The Ark

Transcript

Summary | Transcript

The team discovers the last of a civilization in suspended animation, whose survival is at risk when their station is critically damaged.

EPISODE #316
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 05.18.07
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 02.18.08
DVD DISC: Season 3, Disc 4
DIRECTED BY: William Waring
STORY BY: Ken Cuperus & Scott Nimerfro
TELEPLAY BY: Ken Cuperus
DOWNLOAD NOW:
  Amazon    iTunes

Transcript by Callie Sullivan

Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard is wearing a spacesuit and is sitting at the controls of a vessel. We cannot see what sort of vessel it is but it is shaking violently.

SHEPPARD: Initiating separation manoeuvre in three, two, one, mark.

(He flicks a switch. Alarms beep.)

SHEPPARD: Separation is negative. Switching to back-up.

(He swivels around in his seat to another control panel.)

SHEPPARD: Disengage. Come on! (Alarms beep again.) Dammit! The bolts will not work. I repeat: the explosive bolts will not fire. Unable to separate ship. I don't know if you can hear me but it looks like I'm gonna have to ride this one down.

(He grips the control column fiercely as the vessel continues to shake violently.)


EIGHT HOURS EARLIER.

A small moon is floating in space. A large cavern has been hollowed out inside a crater. The cavern is obviously man-made. John's voice can be heard over radio.

SHEPPARD: Well, you wanted to take a look. Now you have.

McKAY: What? We just got here.

(John and Doctor Rodney McKay, both wearing spacesuits, are walking through a base built inside the moon. The equipment in the base does not look Ancient -- it is too basic. There are computer monitors and databanks all around, and various storage containers are lying around. There is minimal power and so the area is quite dark. The men are looking around using flashlights.)

SHEPPARD: We've been here long enough. There's nothin' here of any use to us.

McKAY: We can't know that until we've explored deeper into the station.

SHEPPARD: I guarantee you you're gonna see pretty much the same technology that you're looking at here, which I call vintage 1967.

McKAY (sarcastically): Oh, yeah, yeah. You know, we hollowed out a lot of moons back in the sixties.

SHEPPARD: Well, if we did, this is what it would look like.

McKAY: What about that shuttle, huh? You know, that we saw when we docked?

SHEPPARD: That was very double-oh-seven.

McKAY: Ah, see? Even you were intrigued.

SHEPPARD: A little bit. Elizabeth gave us the go-ahead to explore this station if -- and I underline the “if” there -- we find anything we can use against our many and sundry bad guys. This technology's antiquated at best. These containers are just full of supplies.

McKAY: Building a place like this inside a moon must have taken tremendous resources. Whoever built it must have had a damned good reason, and if we wanna find out what that reason is, we need to look further inside.

SHEPPARD: Teyla, Ronon -- are you listening to this?

(Back at the cavern that forms the base's hangar, the Puddle Jumper has docked near to a large space shuttle. Teyla Emmagan and Ronon Dex are inside the Jumper. Teyla answers John, sounding a little fed up. It seems likely that they've been there a long time.)

TEYLA: Yes. Yes we are, Colonel Sheppard.

SHEPPARD: You guys care what's inside this place?

DEX (sounding bored): No.

TEYLA: Perhaps it would be more appropriate for a team of scientists to return.

SHEPPARD: Good idea. We're out of here.

(As John and Rodney reach a T-junction inside the base, John turns to the left, apparently heading back towards the Jumper. Rodney spots a closed hatch to the right and heads that way.)

McKAY: Oh, wait-wait-wait-wait. I need to find out what's inside. I'm the same way with Christmas presents and piñatas. One more compartment, other side of this door.

SHEPPARD (turning to follow him): OK. Just one more.

(All the pressure hatches in the base have a large wheel in the centre of them, like you'd see on a submarine. Rodney turns the wheel, pushes the hatch open and they go inside, shining their flashlights around the room.)

McKAY: Looks like some kind of control room.

(They look around, then go over to a window which overlooks the shuttle.)

SHEPPARD (admiringly): Look at that.

(Rodney chuckles.)

McKAY: Intrigued?

SHEPPARD: Looks like it was built for re-entry.

(Rodney looks at the control panel below the window.)

McKAY: Looks like some kind of rudimentary computer system but it's locked up. Let's see if I can reboot it and get power online.

(He starts to walk around the room, looking at the various control panels around the walls.)

SHEPPARD: D'you think that's such a good idea? Didn't you say this station's probably powered by a nuclear reactor?

McKAY (flicking switches): Well, it's definitely powered by a reactor ... (he continues flicking switches) ... and I just increased its power output.

(The lights in the room come on.)

SHEPPARD (angrily): Rodney!

McKAY (chuckling happily): You said you wanted to take a closer look at that shuttle.

SHEPPARD: I did not!

McKAY: Ah, well, you were thinkin' it. Besides, I'll have life support online in no time. (He reaches down to a small panel.) Closing outer doors.

SHEPPARD: Why?

(There's a rumbling sound as the hangar doors close.)

McKAY: So we can repressurise the hangar so we can get out of these suits.

SHEPPARD: It's not our job to satisfy your curiosity.

(Air starts to hiss into the room.)

McKAY: Hey, we can't stop now. We just cracked open the piñata.

(He grins happily. Just then one of the consoles beeps warningly.)

SHEPPARD: Hey, what's that?

McKAY: Picking up an energy spike from one of the other compartments. (He looks at the screen, puzzled.) Now it's gone.

SHEPPARD: Good.

McKAY: Not good. There's something frighteningly familiar about that energy signature. Check your life signs detector again.

(John looks down at the detector which is strapped to the sleeve of his spacesuit. It beeps.)

SHEPPARD: We've got company.


SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. John pushes open a pressure hatch and walks cautiously into the compartment, aiming his rifle. Rodney follows him. The room has more consoles around the walls, and there are two large metal cradles in the room. One of them is empty but the other has a large device on it. It's about six feet long and shoulder height and is lit with glowing green panels. Lying unconscious on the floor on the other side of the device is a man in his mid thirties, dressed only in a sort of boiler suit which is brown in colour.

