Aeryn, walking toward Namtar's, lifts her shirt to reveal some shiny Pilot skin on her abdomen. Maybe some organs. She sees Namtar and grabs his arm, twisting it behind him. "You are hurting me, my dear," he hums. So beautiful. She says it's good that he's hurting, and he CREEPILY AGREES. "I have temporarily changed my nerve receptors from pain to pleasure." See, I can deal with the S&M gear but once you start in on that shit I lose interest. "This is not like what you did to the others," Aeryn persists, and he gives a sassy and insincere "Oops." She beats him, he loves it, it's gross. "You are in the latter part of phase one, I suspect," he muses. Of what? "I don't want to ruin the surprise."
Zhaan and D'Argo make some stupid deal about fucking over Rygel. Which: (a) we get it, (b) like that's not always going to be Plan A, and (c) right to hell, all of them. "Rygel has been a very useful ally in the past, but now he is enemy," says stupid Zhaan. "You and I must remain strong, no matter what it takes. And unified," says stupid D'Argo. They are unequivocal in this agreement which is neither unequivocal or an agreement, and which is in fact only and always categorically: retarded.
"Yes, Officer Sun?" smiles Pilot. She asks if he's in pain. "Nominal. I will be fine. There is clearly something wrong," he says. Worrying about her. About Aeryn. She says, PK Techly, that it's the DRDs bothering her. "Everywhere. Over this entire ship. But it's not just the DRDs, it's the ship's power generator, the hydraulic fluids..." Pilot understands: "You hear all that?" Not so much hear it, she says. He asks further: are you my sister? Do you know the pain of thought when thought is much too slow? She holds up her hand, the claw that is beginning there. The Pilot's hand, and notice it's the hand first. Signs on her body; usefulness in the hands. Hands -- and arms -- are the way we speak to the world; the way we change her. Third soldier down. He gasps. "It's not so much the noises as my own thoughts" she tries to explain yet again. "It's like they're all happening at the same time."
John comes in ebullient, telling Aeryn he wants to take her down to the planet -- Hi Pilot, he says, as though these two apocalypses aren't linked as tight as twisting DNA -- to find out what's wrong. "Maybe this Namtar guy..." Um, fucking no. "Dammit, Aeryn, I'm trying to help..." Not this time, not this time is she shaking him off because she's too strong. She's just telling the truth: science doesn't win this time. He grabs her arm and sees the evidence as she's twisting away; her stomach is blue, tubes and organs sticking out. More vulnerable than vulnerable. "It's Namtar. He took some of Pilot's DNA and he..." John's stuck on how. "I went back there. I wanted him to find me a place where I could belong. I didn't want to get left behind," she says. "I'm so scared," she says. The cost of that. I love her so much. From "Family would end me quickly" to this. She becomes more. Maybe in Sebacean there's a tense for gerundial, in opposition to the current; in this case it doesn't matter. The microbes are right: "I'm so scared," she says. "A place I could belong," she says. "I didn't want to get left behind," she says. "I'm so scared." In the strangest, scariest places she becomes more. As we do.