Title: Fuzzy Dice
Author: Karolyn Gray
ScifiBB/Chat Handle: Gray3
Rating: PG-13 (language)
Synopsis: The Boys have to stop Crichton from making a Faustian deal.
A GvsE-Farscape Crossover.
Spoilers: None
Archiving: Yes
Disclaimers: All Farscape names, characters and other related indicia are the property of Jim Henson Productions, Hallmark Entertainment, Nine Networks, the Scifi Channel and all associated parties. No copyright infringement is intended.
All GvsE names, characters, and other related indicia are the property of Rockfish Films and USA Networks. No copyright infringement is intended.
Notes: This fic is definitely tongue and cheek; so don't take it too serious. I've tried to capture the style used in both shows in this fic, which is why some of this may seem a bit jarring and out of place at time. Anyone of you who's seen GvsE will know what I mean by this. Even I think one is a little weird. It certainly did not turn out as I had originally thought it would. This is the PG-13 version of this fanfic. Foul language has been eliminated in the style of GvsE and are shown as [ ] to indicate censored words. Oh, the Deacon is sort of like the commentator for GvsE.

Fuzzy Dice



THE DEACON:

A man torn from his family,
Murdered in his prime,
Only to return to earth resurrected
As an agent of the Almighty Corps.
With no magic, no special powers,
Forbidden from intimate contact,
Unrecognizable to those from their past lives
Chandler Smythe and Henry McNeil now fight to save lost souls
Against the minions of darkness.

It's a battle of good versus evil
G vs. E
That's what it is.

Prologue "The Bait"

Orange Volvo. En route Corps HQ. Hollywood, California, USA, Earth

It was pink. And black. Swaying to and fro. Fro and to. Never stopping. His blue eyes shifted with each movement, feeling his bile rise with each swaying moment. Finally he could take no more. He reached out to tear the thing down.

A shove from his companion ended his attempt to rid the universe of such a God-awful thing. It had to be evil. Only Satan would allow something this hideous to exist.

Fuzzy dice.

*Pink* fuzzy dice.

Like the ones hanging from the Volvo's review mirror.

"Hey man! What do you think you doin', Chandler?" Henry McNeil asked, eyeing his partner warily out of the corner of his eye.

"Getting rid of this damned thing!" Chandler replied, waving vaguely at the novelty item in question. "Where the hell did you get these things?"

"From???" McNeil replied.

"Man, you screw her once and ..."

"Hey, man. Don't go there." Henry warned.

"What? All I'm saying is..."

"Forget Chandler."

"OK. OK." Chandler ran a hand through his already disheveled hair as he eyed his partner. "You like her. Don't you?"

Henry shrugged "Yeah well...Hey! We're here."

"I'm so thrilled." Chandler sighed, dragging himself from his seat and following his partner into the darkened building. They nodded Ernie, the resident Corps mechanic, seated at the counter, who looked about as thrilled as Chandler felt.

"Why the hell are we here? Shit, even Morlocks got to sleep. Couldn't this have waited 'till morning?" Chandler grumbled.

"No it couldn't, so get your sorry butts in here." Decker Benbow, the administrator of the Hollywood branch of the Corps snapped, waving them into his office.

"OK, you two. Sit down, shut up and listen." Ford Plasko added with his usual surly attitude.

"Don't you just love it when he talks dirty." Chandler stage whispered to Henry, who simply grinned in return while snagging a doughnut Plasko had somehow missed.

"Can it. This is important." Decker said.

"OK, what's so important that you had to drag me out here at ...." Chandler looked down at his watched. "THREE A.M.! The world better be coming to end."

"We're not that lucky." Henry threw in, licking the white powder from his finger.

Decker sighed but continued his report. It's all he could do when it came to these two. "All right. All right. Listen up. The Man upstairs has issued a special directive. Seems he left a certain project of his unattended and now needs some volunteers to go help him solve a little problem that's arisen."

"Yeah. And this problem is?" Chandler asked.

"Well, it seems there's this guy who's done more damage to the other side than is healthy for him. Now that's not a bad thing. Hell he's taken down more Morlocks than you tow have in half the time." Plasko filled them in, sounding impressed. A hard feet for a veteran Corps agent like Plasko.

"Isn't it wonderful to be so appreciated?" Henry muttered.

"Sounds like he top notch Corps. Why bother with us?" Chandler asked.

Decker exchanged a look with Plasko. A look Henry and Chandler recognized as bad. Very bad. "He might switch sides. Maybe already has."

"I can't see someone that devoted to the Corps heading over to the Morlocks." Henry protested.

Plasko coughed slightly, looking embarrassed. "Slight problem there. He's not Corps."

"He's a [ ]ing civvie?" Henry jumped from his chair in surprise. "You got to be kidding'?

"Well...technically, yes. He's a civilian." Decker replied.

"Since when do civvies take out Morlocks?" Henry demanded.

"This is an unusual case. Beside this guy has disrupted more Morlock schemes than you two." Decker said, pointing at both of them.

"Isn't it wonderful to be appreciated?" Chandler asked Henry, throwing back the question his partner had asked moments before.

"Yeah, really man." Henry replied, seating himself back down. "OK. SO who is this great wunderkind we got to save from the bad guys?"

"John Robert Crichton, Junior. Astronaut for the IASA." Plasko replied.

The name caught Chandler's attention, making actually sit up straight for once. "Wait a minute! Crichton? As in the Farscape shuttle mission? That Crichton? He's dead."

Decker looked annoyed at the interruption. "Yeah, well the boss decided to try a little experiment. He's alive and you two are going to stop him from going Faustian."

"When do we leave?" Chandler asked with something that looked like excitement.

Henry and the other noted this instantly. "What's your deal?"

"Henry, this is John Crichton!"

"Yeah, so." The black replied.

"So? He's an astronaut. I always wanted to be one as a kid." Chandler said enthusiastically.

"Well I've always thought you're a little out there." Henry replied.

"Funny, Henry."

"Are you girls finished?" Receiving nods from the partners, Decker continued. "Good. There's some highly classified information we're going to be given you. No one here on Earth is supposed to know about it. Got me?"

Henry and Chandler looked at one another and shrugged. "Sure."

"Now the reason we're sending you two is we can't use the local Corps agents."

"Why not?" Chandler asked.

"Rules of the game."

"Uh-huh. Sure." Henry muttered.

"Hey think of it this way, Henry. They need the best and that's us." Chandler said mockingly.

"More like you're the most expendable, Smythe." Plasko replied evenly.

Chandler gasped his chest feigning injury. "You really know how to hurt a guy."

"Shut up. Read the intelligence reports. When you're done, let us know and you'll be sent on your way."

"Ah man. We ain't taking a ship are we?" Henry asked.

"Not exactly."

THE DEACON: The boys sure don't have a clue.

**********

Part 1 "The Hook"

Dark desert star port. Uncharted Territories. Cool wind in his hair. (He wished)

THE DEACON: Okay, boys and girls. Here's a little tip for you all. The Corps has friends out there. And so do the Morlocks, so pay attention. See if you can spot who is who.

*****

John Crichton wiped the sweat beaded on his forehead, sparing the now sinking sun a glare that would have made D'argo proud. The fact that the sun was finally setting did little to allieve the stifling heat and humidity of the star port in which he found himself acting as tech and shuttle chauffeur.

The star port's lights came on, almost as blinding as the day's sun had been. It seemed to act as a beacon as suddenly life began to stir around some of the other ships nearby. No one left their craft, though. The port authority had been adamant about leaving craft unattended.

'Which is why I get stuck out here in the Gobi desert in July.' John sighed to himself again, reaching down to snag another water bottle for himself.

'Aquafier.' John reminded himself. The locals hadn't appreciated him calling it a water bottle for some reason. Shrugging, he downed half the bottle in short order and set it back down.

Sighing, he glanced over to the brightly lit habitat dome before he turned wearily back to his task. It had been a long, hot and entirely too frustrating day of repairing the transport pod. His own grime covered clothes and stiff movements due to overly sore muscles were enough of a testament to this fact.

'Where the [ ] are they?' He wondered irritably as he tried to pry another protective plate loose. A sharp cracking sound was heard and moments later clear viscous fluid sprayed over Crichton's boots.

"I give up." He muttered, dropping his tool next to open hatch and leaning against the hull of the pod. It was uncomfortably warm but preferable to the heat of the tarmac he could feel rising into the dusk air.

'Just need a break. That's all. Just a few minutes and then back to work.' He closed his eyes and tried to ignore his protesting body.

