History Lesson

By Bob Hutchinson (UCSBDad)
Copyright 2000

Disclaimer: No claims made here.
Rating: G, definitely.
Time: Very much in the future.
Spoilers: Who? Me?
Archiving: Any place with a liquor license.

"Please move along to your right. There's plenty of room for you all."

"Thank you, and welcome to the tour of the University Museum of Spartzbar. Immediately in front of you is the very table where the Lord Protector and his Companions sat and decided on the liberation of the galaxy so many cycles ago. Now, we will be projecting actual holograms from the original security system so that it will be as if you are actually present. Of course, there was no sound for the system in those days, so I'll have to explain as we go along."

"Ah, there we go. If you will notice the young fellow with the mop and bucket on the far fight of the holo? That is I. As you can tell from the age striations on my pelt, I'm quite old even for my race. But, I can assure that I remember what happened that day as clearly as if it were yesterday."

"The Lord Protector and his Companions landed in what was then a large open field where the Statue of the Lord Protector now stands in the center of Liberation Square. The Lord Protector, or Commander Crichton, as he was known then, walked into this very room and sat down with his friends. Of course, this was not a museum then, it was a place of refreshment. Even the name has been changed. A spartzbar is a human word for a place where the fit and active of the race gather to watch athletic ceremonies and commune with each other."

"Yes, Miss? Please, you don't have to yell. I still have my race's excellent hearing. Just speak normally and I'll relay the question and the answer to the audience."

"Yes, the Lord Protector was a very handsome anthropoid, and no, there has been no editing of the holos. The Lord Protector was as handsome as you see him. Also, I might remind you that copies of all of the holograms are available at the University Gift Shop, as well as other memorabilia. We have recently made available copies of the Lord Protector's black tee shirt with his personal motto on it, "Just Do It."

"Correct, little girl. As I'm sure most of the adults know, the Lord Protector never allowed an official portrait of himself alone to be made. He always insisted that all official portraits be of himself and Lady Aeryn. He stated that leaving Lady Aeryn out was like leaving half of him out of the portrait. And once the Lord Protector passed on, Lady Aeryn insisted on having only official portraits with their entire family."

"Now, please note the positioning of Commander Crichton, as we will now call him and his friends at the table. The Commander sits with his back to a wall and in a position to see both entrances to the room. To his left is lady Aeryn. Note that even at this stage of their career, Lady Aeryn is positioned so as not to block Commander Crichton's gun hand. This is just the beginning of what I'm sure you will see as proof that Lady Aeryn, once a fierce and feared Peacekeeper Commando, had even then begun changing into the gentle and peaceful Lady Aeryn of legend."

"Sitting in a chair to the right of Commander Crichton is General Ka D'Argo. His back is to the kitchen door, indicating how much trust this cunning Luxan had in the ability of Commander Crichton to protect them all. You will also see that Jothee had not yet joined the Companions. That event was still a little way in the future."

"Across from the General is Her Holiness, Pa'u Zhotan Zhaan. I can assure you that I could feel the aura of those two powerful minds on that day, even though Commander Crichton was still unwilling to reveal himself."

"Much has been made of the position of Chiana d'Nebari at the table in light of subsequent developments. However, suffice it to say she is sitting across from the General and between Her Holiness and Dominar Rygel. That would be Rygel XVI, of course."

"Dominar Rygel is sitting, as Commander Crichton often said, where he could keep an eye on him. Dominar Rygel's memoirs, make it clear how important his guidance and advice was to Commander Crichton in those early days."

"Commander Crichton had only been in this part of the Universe for a couple of cycles. To the end of his life, he always claimed to have originated on a backward planet called Earth. Interestingly, this "Earthman" arrived in our part of space using a form of transportation never seen before or since, the wormhole. More interestingly, the only known wormhole appearances are associated with Commander Crichton. The Commander always stated that an unknown race called the Ancients had the secret of the wormhole, but that he himself had always been too busy to perfect wormhole technology himself. However, the only known pictures of these Ancients, from a Peacekeeper archive, show them to be identical to humans. And hundreds of cycles of exploration have turned up no trace of either these Ancients or the planet Earth. More than a dozen planets have claimed to be the mythical Earth, but none have been able to prove themselves to be Earth to the satisfaction of the scientists. You will not be surprised to learn that many scientists assume that humans and the "Ancients" are the same."