SHEPPARD: Alright. Who the hell is this guy?


ATLANTIS. The Stargate is open. John is reporting over the radio from the moonbase to Doctor Elizabeth Weir.

WEIR: You reported that there were no life signs. How did he get there?

SHEPPARD: We don't know yet.

(John and Rodney have brought the man back to the Puddle Jumper and have laid him on one of the benches in the rear of the ship. Teyla and Ronon are checking the man over. John has removed his spacesuit. Rodney is still in his, although he has taken the helmet off.)

SHEPPARD: Some kind of a energy spike right when his life signs popped up.

McKAY: I recognised the energy signature as very similar -- virtually identical -- to Wraith beaming technology. I think he was automatically reintegrated when life support systems started up.

WEIR: Beaming technology?! A minute ago you said the station was antiquated.

SHEPPARD: Other than the one upgrade.

McKAY: And the artificial gravity.

SHEPPARD: Say early Apollo programme.

McKAY: Well, I'd need to take a closer look but I am pretty sure that that device is modified Wraith technology -- probably from a crashed Dart. If you think about it, it's actually a brilliant fusion of ...

WEIR (deliberately interrupting him): And what do you intend to do with this person we've now assumed responsibility for?

McKAY: Oh, I dunno. I didn't think that far ahead.

WEIR: Yeah, obviously not. But if one person beamed out of nowhere ...

SHEPPARD: ... there may be others where he came from. I was thinking the same thing.

TEYLA: He is regaining consciousness.

SHEPPARD (into radio): Alright, we'll find out in a minute. Our boy's waking up. Call you in one hour.

WEIR: One hour it is.

(The team gathers around the man as he slowly sits up on the bench.)

TEYLA: It is alright. You are among friends.

(The man looks around at the team in confusion.)

HERICK: The war is over?

SHEPPARD: We're not from here. I'm Sheppard; this is McKay, Teyla, Ronon.

HERICK: Herick.

TEYLA (gently): I am sorry, Herick, but we have scanned the surface of your planet. If your world was at war with the Wraith, the war was lost many years ago.

McKAY: More like centuries.

(Teyla lowers her head in irritation.)

McKAY: I mean, there is nothing down there but ruins and plant life.

SHEPPARD: Dial up the sensitivity a notch, alright?

(Rodney looks embarrassed.)

HERICK: Defeat was expected, but the computer was supposed to extract me automatically in order to restore the others.

McKAY: Unfortunately the computer froze. It was completely locked up. Probably should have used a Mac.

SHEPPARD: What -- what others?

HERICK: The others in storage.

McKAY: You used Wraith beaming technology for long-term storage? That's crazy. Well, the energy patterns couldn't possibly stay stable that long.

HERICK: Our engineers found a way.

SHEPPARD: Back up a sec. How many others?

HERICK: Each module was to store over a thousand.

TEYLA: Then this place was ...?

HERICK: Created to save the last of my people. Once the Wraith were gone, and the planet was once again habitable, I was to fly one of the two shuttles back to the surface, but obviously something went wrong.

SHEPPARD: On that subject, there's only one shuttle out there.

HERICK: That's impossible.

(He stands up and starts to leave the Jumper but John steps into his path and Ronon puts his hand onto Herick's chest to stop him proceeding further.)

HERICK: Please -- I must get to the pattern storage room. (He looks between John and Ronon as he speaks.) The second pattern storage module was to be stored on the other shuttle. Half those chosen for this were to be on board ... including my wife and son.

SHEPPARD (to Ronon): Let him go. (He steps aside and looks at Rodney and Teyla as Herick hurries out.) You two stay here.

(He and Ronon follow Herick.)


ELSEWHERE. Herick races through the corridors, John and Ronon running after him. He runs into the Pattern Storage Room -- the room where John and Rodney had found him. He stops and stares in anguish for a moment at the empty cradle, then hurries over to the other one and starts to type on a panel on the device.

HERICK: They were to launch within hours of us. Jamus gave me his word.

DEX: Maybe the Wraith got to ‘em before they could get to it.

HERICK: No. They were ready. I spoke to the pilot myself. They were just hours behind us.

McKAY (over radio): Sheppard, I'm getting another power spike. What's going on?

SHEPPARD (to Herick): What are you doing?

HERICK: Getting answers.

(He presses a button and a beam similar to a Wraith transporter beam shoots out of the device. It deposits an older man into the room. He is wearing a similar boiler suit to Herick, although his is blue. Instantly John and Ronon raise their pistol and blaster and aim them at him. Herick rushes across to the man and grabs him, shouting into his face in anguish.)

HERICK: They were to be here when I awoke! You gave me your word!

JAMUS: Herick!

(John pulls Herick off and shoves him back.)

SHEPPARD: Alright, take it easy. Let the man have a breath.

(Jamus sits down, catching his breath and looking confused.)

JAMUS: I don't understand.

HERICK: Where is the second storage device? (He points accusingly at the empty cradle.)

JAMUS: They waited too long to launch the second shuttle. Herick, I'm sorry.

HERICK: I worked every day of my life to complete this place with the promise that when it was done, my wife and son would be among the ones saved. You made me that promise when you stored my pattern in the device.

JAMUS: Shortly after you were stored in the device, word came from the planet that the last group had not yet made it to the second shuttle. With the launch of the first just hours before, the secret was out. There were riots on the street. Much of our leadership was in that last group.

HERICK: You delayed the launch. How long did you wait?

JAMUS: A day, but in that day the Wraith came, Herick, through the Portal. We knew it was the beginning -- we knew it was an advance scout. It had happened far too many times in our history. We knew.

HERICK: Why didn't you order them to launch?

JAMUS: Because the second shuttle would have led the Wraith straight here.

(Herick gazes at him, grief-stricken.)

JAMUS: It was the only way. You must understand that.

DEX: Sounds to me like you did it to save yourself.

JAMUS: No ... (he gestures to the storage device) ... to preserve the others who were already in storage.

(John, who had casually put his foot up on the edge of the device, now gingerly removes his foot.)

