Transcript by Callie Sullivan
Czech translation by d3u5
EARTH. In the living room of a house, Jeannie Miller is playing with her four year old daughter, Madison. Jeannie is kneeling beside a low table in the middle of the room while Madison stands on the other side. Various toys are on the table, including a circular track with a toy train on it.
MADISON: The princess is going to play.
JEANNIE: Where's the princess? Where's the princess in the tower?
MADISON: Right there.
JEANNIE: Which one?
(Madison shows her.)
MADISON: Put this one ... (she picks up a toy dog.)
JEANNIE: This is how they need to get around, right? (She starts to push a toy train around the track towards Madison, making the sound effects.)
JEANNIE: Chugga-chugga, chugga-chugga, chugga-chugga, chugga-chugga ...
MADISON (putting the dog down): Go inside the train ... Choo-choo! (She takes the train and starts to push it around the track.) Chugga-chugga, choo-choo.
(She and Jeannie continue making the noises of the train until it reaches a bridge. As Madison pushes the train onto the bridge, Jeannie trails off and watches the train, lost in thought. Madison pushes the train through the arches of the bridge. Jeannie sinks back onto her heels, stares at the train and bridge for a moment, then stands up and goes over to an easel which has a large pad of white paper on it. She tears off the top sheet, which has a painting of a house which Madison obviously did earlier. She picks up a pot of red paint, kneels down in front of the easel, dips her index finger into the paint and starts to write on the pad.)
(Some time later, Kaleb Miller comes home. He opens the front door and calls out a greeting.)
(Closing the front door, he puts his bag down on the floor and looks around for his family. He soon notices Madison kneeling on the floor of the living room, gazing at something.)
(Madison doesn't react. Kaleb walks into the room and squats down to her.)
(When Madison still doesn't move or speak, he turns to look at what she's gazing at. He stands up and stares at the sight that greets him. Sheets of paper are hung up all around the room -- some on the walls, some attached to shelves -- while others are spread out on the floor or on the table. All of them have complicated mathematical equations finger-painted on them in various different colours. Jeannie is sitting on the floor painting calculations on another sheet with her finger.)
(Jeannie looks up at him.)
JEANNIE: Oh, hey.
KALEB: So ... how was your day?
NIGHTTIME. In their bedroom, Kaleb and Jeannie are getting ready for bed.
KALEB: Send it to Graeme Peel.
JEANNIE: Graeme Peel has better things to do than look over my nonsensical scribblings.
KALEB: Well, they didn't look nonsensical to me. (Jeannie looks at him.) OK, fine, they did. (They both laugh.) I'm an English major. What the hell do I know?! Send it. What have you got to lose?
(Jeannie kisses him as she gets into bed.)
(He reaches out and turns off the bedside lights as they settle down. Jeannie gazes up at the ceiling thoughtfully.)
NEXT DAY. Jeannie is transferring her finger paintings onto sheets of A4 paper, this time using a pen.
SOME DAYS (WEEKS?) LATER. Kaleb picks up some glasses of drinks and takes them into the living room where Jeannie and Madison are again playing with the toys on the table. There's a knock at the front door.
JEANNIE: I'll get it.
(She goes to the door and opens it. Samantha Carter, wearing dress blues, is standing outside and smiles at her.)
CARTER: Jean Miller?
CARTER: Hi. I'm Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter of the United States Air Force.
JEANNIE (nervously): OK.
CARTER: Did you send a math proof to Professor Graeme Peel of the California Institute of Technology?
JEANNIE (still nervous): Was I not supposed to?
ATLANTIS. Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard walks into a lab where Doctor Rodney McKay and Doctor Radek Zelenka are sitting at a desk.
SHEPPARD: Sorry to interrupt, kids. (To Rodney) But you need to pack your toothbrush, head back to Earth.
McKAY: I do? Why?
SHEPPARD: Carter needs help.
(Rodney smiles smugly.)
McKAY: With what?
SHEPPARD: Your sister.
(Rodney's face falls as he looks at John in shock.)
EARTH. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN COMPLEX. STARGATE COMMAND. Sam walks into the Gateroom where the Gate is active. Rodney walks through and comes down the ramp.
CARTER: Welcome back to Earth.
McKAY: Yes, yes. What has my sister done?
CARTER: Good to see you, too, McKay.
McKAY (impatiently): Greetings, salutations, pleasantries. What's she done?
(Without waiting for an answer, he walks past her -- turning briefly to look at her backside -- and leaves the Gateroom. Sam turns, rolls her eyes and follows him.)
LATER. Rodney is sitting at the desk in Sam's lab. A half eaten sandwich and partly eaten tub of red jelly is on the table but Rodney is more interested in the paper that he is reading. Sam walks around the lab, clicking her fingers impatiently as she waits for him to finish reading. As he gets near to the end of the document she walks over to stand beside him.
CARTER: I thought that ...
(Rodney holds up a finger and makes an inarticulate sound to stop her. He reads on for a moment.)
McKAY: Huh. Well, it's certainly some, uh, very interesting stuff, but it can't be her work. I mean, she's been out of the game for years.
CARTER: "The game"?
McKAY: Mmm, yeah. She hasn't published a single theoretical physics paper in, like, four years.
CARTER: Oh, that game(!)
McKAY: Mmm. She was on a fast track to some pretty exciting grants, doing some interesting work. I mean, she was no me, of course, but she was at least a you.
CARTER (staring at him): Uh-huh.
McKAY (not noticing): Mmm. Anyway, she got herself knocked up by some English major, and her priorities shifted overnight. I tried to talk some sense into her, but she's a tad on the stubborn side.
CARTER: When was the last time you spoke to her?
McKAY: Hmm, four years, maybe.
CARTER: Four years?!
McKAY: Not that I didn't check to see if she'd published.
(Sam laughs in disbelief, then looks down at the paper.)
CARTER: You realise what this proof means, right?
McKAY (condescendingly): Yes, well, if the math checks out.
CARTER: Oh, I've been over it. It checks out.
McKAY: Ah, well, no offence, blue eyes, but I'd like a little more time with it myself.
CARTER (firmly): It checks out.
McKAY: And she said it just came to her?
CARTER: Yeah. She was playing with her kid, and she got a notion.
McKAY (annoyed): A notion. That is just beautiful. Oh, she's gonna love this. (Suddenly he looks up at Sam in a panic.) Oh, you didn't tell her I'd been trying to prove something like this myself, did you?
CARTER: Not exactly.
McKAY (relieved): Oh, good, ‘cause she would just ... Wait a minute. Why not?
CARTER: See, that's part of the reason I asked you here. She's been cleared by the Pentagon, but she refuses to sign the confidentiality agreement. She says she wants nothing to do with us. To be honest, she's been a bit of a pain in the ass.
McKAY: Ah. Well, forget her, then. I mean, she's made her choice. We'll just have to -- you and I -- figure out how to implement it on our own. (He turns over some pages of the document and looks at them.) Let's see ... (He glances nervously at Sam for a moment, then looks back at the document.) Now, upon first glance, there are certainly some missing pieces that aren't exactly spelled out in the proof, but, um ...
(Aware that Sam is looking at him closely, he trails off and looks up without meeting her eyes.)
