Two armed and armored Charrid soldiers drag Scorpius, gagging and moaning, down a corridor. John and Aeryn comm to the rest of the crew that Scorpius is on the move. "One riot, well done, hold the mayo...now!"
Sikozu watches a Scarran soldier getting weird with a Charrid officer in the Kalish Command Center, with the Secretary nearby, and tells John they're close. "Your troops compromised the security of the cavern!" and lots of protesting and bitching and whatnot. "This ain't horseshoes, or hand grenades. Now means now!" The Emperor enters, beautiful, Scorpius in chains behind him. "A bargain is struck. However, an agreement requires trust, which thus far has been one-sided. Now, you tell me what else you really want." Aeryn walks over to Scorpius, who has been dropped on a table, spitting and frothing and moaning.
"When you wake up in the morning, on your big Emperor bed, and you listen. What do you hear?" John circles around to stand with Aeryn. "Do you hear the little Emperor birdies singing outside your window? Do you hear the Emperor wind, whistling through the trees?" He stares the Emperor down. "Or do you hear people dying? Do you hear your friends begging for mercy? Do you hear doors being kicked in, because people are hunting you? Do you hear the sound of your heart, pounding in your ears?" His hands are calm, his bearing is strong. "What I want, Santy Claus... For the rest of my life, I wanna wake up like an Emperor." Staleek: "Your safety, guaranteed. In just a few arns." John scoffs: "Bill Gates can't guarantee Windows, how you gonna guarantee my safety?" Staleek shows teeth. "With great effort, and great sincerity." Before he turns to go, he sets the clock ticking: "Though at some point, my largesse will dissipate."
John and Aeryn look at each other. On the table, Scorpius gasps his appreciation, and John hisses down: "My ass." He grabs Scorpius, furious, and screams in his face. "Did you tell them?" Scorpius says no; John continues to act nuts. "Wormholes, my brain, Harvey. What did you tell them?" John puts his hand on Scorpius's throat as he's swearing he said nothing. "Listen up. I am Johnny Radiation because of you, Nosferatu. Everyone I care about west of the Moon is here, and in danger, to make sure that you keep your mouth shut. Now! Did you keep your mouth shut?" Aeryn gets worried. Scorpius promises again, and turns away, panting. John asks, as he's gagging, if she believes him. Of course she does. She knows how slippery this gets for John, and she's stepping in, watching his six.