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Colonel Sheppard and his team find themselves prisoners of the Wraith following Ford's attack on a hive ship. Dr. McKay goes to great lengths to help them.

DVD DISC: Season 2, Disc 3
WRITTEN BY: Carl Binder
DIRECTED BY: Martin Wood
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Transcript by Callie Sullivan


Resume where the previous episode ended. John Sheppard is on his knees on the dais in the centre of the room. The Wraith Hive Queen walks slowly around him.

HIVE QUEEN: The ship. (She stops in front of John and turns to face him again.) Where did you get it?

(John struggles not to speak but has no choice under her mental influence.)

SHEPPARD: You mean the Dart? We call them Darts because they're so pointy.

HIVE QUEEN: Tell me. Where?

SHEPPARD: I really don't wanna say.

(The Queen smiles slightly, then backhands him across the face. John recoils from the blow, then straightens his jacket. The Queen leans towards him and runs her finger down his cheek.)

SHEPPARD: I don't even know your name.

(The Queen leans down so that her face is level with his.)

HIVE QUEEN: In time, you will tell me every ... (She trails off and stares as if distracted by something. She frowns, snarls at him, then straightens up and turns and walks away.)

SHEPPARD: Tell you what? (As the Queen leaves the room, the two Wraith guards walk over and haul John to his feet.) What's wrong? (The guards take John's arms and start to march him out of the chamber.) She didn't even tell me her name!

WRAITH CELL. Ronon Dex sits down on a bench in the cell. Teyla Emmagan is standing by the cell door looking out. John comes into view, preceding the two guards, one of which shoves him in the back occasionally to keep him moving. They reach the cell door.

TEYLA: Colonel?

(One of the guards puts its hand on John's shoulder to keep him still, then turns and looks at a control panel outside the cell. Lights flash on it and the cell door opens. The guard shoves John hard, propelling him into the cell where he crashes to the floor. The door closes again. The guards turn and walk away as Ronon runs to the door and glares out after them.)

TEYLA (to John): Are you unharmed?

SHEPPARD (rolling over onto his back): Yeah.

(Ronon walks over to him and offers him a hand to help him up.)

DEX: Where'd they take you?

SHEPPARD: A little Q and A with the Queen of the hive.

FORD: What'd you tell her?

SHEPPARD (sitting down on a bench): It was a short conversation. She walked out.

FORD: Why?

SHEPPARD: I dunno. Maybe she was late for a meeting.

TEYLA: No. There's something else. I sense she was agitated, even angry.


(Outside in space, a second hive ship bursts out of hyperspace and stops near the first ship. In the cell, Teyla gazes upwards.)

TEYLA: Another hive ship has arrived.


SHEPPARD: Are you sure there's another ship?

TEYLA: I sense it -- close by.

SHEPPARD: Well, maybe they're planning on culling the planet together.

FORD: Or they're gonna fight for it.

KANAYO: Either way, the planet's only a few days away, so we don't have much time if we still intend to stop them.

(John stands up and walks to the cell door.)

SHEPPARD: Alright. First things first: how to get out. Any luck?

(Ronon walks over to the door, throwing a black look at Aiden.)

DEX: Not yet.

FORD: Don't worry -- I'll figure a way out.

(John raises his eyebrows briefly at him, then looks away.)

SHEPPARD: I was afraid you were gonna say that.

AIDEN'S CAVE. In the main room, the two men guarding Doctor Rodney McKay (referred to in the credits as “Bouncer” and “Guard”) are sitting at the table playing a small board game. Rodney is on his feet and very agitated.

McKAY: OK, they definitely should have been back by now. Seriously, am I the only one who thinks that maybe things haven't gone according to plan?

BOUNCER: Yes. (He and the guard seem unconcerned and continue playing their game.)

McKAY: OK, look, we can't just sit here. We need, we need to, we need to do something.

BOUNCER: Like what?

McKAY: Like go get help! Look, we can dial the Stargate back to Atlantis where we have a ship -- a fast ship with, with, with shields. We can fly to the hive and then, then rescue them if we need to.

BOUNCER: Can't dial the Gate, remember? Ford removed the control crystals from the dialling device.

McKAY: Yes, I know that. But here's the good news: you're the ones guarding them! Look, all you have to do is get me the crystals, I can fix the D.H.D. and then, then, then; look, you just have to walk into Ford's little room back there and get 'em.

BOUNCER: We're not giving you anything.

McKAY: Then I can't dial the Gate.

BOUNCER: That's what I said.

McKAY: What is this, an Abbott and Costello routine?! Look, just give me the damned crystals!

(He heads towards Aiden's room but the bouncer and the guard both get to their feet and block his way, the guard pointing a blaster rifle at him as the bouncer puts his hand on Rodney's chest.)

BOUNCER: You want the crystals, you're gonna have to go through us.

(Rodney glares at the two of them, then pushes the rifle down and storms away.)

McKAY: Unbelievable!

(The bouncer and guard grin as he walks away.)

HIVE SHIP. WRAITH CELL. John is standing at the cell door looking out at the control panel.

SHEPPARD: Last time we were on one of these ships, McKay was able to open the door by cutting right into the wall.

(Aiden reaches into the collar of his jacket and pulls out a small knife.)

FORD: You mean like with a knife?

SHEPPARD: You have a knife?!

FORD: One for them to find, one to keep. Everybody knows that.

SHEPPARD: Right! Forgot all about that rule.

FORD: Well, it's a good thing I'm here.

SHEPPARD: Right! (He points towards the part of the panel he wants Aiden to hit.) Now, just, uh, take your time ...

(Aiden throws the knife into the panel but the door doesn't open. John withdraws his hand, looking annoyed.)

SHEPPARD: I said take your time!

FORD: I hit the exact spot you were pointing at!

SHEPPARD: Alright, alright. (He looks round at the others.) Anybody else have a knife?

(Ronon steps forward and pushes Aiden out of the way, then pulls a small knife out of one of his fingerless gloves. John rolls his eyes. Ronon aims carefully and throws his knife into the wall. The door still doesn't open, but some of the lights inside the cell go out.)

SHEPPARD: Getting warmer.

(Ronon reaches into his clothing and pulls out another knife.)

