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
After landing the Farscape at a rarely used Air Force base, John and Katie were given physicals, ostensibly to make sure they hadn’t brought back any unknown illnesses with them. John was suspicious of the amount of blood they took from Katie, and started to worry. ‘At least we haven’t been separated,’ John thought.
Next, John and Katie were “escorted” to a meeting room where they were to be “debriefed” by what seemed to be half the generals in the Pentagon. John was getting concerned about the amount of security personnel he saw on the base. John wished he had Wynona and Naomi with him, but he had hidden them in the Farscape module. John knew he would be searched when they landed, but hoped that the crypto-technology specialists that would study the Farscape wouldn’t find the pulse pistols right away.
As General Zach Simpson was about to start the “debriefing,” there was a commotion in the hallway. “I have orders to not let anyone in there, sir” one voice said.
“And I have my orders, Sargent” another voice said. The door opened, and Secretary General Jesse Jackson of the United Nations and four U.S. Marines, wearing the distinctive blue UN arm band, walked in the door.
“What is the meaning of this?” Gen. Simpson demanded.
“I am here to accompany Ambassador Crichton to the White House.” Secretary-General Jackson said as he displayed a copy of the Executive Order issued directly to General Simpson. “You can explain to your Commander-in-Chief yourself why you have ignored a direct and lawful order to release John and Kathryn Crichton upon their arrival, and to unlawfully detain a duly recognized ambassador to the United States,” Rev. Jackson said as he handed a cell phone to General Simpson.
Zach Simpson reluctantly took the cell phone, and, as dictated by protocol, stood up when he spoke to President Lieberman.
“Yes, Mr. President…no, Mr. President…of course, Mr. President…even the alien?” General Simpson said into the secure cell phone, as he looked at Katie. John stood up at this, ready to defend Katie by any means necessary. “Yes, sir, I’ll put him on the line right away, Mr. President.” General Simpson handed the phone to John Crichton.
“Ambassador Crichton, the President would like to talk to you,” General Simpson spat out the words. Simpson looked at Crichton, wearing black leather from head to toe. ‘Doesn’t *look* like an ambassador,’ Simpson thought to himself
“Thank you, Mr. President. Can’t tell you how good it feels to be back on Earth, (pause), Yes, sir, thank you so much for the Welcome Wagon,” John said as he looked over at Jesse Jackson. “Is that right, sir? Well, Mr. President, I hope I don’t need to take advantage of that – not yet, anyway” he said as he laughed softly. “Good bye, Mr. President.” John disconnected the cell phone.
“I’ve just been reminded that, as an ambassador, I have diplomatic immunity. That means I could, oh, punch a general in the face and nothing would happen to me – not even get fined for it.” John was smiling, but his eyes were as cold as steel. “General, I am not your enemy. Yes, I’ve been among aliens --the Scarrans, the Sheyang, the Plokavians, even Vorkarian Blood Trackers can be dangerous. But I’m *not* a danger to you, and my daughter is *not* a danger to you. I represent the Territorial Alliance, and I’m here to negotiate a treaty that will enable Earth to defend itself, should the need arise. You’ll just have to accept that.” John hoped that he would.
“You may be an ambassador, but it doesn’t mean you and that alien creature you call a daughter are not a danger to this country or-”
John took two steps to where General Simpson was standing, and executed a perfect pantak jab. ‘Aeryn would be so proud,’ he thought to himself. “Don’t worry, nothing’s broken,” John said to the room. “He’ll wake up in a couple of hours with a hell of a headache, but he’ll be fine. I didn’t hit him very hard,” John said after the general crumpled to the ground. There were cries of protest from around the table, but what could they do, really? After all, he had diplomatic immunity. The Marines on UN Peacekeeping assignment raised their AR-15s slightly, just to remind the brass that their mission was to escort Crichton to the White House. John picked up Katie and said, “C’mon, let’s blow this pop stand,” as he, Katie, Jesse Jackson, and the four Marines walked out of the room.
“Never saw an scientist hit like that,” one of the Marines said under his breath.
Katie heard it and said “If you thought that was cool, you should have seen what Daddy did to the Vorkarian general when he tried to pull out of the alliance during the Scarran War. Daddy really opened up a can of whoop-eema then! None of the frelling Vorkarians dared go against Daddy’s orders after that.” Katie, still being carried by John, was grinning from ear to ear as she talked to the Marines over her fathers shoulder.
“Katie, watch your language,” John said automatically. “You have to understand – my daughter is still young enough to think I’m some kind of superhero,” John said with a smile to Secretary General Jackson.
