LEGACY OF THE PEACEKEEPERS
By Mark Sherstone
Feedback: God yes!
Warnings: Oh just about anything goes
Summary: Ever wonder about the origins of the Peackeepers?
Disclaimer: Regrettably I have no claim to Farscape
Archiving: Ready at last! If you want it. It's yours! Thanks to Jigs for the beta!
Time Line: Some parts take place about 30 years in the future for Crichton is in his 60's. Others happen 20 to 25 years before hand.
Spoilers: minor ones for most if not all of season one. Also vague reference to "What not to expect when...." by A J Matthews and "Seasons 1 Spring" by Sarah Wait. You'll soon see what I mean.
Admiral John Crichton was on the command deck of his flag carrier the Tuz. It was the same command deck he had occupied for the past twenty cycles. As he looked out the view port at the fleet under his command, he still had a hard time reconciling the fact that he had once been on a living ship, Moya, on the run from the Peacekeepers, and now he was in command of a Peacekeeper fleet. Though to be fair, this fleet was not wholly Peacekeeper.
In his travels over the past thirty or so cycles he had met many alien species, many of which he now counted among his friends and allies, such as the Luxans. His old friend Ka D'Argo commanded their contribution to this fleet. Though he sincerely hoped that he wouldn't have to use the firepower of this fleet to end this impasse.. John's musings were interrupted.
"Admiral, I have a message from one of the cruisers on picket duty."
"And?" he prompted the communications officer.
"They have encountered an Earth vessel sir. The Farscape 3."
"WHAT!? Let me see." John didn't want to believe his ears or his heart.
The image of a ship not that different from Farscape I appeared on the holo viewer. Well it was bigger, but that was about it. John just looked for a time and then he spoke
"Commander, open a link to the Farscape 3, now. And inform the cruiser to escort them to the Tuz when I give the word."
On the Farscape, the crew of five looked out at the expanse of ships. The fleet had to be huge and number in the hundreds, if not thousands. And it was their dumb luck to run into it. Major DK Moore, the mission commander, wondered if his old friend John Crichton was still alive after all this time. John had made it back to earth once and had brought that wonderful woman, Aeryn Sun, with him. DK smiled, if they were alive, they were probably married and had kids by now. John had always been lucky with women, human or any other kind.
"This is Admiral Crichton of the first Peacekeeper fleet to the Farscape 3. Come in please."
"John? Holy shit, John? That you buddy?"
"DK? Oh my...."
"Yeah, it's me, John. Err.where are you?"
"I'm aboard my flag carrier the Tuz."
"Woo. Back up, bud. You mean to tell me this fleet's yours?"
"Yeah," replied John lamely. "See the cruiser off your port side? Follow it. They'll bring you to the Tuz. You'll get lost otherwise. And then I'll explain EVERYTHING, Ok?"
"You're the boss, John. See you soon, buddy." With that, the link went dead. DK turned in his seat to face the rest of his crew, "no one is going to believe us, are they?" he asked.
John was the happiest he had ever been. There wasn't much that could top this reunion with DK.. No there was three things actually, marrying Aeryn and the birth of his two children in that order. John turned to his Executive Officer, Commodore Kain.
"Kain, arrange a suitable reception for the crew of the Farscape. They are my friends, so I expect every courtesy to be extended to them. Also Aeryn and I shall be present."
"Yes sir. Do you wish me to inform Lady Aeryn?"
"No," John felt a wicked grin creep across his face, "I shall tell her myself."
"As you wish my lord. It shall be done."
About half an arn later the Farscape had docked with the Tuz. DK and the rest of his crew had disembarked from the Farscape and stood before John, Aeryn and Kain. John and DK moved as one, hugging and slapping each other on the back
"John, you s.o.b. It is you!" said DK with a big grin on his face.
"Yes it is. DK what in god's name are YOU doing here?"
"I'm not telling you nada until you tell me everything. Understand me, bud?"
"Alright, but first the formalities. DK you have already met Aeryn Sun who is now my wife and mother to my children."
At this news, DK positively glowed for he had just won a sizable wager back at IASA. DK and Aeryn hugged each other warmly, "it's good to see you again, Aeryn." he said.
Aeryn replied that it was good to see him too. John had been watching the rest of DK's crew and was not disappointed by their reaction to Aeryn speaking.
"I have a pretty good idea of what she just said, but John you can't be the translator this time you won't have a voice left."
"You're right, DK. Commodore Kain the microbe injector please." With that John was handed a device that reminded DK of the hypo spray from Star Trek. Within a few short microts, all of the crew of the Farscape had translator microbes and could understand everyone.
"Well DK, this is my Executive Officer, Commodore Marco Kain. Kain this is my long time friend, Major DK Moore." The two men shock hands.
"Commodore, inform me when you hear from Crais."
"Crais? Wasn't he the guy that had a price on your head?" DK asked.
"Yeah, times change. Long story, too. Come on, I'll give you the quick tour." John turned to face Kain, "you have the fleet. Aeryn and I shall be in our quarters if we are needed, entertaining our guests." John placed his left arm around DK's shoulder and his right around Aeryn's waist and headed out of the docking bay with the rest of DK's crew following. They hadn't expected anything like this when they had left earth.
"As you wish my lord," Kain said, conforming John's last order.
"My lord?" asked DK quizzically.
"Yeah that's an even longer story."
"John Crichton, you only married me because of my families status," Aeryn teased.
DK's eyebrows shot up but he decided not say anything more, noticing that John was a little embarrassed. Kain watched for a few microts longer before he exited the docking bay and headed for the command deck. He smiled; today would be interesting for more reasons than one.
