Summary: Crais, Teeg, Larell and the leviathan hybrid project

Spoilers: Effectively seasons 1-3 complete. Particular reference is made to the episodes 'The Way We Weren't' and 'Into The Lion's Den'

Disclaimer: Farscape is the property of the Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Entertainment and Channel 9. This is written for entertainment purposes only.

A/N This is really a collection of 'missing scenes' (which hopefully make some kind of sense) based on a few questions I had: 1) What happened after Velorek was executed? 2) Why did the leviathan project appear to have ended by the time of 'Premiere' 3) Did they *really* never find out what Velorek did? and, of course 4) Crais and Larell - what the frell?!

'20:20' by MyGirlCrais

***

"Sir." Lieutenant Teeg said, standing to attention.

"Lieutenant. What I want to discuss with you...is concerned with the leviathan hybrid project. Specifically, with its new leader." Crais said, coming to stand beside her.

"Have you made your selection sir?" Teeg asked, curiousity carefully masked.

"Yes I have. I have given it a great deal of thought and I believe that one Lieutenant Larell is the most suitable candidate."

Teeg had already studied all the candidate records, she knew exactly who the Captain meant.

"Captain, you know I would never question your orders, but are you certain that she is the best one for the job?"

"Why do you ask, Lieutenant?" Crais asked, knowing full well.

"Sir, I took the liberty of examining the candidate profiles, in case you might request my...observations. There are several others who have more experience in this particular area of leviathan research."

Crais regarded her for a moment, Teeg forcibly resisted the temptation to search his face for clues.

"Lieutenant, you have served with me for over six cycles now. In that time...you and I have come to know each quite well. And you have a good understanding of the duties of a second in command. However, in this case, your considerable abilities have...overlooked one detail."

He met her eyes.

"Lieutenant Velorek caused damage that can never be undone. There was talk of retiring the leviathan research project altogether, due in large part to his actions. I had to devote considerable energy to convincing the council to send me another leviathan specialist. We cannot afford to make the same mistake again. That is why I took it upon myself to select this one personally. Lieutenant Larell is relatively inexperienced compared to some of the other candidates that is true, but that only increases the chances that we will be able to...ensure her loyalties. I am offering her a chance to greatly advance her career and I am certain that she will be very grateful for that."

"I understand sir." Teeg replied.

"In addition." Crais said. "I intend for her to be watched, closely, throughout her time here. Another security breach may require drastic action to be taken."

"I will supervise her personally."

"No." Crais said. "I will see to it myself. I believe that I am in the best position to succeed."

"Yes sir."

"Dismissed Lieutenant."

***

The door opened. Crais rose and approached Larell, who was standing at attention, eyes straight ahead.

"Lieutenant."

"Captain." She replied, her gaze never wavering.

"At ease." Crais said.

Larell relaxed marginally.

"Come and sit down." Crais said, indicating the new chair next to his desk.

Larell followed, never taking her eyes off him, even as she sat down. Crais remained standing.

"I have been keeping a close eye on your work Lieutenant."

Larell was holding her breath.

"And I have been...impressed."

She hastily swallowed a sigh of relief.

"As you know," Crais continued, "the next stage of the leviathan project depends upon perfecting the genetic mix that will be used to impregnate the test subject. I assume that Lieutenant Vicane has kept you fully briefed as to the progress that has been made."

"Yes sir." Larell replied, obviously wondering why she was there, but not daring to ask.

"And are you aware of his conclusion?" Crais asked.

A flicker of what might have been fear flashed across Larell's face.

"The last time he reported to me he did not mention that he had reached a conclusion. I apologise sir, I should have spoken to him again before I came here."

What might have been a smile twisted Crais' mouth.

"That would not have helped you Lieutenant. Only a select few are aware of our chosen course of action. The question...is whether you should be one of them."

"Permission to speak freely sir?"

Crais regarded her for a microt.

"Granted." He said.

"Sir. I understand how important this project is to you...to the Peacekeepers. I would never do anything to put it in danger. All my loyalty is to you, Captain."

Crais' brow furrowed.

"You will find, Lieutenant, that words are not always sufficient. Lieutenant Velorek's treason puts both of us in a difficult position. I cannot afford to risk another security breach. I will be watching you closely until I am sure that you can be trusted."

Larell's eyes flickered.

"However," Crais continued, "the final stage of the leviathan project cannot proceed without the co-operation of my head of project - whomever that may be. I suggest you do nothing to make me doubt your loyalty Lieutenant."

"Yes Captain." Larell replied, looking slightly pale.

"You are dismissed." Crais said.

Larell rose.

"And Lieutenant?"

"Yes sir?" Larell turned back.

"I trust that I do not need to mention that this must not go beyond this room."

"I understand sir." Larell said, and left before he could say any more.

Crais watched her go, a twisted smile on his lips.

***

"As you know, the project's aim is to successfully breed a hybrid that is part leviathan and part Peacekeeper gunship. For the project to be successful the Peacekeeper systems must be encoded into the hybrid's DNA. Otherwise the two systems will not combine properly. This presents us with a problem. Peacekeeper gunships are not alive, they have no DNA and therefore a simple mixed mating is not possible."

Crais paused.

"Previous attempts to breed a hybrid have focused on using leviathan DNA as a base and engineering it to contain the Peacekeeper codes. None of those attempts have been successful. What Lieutenant Vicane has proposed...is that we use sebacean DNA instead."

"Sir?"

"In effect," Crais replied, "the hybrid will have...a sebacean parent."

Larell tried to conceal her shock.

"Have you decided who it will be?"

Crais smiled.

"Lieutenant Vicane has suggested that several genetic donors may be more effective than a single one. That will allow us several chances to successfully combine the technologies. I am to be one of them, my second in command Lt.Teeg another and, if you agree, you will be the third."

His tone made it clear that this was not a polite request.

"In other words Lieutenant, I am *inviting* you to become an integral part of this project. If it is a success it may greatly benefit your career. If it is not...."

Larell swallowed.

"It should provide you with...motivation to make this project a success."

"Yes sir."

"Then you accept."

"Yes sir."

"A very...sensible decision."

***

Crais watched the image on the viewscreen stone-faced, his calm expression masking barely checked fury as he listened to Admiral Czi-Tjek's words.

"The leviathan hybrid project is to be terminated, effective immediately. All those involved with the project will be reassigned shortly. All research is to cease from this date. That is a direct order from the council."

"May I ask why?" Crais asked, fighting to keep his voice level.

"Your project has been allocated considerable resources and has so far yielded no useful results. Your attempt at impregnation of the test subject has failed."

"That was a direct result of the interference of a traitor." Crais replied.

"You have failed to determine exactly what that interference is, or to remove it. That does not increase our confidence in you Captain Crais. It has been unanimously decided by the council that all activity on this project will cease. Peacekeeper resources would be better spent elsewhere."

"Do I assume correctly that you intend to pursue wormhole research?" Crais asked.

"We believe that wormholes would be far more valuable to Peacekeeper defences that a leviathan hybrid, even if one can be created."

Crais forcibly restrained himself from giving his opinion on that.

"The leviathan hybrid project has been deemed a failure. Even those attempts which resulted in successful impregnation have ultimately failed. We allowed you to take up the research due to your insistence that you could succeed and yet you have not even made the progress that others have before you. Consider yourself lucky that we do not intend to impose any penalty on you for that. I heavily advise you simply to co-operate, it will save all of us much difficulty."

"May I submit a report to the council in support of the project's continuation?"

"You may Captain, as long as you do not expect anything to come of it."

"I will do so." Crais replied.

"End transmission."

***

The door opened. Lieutenant Larell stepped in and stood to attention as the door closed behind her.

Crais looked up.

