Rating: NC-17
Pairing for this section: none really -- reference to Crais/OM, reference to Crais/Crichton, reference to Scorpius/Crichton
Warning for this section: torture, violence
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 6
by Penemuel
with script excerpts from "The Hidden Memory"

Once the guards fastened Crais into the Chair, Scorpius ordered them out of the room, giving them strict instructions that he not be disturbed except in a dire emergency. Then he climbed onto the Chair platform and stared down at Crais. "So defiant, Captain," he purred, smiling as the Sebacean strained against his bonds, "but it will not do you any good..."

"Release me at once, Scorpius!" Crais ordered, "First Command will hear about this!"

"First Command?" Scorpius scoffed, "More likely, they will thank me for finally reining you in..." As Crais looked up at him, snarling and continuing to struggle, he reached down to cup the Sebacean's bearded chin. "And, I will be most interested to learn about your...arrangement with Crichton..."

"I've made no arrangement with Crichton!" Crais protested, jerking his head away from Scorpius' touch. "The whole thing is a lie!"

"Of course it is, Captain," Scorpius purred, "That's why you've been sharing your bed with him..."

"That's a lie!" Crais snarled, knowing it was useless even as he said it.

Scorpius cocked his head and studied him closely, then quietly said, "You were the first one to take him; he called you a 'cock-tease', and he told you I do not trim my nails..." Crais' expression changed rapidly from shock to fury as he remembered what Crichton had said.

"So you did question him about me in the Chair... And tell me, Scorpius, did this false memory of our supposed deal happen to come up then?"

"No, it did not. But as I said, the Chair indicated he was hiding something -- obviously, he was trying to protect you, knowing that if your arrangement was discovered, you would lose your power and therefore be unable to protect him."

"That's a lie!" Crais growled again, realizing that he would not be able to talk himself out of what was about to happen.

"We shall see," Scorpius purred, straightening and looking at Niem. He signaled, and she activated the chair.

Memories flashed across the screen: Crichton facing him in Maldis' lair, trying to convince him that killing his brother was an accident; an older man with curly black hair and caramel coloured skin speaking to two young boys, "The recruiter is here to pick you up. I'm counting on you to protect him! He is your brother."

Crais screamed, and Scorpius asked, "Who is that?"

"My...father. Turn it off!"

Scorpius purred, "Don't you like your past, Crais?"

"Turn it off!"

Scorpius looked back at Niem and asked, "Can't you get to what he knows about wormholes?"

She shook her head and answered, "No, he's fighting it." She changed a setting and turned the output up.

Crais screamed again and struggled in the chair, then yelled, "I don't know anything!"

Scorpius signaled sharply to Niem and she cut the power, leaving Crais gasping in the chair. "Yes, Scorpius?"

"Leave us. I will summon you when I am ready," Scorpius said, continuing to study Crais. Once Niem had left the room, he stepped close again and asked, "What is it about your past that you dislike so, Captain? It certainly cannot be the time you spent on the farming commune with your family -- your closeness to your brother made it more than evident that you were happy with them. But you understand the Peacekeeper way too well for it to be the fact that you were taken from them...

"So," Scorpius mused, walking to the Chair's controls and reaching for the switch, "What is it?"

"No -- don't!" Crais ordered, trying to keep the desperation out of his voice. Already knowing it was hopeless, he steeled himself for the pain as Scorpius turned the Chair on.

"What is it about your past that you dislike so?" Scorpius repeated, directing his attention towards those memories. Images of Crais and his brother in Peacekeeper basic training flashed across the screen in a quick succession: endurance runs over hostile terrain, Crais helping his brother up when he stumbled and cut himself on the rocks; row upon row of students practicing kata in a huge hall; the elder Crais watching a sparring match with impotent fury as Tauvo was beaten down by one of the older students...

"How interesting," Scorpius mused, "It doesn't seem your brother was exactly Peacekeeper material..."

"He managed," Crais growled, an edge of anger in his tone that told Scorpius he had hit a nerve. An image flashed across the screen of a later sparring match where Crais faced the student who had beaten Tauvo. The elder Crais efficiently and coldly defeated his sparring partner, barely acknowledging him after the fight, then turned to stalk from the mat. Keeping his face completely neutral, he caught Tauvo's gaze, and for an instant his eyes gleamed with triumph, returning to neutral the instant the instructor turned his way...

