One Charrid officer asks why he should switch to Rygel when he's already a general in the Scarran service, and Rygel drops the bomb that the Scarrans will soon sever all ties with the Charrids. Another Charrid calls him a lying slug: "They're going to war with the Peacekeepers!" But not, Rygel says, with Charrid allies. Just the Kalish. One of them laughs at him and it's funny: "The Kalish are just Techs." D'Argo says -- bringing us back to the beginning, the long way around -- that since the Scarrans are building a wormhole weapon, they need Techs more than soldiers. In the future, techs and soldiers will be the same thing, but the Charrids aren't quick enough to be both. It's taken us four years to get there. And, Rygel adds, the Kalish know this: "They're planning to sabotage the Charrids by embarrassing you in front of the Scarrans." The officer jumps up in Rygel's face and says they'd never be so bold, but Rygel laughs that Charrids are as stupid as the Kalish say. "Join me before the Scarrans throw you off this rock." Money for fear.
The Kalish functionary, Vakali, chats with Captain Jenek in front of a red schematic projection of the Fat Man. "All just spare parts mostly," Vakali says, and isn't it the truth, "salvaged from devices I've never seen before." Jenek says he doesn't care if it's made out of Vakali's mother's bones, he wants it disarmed. Vakali asks for a few days and Jenek gets up his nose: "You don't have them! Either you'll disarm it now, or I'll find some species that will." Jenek growls in his face and leaves; Vakali worries at the younger Kalish assistant, who wows. Just like Sikozu said! It is, like, scary how easy it is to start a race riot.
John and Aeryn bust ass down a corridor, with Chiana now. She's located Scorpius "somewhere on this level," helpfully, and Aeryn redirects her efforts: if they can't make it to Lo'La, they're going to need alternate escape routes. "To the surface?" Mmmm, Aeryn says, and Chiana takes off. John and Aeryn head into the Emperor's chamber, where Staleek is royally pissed. "You have cost me a Stryker and its crew!" John's like, wha? "How did I do that?" Staleek accuses the wormhole of eating them, but John knows better, and gets frustrated: "What did you do? Do not tell me you ordered them into the wormhole! She told you to call us when they got there!" Staleek yells right back that John should have warned him, and John's like, actually not my problem. On the other hand, "You wanted proof, you got it." Heh. Staleek asks if he actually opened the wormhole and John -- instead of admitting it's art and not science -- tells him no more freebies. "You wanna do a deal, or you want me to sell it to the Peacekeepers, so they can gobble up all of your warships?" Staleek does not respond well to threats; poorly enough that John and Aeryn step back. "I'm not threatening. I'm just a guy with something to sell. You don't want to buy it, I'm sure someone else will." They walk backwards, out, as he growls. The door closes in front of them, and John asks her if he pushed too hard. She shakes her head. "He'll make an offer."