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Meeting 9 (6/15/00)

This ninth meeting of the Aeryn Sun Interpretation Society and Widow's and Orphan's Emergency Beer Fund will now come to order. The members are reminded of our motto here at the Society and Fund: Aeryn and John; It's deja vu all over again.

I would also like to welcome the Few, the Proud, the Sauced. The members of CBOOL, Claudia Black is Out of Our League. As usual, I see the boys are morosely drowning their sorrows and playing all of them sad, sad songs on the jukebox. Barkeep, send another round of margarita shooters to the gentlemen in the noisy Hawaiian shirts. And, Brothers, may we all find that beach.

Do remember, that there are only three things standing between us and a meaningful relationship with the Raven Haired Goddess. Claudia Black is sane; Claudia Black is intelligent; Claudia Black has good taste. Yeah, it sucks to be us.

But note that as a committed member of CBOOL, I did not once mention that my dear wife would have me assassinated should I ever try anything like that. Committed is perhaps the wrong word. After all, they did try to send me to the National Claudia Black Addiction Recovery Center, Menlo Park, CA, but I resisted.

UCSBdad would like to take this opportunity to remind all you, that this is an election year. Now as a Federal employee, I'm not supposed to support partisan political causes. But in this case, I just have to. There is a man running for the nomination for the Presidency on the Reform party ticket who pretty much sums up how UCSBdad feels. A man who wants to be the ferret in the pants of government. A man to whom the words, "compassionate fascism" and "coercive libertarianism" are not just words, but entire sentence fragments. Yes, I'm talking about Ambassador Duke, whose campaign can be found at duke2000.com. Let me share with you his words on another candidate, with whom you may be familiar.

"Well, there again, you in the press gotta bore in, insist on the straight story. For instance, Bush says he may or may not have used cocaine. Now, everyone knows that coming from Bush, that's a load of crap. But when I say I may or may not have used a drug, we're talking legitimate ambiguity. I genuinely don't recall. And I think we can all agree that's the whole point of drugs. So you gotta be straight with people. You gotta tell the truth. I mean, you catch me in a big lie -- catch me fair and square, on tape, say -- boom, I'll admit it. And I'll be the same way with the American people. I promise on my mother's grave that I will never, ever, run with weasels. Because I think a lot of the problem is the company you keep. Take Bush's drug buddies -- who WERE those guys? I mean the names of my associates are a matter of public record -- anyone can use the Freedom of Information Act to see my FBI file, hell, I've posted it on my web site -- but who's going to give up Bush? So we're not talking about fair play here, which is what I think the American people want. So do your jobs, do your jobs." -- interview with Drudge Report, Jan. 12, 2000

Now, are the words. "I will never, ever run with weasels." not the stuff of American political legend? I recall saying much the same thing to my sainted mother, just after "borrowing" $50 and the keys to her 1959 Buick. Would someone put a quarter in the jukebox and play R26? It's the Dead's version of Merle Haggards, "Momma Tried." It always brings a little tear to my eyes.

But, Dad, you say, "Why, oh why, are you now entering the political arena?" Yes. You know me too well. Picture if you will, ( Say, there's a phrase that resonates with fanfic possibilities.), it is early in the year 2001. President Ambassador Duke is making a state visit to Oz, with his trusted Ambassador to Mexico. Or perhaps the Director of Central Nervous System Depressants of the Office of the Surgeon General. Any way, it's you-know-who. Representing the full faith and credit of the United States Government, I go to the Farscape soundstage to meet with the Wondrous Claudia Black. Dad is actually wearing one of those politician suits. You know, the kind that looks like it was bought second hand from a mortician. Dad looks at the Perfect Miss Black. His lips move. Sounds, but no words come out. Concentrating every fiber of my being, I finally manage to gasp out. "You're perfect, Miss Black, Ma'am." The Enchanting Miss Black grins, she smiles, she laughs, she guffaws, she chortles. She loses control and starts to lose her balance. Quickly, I reach out for her. She backhands me away. My trusted Secret Service agents, reacting quickly, throw me to the ground and hustle me off, before any harm can come to the Raven Haired Goddess. As I'm led away, I can hear the Incomparable Miss Black say, as someone so perfect would say, "It's so sad when they realize I am out of their league. Can't something be done? Increased tequila production, perhaps. I really do want to help the poor things." Bless you. Bless you.

