DEDICATION: Several months ago I wrote something about what my “Muses” were, i.e. what motivated me to
write Farscape Fanfic. In that somewhat deranged description of the Youses Muses Gang (who come to visit
me with disturbing frequency), I wrote this: “I see the heroism of small actions, sometimes just tenacity winning,
hanging on until winds change in our favor. It’s the small things in life that combine into big, the small people
winning out over furor.”
So I offer this story in honor of every Farscape fan who has done anything to assist in the effort to save the
show. Whether you’re writing letters, handing out fliers, working on the media campaigns, talking up the show
to friends or coworkers, loaning out tapes or DVDs, part of the Webmaster’s Association, or … siggggghhhhhh
… standing on a street in L.A. talking to Ben Browder (Tiriel, I’m so jealous I could just die), you’re out there
making the small efforts that will combine into big. Give yourselves a huge hug for me. You understand
passion (as in John and Aeryn) and you are passionate (about the show); you have the imaginations and the
intellect to understand Farscape. You are Scapers, which is another way of saying
you’re the best people on the planet.
I can only hope that this story isn’t a clanger since I just dedicated it to you. Hope everyone enjoys it.
Purveyor Of Hallucinations
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit.
Spoilers: Not much. Takes place sometime in the future
Feedback: Receiving feedback makes me want to flip open the laptop and write another story.
Beta-readers: Aangelhart and Scrubschick. Thanks will never be enough … but I’m not sending money. You
found my mistakes, offered input, and helped me with the ‘parent perspective’. Ladies, you rock. But I’m still
not sending money.
Note to the reader: Nothing to tell you this time. This is as it was originally posted -- warts, mistakes,
indulgences, and jokes as they originally appeared.
* * * * *
“Trick or treat!”
Jack Crichton laughed at the odd looking assemblage of cartons and tin foil sprouting legs, and tried to find
some sort of opening where he could insert the Milky Way bar. A cardboard doorway in the front of the
creation flopped open and a blue plastic shovel emerged to accept the treat. Jack chuckled as he offered a
second reward for imagination and the shovel reappeared to accept it. “Thank you!” Nimble sneakered feet
hopped down the front steps without a single misstep, the blocky pseudo-machinery disappearing up the
sidewalk toward a close encounter with another homeowner.
“If that one winds up in the space program we’ll be on Mars a week later,” the elder Crichton grinned as he shut
the door behind him. He’d gotten barely halfway across the living room before the doorbell sounded again,
followed almost immediately by a vigorous pounding on the door. “You have got to be kidding me!” he
grumbled. The siege on his supply of candy bars had been nearly continuous for several hours, and he was
beginning to suspect that he’d have to shut off the lights and play possum until the last of the trick-or-treaters
went away empty handed. He opened the door to the sight of nearly a dozen children, each with his or her
gaping bag held upward in supplication. A chorus of thank you’s echoed off the front of the house as they ran
down his walk, and he was cleaned out with the exception of four bite-sized Snickers bars.
“That’s it. Sorry spooks, no more candy,” he muttered, sliding his hand down the outside-light switch. He
wandered through the house, flicking the lights off one by one, and then stretched as he wandered into the
kitchen, thinking about a snack and some television before going to bed.
There was someone sitting at his kitchen table, and he felt a muscle twinge as he hurriedly tried to change his
yawning stretch into a stance resembling something more defensive. “What the hell are you doing in my
house?” he attacked, hoping the slender figure wasn’t carrying some sort of weapon.
The intruder got to his feet slowly, turning both hands outward, holding his arms away from his body. “I’m not
armed,” he said with a trace of an accent. Jack’s breath nearly stopped in his throat. The young man standing
before him wasn’t much older than fifteen or sixteen, the leanness of youth showing clearly beneath a black t-
shirt and black leather pants that hung low on slim hips, and he looked uncannily like John had at that age.
The hair was darker, nearly a jet black, and the eyes were an odd steely grayish-blue, but the features were
entirely Crichton, as were his movements.
“I need your help,” the young man started. He lowered his hands slowly, hooking his thumbs into the waist of
his pants. The pose looked unnatural, as though he were accustomed to resting his hands there, but not in
that specific spot. “I’m here because of John Crichton.”