An arn or so later, everyone was in John and Aeryn's quarters. Even John's two children had managed to show up despite the fact that they were supposed to be on duty. There was plenty of room for everyone, after all, rank had its perks.
John stood in between his children, making the introductions, "well this is my daughter, Asharah, and this is my son, Travis." he said smiling. "DK, I hope you don't have to be back anytime soon because it's going to take a few arns to explain how I have command of the first Peacekeeper fleet and have a wife and two kids."
"I'm going nowhere till I know the whole story John," said DK grinning.
"Ok then," John said, sitting down next to Aeryn and making himself comfortable. "Well this all started about oh, twenty-five cycles or so ago, on a planet called PK353," he said as he began to tell his tale.
The planet of PK353 was a small Peacekeeper outpost on the edge of the known territories. Not the sort of place to find Moya, but they needed supplies that could only be found on a Peacekeeper world. The fact that this sector was not well trafficked had helped make the decision. Aeryn told them all what she knew about PK353, which wasn't much. She had been here with Crais's Command Carrier, three cycles before joining Moya. Aeryn knew that it didn't even rate a full planetary garrison, in fact, it probably was only half strength. But that was old history now, as Aeryn's prowler and a transport pod from Moya, landed at the spaceport. The half dozen Peacekeepers at the spaceport didn't bother giving the new arrivals a second look as Aeryn, John, and the others disembarked and got in a small group to discuss their next move.
"So far so good, no welcoming committee," remarked John
"There are some Peacekeepers present though," D'Argo noted.
"True, but they seem in no hurry to arrest us," commented Zhann.
"We'll split up as agreed. John and I will see what we can find out about Crais, while you three go get supplies," Aeryn said, turning to leave. As Chiana, Zhaan, and D'Argo watched, John and Aeryn approached the six Peacekeepers.
What happened next surprised everyone - the six Peacekeepers came to attention as Aeryn and John walked past. D'Argo, Zhaan, and Chiana couldn't believe their eyes. Something was very odd.
"Pilot what do you know about PK353?" asked Zhaan.
"Not much. It is a little used outpost for the most part, forgotten by the Peacekeeper High Command. The last listed Garrison Commander is General Sun."
"Is he any relation to Aeryn?" asked D'Argo.
"I do not know. But it is possible," Pilot replied.
"If he is, it goes some way to explaining things," Zhaan observed.
General Sun sat at his desk in his office in the Peacekeeper Command Bunker. It had seen better days, but it was home all the same. His family had been here for cycles. Captain Kain stood in front of him making his report.
"The crew of Moya has arrived sir, as you had hoped. Orders?"
"Good, let them go about their business. However, I wish to see Officer Aeryn Sun and Commander John Crichton here as soon as possible."
"Yes sir. Officer Sun is your granddaughter, isn't she sir?" asked Kain
"Yes she is," General Sun replied with unashamed pride in his voice. "I just wish the situation was better," he said, as his body was wracked with pain.
Kain knew his commander was dying and he had no time to lose if the last great House of Sebacea were to rise again. Aeryn Sun was the last of her House, once the old general died. It was a dark time indeed, ever since the great plague, nothing on Sebacea had been the same, and that had happened a long, long time ago.
John and Aeryn found the command bunker without trouble. Now, how were they going to get in? Then they noticed a Peacekeeper Captain walking toward them.
"Officer Sun, Commander Crichton, I am Captain Kain, General Sun's personal aide. The general has been expecting you. He wishes to speak with you inside." he said.
"What about, do you know?" Aeryn asked more than a little surprised.
"No ma'am, he did not tell me that." Captain Kain paused for a moment, not sure whether to continue or not. "However, he wishes to see his granddaughter one last time before he dies."
The last part hit Aeryn like a lightning bolt. She steadied herself against Crichton, "I don't have any family. They're all dead," she said hoarsely.
"No. Only your grandfather remains. But he is ill and has been for some time."
D'Argo, Zhaan and Chiana looked on from a safe viewpoint. They were too far away to hear and too far away to help. They had finished getting all the supplies that were needed, including the parts for Aeryn's prowler, and had gone in search of John and Aeryn. As they watched, a Peacekeeper captain had walked up to them. Judging by Aeryn's reaction, she had just had a shock of some sort.
"This is too odd," said D'Argo
"You're right," Zhaan agreed.
Crichton's voice came over the comm badge, "D'Argo, Zhaan. Aeryn and I will catch up with you later; something has come up that we have to take care of. See back on Moya. Crichton out." Then they watched as John and Aeryn followed the Peacekeeper into the command bunker.
General Sun waved his visitors to a seat in his office. He studied Aeryn for a time before he spoke, "You were only a few cycles old last time I saw you, Aeryn Sun. Look at you now. You are the image of your mother. She would be proud of you, if she were here."
"For what? Getting irreversibly contaminated?" she replied, as if a light had gone on inside her head. She had only a very vague memory of her parents and her grandfather.
The old general raised his hand in mock surrender, "we'll discuss that in a moment, my child." He shifted his attention to Crichton, "So you are the human, eh?" he said smiling, then he became serious, "what exactly are your intentions towards my granddaughter?"
Aeryn and Crichton exchanged the same shocked expression - how had he known about their relationship?
"Do not look so surprised. I may be stuck on this little rock, but my contacts keep me better informed regarding Moya's activities than what that idiot Crais could ever hope to be. So I know that you two are getting along rather well."
"Aeryn and I are just good friends, sir." replied Crichton.
"Of that I have no doubt," said the general smiling. He decided to let the matter rest for now anyway, as he walked over to a cabinet and began to look for something. "Aeryn, do you know about the legacy of the Peacekeepers and the twenty Great Houses of Sebacea?" he asked.
