Happy Birthday 2 snippet
“What the hell is going on here, Aeryn? Why do you…” ‘John’ stared at her for a moment then stepped back a few steps. “I’m not falling for it, Stark!” he screamed, his eyes filled with anger.
It felt surreal to hear Ralin speaking English, standing up Aeryn said quietly, “John? Is that….really you?”
Immediately John backed away. “Ah uh…Stark is slipped another notch if he thinks this will work again.” he yelled before turning and running out of the room. Aeryn heard him scream Chiana’s name as he ran down the corridor.
“D’Argo, we have a problem. Pilot, I need you to track Ralin’s comm signal.”
“Aeryn, what’s wrong?” D’Argo asked, his voice sounding wary.
Running out of the room, Aeryn said, “Just meet me wherever Pilot says that Ralin has gone.”
“Aeryn, Ralin has just entered tier eighteen, he continues to call Chiana’s name and talking about finding a green door. What has happened to him?” she could hear the concern in Pilot’s voice as he updated her.
“I don’t know exactly, Pilot, but…I think…”
The possibility of what was happening still continued to shock her.
“Aeryn?” Pilot prompted her to continue.
“Ralin had the game matrix that we found in John and Chiana’s hands when they…died. I don’t know ‘how’ this happened, but I think that is John’s consciousness inside of Ralin.”
“How do you know this?” D’Argo asked. She could tell from the sound of his voice that he was running as he spoke.
“Ralin spoke perfect English, he also mentioned Stark, and asked where Chiana was.”
“He has just entered your quarters, Aeryn.” Pilot said.
“Thank you, Pilot.” Aeryn responded, trying to quicken her pace.
D‘Argo said before she called him, “I will meet you there, Aeryn.”
Entering into the room, she found Ralin on the verge of hysteria, shouting curses at Stark into the air.
Approaching him cautiously, she said, “John…what is the last thing you remember?” she couldn’t help the tears that ran down her face as he turned to face her.
What did she do to deserve this? What did John do? Frell, what of their son? He was only sixteen cycles, and he had not hurt anyone. Why did he have to… No, she wouldn’t think of him as being dead, there had to be something that they could do.
“Remember?” he asked, obvious surprise at the question crossing his face. Looking around him once more, he noticed the differences in the room. “I’m not…inside the game anymore?”
“No, you are not.” Aeryn had no idea how to tell him that he had been dead for the last seventeen cycles and now inhabited their son’s body. She had no idea of how he would believe her, frell, she couldn’t believe it herself.
Slowly reaching out her hand, Aeryn said, “I want you to come with me for a microt.”
Her feelings were mixed as ‘John’ apprehensively took her hand, “If I’m out of the game… Why do you look so different?”
“Seventeen cycles have passed since I last spoke to you. You are…you and Chiana have been dead for that time.” her voice choked on the words as she spoke.
“Dead?” He whispered in disbelief. The look on his face told her that much as she led him to the mirror on the far side of the room.
John stared at the mirror for a few microts. “How…who?” he said, his finger softly touching his face as he continued to look in the mirror.
Taking a deep breath, Aeryn said, “I never thought I would get to say this to you, but, John…I’d like you to meet your son. Ralin Crichton.”
Inside the game:
“This is seriously messed up.” Ralin said to himself as he hid from the soldiers. “I am ‘never’ going to play this game again.” Rubbing his hands nervously against the red leather pants he wore continuing to kick himself for not listening to his mother and D’Argo about getting into things he had no knowledge of.
He had thought he have a little fun before the party, but frell he never expected this. “Mom is going to frelling kill me.”
The instant he touched the organic matrix, he had found himself standing in the center of dimly lit stone hallway. Looking down at the clothing he wore, Ralin had smiled and said, “This is Drad!” Or at least it was until the pretty little blond came running up shouting that he had to hurry and follow her, then to see the Peacekeeper Scorpius coming toward him with a weapon in his hand.
Ralin knew who Scorpius was, his mother had made sure that he knew everything there was about his father. At times it felt as if he never wanted to hear the name John Crichton again.
He jumped at the sound of a man‘s voice say, “You know, you’re never going to get anywhere sitting here hiding like this.”
Turning quickly, Ralin looked up and saw a man dressed in ragged clothe, half of his face covered with a metal mask.
“Who the frell are you?” Ralin asked.
“I am Stark…Avatar, guide to the game embodied, and you are not going to find your way through this game if you continue to sit there, Player.”
“Well, I don’t know where the frell I am and no idea how to play the game. And my name is Ralin Crichton…not Player.” he said harshly.
“Crichton…you are Crichton.” Stark said, his eye taking on a look of hatred.
Suddenly a myriad of images flashed before Ralin’s eyes and he found himself standing in a different area of the game. Looking around him, he saw a strange world, unlike anything he had ever seen before, surrounding him. A large building towered above them both, Ralin had to squint his eyes to see the top of it.
“What the…” he said, turning around in a circle slowly. Looking down, he saw his clothing was different, he was now wearing a different type of leather pants, his shirt was of a thin white material and he had a metal plate upon his chest.
Ralin noticed the Avatar Stark standing not too far away. “Is the game suppose to switch like that?” he asked.
“I noticed that John Crichton was no longer within the game, and I wondered how that came to be. Now I know…you must be his child, and so you shall take his place here, to continue his punishment for the atrocities he has performed.”
“Punishment? Atrocities? My father did not perform any atrocities….”
“Leave him alone, you fekket!” said a female voice. Suddenly a Nebari girl appeared from around the corner of the building. Ralin instantly recognized her as well from the data stores. This was Chiana, the girl that had died alongside his father. Sometimes when D’Argo had a too much too drink, he would tell Ralin of how much he had loved this girl.
Ralin watched as she approached him and took his hand. “Come with me.” she said, smiling.