*****

Aeryn visibly winced at the heat, but trudged forward without hesitation. It was night now. The only time she would be able to handle this planet's temperature if she didn't exert herself too hard.

After spending a dozen arns in the climate-controlled dome, she was almost relieved to be outside. At one point during a heated negotiation between Rygel and a trader she had wandered over to a window, almost wishing she could have been working on the pod with Crichton. Anything was better than the false pleasantries and idle gossip that had bored her to no end.

"We should have checked on Crichton sooner." She said to the others. She didn't need to voice her concern over the heats effect on the human. He could withstand greater heat than she but knew the surface temperatures were of such intensity to even garner a comment from D'argo.

"It could not be helped, Aeryn." Zhaan replied, trying to sound reassuring without ruffling the former Peace Keeper's tough demeanor. "I would have preferred John come with us as well, but circumstances dictated that he be the one to remain with the transport pod."

"Yeah. Circumstances." Aeryn repeated to herself, feeling somewhat guilty at the situation.

She should have noticed the pod's unusual readings before they had even left Moya, but had not. As a result, they were now stuck on the planet's surface until the pod was repaired. Crichton being the closest thing they had to a tech had naturally ended up given the unenviable task while the rest went to barter in the cool air of the habitat.

"You say he seemed fine when you delivered the parts he requested?" Aeryn asked D'argo.

D'argo nodded. "Other than he seemed to be developing a light dermal burn he seemed fine."

Aeryn frowned at the Luxan's words. D'argo shrugged and pulled a small container from a pouch he was carrying. "I purchased some ointment to allieve any discomfort from the dermal burns should he need it."

"I'm sure he'll appreciate it." Aeryn replied absently.

D'argo suddenly placed the container in Aeryn hands. "Being of similar natures, I'm sure he'll appreciate it more from someone who would be more acquainted as to the ointment's proper application."

Aeryn felt herself blush in spite of the matter of fact tone D'argo had used. "Uh...yes. I suppose he would." She replied, quickly placing it into her vests inner pocket.

"I for one shall appreciate returning to the comfort of Moya's controlled environment. This miserable waste hole is hotter than Squag." Rygel announced, increasing his thronesled's speed in his enthusiasm to reach the pod. While quite pleased with the success of their bartering, he had little desire to remain in such a harsh environment.

"Yes, your royal frogness." Chiana chimed in, having been all but forgotten by the others until that moment. The young Nebari had been surprisingly well behaved, charming her way through the bartering sessions.

*****

"What the frell do you think you are doing?"

John jumped, blinking rapidly to clear his eyes. For a moment he as confused by the looks on anger Rygel's face, his mind still very much on the dream he had been having.

"Rygel." He said weakly by way of greeting. 'I fell asleep?' He rubbed his face, unable to hide the grimace of pain as his muscles protested.

"John, are you alright?"

He lifted his head at Zhaan's concerned tone, vaguely wondering how she now standing beside in what a moment ago had beeen empty tarmac. "Yeah. Guess I'm just wiped out is all."

"I knew we should have sent someone out here earlier." Aeryn was saying, looking Crichton over with some concern. She did not like the distant look in his eyes nor what would likely become a very painful dermal burn.

"I'm OK. " John protested, his head finally clearing. "So I take it the bartering went well?" He asked, gesturing to the small pile of containers waiting to be loaded on the pod. He had only vaguely been aware of the delivery crews when they had placed the items near the pod for later loading having been to engaged in repairing the pod's systems.

"Very well. We'll have the pod loaded and ready for departure within the arn." D'argo said.

"Did you get the part I requested?" John asked.

"Part? What part?" D'argo asked with a look that gave John a sinking feeling. Unnoticed Chiana, who had been admiring the stars, suddenly looked guilty.

"The part I need to fix the choleric regulator." John said slowly. "I had one of the port authority staff assure me you received my message."

"When did you send this messenger?" D'argo asked, an edge entering his voice.

"A few arns ago." John replied quickly, starting to feel a bit defensive at D'argo's tone.

"We did not receive any message John." Zhaan stated, stepping between the two as she felt the growing tension between them.

"Why the frell didn't you send another messenger when you didn't hear from us?" Rygel, demanded. "Any yotz would know to do that."

"Well, gee Sparky. Maybe it's because I was too busy cleaning out the propulsion systems of all that gunk from the blown choleric line with nothing more than blood sweat and tears to help me." John replied sarcastically.

"Fapootah!" Rygel hissed.

"Bite me!" John snapped back, clearly surprising the Hynerian with spark of anger in his eyes.

"Gentlemen. This serves no purpose than to delay our resolution of the problem at hand." Zhaan interrupted.

"Very well. Aeryn and I shall obtain the part. The rest of you remain here until we return. Then Crichton can finish the repairs and we can leave." D'argo said, turning to depart.

This was too much for Crichton. He'd slaved out in the sun all day without any help. He was tired, hungry, thirsty, and sore. He felt like dren, smelled like dren and probably looked like dren.

"Frell that!" John said, stopping the Luxan in his tracks as the others stared at him in shock. He reached down and picked up the spanner he had been using and shoved it into Aeryn's startled hands.

"You all want to leave so badly, you do the damned work. I'm getting something to eat." With that the human stormed off.

"Crichton!" D'argo growled menacingly and started to go after the human. He stopped at a slight tug on his arm. Turning to see who dared grab him, his anger faded at the look he saw when his eyes met Aeryn Sun's steady blue gaze.

"Let him go. I'm sure he's had a far more difficult day than we."

D'argo looked at the rapidly retreating back of the human and sighed softly in concession to Aeryn's words. "Very well."

"I'm sorry. This is my fault."

The other turned in surprise at Chiana's sudden admission. Chiana herself was surprised at her sudden forthrightness. She didn't know why she was saying this.

Maybe it was seeing D'argo and Rygel harass the poor human after his long hours of work. Maybe she felt she owed him for his past kindness to her. All she knew was the kindest person she knew was getting a raw deal because of her self centered forgetfulness.

"How is this your fault, Chiana?" Zhaan asked in puzzlement.

The young Nebari looked down with a mixture of embarrassment and shame. "John did send a message. They gave it to me, but I..."

"You didn't inform anyone else." D'argo grumbled.

"I forgot...I.." Chiana stammered.

"We shall discuss this later." Zhaan said, ending a potential tirade from Rygel or D'argo. "We shall wait here why you retrieve the part."

"May I come with you?" Chiana asked. "I was given a description of the part in question." She hastened to add at the looks Aeryn and D'argo gave her.

”Very well." Aeryn replied with cool disdain. "Come."

*****

Two aliens watched the lone human trudge his way towards the dome from their shadowed vantage point.

"That is my target?" The first asked, his reptilian eyes watching his prey intently. A hint of contempt curled his lips to reveal two rows of sharp needle-like teeth.

"Yes. He has proven most...inconvenient." The other replied. He could have passed for sebacean if not for his emerald, pupiless eyes.

"He's sebacean. Not even worth the effort. Find someone else to cimpolete your mission." The other snorted and turned to leave.

"He is not sebacean. But he may prove useful in our on going struggle with the Corps."

This caught the reptilian's attention. He had heard rumors about recent setbacks and narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "This one is responsible?"

The second alien smiled coldly. "Let's just say he has had an undue influence of those around him."

The reptilian extended is clawed hand. "Information."

The other smiled and placed the recorder in the other hand. "It's all there. This must be done subtly. You understand?"

"Of course." The reptilian hissed in offense and stalked off.

**********

Part 2 "The Line"

G-Well. Local watering hole. Uncharted Territories 4 arns later.

A flash of light followed by the formation of a strange, shimmering funnel appeared moments before the strange orange contraption exited, screams of seeming terror emanating long and loud. In the future the local populace would know it as the Orange Thing From No Where. (Or as a human's would call it: an orange Volvo.)

"Jesus, Henry. Where the hell did you learn to drive?" Chandler yelped as they nearly ran over a swarm of purple, tentacled things.

"I ain't driving. I'm-I'm...I dunno...just along for the ride!" McNeil replied, never once releasing his death grip on the steering wheel of his old ride.

Chandler's eyes widened in terror as he saw them headed directly for something big. Very big. And purple. And were those eyes and mouths he saw?

"Stop!"

They were still moving too fast.

"Now, Henry!"

"I am man!"

"Now!"

The next thing Chandler Smythe knew his face was plastered against the small Volvo's windshield. "Thanks, Henry." He muttered as he extricated himself.

"Hey, we at least didn't hit him...er...uh...it."

