Wayward astronaut John Crichton returns home after almost a decade away
from Earth, and brings his daughter. Insert your favorite disclaimer here.
Also, my only knowledge of any space program comes from re-runs of “I
Dream of Jeannie,” so don’t expect a lot of verisimilitude. Just suspend
The Crichton family settled into a routine - at least, as much of a routine as possible when under constant surveillance. DK, Leslie, her husband Mike and their two sons as well as Jessica and her two daughters were living at the cabin now. After what happened to DK, no one wanted to risk being picked up for "questioning." Jessica's husband, a naval aviator, was stationed on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean.
John would spend 2-3 days a week in New York, attending various sessions of the United Nations or giving briefings (making the slightest of progress in the initial negotiations towards the treaty with the Territorial Alliance) and spend the rest of the week at the "Embassy" in Maine. John had finally gotten the Farscape module released from the government, so John, Jack and DK would spend part of each day in the two-car garage working on the Farscape, undoing the damage done by the government's crypto-technologists. Occasionally, Mike, a mechanic, would join them.
On their daily trek to Baskin-Robbins, the Crichton clan would wave to the government agents watching their movements. Once, Katie insisted they bring back ice cream for the agents. "They look so miserable, sitting in their car all day long," she explained to her perplexed relatives. She couldn't understand why the agents threw the ice cream cones away. "Maybe they think we put drugs in the ice cream," Jack suggested as they walked, hand-in-hand, to the back yard.
"Why would we do that? It's not like they're Scarran assassins, or anything like that." Katie suddenly looked frightened. "They aren't working for the Scarrans, are they, Granddad?"
Jack stopped and knelt down, looking Katie in the eye. "Of course not, Katie. You're safe here," he said as he gave her a reassuring hug. Most of the time, Katie acted like any other seven-year-old child, and Jack would never guess she had been through two wars and an imprisonment. But other times, Katie would let her fears and anxieties show, and it broke his heart. When John first brought Katie to Maine and Jack showed her the cabin, Katie looked around, curious. But when any other child would have asked about what other kids there were in the neighborhood, or where the playground was, Katie very seriously asked how many bodyguards there were and where the bombardment shelter was located. John told her they didn't need either, because they were "hiding in plain sight."
'She'll probably have a nightmare tonight,' Jack thought to himself.
Both Katie and John suffered from them. Katie's nightmares usually came
when John was in New York, and Jack would rush to comfort her. As much
as it tore Jack up to hear what his son and granddaughter had been through,
he knew that what they didn't talk about was much worse.
John was still in New York, DK was in the garage checking out the Farscape, and Samantha, Susan, and Davie were playing in the backyard with Mike.
"Why don't you join your cousins, Katie?" Leslie asked as she gave Jason, her infant son, a bottle.
Katie shook her head.
"Don't feel like it?" Leslie coaxed.
"Too tired," Katie answered sleepily.
Jack walked in and swept Katie into his arms. "Well, she just has good taste- she'd rather stay in here with us," he said as he tickled her. Jack knew that after her nightmare, Katie didn't go back to sleep. "Wanna watch a movie?" he suggested.
"Can I sit next to you while we watch?" Katie asked hopefully. Katie was getting better at sharing her Granddad with her cousins (who actually had him first, she realized), but jumped at the chance to spend time with just her and Granddad.
"Wouldn't have it any other way" Jack said as he carried Katie to the den.
"I'll make some popcorn and join you as soon as Jason goes down for his nap, said Leslie.
The popcorn was ignored, and five video boxes lay discarded on the floor of the den, "Bambi" among them. 'Well, the only good part of this was I didn't have to share Granddad,' Katie thought to herself.
"So, did Walt Disney make *any* movies where animals didn't die?" Jack asked Leslie. They had gotten partially through "Bambi" when Katie became upset by it, then decided against "The Lion King," "Where the Red Fern Grows," and "Old Yeller" for obvious reasons.
"Well, let's try "Beauty and the Beast" she said hopefully as she popped the disk into the DVD player.
"Are you sure this is a good movie? I think this Disney guy is full of dren," Katie said sharply. She didn't understand how, after living through two wars and seeing people she loved and cared about die all around her, she was so upset to see a deer killed. Not even a real deer, a cartoon deer. But she liked being nestled between Granddad and Aunt Leslie, so she stayed.
Katie's eyes lit up when she saw the Beast in the ballroom scene, after his 'makeover.' "He looks like Uncle D'Argo!" she said as she laughed, "except he doesn't put bows in his braids" she added.
"D'Argo has braids?" Leslie asked.
"Uh huh! When we were in prison, Daddy would try to fix my hair, but he could only do pony tails, not braids. So when we got to Moya, Uncle D'Argo taught Daddy how to braid my hair!"
Mike and the children walked in. "So, you're Uncle D'Argo's a hairdresser?" Mike asked.
Katie said, "No, he's a Luxan warrior - a general, actually." She stood up and walked closer to Uncle Mike. "Uncle D'Argo rescued Daddy and me from the death camp - I saw him kill three Scarrans with his Qualta blade! And after they evacuated the prisoners, Daddy and Auntie Zhaan made this bomb that blew up the whole Scarran base! I bet the explosion was just as big as when Daddy and D'Argo blew up Scorpius' Gammak base!"