And so on to the Peacekeepers. I'm sorry, but the more I see of the peacekeepers, the less impressed I am. Now before we go completely off the deep end, let me remind you that UCSBdad knows that you do not have to graduate from the Command and General Staff College to write for television. And Dad is aware that villains that can normally shoot the wings off of a fly at two miles, can't hit a bull in the ass with a bass fiddle when facing the HERO. But we do know that the Farscape writers, or someone, pays attention to what is going on. Zhaan is a plant, you say? Damn! So that's why she liked sunlight several episodes earlier. So let's start with the first Peacekeeper we ever met. The late, unlamented Tuavo Crais.

(Guitars tune in the background.)
"I dreamed I saw Tuavo Crais last night, alive as you or I,
Said I, but Tuavo, you're ten years dead,
"I never died" says he, "I never died" says he."

"And standing there as big as life and smiling with his eyes,
Say's Tuavo" What they could never kill,
Went on to organize, went on to organize."

"From Skylar up to Dam Ba Da
In every moon and base,
Where PK men protect their rights,
It's there you'll find Tuavo Crais."

All he ever did was run into a large rock and he's got his own website. How many times do you think UCSBdad has woken up... Never mind.

Now the good Tuavo kicked the tires and lit the fires and went out Leviathan hunting one day. He hit a small white module and slammed into a very unyielding rock. End of Tuavo. Beginning of vendetta with the Crais familia and our Rocket Jockey. Now, you all know, I hope, that a bird weighing a couple of pounds can take down your basic multi-million dollar high tech Earp flying machine. Oh, yes. You hit anything going 800 knots and you are in deep kimche. Happens all the time, especially at low level. But look at one thing. Tuavo goes flying out of control and John's pod gets bumped a little. No massive damage on Farscape 1. I don't even see any paint chipped on Farscape. Why isn't that paint available for '91 Hondas? Now maybe the writers just wanted to get Tuavo killed off in record time and didn't worry about anything beyond that point. But, maybe, just maybe, they wanted us to wonder about quality control down at the old Prowler factory. Perhaps the Peacekeepers down there were a little more interested in recreating than making sure Prowler drivers got a primo product? Could be?

Next consider Thank God It's Friday, Again. You have a whole frelling planet dedicated to turning out chakon oil with a by-product of drugged out stoop labor. Who benefits? The Peacekeepers, of course. And who do they put in charge. Volmae! I know I saw that chick at a Dead concert in Golden Gate Park. Same drugged out smile and doper pronunciation. She's lucky she could form a felonious intent. Did it ever occur to the Peacekeepers that leaving someone in charge of an entire planet manufacturing ammunition who had left "White Rabbit" on the stereo a few too many times might just be counterproductive? Worse yet, suppose they had left some of their people around to watch out for the Peacekeepers interest. Imagine them sitting there in their little leather suits saying, "Ooooh. The colors. The colors." Don't you think that the Peacekeepers should be keeping a little closer watch on an entire PLANET that grows explosives? I wonder how many times a PK ship pulls up to a planet only to find that the head slave driver has headed to sunnier climes, margarita shooters and pizza?

Exodus to Genesis? Moya is boarded by a Peacekeeper Marauder crew with the tactical sense of the average kindergarten class. They fall for the oldest trick in the book. Attacked by a "dead" Luxan. DUH! If you haven't been in that corridor before, you couldn't have killed that Luxan. If you have been in that corridor before, you're lost, people. What do we have here? A Marauder crew consisting entirely of Second Lieutenants? Even if you don't have any idea whether you have ever been in that corridor before, it's a good idea to shoot anything that moves or appears to move, or could move. Notice that the leader shoots down the only good idea advanced. That they retreat, that is make a retrograde movement, to the Marauder, and think this out while cooling off. Like maybe go back and figure out where Moya's engines are and shoot them up so there's no power for the heat. But no!