CARTER: You and I both know this would go a lot faster if your sister were on board.
McKAY: Well, what do you want me to do? She's not gonna listen to me.
CARTER: You're her brother!
McKAY: Yeah, exactly!
MILLER HOUSE. Jeannie goes to the door as someone knocks on it. She opens it and finds Rodney standing there holding a small bunch of flowers. He smiles at her.
JEANNIE (shocked): Hi.
McKAY: Long time no see.
JEANNIE: To say the least!
(There's a long uncomfortable pause.)
McKAY: Aren't you gonna invite me in?
JEANNIE: Why are you here?
McKAY (stepping over the threshold): What, I can't just stop by, say hi to my little sister?
JEANNIE: Well, we haven't spoken in four years and you've never done anything like this, so ... no, you can't.
McKAY: Well, I've been kind of busy ... with work, you know, doing a lot of travelling and such, and I was called back on business, so, um ... I was in town, and I thought I'd, um, you know. (He holds out the bunch of flowers to her.)
JEANNIE: Wait a second.
JEANNIE: You're not here because of the physics proof, are you?
McKAY: What? No! No, I mean, sure, that's part of the reason I'm here, but, uh ...
JEANNIE: You work for the U.S. government?!
McKAY: No, no, I work for an multi-national oversight advisory that, uh ...
JEANNIE: You know what? I don't care. I already told that-that colonel person that I don't want anything to do with them.
(Rodney looks annoyed.)
McKAY: Do you have any idea what you've written?
JEANNIE: A math proof. Some-some theoretical physics. I am willing to wager it has no practical application at all.
(Rodney brandishes the flowers at her.)
McKAY: I'll take that action.
JEANNIE: What does that mean?
McKAY: Just sign the damn agreement.
JEANNIE: No! Getting all proprietary about our research and ideas is everything that's wrong with science today.
McKAY (rolling his eyes): Here we go.
JEANNIE: Did you know that one fifth of our genes, the very building blocks of our being, have been patented by major pharmaceutical corporations? One fifth! If there's any benefit at all to what I've written, it's that it'll spark an idea in someone else. I am not gonna sign away my rights, least of all to the U.S. military.
McKAY: But it has sparked an idea in someone, a big one!
JEANNIE: Like what?
McKAY: No, can't tell you. Not until you sign the agreement.
JEANNIE: I'm not signing the agreement ‘til you tell me.
KALEB (coming into the hallway with Madison in his arms): Is everything OK?
(Jeannie turns to him while gesturing towards Rodney.)
JEANNIE: Look who showed up.
(Rodney waves at him, smiling falsely.)
(Kaleb looks at him, not sure who he is.)
JEANNIE: It's my brother.
KALEB: Oh! Right. (He puts Madison down.) Hey.
(Madison runs over to Rodney and wraps her arms around his legs. Rodney grimaces.)
(Rodney looks down at her.)
McKAY: Uh ... hello, little one.
MADISON: Did you bring me a present?
(Jeannie and Kaleb laugh.)
JEANNIE: Madison! (She pulls her daughter away from Rodney.)
McKAY: What? No. I didn't know that was a rule.
MADISON: It is!
McKAY: Well, I guess I broke that rule.
KALEB: Uh, I just made some dinner. Would you care to join us?
(Jeannie turns and throws a look at Kaleb.)
McKAY: Uh, well, that would be great, actually. I am starving. You have no idea what time zone I just came from.
KALEB: Well, I sure hope you like tofu chicken.
(He takes Madison's hand and leads her off into the kitchen. Rodney laughs nervously, hands the flowers to Jeannie and walks into the house.)
McKAY: I sure hope he's kidding.
(Jeannie sighs and closes the front door.)
LATER. Jeannie and Rodney take the dishes from the dining room into the kitchen. Jeannie laughs.
JEANNIE: Not a fan of vegetarian cuisine, eh?
McKAY: Hmm. Yes, well, I suppose I was just in the mood for, um ... well, food.
(Kaleb walks in.)
KALEB: I'll give Maddie her bath. You two catch up.
JEANNIE: OK, hon.
KALEB (to Rodney): Hey, pop your head in before you leave.
McKAY (nervously): What? Uh, why?
KALEB: Children like to say goodbye.
McKAY (relieved): Oh, the, uh ... yeah, sure. Sure.
(Kaleb leaves the room. Rodney scrapes the plate he's holding into the rubbish bin.)
McKAY: Boy, Madison's sure grown, huh?
JEANNIE: Since she was born? Yeah, yeah, she has(!)
(Rodney puts his plate down and speaks quietly enough that Kaleb won't overhear him, but firmly.)
McKAY: OK, look, I don't want to waste any more of your time. You need to come with me right now. Your proof could lead to something groundbreaking.
(Jeannie turns to him thoughtfully.)
JEANNIE: How long would I be gone?
McKAY: Well, it's like, a couple of months, tops.
JEANNIE (laughing): A couple of months? Are you joking? I ... Madison has her first ballet recital next Tuesday.
McKAY: She's four! How good could she possibly be?
JEANNIE: That's not the point!
McKAY: Hey, she's not gonna remember you not being there.
JEANNIE: I'll remember me not being there.
McKAY: This is bigger than your responsibilities.
JEANNIE: OK, we've had this conversation before. You belittle my choices, I get furious at you, and we don't talk for four years. I'm not all that anxious to do that again.
McKAY: This is not what Dad would have wanted.
(Jeannie turns to him, angry that he's using the ‘Dad' card.)
McKAY: No, he would have wanted us working together, side by side, toppling problems and sharing credit.
JEANNIE: Oh, you share credit now, do you?
McKAY: This is important, Jeannie. I mean, it's much more important than you could ever imagine.
JEANNIE: For you, I am sure it is. But this, me being here, this is important for me. Why can't you accept that?
McKAY: You know, you leave me no choice.
(He takes something out of his trouser pocket and walks towards her.)
McKAY: Just give me your hand.
McKAY: Please just give me your hand.
(Jeannie reaches out, then snatches her hand back again.)
McKAY: Will you just ...?
(With an annoyed look on her face, Jeannie takes Rodney's hand. Rodney pushes a button on the device he is holding.)
DAEDALUS. Sam is standing at an Asgard panel, moving the crystals. Behind her, Rodney and Jeannie transport in. Jeannie stares around in shock.
JEANNIE: Uh ... Uh, OK, what-what the hell just happened?
(Sam walks over.)
CARTER: It's OK. You're perfectly safe.
JEANNIE: I don't feel perfectly safe.
McKAY: OK, you've just been teleported to an interstellar vessel in orbit around the planet.
JEANNIE (sarcastically): Please. Teleportation is about as likely as time travel.
(Rodney and Sam exchange a glance.)
McKAY: Hmm. Yes, well ...
(He takes Jeannie by the shoulders and turns her around. They are standing at a floor-to-ceiling window which shows that they are indeed in space with Earth below them.)
JEANNIE: Ohhh my.
McKAY: Oh, yes.
JEANNIE (staring at the planet): Is-is that ...? (Then her train of thought shifts.) Why aren't we weightless?
CARTER: Artificial gravity, and yes, that is North America, and you are in geosynchronous orbit.
McKAY: We work for something called the Stargate Programme.
McKAY: It's a device that creates stable, artificial wormholes that allows us to travel between other planets -- even other galaxies.
JEANNIE (gazing out of the window): What have you gotten yourself involved in here, Meredith?
(Behind her, Rodney closes his eyes and groans. Sam stares.)
McKAY: It's a long story.
JEANNIE: It's his name.
CARTER: Your name is Meredith McKay?!
McKAY: Meredith Rodney McKay, yes, but I prefer to go by "Rodney." Look, can we just stick to the point here? Look out the window. Much more interesting than my name.
CARTER: Your name is Meredith?!
(Jeannie finally tears herself away from the window and gestures around the ship as she walks deeper into the room.)
JEANNIE: So this, this is, like, a ... like a space ship?
(Rodney and Sam turn to face her, Sam putting a comforting hand briefly on Rodney's shoulder.)
CARTER: This is a U.S. Air Force vessel called the Daedalus.
McKAY: Your equation has real-world applications I'm certain you've never even considered.
CARTER: You see, there are some ... very bad creatures out there that want nothing more but to destroy this planet and everything that you hold dear.
JEANNIE: Uh, did you say "creatures"? Like ... like alien creatures?
McKAY: Look, the work we could do is important, Jeannie, not just to you or me ...
(Jeannie walks back to the window to look down at Earth.)
McKAY: ... to every living being down there, and that includes Madison and, um ...
(He grimaces as he realises that he can't remember the name of her husband.)
McKAY: Kaleb, yes.
CARTER: We can't do this without you.
McKAY (looking at her): Let's not go overboard. I mean, she'd be an asset, but ...
(She and Rodney give Jeannie a moment while she thinks about it.)
CARTER: So what do you say, Mrs Miller?
JEANNIE: Look, it's just a lot to take in right now, OK? Just give me a second, Mer.
(She looks around the ship, then back out of the window at Earth.)
JEANNIE: So somewhere down there, my husband is giving my daughter a bath.
(Behind her, Rodney smiles affectionately.)
NIGHTTIME. MILLER HOUSE. Kaleb wakes up and sees Jeannie sitting on the side of the bed and gazing up into the night sky through the window. He sits up in bed and laughs ruefully.
KALEB: You have to go.
(Jeannie sighs and nods.)
JEANNIE: I know.
EARTH ORBIT. Daedalus leaves orbit and jumps into hyperspace. Inside the ship, Rodney and Jeannie walk along a corridor.
McKAY: What did you tell Kaleb?
JEANNIE: The truth.
McKAY: What?! Do you have any idea what "non-disclosure" means?!
JEANNIE: Just because we don't keep secrets from each other doesn't mean we're incapable of it.
McKAY: What did he say?
JEANNIE: Um, he's concerned that me telling him will get him assassinated. (She laughs for a moment, then looks at Rodney, her face serious.) That-that won't happen, right?
McKAY: Oh, probably not.
(They go into a lab where Sam talks to them via a video link from Earth.)
CARTER: Again, I'm sorry I couldn't come with you, but there's just too much going on here.
McKAY: It's fine.
CARTER: Well, I thought I could at least help you get Jeannie up to speed before you guys are out of comm range.
(Rodney and Jeannie both nod.)
CARTER: About a year ago, your brother came across an abandoned alien experiment called Project Arcturus.
(Rodney calls up the information on another screen as Sam continues talking.)
CARTER: It was an attempt to generate zero point energy.
JEANNIE: That would be virtually limitless power. What happened?
McKAY: A slight problem. It was the creation of exotic particles in the containment field.
CARTER: He destroyed a solar system.
JEANNIE: Meredith! (She smacks his arm.)
McKAY: It was uninhabited!
CARTER: Your brother, along with many others, has been trying to figure out a way to draw zero point energy from a parallel space time.
McKAY: Which would get us around the whole problem of the creation of dangerous exotic particles in our own space time.
JEANNIE: And my theory is about bridging universes.
CARTER: Exactly. Yeah, we're hoping to use your proof as the theoretical basis for building a bridge from a parallel space time to ours.
JEANNIE: The energy you'd need would be enormous to the point of absurd.
McKAY: Absurd we can do. We have something called a Zero Point Module which essentially does what we're attempting on a smaller scale -- extract energy from subspace time.
JEANNIE: So subspace is real?
CARTER: You're flying in it.
JEANNIE (nervously): Oh. (Then she forgets her nerves as she thinks more about the problem.) Aren't you worried about the exotic particles crossing back over my bridge?
CARTER: Well, that's the beauty of your theory. It should not only allow us to build a bridge, it should also allow us to manage the flow rate of energy.
JEANNIE: Like a faucet.
(Rodney laughs condescendingly.)
McKAY: Well, something like that.
CARTER: It's exactly like that.
(Rodney's smile fades.)
JEANNIE: What about the parallel universe? Aren't you just shifting the exotic particle problem to their side?
CARTER: Potentially. But when you consider that the number of possible parallel universes that we could access borders on the infinite, the odds of us choosing at random one that's inhabited are astronomically slim.
CARTER: I know, it's an awful lot to take in at once.
(Jeannie turns to Rodney, looking smug.)
JEANNIE: I solved your problem in my spare time ... with finger paints.
McKAY: Here we go.
JEANNIE: I just can't imagine how you're surviving the humiliation.
McKAY: Look, if it wasn't for my work, your little theory would be useless ...
CARTER: Whoa, whoa! Siblings, please!
McKAY and JEANNIE (simultaneously as they turn back to the screen): Sorry.
(Sam ducks her head, unsuccessfully trying to hide a smile.)
CARTER: Well, it's just that you both said "sorry" in that cute little Canadian way, and I ... (She trails off as Rodney and Jeannie exchange a look.) Sorry. Touch base when you get back to Atlantis. (She smiles at them.) Good luck.
(She ends the transmission. Rodney and Jeannie stand and leave the room.)
JEANNIE: These alien creatures must be quite the threat for you to even try what you're doing.
McKAY: Now, I don't want to scare you, but you need to know the stakes. We are at war.
(Jeannie looks at him suspiciously.)
JEANNIE: Did you start it?
McKAY (indignantly): What? No! Come on!
A montage of scenes follows as Rodney and Jeannie continue to work while Daedalus makes its two week or so trip back to Atlantis.
(Rodney and Jeannie are in a lab. Rodney is sitting down looking at his sister's calculations.)
McKAY: OK, you've got a nota bene by the cosmological constant. Why is that?
(He looks up to see Jeannie standing at the window watching hyperspace rush past.)
(She doesn't reply. He sighs, stands up and walks over to her.)
McKAY: Hey. (He snaps his fingers in front of her face. Finally she notices him.) Yeah. (He points back to the desk.) Why you're here, remember?
JEANNIE (turning and walking back to the desk): Yeah.
McKAY: Thank you.
(Rodney and Jeannie come out of an elevator, looking at some calculations.)
McKAY: So there's your problem right there.
JEANNIE (pointing at the screen of the laptop she is carrying): What are you talking about? It's here, and you made a mistake.
McKAY: No I didn't!
(In Engineering, Rodney shows a laptop screen to Hermiod the Asgard.)