"Some of it. I was explaining it to John this morning," Aeryn said. This was slowly beginning to make sense in her mind. All this had something to do with the Legacy of the Peacekeepers.
General Sun raised an eyebrow at the mention of Crichton's first name, but did not seem too surprised. Aeryn could do worse than the human.
"Here we are," said the General, as he brought a small chest over to Aeryn. "This has been handed down through the Sun family for generations, ever since the great plague, in fact. And now it's yours, Aeryn."
"What is it?" she asked. She could see the family crest engraved on the lid.
"The legacy of the peacekeepers, my dear," replied the old man.
Aeryn's head came up to look into the old mans eyes. Even Crichton was intrigued.
"When the Peacekeeper Corps was formed about three thousand cycles ago, it was made up, for the most part, by the twenty great houses. The House of Sun is the last. The corps was to help resolve interplanetary disputes. Things worked well, but a great plague hit Sebacea that wiped out about half the population. Then the military took over the Peacekeeper Corps. And now, two and a half thousand cycles later, we have the Peacekeepers as we know and hate them today." The old man sounded very bitter.
"But this outpost...I don't understand," Aeryn said.
"This is all that remains of the old Peacekeeper Corps," said the general, "here you'll find the few Peacekeeper's that haven't been corrupted by the High Command. This has been a Sun strong hold for cycles. Ohh...." suddenly the old man collapsed on the floor his body convulsing in pain. Aeryn and Crichton were at his side instantly.
"My time is almost up," he croaked, "promise me two things, Aeryn."
"First, have children to pass on the legacy too," his glanced at Crichton as he spoke, "and if you are ever captured by Crais, destroy the chest. I swore on your father's grave that the High Command would never get it. They would be....." with that, General Sun died in his granddaughter's arms.
Numb with shock, Aeryn and Crichton walked out of the general's office. Captain Kain, who had greeted them earlier, was waiting for them. He did not have to ask what had happened.
"I'm sorry, ma'am," he said
"It was not unexpected," said Aeryn trying not to cry.
"If you are up to it, ma'am, what are your orders?" Aeryn looked at him in utter disbelief . "It was your grandfather's wish that if you were present upon his death, to take command of this garrison and oversee the evacuation."
"Evacuation?" asked Crichton.
"Yes. When the High Command finds out that the General is dead, they will send the nearest command carrier, which I believe is Captain Crais's."
Aeryn and Crichton looked at each other, "Moya," they said in unison.
"Crichton to Moya. Are you there, D'Argo?"
"Yes Crichton, what is it?" said D'Argo.
"You and Zhaan better get down here. We have an evacuation to organize."
"Evacuation?" asked Zhaan.
"Yes. We'll explain when you get planet side. Come to the Peacekeeper Command Bunker. We'll be here. Crichton out."
On Moya, D'Argo and Zhaan looked at each other. This had gone from strange to out and out weird.
Aboard his command carrier Crais had just received some disturbing news.
"Sir, a message from the Peacekeeper High Command."
"What is it?"
"General Sun is dead."
Crais looked a little shocked; he had served under the general for a short time. He knew about the legacy well enough, as did most Peacekeepers, though it was never really spoken of. It seemed the last chance of that ever becoming true was gone.
"How long will it take us to get there?"
"At best speed? Twenty arns sir."
As Crais turned back to look out the view port, he wondered if Officer Sun was a relation and if Moya had made it to PK353. But he put that thought out of his mind; he didn't want to think about it. It brought back memories of his brother's death.
On PK353, D'Argo and Zhaan looked shocked at what they had just been told. Had Aeryn and Crichton gone mad? What was this Legacy of the Peacekeepers anyway?
"To have that many Peacekeepers on Moya is dangerous," said D'Argo
"Look, I know how you feel big guy. But they have no long-range transports. And the stuff they have is old. That and the fact Crais could turn up anytime and then we would all be in very deep dren."
"What about Rygel? He won't like it either," said Zhaan
"The little fur ball is just going to have to deal, isn't he?" said Crichton.
"Captain, how long will it take to evacuate to Moya?" asked Aeryn.
"Fifteen arns, twelve if we hurry. I believe that Crais should be here in about twenty arns, ma'am," said Captain Kain, guessing Aeryn's next question.
So for the next twelve arns a steady flow of prowlers and transports made there way to Moya. At last there was only one prowler was left, Aeryn's.
"Are you sure Captain?" asked Aeryn.
"Yes ma'am. Someone has to be here when Crais arrives."
"You may face almost certain death."
"I know, but it is a small price to pay to see the Legacy continue, ma'am." With that, Kain and his men saluted Aeryn and John as they boarded her prowler. Shortly after docking, Moya made a starburst and was gone.
Eight Arns later Crais's command carrier arrived. He would be happy with the news he received. Crais looked out into space. Even in death, the old general had out done the High Command once again. Had it been chance or fate that had placed Moya here before the old man died? Either way, he didn't believe in that sort of thing. Moya was more of a threat than ever, at least to the Peacekeeper High Command, as Aeryn now had the legacy in her possession. If that were to come to pass, it would mean a Peacekeeper civil war that is if the worst happened. Crais turned and went back to giving orders.
DK's eyes bugged out of his head has he tried to comprehend what he had just been told. His old friend John Crichton had led an interesting life. "Wow. Your dad would be proud of you. John."
"Isn`t bad for someone not even born here, is it?"
"You're not wrong there, buddy," DK said. "So you mean to tell me that this fleet is involved in this Peacekeeper civil war?" asked DK .
"Yes, though it is more a political and ideology struggle for control of the Peacekeepers rather than a hot war. I just hope it doesn`t come to that."
