Rating: R
Pairing for this section: references to Scorpius/Crais
Warning for this section: references to rape, torture
Author's Notes: The original 'The Red and the Black', finally in HTML format. I've kept it in sections so that each one has its own warning and pairing listing, so those who are squicked by certain things can avoid those parts. Won't guarantee they won't miss important story elements that way, though. Sorry!
Summary: Scorpius enjoys his job far too much, and Crichton interacts with an old acquaintance...
Spoilers: Set during Nerve/The Hidden Memory; later parts during Family Ties & second season.
Originally started 1/29/00

The Red and the Black
Part 11
by Penemuel
With script excerpts from "Family Ties"

Crais groaned and stretched out, rolling over to bury his face in his pillow to block out the painful light. His head pounded, his body ached, and his stomach churned violently as he felt the weight next to him shift and a hand slide down his back to rest proprietarily on his ass. Memories flooded back and it took every ounce of his strength to ride out the next wave of nausea.

The weight next to him shifted again, the hand squeezing his asscheek, and then, mercifully, it was gone as his tormentor stood and walked away from the bed. He groaned quietly into his pillow, wishing desperately that his head would stop pounding long enough for him to kill one of the two occupants of his quarters -- at the moment, it really didn't matter which one. And then the fact that his tormentor was speaking filtered through the red haze in his mind. What was that? A transport?

"Yes, keep an eye on it and keep me apprised of the situation," Scorpius was saying when he finally managed to discern actual words out of the roar of sound assaulting him. The half-breed shut down the comm channel then turned to look at Crais. "There is a Leviathan transport pod heading for the ship. The only occupant appears to be the Hynerian..."

Crais groaned and steeled himself for the discomfort he knew would accompany his next act, then rolled to the edge of the bed and sat up. Determined not to show any weakness now that the drug no longer had its hold on him, he got to his feet and walked to his bathroom. "I'll be ready shortly," he said, shutting the door firmly behind him.

The sound of the door closing made his head throb again, and when he looked at his reflection in the mirror, the bloodshot eyes and dark circles beneath them alarmed him. He winced and reached up, undoing his tight ponytail and trying to untangle the hair that had escaped its hold the night before. He picked up his brush and tentatively dragged it through his hair, gritting his teeth as the hair pulled, sending another wave of pain and nausea through him. He steeled himself and savagely attacked the knots, thinking all the time of Scorpius and what he would do to the half-breed if he were strong enough to. Grimacing, he pulled his hair back again and tied it tightly with one end of the leather binding, then wrapped the rest of it and fastened the end of the tie. By the time he had finished, he was trembling and sweat was beading on his brow.

And suddenly he knew he had lost the battle with the nausea. Leaning down over the toilet, he heaved up the contents of his stomach -- what little he had eaten recently, that was. Bile and acid made his throat burn, and when the retching finally passed he turned back to the sink and rinsed his mouth out, relieved that the nausea had subsided somewhat. He finished readying himself, displeased that he hadn't had time to grab clothing before he escaped into the bathroom. At least he felt a little more in control; less like he would do something to further embarrass himself in front of Scorpius.

Taking a deep breath, he exited the bathroom and walked to the wall panel that hid his wardrobe. He could feel Scorpius' eyes on him, but he ignored the half-breed as he opened the panel and quickly tugged on his clothes. Finally feeling more protected, he strode over to the pile of discarded clothing and retrieved his uniform tunic and boots, pulling them on and completing his armour against the world. The headache had returned, but dressed and feeling more in control of his stomach, it was manageable.

He walked over to his desk, ignoring Scorpius' approach as he contacted the bridge and got his own report of the situation from Braca. Scorpius perched on the corner of his desk and watched as he closed the comm channel and began to pace, rubbing at his forehead. "One unarmed transport flying straight towards us. Makes no sense."

"Pity we can't follow its trail back to the Leviathan," Scorpius said thoughtfully, studying the desk for a moment. Then he lifted his head and asked, "Any other vessels in motion out there?"

Crais looked up at him briefly and answered, "Just our own outbound Marauder, with the alien girl you adopted."

Scorpius frowned slightly at his tone but let it pass, instead asking, "Have you found my security officer assigned to watch her?"

Do you think I care? Crais thought, walking past him and sitting down at his desk before his head got any worse. "Why would the Hynerian be traveling alone?"

