The episode opens with Crichton in bed with a woman we have not seen before. Red roses sit on a vase in the foreground.
Crichton: (Over her, kissing her.) You are the tastiest woman that I've had since last night. (the woman makes no reply) Hey baby... Alex? What's wrong?
Alexandra: I'm taking the Stanford job.
Crichton: Stanford. (He rolls away from her and lays on his back, arms splayed in frustration, staring at the ceiling. He exhales long and loudly.) You know, there are other... medical research programs.
Alexandra: Not with full grant scholarships.
Crichton: (Long tense pause.) Well ... I've got a shot at the space program here.
Alexandra: (Turning toward him.) I know. We've talked about this John. Taking a break.
Crichton:It's not a break, Alex, if you're all the way across the continent. (He rolls over to face away from her.)
Alexandra: I know it may not seem like it now, but ... ... I'll always be there for you. (Crichton reaches down to the floor beside the bed and snaps shut a ring box sitting between a bottle of champagne and two half-empty glasses. He pushes the box under the bed and out of sight. He slumps back down.)
Crichton: (With obvious doubt.) Well if we're meant to be together, we'll be together.
Alexandra: (Pulling him over to face her.) I love you.
Crichton: I love you.
They embrace and he rolls back on top of her which segues to him being thrown out of his bed on Moya accompanied by a jarring crash noise. He stands up, disoriented, dressed only in boxer shorts. We hear the sounds of stress on Moya's hull. He gets knocked off his feet again by another violent lurch. He scrambles to his feet than rushes off cameras.
Cut to the Command view screen which shows a large light colored like the light of starburst with threads of light coming out of it.
Cut to the Command. D'Argo is at the desk on Command dressed in a purple outfit and Rygel, half asleep, is sitting on his throne sled in the foreground, clad in a regal robe over pink underwear. Crichton rushes onto command and clings to the console.
Pilot: (Over comms.) I have no answer as yet.
Crichton: A little long for a starburst don't you think?
Rygel: Hail, Prince of the Obvious.
With another lurch Moya drops out of starburst.
D'Argo: About time. ... Now explain yourself!
Aeryn runs onto command, attired in a gray tank top, white boxer shorts, and combat boots. Zhaan is close behind also dressed in nightwear.
Pilot: I told you, I did not initiate starburst. Nor did I terminate it.
Aeryn: (Slightly out of breath.) Then who did? (She sits on the edge of the desk, her feet on a chair.)
Pilot: Moya. She thought she heard the distress cry of another pregnant Leviathan and was attempting to locate the source.
Rygel: (Pontificating with his right hand held up.) I like my wives pregnant and my ships cold to the touch. That way my feet stay warm and my slumber is uninterrupted.
Crichton: Wives plural? (Rygel hums affirmatively. Crichton high-fives him.) Big fella!
Rygel: (Chuckling happily.) I was just dreaming about my final mating session when our gestating goliath decided she needed some exercise.
Crichton: (Noticing the white shorts Aeryn is wearing and stepping toward here with an accusing finger.) That's my underwear!
Aeryn: (She reaches behind and stretches out the waistband of the boxers to show Crichton.) What does this say?
Aeryn: (Sleepily letting the waistband snap back.) Then they're not yours.
D'Argo: This is strange. ... I dreamt of my wife last night. Of the last night we spent together before she was murdered.
Crichton: That was my dream. No no no. Not your wife. Someone I cared about. What about you girls? Sex dreams?
Aeryn: I sleep soundly.
Zhaan: I am unimpressed by your masculine memories. Pilot, has Moya found the ship she's looking for?
Pilot: Yes... And no. There does not appear to be another Leviathan, let alone a pregnant one in distress.
D'Argo: (Sternly.) Then why are we here?
Pilot: (Stalling for time.) Mmmm ... We're receiving a transmission. (He superimposes the image of a Delvian woman in a video conference frame on the view screen. To the left we can see a misty pale blue planet.)
Tahleen: Salutations. I apologize for the deceit, (Cut to view of Aeryn and Zhaan. Aeryn stares dispassionately. Zhaan looks deeply concerned and slowly steps toward the screen.) but there was no other way our signal could reach across the void. And we so want to meet you, Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan. (The woman bows here head in a respectful gesture.)
The opening credits roll.
We return to a slow pan from Moya to the Earth-like plane below. Cut planet surface. Tahleen is showing Zhaan, Crichton, and Aeryn a view of a tall archway shrouded in mist. The terrain is rocky with a pond but no signs of life. Tahleen is resplendently dressed in blue robes decorated with gold. Zhaan wears only a simple head scarf and robe.
Tahleen: Upon landing, our vessel heats the rock 'till molten, then settles below ground.
Crichton: That's your ship? Must have been one hell of an impact.
Zhaan: It's a missionary habitat.
Aeryn: It's clever. Decreases the likelihood of an enemy being able to spot you from space.
Tahleen: (Barely glancing at Aeryn.) It's always instructive how different cultures view the same reality. Where a Peacekeeper sees defense from attack, we see solitude for piety. (She walks away from Aeryn whose gaze matches the Delvian's haughty tone.)
Zhaan: (Follows Tahleen and pulls her aside.) Pa'u Tahleen. Your use of deception continues to trouble me.
Cut to Aeryn moving next to John who is looking down slope to another Delvian seeming to be raking the ground.
Tahleen: Perhaps our many cycles of reclusion contributed to an error in judgment. But we could think of no other way of leading you here.
Cut briefly to a medium shot of the other Delvian--a man wearing a blue and gold turban and robe. He is holding a silver pole taller than him. He stops and looks up at Crichton and Aeryn.
Tahleen: Let us replenish at the Altar of Essence. In the sweet air, you'll soon forget this worlds' toxic surface. (With smile she leads Zhaan, who is not smiling, away.)
Crichton: Toxic. ... That figures. (He follows while Aeryn continues to watch the man. Cut to close up of him squinting up at them with concern from behind a dead bush. His silver rake has three prongs.)
