I don't know how this happened but Moya's got visitors, whom John and Aeryn -- mistakes two and three -- are on their way to welcome in the docking bay. Aeryn's complaining about how little they know about the Tavleks, their guests, but John mentions that they're going to pay for a cargo haul, and calls them "Tavloids," and Aeryn corrects him. "Tav-leks." It's one of those jokes that goes back around to being funny again, not just because it also doubles as "You are a fucking retard" every time she says it. Of course Aeryn's still in Running Man mode, so cross that with her suspicion of strangers and other races, and no wonder she's twitching so bad. He tells her the deal won't go through if she greets them doing her John Wayne impression, and there's a humorous interchange of the sort I don't care for, where Aeryn thinks John Wayne's a relative, and instead of explaining himself, John makes a list of movies that John Wayne was in, like that's going to help, and it's all very Attack of the Tarantino Virus (which: check out the airdate), and finally Aeryn just nods like she gets it, and interrupts. "Look, no. The point is, I'm not going to meet that shuttle unarmed. Simple as that." John screams about how "Kung Fu never carried a gun," and I get that it's funny, but it's not funny to me, because she doesn't know who Kung Fu is either, and I think Browder really enjoys this stuff so I can't be too mad about it, but: it's hard enough to communicate with Aeryn anyway, due to her total craziness, so why you gotta aim the pop-cultural salad shooter at her all the time when you know it's the one thing she's not going to understand? She's like Fuckin' Old Man Stephen King with that shit. Stick with what she knows, leave out the relevant-yet-not entertaining analogies, because you just lost the entire conversation for no reason. And the last thing you need to do is hand her yet another conversation, because she's got PK-inflated sense of self as it is.
D'Argo and Zhaan set the stage for Rygel's His Eminence act -- speaking of self-inflation rate approaching infinity -- as Rygel practices his speech. "We, Rygel the Sixteenth, Dominar of the Hynerian Empire, and beloved sovereign of over six hundred billion subjects! Welcome to our yacht!" (Heh: "What the yachts?" Hello? Is this thing on?") D'Argo worries about the whole pretense at having the Dominar on board, and Zhaan tells Rygel to cram it as he keeps begging that they build his parapet higher. "I need them to look up to me!" And D'Argo snorts. "Why? We don't." Word. I don't even look at the little bitch head-on. Rygel brings up other negotiations he's carried out, and D'Argo says on the last one, all he got was "stale food cubes," which Rygel in turn notes that D'Argo chowed down on. Aeryn and John come in, fighting about how John could even dare to tell her what to do. "Who are you to offer suggestions?" she says, and he starts to bitch at her, but Zhaan cuts in so everybody can remember that she's better than anybody ever: "Am I the only species in creation that doesn't thrive on conflict?" Shut up, dude. The fifteen different kinds of irony gleaming off every angle of that statement are blinding and my eyeballs just got fried by your hypocrisy, you asshole. You're the only member of your species fucked up enough to do the opposite, you mutant! Way to go! I hope you don't pay a horrible price! (I love you!) D'Argo tells everybody to shut up, and Rygel agrees and then continues to give some speech about something. D'Argo clarifies that "shut up" includes Sparky, and points out that the Tavlek cargo could be anything: contraband, vermin-infested, even toxic. Rygel gives that the thumbs-up, because they could charge more, and his scepter gets tumescent. John pushes it down again. Zhaan says all migraine-y that they've "had this discussion" already, and they out-voted him, note. He doesn't get a say -- the Luxan got outvoted by a Sebacean, and the rest of them -- but he keeps talking about it anyway. The neurosis of the oppressed.