DK only nodded his agreement. "Ok, how did General Sun know you two had a thing going?" DK asked. He still hadn't figured that part out.
"Well, Aeryn and I were on our honeymoon on Caio." said John, grinning at DK's reaction the word honeymoon.
The commerce planet, Caio, was one of the most advanced planets the crew of Moya had ever visited. Little did any of them know that they would be back here before another cycle had passed, but for a very different reason. They were here because John wanted to take Aeryn on a honeymoon, or at least as near as he could get, anyway.
As they were walking through the busy market back to the spaceport, and to Aeryn's prowler, John asked with a grin, "so, how did Mrs. Crichton enjoy her honeymoon?"
"Very much. You Humans have some interesting traditions," Aeryn said, returning her husband's smile.
"You got that right, babe," he said, kissing her on the forehead.
As the newlyweds passed by a non-decrepit stall, two Sebacean free traders watched them with interest.
"Is that them?" one asked.
"Yes. It is time to pledge our loyalty to them. Inform the others and meet me at Lady Aeryn's prowler." With that, the two merchants departed, unnoticed.
John and Aeryn were laughing as they entered the spaceport's landing area. They rounded a corner to where Aeryn's prowler was and stopped dead in their tracks - there had to be at least twenty people standing around the prowler.
"What in the world?" asked John, taken off guard.
The tall Sebacean from the market stepped forward and bowed before he spoke, "greetings my Lord and Lady Crichton," he said. "Lady Aeryn, it was your grandfather's wish that we," he continued, indicating the group behind him, "upon his death, pledge our loyalty to you and your mate, as our families have done for generations." He could see the questions in their eyes, so he continued, "our ancestors were all in the employ of the great House of Sun. It was then considered an honour to serve one of the great Houses of Sebacea."
John and Aeryn smiled at each other, realising how the general had kept tabs on them and Moya without the Peacekeepers knowing about it.
Two weekens later, Moya was making its way through yet another new star system when a fast merchant cruiser approached. John was the only one in command when the message came through.
"My Lord, I have news that may interest you and your friends."
"Go on, I'm listening."
"Captain Crais has been arrested by the Peacekeeper High Command for dereliction of duty and is due to be tried with in two weekens."
"And if he is found guilty?"
"The living death," said Aeryn, as she entered Command. That sent a chill up John's back. As much as he hated Crais, he didn't believe he deserved that. But there was nothing he could do.
He had on his conscience the death of Tauvo Crais, even though it was an accident. And then there was the death of Hassan, which was worse. He had never really felt guilty about Larraq's death, regretted it yes, but that was all. He had almost lost Aeryn and that scared him like nothing else so far. It seemed he would soon have the death of Bilar Crais to add to that list.
DK looked at his friend. It seemed he had a private little spy network happening. "So you mean to tell me you have a spy network?" DK asked.
"Not exactly," Aeryn said, "but it's the best term I can think of."
"And I don't know how far it reaches," John admitted.
"So tell us about this legacy thing," DK urged.
"Now we get to the interesting part," John smiled.
It had been almost two cycles since Aeryn's grandfather died, but she still hadn't had the chance to look at the chest he'd given her - until now, anyway. Things had become more settled recently and John and the others thought it was time to take a rest from trying to get killed.
That's funny, Aeryn thought, you always thought of your crewmates by their names, but now it was 'John and the others.' She had to admit she was drawn to the human, but why? He was quite good looking, there was no denying that. But there was more to it than just physical attraction. After five cycles together on Moya, Aeryn had realised she loved him, even though he was a contradiction of all the values that had been ingrained in her since birth. He was no soldier, but a scientist, a thinker, a man who solved problems with his brain, not his brawn.
He had once said that she could be more. And she was. She was a mother and a wife, two things she would never have been if she were still a Peacekeeper. That made Aeryn look at her - yes, it was her's now - the chest that held the Peacekeeper secrets. It was time to open it, but first.
"John, are you free? Can you come to our quarters, please?"
"Sure. Be there in two shakes of a cat's tail," came the reply. Earth term, Aeryn thought.
As John Crichton left the command deck, he chose to ignore the quizzical glance thrown at him by D'Argo. If they couldn't figure out when he was using earth slang by now they never would!
Walking to their quarters, Crichton's mind went back to when he had first come to this part of the universe. He and Aeryn had had a rocky start to their friendship - correction, make that relationship - like him being pinned to the floor! What a woman!
But things had settled down. When Aeryn had that case of Sebacean Heat Delirium, he had been scared to death, especially if he had had to kill her! He was just beginning to like Aeryn.. And then there was that incident with Gilina. That was just plain stupid! What that bastard Namtar had tried to do to her that had really pissed him off. But Namtar had got his comeuppance in the end.
After that, he began to realise that he cared for Aeryn. Which was a little scary considering she wasn't human. When they had been trapped in the Flax and shared that kiss, he knew he was falling in love with her. And after she had been stabbed...well that did it. He had made a promise to her that she would never be alone and that was one promise he intended to keep, even if it meant never going home, which was pretty unlikely anyway.
His dad had, if nothing else, drilled into him to be a man of honour. He had Aeryn, his child and his friends, which was all that mattered now. He often wished she'd drop the soldier routine and just be plain Aeryn Sun. Old habits die hard!
At last he had reached their quarters. Time to see what she wants..
Aeryn sat cross-legged on their bed with the chest in front of her when she heard Crichton knock on the door.
"Come in," she said.
"Hey, what's up babe?" asked Crichton as he came in.
Aeryn had her eyes on the chest; she tried not to smile. When someone called you a 'babe' it meant that they liked you and liked you a lot! She finally looked up at John.