"He managed, it seems, with your assistance..." Scorpius mused. He stepped from the platform and stood at the controls, his hand hovering over the switch as he said, "It must have been difficult to help him as much as you wanted to before you became an officer..."

"None of this is any of your business, Scorpius," Crais ground out before he gasped in pain and choked back a scream. "None of this has anything to do with Crichton!"

"Actually, I think it does..." Scorpius purred, "It is obvious to me that you pushed yourself to become the best you could." He paused to watch the images of Crais in training, constantly excelling in every discipline. "But, with a background like yours, you would have needed a sponsor to enter officer training. With you paying so much attention to your brother's safety, how did you attract a sponsor?"

"Why does it matter?" Crais gasped as Scorpius turned the power up further. The Chair sliced into his mind, a black flame burning his brain to cinders. The pain seared along every nerve, his fingernails cutting into his palms hard enough to draw blood; he screamed again, a harsh, ragged cry of agony -- and then suddenly, mercifully, the pain stopped. The red haze cleared from his vision to reveal Scorpius standing right in front of him, blocking the image frozen on the screen.

Dread gripped him, making his chest constrict and his already sore throat close on his next breath. Choking, trying to blink away the tears that streamed involuntarily from his eyes, he asked, "Why are you looking at me like that?"

"Crichton has no idea how you became so skilled in bed, does he..." Scorpius mused, studying Crais' expression as he slowly stepped out from in front of the small screen. Much to his satisfaction, the Sebacean's eyes widened and colour rose in his cheeks as he saw the answer his mind had provided.

Crais closed his eyes, not needing to see any more, the memory already burned indelibly into his mind. The image showed him lying in a passionate embrace with an older man -- a Peacekeeper officer by the look of the uniform draped over a chair near the bed -- obviously in the midst of servicing him. "Why should I tell him?" he growled, opening his eyes again to glower up at Scorpius.

"Did you actually sleep your way into a sponsorship, Crais?" Scorpius asked, savouring the emotions roiling within his captive. "Will you tell me, or do I need to turn the Chair back on?"

Crais swallowed and said, "No, I did not. I was already officer material -- I had made sure of that! I just..."

"Needed something to make someone notice you..." Scorpius finished for him. "You know, I had heard rumours about you, but I dismissed them as jealous talk from those who thought a poor boy from a farming commune should never have taken an officer spot away from them..." His words had the desired effect; he could feel the embarrassment warring with Crais' anger, feel shame beginning to creep up on him. Now to inflict some delicious pain...

Crais frowned at him and said, "I did what I had to do -- every candidate has to sell him or herself in some way or another. I did nothing wrong!"

"No, that is true -- you wouldn't be the first, either, and you did at one time seem to have the skills needed to be an officer. It's such a pity you wasted them over Crichton, and your brother's death..." Scorpius smiled as he felt the pain his words caused. "Of course, your brother would never have been put in a position where he could be hurt like that, if you hadn't assigned him to a position above his ability..."

"How dare you!?" Crais growled, renewing his struggles against the bonds. "Tauvo was an excellent pilot! I chose him for that position because it was his best chance at succeeding!"

"And he didn't succeed, did he..." Scorpius said, savouring the pain as his words cut into Crais. "Because you made him one of your elite pilots, he died... I don't think that's what your father meant when he told you to protect him..."

"Damn you, Scorpius, I will--" Crais cut himself off before he could say something too damaging.

"You will what, Captain?" Scorpius purred, stepping closer. "Kill me? Somehow I doubt that...After all, there's still the matter of your arrangement with Crichton..." He grasped Crais' chin again and leaned close. "At some point, perhaps you can demonstrate your prodigious skills to me. Perhaps we can come to some kind of agreement..."

He released Crais' chin and reached down to grab his captive's crotch. As he fondled Crais' cock and balls, the Sebacean stared straight ahead, trying not to retch with disgust. "Ah," Scorpius purred, disappointed but not surprised when Crais' organ remained soft, "Sebacean discipline. Something Crichton seems to lack... You know he responded to me quite eagerly, actually..."

