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18 June 2007 @ 07:35 pm
Fic(s): Our World  
Author Notes: Written because of bunny lizamanynames left in the prompt thread on TF about John's thoughts during the balcony scene. Thank you as always to Sarahjane for being my beta queen. All other mistakes are mine and all feedback is welcome.
Setting: John Quixote
Characters: John and Stark
Rating: G
Disclaimer: Not mine. If it was, we'd have a Farscape channel.




Your World


“This is my world, meat. You’re just walking through it for a very long time,” Stark circles the bed, confident – powerful in his created environment, “When your body is dead, your mind will live here with us, to strut and fret forever, you poor player."

John stares, the empty fear that he thought shirked renews itself and he can’t fight it. Knows there’s truth in Stark’s earlier words, before John thought he could win this game and find his way out. He barely hears Chiana’s voice when she whispers his name as he drops his sword to the floor and turns away. He doesn’t want to face her, face the reality that surrounds them and goes to the ledge.

She’d said that death inside the game reset it. If she’s right, he can possibly find another way out. If she’s wrong… Well, the game is over in more ways than one.

He doesn’t hesitate, leaves it all behind as he falls with a purpose. Eyes wide open. He allows the sensation of wind and free fall overwhelm him. Knows it’s the right thing no matter what. Only then does he shut his eyes and welcomes what’s to come.


~~**~~





Author Notes: Separate from the summer prompts thing, I'm only posting it here because it immediately begins where canon ends in the previous fic. Inspired by a promo picture of SG-1's 200th episode. Co-written with lizamanynames. We’d like to thank Sarahjane for the beta and astrogirl2 for her input. We really appreciate it ladies. All other mistakes are mine since I've made changes since Liza last saw this.
Setting: John Quixote
Characters: John and Stark
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine. If it was, we'd have a Farscape channel.




My World


There’s no one else in the room when John re-opens his eyes. He should have – he was supposed to - go back to the beginning. Chi had been so sure. She was wrong - again.

The rules just didn’t apply here.

He blinks once, twice; listens and waits. Only hears the sound of his own breathing.

Hansel’s gone, fled with the witch twins. The metal cage hangs cold and empty and creaking quietly from the ceiling. It looks as cold as John feels.

Looking around, John groans as he notices Stark standing in the corner gloating even more than when John had taken the plunge. His head swims as he rolls off of the table.

“You really thought it would be that easy? That you could avoid your fate when I direct the action of the players in this world?

John growls as he holds onto the edge of the table and tries to stand up and face the avatar. “What are you talking about?”

Before rising to his full height, John hears a voice on the other side of the room and whips around, catching his shirt on the corner of the table.

And finds nothing.

They are alone in the room.

“You have a new role to play, meat,” Stark whispers, just as John loses his balance and falls ass-backward onto his rear. The whispers begin to grow louder.

“New role? What the fuck are you talking about, Stark?”

The whisper becomes a scream and John drops to the floor; rolls on the floor, grabbing his head, shocked to find fingers clutching cool metal along one side as he stares upward into the knowing smile of the man in charge.

"I'm going to strip away what you were, Crichton; strip away the layers of bravado and bullshit to what you really are, underneath." Stark pulled on John's chest plate and it came off with a harsh snap. “You’ve brought death to so many.”

He remembers hunger and pain; the driving need to try and aid lost souls’ journeys.

The shirt lifts up; warm fingers press lightly against John's stomach before he's moved to allow for easier removal of the garment.

A boot alongside his face, embedding itself into his ribcage and shattering it on more than one occasion.

His shirt is pulled over his head, gently at first, then more harshly. Then it is ripped off him and he feels cold air against his body, aggravating the fresh wounds from the whip. “Into the shower, slave,” a voice croaks, "we don't want to have to put up with your stink any longer than we have to."

It’s becoming harder for John to tell the difference between what is real, real to this strange – created – world, and what is implanted by its sadistic overseer. And that is what he is in John’s mind, an overseer. No different than those who had beaten and controlled the Banik during the course of his own long life.

His atoms bursting and splitting apart under the watchful eye of their Plokovian captors. Every nerve, every synapse; ripped apart, shattered, blown away like so much dust, only the lighter, unquantifiable e n e r g y of his true self remaining, cracked and strained in ways even Scorpy couldn't manage.

