Sikozu and the young Resistance Kalish walk together down a hall, and they are talking about Birds of Paradise. "An entire cavern just to grow the flowers they eat?" Kalish kid is like, "I know, right? And nobody's allowed in there." A Charrid soldier exits an elevator; the Kalish and Sikozu get in. The guy presses buttons. How come? "We don't know; but only the Charrids are supposed to have the access codes. So if anyone else enters the cavern, the Scarrans will assume the Charrids left it accessible. Like...this." He pushes two buttons at once, and the elevator doors close with a clank. He's stolen the codes. Which, of course, the Charrids will figure out, and then they'll confront the Kalish. Fear and money. Sikozu comms to John: "We've found a much faster way to incite a riot."
"Great, let me hear it. Later." John's all over the place: More riot! Less riot! More talking! Shut up! But this time it's for good reason: John and Aeryn are about to run into somebody we love. "Nice pants," John says to a passing Peacekeeper, and they both stop a few steps later. "Hey, Braca. You look a little lost." Braca won't look at them. "Does Mommy know you're here?" asks Aeryn, and John stage-whispers, "Does Mommy know he's Scorpius's boy?" Braca's eyes go wild and he walks back to them, quietly. "Oh, no! Mommy doesn't know!" He faces them down, stares into John's eyes: "Are you here to rescue him or kill him?" Man, I love Braca. This is the weirdest love quadrangle in the entire universe. Let's review: A robot cheerleader with magic powers, a whore-gland Commandant, a corpse in a bondage outfit, and...Miklo Braca. Half of whom barely rate as supporting cast. This is what's going on in the background.
Similarly, you've got Ahkna, Stark, and Scorpius, another torture-related whole thing I don't actually understand but always seems to have a certain creepy sex component. Stark's frelling Scorpius over and over again, sputter and spit and scream, when the lights go out. Ahkna tells Stark to get hidden, and John and Aeryn enter the room. "We're here to see Scorpius," John says, flashing knob at the guards. Ahkna tells him he -- but not Aeryn -- can come in. Aeryn nods, and John comes all the way in, toward Scorpius. "John," Scorpius says, gazing up at him. "Grasshopper," says John, looking down on Scorpius in his extremity: his head hangs, he pants and sweats. He's not in control of this. John looks from Aeryn, to Scorpius, to Ahkna, heading down off the platform toward her. "That's a nice hat." She thanks him with a heat breath; he goes to his knees. Aeryn yells at her to cut it out but the guard grabs her. "What did you say? 'Too happy, too sad, too cold, too hot'? Let's see, hmm?" She is now doubting John's physical responses to simple stimuli. She is so hardcore! Fat Man beeps louder and louder and its lights pulse faster and faster, and John struggles under her probe.