"Commander, in the language of Earth means "He who must be obeyed." It seems unlikely that a barbaric race, sending out a primitive craft such as the famed Farscape Module, would select such a title for it's pilot. Something like "bold explorer" or "gatherer of facts" would seem more likely. Virtually all competent historians now believe that the Commander, deliberately entered this part of space with the intent of gathering his Companions and leading the Liberation. How else can one explain how he came to the Leviathan Moya at the very time that the ship had aboard prisoners who were so necessary to the success of the Commander's plan?"

"Aboard Moya were a vastly experienced, although deposed, galactic leader, a youthful, but brilliant, Luxan general, a religious leader with a following throughout known space, and within a few arns, Lady Aeryn. It seems more logical to assume that Commander Crichton had been among us before, scouting ahead for his noble crusade. Indeed many planets have legends of a human-like, nay, god-like being, who came, worked his miracles and left as mysteriously as he arrived. After all, didn't Commander Crichton once say that any sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from magic?"

"Many historians take this a step further and now believe that Commander Crichton arrived aboard Moya, defeated its crew, including the unfortunate Tauvo Crais, and released those who would become his Companions. I must confess, the evidence concerning Lady Aeryn is less conclusive. It is possible that she was accidentally caught up in the starburst and that her subsequent presence on Moya was one of those fortuitous accidents upon which the Commander's brilliant improvisations were based."

"I personally prefer to believe that the Commander met her much earlier while examining this sector of the galaxy. It would have been natural for him to have impersonated a Peacekeeper senior officer as he did so often later in life, and to have met the then-Officer Aeryn Sun and seen that she was different from almost every other Peacekeeper. Lady Aeryn's knowledge that her mother and father had loved each other had planted in her a desire to be more, as she often said. Commander Crichton said that he had fallen in love with Lady Aeryn the instant he saw her in a cell. Lady Aeryn may have been briefly imprisoned during the incident with the sabotaged Leviathan pregnancy due to her service with Lt. Velorak. After all, can you imagine anyone being able to imprison the Lord Protector? The Commander's ability to avoid traps and escape imprisonment is another part of his legend. I believe it is more probable that he somehow arranged for his love to be present when Moya starbursted and was then able to help her to be the "more" she so much wanted."

"How did the Lord Protector do this? As with so much else, we have only theories and speculation. However, his abilities to manipulate the Universe around him was legendary. A delegation of senior Pa'us from the Monastery of Guise studied the Farscape module some cycles ago and found that the configuration and material of the module seemed to be constructed so as to amplify mental energy. They suspected that the Commander created wormholes by focusing his mental energies through the module. However, even the most powerful group of Pa'us could not create a wormhole using the module to focus their energies. If the Lord Protector could do so, arranging for Lady Aeryn to be present would be child's play for him. We should also note that the appearance of Chiana d'Nebari nearly a cycle later aboard Moya may not be a coincidence, after all."

"Please pay attention to the holos of Lady Aeryn and Commander Crichton. Lady Aeryn has fallen asleep and is resting her head of Commander Crichton's shoulder. Now watch in slow motion as she awakens, smiles briefly upon seeing the Commander's face and then scowls. Doubtlessly, she was upset at being asleep and not available to protect the Commander. In spite of his undoubted powers, Lady Aeryn was always very protective of the Commander. Ah, I see from the laughs that some of you read Lady Aeryn's lips. Yes, she did call the Commander a rude name in Sebacean. She is not quite yet the peaceful and gentle Lady Aeryn."

"I suppose it will be necessary to mention that book. I cannot imagine how a historian with any pretensions of historical accuracy could consider Lady Aeryn to have been a violent and dangerous person, using a dupe from a backward planet as a front to accomplish her own revenge on the Peacekeepers, but that is what was written. There are so many historically documented instances that disprove this absurd theory, but one will have to suffice as we are a tour group and not a graduate seminar."

"The incident at Dam Ba Da is well known through the memoirs of Dominar Rygel XVI. Also, there are some Peacekeeper records of the incident. Of course, virtually all the Peacekeeper records were damaged during the Liberation. Some destruction was by the newly liberated who wanted to destroy anything that smacked of the hated Peacekeepers and much was done by the Peacekeepers themselves to cover up their crimes."

"However, it is clear that Commander Crichton defeated a detachment of mercenaries working for the renegade Captain Bialar Crais. During the combat, Aeryn Sun was injured in some manner. Dominar Rygel indicates that Commander Crichton was in a rage and would have executed the mercenaries. However, Lady Aeryn intervened and insisted that the mercenaries be released. Interestingly, the remains of the Peacekeeper report supports this as the mercenaries' commander reports that the "continuation of the contract on the Earpman was due to the intervention of former Officer Aeryn Sun." Certainly, the mercenaries meant that Lady Aeryn intervened and had them spared, but a clear report of that nature to the notorious Bialar Crais would have been foolhardy."

"Of course, the infamous Bialar Crais is yet another example of the Commander's impact on the galaxy. When they first met, Captain Crais was an all-powerful Peacekeeper, the commander of a command carrier. Commander Crichton was, as far as anyone could tell, a lost explorer from a backward planet. Apparently, Crais had all of the advantages and Commander Crichton had none. But, within a cycle, Crais was a fugitive from the Peacekeepers and Commander Crichton had an experienced and disciplined crew that was to become the cadre of the forces of Liberation. Most interestingly, Crais eventually became, certainly not a friend or even an ally of the Commander's, but certainly someone whose interests often coincided with John Crichton's. Could there be any clearer demonstration of Commander Crichton's abilities?"

"But, to return to Lady Aeryn, I mostly base my beliefs that Lady Aeryn had begun the change on my observations of her in this very room so long ago. She was clearly a woman deeply in love and so interested in the peaceful arts, not in war and violence."

"Let us now consider General Ka D'Argo. The records of the Luxan Ministry of War do not show that Ka D'Argo was a General in the Luxan Service until well after his initial association with Commander Crichton. Indeed, the Liberation was well underway before the Luxans officially bestowed any rank on General Ka D'Argo. However, the admittedly incomplete records from the Ilonic-Scorvian War do show a General K'Argo in that time period serving in the Ilonic Forces. The name change could have been either an administrative error or possibly the use of an alias by General Ka D'Argo, who was wanted by the Peacekeepers. It is clear that D'Argo was a General. It is inconceivable that an honorable Luxan would use tattoos to which he was not entitled. And, General D'Argo's later tactical and strategic brilliance is such that he must have had a great deal of earlier experience at the highest levels."

"As I previously indicated, Jothee had not yet joined the Companions, and was indeed in danger from the peacekeepers who regarded him as an abomination. Luxans are famous for their devotion to family. Would an honorable being such as General Ka D'Argo have let anything stop him from searching for his son? Obviously, something did stop that search. The something must have been Commander Crichton. The Commander must have explained to D'Argo the importance of his mission in this part of the galaxy. We assume the Commander revealed his plans to D'Argo to liberate us all from the various tyrannies under which we then lived. Only the belief that Commander Crichton's plan would be the best protection for his family in the long run could have kept a being like D'Argo from his own flesh and blood. General D'Argo often remarked that he rarely understood Commander Crichton, but that his plans always seemed to work out. We can take this as proof that Commander Crichton was playing such a deep and complex game that none of his Companions were capable of grasping the totality of the Commander's plans. This is yet another example of the superior mind of the man who would become our Lord Protector."

"I see that there a some Luxans in the audience today. I suppose that I should mention the legends that Commander Crichton defeated General D'Argo in single combat, probably around the very time of the events on Dam Ba Da. Lady Aeryn did once state that D'Argo had tried to attack Commander Crichton while in a Luxan hyper rage, but quickly saw the futility of that. In Moya's log, Lady Aeryn clearly states that "John hit to well for that." I'm sure that even a Commando trained Peacekeeper would be wary of attacking a Luxan in that state. Could a "deficient primitive with no military background" have done so? Obviously not! Indeed there is some evidence that no such fight occurred, which leads many of our finest historians to believe that Commander Crichton used his superior mental powers to make D'Argo believe that a fight had occurred in which the Commander had defeated him. This would allow the fierce Luxan to acknowledge his honorable defeat by a superior being, while not taking the chance of injuring him."

