ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 03.10.06
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 05.14.07
DVD DISC: Season 2, Disc 5
WRITTEN BY: Martin Gero
DIRECTED BY: Andy Mikita
Transcript by Callie Sullivan
Czech translations by d3u5
ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM. A screen shows a countdown. It is at 00:01:55 and counting. Teyla Emmagan and Ronon Dex hurry into the room to meet with Doctor Elizabeth Weir.
TEYLA: All of my people have been safely relocated to the city.
WEIR: Did everything go smoothly?
DEX: Yeah -- they're pretty used to it, back and forth, by now. Have you picked up any of their contacts?
(Elizabeth turns to the Canadian technician sitting at his desk.)
TECHNICIAN: Negative, ma'am. Scans are still clear. It looks like it's just the one hive ship.
WEIR: And our cloak?
TECHNICIAN: Up and running. All readings are in the green.
WEIR: Good. (She activates her headset radio.) Colonel Caldwell, are you in position?
(On board Daedalus out in space a long way from Atlantis, Colonel Steven Caldwell replies.)
CALDWELL: Affirmative. We're out of scanning range and ready to jump into position on your go-ahead.
CALDWELL: Just for the record, I still think that we should be in orbit around Atlantis, ready to open up on that hive ship the second it comes out of hyperspace.
WEIR: It's one hive, Colonel, which suggests they might just be checking up on us. There's no need to confirm our presence if we don't have to. Just stand by.
CALDWELL: Standing by.
WEIR: Colonel Sheppard -- how goes it on your end?
(Colonel John Sheppard and Doctor Rodney McKay are aboard Orion, which is also out in space, being manned by crew from Daedalus. John sits in the Captain's chair while Rodney is wandering around the Bridge.)
SHEPPARD: Well, we're out of sensor range and all that, but whether or not we're ready to fight is a whole another story.
McKAY: Getting this ship up and running in under a month is a miracle.
SHEPPARD: Do we start the beatification now or later?
WEIR: Rodney, if the hive opens up on us, I want Orion's drones.
SHEPPARD: Which means we're gonna need the hyperdrive to get in position.
McKAY: Which means we'll need shields, which means you want everything!
SHEPPARD: I like everything! Can we do it or not?
McKAY (sarcastically): Well, don't get up! (He clicks his fingers at one of the crew.) Shields!
(The crew member runs over to him and shows him the computer tablet she is holding. He looks at the screen, then turns to John.)
McKAY: Yes. (He turns to another crew member.) Jump into position. (The crew member shows him his computer tablet. Rodney looks at it, then throws a black look at John's back.) Mmmmaybe.
(He turns to another crew member.)
McKAY: Release the drones.
(The crew member shakes her head.)
McKAY: Probably not.
SHEPPARD: Well, it's pointless to get in position if we can't fire.
McKAY: Y'know, let's talk about it for a really long time -- that'll help for sure.
SHEPPARD (into radio): Rodney's doing everything inhumanly possible to be ready.
(In Atlantis' Control Room, the technician reports.)
TECHNICIAN: I have a contact.
(In space above Atlantis, the hive ship comes out of hyperspace and heads towards the planet.)
CALDWELL (over radio): Atlantis, report?
TECHNICIAN: It's going into geosynchronous orbit. Hasn't armed any of its weapons.
WEIR: If they do, I want you to switch from cloak to shield as quickly as possible. Don't wait for my order.
TECHNICIAN: Yes, ma'am.
(John waits nervously for news.)
SHEPPARD (into radio): You could be a little more chatty, Elizabeth.
WEIR: I'm sorry -- we're just waiting for them to make the next move.
TECHNICIAN: Transmitting a signal, audio only.
WEIR: Put it on speaker.
(A male voice comes over the speaker.)
VOICE: We know you are there. We mean you no harm. Please respond.
WEIR (into radio): John, are you hearing this?
TECHNICIAN: It's repeating again.
VOICE (over speaker): We mean you no harm. There is no point in hiding, Doctor Weir. (Elizabeth looks startled at the sound of her name.) We know you are there. We mean you no harm. Please respond.
SHEPPARD: Is that who I think it is?
WEIR: He's addressing me by name. I think we can assume it's Michael.
OPENING CREDITS. RESUME.
CALDWELL (over radio from Daedalus): You don't actually intend to respond?
WEIR: Why not?
CALDWELL: Where d'you want me to start?
WEIR: I think we can safely say our cover is blown.
CALDWELL: I wouldn't jump to that conclusion.
WEIR: The message is from Michael, Colonel.
DEX: They know we're here.
CALDWELL: But they don't know exactly where we are.
SHEPPARD (from Orion): He's right. Answer them and we guarantee the first shot won't miss.
(Elizabeth looks at Teyla.)
TEYLA: Any attempt on my part to connect with Michael will confirm our location as surely as if you answer by radio.
McKAY (from Orion): I recommend you open a secure channel to the hive via the Daedalus. That way they won't be able to pinpoint Atlantis' position.
WEIR: And we can always turn the shield on.
SHEPPARD: I believe we have enough combined firepower to take out a single hive if we need to.
(Elizabeth looks at Ronon and Teyla.)
WEIR: Have you ever heard of a Wraith behaving this way?
TEYLA: Nor have I.
WEIR: Right. Let's hear what they have to say.
SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. Doctor Radek Zelenka has come into the Control Room and is working on a laptop computer.
ZELENKA: Rodney and I have set up the subspace relay to go through the Daedalus and I've been able to configure our systems to handle both the radio and video frequencies, so ... we should be able to see and hear them live.
(The technician turns around from his console with a really quirky expression on his face.)
TECHNICIAN: They wanna know what's taking so long.
WEIR: Open the channel.
(The technician operates some controls. Radek hits a key on his own laptop and the message "PATCH COMPLETE" appears on the screen. On the wall screen, the face of a male Wraith appears. It looks like every other Wraith we've ever seen, except that this one has much shorter hair than normal. Elizabeth walks closer to the screen. Radek, on the other hand, starts to back away from the screen nervously.)
WEIR: Hello, Michael.
MICHAEL: Why the long delay?
WEIR: We needed to take a few precautions before contacting you. I'm sure you understand why.
MICHAEL: I said we would not harm you.
WEIR: Well, excuse me for not taking you at your word. You wanted to talk -- we're listening. Go ahead.
MICHAEL: Over two years ago, every hive ship in this galaxy emerged from hibernation prematurely. We thought a new rich feeding ground had been discovered.
MICHAEL: Unfortunately, locating your planet and uncovering an effective means of transportation to get there has proven quite difficult.
WEIR: Well, I can't say I'm sad to hear that.
MICHAEL: For the first time since the dawn of our race, there are too few of your kind to feed the waking Wraith. This has resulted in civil war. Hives are forming alliances. The strong are attacking the weak.
WEIR: Which are you?
MICHAEL: Our goals are not dissimilar, Doctor Weir.
WEIR: You would like to eliminate the Wraith as a threat?! I find that hard to believe.
MICHAEL: We would like you to give us Doctor Beckett's retrovirus. If we were able to distribute it among the rival Wraith hives in sufficient quantity, this would both render them helpless and provide us with an alternative food source.
WEIR: Those Wraith would become humans!
MICHAEL: On the surface, perhaps. As a sign of good faith, I am sending you our jamming codes. This programme was established and distributed before the civil war broke out, so we assume all the hive ships are still using it. By figuring out how to bypass or disable this programme, you would be able to beam your nuclear weapons aboard any of our ships whenever you so please. (Elizabeth stares at him in amazement.) We are willing to help you achieve this if you help us.
(The technician's console beeps.)
TECHNICIAN: They're sending a data burst.
WEIR: Download it to a non-networked, firewalled computer.
TECHNICIAN: Yes, ma'am.
MICHAEL: I'm sure you'll want to recall all the ships you have lying in wait for us and discuss this with your people. We will await your reply -- but, should you make an attempt to destroy us, we will alert every Wraith in this galaxy to the fact that Atlantis is still very much intact. I'm sure you wouldn't want that.
(He breaks off communications.)
CONFERENCE ROOM. John, Rodney and Caldwell have returned to base, and all the usual suspects are in the room, including Doctor Carson Beckett.
CALDWELL: Well, I think it's safe to say that if they were going to attack us, they would have done it by now. They let the Daedalus land without incident.
WEIR: And you're sure they don't know about the Orion?
SHEPPARD: I ordered Lorne to park her just outside of sensor range.
(Rodney looks up from a laptop that he has been studying.)
McKAY: This -- this is incredible! I can't believe they actually sent this over so freely. I mean, if I can figure out how to break through this programme -- which is, well, as you know, pretty likely -- we could nuke any hive ship that we came across.
WEIR: Including Michael's?
McKAY: Well, it might take a couple of tries the first time.
SHEPPARD: Long enough to tell the rest of the Wraith we're still around.
McKAY: If they really are willing to let me run tests on their ship, I mean, this is a ... it's an amazing opportunity, Elizabeth!
WEIR: "An amazing opportunity."
SHEPPARD: Well, think about it -- this is essentially our idea. We created the retrovirus in order to do exactly what they're proposing we do. What's the down side? I mean, other than the fact that we'd be working with the Wraith?
CALDWELL: Isn't that enough?
BECKETT: It would mean at least something good came of our experiment with Michael.
TEYLA: I'm not sure we have a choice. It appears they have kept our existence a secret, but if we do not help ...
WEIR: There is that. Carson, I know you've been working on the weaponisation of the retrovirus. How close are you?
BECKETT: We're close. It still needs work, but we're close.
(Elizabeth looks at Ronon. Following her gaze, everyone else turns to look at him.)
WEIR: What do you think?
DEX: Let's do it.
(Rodney looks startled.)
DEX: Sheppard said it himself -- it's our idea.
WEIR: I just thought you of all people ...
DEX: Hey, if they want our help killing other Wraith, it's one kind of help I'm happy to provide.
WEIR: OK. (She looks around the room at everyone.) So, we're going to do this. (Nobody disagrees.) I'll accept the offer.
OUTSIDE THE CONFERENCE ROOM. As the meeting breaks up, John runs to catch up with Teyla as she walks away.
(Teyla stops and turns to face him.)
SHEPPARD: Something tells me you don't think this is such a good idea.
TEYLA: As I said, I do not believe we have a choice.
SHEPPARD: But a good idea's still a good idea.
TEYLA: I voiced my concern about this plan to change the Wraith into humans prior to the experiment on Michael.
SHEPPARD: Yeah, and we convinced you.
TEYLA: No, Colonel. I chose to place my trust in you. There's a difference.
SHEPPARD: Look, it's not like we're setting out to create a bunch of Michaels here.
TEYLA: No -- we are creating a food source for other Wraith.
SHEPPARD: Instead of us, which is the part I am fine with, by the way. I guess I just want you to be fine with it too.
TEYLA: If this is the full extent of their plan ...
(She trails off. John frowns at her.)
SHEPPARD: What do you mean?
(Teyla smiles at him ironically.)
TEYLA: They are Wraith. (She turns and walks away.)
ABOVE THE PLANET. As the Wraith hive ship circles the planet, a small ship drops out of the hive and heads for the planet's surface. A man's voice comes over the radio in the Atlantis Control Room.
PILOT (over radio): This is Escort Two -- we have a visual on the Wraith scout ship and are entering formation with Escort Five.
(In the Control Room, the crew watches the images on the wallscreen as two vessels form up either side of the scout ship. Above Atlantis, the scout heads down towards the city. Two F-302s from Daedalus take position either side of it.)
SHEPPARD (in the Control Room): I gotta tell you -- when I woke up this morning, I honestly didn't think this would be happening.
WEIR: God, I hope we're doing the right thing.
(The scout ship and its escort head towards the central towers of the city, then bank left and turn towards one of the piers. The scout comes in for a landing on the pier. The F-302s scream over the top of it and head off. In the Control Room, the crew watches the screen as the scout lands.)
ATLANTIS CORRIDORS. A military escort leads the arrivals through the corridors. At first we only see the legs of the Wraith being escorted. The first Wraith is wearing white trousers and a long white coat and white shoes. The view switches to a high position, way above the group's heads. The first Wraith is followed by a short-haired male Wraith, obviously Michael, wearing a long dark brown coat. He is followed by a more normal looking male Wraith with long white hair and a black jacket. The corridors are lined by marines, all holding weapons. As the group passes a room, Rodney and Radek stand in the doorway watching as the Wraith and their escort walk past.
(The group reaches the Gateroom. Elizabeth, John, Caldwell, Teyla and Ronon come down the stairs from the Control Room to meet them. The Wraith wearing the white clothes approaches them. It's a female -- obviously Michael's Hive Queen. She has long dark brown hair which is either streaked with white or is so incredibly shiny that I'd like to know what conditioner she uses.)
WEIR: I'm Doctor Elizabeth Weir. Welcome to Atlantis.
LATER. ELIZABETH'S OFFICE. Elizabeth sits at her desk while John stands beside her. The Queen sits opposite. Two armed marines stand behind the Queen and others stand outside the office.
WEIR: My people are willing to work with some of your scientists, but no more than three Wraith will be allowed on this base at any given time.
SHEPPARD: You'll be subjected to extensive searches that we'll perform at random intervals. If any harmful weapons or materials are found on your your fellow Wraith, we'll consider it an act of aggression and immediately destroy your ship.
WEIR: We are also monitoring all of your transmissions ...
HIVE QUEEN (interrupting): All we want is the retrovirus. It is the key to ending a civil war that could go on for centuries. Impose whatever conditions you wish. Let us begin.
LAB. The male Wraith (not Michael) is standing looking at the screen of a laptop computer on a table. Carson and Radek, both wearing lab coats, are standing nervously a little way away. There are several armed marines in the room.
BECKETT: Aside from a slight refinement since we last used it on, uh, (the Wraith turns to look at him) well, on the one we called Michael ... Do you have names? What shall I call you? What shall I call him? (The Wraith just looks at him.) Well, I suppose in the end it really doesn't matter, does it? (He laughs nervously. The Wraith continues to look at him.) OK, uh ... (he turns to Radek) where was I?
ZELENKA (nervously): Uh, we were just getting to dissemination.
(Carson rallies a little and turns back to the Wraith with a more confident expression on his face as he launches into lecture mode. Radek, on the other hand, stares wide-eyed at the Wraith as if he's expecting it to leap on him at any moment.)
BECKETT: Yes, yes, thank you. Now, when disseminating an aerosolised medicine such as the retrovirus, one needs to take in a number of different considerations: proximity to patient, particle size, ventilation pattern, airway architecture, dosage ...
WRAITH: You turned it into a gas.
BECKETT: Yes, an aerosol gas.
ZELENKA: On Earth, we would normally use a technique called aerodynamic dissemination ... (he swallows nervously) ... but because of the problems of doing that inside, say, like, a Wraith hive ship, w-w-we have attempted various styles of pheromone dissemination.
ZELENKA: Explosives, yes, yes. Uh, the problem with an explosive delivery system is that, because the drug is now an aerosol, a third of the tests ignited the medication ... (he and Carson laugh nervously) ... rendering it useless.
BECKETT (smiling at the Wraith): They call it flashing. (He briefly opens his lab coat at the Wraith.)
(They both laugh.)
WRAITH: Long ago we experimented with gas weapons. (Carson and Radek stop laughing abruptly.) We found them most difficult to use in outer atmosphere combat. When fired into an enemy vessel, the weapon caused explosive decompression in the targeted compartment.
BECKETT: We had thought of that, yes, but if you want to affect a large population simultaneously, an aerosol gas is really the only way to go.
ZELENKA: Now we have to figure out a way to get it into your enemy's hive ship.
WRAITH: Yes. We will.
DAEDALUS. ENGINE ROOM. Rodney is examining Wraith data on a computer screen.
McKAY: Huh, some pretty interesting stuff, eh? I think I've learned more about Wraith technology in the last hour than I have in the past two years.
(He turns to face Hermiod the Asgard, who is working at his own terminal and ignoring Rodney.)
McKAY: Oh, come on -- I understand you're an Asgard and everything, but even you've gotta feel a bit of an adrenaline buzz.
HERMIOD: My body does not possess the adrenal gland that produces epinephrine in your system. And even if I did, I would not be as easily impressed.
McKAY: I get it! I get it. You think you're smarter than I am. You ready to go or not?
HERMIOD: I have been for some time.
(Rodney rolls his eyes, then activates his headset radio.)
McKAY: This is McKay. Give me an open channel to the hive.
VOICE (over radio): You're live. Go ahead.
(Rodney clears his throat nervously.)
McKAY: This is Doctor Rodney McKay aboard the Earth ship Daedalus. We would like ... uh ... with your permission, to begin attempting to beam an innocuous canister onto your ship while you are actively jamming. Uh, we're hoping through trial and error that we can ... slowly ... (he laughs nervously) disarm or, uh, break the code. May we proceed?
WRAITH VOICE (over radio): You may begin, Doctor McKay.
McKAY: OK! Thank you. Thank you. (To Hermiod) That was weird. Shall we?
ATLANTIS. ISOLATION ROOM. Under guard, Michael is standing by the side of the bed where he spent so much time after his capture. He runs his hand over the bed and pats it almost affectionately. Teyla and Ronon walk in as Michael walks to the head of the bed and puts his hand on the pillow.
TEYLA: Hello, Michael.
MICHAEL: It seemed right to come back here, and to see you. Thank you for coming. You didn't have to bring him.
DEX: I insisted.
MICHAEL (to Teyla): The last time I saw you, I really was going to feed on you, but it was not a matter of choice. It was ... instinct.
(Teyla looks at him, her face emotionless.)
TEYLA: That is what you have come here to say?
MICHAEL: You have given me a very rare perspective among the Wraith. Few of us have ever come to know the humans we are going to feed on as anything more than a means to survive -- and still, I would do what I had to do. But what you did to me ...
TEYLA: We did the same -- to survive.
MICHAEL: I thought you were trying to help me.
DEX: What's your point?
MICHAEL: We're not as different as you think.
TEYLA (angrily): We are nothing like you.
MICHAEL: You are a lot more like us than you allow yourselves to believe.
TEYLA: I will not argue with you, Michael. It is pointless.
MICHAEL: If we are to make this alliance work, we must both overcome the instincts that define us. (Teyla and Ronon look at him.) We will not meet again.
TEYLA (with no emotion in her voice): Goodbye.
(Michael bows his head to her.)
(Teyla turns and leaves the room. Ronon turns as if to follow her, but as soon as she has left, he snatches out his blaster and holds it to Michael's head, his face contorted in a snarl. Michael doesn't flinch.)
MICHAEL: You're proving my point right now. Oh, every fibre in your body wants to kill me. (Ronon's face twists as he struggles with himself, knowing how much he wants to pull the trigger despite what the other Wraith will probably do if he does.) Instinct is so hard to overcome, but what would happen to our alliance? Every Wraith ship in this galaxy would descend upon this city and destroy it. Is it worth it, Ronon?
DEX: If it was up to me ...
MICHAEL (shouting angrily): But it isn't!
(Ronon presses the end of his blaster against Michael's forehead for a moment, then grins and pulls the weapon back. He holsters it, turns and walks away. Once he's gone, Michael can't help but heave a relieved sigh.)
ELIZABETH'S OFFICE. Elizabeth, John, and the Queen are talking.
WEIR: What will happen once you disseminate the weapon?
HIVE QUEEN: We shall continue on to the next hive.
SHEPPARD: Then what?
HIVE QUEEN: We will continue until we have conquered all of our enemies.
WEIR: And you think our retrovirus can do all that?
HIVE QUEEN: Yes.
SHEPPARD (pointedly): The one we're freely handing over to you.
HIVE QUEEN: I see. Your people will not be harmed. Such will be the nature of our agreement.
WEIR: And what about all the other humans on the other worlds? Any chance you'll stop feeding on them?
HIVE QUEEN: Your retrovirus will allow us to feed off enemy Wraith. There will come a time, however, when our enemy will be vanquished.
SHEPPARD: At which point you'll return to killing ordinary folks the old fashioned way.
HIVE QUEEN: That will take far longer than your short lifetime.
SHEPPARD: Let's just say I'm worried about my grandkids.
HIVE QUEEN (to Elizabeth): The technology of this city -- this city that you now control -- is far more powerful than that of the Wraith, yet we brought the Lanteans to their knees. (She looks at John.) Why?
SHEPPARD: Far greater numbers.
HIVE QUEEN: Numbers that will be diminished by your retrovirus. Balance will be restored. I believe that is as much as either of us can ask for, don't you?
LAB. Carson is arguing with the male Wraith.
BECKETT: No! I'm sorry -- an aerosol gas is the only way to go!
(The Wraith snarls at him. Carson backs away nervously.)
BECKETT: Not that I want to anger you, or not take any of your ideas into consideration. It's just that, well, (he indicates a large machine by the wall, presumably the means they have devised of getting the gas on board a hive ship) we've been working on this for some time now.
(The Wraith looks at the equipment disparagingly.)
WRAITH: Very well.
ZELENKA: Can't you smuggle a gas bomb onto one of your rival hives?
WRAITH: Such a device would not allow for the gas to affect the whole ship in sufficient time. They would open fire on our own ship the moment the gas was detected.
BECKETT: Aye. You need to reach all the occupied compartments at once.
(Radek has an idea and points to the schematic of a hive ship on a screen behind him.)
ZELENKA: If we could get the aerosol gas into the life support system ...
WRAITH: How long for the gas to take effect?
BECKETT: Well, theoretically ...
ZELENKA: ... we don't know. (Carson throws him a look.) Well, we don't.
BECKETT: He's right. We don't.
WRAITH: Then I will have to make arrangements.
OBSERVATION ROOM ABOVE THE ISOLATION ROOM. Elizabeth, John and Carson stand looking down into the Isolation Room as we hear someone crying out in pain. The camera pans down to show a male Wraith strapped to the bed and writhing in agony. Atlantean medics in Hazmat suits are in the room with it.
(Time passes. The Wraith continues to struggle against its bonds, screaming, as its skin slowly turns from grey to a more pink colour.)
(More time passes. The Hive Queen is in the Observation Room looking down into the Isolation Room.)
HIVE QUEEN: I want to go in there. (She turns to face Elizabeth and John.) Now.
(Elizabeth turns to someone offscreen.)
WEIR: Vent the gas from the room.
SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. As a green light above the door shows that the room is clear of gas, the door to the Isolation Room opens and a marine leads the Hive Queen inside, followed by Carson, Michael, John and Elizabeth. Lying on the bed is a human looking young man with long white hair. This is obviously the Wraith who has succumbed to the retrovirus. The Queen walks over to him, running her hand up his leg as she approaches his bedside. As he looks up at her, she reaches out and runs her fingers down the side of his head.
BECKETT: Don't worry -- he'll begin to turn back in only a number of days if we don't start administering ...
(Without warning, the Queen slams her hand down onto the man's chest. The man screams. John and the marines draw and raise their weapons.)
WEIR: Colonel. We knew this would be a part of the bargain.
(The man continues to scream as the Queen hisses in pleasure as she drains his energy. Reluctantly, John and the marines lower their weapons. The man's screams fade to a whimper.)
MICHAEL: I've seen enough.
(He turns and leaves the room. On the bed, the man falls silent. The camera moves back to the bed and shows an elderly man lying there. His eyes close and he dies. The Queen removes her hand and looks at the blood on her palm before looking up at the others.)
HIVE QUEEN: It works.
(Carson's face is wracked with guilt at what he has brought about. Elizabeth and John look equally appalled.)
CONFERENCE ROOM. The Queen and the male Wraith are sitting at the table opposite Elizabeth, John, Rodney and Carson.
HIVE QUEEN: There is another hive ship a single jump away from this system. They recently attempted to attack our ship. I would like to test the virus on them first.
BECKETT: With all due respect, madam, I don't think we're there yet. We've been working with your scientist here on an effective means of disseminating the virus as an aerosol gas ...
HIVE QUEEN (interrupting): And you have succeeded.
BECKETT: Transforming a single Wraith in a controlled environment and trying to infect an entire hive at once are completely two different things.
HIVE QUEEN: We plan on entering their hive under the pretence of negotiating our surrender. Part of the delegation will break away, planting small canisters of gas throughout the ship. We need only to create a system that will synchronise the release.
McKAY: Well, we can do that. (To Carson) Look, do we have the kind of volume we need?
(Carson answers reluctantly.)
BECKETT: Aye. Our lab has been churning it out since we struck a deal with our friends here.
WEIR: Then we can do this?
BECKETT: Well ... it's up to them.
WEIR (to the Queen): I would like our people to go along and observe.
HIVE QUEEN: For what purpose?
SHEPPARD: Make sure you stick to the plan, do what you say you're gonna do.
HIVE QUEEN: Very well.
WEIR: Good luck. (She raises her eyebrows and looks down.) To us all.
SPACE. DAEDALUS. The ship exits hyperspace and heads towards a planet nearby. On the Bridge, Captain Dave Kleinman, the crew member sitting to Caldwell's right, reports.
KLEINMAN: Jumper Eight has cleared the Bay, cloaked, and is heading for the two hive ships. We are running quiet and out of sensor range.
CALDWELL: Thank you, Captain.
(John is standing in front of Caldwell.)
SHEPPARD: I guess now we just wait.
CALDWELL: This trial's a little premature, don't you think?
SHEPPARD: I guess that's what happens when the Wraith get too excited.
CALDWELL: What if they fail?
SHEPPARD: Maybe they'll blow each other to kingdom come and we can all go home.
CALDWELL: I thought we wanted this to work?
SHEPPARD: I'm just saying -- if this thing goes south, we can't let the word get out we were involved in this.
ATLANTIS. ELIZABETH'S OFFICE. Elizabeth is typing on her laptop as Carson comes in.
WEIR: Carson. (She continues to type.)
BECKETT: Elizabeth. (He puts his hands on the desk and leans down, forcing her to look at him.) When I developed this retrovirus for the Wraith, it was to free them from what I perceived to be an unnatural state. Now, at the very moment they take human form, they'll face a horribly painful death. No matter how we rationalise this, we're still lettin' the Wraith kill humans.
WEIR: Well, I guess it depends on how you define "human".
BECKETT: We can't judge an entire race based on the fact that Michael's experiment didn't work.
WEIR: If you're asking me whether or not I'm losing sleep over this ... (she notes Carson's anguished expression and pauses, looking down, then smiles ruefully) ... hmm, well, I am taking those sedatives you prescribed.
KLEINMAN: We're getting telemetry back from the cloaked Jumper, sir. It's in theatre.
CALDWELL: Let's see it.
(A heads-up display appears on the windshield. It shows the shapes of the two ships, the left one in blue and the right one in red. A small blue dot moves away from the blue ship towards the red one.)
KLEINMAN: That's our hive there on the left.
SHEPPARD: "Our hive." It's weird.
(The blue dot reaches the red ship and merges with it.)
CALDWELL: The delegation's aboard. Now we wait.
ATLANTIS. LAB. Hermiod is working on a computer as Rodney walks across the room to another console.
McKAY: They didn't need you on the Daedalus?
HERMIOD: Colonel Caldwell believed my time was better spent disabling their jamming code.
McKAY: Huh! So, they can fly that ship without you.
HERMIOD: Yes. But apparently you cannot run these tests without me.
(Rodney turns away from his computer, irritated.)
McKAY: I'm sure I would have been fine.
(Hermiod looks at him, his eyes narrowed.)
HERMIOD: I am not as sure.
(Rodney looks away, annoyed.)
McKAY: Really? Well ... (He bends back down to his computer and types rapidly for a few seconds.) OK -- try it now.
(He straightens up and folds his arms smugly. Hermiod works for a few more seconds, then a message comes up on Rodney's screen saying, "SIMULATION SUCCESSFUL." Rodney turns to face Hermiod triumphantly.)
McKAY: Well, well(!) Turns out the human knows what he's doing after all.
HERMIOD (wearily): Indeed. Your assistance on this project will be noted.
McKAY (indignantly): My "assistance"?!
KLEINMAN: The delegation transport's returning to the friendly hive ahead of schedule.
(The H.U.D. shows the transport leaving the red ship. Suddenly the dot depicting the transport ship flares and then goes out.)
SHEPPARD: What was that?
KLEINMAN: The transport has been destroyed.
(Caldwell stands up and walks forward to join John.)
CALDWELL: That's not good.
KLEINMAN: Sir, Jumper Eight is reporting the enemy hive has opened fire. Friendly hive is sustaining serious damage.
SHEPPARD: If they get boarded, it's all over for Atlantis. They'll give us up for sure.
CALDWELL (returning to his seat as he gives orders to his crew): Jump to their position, shields at full, ready main rail guns, ready all missile batteries.
PILOT: Jumping into theatre now.
(As the Wraith ships exchange fire, Daedalus leaps out of hyperspace to join the battle. She swoops towards the enemy hive ship, firing at it. The enemy ship returns fire. Consoles and panels explode on the Daedalus Bridge.)
CALDWELL: Get that Jumper back into the Bay! We're not gonna be able to keep this up for long.
SHEPPARD: Think we'll give 'em enough time to jump ...?
KLEINMAN: Our hive is entering hyperspace.
(The 'friendly' hive ship jumps into hyperspace, leaving Daedalus to suffer the onslaught of the enemy ship alone.)
KLEINMAN: Jumper Eight has been recovered.
CALDWELL (to his pilot): Set course for Atlantis. Get us out of here!
(Still taking -- and returning -- fire from the enemy hive ship, Daedalus races away and enters hyperspace.)
ATLANTIS. The Hive Queen is reporting over the video link to the Control Room.
HIVE QUEEN: Our delegation was searched. They were killed immediately when your canisters were discovered. Our transport ship tried to escape but it was destroyed. You must devise a better delivery method.
WEIR: Or what?
HIVE QUEEN: Or we will disclose your location to the other Wraith.
WEIR: We kept our part of the bargain. We gave you the retrovirus.
HIVE QUEEN (angrily): And it is useless without an effective delivery system.
SHEPPARD: So we have to do everything?!
(The Queen doesn't reply, though her answer is obvious. Elizabeth and John simultaneously turn to Rodney, who sags wearily and sighs.)
McKAY (in a resigned voice): OK, OK. I will figure something out. (He points at the Queen.) But no more holding back. I wanna know everything there is to know about hive ships: schematics, power distribution, life support configurations, everything you've got.
HIVE QUEEN: Then you shall have it.
(Rodney looks startled.)
McKAY: For real?
(The Queen turns her head and nods to someone offscreen on her ship. Moments later, the technician's console beeps.)
TECHNICIAN: Receiving transmission.
WEIR: Make sure it's secure.
McKAY: Yeah-yeah-yeah, we're completely firewalled. (He runs over to the technician's station.) Let me see that.
(He shoves the technician out of the way. Sitting on a wheeled chair as he is, the technician rolls across the Control Room floor and disappears from view. Rodney stares at the computer screen in amazement as information scrolls across it.)
McKAY: Oh! (He turns to Elizabeth and John.) She actually did it! I mean, this is the motherlode!
WEIR: What is, exactly?
McKAY: Only everything you've ever wanted to know about Wraith technology but were afraid to ask. (He grins.)
(Elizabeth and John turn back to the video screen.)
WEIR: Why are you doing this?
HIVE QUEEN: We have suffered extensive damage.
(Elizabeth looks at John for a moment, then turns back to the screen.)
WEIR: We could render assistance.
HIVE QUEEN: You would do this?
WEIR: We're supposed to have an alliance, aren't we? Sending information on Wraith technology was a remarkable act of good faith on your part.
HIVE QUEEN: Your assistance would be ... acceptable.
WEIR: Alright, then. We have a deal.
LAB. As Radek and several other scientists work at various computers, John strolls in with a tray containing three mugs of coffee. One of the scientists takes a mug as John approaches Radek's table.
SHEPPARD: I know you guys have been burning it at both ends, so, uh ...
ZELENKA: Doctor Vogel just went to get us some.
(John puts the tray down on the table. A female lab assistant walks over and takes another mug.)
ASSISTANT: Thank you.
SHEPPARD (to Radek): Yeah, caught him on the way in.
(His eyes still on his computer screen, Radek reaches across for the last mug but John has already picked it up and takes a mouthful.)
SHEPPARD: How's it coming?
ZELENKA: Ah. Oh, it's-it's phenomenal. It's-it's like being handed a Wraith encyclopaedia. It's hard to know where to start.
SHEPPARD: When I was a kid and I got my first encyclopaedia, I started with the letter "S".
ZELENKA: Yes, well, while I'm sure that Wraith sexuality is interesting, we've decided to split into two teams. (He turns to his left.) Team A over here is trying to find the best place or places to plant the gas canister ... (he turns to his right) ... and Team B over there is trying to come up with some fixes for the damage that the Wraith hive sustained during its last battle.
SHEPPARD: And you?
ZELENKA: Um, mostly I'm just skimming the index.
SHEPPARD: Anything exciting?
ZELENKA: Oh, yes.
SHEPPARD: Such as?
ZELENKA: Well, the ships are massive ... (he shoves himself across the floor on his chair to another computer) ... but because of their mainly organic design, they have a number of external weaknesses.
SHEPPARD: I've got a weakness for external weaknesses.
ZELENKA: Any word from Rodney yet?
SHEPPARD: I'm sure he's fine.
(Radek looks up at him, concerned.)
HIVE SHIP. Rodney is on board, accompanied by Ronon. He runs a scanner over a wall, then turns to the male Wraith scientist.
McKAY: The organic base of a lot of your technology -- it's, uh, it's quite amazing. Very, um, resilient.
WRAITH: Many of the problems we encounter eventually heal themselves, yes, but there are smaller, more complex issues.
McKAY: Ah. Such as the programming code to make your old ships do new things?
WRAITH: Or bypassing inoperable systems, yes. It has been so long since we have fought a real battle. (It looks smug as it walks away.)
McKAY: Yes, well, I imagine I'd forget a lot in ten thousand years too. (He and Ronon follow after the Wraith.)
WRAITH: Before the civil war, there were Keepers who maintained the entire fleet, but they have made their own alliances.
DEX (insincerely): Sorry about that.
WRAITH: Without your help, this damage may have been irreparable.
McKAY: Ah, finally an alien race that appreciates me!
(The Wraith stops and turns to face the two men.)
WRAITH: Do you think we will be able to come up with an adequate delivery system for the retrovirus?
McKAY: Hmm. Well, I know that you don't know me, so you couldn't possibly know this, but ...
DEX: The short answer is yes.
WRAITH: This way.
(It puts its hand on Rodney's shoulder. Instantly Ronon grabs the Wraith and slams it against the wall, holding a knife to its throat.)
McKAY: Ronon, are you crazy?! Do you wanna get us killed?!
DEX (to the Wraith): You don't touch him.
McKAY: He was guiding me down the hall, not sucking the life out of my shoulder! (Ronon continues to glare at the Wraith as Rodney peers over his shoulder.) We are sorry. (To Ronon) Say you're sorry!
WRAITH: That will not be necessary. (Ronon releases it.) He was protecting his superior. I would have done the same.
DEX: He's not my superior.
McKAY: Certainly not in ... every sense.
WRAITH: My apologies.
DEX: You wanted to take us somewhere?
WRAITH: Please. This way. (It holds its hand out to show the way. Rodney and Ronon exchange a glance, then follow it down the hall.)
ATLANTIS. CONFERENCE ROOM. Rodney and John are standing at a screen showing part of the schematic of a Wraith hive ship as Rodney points to a particular place on the screen, explaining things to the Hive Queen who has returned to the city.
McKAY: That's your sweet spot. This central chamber scrubs the CO2 from your artificial atmosphere and redistributes it as breathable air to the rest of the ship. You get a sufficiently large canister of retrovirus into that central chamber, the whole ship'll be affected simultaneously.
HIVE QUEEN: Getting to this location without arousing suspicion will be very difficult.
WEIR (who is standing nearby): I'm sure it will be, but we can't really help you with that.
McKAY: Although the Colonel and I have come up with a way to test that theory. (John nods.) Step one: we find another enemy hive and jump to a location just out of its sensor range.
SHEPPARD: Step two: the Daedalus takes position in close proximity to your hive, essentially merging with your scan patterns, rendering it practically invisible to the enemy sensors.
McKAY: Step three: using sublight systems, our ships approach the target hive for ... whatever reason -- I'm sure you can come with something.
SHEPPARD: Step four: now that the Daedalus can use its beaming technology again ...
McKAY: ... which would be thanks to ... (he points to himself with both hands) ...
SHEPPARD: ... Anyway -- once we get in range, we can beam the canister into the CO2 chamber and boom! One hive ship de-Wraithified.
(He and Rodney each put their hands on their hips in an identical gesture of smugness. They smile, looking very pleased with themselves.)
HIVE QUEEN: Unacceptable.
McKAY: Excuse me?!
HIVE QUEEN: This plan keeps us completely reliant on you to disseminate the retrovirus.
SHEPPARD: It's meant to be a test to see if the gas works in the first place. If it does, you can come up with some other way to deliver it.
(The Queen looks at Elizabeth for a moment, considering her options, then looks back at the boys again, clearly not happy but having no choice.)
HIVE QUEEN: Very well. (She looks at Elizabeth again.) I'll transmit the coordinates to our new target as soon as I return to the hive. We'll leave as soon as you are ready.
(She leaves the room.)
SHEPPARD: What's a girl like her do for fun?
McKAY: Hmm. I should be on that hive when we do this.
WEIR: Excuse me?!
McKAY: I know it's uncharacteristically brave, but I've hacked a lot of their systems under the guise of repairing them. I've convinced them that I should be there to supervise their systems if anything goes wrong.
WEIR: And they agreed to this?
McKAY: Yes. Plus, now we can freely beam stuff on and off their ships ... (he takes a small device out of his pocket) ... I've written a programme that will immediately beam me out of there the second I activate this emergency transponder. (He smiles proudly as John folds his arms doubtfully.)
WEIR: You're sure you wanna do this?
McKAY: Of course I don't wanna do it! I just ... I think it should be done.
(John raises his finger.)
SHEPPARD: Ronon goes along.
McKAY (not entirely happily): Wouldn't have it any other way.
WEIR (to John): And I'd like you on the Daedalus.
SHEPPARD: No place I'd rather be.
WEIR: OK, good. Let's get this done. I'm about ready for our house guests to leave.
(Rodney pats John's shoulder, then heads off. John looks down at his shoulder and frowns suspiciously.)
SOME TIME LATER. LAB. As Radek stands and leans on a desk on his elbows, studying a laptop, the screen begins to flash on and off.
ZELENKA (to himself in Czech): Eh, what's that? What's that? What's going on?
(He looks up at a scientist standing nearby.)
ZELENKA (in English): Is your terminal ...?
(He looks around the room as the other laptop screens also start to flash and the main computer screen goes dark.)
ZELENKA (to himself in Czech): What the hell is that?
(Behind him, the female lab assistant turns to him.)
ASSISTANT: You need to see this.
(She shows him a computer tablet. Radek takes the tablet and stares at it in shock.)
ZELENKA: Oh no. (He looks at the assistant.) Tell me the Daedalus has not left yet.
HYPERSPACE. The Daedalus has indeed left. John walks onto the Bridge and goes over to Caldwell who is standing near the front windshield.
SHEPPARD: Are we there yet?
CALDWELL: Do you have any idea how difficult these manoeuvres are gonna be?
SHEPPARD: I'm guessing ... really difficult.
CALDWELL: We're gonna be flying so close to that hive ship, you'll be able to reach out and touch it. I'm gonna insist on a few practice runs before we approach the enemy.
SHEPPARD: I'm sure they're fine with that.
KLEINMAN: Coming out of hyperspace.
(As the ship starts to exit hyperspace, Caldwell turns to face Kleinman.)
CALDWELL: Get McKay on the radio. I wanna ...
(The moment Daedalus comes out of hyperspace she comes under a barrage of fire. The ship jolts under the impact. John is sent reeling and crashes to the floor against a console. Caldwell just about manages to keep his feet and throws himself into his chair as alarms sound.)
CALDWELL: Shields to maximum!
KLEINMAN: Decks one to seven in the forward section have decompressed and are venting atmosphere.
(John scrambles to his feet.)
CALDWELL (to Kleinman): Seal off those sections. Get a damage control team down there.
(The ship jolts again.)
SHEPPARD: Who's firing on us?
KLEINMAN: Two hive ships bearing down on our position, sir. One of them is the friendly.
(Behind them, a console explodes.)
SHEPPARD: Not so friendly.
CALDWELL: All main weapons: fire at will on both ships. Hermiod: stand by to beam warheads to the nearest hive ship.
SHEPPARD: It doesn't make any sense. Why break the alliance now? They don't even have the gas aboard the ship -- we do.
CALDWELL: That's not my concern right now. (He flinches as a bright light illuminates the Bridge as another blast hits the front of the ship.)
HERMIOD (in the Engine Room): Colonel Caldwell. This is Hermiod. The warheads are ready to deploy.
CALDWELL: Stand by 'til we reach optimal range.
SHEPPARD: You gotta give Ronon and McKay time to beam back aboard first.
CALDWELL: They've got until we reach weapons deployment range. If they can't activate their emergency transceivers by then, there's nothing we can do about it.
(From an external viewpoint, Daedalus fires volley after volley of rail gun fire at the two hive ships ahead of her as they pound her with their own fire.)
WRAITH SHIP. As the ship jolts under the impact of the fire from Daedalus, Rodney ducks down and Ronon draws his blaster and aims it back down the corridor. Ahead of them, the Wraith scientist strolls down the corridor, unconcerned.
McKAY: What was that? (To Ronon) Activate your transceiver.
(Ronon presses a device he has strapped around his wrist as Rodney presses the device he has attached to his jacket. Nothing happens.)
McKAY: Oh no!
(The Wraith turns and faces them as several guards walk around the corner. Ronon turns to face them and raises his blaster but is hit by a stunner blast. He buckles at the knees but tries to turn and fire on more guards approaching from the opposite direction. One of them shoots him with a second stunner blast and he crashes to the floor. Rodney turns to the scientist.)
McKAY: What are you doing?
(The Wraith strolls casually over to him.)
WRAITH: I am sorry, Doctor McKay. There's been a ... change in plans.
(He strolls off as the guards seize Rodney and march him away.)
DAEDALUS. The ship jolts under another volley.
CALDWELL: That's time.
SHEPPARD: You gotta give 'em a few more seconds.
CALDWELL: Sorry, Colonel, I can't do that. Hermiod -- deploy warheads when ready.
HERMIOD (from the Engine Room): Colonel Caldwell. Doctor McKay's code has failed to breach the Wraith counter measures. I am attempting another series of codes.
CALDWELL: Work as fast as you can -- this shield ain't gonna hold up forever.
SHEPPARD: With some 302s we might be able to take out the hyperdrive -- save us some time.
CALDWELL: Do it!
(John turns to run from the Bridge but ducks as more consoles explode.)
KLEINMAN: Shields are at sixty percent!
(John races from the Bridge.)
SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. Four F-302s fly out of the hangar and head towards the hive ships. John is piloting one of the 302s.
SHEPPARD (into comms): Delta Two, on my lead. Get ready to hit their stardrive.
DELTA TWO: I've got incoming.
SHEPPARD: Deltas Three and Four, try to keep these Darts off our six.
(As one of the 302s fires its missiles towards one of the hive ships, John puts his glider into a series of spins to avoid the weapons fire coming towards it, then levels out and heads towards the hive.)
WRAITH SHIP. FOOD STORAGE CHAMBER. Two guards push a semi-conscious Ronon into one of the cubicles. Two more guards push Rodney into the adjoining cubicle.
McKAY: Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa! Hold on -- we're supposed to be allies!
(The Wraith scientist approaches him.)
WRAITH: I'm afraid the alliance has been dissolved.
McKAY: D'you have any idea how much work I have put into all of this?! (The Wraith just looks at him. Rodney stares back at him indignantly.) I haven't slept in thirty six hours!
WRAITH: Perhaps it is better if you rest. (It takes a stunner pistol from one of the guards and shoots him.)
KLEINMAN: Shields are under twenty percent.
CALDWELL: Hermiod, what've you got for me?
HERMIOD (from the Engine Room): I cannot guarantee that I will be able to defeat the Wraith counter measures in sufficient time.
CALDWELL: Colonel Sheppard, get your flight back to the ship. We need to jump out of here as soon as possible.
(Out in space, John's F-302 has almost reached the hive ship.)
SHEPPARD: Two minutes. I can shut down their hyperdrive.
CALDWELL: Unless you can shut down their weapons, it's not gonna do us much good.
(In the 302, alarms sound as John's screen shows two ships behind him.)
(Two Darts approach the 302 from behind and start to fire at him.)
CALDWELL: Sheppard. Sheppard.
(There's no reply.)
KLEINMAN: I'm not gettin' anything, sir.
CALDWELL: Prepare to jump on my mark.
KLEINMAN: Sir! The hives are opening hyperspace windows.
(Caldwell stares out of the windshield as the two hive ships disappear into hyperspace. He stands and walks to the front of the Bridge.)
CALDWELL: Why the hell'd they do that?
KLEINMAN: Three of our 302s are returning to Daedalus, sir.
KLEINMAN: His fighter isn't one of them. The only contacts I have on screen are ... wreckage.
CALDWELL: What about his locator beacon?
KLEINMAN: No, nothing, sir. He's just gone.
(Caldwell looks away.)
CALDWELL: Understood. (He gazes out of the windshield.) Set course for Atlantis.
ATLANTIS. ELIZABETH'S OFFICE.
ZELENKA: We got hacked. Within the hive ship's schematics was a worm-like computer virus.
WEIR: Your people went over the data.
ZELENKA: I know. We thought it was clean, but this virus was entirely different.
WEIR: What did it do?
ZELENKA: It very selectively probed our systems without damaging them or exposing itself.
BECKETT: I don't understand. If you didn't find it and it didn't reveal itself ...
ZELENKA: Once the hive left Atlantis, the worm began to destroy all of the data they had sent down.
TEYLA: Then this was their plan all along.
WEIR (to Radek): What did they get?
ZELENKA: This is one of the reasons we didn't detect it. They only uploaded two pieces of information: one -- the Aurora mission reports ...
WEIR: OK. And two?
ZELENKA: The location of every world on our database.
(Elizabeth stares at him in horror.)
HYPERSPACE. The hive ships fly along side by side. Inside the so-called 'friendly' hive, Ronon has regained consciousness and is struggling against the bonds that now hold him inside the cubicle. He turns his head towards Rodney in the next cubicle, who is similarly trapped.
DEX: You OK?
(Rodney is hyperventilating.)
McKAY: No. No, I think this is the most not OK I have ever been.
(The Wraith scientist walks over to them. It stops at Ronon's cubicle. Ronon struggles to hurl himself towards it.)
WRAITH: I see you have awakened.
McKAY: Really? I was sort of hoping this was just a nightmare.
DEX (glaring at the Wraith): Why aren't we dead?
(The Wraith moves to stand in front of Rodney.)
WRAITH: The Queen wants you to live long enough to witness the fruits of your labour. If it wasn't for you, Doctor McKay, we would never have been able to get there.
McKAY: What are you talking about? Get where?
(The Wraith leans forward and looks into Rodney's eyes.)
TO BE CONTINUED