The sound of his lost son’s name on this stranger’s lips ignited a guilt-driven anger that Jack Crichton thought
he’d finally conquered a little more than a year ago. One portion of his mind marveled at his overreaction while
a different portion delighted in it and egged him on. “My son is dead! What sort of sick Halloween trick is this?”
Jack began to rage. “Did you and your friends find a picture of him in a newspaper article or that stupid write-
up in ‘Scientific American’, and decide that you looked enough like him to pull this off? Get the hell out of my
house you little bastard! I don’t know what game you’re playing here, but I’m not going to fall for whatever con
you’re trying to pull.” Jack took a single step toward the youth, and pulled himself up short.
Several summers ago he’d been fishing in the early morning, letting the boat drift as he spent more time
concentrating on the stillness of the water and air than he did on his supposed attempt to catch breakfast. The
fog had rolled from one side of the cove to the other before he’d even noticed the wave of cooler air, drifting
out from between the trees to waft slowly across the water, closing out sight and sound until there was nothing
but the enveloping coolness, damp tendril fingers crawling along his skin to create a shiver of anticipation, and
a thrill of wonder at the beauty of the moment. The moment replayed itself as a woman stepped out of the
pantry and moved to stand behind the young man. She was calm, she was cool, and she was beautiful –- she
was that fog, drifting into his kitchen this time.
She was tall enough to look him in the eye without tilting her head, blue-gray eyes staring into his without the
slightest hint of self-consciousness, glossy black hair pulled severely back to leave the angling cheekbones
free to speak of competence, intelligence and strength. A sensation he hadn’t felt since Leslie died gripped his
stomach, taking his breath away and leaving him momentarily confused.
She didn’t walk; she floated. A long glide took her to a point next to the young man’s shoulder, beside him but
slightly behind, hovering in something other than protection –- something more like support or to provide a
presence to back him up as Jack’s yell tapered off into stunned silence. The teen looked over his shoulder at
her, taking a single second to check on her expression before turning back to face Jack. She nudged his
elbow, and he gnawed on his lower lip for a moment, the trio standing silent in the warmth of the kitchen as
though time were suspended.
“I’m his son,” the young man said at last. “Their son,” tilting his head to indicate the woman.
“Whose son?” Jack demanded, contending with a level of confusion he hadn’t experienced since his first day on
the job at NASA decades ago. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“John Crichton’s son. This is my mother, Aeryn Sun, and I’m your melnatnic,” he explained, stepping forward
and awkwardly extending his hand.
“Grant-son,” the woman corrected in a thick accent.
“Ach,” he growled in disgust. “Grandson. I am your grandson. My name is Ian.”
Jack ignored the outstretched hand, fumbling for the back of one of the kitchen chairs instead. He yanked it
across the floor with a clattering screech, and sank into it, leaning heavily on the table. “John’s great
grandfather was named Ian,” he mumbled, feeling numb all over. He looked up into the almost gray eyes and
this time saw the mixture of John and the woman standing six feet away. This youngster certainly looked the
part that someone had chosen him to play.
“I know,” the young man said softly, moving closer. “My father told me about his great-grandfather. But eiyan
also means something sort of like ‘small miracle’ in my mother’s language, which is why I have to wander around
with such a hideous name.”
“Wait a minute,” Jack protested, slowly recovering from the shock. “John disappeared three years ago. This is
all bullshit. What are the two of you trying to pull?” Anger flooded back in, driving out the confusion and
replacing the sick feeling in his stomach with something warmly familiar. Something closer to rage.
The woman smiled broadly and repeated “bull-shit”, the word more comfortable on her tongue than her other
single offering to the conversation. The two trespassers exchanged grins, finding something funny about the
word, and the rattlers arrived with a vengeance. They were too amused by his term, too familiar with it, and he
was suddenly irrationally convinced that these two people knew John intimately.
“Would you please explain what is going on?” He surrendered to the absurd, waiting to hear and willing to
accept almost anything they told him.
