But speaking of which, don't forget to notice that Gigi Edgley is in them for the first time. Yay!
Crais is looking at some charts, which he throws at an underling in frustration. No stranger to that emotion, the underling patiently tells him that there are over 20,000 asteroids of sufficient size to block Moya from their scans, and if they were to enter the field to get a better look, they'd sacrifice their maneuverability. Scorpius enters and languidly tells Crais he has an idea he may not have considered. "Do you think a mother would abandon her child?" I'm not usually going to be one to question Scorpius's tactics, but using the concept of parental fidelity to get through to Crais is an approach that wouldn't have occurred to me. Nevertheless, he goes on that bombarding the area with discordant stimuli such as "multi-frequency signals" might cause the younger Leviathan to reveal himself, and his mother along with him. Crais, however, looks as likely to adopt Scorpius's suggestion as he is to appear as a spokesman for Herbal Essences, and tells the underling to take them into the field. Scorpius doesn't speak, but the creaking of his leather mask as he tilts his head in frustration sort of says it all.
DRDs scuttle about as Pilot reports the Peacekeeper scan has passed, and we see that Crichton, D'Argo, Zhaan, and Aeryn are preparing to depart for the asteroid. Pilot, however, somewhat urgently requests for Aeryn to remain aboard, to which she accedes without fanfare. Zhaan suggests they deactivate their comms for safety.
Cut to the very lush asteroid, as D'Argo barks, "This is the most miserable place I think I have ever been." Zhaan says that she finds it just the opposite, but as someone who came to the pleasures of seasonal allergies later in life, I'm inclined to agree with Simba Tentacleface there. Crichton is with us as well, saying that his rashes have rashes, but Zhaan assures them that the cure for those ailments and more can be found on the surface. She goes on that there are no animals -- not even insects -- that could compete with the flora. The insect point seems odd, given the revelation later, but I suppose that just means they were never there to begin with. More commentary on D'Argo's sinuses gives way to a growling noise nearby and then a woman screaming, and the three of them take off in pursuit. Crichton reaches the source of the noise first, discovering the girl from the distress call being menaced by a large...thing, who's about to drop a big rock on her. Crichton's blaster shot causes it to miss, however, and it runs off as the terrified girl begs them to protect her. Crichton is the only one she fondles while doing so, and I know that's probably not going to come as a surprise, but I believe in being thorough. Also probably not coming as a surprise to the huge majority of readers is that the girl is played by Francesca Buller, who just so happens to be Ben Browder's real-life wife, and appears later in the series in the roles of ro-NA and Minister Akhna. I mention her marital status in case anyone was feeling sorry for her for having to wear light bulbs on her head. Anyway, the girl, who we can now see has large spikes protruding from her head behind the Princess Leia light bulbs, goes on that the creature killed her family, and D'Argo returns with the news that the thing got away, as it knows the terrain too well. Zhaan tries to soothe the girl, who tells them her name is M'Lee, and while she used to have maps of the asteroid field, they've been destroyed. D'Argo disgustedly suggests they go back to the transport pod, and the girl, who's really giving the damsel-in-distress routine the hard sell, says that if it's not well-guarded, the creature will attack it. D'Argo hoists his Qualta blade with a look that says that's the best news he's heard all day.