"Perhaps," Scorpius said, standing and walking over towards the raised area of the room, "he wishes to become part of your..." Crais could imagine the expression of disgust as the scientist paused, "...collection."

Crais glowered at him, wondering if he could feel his hatred as he gathered all of it and thought it in the scientist's direction. Before either of them could say anything, though, the door opened and Braca entered. Scorpius turned to look over his shoulder at him as he said, "Sirs, this Hynerian Royal was alone aboard the Leviathan transport."

Crais looked up as Rygel floated in on his thronesled with two guards a short distance behind him. The small alien addressed the room, "You want the Leviathan, the Leviathan-gunship offspring, the other escaped prisoners, the defector Aeryn Sun, and especially you want the one called Crichton." As he paused briefly, Crais' expression became much more intent and Scorpius turned to face Rygel more, watching him with definite interest. The Hynerian seemed to come to a decision and continued, "Well, I want my freedom. Interested?"

Crais swallowed hard, his heart pounding in his chest at the prospect of being so close to obtaining everything he desired -- and at the realization that Scorpius was already courting the Hynerian, promising him all the delicacies they could provide while they made their negotiations. He knew, all too well, which offer had interested Scorpius the most. What surprised him, however, was the powerful need to keep Scorpius from getting his claws on Crichton again. He tried to tell himself it was merely a desire to keep the half-breed from succeeding at anything, but a nagging voice in the back of his mind jeered at him -- in Crichton's voice, even -- that he wanted Crichton all to himself...

Since Scorpius seemed to be so eager to make the arrangement, inviting the Hynerian into his quarters and making him comfortable at his table, Crais seated himself in the other chair and watched the spectacle as the Hynerian devoured enough food to feed his crew for days.

He watched, amazed by the disgusting display and struggling against the return of the nausea, as the Hynerian gobbled his way through the food and refilled all of his plates -- twice. "That's your third helping..." he said, no longer attempting to keep the disgust out of his tone. He ignored Scorpius as the half-breed paced back and forth in front of the table.

Rygel looked up and swallowed his mouthful, then said, "That's for my third stomach. That's what happens, you see? By the time it's full the first one's empty again..."

Scorpius stopped in mid-stride and turned to look at Rygel. "Dominar Rygel, my Gammak base is but a short distance from here. Once seated in my Aurora Chair, your hunger pangs will be the least of your discomforts." He stared, disgusted, as Rygel belched audibly in response.

"Um...With all due respect, wrong. You won't get anything out of me that way. Ask him," the Hynerian said, motioning at Crais. "My physiology won't tolerate it."

Crais glowered at him darkly but confirmed, "He would be dead almost instantly."

Scorpius looked back at Rygel again and smiled ghoulishly, "Oh, no need to travel to accommodate that..."

Rygel boldly met his gaze and said, "Look, if I were afraid, I wouldn't have come, would I? Pass the terleum mollusks, please?"

Swallowing against his nausea again, Crais watched as Scorpius walked over to the table and leaned close. "I believe..." he paused, looking at the bowls of delicacies until he spotted the mollusks, "...your offer...was the capture of John Crichton in exchange for your own freedom." He picked up one of the morsels and popped it in his mouth, ignoring Rygel's request completely.

Damn you, Scorpius! Crais thought, irritated that the same man who had accused him of obsession was now obviously obsessed himself. He couldn't keep from nagging, "And the Leviathan, and the--"

Scorpius cut him off, "Insignificant, Captain..." Crais glowered at the half-breed, furious that he had managed to completely undermine him in front of the Hynerian now. Scorpius, of course, ignored him and answered Rygel, "A simple deal to which I agree."

Rygel looked boldly up at the scientist despite the discomfort he felt at Scorpius' sudden close scrutiny, and said, "Hardly simple. I also require a ship, a qualified crew, negotiable currency, a map to my homeworld, and a full pardon."

Scorpius' eyes narrowed and he said, "You're lying..."

Rygel shrugged slightly and said, "All right, I could forego the cash."

Scorpius' eyes narrowed even further. "You're lying about why you're here."

"No, I'm not."

There was definite anger in Scorpius' tone now -- enough to make Crais look up and watch what was happening. "You're wasting our time." The next was directed to Crais himself, "Imprison him. We will capture the others in due course." Then he turned and strode away.

Rygel said, "I don't think so. Look, I know him. John Crichton won't be taken alive."