The explanation took almost two hours, leaving Jack with a headache and a cramped knot in his stomach even
worse than he’d experienced the moment when they’d lost all telemetry on the Farscape I three years earlier.
He sat quietly through a long description of what had happened to John after that fateful day, interjecting a few
questions when the conversation occasionally veered off in a new direction. The woman, Aeryn Sun, remained
silent through most of it, allowing her supposed son to do all of the explaining. Jack watched her body
language carefully as he listened to Ian’s story, watching the muscles shift from tension to calm relaxation to
anxious tautness and around again.
He learned of John’s involuntary passage through a wormhole to a distant portion of space, of the group of
strangers he’d met, of the family they’d formed, of battles, enemies, love, anguish, renewal of trust and the
pursuit of a life where a son could be raised in safety.
“Do you believe this that we tell you?” Aeryn Sun asked when Ian had finished, shifting on the hard kitchen
Jack watched her adjust the weapon on her thigh with unconscious ease -- the type of habitual motion that he
knew came only from thousands of repetitions, the type of motion that he’d cultivated as an astronaut. Her
leather pants were buffed to a smooth sheen beneath the holster, the pistol’s grip worn in distinctive patterns,
each detail telling him how many hours and days the weapon had rested in that particular spot. He hadn’t
entirely believed their tale until that very moment, when the small motions and the gleam of a
weapon’s grip told him that this woman was who and what she claimed to be.
“Yes, I do believe you,” he admitted reluctantly. “I shouldn’t, but I do. I have two questions before I give up and
just buy this lock, stock and barrel though.” She nodded for him to continue. Jack held up a single index
finger. “First, why are you letting him do all the talking when you very obviously know English?”
Aeryn Sun answered him in a harsh, guttural language, but Jack began shaking his head. “Don’t give me that
crap. I’ve heard you speak English, and you understand me. Why let the junior representative do all the
“I hear everything. I do not speak it well,” she explained slowly. “It is very tired?” she confirmed.
“Tiring,” Ian corrected her, then turned back to Jack. “I speak English much better than she does. What’s your
Jack held up a second finger. “You haven’t explained the small detail about how you’re this old when John
disappeared only three years ago. How is that supposed to work?” Jack leaned back in his chair as a fast,
unintelligible argument broke out. He watched the dynamics without the barrier of words and knew for a
certainty that these two were in fact, mother and son.
Ian finally leapt to his feet, gesticulating wildly, shouting at his mother. “Why come then?” he yelled, and
descended into another flood of words that sounded vaguely middle-European. The argument raged back and
forth until the slim shoulders began to sag beneath the t-shirt, the son giving way before the mother’s
argument, and he slumped back into his chair, resting his forehead on his hands to stare at the table top
between his elbows.
“I can’t explain that to you,” the boy answered. “The answer is too dangerous.”
“All right.” Jack hesitated, wondering what secret was tied up in the disagreement causing the friction between
his two uninvited visitors. He rummaged through all the things that hadn’t been said, of the missing bits such as
why the woman was so tense, why both of them looked like they hadn’t slept in days, why John had never come
home, and how he had a grandson who spoke a very unusual sounding language fluently.
“Are you aware that you’re speaking two languages?” Jack asked him instead, trying a topic that he thought
might not be as threatening as the one concerning his age. Listening to Ian was like listening to a badly tuned
radio that kept flipping from one station to another, merging the blather of two disc jockeys into a single,
“It’s probably more than that,” Ian said agreeably. He raised his head off his hands and grinned, looking more
relaxed. “I was raised listening to about ten different languages and understanding them all so sometimes I
have trouble keeping them straight.”
“That last sentence was perfect,” Jack observed. “Not one word in anything other than English.”
“If I concentrate on what my father sounded … sounds like, I can stay on track.”
“Sounded,” Jack pounced on the slip. “What do you mean sounded? What’s happened to John? Is he dead?
Is that why you’ve come here? To tell me that he’s finally dead?” He paused, realizing that his reasoning was
flawed. It had taken almost two years for him to accept that John was gone, but he’d been operating on the
assumption that his son was dead for almost a year now; they hadn’t needed to come from outer space just to
confirm his assumptions.