JAMUS: If the Wraith had followed the second shuttle, if they'd discovered what we had done, they would have blasted this moon from the sky. (He stands up and walks closer to Herick.) It was the hardest decision I have ever made, but if I had not made it, your life's work would have meant nothing.

(Rodney comes in.)

McKAY: Another life sign just appeared on the shuttle's H.U.D. (He notices Jamus.) Oh. Hi. (He walks towards him, holding out his hand.) McKay. Doctor Rodney McKay. I was the one who powered up your station.

(Jamus stares at his outstretched hand, obviously not knowing what he's meant to do about it. Instead, he nods briefly to Rodney.)

McKAY (awkwardly): ... And you're welcome. (He lowers his hand.)

JAMUS: My people are grateful for your assistance.

HERICK: We don't need them.

SHEPPARD: We do have a ship.

McKAY: One that -- no offence -- is better than that shuttle you've got there. We can get you back down to the planet and restoring your civilisation in no time. (He smiles smugly).

HERICK (quietly, despondently): Does your ship have an internal power supply attuned to the storage device?

(Rodney's smile fades.)

JAMUS: Herick wishes to finish the task that will complete his life's work. (He walks closer to Herick.) And when you have flown our people back to the surface, then the new era we have dreamed of will begin -- free of the Wraith for all time.

HERICK (quietly): For all time. (Jamus nods.) Forgive me.

(Jamus claps him on the shoulder.)

HERICK: I must prepare the shuttle for launch.

JAMUS: Of course.

McKAY: Look, if you want a hand with the control room, I could, um ...

(Herick walks away without looking back. Rodney turns back to the others, making a popping noise with his mouth a couple of times.)

McKAY: Or maybe not.

SHEPPARD (to Jamus): We'll leave you folks to it.

(Jamus nods. The other three start to leave the room.)

DEX: Look, Sheppard. I wouldn't leave this guy with that guy right now -- not unless you want this guy dead.

SHEPPARD: You really think he would, uh ...?

DEX: I would.

(The three of them stop in the doorway and look back at Jamus, who is now working on the transfer device. John thinks about it for a moment.)

SHEPPARD: Jamus, we're gonna stick around for a while -- make sure everyone gets safely back to the planet. Happy to give you a ride if you need one.

JAMUS: Thank you. I'm most grateful.

SHEPPARD (to Rodney): Why don't you head up to the Control Room? (He activates his headset radio.) Teyla, we're gonna stay a little longer.


CONTROL ROOM. Herick, his face full of grief, walks over to the control panel by the window overlooking the shuttle. He presses some buttons and lights come on around the shuttle. He turns and leaves the room, then breaks into a run. He races through the base, leaving all the pressure hatches open behind him.

(Teyla, making her way from the Jumper to the Pattern Storage Room, meets Herick on the way. She comes up to him, her face full of sympathy.)

TEYLA: Herick. I understand how difficult this must be for you. I too have lost many loved ones to the Wraith.

HERICK: What I feel was not caused by the Wraith.

TEYLA: Still, if there is anything we can ...

HERICK (interrupting): You've done enough.

TEYLA: I do not understand.

HERICK: If you had never come, if I had never awoken, my last thoughts would have been of hope for the future, and the love I have for my family. I never would have to feel what I feel now. Gather your team and leave this place.

(He turns and walks away.)

TEYLA: Herick.

(She starts to follow him.)

TEYLA: Herick.

(Rodney comes around the corner and watches as Herick walks past.)

McKAY (unsympathetically): Ooh. He's not doing so good, is he?

(Teyla turns and glares at him as he walks off in the direction of the Control Room.)

TEYLA: No.

(She turns back and watches Herick as he continues along the corridor, then she heads off towards the Pattern Storage Room.)


PATTERN STORAGE ROOM. John walks over to Jamus as he continues to work on the transfer device.

SHEPPARD: Is everyone still in there?

JAMUS: It appears we spent far longer in the device than was ever intended but, yes, it seems our engineers did very well.

(Teyla comes in.)

TEYLA: Colonel Sheppard? I'm concerned about Herick.

DEX: There's nothing we can do for him.

TEYLA: He just warned us to leave.

JAMUS: He's understandably distraught. He'll be fine when he gets to the planet.

SHEPPARD: Just the same, I'm gonna go and see what he's up to. (To Teyla) You stay here.

(He and Ronon head off.)


CORRIDOR. In the corridors, Herick pushes more pressure hatches open as he continues on his way. In the Control Room, an alarm beeps. Rodney looks up in confusion.

McKAY: What is he doing?

(He walks over to the window to look down at the shuttle. Herick has reached the shuttle and has opened the rear hatch. He looks out for a moment, then turns and runs back into the shuttle.)

McKAY (over comms): Herick, what are you doing?

(Herick runs up a ladder into the control module of the shuttle. He sits down into the pilot's seat and starts activating controls. Rodney stares in horror.)

McKAY (into radio): Sheppard, you need to get Herick out of that shuttle now!

SHEPPARD: We're on our way.

(As he and Ronon race through the corridors, Herick continues activating controls.)

McKAY (over comms): Herick, if you're doing what I think you're do...

(Herick deactivates the comms and presses another button. The engines start to fire up. Herick gazes upwards in despair briefly, then gets out of the chair and climbs back down the ladder.)
McKAY (from the Control Room): He's fired up the engines! Hang on!

(His face full of grief, Herick walks to the open hatch of the shuttle and stands in the doorway. The entire base starts to shake. In the Pattern Storage Room, Teyla and Jamus look round in confusion.)

JAMUS: What's happening?

(In the Control Room, Rodney watches helplessly as the shuttle's engines build up to full power.)

McKAY (into radio): The outer doors won't hold! You need to shut the hatches to your compartments! All of them!

(He stumbles over to the hatch of the Control Room, shuts it and spins the wheel. In the Pattern Storage Room, Teyla does likewise. In the open hatch of the shuttle, Herick closes his eyes as the blast from the engines hammers against the outer doors of the hangar. Eventually they can take the pressure no longer and burst. The Puddle Jumper is pulled free from the dock and is blown out into space.)

