Author's Note: Scorpius and Sikozu's chess game from John Quixote. Ever since I saw that scene, I'd wondered what would happen if these two fantastic minds sat down to play this great and ancient game of strategy. Because I couldn't decide who would win, or why, I decided to actually play the game out based on three principles. 1) Neither of them would take a trade unless it would result in mate, they would be the winner of the trade (take more significant pieces), or to save them from an even worse situation than they were in. 2) Sikozu would move her queen early. 3) Scorpius would save the queen as long as he could. Then I made the best moves I could for each to see what would happen.
Many thanks to SabaceanBabe for the beta and Xenajules for her transcripts, which I snurched to make sure I had the in-show dialogue right.
Bored. Bored bored bored bored bored. Sikozu wandered down a corridor, tier seven, towards the center chamber but not really going anywhere. Just walking. So frelling bored of these people, this place. Center chamber… not hungry. No one there. Hard to eat for amusement when you only need to eat 10 times a cycle. She wasn't even close to hungry yet… another few weekens, at least, before she'd need to think about food. Didn't much feel like drinking, either.
Bored. Crichton gone, Chiana with him, shopping or something. Aeryn off brooding—probably about Crichton—D'Argo sleeping, Pilot busy with Moya, and that old woman and Rygel… well, who'd want to talk to Rygel or that crazy, anyway? That left one option: Scorpius. That strange half-breed, such a strong leader yet content to be confined to a cell. She felt admiration for his fortitude… yet he seemed to do nothing. Why was he here? "To safeguard John Crichton." Hard to safeguard someone who won't let you near. Who keeps you locked up in a cell. Who couldn't see your intelligence, your sense of strategy, your drive to get what you want. Very much like the crew viewed her, actually. Well, she could see his potential. Though a bioloid, she hadn't done much to help her people—yet. Perhaps this Scorpius could be fooled into helping her help them.
Bored. Walk up the wall, maybe this place will look more interesting upside down. Nope. Bored and wandering aimlessly.
Still upside-down, wandering through quarters. Crichton's quarters. Door's open anyway. Neat for once, and some game board set up on the table.
Flip drop down on the ground right side up, easier to work the doors this way, anyway. Oh, that board. What did he call it? Chesssssssss, long hissing ssssss sound on the end. He had taught her one of those days when Aeryn wasn't talking to him. Or something. Flashback to Crichton, pissed off for nothing, seeming distracted, teaching her this game because she insisted and he had nothing better to do. But he wasn't here now. She grabbed the board and pieces and stepped quickly out of the room.
Scorpius stared at the ceiling of the cell from his bed, mind drifting, circling around Crichton: how to get to him, gain his trust, or just remove his knowledge from Scarran threat, if not into Peacekeeper hands. But right now, drifting. Crichton wasn't even on board.
A noise in the passageway. He flicked his eyes to the door. Sikozu. Something in hand.
"Would you care for a game?" That must be Crichton's chess set; he had learned of such games from the neural chip.
"Belongs to Crichton, but… he is not onboard at the moment." I knew that, girl. Why are you here? He hasn't moved yet. To seek me out? They had hardly spoken since their first encounter, in Scarran. And yet, it must have been she who voted for him to be captain. He had said nothing to her. Would she serve? Would she know? Would she let me if she did know? A decision to play her game, but he can't seem too willing. Allow a small sigh.
"Do you know how to play?" Sitting, finally, look at her with head tilted back slightly: tell her I know more than you can dream. Then smile, just a bit.
Sikozu set the board on the ground, arranged the pieces. He had come over to watch, and he now sat down on the other side of the door. "You may begin," he said.
The game always begins with a pawn. She moved the one in front of her king, two spaces. "Please move my king pawn forward one space," he said. No emotion in the voice. More pawns followed; Scorpius indicating his moves in speech as the bars were too close to reach through.
She hesitated, considering. Should she move the queen now? She was a powerful ally—but what was the risk? To lose her before her usefulness was complete? And yet, the strength… I shall press the attack.
Scorpius watched as her hand paused over her queen. Would she move it now? Too early; she still has something to learn. She moved it out; a calculated move. The time has come to test this potential ally. Laying his head against the door as though in thought, he looked up at her, eyes guileless, willing her to trust him. "Sikozu. If you were to open the door, we could play properly."
Instantly she raised her eyes to his. "There could be sensors," she replied. "Even if this Pilot is inept, Crichton has an interest in keeping you in there." She did not refuse outright. Better than expected.
"Surely, you can find a way around them." Cater to her pride, show absolute confidence.
"To trick the sensor? It should not be difficult." Oh, to catch her in a boast.
Sikozu stood, studied the door in front of her. Laying her hand against the panel, she sensed the lock circuit inside. She could unlock it, of course—a simple thing, with her bioloid abilities, but she could do without, too. Pilot didn't know how to do anything, not even lock a door without leaving it vulnerable to a simple short circuit. She pressed the catch to expose the circuit.
Scorpius watched her avidly, she would do it! But he must not show too much interest—it is all the same to me, if you open that door or if you do not.
A voice crackled from Sikozu's comms: "Captain D'Argo!" Sikozu paused—was this Pilot paying more attention than she had thought?
"There appears to be a problem with the door to Scorpius' cell. Are you available to investigate, or should I find Aeryn?"
"I'm on my way, Pilot," D'Argo replied. As he exited his chamber, Noranti was coming down the passageway.
"Is there a problem?" she asked.
"There may be. Pilot, patch me through to John."
"It is not important, Sikozu... but perhaps it would be best if you were not here." Scorpius stood, facing her through the door. Now I know she would do it! Show compassion, caring for her.
"Perhaps you're right." She lifted the board, being careful not to disturb the pieces. One more test to know if she's mine. She began to walk away, then turned. "I will return, when they are gone." She strode quickly away, down the corridor.
He watched her go, slender legs and sweet curves and... But she was far more enticing for her mind than her beauty. So intelligent, and yet so malleable that he could turn her any way he wished.
As she turned the corner, a calculating smile stretched his thin lips. She will serve me.