While they don't appear to have enough people to properly cover their flanks, (that's what to the sides of them.), they should have their point man, (the guy in front), out in front of them far enough to spring any ambush. That's the reason you have a point man, to spring ambushes. Any volunteers? And put your drag man ( the last guy) far enough behind you to trip any ambushes coming up from behind AND have him far enough out of any kill zone to be able to react to anything that happens in front of him. Okay?

And what does out Peacekeeper fearless leader do when he finally confronts the hated Earp man? He gets Big John to come in close and then puts his knife to John's throat. Politely asked by D'Argo to put his knife away, he does so. Is this the Death Before Dishonor we've heard about from Aeryn Sun? More like Inconvenience Before Dishonor.

Imagine when they finally got back to Crais, "Did we see any humans, Captain Crais, Sir? Er, we did find this skinny guy in a strange hat, a fat captain, a professor, two rich humans and two babes. But I swear, boss, no John Crichton."

With any luck these "Commandos" had the sense not to go anywhere near Crais. They probably crossed into an Alternate Universe and work at Quark's Bar as the clean up crew.

Now on to That Old Black Magic and that nagging question: Why did Crais kill Lt. Teeg? I mean she seems like the perfect Executive Officer or Political Commissar, or what ever for him. I mean the guy pretty much announces that he's ignoring Command's orders to go home and what does Zampolits Teeg do? She says it's fine with her. This is the way the conversation should go from there:

CRAIS: "Say, Lt. Teeg, do you believe in having sex on the first date?"

TEEG: "Does a Peacekeeper recreate in the woods, Captain?"

CRAIS: " You go mix the margarita shooters and I'll polish up my whips and chains. Do you know where we can rent a Hynerian donkey?"

So why break Lt. Teeg's neck? For the longest time, I couldn't figure that out. Sure, she's no Raven Haired Goddess, but if there's anyone who is truly out of HER league, it's our boy Crais. But if you were planning on mutinying would you want your second in command to pull out the old rulebook and announce that there was a serious rule against mutiny? No way. You'd want her to react just like Lt. Teeg did. So why the frell do you kill her off? And then it came to me. Crais absolutely can't trust her. Not as far as he can throw his Command Carrier. Crais knows that Teeg is just giving him enough rope for her to hang him. And no nice Peacekeeper Court Martial, either, I bet. As soon as she had the goods on Crais, Teeg would probably report that the poor guilt ridden Captain Crais committed suicide by shooting himself fourteen times in the back, pausing only twice to reload. That doesn't say much for Peacekeeper command relationships, does it? Does everybody get their next command by seeing how well the prior Captain could glide?

Aeryn doesn't seem to upset when she sees Teeg's murder, via the comfy chair, in the Gammack base. She and Teeg probably weren't best buds or anything, but she doesn't seem to have a deep moral outrage over Teeg's murder. Does she know that it was either Crais or Teeg, mano a mano for control of the ship? It could have been that she no longer cared for any Peacekeeper, since she was just about to tell Crais where he could put her oath. But watching your old CO murder his second in command should have been a little more shocking to Aeryn, I would think.

However, Teeg must have thought that Crais would keep her around for a while. Maybe she wasn't that smart after all. How good a Peacekeeper Officer Teeg was we'll probably never know. But who does Crais make his go-to-guy? Lt. Braca! Now at one time I thought that Braca might be playing a deep game with Crais and then Scorpy. Sort of Iago to Othello. He just had that look that he was just biding his time until, Captain Braca time! But now I'm not sure that Braca is the sharpest knife in the drawer. He doesn't seem to have any talents except to come to a real good attention while adopting the stunned mullet look of those who truly don't know HOW things went wrong.

Now we go to A Bugs Life and the Famed Captain Larraq and his Merry Men, (and Woman). First question, Crais is a Captain and he gets to command a humungous Command Carrier, with thousands of people under him, quarters that look like a cross between a B movie Aztec set and a sixties blaxploitation movie's pimps pad, and Larraq gets a little Marauder with Lt. Hassan and a couple of bozos I've forgotten about already? Well, "Hot Lips" Hassan is no Raven Haired Goddess, either, but when you realize, CBOOL, your mind wanders. NO! Bad Dad, no cookie. To truly be CBOOL, you can never settle for less than the Perfect Claudia Black, knowing she will never be yours. Hmmm. CBOOL is sort of like working for the Government: It gets you nowhere, frells with your mind and doesn't pay well.