(In the corridors, John and Ronon struggle against the air rushing out into space. Ronon uses all his strength to try and push a pressure hatch closed but an explosion blasts the hatch open, throwing Ronon through the air and sending him crashing into the opposite wall. In the Control Room, Rodney is thrown to the floor. In the Pattern Storage Room, Teyla and Jamus are hurled across the room and storage containers crash down on top of them. In the corridor, John continues trying to haul himself to the pressure hatch as Ronon drags himself to his feet.)

(From a viewpoint in space, the shuttle engines continue to burn through the open hangar doors as debris flies out into space.)

(In the corridor, John has finally reached the pressure hatch. As he tries to push it shut, Ronon drags himself one-handed to the rear of the hatch, puts his back against it and helps John push the hatch shut.)

(In the Control Room, Rodney has got back to his feet and walks back to the window just in time to see the shuttle's engines finally burn out.)

(In the corridor, having finally got the hatch shut, John -- by now suffering from oxygen deprivation -- forces himself to walk across to the hatch at the other end of that section. He pushes that one shut and seals it, then slowly crumples to the floor.)

(From a viewpoint in space, lots of bits of debris -- and the Puddle Jumper -- are spiralling away from the moon. The moon itself appears to be slowly descending towards the planet's surface.)


SHORTLY AFTERWARDS. CORRIDOR.

McKAY (over radio): Sheppard, Ronon, come in.

(John slowly regains consciousness.)

McKAY (over radio): Sheppard, Ronon, come in.

(John wearily activates his headset. On the other side of the compartment, Ronon is slumped against the other hatch, apparently still unconscious.)

SHEPPARD: Still here. Barely.

McKAY (relieved): I was pretty sure you were dead!

SHEPPARD: Yeah, well, same here.

(He starts to drag himself to his feet.)

McKAY: Accordingly to the readings in here, your compartment was almost completely vented. It took almost a minute to repressurise.

(John walks across to Ronon, kneels down and puts his fingers against his neck. Ronon starts to rouse. John puts his hand on his right shoulder, and Ronon promptly screams in agony.)

SHEPPARD: Don't move.

(He sits down on the floor beside him.)

SHEPPARD: Teyla? Teyla.

(In the Pattern Storage Room, Teyla is hauling storage containers off Jamus.)

TEYLA: I am fine, but Jamus is injured. He will need medical attention.

SHEPPARD: He's gonna have to wait. McKay, what the hell just happened?

McKAY: Herick just killed himself and tried to take us with him. Chances are, he's succeeded too. I watched him open the rear hatch of the shuttle before he fired the main engines.

SHEPPARD: Why would he do that?

McKAY (sighing sarcastically): You know, I never really got to know him, so, uh ...

SHEPPARD: OK, OK. What do you know?

McKAY: The compartments between us are in vacuum, possibly damaged by the explosion. We're cut off from each other.

SHEPPARD: What else?

McKAY: Look, just give me a second to figure out how screwed we are and I'll get back to you.

(John gets up again and wanders away from Ronon.)


PATTERN STORAGE ROOM. Teyla supports Jamus' head as he regains consciousness. His nose is bleeding.

JAMUS: Herick?

TEYLA: We believe he took his own life, and tried to kill us.

JAMUS: Why would he ...?

TEYLA: It is best that you do not move until we know the full extent of your injuries.

JAMUS: And the device?

TEYLA: It appears to be intact.

(Jamus attempts to sit up. Teyla assists him.)


CORRIDOR. John is sitting a little distance away from Ronon. Groaning, Ronon sits up. His right arm drags behind him as he hauls himself to his feet.

SHEPPARD: I told you, don't move. Your shoulder's dislocated. Just wait for Beckett to get here, alright? Weir will send a team as soon as she doesn't hear from us, which should be any minute now.

(He hasn't been looking at Ronon while he was talking, so hasn't noticed that Ronon has forced his right arm behind the wheel of the hatch. Now Ronon spins his body viciously to the left, screaming in pain as he wrenches his shoulder back into position with a loud crack. John stares in shock as Ronon, groaning, pulls his arm out from behind the wheel and stumbles over to the wall, slumping down to the floor as he catches his breath.)

SHEPPARD: That's disturbing.

DEX: I don't like to wait.

McKAY (over radio): OK, time for the How Screwed We Are report.

SHEPPARD: Alright, go ahead.

McKAY: There's no way to seal the compartments between us from here, and there's too many hatches left open. Herick was obviously trying to vent the station to space. Look, I'm gonna need to suit up, see what I can do.

SHEPPARD: Doesn't sound too screwed.

McKAY (laughing ironically): But I'm not finished yet. Because the shuttle was attached and exhausted all of its fuel during the burn, the moon has been knocked out of its orbit.

SHEPPARD: How much time do we have?

McKAY: Before we burn up, or before we suffocate? Because the reactor scrammed and shut down during all this, so we're down to emergency power, most of which is being channelled into the people storage device.

SHEPPARD: Well, I don't know! Pick one!

McKAY: Not done yet! ‘Cause there's still the fact that the Jumper was blasted out of the docking port, so there is no way off this rock in either case.

SHEPPARD: Well, Weir will send a rescue team.

McKAY: We don't have much time left. The moon was already in a low orbit to start with. We're beginning to skim the outer atmosphere. We're gonna slow down exponentially.

SHEPPARD: Think of a brilliant plan, Rodney! That's what you do best. Using as little oxygen as possible.

(The base shakes. Ronon groans as the vibration hurts his shoulder.)

McKAY: Should I just repeat everything I just told you?

SHEPPARD: We don't leave our people behind -- did you forget that?

McKAY: No.

SHEPPARD: Good! They'll show up, and they'll get us out of here. Clear?

McKAY (not totally convinced): Yes. That's clear. McKay out.


PATTERN STORAGE ROOM. Jamus coughs as he sits up against a storage container. Teyla has a comforting hand on his shoulder.

JAMUS: I am sorry for this.