Cut to the interior of the Delvian temple-ship as they enter.
Tahleen: Welcome to the New Moon of Delvia. Our modest temple to the Goddess of Spiritual Renewal. (She opens the doors to reveal a gilded hall. Its design is like a fusion of Japanese teahouse and Art Deco movie palace. White flames flicker in braziers reflected by pools of water. Aeryn and Crichton are several paces behind Tahleen and Zhaan. Aeryn pauses to adjust something at her waist, Crichton spots her doing it and gives her a swat.)
Crichton: (Whispering angrily.) You weren't supposed to bring a weapon! That's why D'Argo stayed on the ship!
Aeryn: (Whispering back.) D'Argo's hot, I am cautious.
Tahleen: (To Aeryn and Crichton.) I understand your vessel is low on supplies. Lorana will show you to our food source. Please be greedy. The more you pick, the more that grows to replace it. (Another Delvian woman leads them past a fountain in the center of the hall and off camera as Tahleen and Zhaan stay back.)
Crichton: (Whispering cynically.) It's so perfect my teeth ache.
Aeryn: (Equally cynical and whispering.) No, that's from all the sincerity.
Zhaan: (Now alone with Tahleen) Why did you lure us here?
Tahleen: Search yourself, Zhaan. You know why.
Zhaan: (Also cynical with a trace of bitterness.) I do not. What I do know is you invaded my soul last night and (Now spitting out the words.) you left me bitter.
Tahleen: Your friends were happy with their remembrances, were they not?
Zhaan: So you cause me to remember.
Tahleen: We always remember Zhaan. We simply choose to ignore.
Cut to a pool. The water is cloudy and the surface is strewn with red flower petals. Something off-white colored like an eel is swimming in the water, Crichton fishes out by hand a three-foot long white rubbery tentacled thing. He admires it as it squirms in his grasp.
Crichton: HO! There you go! An untended renewable. It's part plant, part animal... Total nutrition. (Slightly dubiously.) What's not to like?
Aeryn isn't looking. She's watching every passing Delvian. Off and on we hear background chanting, male voices.
Aeryn: This place. These people. Their serenity.
Crichton: Eh, at least you've thought out your position Aeryn.
Aeryn: (with contempt) It amazes me how people mistake theosophy for superiority.
Crichton: Y'know, I don't think anything amazes you. (He fishes another white thing out of the pool and holds it up trying to engage Aeryn's enthusiasm.) I mean look at this. You ever seen one of these before? What would you call this? I dub thee.. trigapod! (Aeryn doesn't have any enthusiasm. He scoffs.) What? Bu... N-no reaction from you! (He laughs derisively.)
Aeryn: (After a long pause, sarcastically:) Incredible! How special! (Flatly.) They're a food source, John.
Crichton: No, Aeryn. It's unique. It's a squid calamari cucumber and it IS incredible! Look up. Look at this. (She does and we pan up to see they are in a tall tower with curtains hanging down from several stories height.) This is a ship, Aeryn, and it's incredible. The camera reaches the trop of the tower, the ceiling glowing with an orange light within a brass-colored octagon.) It's also a little creepy.
Tahleen: (Off camera.) Look around, Zhaan.
Cut back to John & Aeryn from a distance. We see Tahleen's ropes pull partially into view..
Crichton: Okay? Almost everything we see, almost every day, is brand new to both of us. (Cut briefly to Tahleen and Zhaan standing sternly at a distance. Cut to a close up of Crichton.) It's worthy of response. (Cut to Aeryn unmoved and looking away. Cut back to Crichton.) On the other hand, it is a little creepy... (Cut back to Aeryn who whirls to fix her gaze on him, and with a full body gesture punctuated with an exaggerated head bob and grimace of "see?")
Cut back to the long view and Crichton returns to harvesting squid calamari cucumbers. Cut to Tahleen and Zhaan, who are watching Aeryn and Crichton out of sight.
Tahleen: You know our cause is just.
Zhaan: (Sternly.) I sympathize but I cannot help you.
Tahleen: Then give us the powers to help ourselves.
Zhaan: When did the madness begin?
Tahleen: Only recently. But already Pa'u Tuzak is beyond redemption
Zhaan: You went too fast didn't you?
Tahleen: That is why we must have your secret, before we are all consumed.
Zhaan: I have no secret, Tahleen. I am just me.
Tahleen: All that hatred and anger. You should be insane.
Zhaan: I was insane. I don't know how I survived those early cycles.
Tahleen: But you did. So how does the pious Zhaan coexist with all that rage? (Zhaan gives no answer.) Share with me. Save me. And in return... I will show you paths to abilities beyond your comprehension. (Zhaan, unmoved, continues her blank look at Tahleen.)
Tahleen turns to look at Crichton still splashing in the pool fishing the squid calamari cucumbers out of it. Cut to a close up of the surface of the pool, which is now bubbling. The scene suddenly shifts to Earth. Young John Crichton stands among the rocks at the edge of a tidal pool. The voices are slightly distorted to indicate this is an illusion.
Young Crichton: Mom! Mom! Look at the water snakes! They're huge!
Crichton's Mother: (Calling from off camera.) John! Come away from there before you fall in!
Cut back to close up of Crichton, his head bent over the pool, staring into the water. Cut to Tahleen taking Zhaanís hand. Zhaan looks down and the camera pans up to Tahleen's face. Her eyes are closed as she focuses. Cut to Zhaan, whose eyes now close. Cut back to Crichton who is now leaning down toward the pool. Cut back to young Crichton falling into the water amid a swirl of bubbles and sky. We hear the chanting that had been heard earlier.
Young Crichton: (Screaming.) Mom! Help me! Mom! Mom! Help!
Cut back to Crichton at the Delvian pool. He snaps out of it and leaps back in fear, as if startling awake from a bad dream.
Crichton: What?!? GEEZ!
Cut back to Tahleen and Zhaan, who looks sad.
Aeryn: (Off camera.) What? What is it?
Cut to Aeryn, who has stood up, her firearm drawn and looking around for a possible attacker.