"And what is almost as important to a Luxan as family? Honor and justice. D'Argo's beloved wife had been murdered by her own brother, who then had D'Argo accused of the crime and convicted. D'Argo had sworn a blood oath of revenge against the Macton Tal and his family. What could have stayed the hand of this fierce and cunning Luxan? Obviously Commander Crichton, arguing of the over riding importance of his own plan to bring peace and harmony to our section of the galaxy."

"Indeed, after the Liberation, many called for the extermination of the Peacekeepers, not just their disbandment. The fact that the famed General Ka D'Argo stood with the Lord Protector in opposing this was probably instrumental in avoiding this genocide. That two men who had suffered so greatly at the hands of the Peacekeepers could call for the remaking of Peacekeeper society and point to the gentle and peaceful Lady Aeryn as an example of what the Peacekeepers could be, is an inspiration to all of us."

"Now notice her Holiness, Pa'u Zhaan. Most of you would only know of the stern and commanding leader of the Delvian Seek. I remember, Zhaan as a powerful mind, to be sure. But she also had a spirited, fun loving side. I remember coming across her one planetary high noon, when both our suns were high above. Zhaan, was, that is, she was quite friendly to a young lad and we had a most spirited discussion on matters of the mind and spirit."

"Zhaan is best known to those who study the Lord Protector as being the only person who could truly be said to have known him, as they had shared Unity on the new Moon of Delvia and in their confrontations with Maldis. Regrettably, Zhaan has never uttered a word of what she learned of Commander Crichton's true nature, citing spiritual confidentiality. She did mention that before their sharing Unity on the New Moon of Delvia, she told Commander Crichton that she had always wondered what went on in his head. His reply, "Not much, I'm a guy." is taken as just one more instance of the Commander's passion for concealing his origins and powers."

"However, there are those that feel that his answer contains more information than is usually thought. Commander Crichton's Companions, at that time, were four women, Lady Aeryn, Pa'u Zhaan, Chiana d'Nebari and Moya. His male Companions were D'Argo, Rygel and Pilot. Also, his deep respect, bordering on reverence for Lady Aeryn and his often expressed love for his own mother suggest that Earth is a matriarchy. We know that the Commander's father was a space explorer, although no record of him has been found in our part of the galaxy. He may well have traveled to Galaxies far distant from ours, of course. It seems possible, if not likely, that human males were sent out to explore and re-order the Universe, while the intellectually more powerful women remained on Earth. The lack of a matriarchal society has been used to disprove the claims of several would be Earths."

"If you will look to the right of the table, you will see the case that holds Chiana's Ring. A simple gold band with a large Kabreen opal set in it. The holos of that particular incident are no longer in existence. However, I was present at the incident and cycles later was privileged to give testimony to the investigating committee sent by Chiana d'Nebari in her capacity as the Chief of Intelligence for the Lord Protector. It was obvious that the charge of stealing leveled at Chiana was absurd. She had merely picked up a small trinket, fully intending to pay for it and was distracted by the many cares and woes that were her lot in those days. She forgot about it and walked away from the jewelry case. When challenged by an overly officious security guard, she immediately offered to pay for the ring. An advance against her future wages was made by Commander Crichton and the incident was settled. Of course, once Chiana rose to a position of power, all sorts of political enemies tried to capitalize on such trivial incidents in her past."

"Her tenure as the Minister of State Security for Dominar Rygel XVI is of course fully documented in the memoirs of Rygel XVI. We are indeed fortunate that such a person was in such responsible positions in such a perilous time in our history. She often stated that she was so successful because of her extensive understanding of what she called the criminal mind. That this once penniless and na´ve political refugee should have such knowledge is, no doubt, a tribute to her ability to learn from one of the great minds of the Universe."