TEYLA: You blame yourself?

JAMUS: I gave the order that ended the lives of Herick's family.

TEYLA: You made a difficult decision.

JAMUS (looking at the device): If these thousand souls can yet be saved, it will have been the right one.

(He coughs painfully.)


CORRIDOR. Ronon is back on his feet and is pacing up and down the compartment.

DEX: I'm not good at this.

SHEPPARD: What?

DEX: Waiting to die.

SHEPPARD: Don't think about it.

DEX: I don't like small spaces.

SHEPPARD: Could be worse.

DEX: Personally, I'd rather die fighting.

SHEPPARD: I'd rather not die.

DEX: I'm just sayin' ...

SHEPPARD: OK, look. If this rock burns up in the atmosphere, I'll fight you to the death myself. Deal?

DEX (smiling): You're on. (He sits down, calmer.)


CONTROL ROOM. Rodney has made his way to another control room and is wandering around checking out the systems.

McKAY: Right.

(Seeing something out of the corner of his eye, he raises his head and looks out of a window which looks out into space, then stares in shock as he sees a large chunk of metal debris spiralling slowly towards the window.)

McKAY: Oh no. No. (Into radio) I've got a problem here!

SHEPPARD (from the corridor): What's happening?

(Rodney recoils back from the window, grabbing for his helmet but it's too late for him to put it on before the debris crashes into the window ... and bounces off, leaving just a small scratch on the outside of the glass. Rodney's eyes widen as the debris floats away, then he smiles in delight.)

McKAY: I'm alive!

(Suddenly the small scratch starts to fracture and lines run out from it.)

McKAY: I'm dead! I'm so dead!

(He stumbles away from the window, quickly pulling his helmet on.)

SHEPPARD: Rodney? What's happening?

McKAY (still struggling to get his helmet on): The Control Room window's just been hit by a piece of debris from the explosion. It's about to breach!

SHEPPARD: McKay?

McKAY: Can't talk now!

(Having got his helmet in place, he grabs onto the hatch with both hands as the glass in the window behind him shatters and the air is sucked out of the room. Once all the air has gone and everything has gone quiet again, he turns the wheel on the hatch, opens it, goes through and closes the hatch again.)

McKAY: We just lost the Control Room.

SHEPPARD: Didn't seem like it controlled much anyway.

McKAY: True. Alright. I'm gonna take a look around -- see if I can figure out a way to seal the compartments between us. I figure it would be nice if we were all together as we burn up.

SHEPPARD (reprovingly): McKay.

McKAY: I'm sorry. I mean, as we get rescued. I always get those two confused. (He looks around as he works out which way to go.) Alright.

(He heads off.)


LATER. Rodney is working his way through the base, checking hatches as he goes. He reaches one that has a storage container wedged in it, obviously sucked there during the explosion. He removes the case and tries to push the hatch closed. Just then the base shakes violently. Rodney stares upwards for a moment as the base settles, then tries to push the hatch closed again but can't manage it. He reports over the radio.

McKAY: If anyone's counting, we have another problem. I can't seal the compartments between us because one of the hatches won't shut.

SHEPPARD: What's wrong with it?

McKAY: Looks like the entire bulkhead was twisted when Sammy Suicide decided to fire up his rocket ship.

SHEPPARD: We're gonna need that hatch, McKay.

McKAY: Yes, I know that. I am the one who told you. I'll try.


ATLANTIS. Elizabeth walks out of her office and goes over to the Canadian technician.

WEIR: It's been over an hour?

TECHNICIAN: Yes, ma'am.

WEIR: Alright, then. Dial them up.


MOONBASE CORRIDOR. Elizabeth's voice comes over the radio.

WEIR: Colonel Sheppard, do you read me?

SHEPPARD: Loud and clear, and your timing's perfect. Now, you need to get Beckett here with a rescue team and some cutting equipment as soon as possible.

WEIR (to the technician): Do it.

(The moonbase shakes violently.)

WEIR: What's happened?

SHEPPARD: We've got ourselves in a damaged moonbase in a decaying orbit, cut off from each other, and we lost the Jumper. That happened. Well, there's more to it than that, but you get the idea.

WEIR: Help is on its way. What else can we do?

DEX: Hurry!


SPACE GATE. A Puddle Jumper comes through the Gate, its engines deploying as it exits the Gate.

LORNE: Colonel Sheppard, this is Major Lorne.

(Inside the Jumper, Major Lorne and Doctor Carson Beckett are already in spacesuits. The Jumper is being piloted by a captain from Daedalus.)

LORNE: We are en route, and on afterburners. We should have you out of there in no time.

(John and Ronon exchange a relieved glance.)

SHEPPARD: Understood. You're gonna have to convert the Jumper's cloak into a shield and extend it to the station to create a seal.

LORNE: We're already on it, sir.

BECKETT: How are my patients doin'?

SHEPPARD: Jamus could use your help.

BECKETT: Tell ‘em we'll be there in a jiff.

SHEPPARD: You guys hear that?

McKAY (over radio): Yay! Faint hope!

TEYLA: We did, John. We're glad to hear it.

(The base shakes violently again.)

JAMUS (to Teyla): Your friends are coming for us?

TEYLA: Yes. And Doctor Beckett as well. He will take good care of you.

JAMUS: And my people?

TEYLA: I'm sure that if it is at all possible ...

JAMUS: It must be! There are over a thousand souls in this device. An entire people will be gone forever if we don't find a way.


CORRIDORS. Rodney is struggling to fix the damaged hatch. As he strains to straighten out one of its hinges, Teyla's voice comes over the radio.

TEYLA: Doctor McKay.

McKAY (grunting with effort): Busy working right now. Call back later.

TEYLA: It is a matter of great importance to Jamus.

McKAY: Yeah, well, what is it?

(Teyla has stood up and walked a few feet away from Jamus and is talking to Rodney with her back to Jamus. Obviously Jamus cannot hear Rodney as his voice comes into her headset.)

TEYLA: Will it be possible to take the people stored in the device along with us?

