Beware Of Dog

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The Muppet Masters

We open with a shot of a very cool chess board that Crichton seems to have put together in his spare time. Who knew he was so talented? Actually, now I'm wondering if Zhaan built it for him. He's also tossing a sparkly ball back and forth between his hands as he stares at the board and mutters, "What are you up to?" Aeryn enters and asks what he's doing. Without looking back at her, he duhs that he's playing a game. She says it doesn't look very challenging, which is an odd remark to make when you don't know the game at all. I guess I could believe that she's judging it strictly as a physical test. Except, no, I can't, because a space-faring race like the Peacekeepers must value strategic thinking. I'm overthinking this, right? Sorry. Crichton says, "Depends on how you play," and leans over the board intently. He moves a white knight forward to take a black pawn. Aeryn says he was mumbling again. Crichton says he was thinking. Aeryn asks, "About what?"

Flash of Crichton in the Aurora Chair. Scorpius whispers, "Something to remember me by," and pokes a baton into Crichton's head. Crichton screams.

"Nothin'," Crichton lies. He hops up and starts across the room. With a sigh, Aeryn says, "You've told me yourself that your species isn't accustomed to being in space for long periods of time. Now, I have seen cases of transit madness before, and if you're cracking up --" He finally turns to face her and confidently lies that he's fine. "I don't want to talk about it," he insists, which is probably the first true thing he's said in this conversation. Exit Crichton, while Aeryn grunts, "The human doesn't want to talk." Deep down, I think that she likes that, though. Not consciously, but knowing that he's hiding damage of his own makes it easier for her.

Rygel is hovering through the cargo hold as, over the comms, Zhaan explains that D'Argo and Chiana aren't back yet. Rygel snits, "They ran out of places to defile up here, so they had to do it in a transport pod." As she strolls down the corridor with some bags of produce, Zhaan expositions that the local goods often contain parasites, so D'Argo and Chiana are looking for a local solution. Instead of, y'know, just shopping somewhere else. Hush, this is the premise we're stuck with. Rygel is disgusted, and frets about the "mud-grubbing farmers" they've been trading with. There's a twittery noise, and some of the cargo containers near Rygel are knocked over by...something. Plot point!

The transport pod returns to Moya. Cut to Chiana wheeling a barrel-shaped thing, draped in a metallic sheet, into the maintenance bay as she announces that their parasite problem is solved. Aeryn says, "Rygel's decided to leave us, then, has he?" Hey, Aeryn made a joke! Alert the media! And it's a funnier joke than even she knows, given the later revelations. Aeryn points out that they're not even sure they have an infestation. Chiana says, "That's what this little guy will tell us," and unveils her cargo. Cross E.T. with Yoda, and you're getting warm. Add a hint of the baby from It's Alive and you've got it. Ugh. The ugly critter stands and peers out of its cage. Chiana identifies it as a Vorc. And that's why for three days I had the Swedish Chef in my head singing. "Vorc Vorc Vorc!" By day two, I'd have traded that for Scorpius. D'Argo says, "We had some problems with our translator microbes and the local merchants" -- and that by itself should start a general panic -- "but from what we can gather, this little fellow hones in on one specific parasite, and eradicates it." Chiana is holding the Vorc now, and it reaches one puppety hand out as she repeats a story about a parasite that killed 200 people aboard one ship, leaving behind nothing but cocoons. And people still trade with this place? I guess whatever they have to offer is really, really tasty. Maybe it's the Uncharted Territory's version of fugu. Aeryn very reasonably says that if the danger is that great, they should dump the food they picked up. Chiana says, "When you see what this little fella can do --" and is interrupted when the Vorc squeals and releases a stream of piss upon D'Argo. D'Argo takes a second to realize what's happening, and then moans in disgust. Chiana drops the Vorc, who squeaks and skitters off behind some equipment. Aeryn dryly notes, "Yeah, that's impressive."

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