"As with virtually every female ever to meet the Lord Protector, from Gilina the Martyr to Empress Katralla the Great, Chiana d'Nebari has been linked romantically to Commander Crichton. I prefer to cite the words of Lady Aeryn who once said, and I quote exactly here, "Of course Chiana loves John. Every person in the galaxy loves our Liberator as the great man he is. And I've made a point of seeing to that in Chiana's case." The last sentence is doubtlessly an oblique reference to the famous friendship between these two women, and Lady Aeryn's efforts to make a no doubt shy and uncertain Nebari refugee more assertive. "

"The last of the Companions we'll see is Dominar Rygel XVI. The Lord Protector later confirmed that it was, indeed, Rygel who was the first to recognize Commander Crichton's abilities and offered his services to the Commander. It is well known that Commander Crichton made up pet names for his Companions. Lady Aeryn was referred to as Sunshine, a play on her name in the human language. Chiana d'Nabari was referred to as Pip, the derivation of which remains obscure to this day. D'Argo was referred to as Rasta Man, apparently after a racial cousin of humanity. Zhaan was called Blue, for obvious reasons. But Dominar Rygel had numerous nicknames, reflecting the great affection in which he was held by Commander Crichton. Sparky, Spanky, Guido, Buckwheat, and Napoleon XVI are only a few of the names used by Commander Crichton to his great friend. And, if you watch the holo quite closely, you'll see that Commander Crichton refers to Rygel as "Fluffy." In response to a question, you may be able to see that the Commander explains that "Fluffy" was a "pootle." These pootles were apparently part of a race of sentient beings called "dawgs" that shared parts of Earth with humans. It has been postulated that humans used these pootles or dawgs to amplify their mental powers."

"Now we are about to see one of the great moments in the history of our galaxy. Commander Crichton leans forward and says, "Let's make like Bo Peep and get the flock out of here." Now historians have been arguing about the precise meaning of that sentence for more cycles than I care to remember. Of course, almost all of the people who met the Commander noted his colorful and complex language. One of Lady Aeryn's remarks on this has entered galactic history, but cannot be repeated here in front of the younger beings. However, it is just more proof that Earth, far from being backward, had an exceedingly complex culture and language. Commander Crichton's discussion of who is on first, is as complex as anything any of us can imagine. Why, over at the Faculty Club at the University, respected academics have actually come to blows over the interpretation of the simple question, "Who's on first?"

"The identity of "Bo Peep" may well never be discovered. But he is doubtlessly a human cultural icon of some note. But Commander Crichton himself indicated later that the term "getting the flock out of there" referred to a group of humans called shepherds, who had the care of lesser beings in their charge. Could it be any clearer that Commander Crichton was announcing to his Companions that he was about to assume the role of shepherd, the better to assist the lesser beings in our galaxy in ending the tyranny under which they lived? Yes, this is clearly the very start of the Liberation by the Lord Protector, and through our historical records, you have been able to witness it as it happened."

"We will always have to ask why a being as powerful as Commander Crichton did not simply overthrow the Peacekeepers, the Scarrens and the Nabari and leave us as we now are without the agonies of the Liberation? Philosophers argue that Commander Crichton believed that we would not understand the value of the freedoms we enjoy today without understanding their cost. I must say I agree."

"Now, if you will exit to your right, you will enter the Museum Gift Shop, where we will have a stop of a half an arn. Then we will leave for the University Opera House for a live performance of the famed "John and Aeryn: A Triumph." And we have surprise for you. We will be seeing the first broadcast of the opera commissioned by the Empress Katralla VII, "A Life for the Empire." Interestingly, while the Empire officially maintains that Katralla the Great was the love of Commander Crichton's life and not Lady Aeryn, the opera follows history as we know it. I'm sure that many of you saw the excerpt from the opera broadcast from the Royal Planet on Empire Day with Lady Tiri Te Tanawa singing the part of Lady Aeryn. I assure you the magnificent aria sung by Lady Aeryn at John and Katralla's wedding, "I Will Never leave You", is not to be missed. And, we have been informed that two of the arias sung by Arusso Errico, singing the part of Commander Crichton, are based on original Earth songs recorded by the Lord Protector. The first is from the start of the opera, "You Have Lost That Loving Feeling" and refers to a small lovers spat between Commander Crichton and Lady Aeryn just before they arrived at the Royal Planet. The second is "The Not Chained Melody" which is sung after Commander Crichton rescues Lady Aeryn for the acid pit over which the evil Scarren had hung her in chains. And, it appears that these were originally written by a brother of Commander Crichton named Righteous."

"Yes, thank you. Yes, move right along please. I'll be with you in just a microt. I do have to contact the office."

"Hello, Kritto? I'm still having trouble with the sound system and acoustics down here."

"No, my hearing is still ten times better than yours, thank you."

"Actually, it sounds like very faint laughter."

THE END