A little Beach Boys filk? Be True to Your CBOOL?

Anyway, is it possible that Larraq, with his little fuel leaking Marauder and tiny crew is a Captain because he's one of the few people that the Peacekeepers have that can be trusted and is reasonably competent? If most PK captains are like Crais, it would make sense to promote Larraq and to put one of their few useful officers on the same level as the Craises, who are semi-independent warlords. Most militaries are very hierarchical and Lieutenant Larraq wouldn't be able to lean on people like Cdr. Javio even though he is a Special Ops type working for First Command. Javio is a creep, but he's Commander Creep to you. But promote Larraq to Captain and watch Javio kiss some major behind. So Larraq is a Captain because they have so few good people the PKs have to go to great lengths to keep them and make them work in the system? Sounds like fun.

But, these are Special Ops people? The first thing our highly trained Special Ops type does on discovering the Intelivirus has escaped is to stand around flat-footed. That's why they gave you the radio, pal. As soon as he sees the open container he should have been screaming his lungs out, "The virus is coming, the virus is coming. One if by land and two if by sea. " And, hard on Chi, but he should have started shooting as soon as he saw Chi. Notice this leaves you with very little plot, but it's how snake eaters behave in the real world. Not that UCSBdad knows anything about that, of course. Apart from knowing a fellow or two who used to sneak off to Laos to blow up "things", and come back and give poor Captain Dad nightmares with their stories, Dad has been a very peaceful person.

I have offered to be Claudia Black's personal military advisor, but the deal fell through on the issue of pay. I mean US$2000 a week? Hell, if I could afford more, I'd pay it gladly.

And who would really accept the idea of putting the blame on Rygel and taking Chi's story at face value, anyway? Sure I'm paranoid, but am I paranoid enough? Everybody fell for that a little too easy. Certainly, 99 out of a hundred 'scapers will tell you Rygel is guilty before hearing what he's charged with, but that sort of thing happens in Texas all the time, too.

And so they catch Rygel, and in spite of the fact that no one can actually tell if he has the virus, they freeze him and go about their merry way, Lt. Hassan gets terminated with extreme prejudice and finally Zhaan figures out what is happening. I always knew Chaplains were good for something. I remember a Chaplain who told me I didn't know what good, clean fun was. I said he was right, I didn't know what good it was.

Note one thing though, while Larraq was in full Peacekeeper bully mode when dealing with "Captain" John, he does not bully his subordinates as does virtually every other Peacekeeper commander we've run into. Do we notice a pattern in the way the PKs operate? All sticks and no carrots?

Okay, so the first season ends with the demise of an entire PK Special Ops team.

On to season two!

Off we go into the wild, blue battle between the PKs and our Beloved Raven Haired Goddess and those other people she hangs around with. I know. I know. There's more to Farscape than Claudia Black and I'll try to pretend I believe that.

Now at the end of Hidden Memory, we have a battle between the Peacekeepers and the Crew of Moya. According to D'Argo, there were hundreds of Peacekeepers on the base. Since D'Argo is a warrior, I assume he's counting PK soldiers only, not the total including techs, cooks and clerks. So our heroes are heavily outnumbered. Does anyone out there remember the movie "Zulu"? Remember the Zulu's tactics? Hold the enemy with the "chest" of the buffalo and use the "horns" to surround and destroy him. Perfect tactics for this situation. And what do the Terrors of the Charted Territories do? They stand in line to trade shots with their enemies. Only Scorpy thought to try to get behind them. And poor Scorpy forgot to bring anyone with him. Is there anything worse than getting into a gang fight without your gang? Your grade for Firefight 101 is "F".