McKAY: No. No, there's not a chance. Look, the internal batteries would run out in half the time it would take me to patch in a compatible power source. Look, maybe, maybe if I could keep it in the compartment, but we're not sticking around that long. We're in a decaying orbit, remember?

TEYLA (smiling falsely): Then there is an excellent chance that we will be able to save them.

McKAY: What? No-no-no-no-no-no-no -- I said no.

TEYLA: Jamus will be very happy to hear this.

McKAY: What are you ...? (He realises what she is doing.) Oh, OK. Yeah, tell him no problem. The more the merrier.

(He gets back to work on the hatch's hinge. Teyla turns to face Jamus, still smiling falsely.)

TEYLA: Doctor McKay assures me that it will be possible.


HANGAR. The Jumper backs into the hangar, retracts its engines and docks.

LORNE: OK, we're in.

(He opens the first pressure hatch and enters the base, carrying a large case with him. Carson follows, carrying his medical kit.)

(At the damaged pressure hatch, Rodney is straining to push the hatch shut.)

McKAY (his voice agonised): Come on! Oh!

(He almost weeps with effort and frustration. Behind him, Lorne walks up and knocks three times on his helmet.)

McKAY: What the ...?! (He spins round.)

LORNE: I thought I'd take over, Doc.

McKAY: Oh, thank God! I can't get the hatch shut. I can't get Sheppard, Ronon or Teyla out of the compartments until I get the hatch shut.

LORNE (laying his case down and starting to open it): Not a problem. Just head on back to the Jumper.

McKAY: No. No, we don't leave our people behind.

(The base shakes violently again.)

LORNE: You're not goin' anywhere, Doc. You're just headin' back to the Jumper to figure out how much time we have before this moon starts breakin' up in the atmosphere.

McKAY: Right. Right.

(He heads off. Lorne lowers the sun visor over his helmet and fires up a cutting device.)


PATTERN STORAGE ROOM. Outside the room, Carson reaches the hatch and thumps on it.

BECKETT: Teyla, love, can you hear me?

TEYLA: Yes, Doctor Beckett. It is good to hear your voice.

BECKETT: Aye, you too. We should be able to repressurise and have you out in no time.

(The base shakes again.)

BECKETT: Just hang on a wee bit longer.

(Teyla hurries back to Jamus.)

TEYLA: Our rescuers have arrived. We will be able to get out of here soon.

JAMUS: And the device?

TEYLA: I'm sure we will do everything in our power.

JAMUS (gazing at the device): Hayden Thorton is our people's greatest living poet. He is among those stored in this device. Our greatest scientists, Torrell and Barnum, are stored in here as well, along with two hundred children. You must promise me.

TEYLA: I wish I could, but I cannot promise what is beyond my control, Jamus.


OUTSIDE. Outside the room, Lorne comes to join Carson.

LORNE: We've got a good seal on the damaged hatch. The station is repressurising. (He checks a device strapped to his wrist.) OK, we're good to go.

(He cracks his helmet visor open. Carson follows suit and they push their visors all the way up.)

BECKETT: Colonel, Teyla, you're safe to open your hatches.

SHEPPARD: Great! (He and Ronon run towards the hatch.) McKay, how much time do we have?

McKAY: Not much. We're getting dangerously close to the planet's atmosphere. The moon won't survive another orbit.

(John gets the hatch open and he and Ronon hurry off.)


PATTERN STORAGE ROOM.

TEYLA: It is time to leave.

(She helps Jamus to his feet. As she helps him towards the hatch, the base shakes again. Teyla loses her footing and stumbles a few steps away from Jamus, then turns to find him pointing a pistol at her. She looks down and realises that he has just taken it from her holster.)

TEYLA: Jamus, what are you doing?

JAMUS: I cannot allow you to leave. Not until you ensure the safety of my people.


OUTSIDE. Outside, Carson is trying to turn the wheel on the hatch.

BECKETT: Teyla, you can open the hatch. It's safe.

(John and Ronon run in. Ronon is holding his right arm to his side with his left hand.)

SHEPPARD: Hey, Doc.

BECKETT: Colonel. Ronon, you OK?

DEX: Yeah, I'm good, Doc.

SHEPPARD: What's the problem?

BECKETT: Teyla's hatch is locked from the inside.

(John activates his headset.)

SHEPPARD: Teyla? Open up the door -- we've gotta get out of here.

TEYLA: I can't do that, John. Jamus has my sidearm and will not let me leave until we find a way to preserve the storage device.

SHEPPARD: Alright. Tell him we'll try.

TEYLA: I've already done so. He does not believe me.

SHEPPARD: Put him on the radio.

(Teyla opens a pocket in her vest, takes out her radio, switches it on and holds it out towards Jamus.)

SHEPPARD: Jamus, can you hear me?

JAMUS: I can.

SHEPPARD: I want you to listen carefully. If there was time to save the storage device, we would, you know that. We got into this mess by offering to stick around and help you in the first place. But we can save you -- this is your life we're talkin' about, alright? So just open up the door.

JAMUS: I have her weapon.

(The base shakes again.)

SHEPPARD: This rock is gonna burn up in the atmosphere.

BECKETT: Meaning if you don't open this door, you'll die.

JAMUS: Then I will die with my people.

SHEPPARD: OK. Open up the door and let Teyla out and you can die with your people.

(Jamus doesn't reply. John looks round at Lorne.)

SHEPPARD: Get the torch.

(Lorne moves to fetch it.)

SHEPPARD: Jamus, we're gonna open up this door one way or the other. (He puts on some dark protective glasses that Lorne has handed him, then starts to put on some heavy gloves.) And if we have to do it the hard way, my offer to take you with us is off the table.

JAMUS: There is nothing more to say.

(Lorne hands the torch up to John, who ignites it.)

TEYLA: Sacrificing your own life will not save them.

JAMUS: My life does not matter.

(He and Teyla look at the hatch briefly as John begins cutting into it.)

TEYLA: If you live, their memory will be preserved.

JAMUS: You still do not grasp what is at stake -- just how many have sacrificed so that our people could have a future. It took the resources of five generations to build this station. We fought a war we knew we could not win so that there could be a future.