“But Daddy! You are a hero! We would’ve lost the Nebari war if it wasn’t for you!” Katie said as she kissed her father on the cheek. She turned back to the two Marines. “My daddy’s really modest” she explained to the stunned Marines.
After John had retrieved their belongings from Farscape’s hidden cargo compartment, the entourage walked on the tarmac to the awaiting Lear jet. Katie was skipping along side her father. “That’s it? We’re travelling in that? It doesn’t look very space worthy,” she said as she wrinkled her nose.
“It isn’t – we’re travelling within the atmosphere.”
“Oh. What are its weapons capabilities?”
All but John were shocked by the question. “It doesn’t need any weapons, princess. See the letters on the side, ‘UN?’ Well, those are special markings that say this is a neutral plane, and no one can shoot at it, even in wartime. And we’re not at war—we aren’t, are we?” he asked Jesse Jackson.
“Although there are several conflicts and wars at this time, the United States is not involved in any of them,” the UN Secretary General answered. John suddenly saw the weight of the world on the good Reverend’s shoulders. Without being told, John knew that Jesse Jackson was trying everything he could to put and end to all of the conflicts.
“Does this have anything to do with that Geneva Convention you were telling Grandmama about?”
“Yes, princess, it does,” John said as they boarded the plane for Washington, DC.
The White House.
The First Lady herself was giving John and Katie a tour of the White House “...and that brings us to the Oval Office, where my husband is waiting for you,” Hadassah Lieberman said as she escorted them into the most powerful office in the world. “I enjoyed meeting you Katie, I hope you enjoy your stay on Earth. And, Commander Crichton, welcome home” she said as they shook hands again. She looked at the tattoos on their faces, and had a very, very bad feeling about what they meant. ‘I hope I’m wrong,’ she thought to herself.
“Thank you, ma’am. I am so grateful for everything you and your husband have done for me and my daughter,” John said, giving her one of his genuine southern gentleman smiles. All three entered the Oval Office.
“Granddad! I missed you so much!” Katie said as she ran to Jack Crichton, her two golden brown braids flying behind her. Jack swept her up into a bear hug.
“It’s only been a day, but I missed you, too!” Jack said as he kissed Katie on the cheek. Jack said, “Mr. President, I am honored to present my son, John, and granddaughter Kathryn.
“Welcome home, Commander Crichton, or should I say, Ambassador Crichton?” President Joe Lieberman said as he offered his hand to the prodigal astronaut.
“John will do just fine, Mr. President. And thank you so much for all your help in keeping my daughter safe.”
“My pleasure. I’m very glad to meet you, Miss Crichton,” the president said.
Katie smiled, and laughed. She was imagining Grandmama’s reaction to Princess Katralla II being addressed as ‘Miss Crichton’ rather than ‘Your Highness,’ or ‘Your Majesty.’
Instead of correcting the President, as Grandmama would have done, Katie said, “It’s very nice to meet you, Mr. President. I thank you for all your help. I hope that one day soon Earth will be a member of the Territorial Alliance.”
The President invited the Crichton family to lunch in the family wing. “I hope you don’t mind, but I took the liberty of ordering dinner. I understand it’s one of the foods you missed most, John.”
“Will there be any chocolate?” Katie asked. She hoped there would be.
“Not in the main course, but I think something can be arranged for dessert,” the First Lady said as they sat down to lunch.
A door opened, and a waiter brought in three large pizza boxes. “One large cheese, one large pepperoni, and one large deluxe pizza” he said as he set the pizzas down on the table and poured beverages for the guests.
John smiled. “Oh, this is heaven! Thank you Mr. President! Katie, I think you’re going to enjoy this, but you should start off with the plain cheese,” he said as he gave her a slice. John took a slice of the deluxe pizza, took a bite, sighed and said, “I am finally home.”
They shared polite conversation, and John once more gave an edited synopsis of his adventures in the Uncharted Territories over coffee and dessert. For once, Katie was too pre-occupied to contribute stories about her father’s exploits in battle: she was eating ice cream. The vanilla tasted good, but the pink stuff was better. But best of all was the chocolate ice cream. “Granddad,” Katie whispered, “you mean you can put stuff on ice cream and it tastes even better?” Katie was incredulous.
Jack whispered back, conspiratorially. “Yeah, it’s called a sundae. It’s ice cream with hot fudge sauce, whipped cream, and jimmies. I’ll make sure you have one when we go to Maine. Which reminds me- we leave for Maine tonight, and your Dad will stay here in DC for some meetings. He’ll join us in Maine after he meets with the UN Security Council in New York-it should only be three or four days.
“And Uncle DK? He’s coming, too?”
“Yes, as soon as he checks out at Canaveral. They just wanted to give DK a physical and run some tests, because he was in space for so long.