John is lying on his back, the concrete floor rough and freezing. Something touches this face, traces lines along one side.

He starts to raise his arm to fend whatever it was off, but he is too weak.

"Shhh…" he hears a voice say, and the stroking touch continues, light and gentle and almost soothing. “I am here too. I have always been, down at the bottom, where the greatest pain lies."

John cracks his eyes open and for a moment, he thinks he sees a blue eye where a gleam of cold silver should be, and soft and rough brown cloth instead of a garish mockery of Elizabethan frippery.

Hatred for Scorpius doubling as he spins over and over and over again in the chair for cycles.

“All those deaths, your love’s, Zhaan’s – my selfless princess – and you thought that there wouldn’t be repercussions?” The words brush against his skin sweetly, belying the hostility behind them.

“She shared a part of herself with you, entrusted a part of her soul to your goodness. Zhaan was too good – too kind to those who were unworthy.”

Stark’s voice hangs in the air, lost and alone – hungry for any tiny morsel. “But apart from the miniscule gifts she left within me - what is within you is all that I have left.”

No different than when he was a child. John knows this now, but is unable to change the petulance.

The Banik’s memories shift and ruffle along, confusing and winding among his own. John’s childhood is one of happiness and love and fear of being beaten as he lay starving and hopeful that his master will reward him with an extra piece of molded bread.

John opens his mouth to protest - but no sound emerges. He tries to stand but the room spins around him, leaving him dizzy and weak. It's all too reminiscent of their first meeting as he falls to his knees and the whispers start building again, louder and more insistent, teasing him with their almost-recognizable syllables.

The weight of metal fits neatly against the curve of John’s cheek, contoured and custom made for his own face. He feels as though he’s being strangled when Stark pulls the strap tight across this neck and clasps it shut. Warm lips touch the corner of his mouth.

Clutching his head, he feels his now useless left eye under the mask start to burn, to tear itself out from the inside. A scream drowns out the voices - and it is only when his throat is scratched raw that he realizes it is his own.

“Do you feel it, Crichton? Do you feel everything that mattered to me? Everything that you ripped from me, from Zhaan? Our dreams of a life together. Selfishness masking itself as charity and honor. You knew nothing of this universe and dictated that it bend to your whim.”

A palm lies firmly in place over his heart, caressing. “And we lost everything.” The last word stretches and distorts, blooms into raging fires that dissolve the spirit, laying it bare and helpless and exposed to the elements.

“This is your new role in life. This life. My life. Our lives.”

Stark walks away, leaving him quivering on the floor.

“You’ll become used to it – eventually.”


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moodswing: mellowmellow
 
 
eclipsegigerisgod on June 19th, 2007 05:21 am (UTC)
Really disorienting - I think that's what you were going for and you achieved it, not to mention fricking dark.

I love Stark but I hate his dark side. Guy is scary in a way you never thought possible. He's got many faces but my favorite is the healer, the gentle, benevolent Stykera character you first saw back in S1.

Love the image! Really perfect for this story.
Kaz: To Sleepkazbaby on June 19th, 2007 05:32 am (UTC)
Yeah, I prefer that side to Stark as well. With this one I (we) were trying for that part of him housed inside the game. That side isn't quite as benevolent and forgiving and blames John.

This was a really tricky story to even get started since I had the bunny idea from the time I first saw the promo picture of Ben as Stark and just never knew how to get it going. I even tried to give it to Astrogirl because I figured she could do it so much better than I can. But Liza's prompt on TF was able to at least get me in the door and I figured I'd give it a shot. ;)

Glad you liked the story and the picture. I made a larger version in case anyone was interested.
AstroGirl: needs a hugastrogirl2 on June 25th, 2007 01:52 am (UTC)
Finally tore myself away from Doctor Who and gave the new version a read-over! And, yes, I do think this is a stronger version. That's pretty much exactly the kind of expansion that I was trying, in my rather incoherent way, to suggest. :)
Kaz: To Sleepkazbaby on June 25th, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC)
*breathes a sigh of relief* Thank you again!
(Deleted comment)
Kaz: Cam!Starkkazbaby on June 26th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you!