"I think it's time we opened this," she said.
"And you wanted me to be here?" he asked as he sat next to her.
"Yes, you're part of this now. After all, you are my mate," said Aeryn with a smile.
Crichton smiled back at his wife. She's got you there pal, he thought to himself. They both realised long ago that they loved each other, their six-month-old daughter was living proof of that, if any were needed.
"Do you think he's watching us?" she asked.
"Probably." Both of them could feel a presence in the room and they were sure it was the old general.
Aeryn slowly lifted the lid to reveal a collection of very old scrolls and as they lifted them out, at the bottom of the chest was the original Peacekeeper seal, which had not been used in thousands of cycles. Crichton very carefully unrolled one of the scrolls; his eyes just about popped out of there sockets.
"Aeryn... I can read this," he said in a whisper
"What!? But that's Ancient Sebacean. You shouldn`t be able too."
"I know, but I can, well most of it anyway."
"But how's that possible?"
"I've studied something like it back on Earth. Both in its written and spoken forms - Latin."
Aeryn was stunned; she couldn't think of a thing to say, she just looked at him.
"It was used by the ancient Romans and Greeks. It's pretty much a dead language now." Crichton just let out a breath and then he began to read the scroll out loud, "The Legend of the Peacekeepers will come to pass when the last descendant of the house of Sun, aided by five other beings, will travel in a leviathan through the uncharted territories. Together they will help the white phoenix rise from the ashes and destroy its evil twin, once again restoring peace to the galaxy."
Crichton turned to face Aeryn, "this is pretty heavy stuff you know," he said.
Aeryn looked down at the scroll. What Crichton just read was right. She was the last of the House of Sun and there were five others aboard Moya, well six if you counted Pilot, but somehow he didn't fit the prophecy. They were in the uncharted territories. So what was next in this adventure that fate had put before them? She looked at the rest of the scrolls. There were twenty more lying on the bed, one for each of the houses that made up the Peacekeepers, she guessed.
And what was that folded piece of paper in the bottom of the chest, the one she hadn't noticed before? It turned out to be a letter from her grandfather explaining the contents of the chest. For the next few arns Aeryn and Crichton looked through the scrolls, but at last they were tired and put them back into the chest. Crichton was about to leave when Aeryn stopped him.
"Please John stay with me tonight. I don't want to be alone."
"I thought it was my turn to look after you know who."
"I asked Chiana if she would baby sit tonight."
"When the frell did you do that?"
"When you went to the bathroom silly."
"In that case, whatever you want babe," he said softly as he kissed her.
Aeryn slipped her arms around him. There was no way Crichton was getting away from her tonight. Before too long they were both in bed, talking for a while before they fell asleep in each other's arms. The old general had been watching them since Crichton had entered. He now stood and walked over to where his granddaughter and her mate now slept, smiling down at them as if giving his approval, then he turned to look out the view port.
"The High Command's time is almost up. Soon the House of Sun will rise again and reclaim its control of the Peacekeeper Corps." The general glanced at the sleeping couple. He could talk as loud has he liked, they couldn't hear him unless he wanted them to, after all, he was a ghost. "Or should that be the House of Crichton?" he smiled again. His job was done, at least for the time being. With that he faded into the shadows of Moya; he would appear if he were needed.
Zhaan was meditating when she had felt a presence on Moya, she had the same sensation ever since they had left PK353. It wasn't hostile, it was more reassuring, as strange as that sounds. It was strongest when Aeryn was in the same room. Zhaan had a feeling she knew who it was. Yes, there was General Sun standing by Aeryn's view port. The emotions she felt coming from him were strong: pride, hope and joy. Pride in Aeryn and Crichton, hope for the future and Joy for, ah well, they all knew about that. That was one piece of the puzzle, as for the rest it would have to wait till morning.
D'Argo walked by John and Aeryn's room as he headed for his own. As he passed, he glanced in. D'Argo could remember a time when he would have killed them both, but now he would lay down his life for them and their daughter. When Aeryn was suffering from Sebacean Heat Delirium, the look he had seen in Crichton's eyes when he realised that she could die had taken him by surprise. It had been a look of genuine concern and fear. D'Argo had decided that humans were a complex puzzle. You could not easily predict what they would do. Crichton was a testament to that, his feelings for Aeryn, for example. He had been unwilling to leave her behind to face almost certain death by Crais, despite her insistence that she was not going with them. After all they had been through, Crichton never gave up on Aeryn.
In fact, he'd never given up on any of them. D'Argo lowered his head in shame, remembering the incident with Namtar. He knew Crichton may never fully forgive him for that. Crichton was the only one who had seen right through Namtar's deception and was willing to take on him, Zhann and Rygel to save Aeryn. That said something for the human's honour. He was no warrior, and he didn't pretend to be, but even so he had used his skills as a Tech and a negotiator to get them out of some tight spots.
It was early morning and both Aeryn and Crichton were awake. They looked like a pair of young lovers who had just "made out" big time and were afraid of getting caught by their parents, well crewmates in this case. Not that it mattered, everyone knew.
"Wow, you were good, great even." said Crichton as he kissed Aeryn on the forehead.
"So were you," purred Aeryn, "as always."
Crichton looked at the chest on the nearby table, "I suppose it's time we spilled the beans to the others." Aeryn looked confused. "Whoops, I mean tell the others about the chest."
"You're right, as ever," said Aeryn, sliding on top of Crichton, "but first we have a few arns to kill," she said with a twinkle in her eyes. With that they got back to some serious "making out" as it would be two or three arns before anyone else was up and neither of them felt sleepy.
