and worked. He couldn't really say he was enjoying himself, but
it was nice to see the crew not at eachothers throats, and happy
for once. He was surprised to discover just how much he liked
all of them. They were a little loud, and in many cases very
drunk, but he didn't mind too much. As long as they didn't make
it a regular occurrence. Over the arns since they had made there
escape from the Peacekeepers, he had come to understand these
strange beings. His species were not social creatures by nature,
and pilots in particular were familiar with isolation. Apart
form Moya, he had never had anyone he could relate to. Now, virtually
all around the table shared a bond with him. It felt nice to
be part of something. Friendship, Commander Crichton had once
told him, that it is the greatest gift any person can ever have.
'Forget currency, forget love, forget fame. If you haven't got
friends you can rely on, trust and share the horrors of your
life with, then life can be very traumatic indeed.' Crichton
was often a wise being, and often a complete mystery, and more
often than that, just plain odd. The others often missed the
Commanders wisdom. Aeryn knew.
At that moment
though, Pilot would have happily had Commander Crichton elsewhere.
He was singing. Or attempting too. An old earp song. It was awful!
jumba's and jepsalas...
Bob Marley very popular on your planet, John," Zhaan asked,
a hint of amusement twinkling in her eyes.
jammin'....I wanna jam it with you...." John continued,
lost in the moment.
stop," Aeryn grimaced. "I think I'd prefer half an
arn in the Aurora chair."
yelped Stark. "That isn't very nice, I'm afraid. Not very
nice, at all."
John nodded, still singing.
but this is torture in itself," Aeryn continued.
them. "We're jammin'....jammin'....and i hope you like jammin'
we play that other game, John," offered D'Argo, smiling
"Oh, so you want to play now?"
John." blurted Chiana. "Anything but this." She
or dare," confirmed D'Argo. "Sounds a promising game
I get your point." John acquiesced.
anymore food?" Rygel interjected.
your stomachs not full enough?" asked Aeryn.
Rygel snorted, turning his gaze to Chiana. "On my world,
it is considered very bad etiquette to leave your guests hungry."
"And on my world slugs are considered vermin!"
but said nothing.
to his feet. "Alright them, as games co-ordinator elect,
lets get this show on the road. Yo, Pilot! You first."
down, pretended to not hear the human.
golden eyes rolled upwards. "Yes, Commander."
your turn, big guy. And call me John, will ya!"
Do I have to participate?"
Pilot," Zhaan added, looking better as the evening passed.
"It would be unfair of us not to let you participate."
"Very well, then. I choose truth."
her hands. D'Argo bellowed with laughter.
it is. Any one got a question?" John said, smiling broadly.
came the reply from Rygel.
Sparky, you're up."
his throat. "On Hyneria, it is customary for a Dominar to
be crowned at TheVestern, but what three offerings must the Dominar-elect
make before he is allowed to enter?"
think its supposed to be that kind of question, Rygel,"
came Rygel's disgruntled reply. "Just because you don't
know the answer. Does that mean I win?"
John muttered. "Ignore that, Pilot. Anyone else got a question?"
"But I know the answer, Com-. John."
beside the point, Pilot."
it?" Rygel grumbled.
Earp games do seem a little strange, John," Zhaan offered.
we've been through this already," John said, his cheeks
is," began Pilot anyway. "A lock of hair from the Hynerians
brow. A vial of his blood. And his Jumba."
right," muttered Rygel. "How'd you know that?"
a lot of things, Dominar," Pilot responded, feeling very
pleased with himself.
stupid human here. But what's a Jumba?"
is a kind of house pet each Hynerian is given on their birth.
The higher your status, the bigger your Jumba," Pilot continued
killed your dog?" John asked, turning to Rygel.
dog," Rygel corrected. "A Jumba."
it is a offering."
know," Rygel shrugged. "It's just they way we do things."
Jumba, how big was yours?"
"My family were very prominent. My Jumba second in size
only to Rygel I's."
John continued. "We talking as big as you?"
"Only the lowliest of my subjects were unfortunate to have
such a small Jumba."
enjoying his captive audience. "Well, you know how big Moya
is? Times that by three and you might have an idea."
in stunned silence.