A few points. In Minding the baby, Talyn escapes at the proverbial last minute by starbursting, which everyone thought he couldn't do yet. Scorpy tells the worried Lt. Braca that Braca's tactical expert missed the time it would take Talyn to starburst by an arn. Scorpy then decides to educate the expert. OOOH. Visions of long hours in North Korea being re-educated. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, (Oh, go ahead. Pretend you're my children.), but isn't this the very first EVER Leviathan gunship? Scorpy expects someone to know to the arn how long it will take to learn to starburst? "They want to know when can the gunship starburst? Sure, tell the big guy the gunship will be able to starburst about the time Hell freezes over, give or take a millennium or so. How the frell do I know? Nobody's ever even SEEN a Leviathan gunship before." Now that sort of realistic reply wouldn't fly with Scorpy, so the chain of command pretties up the information as it heads for the top. Sure, UCSBdad has seen this in the real world, if I may describe it that way.

SERGEANT: How many vehicles are combat ready, private?

PRIVATE: I dunno. Three, Four?

LIEUTENANT: "How many vehicles are combat ready, Sergeant?"

SERGEANT: "Six out of ten, Sir."( Silently to self, "Define combat ready, Lieutenant?"

CAPTAIN: "How many vehicles are combat ready, Lieutenant?"

LIEUTENANT: "Eight out of ten, sir." (Silently to self, "Counting the two we'll have to push to get to move.")

COLONEL: "How many of your vehicles are combat ready, Captain?"

CAPTAIN: "Ten out of ten, Sir. (STS, "Assuming the enemy will be kind enough to attack the motor pool.")

Yup. Once again the colonel is happy. Hey, he LOOKS good.

Speaking of time, why does Crais, in TWWW, insist that the new Pilot has to be in place in sixty arns and not the eighty arns that Lt. Velorak tells him will be needed? I mean, no one even knows what the gestation period of Leviathans is. But even Crais has got to figure out it's got to be a long, long time for something that size. It's not like Crais has to blow up a planet tomorrow and needs the gunship. No, it's just Crais letting everyone know he's the Captain, and there ain't nobody better forget that! Peacekeeper leadership strikes again.

Is there any truth to the rumor that next year we'll meet the Head Peacekeeper, played by Dilbert's pointy haired boss?

In answer to Aeryn's question at the end of MtB, if Crais changes, I think he'll get worse. If I were Crais and had a sentient weapon working for me, I'd make sure that Talyn had no one to turn to but me. And how would you do this, you ask? I'd convince Talyn to shoot up a few passenger ships, a couple of hospitals, maybe a major cultural landmark or two. Easy enough.

CRAIS: "Sure Talyn. Peacekeeper secret police always mark their installations with a big Red Cross, (or whatever.). Fire away."

That way if Talyn ever decides that maybe, just maybe, Crais is no good, and tries to dump him, Crais has a hold on him.

CRAIS: " I'm sorry to tell you this, but you're wanted by the Uncharted Territories War Crimes Tribunal. The only friend you've got is me."

OOOH. Your only friend in the Universe is Crais? Anybody have a real large margarita shooter for Talyn?

Several actual third World rebel movements do this sort of things. "Conscript" young children, force them to shoot up their village, friends, family, and whoever. That way they have no home to come back to and no one to turn to but the rebels.

Last issue. At one point Crais tells Scorpy that because of his branch of the service, he, (Scorpy) has certain privileges. This implies that Scorpy is not in the same branch as Crais, that is the Command Carrier commanding branch. This makes sense. Scorpy appears to be in either the scientific/technical end of things or the secret police. Remember your Alexander Solzhenitzyn? The KGB and their predecessors threw so many people into the gulags that they were able to set up scientific research centers in their prisons. So Scorpy is a secret police type running a research station in the local version of Siberia. I like it.

A Command Carrier is a large, complex piece of equipment. Think of it as being analogous to a US Navy aircraft carrier. Now it takes a couple of decades before someone is considered competent to run an aircraft carrier. I assume things are similar in the Peacekeepers. So when Crais gets the high jump, who gets command? The secret policeman? Here is a guy who has no experience at all in running a major fleet unit, and he gets to command one. What was First Command thinking? Well, that Scorpy is loyal to them, even if he was voted most likely to drive his first command into an asteroid.