Katie stopped when she heard the awful silence. It happened a lot here. Katie would forget that her new family had never been through wars like she has, and she would talk about what she had been through, then they would be shocked into silence.
"I'll be in my room until Daddy comes home," Katie said as she walked out of the room. She stopped at the base of the stairway, turned and said "Aunt Leslie, you always tell me to talk about it, it'll make the nightmares go away. But when I do, no one wants to listen, except Daddy and Granddad!" Katie said and ran up the stairs, with Jack following.
Jack tucked Katie into her bed; she was ready to catch up on all the sleep she missed. Jack closed "Green Eggs and Ham" and set it on the bedside table. Katie didn't really understand Dr. Seuss, but the sound of Granddad's voice was comforting. Katie had actually eaten something similar to green eggs and ham on a commerce planet once-they were OK, but nothing to write a book about.
"Granddad?" Katie asked softly.
"Yes, pumpkin?" Jack smiled at his granddaughter.
"Do you blame me?" Katie's eyes were wide.
"Blame you? What could I possibly blame you for?" Jack asked as he took her two small, cold hands into his own.
"I see how everyone acts. Daddy wasn't always a soldier - he was a tech-I mean a scientist here-and now he's different. Aunt Leslie, Aunt Jessica, Uncle DK and even you don't always react very well when you find out more details about Daddy. It's not his fault he's a hero! He can't help it - he's just better than most other people at that stuff." Katie was getting defensive and tears were welling up in her eyes.
Jack sighed. "I know he had to change to survive out there, but why would I blame you?"
Katie began to sob. "Because, if it weren't for me, Daddy wouldn't have joined the Royal Defense Force in the Nebari War, and he wouldn't have been captured and tortured by the Scarrans and put in the death camp if he weren't trying to rescue me!" Jack held Katie as she let the tears fall.
"Oh, honey, no one blames you for anything," Jack said as he rocked Katie back and forth. "Your Daddy loves you and nothing in the Universe could keep him away from you, or keep him from protecting you. No one blames you or your Dad; we just wish neither one of you had to go through so much; that's all.
Katie awoke from her nap and looked out the window when she heard a car in the driveway. It was her fathers.' "Daddy's back! Daddy's back!" Katie sang as she flew down the stairs.
"Oh, Lucy, I'm home!" John said as he opened the front door.
"Daddy! I missed you so much!" Katie said as she ran into his arms and gave him a big kiss. Katie was relieved - Daddy always made everything better. "Who's Lucy?"
"I missed you, too, princess!" John said as kissed her back and spun Katie around. He didn't even try to explain Lucille Ball to Katie.
Gradually, the rest of the family came into the living room and greeted John.
"Are you making any progress?" DK asked.
"Well, they decided that the first meeting will be on Earth - they're just too scared to go up in a shuttle to meet on Moya. But now they're debating on where to meet: the UN Headquarters in New York City, or in a neutral country such as Switzerland. They have to keep in mind that the ambassadors from Moya need to land a transport pod somewhere nearby and keep it a secret."
Katie spoke in Sebacean: "Well, they better hurry up and make up their minds. Isn't the communications probe due in another monen, Daddy?" John nodded his head. "What will happen if they can't make up their mind?"
"Then Moya will just keep waiting on the other side of the wormhole until I send the signal to come through."
After dinner, the entire Crichton clan crammed into the den. Leslie and Jessica had planned the evenings viewing.
"C'mon, what's the big surprise?" John asked.
Jessica answered "Well, after you, you know, 'left,' there were a bunch of movies and documentaries made about the 'Farscape Disappearance' - or the 'Farscape Conspiracy,' as Oliver Stone put it. Of course, we never watched them. But Leslie and I picked this one, "The Farscape Tragedy," up at the video place this morning. It's supposed to be the most accurate of all of them. I can't wait!" she said as the loaded the video disk.
They watched the opening credits. "This is kinda weird - the prologue says I'm dead. I feel like Tom Sawyer watching his own funeral," John said as he shook his head. They continued to watch, but could not take anything seriously.
"They make me look like such a geek!" DK exclaimed, and threw popcorn at the TV.
"You ARE a geek!" The rest answered in unison, and threw popcorn at DK.
"Hey, isn't that the guy from 'Adam-12' playing Dad?" John asked.
Leslie and Jessica squealed in delight. Leslie said "Johnny, do you remember when we were kids and we would watch Adam-12 because Officer Reed looked like Dad? I guess whoever cast "The Farscape Tragedy" agrees with us." Leslie and Jessica smiled. Jessica would never admit this, but she had a terrible crush on Kent McCord when she was little.
"No way I have that much gray hair," Jack said, and threw popcorn at the TV.
"No, Granddad, you have white hair, not gray," Katie said, trying to make Jack feel better. She didn't understand why everyone else started to laugh.
"Oh, now wait a minute. I'm taller than that!" John complained as the actor playing him came on screen. He threw popcorn at the TV. "Who is that actor, anyway?"
Jessica checked the video box. "Some guy named Ben Browder."
"Never heard of him "
They continued to watch the movie, throwing popcorn when necessary. And necessary it was--they made three more batches of popcorn.