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WHISPERS
 

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EPISODE NUMBER - 507
DVD DISC - Season 5, Disc 2
ORIGINAL U.S. AIR DATE - 09.05.08
SYNDICATION AIR DATE - 10.26.09
WRITTEN BY - Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie
DIRECTED BY - William Waring
Sheppard and Beckett join a team investigating a hidden Wraith laboratory where Michael has been conducting genetic experiments.

Transcript by Callie Sullivan

ALIEN PLANET. In a foggy forest at night, two men are walking along. One of them, carrying a basket, is called Mirellus. The other one, a bald man lighting their way with a lantern, doesn't get a name check, so I will just have to call him 'Man'.

MAN: I told you we should have started back sooner.

MIRELLUS: Well if we left when you had said, we'd have been returning home empty handed.

(His friend holds out his hand warningly and they halt.)

MIRELLUS: Why are we stopping?

MAN (raising his lantern in an attempt to see through the fog): I saw someone.

(He calls out.)

MAN: Hello?

MIRELLUS: There's nobody there.

(They start to walk again. The man calls out again.)

MAN: Hello?

(He stops as he sees a shape ahead of them.)

MAN: Are you all right, friend?

(Cautiously they walk closer to the shape.)

MAN: Are you lost?

(The shape doesn't move or speak, but a clicking sound comes from it. The man walks closer, reaching out his hand to the shape. Just as he touches it, his face screws up in horror at what he sees and he stumbles backwards, trips and falls onto his back. Mirellus turns and runs away. He runs for several seconds, then stops and turns back to look for his friend. The forest has closed behind him -- branches are blocking the path he just ran along, and there is no sign of his friend. Bewildered, he turns around and comes face to face with someone or something wearing what looks like a gas mask.)


ONE YEAR LATER. A four-woman team from Atlantis -- three of them military and one scientist -- is making its way into an underground passageway on the planet. It's night time and they light their way with the torches on their rifles and drop glow sticks as they go. Doctor Alison Porter is carrying an Ancient hand-held detector.

PORTER: The signal's getting stronger.

(As they continue on, Captain Alicia Vega drops another glow stick to the floor, then spots something in its light.)

VEGA: Hey, what's this?

(She bends down and picks up a gas mask. She shows it to Sergeant 'Dusty' Mehra.)

MEHRA: It's really creepy is what it is.

(The team leader, Major Ann Teldy, calls from further down the passageway.)

TELDY: We found something.

(Vega and Mehra head down the passageway and join their colleagues in a large room. The four of them stare around the room.)

TELDY: I think we'd better contact Atlantis.


ATLANTIS. In Carson Beckett's quarters, Carson is packing a suitcase as Rodney McKay watches.

McKAY: I can't believe you're leaving. I mean, you know, you're sick, we cure you, you go away for six months to recover, you finally come back and now, what, you're here a week, you're leaving again?

BECKETT: I'm sorry, Rodney, but for the time being I realise that my place isn't here.

McKAY: What? Of course it is. What, are you kidding me?

BECKETT: As a doctor, I can't just sit by and do nothing while people in this galaxy are suffering -- especially when I know I've had a hand in what's happened to them.

McKAY: C'mon, you cannot blame yourself, all right? Look, Michael forced you to help him. He was the one disseminating the drug.

BECKETT: Aye, and I'm the one who helped the Hoffans perfect it.

(The doors to his quarters open and John Sheppard walks in.)

BECKETT (closing the lid of his suitcase): Colonel. Just in time to give us a hand.

SHEPPARD: Actually, Doc, you're gonna have to delay your travel plans. Just got word from Major Teldy. They've found another one of Michael's labs.


ALIEN PLANET. DAY TIME. John and Carson are walking through the forest. Carson is breathing heavily.

BECKETT: I wish you'd told me we'd be doing so much walking.

SHEPPARD: Did I forget to mention that?

BECKETT: Aye, you did. You also forgot to mention the fact that we'd be rappelling down the side of a mountain! My legs are seizing up.

SHEPPARD: Well, that's what happens when you do nothing for six months R & R.

BECKETT: Not to mention two months in a stasis pod, thank you!

SHEPPARD: Two months?! Try eight hundred years -- that'll give you rubber legs.

TELDY: Colonel!

(The boys stop and stare as Team Teldy approaches them. Teldy salutes John. He returns the salute.)

SHEPPARD: Major Teldy ... (he gestures to Carson) ... Doctor Beckett. Doctor Beckett, Major.

TELDY (introducing her team): This is Sergeant Mehra, Doctor Porter, and of course you've already met Captain Vega.

SHEPPARD: I didn't realise you, uh ...

TELDY: ... that my team was a bunch of girls, sir?(!)

SHEPPARD (vainly trying to bluff): That's not what I was gonna say.

BECKETT: No!

SHEPPARD: But, you know, now that you mention it ...

TELDY: Well, I was told to pick the best and the brightest. Funny how that worked out(!)

SHEPPARD: Funny. (He smiles, embarrassed.)

TELDY (jerking her head in the direction of the lab): Shall we?

BECKETT: Aye. Yes.

(John nods in agreement and Team Teldy turns and walks away. As soon as their backs are turned, John and Carson grin at each other and bump their fists together triumphantly before following the girls.)


LATER. The group enters the passageway.

PORTER: We were passing through the area when we picked up a low level energy signature. We were able to triangulate and get a lock on the signal and then follow it down into these catacombs. It's a bit of a walk.

(They continue walking and finally reach the entrance to the lab.)

PORTER: The signal finally led us to this.

(They enter the room. There are several Wraith-like consoles around the room, and there are several large chambers along the walls which are lit from the inside and show the shapes of humanoids inside through the frosted glass.)

BECKETT: Stasis pods. I spent some time in a number of Michael's labs when I was his prisoner, but this is one I'm not familiar with.

(They walk around the lab. John looks closely at a gas mask hanging on the wall.)

TELDY: Well, looks like the cleaning crew hasn't been around in a while.

(Mehra walks over to one of the stasis pods and knocks on the glass.)

SHEPPARD: Hey, Sarge!

MEHRA: Sorry, Colonel.

(Porter types on one of the consoles.)

SHEPPARD: And can we hold off touching stuff here? Last thing I need is another three tons of rubble falling on my head, all right?

PORTER: It's all right. I've disabled the security protocols.

SHEPPARD: You can do that?

PORTER: Oh yeah.

SHEPPARD: Why the hell didn't McKay think of that?

PORTER: There was no way for him to have known, but thanks to the information that he gathered from that experience, I'm able to bypass the security protocols this time.

SHEPPARD: Well, what've you got?

BECKETT (looking at the screen): Well, data related to Michael's experiments in this lab. This could prove to be very valuable.

PORTER: Going through all of this information may take a while, though.

BECKETT: Oh, aye.

VEGA: Maybe we should go check out the village.

SHEPPARD: What village?

TELDY: We spotted it this morning. It's just a few clicks south of here.

VEGA: The locals might have some information.

SHEPPARD: I guess that beats sittin' around here watching these guys read.

(He turns to Mehra.)

SHEPPARD: Sergeant.

(She smiles at him, eager to get going.)

SHEPPARD: You're with them.

(Her smile fades.)

SHEPPARD: Make sure they don't geek out too much, all right?

(He, Teldy and Vega leave. Carson turns to Porter.)

BECKETT: Nice work, Doctor.

PORTER: Thank you.

BECKETT: Very nice.

(He glances at her appreciatively, then turns and looks at Mehra. She rolls her eyes and turns away, sighing in exasperation.)


FOREST. John, Teldy and Vega are walking along.

VEGA: You know what I'd love right about now?

SHEPPARD: Let me guess: a beer.

VEGA: A Puddle Jumper.

SHEPPARD: Well, that could've been arranged had I known we'd be walking for so long.

TELDY: Yeah, well, the area's too heavily forested. There's nowhere to land. Besides, this is good exercise: firms up your glutes and calves.

SHEPPARD: Oh, great(!) Couple more hours of this and I can skip my cardio funk workout.


LAB. Mehra is eating an energy bar as Carson and Porter continue working on the console. Bored, she walks over to a stasis pod and knocks on the glass a couple of times. She turns back to the others.

MEHRA: They alive?

BECKETT: They're in stasis.

(She looks at him blankly.)

BECKETT: Their physical and chemical processes have been suspended but, yes, they're alive.

MEHRA: So, can you wake 'em up?

BECKETT: Well, without the proper understanding of their respective conditions, I'm afraid that might kill them.

MEHRA: Hmm. Just gonna keep them on ice until you figure something out, huh?

(Carson looks uncomfortable. Unaware, Mehra continues.)

MEHRA: Well, I guess it doesn't matter to them -- or their families who've probably written them off. But, boy, that would make for one hell of a reunion, huh?

(She grins. Porter coughs pointedly and glares at her. Mehra gets the message.)

MEHRA: I'm gonna check the perimeter. Holler if you need me.

(She leaves the room.)

PORTER (to Carson): I'm sorry.

BECKETT: You have no need to apologise, and frankly, neither does she. She's right: resurrections make for very interesting reunions, especially when the dead man had no idea he was dead to begin with.

(Porter looks both sympathetic and uncomfortable.)

BECKETT: I'm sorry. What about you, Doctor Porter?

PORTER: Oh, Alison.

BECKETT: Alison. Any interesting experiences you'd like to share? Encountered any dangerous predators?! Been cloned lately?!

PORTER: No! But in all fairness, I am new to the Pegasus galaxy and I hear that cloning is more of a second year thing!

BECKETT: Third, actually!

PORTER: Oh!

(They laugh. Just then, the computer tablet plugged into the console beeps.)

BECKETT (looking at it): Oh. Hang on.

PORTER: What is it?

BECKETT: It appears to be Michael's earliest version of a human-iratus hybrid.


VILLAGE. Teldy, Vega and John walk into the village. The open spaces are very overgrown.

SHEPPARD (calling out): Hello? Anyone here?

(He sighs when there's no reply.)

SHEPPARD: All right. Let's split up, take a look around. Maintain radio contact.

VEGA: Yes, sir.

(They head off in different directions and start to explore the village, going into various houses and finding them all deserted, dusty and strewn with cobwebs. After a while, John speaks into his radio.)

SHEPPARD: Vega, you got anything?

VEGA (over radio): Nothing on this end.

TELDY (over radio): Hey, it looks like the locals cleared out a while ago.

SHEPPARD: Yeah. The question is: why?

(He continues walking. Nearby, we look through someone or something's eyes as he or she or it watches him.)


LAB. Carson and Porter are looking at the computer tablet.

BECKETT: Incredible. According to this, these earliest test subjects weren't technically human-iratus hybrids. They're a combination of several other life forms.

PORTER: Maybe that's why he discontinued this line of research. It proved overly ambitious.

BECKETT: Well, no. According to this, the experiment was a success.

PORTER (walking over to one of the stasis pods): So what does that mean?

(Carson walks over to joins her and peers into the frosted glass.)

BECKETT: Well, it means there's nothing we can do for them, because these things in here aren't people any more.

(They both squint hard, trying to see the shape of the being inside.)

MEHRA: Hey!

(Carson and Porter both gasp in surprise and turn around to face her.)

MEHRA (chuckling): Sorry. I didn't mean to startle you. Just wanted to let you know: it's gonna get dark soon, so are we gonna make this thing an all-nighter or ...?

BECKETT: No, Sergeant.


VILLAGE. The someone or something is moving through the village, tracking John but keeping hidden from him as he makes his way around. He walks past an open doorway of a building in which the whatever-it-is is hiding. The someone or something waits until he has passed, then exits the doorway and turns to follow him, only to find him sitting casually on some steps nearby pointing his rifle at it.

SHEPPARD: Hey.

(We finally see what it is that has been tracking him. It's Mirellus, the man who ran off and left his friend in the first scene. He turns to run again but Teldy and Vega are coming up behind him.)

VEGA: Easy.

MIRELLUS: Who are you? Where do you come from?

SHEPPARD: Well, we came through that big round thing. We're explorers. Who are you?

MIRELLUS: My name is Mirellus.

TELDY: Well, Mirellus, why don't you tell us what happened here? Where is everyone?

MIRELLUS: Gone.

SHEPPARD: Why?

MIRELLUS: It began about a year and a half ago. Locals started disappearing -- from the surrounding forest at first and then from within the village itself.

(John waggles his gun at Teldy who gets the message and moves away to check the surrounding area. A moment later, Vega does likewise.)

MIRELLUS: Day, night -- they vanished without a trace. There was no reason for what was happening. No explanation except one: this village was cursed. And so we abandoned it.

SHEPPARD: Then why are you still here?

MIRELLUS: I now live in the next village. I spotted you exiting the caves and I followed you to find out what you were doing here and, if necessary, to warn you.

SHEPPARD: Well, what can you tell us about those caves?

MIRELLUS: They are also rumoured to be a dangerous place, although the fact that you survived the visit would suggest otherwise. What did you find there?

BECKETT (over radio): Colonel Sheppard, do you copy?

SHEPPARD: Don't tell me you're already done, Beckett?

BECKETT: Oh no, far from it. We downloaded some information into the tablets. We'd like to go over it this evening. Ideally we'd like to stick around -- possibly bed down in the village if there's room for us.

SHEPPARD: Ah, well, I think there's a little room here, yeah.

BECKETT: OK, we'll join you then.

(John deactivates his headset and looks at Mirellus.)

SHEPPARD: Sorry about that.

MIRELLUS: I wish you luck if you're planning to stay.

(He starts to leave.)

SHEPPARD: Whoa, whoa. We're not finished with this conversation.

MIRELLUS: Night is falling and this isn't a safe place. I must go.

SHEPPARD: All right, suit yourself.

(Mirellus leaves.)


FOREST. Carson, Porter and Mehra are making their way to the village.

BECKETT: So, Sergeant, I hear you served with Stargate Command before transferring over.

MEHRA: Yeah, but Pegasus had more of what I was looking for.

BECKETT: And what was that?

MEHRA: Bad guys who need killin'.

BECKETT: Oh!

(He smiles ruefully at Porter.)

MEHRA: The Milky Way just hasn't been the same since the Ori got their butts kicked.

BECKETT: Well, some would argue that the situation's actually improved, 'cause ...

(He stops talking as Mehra halts and holds her hand up in warning.)

BECKETT (quietly): What is it?

MEHRA: Thought I heard somethin'.

(She raises her rifle and scans the area.)

BECKETT: What?

(She continues her scan for a few moments.)

MEHRA: It's probably nothin'.

(She starts to walk again. Behind her, Carson rolls his eyes and sighs.)

BECKETT: Jeez!

(He and Porter follow Mehra. Unseen by any of them, a shape rises up out of hiding behind a tree.)


VILLAGE. NIGHT TIME. The team has set up camp in a house.

SHEPPARD: All right, we're going over to the next village to talk to some locals. You guys need anything, want anything?

PORTER: Yeah. If you happen to pass a Starbucks, I'll take a grande triple sugar free vanilla latte.

SHEPPARD: No problem! (He looks at Mehra.) Sarge ...

MEHRA (sighing): I'm babysitting. Yes, sir.

SHEPPARD: Be back in a couple of hours.

(He, Teldy and Vega leave.)


LAB. One of the stasis pods cracks open and mist billows out into the room as the pod opens fully.


VILLAGE. Carson and Porter are sitting at a table and are each studying a computer tablet. Porter sighs and rubs her neck.

PORTER: Oh! I feel like I'm back in college studying for my mid-terms.

BECKETT (smiling at her): I know what you mean. Where was that, then?

PORTER: Caltech. (She raises a fist and waves it in salute.) Go Beavers!

BECKETT: Aye! What year did you graduate?

PORTER: 1996.

BECKETT: Oh! So you're just a youngster!

PORTER: Oh! Thank you!

(They chuckle. Sitting nearby and reading a book she brought with her, Mehra laughs at their flirting. They look round at her. She stops laughing.)

MEHRA: I just read something funny.

(They look away again.)

MEHRA (pointedly): And really obvious.

(Carson clears his throat in an embarrassed way and looks at Porter.)

BECKETT: Anyway, what brings you here to the Pegasus galaxy?

PORTER: Well, you can just chalk that up to my sense of adventure: a desire to visit strange, unexplored worlds, meet new and interesting people ...

(They both giggle again. Mehra rolls her eyes.)

MEHRA: OK, I'm gonna go check the perimeter. Be back in twenty.

(She puts her book down, goes to the door and opens it, then turns back.)

MEHRA: Unless there's a sock on the doorknob.

(Porter grimaces at her in horror while Carson pastes a fixed smile on his face. As Mehra leaves, Carson turns back to Porter and they both smile awkwardly.)

BECKETT: She's a character, that one.

PORTER: Yeah(!)


FOREST. John, Teldy and Vega are making their way through the trees, lighting their way through a thick mist with the lights on their rifles.

TELDY: This fog sure rolled in quickly

SHEPPARD: Vega, are you sure we're headin' in the right direction?

VEGA: More or less.

(Teldy's light flickers and goes out.)

TELDY: Oh, dammit.

(She smacks her gun to try and relight the torch. John's light also goes out.)

SHEPPARD: Great. Mine too.

TELDY: Assuming the fog's messing with the lights, makes you wonder what we're walking through.

VEGA: Or breathing.

(John raises a clenched fist at the distant sound of clicking. They all stop.)

VEGA: What's the matter?

SHEPPARD: I think I saw somethin'.

TELDY: What?

(A shape rushes past nearby. They all turn their rifles towards it.)

VEGA: OK, I definitely saw something that time.

(They look around cautiously in all directions just as Vega's rifle light flickers and goes out.)


VILLAGE. Whistling quietly, Mehra strolls around the village square. She sees a well in the middle of the square and walks over to it, picking up a small rock as she goes. She steps up to the well, leans over it and drops the rock. About six seconds later it loudly hits bottom, indicating that there's no water down there. She flicks on the light on her rifle and shines it down the shaft but a moment later the light flickers and then goes out. She smacks it a few times but it doesn't come back on. She sighs.

MEHRA: Damn.

(She spots something on the ground nearby and steps down to look more closely. It looks like a doll half buried under the leaves that have blown into the village. She picks it up and dusts it down. It's not the sort of doll you'd give to your little girl if you didn't want her to have nightmares: dressed in a rough fabric, the figure is carved out of wood, has an elongated forehead and its mouth is open in an expression of horror or anguish.)

MEHRA: Creepy!

(She drops it to the floor and wanders on. Behind her, fog begins to billow up out of the well.)


FOREST. John, Teldy and Vega are still looking around cautiously.

VEGA: It's probably just some animal.

TELDY: Just some animal that seems to be stalking us. What a relief(!)

SHEPPARD: Quiet! I heard something.

(Something bursts out of the trees and runs towards them. They turn and aim their rifles at it, then realise that it's Mirellus.)

SHEPPARD: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!

TELDY: Hey, hey, hey! Easy, Mirellus!

SHEPPARD: What's going on?

MIRELLUS: Demons!

SHEPPARD: What are you talkin' about?

MIRELLUS: They're out there in the mist!

VEGA (sarcastically): Demons. Right(!)

MIRELLUS: They're after me! All of us are in danger.

SHEPPARD: Take it easy.

VEGA (to John): With all due respect, we're not buying any of this, are we?

TELDY: Stay sharp, Vega.

(Rolling her eyes, Vega walks a few paces away from the group and then turns back to them.)

VEGA: Well, let's get back to Atlantis and ...

(Abruptly, she is seized her from behind and yanked rapidly into the fog. She shrieks.)

TELDY: Vega!

(She and John chase off in the direction Vega disappeared. Mirellus follows them.)

TELDY: Vega!

(A few yards on, they find Vega lying on the ground. John kneels down to her and checks her neck pulse, then looks around.)

SHEPPARD: Crap.

(A clicking sound can be heard coming from the fog. John and Teldy aim their rifles in different directions. In front of John, a shape appears in the mist, slowly coming towards him. He squints, trying to make it out. It screams and charges towards him and he opens fire with his rifle, gunning it down. More clicking can be heard and another shape approaches. As Teldy looks around, a further shape starts coming closer, and then another.)

SHEPPARD: Fall back!

(He looks down in anguish at Vega for a moment, reluctant to abandon her body. Teldy fires into the fog, then grabs Mirellus and bundles him away. John follows as the creatures continue to click and scream.)


VILLAGE. HOUSE.

PORTER: I'm really glad that we got this opportunity to work together, Carson.

BECKETT: So am I, Alison.

(They smile at each other, then hear the sound of automatic gunfire in the distance. Carson jumps up.)

PORTER: What was that?

BECKETT: I don't know.

(They hurry over to the door and open it. Carson activates his headset radio.)

BECKETT: Colonel, is everything all right?

(He gets nothing but static.)

BECKETT: Colonel, do you read? Colonel?

(Mehra comes over to join them.)

BECKETT: I'm getting nothing on the radio.

MEHRA: Get back inside. I'll check it out.

BECKETT: I'm coming with you.

MEHRA: Like hell you are!

BECKETT: I'm not gonna let you go out there by yourself.

MEHRA: The colonel told me to take care of you. That is exactly what I'm doing. You two are staying here, as far away from that gunfire as possible. Now, you get back inside and lock that door.

BECKETT: You can't tell me to ...

MEHRA: That is an order.

(The two of them glare at each other.)

PORTER: Carson, come on.

(Glaring at him for a moment longer, Mehra then turns and heads for the forest. Carson watches her go, a look of anguish on his face.)

PORTER: Come on.

(They go back inside the house.)


FOREST. John, Teldy and Mirellus have made it to the catacombs. The rifle lights are working again. They walk down the passageway towards the lab, John checking frequently behind them.

MIRELLUS: I'm sorry. I didn't know.

SHEPPARD: What are you talking about?

(He follows Teldy into the lab and finds her staring in shock at the walls.)

TELDY: Oh, my God. The pods have been opened.

MIRELLUS (apologetically): It was me. I released them.

SHEPPARD: Why?

MIRELLUS: When you asked about the caves, I knew you'd found something. I came to see for myself.

SHEPPARD: Why?

MIRELLUS: Because my wife was among the missing. When I saw the bodies sealed in those things, I thought that maybe ... I didn't know. I thought that I could save her.

SHEPPARD: Twelve pods. That means there's twelve of those things running around out there.

TELDY: Minus the one you took out, that leaves us with eleven.

(John activates his headset.)

SHEPPARD: Beckett? Doctor Porter?

(He gets only static.)

TELDY: That must be the mist. I mean, it's messing with our flashlights; probably the radios too.

SHEPPARD: How's your Wraith language skills?

TELDY: I guess about as good as yours are.

SHEPPARD: All right, we need Beckett and Doctor Porter here.

TELDY: Let's go get 'em.

(They start to leave.)

MIRELLUS: But the demons are still out there.

SHEPPARD: We'll be back for you.

(Mirellus stands there for a few moments, looking at the empty pods, then turns and runs after the other two.)

MIRELLUS: Wait!


VILLAGE HOUSE. Porter is peering through the slats of a window.

PORTER: It's getting pretty foggy out there.

(Carson walks over and looks through the slats for a moment, then turns away and sighs.)

BECKETT: I shouldn't have let her go there by herself.

PORTER: You were under orders.

(She turns to face him. Behind her, unseen by her or Carson, a figure walks past the window.)

BECKETT: I should have insisted.

PORTER: And she probably would have decked you. You don't know Dusty.

(A clicking noise comes from outside.)

BECKETT: What the hell was that?

(They both peer through the slats again.)

PORTER: Maybe she's back.

(Carson goes to the door and opens it.)

BECKETT: Sergeant? Sergeant, is that you?

(He closes the door again.)

BECKETT: Dammit.

(He picks up his backpack and puts it on.)

PORTER: What are you doing?

BECKETT: I'm going out there.

PORTER: Dusty told us to stay inside.

BECKETT: Look, it's probably nothing, but just in case it's someone, I'd like to surprise them instead of the other way around.

(He checks that his pistol is loaded, picks up a torch and then goes over to Porter and takes her by the shoulders.)

BECKETT: Look, Alison, I'll be fine. You just stay put, OK?

(She nods reluctantly.)

BECKETT: All right.

(He heads out. Porter closes the door behind him, then goes to the window and looks anxiously through the slats. Carson walks cautiously through the village. Almost immediately his torch begins to flicker, then goes out. He peers into the mist nervously as the clicking sound comes again.)

BECKETT: Sergeant?

(He walks on.)

BECKETT: Sergeant Mehra?

(The clicking sound comes again, and a shape appears in the mist. While he can't see who it is, he realises from its shape that it's not Mehra.)

BECKETT (under his breath): Dear Lord!

(The creature is looking around and doesn't appear to have seen him yet. Quietly he starts to back away but his foot comes down on a twig which snaps noisily. The creature turns, snarls and races towards him. Carson turns and runs. Tripping over something, he falls to the ground but scrambles up and runs onwards. Stumbling again, he makes it to the wall of a house, puts his back against it and aims his pistol with both hands back in the direction he just came. There's nothing there and, panic-stricken and breathing heavily, he aims his gun in all directions. He still can't see anything but then he hears the clicking sound again. He manages to silence his breathing just as the creature crawls down the wall and puts its face right into his, snarling. Carson freezes in terror as he sees its face. It is male and bald -- and so might be Mirellus' friend -- and its eyes are covered with skin, making it blind. Its teeth are elongated and sharp. It continues to snarl for several seconds as Carson stays motionless, and mist begins to emanate from its neck. After a while it turns and crawls away, clicking. Carson sighs in relief, then cringes as his earpiece clicks noisily and hisses with static. He snatches it out and deactivates it but the creature jumps down and lands in front of him. It screams but before it can attack him a burst of automatic gunfire strikes it. It falls to the ground and Mehra runs into view and fires another burst at it. She grabs Carson in irritation.)

MEHRA: Come on!

BECKETT (relieved to see her): Jeez, Sergeant!

MEHRA: Move it, move it! Go!

(They race back to the house and run inside.)

MEHRA: What the hell was that?

(Carson looks around the room.)

BECKETT: Where's Alison?

MEHRA: What were those things?

BECKETT: Lower your voice. I think those creatures hunt by sound.

(They hear movement outside and raise their guns, aiming them at the door. There's a lot of scuffling outside, then the door bursts open and John, Mirellus and Teldy hurry in. Carson and Mehra lower their weapons.)

BECKETT: Ah, God!

SHEPPARD: Judging from that, I guess you already know what's going on.

MEHRA: Where's the captain?

(Teldy shakes her head.)

SHEPPARD: She's gone.

TELDY: Where's Porter?

BECKETT: We don't know.

SHEPPARD: Ah, that's great(!) All we need now is for the Prom Queen and the kid in the wheelchair to wander off and we're all set.

BECKETT: We have to find her. She has no idea what's out there.

SHEPPARD: What the hell is out there?

BECKETT: Michael's experiments.

TELDY: Yeah, I think we figured that one out.

BECKETT: It's an early version of the hybrid. It's been genetically altered to incorporate the predatory characteristics of several other creatures.

MEHRA: What other creatures?

BECKETT: I'm not sure. All I know for certain is that they're blind and they hunt by sound. And that fog out there is not a natural weather phenomenon. I saw one of them exude the mist from the gills on its neck.

TELDY: What, like a squid releasing its ink?

BECKETT: Except that's a defensive mechanism. These creatures clearly use the fog as a predatory device.

TELDY: Which I'm guessing explains the gas masks back at the lab.

BECKETT: God knows what the prolonged exposure to this mist could do to us.

SHEPPARD: I've got a great idea: let's not find out.

MIRELLUS: We should wait here until dawn, then it will be safe.

BECKETT: Those things out there are not nocturnal. Day or night, it doesn't matter

SHEPPARD: Besides, we can't sit around. We've gotta find Porter.

MIRELLUS: You can't be serious! You're going out there?

SHEPPARD (to Carson): Get back to work on that data. Try and figure out a way how to deal with these things.

BECKETT: That might be a problem, Colonel. There's a reason Michael abandoned that research. Even he couldn't control those creatures.

SHEPPARD: Great(!)


LATER. Teldy and Mehra make their way out of the house, holding hand-held glow sticks. John follows them, shaking another stick to light it. He turns to Carson.

SHEPPARD (quietly): All right. Sure you're gonna be OK here?

BECKETT (quietly): As long as we're quiet, we'll be safer in here than you are out there.

SHEPPARD: All right.

(He shakes another stick to light it and pushes it into the ground to act as a beacon to show the way back to the house. He speaks quietly to the girls.)

SHEPPARD: We're gonna split up to cover more ground. Back in twenty.

BECKETT (whispering): Good luck.

(The team heads out and begins to search, moving as quietly as they can to avoid alerting the creatures to their whereabouts. Something creeps past behind John, who spins around as he hears it clicking, but it has already gone. The three of them continue their search, often seeing figures in the mist nearby but keeping silent enough to avoid detection. Teldy makes her way to the well, leans over and shines her light stick down into it. Most of it is obscured by fog but suddenly a hybrid scuttles rapidly up the side towards her. It screams as she opens fire on it. Some distance away, Mehra turns and hurries towards the sound.)

(Elsewhere in the village, John makes his way down some steps, then turns toward the sound of sniffling nearby. It's Porter, hiding underneath the steps and crying quietly. She gasps as he comes into view but he quickly squats down to her and puts his finger to his mouth.)

SHEPPARD: Shh. (Whispering) Whatever you do, be quiet.

(She nods her understanding and he helps her to her feet as a creature screams in the distance.)

(In the house, Mirellus is standing at the window and looking out through the slats as the glow from a light stick moves through the fog nearby.)

MIRELLUS: This was a mistake.

(Carson is sitting at the table looking at a computer tablet.)

BECKETT (quietly): Keep your voice down.

MIRELLUS (loudly): I told them it was too dangerous.

BECKETT: Shh! Quiet!

MIRELLUS (turning towards him and still speaking loudly): Instead of coming back here, we should have gone to the next village. We'd be safe there.

BECKETT: Shut it!

MIRELLUS: Now we could all ...

(The slats burst open behind him as two hybrids smash their way through and seize him. Carson snatches out his pistol but dare not use it for fear of hitting Mirellus. Being shot by Carson is the least of Mirellus' worries, however, and he screams as the creatures bite into his head and neck while dragging him backwards through the window. Carson stares in horror as he disappears from view. He stands staring at the window in frozen terror for several seconds, then runs over and pushes a tall cupboard across the broken window to block it. Clicking sounds come from outside and mist begins to billow under the door. Carson turns and stares at it in dread, then backs away wide-eyed as the creature outside starts pushing on the door.)


Out in the village, John and Porter make their way along. He holds out his hand to make her stop as he sees a glow ahead of them in the mist. Raising his glow stick, he waggles it from side to side. The glow in the distance makes similar movements. John and Porter move forward and meet Mehra.

MEHRA: Al, are you OK?

PORTER: Yeah.

SHEPPARD: Let's head out.

(They continue onwards as quietly as they can. Mehra sees another glow in the distance.)

MEHRA: Colonel. It's Major Teldy.

(She waggles her glow stick above her head but the glow just moves onwards.)

MEHRA: She doesn't see us.

(They head towards the glow, Mehra leading the way. The fog thickens as they approach. As they get within a few yards of the glow, it surges forward. The glow stick is stuck in the neck of a female hybrid who screams as she charges towards Mehra. Mehra fires a burst of gunfire at her and she drops to the ground. John and Porter run forward and the three of them look down at the hybrid for a moment.)

SHEPPARD (to Mehra): Take the six.

(She turns and checks behind them as they move towards the glow stick indicating the location of the house. They stop as they see that the door is open. John holds out his hand to make Porter stay back. She turns and aims her pistol out into the village as John runs through the doorway. Teldy is inside.)

SHEPPARD: I thought you were dead!

TELDY: Yeah, for a while there, so did I.

SHEPPARD: What about the others? Think they made it out?

TELDY (shining her glow stick around and spotting something on the floor): Well, I'm guessing at least one of them didn't. (She squats down for a closer look.) I've got blood.

PORTER: Carson?

SHEPPARD: No way to know.


Some distance away, Carson runs through the village, stops for a moment to catch his breath and check all around him, then runs on.


HOUSE.

TELDY: One of those things came crawling right up out of the well. It got me thinking: those catacombs -- they run for miles in every direction, so I'm guessing that one of them runs right to that well and into the centre of town.

MEHRA: That would explain how Michael could snag his test subjects without being seen.

SHEPPARD: All right, well, we saw twelve of those pods in the lab. I killed one back in the forest, so ...

MEHRA: I tagged two -- which, incidentally, puts me in the lead.

(John frowns at her smug expression.)

TELDY: All right, well that brings us down to nine.

SHEPPARD: OK, so now what? Any ideas?

PORTER: Well, those creatures possess a heightened auditory system that allows them to hunt blind. We could try exploiting it.

MEHRA: How?

PORTER: I don't know. Maybe luring them into an ambush.

MEHRA: What the hell do you plan on using as bait?

(Porter sighs, initially unable to come up with an answer, then looks down and picks up a computer tablet.)

PORTER: This.


LATER. John puts his compass down on the table to symbolise the well.

SHEPPARD: All right, here's how it's gonna work. You three, you're taking up high ground positions ... (he puts two bullets into position to the left of the compass) ... Teldy and Porter here ... (he puts another bullet to the right) ... Mehra over here.

(He taps the table below the compass.)

SHEPPARD: I'm gonna be on the ground setting the charges.

PORTER: You're gonna blow the well?

SHEPPARD: Yeah, that's the plan.

PORTER: OK, well you'd better use the timer. If the fog is messing with our radios and flashlights, chances are the remote detonator won't work either.

SHEPPARD: All right. Once I get to the well, I'll turn on the computer.

PORTER: OK. Well, I programmed it to emit an ultrasonic burst, so that'll draw them right to you. But remember, if it gets near the fog ...

SHEPPARD: I'll put it halfway down -- that should keep it out of reach and working long enough to attract all nine. You three, just take up positions, sit tight until you hear a signal, then open up on anything that moves.

TELDY: And what's the signal?

SHEPPARD: That would be the well blowing sky high.

MEHRA: And where will you be?

SHEPPARD: Well, hopefully as far away as possible.

TELDY: What if this goes sideways?

SHEPPARD: Don't be so negative, Teldy.

TELDY: I'm serious, Colonel.

SHEPPARD: You take up positions, you sit tight and wait for the signal. You don't move; you don't make a noise until the well blows.

MEHRA: Colonel, what if ...?

SHEPPARD (firmly): I think I've made myself clear, Sarge.

MEHRA: Yes, sir.

SHEPPARD: Do we all know what we're doing?

TELDY (unhappily): Yes, sir.

MEHRA: Sir.

SHEPPARD: Let's go.


SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. Teldy and Porter make their way to their position on an upper level of a house while Mehra finds a spot in another. John walks quietly to the well and peers down into it. It's misty but he can see quite a way down so it's unlikely that a hybrid is coming up it. The bucket hangs quite a way down the shaft. John starts to turn the handle to wind it upwards. The handle squeaks loudly. He stops for a moment then, grimacing, continues to wind the bucket up as the squeaking continues. Once the bucket has reached the top of the well, he takes the computer tablet out of his bag. In their positions, the girls make their preparations, getting ready to open fire. Mehra puts a piece of bubble gum into her mouth and begins to chew it. John switches on the tablet and puts it into the bucket, then begins to wind it back down into the well. Again the handle squeals ominously. Grimacing again, he continues to wind it down for a few seconds, then locks off the handle and steps down to set the timer on a block of C4. Just then a creature leaps out of the mist and crashes into him, screaming. They tumble to the ground and John loses his grip on the explosive. It falls a little distance away, the five minute countdown already started. John lies on his back grappling with the creature -- which appears to be female -- as it tries to get its head close enough to bite him.

(On the balcony, Teldy and Porter aim their weapons blindly into the mist as they hear the hybrid screaming.)

PORTER: What the hell's going on down there?

(John continues to struggle with the creature, then a single gunshot rings out. The creature recoils and John throws her off him and surges onto his knees, aiming his pistol down at her as a shape comes out of the mist behind him. The creature lies on the ground screaming as John opens fire on her with his pistol. The shape behind him joins him and also opens fire with a pistol. Obviously it's Carson.)

(On the balcony, Porter aims her rifle into the mist.)

TELDY: Not yet.

PORTER: Dammit!

TELDY: Just wait for it.

(At the well, the creature is finally still. Carson looks down at John.)

BECKETT: You all right?

SHEPPARD: Yeah.

BECKETT: Alison?

SHEPPARD (starting to crawl across the ground, looking around): She's, uh, she's safe.

BECKETT: Thank God. What, did you lose something?

SHEPPARD: My C4.

(The block of C4, hidden from view, reaches 01:31 in its countdown. Carson looks up at the sound of clicking nearby.)

BECKETT: Colonel, I think it's best if we get moving.

SHEPPARD: Yeah, I get you.

(Picking up his rifle, he and Carson aim their weapons towards the clicking sound. A shape looms in the mist. As they look around, it becomes quickly obvious that they are surrounded by several of the creatures. They back towards the well as more shapes start to appear in the fog.)

(On the balcony, Teldy and Porter continue to aim their rifles anxiously. Porter mutters nervously.)

PORTER: Come on, come on!

(Clicking noises come from below and several figures move through the mist.)

PORTER: I see them.

TELDY: If you shoot now, you'll risk hitting the colonel. Just wait for the signal.

(On her balcony, Mehra is much calmer and quietly blows a bubble with her gum. In the mist below, shapes continue to move around as the C4 timer reaches the end of its countdown and explodes. Instantly Mehra opens fire. Teldy and Porter do likewise a moment later and the three of them fire into the mist at anything they see moving. They continue firing for several seconds, then stop as the screaming from the hybrids ceases. Porter calls downwards.)

PORTER: Colonel?

(There's no reply. Mehra shrugs resignedly.)


SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. The fog has begun to clear and the girls are walking around the square counting bodies.

TELDY: Is that all of them?

MEHRA: Eight, nine, plus the other three -- that makes twelve.

(A hybrid surges into view, screaming. The girls open fire simultaneously and gun it down.)

MEHRA: Sorry. That's nine. Plus the three, makes twelve.

TELDY: Right(!)

(John's voice comes over their radios.)

SHEPPARD: Major.

TELDY: Colonel! Where are you?!

SHEPPARD: Down the well, in the catacombs. I've got Beckett. Need the three of you to rappel down here and join us.

TELDY: On our way.


LATER. The girls have joined the boys and all of them are walking along the passageway.

PORTER: Oh, I just wanna get back to Atlantis and sleep for a week.

BECKETT: Aye, I know what you mean. I promise this won't take long.

(He looks at her.)

BECKETT: Alison, are you OK?

PORTER: Uh, yeah. Hey, guys, d'you mind if I just hang back here? I've had enough mad science for one day.

SHEPPARD: Yeah, sure.

(Porter starts to shrug off her backpack for Carson to take with him into the lab. He takes it off her.)

MEHRA: I'll keep her company.

(Carson smiles at her gratefully, then looks at Porter.)

BECKETT: We'll be quick.

(He, John and Teldy make their way to the lab and Carson takes the computer tablet out of the backpack and plugs it into the console.)

BECKETT: I wanna make sure I get all the data on these creatures to save a return trip.

(In the passageway, Porter looks around anxiously as she hears a sound.)

PORTER: What was that?

MEHRA: What?

PORTER: I thought I heard something.

MEHRA: Relax, OK? There were twelve pods, we counted twelve kills. We got 'em all.

PORTER (nervously): Yeah.

(A moment later Mehra spins around and cocks her rifle as she also hears distant clicking. Porter snatches out her pistol and raises it.)

(In the lab, John is wandering around. He sees a couple of metal doors and walks over to them. He pushes a panel in one of them and the door slides open. Teldy walks over.)

TELDY: What is it?

(He walks inside, Teldy following him. Another door opens in front of them and they walk inside and stare in shock.)

SHEPPARD: Oh, crap.

(There are several more stasis pods in the room -- and they're all open.)

TELDY: We didn't get them all.

(In the passageway, Mehra and Porter make their way cautiously towards the source of the noise they heard. They reach a dead end and shine their torches around.)

MEHRA: It's nothing.

(Porter lowers her pistol, sighing in relief, but her expression changes as she hears clicking nearby. She turns her head and a male hybrid dangles down from the ceiling, screaming. In the lab, John and Teldy hear the scream and race out of the lab, Carson following them as automatic gunfire can be heard. They run into the passageway and stop and aim their weapons as they see mist billowing down the corridor towards them and hear clicking.)

SHEPPARD: Porter, Mehra?

(There's no reply.)

SHEPPARD (quietly to the other two): All right. If they overtake our positions, I want you two to fall back. Take the second tunnel up. Go to the surface, dial the Gate.

TELDY: Now who's being negative?

(More clicking can be heard and a shape runs out of the mist. As soon as can see that it's a hybrid, the three of them open up and gun it down. They continue firing as more and more creatures charge at them. Luckily, because the corridor is quite narrow, the team is able to shoot down each of the hybrids. Eventually the creatures stop coming. Teldy reloads her rifle and the three of them step cautiously forward. They pick their way through the bodies as the fog begins to recede, then raise their weapons again as they hear something in the distance.)

MEHRA (from out of the mist): All clear?

SHEPPARD: All clear.

(As he and the others lower their weapons again, Mehra and Porter come around the corner and look down at all the bodies.)


ATLANTIS. In Carson's quarters, Carson is packing a suitcase as Rodney watches.

McKAY: Can't believe you're leaving already. You've been here, like, less than two weeks.

BECKETT: Well, I've completed my research into Michael's test subjects and passed my findings on to Doctor Lynch and his team, and now it's time to move onto the more important work of saving lives.

(Rodney nods sadly. The doors to the room open and John comes in.)

SHEPPARD: Hey, Doc.

BECKETT: Maybe I spoke too soon. (He looks at John in dread.) Another offworld situation requiring my expertise?

SHEPPARD (gesturing to the suitcase): Actually I just came to see if you needed some help.

BECKETT: Oh! Much appreciated.

SHEPPARD: Uh, oh, and by the way, how's Porter?

McKAY: Who?

BECKETT: She's fine, fine. A couple of weeks at R & R and then she'll be back in the Pegasus galaxy. You know, Colonel, someone like her could be of real benefit to the type of work I'll be doing.

SHEPPARD: Yeah, I'll bet(!)

McKAY: Who's Porter?

BECKETT (to John): Something you might want to mention to Mr Woolsey.

(He picks up his case and heads for the door with John.)

SHEPPARD: Yeah, consider it done!

BECKETT: Thank you!

McKAY: Fine, you know what? I don't even wanna know! Don't tell me!

(John picks up another case and he and Carson leave the room. Rodney pauses for a moment.)

McKAY: OK, come on, tell me!

(He follows them towards the doors which are already closing. Before he can reach them, they slam in his face.)


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