Interesting analogy. In 1944, after parts of the German Army tried to assassinate Adolf Hitler, the Army became suspect. One of the results of this was that Heinrich Himmler, the head of the secret police, got to command an entire Army Group on the Eastern Front. Needless to say he was a disaster. And we wonder why the Peacekeepers haven't caught John?

And note how her comrades treat Aeryn in TWWW. "Here, Raven Haired Goddess, have a little Old Pilot entrails smeared on you." Sure, this may be the way PK veterans treat the FNGs, (frelling new girls) but you aren't going to recreate with Aeryn Sun with that attitude, I'll bet. And if you ever need air support from a certain Prowler pilot, she'll be cleaning her uniform while you're being overrun.

So let's go back to something that I touched on earlier. Leadership, if I can call it that, seems to be top down in the Peacekeepers. An awful lot of people on the top bullying the people on the bottom. Now this can work. Frederick the Great of Prussia in the 18th Century built an army that terrorized it's neighbors and went a long way to making Prussia into Germany. He used the principal that the soldiers ought to be more afraid of their officers than the enemy. The system worked fine as long as there was a military genius in command. But Frederick eventually died and was replaced with lesser men. The next armies they faced were Revolutionary and then Imperial France. The French had not only a superior military system, but their own military genius. The result was the destruction of Prussia's army at Jena. A lot of the French military system is still in effect, conscription, permanent staffs for permanent large units, massed artillery, and much more.

The Russian Army seems to use a similar system to the Prussians right now. However, if Chechnya is anything to go by, they may not have even that much of a system.

So let us imagine·..The jungle air is shattered by the roar of diesel engines in low gear and the clatter of tracks. The occasional shot from the jungle is answered by bursts from the column. In the command vehicle radio chatter forms a permanent background for the commander. General Scorpy addresses his troops. "Mes enfants. Ahead is the 95C Main Force Viet Minh Regiment and the Rue Sans Joie. Who is with me?" That's a good one Scorpy. Is it my imagination Scorp, or do we have a lot of foot wounds today? How do you say "frag" in Sebacean?

I'm sorry. It may not be the intent of Rockne, Brian and the Boys, but I really have trouble seeing the Peacekeepers take on a serious opponent with that kind of discipline. It still looks like the Russians vs. the Chechens on an Intergalactic scale.

One thing. What is the Uncharted Territories anyway? At first I thought it might be like the American West at the start of the 19th Century. Wide open spaces, the occasional noble savage, a stockaded trading post here and there, and assorted riff raff in between. But look at the Cemetery World of "Taking the Stone". That's the remnants of a large, powerful and RICH civilization.

And Nilaam's little shack from Vitas Mortis. Sure our Luxan voodoo woman may have thrown that up back when she was wild and crazy, but it looks way old even for her. Maybe she built it for parties for just a few thousand of her closest friends, but I'm willing to bet she bought it as a fixer upper. So who did build one humungous building all by itself in the middle of nowhere?

Earth, of course, had it's Uncharted Territories a century ago. The American West, most of Africa, Central Asia, the Amazon Basin, even central Australia.

People like Sir Richard Burton, John Hanning Speke, Henry Morton Stanley, Sven Hedin, Nicholai Prejvalski, Jean-Baptiste Marchand, Emin Pasha, were household names. Explorers who were the astronauts of their day. All are forgotten today. For the best in some cases, for the worse in others. Stanley, after finding Dr. Livingston, used a machine gun to shoot his way back and forth across Africa. Is it just a coincidence that the area he operated in is today the ungoverned and nearly ungovernable Congo?

Frederick Burnaby, in the late 19th century, decided to ride across most of Central Asia. A place that was about as peaceful and quiet then as it is now. He assumed that no civilized person would interfere with an English Gentleman exercising his God given right to go where he pleased, as long as he dressed for dinner and toasted the Queen. He was right. Of course, the locals were probably too busy with age-old feuds to bother a turista.

In our own country, Lewis and Clark managed a round trip of the continent without having a single fight with the Indians, or Native Americans, if you prefer. They did lose one man to a bear, but what do you expect from a country that constitutionally protects the right to arm bears?