TEYLA: You knew you could not win the war?

JAMUS: We came to realise that if there were no more survivors, the Wraith would not return. We built weapons to ensure that when the war was over, there would be no more survivors.

TEYLA (horrified): You killed your own people?

JAMUS: We killed Wraith. Every ship that landed was struck by our atomic weapons. We knew that the radioactive cloud would spread over every continent. We knew the planet would be uninhabitable for many years.

TEYLA: So you built this place.

JAMUS: That we could rebuild without fear of the Wraith ever returning. So, you see, these souls must survive. If they do not, the many hundreds of thousands lost in the war will have died for nothing.

(Teyla, whose face has been stern and angry up until now, looks a little more sympathetic as she steps towards him.)

JAMUS: Don't. Don't. (Teyla stops.) Your life is all I have to bargain with. I do not wish to take it.

(The base shakes again. From a viewpoint in space, the leading edge of the moon touches the outer edge of the atmosphere and begins to glow. Outside the Pattern Storage Room, Carson struggles to keep his footing.)

BECKETT: This is taking too bloody long.

SHEPPARD: I'm goin' as fast as I can.

(Inside)

TEYLA: Any moment now, Colonel Sheppard will cut through that door. If you shoot me, they will surely kill you.

(Keeping the pistol trained on her, Jamus backs up to the storage device and starts pressing buttons.)

TEYLA: Perhaps the only way to preserve your people now is to preserve their memory. If you die, they will be forgotten. Their deaths will go unrecorded, and the Wraith will have won.

(Jamus glances at the hatch, where John is still cutting.)

TEYLA: Or leave here with us now and keep the spirit of your people alive inside you. Document their achievements, their struggles and triumphs. Tell their story to anyone who will listen. The choice is yours.

(The base shakes even more violently. Jamus keeps his footing and begins to press buttons on the storage device again.)

JAMUS: I never intended to take your life. My only hope is that Colonel Sheppard is sincere in his statement that he will leave no-one behind.

(Outside, John has almost finished cutting. A few moments later, Jamus runs to the hatch and shouts through it.)

JAMUS: Colonel! Colonel. You can stop what you're doing now. I'm ready to open the door.

(He presses some buttons beside the hatch. John stops cutting.)

SHEPPARD (in irritation): Now he's ready!

(He puts the torch down and takes off the glasses and gloves.)

SHEPPARD: Alright. We're gonna open up the door. I wanna see your weapon on the ground and your hands in the air.

(As the wheel on the hatch starts to turn, he aims his pistol. Lorne aims his rifle and Ronon his blaster.)

McKAY (over radio): Sheppard, what's going on? I'm picking up another power surge.

(John frowns and glances round at Lorne for a moment, then turns back to the hatch, puts his boot against it and shoves the hatch open. As he and the others run in, the last trace of a transporter beam disappears inside the storage device. There's no sign of Teyla or Jamus. John stares at the device in horror.)


SPACE. The moon sinks deeper into the edge of the atmosphere.


PATTERN STORAGE ROOM. Rodney is working on the storage device. John is with him, while Ronon sits nearby.

SHEPPARD: Are you gonna be able to get her out of there or not?

McKAY: I have no idea how to determine who's who in this thing. Look, maybe if I had a few hours ...

SHEPPARD: Well, you don't.

McKAY: Yes, I know, but short of randomly beaming people out one by one ...

SHEPPARD: There's a thousand people in this thing.

McKAY: I am aware of that.

(The base shakes violently. Lorne comes to the door.)

LORNE: It's time to go, sir.

SHEPPARD: Just give us a minute.

LORNE: I'm sorry, sir, we don't have a minute. As soon as this rock hits the atmosphere, it's gonna start to break up. We've gotta go now.

SHEPPARD: Alright. (To Rodney) Can you get this thing disconnected?

McKAY: Yes, but I've already told you -- there's no way I can rig up a compatible power source for the Jumper.

SHEPPARD: I'm not talking about the Jumper.

McKAY: What?

SHEPPARD: I always wanted to fly a space shuttle. Now's my chance.

McKAY: Oh, no-no-no-no-no.

(John is already heading out of the room. Rodney follows him.)

SHEPPARD: Just get this thing disconnected and help these guys get to the Jumper while I suit up.

McKAY: Look, I know how much you love to think you can fly anything but it is not ...

SHEPPARD (sternly): Just get this thing disconnected. That's an order.

(He storms off. Rodney stops and watches him for a moment, then heads back into the room.)


SPACE. The leading edge of the moon is slowly disintegrating in the heat.


INSIDE. Inside the base, Rodney has got the device disconnected and he, Lorne and Ronon (one-handed) are pushing it towards the shuttle.

LORNE: I think he's crazy. The thing's how many hundred years old? And it's out of fuel.

DEX: He said he could fly it.

(Behind them, Carson is helping John to get into his spacesuit.)

BECKETT: You do realise you're out of your bloody mind, right?

SHEPPARD: Yeah, probably.

(The base shakes. Rodney turns back towards John.)

McKAY: Alright, you're all set. Once you're inside the shuttle, it should be fairly easy to get the device into the receptacle.

SHEPPARD: Alright, let's do it.

(He starts to walk past him.)

McKAY: Just -- can I say one more thing?

(The base shakes again as John turns back to him.)

SHEPPARD: As long as you say it as fast as you can.

McKAY: Don't do this. It's impossible.

SHEPPARD: Willing to bet a week's wages on that?

McKAY: Yeah, how're you gonna pay up if I win, huh?

SHEPPARD: Thanks for caring(!)

McKAY (sheepishly): Yeah.

SHEPPARD: Alright. Radio Atlantis as soon as you're clear. Keep a safe distance with the Jumper. I'll try to maintain radio contact.

(He turns to leave but Ronon stops him.)

DEX: Hey. Remember -- you still owe me a fight to the death.

(John lowers his helmet visor and clamps it down.)

SHEPPARD (muffled): I look forward to that.