"Lieutenant Larell. I do not recall summoning you."

"You didn't sir. I apologise for interrupting you. I will return later."

Crais half-smiled.

"What do you have to say Lieutenant?"

"I wanted to thank you, sir, for your report on the project."

"Not necessary Lieutenant."

"You could have destroyed my career with that report. I am very grateful to you."

Crais looked almost thoughtful for a moment.

"Lieutenant Larell. I *firmly* believe that once all our findings are reviewed by the council, the leviathan hybrid project will be reinstated. When that occurs, I will need to be sure that we can produce results quickly. I will therefore require a team who are both suitably qualified and...loyal to me. I believe that you are one of those people. If I am mistaken, I suggest that you inform me immediately. So that...appropriate measures can be taken."

"That will not be necessary sir." Larell said, keeping her eyes fixed on some unknown point.

Crais almost smiled.

"I have requested that your assignment here be extended. You will remain here...indefinitely."

"Thank you sir."

"In the meantime," Crais began, moving over to her, "there is no reason why our efforts cannot continue in an...unofficial capacity."

"What do you want me to do?"

Crais met her eyes.

"Lieutenant Velorek sabotaged my project. We have *still* not discovered how. I want you to find out. Even if you personally have to scrutinise every square dench of that leviathan. Find me the problem and remove it."

"Yes sir."

"If you achieve this, it may qualify significantly for promotion."

"I understand sir."

"This must remain between us." Crais said. "I shall expect regular reports, but not official ones. You will give them to me...only to me, and do not present them in writing. Our...forethought could be misinterpreted."

"I will inform no-one."

"Good." Crais replied simply.

"Thank you for seeing me Captain." Larell replied, and marched out.

***

Crais awoke suddenly when the door chimes sounded. Being interrupted during the sleep cycle, unless it was an emergency, was not something he enjoyed. Emergencies did not usually involve visits to his quarters.

He put on his uniform rapidly, having no intention of facing any of his crew out of it and forced himself to wake up. It was one of the trials of a Captain's life that you were never truly off-duty.

He reached the door and activated the controls to open them, finding himself face-to-face with Lieutenant Larell.

"Captain, I apologise for waking you."

Crais resisted the temptation to yawn.

"I sincerely hope, Lieutenant, that your reason for doing so in impressive."

"It is sir." Larell replied, looking unnaturally alert.

"What is it?"

Larell stepped in so that the door closed behind her.

"You ordered me to find out what had been done to sabotage your project. I have succeeded."

Now Crais was awake.

"And what exactly has been done?" He asked.

"Lieutenant Velorek installed a protective shield to prevent conception. I didn't find it until I had searched almost the whole ship, but the entrance to the gestation chamber is blocked. That is why the attempts were unsuccessful. The genetic mix is perfectly viable, it is simply not being allowed to perform its function."

"You are absolutely certain of this Lieutenant?"

"Yes sir. I have investigated every possibly problem and found nothing. This is the only obstacle in our...your way."

"That is...excellent work Lieutenant."

"Thank you sir. Now you can inform the council that we discovered the problem and they will reinstate the project."

"Unfortunately, that is not true." Crais said. "If we reveal that we have succeeded in discovering the problem, we risk also revealing that we have been working on the project in direct violation of the council's orders. The only thing we can do is wait until they reinstate the project themselves, at which time we can be sure of producing results. Until that time, this must remain between us. This is...very well done, Lieutenant."

"Thank you sir."

"Although, for the moment, your actions must be concealed, I hope that your performance continues to reach this standard. In the future, once the project has been reinstated, I will personally make sure that you are rewarded for your service with whatever assignment you request."

"Sir, if I may, I would prefer to stay here."

"Then you will." Crais replied. "For as long as I am Captain of this vessel. Although, if I ever leave, I may be tempted to take you with me."

"And I would go with you." Larell replied, finally daring to look him in the eye.

Crais regarded her.

"We shall see." He said.