Scorpius stopped and looked up, although he kept his back to the Hynerian; and smiled humourlessly. "Now he's telling the truth." Crais studied Scorpius carefully, unsure as to what he might do next, although he glanced aside at Rygel when the half-breed spoke again. "And are you willing to help me capture the human Crichton?"

Crais' eyes narrowed, part of him angry because he was all too aware that Scorpius had effectively cut him out of the negotiations completely; part of him angry for reasons he wasn't even willing to admit to himself. Rygel, much to the small alien's credit, managed to restrain a gulp. He knew the Hynerian was a mercenary bastard, but would he really sell out a shipmate?

"I'll do what I have to do for my freedom," Rygel answered, surprising both of the Peacekeepers.

Then Scorpius turned around, his smile chilling Crais to the core. "Very good. Crais, get the Dominar whatever he wishes, and I will make the arrangements," he ordered, smiling as Crais bristled.

As Scorpius left the room, Crais turned his dark glare upon Rygel and asked, "How may I be of assistance, Dominar?" with all of the sarcasm and disgust he could muster.


Crichton paced back and forth in his quarters, analyzing events, mulling them over and over in his mind. He didn't want to believe that Rygel would betray them, but it was far too easy to believe that the mercenary little alien could do it. Hell, if Rygel, Zhaan, and D'argo had been willing to cut off one of Pilot's arms just for a map, of course he'd sell them all out in exchange for his freedom! Wonder what the little shit'll do when he realizes he's burned his bridges with us, but Scorpy's not gonna let him out of there any way other than feet first... he thought bitterly.

He thought he'd made a good show of it, but Aeryn's use of the word 'suicide' wasn't entirely unwarranted -- he was all too aware of why Scorpius was after him, and Rygel wasn't the only one who would go to desperate measures to remain free... He, however, wasn't about to drag anyone else with him!

He sighed and sat down on his bed, resting his head in his hands. "Damn," he muttered quietly. If we just had equal firepower... he thought, wishing that the baby leviathan were at least old enough to be of some use there. "Don't you all think I know how futile this whole thing is?" he asked aloud, not expecting any answer. "Outgunned, outnumbered, we can't run far enough or fast enough to get away from Peacekeeper presence...The only way to keep them off our backs is to take out Scorpy somehow -- ramming with a transport full of explosives is the only option we've got..."

Great, now I'm talking to myself... he thought, squeezing his eyes shut. I'm not goin' back to that damned base, I'm not gettin' back in that goddamned Chair, and that sick half-breed freak is never touching me again... Unbidden, his thoughts turned to Crais, trapped there with Scorpius and unable to do anything about it without further threatening his career. No, damn it, I am not going to feel guilty about doing that -- I had to get out of there...

It's not like I want to die -- I just can't handle going through that again -- there's only so much a guy can take, and this damned universe has been dishing out way too much of it since I got here... he thought angrily. "I'm tired of getting kicked around, and I'm just not gonna let them do it again!"

Needing something constructive to do, he strode to the dresser he kept his accumulated belongings in and began to sort through them, dividing them into groups by who he wanted to give them to, including the things he wanted returned to Earth and his father, if the opportunity ever arose...


Sick of waiting on the Hynerian hand and foot, Crais ran a bath for the small alien, then stormed out of his quarters and stalked the corridors until he ended up in the physical training room. It was deserted except for the crew of one Marauder who were apparently there to work on team maneuvers -- which was, he reflected, a good thing. It left the mechanized sparring dummy free for him to abuse...

He stripped down to his trousers and traded his boots for the softer exercise boots kept in the gym, then keyed an advanced attack into the controls of the sparring dummy. He could tell the Marauder team was watching him, and wondered briefly if they were loyal to him or to Scorpius. Then the sparring dummy whirled into action and he focused his attention on it, countering every move and striking back with a savagery that would cripple most opponents. He visualized himself fighting Scorpius, beating the half-breed back; hurting him...

Thoughts of the current situation threatened to intrude, but he blocked them out, exercising the control that had been so far out of his reach recently. For the moment, his entire world consisted of his opponent and himself, and he was winning... With a roar, he struck a final, killing blow, the computer registering the hit and announcing his victory. The sparring dummy ceased all motion, hanging on its support in an unnatural position, proof of the power of Crais' final strike.

Wordlessly, he changed back to his boots, picked up his tunic and shirt, and strode out of the room past the Marauder team. He could tell they had been watching him, and he hoped that if they were loyal to Scorpius, they would think twice before crossing him.