Crichton: (Crouching in a defensive posture against the pool.) There's, um ... stuff in the water. I mean uh....
Cut quickly between Aeryn whiling toward the pool, then the bubbling within the pool, then back to Tahleen and Zhaan.
Tahleen: Miracles of the mind.
Zhaan: You altered his memory.
Tahleen: Help me to understand your powers, and I'll help you to understand mine.
Zhaan: (Sternly.) Put him back and make him as he was. (Tahleen says nothing but gestures with a slight nod at Crichton. Zhaan turns look at him with concern. Cut to Crichton who staggers against a polished metal wall. He gazes at himself in a darkly reflective surface of the wall, visibly shaken.
Aeryn: (She lowers her firearm staring at him.) You ... are the most bizarre creature I have ever met. (She stuffs the firearm back in her waistband and turns away.)
Cut back to Moya. On Command, D'Argo stares forward, motionless. Rygel floats in.
Rygel: Any word?
D'Argo: (Flatly and still motionless, concerned.) Aeryn and Crichton have close to a 40 day supply of fresh food on the transport already.
Rygel: Excellent! (He chuckles, then notices D'Argo is not sharing his satisfaction.) What's the matter? Is there food I won't like?
D'Argo: Something Crichton said is disturbing me.
Rygel: Finally! I've been saying that since he arrived.
D'Argo: It's what he said about us all having the same dream.
Rygel: It wasn't the same. Mine was better than yours.
D'Argo: I sense Delvian trickery here, Rygel. We must leave this place.
Rygel: Get the food first. (He floats off. The camera lingers on D'Argo, who looks down, then forward blankly.)
Cut back to the Delvian temple-ship. The camera pans up some twisted dead plant structure rising from the floor to disappear into the shadowy heights of its' chapel. Crichton is standing next to it trying to figure it out.
Tuzak: Do not touch. (The Delvian man they saw outside earlier has appeared close behind Crichton, who jumps away started. The man's voice is deep, gravely, and foreboding, but with each sentence he gives a slight bow to Crichton.) The Sanctity Root... Poison to your hand... Death.
Crichton: R...right. Un... well, thanks. And you're, um...?
Tuzak: Tuzak. (He bows as he spits out his titles with increasing speed.) Teacher-leader-holy reaper-seeker of the flame! (Cut to Crichton staring at Tuzak. After a second's pause cut back to Tuzak who steps toward Crichton then circles around him.) I am here because of you... Peacekeeper.
Crichton: (Chuckling out of nervousness.) I'm not a Peacekeeper.
Tuzak: Yes you are! (He hisses, but still accompanied by a slight bow toward Crichton. After a longer pause watching Crichton stare.) I am... insane.
Crichton: Yeah. That would have been my next guess.
Tuzak: Insane... because of you. ... Because I touched inside what I needed to touch you outside
Crichton: Right. (Looks away in hope someone, anyone as coming.)
Tuzak: The one you travel with is in peril.
Crichton: Aeryn? No, Aerynís not a Peacekee...
Tuzak: (Angrily and shaking his hands.) Not yours! Mine!
Tuzak: (Nodding, shaking, his hands pressed together in entreaty.) Vigilance, Peacekeeper. ... (He looks around with paranoia.) Confusing times... (After three seconds he turns back to Crichton with another bow) Do not touch the Root.
Cut to Aeryn, walking through the halls of the temple-ship. She enters a room with a graceful brazier in front of a round portal which has a painting of a lush garden.
Hasko: (With great hostility.) You are forbidden in this sanctuary! (A young, muscular Delvian man approaches her angrily. He is bald. Like Tahleen he is dressed in rich gold and blue clothing.)
Aeryn: (Defensively, trying to walk away.) I was just looking for the meditation room-
Hasko: (Talking over her.) You also carry a prohibited weapon.
Aeryn: I appreciate your rules, but I was allowed to...
Hasko: (Talking over her again and facing off at her.) A Peacekeeper lie. I have been driven from my homeland by your kind. I will not be driven from here also. It is you who must go. (He thrusts an arm out to indicate the direction she must go. Aeryn puts up a hand to gesture she is not fighting him on this and leaves. He takes a few steps to where another wild-haired Delvian woman is standing watching Aeryn leave.)
Hasko: This is wrong Lorana. We're far outside of our vows.
Lorana: What choice do we have, Hasko?
Hasko: (Entreatingly.) That is Tahleen talking. Not you. Don't be blinded by her madness.
Lorana: (Looking away unmoved by his plea.) I pity you your jealousy. (She turns back to him with hautiness.) Tahleen and I share unity now. Not you and I. Accept that and move on. (With disdain she walks off. Hasko sighs, clearly he is jealous.)
Cut to an overhead shot of Tahleen and Zhaan, who is now wearing a deep blue and gold robe the color of Tuzak. They are performing a ritual. Hand-in-hand they are walking forward with measured steps as they chant and strew flower petals about. They turn in unison toward each other when a bull named Crichton barges into the china shop.)
Crichton: Zhaan! I just heard that Aeryn got booted out of the temple! (He shoots an accusatory glance at Tahleen.)
Zhaan: (Taking him aside.) Yes. She's already taken the transport pod. She's gone.
Crichton: What? Wait a minute. No, no, She left without us?
Zhaan: I wanted her to. ... I need you to help me make a decision.
Crichton: Look, if it's about staying, you wanna stay here that's fine. But we can take these people back on board Moya.
Tahleen: (Lacking Zhaan's patience.) We have no star charts or reference points home to Delvia. We prefer not to wander.
Crichton: Oh, that makes sense. I mean hell, everybody's lost in this corner of the universe anyway! (He starts to leave in frustration.)
Zhaan:John! (Grabbing him and stopping him.) John... you asked if I dreamt the other night. I did. I too was reminded of the last person I ever loved. Open your mind, John. You must keep an open mind.
Tahleen: Are you sure Zhaan? (She turns to look at Crichton with disdain.) His capacity is well below even a Level One.
