Before I Sleep
Transcript by Callie Sullivan
ATLANTIS. BALCONY OUTSIDE THE GATEROOM. Elizabeth Weir is leaning on the balcony gazing out over the city. John Sheppard comes out.
SHEPPARD: There you are.
WEIR: I was just snatching a breath of fresh air. Thought you were off exploring the city.
SHEPPARD: About to. (He reaches into his pack and takes out a round shape wrapped in cloth.) Picked this up on the mainland. The Athosians made it. (He hands it to Elizabeth.) Happy birthday.
(Elizabeth stares at him, part pleased and part annoyed.)
WEIR: Hmm. (She unwraps the cloth and finds an earthenware pot with a lid.) It's beautiful. (She looks at him.) How did you find out?
SHEPPARD: Mum's the word. (He goes back inside. Elizabeth looks at her present and smiles.)
CONTROL ROOM. On one of the screens showing the layout of Atlantis, Rodney McKay is watching the progress of John, Aiden Ford and Teyla Emmagan as they investigate part of the city.
SHEPPARD (over radio): Alright, we're done with the living quarters. Moving on.
McKAY: Woah-woah-woah-woah-woah-woah. Before you go, you see anything better than our current quarters?
SHEPPARD: A few. Some of them are pretty nice, actually.
McKAY: Well, what kind of square footage are we talking about?
SHEPPARD: What am I, your realtor, Rodney?! We're here to unlock the secrets of Atlantis.
McKAY: Yeah, well, I'm looking for a one-bedroom with a den, preferably with a balcony, but I'm not married to it. Look ...
(As he rambles on, Aiden reaches the door of a room up ahead and sees something of interest inside.)
FORD: Sir, check this out!
McKAY: ... we might as well be comfortable, at least until the Wraith get here.
SHEPPARD: Shut up for a second.
(He and Teyla run to join Aiden. John takes a look through the doorway, then nods to Aiden to proceed. Aiden walks inside. As John follows him, the lights come on automatically.)
McKAY (over radio): What? What is it?
TEYLA: Some sort of laboratory.
McKAY: We've come across dozens of those. The city's full of them. Something unusual about it?
(John walks over to a console and waves his hand over the top. It activates. More lights come on, some of them illuminating an upright stasis capsule [similar to the one Jack O'Neill was put into at the end of the SG-1 episode "Lost City"]. Inside, wearing a long white dress, is an elderly woman with long white hair.)
SHEPPARD: I'd have to say ... yes.
LATER. Elizabeth, Rodney and Carson Beckett have joined the others.
McKAY: Well, we could stand here looking at her all day. What we've gotta do is get her out of this box.
BECKETT: Rodney, we can't take that chance. Look at her -- she's at least a hundred years old.
McKAY: Which is why every second counts! I mean, she could drop dead while we stand here arguing.
SHEPPARD: How could she drop dead? You said she was frozen.
McKAY: Technically she's in a state of metabolic stasis. Ageing slowed considerably, yes, but not entirely suspended.
TEYLA: You are saying this woman is still alive.
BECKETT and McKAY (simultaneously): Yes.
McKAY: Lifesigns systems indicate viability. According to the initial data I've been able to access, she's been in that chamber for ten thousand years.
FORD: Ten thousand years?!
SHEPPARD: Doesn't look a day over nine thousand.
McKAY: She'll continue to age at a very slow rate until she dies which, judging by the look of her, seems more likely to occur sooner rather than later -- bringing me back to my original point.
BECKETT (to Elizabeth): Look at her. She's so old I'm afraid the process of reviving her might actually kill her.
McKAY: We cannot let this chance to talk to a living, breathing Ancient slip through our fingers -- again. (He throws a black look at John, who tries to look innocent.)
BECKETT: And who knows what state of mind she'll be in? Not to mention the fact that she might be carrying some horrifying contagion.
McKAY: And who knows what she knows about our city? More importantly, does she know about any ZedP.M.s lying around?
SHEPPARD: Ah, there's a thought.
(Elizabeth thinks about it, then makes a decision.)
WEIR: Revive her.
BECKETT: But, Doctor ...
WEIR: It's my call.
McKAY: Thank you. (He and Carson leave the lab to make preparations.)
SHEPPARD: The whole time we thought this city was abandoned.
TEYLA: Is it possible the Atlanteans left her behind when they abandoned the city for Earth?
SHEPPARD: Maybe she wanted to stay behind.
FORD: Maybe they forgot about her.
SHEPPARD: In which case she's gonna be really pissed when she wakes up.
WEIR: If she remembers anything at all.
LATER. The woman has been taken out of the capsule and is lying on a surface in the lab. Carson is checking her vital signs.
BECKETT: Breathing shallow, pulse rapid. I'll run an E.E.G. to determine any brain activity. (He looks down and sees something. He reaches out and pulls a piece of paper from the woman's clenched hand.)
WEIR: What is it?
BECKETT: Don't know. (He hands it to Elizabeth, who unfolds it. Rodney looks over her shoulder.)
McKAY: It's Gate addresses -- five of them. (He recognises one of the addresses.) M7G-677 -- we've been to this planet.
TEYLA: Doctor Weir? (She has noticed that the old woman has opened her eyes. Elizabeth leans closer to the woman.)
WEIR: Hello? Can you hear me?
(The woman doesn't respond or react.)
McKAY: Yeah, that's what I was afraid of. (He waves his hand in front of the woman's eyes.) Freezer burn.
FORD: I thought she wasn't frozen?
BECKETT: Ten thousand years -- d'you expect her to dance a bloody jig?
McKAY: It's the eyes, Carson, you look at the eyes. The lights are on but nobody's home. (The woman turns her head slightly to look directly at him.) Don't take a medical professional to know that ... (He trails off as he realises that she's listening to him.)
WEIR (smiling): Of course she can see us. (The woman turns her head to look at her.) And hear us. Hello. How are you feeling?
(The woman tries to smile.)
WOMAN: It worked.
McKAY: What was that?
WEIR: She said, "It worked."
McKAY: What's that mean?
SHEPPARD: I assume something worked.
McKAY: Yes, that's very sharp!
SHEPPARD: Thank you!
(The woman starts to turn her head towards Carson, Teyla and Aiden but then her eyes close and she stops moving.)
WEIR: Hello? (She leans forward nervously, then realises what has happened.) She fell asleep. Once you've got her more stable, transfer her to the Infirmary. And I want video on her at all times recording everything. We might not get a second chance at anything she may say.
McKAY: Let's hope we get a first, huh?
CONTROL ROOM. John and Rodney are sitting with their feet up on a console, looking at a screen map of Atlantis.
SHEPPARD: Too big, huh?
McKAY: I'm not saying it's too big, I'm just pointing out its dimensions.
SHEPPARD: Huh. It's not that ...
(Elizabeth walks in.)
SHEPPARD: We were just wondering whether there were any other frozen bodies out there in Atlantis that we haven't discovered.
McKAY: And I was just saying there's no way of knowing in the short term. It'd be like searching every room in every building in Manhattan. It'll, uh, take a while. God knows what other kinds of surprises are out there not showing on the sensors.
WEIR: Well, that's what we're here to find out.
BECKETT (over radio): Doctor Weir.
BECKETT: You'd better come to the Infirmary.
WEIR: Is our patient awake?
BECKETT: Aye -- and she's saying the most peculiar things.
WEIR: On our way.
INFIRMARY. Carson is watching over the woman, then walks over to Elizabeth and Rodney as they come in.
BECKETT: She's drifting in and out -- still very weak. But there's something a wee bit odd about this woman. She called me Carson. She knows my name.
McKAY: Maybe she overheard you talking with someone.
BECKETT: No. I was alone in here when she woke up.
WEIR: Well, what about subconsciously? I've read stories where coma patients have been able to hear ...
BECKETT: No, no. It's more than that. She knows things.
(Elizabeth and Rodney walks over to the woman's bedside. Elizabeth puts her hand on the woman's shoulder, who, although very weak, stares up at her with a look of delight on her face.)
WEIR: How are you feeling?
WOMAN: Look at you! I didn't think I'd see any of you again. Missed you all so terribly -- even you, Rodney!
BECKETT: You see?!
WEIR (to the woman): I'm sorry? Do we know you?
WOMAN: Oh yes. I'm you, Elizabeth.
FORD: Time travel?
WEIR: That's what she said. She somehow found a way to travel back in time to when the Ancients inhabited the city.
TEYLA: How did she do this?
WEIR: That will be one of the first questions I ask her when she wakes up again.
SHEPPARD: If she ever wakes up again.
McKAY: Well, let's not be too quick to exclude the possibility that the woman might be, umm, what is the clinical term ... nuts?
WEIR: She may be senile, yes, but that doesn't explain that she knows so much about all of us.
FORD: Is time travel even possible?
McKAY: Well, according to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, there's nothing in the laws of physics to prevent it. Extremely difficult to achieve, mind you -- you need the technology to manipulate black holes to create wormholes not only through points in space but time.
SHEPPARD: Not to mention a really nice DeLorean.
McKAY: Don't even get me started on that movie!
SHEPPARD: I liked that movie!
(Carson comes in with a computer tablet.)
BECKETT: The results of the D.N.A. test. It's a match. (He puts the tablet down in front of Elizabeth.) She is you.
INFIRMARY. Elizabeth is standing looking down at her older self, who is asleep. Rodney comes in and speaks quietly to Elizabeth.
McKAY: I know what you're thinking. If she's been waiting in that stasis chamber all these millennia for us to arrive, why didn't the system automatically attempt to revive her the moment we got here? Answer: it did. I've been going over the data from our arrival. One of the first things we noticed was a sudden power surge in the section of the city where the stasis lab was. It was trying to revive her, only we didn't know that. All we saw was more power draining from an already nearly-depleted ZedP.M., so we shut down all secondary systems. Almost killed her ... you. How weird is that, hmm?
WEIR: Very. Very, very weird. (She looks at her older self again.) Looking at yourself -- how you will be.
McKAY: Actually, how you will be will be different than how she is right now. You see, the moment she went back in time, she created a separate reality -- a second "you" living in a parallel world; well, according to one of many interpretations of quantum theory. I mean, simply put, this interpretation states that, uh, the universe is in fact split into an infinite number of copies of itself in which every possible outcome to every decision ever made all exist somewhere in this infinitely layered multi-universe.
WEIR: Simply put(!)
McKAY: Yeah -- in a nutshell.
(Alt-Elizabeth wakes up.)
ALT-WEIR: Elizabeth? (Elizabeth steps closer to the bed.) There's so much to tell you. The note ... I had a note.
McKAY (stepping forward): Yes, yes, yes, yes. We got your note and-and, forgive my bluntness, but we really need to know everything about your encounter with the Ancients, um, beginning with the point when you went back in time; specifically, how you went back in time, because that would be very useful for us ...
WEIR (putting her hand on his arm): Rodney -- let me talk.
McKAY: Yeah. (He backs away a little.)
ALT-WEIR: There was an accident. I remember we arrived through the Stargate.
[Transcriber's note: to try to avoid confusion, when flashback scenes are intermingled with present scenes so that we see versions of the younger Elizabeth Weir both in the present and in the flashbacks, I will refer to her in the flashbacks as "Past-Weir" or "Past-Elizabeth". If, however, we are fully into a flashback, I will use just her name.]
FLASHBACK TO "RISING". The team has just arrived at Atlantis. They are looking around the Gateroom.
ALT-WEIR (voiceover): The lights came on by themselves ...
(John and Rodney start to walk up the steps opposite the Gate. The steps light up as they tread on them.)
ALT-WEIR (voiceover): ... sensing our presence.
PAST-WEIR: Who's doing that?
ALT-WEIR (voiceover): The city slowly awoke.
(Marines move into the Control Room and the lights come on automatically. In the Jumper Bay, a couple of scientists get their first sight of the Puddle Jumpers.)
SCIENTIST (into radio): Doctor Weir? You have to see this!
WEIR (into radio): There are a lot of things I have to see. Just be careful.
(In the Control Room, Rodney is pulling dust covers off the consoles.)
McKAY: This must be the Control Room. This -- (he indicates a console) this is obviously their version of a D.H.D.
SHEPPARD: Oh, obviously(!)
McKAY (going over to another console): This area is probably power control system -- some sort of a computer interface system of some kind ...
WEIR: Why don't you find out?
McKAY: Well, see, that's the hitch. We've got lights coming on all over the city, air's starting to circulate, but no power coming on to these consoles.
THE PRESENT. INFIRMARY.
McKAY: Wait a minute, back up a second. That isn't the way it happened. Everything came online when we arrived. It was, uh, lights, computers, power control systems, everything. I was able to access the database immediately.
ALT-WEIR: That's not what happened -- not the first time.
(As Rodney looks at her, confused, her eyes close and she falls asleep again.)
ELIZABETH'S OFFICE. Elizabeth is talking with Carson.
WEIR: Isn't there something you can give her?
BECKETT: She's in an extremely fragile state. Her blood pressure is low; her heart is very weak. If I administer a stimulant, I'm afraid it may induce a dangerous arrhythmia -- or worse.
WEIR: I'm not talking about a strong stimulant, just enough to keep her alert for a few more minutes at a time. I mean, we hardly get a couple of words out of her before she dozes off.
BECKETT: Which, I might remind you, is not uncommon for a woman of ten thousand.
WEIR: Carson, I understand your reticence, but trust me when I say I believe she can handle it -- and I know she'd want it.
(Carson looks at her for a moment, then grimaces.)
INFIRMARY. Carson is taking alt-Elizabeth's blood pressure. She is now sitting up in bed looking more awake. Carson sighs as he finishes.
ALT-WEIR: It's OK, Carson. I'm just as freaked out about all this as you are.
(Carson smiles. Elizabeth comes in, pushing a wheelchair.)
WEIR: How's our patient doing?
BECKETT: Pressure's improving -- and as you can tell she's much more alert.
WEIR (to her older self): Are you up for getting out of here?
(Alt-Elizabeth smiles and nods.)
SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. Elizabeth wheels alt-Elizabeth into the Gateroom. Alt-Elizabeth gazes around the Gateroom and the Control Room.
CONFERENCE ROOM. Alt-Elizabeth is there, with Elizabeth, Rodney, John, Carson, Aiden and Teyla.
ALT-WEIR: Seeing the city like this, sitting on the surface of the ocean -- you can't imagine how relieved I am.
McKAY: What are you saying? The city didn't rise the first time round?
ALT-WEIR: No. No. The city was in serious trouble the very moment we arrived.
FLASHBACK. CONTROL ROOM.
McKAY: I've been trying to interface these consoles with a temporary battery power, see if we can access the city's main power systems and get this place up and running.
SUMNER (over radio): Doctor Weir. Colonel Sumner. Can you come down here and meet me, please? We're three levels down from you.
PAST-WEIR (into radio): Right away. (She and John head out.)
McKAY: How we doing over there?
GRODIN: Nothing yet.
McKAY: Well, let's see what we can do here.
THREE LEVELS DOWN. Elizabeth and John have joined Sumner.
SUMNER: We've only been able to secure a fraction of the place. It's huge.
WEIR: So it might really be the lost city of Atlantis?
SUMNER: I'd say that's a good bet.
WEIR: Oh my God! (They have reached a large window which makes her realise where the city is.) We're under water.
SUMNER: I'd say we're under several hundred feet of ocean. (Outside, there's a muffled explosion and a large bubble of air bursts out of part of the city.) This could be a problem.
CONTROL ROOM. Rodney has finally got some laptops interfaced with the Atlantis mainframe. He looks at the read-out on one with horror.
McKAY: Oh, no! (Into radio) Doctor Weir -- I need to see you in the Control Room immediately.
SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. Elizabeth and John arrive back.
McKAY: This city has a shield -- some sort of energy forcefield holding the water back. That is, it had a shield. Power systems are nearing maximum entropy. Our arrival hastened their depletion big time. (He takes them over to a screen on the wall which shows the entire city.) As you can see, the shield is collapsing rapidly -- several sections of the city are already flooded.
WEIR: Can we use our own power generators?
McKAY: I doubt our naqahdah generators could supply enough power to sustain the shield, and we probably don't have enough time to try. When I say "rapidly collapsing", I mean rapidly.
WEIR (into radio): Colonel Sumner -- I need you to order all your security teams to stop searching the city and fall back to the Gateroom immediately. (There's no response.) Sumner, do you copy?
(Over the radio, Sumner's voice can be heard calling out her name but what he says next is drowned by the sound of panicked men shouting, and the rush of water. After a few seconds, the radio goes dead.)
WEIR: Colonel Sumner drowned?!
(Alt-Elizabeth nods. Everybody looks shocked.)
ALT-WEIR: And he wasn't the only one to perish.
FLASHBACK. CONTROL ROOM.
SHEPPARD: We should start evacuating people through the Stargate.
McKAY: We can't. Whatever power's left in the system has been diverted to sustaining the shield holding the ocean back.
WEIR: Do you know why this is happening now?
McKAY: The shield might have held the water back for another hundred years, but power consumption spiked when we arrived.
SHEPPARD: This is happening because we arrived?
WEIR: What about auxiliary power?
McKAY: I'll try to interface the Gate with one of our generators. Hopefully there's enough time. Grodin -- access the Stargate control system, see if you can locate any Gate addresses in the database. (To Elizabeth) There won't be nearly enough power to get back to Earth, but, uh, maybe we'll have enough to gate elsewhere in Pegasus.
(Elizabeth turns to John.)
WEIR: Some of our team discovered a bay full of what they're calling ships.
SHEPPARD: As in spaceships? (Elizabeth nods.) We should check ‘em out.
WEIR: You think you can figure out ...?
SHEPPARD: I can fly just about anything.
WEIR: Good. Go.
(John hurries away. As Rodney and Peter continue to work on the consoles, the city shakes briefly. Everybody looks concerned.)
JUMPER BAY. John and Aiden run in.
SHEPPARD (gesturing to the nearest Jumper): I'll start with this one -- you start with any of those. (He gestures to other Jumpers nearby.)
FORD: What am I looking for?
SHEPPARD: See how many people they can fit. Maybe we can fly out of here.
(He runs to the rear of the nearest Jumper while Aiden runs over to another one.)
GRODIN: Two piers of the city are almost entirely flooded; the third about to collapse as well.
SHEPPARD (over radio): Doctor Weir, these ships are quite a good fallback -- they can hold several people each. Learning how to fly ‘em's gonna be another matter.
McKAY: I'll see if I can pull up a schematic -- find a way out.
SHEPPARD: This ship seems different than the others.
WEIR: Different how?
SHEPPARD: It's a different control console. I've radioed Zelenka -- he's on his way over to check it out.
WEIR: Good. I'm on my way too.
McKAY (looking at a console): Oh no!
WEIR: What's wrong?
McKAY: The city's going into a last-gasp self-protect mode. Airtight bulkheads are slamming shut all over the city. We've got people trapped.
WEIR: Wouldn't that protect them?
McKAY: It's too little, too late. Most of the rooms are already breached. We've got people trapped with water rising.
McKAY: I'll try to override the system, open the doors, but this could seriously hamper efforts to re-power the Stargate.
(The city shakes again.)
WEIR: If these ships turn out to be our only way out of here, I don't want you waiting too long to get up to the bay. (Rodney doesn't answer her, distracted by his work on the console.) Rodney!
McKAY: Yes, yes, yes! I heard. Go.
(Elizabeth hurries away.)
JUMPER BAY. In the "different" Puddle Jumper, Zelenka is working on the unusual console which is in the middle of the rear section. Elizabeth hurries in.
WEIR: How're we doing?
ZELENKA: This ship is different than the others.
SHEPPARD: Yeah, we know that. Why -- what's it do?
ZELENKA: I don't know. I'm going to need more time.
WEIR: You don't have time! (Zelenka shrugs. Elizabeth turns to John.) It's airtight, I assume?
SHEPPARD: It's a spaceship -- it'd better be!
McKAY (over radio): Major Sheppard -- I've located a roof hatch in the Gateship bay. I'll try to get it open.
(There's a slamming sound nearby.)
WEIR: What was that?
(In the Control Room, alarms are sounding.)
McKAY: Bulkhead doors leading out of the Control Room have all slammed shut. We're locked in!
WEIR: Can you get it open?
McKAY: I'm trying! (Water starts to force its way through the gaps in the closed doors. Rodney runs over to the balcony overlooking the Stargate. Water is rising rapidly in the Gateroom.) Forget it! The Gateroom's flooding.
WEIR: Get them open and get up here! We're waiting for you!
McKAY (starting to work on a handheld device he's holding): Elizabeth -- I'm gonna keep trying to retract the roof. As soon as it opens, you go.
McKAY: Look, there's no time to argue. Catastrophic failure is imminent. Just lock yourself in and go.
(He continues working on the device as the water rises rapidly towards him.)
ALT-WEIR: Despite your efforts, there was nothing you could do, Rodney. Within seconds the Control Room was flooded.
(Rodney stares at her in shock.)
McKAY: I died?!
ALT-WEIR: You never gave up trying, right until the end.
McKAY (still shocked): Well, a man wonders how he would choose to go out, given such dire circumstances. Now I know.
ALT-WEIR: Trying to save the lives of others.
SHEPPARD: But ultimately failing! (He throws Rodney a smug look.)
McKAY: I'm sure if I had a few more seconds, I ...
WEIR: Wait a second. Why didn't the failsafe mechanism engage and raise the city to the surface?
ALT-WEIR: Because there was no failsafe the first time. Atlantis remained on the ocean floor. The shield completely collapsed. Water came crashing in, flooding every room in the city. (She looks at Aiden and Carson.) You both drowned while attempting to get our people into ships. (She looks at John.) And we, along with Doctor Zelenka, we found ourselves trapped.
FLASHBACK. JUMPER BAY.
SHEPPARD: We need to get outta here! (He hits the button to close the rear hatch of the Puddle Jumper as water rushes into the bay. The hatch closes just in time. John runs forward to the pilot's seat.) Did McKay get the hatch open?
ZELENKA: I do not know.
A SERGEANT (over radio): Major! There's six of us stuck in one of the ships! What do we do?!
(John puts his hand onto the control console, and it lights up.)
ZELENKA: What did you do?
SHEPPARD: I don't know -- I think I just turned it on. (Into radio) Stand by, Sergeant. (To Zelenka) I'm not much for instruction manuals, but I could use one right about now. (He experimentally touches a control. There's a large white flash and the Jumper jolts. As the light fades, the three of them can see that they're now high above the planet's surface.)
WEIR: Oh, my God!
SHEPPARD: We're in space! What happened?
ZELENKA: Now what did you do?!
SHEPPARD: I don't know -- I just ... (He reaches out for the control again but before he can touch it the ship jolts again and there's another flash, but this flash is orange.)
WEIR: What was that?
(Outside the Jumper, two Wraith Darts race past.)
ALT-WEIR (upset and breathing fast): We were under attack. We didn't know where we were or who was shooting at us. And that's when John ... (She passes out.)
BECKETT (into radio as he rushes over to Alt-Elizabeth): This is Beckett -- I need medical assistance in the Conference Room, A.S.A.P!
INFIRMARY. Alt-Elizabeth is back in bed and either asleep or unconscious. Elizabeth stands nearby. John comes in.
SHEPPARD: How's she doin'?
WEIR: Stabilised but still very weak -- and getting weaker.
SHEPPARD: Your own mortality staring you right in the face. I can't imagine how you must be feeling.
WEIR: When she looks at me, it's as if she's sensing my thoughts, and I'm sensing hers. It's very unsettling.
SHEPPARD: Just when you thought this place couldn't get any weirder!
(Rodney comes in.)
McKAY: Well, it's obvious. The Puddle Jumper they escaped in must have been some sort of a time machine; had to have an additional component built into it.
SHEPPARD: Flux capacitor!
McKAY: ... Yeah. The question is, where's the time machine now, hmm?
(Elizabeth smiles as she sees her older self starting to wake up.)
WEIR: Why don't we ask her?
ALT-WEIR: What happened?
WEIR: Can you tell us: the ship that you escaped in -- where is it now?
ALT-WEIR: It's gone.
FLASHBACK. PUDDLE JUMPER. The Wraith Darts fire repeatedly on the Jumper.
ZELENKA: Who is shooting at us?
SHEPPARD: A better question is how do we shoot back?
(Responding to his thoughts, the Jumper deploys an energy drone which flies off and destroys one of the Darts.)
SHEPPARD: Did I do that?
(The second Dart flies directly towards the Jumper.)
SHEPPARD: Hang on!
(There's a massive impact.)
THE PRESENT. INFIRMARY.
ALT-WEIR: The next thing I knew, I woke up here.
SHEPPARD: You mean now?
ALT-WEIR: No. Then.
FLASHBACK. INFIRMARY. Past-Elizabeth opens her eyes.
MAN'S VOICE: You're awake.
ALT-WEIR (voiceover): His name was Janus.
(Past-Elizabeth, now dressed in the same long white dress that alt-Elizabeth is wearing in the present, is lying on a bed in the Infirmary. A man is standing next to the bed. She sits up.)
ALT-WEIR (voiceover): He healed my wounds and explained to me what had happened.
JANUS: Your ship was shot down. We retrieved it from the ocean floor.
PAST-WEIR: Major Sheppard, Doctor Zelenka?
JANUS: No-one survived.
THE PRESENT. INFIRMARY.
McKAY: Ha! Ah, the bitter taste of ultimate failure, hmm? (He smiles smugly at John.)
SHEPPARD: Well, if you'd just figured out how to fix the damn shield in the first place, none of us would have died.
(Alt-Elizabeth smiles fondly at the sight of the pair of them bickering, while present-Elizabeth rolls her eyes.)
McKAY: I did everything I could, including valiantly attempting to save your sorry ...
WEIR: Gentlemen. Focus. (She turns back to alt-Elizabeth.) Please, continue.
ALT-WEIR: Needless to say, I was very confused. He explained to me that the ship we had escaped in was a time machine. He was the one who built it. After I was feeling better, he brought me before the Atlantean Council.
FLASHBACK. CONFERENCE ROOM. Past-Elizabeth meets the Council, one of whom, Melia, is the woman whose hologrammatic image was found during "Rising". Another is a man called Moros, who appears to be the leader of the Council.)
MELIA: We welcome you to the city of Atlantis.
PAST-WEIR: Thank you.
MELIA: Unfortunately, your arrival has come at a time of great conflict. We've been under siege for many years and have submerged our city as a measure of protection.
WEIR: Yes -- it's extraordinary. It's how we found the city when we came through the Stargate.
MOROS: From Earth?
JANUS: Ten thousand years from now. (He smiles.) It should be noted that our actions have succeeded in protecting the city for so many years.
MELIA: Let us hope Doctor Weir's arrival has not altered this eventuality. By directly encountering the Wraith, she may have already set in motion a chain of events that could lead to a future far different from the one she left.
WEIR: I'm sorry -- what are the Wraith?
THE PRESENT. INFIRMARY.
ALT-WEIR: They told me of beings called Wraiths -- a vicious, formidable enemy whose power and technology rivalled their own.
McKAY: Yes -- actually , we've already, umm ... (He trails off as Elizabeth shoots him a look to shut him up.)
ALT-WEIR: The Atlanteans sent a delegation protected by their most powerful warships in the faint hope of negotiating a truce. One on one, the Atlantean ships were more powerful, but the Wraith were so many. After that great battle, it was only a matter of time.
FLASHBACK. CONFERENCE ROOM.
MELIA: We're awaiting the last of our offworld transport ships before beginning our evacuation through the Stargate.
PAST-WEIR: Where will you go?
MELIA: We're returning to Earth. You're welcome to join us.
WEIR: Thank you. That's very kind, but I'm sure you must understand my desire to return to the future -- to my people. I was hoping I would be able to use the time machine again, and programme it to arrive at the precise moment we came through the Stargate -- and if it was possible and you had a ZeeP.M. I could take back with me, that would help us considerably. See, the power systems of the city were virtually depleted ...
MOROS: No. Enough of this tampering with time. Causality is not to be treated so lightly.
JANUS: No-one's treating it lightly.
MOROS: You are, with your insistence on continuing with experiments -- despite the condemnation of this Council. We ordered you to cease these activities and yet here we sit, face to face with a visitor from the future who arrived here in the very machine you agreed not to construct.
JANUS: We are about to evacuate this city in the hope that it will lie safe for many years and then, one day, our kind will return. (He looks at Elizabeth.) And they have. It is because of my experiments that we now have the opportunity ...
MOROS: Enough! We have no time for this. (He stands.) I'm hereby ordering the destruction of this time-travel device, and all the materials connected with its design. (To Elizabeth) You are welcome to return to Earth with our people. You shall not be returning to yours.
PRESENT. INFIRMARY. Alt-Elizabeth is looking very weak. A short distance away, Carson is talking to Present-Elizabeth, John and Rodney.
BECKETT: The last of the test results only confirm the obvious: her skeletal, muscular, circulatory and neuro endocrine systems have all been decimated by age. I'm seeing renal failure, liver failure, and evidence of a stroke from her recent collapse.
SHEPPARD: How long does she have?
BECKETT: I doubt she'll live out the night.
ALT-WEIR: Please. (Present-Elizabeth and the others turn and walk towards her.) I don't know how much time I have left to tell the story I have waited so long to tell. (She sees that she has everyone's attention.) Oh ... the Council. They were very upset.
WEIR: Yes -- you said they decided to destroy the time machine.
ALT-WEIR: I tried to talk them out of it. I didn't give up hope. Thankfully, I had an ally.
FLASHBACK. Janus and Past-Elizabeth are talking with Melia.
JANUS: You need to talk to Moros. Doctor Weir was brought here through no fault of her own. She shouldn't be punished for it.
MELIA: She's free to come with us back to Earth and live among our kind ...
JANUS (interrupting): She needs to return to her time, not remain in ours.
MELIA: That's not possible. (To Elizabeth) I'm sorry. (She turns to walk away.)
WEIR: Wait. (Melia stops and turns back again.) I don't think you understand how far we've come, or how much my people have sacrificed in the hopes of meeting you. We call you the Ancients -- the Gatebuilders. We've crossed galaxies in the hopes of finding a great people. Please -- is there no other way you can help?
MELIA: We could block the Stargate permanently after the evacuation. That way, in the future, your team will be unable to come here.
JANUS: If they can't come, the city may never be found.
MELIA: But the lives of her expedition will be saved.
WEIR: Thank you for your generous offer, but we are explorers -- just like you.
JANUS (to Melia): Which should come as no surprise since they are the second evolution of our kind. Don't you understand? This city will survive ten thousand years.
(Melia looks as if she is torn by what to do for the best. Finally ...)
MELIA: The Council's decision is final. (She turns and walks away.)
THE PRESENT. INFIRMARY.
ALT-WEIR: Of course, Janus refused to concede defeat. The more someone told him not to do something, the more he had to do it. So he came up with an alternate plan behind the Council's back. (She chuckles.) It was all I could do to try to keep pace with him.
FLASHBACK. Janus and Elizabeth go to a lab with a triangular console in the middle of it. Janus goes to another console nearby and starts working on it.
WEIR: May I ask what it is you're doing?
JANUS: Calculating the necessary power needed.
WEIR: Needed for ...?
JANUS: You said the shield collapsed shortly after your arrival. I have to find a way to extend the supply of power. (He looks up towards the triangular console.) What is you called them?
WEIR: ZeeP.M. -- Zero Point Module.
JANUS: Yes. (He starts working on the console in front of him again.) They're designed to operate in parallel -- all three providing power to the city simultaneously. However, used in sequence, it may be possible to sustain the necessary power for the needed time. (He pushes a button and, from the triangular console, three Z.P.M.s rise up.)
ALT-WEIR (voiceover): I didn't believe my eyes. Three ZeeP.M.s right in front of me.
JANUS: There is one small problem, though. Someone will need to remain behind in the city to transfer the power from one device to the other -- to rotate them sequentially.
PAST-WEIR: Over thousands of years?
JANUS: It is possible.
MELIA (over comms): Janus -- please report to Central Control.
ALT-WEIR (voiceover): Their transport ship was inbound. It was taking heavy fire.
CENTRAL CONTROL (called CONTROL CENTRE by the Stargate Atlantis team)
PILOT (over radio): Cloaking shields damaged. We're returning fire but we cannot access ...
MELIA: There's too many enemy ships.
TECHNICIAN: There are more coming.
PILOT (over radio): Our shields are damaged ...
JANUS: Engage auxiliary power -- try to outrun them.
(The pilot responds but what he says is drowned out by the screaming of other passengers and the sound of the ship being attacked, presumably by Wraith Darts.)
JANUS (to Elizabeth): There are over three hundred people on that transport.
PILOT (over radio): The shields are down! (He continues talking but again what he says is unclear as passengers scream. There's the sound of an explosion. On a screen in Central Control, the Atlanteans watch as the signal depicting the transport ship flashes and goes out.)
MOROS: Begin evacuation. We must leave -- now.
(Melia begins working a console. Janus and Elizabeth look at each other in alarm, then Janus hurries off, Elizabeth following him.)
THE PRESENT. NIGHT TIME. INFIRMARY. Rodney is lying down on a spare bed with a blanket over him and is fast asleep. John is sitting in a chair with his feet up on another chair. His arms are folded and his eyes are closed, so he's probably asleep or dozing as well. Elizabeth is sitting at her alt-self's bedside, stroking her hair. Alt-Elizabeth wakes up.
ALT-WEIR: Damn! Fell asleep again!
WEIR: Well, you're not the only one. (She looks round at the boys, then back to alt-Elizabeth.) Are you in any pain?
ALT-WEIR: Would we admit it if we were?
WEIR: I wish there was more we could do for you.
ALT-WEIR (gazing at her younger self): Oh, look at you! Always worrying. You put too much pressure on yourself. Remember that miserable Baltic negotiation? What Simon told us afterwards?
WEIR: "Breathe" -- among other things!
ALT-WEIR: Enjoy the moment -- what's here right now. The sun, the breeze ... our birthday!
WEIR: Sheppard couldn't keep it to himself, huh?!
ALT-WEIR: I'm just saying stop being so damned hard on yourself. Life is quick.
WEIR: Not for you.
ALT-WEIR: It was my choice, Elizabeth. I didn't second-guess it then, and I don't regret it now.
FLASHBACK. GATEROOM. The Stargate kawhooshes and many Atlanteans, some wearing backpacks, walk through the Gate. In Central Control, Janus walks past Melia on his way to one of the control consoles.
MELIA: Where is Doctor Weir?
JANUS: She's gone through the Gate. She was among the first to evacuate.
(Janus finishes what he is doing and moves away. When he's sure nobody is watching him, he walks into the rear part of the Control area and trots down the stairs there.)
ALT-WEIR (voiceover): Janus prepared the stasis chamber for me -- said it would be like a deep, dreamless sleep.
JANUS: I'm inputting commands to the system to revive you twice at intervals of approximately three point three thousand years so that you can rotate the ZeeP.M.s. I'll give you instructions on how to reactivate the stasis process afterwards. I'm also entering the necessary commands to commence final revival the moment sensors indicate the presence of your expedition team. (He walks over to Elizabeth.) Look -- I feel that I must tell you that there is a possibility -- remote as it is -- that this might not succeed.
WEIR: I know.
JANUS: It's impossible to predict what'll happen over such a long period of time. I'm convinced that you will survive. But, in the highly unlikely eventuality that you don't, I've programmed the failsafe mechanism to protect the city.
WEIR: A failsafe?
JANUS: Yes. If the power drains to a critical level, the mechanism holding the city on the ocean floor will release, and it will rise to the surface.
WEIR (not looking convinced that such a thing is possible): Really?
GATEROOM. The last of the Atlanteans are going through the Gate.
ALT-WEIR (voiceover): And then they left -- all of them; returning to Earth through the Stargate.
(In Central Control, Past-Elizabeth is lurking out of sight of the departing Atlanteans. Janus is removing some glass control panels from the consoles and putting them into a carrying case.)
PAST-WEIR: What's all that?
JANUS: My research.
WEIR: You're gonna build another time ship.
JANUS: Doubt I'll succeed, seeing that the Council will be watching my every move.
WEIR: I'm sure you'll find a way.
JANUS: I've blocked all addresses to the Gate except Earth. You will be safe.
WEIR: Thank you.
JANUS: Thank you -- for giving me the hope that Atlantis will survive another ten thousand years ... after you discover it again.
(Elizabeth walks over to him and kisses him on the cheek. He gazes at her for a moment, then turns and walks away down the steps. He walks to the Gateroom, where Moros, Melia and a technician are waiting for him.)
JANUS: I'm ready.
(The technician, Moros and Melia go through the Gate. JANUS turns and looks up into Central Control where Elizabeth is watching him. He gives her one last smile, then goes through the Gate.)
ALT-WEIR (voiceover): And then I was alone.
(We see past-Elizabeth standing in the empty Central Control.)
ALT-WEIR (voiceover): I set the city to slumber ...
(Past-Elizabeth activates controls on the consoles and gradually all the lights on the panels go out. She spreads dust covers over the consoles.)
STASIS CHAMBER. Elizabeth activates the last few controls, closing a blind down over a window showing the water outside, then walks to the stasis pod and nervously steps inside.
ALT-WEIR (voiceover): ... And began my long journey home.
THE PRESENT. INFIRMARY.
WEIR: It worked -- the stasis, the failsafes. You gave up your entire life.
ALT-WEIR: No -- because we are the same person. The best part of my life -- it's just beginning. I'm exploring a new galaxy. I have years ahead of me still. (She reaches out to touch Elizabeth's cheek.) Trust yourself, Elizabeth. All that matters is right now. And the note -- I wrote it in case I didn't survive. Has Rodney figured it out yet?
WEIR (shaking her head): Five Gate addresses.
ALT-WEIR: Outposts: each one with a Zero Point Module. Janus told me.
(Elizabeth gets up from the bed and walks over to John. As soon as she speaks, both he and Rodney wake up.)
WEIR: The note she left -- coordinates of planets to have known ZeeP.Ms.
(Rodney gets off the bed and fumbles the note out of his pocket. John takes it from him.)
SHEPPARD: They could still be there.
(Behind them, unnoticed, Alt-Elizabeth's eyes close and her head rolls to the side. Her heart monitor flatlines.)
McKAY: M7G-677's on here! I mean, this is amazing! Elizabeth, we've got ... (He trails off as he realises what has happened to alt-Elizabeth. Elizabeth walks slowly over to her older self, and gently takes her hand.)
BALCONY OUTSIDE THE GATEROOM. Out on the balcony, Elizabeth takes the lid off the earthenware pot which John gave her earlier, then leans over the balcony and sprinkles the ashes of her older self out over the city and into the ocean. A few moments later, the balcony door opens and John comes outside.
SHEPPARD: We're about to start our mission briefing, so ...
WEIR: I'll be right there. (John nods and goes back towards the door. As it opens ...) Actually, John. (He stops and turns around to face her.) Give me a minute, will you?
SHEPPARD: Sure. (He goes back inside and the door closes again.)
(Elizabeth turns, leans on the balcony and gazes out over the city.)