But I digress. You noticed? So what are the Uncharted Territories? After the fall of the Roman Empire the locals looked at the aqueducts, arenas and fortifications the Romans left behind and concluded that since mere men couldn't have built such things, a Great Race of Wizards must have been the cause. Could the Uncharted Territories be the ruined provinces of a much vaster empire with the Peacekeepers, Delvians, Hynerians, Luxans and others fighting over the remains like the Vandals and Goths?

One thing, there does seem to be a little architectural similarity at work. Nilaam's place, Dam Ba Da, Skylar, all seem to go in for monstrous buildings out in the middle of nowhere. Dam Ba Da has a first class desert as far as the eye can see. Why put your one (?) building town there. Notice the shortage of cities in the Sahara or the Gobi. The Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia got that name for a real good reason. No one in their right mind wants to live there. Well, Dad doesn't know. Maybe it was the Ancients. Maybe Bill Gates wanted a REAL big house. Maybe Rockne and Co. hired a graphic artist with a taste for heroic architecture. But I'll be paying attention for future meetings.

Now, 'scapers, tune in, turn on and drop out time. Grab your stash and head for the Joshua Tree National Monument and see if you too can die from having too much fun. Oh, you're right. We're getting a little old for that 60s hippie stuff. So lets just listen to a little Flying Burrito Brothers and ··

There's a place everyone of us can go to
Maybe you have been there once or twice
Where all your friends just look at you and whisper
They want to give you nothing but advice
When you walk in they all know what you're after
And the higher that you get the more they'll see
In a dark room filled with music, wine and laughter
Your eyes keep searching for her constantly
Is it that one in the corner with her eyes filled with tears
Or is she the one who's having fun drinking too much beer
Every night it's the same sad old procedure
The doorman winks at you on your way out
'Cause deep inside he knows you'll be returning
And he's got something you can't live without
There's nothing new that can be said about dirt
And there's nothing left inside your heart but the same old hurt
Of an old love's fancy life that left you stranded in a dream
Ain't you glad you're a high fashion queen
Ain't you glad you're a high fashion queen

Previously, I said that if Virginia Hey was bothered by the blue makeup, as was rumored on the BB, then whatever they did was fine with me. (I'm sure Rockne was shaking in his boots wondering if Dad approved.) But, Miss Hey shot down the idea that the costume change was due to skin problems at her last chat. So, in Dad's humble opinion, TOO, TOO B MOVIE. Dad does not like the new look. She looks like Ming the Frelling Merciless. I keep expecting Zhaan to order John, Aeryn and Alan Quartermain tossed into the caverns, or something. "Throw Flash Crichton to the Lint Men and bring Aeryn Arden to me." Really! Something fashionable, something chic, something tres bleu to be sure, but something that builds on Ms. Hey's undoubted beauty.

On to Chiana. The Pipster also fails the Dad test. But only because Dad is personally insuring the Gap's financial success through UCSBdaughter. Pip is a young lady who should be exploring her new found non-conformist life. She's the one person who ought to have a different "look" each week or so. The leather look of "Taking the Stone" was good, even if the hair was a fright. But I cannot see that someone who is as much a rebel as Chiana seems to be would keep the black and gray look for so long. Bib overalls? No, no. Bicycle shorts and a halter top? No. Wait one. As any young lady, especially the one who lives here can tell you, Dad is the LAST person on the face of the Earp to be giving fashion advise to Chi or any other young lady. Ask Gigi what Chi should be wearing. If she says, "Same, same, black and gray, Dadster. What else, old man?" Then, I'll,.. I'll,· I'll still complain, of course.

Rygel. What can Dad say? Drop the entire contents of GQ on him and he's still Rygel. Stand Aeryn next to him as often as she can stand it and hope for the best.

Pilot? Say, doesn't he ever want to make a little fashion statement? Sure, he's kind of a stay at home. But doesn't that just add to the challenge? Maybe a garland of flowers at vernal equinox? Red, white and blue bunting for the Fourth of July? Paint his head orange for Halloween? Decorate him at Christmas? And on New Years Eve, the crew gathers and the ball drops on Pilot's head. Just remember, dear members of FaDoP, Dad is safely in the bunker in Montana with his heavily armed followers.

