Room almost completely absent of light, only the occasional spark and pop of dying circuitry lighting their step. His movements are lost in the task. Mind purposely blank, not thinking of the inevitable. The only other witness to the destruction, ignored.
His body is draped in shadow, ending with a flicker from the forward portal. They don’t see the planet below nor the distant swirling blue in the background. He no longer addresses his curse, refusing to listen. With the dim light, she watches him more easily as his pace quickens. Doesn’t want to speak aloud the words that turn her insides, another knife wound that will never heal.
A trail of fluid runs down the length of table, a drop hovers just at the edge before cresting over, mixing with those accumulated and unmoving on the floor.
Stepping forward, jerking to the side just out of reach of the flammable liquid as it splashes in her direction. Calculating aggression, wrapping fingers tightly around the strained muscles in his upper arms.
“Why destroy her? We can find s-some other way.”
“She’s dead, Chiana…” He doesn’t bother to look at her. His head bowed, shoulder-length hair, evidence of dislocation, falling along the side of his face, obscuring it. She doesn’t need to see it to know the pain that is there. It flows from him in waves, almost drowning everything in close proximity, the same as her.
“No. Not yet anyway.”
Might as well be. The thought fades before reaching his lips. Denies her words with a shake of his head. “Starburst is gone, no other way…”
Her lips part to speak, to plea, and the tank thumps down loudly against the table. He doesn’t move. Lifts his chin up, staring straight ahead, two voices speaking as one, both filled with regret and tenacity. Her hand drops to her side. “She’s dead. End of story or do you want her to continue on, suffering,” his voice is bitter, hard edged to cut through remorse, “Do you like the idea that Moya is rotting from the inside out, bit by bit, because of us?”
“So you can do this - burn her? She’s…”
“She’s a fucking corpse, Chiana!” Spinning around, he grabs her shoulders, strongly enough that she’ll be nursing dark bruises within a few arns. Eyes bright with fever, jaw clenched, body coiled tightly. If she didn’t know better she’d think he’d gone mad with the grief that haunted both of their dreams.
Too many arns spent together, huddled up in a corner of command talking until they both pass out from exhaustion, their efforts to stave off the great ship’s demise useless. Wrapped in each others arms trying to drive away the tears and anger that are always just below the surface.
So much wasted and they couldn’t do a thing to stop any of it.
“This,” points to the scar at his temple, voice hallow, mixed cadence that grabs her attention again. Freezes her solid. “This, this sign, gives me the strength to do this. Einstein, he knew,” the words crack under the weight of understanding too much, “Knew that I wouldn’t be able to do this, to keep fighting on my own until the Calvary arrived. He merged us, Harvey and I, joined into one. To make sure that I was strong enough to resist anyone who wanted to force the knowledge from me.” Voice trails, hands falling away, “To be strong enough…to do this.”
She traces the scar, barely touching the pale edges.
“I need you – I need you to just be here, with me. That’s all. You don’t have to do anything.” A little more fades behind his eyes when he stops speaking and reaches for the container once more.
She nods, twice, before taking a step away.
“They’re all dead, even M – Moya.” Turns to face the view before them, forbidding the pain to consume her. She whispers, “So what do we do now, Old Man?”
Air numbingly cold, a brutal match for how he felt inside.
It’s time for him to go back inside, to the warmth of their shelter, but he’s not ready just yet. He glances down at his feet where hair is scattered, slowly being covered by the snow that doesn’t stop falling. Doesn’t know why he had the urge to take his knife and trim away evidence of the life he’s lived since Aeryn and his son died, since his best friend went out in a blaze of glory. He just – did it.
Body heat melts snow as it lands, soaking his head, flattens down the ragged edges as he continues to stand watch. He only has one person left in his life, and he will do anything he can to make sure nothing ever happens to Chiana. He owes D’Argo that much.
No gun is big enough. Nothing will ever be big enough to keep them away forever. A burned husk orbiting this world is evidence of that.
Allowing the quiet of dawn envelope him, he slips into the memories of a woman that once stood at his side, and a son that loved unconditionally. Somehow he’s not surprised to see the other man when he appears. He stares, absorbing the figure standing in front of him.
Dressed in the past: long duster and pulse pistol that used to have a name. The stranger with his face doesn’t say a word. He doesn’t want to give him a chance to speak, knows that if he does he’ll live forever with their deaths on instant replay.
He feels cold security in the form of the knife hilt in his hand.
All that he’s seen, felt, done in their name. None of it asked for, permission taken with no word as to the price.
This one though…
He’s not one of them, merely a ghost out of the past that brought heartache when he died more than a year ago. This time there’s no one to mourn his passing. No one to see that he’s shot into the nearest star.
It churns within him, burns with hatred that fuels it. Tears long gone and he can’t find his voice. To find out why he’s here. Now, of all times, with everything gone. Even dreams.
A growl bubbles up from inside, grows. Lips pressed tightly together, he can no longer hold it back, allowing freedom to all the pain that he and Chiana have lived through.
It doesn’t matter that this other isn’t at fault, that he was just as much a pawn and might have an answer to turn everything safely back. The very idea of that hope crushes him further down. He rushes forward, coat flying behind him, arm outstretched and knife high, faint light gleaming against its edge. He doesn’t stop when the pistol is pulled; the other guy is too slow. Not expecting him to move so fast through the piling high snow.
The blade falls, but does not meet it’s intended target. Arms pull him backward, and he screams, animalistic and furious.
Black gloved fingers find his face, drawing his gaze away from the figure standing a short distance from them. The other man’s shoulders are hunched, his fists clenching at his side.
“Crichton. Look at me.” He barely acknowledges her, old voice in the body of a girl. “Who, what is it,” she whispers against his ear just before he tears away from the lithe arms and propels forward.
Scrambling on the ground, he finds the knife quickly. Rolling on his side as a shot uncovers the frozen earth where he had been only a second before. Lunging, he grabs icy leather and pulls the man down to his level, climbing taut muscles that try to fight back.
The angle is awkward, but the blade does its job. A fine line crossing pale flesh, head falling back into the drift where they land.
White blends gradually into red and he watches the life escape from behind those eyes that are his own.
“What is it?” He hears again, distantly under the beating of his heart.
A small arm falls over his shoulder, she doesn't say a word as they watch until the stream slows, stops, and eventually freezes.