“Worse than dead,” Aeryn offered carefully, making one of her rare contributions to the conversation. “He is ill.
We need your help. Please.”
Jack listened to the anguish in the short, stumbling phrases, watched the flow of emotions clearly transmitted
through elegant musculature and wondered how John had found this woman, this beautiful, strong woman.
“What do you need?” he said immediately.
“DNA,” Ian answered. “We need a supply of your DNA … a fairly large supply of it, as a matter of fact. Would
you be willing to let us take some blood back with us?”
“No,” Jack returned emphatically. They’d just handed him the lever he needed to force them to answer his
earlier question. “Not until you tell me what’s going on and you’re going to have to tell me how the hell he has a
teenaged son. Either explain all of it or get out of here and go back to wherever you came from.” It was a risk,
he knew. They might elect to leave without telling him the rest of what he wanted to know, but he felt that this
was the only way he was going to get them to tell him the whole truth.
Ian’s shoulders slumped beneath the thin covering of the t-shirt, his gangly teenaged frame creating
semaphore signals that transmitted his emotions faster than words could have accomplished. He turned toward
his mother and waited for her ruling. Jack shifted his focus to Aeryn Sun, keeping Ian’s loud body language in
the corner of his eye. The strong features remained motionless, only her eyes darting around the room as she
considered the ultimatum.
“It is too much risk to tell you,” she announced at last. “We cannot.”
Ian jumped to his feet with a growl of anger, kicking over one of the spare chairs and stalking to the back door.
“Gervok tre ruchinis prani fulgeko!” he snarled.
“IAN!” his mother barked at him.
“D’Argo says it all the time,” he challenged her without turning around.
“I don’t care! You don’t say that kind of words!” she reprimanded her son, the vehemence undiminished by her
struggle with English. The target of her wrath yelled something back at her with an equal degree of fury then
turned his back again, stiffly rigid shoulders loudly communicating his anger.
Jack watched the exchange, puzzled by the boy’s incomprehensible outburst, and amused by the spat, which
looked far more familiar to him. A staccato scolding was fired in the teen’s direction, her voice becoming more
controlled and icier as Ian continued to stand with his back turned. Jack gathered his feet under him, ready for
a hasty retreat as he saw something in this woman that he’d seen only once or twice in his life, and only then in
trained soldiers. Ian’s posture was familiar as well. He was standing at the backdoor, staring into the dark with
stubborn resolve the way John had learned to defy him as he neared adulthood.
Aeryn suddenly banged her fist on the table, unleashing another fast barrage at her son, saying something that
broke through to him. “Mother,” he pleaded, turning around, “we made it here without trouble. If we
don’t tell him, he won’t help us and Dad won’t get better. Please let me tell him.” Ian picked the chair up off the
floor and set it back in its place, a physical apology of sorts for his outburst. “Please. He’s Dad’s father. He
won’t do anything to mess this up.”
She ran a trembling hand over the top of her head, fingering the already smooth hair as she stared down at the
floor. Seconds ticked by, the movement of the kitchen clock suddenly loud as they waited for her decision.
“We come back through time to find you,” she said in a near whisper, then raised her head to look at Jack.
“This is a very, very dangerous thing to do. It could destroy this.”
“Destroy this what?” Jack demanded.
“This entire uni-verse.”
“I think you’ve got a lot more explaining to do,” Jack recommended, and settled more comfortably into his chair.
* * * * *
Aeryn crossed her legs and squirmed her way into the corner formed by the support strut of the ship and the
hull wall, trying to make herself comfortable for the trip back to Moya. The entire endeavor had gone hideously
wrong, just as so many of their plans over the past cycles had twisted into one near disaster after another. The
goal had been to punch through to Earth, get the genetic samples they needed, and then get out again without
being discovered. Lo’La had performed admirably despite the ship’s aging components, transitioning the
wormhole without damage and remaining cloaked while Ian and she made their way to and from Jack Crichton’s
home. D’Argo’s tinkering over the past ten solar days had resolved the three cycle old difficulty with the
cloaking shield shutting down at the most inopportune times, and the power cells hadn’t exercised their peculiar
habit of completely discharging just as they were out of range of Moya.
