"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.
"Good. Kill him and let's go." He drops Scorpius back, onto the table, and Scorpius opens eyes and mouth wide. "What?" John shrugs at Aeryn: "Kill him and let's go." Aeryn gapes at him. "We came here to free him." No, John clarifies: "We came here to make sure that my knowledge didn't slip out of his mouth. Kill him, Aeryn, and let's go." She considers him: "Oh, you want me to kill him?" And John's like, "I'm not the assassin here." She shakes her head, unhappy with all this. "If you want him to die, you can kill him yourself." John says she made him promise otherwise, and on his request she releases him from that promise twice. He thanks her, and pulls Winona on Scorpius's face. And waits. And stands, with the gun pointing down.