Hey Dad. Welcome to the aftermath of yet another fun-filled day in the Uncharted Territories.
The ship has finally quieted down, everyone dealing with their own little messes. The funeral services, such as they were, took up the most time; Zhaan said a few words, then we spaced the bodies. I hated doing it, and no one else was happy either, but we couldn't keep them with us. Maybe the PK base will find them eventually, take them to whatever homes they had.
Chiana crashed pretty much as soon as we knew it was over, poor kid. Rygel is slowly recovering, and bitching about it the whole time.
Aeryn is still sleeping.
Zhaan says she's probably going to be fine, that she'll wake up in a few arns. She also told me to go to my quarters and get some rest. Yeah. Like that's going to happen. I know exactly who and what is going to be running through my nightmares tonight, and I'm not a hurry to see them.
So I'm staying here in what passes for our infirmary, sitting on the edge of one of the beds and watching Aeryn sleep. I've done this so many times it's starting to feel like a routine: after that encounter with the Drakh and Sebacean heat delirium, when we were almost afraid to let her sleep, in case she didn't wake up; after our run-in with NamTar and his evil little Bag O' Genetic tricks, when it took her more than four days to get up and around again; after Dam Ba Da, when Zhaan confined her to bed for a day to let her eyes heal.... The list goes on.
Sometimes it seems like watching Aeryn Sun sleep is the only thing I've done since I got stuck out here. Well... that and killing people.
Yeah, I know, Dad, it wasn't my fault. Zhaan keeps telling me that like it should make a difference; even D'Argo tossed in his two cents worth. I'm trying to pretend I believe them, mostly for Chiana's sake -- not that the kid has much of a problem with guilt, virus or not. And she didn't really do anything under the influence -- not like me.
It doesn't do me any good to tell myself a virus killed Hassan, to look at her body in its black bag -- a reminder of home I would just as soon have lived without, thanks -- and try to believe that it wasn't my hands that swung that tool, that fractured her skull and killed her in about five seconds. You'd think it would be easy, since I don't remember doing it, and probably never will.
Maybe it would be easier to believe it wasn't my fault, if there weren't so many other bodies, stretched out behind me like bread crumbs. One, sure, that could be an accident, two, coincidence... but we just hit body number four that I'm responsible for. There's a pattern there, no matter what the others say.
Tauvo Crais wasn't my fault; I'm pretty okay with that. It was my responsibility, though -- if I hadn't been so determined to prove my theories, I wouldn't have been out in the Farscape, wouldn't have gone through the wormhole and right into Tauvo's flight path. But I didn't intend to hurt anyone, I sure never intended to wind up here. So I can mostly live with that -- if Crais lets me.
Durka... Yeah, that's another one I can live with, in a big way. After what he tried to do to Aeryn, to Rygel, to Moya's baby... blowing him out the airlock was the *least* I could do. And he still had his ship, he still had a chance; for all I know, he's still out there, plotting some more evil to inflict on the universe. No guilt there, I'm happy to say.
Larraq and Hassan, though.... How am I going to tell Aeryn I killed Captain Larraq? How can I hit her with that first thing? I'm not blind, or stupid, I saw the way Larraq was looking at her, and she wasn't exactly fighting him off -- well, not until he pulled a knife. That virus-thing said Larraq liked her, a lot... Well, at least he has good taste.
I can't blame him for wanting Aeryn -- God knows I've had more than a few thoughts in that direction myself. And Larraq seemed to be a pretty good guy for a Peacekeeper. Okay, so that isn't saying much, given the other Peacekeepers I've met, but... he didn't deserve to die. I didn't have a choice, the virus would have done a lot more damage to the universe than I did to Larraq, sending his ship up in a blaze of glory -- but he's still going to have a nice seat front-row in my nightmares tonight.
Right next to Hassan.
I didn't like her. At all. Peacekeeper, pain in the neck, transporting deadly cargoes without bothering to tell anyone just how deadly.... Nope. I would have gladly kicked her and her team the hell off Moya in a heartbeat. But I wouldn't have killed her.
Except that I did. My hands held this damn tool. My arms swung it, my eyes watched while she died. I killed a woman, up close and personal... You want to know something stupid? I don't even know what this thing I'm holding does. Only that it's really easy to kill someone with it. So easy you don't even remember.
I almost think it would be better if I did remember. My imagination can give me so many more vivid images than reality could probably supply, and I've got nothing to off-set them, except the vision of her corpse, sealed into that bag.
Besides... You should remember killing someone in cold blood, even if the blood wasn't really yours. Not being able to see it doesn't make the blood not there -- just makes it harder to clean off.
I'm rambling. God, I'm tired. I can't really move, can't do much more than sit on this bed, still dressed in my damn PK uniform, talking into this recorder at you and staring at Aeryn. And, sometimes, at the tool on my lap, still stained at the end with Hassan's blood.
Aeryn's moving around a little, making noises like the wound in her side is hurting. Maybe she'll wake up soon; that'd be good, considering we weren't sure for a while there if she'd wake up at all. If the knife had been a little longer or Larraq a little more vicious, Zhaan couldn't have saved her. She would have bled to death right there in Moya's hall, in D'Argo's arms.
And that would have been my responsibility, too; more blood on my hands. I'm the reason she's out here, stuck in this situation. She got exiled for defending me to Crais, came with us because *I* told her that crap about being more. Yeah, right, she's more -- more wounded, more in danger, more close to dead more often. If I'd just left it alone, just let her stay with the PKs, she might be safe now -- still stuffed in her PK mold, but safe. And maybe she would have gotten that transfer to the Commandos, to Special Ops. Maybe she would have met Larraq in a different place, and maybe they both would have survived. Maybe....
You can drown in maybes, and they still never do any good. There's only one thing I'm sure of, Dad -- Aeryn almost died today.
And that's the one death I would never have been able to live with.