Working title 'Dare to Dream My Son'
'I don't know how they cannot see what is going on...Frelling body breeders, going at it for arns. I would never have thought it could become worse...until after we left Dam-Ba-Da. Apparently Humans are no different than any other species I have been met in my years as a Dominar in that respect. I would think a victory Feast would be more appropriate...but a victory Frell is just as well...hehe. I will be happy when we reach Moya. That little gray trelk had better of left my property alone. Ahhhh...six more arns and I can enjoy the peace and privacy of my own quarters. No more sharing space with that lunatic Banik, no more having to listen to that incessant screaming and thumping coming through the walls.'
"Have you made contact with Moya yet?" Aeryn asked as she entered into Command.
"Not as yet," Crais answered turning his head slightly in her direction, "but we are only just entering into sensor range...Wait, Talyn says Moya has just responded to his call." Turning away from Aeryn, "Yes, Talyn...as fast as you can."
"What? Is there a problem?"
"I do not know, Moya only told Talyn to hurry as fast as possible."
"Three arns, I trust you will inform the others." Looking at her once more.
"Of course, " She said just before exiting the room.
Turning his attention back inward, Crais thought, 'Talyn, contact Moya again. Find out what the problem it is she facing. We cannot arrive unprepared for any hostile forces."
It was strange to see Moya with no lights shining through the windows that lined her hull, it was as if looking at a ghost ship floating freely in darkness. Taking a step closer to the forward view, John was also noticed how she eerily reminded of how Rovu looked when he first saw it, he shivered at the idea of the Leviathan house of horrors.
"What's with her lights?" He asked.
"She is on minimum power systems at the moment." Crais closed his eyes as he listened to what Moya relayed to Talyn. Suddenly they opened again, as he faced the others, they could see the shock that clearly shined in his eyes.
"She says that everyone, with the exception of the other Crichton...is dead."
The room filled with the sounds of shock and clamoring voices screaming for an explanation.
Tired of trying to block out their voices, Crais held up his hand to silence the others.
“Moya has said she flew through an energy cluster believing it to be benign, immediately afterwards Crichton claimed to see unusual lights in Command. She knew something was wrong with Pilot when he no longer responded to her. From what she observed, the light that Crichton spoke of…tried to enter into him, but was unable to. It knocked him unconscious and caused him to bleed. He was quite hysterical about it when he awoke, especially when it occurred a second time.”
“Didn’t any of the others try and find out the cause of the lights and the fact he was bleeding for no apparent reason?” Aeryn asked quietly, the shock of the others deaths still weighing heavily on her. Dead…dead they were all dead, but for Crichton. The one she left behind. She tried to push aside the sorrow that was inserting its tendrils inside her heart.
“They believed it to be from exhaustion, as he had not slept much during his ten day search for wormholes. The others did not experience any unusual phenomenon, so they claimed, Moya did not see anything through her DRDs. Crichton insisted the others sit with him and watch him, in case he bled again. She says that he appeared rather frightened since Pilot suggested that his body was breaking down from the…” Crais looked over at the other Crichton.
Sighing, John said, “Go on…you can say it…copying…Xeroxing…twinning…I’m not a wilting flower you know.”
“Very well, the…twinning. After some argument from Jool and Chiana, they agreed to sit with him. Here…Moya says that Crichton had a DRD record the event and we will find it quite telling.”
Suddenly on the forward screen appeared an image of D’Argo, Jool, Chiana, and the other Crichton sitting around the table in Moya’s center chamber, staring at one another out of boredom.
“Are we having fun yet?” Chiana asked the others.
“Galaxies of it.” Jool said as she stared angrily at Crichton, then lifted her arms in frustration.
Suddenly the four on the screen collapsed onto the tabletop, they remained that way for a microt before they sat up, their bodies jerking and seizing in their seats. It ended just as suddenly as it began.
Apparently unaware of what just transpired, Chiana asked, “Can we go now?”