(He slaps Ronon on the shoulder as he walks past him. Ronon grimaces in pain, turns and glares at John's departing back, then leaves.)


PUDDLE JUMPER. Rodney, Ronon, Carson and Lorne run into the Jumper to join the pilot.

LORNE: Get us out of here, Captain.


SHUTTLE. John connects the storage device to its power source.

SHEPPARD: Alright. I've got the device locked in place. Looks like internal power switched on automatically. Closing rear hatch now.

(He looks out of the hatch for a moment. Debris is streaming past the hole in the moon where the outer doors once were. The Jumper is just pulling away from the dock.)

SHEPPARD: See you guys on the ground. (He closes the hatch.)

LORNE: Will do, sir. Good luck.

(John goes to the ladder leading up the control module and starts to climb. The Jumper heads towards the exit of the hangar.)

LORNE: We're clear, sir.

(John settles into the pilot's seat.)

McKAY: The moon's decelerating in the upper atmosphere. You've only got a few minutes to familiarise yourself with those controls.

SHEPPARD: Pretty straightforward.

McKAY: We're gonna lose radio contact as you pass through the atmosphere.

SHEPPARD: I know, Rodney.

McKAY: I'm saying that if you have anything that you'd like to say, now would be a good time to say ...

SHEPPARD: No, not really.

(The shuttle shakes violently.)

SHEPPARD: Gettin' some chop.

McKAY: Now would probably be a good time to disengage.

(In the Jumper, Rodney calls up the H.U.D. on the windshield.)

McKAY: Hopefully the explosive bolts will throw him clear of the moon.

SHEPPARD: Initiating separation manoeuvre in three, two, one, mark.

(He flicks a switch. Alarms beep.)

SHEPPARD: Separation is negative. Switching to back-up.

(He swivels around in his seat to another control panel.)

SHEPPARD: Disengage. Come on! (Alarms beep again.) Dammit! The bolts will not work. I repeat: the explosive bolts will not fire. Unable to separate ship. I don't know if you can hear me but it looks like I'm gonna have to ride this one down.

(In the Jumper, everyone looks concerned.)

DEX: What's happening?

McKAY: He can't separate the ship. He's gonna burn up inside the moon.

(John grips the control column fiercely as the shuttle continues to shake violently. Outside, more and more chunks of the moon are breaking off as it descends deeper into the atmosphere. The hangar starts to fall apart. Large chunks of debris crash down onto the shuttle. John looks up in concern through the bubble of glass over the top of the module.)

(The moon continues its descent through the atmosphere, blazing as it goes. Finally it can withstand the strain no longer and disintegrates. Debris flies off in all directions.)

(For a few agonising moments, the crew in the Jumper stare and wait. Finally the H.U.D. beeps and flashes up an image of the shuttle. Rodney points.)

McKAY: There it is!

(Carson sighs quietly.)

(In the atmosphere, the shuttle, now free of the debris around it, is burning brightly as it plunges downwards. Inside, alarms beep constantly as John struggles to gain control of the ship.)

(In the Puddle Jumper, the crew watch the H.U.D. anxiously. The shuttle reaches the lower atmosphere and plummets towards the ground, trailing a tail of smoke behind it. John desperately tries to bring the nose of the craft up. Whether or not he is successful is open to debate but the shuttle finally reaches the ground in at least a semi-controlled glide. It crashes down in what appears to be a desert, then skids along the ground without breaking up. As it jerks to a halt, John is thrown forward violently and his helmet thumps hard into the console. His arm drops to his side as he loses consciousness.)

LORNE: Get as close to the crash site as possible.

PILOT: Yes, sir.

BECKETT: Can you tell if he's alive?

McKAY: Not yet. Wait.

(The team waits anxiously. A moment later the H.U.D. beeps.)

McKAY: I'm detecting one life sign.

(In the shuttle, John wearily raises his head. The glass on his helmet hasn't even broken. He sits up and looks around groggily.)

(In the Jumper, John's exhausted voice comes over the radio.)

SHEPPARD: That's one week's pay you owe me, Rodney.

(The crew all grin in relief.)

McKAY (smiling): Well, technically, I didn't take that bet.

LORNE: Hang tight, sir. We're on our way.

SHEPPARD: Take your time, Major.

(He opens his visor and pushes it up.)

SHEPPARD: Take your time.


ATLANTIS. INFIRMARY. John walks in to find Teyla sitting up in bed with Carson checking her over and Elizabeth sitting on the edge of the bed.

SHEPPARD: So, I have the hard landing and she gets the bed rest.

TEYLA: Well, I tried to tell Carson that I was perfectly fine but he insisted.

BECKETT: A number of people reintegrated from the storage device experienced a small amount of memory loss. I just want to make certain that you're ... all there.

SHEPPARD: She does look a little thin.

(Carson smiles as Teyla shoots John an indignant look.)

BECKETT: Just until the morning.

TEYLA: Thank you.

(Elizabeth gets off the bed and faces John.)

WEIR: And I assume you have come to the Infirmary in order to have your head examined.

SHEPPARD: Hey, I pulled it off, didn't I?

TEYLA: Yes, you did.

WEIR: I'm gonna head back to Stargate Operations. Major Lorne is about to return to drop off supplies to Jamus' people.

SHEPPARD: Hey, what are you gonna do with him, anyway?

WEIR: Uh, his injuries were such that he didn't survive the reintegration.

(She turns and leaves.)

SHEPPARD (to Teyla): It doesn't break my heart.

TEYLA: He only did what you or I would have done.

SHEPPARD: Are you kidding?! He held you hostage and almost got both of us killed.

TEYLA: He tried to save his people -- and he succeeded, through you.

SHEPPARD: That's not the reason I did it.

(Teyla smiles at him.)

TEYLA: I know.

SHEPPARD: Don't go feelin' special.

(Teyla grins.)

SHEPPARD: I'd have done it for any one of you.

(He turns away as Teyla grins again.)

TEYLA: Of course.

SHEPPARD (walking away): Except for maybe McKay.

TEYLA: Yes -- I think even for Rodney.

SHEPPARD: Maybe.