is not something that you should be ashamed of. On the contrary, losing it would be disastrous."

"Have you ever lost it?" Jool asked, lifting her head again.

Crais didn't answer. He stood silently for a moment, then turned.

"Goodnight Jool." He said, walking out.

"Goodnight Crais." She replied, not turning round.

Crais paused at the door as if he was going to say something else. Then he shook his head and carried on.

Jool continued sitting for a few microts, then she got up. It really was time to sleep now.