Zhaan: (Firmly and confidently to Tahleen.) He will understand. (Pleading to Crichton.) You must. (Crichton looks confused, but he is used to it now so he turns to Tahleen. Zhaan orders Tahleen:) Show him. (Tahleen hesitates her expression unsure.) Show him!
Tahleen turns full to Crichton and gazes intently at him. Cut to a vision she is giving him of Zhaan's sharing Unity with a Delvian man. Unity is expressed as two people, facing each other, sometimes blurring into one another in an act both spiritual and physical. Zhaan and her lover cradle each others' heads in their hands. A Gregorian-sounding chant fills the air.
Zhaan: In the fires of Tadesh I search for unity with you my companion.
Bitaal: Oh magnificent Zhaan. Ease the burdens of my flesh with your soul. Envelop me.
Zhaan: (Whispering.) Release your mind, Bitaal. (High-pitched tense background music crescendos.) Surrender your demons. For I have others replace them. (She begins to inflict pain on him.)
Bitaal: (Arching his head back as his hands fall away from her) What are you doing?
Zhaan: (Choking with great emotion.) Avenging the lives you have ruined. The world you put at risk.
Bitaal: (Screaming in agony as he dies in her hands) No! Zhaan! ZHAAAAAAAN! (Zhaan sobs in grief.)
Cut back to Crichton who snaps out to the vision.
Crichton: What the hell was that?
Zhaan: The crime I was imprisoned for.
Crichton: (He staggers away from her, horrified.) You ... You ... you killed the guy you were having sex with?
Zhaan: I admit I have not revealed all parts of myself to you.
Crichton: (Shouting.) No, no you haven't! You killed the guy you were having sex with Zhaan!
Zhaan: (Whispering, emotional.) I need you, John. (Louder.) I need you!
Crichton: For what? Target practice?
Zhaan: (Pleading.) I am adrift. As the past is sweeping over me, I must rely on the judgment of someone I trust. Please understand. Please!
Crichton: (He is moved by her distress but still horrified.) You want me to understand? Then tell me why the hell did you show me that?
Zhaan: (Now showing her disgust.) Because they want me to do it again.
Fade to commercial break.
We return to Crichton and Zhaan talking alone, calmly but seriously. We hear chanting in the background.
Zhaan: Bitaal was our spiritual counselor, John. He was a very powerful man. I was studying with him at the time and things just took their course.
Crichton: Why did you kill him, Zhaan?
Zhaan: His tenure was up and instead of yielding control, he and the other conservative Pa'us hired Peacekeepers for external security. Our world changed forever.
Crichton: Delvian coup d'etat. Didn't think you people had it in you.
Zhaan: Peacekeepers rounded up all liberal thinkers and voices of protest. ... My own father was sent to an asteroid camp. He may still be there for all I know.
Crichton: (Looking down.) Is that before... or after you killed Bitaal?
Zhaan: (Leans in to catch his eyes.) I loved Bitaal, John.
Crichton: And these people... Tahleen and the others, they want you to kill again?
Zhaan: Not by my own hand. They want me to help them regain power.
Crichton: So, so what are you supposed to do? ... Serve as the poster child for the revolution?
Zhaan: As we train for purity, Delvians often become vulnerable to their own dark impulses. (We hear a cough and Crichton looks over to see Tuzak walk by, carrying a large twisted stick.) Should it surface, they succumb as if to an infection.
Crichton: (Nodding toward Tuzak.) Is that what happened to Grandpa Loony Tunes?
Zhaan: (She nods affirmative.) And now madness is threatening his followers, too.
Crichton: But not you... (She shakes her head no. Crichton wipes his face with his hand trying to make sense of it all.) No, you're as ... twisted as they come. ... But you're still sane.
Zhaan: (After a long pause, she says emphatically.) Exactly. I can help these people John.
Zhaan: Through Unity. The sacred surrender of two minds together. Two spirits. Two souls.
Crichton: Wait, w-no, just back up. You're telling me you're gonna give a piece of your mind... a piece of your soul to one of these people? (She nods.) Am I just being stupid here, or does that sound a little crazy in its own right, Zhaan?
Zhaan: It is crazy, John. But where there is risk, there is also hope.
Cut to Moya, Aeryn striding fast through the corridors. Rygel sails backwards in front of her in his throne sled.
Rygel: Look, couldn't it wait until we load more supplies? This triggerpod is mythic! (Aeryn swats him aside without even looking. Oh! (Calling after her,) You say it's part vegetable!? (There's a crunch as he hits the wall.)
Aeryn: (To D'Argo still standing at the console on Command.) Any more from Crichton?
D'Argo: He says they want Zhaan to participate in some sort of ceremonial mating.
Aeryn: This is such a bad combination. I never should have left them. Zhaan distracted. Crichton confused...
D'Argo: Crichton is always confused. (They exchange a look. Resolve spreads over them. D'Argo leaves. Aeryn hits her comms.)
Aeryn: Pilot, prepare the transport pod. We're heading back to the planet.
Pilot: (Cheerfully.) Very well.
Rygel: Wait for me!
Cut back to the Delvian temple-ship. Tahleen speeds into a room, Hasko and Lorana following.
Tahleen: If we spent another thousand cycles here we couldn't find the strength that that woman could give us in an instant!
Hasko: The Peacekeeper has signaled her intention to return with the Luxan.
Tahleen: (Whirling to face them.) Stop them! Let nothing distract Zhaan from what I want her focused on.
Lorana: The one Crichton is challenging her with questions. I can send him back to...
Tahleen: No! She wants him here. Their minds are weak. Preoccupy them all as you would children. Attack them with their own hopes and fears.
Hasko: (They eye Tahleen as she rushes off. To Lorana.) Is that how you would treat your children, Lorana? (He stomps off. She looks less than pleased but resolved to do as ordered.)
Cut to another room on the Delvian temple-ship, Crichtons sits alone, his head in his hands. Alexandra enters jauntily.
Alexandra: So! What's the story? When do we go?
Crichton: (Looks up and rises slowly to face her. He backs away.) Who the hell are you?
Alexandra: You don't recognize me?
Crichton: (Sardonic.) Oh, I recognize who you're supposed to be, Alex.
Alexandra: What's wrong with you?
Crichton: What's wrong with this picture? Why aren't you in your lab at Stanford?
Alexandra: I... never went to Stanford John. I joined the space program with you. (Crichton has a false memory flash of Alex, on Earth wearing an orange IASA flight suit next to his module and blowing him a playful kiss and laughing.)
Crichton: (He blinks long and hard.) Yeah, I ... but Alex... how did you get... here?
Alexandra: Same way as you. Or doesn't being your co-pilot count? (Crichton has another flash of memory as she takes his head in her hands. In this one he and Alex are together in their orange flight suits in front of his module grinning for a camera and he's saying "Smile baby, this is for my Mom.") Remember now? (She continues holding his head. He stares at her, doubtful.)
Cut to the surface of the planet. Tuzak has planted the branch he was carrying in the dirt. He coughs hard. Cut to a wide shot showing that he has planted an orchard of leafless branches. They look dead as he rakes the powdery soil around them. Zhaan approaches.
Tuzak: Took you long enough.
Zhaan: I had to get up the nerve.
Tuzak: (He faces her, leaning on his rake.) I know who you are.
Zhaan: I know who you are. (She places her hands prayerfully together and bows her head.) I do respect your teachings, Pa'u Tuzak.
Tuzak: And I respect your choice... of murder victims.
Zhaan: (This cuts Zhaan to the heart. She changes the subject.) What are you doing here?
Tuzak: The young refuse to tend the orchard. Sanctity Roots don't grow on trees, my dear.
Zhaan: (Realizing the depth of his insanity is like a slap in the face to her.) I need your advice.
Tuzak: Uh, uh. No.(shaking his head) I have tasted of my darker impulse... I'm insane.
Zhaan: What I am contemplating ... is also a little insane.
Tuzak: Ahh, heh. Pa'u, 9th level? (She nods. He coughs.) When the darkness rises up from inside... that is normal. (Shouting torturously.) IT'S WHEN YOU REACH DOWN TO PULL IT UP... (He suddenly calms.) Heh. That the noxious warnings sound.
Zhaan: Should I give Tahleen what she wants?
Tuzak: Oh ho. She would like that.
Zhaan: (Reluctant pause.) Will she use the ability I give her to hurt people?
Tuzak: Certainly. But she may also free a planet from tyranny. (He returns to his toil and we hear chanting. Zhaan stares blankly. She doesn't feel any closer to an answer.)
Cut back to inside the Delvian temple-ship. It is Hasko's chanting that we hear. His eyes are solid white.
Cut to Moya as D'Argo carries his Qualta Blade in firing position though the maintenance bay.
D'Argo: If you hear nothing from us, come down immediately.
Rygel: (Floating in on a throne sled powered by sarcasm.) Yes. Of course. My thoughts exactly. (Aeryn trots in, also armed with a rifle. We now hear the chanting in the background.)
D'Argo: Aeryn... are you ready?
Aeryn: Ready. (She stops and D'Argo turns to her. She suddenly drops her pulse rifle. Cut to view of it on the floor. Cut to her looking down then to a shot of what she sees: the casing of the rifle has splintered off and wires inside are exposed. She stares at it)
D'Argo: (Confused.) You're ready?
Aeryn: (She stares ahead, wide-eyed, frozen in place.) My pulse rifle just fell apart.
D'Argo: (Looks down at the rifle and he sees it as it is--completely intact. Impatiently:) What are you talking about? Just pick it up.
Aeryn: (Equally impatiently.) It's in pieces, D'Argo. I don't know what happened. (She crouches down to touch the pieces unbelievingly.)
D'Argo: (He steps forward to pick up the rifle.) What happened is that you... are wasting... my time. (He impatiently hands it to her but all she sees is a useless piece of it.)
Aeryn: (Frustrated and angry, she holds up the intact rifle she cannot recognize as such and shakes it in front of D'Argo.) I don't have any training to use this bit! (She throws it down in anger.)
Looking down at the rifle, D'Argo twigs what is happening and he looks up at her. Aeryn gives him her raised eyebrow "well?" gesture usually reserved for Crichton.
D'Argo: (He looks upward and asks calmly.) Pilot, are there any Delvian transmissions coming to Moya? (Before Pilot can answer, a weird spooky sound starts and D'Argo hears a voice yelling.)
Jothee: (Panicked.) Daddy! Daddy!
D'Argo: Jothee? Jothee! (He stands up and sees his young son in a doorway. A Peacekeeper seizes the illusion of Jothee from behind and runs off with the child.)
Jothee: Daddy! Help me!
D'Argo: Peacekeepers! (Charging off after the phantom Jothee) Pilot! Seal all exits! There are Peacekeepers on board!
Cut to a befuddled Rygel.
Aeryn: Rygel, can you help me with this? (Before he can answer he suddenly cries out on pain and shrinks down to a few centimeters tall in his throne sled.)
Cut to the Delvian temple-ship, near the entrance to the sanctuary.
Tahleen: What made you decide to share unity with me?
Zhaan: The potential.
Tahleen: If you have even the slightest doubt ... we must refrain.
Zhaan: I will give you what you wish. What do you need?
Tahleen: The smallest seed. ... Point me to the knowledge. And I will spend my life mastering it.
Tahleen bends her head slightly. Zhaan places her hands on the sides of Tahleen's head.. Tahleen matches her gesture and they touch foreheads. There is a ray of light from the point of contact that fills the screen to whiteout. We segue to them standing in spirit together, naked. Their bodies pass through each other so that they appear to be a single body with two faces, facing away from each other.
Both: I am yours.
Zhaan: Your spirit is raging. You strive for so much.
Tahleen: And yours is so calm.
Zhaan: I will show you... what you want... so you might... ease your soul. (A few second later she grimaces and begins to feel pain.) What are you doing? Tahleen!
