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Searching through junk aboard Moya and definitely not looking for valuables nobody had noticed, Chiana finds a recording device that carries a recording showing Crais having a firing squad murder the first, female, Pilot of Moya; apparently, she had refused to take part in a mysterious "project", and Crais ordered her death despite the protests of a junior officer, Lieutenant Velorek. At the end of the recording, one of the members of the helmeted firing squad unmasks, revealing Aeryn. Back in the present, Aeryn admits that the person is her and the recording is true but claims that she didn't previously realise that the Leviathan the event took place on was Moya. Somewhat understandably, the crew are infuriated, Crichton attempts to defend her from the others, and Chiana remains neutral.From here on the episode consists of lengthy flashbacks interspersed with current events: we see Aeryn and Velorek arriving on Moya, with Pilot as the cargo of their ship. Velorek is a technical specialist in charge of bonding the new Pilot to Moya, while Aeryn has been pulled off Prowler duty to act as Velorek's personal chauffeur, which she is unhappy about. To add insult to injury, just seconds after Crais ignores her attempts to get herself reassigned, she's accosted by two other members of the firing squad, who mock "the high and mighty little Prowler pilot" for not helping them dig the Old Pilot's corpse out, and smear guts across her cheek for good measure.In the present, Crichton finds Aeryn savagely beating a punching bag until her knuckles bleed. She breaks down in his arms and confides to him that she and Velorek were lovers. Normal Peacekeeper etiquette allows casual sex to fulfil physical needs, but strongly disapproves of emotional links; nevertheless, Aeryn felt something for Velorek that she now recognises as love.And then, as if the situation couldn't get worse, Rygel gives Pilot the recording despite having previously agreed with everybody else that it should be hidden from him; Rygel claims that he felt morally obligated to do so, but the others suspect that he was looking to get one up on the rest with Pilot. Aeryn insists on going alone to speak to Pilot- and ends up getting half-throttled to death; D'Argo and Crichton come to her rescue and Pilot eventually calms down a bit, but refuses to move the ship any further until she leaves. With her relationship with Pilot in tatters and very little sympathy to be found among the crew, Aeryn is already packing her bags.In flashback, we discover that Velorek, who'd been ordered to bond Pilot to Moya quickly by Crais, did so surgically rather than naturally, which has caused Pilot constant pain ever since. After making love to Aeryn, Velorek tries to get her to let him have them permanently posted together, and tells her that Crais is a maniac and that his project must be prevented; Aeryn accuses him of insubordination, and he again implores her to leave with him and unknowingly prefigures Crichton's later words to her: "You can be so much more".Crichton goes to Pilot to plead on Aeryn's behalf. However, rather than carrying on with his accusations, Pilot reveals to him that Moya only accepted him because the Peacekeepers used the control collar to torture her into it, and in a fit of suicidal despair, he physically severs his connection with her, sending Moya's life-support systems into gradual shutdown and ensuring a slow death for himself. Aeryn insists on talking to Pilot again, but he has locked himself in the den and set the DRDs to fight off anyone who tries to enter. Aeryn and Crichton sneak in through the maintenance passages, but along the way, Crichton realises that Aeryn still hasn't told him the whole truth, and insists on it.Aeryn reveals that Velorek and some of his men were plotting to sabotage Crais's "project," and though she didn't know what this project was at the time, she used this information to betray Velorek to Crais in exchange for being returned to Prowler duty, resulting in Velorek's execution. She explains that she now realises that the project was to breed a Peacekeeper-Leviathan hybrid battleship on Moya, and to prevent it, Velorek probably installed the contraceptive shield that D'Argo later accidentally broke- unknowingly completing Crais's plan and causing Talyn's conception.Back in the present, Crichton and Aeryn arrive in the den: after a shootout with the [DRDs] and an angry standoff, Aeryn offers her life to Pilot, acknowledging that she deserves to die for what she did. Hower Pilot admits that he believes that he should be the one to die: he reveals that the elders of his people considered him too young to be bonded to a Leviathan, but that Velorek offered him the chance to do so without their authority. Desperate to see the stars and the universe beyond his home planet, he accepted it, even though he knew full well that it would mean the death of another Pilot. In the present, he believes that had he refused, Velorek would never have found a Pilot willing to accept his offer and that Moya's orginal Pilot might still be alive.Aeryn remembers Velorek's compassion to Pilot when he first came aboard, which she didn't understand at the time and does now; stroking Pilot's cheek in much the same way Velorek did, she tells him that both of them have come a long way, but still have a long way to go together. Finally broken out of his suicidal depression, Pilot instructs D'Argo and the others on how to create a new link between him and Moya; this time, he will allow it to form naturally and painlessly, although it will take up to a cycle for him to regain full connection and control.Alone with Crichton, Aeryn tells him that Velorek said exactly the same thing to her that he did: "You can be so much more." Crichton asks her again if she loved Velorek, and she agrees- with the heavy implication that she now has similar feelings for Crichton.
Tropes present in this episode include: