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Daring Aeryn To Love You

Think about Sikozu, and think about Stark. Both of them in love with Scorpius. (Both of them, in certain extremities, confusing his pain with pleasure, and vice versa.) Both of them members of a slave race. Both of them a seemingly unending source of new powers and abilities, both touched by magic. Her lizard resurrections, limbs growing back; his soul never allowed to rest, coming back again and again. Both of them, at one point or another, just a bioloid (spoiler!) -- a fake image. Both of them have secret faces you barely ever get to see. Like Aeryn. Both of them symbolic of John's ambiguous relationship with Scorpius: Cider House Rules and Leaving Las Vegas, two different paths that wormhole complex could go. Like Aeryn. Stark telling John to submit to Scorpius's burning teachings; Sikozu demonstrating the sometimes real worth of Scorpius's self-serving agenda. Both of them alone. Both of them, in their way, illustrative of Scorpius's hard wisdom, the dance John's only just begun to dance, in blood and milk. Both of them submissive to the needs of others, in their way. Both of them dedicated to the service of something higher. Both of them appearing at moments of John's greatest madness; both of them beautiful.

John drags beautiful Stark down a corridor by his arm; she's never seemed so small. "I heard you say it! Katratzi!" He insists he doesn't know; John slams him into the table, out of control. "She said it! She said it when Chiana was killed." Stark jumps: "Chiana's dead?" (He always loved Aeryn; she has a secret fondness for Chiana.) John shakes his head; it's complicated: "No, no, no, no. Chiana's not dead." Scorpius offers to take over the interrogation; everybody tells him to fuck off. "Does Zhaan know..." Stark begins, and John tells her to shut up. "I heard you say a Scarran word. Katra..." He's losing language; Scorpius compensates: "Katratzi." Stark again demurs. "You said it when you were crossing someone over. When you were in that trance state." Stark explains that he never has recollections when he's not in the stykera state. She shakes her head. Plugging into Heaven doesn't translate down here. But how could you speak in the Scarran tongue?" asks Scorpius, and Stark pulls away. "Once, I...I must have crossed over a Scarran." (There's a clue in that stammer there, something we won't know for a long time, about Sikozu: this Stark can't cross over anyone she doesn't love.) "They tell me things." He backs into a barrel and grabs hold of it. "Only when I'm in the trance does the knowledge come flooding back to me." It's art, not science. This is John's realm. Time goes crazy. Scorpius heads out: "Keep him here. I'll be right back." Oh balls.

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