(First posted December 23, 2001)
Spoilers: I don’t think so .. Maybe just a smidge from “Die Me, Dichotomy“.
Time Frame/Spoilers: Set prior to “Suns And Lovers”, with no spoilers to speak of.
Disclaimer: They aren’t mine, but I wish they were. Thank you to the Henson Company, et al. for sharing
them with everyone and I promise I didn‘t profit from this.
Note to the reader: Here it is … my very first fiction of any sort, fanfiction or otherwise. The only modification
I have ever made to this story was the addition of the word “motra” once it was added to the show’s canon. The
rest is just as I originally posted it in December 2001, warts, errors and bad grammar included.
* * * * *
The transport pod eased out of Moya’s hangar bay and accelerated in a smooth arc away from the Leviathan,
and towards the planet below. The commerce planet, Baryonia, looked a great deal like Earth, reflected John
Crichton as he alternated his focus between the approaching planet and watching Aeryn Sun pilot the transport
pod. He had become an accomplished pilot in the last two cycles, and could handle the pod as well as almost
everyone else aboard Moya … with the exception of Aeryn. Watching her smooth handling of the controls, and
instinctual adjustments in response to the information streaming across the displays before her, John realized
that he still had a great deal to learn about flying the transport, let alone any other space craft built in this
portion of the universe.
He looked back toward the planet, but any view of their landing area was obscured by heavy cloud cover.
When Moya had entered orbit 50 arns earlier, there had been clear skies above Baryonia’s primary trading
center of Hubblei and everyone had been looking forward to getting off Moya and doing some purchasing while
enjoying fair weather and planetary sunshine. However, a weather system had moved in before they could
transfer to the planet, and despite waiting slightly less than two of Baryonia’s solar days it did not look like the
weather was going to improve. In the end, the crew needing supplies desperately, John had said he was willing
to barter no matter what the weather. Aeryn, Dargo and Chiana had finally decided to come to the planet as
John looked behind him where D’Argo and Chiana sat, both wearing heavy clothing underneath cloaks of
heavy, mailed quilting in D’Argo’s case, and long shaggy fur of some sort in Chiana’s case. D’Argo was
scowling despite Chiana’s best efforts to cheer him up.
“Come on D’Argo … it’s NOT Moya. It’s a change of scenery at least. If I had to spend one more microt with
Stark and that Hynerian toad, I was going to resort to something MORE than just harsh language.”
John turned away, close to laughing out loud as a long, deep rumble emanated apparently from somewhere
within D’Argo’s chest.
“I HATE the cold. It would have been bad enough if we had come down two solar days ago when it was just
cloudy, but Pilot says it is so cold down there now that some of the surface moisture has begun to freeze. I
HATE the cold.”
Aeryn spared a one microt glance away from the controls to glance back at D’Argo. Looking forward again she
spoke over her shoulder. “We didn’t have to come D’Argo, but you know as well as I do that we are very close
to running out of rations. Pilot was unable to estimate how much longer this weather system is going to remain
centered over Hubblei … it could be days before it clears. So unless you’d like to try fried dentics … “ She left
the rest of the suggestion unspoken.
Chiana laughed and reaching forward gave Crichton a light slap across the back of the head.
Mock glaring at Aeryn he muttered, “Fer cryin’ out loud, aren’t you guys EVER going to let me live that one
“No!” shouted three voices in unison.
* * * * *
Aeryn chose to set the transport pod down a couple thousand metras from the outskirts of Hubblei. The
buildings on the outskirts of the city were made from the trunks of the locally indigenous plants which passed
for Baryonia’s version of trees. Although it was no longer precipitating, Aeryn found it difficult to use the
sensors to differentiate between the forests and the buildings and elected not to make a tragic effort to get
closer to the city. It was only during the last quarter metra of the descent that she was able to pick up the
ground visually and be absolutely sure she was not going to land on anyone or anything. The pod touched
down and settled onto its multiple struts without the slightest thump.
John looked at her shaking his head. “You are go-oo-oo-od!”, which she accepted with a smile and a slight
incline of her head.
“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for flying Aeryn-Air, the airline of astronauts. We hope your trip has been a
pleasant one”, Crichton began in a perky falsetto as he moved to the hatch and began opening it. “Please
mind your step as you move to the hammond side exit and the next time you feel like traveling we hope you
D’Argo turned to look at Aeryn and Chiana, “I think I liked it better when Scorpius controlled his brain.”
John jumped lightly down from the transport, skipping the last three steps, and landed in four denches of new
wet snow. His face lit up with delight as he looked around at the landscape. The transport had set down in a
large meadow surrounded on three sides by trees … well, not exactly trees he reflected. They looked a bit
more like bunches of celery, but the stalks were a fibrous, woody material which had apparently been used for
building structures which could be seen in the distance. The bushy leaves at the top were a dark green, and
held the snow, turning the scene into something close to his memories of winter on Earth. The fourth side of
the landing area ended in a short, moderate incline, the ground dropping away till it joined with another open
meadow area which widened into a view of agricultural areas laying chilled and unused in the distance.
