Prompt: Axikor (i.e., I Shrink, Therefore I Am) and/or Scorpius and/or Crichton
Spoilers: Goes AU before the end of I Shrink, Therefore I Am
Rating: PG-13 (for one earth cuss word)
Disclaimer: Not mine. If it was, we'd have a Farscape channel.
Martyrs & Gangsters
Sikozu: "Why did you come here?"
Scorpius: "To safeguard John Crichton. Amongst other things." - Promises
“Get the fuck off of me!”
Even within the stifling confines of the cell, Scorpius can hear the human's futile rage as Crichton is contained. It's short work and soon he and Crichton are the solitary occupants within Axikor’s chest. His arms are locked behind his knees within the magnetized pain cuffs, immobilized on the opposite wall.
They face each other, but the other man’s typical demand for answers is unsurprisingly absent. Their fate is obvious and uncertain; soon they will be delivered into the hands of the Scarran Imperium and it will be only a matter of time before either of them is offered death as the only means of escape.
Crichton tries to school his features, but there are flickers of fear radiating outward. Even without Scorpius’ ability to see the turbulent aura surrounding the man, he would have known exactly what is hiding behind those dangerously blank eyes. A shift in pressure alerts them of the change in transport. Axikor would need something small and fast, such as Officer Sun’s Prowler, to rendezvous with his Superiors.
They are separated soon after arriving on the Dreadnaught, secured in one of the darker recesses, until he hears a door slide almost silently open and several sets of heavy boot steps steadily approach his location.
Scorpius doesn't rise when the War Minister stands outside of his cell door. She offers ultimatums and earns finely tuned answers tailored with a flippancy he has mastered courtesy of John Crichton. Axikor stands just off to her side, sneering at her with barely contained disrespect, and states that his brother, the Emperor, would be able to draw Scorpius and Crichton’s secrets from them. Ahkna's eyes narrow and she orders them moved to her ship.
Scorpius bears the expected questions and torture but Ahkna is an amateur in the face of all that he has endured at the hand of those of less exalted stature. But with each microt in Ahkna’s hands, his mind is never far from Crichton’s; listening to whispered fevered thoughts, offering subtle commands and warnings.
When Scorpius is returned to his cell at the end of the second day, he falls on the steel grating of his cell and only barely notices his companion crumpled under the bedding of the only pallet. Worried momentarily that Ahkna has managed to kill the human, depositing his remains in here as a means to taunt him, Scorpius weakly rolls over. He raises himself up to sit next to the thankfully still breathing body and quickly inspects him. He is unconscious, scratches dried bloody, feverish, but there are no other outward signs of injury. That means little.
Manipulation of the mind, causing it to second-guess reality, to forget who one's friends and enemies truly are. Most prisoners readily gave up their secrets after breaking. The tactic does not work on Scorpius, and information gathered from the first neural chip told him that with the clone’s assistance, it has previously failed on Crichton as well.
Some time passes and if not for the even rise and fall of Crichton's chest, Scorpius would have cause for concern over his unwilling cellmate's health. He keeps the man's body bundled against the feverish shivering and watches for any signs that his condition is beginning to deteriorate. He thinks that if this session did not produce the desired results, next will see the use of several drugs designed to force a truthful answer. In a Sebacean, the chemicals affect the body fast and hard; too much for a human. All of the Sebacean prisoners Scorpius has seen after more than one session all but begged for death once the drugs began breaking down their neurological systems.
Their meal is brought to them and Scorpius is informed they had better eat heartily because soon the Dreadnaught will arrive at Katrazi. Emperor Staleek is waiting.
Retrieving the plates, Scorpius lifts Crichton from where he's lying, sitting him upright and starts to try and wake him. Even a small portion of food will help him fight the aftereffects of being in one of the Scarrans' interrogation machines.
Crichton finally wakes up and looks at him bleary-eyed, his speech slurred as he asks what's wrong with him. Scorpius leans in closer, watching Crichton's heat signature, trying to listen to the newest version of the clone permanently residing within the human's mind. The spectral voice is almost silent.
He questions gently and discovers that Ahkna has bypassed the prescribed interrogation protocols. Working slowly, Scorpius tests how much of Crichton’s brain is damaged. He's pleased that they stopped before they could ruin the mind that had stubbornly and creatively refused reason for cycles. For now, the only things that are affected are speech and the ability to focus on what is going on around him. Crichton's mind is scattered at the moment but it will heal if treated soon.
Holding Crichton against his body, Scorpius slowly feeds him until his hand is smacked away. He helps Crichton sit back against the wall, not moving when he lays his head against Scorpius' shoulder as his body fights the fever inside and slips easily back into sleep.
Once they're on Katrazi there is no telling what step the War Minister will take next in her quest for answers, proclaiming the efforts to be in the Emperor's name.
Scorpius smiles harshly as he thinks of the Emperor and their arrangement, but circumstances are far different with Crichton in the Scarrans custody and any chance for escape in the near future will be almost non-existent. Ahkna thinks that she can use either him or Crichton as a means to oust Staleek, and Scorpius would - is - staking his life on the fact that Staleek is well aware of it and willing to accept reasonable suggestions to prevent the would-be usurper from gaining what she desires.
Providing the right information, proving that his intentions to Staleek (and their previous arrangement) are still honorable. Scorpius decides that is the right course of action for the moment; maneuvering himself into a position as Crichton's keeper even if he is still considered a prisoner himself. The two of them, working together, under the Emperor's watchful eye, can stall any further attacks upon ill-defended Sebacean settlements. Though certainly not indefinitely. Once Crichton has healed enough, once Scorpius has set things in motion, then they can escape their captors.
After they are free, Scorpius knows that it will take very little prompting on his part to convince Crichton what their proper course of action should be.