Down the hall Chiana had been sleeping, but she was awakened by the sounds of pleasure coming from Aeryn's room. She looked at the crib that D'Argo had made. The baby was sleeping soundly.
"You know," Chiana whispered, "if your mum and dad keep that up you're going to have a brother or sister in no time." Chiana had no idea how true her words would be. She smiled, happy for them.
She had once wanted Crichton for herself, but the friendship that formed between John and Aeryn was just too strong and once they had admitted that they loved each other that had ended any plan Chiana may have had to split them up. Though she had tried, John had always seen right through her.
And there was that conversation with Aeryn. Aeryn had made it very clear that John was hers and if Chiana tried to sleep with him she would take great delight in blowing her out the nearest airlock.
But what was in that Chest? She had sneaked into Aeryn's room more than once to have a look, but had never gotten close enough to see what was inside; she was not sure why. Chiana closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.
On Moya, later that morning, the breakfast things had been put away and everyone, including Pilot, was present to see what Aeryn was about to reveal. The chest sat in front of her and Crichton was sat to one side. Aeryn stood to speak to the crew
"Well, John and I have decided it's time to tell you about this," she said as she tapped the box. "I'll start at the beginning. About three thousand cycles ago, when the galactic alliance was crumbling under its sheer size, it looked certain that there would be full interstellar war. The twenty Great Houses of Sebacea ruled the single biggest power, the Sebacean Federation, who put forward the idea of the Peacekeeper corps."
At this, everyone looked at each other as they had heard stories about the start of the Peacekeepers, but thought they were just that, stories, but apparently there was some truth to them after all.
"Please continue, Aeryn," said D'Argo, he wanted to know how they all fitted into this.
"Well, the idea was accepted. And the personnel were drawn from the Great Houses' own military for Peacekeeping duties. At that time, the civilian government and the regular military had no say in the running of the Peacekeepers."
"So what's changed?" asked the cranky Hynerian.
"A lot Rygel," Aeryn said, not hiding the hurt, "everything worked fine for about the first five hundred cycles or so, but then a great plague hit Sebacea and her colonies wiping out about half our population. Only one Great House survived the plague in tact - my house, the House of Sun."
"So what happened then?" asked Chiana. This was getting interesting.
"The regular military saw it's chance to take control of the Peacekeepers and did just that. And that's when everything went wrong. Slowly over time the rules that governed the Peacekeepers were changed, distorted - a far cry from what was intended. And now, two and a half thousand cycles later, the Peacekeepers as we know them now."
"As I said, what has changed?" said Rygel, he was getting bored out of his mind
Aeryn very calmly placed her palms on the table and leaned toward Rygel, "do not mock me Hynerian," she said in a very low and threatening manner, "for I am in no mood for your games."
"Aeryn continue," Zhaan said, getting worried
"Well, as my house was the last, it was decided that they would be the guardians of the Legacy. And that is what this is. It is the original founding documents, charters, and most important of all, the original seal. There are descendants of the other Houses, but none with an unbroken bloodline. I'm the last of my House," said Aeryn gravely.
"But why didn't you know all this before now?" asked Chiana.
"My parents died when I was young, so I was raised on a Peacekeeper ship. The legend was not spoken of much and I was always led to believe that I had no family. Now I know I was lied to and why. I swear on my grandfather's grave that the Peacekeeper High Command will pay for that mistake."
Crichton could not help but smile at this last statement. Aeryn was still a PK commando inside. He was glad of this, as he didn't want her to change to much to soon.
"So how do the rest of us fit in?" asked Zhaan.
"I'm still not sure. All I know is that I will need your help. The twenty other scrolls each have a star map hidden within them so we'll have to decode them for a start. They show where all the hidden house secrets are located within the uncharted territories."
"You can count on me," said D'Argo.
"And me. It's payback time," said Chiana.
Zhaan nodded her agreement. As for Rygel, he just grumbled something about being out voted again and made sure he was well away from Aeryn when he said it.
Two weekens passed on Moya without much happening, which was unusual to say the least. The crew still hadn't figured out how to read the hidden star maps. This in itself was becoming a contentious issue. That, and the fact for the past two weekens Aeryn had been sick again. Not as sick as last time, but sick enough to worry John.
"Why the frax do I feel like dren?"
"You're gonna have another baby, Aeryn. I think." he said softly.
"You're responsible you know," she said with a hint of a laugh in her voice.
"Oh really?" Crichton said smiling, "it takes two you know. And as I recall you're the one who jumped me!" They both laughed at this.
"The others are in command aren't they?"
"I think I know how these star charts work. What we humans call hidden in plain sight."
Aeryn looked at him quizzically. She didn't have the faintest idea what Crichton was talking about, but then most of the time she never did.
"Allow me to show you Miss Sun," he said as he rolled out one of the scrolls. He told Aeryn how to look at it. To Aeryn's amazement she could see the star map appear.
"How did you come up with that?
"Well as silly as it sounds the fact you're pregnant gave me the idea."
"How's that?" Aeryn asked.
"Well, the baby is hidden in plain sight, right?" Crichton said as he lightly touched her stomach to prove his point. "Not that we'll see much of him for a few months," he added, grinning like a Cheshire cat.
"I'll leave you two alone for a bit and go see D'Argo." With that, Crichton hustled out of the room before Aeryn could think of anything to say.
As Crichton walked to command, his mind spun at the thought of being a father again. It wasn't the fact he was going to be a dad that bothered him, it was that he couldn't tell his dad or DK about it, nor about Aeryn, for that matter. His dad would be thrilled to know he had grandkids. For now, he'd have to settle for telling the rest of the crew; he had a feeling that was going to be fun.
"D'Argo, I think I've nutted out how these star charts work," he said as he walked in.
"About frelling time."
"What you do is hold the chart at arm's length, like so. Then just look at it for a while, ignoring the writing on it. See how the star map appears?"
"How did you come by this?" Zhaan asked.
"Lucky guess. Which reminds me, I know why Aeryn has been sick lately."
This got everyone's attention including Pilot's. "Aeryn's pregnant again."
This statement made Rygel almost fall off his hover throne, much to the amusement of the others. They, too, were a little surprised at what Crichton had just said.
"You mean to tell me that Officer Sun is with child?" asked Rygel once he had recovered.
"Yep, she sure is. Again," Crichton said, smiling with pride. John was wondering how Rygel would out do himself at the baby shower.
Aeryn was alone in the star chart room. She let go of her self-control and began to sob uncontrollably, she wasn't sure why. Was if fear, anger or joy? She just didn't know.
"Now I've really made a mistake. How can I do what my grandfather wants when I'm with child. And it's not Sebacean either," Aeryn sobbed.
The Peacekeepers had gone to great lengths to make sure their soldiers in the field didn't have children. They drummed the importance of it into her at a very early age, discouraging the idea of having a family at every opportunity. And now she was pregnant by a Human, again! So much for keeping the bloodline pure!
"Is it a mistake to love someone like Crichton, Aeryn?" asked a voice.
Aeryn looked up to see her grandfather standing in front of the chart table. He was there, but he was translucent. She almost could see right through him.
"No," she murmured. General Sun smiled at this; she had said the right thing.
"Aeryn, all your friends have their part to play. You'll know when and how. As for Crais, he will be an ally. The legacy has waited for two and a half thousand cycles, so I think it can wait until you have your second baby." General Sun smiled happily at his granddaughter, "the fact that your children are only half Sebacean isn't important. What is, however, is that the future of your house is safe."
They both heard footsteps; it was Crichton returning from command. "Here comes your husband. I'd better be going."
As Crichton entered, all he saw was Aeryn sitting, looking out the view port.
"Hey, I'm back," he said as he sat next to Aeryn. It was only then he noticed that she had been crying.
"What's up babe? You been crying?"
"Yes a little. I got emotional after you left."
"Finally sunk in, huh? Come on we want you to do the honours of putting in our new course. And the rest of the crew want to meet the little fella."
"How do you know it's a boy?" she asked as they left the chart room.
"I don't, could be a girl," said Crichton as they walked to command. What the future would hold was anyone's guess.
DK looked dumb struck. This was way over his head and he didn't mind admitting it either. His old friend was now a very powerful man by any definition.
"So from just Moya you've built this fleet? John how did you come to command it?"
"As I said, Aeryn and I are the rough equivalent of Royalty on Sebacea and as a result we have quite a bit of influence, but it still wasn't enough to convince the Sebacean military to restore control of the Peacekeepers to us. Two and a half thousand cycles of damage can't be undone in twenty-five. The Peacekeeper High Command gave me a full squadron of command carries to command. They hoped to keep me quiet. But over time I had more and more command carriers requesting transfer to my command. Soon I had an entire fleet. "
DK's eyes glazed over; he was having a hard time absorbing all this information.
"So when did this power struggle thing start?"
"About five cycles after I took command of my squadron. It's been long and hard, but the end is in sight. I've dispatched a command carrier to see if the Peacekeeper High Command is willing to concede. I don't really want to attack Sebacea unless I have too."
"We should hear from Commodore Crais soon," said Aeryn
The look on DK's face was enough for John to continue. He had forgotten the part about saving Crais's life and getting Aeryn's old unit reinstated.
The courtroom on Sebacea was dimly lit which suited John and Aeryn just fine. They had come in unnoticed and now were waiting their chance. The Commodore in charge of the proceedings stood and began to speak, thinking his next statement was only a formality
"Can or is anyone willing to speak in Captain Crais's defense?"
That was John's queue. "We are," he said.
"Step forward and be recognised." The Commodore hadn't expected this. As he watched, two cloaked figures walked into the light. Their rich golden cloaks seemed to glow and the silver neck plates that bore the House seal almost blinded him. Everyone in the room gasped audibly as they realised that these two were Sebacean aristocracy. But that was impossible - only one house had survived the great plague and that was the House of Sun.
"Who are you?" asked the Commodore.
"I am Lady Aeryn Crichton Sun. The last of the House of Sun," she said, lowering her hood.
John also lowered his, "and I am Lord John Crichton. We have come to speak in defense of Captain Bilar Crais as I believe he dose not deserve the Living Death."
"You are aware of the charges against Captain Crais?"
"Yes I am sir. I do not condone his actions, though I can understand them."
"Crichton I swore I'd kill you if I ever got the chance, yet you are here to defend me?" Crais spoke, finally recovering from his shock, "and you've brought Officer Sun who has been Irreversibly contaminated!" he spluttered.
John took a step toward Crais, "you Peacekeepers wouldn't know the meaning of the words if they jumped up and bit you in the ass!" he said, angered by Crais's words. "We had someone back on Earth who tried the racial purity thing called Adolph Hitler. And it caused a six cycle long World War!" John's voice lowered slightly, "and what did we have at the end? A devastated planet and a chance to make sure it doesn`t happen again." His anger flared again, "so don't tell me about irreversible contamination! I may be primitive by your standards but I do know nothing good can come from racial purity. How you have managed to last three thousand cycles amazes me!"
John took another step closer to Crais so he could look him in the eye, and what he saw did not surprise him. He saw the grief, pain and hate that Crais still had over his brother's death, even after five cycles. John knew he would have to get him to let go of the pain if he were to help Crais, and that wasn't going to be easy.