Tahleen: I'm sorry Zhaan. But what you have achieved will take me too long to master on my own.
Zhaan: (Gasping.) No!
Tahleen: Forgive me Pa'u. But I must have all of what I need. (Zhaan gasps spasmodically with pain while Tahleen takes what she wants from her mind before abruptly breaking Unity. Zhaan staggers back, her hands over her face.)
Zhaan: (She removes her hands from her face. Her eyes are now red. She is infuriated, wounded.) You betrayed me.
Cut to later. Zhaan is sitting alone in an alcove. The Delvian chanting can be heard again. Crichton approaches her.
Crichton: What's up? What happened?
Zhaan: (She looks up at him and says in a sharp, bitter tone:) I made a mistake.
Crichton: (After a long second of confusion.) Why-why are your eyes red?
Zhaan: (With bemused bitterness.) It's tissue bile migrating to my brain. (She chuckles softly.)
Zhaan: Maybe. My dark impulses are released. (She rises to face off with him. She continues with a mischievous air.) She ripped from me my ability to control them.
Crichton: Then go take them back.
Zhaan: It doesn't work like that. I'd have to start over.
Crichton: Zhaan, you're in a temple. Surrounded by the Goddess. If you can do it in a Peacekeeper cell, you can - (In a fast, fierce motion, Zhaan clasps the sides of Crichton's head and renders him silent.)
Zhaan: (Viciously, her voice altered as though coming from a well of evil.) I spent nearly 17 cycles... tortured by my own dark impulses. Feeling insanity's grip ebb and flow... I don't have the strength to fight again! (She shoves him roughly away. They gaze at each other. She with rage. He with fear.)
Crichton: Just... just stay put. Stay put. We're not done yet. (He gets up and leaves. She glares after him.)
Cut to outside the temple-ship.
Crichton: Tahleen! Tahleen!
Cut to later, Crichton has reentered the temple-ship.
Crichton: Tahleen! (He comes upon Alexandra sitting by a fountain.) Alex, where's Tahleen?
Alexandra: Lotus position somewhere. John, sit down. (She pulls him down to the ottoman she is sitting on and wraps his arms around his neck.)
Crichton: She screwed over Zhaan.
Alexandra: (Trying to kiss him.) That was Zhaanís choice. Let it go.
Crichton: Baby, you should see her.
Alexandra: And you should see me. John, we made a promise to always be there for each other.
Crichton: (Trying to shove off her pawing him.) Wa-wa-wait a minute. When have I not been there for you?
Alexandra: Whenever anybody else needs you.
Crichton: Alex... Zhaan... is our friend.
Alexandra: (As she continues to try to distract him with kisses.) Who made a choice to stay with her own kind. Accept it. ... Do you remember the night that we made love in the reflecting pool at Canaveral?
Pilot: (Over comm,) Crichton? Are you there?
Crichton: (Eagerly taking advantage of the interruption and getting up from the lounge.) Yo! Pilot, what's up?
Pilot: (Cut to Pilot in his den.) I'm afraid everyone up here is behaving rather strangely.
Cut to Crichton trying to listens while Alex comes from behind him still trying to distract him with affection.
D'Argo:( over Pilots' comms.) Jothee! Jothee! Where are you, boy?
Cut to D'Argo playing a kind of hide and seek.
D'Argo: Jothee... where are you?
Quick cut to Aeryn glances at him in amusement.
D'Argo: Pilot! I demand you help me find my son NOW! (He punches the clamshell viewer Pilot is watching them on. It wobbles crazily.)
Pilot: AAHH! (to John) I'm sure you heard that!
Crichton: (Trying to break away from Alex.) How's Aeryn?
Pilot: Just as bad.
Aeryn: (Laughs maniacally and points at D'Argo.) I am not as bad as that! (She turns back to the console at which she's standing.) I just, um... I-I can't... figure out... how these... controls work...
Pilot: (As we hear a high-pitched squealing and whimpering) And Rygel is faring none better. He somehow thinks he has shrunk to even smaller dimensions.
Cut back to Crichton.
Crichton: I'm on it Pilot. (He leaves Alex.)
Cut to Tahleen who is stroking the Sanctity Root. Crichton enters.
Crichton: This is a pretty sacred place isn't it? (He stands close to her and says in a lowered, measured voice.) Think you still belong here?
Hasko and Lorana enter but stay back, listening.
Tahleen: There are over a billion Delvian living in fear on our homeworld.
Crichton: And you're gonna save 'em, right?
Tahleen: Not alone. It will take many dedicated to freedom. But it serves no end if I go insane before...
Crichton: This isn't about freedom. It's about power.
Tahleen: (She considers his words for two seconds, perhaps surprised at how this member of a weak species is so insightful. She suddenly whirls to face him, angry.) You know, your friend really is a remarkable woman.
Crichton: Whatever you've done to my friend... (He turns and looks her fearlessly in the eyes.) You put it right. (He leaves.)
Tahleen: (After another long surprised pause. She stomps off past Lorana.) Incapacitate him Lorana. Even if you have to destroy his mind.
Lorana: Why not just let them go? You already have what you want.
Tahleen: Because I have not. Zhaan held too tightly to her secret. I didn't get enough to quell the madness. (She rushes off.)
Hasko: She will forge another Unity with Zhaan and most likely kill her in the process. (He now stomps off. Lorana uncertain and unhappy.)
Cut to Crichton walking through the temple-ship. Alexandra appears out of nowhere.
Alexandra: Hey! Where have you been?
Crichton: Uuuuhhhhh. Dealing with Zhaan and the blue people.
Alexandra: How are we gonna get back on Moya?
Crichton: I don't know. Look, Alex, let me ask you a question. Have you... noticed anything unusual that might indicate they've been messing with our minds?
Alexandra: (She scoffs.) The only person messing with my mind, John, is you.
Crichton: I don't have time for this right now, okay? I'm serious.
Alexandra: And you don't think I am? (She petulantly holds up her left hand, wedding ring on her finger.) When am I gonna become more important to you than Zhaan?