SHEPPARD: How many of those things have you got?!

DEX: How many d'you need? (He aims at the panel again.)

AIDEN'S CAVE. The two guards have moved to sit either side of an upright box which they are using as a small table. They have another board game on the table and are engrossed in it. Rodney sits nearby, anxious and twitching. He looks at his watch, then, glancing briefly at the men, he gets to his feet and leaves the room.

JACE'S LAB. Rodney walks in and goes across to a cabinet on the wall which is filled with bottles of liquid. He stares into the cabinet.

McKAY (to himself): OK, you can take them out, easy. Just a few well-placed karate chops and, and, and, and down they go. Piece of cake. Let's, uh ... (He reaches for the door of the cabinet, then withdraws his hand and turns away.) Are you an idiot?! (He walks away from the cabinet, then turns and walks back to it, staring inside again for a long moment.) Desperate times, desperate measures. (He opens the door of the cabinet and reaches for a small vial of the Wraith enzyme, then pauses and instead picks up a large bottle of the enzyme. He lifts it out of the cabinet and stares at it.) That's one hell of a karate chop!

HIVE SHIP. WRAITH CELL. John, Ronon, Teyla and Kanayo are standing at the door looking out. There are now four knives sticking out of the control panel outside the cell. Ronon reaches into his hair and pulls out yet another small knife.

SHEPPARD: You must have a helluva time going through airports!

(Ronon throws the knife into the panel and the door opens. No-one has been taking any notice of Aiden sitting on a bench behind them but John now realises that Aiden is injecting himself in the arm.)

SHEPPARD: Ford, what the hell are you doing?!

FORD (standing up and rolling his sleeve down): That's the last of it.

DEX: What about the rest of us?

KANAYO: You don't need it.

DEX: You don't know that.

(Everyone heads for the door but John stops Aiden for a moment.)

SHEPPARD: We're heading to the Dart Bay. (Aiden glares at him.) Stay together, and stay quiet.

(Aiden looks at him for a moment, then nods and gestures for John to precede him out of the door. They all leave the cell.)

JACE'S LAB. Rodney is leaning on a bench, groaning in pain as he finishes injecting himself in the arm. The bottle of enzyme stands nearby, empty. Rodney finishes his injection, grunting, and then stands up, his face contorted. He stares in the direction of the doorway.

McKAY: Lock and load!

(He heads out of the room.)

MAIN ROOM OF AIDEN'S CAVE. The guards are engrossed in their board game. Suddenly a hand grabs the bouncer by the shoulder and throws him across the room. The guard rises to his feet and Rodney punches him hard in the face. As the man recoils, Rodney grabs a bottle off the table and smashes it over his head, then punches him hard again. The guard crashes backwards onto the table, which crumples under him. Rodney looks down and points at him.

McKAY: And that's what happens when you back a brilliant scientist into a corner!

(He turns to leave, only to get punched in the face by the bouncer who has come up behind him, and now grabs him by the throat. Rodney slaps at his face with both hands. It's enough to break the man's on his throat, then Rodney kicks him hard in the stomach, knocking him to the floor unconscious. Rodney turns, his eyes wide and staring in hysteria.)

McKAY: Now focus, focus.

(He goes into Aiden's room, opening a drawer in the desk. There's nothing in there that he needs, so he opens the drawer beside it and finds what he wants.)

McKAY: Ah, control crystals! Yes!

(He gathers them up in a piece of cloth and hurries out of the room.)

HIVE SHIP. The team is hurrying through the corridors, John in the lead, when Teyla stops him.

TEYLA: Wait. (Everyone stops.) They are coming.

(A Wraith guard walks around the corner.)

FORD: I got it. (He heads towards the guard.)


(The guard fires its stunner at Aiden, hitting him in the chest but the blast has no effect. They go hand to hand and Aiden grabs the stunner and throws it over his shoulder towards Ronon, who catches it. Aiden then rolls to the floor, taking the guard down with him. Ronon aims the blaster at the guard.)

DEX (to Aiden): Move!

(Aiden rolls out of the way and jumps to his feet as Ronon shoots the guard.)

KANAYO: More coming!

SHEPPARD: This way!

(The team heads off as more guards appear.)

AIDEN'S PLANET. Rodney is at the Gate, having replaced the control crystals. He is punching symbols on the D.H.D., rambling hysterically to himself as he does it.

McKAY: Big dose! Big, big dose! But you needed it. You needed it to lay out the guards. Those idiots! “You want the crystals? You're gonna have to go through us.” Well, I went through you alright, didn't I?! Like a hot knife through Jello. No, wait, like butter, a hot knife through butter ... Oh, man, am I hungry! Oh, shut up, Rodney. Focus. Must ... finish ... dialing. (He finishes inputting the symbols and the Gate starts to dial.) Please work, please work, please please please. (He leans on the central button, his eyes bloodshot and his face contorted in an _expression of desperation. The Gate kawhooshes.) OK, go home. (He heads towards the Gate.)

HIVE SHIP. The team walks into a chamber lined with humans held in webbing inside cocoons ready for the Wraith to feed on. John slows down and stares around the room. One of the captives is conscious.

WOMAN (weakly): Help us. Please, help us.

SHEPPARD (walking over to her): She's alive!

TEYLA (looking at another trapped person): So is this one.

SHEPPARD: Let's get them out of here.

(He and Teyla start tearing down the webbing on the cocoons.)

FORD: We don't have time to stop. This isn't the mission!

(John turns to face him.)

SHEPPARD: There is no mission, Ford. There's just your stupid plan. (He turns back to the woman, whose hands are tied above her head.)

FORD: If you hadn't screwed up ...

(John turns to face him again.)

SHEPPARD: Look, the sooner you stop arguing with me and help me save these people, the quicker we get out of here. (As Aiden turns away in disgust, John turns to the woman again and starts to untie her hands.)

ATLANTIS. GATEROOM. The Gate kawhooshes behind the shield.

TECHNICIAN: Unscheduled activation!

(Doctor Elizabeth Weir comes into the Control Room. The technician consults his screen.)

TECHNICIAN: It's Doctor McKay's I.D.C.

WEIR: Lower the shield! (She runs to the stairs down to the Gateroom as the technician lowers the shield.)

(Rodney walks quickly through the Gate, calling out as he walks into the Gateroom.)

McKAY: I know what I need to do!

(Elizabeth runs up to him.)

WEIR: Rodney, what's happened? (Rodney starts to walk past her but she grabs his arm as the Gate closes down.) Where are the rest of them?

McKAY (turning to face her and speaking rapidly): There's no time, no time. The planet -- not Ford's, the one the, uh, ship's headed towards, we need to get there and we don't have much time. (He paces frenetically around her, gesturing and hyperventilating.) I was barely able to escape myself, but I managed to take out the guards. (He stops briefly and points at Elizabeth, grinning.) Oh, you should have seen me! I was amazing! I wish we'd got it on camera because ... That's not the point.

WEIR: Rodney, slow down. Are you alright?

(Rodney's face is contorted.)

McKAY: Yes, yes. I mean, um ... (He raises his hands, then shrugs and giggles.) I dunno. (He starts to pace around Elizabeth again, talking rapidly.) I mean, I did take out the guards and they were huge and dumb and stupid and ...

WEIR: What guards?

McKAY: Ford's guards! Haven't I mentioned Ford?

WEIR: No, you didn't, and you haven't even mentioned Sheppard, Teyla and Ronon either.

McKAY (pointing at her triumphantly): Yes! They were there too, and there were the two guards. (He gestures above his head, indicating how tall they were, although he exaggerates their height somewhat.) They were huge and massive and I had to take 'em out, so I had to inject some of the enzyme.

WEIR: You took some of the enzyme?!

McKAY (pacing, and talking rapidly): No-no-no-no-no-no-no. I didn't take some of the enzyme. I took a lot of the enzyme, because I had to, because I had to take out the guards, which I did, and you should have seen me, (he stops walking and turns to Elizabeth, his voice getting more and more high-pitched) I was amazing!

WEIR: Are you insane?!

McKAY (breathing rapidly, his face contorted): Yes, yes, now that I've taken the enzyme, yes.

WEIR (sternly): Rodney, focus. Where is Colonel Sheppard?

McKAY: No, no, no, I had to take the enzyme because, because I had to take out the guards! But that's not the point -- the point is we don't have enough time. (He starts to pace again.) We need to stop the ship from getting to where the ship is going.

(Elizabeth puts one arm through one of his and the other around his shoulder to turn him around.)

WEIR: Come on, come on, let's take a walk to the Infirmary, alright? (She starts to walk him away from the Gate.)

McKAY: Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa, what are you doing? (He pulls free of her.) No-no-no-no, I don't wanna go to the Infirmary. I wanna go to the, to the, uh ... (he points to somewhere in the city) the, um ...

(His knees buckle under him and he passes out. As guards run to pick him up, Elizabeth activates her headset radio.)

WEIR: Doctor Beckett, we have an emergency. We're headed to you.

HIVE SHIP. FOOD STORAGE CHAMBER. Aiden is helping a captive out of one of the cocoons. Nearby, John and Kanayo are lifting the woman out of her cocoon. Four Wraith guards run towards the chamber. Ronon, who was keeping watch, fires his blaster at them. As they return fire, John and Teyla each grab a woman who they have freed and try to help them out of the chamber.


(The firing continues. John is struck in the back by a stunner blast and drops to the ground. Teyla is struck by another blast and also falls. At the doorway to the chamber, a guard punches Ronon to the ground. Aiden attacks another guard, who eventually punches him to the ground. The guard walks forward into the chamber, aiming its stunner but Aiden kicks its legs out from under it as it passes him, then jumps up and attacks another guard. They wrestle for a few moments, then another guard slams a two-fisted punch into Aiden's back. He drops to the ground. He tries to rise but one of the guards slams its boot into his back, shoving him back down. Again he tries to rise and again the guard kicks him down. This time, for good measure, one of the guards fires a stunner blast into his back and this time he stays down, almost unconscious. One of the women who was freed from captivity sits on the floor, looking terrified as the guards walk into the chamber. She whimpers as one of them hauls her to her feet and takes her away. Aiden is dragged out by his feet.)

SPACE. The two hive ships are now in hyperspace.

WRAITH CELL. Teyla, sitting on the floor leaning against a wall, regains consciousness. Ronon is sitting on a bench opposite her, while Kanayo is standing by the cell door.

DEX: Are you alright?

TEYLA: I think so.

KANAYO: You were shot by Wraith stunners. You both went down pretty quick. The effects of the enzyme must be wearing off.

(Teyla looks around the cell.)

TEYLA: Where are the others?

ANOTHER WRAITH CELL. John is lying unconscious on the floor. He wakes up and props himself up on his elbows, groaning. Aiden is squatting near the cell door.

FORD: Feeling better?

(Not answering, John looks around the cell and sees the woman who he rescued sitting on the floor nearby, looking at him nervously. She is, almost inevitably, young and pretty.)

FORD: Her name's Neera. (He introduces her to John.) Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard.

(John nods to her.)

SHEPPARD: Hi. (He looks at Aiden.) Where are the others?

FORD: They split us up into separate cells. I guess the Wraith figured that keeping us in smaller groups would make it tougher to escape. (John nods.) We shouldn't have stopped.

SHEPPARD: What's done is done, Lieutenant.

FORD: No! First you set off the alarms, and then you stop to rescue people when you know damned well the Wraith are on our tail?! It's like you're purposefully sabotaging this mission. You hate to see me succeed at anything.

SHEPPARD: You've got a lot of issues to work out, Ford.

(Aiden looks away, calms down and looks back at John.)

FORD: Teyla and Ronon went down too quick when they were shot. The enzyme's wearing off.

SHEPPARD: You feeling anything yet?

(Aiden sighs.)

FORD: Not yet. (He stands up.) But I will. It's happened before when I've run out of the enzyme. It gets pretty bad. So we gotta figure a way out of here. (He glances at Neera.) And no more unnecessary stops.

ATLANTIS. Colonel Caldwell and Elizabeth walk to the Infirmary. As they arrive, Doctor Carson Beckett is just turning away from Rodney's bedside, sighing. He walks over to them, surprised to see Caldwell.

BECKETT: Colonel Caldwell! I didn't think you were due back here for days.

CALDWELL: Doctor Weir requested that we join the search A.S.A.P., so we pushed the engines a little.

WEIR (looking towards Rodney): How is he?

(Rodney is lying in bed with his eyes closed. He has an oxygen mask over his face and he is restless and convulsing gently. He has restraints around his wrists, holding him down to the bed.)

BECKETT: I've sedated him; administered a beta blocker to bring his blood pressure down to a more manageable level. It's a wonder he didn't suffer a stroke.

CALDWELL: Did he mention anything further about the location of Colonel Sheppard and his team?

BECKETT: Nothing coherent, I'm afraid. By the time he arrived here, he was hyperventilating, pulse extremely rapid. He could barely get out a word -- although, being Rodney, he certainly tried. (He smiles ruefully.)

(Elizabeth smiles briefly.)

WEIR: How much of the enzyme did he take?

BECKETT: A very big dose, I'm afraid. I found a significant amount of it in his system -- nearly as much as Lieutenant Ford.

WEIR: Alright -- can you wean him off it?

BECKETT: I wish I could. Unfortunately, Lieutenant Ford took the last supply of our enzyme when he left Atlantis, so an incremental withdrawal is out of the question.

CALDWELL: Unless we harvest more enzyme.

(Elizabeth raises her eyebrows at this.)

BECKETT: Not an option. By the time you go out and collect it, the enzyme will have broken down in his system already. No, I'm afraid for Rodney the only choice is ...

CALDWELL: ... cold turkey.

BECKETT: Aye, to put it bluntly. I can administer some drugs to help ease the process: anti-nausea medication, pain reliever, benzodiazepine for anxiety, as well as a multi-vitamin injection to bolster the immune system ...

WEIR: Good.

BECKETT: ... but there's no dodging the fact it's gonna be difficult -- possibly even deadly.

HIVE SHIP. WRAITH CELL 1. Ronon stands near the cell door as a Wraith guard walks past. He turns and walks to a bench to sit down. Teyla looks at him.

TEYLA: Are you alright?

DEX: Mmm. Just tired.

(He lies down on the bench. Nearby, Kanayo is squatting on the floor and leaning against the wall, clearly in distress.)

KANAYO: No. The enzyme's leaving your bodies. Mine too.

TEYLA: How bad will it get?

KANAYO: Bad. Maybe not for you -- you guys haven't been on the enzyme for long. (His voice becomes tearful.) But me, on the other hand ...

WRAITH CELL 2. Aiden is lying on the floor covered in sweat and gasping. Neera is crouched over him, mopping his brow with a cloth. Aiden opens his eyes and looks at her.

FORD: Thank you.

(John walks over and squats down to him.)

SHEPPARD: How're you holding up, Lieutenant?

(Aiden sighs.)

FORD: OK. (He struggles to prop himself up on his elbows.) I just need to get my hands on some more enzyme. Then I'll be able to get us out of here.

SHEPPARD: We'll do it together. With or without the enzyme, we're a team, remember?

(Aiden lays back down.)

FORD: I remember.

ATLANTIS. INFIRMARY. Rodney is awake. The oxygen mask has been replaced with a nasal canula. He is sweating and hyperactive. Carson is at his bedside.

McKAY (frantically): Don't just stand there -- get me more enzyme.

BECKETT: We don't have any.

McKAY: It's the cave -- Ford's cave -- he's got a, a whole cabinet of it. There's, there's dozens of vials.

(Carson bends down to Rodney.)

BECKETT: Do you know the address?

McKAY: What? (He stares wide-eyed at Carson for a moment, then stares up at the ceiling hysterically.) No!

(Carson sighs and straightens up.)

BECKETT: I'm sorry, Rodney.

McKAY (hysterically): You don't have to scream at me!

(Carson has been talking very quietly so far.)

BECKETT (quietly): I'm not screaming.

McKAY: This is fun for you, isn't it, watching me like this?

BECKETT: I assure you, it's not.

McKAY: What is this, payback? You're jealous, huh? Jealous of how vital I am to this mission -- vital, vital -- jealous of how I get to go offworld and, and you get stuck in this stupid, pathetic excuse for a hospital.

BECKETT: You know that's not true.

McKAY: Jealous I get all the women and you don't!

BECKETT: Excuse me?!

McKAY (sobbing): Please, just give me a little enzyme -- just enough to take the edge off. I'm dying here.

BECKETT: I told you, we don't have any.

McKAY (furiously): You think I don't know you're lying?

BECKETT: I'm not lying.

McKAY: You are. You think I don't think you are but you are. And don't think I won't forget it ... (He trails off, confused at what he has just said.)

BECKETT (equally confused): What?

McKAY (sobbing): I don't know! Just kill me.

BECKETT (quietly, under his breath): I wish! (A little louder, but still softly) It'll pass.

McKAY: Don't shout! I am right here.

(Carson turns to a couple of nurses nearby.)

BECKETT: Perhaps we should move him to a more secluded area.

McKAY: What -- so you can kill me in private? Stab another knife in my back, huh?

(Carson leans down again and puts a reassuring hand on Rodney's shoulder.)

BECKETT: Rodney -- no-one's trying to kill you.

McKAY (frantically and hysterically): You have no idea of the agony I'm going through.

(Carson looks down at him sympathetically.)

BECKETT: Oh, I have an inkling.

HIVE SHIP. WRAITH CELL 1. Ronon is sitting on the bench, covered in sweat, hugging his stomach and gasping.

TEYLA: Kanayo, you must be strong. (We see Kanayo lying on the ground convulsing and groaning as Teyla crouches over him. She too is sweating and agitated.) Fight it! (She stands up and runs over to Ronon.) I do not know what else to do for him.

DEX: There's nothing we can do.

(As Ronon gasps around his own pain, Kanayo convulses and groans and writhes on the floor. His agony reaches a peak and he falls limp. Teyla runs over and crouches down to him.)

TEYLA: Kanayo? (Tentatively, she reaches out to press her fingers against his neck, then looks up at Ronon in anguish.) He is dead. (She stands and walks over to him.)

DEX: Is that what's gonna happen to us?

(At that moment, a male Wraith and two guards approach the cell door. The Wraith stops outside the door, looks inside and hisses. Ronon gets to his feet. He and Teyla look round to Kanayo, then look at the Wraith. It stares down at Kanayo's body. Ronon, still hugging himself, stumbles forward to look into the Wraith's face.)

DEX: One less for you to feed on?

(One of the guards raises its stunner and shoots him. He crumples to the floor, whimpering in pain. The door to the cell opens and the Wraith walks in to stand face to face with Teyla. It leans down and puts its face very close to hers as if to ascertain her state of health. Still staring into her face, it addresses the guards.)

WRAITH: Take him.

(One of the guards walks into the cell, takes one of Kanayo's arms and drags him out of the cell. Once it has left, the Wraith straightens up and leaves the cell.)

ATLANTIS. INFIRMARY. Elizabeth comes in to find Carson sitting at Rodney's bedside. Rodney is finally quiet and his eyes are closed.

WEIR: How is he?

(Carson turns around, sighing tiredly.)

BECKETT: Asleep -- finally. Mercifully.

(Elizabeth smiles briefly.)

WEIR: Has he mentioned anything about Sheppard and the others?

BECKETT: No, not yet. Our conversation was of a different sort. I feel not unlike the priest in “The Exorcist”. (He smiles ruefully at her, then looks back to Rodney.) Well, he's through the worst of it. The nausea has passed, his pulse has returned to normal, blood pressure in a more reasonable range, considering his borderline hypertensia before taking the enzyme.

WEIR: Good.

BECKETT: I hate to say it, but his stubbornness is probably what's sustained him throughout the ordeal.

WEIR: Hmm! (She raises her eyebrows.) We won't tell him that, though.

BECKETT: Aye -- mustn't feed the beast!

WEIR (smiling): No! (She looks at Carson.) You should get some rest. You look exhausted.

BECKETT: I'll stay with him just a wee bit longer -- just to make sure he's out of the woods.

(Elizabeth smiles and turns to leave, then turns back.)

WEIR: Carson? Nice work.

BECKETT: Thanks, Elizabeth.

(He smiles. Elizabeth turns and leaves.)

HIVE SHIP. WRAITH CELL 2. Aiden is still lying on the floor. His convulsions are worse. Neera is trying to mop his brow.

SHEPPARD: Come on, buddy, hang in there. Don't leave us.

FORD: Yes, sir. (He gasps for breath.) I'm sorry, sir.

SHEPPARD: No, none of that. The mission's not over, remember? We've still gotta figure a way to get out of here. You hear me?

FORD: Yes, sir.

SHEPPARD: Aiden. You can make it through this.

(Aiden rolls over onto his side, coughing. At that moment the door to the cell opens and another male Wraith and two guards are standing there. John stands to meet them as they walk in.)

WRAITH: Move away from him.

(The guards walk over to Aiden and pick him up.)

SHEPPARD: What are you gonna do with him?

WRAITH: Move away.

SHEPPARD: He's sick!

WRAITH: That is why we're taking him.

(It snarls at John as the guards drag Aiden out, then turns and leaves. As the door closes, John runs forward and calls out.)

SHEPPARD: Where? Where are you taking him?

(The Wraith doesn't reply but Neera does.)

NEERA: To a cocoon. (John turns to face her.) It will preserve him -- keep him from dying.

(John turns and gazes out of the door again.)

SHEPPARD: Until they're ready to feed.

SPACE. The two hive ships continue to make their way through hyperspace.

WRAITH CELL 2. John is still standing at the door.

NEERA: I'm sorry. It's my fault you got caught -- I should never have asked you to stop.

SHEPPARD: It's OK. You were trapped in one of those cocoons; no-one can blame you for wanting out.

NEERA: Now your friend has taken my place.

SHEPPARD: Not for long -- not if I can help it.

(Neera looks around the cell.)

NEERA: How will you get us out of here?

SHEPPARD: OK, I haven't figured that part out yet -- but when I do, it's gonna be real impressive.

NEERA: The Wraith will not allow us to escape.

SHEPPARD: Yeah, well, I try not to let them tell me what I can and can't do.

NEERA (surprised): You do not fear them?

SHEPPARD: The Wraith? Naah. Now clowns -- that's another story. Scare the crap out of me.

(Neera gazes at him blankly.)

ATLANTIS. ELIZABETH'S OFFICE. Elizabeth is sitting at her desk working on a laptop when the door slides open and Rodney, looking fully recovered, walks in.

WEIR: Well, look at you. (She stands up and walks around the desk.)

McKAY: Ah, yes. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, as the idiom goes.

WEIR: You gave us quite a scare.

McKAY: It was very strange. The whole time I was under the influence of the enzyme, it felt like I was, uh, I was perfectly lucid -- eloquent, even. That it was you who wasn't making any sense or listening to reason. It was very peculiar. I think I kind of understand how Ford must have been feeling this whole time.

(Elizabeth nods understandingly.)

WEIR: Rodney? What happened out there? And where are the others?

McKAY: I don't know exactly, but I think I can figure it out. (They start to walk towards the Control Room.) I told you Ford's alive.

WEIR: Well, you told me, but I didn't believe you.

McKAY: The man is nothing if not resilient. He's been busy, too. He's gathered himself together a little gang, doped them all up on the enzyme. (He reaches his station in the Control Room and sits down.) They're the ones that caught us, drugged us, and coerced Sheppard, Teyla and Ronon to join them on a mission to destroy a hive ship.

(Elizabeth stares at him in disbelief.)

WEIR: A hive ship?!

McKAY: Yeah, they managed to steal themselves a Dart. Like I said, he's been busy. Look, when they didn't return from the mission, I realised something had obviously gone wrong. Now, I have the coordinates to the planet that the hive ship was headed towards to cull.

WEIR: So if the team is still alive -- maybe captured on the ship -- there's a chance we can rescue them.

McKAY: Yeah. At the very least we can warn the planet of the impending culling.

WEIR (heading back towards her office): I'll alert Colonel Caldwell.

McKAY: Very good.

HIVE SHIP. WRAITH CELL 1. Teyla is dozing on the bench with Ronon's coat under her head as a pillow. She wakes and sits up fast, looking around for Ronon in a panic. She relaxes when she sees him sitting on the floor nearby.

DEX: How're you feeling?

(Teyla swings her legs onto the floor. She doesn't seem as agitated as before and has less sweat on her face.)

TEYLA: Better. You?

(Ronon also looks calmer than before.)

DEX: Ready to get out of here.

(Teyla looks around the cell.)

TEYLA: Have you had any luck finding a way to escape?

DEX: I think our only chance is to try to create a diversion -- try to overpower them the next time they come in here.

(Teyla nods her agreement.)

TEYLA: Have you thought of Lieutenant Ford? If his withdrawal was as severe as Kanayo's ...

(Ronon stands up, then leans down to bring his face level to hers.)

DEX: If it distracts you, clear your mind of it. If it fuels your anger, (he smiles briefly) use it.

(Teyla thinks about it. From the _expression on her face, she has taken the latter option.)

WRAITH CELL 2. John is examining the cell door.

SHEPPARD: D'you have anything sharp -- knife, hairpin, anything that'd puncture the skin on these walls?


SHEPPARD: It's just that everyone in my last cell had one, so ...

(Neera walks closer to him.)

NEERA: Your people were taken by the Wraith too?


NEERA: My whole world was destroyed, and my people taken and brought here. I watched as my own mother and younger brother were fed upon.

SHEPPARD: Sorry to hear that.

NEERA: We had no means to fight the Wraith. We are a simple, peaceful people.

SHEPPARD: We're peaceful too, but the good news is, we have the means to put up a helluva fight.

NEERA: You have fought the Wraith before?

SHEPPARD: Lots of times. Won some battles; lost some. War's not over by a long shot, but we're managing to hold our own.

NEERA: And the clowns?

SHEPPARD: “The clowns”? Oh, yeah, the clowns. We fight them too -- entire armies, spilling out of Volkswagons. We do our best to fight them off, but they keep sending 'em in!

(He looks anguished. Neera gazes at him sympathetically.)

DAEDALUS. Rodney and Caldwell are walking through corridors, followed by Major Lorne and Doctor Radek Zelenka.

McKAY: According to Ford's intel, the planet has a space Gate. If we could get there quickly in a Puddle Jumper, we wouldn't be able to do much more than just warn people of the impending culling.

CALDWELL: Do we have enough time?

McKAY: Yes.

ZELENKA: We think.

McKAY: We should.

ZELENKA: We hope.

McKAY: It'll be close, yes, but using the Daedalus we might be able to get a radio lock on Sheppard and the team inside the hive ship. If they're still alive, we can beam them out.

CALDWELL: Alright. Let's get this bird off the ground.

(He and Rodney head off. Lorne follows them as Radek stops walking.)

LORNE (to Radek): Coming with us?

ZELENKA: Uh, no, no. (He watches Lorne walk off, then looks around for the nearest exit.) Right!

HIVE SHIP. WRAITH CELL 2. John is sitting on the floor leaning against a wall. Neera walks over, sits down beside him and snuggles into his shoulder.

NEERA: For warmth.

(John looks uncomfortable.)

SHEPPARD (nervously): OK. (He tentatively puts his arm around her shoulder.) How's that? Better?

NEERA: Yes. Thanks. How long will they keep us in here?

SHEPPARD: That's a very good question.

NEERA: If we're able to escape, where will I go?

SHEPPARD: Wherever you want.

(Neera looks up at him.)

NEERA: Can I go with you to your world?

SHEPPARD: Sure. Why not? I'm sure we can find a spare room.

NEERA: I'd like that. What is it like, your world?

SHEPPARD: It's nice -- comfortable, good climate.

NEERA: Tell me what it looks like.

SHEPPARD: Like every other world, I suppose: trees, water, mountains, Starbucks on every corner.

NEERA: What is it called?

(John finally realises what every viewer has been yelling at him for the last minute, and hesitates.)

SHEPPARD: Uh, d'you mind if we pick this up after we get some sleep?

NEERA: Yes, of course. (She snuggles deeper into his shoulder, puts her hand on his chest and closes her eyes. John frowns suspiciously.)

LATER. John and Neera are shaken awake by the ship juddering violently.

NEERA: What is it?

(The background noises of the ship's engines sound like they're powering down.)

SHEPPARD: I don't know. Must've just dropped out of hyperspace. (He stands up and offers his hand to Neera to pull her to her feet.) Maybe they're getting ready for the culling.

(With his back to the door, he hasn't seen what's approaching. The door opens and a male Wraith grabs him by the jacket and throws him out of the door into the hands of a couple of guards.)

WRAITH: Take him. (It looks round at Neera, hisses, and then walks away. The door closes.)

HIVE QUEEN'S CHAMBER. John is brought into the chamber and made to stand on the dais in the centre of the room again. The Hive Queen enters the room.

HIVE QUEEN: Shall we talk now?

SHEPPARD: About what?

(The Queen walks onto the dais and walks around John to stand behind him.)

HIVE QUEEN: You are stubborn.

SHEPPARD: Yes, I am -- (he turns to face the Queen) and, uh, she's very pretty, by the way. (The Queen narrows her eyes at him.) Neera -- the girl you planted in the cocoon for us to rescue after you let us escape. The one that was supposed to get information from me. (He stares at the Queen.) It's never gonna happen.

(The Queen hisses at him.)

HYPERSPACE. DAEDALUS. BRIDGE. Colonel Caldwell is standing at the glass space map talking to Rodney and Major Lorne. He indicates a position on the map.

CALDWELL: We drop out of hyperspace directly behind the planet -- use it to shield us from the hive ship and we can attempt radio contact with Colonel Sheppard.

McKAY: But we won't be able to make radio contact from behind the planet.

CALDWELL: Which is why you and Major Lorne will take a cloaked Puddle Jumper to get close enough to determine if Colonel Sheppard and his team are still aboard the ship. If they are, we'll move into position around the planet and beam 'em out.

LORNE: And if they're not there?

CALDWELL: We'll beam a nuke aboard the ship and destroy it.