He pulled on his shirt and tunic, then strode down the corridor, finally returning his attention to the current situation. There really was no choice anymore -- he knew he had no future with the Peacekeepers, and now he actually had the means to escape. Rygel could do whatever he pleased with Scorpius as far as he cared -- perhaps the Hynerian would enjoy the half-breed's attention -- and he would take the transport and run for it...

"Captain!" The voice was almost desperate; he spun and found Braca panting for breath right behind him.

"Yes, Lieutenant?" he asked, wondering why the young officer looked so pale. "Out with it, I have to get back to check on his royal slugness..."

"Sir," Braca hissed, his eyes darting around nervously as they continued to walk, "Before you do, there's something I think you should know about..."

Crais' eyes narrowed as he wondered if Braca were trying to ensnare him somehow -- but then again, he had already buried himself; Scorpius really did not need any further evidence to destroy him. Very well... "What, Lieutenant?"

"Not here," Braca hissed, suddenly silencing himself as a Marauder team approached from an intersecting corridor. The team marched past, smartly saluting Crais as they went, and once they were gone, Braca continued, "Please, Captain, come with me -- just for a moment or two..."

Crais sighed -- what more damage could be done? He followed the nervous young officer to his quarters, surprised to see him lock the door once they were both inside. "What is it, Braca?" he asked, becoming more apprehensive.

"Sir," Braca said, taking a deep breath to steady himself, "I was checking some routine files, and I came across something..." He paused, holding out a data chip to Crais, relieved when the Captain took it, then continued, "I think you should look it over before you go back to see the Hynerian..."


Swallowing his apprehension, Crais keyed open the door to his quarters and entered, then closed and locked the door again behind him. He knew, now, what had to be done -- it was amazingly easy once he had made the decision... He walked towards the raised area of his quarters, where Rygel was sitting up in the tub, indignantly saying, "Excuse me, do you mind?"

Frowning slightly, tired of being pushed around, Crais walked up the stairs. "You have eaten. You have bathed. What next, a nap?"

Rygel perked up and answered, "Hmmn. As a matter of fact...uh..."

With an edge of menace in his tone, Crais said, "We must talk about..." He paused briefly, sitting on the edge of the tub, "...your future."

Rygel snorted and said, "You're clearly not the one to decide my future, Crais."

Anger flared, and Crais asked, "What do you mean?"

"Well. You've lost control here, haven't you? Not that it troubles me, but this Scorpius fellow. He's obviously the one in power now."

Crais was frowning, now, but still sounded calm, "Be that as it may, allow me to make a case for my value in these...negotiations...Your Highness."

Rygel sat up straighter, and made an interested sound -- and Crais' temper flared. His hand lashed out, grabbing the small alien and forcing him underwater before he could do more than look startled. For a moment, Crais entertained the idea of drowning the Hynerian, but he needed the little alien alive -- finally getting a grip on his fury, he let Rygel back up.

"You madman!" Rygel sputtered, not quite edging away from him.

"Do you know what this is?" Crais asked, slapping the data chip into Rygel's hand.

"You madman!" Rygel repeated, still unnerved and unable to come up with anything more rational to say.

Crais growled, "This is your death certificate -- proof you expired."

Recovered enough to bluff, Rygel said, "You're early. Come back tomorrow."

"I am not your reaper," Crais said, finally releasing the small alien. "Scorpius is. Did you really think you could strike an honest bargain with a Scarran half-breed like him? The moment Crichton is in custody, he's ordered your execution to show everyone what he thinks of traitors." The Hynerian's gasp brought a moment of satisfaction, and to further unnerve him, Crais added, "Slow death."

The Hynerian swallowed hard, and then asked the one question Crais was loathe to answer; "Why tell me?"

Frowning, uncomfortable to have to admit it while he sat in his own quarters, on his own ship, Crais said, "Because, ironically, we find ourselves in similar situations. No matter what I do, I have no life beyond court-martial, incarceration; execution."

Rygel studied him for a moment, realizing that suddenly he was the one in power -- he could decide Crais' fate... "So what do you want?"

"To survive... As you do," Crais answered, reminding Rygel that the Hynerian was still at considerable risk himself.

"And just how do we do that?" Rygel asked. Experienced in these matters, he could tell that the Peacekeeper already had a plan in mind...

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 |
Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 12 | Part 13 |
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