But it wasn’t the ship that had caused the problem this time.
Aeryn looked at Jack Crichton’s lean form bending over Ian’s spot in the pilot’s seat and tried to figure out how
they’d managed to talk themselves into a position where John’s father could insist on coming with them or not
helping at all. One microt she had won the argument with Ian, convincing him that they couldn’t reveal that they’
d used the wormholes to travel back in time, and mere microts later Jack Crichton had issued his ultimatum.
Take him with them, or he wouldn’t allow them to take samples of his blood.
They’d confessed to Jack Crichton that they’d taken a hideous risk to find him, told him how a slow
degenerative disease was attacking John, one that no Diagnosan had ever encountered, and explained how
his only hope of recovery rested on a substantial supply of unaltered genetic material than neither John himself
nor his half-breed son could provide. She was the one who had admitted that their time on Earth was severely
limited, attempting to force Jack into complying with their request, and had completely underestimated the
influence of the father on the son. He’d become just as obstinate as John had ever been, insisting that John’s
survival would be better served if he came back with them.
No description of John’s involuntary trip to the Uncharted Territories had been enough to convince Jack
Crichton not to accompany them. Her entreaties that he might become another human lost on the far side of
the universe hadn’t swayed him the slightest bit. She’d finally had to concede that they’d already risked setting
off inter-dimensional ripples with the potential of destroying myriads of unrealized realities, and that it would be
foolish to leave without achieving their purpose.
“I can’t think of anything that would cover this situation, so I don’t suppose I’ll write a note,” Jack had stated
nonchalantly, ignoring her final angry demand that he remain on Earth. “Let me get a jacket, though. I hear
outer space is chilly this time of year.” And before she could marshal another argument, he’d been standing at
the door to his living structure, shrugging into his coat with the same fast movement as John.
Ian had been less troubled by the unexpected change in plans, taking it in stride the same way he’d learned to
accept all of the strange and frightening events that had frequented his life. Her son had arrived in the
universe in the midst of a panicked starburst by Moya, had been left alone to alternately scream and burble at
an attending DRD for the first two arns of his life as she’d hobbled off to help D’Argo rescue John, whose safety
line had snapped while he was clearing wreckage off Moya’s outer hull, and had gurgled happily through his
first night, cradled between her body and John’s.
That first night with her son resembled a summary of their lives. She’d been sore and battered from the
delivery and the ensuing rescue, struggling to cope with motherhood as her body struggled to heal; John had
gazed in wonder at his son as his body had recovered as well, shivering its way through his recovery from
hypothermia; and Ian had smiled through it all, seemingly unaffected by being deserted as soon as he’d come
into the world.
Aeryn watched the fast, assured movements of her son, and could barely believe that her eiyan had survived
those first cycles. There’d been so many close calls, ranging from an nearly successful attack by Scarrans in
an attempt to capture John, to the time the toddler had decided to follow a particular DRD into an interior
conduit and had then fallen asleep while the DRD had moved on. John had wormed his way through motras of
tunnels to reach the screaming child that time, emerging filthy and bloodstained from where he’d forced himself
through too-tight openings in his rush to get to his son. Ian had emerged from the conduit laughing again,
enjoying the game of having his father slide him ahead and then slither after him.
“Is everything all right, Aeryn Sun?”
She jumped, startled by Jack Crichton’s solicitous inquiry. He was crouching beside her and she hadn’t even
noticed his approach. “Yes. Fine. Why do you ask?”
“You were staring out the windshield for so long I thought maybe there was something out there that the others
couldn’t see. Something that shouldn’t be there.”
“I am only thinking,” she explained. “How are you doing?” Jack had adjusted to almost everything he’d seen so
far with his grandson’s equanimity, but she suspected he might be reaching the end of his ability to cope.
“I’m having a great time,” he smiled. “I never thought I’d get into space again, and I can’t wait to see this space
ship of yours.” He touched her lightly on the shoulder, and went back to his spot standing behind the two at the
She wondered if he was truly prepared for his first sight of Moya. Ian had enthusiastically described their
floating leviathan home to Jack during the short walk to where Lo’La was sitting in what they suspected might be
one of John’s ‘beige-ball fields’. He’d broken off his rush of explanations only long enough to comm
D’Argo that they were about to arrive so he could uncloak the ship. Jack had muttered something about
‘Romulan tech’ when the Luxan craft had suddenly appeared four motras ahead of him, but had scrambled
aboard willingly, waving away her final objection.