The last image before the recording ended was that of Crichton grabbing the DRD.
“What the frell did we just see?” John asked as he stepped closer to Crais, he could see by the look of shock on their faces, that the others also had no idea what they had just seen.
“Moya believes it was an Energy Rider called Tallop, ‘tasting’ or testing the others to search for another wayward Rider that had entered one of the crew. This was the reason she had lost contact with Pilot, Tallop had gained control of his body.”
Staring blankly ahead of her, Aeryn said, “This is why we saw the dripping water on the recording…he could not control the environmentals on Moya.”
“That is correct…He was unable to locate the creature with this particular ‘session’, but Moya herself made several observations at that time and noticed a change in Chiana’s energy signature, she assumes it was from the missing Energy Rider. She was able to show Crichton where it was hiding inside of Chiana.”
“How was Moya able to keep this information from Tallop if it was inside of Pilot?“ John asked.
Each of the crew were silent as Crais closed his eyes as he listened to the relayed message, “It was preoccupied trying to sustain Pilot’s life signs at this point, his body was rejecting the invading consciousness. Before they could find a way to remove the Energy Riders, Crichton had told Jool about the one inside of Chiana and she revealed it to Tallop. It reached out trying to remove the other creature from Chiana. In the process…Chiana was killed. As it exited her body, it attempted to enter into Crichton.”
Looking on in silence, the crew of Talyn saw Crais grimace.
“Are you receiving a visual on this?” John asked, “How bad?”
Crais looked up at him with sympathy, “Very bad…it sent him into convulsions on this occasion. Moya thinks there is something inside a human that will not allow it to remain inside and it immediately went into Jool.”
Rygel’s voice was solemn as he asked, “What happened next Crais?”
“Moya doesn’t want to speak more on the subject at the moment, she says we can now dock and she will provide a direct path with atmosphere to take you to Crichton.” Shaking his head, he added, “She’s gone silent.”
Walking through Moya’s tiers, they both feel the change in the ship, it was a mixture of death and mourning, the air stale and the lights flickered, casting a heavy shadow over everything around them. The atmospheric scrubbers could not remove the smell of decay from the air.
“Crais…has Talyn been able to speak to Moya again?” Aeryn asked.
“Yes, he is speaking to her now. When Tallop tried to remove the other Energy Rider, it used up the last of Pilot’s life energy and it could no longer remain inside as his body died. Moya initiated Starburst on her own, destroying Tallop.”
Crais grew silent after relaying this news; he knew both of them felt very close to Pilot.
John’s voice was thick and choked with emotion as he asked, “What…what happened next?”
“D’Argo cared for Crichton until he awoke. Moya says his behavior was dramatically changed from normal.”
“She cannot explain it to me and I do not understand the images she is relaying to me. Apparently the Energy Rider stayed in Jool long enough to kill her soon after and then entered into D’Argo, as he stopped coming into Crichton’s quarters and he died shortly after as well. Moya locked Crichton into his cell for the past two monens as she felt he was unable to care for himself.”
By this time, they had reached the tier containing the living quarters and they heard singing. The other Crichton was singing a lullaby that John remembered his mother singing to him as a little boy. The way the other’s voice sounded sent chills up and down his spine as he listened. His pace quickened as the singing continued, reaching his old room, both he and Aeryn looked inside. His blood froze inside his veins as he looked upon his twin.
He was sitting in the middle of the floor, the contents of the room lying round him, drawing on a piece of ripped paper, wearing only a pair underwear, covered from head to toe in filth. Aeryn noted his facial hair had grown to a length she had never seen on him before, the hair was wild and matted. The smell that emanated from the room almost too much for either of them to bear.
Crichton didn’t notice them standing outside the door as he continued to hum, only to stop when several DRDs entered the room from an access shaft. He watched them deposit several food cubes on the floor in front of him, smiling, Crichton patted each DRD in turn and said, “Good Doggies.”