Moya? Is there Really Big and Tall store in the UT?

D'Argo. We finally got the Big Guy into some different clothes, at least. The cammie poncho at the start of Vitas Mortis is a no go, I'm afraid. Fashionwise it's a non-starter. And with all; of those metal grommets, he'll be freezing his mivocks off. Not only will the holes let in the cold, bit those metal grommets will conduct his body heat into the great outdoors. But his lounging jacket for foolin' with Nilaam? Numbah One! Just the thing for the fashion conscious Luxan to wear down to a night on the Commerce Planet, I say. It did look vaguely Samurai, which is not to say I dislike that look, but is a big improvement over his usual attire.

And our Favorite Rocket Jockey? John Boy has gone native in his Peacekeeper black leather. It appears from the comments on the BB, that THIS is the look for John. But, not quite, says I. John is not a Peacekeeper, but it probably will be better if he looks like one. Protective coloration, you know. But he needs something to set him off from the common herd of PKs. A lime green tee shirt a la Sonny Crockett in Miami Vice? A Rambo sweat band? An NFL do-rag? Mirrored shades? The Duke's cavalry hat? No, no. That last one has got to go to D'Argo if they ever run across one. But they are heading in the right direction.

Aeryn Sun in black Peacekeeper underwear? Look closely. Rarely is Dad completely speechless, but this is it. I'm just sitting here, eyes all glazed, drooling slightly, heart rate up, respiration slowed, and every once in a while we get a small thought bouncing around the old synapses, "Looking GOOD, Mama."

Who remembers the Farrah Fawcett poster of the '70s? Every male above puberty, and some who were only faking it had one of those. Does this give you any ideas Rockne? Dad wants the very first one. Two posters, come to think of it. One with the Claudia Black "Light Up The Universe Smile" and one with the Aeryn Sun "On Your Face NOW" Look.

Are John and Aeryn a couple? Would we like to start that on the BB again? YES! They are a couple. So, should J&A make it official? Find the nearest UT JP? Hard to say. The Peacekeepers don't seem to have any sort of religious system. They may have something akin to Confucianism, which is about the relationship of people to each other and to the state. They certainly don't have any societal norms for a permanent relationship. John hasn't expressed much of a conventional religious side, but how many people now days do? However, as Mr. Monogamy, I think he'd be very uncomfortable if he didn't marry her. That leaves Aeryn, who has no prior experience with this sort of thing. She might feel no necessity for a religious or civil ceremony that would be fairly meaningless to her. That is, she doesn't believe in the religion and has no ties to any civil society in the Uncharted Territories. But I think she'd want to go along with John. In fact, I think she'd pretty much take her cues from John as to what a relationship should be like. And as this is quite literally her first experience with any sort of a relationship, I think she'd want to do everything. Not just a formal ceremony, but the big church wedding, Zhaan and Chi as bridesmaids, D'Argo in a tux as best man. Rygel as the flower girl? Pilot giving the bride away? Let me know how you feel about this one.

No, Dad did not write the following but you should be able to tell which Farscape ladies I associate with them. If you're nice to Old Dad, I'll tell you about them next meeting.


I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

It does sound sort of Uncharted Territories-ish, doesn't it?

Love and Death once ceased their strife
At the Tavern of Man's Life.
Called for wine, and threw -- alas! --
Each his quiver on the grass.
When the bout was o'er they found
Mingled arrows strewed the ground.
Hastily they gathered then
Each the loves and lives of men.
Ah, the fateful dawn deceived!
Mingled arrows each one sheaved;
Death's dread armoury was stored
With the shafts he most abhorred;
Love's light quiver groaned beneath
Venom-headed darts of Death.
Thus it was they wrought our woe
At the Tavern long ago.
Tell me, do our masters know,
Loosing blindly as they fly,
Old men love while young men die?

And remember, be careful out there.

Aeryn Sun Interpretation Society and Widow's and Orphan's Emergency Beer Fund