McKAY: OK, so, we need a yea or nay on the equations.
(Jeannie is staring at Hermiod, though it's not clear whether she hasn't yet got used to seeing a little grey alien or whether she is worried that he won't be happy with the equations. Hermiod looks at Rodney and inclines his head.)
ATLANTIS. In a lab in Atlantis, Radek walks across to a screen as it beeps. A message comes up saying "Transmission from Daedalus -- Dr McKay." A "Loading" line runs across the screen, then blueprints appear.
McKAY (voiceover): Atlantis already has a containment chamber we can use. I'll forward the necessary modifications to Zelenka. Now, if he doesn't mess it up, he can make the changes we need before we even get there.
(Radek stares at the complicated design, then switches to the next page, then the next. The finished product is a huge circular device.)
(Some time later, the doors of the containment chamber open to reveal the finished circular power generator. It's about the same size as a Stargate. Radek and various other scientists, dressed in white decontamination suits and hoods, are busy working in the lab. Radek walks over to the control console and looks at a female scientist sitting there.)
(On Daedalus, Rodney -- with Jeannie standing nearby -- is showing another laptop to Hermiod.)
McKAY: Now, we've been through these calculations a number of times, and I think we've settled on a containment field setup that should work for us. (He points at the screen.) I just wanna show you these ...
(In the Atlantis containment chamber lab, Radek looks a little worried as he goes over to a screen and watches as a green oscillating wave runs across it. The top of the screen shows the message "In progress." Shortly afterwards, the message changes to "Successful.")
ZELENKA: Yes, we have it, people! Good work! (The other scientists in the room applaud.) Good work, everybody.
(He looks at his watch and shrugs.)
ZELENKA: Just in time.
ATLANTIS CONTROL ROOM. John is walking with Doctor Elizabeth Weir to the stairs down into the Gateroom.
WEIR: Had he talked about his sister with you?
SHEPPARD: Once or twice in passing. Usually like, "Come on, even my sister can do it!" You know, that type of thing.
(Elizabeth laughs, then turns to Radek as he comes up the stairs to meet them.)
WEIR: How's it coming, Radek?
ZELENKA: The simulations are all in the green. We're ready to try power-up.
WEIR: Just in time.
ZELENKA: That's actually what I just said.
(He laughs nervously. The three of them walk down into the Gateroom and stop as a transporter beams Rodney and Jeannie into the room. Jeannie cringes.)
JEANNIE: Holy cow! That can't be good for you.
SHEPPARD: Nothing to worry about. I've done it dozens of times. (He offers his hand to her as she turns around to face him. They shake hands as he smiles at her.) John Sheppard.
McKAY: Yeah. She's married, and she's my sister.
SHEPPARD: I'm just saying hi.
McKAY: Yeah. No, I know exactly what you're doing. I've seen that look before ... Kirk.
(John frowns at him as Elizabeth smiles at Jeannie and shakes her hand.)
WEIR: Hello, Mrs Miller. I'm Doctor Elizabeth Weir. Welcome to Atlantis.
JEANNIE: Thank you. Mer's told me so much about you.
SHEPPARD: All good, I ... Did you just call him "Mer"?
McKAY (quickly, before Jeannie can say anything): It's a pet name. (To Radek) Where are we?
ZELENKA: Simulations are all in the green. We're ready to try a power-up.
JEANNIE: Really? So soon? That's amazing. Excellent work, Radek.
ZELENKA (surprised): Thank you!
McKAY: Yes, we try not to encourage him. He's got a bit of an ego.
(As they all walk out of the room, Jeannie leans round behind Rodney's back and whispers, "Thank you," to Radek, who smiles in delight.)
CONTAINMENT LAB. Inside the chamber, lights are running around the inside of the generator. Jeannie looks through the glass door at it, checks her laptop and then walks over to a console to join Radek. Nearby, Rodney is checking the readings on another console as Elizabeth stands beside him.
McKAY: In-chamber conditions are green. Containment field is in the green. Monitors are green.
JEANNIE: Everything's green.
ZELENKA (quietly to Jeannie): He likes to do the checklist.
McKAY: ZedP.M. levels are well into the green. And back-up terminals are ... green. (He straightens up and turns to Elizabeth.) We're ready to initiate power-up.
WEIR: Good luck.
McKAY (rubbing his hands together): Right. Here we go.
(Jeannie hurries over to him, Radek following her.)
JEANNIE: Want to turn it on together?
McKAY: Why would we do that?
JEANNIE: Because it's both of our work. (She smiles at him.)
McKAY: Yeah, well, there's only room on the button for one finger, so ...
JEANNIE: Well, then, can I do it?
McKAY (pointing down to his finger already on the keyboard): Yeah, but I'm-I'm right here, so ...
ZELENKA (to Jeannie): He likes to push the button.
JEANNIE (disappointed and slightly annoyed): Fine. Go.
McKAY: Powering up to five percent.
(He pushes the button dramatically as Jeannie walks away in a huff. Energy runs around the generator and a small yellow glow appears in the middle, then gets larger.)
McKAY: Containment field is holding. Power generation is steady. (He smiles smugly at Elizabeth.)
JEANNIE: What about exotic particles?
McKAY: Jeannie, please, I'm on it. We are holding at five percent. (He smiles again.)
WEIR: Good. Now what?
(Before Rodney can answer her, Jeannie speaks.)
JEANNIE: The safe thing to do is hold at five percent for the next while.
McKAY: She wasn't talking to you.
(Jeannie and Radek, who had been looking at the other console, look up at him.)
WEIR: Actually, it was an open question to the floor.
JEANNIE: "Shared credit", huh? "We'll do this together"? "Dad'll be so proud."
McKAY: This is not the time or the place.
JEANNIE: Fine. I'm going to my quarters. (She storms out.)
McKAY (irritated): Yes, well, good night. Thank you.
(He looks part annoyed and part embarrassed as Elizabeth turns to him.)
McKAY: Well, obviously we ... hold at five percent for the next while and, um, see if any problems turn up.
McKAY: I should probably try to get some rest myself. (He clicks his fingers in the other scientists' direction.) Could you ... ?
(He walks away as the female scientist walks over to his console.)
NIGHTTIME. Four or so scientists -- now out of their decontamination gear -- are sitting in the lab keeping watch over the generator as it continues to cycle. From their bored faces and slumped sitting positions, they've been there for some hours. Suddenly the yellow glow in the centre of the generator becomes much larger and brighter and the green lights around the outside of the device turn orange.
SCIENTIST: What the ...? (She points to another scientist.) Shut it down.
(As the generator powers down, a message appears on her screen: "Foreign object in containment chamber.")
SCIENTIST: "Foreign object." Go get Doctor Zelenka.
(Another scientist runs from the room.)
SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. The red light above the doors of the containment chamber turns to green and the doors open. The light inside the generator is no longer yellow but a glowing green. It fades and reveals a man crouched down inside the generator. He looks up. It's Rodney McKay -- but he doesn't quite look the same. His hair is a little more mussy and therefore looks sexier, and he's wearing a black leather jacket. He lifts his head and looks out the door to see Radek and several other scientists staring in disbelief. Alt-Rodney grins.
ALT-McKAY: It worked.
(He jumps down out of the generator.)
ZELENKA (thinking that somehow this must be our Rodney): What are you doing?
ALT-McKAY (grinning at him): Radek.
ALT-McKAY: I need to speak to whoever's in charge of this project.
(Radek, confused, looks round briefly at the other scientists before turning back to Alt-Rodney.)
ZELENKA: But ... that's you.
(Alt-Rodney smiles and puts his hands on his hips.)
ALT-McKAY: Well, then ... I guess I need to speak to me.
MESS HALL. Rodney (our Rodney) walks in and hears the sound of people laughing hysterically. He goes to investigate and finds Jeannie sitting with John, Teyla Emmagan and Ronon Dex, all of them in fits of laughter. He walks over to their table as they continue to giggle. Jeannie waves at him.
McKAY: What is this?
SHEPPARD: Hey, Meredith!
McKAY: Oh, wonderful(!)
JEANNIE: John here was kind enough to show me around, offer me a warm meal, and introduce me to some of your friends.
McKAY: What have you told them?
SHEPPARD (his face straight): We weren't talking about you.
McKAY (hopefully): Oh, you weren't?
TEYLA: Uh, no. We were discussing many things.
SHEPPARD: Now, when the issue of bedwetting happened to come up, she may have mentioned something about your childhood.
McKAY: That is not true!
DEX: Relax. We all have embarrassing childhood stories.
SHEPPARD: Of course we do.
DEX: There was one time the school bullies made me eat lunch with my underwear on my head.
DEX: Oh, wait, that was you.
(The four of them crack up laughing.)
McKAY: Oh, hardy har-har. And this is revenge for what, exactly?
JEANNIE: You don't even know, do you?
WEIR's VOICE (over the tannoy): Colonel Sheppard and Doctor McKay to the Isolation Room immediately.
McKAY: Isolation Room? (He gestures to John and Jeannie.) Come on.
OBSERVATION ROOM ABOVE THE ISOLATION ROOM. The leather-jacketed Rodney can be seen on the video feed as he strolls casually around the Isolation Room. Elizabeth is watching the screen but turns as John, Jeannie and our Rodney come in. They stare at the screen.
McKAY: What in the world?
JEANNIE: It's you.
WEIR: No, that is a live closed-circuit feed of a man we have in the Isolation Room.
(She leads them to the window overlooking the Isolation Room and they all stare down into it. Alt-Rodney, noticing them, stops his strolling and looks up at them calmly.)
JEANNIE (looking at her brother briefly before staring down into the room again): What?!
WEIR: He appeared in the containment chamber in some sort of forcefield.
SHEPPARD: What do you mean, he appeared?
WEIR: Out of thin air. I have Zelenka working on it. Obviously we shut down the project.
SHEPPARD: Well, how'd he get in there?
WEIR: He claims to be from a parallel universe.
(Jeannie rolls her eyes and turns to Rodney.)
JEANNIE: You said the odds against this were astronomical.
McKAY: You saw the math!
JEANNIE: Well, we got it wrong.
McKAY: Yeah, well, he's here now, so the question is, what does he want?
WEIR: To talk to you.
(Rodney grimaces for a moment, then turns to Jeannie.)
McKAY: Alright, you want shared credit? (Jeannie shakes her head.) You're coming in with me.
JEANNIE: Wait ...
(Rodney has already started to leave the room. Jeannie sighs and follows him.)
ISOLATION ROOM. Alt-Rodney turns as the door opens and our Rodney and Jeannie walk in.
ALT-McKAY: Wow. Now, I figured you'd be here, but, uh, but Jeannie? I always hoped we'd work together in Atlantis.
JEANNIE (staring back and forth between the two men): Huh. This is a first.
McKAY and ALT-McKAY (simultaneously): For me too.
(Alt-Rodney gestures to a couple of chairs in the room.)
ALT-McKAY: Have a seat. (He turns to our Rodney.) Now, I presume you go by ...
ALT-McKAY: Ah. Rod.
(Rodney turns to Jeannie.)
McKAY: I could never get anyone to call me that.
[From now on, I'll refer to Alt-Rodney as "Rod."]
(Rod sits down on one chair while Rodney takes the one opposite. Jeannie stands beside him.)
ROD: OK, I'm gonna make some assumptions based on what I've seen here and from readings we've taken in my own space time. Please stop me if I'm wrong. One: I presume you're running some sort of experiment that's designed to bridge between parallel universes. And two: it has something to do with power generation. Warm? Cold?
JEANNIE: Uh, hot. (She laughs.)
ROD: Well, I'm sure the experiment's been a success on this side, but it's having some rather serious repercussions in my universe.
(Jeannie smacks Rodney's arm.)
JEANNIE: I told you.
McKAY: Not now!
JEANNIE (to Rod): Dangerous exotic particles that don't belong in either of our universes are being created on your side of the bridge.
(Rodney turns and throws her a dark look. Rod leans forward to him.)
ROD: Oh, so you knew this could happen?
McKAY (nervously): Uh, there was a slight risk, yes.
(Up in the Observation Room, John and Elizabeth are watching the conversation.)
SHEPPARD: This is weird.
ROD: Well, you're quite correct, Jeannie, and because these particles don't behave according to any of the laws of physics in our space time, they're creating a tear in the fabric of our universe.
JEANNIE: Huh! (She looks down at Rodney.) First a solar system, now a universe.
McKAY (impatiently): Yes. (To Rod) How exactly did you get here?
ROD: Ah. Well, we detected the anomaly about twenty hours ago in space above the planet. We manoeuvered one of our Jumpers in close and tried to broadcast a signal to whoever was on the other side.
McKAY: Yes, but of course we would be unable to detect that signal from within the containment chamber.
ROD (nodding): So Sheppard and I came up with a plan to beam a person into the anomaly. They would be protected by an Ancient personal forcefield that we discovered.
(Rodney smiles ruefully.)
McKAY: I depleted ours.
JEANNIE (to Rod): Still, it was an incredible risk.
ROD: Well, it was Sheppard's idea.
(In the Observation Room, John smiles smugly.)
ROD: We decided it might allow one of us to cross the bridge you'd created and bring the problem to your attention. There was very little time, and, well, there seemed to be no other way. We drew straws.
McKAY: You lost.
ROD: I won! (Rodney stares at him.) What, the prospect of saving an entire universe? No-brainer.
McKAY (unconvincingly): Oh, sure.
(Jeannie laughs, mostly in amazement at how much cooler her alt-brother is, then looks at him apologetically.)
JEANNIE: I can't begin to say how sorry we are.
ROD: Yes, well, you could start by shutting down the experiment?
McKAY: Already done. And after hearing what you've told me, I see no reason why we'd start it back up again.
ROD: Great. Then my work here is done. (He gives a thumbs up.) Mission accomplished.
(He chuckles happily. Jeannie smiles with him. Rodney looks awkward, then realises something.)
McKAY: Uh, well, yes, but how did you plan on getting, you know, back -- I mean, to your own universe?
ROD: The matter bridge you created is unidirectional.
JEANNIE: But that means ...
ROD: Yes. Yes, it does.
LATER. Rod has been brought to some guest quarters and he and Jeannie are making the bed while John and Rodney talk outside.
ROD: So, Jeannie, do you have three kids in this universe?
JEANNIE: No. Just the one.
ROD: Huh. Well, I'm sure you're as great a mother in this space time as you are in mine. Oh! This'll blow your mind. (He rummages in his jacket pocket.) I have photographs of your alternate life. Wanna see pictures of the kids you haven't had yet?
JEANNIE: Absolutely! (She takes the photos and starts to look through them.) Oh, look at Maddie! (She looks at another picture.) Who's that?
ROD: That's Bradley and Robbie.
(Outside the room, John and Rodney walk away.)
McKAY: Alright, what's the game plan here?
SHEPPARD: We put him up here in the guest quarters until we can find something more permanent.
McKAY: Something more permanent?! Well, we're not keeping him!
SHEPPARD: He can't go back.
McKAY: That doesn't just mean he has to stay here.
SHEPPARD: He said he'd rather be on Atlantis than Earth.
McKAY: Oh, I see. So he gets his way and I don't.
SHEPPARD: How can you not wanna be with him? He's you!
McKAY: He's not me! I'm me, the real me.
SHEPPARD: I suppose it's all relative. To Rod, his reality is every bit as valid as ours. To him, we're the impostors.
McKAY: What does Elizabeth have to say about all this?
SHEPPARD: Two McKays are better than one.
McKAY: There aren't two McKays! There's one McKay -- and him.
(John gets into a transporter.)
SHEPPARD: Whatever you say ... Meredith.
(He punches the back screen and smiles sarcastically at Rodney as the doors close.)
DAYTIME. The camera, which appears to be floating on the ocean, shows the city several hundred yards away. There's a metallic clunking sound and a small white ball soars out from the city and drops into the water. The scene shifts to show Rod with a golf club over his shoulder, having just hit the ball out into the ocean. He turns and grins at John, who whistles appreciatively. Rod chuckles happily.
SHEPPARD: Nice shot! Easily two seventy-five.
(He walks onto a small piece of Astro-turf, takes a ball from a bucket of balls and puts it onto a tee.)
SHEPPARD: You know, I've been meaning to put up buoy markers, but who has the time, huh?
(Rod stares out over the ocean, smiling appreciatively.)
ROD: This is great. We don't have one of these where I'm from. Besides, you'd need to take a cattle prod to the Sheppard I know to get him up this early.
SHEPPARD: Late nights partying, huh?
(He hits his ball out into the ocean.)
ROD: If you could call it that. He's very active with the Mensa club we have there.
ROD: They have a lot of, um, functions.
SHEPPARD: Well, you can't blame a man for his intelligence.
ROD: No, but I can blame him for reminding all the time.
SHEPPARD (amazed): He doesn't!
ROD: Mmm, trust me. My Sheppard makes your Rodney seem modest in comparison.
(John looks a little disturbed by this.)
SHEPPARD: Well, I've gotta admit -- between you and me -- you're a lot different than our Rodney too.
ROD: How so?
SHEPPARD: It's the little things. You like golf; you say "please" and "thank you"; you're, um ... what's the opposite of condescending?
(Rod chuckles. John tees up another ball and whacks it out over the ocean. Rod watches it go.)
ROD: Ooh! Now, I could help you with that hook.
MESS HALL. Rodney walks in and hears the sound of people laughing hysterically. Rolling his eyes, he walks over to a table where Rod, John, Jeannie, Teyla and Ronon are in fits of laughter. People on other tables have obviously been listening to their conversation and are smiling.
McKAY: What the hell is this?
SHEPPARD: Hey, sleepyhead!
McKAY (grumpily): Yeah. Hi.
ROD (still laughing): I had a breakfast date with Jeannie. I guess it kind of ballooned into a group affair. Look, sit down. We're tracing back our lives, trying to find the little differences between our pasts.
TEYLA: Rod is an honorary member of the Athosian Council.
JEANNIE: And is godfather to his niece and nephews.
McKAY (sarcastically): Yes, well, how wonderful for him.
ROD: Well, it's easier for me. Our Earth has a ZedP.M. too, so it makes the back and forth a lot simpler.
ZELENKA's VOICE (over the tannoy): Doctors McKay, please report to the containment chamber. Doctors McKay.
McKAY and ROD (simultaneously): Excuse me.
(Rod and Jeannie get up from the table.)
DEX: Hey, Rod, are we still on to spar later?
(They knock fists together, then wiggle their fingers at each other.)
DEX and ROD (simultaneously): Ohh!
(Chuckling, Rod heads off after Rodney. Jeannie, grinning, follows him, full of admiration for her new brother.)
JEANNIE (to herself): Woah!
CONTAINMENT CHAMBER. The power generator is active.
McKAY: What do you mean you started it up again?
ZELENKA: Shutting the experiment down only made things worse for us, not better. The matter bridge is still active, but we are not drawing any power, creating pressure like a dam. If we didn't turn it on again, it could have resulted in a catastrophic overload.
ROD: Oh. We should have thought of that.
McKAY (accusingly): Mmm-hmm.
JEANNIE: Don't look at me.
McKAY: Oh, so you're willing to take all the credit but none of the blame, huh?
JEANNIE: I never wanted all the credit.
ROD: No-one is blaming you.
JEANNIE (glancing towards Rodney): Oh, really?
ROD: Look, this is just a temporary solution. The Zelenka in my space time estimates that there is at least a week and a half before the tear expands as far as the city ... my city.
JEANNIE: What'll happen when it does?
ROD: Well, imagine what would happen if you just threw the laws of physics out the window.
JEANNIE: Entropy, and chaos.
ROD: Mmm. Worst-case scenario, the entropy expands as far as the subspace layers underneath our space time.
McKAY: It could travel almost instantaneously. I mean, your entire universe could just ... (he clicks his finger) ... flash out of existence.
ROD: We need to mend that tear before it becomes irreparable. Now, I have some thoughts. Is there a place we can go to work?
McKAY: Uh, yes, of course. Follow me.
(He turns to leave the room. Rod puts his hand on Jeannie's shoulder.)
ROD: Oh, Jeannie, we could use your help.
JEANNIE: Thank you!
LAB. Rod hands a P.D.A. to Rodney.
ROD: D'you mind running up these power requirements?
McKAY (grumpily): Done. (He walks towards Jeannie, throwing a suspicious look back at Rod as he goes, then turns to his sister and speaks to her quietly.) What were you doing having breakfast with him?
JEANNIE: I don't often meet people from another universe. I found myself curiously interested.
McKAY: Yeah, well, I don't want you hanging around with him any more.
McKAY: Look, I am your real brother.
JEANNIE: In what sense?
McKAY: Oh, what is that supposed to mean?
JEANNIE: You haven't been a brother to me since I quit school.
McKAY: You were making an incredible mistake. I was just trying to ...
JEANNIE: You were trying to control my life, Mer. I disagreed with you. I still do. And what, because of that, you stop being my brother?
McKAY (indignantly): I never stopped being your brother!
JEANNIE: We haven't talked in four years.
McKAY: Don't put that all on me.
JEANNIE: It is all on you. I had no way of getting in touch with you.
McKAY: I was doing top-secret research in another galaxy!
(Realising that his voice has been getting louder, he glances round at Rod. Rod, working on a laptop, shifts uncomfortably -- it's obvious he can hear what they're saying but he tactfully keeps his eyes on his work.)
JEANNIE: You could have sent me a message. You know, call me on my birthday, at Christmas. Once a year ... that's all I would have needed. Just a "Hi. How are you? Are you happy? Are you OK?" That would have been enough, but you didn't even do that. No, no, I was wrong and you were right, so, what, I was not worth talking to?
McKAY: It wasn't like that at all.
JEANNIE: You don't like me talking to Rod because it makes you realise how bad a brother you've really been.
(Rod turns from his console and calls out to them.)
ROD: Hey, you guys got something over there?
JEANNIE: No. (She looks at Rodney significantly.) We don't.
(She turns away from him and gets on with her work. Rodney stares off into the distance, upset and lost in thought.)
JOHN'S QUARTERS. John is sitting on his bed cleaning the head of one of his golf clubs with a toothbrush. Rodney is pacing around the room.
McKAY: He's slowing me down.
SHEPPARD: Really? I thought two of you would have sped things up.
McKAY: Yeah, he's not me.
SHEPPARD: I know he's not the same person. Trust me. I'm just saying, he's a genius too, isn't he?
McKAY: Hmm. Unless he's lying.
SHEPPARD: About what?
McKAY: What if the people on his Atlantis were sick of him messing up all the time, huh? So when it came time to send some stooge on a one-way ticket to another universe, there was only one guy they could do without.
SHEPPARD: Say what you want. I know what this is about.
McKAY: Oh, really, Mr Mensa in a parallel universe? What is this all about?
SHEPPARD: You think Jeannie likes him more than you.
McKAY: What?! That's crazy. That's ... that's ... (he stops pacing and turns to John) ... that's possibly true.
SHEPPARD (smiling at him smugly): Mmm.
McKAY (starting to pace again): Jeannie and I drifted apart. I mean, that happens. It wasn't done maliciously. Do I have regrets? Yes, of course I do, but who doesn't? I mean, you know, I'm not very good at saying I'm sorry or that I'm wrong -- possibly because it happens so rarely.
SHEPPARD (cynically): Mmm-hmm.
McKAY: So I didn't call or write, and when I realised that four years has gone by, it was just a ... (He stops and pauses for a long time.) You're right. Of course, you're right. I mean, she has every reason to hate me.
SHEPPARD: I didn't say she hates you.
McKAY: Well, she should.
(John looks up at him and shrugs.)
SHEPPARD: Well, if you insist.
McKAY: I do.
SHEPPARD: Well, then, fair enough.
ZELENKA's VOICE (over the tannoy): Doctor McKay to the containment chamber. Doctor McKay.
McKAY (to John): Good talk. Thanks.
CONTAINMENT CHAMBER. Rod is following Radek across the room to a console that Jeannie is working on as Rodney comes in.
ROD: Great. He's here.
McKAY: What's going on?
ZELENKA: Well, I set up a way to pick up transmissions inside the containment chamber should Rod's universe try to contact us. We, of course, still have no way of communicating with them, but ...
McKAY: They sent us a message.
JEANNIE: Yeah. Apparently their exotic particle problem is spinning out of control much faster than they'd anticipated.
McKAY: Oh, boy.
ROD: But they have a solution.
McKAY: They do? That's great.
ROD: Well, not really. Their solution will not only destroy Atlantis but tear a hole in the fabric of this universe.
McKAY: Oh, boy.
CONFERENCE ROOM. Rodney, Rod and Jeannie are reporting to Elizabeth and John.
ROD: Now, I'm not saying that their attempt would be successful, but if it was, it would flood the exotic particles that have been created on their side into this space time all at once.
SHEPPARD: And that would, uh ...
JEANNIE: ... be bad.
SHEPPARD: Right. I got that, but, uh ...
WEIR: ... how bad?
McKAY: Well, to be honest, the science gets extremely complicated, but simply put, the tear will eventually swallow up the entire galaxy, possibly the universe.
SHEPPARD: So ... very bad.
McKAY: Well, I think we can all agree that that would be bad, yes.
ROD: Their plan will take six hours to implement.
WEIR: I suggest we do something before that.
ROD: Well, we have an idea.
McKAY: Actually, Jeannie has an idea.
(Jeannie looks surprised but pleased that her brother is giving her credit for once.)
JEANNIE: We think we can collapse the bridge with a massive burst of energy from this side.
ROD: And stop the creation of exotic particles on the other side by doing so.
SHEPPARD: How massive a burst are we talking?
McKAY: Everything we've got. I mean, enough to severely deplete our ZedP.M.
WEIR: So instead of creating a new powerful energy source, we'll be sacrificing the one we already have.
McKAY: Yes. We'd still be able to dial Earth but much less frequently, of course -- and let's just say I wouldn't wanna be around here if the Wraith show up.
ROD (grimacing): Hmm.
SHEPPARD: I don't see that we have a choice.
WEIR (reluctantly): Alright. Do it.
CONTAINMENT CHAMBER. Radek stares in disbelief at what Jeannie is typing on a console. He turns and walks over to Rodney.
ZELENKA: Doctor Weir gave the OK for this?
McKAY: You'd rather the universe was destroyed?
ZELENKA: Not really.
ROD: Rodney, talk to you for a second?
(The two of them walk away from the others.)
ROD: Look, the Daedalus is still in orbit. I thought ...
McKAY: I know what you're gonna say.
ROD: If I can beam into the energy stream protected by my personal forcefield ...
McKAY: ... you'd be transported back to your universe, I know. I didn't bring it up before because if it doesn't work ...
ROD: I'm willing to take that risk. I've already requested the Daedalus to execute the transport to the coordinates inside the chamber on your mark. That is, if you're willing to do this.
McKAY: Everyone loves you here.
ROD: Yeah, but it's not home. Look, what, my Sheppard is a know-it-all, my Teyla is hard to talk to, and my Ronon is ... well, actually those two are pretty similar.
ROD: I guess what I'm trying to say is that -- for all their faults -- they're my team. My place is with them. Besides ... (he pats Rodney's arm) ... they're not looking for another McKay around here. They already have one.
McKAY: It's just a lesser model, hmm?
ROD: I envy you. You say exactly what's on your mind no matter how it makes you look. I can only imagine the freedom you must have, not caring if people like you or not.
McKAY: Oh. People don't like me?
ROD: Trust me -- you've got it great here. Now, I've made some calculations. When the readings reach the levels I've indicated, you'll know whether or not I made it home.
McKAY (smiling a little): Oh, I guess you just need to click your heels together, huh?
(Rod offers him his hand. Rodney takes it and they shake. Rod turns it into a street shake.)
ROD: Good luck, Rodney.
McKAY: You too.
(Rod goes over to Radek and clasps his shoulder.)
ROD: Radek -- mej se. [Take care.]
(Jeannie walks towards him, her face full of concern. He turns to her.)
(They hug for a long moment. Pulling back a little, he holds her at arm's length for a second or two, then lets her go and walks over to a console. Jeannie hurries over to Rodney.)
JEANNIE: You're letting him do this?
McKAY: I tried to talk him out of it, but you know Rod.
ROD (activating a radio link to Daedalus): Hermiod, ready when you are. (He looks around at everyone and smiles.) I guess there's nothing left to say but, "There's no place like home."
(The transporter beam whisks him away. Rodney and Jeannie go over to Radek's console.)
ZELENKA: Alright, all in the green. Ready for forced power output.
McKAY: Right. And ... (He stops and turns to Jeannie.) Uh ... you wanna press the button?
JEANNIE (looking at him in surprise and pleasure): Yeah, yeah. (She laughs and turns to the console.) Sure.
(She pushes the button and the generator begins to cycle up, the yellow light glowing in its centre. She and Rodney hurry over to two different consoles.)
ZELENKA: Power is at full.
(Jeannie reports as her screen shows energy moving into the bridge.)
JEANNIE: It's working!
(Rodney activates his headset radio.)
McKAY: Hermiod, this is McKay. Commence transport.
(In Daedalus' Engine Room, Hermiod activates his controls.)
HERMIOD: Transport is complete.
JEANNIE: The bridge is already beginning to destabilise.
ZELENKA: It's not yet enough.
McKAY: ZedP.M. is at fifty percent.
ZELENKA: It's still not enough, Rodney!
JEANNIE: We have to max it out.
McKAY: Thirty percent!
(Jeannie's screen shows the energy burst retreating back towards our end. She smiles in delight.)
JEANNIE: The bridge is collapsing. We've done it!
ZELENKA: OK, we can shut it down now.
McKAY: Not yet!
McKAY: According to these readings, if we shut it down now, he won't make it!
(Behind him, a wallscreen shows that the Z.P.M. is at seventeen percent.)
JEANNIE: Give it a few more seconds.
ZELENKA (after a moment): ZeeP.M. is at five percent.
McKAY (as the screen behind him drops to three percent): Almost there ... cut power now!
(Radek punches the button. As the generator powers down, he hurries around to look at the wallscreen.)
ZELENKA: How much power did we drain from the ZeeP ... M?
(He trails off as he sees the screen. Jeannie looks at the screen and stares in shock. Its message reads, "ZPM Module depleted. 0%."
McKAY (appalled): All of it. (He groans.) I drained all of it.
JEANNIE: You did the right thing.
McKAY: Hmm. Well, I suppose I would've done the same thing for ... me.
(All the screens go off, then all the lights go out and the room is plunged into darkness. A moment later some of the lights come back on again as the city switches from Z.P.M. power to naqahdah generators.)
McKAY: I am so fired.
NIGHTTIME. The video recording which Rodney made during "Letters from Pegasus" is playing on a laptop.)
McKAY: Jeannie? This is your brother, Rodney. I wanna s-say, um ... family is important. I-I've come to realise that because the people here have become a sort of a ... kind of a surrogate family to me. (He smiles.) Now, I know what you're thinking: I've never really been the poster child for that kind of sentiment but, uh, when ... when one's contemplating ones own demise, one tends to see things more clearly. I really do wish you the best, you know, and I'm sorry we weren't closer. Perhaps, um ... if by chance I make it out of this, perhaps one day we can be, and I would like that. (He gazes at the camera for a moment, then pulls himself together.) Now -- if there's time I'd like to ...
(The recording is switched off and we see that Jeannie is watching it in her quarters. John is sitting nearby.)
JEANNIE: When did he record this?
SHEPPARD: Couple of years back when we thought the bad guys were gonna get us.
(Jeannie looks lost in thought for a moment, then turns and smiles at John.)
JEANNIE: Now I've seen three sides of my brother!
(Rodney walks in and looks at them suspiciously.)
McKAY: What are you two up to?
(Jeannie closes the lid of the laptop and hands it back to John.)
SHEPPARD: Nothing. Just, uh ... telling stories about you. You know, trying to help her fall sleep.
McKAY (sarcastically): Ah-ha-ha.
SHEPPARD: I'll leave you guys alone.
(He stands up and leaves the room. Rodney watches him go, then turns to Jeannie and raises a hand to her, smiling awkwardly.)
McKAY: Hey, you should be packing. Daedalus leaves in the morning.
(Jeannie picks up a bag from the floor and puts it on the bed.)
JEANNIE: I'm done. How'd it go with Weir?
McKAY: Oh, um, well, she wasn't too happy about the whole killing of the ZedP.M. but, you know, in the grand scheme of things, we did prevent the destruction of the universe, so, you know, not fired.
JEANNIE: That's good.
(There's an awkward pause.)
McKAY: Ooh, right, uh ... I got this for Madison.
(He holds out a clay figure to her.)
JEANNIE (unenthusiastically): Oh.
McKAY: Yeah. I ... swiped it from Weir's desk. It's not like there's a Toys "R" Us nearby, so, uh ...
JEANNIE: Well, it's the thought that counts, I guess. (She puts the figure into her bag.) Well, I'd say "see you around," but ...
McKAY: Yes. About that ... (He gazes at her for a moment.) ... which is to say, um ... look ... what I ... I wanted to ...
(Jeannie smiles at him, unable to bear his embarrassment any longer.)
JEANNIE: Thank you for trying.
(She looks down at her bag again as she fastens it. Rodney looks at her a little longer, then walks over to her and wraps his arms around her. For a moment, Jeannie is too surprised to react, then she smiles and puts her arms around him.)
McKAY (his eyes full of tears): How are you? Are you happy? Are you OK?
JEANNIE (her eyes equally wet): Yeah, Mer. I am. I really am.
(They hug for a moment longer, then step back a little.)
McKAY: Intergalactic gate network should be completed soon, so, um, maybe it won't be four years next time?
JEANNIE: Does this mean I'll see you at Christmas?
McKAY: If you can convince Kaleb not to make tofurkey.
(Jeannie laughs and points at him.)
JEANNIE: No promises!
(Rodney grins at her, then turns and leaves the room, smiling happily.)
MESS HALL. Rodney walks in and hears the sound of people laughing hysterically. He looks over to a table where John, Teyla and Ronon are in fits of laughter. Slowly, and very annoyed, he walks over to them.
McKAY: Am I just not getting the team e-mails anymore?
SHEPPARD: Take it easy. We're just talking about Rod.
McKAY: Oh, yes. Well, of course you are.
TEYLA: Do you think he made it back to his universe?
McKAY: Well, it's hard to say, really, but I doubt he'll be back, though.
SHEPPARD: That's good. We found him a little, uh, creepy.
DEX: Yeah, I can't stand people who are nice all the time. Makes me feel like they're trying to hide something.
TEYLA: He kept trying to correct me on my Athosian history. It grew tiresome very quickly.
McKAY (unconvincingly): Well, he wasn't that bad.
SHEPPARD: Yeah, let's be honest. Rod was annoying.
McKAY: Well, I'll be honest with you. That's kind of nice to hear. (He turns to get a chair to bring to the table. As he does, the rest of the team smile knowingly at each other.) Now ... what else has been happening?
SHEPPARD: Well, Teyla's got the hots for one of the new marines.
(Teyla looks indignant and kicks his leg.)
TEYLA: That is not true!
DEX: You know it is.
(The camera pulls away from the table as Team Sheppard continues to chat.)