McKAY: What if they jam us like they did before?

CALDWELL: Doctor, you worry about getting Colonel Sheppard and his team out of that ship. Let me worry about destroying it, OK?

WRAITH SHIP. HIVE QUEEN'S CHAMBER. Neera comes into the chamber, accompanied by two other young women.

SHEPPARD: Ah, there y'are. I guess an empty room's off the table, but nice try back there in the cell. (He turns to face the Queen.) I knew there must have been a good reason for you to let us break out, but that was quite the performance. Where'd you find her?

HIVE QUEEN: She is one of many thousands that have come to serve us -- even worship us. (She walks around John to get closer to Neera.) They do my bidding, (she runs her hand down Neera's face as Neera gazes at her adoringly) and I let them live.

SHEPPARD: A Wraith-worshipper, uh? Wow.

NEERA: The prophecy of The Great Awakening has come to pass. The end of days have come to the ...

SHEPPARD (interrupting as he thinks quickly): Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know about that because, uh, I'm one too. (The Queen looks at him.) Although in my case, it's not so much worship as it is a meaningful business relationship.

HIVE QUEEN: You lie.

SHEPPARD: OK, tell me this: how else could I get my hands on a Dart? And who else could provide me with specific instructions on how to infiltrate your hive and destroy it?

HIVE QUEEN: Of which queen do you speak?

SHEPPARD: Gotta have a window on this boat, doncha? Take a look. The other hive that joined you for the culling -- a lot more people to feed on when you don't have to share.

HIVE QUEEN: I will speak to her of this.

SHEPPARD: You don't really think she'd admit to trying to have you killed, do you?

HIVE QUEEN: Enough! {Enough!} {Enough!}

(As her voice echoes in John's mind, he falls to his knees in front of her. She places her hand on his shoulder.)

HIVE QUEEN: I shall savour your defiance!

(She raises her other hand ready to plunge it into his chest but at that moment she is struck by a blaster beam. As she stumbles backwards, Neera and the young women start to flee the room. Aiden appears in another doorway and guns down the two guards standing there. He tosses the blaster to John. A male Wraith nearby shoots Aiden with a stunner but again the blast has no effect. John fires his blaster at the Wraith and takes it down. He looks round at the fleeing Neera, then turns and hurries over to Aiden, who is also carrying a pack of gear which he hands over to John after taking a P-90 out of it.)

SHEPPARD: How'd you get our weapons back?

FORD: That was the easy part. Getting some more enzyme -- that was harder.

(They hurry out of the room. John guns down an approaching guard.)

SHEPPARD: You're one tough son of a bitch! (He starts to run off, then stops as he realises that Aiden has stopped and is aiming his weapon back in the direction they just came from.) What are you doing?

(Aiden turns and points in the direction that John was heading.)

FORD: Down that hall, fifty metres, turn left. It'll take you to Teyla and Ronon's cell. I'll hold the Wraith back for you.

(John walks towards him.)

SHEPPARD: You're coming with me.

FORD: I'll hold the Wraith back, boss. Now go. I'll be OK.

SHEPPARD: I'm not going without you, Lieutenant.

FORD: John. I'll catch up. Now GO! (He runs off, just as a high-pitched screaming alarm starts to sound.)

SHEPPARD (calling after him): Ford! Oh, crap. (He turns and heads off.)

WRAITH CELL 1. Teyla and Ronon hear the alarm.

DEX: Get ready. (He walks to the doorway as Teyla sits down on the bench. John races around the corner towards them. Teyla jumps up and runs to the door as Ronon grins.)

SHEPPARD: How 'bout I bust you guys out of here?

DEX: If you don't mind.

(John turns and fires his blaster into the control panel. The door opens. John looks down at the blaster before handing it to Ronon.)

SHEPPARD: I've gotta get myself one of these. Where's Kanayo?

TEYLA: He is dead. Ford?

SHEPPARD (getting a pistol out of the pack): Well, last I saw he was alive -- I'm stickin' with that.

(They hurry out of the cell.)

SPACE. Daedalus comes out of hyperspace and takes up position behind the planet.

CALDWELL: Jumper One, you have a go.

(In the Jumper)

LORNE: On our way. Engaging cloak.

(The Jumper leaves a launch bay, cloaking as it goes. It flies around the planet. Rodney looks at the display on the windscreen.)

McKAY: Oh, no. There's two of them!

LORNE: You said there was only one.

McKAY: Well, there was only one!

LORNE: Now there's two!

McKAY: I can see that!

(Lorne sighs.)

LORNE: Let's try and hail Colonel Sheppard.

(Rodney reaches up to activate his headset.)

HIVE SHIP. John, Teyla and Ronon race through the corridors. They stop as they reach the Dart Bay, where Darts are taking off.

TEYLA: The culling is beginning.

SHEPPARD: We've gotta stop 'em.

DEX: How?

SHEPPARD: Stay here. When I give you my signal, get out in the open. (He runs into the Bay.)


CALDWELL: Jumper One, what's your status?

LORNE: We're unable to establish a radio link with Colonel Sheppard or the others on either of the hive ships.

McKAY: Which doesn't necessary mean they're not on either of the ships. Look, they could have had their radios taken from them.

CALDWELL: We can't make that assumption. Return to the Daedalus immediately.

McKAY: Almost there now.

CALDWELL: Good. We need to take those ships out before they start culling.

HIVE SHIP. Having waited a while, Teyla and Ronon make their way cautiously to the entrance of the Dart Bay. Most of the Darts are flying in one direction, but one flies in the opposite direction, then loops around and heads down towards the walkway.

TEYLA: Is that his signal?

DEX: It'd better be.

(The two of them walk out onto the walkway. The Dart swoops over them, activates its transporter beam and sweeps them up.)

(Inside the Dart, John is indeed flying the ship.)

SHEPPARD: Oh, I sure hope that worked.

(He joins the other Darts and follows them out of the hive ship. From an outside perspective, we see that hundreds of Darts are leaving the ship. A short distance away, hundreds more pour out of the second hive ship, and all head towards the planet.)

DAEDALUS. The ship is moving to engage the two hive ships. As Rodney and Lorne come onto the Bridge, Caldwell gives instructions to his Weapons Officer.

CALDWELL: Max power to the shields. Are we within transport range?

WEAPONS OFFICER: Yes, sir. We have a weapons lock on coordinates inside the first enemy vessel.

CALDWELL: Deploy warhead.

(The Officer tries, but a message comes up on his screen saying, “UNABLE TO LOCK COORDINATES”.)

WEAPONS OFFICER: The enemy has engaged counter measures to block our transport.

McKAY: They're jamming us again!

(Daedalus jolts under impacts.)

WEAPONS OFFICER: We're under fire.

CALDWELL: Forward rail positions, return fire!

(Daedalus continues to move towards the two ships which, side by side, are both firing on her. She returns fire, her shields holding against the onslaught -- for the time being.)

WRAITH DART. John is trying to make sense of the readings on the canopy of the ship.

SHEPPARD: This is not good. Not good, not good.

(He breaks off from the fleet of Darts heading for the planet and heads towards the second hive ship.)

DAEDALUS. A panel explodes on the Bridge.

LORNE: How much of this can the shields take?

McKAY (consulting a screen on the side wall): Not much. They're already down twenty percent. (A panel above his head explodes.) Woah!

(A console explodes. Caldwell stands up and walks over to Rodney, who has now come to the front of the Bridge.)

CALDWELL: Our people have been in Wraith hands too long. We have to assume they've been compromised and that the Wraith know that Atlantis wasn't destroyed. We need to win this.

(More consoles and panels explode behind them.)

WRAITH DART. John works out where the weapons control is. He activates it, and a target appears on the canopy. From an outside perspective, we see that he has reached the second hive ship, and he now opens fire on it, swooping around and over the ship, firing as he goes.

DAEDALUS. Rodney points towards the second hive ship.

McKAY: Look -- see that?


McKAY: It's a Dart firing on one of the hive ships.


(Rodney stares at the ship, realising what must be happening.)

McKAY: Sheppard!

WRAITH DART. John continues to fire on the hive ship. Out in space, the Darts from the two ships turn and start to fire at each other.

DAEDALUS. On the Bridge, the crew stare in amazement as the two hive ships stop firing at Daedalus and begin to fire at each other.

CALDWELL: I don't believe what I'm seeing.

LORNE: Sheppard's actually getting them to fire at each other!

(Rodney smiles in delight.)

(Side by side, the two hive ships continue to fire a barrage of missiles at each other. Finally the onslaught becomes too much and there is a massive explosion, followed by a second one. The shockwave sweeps across Daedalus and everyone flinches from the light. As the light dies down, Rodney stares in horror, then turns and runs to a screen on the wall. He looks at the screen, then turns to face Caldwell and Lorne.)

McKAY: That blast has destroyed everything in a fifteen thousand metre radius.

CALDWELL (to his Weapons Officer): Did any Darts survive?

WEAPONS OFFICER (checking his screens): Negative, sir.

(Caldwell and Lorne look sombre. Rodney comes to the viewscreen again, his face full of shock and grief.)

ATLANTIS. CONTROL ROOM. The technician is receiving a radio message.

TECHNICIAN: Copy that. Atlantis out. (He stands and walks towards Elizabeth's office.) Doctor Weir?

(Elizabeth hurries out of her office.)

TECHNICIAN: We received word from Daedalus. They said they should be back to Atlantis by nineteen hundred hours.

WEIR: They called the search off?

TECHNICIAN: They said there was nothing to search for.

(The two of them gaze at each other for a moment. Finally Elizabeth nods.)

WEIR: Thank you.

(The technician nods and walks away. Elizabeth stares after him in shock for a moment, then turns to walk back into her office. Before she can get there, the Gate starts to dial in and alarms sound.)

TECHNICIAN: Offworld activation!

(Elizabeth turns, a look of determined hope on her face, and heads into the Control Room.)

WEIR: Who is it?

TECHNICIAN: We have an I.D.C. (He smiles.) It's Colonel Sheppard's code!

WEIR: Let 'em in! (She runs for the stairs.)

(Grinning, the technician rolls his chair across to the console and hits the panel to lower the shield. As Elizabeth trots down the stairs, Ronon, John and Teyla stroll through the Gate, John making a placatory gesture to the two marines standing either side of the Gate with their weapons raised. Elizabeth runs across the Gateroom floor to meet the three of them.)

SHEPPARD: Sorry we're late.

(Elizabeth smiles delightedly at them.)

(On the edge of the city, Daedalus comes in for a landing.)

INFIRMARY. Ronon, dressed in hospital whites, is lying on a bed while Carson shines a penlight into one of his eyes. Teyla, also in whites, is sitting cross-legged on the bed next to his while John and Elizabeth stand nearby. Carson finishes his examination and helps Ronon to sit up.

BECKETT: Alright. Up you go.

(Rodney and Caldwell come in.)

McKAY: Why aren't you dead?

(John turns to face him.)

SHEPPARD: Ah, it's good to see you too, Rodney.

McKAY: No, no, I mean -- well, you know what I mean. Why aren't you -- dead?

SHEPPARD: Well, I knew when the hives started to shoot at each other, it was just a matter of time before they blew each other up, so I went to the space Gate and dialled an address where I could land safely. I didn't think the Dart could fit in our Gateroom.

TEYLA: The Colonel was kind enough to make us whole again, and we returned home.

CALDWELL: I'm curious, Sheppard -- how did you know the Wraith would fight each other?

SHEPPARD: Uh, a little intel from Ford in the game, plus, uh, well, I kinda goosed things along with the Queen.

TEYLA: It would appear the Wraith are becoming more territorial than we had thought. There is definite tension building among them.

DEX: Which is good for us.

WEIR: Certainly is. It also opens a brand new strategy in fighting them. (She nods at Caldwell, who stares at her for a moment, then looks away, thinking about it.)

McKAY: Hmm! (He looks around the Infirmary.) And, and, where's Ford?

TEYLA: He was aboard the hive ship when it was destroyed.

SHEPPARD: He was last seen aboard the hive ship.

McKAY: What does that mean?

SHEPPARD: Well, you know Ford. I wouldn't be surprised if we run into him again.