Crichton: (He stars at the ring blankly.) I never gave that to you.
On cue, he has a false memory flashback. The scene is of the dream he had at the start of the episode but it is now altered.
Crichton: Alex... What's wrong?
Alexandra: I'm scared.
Crichton: Yeah, right, you're scared. What?
Alexandra: Well, when I agreed to pass on Stanford and go with you... What is things don't work out between us and I'm stuck in Florida, alone?
Crichton: You will never, ever be stuck alone, I promise.
Alexandra: Now, how am I going to hold you to that one?
He picks up the ring box by the side of the bed and presents it to her.
Crichton: Alexandra Kimberly O'Connor, marry me.
The illusion breaks.
Alexandra: You never gave me this?
Crichton: (Disoriented.) No, I... I mean I remember giving you the ring, I just don't remember...
He is fed another false memory, of Alex is a wedding gown, saying her vows to him. The illusion breaks again.
Alexandra: You don't remember what, John? Marrying me?
Crichton: (Without conviction.) Yeah, of course. ... Bu... it's...
Alexandra: (She takes off the ring and holds it up.) Do you want it back?
Crichton: NO! ... No, no.... Never.
Alexandra: Then honor your vow. Or choose Zhaan over me and take the ring. (He silently and emotionlessly places the ring back on her finger and they embrace. But he remains unconvinced.)
Cut to Tahleen and Tuzak in his "orchard."
Tahleen: If you return to Delvia... many may be tempted to seek your word, barely coherent, over mine.
Tuzak: Oooh, they wouldn't listen to me my daughter. You didn't.
Tahleen: On the contrary, all those cycles growing up... I listened.
Tuzak: When I brought you all here... to accelerate your teaching, it was to create... a new class of Pa'u. A better class.
Tahleen: And in your legacy we will shine on.
Tuzak: But YOU go too fast! Pillaging knowledge... without the wisdom to control it! I mean, learn from my error, Tahleen!
Tahleen: I have. Even now insanity creeps upon me. But rather than sit idly by, tending trees that will not grow, I take action. For myself, and for my homeland.
Tuzak: (He angrily flings aside his rake and grabs her by the arms, forcing her to face him.) What you do is worse than the insanity you seek to stave off!
Tahleen: You're quite lucid today father. (He stops and stares at her agape. She lays her hands on either side of his head.)
Tuzak: NNOO!! (He crumples to the ground. Tahleen looks up, her eyes are now red.)
Cut to commercial break.
We return to inside the temple-ship. Tuzak is laid out in an alcove, Zhaan lays with her head resting on his hip. Crichton enters.
Crichton: Zhaan. Come back to Moya with us.
Zhaan: (Rolling over onto and looking up at him. She has the madness in here. She says with a mischievous voice.) No, Tahleen needs me. I will become a Pa'u dedicated to helping others.
Crichton: After all she's done?
Zhaan: Yes. I will join in Unity with her one more time.
Crichton: Y'know you're full of it. (She giggles.) You're gonna kill her aren't you? Just like you did your lover.
Zhaan: You were always the most clever one on Moya. But I will not miss you. (She smiles with evil.)
Crichton: Zhaan, just stop. Stop thinking about Tahleen. Now, I want you to think about yourself for a little while.
Zhaan: The urge to give retribution is intoxicating. I have missed it. (Her evil smile intensifies.)
Crichton: You know, Alex said that you were gonna do this. That you'd quit.
Zhaan: Alex? Who is Alex?
Crichton: Alex... My wife.
Zhaan: (She shakes her head.) I should not have brought you here. Let's face it. We are both lost. (She rolls back over, using Tuzak's corpse as a pillow, chuckling to herself.)
Cut to Alexandra walking in on Crichton contemplating the Sanctity Root.
Alexandra: Why do you care for Zhaan so much?
Crichton: Huh? What kind of question is... (He turns to face her and stops speaking. He looks deeply troubled.)
Alexandra: Why is Zhaan so important to you?
Crichton: Honey, think of all the times she's put herself on the line for us.
Alexandra: Not for me, John.
Crichton: You know what? This is stupid. She likes you.
Alexandra: She can't like me. Because she doesn't even know me.
Crichton: What the hell are you talking about?
Alexandra: I'm not here, John. I've never been.
Crichton: (He approaches her and takes her face in his hands.) Baby. They are messing with your mind. You flew with me. We share quarters. On Moya.
Alexandra: Forced memories. To distract you.
Crichton: You're real.
Alexandra: (She closes her eyes and shakes her head.) No.
Crichton: I love you. (She gazes at him a moment and then steps back and morphs into Lorana.)
Lorana: I release you from what is not true.
Crichton: (Stepping back, struck down. The entirety of the deception now clear to him. He cannot even look at her.) How... in God's name do you call yourself a priest?
Lorana: I have... no excuse.
Crichton: So what now? Kill me? Cage me? Teach me tricks?
Lorana: Your feelings for Zhaan, I share them too. And for you, and the others. We have fallen off the path. The Sanctity Root around which our temple revolves represents purity of thought and intent.
Crichton: (He whirls to stare her down.) Your tree... It's twisted on itself.
Lorana: Whilst in your mind, you have showed me the ember of my own virtue.
She turns to him with genuine feeling, hanging on his next word.
Crichton: Next time, ask!
She reaches up to hold his head, but gently unlike what we have seen others do.
Lorana: If you are willing to take the risk, you may be able to accomplish the same result with Zhaan.
Cut to Moya. Hasko is on the main viewer in the Command.
Hasko: I am sorry, but you must focus on this moment. Your friends' lives hang in the balance.
Rygel: I get a vote! I say we go down there and shoot them all! (Aeryn swats him on the back of the head.) Oof! Look, D'Argo almost stepped on me!
Pilot: (On clamshell.) Your Eminence, you were never any smaller than your current stature.
Hasko: You must not invade our temple! The balance is... very delicate. Please, I have restored your memories. Now, allow us to do it our way.
D'Argo: (As plainly spoken as can be.) You have two arns. That's all.