Chiana jumped down next to him and almost fell as her feet shot out from under her. Crichton grabbed her
quickly around the waist and saved her from a serious spill, but the two of them went down together in a heap
instead, Chiana yelping as they crashed down.
“Very nice, Pip, very graceful.”
D’Argo and Aeryn descended more cautiously, D’Argo extending a hand and pulling first Chiana and then
Crichton to their feet. “What the hezmana are we supposed to do about walking on this stuff?”
“No, Big D, this is great! We can just slide into town. This is fantastic, watch!” John took a careful running start
and then after a little hop, slid for almost three motras through the snow which lay on top of frozen ground
before finally skidding to a stop. “Just make sure you keep your weight balanced or else … “
“Woooooooooo!” Chiana slid past him and he watched as she continued for almost another five motras before
racing off across the meadow in a series of runs and slides. Spots of footprints followed by the tracks of her
slides looked like exclamation marks running off into the distance.
“OK! So Chiana‘s got the hang of it.”
Aeryn stopped beside John as D’Argo crunched carefully past them both, choosing a more cautious approach
to their walk into Hubblei.
“Are you really enjoying this snow?”
“Yes, it’s a nice change from day after day inside Moya.”
“And you have snow like this on Earth? Humans enjoy snow like this?”
Crichton looked at her out of the corners of his eyes, not moving his head. “Well, not exactly. … I mean no one
really likes snow just because it’s SNOW,” he admitted. “It’s how beautiful it looks on a day like today, it’s what
you can do with it.”
Aeryn gave a brief shake of the head, as if to say ‘You’re losing me, John’.
“Here. You can make snowballs out of it … I haven’t done this since I was in college!” Sweeping the skirts of
his black overcoat out of the way, he began scooping up handfuls of the wet snow, packing it quickly into a
number of spheres which he set back down into the snow. Aeryn knelt on one knee next to him and tried it,
packing just two snowballs before she stopped.
“And what do you do with these snow balls? Make decorations? … Crichton, my hands are freezing! This is
“Big bad Peacekeeper can’t take a little cold water on her fingers? Here, they’re not going to fall off you know.”
John stood and pulled Aeryn to her feet also. He gently cupped both her hands in his and blew into the hollow
of their joined hands. Aeryn’s irritation evaporated, all her thoughts unraveling. She never imagined such a
simple act as warming her hands could be so intimate. John blew into their hands again, and Aeryn fought to
bring her thoughts back to ground level.
“And what are these for?” she asked again as John released her hands.
“Ahhhh, this will appeal to you. They’re ammunition!” He rapidly gathered six snowballs into the crook of his
left arm, keeping one more in his free hand. “Oh, D’Argo is so going to hate me for this!” He began walking
quickly after the Luxan, judging carefully how close he needed to be for an accurate shot without being so close
he could not retreat in time if faced with hyper-rage.
Melting snow and ice ran down the back of Crichton’s head and into the collar of his coat, running cold streams
down his back. He whirled around just in time to take another in his chest.
“You’re right Crichton, they DO appeal to me. They’re just like Taglet shock grenades.” She scooped up
another double handful of snow and began running backwards, packing the snow. “What’s the matter, you
couldn’t see the sense of a preemptive strike?” she laughed.
Crichton ran after her pelting her with one snowball after another. Aeryn danced lithely away, dodging most of
his shots no matter how accurate. Her laughing face continued to retreat before his onslaught until he
suddenly found himself without ammunition.
“Ahhhhhhhhh!” He bellowed at the top of his lungs as he charged her position at the top of the incline. Aeryn
knelt, scooping up handfuls of snow, not bothering to pack it, but heaving loose clumps at him as he continued
running towards her. At the last minute she stood up, and John ran into her with a forceful thump, wrapping his
arms around her and twisting so that when they fell over, he was the one who landed on the bottom. They slid
together to the bottom of the hill, his long leather coat turning into a perfect toboggan, with the exception of the
collar, which scooped up snow through the entire trip and packed it inside his coat between his shoulders.
Somewhere between the top and the bottom of the hill, with Aeryn’s comfortable weight on top of him, and
D’Argo’s and Chiana’s laughter somewhere in the distance, the cold icy core within John’s soul which had been
left there by the Ice Planet melted and flowed away.
They came to rest at the bottom, Aeryn still on top. He looked up at her and repeated what she had once said
to him. “Are you comfortable? Can I get you a pillow?”
Aeryn placed her finger tips on the line of his jaw and tipped his head towards her, and gently kissed him. Cold
snow beneath him, Aeryn’s warm weight upon him, icy fingers on his throat and jaw, and warm, warm lips upon
his, John Crichton sank into the symphony of sensations.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *