Disclaimer: The universe of Farscape and it's characters aren't mine, they just appear here, borrowed for a time. This story-situation, however is mine. I remain, another aspiring writer putting pixels to screen. - ErpBabe@farscaped.com This is my first attempt at fan fic, so please be gentle!
Broken.Hope by ErpBabe (Lisa)
Deep in the Uncharted Territories everyone on board Moya is asleep, except Pilot.
“Crichton, wake up.” whispered Pilot urgently, “I need you.” John stirred, turning over in his bunk. “Crichton.” John suddenly sat up, running his hands through his hair and realized he’d heard his name called. “Yeah, Pilot?”
Pilot responded, “You should get up here, I have something I need to show you.”
“Should have slept faster,” mumbled John, pulling on his pants, “I’m on my way.”
John enters command to find Aeryn already there. “Hey.” Said John. “Hey, yourself” Aeryn replied. “Pilot, what’s going on?” asked John wishing he could get a good night’s sleep. “Moya is concerned, she detected a strange transmission unlike anything she’s ever encountered before.” Pilot replied. “So why wake us up?” asked John, glancing at Aeryn who was wearing her Calvins and a gray t-shirt.
“I analyzed the transmission and I thought you should see – this.” Pilot said as an image appeared in front of them.
Projected in mid-air was a strange diagram. “You woke me up for this?” asked Aeryn, clearly irritated. “Yeah, Pilot, what is this? It looks like a light brite.” Said John. Aeryn shoots John a glance that tells him the translator microbes missed that phrase. “Toy for young children – makes pictures with dots of light.” John explains. Aeryn raises an eyebrow and nods.
John rested his head on his hands, then looked up at the image. Pilot said, “I’ve analyzed the transmission and the resulting image and I believe that this transmission refers to your home planet.”
Aeryn’s head snapped up as she looked at John a trace of worry crossing her face. “You’ve received a transmission from John’s planet?” asked Aeryn.
“Whoa, Pilot – you’ve got something there you think is from Earth? You think that light-brite reject is from Earth?” said John gesturing at the image floating above the table.
As he looks at the image, he’s reminded of something he’s seen before, as a child. Something about an image made of dots sent to the stars.
“John?”. “Crichton?” Aeryn and Pilot asked, jolting Crichton from his reverie. “Okay Pilot, I’m awake, you’ve got my attention”
“Moya first detected this transmission two arns ago, as I analyzed it – it resolved into this image. It was sent as a simple mathematic array based on prime numbers. If you’ll look closely, there is a simple representation of a bipedal lifeform—“ Pilot began to explain.
Johns’ patience was thin, he was tired, and there was the visit to the commerce planet to prepare for, John interrupted Pilot, “So? Sebaceans are bipedal - how do you know that it wasn’t sent from one of our friendly neighbors?”
“Yes, Pilot, how do you know that this didn’t come from a Sebacean colony? Although, I’ll admit, I’ve never seen such a rudimentary communication.” Aeryn said glancing at John.
“Crichton, shortly after you joined us on Moya, you told me of your home system. You mentioned 9 planets of which yours was the third from the star of your system.”
“Yeah, that’s right” asked John, ready to get to the point.
The holo-image partially illuminated and Pilot said, “Look at this portion of the image.”
“This part of the image shows a representation of a star system that matches what you told me about your home.” John frowned at the image – thinking, “Pilot, can you drop the enhancement and let me look at this thing?” “Done.” Replied Pilot.
“Pilot, Can you tell where this came from?” asked Aeryn watching John rub his upper lip as he thought. “No, Officer Sun, I cannot – as I said when you arrived, I’ve never encountered such a transmission before – it doesn’t seem to have an origination point.”
John thought about the image, and as he thought, he remembered something about a message to the stars sent out from a tropical location. A telescope site. He remembered reading about it – some magazine Scientific American or something, shortly before he joined the space program. The message sent looked an awful lot like the image floating in front of him, except, this image seemed to have something trailing at the bottom – that he couldn’t quite make out.
“I’ve seen this somewhere before…” murmured John.
“What? You recognize this image?” asked Aeryn.
“This image – I’ve seen it somewhere – it was used back when I was a kid – scientists sent out a message to the stars from some tropical telescope site. Arecibo, that’s it!” John jumps up and paces, then stops, leaning over the table near Aeryn.
“Why would they do that?” Aeryn asked, looking up at John. “They wondered if anyone else was out there, it was a message to anyone.” He replied.
“Yes, but why would they alert others to their location?” asked Aeryn.
“Aeryn, we’ve had no contact with others, we’re still stuck on one planet. They don’t know about Peacekeepers.” He softly added with a grin.
“Pilot can you isolate that fuzzy part at the bottom of the image? I don’t remember the message having anything after the telescope.” asked John, thoughtfully.
“Just a moment” Pilot’s image shifted and an enlarged version of the message appeared and sharpened.
“What is that?” Aeryn asked, gesturing at the image.
“Pilot, I think you’re right.” John said shaking his head in disbelief as the bottom of the image came into focus. “Those characters there, F S, refer to my Farscape module. And it looks like a representation of a wormhole – but they’ve also included a number.”
“What’s the number refer to?” asked Aeryn.
“It’s referring to a particular type of radiation” said John.
“So it definitely refers to your ship and came from your world?
“Yes, Aeryn. I think so. No idea how, but there it is.”
“But what does it mean, we already know you went through a wormhole.” Aeryn asked trying to understand. “Well, the number refers to gamma radiation, a very high frequency radiation, but I’m not sure how you translate that out here.”
“Commander Crichton, if I might suggest – is there a known frequency you can provide me with?”
“Sure, light, the visible spectrum, at least for humans. But how are you going to translate that?”
“Can you tell me what light is on the same scale?”
John frowns, calculating the number. “Pilot, try on the order of ummm… 10-12 meters. Uh, a meter is about yea big.” He said spreading his hands apart. “Can you work with that?” “Yes John, thank you. Give me just a moment.” Said Pilot.
“John, why would they send out a message when they don’t even know if you’re still alive?” Aeryn asked. “They’re scientists, it’s what they do. Since they have no way of knowing if the message would even reach me or if I’m even around, as you so kindly put it–“ looking pointedly at Aeryn, “I think they mean that the wormhole is somehow still there and that it gives off a particular radiation – a signature. Pilot? Can you scan for that…”
“I am scanning for that frequency now.” Moments pass. “I don’t currently sense anything out of the ordinary in that part of the spectrum, John. I’m sorry.” Pilot said quietly.
“Hey, you know me.” Said John trying to sound upbeat. “At least I know that up til recently, I would be able to get home, if I knew where to look.” John sat at the table, head on his hands. “At least you have something to make your search easier.” Aeryn said, touching his shoulder. “Come on, we should get some sleep, we arrive at that commerce planet tomorrow, I’ll walk with you...”
John looked up at Aeryn, wondering at her tone, “No, you go ahead, I’m going up to the terrace for a while.” He stood and looked into her eyes and whispered, “I’ve got some thinking to do.” He lightly touched the side of her face, then turned and walked from the room, leaving Aeryn staring after him.
“What the frell just happened?” Aeryn said mostly to herself. She sat down heavily on the bench and stared down the passageway where John had just been. Torn, she couldn’t decide to go back to her bunk, or follow John up to the terrace. “Pilot, can you run that scan again?” Aeryn said sounding as if she already knew the answer. “Yes, Officer Sun.” Pilot said sensing her mood. Aeryn sat staring at the image still floating over the table. Her heart ached for John, she knew how much it would mean to him to be able to go home, something she could never do. “Officer Sun? I’ve completed the scan, there’s still – nothing.” “Thank you, Pilot. Has John, is he—“ Aeryn began to ask “Yes, he is on the terrace now.” Aeryn stands, takes a last look at the floating image and heads down the corridor toward the terrace.