"Humans seem to have little control over their reactions," Crais answered, trying to remain in control of his anger -- and the surprising amount of hurt that revelation caused. Crichton had mentioned rape; he had even said that Scorpius told him he didn't have the physical discipline of a Sebacean -- but he had never actually said that he had responded. And definitely not in any kind of way that could be considered 'eager'...

"Yes...which must be why he responded to you, also," Scorpius whispered in his ear before releasing him and returning to the control panel.

Crais choked, trying to tell himself that it was the pain and the screaming that caused it; tried to squash down the anger and hurt that he knew Scorpius was reading off him. The half-breed was playing him, using him to get his sick satisfaction -- Crichton had been right all along, the creature was playing with all of them! And yet, his words caused just enough doubt -- had he been imagining all of it? Had Crichton's willingness all been his body's weakness, his inability to control his reactions? He had been so sure...

And then Scorpius flicked the switch and the Chair sliced into his mind again. "Now tell me what you know about wormholes -- you've got no reason to protect the human now!" Scorpius' voice growled as the pain burned through him. He screamed...

...Later, as Crais sat twitching in the Chair, much as Crichton had done when they had pushed him to his limits; Scorpius and Niem discussed the fact that he knew nothing about wormholes. The memory he had been hiding was his murder of Lieutenant Teeg, to keep anyone else under him from knowing of the recall orders from First Command...

He shuddered, sweat and tears running down his face as Scorpius received a message about a security breach. He was far happier than he knew he should be when it became evident that Crichton had escaped. Even though they left him bound there, it was worth it to see Scorpius confounded for the moment; hurrying out of the room with the instructions, "Seal the base; everything. He must not reach the surface."

He sighed with relief when they abandoned him in the chamber; his every nerve screaming with the residual pain; muscles twitching randomly from the overstimulation. If this was what one trip in the Chair felt like... He could only imagine what the repeated sessions Crichton had suffered through had done to the human. And he had even contributed to the torture -- no wonder Crichton had framed him so vindictively...


Stark managed to escape up the stairs to the surface, scurrying off before the rest of them could join him. Crichton couldn't blame him -- two years in this hellhole was more than anyone should have to endure. He wished desperately that he had managed to escape, too, though -- the thought of having to submit once more to Scorpius' tender mercies was giving him the shakes...

They managed to hide just in time, Niem following closely behind and actually stopping to stand on the grating right over their heads. It was all he could do to restrain the terrified whimper when he thought she had found them. This is bad -- I'm really losing it here... he thought, feeling the terror eating away at what remained of his sanity.

Once the search party moved on, Aeryn went out to search for a senior officer's ident chip so that they could unlock the passage out. Gilina looked over at Crichton where he huddled against the wall, seeing the haunted look in the bloodshot eyes; the way he curled in upon himself... She knew he had been hurt badly by what Scorpius had put him through, but knew of nothing further she could do to help. When she reached out to gently lay a hand on his arm he flinched away from her, then looked up guiltily and smiled humourlessly.

"Sorry, Gilina -- you...startled me," he murmured, looking at her for a moment, then looking back up at the grating.

She nodded, then whispered, "I'm sorry -- I didn't mean to startle you, John. I just want to help..."

He focused on her again, looked as if he had wanted to say something but lost his resolve. Then he swallowed hard and shivered, and said, "You've already helped so much, Gilina -- I couldn't have lasted another round in that Chair..."

"Just wish I could have kept you out of it from the beginning..." she said, studying him. There was so much more to it, and he just wasn't telling her what it was...He wasn't really telling her anything, actually, as he curled into himself further and closed his eyes. She watched as the shivers coursed through his body, overwhelming sadness filling her as she thought about how alive and vibrant he had been when they met on the Zelbinion... Now, it was as if all hope had been taken from him -- the part of her that had been Peacekeeper-trained wanted to scream at him to snap out of it; the rest of her wanted to hold him and comfort him for as long as it took for him to recover. She swallowed hard, ignoring the lump in her throat, and turned her attention to keeping watch.

At one point, a sound that might have been a scream echoed through the corridors. Crichton's head snapped up so fast she was worried he would hurt himself, and she could have sworn he whispered, "Crais!"

