Farscape
Kansas

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It's What Comes Before "Terra Firma"

"...On the Senate floor. Commenting from the White House, President Reagan told reporters the situation in Nicaragua had unraveled to such an extent that State Department considered..."

Aeryn smiles at the voice, speaking in English, the language she's learning to love, until she glances over at John. "Reagan was President in the 1980s." Check out the enjambment between these two seemingly contradictory statements, because that's what you call John logic: "Einstein said if I came back before I left, it would screw things up. D, we need to get down there and check it out." Um...can you explain how those concepts connect together? D'Argo's like, "Okay."

Lo'La turns invisible and lands in Florida. John -- this is a good day for John's ass! -- stares at a pickup truck, parked outside a house in a neighborhood lined with palms. Children play in the background. "Home. I can't believe I'm home."

"Touchdown!" A child laughs. John whispers to D'Argo to keep everybody silent and hidden while he checks things out. "Einstein said if there was a problem with the timeline, it would start close to me." Oh, okay. That's right -- just making the trip through the wormhole fucks things up. I forgot that part. Also, it makes no sense, except possibly in the vaguest butterfly way. He touches the hood of the pickup as he walks past, affectionately: "Old Betty." I do love Betty.

"Dad. Dad? You ready?" Jack -- so young! -- agrees, and John's sister, Olivia, capers around. A young man in a trooper uniform sits at the table with Jack, and over it a banner reads: "Congratulations To The Challenger's New Captain." John's mother runs out laughing, carrying a cake and congratulating her husband. John stares at her, even more bewildered, as his teenaged self arrives and stands at the table. His name is Johnny, back then. As they engage in part behavior -- Jack telling them they shouldn't have, et cetera -- John stares at the Challenger banner. I was seven years old, so I didn't get the right hit off this at first, but I guess if you're an astronaut -- a scientist -- it's one of those horrible touchstones like JFK or Lennon or 9/11. Images of John's mother, laughing and beautiful, his parents in love, alternate with the Challenger coming down in white smoke. "D. I don't know how he did it, but my Dad's going up on the Challenger." Which he then has to explain: "1986. The Challenger space shuttle exploded, killing everyone on board. My dad wasn't on that flight." As Johnny picks up the champagne bottle from the table, John sees the Challenger blow up, again and again. Credits.

Back on Lo'La, Rygel's apologizing if it seems insensitive, but wonders if, in the scheme of things, whether it really matters if Jack Crichton "flies and dies." Rather than punching him in the box, John answers the question Rygel's really asking: "My father got me started in avionics. No dad, no Farscape project. You stay in Peacekeeper custody, she remains a Nazi," he says, nodding at Aeryn, and "she ends up on Nebari Prime," meaning Chiana. Everybody up to speed? Chiana's like, got it: "Now how do we fix this?" John explains that, per Einstein, "the change ripples out from the first mutation," which is the Challenger glitch, so if they fix that, "everything else falls back into place." I'm just not smart enough for time travel. "I don't know how long this is gonna take, but I know a place where we might hang out." He also says, producing a newspaper, that they're lucky tomorrow's Halloween. "That's somethin'," he tells the questioning Noranti, "that means you're gonna fit in just fine, Grandma."

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Farscape

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