Aeryn strides down the corridor absently noting several drd’s making their appointed rounds. As she reaches the entrance to the terrace, she slows, coming to a stop. She stands there silent, thinking about this human who had come to mean so much to her. Why was she hesitating? John would just barrel on her in a similar situation, much like he had over a cycle ago after she’d been stabbed. Then he wouldn’t leave her alone, and thanks to him, she lived today. She stood there unable to take the step, she wondered at the feeling, this wasn’t something that came easily but she had to try.
Aeryn stepped onto the terrace and slowly approached John. He was sitting on the floor, gazing out at the stars, looking lost. It bothered her to know that he had been given such a broken piece of hope in the message Pilot had shown them. “John,” Aeryn started, kneeling down beside him on the floor. “Shhh.” Said John, “don’t say anything.” He whispered, not looking at her. “Do you mind if I sit down?” Aeryn asked softly.
John turned to look at her, cautious, remembering the times she’d pushed him away. “Sure, suit yourself.” He said as he turned back to the stars. “I don’t know Aeryn. I hadn’t thought about it in a while, but when I recognized what Pilot showed us, it hit me all over again.”
“I thought for a split second that maybe it was my lucky day, I’d get to go home, show you Earth, you know.” He said shaking his head. “I know you don’t think you’ll fit in there, but Aeryn, I want you to at least see it, meet my dad…” John trailed off, looking back out at the stars, knowing that kind of visit wasn’t likely.
“John, I don’t know if I can go with you. From what you’ve told me about your people, they would want to study me.” Aeryn said, knowing she could never be explained away, not to the powers that be on Earth. “John, they’d want to keep me away from you, and I could never allow myself to be…” John interrupted, “Aeryn, I would never let that happen, but it doesn’t matter now anyway, since we can’t pick the frequency from the message – I still don’t know where to look. Earth is just as far away as it ever was.”
Aeryn, feeling his sorrow reached out to hold his hand. As unfamiliar as she was with comforting, she had seen John respond that way to others. Startled, John looked at Aeryn with a question in his eyes, and Aeryn pulled him into her arms and held him there. He shifted, wrapping his arms around her, she looked up to face him, and met his lips. No words passed between them for nearly an arn, they settled to the floor, stretched out, body to body, embraced.
John and Aeryn were lost in their own thoughts, holding on to one another as if their lives depended on it. John thinking about finding Earth, losing Aeryn. Aeryn thinking about losing John, or going to Earth and losing herself. There seemed to be no way around it. The questions raised between them by the message could tear them apart or bring them together.
“Well, what do we have here?” Chiana peered around the entrance to the terrace to see a sleeping John and Aeryn. She was surprised to see them on the floor, entwined yet fully clothed. “Hey, what are you two doing here? Pilot said you came up here last night.” Chiana said as a sleepy Aeryn sat up to face her. John rubbed his eyes and sat up, “Hey, Pip, what are you doing here?” not remembering where he was for a moment.
“I came up to see if you wanted anything to eat before we leave for that commerce planet.” Chiana said, gesturing toward the planet growing across the star field outside.
“Uh, yeah, let’s go to galley. Aeryn?” John said, glancing at Aeryn.
“Sure John, the galley.” Aeryn said, uncomfortable in Chiana’s gaze.
Chiana followed them down the corridor, “So what happened last night?—“
“Nothing!” John and Aeryn said in unison.
“I just meant that Pilot said there was some strange message, and you two were talking about it.” Said Chiana, not snooping this time.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Aeryn said, turning the corner into the galley, “all I want is something to eat, so we can get the supplies and get away from this planet.”
John looked at Aeryn, “Good morning.” With a small grin, thinking Aeryn’s slipped back into her Peacekeeper no-nonsense attitude. Aeryn looked up from her bowl, gave John a glimpse of a smile and said, “I’ll meet you in the transport.”