Cut back to the Delvian temple-ship. Tahleen is meditating before a flame. Her eyes are red. Lorana enters.
Tahleen: Why do you disturb me as I prepare for Unity with Zhaan?
Lorana: Because what you are doing is wrong.
Tahleen: Such simple analysis from a vessel I poured much effort into. How disappointing.
Lorana: If you thought so little, why choose unity with me in the past?
Tahleen: (Snappish.) Because you were too foolish to look deeper and question me. You were easy and pleasurable.
Lorana: (With grim satisfaction that her suspicions were confirmed.) Pardon the intrusion, Pa'u, but I think you should know... Zhaan and Crichton have fled to the surface in an attempt to reach their ship.
Tahleen: Then I must stop them. (She gets up and leaves. Lorana smiles wryly.)
Cut to the sanctuary. Zhaan enters, expecting to find Tahleen for the Unity. She finds Crichton instead.
Zhaan: Where is she?
Crichton: The part of Tahleen in tonight's Unity will be played by John Crichton.
Zhaan: (Derisively.) You wish to share unity with me?
Crichton: Well, you guys are always going on about how... hot it is, I thought I'd give it a go.
Zhaan: This is not sex. The fusion of our two minds will surely kill you.
Crichton: Not if you're careful. ... I hear you can protect me... If you want to.
Zhaan: I see no purpose to this union. (She turns to go.)
Crichton: BUUURR-buk-buk-buk... (She turns back to him.) Your translator microbes handle that one?
Zhaan: (He has struck a nerve. She walks back to him) Although... I must admit... I have always wondered what could possibly go on in there.
Crichton: Not a lot. I'm a guy. (He smirks.) C'mon, Zhaan. What are you afraid of?
Zhaan: (With another lightening move she seizes his head in her hands.) Take my head. (He does. She begins to recite, but with stern anger.) Our two spirits will pass into each other until we inhabit a single consciousness. Too late to be afraid. Move into me. (They touch foreheads and pass into spiritual union as Tahleen and Zhaan did earlier.)
Crichton: Oh, my... What is that?
Crichton: (Laughing with delight. We see his hand outstretched as though he is contemplating it.) It's like... Disney on acid! Like ten years of really great sex all at the same moment. (She chuckles in spite of her self. He pauses. His tone changes.) My God. What is that? What is...
Zhaan: The core of my soul. ... The part of me that is capable of murder.
Crichton: Wha-what's happening? What... what's happening to me?
Zhaan: There is something else, John. Do - not - absorb - any - of my rage.
Crichton: All right. All right. I'm all right...
Zhaan: We must separate now John. I don't know how long I can protect you.
Crichton: No. There's something in me that you need to see. (She scoffs.) Look at yourself... as I see you. Gentle. Giving. That's you, Zhaan. Tahleen can't take that, and she didn't. You're still that Pa'u. Follow me, Zhaan. (Her demeanor and expression softens.) See what I see. Build on that peace. Be her again. (Zhaan groans. Unity breaks and they separate and fall. Crichton gasps, tries to collect himself and looks over to see Zhaan unconscious.) Zhaan?! Zhaan! (She stirs and pulls herself partially upright. She looks at him, her eyes still red and she falls back. He speaks.) Fight it. Fight... all the things that betray you.(She is having difficulty breathing. After a few seconds she gasps and falls unconscious. He goes over and rolls her over face up into his lap.) Zhaan! (She opens here eyes again. Her eyes have returned to their normal blue.)
Zhaan: Thank you John...
A lingering shot as the camera pulls away from them and out of the sanctuary.
Cut to later. Crichton is chopping at the Sanctity Root as Zhaan looks on. The axe blows reveal the root is thoroughly dead.
Crichton: (Frustrated at himself.) How come I can't remember?
Zhaan: The details of thought and mind fade after unity. But the essence of bonding remains.
Tahleen: (Rushing in, he eyes flame red.) STOP! How dare you! (Other Delvians cry out in horror at the' desecration of their root.)
Crichton: (His speech punctuated by chops to the Root.) This tree is the center of your existence right? The source of your goodness. Your spiritual flame. Well burn down your temple sister because you're a bastard sect in any religion.
Tahleen: I will destroy your useless mind. (She attempts to do so. She manages to stop Crichton's axe blows with her mind. Cut to Zhaan, who nods and Crichton is immediately released from Tahleen's force. She turns to Zhaan, incredulous.) How did you block him from me?
Zhaan: (Sternly.) Unity also gifted me with a part of you Tahleen. I am now a Pa'u of the 10th level, able to protect. (She nods to Crichton who returns to the root and with a final chop the Root and soon the whole ship, rumbles.
Tahleen: (Turning in a last ditch effort to get Zhaan's help.) We want the same thing, Zhaan.
Zhaan: (Offended.) No, we don't. You reach for the dark impulses I leave behind. We all visit the precipice. Each one of us must find our own way down. ... With your father gone, he will need you to tend his orchard. John? (She leaves.)
As Tahleen can only stare and shake her head, Crichton throws down the axe to follow Zhaan. As he passes Tahleen she turns to look to the root and walks toward it. She crumples to her knees in defeat before it. On his way out John pauses by Lorana and lays his hand aside her head.
Crichton: It's okay. (She returns the gesture and he walks off. She goes to stand with Hasko. We get one last lasting shot of Tahleen in despair.)
Cut to Zhaan. She has removed the blue and gold robe she wore in the temple and is carrying it. She lays it respectfully on an altar.)
Crichton: What are you doing?
Zhaan: The vestments of a Pa'u feels like a shroud. I am no longer worthy.
Crichton: (After a pause.) You do that and she wins.
Zhaan: It's not about winning, John. Each day infuses us with the knowledge we carry into tomorrow. (She pauses, pensively.) I will be a Pa'u again. But I am not today. (She starts to walk away.)
Crichton: It seems a shame... Waste all those years of training.
Zhaan: (She pauses to say to him.) Hardly wasted. They were the best cycles of my life.
She exits the temple.