"Wonderful." Chandler replied smooothing out the new wrinkles in his shirt and tie and peering out into the crowd of gathered.... people? "Where the hell are we?"

"Got me man, but this is where the Boss said we'd find this rocket scientist. C'mon." Henry replied, turning the Volvo off. A soon as he stepped out of the car the aliens gathered around scattered.

Seeing the reaction Henry garnered, Chandler sighed. "This is gonna be fun."

"Well, where do we start?" Henry asked his partner, looking at the nearby building that seemed to be attracting a large number of people.

"What are you asking me for?" Chandler replied, wiping the sweat from his brow.

"Well, you're into all that sci-fi stuff."

Chandler rolled his eyes. "The space program, not sci-fi! And I'm not into it I'm just interested 'cause I used to be a reporter, OK?"

Henry shrugged, nodding once with a patient smile. "OK. So where to?"

"There."

*****

"There he is." Aeryn nodded towards the far side of the crowded establishment they had just entered. Between them and the object of their search were numerous aliens mingling about, drinking and talking. In a few cases doing their respective versions of dancing to the local musicians playing on the cramped, caged-in stage.

"Let's get him and get out of here." D'argo growled, his voice vibrating with annoyance. His disatisfaction wasn't aimed at the human but at the delay in the needed choleric regulator to their pod.

In fact he was feeling a bit guilty about his outburst towards Crichton, not that he'd ever admit it. But Crichton had more than earned his respect. He had decided it was time he started showing it to the human more often.

"Perhaps we should allow him some more time to rest. It will be several more arns before the part is delivered." Zhaan countered, smiling slightly at John's relaxed manner and laughing eyes. "He seems quite content at the moment. Perhaps we should avail ourselves of this opportunity as well."

"Couldn't hurt I suppose." Aeryn acquiesced reluctantly. She definitely did not like the way that strange alien female was leaned close to Crichton, constantly touching his arm and shoulder with one of her three digit hands.

Gales of laughter from the crowd at something Crichton had said seemed to settle it for D'argo. "Very well. Let's join him."

A sudden movement on the far side of the room caught Aeryn's attention. She instantly stiffened at what she saw. "Wait, D'argo."

Seeing his questioning look she nodded to the odd pair of sebaceans across the way, one dark skinned, the other pale. Both were intently watching Crichton.

"Peace Keepers." D'argo murmured softly.

"Maybe." Aeryn sad, eyeing the pair critically. They certainly looked sebacean, but then again so did several species she had encountered since her foray into the Uncharted Territories began.

*****

John gulped down the rest of his fellip nectar as his companion, El'ann, leaned in running her palm suggestively across his chest. She was still giggling at his recent telling of his misadventures aboard Moya.

He'd cleaned himself up a little, eaten two bowls of what appeared to be the local version of stew and drank enough water to fill a small lake. Now he was just kicking back, enjoying a few drinks in the far more comfortable atmosphere of the habitat. He felt relaxed.

'No. More than relaxed, Johnny boy. You actually feel good. Damned good.' The feather light touches brought a roguish grin to his face at the familiar sensation he felt building within him.

A physical and emotional craving for intimate contact. Alcohol induced, maybe, but the desire there nonetheless. El'ann's gentle touches, kind words and musical voice were tempting. So much so that he didn't care what anyone else would think in his fellip induced stupor.

Turning to meet her gaze, he was momentarily shocked to find himself looking at the emerald eyes. For some reason he had expected to see blue-gray eyes.

'Aeryn's eyes.' His mind supplied.

Seeing the flicker of surprise in his eyes, El'ann stopped her ministration and sat back with a puzzled expression. "Is there something wrong?"

'Yeah, you're not...' John quickly looked away shying away from his own sobering thought. He doubted very he could just go up to Aeryn and ask her to bed. Hell they hadn't even talked about what happened on the faux earth.

Heat of the moment, she'd probably say. Just like in the flax. He could almost believe it didn't mean anything.

Almost.

'I want Aeryn.'

Instead he shrugged his shoulder and forced the smile back on his face. El'ann had suddenly lost much of her appeal, but he still felt his physical attraction to her. He reached out and gently rubbed a thumb along her jaw line. "Nah. Everything's fine."

El'ann smiled seductively, leaning into his touch. "I just realized I don't even know your name."

"John."

She cupped his head between her hands and leaned in. She grinned slightly. "John." She whispered before covering his mouth with her own.

*****

"You get this one."

"Why me?" Chandler protested.

"He's your hero." His partner replied with a shrug as he sipped some strange purple liquid.

"He isn't my hero, Henry."

"Yeah well you know his story better than I do so you get to confront him." Henry replied, eyeing some of the female looking aliens around him.

At first they had gawked at the aliens around them, but a couple of hours amongst these people had taken away much of the shock value. Now the people around them were more a curiosity than anything else. Sure they still hadn't figured out how the could understand the aliens and the aliens understood them, but that wasn't important now.

Dealing with a possible Faustian was.

Henry waved Chandler off. "Look man. Go. I'll be right here if you need backup. OK?"

"Fine." Chandler sighed and headed towards John Crichton. His hand slipped into his pocket to grip the blade he carried. He wasn't taking any chances that the alien the astronaut was with wasn't a Morlock.

THE DEACON: How to kill a Morlock, Lesson #1 The only way to kill a Morlock is to stab him in the heart with a blade soaked in the blood of an innocent.

*****

John Crichton was grinning at El'ann, the alcohol from the fellip nectar nicely numbing his thoughts, not that he really cared. His day had sucked until now. The others, his so called shipmates and friends had left him to fry out in the heat without a second thought while they had a little fun. Now it was his turn.

El'ann returned his smile, seductively pressing body into his and encouraging his arms to encircle her. "You know, I am surprised."

"Yeah, at what, baby?" John asked, running a finger gently along her back. She felt so good. Smelled even better. He pulled her closer, ignoring the small voice in the back of his mind screaming at him to stop. 'God, it's been too long.'

'Not that long go.' A part of his mind reminded him.

El'ann smiled. "You. You're kind usually don't mix with other species."

John chuckled at that. "You got that right." Before she could inquire further on such a puzzling reply, John bent his head to cover her mouth with his own. This kiss quickly deepened.

"Uh..ahem."

John broke the kiss and turned to find the most disheveled looking sebacean he could recall seeing. He had a hand-dog face, unruly short brown hair, and rumpled black suit and tie. For some reason, John couldn't help but start laughing.

El'ann's eyes shifted from her current interest to the other sebacean and back, wondering what it was she had missed that was so funny. "Is this a friend of yours? One from your ship?"

"I've never seen this looser before in my life." John replied, reigning his laughter in to mild giggling. The astronaut had never been a hard drinker but the local's version of fellip nectar was having an odd effect. Hell he'd only drank... what?...seven mugs. And damned if he wasn't enjoying it.

El'ann shrugged, her interest gone in the other sebacean. She draped her arms over John's shoulders instantly regaining his attention. "So what do you say about my proposal?" She asked.

Chandler frowned as glanced at Henry who gestured as if to sat 'What's going on?' Sighing he turned in time to hear the female's proposition. It was enough for him.

"All right, move along. You can talk with your beau in a minute here." He shoved her aside.

"Frelling nurfer." El'ann spat back. "Go find your own trick."

"Shut up, bitch. This is business." Chandler replied, turning back to his assignment. Sometimes you just had to be mean in this game.

"Listen up, rocket jockey. We know you made a deal." Chandler said, trying his bets to look intimidating. Unfortunately Crichton wasn't buying it as he went toe to toe with the slighter Corps agent.

"Deal? What the hell are you talking about?" Crichton demanded, his breath making Chandler's eyes water. 'I got to find out what [ ] he's been drinking.'

"Your Faustian deal." Chandler replied.

"What the [ ] is a Faustian?"

El'ann pushed Chandler. "He's just wants to frell you."

"I want to what?" Chandler yelped, getting an all too clear picture of what the alien hooker had just meant.

Crichton actually laughed at that. "Sorry, man. I don't swing that way." He raked his eyes up and down Chandler's frame. "Well, not with you in any case."

"All right beat it." Chandler said shoving El'ann aside.

"What the [ ] are you doing?" John came up, shoving Chandler back a few steps. Before he could regain his footing, he felt himself shoved off his feet into a table.

Instantly cries of angry protest arose as the four large dog like aliens glared at him. The largest of the four yanked up off the floor and growled at him. The only words he recognized were "Peace Keeper."

Chandler was vaguely aware of Crichton turning back to get another dink, the alien chick clinging on to him. "Hey it wasn't me. He threw me!" He protested gesturing to the human.

With a roar the dog-like alien threw him directly at Crichton.

*****

"Damn!" Henry was trying his best to get to Chandler when he saw the astronaut they had come here for push his partner into a party of mean looking aliens. Already fights were breaking out across the bar. 'Somethings never change.'

He arrived in time to see Chandler be thrown head long into Crichton, tumbling the two humans and the alien woman to the ground in a heap of tangled arms and legs.

Seeing one of the aliens raise what looked like a phaser out of Star Trek, Henry tackled the creature as it fired. The beam narrowly missed Chandler and Crichton, who were just disentangling themselves from each other. The female alien decided to be elsewhere. Quick.

Something spun Henry around in time for him to see another of the aliens readying a blow. A sudden blow from behind dropped the alien to the floor to reveal a human looking woman with flowing black hair and a definite chip on her shoulder.

Henry just stood there in amazement as she took down the remaining pair of aliens quickly and efficiently before turning to face him warily for a moment.

"Thanks." He muttered, earning a quizzical look from her, before a siren made her eyes widen ever so slightly in worry. She turned to where Crichton and Chandler were now standing.

"C'mon. Security is coming. Is John alright?" She said to the other aliens, a blue scaly looking woman, and a large tentacled male. Crichton and Chandler looked at one another with matching confused looks.

"We have no place to go but the star port. Security will certainly close off the access points there." Tentacle boy replied.

"I know a way." Henry said suddenly.

"Where?"

"Follow me." Henry jerked his head towards the back exit. The aliens looked at one another before nodding.

"Hey! Where'd El'ann go?"

"Shut up, Crichton." Aeryn snapped, yanking him by his arm to get him to follow the rest of them out the back.

*****

"It seems your plan did not succeed."

"It will. Have I failed you yet?"

"We would not be having this conversation if you had." The alien looked over the other with a cruel smile. "I want Crichton."

"He'll be yours. We just need to be a little more subtle about this is all."

"What about those two sebaceans? Who are they?"

"I should be asking you that question. You made no mention of them." The Morlock smiled in reply. "They shouldn't pose a problem. They are after all just sebaceans."

"Good."

*****

John Crichton's laughter echoed throughout the star port, earning puzzled looks from not only his companions but from the few aliens that passed by.

"Crichton, what the yotz is so funny that you feel the need to disturb my rest?" Rygel demanded as he hovered out of the pod in his thronesled.

"What the [ ] is that?" Chandler yelped.

"Whoa, man. Kermit on acid." Henry muttered.

"Don't I know it." Crichton agreed, bursting out laughing again. The human was leaned up against the pod gasping for breath, barely controlling the giggling fit that tried to over take him again.

Zhaan went over to him, concerned at his behavior. "How are you feeling, John?"

"Just peachy, babe." He shook his head to stop another bout of giggles. After a moment he looked around with confusion. “Where's El'ann?"

"Who?" Zhaan asked, looking at the matching scowls on D'argo and Aeryn's face.

"El'ann!" John repeated. Realization dawned on his face. "We left her there. We gotta go back." He started to stagger off to look for her. He lost his balance after a few steps, eliciting more laughter from him as he fell to the tarmac.

"I'm afraid El'ann will have to wait until later, John." Zhaan said. "John?"

When she didn't get a response, she turned him over to find he ha passed out. Zhaan looked at the others as the smell of alcohol hit her. "What did he drink?"

"Fellip nectar, I think." Aeryn replied looking completely disgusted at Crichton's behavior. She wasn't feeling too well with all her exertion and the heat, grateful that it was at least night time.

"Well he won't be much used to us until he sobers up. I suggest we let him sleep until the part arrives." Zhaan said, easily picking up John's unconscious form and setting him against the pod to rest.

"Not before we talk to him." Chandler said, earning the full attention of the aliens.

"Nice diplomacy skills, Chand." Henry muttered.

"Who are you? Peace Keepers?" D'argo demanded, growling lightly.

"They're not peace keepers." Aeryn stated matter of factly, circling the duo with suspicion.

"Yeah, what she said, man." Henry nodded. "I've never even been in the military."

"Who are you? Why do you want with Crichton?" Aeryn asked.

Chandler and Henry exchanged a look.

"We can't tell you everything, but it is important we speak with him. Alone." Henry replied. "We won't harm him. Just talk to him. Make sure everything's cool. Y'know?

Aeryn narrowed her eyes suspiciously. Their speech patterns were disturbingly familiar. "And what about the weapon you have in your pocket?"

The Boys eyes widened in surprise. Henry slowly pulled his knife from his pocket. "What? This? It's ah...it's just a memento. Yeah. Nothing more."

"You're Corps." Zhaan said, looking at the knife with intense interest.

"How..How do you know about the Corps?" Henry asked.

"I could ask the same of you. Suffice to say I have heard of your honorable Order." Zhaan replied with a smile. "I am Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan. You have already met D'argo and Aeryn Sun." She gestured to Rygel and Chiana. "May I present his eminence, Dominar Rygel the XVI and this is Chiana."

"That's Henry. I'm Chandler." Smythe replied as Henry flashed a peace sign.

"You are...human?" Aeryn asked uncertainly. She had recognized the gesture as one she'd seen Crichton use from time to time.

"Yeah. Aren't you?" Henry asked.

"Certainly not. I'm sebacean!" Aeryn retorted.

"Oh. Um..Ok." Henry shrugged.

"You are agents of the Corps?" Zhaan prompted.

"Yeah, we are." Chandler replied.

"The I see no harm in allowing you to speak with Crichton."

"Zhaan!" Aeryn protested.

"It's alright Aeryn. They are Corps. I trust them." Zhaan said reassuringly.

"Who is this Corps?" D'argo demanded before Aeryn could voice the same question.

"They are not our enemies." The Delvian glanced at the pair of humans with concern. She knew well how secretive the Corps was. At least so the old stories she had heard stated. “They would not be here without good cause. I ask you to take my word in this. They will not harm John." She paused uncertainly. "Unless absolutely necessary."

"Very well." D'argo growled not liking the ominous tone Zhaan had used, but seeing little reason to argue otherwise.

"Chand. I'm going to get the car. I'll be right back." Henry said and trotted off.

"So. You're from earth?" Rygel said in his best smarmy voice.

**********

Part 3 "The Sinker"

The sound of talking brought John Crichton back from oblivion known as sleep. He opened his eyes slowly, wincing as the headache had suspected he had hit him, full force. He groaned softly, bringing to his attention the caterpillar that had died on his tongue. At least that's how it felt.

"Hey, he's coming around." An unfamiliar voice said. Whoever he was John was grateful he had spoken softly.

"Well it's about time!"

John groaned even louder at the earth shattering tone Rygel used. "Thanks, Rygel. I don't they heard you in Timbuktu." He managed to get out, as he opened his eyes to find Zhaan kneeling in front of him. A mass of blurred blue skin, blue clothes before clearing to reveal concerned blue eyes. Just....blue. He felt his stomach lurch but managed to keep down his bile.

"How are you feeling, John." Zhaan asked gently as she placed a hand on his forehead.

"Bad enough to know I'm gonna live." John replied with a wan smile. Zhaan returned his smile and moved aside, giving him a clear view of the others. "Remind me never to drink.... well whatever it was I was drinking."

"Fellip Nectar." Aeryn's voice said piercingly.

'Damned. She's pissed.' John couldn't help but think as he turned to see her scowling at him. He didn't like the underlying pallor to her skin. Somehow he suspected he was at fault for that.

She raked her eyes over him, before sniffing as if in disgust. "You'll be fine. I'm going to check on what's keeping the delivery of that part." With that she turned to leave.

"Aeryn, remain in the dome. The sun will be rising soon." Zhaan called after the sebacean woman.

Aeryn glanced at the glow just starting come to the horizon and sighed. "All right."

"Now there goes one tough chic."

"I know what you mean man."

John pushed himself to his feet and stared at the pair before him. It took a full second for him to realize that two of them looked to be sebacean. One dark skinned, the other pale. In fact they looked vaguely familiar. Something about a green eyed woman and pissed off dogs with guns.

"Uh, Zhaan? Who are our new guests?" John asked, leaning up against the shuttle pod as his brain decided to make the world twist sideways for a moment.

"John, this is Henry McNeil and Chandler Smythe." Zhaan replied gesturing to each in turn. She hesitated for a moment before folding her hand together. "They are from Earth."

"Great...nice to....What?" John's head snapped up in surprise. "E-Earth? You're humans?"

"I though he was supposed to be smart of something." Henry muttered.

"Can it." Chandler replied.

John hadn't heard either comment, gaping in shock at them. His hangover was long forgotten in the sudden rush of excitement. People. From home! "How did you get here? When did you get here? I..."

"OK, ok, ok. Calm down there." Henry grinned. "Yeah were from earth. Yeah we're human. How we got here...well that's a bit hard to explain."

"A wormhole? Right?" John asked enthusiastically looking between the pair.

"Uh yeah. I guess so." Henry replied with a shrug.

"Oh man, oh man, oh man, oh man." John muttered over and over, running his hand through his close-cropped hair. "Can you get back?"

Henry and Chandler looked at one another uneasily. "Yeah. But only when we've finished here."

"Finished?" John asked in puzzlement. "You mean you were sent here? How long have I been gone?"

"Less than a year." Chandler supplied. "As to why we were sent here...."

Henry looked over at the others of Moya's crew who had watched the exchange in curiosity. "We need to have a serious talk, man. You dig?"

"Uh. Sure." John replied uncertainly.

"Let's go for a little walk." Chandler said heading away from the shuttle.

Crichton followed, but stopped after a few feet his eyes widening in confusion. After a moment his shock turned into a giggle, then full out laughter that echoed across the star port.

"What's so funny?" Henry asked.

John grabbed his sides trying to gasp for breath, pointing at what had elicited his lighter. He was barely able to get out a few words. "Volvo.... Orange... Fuzzy dice."

Chandler rolled his eyes. "I knew we should have gone the other way."

"What? It's just a Volvo man!" Henry replied shaking his head. "Man, what's so funny about an orange Volvo?"

"Well..."

"Save it, Chand." Henry warned. "Concentrate on your rocket scientist here."

*****

"Well, I hate to break it to you guys but no one's offered me one of these...." John paused. "What did you call them? Fast deals?"

"Faustian deal." Chandler supplied.

"They might not have yet, but they will." Henry added. "That's why we're here."

John shrugged, trying his best to ignore the rising temperatures brought on by the early morning sun. "Why me? Because I screwed up a few people's plans? Hell, that happens just about everyday out here. Mister Monkey wrench. That's me."

Chandler chuckled at that. "I believe that. Look we don't know why the Morlocks are interested in you. All we know was our boss ordered us to check things out."

Crichton furrowed his brow at that. "Ooo-kay, then. So these Morlocks are like bad guys who can't be killed, who go around trying to turn people like me into guys like them? Right?"

Chandler and Henry looked at each other and shrugged. "Yeah." Henry replied. "But they can be killed with this." He whipped out a two-pronged silvery knife that to John looked like something a Klingon would use on Star Trek.

"That's it?" John asked in disbelief.

"Well you can mess 'em up pretty good." Chandler said. "Y'know, bullets, fire that sort of thing messes them up pretty well, but doesn't kill them."

"Oh hey, don't forget acid." Henry threw in.

"Oh yeah. That too." Chandler agreed.

John just shook his head. "So what's the whole point of these.... conversions?"

"Control, man." Henry replied. "You're with them you live and try to convert others. You're against them and get in the way, they kill you."

"Sounds like the Peace Keepers." John laughed. "Now there's a wonderful thought."

"Ah don't worry about that happening. The Peace Keepers are too vicious and amoral for the Morlocks." Henry said.

"They are?" John asked, in surprise.

"Oh yeah. Last time the Morlocks tried to convert a sebacean that's when the Peace Keepers came about." Henry explained, earning a puzzled look from his partner.

"Where'd you get that?" Chandler demanded.

"Page forty seven in our briefing."

"What page forty seven? I only had thirteen ages." Chandler cried. "I don't believe this. I'm gonna kill those sons of bitches."

"Yo, Chand. Chill. Jeez it wasn't that important. Just stuff about the Peace Keepers." Henry soothed his partner.

"So what about the Peace Keepers and Morlocks? What happened?" John prompted.

"Well, as afar as I can tell sebaceans don't believe in an afterlife."

"Yeah, you die you die thing." John nodded in agreement.

"Well, the Morlocks didn't know that. Neither did the Corps until they tried to convert a few sebaceans during some nasty war or another. When the sebaceans found out the Morlocks were also associating with their enemy, the declared some treaty they had broken and promptly went out and destroyed the other race entirely. The rest is history." Henry explained.

"And neither the Morlocks nor the Corps have tried to recruit a sebacean since?" John asked.

"Tried and failed miserably each time. The sebaceans are just too damned conniving and cold blooded to deal with." Henry supplied.

"Sounds familiar." Chandler added. "So how did the Ice Princess end up with your lot? From what briefing I *did* get they don't associate with aliens much."

"Aeryn? Well, that's a long story. Suffice to say, it's my fault she's here and leave it at that." John said.

"Ooh. Ms. PK-thang's got you. Doesn't she?" Chandler joked. "Not that I don't blame you. She'd a looker. I'd bag her myself if I could."

"Yeah and if you said that to her she'd probably rip your lungs out." John replied, getting angry. "So drop it."

Henry waved his hands in surrender. "Hey. Don't worry man. We don't mean nothing by it."

"Fine." John shrugged.

"You really like her. Don't you?" Chandler said after a moment's study of the IASA astronaut.

"Yeah. I do. She's my friend." John replied with a sigh.

"That's not what I'm talking about." Chandler said pointedly.

"I know."

Henry and Chandler exchanged a look at the loneliness they heard in the other man's voice. Chandler nodded and walked over to Crichton, stretching in an exaggerated fashion.

"Well, we've told you about the Morlocks and all that crap. Why don't you go and see what the others are up to. Rest up since you know you're the one that's going to be doing the repairs once the part arrives." Chandler shooed the astronaut towards the dome.

"Go on."

A sudden grin broke out across John's face. "Thanks, Chand."

Chandler just grinned as John Crichton walked across the star port, feeling smug.

"You are just too good, man." Henry and Chandler high-fived each other.

"It's a gift." Chandler replied, miming polishing his knuckles.

"Now we'll just have to see if anything happens."

*****

John walked into the establishment, instantly seeing Zhaan seated at a table with Chiana and headed over to them. "Hey."

"Hello, John. Are the repairs finished?" Zhaan asked politely.

John shook his head. "Not yet. All I need is that part and I can have us out of here in a couple of hours."

"Good. Chiana and I shall hasten to discover the delay of the part's delivery." Zhaan said rising.

"Hey, is Aeryn around?" John asked, hoping he didn't look as pathetic as he sounded.

Zhaan smiled knowingly. "She is resting upstairs in the room we've rented. Last evening exertions taxed her greatly."

John looked down, feeling guilty. "She's OK, though. Right?"

"She will be fine, John." Zhaan assured the human. She handed him a small pitcher of water. "I'm sure Aeryn would appreciate some refreshment. Would you please take it to her for me? She's in the last room to the right."

John took the pitcher, smiling gratefully. "Yeah, sure. Thank, Zhaan."

Zhaan nodded once and departed with a guilty looking Chiana in tow. John wondered at that for a moment, before heading up the stairs. Once he reached the room in question, he knocked on he door gently.

"Yes?"

John opened the door and slipped into the room. It took him a moment to adjust his eyes to the small room's dim lighting. When they were clear he could see Aeryn watching him with a tired expression. She was dressed as yesterday, her boots, pulse rifle and ever present equipment pack neatly arranged on a table with in easy reach of the bed.

"Hey, uh ..Zhaan thought you'd like something to drink." He said, feeling suddenly nervous about being with her. They hadn't really been alone together since the incident with the aliens and the faux earth three weekens ago.

"No, I'm not thirsty." Aeryn replied, lowering her head back down to the pillow.

John quickly walked over and set the pitcher of water down, carefully gauging how Aeryn looked from the corner of his eye.

"I'm fine, John. I'm just tired." She said, revealing that she knew John was watching her.

Taking the lack of anger or recrimination in her tone as a good sign, John sat on the small strip of bed she had left available. He could easily see how the heat had drained her. Without even thinking he brushed a stray hair off her forehead and tucked it behind her ear. "Guess I screwed up last night. Huh?"

"Yes." Aeryn agreed with her usual blunt honesty. She shifted to her side, giving him more room to sit on the bed. "But we should not have assumed that you were negligent in your completion of the pod's repairs."

John shrugged. "Yeah, but that's no excuse to go storming off and then topping that off by getting drunk and starting a bar fight."

"Don't forget the prostitute." Aeryn added, grinning at the surprised look John shot at her.

"And El'ann." He added. John shook his head, unable to help chuckle at her joke. 'Guess that means Aeryn's not ticked at me.'

Another look at Aeryn took away some of the humor. "You could've gotten hurt because of me Aeryn. worse-Living Death."

Aeryn sat up and squeezed his arm reassuringly. "I was never in danger of that, John. It was night time, remember."

"Yeah. But..."

"But what John?" Aeryn prompted when his voice trailed off.

"Sometimes I think I cause more trouble than I'm worth for you guys." John replied.

"I suppose you can be a real pain in the stomach sometimes." Aeryn said.

"Ass."

"What?"

"Pain in the ass, Aeryn."

"That's not where I felt these heat induced cramps." Aeryn said.

John shook his head. "Sorry. Thought we ha d a translator glitch going on there."

"We did." Aeryn smiled. "John, while you can be annoying at times you've also proven yourself useful. Besides we let Chiana stay. Didn't we?"

John barked out a short laugh, which he quickly stifled. He grinned and leaned in towards Aeryn, adopting an accent as he spoke. "Well, ain't I special."

He was surprised to see Aeryn's face shift to serious. Not her Peace Keeper serious face, but another one he had rarely seen. A contemplative look that she seemed to save only for him. One he'd only seen twice in his life on Moya.

"Yes, you are." She said softly, cupping the back oh his jaw with her hand as she traced his jaw line.

With out even a second thought he leaned in and kissed her.

-----

She inhaled deeply, enjoying the scent of him; his touch as he ran his hands soothingly up and down her spine; the play of his muscles as she rested her head on his torso. It was so wonderful.

Reveling it as if it might be the last time they could ever be together like this. She was so contented. She didn't want it ever end, even though she knew sooner or later one of the others would come to get them. The pod still needed to be repaired.

In that instant the contentment she felt was gone. Today it would be a shuttle pod. But what about tomorrow? What about John's home?

"Aeryn? Hey baby, what's wrong?" His hand had stopped their soothing caress.

She snuggled closer to him, desperately trying to banish those thoughts that had haunted her since the faux Earth. The thoughts that had kept her away from him until today. "Nothing, John."

"Aeryn are you..."

A knock at the door brought a sigh from her lover, one she silently agreed with. 'Sooner than I thought. I don't want him to go.'

"Hold on. I'm coming." John called out, reluctantly withdrawing from Aeryn's embrace.

Aeryn couldn't help but grin as John grabbed one of the matching pair of black trousers on the floor, only to find as he stuck his leg in he had picked up the wrong pair. Smiling sheepishly he quickly grabbed the other ones and pulled them on.

'The perils of shopping in the Uncharted Territories with a female Peace Keeper.' He reasoned.

Wiping the sleep from his eyes, John opened the door slightly to see Zhaan standing there. "Yeah, Zhaan. What's up?"

"According to the port authority we shall receive the part shortly, John." Zhaan said simply. He could tell she was curious as to his lack of shirt and shoes but was too polite to inquire.

The human merely nodded. "OK. Let me get cleaned up. I'll be out in a few minutes."

Zhaan nodded in acknowledgment and turned to leave as John closed the door. He turned to find Aeryn was already arranging the rest of his clothing. "There is a wash basin and towels in the lavatory." She said quietly, gesturing to the small room in question. John reluctantly went there; knowing their time together was over.

'For now.' He amended to himself as he looked into his reflection in the mirror. He'd made the mistake of letting go of someone he cared about once before. He wasn't going to make that same mistake again, even if it cost him everything he held dear.

*****

"He's been in there awhile." Chandler said, taking several long drags off his cigarette.

"Yeah. Do you blame him?" Henry asked, exhaling a long blue cloud of smoke, savoring the one vice he was allowed.

"Nope." Chandler glanced up to see Zhaan descending the staircase with a knowing look.

"John will join us shortly." She said simply as she resumed her seat at the table. She looked at the pair for a moment in consideration, politely ignoring the carcinogenic smell surrounding them. She knew this 'tobacco cigarettes' were one of the few stress relievers the Corps allowed its agents. "It would seem your presence here was unnecessary."

Chandler shrugged. "Maybe, but we wouldn't have been sent without a good reason."

"Maybe just being here scared off the Morlocks." Henry put in. After a pause he and Chandler whooped in laughter, earning a puzzled smile from Zhaan.

'And I thought John was odd.' She couldn't help but think. But these two were kind souls. Different than John, as one would expect, and yet at the core the same. Certainly more cynical and given to violence but still kind hearted and giving.

"Hey, what's so funny?" John's voice chimed in as he trotted down the stairs. He didn't look exactly happy to see them, but looked far better than he had last they'd seen him. Zhaan could tell by the light oiliness to his skin, that he had applied some of the ointment D'argo has bought the previous day.

"Nothing. Corps joke." Chandler supplied.

"OK." John shrugged. "C'mon. Let's blow this popsicle stand."

Zhaan just shook her head in bemusement at the three human males. "I shall stay and await for Aeryn to finish her rest."

*****

The alien scowled as he watched the trio of humans leave. "I thought you'd have taken care of Crichton by now."

The alien's reptilian companion smiled slightly, hissing in amusement. "Patience. Crichton will be ours soon enough. We must simply move carefully. His is a special case, after all."

"As far as I can tell you have done nothing."

"The you aren't looking hard enough. Trust me. By the time we are through, Crichton will be ours. His own goodness will see to that."

**********

Part 4 "The One that Got Away"

Star port. Uncharted Territories

"So you got this wrestler to renounce, eh?" John Crichton asked, dropping the tool he was using back into the equipment pack.

"Yep." Henry replied, passing an aquafier to the former astronaut.

"Thanks." John muttered, gulping down mouthful of water. He glanced at the sky, wiping the sweat from his brow. "Damn, it's hot. Where's D'argo with that part?"

"Tentacle boy, three o'clock." Chandler nodded towards the approaching Luxan.

"Just don't say that to his face, Chand." John whispered as he noticed the angry look on D'argo's face.

"There has been an unexpected delay. The part won't arrive for another two arns." D'argo growled in disgust.

"Great," John muttered, looking over his handy work. He'd fixed everything else. All he needed was the choloric regulator and the pod would be ready within an arns. "Now what...."

A sudden explosion knocked Crichton off his feet. He shook his head to see D'argo had expanded his qualta blade and was now firing at an approaching land vehicle the local's called a ground skimmer. Chandler and Henry had scrambled for cover behind their orange Volvo.

Another explosion near D'argo didn't even seem to faze the Luxan as he fired his qualta blade again. This time his aim was true and the skimmer exploded into a small fireball.

"Nice shot, big guy." John said, carefully crawling out of the bowels of the pod.

D'argo growled, but John caught the hint of pride and satisfaction his words elicited from the alien warrior. He pointed to the two humans. "You stay with the pod. Crichton with me."

A few moments later, John and D'argo were kneeling, looking over the charred remains of their would be assailants. Or more precisely D'argo looked them over, while John tried not to gag at the smell.

D'argo suddenly, stood a small device John recognized as a holographic emitter in his palm. It was not unlike the one D'argo had of his wife and son. The Luxan activated it to reveal the image of Crais' wanted beacon message. Seeing this only elicited a hiss of anger.

"Bounty hunters." They said in unison.

John and D'argo exchanged a concerned look. D'argo nodded once. “Go. Tell the others there are bounty hunters about. Get them back here as soon as possible."

John shook his head. "No, we can't. Aeryn can't take this heat and the part won't be ready for another two arns."

D'argo merely nodded his head in concession. "Very well. Gather everyone at the inn Aeryn rented a room at. I'll stay here with Smythe and McNeil. When the part arrives I'll send one of them to retrieve you."

"Got it." John said trotting off to the dome.

*****

John had found Zhaan and Chiana at the inn, but was frustrated when he discovered Aeryn and Rygel had decided to do more bartering. Zhaan had been as equally concerned about the bounty hunters, but has insisted on looking for Aeryn and Rygel wile he remained at the inn.

He had protested greatly her decision but eventually conceded to her point that he was best suited to remain at the inn. Everyone on the planet thought he, Aeryn, Chandler and Henry were Peace Keepers. No one wanted a repeat of the previous nights bar brawl.

So now John found himself sitting at a table staring at the entrance with such intensity he was surprised the doors hadn't burst into flames already. Before him sat a half empty mug of some local non-alcoholic brew.

"John."

He glanced up at the soft purring tone, surprised to find El'ann smiling at him. She slipped into the chair beside him, sniffing his drink once before wrinkling her nose in disgust. "Ugh. Is this all you could afford. Let me get you something better."

"No thanks, El'ann. I'm waiting for my friends." John replied, wondering what he had seen in the alien female to attract him the night before. She was nice to look at, he admitted, but certainly not a stunner by anyone's standards.

She pouted. "Poor, John. We could have had some fun, but I suppose that woman who showed up was our mate."

"Hmm." Was all John would say in response, hoping his noncommittal tone would be enough to get El'ann to leave. He heard the female sigh and shift away from him.

"It must be hard."

"What?" John asked at her words.

"Being the only human amongst those aliens you travel with." El'ann said with a small smile. "To be traveling with a bunch of escaped prisoners all searching for their homes while all the while being hunted."

"Yeah well it gives us something in common," John replied.

"Really?" El'ann asked in surprise. "Then you have some idea where your home is?"

"Well, no." John admitted, suddenly suspicious. "How do you know I'm looking for my home world? For that matter how'd you know I was human?"

El'ann smiled nervously. "My associates have an interest in you. They think they can help you solve your problem. Your friends as well."

John snorted, realizing he was being played. "Yeah, right." The sudden press of a crystal into his hand made him look at her suspiciously.

"It is a star chart to your home world, John Crichton." El'ann said, answering his question before he could even ask it.

"And how do I know it is genuine?"

"I am told the map is from an old deep space exploration vessel from a species called the Ferthan that landed here fifty cycles ago. It is said that they were returning from a deep exploration survey beyond the Uncharted Territories when the last of them landed here and died a short time later.

"My associates ran a check trying to match the name you gave your home world with that of those in the database. They found that one." She nodded to the crystal. "It also has images of stellar masses taken from that region. Perhaps you would recognize one of these images as proof to the crystal's authenticity."

She looked around the room warily. "I must go. Meet me here this evening if you want the information for your friends."

"And what do they want in return for this...generosity." John asked suspiciously.

El'ann for the first time looked uncertain, even scared. "I don't know."

*****

"Hey, shouldn't you be back at the inn or something?" Henry asked as saw the astronaut pass by the car.

"Yeah. I just need to check the pod over one more time. Y'know, make sure everything's ready to go." John replied easily. "It'll only take a couple of minutes."

Henry shrugged. "OK, man. I'll take you word for it."

"Hey, where's Chandler?" John asked at the entrance to the pod."

"Went to get us some mire aquafiers and food." Henry replied.

John nodded and entered the pod, grateful the enviornmentals kept the pod reasonably temperate in spite of most of the power systems being off line.

He quickly pulled out the small crystal, sat at the navigation array and inserted it into the receptacle. Instantly the stellar cartograph came to life, to reveal images of numerous planets, stars, nebulas and various spatial phenomena. Along side each was some sort of squiggly looking lines that might have been alien text.

Fifteen minutes later, John sat back, gaping at what he was looking at. 'It can't be.' He advanced too the next image. And the next. And yet again. With each new image his hope grew until finally he shut the console down and withdrew the crystal, grasping it tightly in his fist.

'Home. I've finally got the way home.'

A grin broke onto he face as he rose and left the pod. He had to find El'ann. He was barely able to keep himself from whooping out in joy let alone from running pell mell to the dome. But he didn't want to let Henry and Chandler know what he'd discovered.

Not yet.

"Hmm. He looks happy." Chandler having just returned, stripped off his shirt and was sitting on Henry's car to continue his sunbathing.

"Yep." Henry replied absently. When he noticed what Chandler was doing he shook his head. "Hey what are you doing sitting on my ride, man? The Corps ain't paying us to get good tans."

"Henry, calm down man. It's not like the blue bird of happiness is gonna land on the...." Chandler sat up, removing his sunglasses to reveal wide eyes. "[ ] me."

Henry looked up and walked away muttering. "No way. I did not see that man. No freaking way!"

*****

Three arns later.

"Hey, you all seen John?" Chandler asked.

Zhaan, Aeryn and D'argo looked up from their meal to see Chandler, who looked much redder than they remembered, and Henry.

Aeryn and Zhaan exchanged a look before the former Peace Keeper spoke. None of them wanted to let on that they'd been discussing in length the two humans and comparing them to what they knew from John. "We thought he was with you two."

"Last time we saw him was a couple of hours ago at the pod." Henry noted.

"Then who's watching the pod now?" D'argo asked.

"Chiana and that floating slug. What's his name...Wriggle? Ribald?" Chandler put in, looking around the inn.

"Rygel." Zhaan corrected with a small smile of amusement.

"Yeah. OK." Chandler said absently.

"You looking for the sebacean male that was here earlier?"

All eyes settled on a canine looking alien. One of the aliens they'd had battled the night before to be precise. Aeryn recognized her handiwork in the form of the nearly swollen shut eye.

"Yes, we are." Chandler answered warily. It wasn't too hard to remember this one. He hadn't met too many talking dogs in his life.

"He left with El'ann about an arn ago." The alien offered. Aeryn's face darkened at that, but she kept quiet.

"Do you know where they went?" Henry asked.

"Probably El'ann's place. 'Bout five metras south of here. Can't miss it. It's the only warehouse in the area." The alien offered.

"Thanks." Chandler said, he and Henry breaking for the door. Zhaan, D'argo and Aeryn followed. The alien snorted and returned to his drink. "Frelling tourists."

*****

"I brought him." El'ann said nervously to the pair of aliens. One appeared to be a normal looking sebacean with short brown hair and completely forgettable features except for the piercing blue eyes. The other was green and scaled, but in all other respects was for lack of a better term, humanoid.

The reptilian alien's lip curled as if a smile. "So you have, El'ann. You may leave us." El'ann nodded and departed quickly. Once gone the alien cocked its head to the side as if studying the human before him.

"I am pleased to meet you. My name is Hashek." The alien bowed his head gracefully before gesturing to the other with him. "This is Oren, my assistant."

"Is he...”? John started.

"Sebacean." Hashek said, with a small smile. "Though I must admit you intrigue me John Crichton. You call yourself human?"

"Yes. I'm from a planet..."

"You call Earth. Yes." Hashek nodded his head towards the crystal Crichton held. "Then the information is sufficient for your needs?"

"Yeah." John replied uneasily. He looked the pair over warily before shrugging and asking the question that had been nagging him the entire time it took to walk here. "Why me? What do you want for giving me this information?"

Hashek chuckled. "Oren thought you would not ask such a question. I'm pleased to see that I was correct about you."

John merely stared at them, waiting. Hashek seemed to pick up his silent impatience and gave a very human sounding sigh. "Very well. Your world is new. Few know of its existence. Fewer still have the capability to find it. What I want in return to giving you a map home is simple."

"Yes?" John prompted.

"First contact."

"First contact?" John repeated. "You mean you want to be the first alien race to contact my world?"

"Yes." Hashek nodded.

"Why? We couldn't possibly have anything you need or want." John eyed the alien suspiciously.

"Ah, but your people do have something of value, John Crichton." Oren spoke for the first time, his voice smooth and lilting.

"And what's that?"

"The technology that brought your planet bound species out here." Oren replied, gesturing as if to include the whole of the Uncharted Territories. "Just think, a whole new means of space travel that is faster and more efficient than the current technology in use. Such technology would be highly valued."

John was puzzled. How did they know so much about him?

"Your world would become a focal point of change in the balance of power in the galaxy." Hashek added. The lizard like alien shifted his head slightly as if uncomfortable. "Unless a more.... hostile race...were to discover your world first."

"So you basically want the technology." John concluded. "In exchange for what? My life?"

Hashek chuckled. "While I'm sure some slaver could find a suitable price for you, we merely wish to trade with your world. The new technology in exchange for weapons, ships, treasures, whatever your people desired. We could even arrange it so that by the time anyone found out, you would be more than sufficiently prepared to repel any would be aggressors."

"You place a lot of faith of humanity." John noted. "I wouldn't."

Oren laughed at that. "We don't. Our faith is in you, John Crichton. You've been out here. You could make your people understand. Sooner or later."

"All we are asking for is a chance to make contact with your people. Nothing more." Hashek added.

John looked down at the crystal in thought.

Home. The way home sitting in the palm of my hands. Dad. DK. To see the familiar stars of home, a yellow sun in a clear blue sky.

'But what about Aeryn? D'argo? Zhaan? Even Rygel?'

He frowned suddenly. Could he leave them after all they had been through? They were looking for home, someplace to belong. Zhaan and D'argo would eagerly see him his way home taking some comfort in the knowledge that at least one of them had finally accomplished what they had planned.

But what about Aeryn? She had no home. He couldn't take her to Earth. Could he? The very thought of what happened on the false Earth sent a shiver through him. He couldn't put her through that again. Wouldn't. He wouldn't abandon her after all that had happened.

And that decided it for him.

"I can't." He said softly. "I'm sorry."

Oren smiled and withdrew a small case from his overcoat. "Perhaps I have something that would change your mind."

*****

"What's that?"

"The way home for your friends."

Chandler looked at the others in concern. None recognized the other who spoke, but Crichton's voice was distinctively familiar.

They had, as the alien at the inn had indicated, easily found El'ann's place. Getting into the warehouse unnoticed had been almost as easy. Henry nodded his head towards the direction of a dim light and the voices earning agreeing nods from Aeryn and D'argo.

"What do you mean the way home?" They could hear John asking, his voice suspicious.

"Just that." A new voice replied. "A map showing a safe route home for your friends. No Peace Keepers. No war zones. Nothing what so ever to hinder their journey."

They hunkered down behind some boxes now able to clearly see a strange lizard like alien, a sebacean and John Crichton. The look on the human's face clearly conveyed his mistrust and skepticism as he turned a small crystal over in his hands.

"What about Aeryn?" John asked. "She can't go back to the Peace Keepers."

"You seem quite close. Take her with..." The sebacean was saying.

"No." John cut him off angrily. "I won't put her though that hell again."

"Again?" The other alien asked with puzzlement.

"Long story." John sighed, looking down at the crystal for a long moment. He finally closed his hand around it into a fist, and looked back at the pair. "Find her." He stopped to swallow hard and steady his voice. "You find her a home. A nice, quiet place where she can live without fear from the Peace Keepers. Do that and I'll....I'll agree to your arrangement."

This brought a surprised look to Aeryn's face. One that she quickly brought back under control when she realized D'argo and Zhaan were casting questioning looks her way.

"You must care about her very much?" The sebacean said.

"More than you'll ever know, Oren." John replied. "Can you do it?"

The sebacean and alien exchanged a look. "Yes." The reptile replied. "But it will cost you more."

"Like what?" John asked in resignation.

"Your soul."

"No!"

John visibly was startled at Aeryn's yell. The two aliens instantly bolted, but got only a few steps before being taken down by shots from her pulse pistol.

Chandler and Henry were instantly on them checking them over.

"This ones dead." Chandler said, rolling Oren onto his back.

"I'm happy to announce this one's not. Look what we got here, Chand?" Henry said, yanking the reptilian to his feet. He had changed slightly to reveal two small very Morlock like horns.

"Hmm. What do you know? The manual was right. All Morlocks have horns." Chandler replied.

John simply stood there, too stunned to even acknowledge his crewmates standing next to him demanding to know what he was doing. His face paled as he saw Hashek's change. "Morlock." He whispered.

"That's right, Crichton." Hashek hissed out with a grin. He gestured to the small container still clutched in Oren's hands. "But my offer still stands. Oren's maps are still there. Take them and our agreement is sealed."

"I don't think so." Aeryn whipped up her pistol and fired, obliterating the container with a single shot. She turned back to John, ignoring the gaping expressions of those around her and held out her hand.

Without a word, John passed her the crystal he had been holding. She looked at it for a moment before tossing it to the floor and firing her pistol again.

"You bitch!" The alien screamed, struggling against his bonds and Henry's restraining grip.

"I wouldn't call here that, Hashek. She 's a Peace Keeper." John said. Seeing a look from her, he smiled slightly. "Retired, of course." Aeryn returned that smile, casting one of her best 'I-going-to-hurt-you-and-enjoy-it' looks at the alien.

Hashek went suddenly quiet and still. The Peace Keeper couldn't kill him, of course. But his kind knew well the relish her kind took in discovering new avenues of pain for their enemies.

"You all go back to the inn. We've got a little cleaning up to do here." Henry said, waving for them to go.

John started to protest but was silence by a Zhaan's gentle but firm grip on his shoulder. "Come, John. Let us leave them to their work."

"We have a few things to discuss along the way, as well." D'argo put in with an ominous growl.

John merely nodded, knowing full well his shipmates were not happy with him. Resigning himself to another lecture he relented. No two ways around it, he deserved it this time and was willing to admit that. He just hoped they didn't hold this incident against him. Especially Aeryn.

**********

Epilogue "Fuzzy Dice"

"So how'd it go?" Plasko demanded.

"Well we're back. Ain't we?" Chandler replied, flopping into his favorite chair on Decker's office.

"Did you get a renouncement?" Decker demanded.

"Didn't need one. The Morlocks hadn't even gotten to him until we showed up. Then his friends pretty much screwed their plans, but good." Henry said.

"Amen, brother. Elvis has entered the building." Chandler chimed in.

"Yeah, yeah. Whatever." Plasko scoffed.

"Don't go getting all cocky on me Chandler. Just because you did the guy upstairs a good job doesn't cut it with me." Decker replied.

Henry grasped his chest. "Oh. To be so appreciated in our own time."

"The great one's never are." Chandler agreed with a laugh.

"Ge-aawwd. Get out of here before you make me sick. Go home. You've got a couple days off." Decker waved them away.

"Sounds good to me, man." Henry said, the partners rising to leave.

"Hey, Henry. What happen to those dice of yours?" Plasko asked.

"You don't want to know." Chandler replied with a grin.

************

It was pink. And black. Swaying to and fro. Fro and to. Never stopping. Her blue eyes shifted with each movement, feeling her bile rise with each swaying moment. Finally she could take no more. She reached out to tear the thing off.

A gentle nudge from her companion ended her attempt to rid the universe of such a horrific thing. It had to be evil. Only some Hezmana spawn would allow something this hideous to exist.

Fuzzy dice, the human called it.

Pink fuzzy dice.

Like the ones hanging from the shuttle pods controls.

"Hey, what do you think you're doing, Aeryn?" John asked, eyeing the former Peace Keeper warily. Aeryn's hand kept trailing off to her favorite pulse pistol and the look in her eye did not bode well for his fuzzy little novelty item.

"Getting rid of these ridiculous...dice!" Aeryn replied, waving vaguely at the items in question. "Where the frell did you get these things?"

"Henry and Chandler left them. I guess they thought I could use something to remind me of home." John replied, purposefully flicking the dice to make them sway more just to see Aeryn's reaction.

John practically jumped out of his skin at Aeryn's scream. A moment later she was drawing her pistol and lining up a shot at the offending objects. John, being the sentimental fool (someone would probably say just plain fool) leapt forward to protect his newest treasure from home.

"Get out of the way, Crichton."

"Aeryn, I can't. They're a link home for me."

"It's either me or them, John. Choose." Aeryn replied evenly.

'Aeryn. Dice. Aeryn. Dice. Aeryn. Dice.'

"Well?"

"I'm thinking! Sheesh Aeryn, give a guy a break.... uh…" He chuckled at that. "Forget I said that."

"Me or the dice, John." Aeryn repeated.

'Aeryn. Dice. Aeryn. Dice. Aeryn. Dice.'

John sighed and turned to the dice. "OK. Sorry, but one beautiful space babe will keep me warm a lot more than you little guys will." He muttered under his breath.

"Are you talking to it?" Aeryn asked in surprise.

"What? Huh? No way." John laughed nervously at the odd look Aeryn was giving him. "They're just fuzzy dice."

"Well, space them already."

"Yes, dear." John sing-songed as he dumped the dice into the ejector. A moment later the whooshing sound and a flashing light were the only evidence of the dice's passing.

"It's gone, Aeryn." John sighed heavily, sitting in the co-pilots chair.

"Good. Now let's see if we can't get stuck for a few hour out here before Zhaan and D'argo come looking for us."

Epilogue to the Epilogue

Little did John and Aeryn know the galactic importance their heartless dismissal of that pair of fuzzy dice would have. Several days later a Marauder intercepted the dice. Two days later a Peace Keeper Command Carrier intercepted the Marauder. The crew of the Marauder were dead, the words "Beware the dice" etched into the wall.

The PK Captain, being a naturally superior being ignored the warning and took the dice back to Peace Keeper held space. Within ten years the Peace Keepers were no more, suddenly having turned into a collection peace loving, flower power hippie chicks and slackers waving copies of strange pink fuzzy cubes connected together by string.

Ironically, this made them even more feared by the rest of the alien races. No one wanted a bunch of tie-dyed freaks chanting "Peace", "Save the Leviathans" or "Mating, Tannot Root and Fellip Nectar for All" hanging about so war was banned and replaced with shilquin contests.

No one outside of the Sebaceans ever knew why this happened.

Until now.

Fin.