"John?" she asked, seeing the way he looked around as if he couldn't remember where he was. "It's all right..."

Reason -- or at least something resembling it -- returned to his eyes and he asked, "Where's Aeryn? She should be back by now."

Gilina took a deep breath, preparing herself for the question she knew she had to ask before Aeryn returned with their ticket to freedom. "Do you want to be with her, Crichton?"

He looked at her, trying to follow the train of thought. "What?"

Gilina signed and asked again, "Do you want to be with Officer Sun?"

Crichton couldn't restrain a laugh, thinking that there were better times to deal with his somewhat confused romantic entanglements. "Gilina, can we talk about this some other time?"

"No. No, I don't think we can. You want me to go with you. You want me to give up everything I know...so you must answer me. Do you want to be with her?"

A shuffling noise overhead startled them both, until Aeryn opened the grating and said, "It's only me. Let's go."

Crichton asked, "Aeryn, did you bag yourself a senior officer?" They had to get out of there -- fast!

"Ran into an old friend. Let's go," she answered hurriedly -- there wasn't any time to tell him that she had run into Crais, still helpless in the Chair. She was certain he'd appreciate her parting gift to her ex-commander, but it would have to wait.

"Let's get out of here," Crichton agreed, the conversation with Gilina forgotten. The only thing in his mind at the moment was the thought that they now had a chance to escape...


Their escape nearly went according to plan -- that is, until Scorpius managed to grab Crichton when he was a few yards from freedom. For a moment, his thoughts froze, horror overwhelming him at the idea that he had fallen back into the clutches of a creature he considered even more evil than Maldis. And then Gilina stepped out of the ruins and leveled a gun at Scorpius...

He had been so sure -- positive that she wanted that monster dead just as much as he did; instead, she hesitated. Just one second too long, and Scorpius shot her for her efforts. Rage exploded in Crichton, then, and he actually managed to free himself using sheer muscle. He and Stark scooped up Gilina and ran for the transport pod, leaving behind a furious Scorpius...

Once they were safely back aboard Moya, Zhaan treated Gilina's wounds as best she could, knowing it was beyond her ability to save the young Sebacean. Crichton and Stark stayed with them, while the others discussed their situation -- and Moya's new child, a male Peacekeeper-altered Leviathan. Fortunately, Gilina had managed to scramble the Peacekeeper base's data files, keeping them from being able to track Moya; a very welcome blessing, since the offspring made them unable to starburst out of the area.

Crichton stayed with Gilina, knowing that everything Zhaan could do wasn't enough against the energy rifle blast. "Just lie back," he told her gently, "Let Zhaan's medicine do its work. You'll be fine in a little while."

Gilina looked up at him, reading the pain in his eyes. "No more lies, John."

"I'm not lying," he lied. Please, don't make this any harder than it already is...I'd do anything to keep it from happening! "Gilina, why'd you come back for us?"

"I had to help you. Aeryn was right. If I'd stayed there, they would've found out about me. Found out that I...I love you."

Oh god... "Gilina..." She groaned in pain and he looked up, "Zhaan--"

Stark stepped closer, seeing Crichton's distress and Gilina's pain. This Peacekeeper woman had saved Crichton -- he had to do something to ease her way... "May I help?" He paused, then continued, "May I give you this?" He held his hand over her face and projected the memory to her, "It's a place I once saw. I've been carrying it with me a very long time."

"It's beautiful... It's beautiful," Gilina murmured, her gaze no longer focusing on her surroundings, instead looking inward at the vision Stark had given her.

Gently, he said, "There now. Just hold onto it. Don't let go."


Crichton moved close again and asked, "Yeah?"

Hesitantly, Gilina asked, "Do you think...if things had been different...that you could've loved me?"

Oh god... he thought, swallowing hard against the lump in his throat. "Yeah."

"Kiss me one more time--" she murmured.

"Shh -- don't talk."

"Kiss me," she repeated.

He leaned down and kissed her gently, tears threatening to spill over as she sighed out her last breath. "No..." he whispered, his legs giving way now that he didn't have to be strong for her. Stark was there to catch him and support him, helping him over to a bench and holding him as the tears came.

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