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It's What Comes Before "Terra Firma"

Hit pause, like Chiana. Facts: The last time we were on Earth, we learned about wormholes; we jumped down them together. John and Aeryn made love as though it were the first time. Chiana has always been attracted to John Crichton, but their love is too intimate, and ordered, for sex. She provides in part the chance for John the chance to be the teacher, after so long spent in amazement and confusion on Moya. It would be not only incest but gross misconduct, for him to follow her lead, up there. In 2003. The last time she tried to climb aboard, it was in the Neural Cluster, being ridden by the creature that would bless her with the sight. And she's lost something. Something precious, central to her nature, and she's never had the chance to get it back, ever since she found her way back to Moya again. She's held herself apart from even D'Argo, after giving him so much pain and grief before now. Retreating every time she was asked to give in, grow up, be an adult.

These are facts. Chiana's time off Moya has made her something very specific, which is an innocent who has been interfered with. She needs to travel back in time -- back to the beginning, back to the root of the thing that was broken -- if she's ever going to be whole again. Her power has always resided in her innocence and her sexuality, and when she came back to Moya, she was powerless. She was blind when it happened, meaning that the one power she does have -- the ability to take the moment apart and look at her place in it, to slow time around her, to employ the split-second pattern recognition of the intuitive -- is useless and terrifying. It asks her to go back to the time she was hurt, at the same time it asks her to put into thought what she's used to ignoring in intuition. It puts her alongside John, who was violated on the Interion planet too, but in a way they can't ever look at, or talk about, or touch. Maybe if she could have found Jothee again, a younger version of D'Argo (half Luxan; half Sebacean, like John for all intents and purposes), she could have found her way back to D'Argo again. Back to herself. But that involves usurping the agency of another person, and it's something she's already screwed up once.

Take a teacher, a brother, the softest man you've ever met. The man who sees your heart, and whose heart you see. The one person you can never sleep with, because it would break all the fibers you've got left -- but the one person who could prove to you, remind you, that it doesn't hurt. And with a little judicious time travel, you might find yourself in a position where everybody wins. It will hurt to make the choice, it will be scary as shit, as shee-yaw, but it's the choice the universe is handing you. You wouldn't be able to make a sound, because he wouldn't understand your voice. But it's not your speech he needs to understand, because it's always been the child inside him that loved you. And once those children were hurt, and broken, and invaded? Take it backwards. This could only happen in a science fiction show, and there are those of us who could be jealous of that. But it happens, and there's grace in it. Take this man, this young version of the man you love most purely, and see him for what it is: the chance at grace they took from you. You could fall in love with that so easily. And he'll become a man, and you'll finally get to be a woman. Whole.

Play. "What's the matter?" Johnny asks her. And she makes a deal with herself, shaking, nodding her head. She knows she can do this. She knows she has to. "It happens all the time," the radio assures us, "because love is blind." She touches his arm. "Drive." She mimes turning the steering wheel, becomes more insistent: "Drive." Just because it happens every day, to every person, doesn't make the jump any less momentous, or any less terrifying. Other people's bodies are the scariest thing in the world until you've done it before. "It happens all the time," says the radio, "it's not a crime. Because love is blind." Johnny starts the truck, and Karen Shaw gives a joyous shout as they take off down the street.

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