Jack’s expression had been far less enthusiastic when he’d been greeted by an impatient and worried Luxan,
and he had nearly run her over as he backed up in alarm. He’d eyed Ian’s relaxed scramble past D’Argo to
reach the cockpit however, and had taken a seat behind the huge warrior so he could watch his grandson while
they got the ship off the surface and into space. He was still watching the process now, listening to every word
that Ian uttered as though it were some sort of bewitching music that had entranced him. Jack’s gaze
alternated between his newly discovered descendant and the view of his home planet hanging to one side of Lo’
La. D’Argo had the ship arcing along in Earth’s orbit, several thousand metras beyond the
planet’s outer most ring of artificial satellites, preparing to enter the wormhole that they’d carefully charted when
“It recognizes DNA,” Ian explained as he pulled on a pair of black gloves. Jack’s expression was a mixture of
fatherly pride and John’s look of wonder as his grandson prepared to take over at the controls of Lo’La. “Dad
has always called it the messiest ship he’s ever flown.” Ian held his hands out and D’Argo spat liberally into his
palms. “We tried to override the recognition program several times, but all we ever managed to do was blow
out a pile of Moya’s electromagnetic systems --”
“Moya. That’s the big space ship, right?” Jack confirmed as Ian rubbed his gloved hands together and took the
controls. “You’re going to do the flying now?”
“Yes, Moya’s our home, and she got a bit tired of having all her systems randomized by Dad’s attempts to make
this ship flyable by everyone in the crew, so she told Pilot that if he tried it again, Dad would have to find
somewhere else to live.” Ian nodded to D’Argo, and the Luxan took his hands off the controls.
“I am Ian’s uncle,” D’Argo offered haltingly, turning toward Jack now that he was free of piloting duties. Aeryn
shook her head at him, nearly laughing at his crestfallen glower. Despite his efforts to learn English over the
cycles, his pronunciation remained unintelligible. Jack looked from his grandson, who was concentrating on the
readouts, to the huge alien holding out one hand, to Aeryn watching the process with an expanding smile.
“He is named Ka D’Argo. He is uncle to Ian,” she translated. “He wishes to shake your hand.”
“Uncle.” Jack looked D’Argo over in disbelief then examined Aeryn’s physical appearance more carefully, trying
to work out the relationship.
“He’s not my real uncle,” Ian offered, glancing over his shoulder at his worried grandfather. “I’ve got several
self-proclaimed aunts and uncles of various species.”
“You don’t have a problem with that?” Jack asked, taking the large hand cautiously and wincing as it was
pumped with crushing enthusiasm.
“Do you want to be the one to tell D’Argo he’s not my uncle?” Ian laughed. “Get ready. Thirty microts.”
D’Argo released Jack’s hand and casually waved him to a seat, but Aeryn thought he looked like he’d prefer to
yank Jack into one of his rib cracking hugs.
“Are you sure this is the right one?” Aeryn called to her son in Sebacean as D’Argo slid back into his seat.
“You know what happens if we miscalculate –- ”
“I’ve been over it a hundred times, Mother. This is the right one, and I swear I know where to get out.
Jack moved to a seat closer to Aeryn, glancing at her from time to time as they watched the mismatched pair at
the controls direct the craft toward an apparently empty portion of space. “How many times has Ian flown a
wormhole before?” he asked quietly.
“Once,” she answered, holding up a single index finger to confirm her choice of word.
“Once?” he nearly bellowed. “You spend all that time trying to impress on me how dangerous it is to travel
through wormholes, and then you let a student driver take us through?”
“Here it is,” Ian warned them. The interior of Lo’La was filled with an unholy blue light, as though they were
flying into a gigantic cold flame. Jack whipped around in time to see the mouth of the behemoth gaping before
them, and then they were sucked in.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *