Summary | Production | Transcript

The Atlantis team finds a culture that lives in relative safety from the Wraith, because they hand over their criminals to the Wraith – and crash-land in the volatile penal colony.

DVD DISC: Season 2, Disc 2
DIRECTED BY: Peter DeLuise
STORY BY: Sean Carley
TELEPLAY BY: Carl Binder
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Transcript by Callie Sullivan

ALIEN PLANET. A Puddle Jumper flies through the open Gate and flies over the landscape. Team Sheppard -- Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard, Doctor Rodney McKay, Teyla Emmagan and Ronon Dex -- is on board.

SHEPPARD: Look familiar?

DEX: No.

TEYLA: Me either. I do not believe I have been to this planet before.

McKAY: There's no sign of any settlements -- at least, nothing recent.

DEX (pointing): Other than the smoke from that campfire.

McKAY: Ah. Yes, well. I mean, other than that.

(Teyla turns and looks at Ronon who grins. She looks away, hiding a smile.)

SHEPPARD: We'll land within a few hundred yards.

SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. The Jumper has landed and the team walks through the camp. It has several very dilapidated and botched-together looking shacks surrounding a central area, and the place is littered with debris. There doesn't appear to be anybody around, although the fire that Ronon spotted is still smoking.

McKAY: It's primitive -- definitely primitive. Probably not even worth making contact. What is that smell?

SHEPPARD (calling out): Hello!

TEYLA: It appears they left in a hurry.

SHEPPARD: Not used to friendlies coming out of the Gate.

(Ronon has strolled over to the fire and bends down to the pot over it. He lifts up the wooden spoon in the pot.)

McKAY: What are you ... oh my God, he's tasting it! You don't know what that is -- that could be their laundry!

DEX (having already taken a mouthful): Very good!

McKAY: Oh yes, good idea! And when you're finished with their porridge, why don't we try their beds, hmm?

(Ronon bites into something before offering it to Teyla.)

DEX: Want some?

(Teyla turns away.)

McKAY (to Ronon): How good is it?

SHEPPARD: Leave it be, Goldilocks.

(Suddenly a flurry of arrows is fired at them.)

DEX: Get down!

(They dive for hiding places as the arrows impact the ground all around them.)

SHEPPARD: Take cover!

(One of the arrows smashes through Ronon's left ankle. The team ducks down as a group of men break out of the cover of the bushes, duck behind some cover and start firing slingshots at them. The men are dirty, dishevelled and dressed in scruffy leather. Whatever is in the slingshots explodes as the missiles impact near the team.)

SHEPPARD: What the hell's in those slingshots?!

(The team returns fire. Rodney looks round at Ronon and sees the arrow sticking out of his leg.)

McKAY: You alright?

DEX: I'm fine. (He snaps off the back end of the arrow, grunting in pain, and pulls the rest of it through his leg.)

SHEPPARD (calling out): You know, this is not a good way to make new friends! But we'll leave if you want us to! (He waits for a moment but the men don't reply. He turns to his team.) I'll take that as a yes. Let's go back to the Jumper. Teyla, you're on point; I'll take the six; McKay, help Ronon.

DEX: Don't worry about me.

SHEPPARD: I'm a worrier -- let the man give you a hand.

(They stand and start to move away, but one of the men, Torrell, promptly calls out to his colleagues.)


(They all start firing their slingshots at the team again. The team returns fire. It looks like a stand-off, but moments later everybody looks up as a small craft, about the same size as the Jumper, flies in and hovers over the campsite. It lowers some jets and manoeuvres so that the blast from the jets is aimed at the locals, blowing some of them off their feet. John sees his opportunity.)

SHEPPARD: Alright, move! Move!

(They get up and race off, Ronon limping heavily. Torrell, frustrated, watches them go. The team reaches the Jumper, runs inside and John jumps into the pilot's seat and gets the Jumper into the air.)

SHEPPARD: Everyone in one piece?

DEX: Yeah -- thanks to that ship. (He stands up to get a better look at the ship but Teyla makes him sit down again.)

TEYLA: Be still. (She bends down to look at his leg.)

SHEPPARD: Yeah, I like their timing.

McKAY: No kidding! Did you see that thing?!

SHEPPARD: Yeah, I saw that thing!

VOICE (over comms): Unidentified ship. This is the security vessel Poros. Follow us immediately and we will lead you to the city.

SHEPPARD: That's good, Poros. Thanks for the help back there. (He turns to the others.) That's how you make new friends!

LATER. The team has arrived at a modern-looking city (by Earth standards) and is being escorted by the security team. A woman comes to greet them.

MARIN: Welcome to Olesia. I am Marin.

SHEPPARD: Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard. (He introduces the others.) Teyla Emmagan, Doctor Rodney McKay, Ronon Dex.

MARIN: Please, follow me. (They start to walk.) I sent a security detachment as soon as we detected your presence on the island. The prisoners there can be quite hostile.

SHEPPARD: Yeah, we definitely got off on the wrong foot.

TEYLA: Prisoners?

MARIN: Yes. The island is a penal colony. The prisoners usually don't cause much trouble, as long as you don't try to land there.

McKAY: Well, you could put up a sign!

TEYLA: The Stargate is on the island. Does this not affect your ability to trade with other worlds?

MARIN: Yes, of course. As a result, we have needed to be almost entirely self-sufficient.

SHEPPARD: Then why put a prison there?

MARIN: I believe the Magistrate is better suited to answer these questions. He is very eager to meet you.

SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. The team has moved inside an administrative building and is meeting with the Magistrate. Right from the start he sounds completely insincere in everything he says, and his clearly fake fawning attitude towards the team seems to get John's back up, as he acts just as insincere whenever he speaks.

MAGISTRATE: Your ship is a most intriguing design. I must admit I'm surprised to find others in this galaxy whose technology rivals our own -- aside from the Wraith, I mean.

McKAY: It's funny -- I was about to make the exact same comment.

MAGISTRATE: Where do you come from?

SHEPPARD: Until recently, uh, Atlantis.

MAGISTRATE: The ancestral city.

SHEPPARD: Yeah. Unfortunately it was destroyed by the Wraith a short time ago.

MAGISTRATE: How tragic.

SHEPPARD: Yeah, we're pretty broken up about it.

TEYLA: We are part of a small group of people that were able to escape.

MAGISTRATE: How fortunate for you.

McKAY: Yes, yes, yes, yes, very fortunate. Look -- getting back to the technologies thing. I'm just curious: how've you been able to make such advancements without the Wraith stepping in?

MAGISTRATE: The Wraith have chosen to leave us alone.

(John glances suspiciously at his colleagues before turning back to the Magistrate.)


MAGISTRATE: I don't know.

DEX: They've never come here?

MAGISTRATE: The Wraith have been here many times, but with the Ancestral Ring on the island, the Wraith have always been ... how shall I put this? ... satiated with the prisoners living there. (Rodney looks sick and glances round at John.) The Wraith have no need to venture any further.

SHEPPARD: Well, that would explain why you put the prison there.

MAGISTRATE: The island has been a penal colony for hundreds of years. Its location there has benefited my people greatly.

SHEPPARD: Not all your people.

MAGISTRATE: I assure you only the most violent criminals are sent there -- as you discovered. (He gestures down to Ronon's ankle.)

DEX: It's a good crime deterrent.

MAGISTRATE: Crime is virtually non-existent on Olesia. Unlike the prisoners, we pride ourselves on being a most hospitable and civilised people.

(The team looks uncomfortable.)

SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. The Magistrate is leading the team through the city.

MAGISTRATE: This section of the city is devoted to scientific research. Our scientists have recently attained success in the enrichment of a fissionable, yet non-radioactive, material to be used in generating power for the city.

McKAY: Fissionable yet non-radioactive? Well, that-that-that-that, is that even possible? What kind of material is it?

MAGISTRATE: It's an ore extracted from a mineral found on our planet. It's quite volatile, but it yields great promise. I'd be very happy to show you the laboratory.

McKAY: I'd be very happy to see it.

SHEPPARD: I'd be very happy to go back to our ship. Our people are due to check in with us in a little while over the radio. We'll have to get back within range.

MAGISTRATE: You can link with one of our radio relay stations. There should be enough power to reach the island, if that's your concern.

SHEPPARD: So we'll be speaking privately?

MAGISTRATE: Of course!

ATLANTIS. Doctor Elizabeth Weir is in the Control Room, talking with John over the radio via the Stargate.

WEIR: And you believe they might be willing to share some of this mineral?

SHEPPARD: Well, they seem open to it. They don't get many trading opportunities coming through the Gate.

WEIR: Sounds promising.

(The view switches to the offworld team. They're in a large sumptuous room. While John talks with Elizabeth, the others are investigating the room. Both Ronon and Rodney are paying particular attention to the food and fruit that has been laid out for them. Ronon is stuffing items of food into his pockets.)

SHEPPARD: There is, however, the minor moral hiccup of their form of capital punishment.

WEIR: I'm sorry?

McKAY: They have an island. It's their own version of Alcatraz where they send their worst criminals.

SHEPPARD: And the Gate is on the island, so ...

WEIR: ... so the Wraith feed on the prisoners.


WEIR: Talk about cruel and unusual punishment.

McKAY: I prefer lethal injection, although I do have a certain fondness for the electric chair. Call me romantic.

(John smiles.)

DEX: The Wraith get what they want, the Olesians get left alone. Surprised it works.

SHEPPARD: He did, however, say that only the most violent criminals get sent there, and that it has been this way for hundreds of years.

TEYLA: Do you kill all your violent criminals on Earth?

McKAY: Certain countries, yes.

SHEPPARD: Do we need to get into this right now?

WEIR: Well, we do if we plan on doing business with these people. I wanna know more before I jump to any conclusions.

LATER. The team returns to the Magistrate's office.

SHEPPARD: We were able to speak with our people -- thank you.

MAGISTRATE: Of course!

SHEPPARD: If you're open to it, we'd like to discuss possible trade opportunities.

MAGISTRATE: We are very open. I'm sure there's much that we can learn from each other.

SHEPPARD: Well, Doctor Elizabeth Weir will be the one to begin official negotiations with you -- that's really her thing.

MAGISTRATE: I am looking forward to meeting her, and the start of a promising friendship.

PUDDLE JUMPER. The team is flying back over an ocean towards the island.

McKAY: Seriously, am I the only one creeped out by that guy?

SHEPPARD: They're politicians, Rodney -- they're all creepy.

(As the Jumper approaches the island, it is being watched through a telescope by Torrell. He calls out to the people around him.)

TORRELL: Prepare to fire!

(The prisoners load what look like large cannonballs into metal cylinders which are pointing skywards. Some of the prisoners lower burning branches towards the firing mechanism.)

(In the Jumper)

McKAY: Margaret Thatcher wasn't creepy. OK -- well, maybe a little. She actually resembled an aunt of mine -- same hairstyle, facial structure, only my aunt was much taller, and remarkably hirsute. Oddest thing: she had to shave twice a day.

(On the island)


(The ‘cannons' fire into the sky. The Jumper jolts.)

TEYLA: What was that?

(Up ahead of the Jumper, something explodes in the air.)

SHEPPARD: They're shooting at us.

TEYLA: The prisoners?

McKAY: With what?!

DEX: Cloak the ship.

SHEPPARD: I can't -- we took some damage. We'll be lucky to make it to the Gate.

McKAY: Well, how close are we?

SHEPPARD: Close enough to dial.

(Teyla promptly starts to dial. On the island, the ‘cannons' continue to fire. One of the missiles explodes near enough to throw the Jumper around.)

DEX: That was close.

SHEPPARD: Get ready to send an I.D.C.

(More missiles explode around the Jumper.)

SHEPPARD: I've lost control systems. Hang on.

(The Jumper plunges groundwards, smoke trailing from one of the engine pods. The prisoners cheer as they watch it go past.)

TORRELL: Have at them!

(The prisoners run off in the direction the Jumper is heading.)

PUDDLE JUMPER. The dust is settling around the site of the crash landing. Inside, everyone has been winded and thrown around by the impact. Teyla drags herself to her feet and turns to look at Ronon, who is groaning but recovering and who nods to her. She turns to Rodney.

TEYLA: Are you alright?

McKAY (with his hand at his mouth): I think I chipped a tooth. Did I chip a tooth? Am I bleeding? Because I am at high risk of enterocarditis.

(Teyla turns to the front of the cockpit again, where John is slowly pulling himself together.)

TEYLA: John?

SHEPPARD: That was, uh, not one of my better landings. Sorry.

DEX: The Gate should still be active for a few minutes.

SHEPPARD: Alright, let's go.

(He opens the rear door of the Jumper and everyone hurries out, Rodney still poking around in his mouth. As they walk down the ramp, prisoners whoop as they run towards them, surrounding them and aiming slingshots and bows and arrows at them or wielding large clubs. John realises that they are seriously outgunned (or, rather, outweaponed) and gestures to Ronon to lower his blaster. Ronon reluctantly and angrily raises his hands in surrender.)

SHEPPARD: Hi, folks. I hope I didn't crash-land on anybody.

CAMP. Torrell and his fellow prisoners have apparently removed everything they can carry from the Jumper and are investigating what they've got. Torrell lifts a P90 and fires it into the air, then makes one of the prisoners move out the way as he fires another burst at the nearby pond. Another prisoner lifts up a rocket launcher, aiming it at the same spot that Torrell just fired at. He presses the button and the rocket fires -- out of the other end of the launcher, flying out behind them and blowing up a shack. The explosion knocks several of the prisoners to the ground. As the shack's remains burn fiercely, everybody gets up and laughs as the prisoner wields the launcher triumphantly.

ANOTHER SHACK. Each member of the team has his or her arms strapped around a horizontal large stick and is sitting on the ground with his/her arms, waist and neck tied to an upright pole with leather straps. Torrell, carrying Ronon's blaster, and some of his cronies come into the shack.

SHEPPARD: You should know our people are expecting us. If we don't show up soon, they'll come looking for us.

TORRELL: Is that supposed to concern me?

SHEPPARD: Don't go getting all full of yourself, chief. A few cannons are no match for the kind of firepower they'll be bringing with them -- although I should compliment whoever took that first shot. It was a good one.

TORRELL: Yeah, it was nice, wasn't it?

TEYLA: What do you want from us?

TORRELL: Well, we've already got your weapons. Now I do believe we'll take your ship. You see, we had been planning a little trip to the mainland, but after seeing you fly that thing through the Ancestral Ring ...

McKAY: You're referring to the ship you just shot down, the one that doesn't stand a hope in hell of ever flying again.

TORRELL: The ship that you're gonna fix, yes.

McKAY: What am I, MacGuyver? Fix it with what?

TORRELL (to one of his cronies): Get him up. (The crony hauls Rodney to his feet.) You seem like a smart man. I'm sure you'll think of something. Maybe all you need is a little motivation.

(He fires the blaster towards Rodney. The shot goes past him and blows a huge hole in the back of the shack.)

SHEPPARD: Maybe you should think about fixing it, Rodney.

McKAY: Good idea.

TORRELL: My friends all tell me I have a remarkable gift for persuasion.

(He strolls out of the shack as one of the prisoners starts to untie Rodney.)

ATLANTIS. CONTROL ROOM. Elizabeth comes over to talk to the Canadian technician.

WEIR: What happened?

TECHNICIAN: The Gate activated but nothing came through.

WEIR: Colonel Sheppard?

TECHNICIAN: So we assume. We received no I.D.C. -- a few moments later, the Gate shuts down.

WEIR: They should have returned by now. Dial the planet and try to establish a radio link.

TECHNICIAN: Yes, ma'am.

(Elizabeth activates her radio.)

WEIR: Major Lorne, this is Weir.

LORNE (over radio): Go ahead.

WEIR: I may have to go offworld to assist Colonel Sheppard. I'd like you to assemble a team and have a Puddle Jumper ready to go.

LORNE: Yes, ma'am.

CAMP. As prisoners continue to rummage through what they took from the Jumper, inside the shack all three of the team are struggling to get free.

SHEPPARD: Anyone having any luck?

DEX: Not yet.

TEYLA: These bindings are very secure.

SHEPPARD: Well, leave it to convicts to know the best way to tie people up.

DEX (continuing to struggle): Well, eventually I will get free and when I do, he's gonna pay for this.

SHEPPARD: Now listen to me. When you get free, you get us free and we all get out of here. Let ‘em find out we're gone after we're gone.

DEX: You're expecting me to let them get away with this?

SHEPPARD: The operative words are “get away”.

DEX: After I kill them.

SHEPPARD: That type of thinking will get us killed.

DEX: Well, if you had returned fire ...

SHEPPARD: The weapons systems were damaged.

DEX: If you say so.

SHEPPARD: I do say so, and right now I'm saying knock it off.

DEX: Is that an order, Sheppard?

SHEPPARD (laughing ruefully): I am beat up, tied up, and couldn't order a pizza right now if I wanted to. But if you need it to be, yeah -- it's an order.

DEX: ... OK.


McKAY: There is no power getting to any of these controls, you understand? Look, nothing.

TORRELL: Why not?

McKAY: Let me go out on a limb here and say that maybe it had something to do with the crash? Which of course begs the question: how the hell'd you get your hands on explosives?

TORRELL: Eldon made them. He fashioned a composite out of minerals and materials he found around the island. Crude, yes, but effective. We shot you down, didn't we?

McKAY: Eldon. Who's Eldon?

ELDON: That would be me.

(Rodney turns to face the man who just spoke, who waves at him. He looks even scruffier than the others.)

McKAY: You're a prisoner?

ELDON: I was accused of killing someone ...

TORRELL: He's a scientist.

ELDON: ... but it was a case of mistaken identity.

TORRELL: Tell you what, Eldon, you can tell him your whole life story. Just help him fix the ship.

McKAY: Look, I don't know what you expect me to do. I don't have any of the proper diagnostic tools, not to mention the fact that ... (He trails off as Torrell raises his hand and wiggles his fingers in a ‘yack-yack-yack' gesture.)

TORRELL: You'll figure it out.

McKAY: And if I don't?

TORRELL: Well, I could kill you. But you strike me as the type of man who, despite being weak and cowardly on the outside, harbours a strength of character he doesn't even know he has.

McKAY: I'm sorry -- was there a compliment in there?

TORRELL: See, the way to motivate a man like you, Mr McKay, is not to threaten your life; it's to threaten the lives of your friends. (Rodney stares at him.) That's right. Fix the ship, otherwise they start dying, one after another, ‘til you change your mind, or until they're all dead. I don't care.

(He leaves the ship, gesturing to one of his colleagues to guard the exit. Rodney stares at him and at Eldon for a moment, then reaches up and pulls open a panel in the ship.)

ATLANTIS. Elizabeth comes on board one of the Jumpers. Major Lorne is already in the pilot's seat and two other marines are also on board.

WEIR: All set?

LORNE: Ready to go. Still no word from them?

WEIR: Nothing.

LORNE: Don't worry, we'll find them.

WEIR (sitting down): I was hoping to negotiate a trade agreement -- now I'm worried I'm gonna have to negotiate their release.

LORNE: We don't know that.

(Elizabeth looks at him and nods in gratitude for his attempt at reassuring her.)

WEIR: Dial the Gate -- but go to stealth mode the moment we're through.

(Lorne starts dialling.)

OLESIA ISLAND. The Gate kawhooshes. The Jumper flies through and immediately vanishes as the cloak engages. Nearby, two of them men guarding the Jumper run out and stare at the sky but can see nothing. They shrug to each other as the Gate closes down again.

(Inside the Jumper, Eldon takes out a piece of crystal panel from the wall and stares at it. Despite Torrell's assertion that Eldon is a scientist, his manner of speech implies that he's not very bright.)

ELDON: The technology on this ship is far more advanced than the Olesians'.

McKAY: How ironic, then, to have been shot down by the cast of Braveheart. (He looks round at Eldon, snatches the crystal panel off him and puts it in his pocket.)

ELDON: Well, I'm surprised we were able to shoot you down.

McKAY: It's the old low-tech versus high-tech argument, I suppose.

ELDON: We've been working on those weapons for years.

McKAY: Yes, well, well done, good for them, huh? Now, are you gonna continue talking, or, uh ... (Eldon blinks at him and says nothing.) Thank you. (He works on the panel for a moment, then looks round to see Eldon holding up another crystal panel and looking at it. He snatches it off him.) Oh, give me that! See, where did that come from?

CAMP. Torrell is rummaging through the gear taken from the Jumper. He picks up a radio and presses a button, only to hear a burst of static from somewhere nearby. He presses the button again and listens to hear where the static came from, eventually tracking down a second radio near his feet. He presses the button again to confirm the source of the sound, then looks round at the shack thoughtfully.

PUDDLE JUMPER. Rodney is still working on the panel. He looks round and sees Eldon watching him intently and in fascination. Eldon notices that Rodney is looking at him and turns away. Rodney gets back to working on the panel.

McKAY: Those cannons. Your design?

ELDON: No, no, no ... well, I chose the material and helped calculate trajectories ... the ignition mechanisms ... and the fuses, of course ... (Rodney turns to stare at him) but most of my efforts went into fashioning the explosive shots.

McKAY: Ah, explosives. (He turns back to work on the panel.) Is that how you killed a man?

ELDON: No, I didn't kill him. I'm innocent. I don't belong here.

McKAY: Hmm, really? I wonder if there's ever been a convicted felon who didn't claim he was innocent?

ELDON: I don't care if you don't believe me. I just want off this island.

(Rodney takes a crystal panel out of the panel he was working on.)

McKAY: Oh no.

ELDON: What is it?

McKAY: I assume there's no D.H.D. beside the Stargate? (Eldon looks at him blankly.) Uh, the Ancestral Ring. Is there some kind of a dialling device that turns it on?

ELDON: No. Nothing.

McKAY: Ah, of course. Why give the prisoners such an obvious means of escape?

ELDON: What's wrong?

McKAY: The main power distribution conduit's been damaged. It effectively cuts all the power to the primary systems: drive pods, cockpit controls, D.H.D., hmm?

ELDON: Can you fix it?

McKAY: Easily -- if I had a replacement. Without one, you and your friends aren't going anywhere.

ELDON: Neither are you. If you don't fix the ship, Torrell's gonna make sure you're the first the Wraith find at the next culling.

SHACK. Rodney, his arms tied around a stick again and his wrists tied to a strap around his waist, is brought into the shack by Torrell and some others.

TORRELL: Choose.

McKAY: Choose what?

TORRELL: Which one of them dies first. Do it.

(Rodney stares at his team.)

McKAY: I can't do that.

TORRELL: Well then I'll choose for you. Either way, one of them dies unless you change your mind about fixing that ship.

McKAY: I'm sorry, but there are some things beyond my capability.

TORRELL: I don't believe you.

McKAY: I know it is hard to believe, but ...

TORRELL: No, I mean I think you're lying.

McKAY: I'm not! It's broken! D'you understand broken?

TORRELL: I know your type. You whine and you complain and you see to it that your every task is viewed as some impossible achievement so that when you do succeed, your gargantuan efforts are viewed as all the more heroic.

McKAY: That may be true in some cases, but this is not one of them. You are asking me to do the impossible.

TORRELL: Your friends' lives are in your hands. I'll give you some time to choose.

(He leaves the shack. One of the prisoners takes Rodney back to where he was previously tied, and ties him up again before leaving. Eldon wanders over.)

ELDON: Listen to him, McKay. He's killed eleven people. Eight before he was sent here, and three since he's been on the island.

McKAY: Eleven, huh? You've got some catching up to do, don't you? (To the others) He's only killed one.

SHEPPARD (disbelieving): Who, him?

ELDON: I told you I'm here because of a mistake.

DEX: I'm sure everyone here on this island says that.

ELDON: Well, as a matter of fact, some of us are innocent. Only a few like Torrell are actual murderers.

TEYLA: You mean they put all their criminals here, regardless of the crimes they commit?

ELDON: Once only the worst of the worst was sent here, but the punishment proved to be such a successful deterrent that crime rates in Olesia plummeted, which meant fewer and fewer prisoners.

TEYLA: Less food for the Wraith.

ELDON: Exactly.

SHEPPARD: So they lowered the bar.

(Eldon nods.)

OLESIA CITY. Elizabeth and her team are walking with the Magistrate and Marin.

MAGISTRATE: They have not returned to the planet?

WEIR: No, and we haven't been able to establish radio contact with them either.

MAGISTRATE: They didn't return to the city. Perhaps they travelled through the Ring to another planet.

WEIR: No. They would have radioed first.

MARIN: Something must have happened on the island. I'll alert our security teams -- have them begin a search.

LORNE: We'll join them.

MAGISTRATE: I would advise against that.

WEIR: Would you?

MAGISTRATE: The island is extremely dangerous. Our ships are heavily armoured. We know the terrain, as well as the prisoners' tactics. Don't worry -- we'll find them.

WEIR: I hope you do, Magistrate -- for all our sakes.

MAGISTRATE: Of course.

(He and his people move off as Elizabeth and Lorne exchange suspicious glances.)

ISLAND. CAMP. In the shack, Ronon is groaning and grunting as he strains at his restraints.

DEX: I think they're loosening! (He grunts again as he strains harder.)

SHEPPARD: Take it easy, Chewie -- you're gonna cut your damned hands off.

TEYLA: The more we struggle, the tighter the bindings get.

(Behind them, one of the metal panels that forms the wall of the shack is tugged aside, and Eldon crawls in and moves round to face the four of them.)

ELDON: You need something like this. (He holds up a small knife.)

McKAY: What about the guards?

ELDON: They stepped away. No-one's watching.

TEYLA: Will you help us?

ELDON: If you'll help me.


ELDON: Fix the ship, let me leave with you.

McKAY: Oh for God's sake! How many times do I have to tell you ...

ELDON: I know you can do it. I could see it in your eyes when you were working that you were holding something back from us.

SHEPPARD (sternly): Rodney?

McKAY: Nobody could fix it. (To Eldon) I don't care who you think I am, or what you think you saw in my eyes, but it is totally, completely impossible.

ELDON: Torrell and his men are gonna return soon.

SHEPPARD: He'll fix it.

McKAY: I just said I couldn't!

SHEPPARD: You really suck at lying, Rodney. (To Eldon) We have a deal.

McKAY: There is one slight possibility.

SHEPPARD (to Eldon): See?!

McKAY: I won't actually be able to fix the ship to fly out of here but I may be able to cobble together enough power from secondary systems to activate the D.H.D. That way we can dial the Gate and leave on foot. And when I say “might”, I mean probably not. It's a long shot at best -- I'd have to bypass the main power distribution ...

SHEPPARD (to Eldon): Get us outta here.

(Eldon goes to Ronon first and cuts his hands free. The moment he does, Ronon grabs the knife off him, seizes him by the arm and holds the knife against Eldon's throat.)

ELDON: What are you doing?!

DEX: Give me one reason why I shouldn't cut your throat.

SHEPPARD: Well, one, it would make a mess. Look, we made a deal. Just let him go.

(Ronon glares at Eldon for a few moments longer, then shoves him onto his back and cuts himself free before getting up and cutting John free. He then goes over to Rodney and bends down to cut the strap around his waist.)

McKAY: Careful, careful.

DEX: Suck it up.

(He cuts him free, then goes to Teyla to release her. John crawls to the gap at the back of the shack, checks to make sure nobody's around, then everyone crawls out. When they're gone, the camera pans across the shack to show a radio concealed in some rags on the floor. Its Transmit button is taped down.)

FOREST. The five of them are making their way towards the Jumper. John holds up his hand and crouches down. The others follow suit.

DEX: Why are we stopping?

SHEPPARD: This is way too easy. Alright, stay close and (he looks pointedly at Rodney) stay quiet. (He stands up and moves off as the others follow.)

McKAY: What?! (To Teyla) Why did say that to me?!

(Teyla shoves him onwards. The team makes its way nearer to the Jumper, then takes cover at the edge of the clearing and checks the area. They can see prisoners lurking in the trees nearby. John looks round at Eldon.)

ELDON: I didn't know anything about this, I swear.

TEYLA: We will never be able to make it to the Jumper -- they have our weapons.

DEX: We don't need weapons.

McKAY: What about the fact they seriously outnumber us?

SHEPPARD: At least we've got the element of surprise.

DEX: I was beginning to think you were afraid to fight.

SHEPPARD: No. I'm just naturally lazy, but I will if I have to -- and it's starting to look like we have to. (To Rodney) How much time do you need to rework the D.H.D.?

McKAY: Well, in a perfect world, two days.


McKAY: Right now -- ten minutes, give or take.

SHEPPARD: Alright, we need to create a diversion. We split up and flank ‘em. Get ‘em looking everywhere except the Jumper. Hopefully we can buy enough time to steal back our weapons.

(Everyone looks round as the sound of the Gate dialling can be heard.)

SHEPPARD: ... or we could just dial the Gate.

TEYLA: They fixed the D.H.D.?

McKAY: That's impossible.

SHEPPARD: I don't think they're the ones who dialled it.

(The prisoners run out of their hiding places and race away from the Gate. The all-too-familiar sound of a Wraith Dart is heard as it swoops out of the Gate.)

SHEPPARD: Get down!

(Everybody ducks out of sight. The Dart heads off, and the Gate can be heard closing down.)

ELDON: They didn't see us.

DEX: Or saw us and didn't care.

McKAY: Why not?

(John looks up and sees the prisoners fleeing.)

SHEPPARD: Who cares? They left the Jumper.

(They all jump up and head for the Jumper.)

OLESIA CITY. The Magistrate and Marin are reporting to Elizabeth and her team.

MAGISTRATE: I'm afraid the news is not good. Our rescue teams had just begun their search on the island when the Ancestral Ring activated.

WEIR: The Wraith?

MAGISTRATE: It appears a culling is under way. We're not sure how many ships are involved but our teams were forced to fall back. I'm not giving up hope. I'll send teams back in the moment the Wraith are gone. Hopefully, your friends will have evaded the culling. I must attend to this. (He bows and leaves.)

A DINING ROOM IN THE CITY. The Magistrate pours some wine into a goblet.

MAGISTRATE: I apologise for my tardiness. I had an urgent matter to attend to -- a matter which could ultimately benefit us both.

(He hands the goblet to his guest who we now see for the first time. It's a Wraith.)

WRAITH: In that case ... (it takes the goblet and inhales the aroma of the wine) ... apology accepted. (It drinks, and smiles.) Exceptional as always. I think this is my favourite vintage yet.

(The Magistrate, holding his own goblet, sits at the opposite end of the table, on which is spread a meal.)

MAGISTRATE: I hope you find the food acceptable as well. My new chef is quite accomplished.

WRAITH: I certainly hope so. Your previous chef unfortunately proved to be far more appetising than the meals he prepared.

(The Magistrate laughs nervously. The Wraith puts a forkful of food in its mouth and snarls appreciatively.)

MAGISTRATE: I must admit, I still find it intriguing to watch you eat actual food.

WRAITH: Our lineage may have diverged, but there are those of us who still retain an appreciation for finer things. (It lifts another forkful of food and looks at it.) And although it may provide a moment's pleasure, it does not sustain me. (It puts the fork down, stands and walks closer to the Magistrate.) This arrangement I have made with you and your predecessors has served both of us well. While others of my kind have been forced to sleep between cullings, I have enjoyed a steady stream of humans for my consumption -- and the taste of their defiance is sweet. You, in return, have been allowed to live in peace.

MAGISTRATE: We thank you for that.

WRAITH: But, throughout the galaxy, hives continue to wake in far greater numbers than are sustainable, and with a hunger that is most pressing.

MAGISTRATE: I assure you that I have put measures in place to augment the population of the island.

WRAITH: Then why is it there are even fewer inhabits on the island? Others of my kind would have destroyed your entire planet. But I am more civilised than that.

MAGISTRATE: I thank you for your generosity.

WRAITH: Still -- there are interests which must be served. There are many Wraith who hunger -- and I have promised to provide for them. The decision you are now faced with is: on whom shall we feed?

MAGISTRATE (terrified): Your needs shall be met. You have my promise.

WRAITH: Good. I would hate to see anything happen to you. I do so enjoy our dinners together. (It grins at the Magistrate, then snarls.)

PUDDLE JUMPER. Ronon is standing outside keeping watch. He listens as a Dart swoops past nearby, then we hear the Stargate close. Ronon runs inside the Jumper to report.

DEX: The Dart went back through the Gate.

TEYLA: I do not know why it did not cull anyone.

DEX: Maybe it did. It headed to the mainland when it first came through.

SHEPPARD: Alright, keep watch. (Ronon heads outside again.) How's it coming, Rodney?

McKAY (lying on the floor with his head under a control panel): Slower than I expected, but faster than humanly possible.

SHEPPARD: Any chance of getting the cloaking generator powered up too? Could really come in handy right about now.

McKAY: OK, and how about a snack? Maybe you'd like me to make you a nice sandwich?

SHEPPARD: Only if it's humanly possible.

McKAY: It will be a miracle if I can get the D.H.D. back online, let alone the cloaking generator, and even if I can manage that, the power will be intermittent at best.

SHEPPARD: OK, well, F.Y.I., the Wraith have all gone, so it's just a matter of time before Torrell and his boys return, with all of our weapons.

McKAY (irritably): I get it!


OLESIA CITY. Elizabeth and her team are waiting anxiously in a room. Marin comes in, checking behind her to make sure nobody has seen her.

WEIR: Marin? What's happened?

MARIN: No-one must know I'm speaking to you.

WEIR: Of course.

MARIN: You should leave, as soon as possible.


MARIN: The Magistrate has just rescinded my orders to send rescue teams back to the island.

WEIR: What? Why would he do that?

MARIN: Several arrests have been made. Many people in the city have been apprehended for unspecified violations, to be sent to the island to increase the population there.

LORNE: To keep the Wraith fed.

MARIN: It's been going on for some time, but never so bad as this. The number of arrests has ... I cannot keep quiet any longer. I have to speak out.

(The door opens and the Magistrate comes in, accompanied by several guards.)

MAGISTRATE: Lies! Seeding fear not only among your own people but now our guests. I cannot allow it.

MARIN: I was only trying to understand why so many people are being arrested.

MAGISTRATE: Your job is not to question the actions of this government. (He gestures, and a couple of the guards step forward and take Marin's arms.)

MARIN: No! Wait! (To Elizabeth) Help me! Please!

(As she is hustled out of the room, Elizabeth turns to the Magistrate.)

WEIR: Where are they taking her?

MAGISTRATE: I'm sorry you had to witness that.

WEIR: What crime has she committed?

MAGISTRATE: I've recently learned that Marin has been involved in a group seeking to undermine the Olesian government. She's become very adept at spinning lies to suit her organisation's treasonable agenda.

WEIR: Did you or did you not rescind the order to send rescue teams back to the island?

MAGISTRATE: Why would I do that?

WEIR: That doesn't concern me. My first concern's with the safety of my people -- and I promise you ...

MAGISTRATE: Everything is being done to ensure their rescue and safe return. If there's been any hindrance at all, it was because of Marin.

WEIR: What's gonna happen to her now?

MAGISTRATE: She'll receive a fair trial in our courts.

LORNE: And then what? Sent to the island?

MAGISTRATE: I'm sure where you come from, treason is also considered a very serious offence.

LORNE: So that's a yes.

WEIR: Tell me: what else is considered a serious offence around here?

MAGISTRATE: Anything that threatens the welfare of the Olesian people.

WEIR: Are you sure it's the welfare of the people that concerns you? Or just your own?

MAGISTRATE: Choose your words very carefully, Doctor Weir.

WEIR: Oh, I do. Why, is that a threat?

MAGISTRATE: It's advice -- from one ally to another.

WEIR: Well, this alliance -- it's just been rescinded. (To her team) We're leaving.

(The Magistrate looks round to his own guards, who put their hands on their weapons.)

WEIR: What -- you plan to arrest us too? (The Magistrate looks nervously at the marines and their looks of determination.) Because you do not wanna do that.

(Immediately the marines raise their weapons and point them at the Magistrate and his guards. Elizabeth and the Magistrate lock gazes for a moment, then the Magistrate nods in resignation and gestures to his guards to step aside. Elizabeth leaves the room, the marines following her.)

PUDDLE JUMPER. Ronon sees movement in the trees nearby.

DEX: Party's over.

SHEPPARD: And we were having such a good time! (He comes out of the Jumper and watches as the prisoners make their way cautiously towards the Jumper.) Alright, let's see if we can hold them off. (He runs back into the Jumper to address Rodney.) Soon as you get the D.H.D. back online, dial the Gate and make a run for it. When you get back to Atlantis, start working on those sandwiches. We'll be right behind you.

McKAY: Two minutes! Hold ‘em that long, we're good to go.

(John runs out to join Ronon and Teyla. They wait until the path seems clear, then run off, Teyla and Ronon going to one side of the path and John to the other. Taking cover in the bushes, Teyla picks up a thin branch from the ground and snaps it across her knee to make two fighting sticks. John, copying the idea, picks up another branch and slams it down onto his knee, only to wince and hobble when it's too thick to break. He bends down and picks up a shorter, but equally thick, branch. Ronon and Teyla break cover and run deeper into the bushes as a couple of prisoners run up, crouching down near the area that they just left. As a third man runs up, John jumps out and slams his branch across his back, then into his stomach, finally using the branch to cut his legs from under him. Teyla takes on another prisoner with her sticks. Ronon, unarmed, fights two men simultaneously. The fight is evenly matched for some time, but eventually more prisoners arrive, and some of them are wielding the team's guns while others have bows and arrows aimed at them.)

PRISONER: Don't move!

(The three of them have no choice but to surrender.)

(In the Jumper)

McKAY (from underneath the console): That's it! I did it! We're ready to go!

(He comes up from under the console, only to find Torrell and a couple of other prisoners standing in the doorway.)

TORRELL: See that? I knew you could do it.

(Rodney raises his hands in surrender.)

SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. John, Teyla and Eldon are on their knees outside the Jumper with their hands on their heads. Ronon is forced to his knees as Torrell aims his blaster at the back of Ronon's head.

McKAY: Oh no-no-no-no-no. You don't have to do that. Look, you want me to dial the Gate for you? That's fine. There are hundreds of suitable planets out there you can go to.

TORRELL: And I say there are hundreds of unsuitable planets you can send me to, aren't there?

McKAY: Yeah, but I won't -- I won't send you to one of them.

TORRELL: I think our best option is to just come with you to your planet -- provided you've got more of these laying around there, do ya? (He gestures to the Jumper.)

SHEPPARD: Forget it.

TORRELL: I'm sorry?

SHEPPARD: We'll dial you another address, you can go through, but we're not taking you home.

TORRELL: You are aware of the fact that we have a lot of weapons pointed at you, right?

SHEPPARD: Yeah. Well, you're gonna murder us the minute we step through the Gate anyway, so what difference does it make?

TORRELL: You're very distrustful.

(There's a humming sound in the distance that is getting closer. Rodney looks up.)

PRISONER: Wait, look!

McKAY (gazing skywards in horror): No.

(The others look up and see a Wraith cruiser descending over the top of them.)

OCEAN. Elizabeth's Jumper is heading towards the island. A display comes up on the windshield.

LORNE: We've got a Wraith cruiser heading for the island and I'm picking up several more on approach outside the atmosphere.

WEIR: Go to stealth mode. Let's find our guys before they do.

(The Jumper disappears from view.)

ISLAND. Outside the Puddle Jumper, Torrell stares up into the sky at the descending ship.

TORRELL: What is that? What is that?

SHEPPARD: It's a Wraith cruiser and, trust me, you don't wanna be around when it gets here.

(Torrell continues to stare into the sky. Ronon, on his knees next to him, takes advantage of the distraction and snatches his blaster from him. He jumps to his feet and aims the blaster at Torrell, who aims his P90 at him. The other prisoners all aim their weapons. John jumps to his feet.)

SHEPPARD: Wait, wait. (To Rodney) Dial the Gate.

(Rodney runs into the Jumper.)

TORRELL (still aiming his gun at Ronon): Stop!

SHEPPARD: If all the prisoners get off the island, where do you think that ship will go?

(Inside the Jumper, Rodney punches buttons on the D.H.D., then stares in horror.)

McKAY: What?! Oh, no-no-no-no-no. No, no ... (yelling) We've got a big problem in here!

(John, Teyla and Eldon run inside as Ronon and Torrell, still aiming their weapons at each other, make their way carefully towards the entrance of the Jumper.)

SHEPPARD: What's wrong?

McKAY: We lost power to the D.H.D.


McKAY: I told you the power would be intermittent at best. We should have dialled immediately I ran the patch instead of standing round and talking.

SHEPPARD: Can you fix it?

McKAY: I don't know!

DEX: They're right on top of us.

TORRELL: We could shoot them down.

TEYLA: Neither your weapons nor ours will damage it.

SHEPPARD (to Rodney): What about the drones -- can you patch enough power to arm them?

McKAY: They're not as intricate as the D.H.D. ... uh, maybe, maybe, maybe one, given the time constraints.

SHEPPARD: Then do it. (He jumps into the pilot's seat.)

TEYLA: Can one drone shoot down an entire Wraith cruiser?

SHEPPARD: Well, maybe we'll get a lucky shot. McKay?

McKAY (working on a console): Almost. Just give me one more ... and ... OK, we're armed, go, before the power cuts out again!

(John activates the controls and a single drone shoots out of the Jumper, flies up and impacts on the underside of the cruiser.)

(In the approaching Jumper)

LORNE: Did you see that?

WEIR: A drone.

(In the grounded Jumper)

McKAY: We scored a hit!

SHEPPARD: Great. That's either gonna buy us time or piss them off.

McKAY: If they didn't know we were here, they sure as hell do now.

WEIR (over radio): Colonel Sheppard. You've damaged the Wraith cruiser and it's leaving the area ...

McKAY: That's Doctor Weir.

WEIR: ... but there are two more cruisers incoming.

(Her voice is coming from a radio in Torrell's belt. He takes it out and, as John hurries towards him, looks at him for a moment and then hands the radio over.)


(John takes the radio and activates it.)

SHEPPARD: Elizabeth, where are you?

WEIR (smiling delightedly at Lorne): We're in Jumper Two. We're cloaked, directly above you. Are you alright?

SHEPPARD: Our Jumper's disabled. Right now I need you to dial the Gate to one of the back-up planets for the Alpha Site. Doesn't matter which one.

WEIR: Understood. (To Lorne) Do it.

(Lorne starts to dial. On the island, the Gate kawhooshes. John calls out to the prisoners standing outside the Jumper.)

SHEPPARD: OK, everyone who wanted off this planet -- now's your chance. (The prisoners turn and run for the Gate. John turns to Torrell.) Time to go.

TORRELL: Why should we trust you, huh?

SHEPPARD: You wanna stay, stay. I really don't give a damn, but you are not coming home with us.

ELDON (rising from his seat): But ...

SHEPPARD (without taking his eyes off Torrell): Yeah, yeah, yeah, you can come.

(Eldon sinks back down in relief. Torrell thinks about it for a moment, then turns to Ronon and sketches a sloppy salute to him before running off.)

SHEPPARD (into radio): Elizabeth -- I need you to keep the Gate open until the last of them go through, then shut it down and dial Atlantis.

WEIR: We can land and pick you up.

SHEPPARD: Negative -- just keep the Gate open. We'll take it from there. Stay in stealth mode until the Wraith have gone away.

WEIR: Acknowledged.

(On the island, the prisoners are all running towards the Gate. In the Jumper, John looks out of the window.)

SHEPPARD: Here comes another cruiser.

(In the distance, we hear the Gate shut down.)

(In Jumper Two)

WEIR (to Lorne): Dial Atlantis. (Lorne starts to dial. Elizabeth speaks into the radio.) We're dialing -- head for the Gate.

(The team, together with Eldon, run for the Gate. Above them, as the damaged cruiser limps away with smoke trailing from it, a second cruiser starts to descend and fires at the fleeing team. Luckily, as usual, they couldn't hit the side of a barn door if they tried and the shots explode nearby but don't hit anyone. The team reach the Gate and throw themselves in as one last lucky blast hits the ground at the foot of the Gate just a moment too late for the Wraith.)

(In Jumper Two)

LORNE: They're through.

(Elizabeth leans back in her seat and sighs in relief. Nearby, the cruiser turns and leaves the area.)

OLESIA CITY. The Magistrate runs to a window and puts his hand over his mouth, staring in horror as the cruiser descends over the city.