John spoke softly, but clearly, "Bilar Crais. I once told you that Tauvo's death was an accident. I meant it then and I mean it now. Not a day goes by when I see your brother's prowler careening out of control, and the fireball that engulfed it. I can still see Tauvo's panicked face and hear his scream of fear and anguish as his ship exploded. You do your brother's memory a grave injustice by hating me for his death. You should remember him for the man he was, not how or why he died." John paused before he continued, "I've lost my home world. Where I was born. That still hurts after five cycles. But I still remember all the good times I had before I found myself here. Look into your heart Bilar Crais. You know what I say is true."
John looked into Crais's eyes and saw the moment when he let go of his hate and took a few steps back from insanity. John allowed himself a small smile; he had done what he had come to do.
It was late afternoon by the time John and Aeryn left the courtroom. John still couldn't get over the fact that they had walked out of there in one piece, but they had.
"Things went very well. We got Crais a reduction in rank for his disobeying orders. And nobody wants to kill me!" said John.
"We have many friends in high places, John, both in the military and in Sebacean society as a whole." Aeryn knew this statement would get a reaction and it did.
"How'd you work that one out?"
"When we arrived here on Sebacea about a weeken ago, we were confirmed as the rightful claimants to the Sun House and all its assets. Some of the descendants of the other great houses are serving as officers in the military and have made sure nothing happens to either of us."
Captain Crais approached them, "My lord, I do not know how to thank you for my life."
John smiled, "Well I think I do. Can you have Aeryn's old unit reinstated?"
"I can sir. If that is your wish."
"And I also understand that I have the right to select a regiment as our personal guard?"
"Indeed you do, sir. Who did you have in mind?" though Crais already knew the answer.
"The Pleisar Regiment, of course." said Aeryn, with more that a hint of pride.
Crais smiled; he had been right. "It shall be done." With that, he bowed and left.
His number one, who would, in a few short arns, take his place as Captain of this Command Carrier, met Captain Crais. However, he still had time to give his last two orders as Captain before he was officially reduced in rank.
"It is good to see you sir."
"Where is the Pleisar Regiment, Number one?"
"Rec Area sir. Why?"
"Good. Come. All shall be revealed soon."
Captain Crais almost ran to the rec area. As he entered he barked out, "Pleisars front and center!" Within microns the full regiment was assembled for inspection.
"I have good news for you all. You are no longer grunts. You are all to be reinstated as Commandos as of right now."
"How sir?" asked the regiment commander.
"I have just repaid my debt to Lord and Lady Crichton Sun. You are also to be reassigned to their Flag Carrier as their personal guard. Lady Crichton Sun requested you herself." Crais watched their faces, knowing it would take a little time for it to sink in, but when it did they wouldn't able to talk about anything else. In fact, it would be the talk of the whole command carrier. "Dismissed," Crais ordered. As he turned to leave, a small smile crossed his face *maybe my brother's death was not in vain* he thought.
DK looked flabbergasted. He couldn't quite take it all in. Neither could his crew. "So you mean to tell me that Crais is your friend?"
"That's about the size of it, DK." John paused and then continued, "I'm a friend to alien beings, a father of two beautiful children and husband to a former Peacekeeper. It's not a bad life for one born on a planet thousands of light years away. Primitive by this galaxy's standard, yet they trust me enough to help sort out disputes. This galaxy has become my home DK, but I'd still like to go back to earth one last time." As John spoke his eyes travelled from DK to his children to Aeryn and back to DK.
"Yeah, the boys on the ISS would get a shock if they saw THIS approaching earth. Which reminds me, I'm due to take command of the ISS when we get back. You still got the coordinates for earth?"
John realised what DK was on about, "You don't mean?" he asked.
"Why not?" said Aeryn. "Once we get this out the way, we can take a trip to earth. After all the Tuz has the speed and range and the children have always wanted to see where their father comes from." The children just nodded their agreement.
"Admiral, sorry to intrude but Commodore Crais is contacting us now."
"Very well, I'm on my way. Sorry DK, duty calls. Aeryn could you?"
"Yes I'll keep them entertained till you get back, John."
"Thanks, love." John departed for the command deck.
As John walked into Command, he saw the face of his old friend and one time adversary Commodore Crais appear on the main viewer.
"Commodore, how goes things?"
"Very well. The Peacekeeper High Command is finally letting you have overall command of all Peacekeeper forces in the known territories."
"That easily?" John asked.
"Yes, though their hand was forced. It seems your reputation has preceded you, sir."
"The non-Peacekeeper worlds have backed your position as the rightful commander to the point of all out war."
"It is a great honour to be so acknowledged."
"Indeed. But there is one last thing that was in your favour. The fact that you are not Sebacean. Strange as it sounds, you arrived here with an open mind and had no real prejudices against any one race. You have made many friends over the cycles, and when the Luxan, Hynerian and Delvian ask for you and you alone to arbitrate in their disputes, that says something for you. So the High Command will restore Peacekeeper control to the last great house, the House of Sun."
"I am pleased. When may I expect to see you?"
"I shall be there in about a weeken, sir."
"Good, I shall see you then. Tuz out."
John turned to see DK, his crew, Aeryn and their two children watching him. "It's over. We've won." he said.
There was quite a celebration on the Tuz that day, and throughout the entire fleet. If one looked to a darkened corner of the command deck you could almost make out a shadowy figure; General Sun was watching. The Legacy had just started and it would take several more generations to restore the Peacekeepers to their former glory. And it had all started when a human from earth was shot through a wormhole and collided with a Peacekeeper prowler.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plots are the property of the respective authors. No money is being made from these works. No copyright infringement is intended.
This site is run using eFiction.