John was the
first to speak. "You kept it in your house?"
killed it? Or offered it?" John continued.
Aeryn said, finally finding her voice.
"I have never had to do anything for myself."
the hezmana with?" John asked.
we poison them,' Rygel informed. "Too messy to do it the
way?" Aeryn followed, feeling strangely queazy.
continued Rygel. "Terrible mess it used to make. I remember
as a boy when Hezzat IX was crowned, it was the last time they
used the old ways. Smell was awful. Lasted for monens."
"Does that not seem a little wasteful?"
"Nothing is wasted. The meat is trimmed and given out to
the masses, as a sign of the Dominar's generosity." He smiled
seems fair," Aeryn continued. "But I bet you keep the
Rygel blustered. "I wouldn't touch Jumba meat. Frelling
awful stuff! Yeuuchhh!"
masses," said D'Argo.
happy enough," Rygel replied.
John, who had
spent much of the last thirty microts staring into space, suddenly
snapped out back into focus. "Yeah! Great, okay. We'll take
Pilot as have being done already, so that means it's you next
responded the Luxan.
does not seem fair," D'Argo insisted. "Surely as Stark
is closest he should be next."
my turn?" piped Stark.
turn?" Stark followed, his face perplexed.
No!" John repeated, his hands balled. "It is D'Argo
by me," smiled Rygel.
chimed Chiana, her gaze unwavering under the withering ocular
assault that followed from the Luxan.
dear D'Argo," Zhaan offered, "I await your turn with
D'Argo raised an eyebrow. "Very well, it is my turn."
got a question," Chiana followed instantaneously.
D'Argo responded vehemently. "Not her!"
you scared or something?" Chiana retorted, smiling and cocking
D'Argo fumed, but said nothing.
John placated. "Big guy. Pip. Lets just try to have some
fun here, okay."
Chiana," John continued. "Nothing saucy, okay."
crookedly. "Saucy? What does that mean?"
"It means of a delicate sexual nature."
me!" heralded Chiana.
never delicate," D'Argo grumbled.
out laughing. The others were either smiling, or keeping their
too!" responded Chiana.
humourlessly. "I still have the bruises. I can show them
to everyone here, if you'd like. Oh, and lets not forget about
the bite marks."
"Alright, you've got me. I admit it. I'm a big, saucy tralk!"
to that," said John, lifting his glass.
do have an objective witness here," Chiana continued, turning
her had and smiling at Pilot.
back. His prominent brows dropping.
gathering his thoughts together. "I would like to state
for the record, once again, that I have no point used the DRD's
to spy on another member of this crew."
right!" laughed Chiana.
ya, President Clinton," John followed.
positively insulted. "What possible reason could I have
for wanting to observe your murky private practices!?'
Aeryn replied, smiling. "That's one way of putting it."
Chiana said. "How do they do it Pilot World, then?"
Why, and how, did I get involved in this? though Pilot. "I
have no wish to discuss such matters."
on, Pilot!" called John.
um, 'goings-on' of my species are no concern for any of you,"
Pilot continued, unmoved.
it's very odd to look at," spoke Stark. "What with
Pilots being so large and all."
not odd!" insisted Pilot.
us, then Pilot," Zhaan said. "Are you ashamed of your
method of precreation?"
not ashamed!" Pilot responded. "It is just private.
I have not asked any of you to explain yours. So why me?"
tell you a few things if you want Pilot," Rygel replied,
leave Pilot alone," said Aeryn. "He doesn't want to
talk about it, then that's his choice."
you, Officer Sun," responded Pilot.
is answered, now lets move on!' Aeryn continued.
now that's all cleared up," John interjected. "D'Argo?
Truth or dare?"
at Chiana. "Truth!"
"Okay, baby. If you had to kiss anyone here, who would it
not be frelling me!" Aeryn called, bursting into another
fit of giggles.
laughed the Hynerian.
his head. What a strange collection of beings they were. Fancy
asking him about his species' method of procreation! Those days
were long behind him. In a way, he missed them. Oh well, the
life of a Pilot is a lonely one. But some days he longed to be
back in the pools at Yressia Komor. Perhaps, Jepsalas would still
be there for him. The things she could do with her claws.........