Disclaimer: Not my universes, not my characters. I'll put them back only slightly rumpled when I'm done with them.
Sunday in the Park with Nielsen
The Royal and Ancient Saldemarinicaan Botanical Gardens. It was no great surprise that Zhaan and Stark had wanted to tour the Gardens, which were allegedly the largest collection of plant species in this part of the Uncharted Territories. And at first John Crichton had enjoyed walking around the enormous park with those two. But that had been ahrns ago, and he was starting to get a little bit bored. He fidgeted, and hit the play button for a small sound projector near a collection of yellow and blue flowers.
"The calicasha veladaius is one of the most storied species of veladaius." The voice droned. "It was originally developed by the Xeleander family of Denerius 3. The species was presumed lost during a domestic dispute when the patriarch of the Xeleander family was critically injured by his mistress, who stole the first samples of the plant, but those samples were later recovered."
"So what they had was some whacked out local version of 'Who shot J.R.?' " John said.
"Kristin did." John looked around. The voice had come from one of the gardeners who was working in a nearby flower bed.
"What did you say?"
"Kristin shot J.R. Ewing. My Mum loved those bloody American soap operas. Everyone did back then. We all spent the summer thinking Sue Ellen did, but Kristen shot J. R." The gardener continued to stare at John. "Now how has someone in the great beyond ever heard of Dallas?"
"Because my Mom watched Dallas every single week too." John eyed the other man: pale, dark hair, and somewhat gaunt. "Zhaan, do you see anyone over by the giant purple flowery things, or have I just discovered someone else has a timeshare in my brain again?"
"I see a man in a gardener's uniform. He looks to be Sebacean." Zhaan said.
"And there is definitely a soul there, and not just a holographic projection." Stark said.
"And you look like you're human and seem to be as real as anything I've seen since I ended up here. Look, do you want to head over to the pub? I get the feeling we're going to want to talk, and it would be more comfortable over there. They've got a brew that's almost like beer that's not too bad. Even a bit better than that urine you Americans try to pass off as beer." The gardener said.
"Lead on. I'll just follow along and wonder how long it's going to be before I'm waking up and seeing the wrong person in the shower." John said. The other man laughed.
"You and me both." He stood, wiped the dirt off his hands, and stuck a hand out to John. "Allan Francis Doyle. Born in Ireland, spent some time in Los Angeles, and then I ended up here."
"John Crichton, IASA by way of a lot of different places." He shook Doyle's hand, and introduced him to Stark and Zhaan. The four made their way to a bar that Doyle described as being not as good as a proper Irish pub, but still better than the crap you got in the States. They found seats and ordered drinks.
"I don't suppose you know who won the World Series or the Superbowl in 2001?" John asked.
"Never did follow those American sports much, and I always thought American football was for wimps with all that padding. Don't suppose you know who won the 2002 World Cup?" Doyle said.
"I'm afraid that was after I left. And just how did you, and this goes on the assumption that you really are human and from Earth here, end up working in the Royal Saldewhatsits garden. I worked for IASA long enough to know that there weren't any missing astronauts then, and that they didn't have the resources to try to replicate Farscape when I went missing."
"Short version of it is that there's a hidden war going on on Earth. Lots of the folk tales they tell to scare children ghosts and demons and vampires, they're real." Doyle gribbed his mug hard and took another swallow of his almost-beer. "I got caught up in that war, did the metaphysical version of throwing myself on a hand grenade, and ended up here. I'm not sure how I survived or how I ended here, but I've grown to like it here. It's peaceful and calm, and no one's shooting at me. Yes, there are people I miss from back home, but I've made new friends here. They don't care if I'm not entirely human. Heck, they don't even know what a human really is."
"Hold it. Back up there. Not entirely human?" John said.
"Some demon blood. Dad's side of the family." Doyle mumbled into his drink.
"Not human. That makes sense." Stark said. "Doesn't feel human at all."
"What do you mean?" John said, suddenly alert to possible danger.
"He feels almost a little bit Banik. That would make sense. Banik-demon. Think you're going to die, disperse, and wake up somewhere else."
"Don't know what a Banik is, but I guess that sort of thing could have come from Dad, and that's why I ended up here. Lots of things from Dad's side of the family that we didn't talk about. So what brought you to the Uncharted Territories?" Doyle said.
"The usual- experimental space craft veers way off track and ends up some place very very far away." John said. He did not trust the other man enough to mention the W word. "It all seems very Buck Rodgers."
"Did you find your Wilma yet?" Doyle smiled a little.
"Some times I think so, but dang, relationships aren't easy."
"I know that well. Here's to difficult women. Present company included or excluded so that no offense is taken." Doyle nodded at Zhaan, and lifted his mug for a toast, clicking it against John's.
The conversation went on in the pub for hours until the bartender yelled out that planet's version of last call.
"So any interest in going back?" John said.
"To Earth? No, as I said not really. I think I'm supposed to be here. For whatever reason, I didn't end up in the Afterlife just yet, but it's like the Powers That Be thought I did enough, and I'd earned a bit of peace. And believe me, if the Powers That Be want something from you, they do hit you over the head with a sledgehammer about it."
"I think I know what that feels like." John rose from the table. "Well it was good to meet you, and if I ever do find out who won the World Cup in 2002, I'll get word back to you."
"Same to you about the American football games." The two men grinned. The four people shook hands around the table, and then headed out of the pub: three hading back to Moya, the other returning to tending his plants.